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American Resistance To Empire

Popular Rapper Slams Black Lives Matter As Soros Movement, Hijacked by Gays

Rapper Lord Jamar, a member of the hip-hop group Brand Nubian, sparked controversy when he rejected the Black Lives Matter organization over its Marxist roots, alleging it was created by far-left philanthropist billionaire George Soros and saying it is robbing Black Americans of their own “organic movement.”

In a video that has quickly gone viral, Lord Jamar (real name Lorenzo Dechalus) said that he is not a “Black Lives Matter” supporter, citing the organization’s radical views that fall outside its original mission statement.

“I’m not a Black Lives Matter supporter,” Jamar said in an interview on SCUM.

“You’re not?” the interviewer asked in surprise.

“No, absolutely not,” responded Jamar. “Because it’s not our movement. This is a movement that was given to us by, you know, George Soros and his f***ing boys. Because they saw how things were going and they didn’t want to go back to the 60s to where we started having our own organic movements. That was a big f***ing problem for them. So let’s give the people a movement that we can control. We’ll provide them the leaders and all this type of s**t. That’s what black lives matter is.”

Lord Jamar then directed people to look at the leaders of Black Lives Matter and their allegiance with the LGBTQ movement to illustrate his point. “Look at the leaders of Black Lives Matter,” he said. “These lesbian women who are trying to incorporate, you know, LG whatever the f*** the letters are, incorporate their concerns into black people’s concerns. Go to the website. Look it up.”

Black Lives Matter states on its “What We Believe” page that the organization is a “queer-affirming network” that seeks to “dismantle cisgender privilege” and “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family.”

We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.

We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.

We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).

Black Lives Matter (BLM) founder Patrisse Cullors also emphasized in 2015 that the leaders are “trained Marxists” steeped in ideological theory. “We actually do have an ideological frame, myself and Alicia, in particular, are trained organizers,” said Cullors. “We are trained Marxists.” Many Black Lives Matter rallies have included calls to “abolish capitalism” along with the police.

Dr. Ron Paul Challenges Texas Exaggeration of Covid Virus Numbers

 

Map of Covid-19 cases in Texas

Graphs showing cases in regions of US

SOURCE

Is the Texas Covid ‘Spike’ Fake News?

On July 2nd, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order mandating the wearing of face masks across the state, whether indoors or outdoors, when six feet cannot be maintained between people. In the governor’s decree, he cited a rise in Covid cases, a rise in test positivity, and a rise in hospitalizations as justification to force people to cover their faces in public.

The move is not only a violation of the civil liberties of all Texans. Abbott may have based his executive order on inaccurate information about a “rise” in Covid cases due to the Texas State Department of Health Services changing the definition of what constitutes a “Covid case.”
Thanks goes to Collin County Judge Chris Hill for blowing the whistle on what appears to be a move in mid-May to redefine what was a “Covid” case to open the door to a massive increase – all to match the mainstream media line that a “second wave” was on the way.

In a Commissioners Court hearing for Collin County on May 18th, it was revealed that while previously the determination of a Covid “case” was a confirmed test result, the definition was suddenly changed to count “probable” cases as “cases.” At the same time, the threshold for determining “probable” was lowered to a ridiculous level.

As Judge Hill said at that May 18th meeting, “If you have a subjective fever and you have a headache and you live in Collin County, you now meet the qualifications to be a probable COVID patient. It is remarkable how low the standard is now.”

Even worse, once a “probable” case was determined based on possibly unrelated subjective criteria, up to 15 people in possible contact with that “probable” case were also listed as “probable cases.” And “probable cases” were considered cases.
Repeat that farce across Texas and is it any wonder there was a “spike” in “cases”?

Also, Governor Abbott’s claim that hospitals were being over-run by Covid patients was refuted by the Houston hospital directors themselves, who said they were nowhere near actual capacity and in fact were about the same level as they were last year.

The basis for Abbott’s unconstitutional “executive order” has been shown to be false. Will he admit his mistake?

It is encouraging to see so many local and county officials across Texas announcing they will refuse to enforce Governor Abbott’s unconstitutional face mask order. Thankfully the spirit of freedom and love of liberty is still alive in Texas.

The “second wave” is driven by propaganda. Across the country, Covid testing increased from about 150,000 to more than 700,000 per day. You can’t drive through Houston without seeing a flurry of signs advertising “Free Covid test! Results in 15 minutes!” Last week Reuters reported that tests shipped around the country by the federal government were contaminated.

Deaths from coronavirus – even the deaths “with” coronavirus rather than deaths “from” coronavirus – are down more than 90 percent since the peak in April. The decline in deaths continues. That means we are closer to the “herd immunity” that will finally kill this virus. Yet Governor Abbott and others across the country see this as a reason to lock the country back down.

The Real Civil War Was the Rich Against Everyone Else, Just Like Now

The True War

At his trial in Nuremberg, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring is recorded as saying, “Der Sieger wird immer der Richter und der Besiegte stets der Angeklagte sein,”   In common speech, this is often misquoted as, “History is written by the victor.”  The actual words are, “The victor is always the judge and the loser is the accused.”  Truer words he probably never spoke.

To this I would add that the judge always positions himself as the moral superior.  After all, might makes right, sine qua non?

America is convulsing because its history is a bedtime story told to itself to hide the painful truth.  On all sides of the current mess there, folks are asking, or rather stating that Civil War 2.0 is underway.  In a profound sense, it is just a continuation of the original, much like World War 2 was inevitable because the wrongs of World War 1 where never settled.

After orgies of violence we humans call wars, the winners – and losers – are in a rush to turn away from the horrors that were committed on all sides, and in that rush a convenient narrative is concocted to ease the vivid nightmares.  The winners absolve themselves of the crimes by heaping guilt on the shoulders of the losers, regardless of right or wrong, or the truth.

As any good lawyer will tell you, there are three sides to every story – your side, my side and the truth.

When it comes to the American Civil War of 1860-63, the soothing narrative the winners concocted was that the evil South wanted slavery, and the bright shiny North wanted to abolish it.  Since the North won, their side of the story has dominated the narrative, but that makes it neither right nor the truth.  The real story is much more complex with plenty of guilt to go ’round.  As we proper Southerners know it, it was the War of Northern Aggression.

As the great Greek tragedian Aeschyius reminds us, “The first casualty of war is the Truth.”

The issue of slavery began simmering in the Union before the ink was dry on the Constitution.  Abolitionists wanted to end slavery primarily because it was a vestige of British colonialism, but also because it was antithetical to the ideals of the new nation.

Many abolitionists advocated sending slaves back to Africa, which eventually happened when a US colonial group created the western African nation of Liberia and offered passage to any slaves wanting to emigrate there.  Abraham Lincoln recognized Liberian independence in 1862, and liked the idea of repatriating slaves, as he was not a fan of racial integration.

In 1824, the Democratic Republican Party split into two factions – the Democrats and Republicans – over support for John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.  Among the issues at the core of the split was slavery and abolition.  The Democrats were willing to compromise on slavery, as demonstrated by The Missouri Compromise of 1820, which brought the free state of Maine and the slave state of Missouri into the Union.

While the compromise placated both sides for  atime by maintaining the balance between free and slave states, it was undone by the Kanas-Nebraska Act of 1858.

Aside from all the idealistic rhetoric, the underlying tensions were primarily economic.  The northern states were dominated by industrial and financial interests, while the southern states were agricultural.  The balance that the politicians sought to maintain was between the suppliers of raw materials and food in the south, and the factories and banks in the north.  This tension was exacerbated by the apportionment of representation using population.  This one fact is the seed from which the Civil War and two centuries of social unrest have sprung.

The north benefitted from cheap raw materials that made its finished products highly competitive in global markets.  This made the industrialists and financiers grossly wealthy.  But they also faced increasing pressure to raise wages and offer benefits to labor, an issue that didn’t affect the slave states.  Furthermore, it was in the best interests of the northern parties to maintain the supply of cheap raw materials.

The south, on the other hand, found that they could fetch much better prices for their goods in Europe, and could buy manufactured goods cheaper than from the north.  More and more of the south’s output was shipping overseas.  The southern plantation owners were also hiking the prices for northern buyers, while buying fewer and fewer finished goods from the north, and their wealth was beginning to rival that of the industrial-financial interests.  Thanks to slavery, the plantation owners didn’t have an expanding middle class to deal with.

The United States enacted Protective Tariffs almost as fast as the nation came into being.  While they were initially intended to be temporary to help fill up the Treasury, they were never lifted and became a tool of northern interests to maintain control over the south.  By making southern goods more expensive overseas, they forced the flow of raw materials to their factories.  Import tariffs were levied to force the south to buy finished goods from the north.

This made the industrial-financial interests happy, and the expanding middle class enjoyed rising wages, who thus threw their support behind the tariffs, as well.  In the election of 1860, the Morill Tariff was a major plank in the Republican party’s platform, and James Buchanan ended up signing the Morill Tariff into law before Abraham Lincoln took office on 4 March 1861.

In November of 1860, frustrated by tariffs, economic shenanigans and the northern dominance of Congress, the southern senators walked out and secession soon followed on 12 April 1861.  The northern bankers and financiers, fearing a middle class uprising and shrinking profits, persuaded Lincoln to set up a blockade.

The blockade was a blatant act of war against sovereign states who were exercising their Ninth Amendment and Tenth Amendment rights.  The blockade covered 3,500 miles of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, cutting off the newly formed Confederacy from their trading partners in Europe.  The same act today is still considered an act of war against a sovereign nation, though the US still uses it as a routine sanction against nations it doesn’t like (i.e. the banking and financial interests disapprove of).

There was and is no law preventing secession from the Union and every foundational document of the united States recognizes this fundamental right.  Thomas Jefferson himself wrote in the Declaration of Independence that a people had the right to sever ties with another when the government of the latter was abusive to their interests and liberty.

We must pause here to note that the abolutionist argument at the time was not about ending slavery, but whether new territories conquered by the federal government in its war on the native population would expand slavery into those regions or not.  We must also note that not a single slave ship ever flew the Confederate flag.  They were either British of Union flagged ships.

Having undermined the Confederate economy and brutally invaded a sovereign state (a common practice of the US), the Union forces decimated the South, which produced raw materials and not the finished goods of the north.  So the north cut off the South’s livelihood, while protecting their interests by purchasing raw materials from colonial powers abroad.

Note well that the Confederate states were exercising their rights, as recognized and memorialized in the US Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Also note that the Union invaded the Confederacy, and not the other way around.

The north clearly profited from slavery on all sides and had no intention to end its practice.  On the other side, the cost of purchasing and maintaining slavery was becoming a burden on the southern producers and would have ended one way or another before the end of the century.

On 1 January 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  Contrary to the legend propagated by the victors, this document did not “free” any slaves.  It promised escaped slaves that made it past the Mason-Dixon line that they would not be returned to the Confederacy.    It did not grant equal rights or suffrage or even freedom – just that they would not be returned to their owners.  In other words, it was yet another act of deception by the Union, which it was quite adept at even then.

In fact, slavery in the north did not end for several years after the Civil War and emancipation proclamation.  There was a slave market right where Wall Street is today into the 1870s.

The Dred Scott decision, which affirmed the right of property to a human being, was not overturned until the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted in 1868, a full three years after the end of the Civil War, and even then the practice of slavery in the north tapered off slowly.

That the Fourteenth Amendment destroyed God-given rights in favor of “privileges and immunities” is the topic of many a long and dry essay.  Suffice it to say that the bankers and financiers did not free any slaves, but rather made slaves of every citizen of the “United States,” itself a corporate entity created by the Act of 1871. (note “united States” versus United States)

It may seem like legal hair-splitting, but there is a profound difference between a “right” and  “privilege”.    In Enlightenment philosophy, a right is the sacred property of an individual by virtue of birth.  A privilege is granted by an authority and requires a license or permission to exercise.  Go back and read the Fourteenth Amendment again.  As Thomas Jefferson noted in the Declaration of Independence, rights are “unalienable” or incapable of having a lien placed on them.  In other words, no authority may claim possession of those rights.

The American Civil War was not about slavery as we commonly think of it.  It was in point of fact about expanding slavery to everyone, not ending it for some.  It was a key expansion of the banking and financial interests in the US, and by means of two world wars, expanding that error to the entire world.

Until we recognize the truth of the Civil War, and acknowledge that we are all slaves to the banking class, we will never be truly free.  In many ways, this one Great Lie has caused so much death and destruction in our modern world.  Because we labor under a profound deception, we can never cure the ills that afflict us at this very moment.

Think about how many times you have heard or said, “The Constitution grants us the right to…”  It does no such thing, nor does the government grant rights.  We are born with them as a gift of Nature and Nature’s Creator.

The American Civil War never ended, it only became a global conflict with vile banksters pulling the strings.  We need only look a bit closer at where groups like Black Lives Matter or Antifa get their funding to see the subversive hand of banking and finance.

It is not just American blacks who are owed reparations, it is every human being on this planet born since the banksters took over.

New York Slave Market
Dred Scott decision
Franklin Pierce

Statue War Payback–Black Statues/Memorials Destruction Will Go Much Faster

Frederick Douglass statue removed at Rochester park

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – A statue of Frederick Douglass was removed from its base during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The statue stood at Maplewood Park in Rochester.

The neoliberal counter-revolution–latest phase in Democrat’s War Against Trump

The neoliberal counter-revolution

We’re witnessing a reaction to the nationalist uprising

America is not in the middle of a revolution — it is a reactionary putsch. About four years ago, the sort of people who had acquired position and influence as a result of globalization were turfed out of power for the first time in decades. They watched in horror as voters across the world chose Brexit, Donald Trump and other populist and conservative-nationalist options.

This deposition explains the storm of unrest battering American cities from coast to coast and making waves in Europe as well. The storm’s ferocity — the looting, the mobs, the mass lawlessness, the zealous iconoclasm, the deranged slogans like #DefundPolice — terrifies ordinary Americans. Many conservatives, especially, believe they are facing a revolution targeting the very foundations of American order.

But when national institutions bow (or kneel) to the street fighters’ demands, it should tell us that something else is going on. We aren’t dealing with a Maoist or Marxist revolt, even if some protagonists spout hard-leftish rhetoric. Rather, what’s playing out is a counter-revolution of the neoliberal class — academe, media, large corporations, ‘experts’, Big Tech — against the nationalist revolution launched in 2016. The supposed insurgents and the elites are marching in the streets together, taking the knee together.

They do not seek a radically new arrangement, but a return to the pre-Trump, pre-Brexit status quo ante which was working out very well for them. It was, of course, working out less well for the working class of all races, who bore the brunt of their preferred policy mix: open borders, free trade without limits, an aggressive cultural liberalism that corroded tradition and community, technocratic ‘global governance’ that neutered democracy and politics as such.

Conservatives generally don’t tend to pay much attention to class analysis. But in this case, it does help to explain what’s going on. And it helps to illuminate the true nature of social movements that pose as, and can get mistaken for, revolutionary leftism.

Does anyone seriously believe the American establishment — Walmart, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, the trustees of Ivy League universities, the major sports leagues, even Brooks Brothers, for God’s sake — would sign on to a movement that genuinely threatened its material interests? And yet these and many other firms and institutions are falling over themselves to express solidarity with the ‘uprising’, some going so far as to donate millions of dollars to Black Lives Matter, an outfit that lists among its objectives the abolition of the nuclear family.

Over the past four years, every trick in the book has been used to end the ‘nightmare’ of national conservatism and populism. The methods deployed by the elite reflect its tendencies and preferences as a class. Just think of recent skirmishes. A decisive majority of British voters resolved to leave the EU and then had to spend three years fighting a political establishment that marshaled all its vast resources to thwart Brexit. It failed. In America the liberal establishment tried harder, failed harder, but learned more. From the minute Trump won the presidential election, Democrats, elements of the security apparatus, and their media allies set out to undo the result. The marquee events were the ‘collusion’ probe and an impeachment push that was perhaps the single biggest insult ever to the intelligence of the American people. There were also countless smaller attempts to unseat Trump and destroy his entourage.

Trump survived it all. Now comes the new wave of rioters and mad iconoclasts, which many corporates and Democratic governors and mayors have actively encouraged, even as they continue to bar children from public parks and families from holding outdoor funerals, citing COVID-19 risks.

But wait: riots and statue-toppling — such things aren’t congenial to establishment figures, are they? The logic becomes apparent when you see it as a form of class struggle. For all its fury, the storm of the riots ends. There is little resembling demands for ongoing redistributive justice of the kind the old left championed. No labor solidarity, nothing to do with wages and job security. Just demands for ‘representation’ or diversity (on corporate boards, in university curricula, etc). And, of course, the firing of those who say the wrong or awkward thing in the digital public square, in workplaces or in classrooms.

The goal isn’t to rectify concrete economic injustices: massive inequalities in wealth, health and job security. The goal is precisely the opposite: to mitigate, to defer, to smooth over, to mask these substantive disagreements and instead have battles on procedural mechanisms for upholding manners.

Which social class most excels at politically correct manners? That would be the professional-managerial class, the laptop class. Its children learn the patois for discussing ‘issues of race, gender and sexuality’ from an early age. They’re expected to have mastered it by the time they take their entry-level jobs. It’s a skill that private schools are doubtless teaching already.

Working-class people, meanwhile, are most likely to struggle with this language. Even when they mean well they don’t always get it right, not least because the rules constantly shift with the vagaries of critical race theory and LGBTQ acronyms. By fortifying the requirements to speak and think correctly — and raising the stakes for failures — the neoliberal class has now built a repressive new mechanism for staying at the top and keeping the oiks down. Especially those who voted the wrong way in 2016.

So whatever you do, don’t call it a leftist revolution. With the flags, the protests, the kneeling and the new language, it’s a counter-revolution. The outcome remains uncertain, but the class war is well and truly under way.

Sohrab Ahmari is op-ed editor of the New York Post. His next book, The Unbroken Thread, will be published in spring 2021. This article was originally published in The Spectator’s UK magazine

Opposing, Armed Racial Militias, Converge On Stone Mountain, Birthplace of New KKK

Black Militia at Stone Mountain July 2020

Armed Black Demonstrators Challenge White Supremacist Militia in Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park

About 1,000 heavily armed militia, all of whom were Black, marched through Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park on Independence Day, challenging white nationalist groups in the area to either come out and fight or join them in demonstrating against the government.

Stone Mountain State Park officials said the Black militia group was peaceful, orderly and escorted by police Saturday as they called for the removal of the country’s largest Confederate monument near Atlanta. Videos posted to social media show the group, the “Not F**king Around Coalition” (NFAC), meeting at the massive nine-story quartz sculpting that depicts Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Southern generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

NFAC Founder Grand Master Jay told Newsweek via phone Sunday that the militia members at Stone Mountain on Saturday were “100 percent black” and they are not affiliated with Black Lives Matter. “We are a black militia. We aren’t protesters, we aren’t demonstrators. We don’t come to sing, we don’t come to chant. That’s not what we do,” he said.

The NFAC head explained why several videos show the militia members alongside demonstrators earlier in the day before heading to Stone Mountain. Grand Master Jay told Newsweek the sister of Rashard Brooks, who was killed outside an Atlanta Wendy’s by police last month, requested the NFAC militia provide her with a security escort to a downtown rally which began at the site of her brother’s death.

“Our initial goal was to have a formation of our militia in Stone Mountain to send a message that as long as you’re abolishing all these statues across the country, what about this one?” Grand Master Jay said, referencing the massive Confederate carving.

He added that he must commend Stone Mountain police for offering the all-black militia support as they exercised their constitutional rights on July 4th.

“It was all black … there were no brown people, no white people… everyone was black. I am not a protester, I am the commanding general of my militia, we were swearing in new members,” he added, highlighting there was a second militia “show of force” Saturday near Phoenix.

“I don’t see no white militia, the boogie [boogaloo] boys, the three percenters and all the rest of these scared-ass rednecks. We here, where the f**k you at? We’re in your house,” one protester said into a PA system during the Stone Mountain Park march.

John Bankhead, a spokesman for the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, said the protests were orderly and acknowledged the Confederate monument is frequently used as a meeting place for far right-wing militia.

“It’s a public park, a state park. We have these protests on both sides of the issue from time to time. We respect people’s First Amendment right,” Bankhead told WXIA-TV. “We understand the sensitivities of the issue here at the park … so we respect that and allow them to come in as long as it’s peaceful, which it has been.”

Newsweek reached out to Stone Mountain Park officials for additional remarks.

The illusion of freedom–The police state is alive and well

“All the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.” — Historian Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45

Brace yourself.

There is something being concocted in the dens of power, far beyond the public eye, and it doesn’t bode well for the future of this country.

Anytime you have an entire nation so mesmerized by the antics of the political ruling class that they are oblivious to all else, you’d better beware. Anytime you have a government that operates in the shadows, speaks in a language of force, and rules by fiat, you’d better beware. And anytime you have a government so far removed from its people as to ensure that they are never seen, heard or heeded by those elected to represent them, you’d better beware.

The world has been down this road before.

We are at our most vulnerable right now.

The gravest threat facing us as a nation is not extremism — delivered by way of sovereign citizens or radicalized Muslims — but despotism, exercised by a ruling class whose only allegiance is to power and money.

We’re in a national state of denial.

Yet no amount of escapism can shield us from the harsh reality that the danger in our midst is posed by an entrenched government bureaucracy that has no regard for the Constitution, Congress, the courts or the citizenry.

If the team colors have changed from blue to red, that’s just cosmetic.

The playbook remains the same. The leopard has not changed its spots.

Scrape off the surface layers and you will find that the American police state is alive and well and continuing to wreak havoc on the rights of the American people.

“We the people” are no longer living the American Dream.

We’re living the American Lie.

Indeed, Americans have been lied to so sincerely, so incessantly, and for so long by politicians of all stripes — who lie compulsively and without any seeming remorse — that they’ve almost come to prefer the lies trotted out by those in government over less-palatable truths.

Here’s a truth few Americans want to acknowledge: nothing has changed (at least, not for the better) since Barack Obama passed the reins of the police state to Donald Trump.

The police state is still winning. We the people are still losing.

In fact, the American police state has continued to advance at the same costly, intrusive, privacy-sapping, Constitution-defying, relentless pace under President Trump as it did under President Obama.

Here’s the problem as I see it: “We the people” have failed to recognize these warning signs as potential red flags to use as opportunities to ask questions, demand answers, and hold our government officials accountable to respect our rights and abide by the rule of law.

Unfortunately, once a free people allows the government to make inroads into their freedoms, or uses those same freedoms as bargaining chips for security, it quickly becomes a slippery slope to outright tyranny. And it doesn’t really matter whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican at the helm, because the bureaucratic mindset on both sides of the aisle now seems to embody the same philosophy of authoritarian government.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is what happens when you ignore the warning signs.

This is what happens when you fail to take alarm at the first experiment on your liberties.

This is what happens when you fail to challenge injustice and government overreach until the prison doors clang shut behind you.

In the American police state that now surrounds us, there are no longer such things as innocence, due process or justice — at least, not in the way we once knew them. We are all potentially guilty, all potential criminals, all suspects waiting to be accused of a crime.

So you can try to persuade yourself that you are free, that you still live in a country that values freedom, and that it is not too late to make America great again, but to anyone who has been paying attention to America’s decline over the past 50 years, it will be just another lie.

The German people chose to ignore the truth and believe the lie.

As the wife of a prominent German historian recalled: “[O]n the whole, everyone felt well. … And there were certainly eighty percent who lived productively and positively throughout the time. … We also had good years. We had wonderful years.”

In other words, as long as their creature comforts remained undiminished, as long as their bank accounts remained flush, as long as they weren’t being discriminated against, persecuted, starved, beaten, shot, stripped, jailed and turned into slave labor, life was good.

This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls.

Remember, freedom demands responsibility.

Freedom demands that people stop sleep-walking through life, stop cocooning themselves in political fantasies, and stop distracting themselves with escapist entertainment.

Freedom demands that we stop thinking as Democrats and Republicans and start thinking like human beings, or at the very least Americans.

Freedom demands that we not remain silent in the face of evil or wrongdoing but actively stand against injustice.

Freedom demands that we treat others as we would have them treat us.

In other words, if you don’t want to be locked up in a prison cell or a detention camp — if you don’t want to be discriminated against because of the color of your race, religion, politics or anything else that sets you apart from the rest — if you don’t want your loved ones shot at, strip searched, tasered, beaten and treated like slaves — if you don’t want to have to be constantly on guard against government eyes watching what you do, where you go and what you say — if you don’t want to be tortured, waterboarded or forced to perform degrading acts — if you don’t want your children to grow up in a world without freedom — then don’t allow these evils to be inflicted on anyone else, no matter how tempting the reason or how fervently you believe in your cause.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute

Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s Female “Judas Goat” For Grooming Girls, Finally Arrested

Ghislaine Maxwell with Epstein in New York in 2005. Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell last summer.
 Ghislaine Maxwell with Epstein in New York in 2005. Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell last summer. Photograph: Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and close friend of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested, an FBI spokesman has said.

Maxwell was accused by many women of recruiting them to give Epstein massages, during which they were pressured into sex. Those accusations, until now, never resulted in criminal charges.

Maxwell had kept a low profile, and her location was unknown since Epstein’s arrest last July on charges that he abused and trafficked in women and girls in Manhattan and Florida between 2002 and 2005. The search for Maxwell has been the subject of intense speculation, with reported sightings and rumors of her whereabouts popping up across the US and even abroad.

She was arrested in the small town of Bradford, New Hampshire at 8.30am.

Epstein, who pleaded not guilty, killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell in August last year.

The 17-page, six-count indictment filed by the FBI charges Maxwell with a host of crimes, including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and perjury.

The indictment described Maxwell’s relationship to Epstein as “personal and professional” – and that she was “in an intimate relationship” with him from about 1994 to 1997.

Epstein paid Maxwell “to manage their various properties”, the document says.

The court paperwork provides chilling detail into how Maxwell allegedly lured minors into Epstein’s orbit.

According to charging documents, Maxwell “befriended” some of these victims, “including by asking the victims about their lives, their schools, and their families”. She and Epstein spent time forging relationships with these girls, by taking them shopping and to the movies. The alleged grooming happened, according to the documents, at Epstein’s manse on the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, his ranch in Sante Fe, New Mexico, as well as Maxwell’s residence in London.

After developing a rapport, the documents allege, “Maxwell would try to normalize sexual abuse for a minor victim by, among other things, discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein”.

Sometimes, Maxwell would give Epstein massages in front of victims whereas other times, she urged them to give him massages, “including sexualized massage during which a minor victim would be fully or partially nude.” These would often involve Epstein sexually abusing these minors.

On some occasions, Maxwell was “present for and participated in the abuse”.

Maxwell’s father was the British media baron Robert Maxwell. She was was a one-time girlfriend of Epstein’s and key presence at his side in his glittering social life, which often included rich, influential and powerful people from around the world in politics, the arts and science.

Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged victims, has said in a civil lawsuit that Maxwell recruited her into Epstein’s circle, where she claims Epstein forced her to have sex with him and friends including British royal Prince Andrew – who has strongly denied the allegations.

Maxwell has said Giuffre’s allegations are untrue. Giuffre in response filed a defamation suit against Maxwell in 2015.

Capitalism In Meltdown–‘World on fire’

Image: Socialist Appeal

‘World on fire’: capitalism in meltdown

As society begins to reopen, the ruling class is hoping for a return to ‘normality’. But the future will look nothing like the past. A deep depression looms, threatening to throw us back to the 1930s. We must fight for revolution.


With the easing of the lockdown, we are in a period of apparent calm. But it is a calm before the storm.

In the hurly-burly of events, especially at this time, it is possible to get bewildered. Events are moving so fast that there is hardly enough time to catch one’s breath. It is therefore important to occasionally take a step back in order to see the bigger picture.

The Bank of England has stated that the present crisis is deeper than anything we have witnessed for 300 years. The United States economy – the most powerful capitalist country in the world – fell by a phenomenal 52.8 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to the Atlanta Federal Reserve. China’s economy shrank 6.8 percent in the first three months of 2020, the country’s first such contraction on record. The UK economy plunged by 20.4 percent in April alone, following a 5.8 percent fall in March, a previous record.

The capitalist system is in meltdown. Out of sheer desperation, trillions of dollars have been poured into the economy by governments and central banks to prop it up. The US Federal Reserve is expanding its balance sheet by $12 trillion, twice the level of 2008. Others have followed suit. The rise in the ratio of UK government debt to national income is the highest for 57 years – nearly 100 percent of GDP, and rising.

This is completely unprecedented, and nothing short of catastrophic. This represents a decisive turning-point in Britain and the world. The aged Henry Kissinger, a strategist of capital, warned of a “world on fire”.

Cause and effect

Coronavirus economic crash Image pixabayThis is no ordinary crisis, but an endemic crisis, reflecting the utter exhaustion of the capitalist system / Image: Pixabay

The pandemic was not the cause but the trigger for this downswing. Nevertheless, the scale of the outbreak has certainly aggravated the crisis.

“The pandemic was just the trigger for a recession that was already approaching,” stated the Financial Times (3 June), in an unusually frank admission.

However, there are signs that a second wave will hit in the coming period. Cause has become effect, and effect has become cause.

Marx explained that as soon as a social system is not able to develop the productive forces – namely its economy – it enters into crisis and the era of social revolution opens up. This is precisely the period we have now entered.

This is no ordinary crisis, but an endemic crisis, reflecting the utter exhaustion of the capitalist system. What we have entered is a new world depression, worse than in the 1930s. This will last for years, with no end in sight. A trade war is also looking very likely, as countries try to export their way out of the crisis.

“Unless institutions such as the IMF and IADB [Inter-American Development Bank] sharply step up their lending, a new wave of debt defaults could make it the 1930s all over again,” states the Financial Times. But, in reality, whatever they do will be wrong.

“This is a deeply sobering outlook, with the crisis likely to leave long-lasting scars and pose major global challenges,” said Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, from the World Bank Group.

Class war

Great Depression Image public domainIn the 1930s, the Great Depression, as it was known, was only ‘solved’ by the devastation of the Second World War / Image: public domain

In the 1930s, the Great Depression, as it was known, was only ‘solved’ by the devastation of the Second World War.

A new depression, deeper than anything we have known, cannot be brought to an end this time by world war. Such a war – in the present epoch of nuclear weapons – is ruled out, as it would obliterate the planet. That being the case, all the contradictions of capitalist crisis will be internalised. Therefore, not war, but class war is on the agenda.

This depression means permanent mass unemployment. Already in the United States, 45 million workers have been ejected from the factories – some 25 percent of the workforce. In Britain, over 9 million workers have been furloughed. Millions everywhere will face the nightmare of unemployment and austerity. But they will not take this lying down.

With this death agony of capitalism, vicious austerity and falling living standards are on the order of the day. As the furlough is run down, the real situation will become increasingly exposed.

Consciousness is being transformed on the basis of these events, especially as people realise there will be no return to ‘normality’, as before. The mass movement in the USA is a case in point. Millions are going to be radicalised, and draw even revolutionary conclusions.

This crisis therefore poses vital questions before the labour and trade union movement. The ‘business as usual’ of the past is utterly out of date. We need to draw all the conclusions from this unprecedented situation.

The ruling class is preparing a massive offensive against the working class, with massive cuts, job losses and attacks on wages and conditions. This means all-out class war, posing a threat to all the gains of the past.

Capitalism’s catastrophe

The choice is clear: either we bow down and accept the capitalist system; or we must fight to overthrow it. There is no middle road. A return to the ‘good old days’ is ruled out. The trade unions and workers’ organisations must either become “labour lieutenants of capital”, or they must transform themselves into revolutionary organisations.

We must tell workers the truth: on a capitalist basis, there will be nothing short of a catastrophe for working people. It is essential that the movement adopts a revolutionary perspective, or it will be ground down.

Faced with this onslaught, we must resist every attack. In the face of mass redundancies, we must fight for work-sharing with no loss of pay. In the face of closures, there should be factory occupations, with a view to them being nationalised under workers’ control. We must oppose all wage cuts, and fight for a real living wage.

Faced with this unprecedented depression, the economy should be taken out of the hands of the capitalists and placed in the hands of the working class. In this way we can rationally plan the economy for our needs, and not the profits of the banks and monopolies.

Seize the moment

Manchester Tory Conference Protest Image Socialist AppealThe ideas of Marxism have never been more relevant / Image: Socialist Appeal

The fight must also continue to clear out the careerists from the Labour Party and to fight for a bold socialist programme – not to patch up capitalism, but to overthrow it. This may seem unrealistic to many, but we live in unprecedented times. Things that appear unrealisable one day become realisable the next. Above all, we are in a period of sharp and sudden changes.

In 1992, Ted Grant, who helped found Socialist Appeal, explained that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major historical event. But he stated that it would be nothing compared to the collapse of capitalism. This prediction is being realised in front of our very eyes.

The call to rearm the labour movement must go hand-in-hand with the building of the forces of Marxism in Britain and internationally. As a guide to action, the ideas of Marxism have never been more relevant.

The world is on fire. We need to seize the moment and fight to change society.

Originally published at socialist.net

Daily Beast Quotes Dead Taliban Leader Niazi, To Validate Report of Russian Taliban Bounty

[MULLAH ABDUL MANAN NIAZI reported killed late 2018 by drone strike.]

Russian Bounties for Killing Americans Go Back Five Years, Ex-Taliban Claims

THE LONG WAR

Russia has been courting the Taliban at least since 2014 with money and weapons, ostensibly to fight ISIS, certainly to undermine the American effort in Afghanistan.

Wali Sabawoon/NurPhoto/Getty

Taliban veterans like to laugh about the first time, according to their lore, that the Russians dumped a lot of American dollars on them. During the Taliban campaign to take over all of Afghanistan in 1995, they actually had a few fighter planes, and they used one to force a Russian cargo plane—a huge Ilyushin Il-76TD flying for a company called Airstan—to land in Kandahar.

The Taliban held the Russian crew members prisoner for a year until, one day, they supposedly “escaped” and managed to take the plane with them. How many millions of dollars that took to arrange, the Taliban have never said, but after the long, bloody decade of the 1980s throwing off Soviet occupation, squeezing the Russians for money like that remains a source of amusement.

Mullah Manan Niazi [dead], who was the spokesman for Taliban leader Mullah Omar in those days, brought up the incident when The Daily Beast asked him about reports that the Russians have offered—and perhaps paid—bounties to Taliban who kill American soldiers.

“The Russians paying U.S. dollars—it’s not odd for the Taliban,” he said, his voice fraught with irony over the encrypted phone call as he recalled the Airstan incident. As for the current situation, “The Taliban have been paid by Russian intelligence for attacks on U.S. forces—and on ISIS forces—in Afghanistan from 2014 up to the present.”

 Mullah Manan Niazi

In the world of intelligence gathering, such a statement from such a figure would be worth noting, and just the kind of thing that could lead to what the Trump White House has called “inconclusive” reporting the Russian offer of bounties to kill Americans.

Mullah Manan Niazi was a very senior figure in the Taliban when they were in power, and also when they were driven into exile and underground after 2001. But since the death of Mullah Omar was made public in 2015, he has been a dissident and liable to be killed by the current Taliban leadership if it catches up with him. They have accused him of collaborating with the CIA and the Afghan government’s intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), which he denies.

So, Niazi speaks as someone who knows the organization and its top people very well, but who also has an agenda very different from theirs, with his own reasons for confirming the bounty story, and he does not offer further specifics on that. But he does offer details about what he says are the longstanding ties between the Taliban and the Russians as well as the Iranians, and U.S. officials have been tracking those developments.

A U.S. intelligence report about Russian assistance to the Taliban has circulated on Capitol Hill and throughout the national security apparatus over the last several days. According to three individuals who have read or who are familiar with the report, the assessment is long and covers the span of several years, focusing generally on how Russia provides support, including financial assistance, to the Taliban. The report also touches on the Russian bounties first reported by The New York Times, though those who read the report say that data point is circumstantial and that the investigation is ongoing. Two individuals who spoke to The Daily Beast, though, said it is clear from the report that there’s an increased risk for U.S. troops in Afghanistan because of Russia’s behavior.

In important ways, this classified report mirrors an unclassified document produced last month by the Congressional Research Service which offered a crisp summation: “In the past two years, multiple U.S. commanders have warned of increased levels of assistance, and perhaps even material support for the Taliban from Russia and Iran, both of which cite IS [Islamic State, ISIS] presence in Afghanistan to justify their activities. Both nations were opposed to the Taliban government of the late 1990s, but reportedly see the Taliban as a useful point of leverage vis-a-vis the United States.”

“We introduced two Taliban to the Russians under cover as businessmen,” said Niazai looking back on operations when he was still part of the Taliban insurgent leadership. “They went to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. With Russian-supplied funds, we purchased oil, wheat and flour and imported it to Afghanistan and  then sold it there. That’s how we converted Russians funds to cash in Afghanistan.”

Both men, contacted by The Daily Beast, vehemently denied such activity. “I don’t want to comment—I don’t even want to talk about Niazi,” said one of them who, as a matter of fact, pays frequent visits to Moscow. “Niazi is our enemy and playing into the hands of the NDS.”

Other monies come through the hawala system, which originated in India and is used throughout South Asia and, now, in many other parts of the world. The U.S. treasury notes hawala is distinguished by “trust and the extensive use of connections such as family relationships or regional affiliations. Unlike traditional banking … hawala makes minimal (often no) use of any sort of negotiable instrument. Transfers of money take place based on communications between members of a network of hawaladars, or hawala dealers.”

A senior Afghan security officer told The Daily Beast that he is “not aware of any Russians smuggling money,” but noted that the international Financial Action Task Force combating support for terrorism recently put pressure on the Afghan government to take “practical” action against suspect hawala dealers, “so the Afghan security forces raided some of the money changers.”

Many sources, including Mullah Manan Niazi, note the Russian and Iranian role supporting the Taliban in the fight against the so-called Islamic State in Khorasan (a.k.a.  ISIS-K or ISIL-K).

Early on in the Trump administration, Gen. John Nicholson—then the commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan—warned Congress that Russia “has become more assertive over the past year” in Afghanistan and was “overtly lending legitimacy to the Taliban to undermine NATO efforts and bolster belligerents using the false narrative that only the Taliban are fighting ISIL-K.”

Russia reportedly complemented its public rhetorical support for the Taliban with a covert supply program. The Washington Post reported that year that U.S. intelligence believed Russia had sent machine guns to the Taliban. An anonymous military source told the Post that the U.S. had found Russian-provided weapons areas where the group was waging war on coalition forces and ISIS’s Afghan affiliate had little presence.

“We’ve had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by Afghan leaders [who] said, ‘this was given by the Russians to the Taliban,’” Nicholson said in a 2018 BBC interview. “We know that the Russians are involved.”

— Gen. John Nicholson

Indeed. Various Taliban have told The Daily Beast they were quite proud of the guns they were given as gifts or rewards—whether for specific acts or simply to cement relationships—is unclear.

In 2018, Russia denied reports that it sent any arms but Russian special envoy Zamir Kabulov admitted that Moscow had established contacts with the Taliban because it was “seriously worried about possible terror threats for the Russian mission and Russian citizens in Afghanistan.”

But in September 2019, Russia elevated its talks with the insurgents to a formal visit by a Taliban delegation in September.

According to a well-placed Taliban source, after some of the group’s representatives made a trip to Moscow they were given 30 state-of-the-art guns, apparently large caliber sniper rifles powerful enough to shoot through walls. “I personally saw three of them in Helmand,” said the source. “They were still full of grease,” which is to say brand new out of the box.

As military scholar David Kilcullen points out in his recent book The Dragons and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West, the U.S. obsession with its “global war on terror” after 9/11 created an opportunity for Russia and other hostile powers. They were “exploiting our exclusive focus on terrorism, seeking to fill the geopolitical, economic, and security vacuum we had left as we became bogged down in the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

In the present day, it serves Russia’s interests to keep the United States bogged down there, despite official Russian statements to the contrary.

What others call “hybrid warfare” Kilcullen defines somewhat differently as exploitation of situations in flux, which certainly is the case in Afghanistan with a U.S. president determined to declare he’s made a complete exit, even though there are only 8,600 U.S. troops left on the ground at the moment.

“Things that are in limbo, transitioning, or on the periphery, that have ambiguous political, legal, and psychological status—or whose very existence is debated—are liminal,” write Kilcullen. “Liminal warfare exploits this character of ambiguity, operating in the blur, or as some Western military organizations put it, the ‘gray zone.’”

That, precisely, is where the Russians have learned to thrive.

—with additional reporting by Sam Brodey

The Chemical Warmongers Desperation…So Much Excess Product…So Little War

CAPTAGON—Saudi Mind Control Drug of Choice

The Kingdom of Captagon

Dubai Axis of Captagon Mind-Control Drug Network

A still from a video shows huge buckets full of pills and members of Italy's police and customs.
Italian police say the 14 tonnes of the drug labelled “captagon” is the biggest amphetamines haul of all time.(AP)

Italian police are claiming to have made the biggest amphetamines bust of all time after seizing 14 tonnes of drugs allegedly produced in Syria by the Islamic State (IS) group.

Investigators on Wednesday said they impounded three container ships that had docked in the southern Italian port of Salerno and found 84 million pills inside machinery and large paper cylinders.

Customs Police Colonel Domenico Napolitano called the discovery the biggest amphetamine seizure ever made.

Colonel Napolitano said on Italian state radio that investigators believed the drug’s production provided IS with vital revenue for its militant activities.

Investigators hypothesise that amphetamine production in Europe has been hampered by the pandemic lockdown, and so drug traffickers may have turned to Syria-based producers to fill the market.

Thousands of pills are poured out of a heavy metal container into a huge bucket.
Italian police released video of heavy machinery being used to pour the drugs from their containers into buckets.(AP) 

“It is possible that the local Camorra crime groups are involved in this business,” Lieutenant Colonel Giordano Natale told Reuters.

The amphetamines were labelled “captagon”, the street name for a drug whose chemical base was originally fenethylline.

However, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime World Drugs Report 2020 what drug organisations call “captagon” these days is usually a mixture of amphetamine, caffeine and other substances.

It’s unclear whether the drugs seized in Italy were fenethylline-based or a substitute.

The ‘drug of the Jihad’

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria
The drugs are believed to have been produced by the Islamic State in Syria.(Reuters) 

Used in the 1960s to treat narcolepsy and depression, Captagon is one of several brand names for fenethylline hydrochloride, a drug compound belonging to a family of amphetamines that can inhibit fear and ward off tiredness.

The imitation captagon is popular in the Middle East, and widespread in war-torn areas such as Syria, where conflict has fuelled demand and created opportunities for producers.

Production was initially concentrated in Lebanon and IS sells it to finance its activities, police said in a statement.

It said captagon was known as the “drug of the Jihad” after being found in militant hideouts, including one used by the Islamists who killed 90 people at the Bataclan theatre in Paris in 2015.

Police say they’re investigating if Naples-based Camorra organised crime clans might have ordered the huge shipment for international sale.

Two weeks earlier, a much smaller shipment of the drug was also seized in Salerno’s port in a shipment of clothing.

A metal container full of thousands and thousands of grey pills.
The drugs were labelled Captagon, which has been used in the past to treat narcolepsy and depression.(AP) 

Salerno is about 50 kilometres south of Naples in the Campania region, the historic base of the Camorra, where drug trafficking is one of the syndicate’s revenue-makers.

The 14 tonnes of amphetamines would have raked in about 1 billion euros ($1.62 billion) in street sales had they ultimately made it to consumers, customs police said.

Police used electric saws to cut through two-metre high cylinders, made thick enough to try to elude customs’ scanning devices, to remove the pills in the hollow centres.

Video of the bust shows heavy machinery being used to lift the cylinders and pour the pills into huge baskets.

In 2019, Greek authorities claimed to have made the biggest amphetamines bust of all time after seizing 5.25 tonnes of captagon, also produced in Syria.

ABC/wires

Trump Running July 4th Political Rally At Mt. Rushmore

Despite COVID-19 concerns, Gov. Kristi Noem said the thousands anticipated for the Friday Independence Day fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore, including President Donald Trump, will not practice social distancing.

“We’ve told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home. But, those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free facemasks if they choose to wear one. But, we won’t be practicing social distancing,” Noem told Fox News host Laura Ingraham late Monday.

Meanwhile, as social unrest and racial tension continue throughout America as they have in the month since George Floyd died while in the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, the eyes of the nation will soon be on South Dakota’s famous monument. Not only are protesters expected to show up for the Trump event, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier is offering to tear down the monument.

“Nothing stands as a greater reminder to the Great Sioux Nation of a country that cannot keep a promise or a treaty (than) the faces carved into our sacred land on what the United States calls Mount Rushmore. We are now being forced to witness the lashing of our land with pomp, arrogance, and fire, hoping our sacred lands will survive,” Frazier wrote in a prepared statement released late Monday.

“This brand on our flesh needs to be removed and I am willing to do it free of charge to the United States, by myself, if I must,” Frazier added.

Throughout the country, liberal activists are working to remove symbols of American history. There is video of them attacking the statue of President Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C.

“The United States of America wishes for all of us to be citizens and a family of their republic, yet, when they get bored of looking at those faces, we are left looking at our molesters,” Frazier added of the four presidents whose faces are famously carved into the mountainside:

  • President George Washington (1789-1797)
  • President Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
  • President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (1901-1909)
  • President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

This is a profoundly different view of Mount Rushmore than the one endorsed last week by U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D.

“These presidents championed the cause of freedom,” Johnson said while introducing the Mount Rushmore Protection Act. “Those seeking to remove these iconic faces are undermining the contributions these leaders made in pursuit of a more perfect union. Removal would do nothing to move our country forward.”

“George Washington was a unifier. He brought this country together to lead us at a time when we needed the birth of the nation to get started. We have Thomas Jefferson who was an author of the Declaration of Independence,” Noem added last week of those represented at Mount Rushmore during one of her frequent Fox News appearances.

Frazier said although he would strip the faces from Mount Rushmore by himself, he does not believe he would be alone.

“Lakota see the faces of men who lied, cheated and murdered innocent people whose only crime was living on the land they wanted to steal,” Frazier added. “When I can remove those faces from our land, I believe I would not be alone.”

All the while, Trump is making moves to attend the Mount Rushmore fireworks on Friday. According to the National Park Service, the event is slated to start at 4 p.m. Friday, with the fireworks set for approximately 9:15 p.m.

The entire event will be livestreamed at: www.TravelSouthDakota.com/RushmoreFireworks.

“We’re asking them to come, be ready to celebrate, to enjoy the freedoms and the liberties that we have in this country, and to talk about our history and what it brought us today — with an opportunity to raise our kids in the greatest country in the world,” Noem added of the Mount Rushmore event during her Monday discussion with Ingraham.

National polls show Trump trailing Democrat Joe Biden by wide margins heading into the November Electoral College. However, on the last day of June, the president showed no signs of stepping aside early.

“This is a battle to save the Heritage, History, and Greatness of our Country! #MAGA2020,” Trump tweeted late Tuesday.

Drug-Makers’ Greed Guaranteed To Cause “Vaccine Noncompliance”–$3,000/per patient

[7.8 billion people x $3000 = 

23.4 trillion US]

Oceanside maker of COVID-19 drug says it will cost about $3,000 per patient

by:

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The Oceanside company that makes the COVID-19 drug Remdesivir announced Monday the price for the drug moving forward.

Gilead Sciences said a single dose of Remdesivir will cost $390.  A typical course of treatment requires six vials administered over five days in the intensive care unit of a hospital. That means a typical five-day treatment will cost $2,340 per patient.  However that price is only available to the US government, which is handling distribution to hospitals temporarily due to the lack of availability.  For patients covered by private insurance, the price will jump to $520 per vial, which adds up to $3,120 per patient — almost a thousand dollars more.

Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day issued a letter outlining the company’s decision. It reads in part, “As with all our actions on Remdesivir, we approached this with the aim of helping as many patients as possible, as quickly as possible and in the most responsible way. This has been our compass point throughout, from collaborating to find rapid answers on safety and efficacy, to scaling up manufacturing and donating our supply of Remdesivir through the end of June. In each case, we recognized the need to do things differently to reflect the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic. now, as we transition beyond the donation period and set a price for Remdesivir, the same principle applies.” 

Remdesivir is approved only for patients who are severely sick.  It is administered intravenously, and it is the only drug that has an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Adminisration to treat coronavirus infections.

According to experts in this field, the price set by Gilead is comparable with the cost of other ICU drugs. However, compared to the cheap and widely available corticosteroid dexamethasone, which costs a few dollars a day and is showing just as much promise for COVID treatment, Remdesivir is a lot more expensive.

The Trump administration has stockpiled half a million courses of Remdesivir treatment for distribution to hospitals around the country.

When Democracy Gives Way To Mob Rule

The creeping nihilism of the American left

If the mob believes it is justified, anything it does is justifiable

The twin temptations of American liberalism are to radical excess and conservative stasis. Because liberalism is a practical philosophy of government, given its most comprehensive expression in the Democratic party, it sometimes lists left and other times right. The Minneapolis moment is different in that it sees liberalism lean in two directions at once and get it wrong on both counts.

Scenes of rioting, looting and the firebombing of a police station bring out the Rousseauean id of the liberal psyche and a righteous impatience to burn it all to the ground and start over. (‘Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death/ The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies/ We, the people, must redeem…/ And make America again!’) The drift towards radicalism on the center-left did not begin with the killing of George Floyd. Some American progressives are done with America, as the New York Times’s flawedfervently defended and Pulitzer-winning 1619 Project illustrates. The taking of another black life has poured accelerant on this process.

The creeping of nihilism into the mainstream American left has brought with it a decadent attitude towards mob violence. If the mob believes it is justified, anything it does is justifiable. Commenting on the riots, the New York Times’s Nikole Hannah-Jones (creator of the 1619 Project) says: ‘Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence… When we have people who say people should respect the law — they’re not respecting the law because the law’s not respecting them. You can’t say that regular citizens should play by all of the rules when agents of the state clearly are not.’ We are so accustomed to being told speech is violence that it hardly fazes us to hear that violence is not.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo monologues: ‘Too many see the protests as the problem. No, the problem is what forced your fellow citizens to take to the streets, persistent, and poisonous inequities and justice. Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful.’ That would be the First Amendment, adopted, in part, to protect ‘the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances’. CNN’s primetime line-up: the last line of defense between Donald Trump and the Constitution they haven’t read.

Steven Thrasher, assistant professor in journalism at Northwestern University, writes in Slate:

‘As any military tactician or social justice organizer can tell you, direct action gets the goods. The destruction of a police precinct is not only a tactically reasonable response to the crisis of policing, it is a quintessentially American response, and a predictable one. The uprising we’ve seen this week is speaking to the American police state in its own language, up to and including the use of fireworks to mark a battle victory.’

Thrasher may believe that re-enacting the plot of Assault on Precinct 13 is a legitimate response to what he calls ‘the lynching of George Floyd’, but what is a liberal magazine like Slate doing publishing his manifesto?

Liberals have leapt on a leftwards-zipping conveyor belt that will carry them far from the philosophy that has until now defined them and defined American progress. They will have to accede to the slander that America is at root a racist enterprise systemically geared towards white supremacy. They will have to declare the rule of law illegitimate and the rule of the mob the path to justice. They will have to embrace racial division rather than work to overcome it. They will have, in short, to stop being liberals.

Radicalism might burn with a virtuous fury but it harbors its own prejudices, as rioters’ attacks on synagogues in Los Angeles and Richmond underline. Liberals should resolve to remain liberals, but that does not mean standing still. This is a moment to reassess American liberalism’s surrender to conservatism on criminal justice, traceable to the 1994 Crime Bill drafted by Joe Biden and signed by Bill Clinton. The Marshall Project best sums up this bloated sack of good intentions, bad intentions and terrible policies: ‘The crime bill did not inaugurate the era of mass incarceration, but it certainly escalated the scale of its impact.’ What it also did was cement a bipartisan consensus that to be ‘tough on crime’ meant more cops with bigger guns enforcing more laws with harsher penalties. Police, as the frontline of this authoritarian spasm, were transformed into civilian soldiers and symbols of fear for citizens, not least minorities.

In the roll call of black men killed by police, George Floyd is another name to be forgotten. Michael Stewart (Brooklyn; 1983; blunt force trauma; all officers acquitted) was meant to stick in the public consciousness, as were Amadou Diallo (Bronx; 1999; 19 gunshot wounds; all officers acquitted) and Samuel DuBose (Cincinnati; 2015; gunshot wound to the head; mistrial, hung jury, charges dismissed). Time isn’t a healer, it’s an accomplice. We don’t know if George Floyd was killed because he was black but we do know he was killed by a cop. For eight minutes and 46 seconds, an officer’s knee pressed down on his neck, all the while he pleaded: ‘I can’t breathe.’ That is not police brutality; that is sadism.

This is an immediate policy problem liberals can direct their energies to. Start by removing the roadblock to reform: police unions. Restrict collective bargaining to salary and benefits so that police commissioners and oversight bodies, not union negotiators, determine internal disciplinary regimes. Legislate mandatory 360-degree bodycams for all patrol officers and demilitarize the police by limiting procurement of armored personnel carriers, riot equipment, and military-grade weapons. (Between 2006 and 2016 US police forces acquired more than 83,000 M16s, an assault rifle favored by the Kurdish Peshmerga.) The next step up involves stripping police of the qualified immunity that makes it perversely difficult to bring civil rights suits against excessive force or racial discrimination.

Overpolicing is only one dysfunction in a multi-dysfunctional criminal justice system. 55.7 percent of state prisoners (and only 7.8 percent of federal prisoners) are serving time for a violent offense and, while black prisoner numbers are falling, black male incarceration is still 5.8 times that of whites. Sentencing reform aimed at minimizing custodial terms for non-violent crimes should be a lively liberal cause.

The failed war on drugs has destroyed too many lives and too many families. Getting government out of the prohibition business would remove more than a quarter-million inmates from US prisons, 80,000 of them black. Liberals should also revive their opposition to the death penalty. For all the other arguments against capital punishment, racial bias should particularly trouble liberals: Black Americans constitute 13.4 percent of the general population but account for 42 percent of death row inmates. Democrats fearful of the electoral consequences of adopting a reform agenda should know they have Republican allies in organizations like Right on Crime and Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.

The cry ‘no justice, no peace’ is in the air but without peace there can be no justice. Revolution and reaction can deliver one or the other but only liberalism promises both.

This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.

The Sickness of American Capitalism Revealed in Our Crippled Food Supply System

[SEE:  RIGGED GAME]

The Sickness in Our Food Supply

“Only when the tide goes out,” Warren Buffett observed, “do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” For our society, the Covid-19 pandemic represents an ebb tide of historic proportions, one that is laying bare vulnerabilities and inequities that in normal times have gone undiscovered. Nowhere is this more evident than in the American food system. A series of shocks has exposed weak links in our food chain that threaten to leave grocery shelves as patchy and unpredictable as those in the former Soviet bloc. The very system that made possible the bounty of the American supermarket—its vaunted efficiency and ability to “pile it high and sell it cheap”—suddenly seems questionable, if not misguided. But the problems the novel coronavirus has revealed are not limited to the way we produce and distribute food. They also show up on our plates, since the diet on offer at the end of the industrial food chain is linked to precisely the types of chronic disease that render us more vulnerable to Covid-19.

The juxtaposition of images in the news of farmers destroying crops and dumping milk with empty supermarket shelves or hungry Americans lining up for hours at food banks tells a story of economic efficiency gone mad. Today the US actually has two separate food chains, each supplying roughly half of the market. The retail food chain links one set of farmers to grocery stores, and a second chain links a different set of farmers to institutional purchasers of food, such as restaurants, schools, and corporate offices. With the shutting down of much of the economy, as Americans stay home, this second food chain has essentially collapsed. But because of the way the industry has developed over the past several decades, it’s virtually impossible to reroute food normally sold in bulk to institutions to the retail outlets now clamoring for it. There’s still plenty of food coming from American farms, but no easy way to get it where it’s needed.

How did we end up here? The story begins early in the Reagan administration, when the Justice Department rewrote the rules of antitrust enforcement: if a proposed merger promised to lead to greater marketplace “efficiency”—the watchword—and wouldn’t harm the consumer, i.e., didn’t raise prices, it would be approved. (It’s worth noting that the word “consumer” appears nowhere in the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, passed in 1890. The law sought to protect producers—including farmers—and our politics from undue concentrations of corporate power.)1 The new policy, which subsequent administrations have left in place, propelled a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the food industry. As the industry has grown steadily more concentrated since the 1980s, it has also grown much more specialized, with a tiny number of large corporations dominating each link in the supply chain. One chicken farmer interviewed recently in Washington Monthly, who sells millions of eggs into the liquified egg market, destined for omelets in school cafeterias, lacks the grading equipment and packaging (not to mention the contacts or contracts) to sell his eggs in the retail marketplace.2 That chicken farmer had no choice but to euthanize thousands of hens at a time when eggs are in short supply in many supermarkets.

On April 26, John Tyson, the chairman of Tyson Foods, the second-largest meatpacker in America, took out ads in The New York Times and other newspapers to declare that the food chain was “breaking,” raising the specter of imminent meat shortages as outbreaks of Covid-19 hit the industry.3 Slaughterhouses have become hot zones for contagion, with thousands of workers now out sick and dozens of them dying.4 This should come as no surprise: social distancing is virtually impossible in a modern meat plant, making it an ideal environment for a virus to spread. In recent years, meatpackers have successfully lobbied regulators to increase line speeds, with the result that workers must stand shoulder to shoulder cutting and deboning animals so quickly that they can’t pause long enough to cover a cough, much less go to the bathroom, without carcasses passing them by. Some chicken plant workers, given no regular bathroom breaks, now wear diapers.5 A worker can ask for a break, but the plants are so loud he or she can’t be heard without speaking directly into the ear of a supervisor. Until recently slaughterhouse workers had little or no access to personal protective equipment; many of them were also encouraged to keep working even after exposure to the virus. Add to this the fact that many meat-plant workers are immigrants who live in crowded conditions with little or no access to health care, and you have a population at dangerously high risk of infection.

When the number of Covid-19 cases in America’s slaughterhouses exploded in late April—12,608 confirmed, with forty-nine deaths as of May 11—public health officials and governors began ordering plants to close. It was this threat to the industry’s profitability that led to Tyson’s declaration, which President Trump would have been right to see as a shakedown: the president’s political difficulties could only be compounded by a shortage of meat. In order to reopen their production lines, Tyson and his fellow packers wanted the federal government to step in and preempt local public health authorities; they also needed liability protection, in case workers or their unions sued them for failing to observe health and safety regulations.

Within days of Tyson’s ad, President Trump obliged the meatpackers by invoking the Defense Production Act. After having declined to use it to boost the production of badly needed coronavirus test kits, he now declared meat a “scarce and critical material essential to the national defense.” The executive order took the decision to reopen or close meat plants out of local hands, forced employees back to work without any mandatory safety precautions, and offered their employers some protection from liability for their negligence. On May 8, Tyson reopened a meatpacking plant in Waterloo, Iowa, where more than a thousand workers had tested positive.

The president and America’s meat eaters, not to mention its meat-plant workers, would never have found themselves in this predicament if not for the concentration of the meat industry, which has given us a supply chain so brittle that the closure of a single plant can cause havoc at every step, from farm to supermarket. Four companies now process more than 80 percent of beef cattle in America; another four companies process 57 percent of the hogs. A single Smithfield processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, processes 5 percent of the pork Americans eat. When an outbreak of Covid-19 forced the state’s governor to shut that plant down in April, the farmers who raise pigs committed to it were stranded.

Once pigs reach slaughter weight, there’s not much else you can do with them. You can’t afford to keep feeding them; even if you could, the production lines are designed to accommodate pigs up to a certain size and weight, and no larger. Meanwhile, you’ve got baby pigs entering the process, steadily getting fatter. Much the same is true for the hybrid industrial chickens, which, if allowed to live beyond their allotted six or seven weeks, are susceptible to broken bones and heart problems and quickly become too large to hang on the disassembly line. This is why the meat-plant closures forced American farmers to euthanize millions of animals, at a time when food banks were overwhelmed by demand.6

Under normal circumstances, the modern hog or chicken is a marvel of brutal efficiency, bred to produce protein at warp speed when given the right food and pharmaceuticals. So are the factories in which they are killed and cut into parts. These innovations have made meat, which for most of human history has been a luxury, a cheap commodity available to just about all Americans; we now eat, on average, more than nine ounces of meat per person per day, many of us at every meal.7 Covid-19 has brutally exposed the risks that accompany such a system. There will always be a tradeoff between efficiency and resilience (not to mention ethics); the food industry opted for the former, and we are now paying the price.

Imagine how different the story would be if there were still tens of thousands of chicken and pig farmers bringing their animals to hundreds of regional slaughterhouses. An outbreak at any one of them would barely disturb the system; it certainly wouldn’t be front-page news. Meat would probably be more expensive, but the redundancy would render the system more resilient, making breakdowns in the national supply chain unlikely. Successive administrations allowed the industry to consolidate because the efficiencies promised to make meat cheaper for the consumer, which it did. It also gave us an industry so powerful it can enlist the president of the United States in its efforts to bring local health authorities to heel and force reluctant and frightened workers back onto the line.

Another vulnerability that the novel coronavirus has exposed is the paradoxical notion of “essential” workers who are grossly underpaid and whose lives are treated as disposable. It is the men and women who debone chicken carcasses flying down a line at 175 birds a minute, or pick salad greens under the desert sun, or drive refrigerated produce trucks across the country who are keeping us fed and keeping the wheels of our society from flying off. Our utter dependence on them has never been more clear. This should give food and agricultural workers a rare degree of political leverage at the very moment they are being disproportionately infected. Scattered job actions and wildcat strikes are beginning to pop up around the country—at Amazon, Instacart, Whole Foods, Walmart, and some meat plants—as these workers begin to flex their muscle.8 This is probably just the beginning. Perhaps their new leverage will allow them to win the kinds of wages, protections, and benefits that would more accurately reflect their importance to society.

So far, the produce sections of our supermarkets remain comparatively well stocked, but what happens this summer and next fall, if the outbreaks that have crippled the meat industry hit the farm fields? Farmworkers, too, live and work in close proximity, many of them undocumented immigrants crammed into temporary quarters on farms. Lacking benefits like sick pay, not to mention health insurance, they often have no choice but to work even when infected. Many growers depend on guest workers from Mexico to pick their crops; what happens if the pandemic—or the Trump administration, which is using the pandemic to justify even more restrictions on immigration—prevents them from coming north this year?

The food chain is buckling. But it’s worth pointing out that there are parts of it that are adapting and doing relatively well. Local food systems have proved surprisingly resilient. Small, diversified farmers who supply restaurants have had an easier time finding new markets; the popularity of community-supported agriculture (CSA) is taking off, as people who are cooking at home sign up for weekly boxes of produce from regional growers. (The renaissance of home cooking, and baking, is one of the happier consequences of the lockdown, good news both for our health and for farmers who grow actual food, as opposed to commodities like corn and soy.) In many places, farmer’s markets have quickly adjusted to pandemic conditions, instituting social-distancing rules and touchless payment systems. The advantages of local food systems have never been more obvious, and their rapid growth during the past two decades has at least partly insulated many communities from the shocks to the broader food economy.

The pandemic is, willy-nilly, making the case for deindustrializing and decentralizing the American food system, breaking up the meat oligopoly, ensuring that food workers have sick pay and access to health care, and pursuing policies that would sacrifice some degree of efficiency in favor of much greater resilience. Somewhat less obviously, the pandemic is making the case not only for a different food system but for a radically different diet as well.

It’s long been understood that an industrial food system built upon a foundation of commodity crops like corn and soybeans leads to a diet dominated by meat and highly processed food. Most of what we grow in this country is not food exactly, but rather feed for animals and the building blocks from which fast food, snacks, soda, and all the other wonders of food processing, such as high-fructose corn syrup, are manufactured. While some sectors of agriculture are struggling during the pandemic, we can expect the corn and soybean crop to escape more or less unscathed. That’s because it takes remarkably little labor—typically a single farmer on a tractor, working alone—to plant and harvest thousands of acres of these crops. So processed foods should be the last kind to disappear from supermarket shelves.

Unfortunately, a diet dominated by such foods (as well as lots of meat and little in the way of vegetables or fruit—the so-called Western diet) predisposes us to obesity and chronic diseases such as hypertension and type-2 diabetes. These “underlying conditions” happen to be among the strongest predictors that an individual infected with Covid-19 will end up in the hospital with a severe case of the disease; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that 49 percent of the people hospitalized for Covid-19 had preexisting hypertension, 48 percent were obese, and 28 percent had diabetes.9

Why these particular conditions should worsen Covid-19 infections might be explained by the fact that all three are symptoms of chronic inflammation, which is a disorder of the body’s immune system. (The Western diet is by itself inflammatory.) One way that Covid-19 kills is by sending the victim’s immune system into hyperdrive, igniting a “cytokine storm” that eventually destroys the lungs and other organs. A new Chinese study conducted in hospitals in Wuhan found that elevated levels of C-reactive protein, a standard marker of inflammation that has been linked to poor diet, “correlated with disease severity and tended to be a good predictor of adverse outcomes.”10

A momentous question awaits us on the far side of the current crisis: Are we willing to address the many vulnerabilities that the novel coronavirus has so dramatically exposed? It’s not hard to imagine a coherent and powerful new politics organized around precisely that principle. It would address the mistreatment of essential workers and gaping holes in the social safety net, including access to health care and sick leave—which we now understand, if we didn’t before, would be a benefit to all of us. It would treat public health as a matter of national security, giving it the kind of resources that threats to national security warrant.

But to be comprehensive, this post-pandemic politics would also need to confront the glaring deficiencies of a food system that has grown so concentrated that it is exquisitely vulnerable to the risks and disruptions now facing us. In addition to protecting the men and women we depend on to feed us, it would also seek to reorganize our agricultural policies to promote health rather than mere production, by paying attention to the quality as well as the quantity of the calories it produces. For even when our food system is functioning “normally,” reliably supplying the supermarket shelves and drive-thrus with cheap and abundant calories, it is killing us—slowly in normal times, swiftly in times like these. The food system we have is not the result of the free market. (There hasn’t been a free market in food since at least the Great Depression.) No, our food system is the product of agricultural and antitrust policies—political choices—that, as has suddenly become plain, stand in urgent need of reform.

—Originally published in The New York Review of Books May 12, 2020

1
This history is recounted in Barry C. Lynn, Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction (Wiley, 2011), pp. 135–138. ↩

2
See Claire Kelloway, “Why Are Farmers Destroying Food While Grocery Stores Are Empty?,” Washington Monthly, April 28, 2020. ↩

3
See “In America, the Virus Threatens a Meat Industry That Is Too Concentrated,” The Economist, April 30, 2020. ↩

4
See Leah Douglas, “Mapping Covid-19 in Meat and Food Processing Plants,” Food and Environmental Reporting Network (FERN), April 22, 2020. FERN has covered this story extensively and compiled statistics. Also see Esther Honig and Ted Genoways, “‘The Workers Are Being Sacrificed’: As Cases Mounted, Meatpacker JBS Kept People on Crowded Factory Floors,” FERN and Mother Jones, May 1, 2020. Civil Eats, FERN, and Mother Jones have done an excellent job of covering the outbreaks in the meat industry. ↩

5
See Magaly Licolli, “As Tyson Claims the Food Supply Is Breaking, Its Workers Continue to Suffer,” Civil Eats, April 30, 2020. ↩

6
See Tyler Whitley, “Don’t Blame Farmers Who Have to Euthanize Their Animals. Blame the Companies They Work For,” Civil Eats, April 30, 2020. ↩

7
It’s worth remembering that the federal government actively promotes meat consumption in myriad ways, from USDA advertising campaigns—“Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner”—to exempting feedlots from provisions of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, to the dietary guidelines it issues and the heavy subsidies it gives for animal feed. ↩

8
See, for example, Daniel A. Medina, “As Amazon, Walmart, and Others Profit Amid Coronavirus Crisis, Their Essential Workers Plan Unprecedented Strike,” The Intercept, April 28, 2020. ↩

9
See Shikha Garg et al., “Hospitalization Rates and Characteristics of Patients Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-NET, 14 States, March 1–30, 2020,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 69, No. 15 (April 17, 2020). ↩

10
See Xiaomin Luo et al., “Prognostic Value of C-Reactive Protein in Patients with COVID-19,” medRxiv, March 23, 2020. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed. ↩

Before Covid19, There Was “the Great Reset”

“Within the next 5–10 years, we have to end (the debt and government promises.  What I mean by government promises are)…pensions and healthcare benefits.”–Brace Yourself For ‘The Great Reset’,

MSM SILENCE: ELITISTS GATHER IN SWISS TOWN TO FINALIZE OUR ENSLAVEMENT, “THE GREAT RESET,” & NWO

Mac Slavo
June 15th, 2020

Make no mistake, this will be absolute tyranny on a global scale. The mainstream media is silent as the elitists who want power over every human on Earth plan to meet in a Swiss town to discuss “the Great Reset,” a push to a one-world currency – one in which they have ultimate control.

The plan is to make sure a “post-COVID” world is built the way they want it. Slavery and totalitarian control. If you haven’t figured out now that the system was put there to protect them, not you, line up for the Bill Gates sponsored vaccine.  Things are going to get much uglier, and quick. The objective of this meeting is the “rebuilding” of the world’s economic and social system in order to make it more “sustainable.”

It sounds good, right? But, by more sustainable, they mean more enslaveable.

“Nothing will ever be the same again.” It was the mantra that we heard in many countries at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It came with a warning that a “new normal” would replace the existing order. Easy travel, interpersonal relations, large gatherings, even things like shaking hands would have to give way to long-term social distancing, drastic rules, and surveillance. But these changes on the personal level are only a part of the picture. The World Economic Forum, together with Prince Charles of England and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has launched an initiative revealingly dubbed “The Great Reset,” with the objective of “rebuilding” the world’s economic and social system in order to make it more “sustainable.” –Life Site News

The Great Reset Is Here: Prepare For The NWO & Enslavement

If you cannot be bothered to understand that the best way to protect yourself is to remove yourself from the system of slavery that was already set up, that they are desperately trying to keep you in, then you’re going to likely get caught up in this mess.

The idea of a “Great Reset” has received the full support of the United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, former president of the Socialist International from 1999 to 2005. Is anyone surprised? The reset has been planned for a long time:

The End Game Has Arrived: ‘All Signs and Evidence Point to the Great Global Economic Reset’

It was already being talked about before the Chinese coronavirus was moving out of Wuhan. On December 30, 2019, for instance, the Financial Times published a YouTube presentation under the title

“Why capitalism needs to be reset in 2020.” (As if any country has capitalism anymore.  Most, and yes, even the United States, are now at the very least, corporatocracies – the merging of governments and corporations, masquerading as crony corporatism.) But the globalists are pushing a theme that capitalism (which means no interference in the market/economy) is the problem, even though literally everything is centralized.  The recurring theme is “stakeholder capitalism,” by which “a company’s approach to people, the planet, and innovation — including how it protects and applies the value-added of its data — must figure more prominently in capital-allocation decisions” (as the WEForum site explains).

Prepare by refusing to accept their new one-world currency.  Stock up on precious metals, gold, silver, and lead.

Author: Mac Slavo

Kosovo Special Prosecutor Charges Pres. Thaci with War Crimes

Testimony about KLA/CIA Tortures

A ten-count indictment has been filed against Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci charging him with crimes allegedly committed in the independence war of the late-1990s, including murder and torture.


Hashim Thaci in Pristina, Kosovo, 2020. Photo: EPA-EFE/VALDRIN XHEMAJ

The Hague-based Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, SPO, according to a press statement on Wednesday, has filed a ten-count indictment with the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, KSC, charging Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, the Kosovo politician Kadri Veseli, and others with a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture.

“The indictment alleges that Hashim Thaci, Kadri Veseli, and the other charged suspects are criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders. The crimes alleged in the indictment involve hundreds of known victims of Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents,” the press release said.

A Specialist Chambers Pre-Trial Judge is currently reviewing the indictment to decide on whether to confirm the charges.

According to the press release, the Specialist Prosecutor deemed it necessary to issue this public notice because of repeated efforts by Thaci and Veseli to obstruct and undermine the work of the KSC.

“Mr Thaci and Mr Veseli are believed to have carried out a secret campaign to overturn the law creating the Court and otherwise obstruct the work of the Court in an attempt to ensure that they do not face justice.

“By taking these actions, Mr Thaci and Mr Veseli have put their personal interests ahead of the victims of their crimes, the rule of law, and all people of Kosovo,” the statement reads.

Over the past year, more than 100 people, mostly former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, have been summoned for questioning by the Specialist Prosecution as suspects or witnesses in relation to crimes allegedly committed during Kosovo’s war of independence from Serbia between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 1999 in Kosovo.

Those questioned included former KLA guerrilla fighters who have become high-profile politicians, such as Ramush Haradinaj, who resigned as prime minister of Kosovo after being summoned.

The Specialist Chambers will hear cases arising from an EU task force report which said that unnamed KLA officials could face indictments for a “campaign of persecution” against Serbs, Roma and Kosovo Albanians during the war. The alleged crimes include killings, abductions, illegal detentions and sexual violence.

The report was commissioned after the Council of Europe published an inquiry in 2011, which alleged that some senior Kosovo officials, including Thaci, were responsible for various human rights abuses. Thaci has strongly denied the allegations.

The negotiations to establish the court lasted from 2011 until 2015. International judges and prosecutors staff the new court, although it operates under Kosovo’s laws.

Since the Kosovo war ended, the international community has been overseeing the justice system in Kosovo whose results in prosecuting war crimes have been poor – fewer than 20 final verdicts in war crimes cases.

It was believed that the Kosovo prosecution couldn’t handle the political pressure in sensitive cases concerning senior officials, which was one reason why the international community decided to establish the new court.

The crusade to erase history—Philadelphia

A crew from Mural Arts paints over the Frank Rizzo mural on 9th Street in Philadelphia, on Sunday, June 7, 2020. The image of the former Philadelphia mayor was removed from the side of a building in south Philadelphia amid large protests in the city on the issue of police brutality.  (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)Mural of controversial ex-mayor Rizzo removed amid protests

The Democrat Plot To Rewrite History Starts To Erase Jesus and His Churches
Shall We Defend Our Common History?

The crusade to erase history

Christine Flowers

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” – George Orwell, “1984”

When I saw people painting over the mural of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo last week, I felt a lot of different emotions. Anger, mostly, at the destruction of a tribute to a man who, although imperfect, devoted his life to the city of his birth. A man who integrated the police force. Who was beloved of many in the black communities he helped keep safe from the drug scourge. A man who made enemies, and friends who’d take a bullet for him.

The anger was accompanied by bemusement at the foolishness of the act, one that was as unnecessary as it was futile. Erasing Rizzo’s face, or tearing down his massive metal effigy, will not remove him from our collective institutional memory. To tell us not to remember, to look away, is a guarantee that we will seek out that memory in defiance.

But the most visceral emotion was fear, tied to the increasingly successful efforts to turn George Orwell’s prophecy into our current reality.

People on the left have been quite busy these days downplaying the significance of what is happening. To them, fascism can only be experienced on the right, and takes the shape and form of a president who fires tear gas into a crowd of “peaceful protesters.”

But as Orwell expressed so well, fascism is not a partisan phenomenon, and can exist wherever and whenever a society decides to exert dominion over its citizens by usurping the one true thing that sets them apart as human: their independent minds.

Taking hold of a man’s mind by denying him access to the truth can turn him into something less than human. It makes him into an unthinking, unquestioning half-creature that might breathe and eat and walk and work and even love, but who is a simple cog in the wheel of the state machine.

When I saw the aftermath of the Rizzo mural’s destruction, a chill took over me. There was a blank place where there used to be color, where there was life and history. Drained from that wall was the figure of a man who represented not only himself, but generations of Italians and their pride. That empty space was more upsetting than the graffiti on the Rizzo statue, because it was a first successful result of what I call the Crusade to Erase.

The irony is that the mural was on private property, and I’ve been told that the owner would have left it up but for the threats he started receiving. Other businesses in the neighborhood demonstrated their cowardice by signing a letter agreeing to have the mural destroyed. But in good Orwellian style, they will insist it was an effort to honor black lives. This will be the new normal: Honor one culture by insulting another.

Now they say they are coming for Christopher Columbus, who has been caricatured as the great genocidal Satan. They are trying to teach our children that he was an evil man, crushing context, creating facts, conning the naive. Orwell knew the playbook and blueprint intimately, and wrote it down for us.

I have represented asylees and refugees from totalitarian states. They understand what it is to live in countries where society, either directly through the government or by the intimidation of special interest groups, tells you what to think. They fled their own private dark places to escape, to find freedom.

I am horrified to have them see those tragic histories repeat themselves here.

And so, I will not say the appropriate things. I will not apologize for a guilt I do not bear. I will not engage in pithy, socially woke slogans. I will not grovel, bend the knee or worry that my words might get me ostracized, unemployed or even killed.

I choose to follow Orwell’s warning. I hope I’ll have company.

The Democrat Plot To Rewrite History Starts To Erase Jesus and His Churches

Statue Wars come for JESUS as activist claims Christ and Virgin Mary are ‘white supremacy’

Statue Wars come for JESUS as activist claims Christ and Virgin Mary are ‘white supremacy’

“Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down,” King tweeted on Monday. “They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been.”

He also argued that all “murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down,” calling them “a gross form [of] white supremacy… tools of oppression [and] Racist propaganda.”

King is no fringe figure, either – the well-known racial justice activist rose to prominence through the Black Lives Matter movement and most recently served as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who sought the Democrat presidential nomination.

His tweets came just a day after conservative pundits predicted the statue-smashing spree would come after Jesus.

For several weeks now, protesters across the US have targeted “racist” statues – starting with generals who fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War, but quickly moving onto Christopher Columbus, President Ulysses S. Grant, and others, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, two of the Founding Fathers of the US.

Not even the monument to the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry – an African-American regiment that fought in the Civil War – was spared vandalism. Meanwhile, the Natural History Museum in New York has decided to remove the statue of 26th US President Theodore Roosevelt, saying that its depictions of Native Americans and Africans made it a “hurtful symbol of systemic racism.” 

King’s tweet amounted to inciting federal hate crimes, argued conservative filmmaker Mike Cernovich, comparing it to the Ku Klux Klan’s terror campaign against churches.

Some laughed it off with memes daring the “woke” activists to actually try.

This would not be King’s first controversy. In 2019, he falsely claimed the killing of a 7-year-old black girl in Houston was a racially motivated hate crime. In 2018, he falsely accused a Texas state trooper of rape. He has also been accused by other Black Lives Matter activists of embezzling or misusing donations sent his way.

“October Surprise?”–Civil War 2?

A demonstrator is arrested during a protest in Minneapolis

Ten years ago a model of how states fail predicted that political instability in the US would “peak in the years around 2020”. Its authors say it’s now pointing to “civil war”.  Image: Getty

In the early 1990s, when Bill Clinton was in the White House and the United States looked unshakeable, the administration appointed Jack Goldstone to study how states fail. They meant other states; not the US. Few expected that his model would later predict their country’s collapse.

In an unpublished paper submitted for peer review, Professor Goldstone, who is a sociologist, and Peter Turchin, an expert on the mathematical modelling of historical societies, have concluded that the US is “headed for another civil war”.

The conditions for civil violence, they say, are the worst since the 19th century — in particular the years leading up to the start of the American Civil War in 1861.

The reason for this are trends that began in the 1980s, “with regard to inequality, selfish elites, and polarisation that have crippled the ability of the US government to mount an effective response to the pandemic disease,” they write.

This has also “hampered our ability to deliver an inclusive economic relief policy, and exacerbated the tensions over racial injustice.”

Professor Goldstone is a leading authority on the study of revolutions and long-term social change at George Mason University. The model developed by him and Peter Turchin tracks such data as the ratio of median workers’ wages to GDP per capita, life expectancy, average heights, and the number of new millionaires. It also measures political polarisation or the degree of overlap between the parties.

Applied to US history, it ‘predicts’ the 1861 Civil War and the unrest of the 1930s — a time of Jim Crow segregation, Gilded Age inequality, and fascism.

Ten years ago, Professor Turchin pointed his model towards the future, and made an uncannily accurate prediction. Just like in the 1850s, crisis indicators were rising, he wrote in the journal Nature. They could be a reliable indicator of looming instability and “look set to peak in the years around 2020,” he wrote.

Speaking from his home in Virginia on Monday — the day before a member of an armed militia shot a protester beneath a statue of a conquistador in New Mexico — Professor Goldstone described these predictions as “scary as hell”.

“The general feeling is horror,” he said.

‘Collapse happens slowly and then very suddenly’

In fact, the present disorder was forecast as far back as 1991. In the book Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World, Professor Goldstone used an early version of his model to predict the rise of a leader similar to President Trump.

It came down to population changes, Professor Goldstone argued. The American population surged after World War II — the Boomer generation born in a time of relative peace and plenty. As this massive cohort aged and accrued wealth, they could make the country vulnerable to political crisis. But this would only happen, he wrote, if the elites did three things: tighten up the path to mobility to favour themselves and their children (like increasing the cost of university); dampen wage growth and claim a greater share of economic gains for themselves; and resist taxation so that government is starved of needed revenues.

As it turned out, this is exactly what would happen over the following three decades.

At the non-profit Fund for Peace in Washington DC, the Fragile States Index tracks data such as the state of public services and income inequality and assigns countries a score indicating its resilience or ability to cope with shocks. It’s been running the index since 2000, and in the last few years the US’s position has steadily worsened. Charles Fiertz, a programs manager at the fund, told Hack that, although the index was not designed to make predictions, he had noticed some interesting correlations.

“In 2016, when the Trump election and the Brexit referendum happened, we looked back and found that the US, along with the UK, was actually one of the most worsened countries in the world over the preceding several years in the indicators of group grievance and factionalised elites,” he said.

These trends in the indicators have continued in recent years, Mr Fiertz says. Looking at other countries that have collapsed, he sees a pattern of several indicators steadily worsening before a sudden shock “overwhelms the system”.

“It could be a pandemic or a loss in a war or perceived abuse by public security forces,” he said.

“And normally, prior to this worsening process, a country would be able to adapt to, to deal with that. But because of this long-term buildup of vulnerabilities, it cannot.”

“It happens slowly and then very suddenly.”

Whichever side loses could dispute election outcome

Professor Goldstone predicts the real problems will begin after July 31, when Americans’ $600 a week COVID-19 unemployment welfare expires.

“Social tensions likely continue to grow as we move to November,” he said.

“The risks of violence in November are very high.”

November is the US presidential election — now less than five months away. As the big date nears, the tone of predictions are darkening. Both Republicans and Democrats see a loss as a cataclysm — not just a setback, but the end of America. Four more years of Trump would ‘destroy democracy’, one side says. The other claims that Biden would destroy the economy as well as ‘law and order’. The Trump campaign has launched an ‘Army for Trump’ website to “recruit and mobilise Americans … committed to fighting to re-elect President Trump.”

“There’s a real risk that, if the election is close, whichever side loses will be strongly motivated to mobilise people to challenge the result,” Professor Goldstone said.

There’s another scenario: The protests calm down, Biden wins easily in November, Trump accepts the result, as do his supporters, and the country makes a peaceful transition to Democratic Party leadership. Unfortunately, this is “low probability”, Professor Goldstone says. The chances of violence are higher.

“The fissures in our society that led to the last outpouring of protest are deep-rooted and have been around for a long time,” he said.

“The concerns about racial injustice, gender discrimination, and severe economic and material inequality have been building for many decades.

“COVID-19 like the 2009 housing crisis has exacerbated these differences.”

Could this mean a revolution? No, he says. The population of the United States is relatively aged and unlikely to be carried away by ideological fervour. Enough people would prefer to have leadership settled by election results rather than battles in the street. There’s a chance, he says, of something like Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. In 2004, after an election perceived to be marred by fraud and corruption, huge peaceful protests occupied central areas of the major cities and demanded a revote. When this took place, and the election was declared fair and free, the bloodless revolution was over.

This has never happened in the US. A presidential election has never been re-run.

“If we see an upsurge of violent protest and the election results are disputed the Democratic and Republican congressional leaders may try and get together across the party lines and maybe even justices of the Supreme Court,” Professor Goldstone said.

“They’ll say that, ‘We feel that we need to stop a popular battle in the streets over who will lead our third branch — the Executive — and we need to have a new election to satisfy everyone that the government is legitimate.’

“Then they’d schedule an election in January.”

Can it be turned around?

Some fragile states are able to turn themselves around, Charles Fiertz says.

“It requires a lot of investment over a long time and across a whole bunch of different areas, but it can be done,” he said.

Professor Goldstone points to the 1930s, when President Herbert Hoover was leading the US at a time of growing fascism and democratic failure around the world. In the midst of the Great Depression, he was succeeded by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who tilted the economic balance away from the corporations and the wealthy.

“It wasn’t easy and it didn’t all magically go away in one term,” Professor Gladstone said.

The professor, who grew up in the 1950s, in the shadow of Roosevelt’s achievement, sees a “new wave of progressivism” in the mass peaceful protests of the Black Lives Matter movement. He believes the present has also brought out the best in some Americans.

“There’s something good in America that’s still very much alive,” he said.

“There’s good as well as bad going on at the same time — and we always hope the good will win.”

Bethel, Ohio, “0.5% of the population identifies as Black,” Yet They Were Targeted For Racial Protests

Counterprotesters watch a Black Lives Matter march as curfew approaches June 15 in Bethel, Ohio. Protesters took to the streets after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer kneeled on his neck, ignoring Floyd's pleas that he could not breathe.

‘It got ugly’: What happened when Black Lives Matter protests came to small town Ohio

Dan Horn

Cincinnati Enquirer

BETHEL, Ohio – Donna Henson sat on her front porch last weekend, as she always does when the weather is nice, and watched dozens of her neighbors walk by with bats in their hands or guns strapped to their sides.

They were married couples, friends and relatives, young people and old. All heading up Union Street, toward the center of town.

Henson, 78, figured they’d heard the same rumors she had, the ones about busloads of people coming to her town to join small Black Lives Matter protests on Sunday and Monday. Word was hundreds could arrive from Cincinnati or Columbus or Detroit.

Henson was afraid, and she guessed her neighbors were, too. If they didn’t do something, if they didn’t show up armed and ready, the unrest they’d seen on TV for weeks on far off American streets could come to Bethel, a village of 2,800.

“Everybody had a gun,” Henson said Tuesday, recalling the scene. “Like a cowboy show.”

A movement that had swept into many of the nation’s big cities was about to reach a small town, a rural enclave where the message from demonstrators would be heard not as a wake-up call or a rallying cry but as a challenge to a way of life.

In Bethel, peaceful protesters would be seen by some as no different from looters and rioters. They represented chaos, the problems of other people from other places.

The protesters call for police reform, decry racism and criticize President Donald Trump. Many from Bethel support the police, say racism isn’t a problem here and fly “Trump 2020” flags in their front yards.

 

“We just want it to stop,” said Brad McCall, a carpenter and longtime resident who joined counter protesters. “We got a peaceful town. We don’t want our town destroyed.”

As it turned out, there were no busloads of protesters, there was no invasion by outsiders. Police estimated 80 to 100 people showed up to support Black Lives Matter, including the organizer, a 36-year-old substitute teacher from Bethel who makes arts and crafts.

Some yelled at the protesters to leave, blocked their way when they were marching and pushed and shoved them to the ground. A man with a Confederate flag covering his face ripped up one of the protesters’ signs while the crowd cheered.

“I felt like we were walking a gantlet,” said Lois Dennis, 63, who attended the demonstration with her daughter.

Images of the confrontation went viral on social media, in part because few had seen anything quite like it since the protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis began almost a month ago.

Suddenly, tiny Bethel was another act in an unfolding national drama. Critics called the town a racist backwater. Supporters praised residents for standing up to ignorant protesters. Townspeople, for the most part, were stunned by all the attention.

Bethel is 97% white, according to the U.S. Census, and almost 0.5% of the population identifies as Black.

“Why bring it to Bethel?” McCall said. “Why not go to Chicago? Look how many Black people are getting killed in Chicago. Black people are not getting killed in Bethel.”

‘They don’t want change’

Sharon Middleton listened Tuesday afternoon as McCall spoke in a parking lot not far from the site of the protests the previous days. Middleton was born and raised in Bethel and still lives in the house she grew up in.

She said the demonstrations were a mistake but not for the same reason McCall did.

“It’s not a tolerant community,” she said.

Middleton, who is white, has been living for years with Jon Richardson, an African American man. She said most people don’t give her trouble about it, but some do, including her mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in months.

When she read about the Black Lives Matter protest on Facebook, Middleton figured the protest organizers didn’t know her town as well as she did. “They were naïve,” she said. “They think they can put their Black Lives Matter signs up and change people’s minds.”

Richardson said he went to the protest and took some photos, but he said he wasn’t going to carry a sign. Since only a handful of the protesters were people of color, Richardson said, he would’ve stood out and been an easy target if things got ugly.

“I live here,” he said.

Counterprotesters confront demonstrators June 15 in Bethel, Ohio.

Richardson said he saw neighbors who never carry guns carrying them for the first time at the protest. “A lot of it is foolishness,” he said.

For Middleton, the guns and the anger are all about the fear of change. She said Bethel hasn’t changed much in her lifetime and that’s fine with most of its residents. “They don’t want change,” she said.

Richardson put his arm around Middleton and kissed her cheek.

“People are just people,” she said. “He just has a little more melanin in his skin.”

‘A sad day for Bethel’

Chris Karnes hasn’t lived in Bethel as long as Middleton, but he said he’s more hopeful the town’s residents can find common ground.

He moved here with his wife, a native, about 10 years ago, and he likes the place. He said his neighbors are friendly, even if they don’t share his more liberal politics. “It’s Trump country,” he said Tuesday. “You have to learn to live with people’s differences.”

Karnes wasn’t encouraged by the response to the protests. He saw people he knew, some better than others, swearing at protesters and trying to intimidate them. He saw punches thrown at a man who did nothing but carry a sign.

“You live in a small community like this, you get to know a lot of people,” he said. “I don’t know. It was a sad day for Bethel.”

Wayne Sulken and Chris Karnes, both Bethel residents, shake hands after having a discussion in the parking lot of the Bethel Municipal Building on Tuesday, June 16.

As he spoke, Wayne Sulken, who’s lived in Bethel for almost 30 years, parked his pickup and got out. He listened to Karnes for a few minutes before speaking.

“I know it got ugly,” he said. “But there were thugs on both sides.”

Sulken said he went to the protests Sunday and Monday, bringing his pistol Monday, not to cause trouble but to keep the peace. He said that’s why most residents showed up: They had heard outsiders were coming to stir things up.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen,” Sulken said. “Are our homes going to get burned down? Are our stores going to get looted? We heard the rumors they were going to bus them in.”

Sulken told Karnes he thought outsiders were behind the protests, namely antifa, a loose-knit anti-fascist group Trump has blamed for protests and unrest. Whoever was behind it, Sulken said, Bethel residents didn’t want any part of it.

Karnes and Sulken were on opposite sides of the protest, but they agreed on one thing Tuesday afternoon. Sort of.

“The worst thing is the impression the world is getting from Bethel,” Karnes said. “I’d say it was the actions of a few violent individuals.”

“On both sides,” Sulken said.

“Ahhhhh,” Karnes said, shaking his head. “I thought you might say that.”

Before parting ways, the two men shook hands. Karnes walked toward his home a few blocks away and Sulken climbed back into his pickup.

Hope for more conversations, less anger

As evening approached Tuesday, Bethel Police Chief Steve Teague responded to a noise complaint about a man with a bullhorn across the street from the Grant Memorial building, where protesters had gathered on previous days.

He found an African American man shouting, “Black lives matter” on the sidewalk. He told him about the complaint and asked him to stop.

Then the two sat down on the steps with a few other Bethel residents and talked about what was happening.

“Everybody was respectful,” Teague said. “We welcome all of them, as long as they’re peaceful.”

“We welcome all of them, as long as they’re peaceful,” says Steve Teague, police chief of Bethel, Ohio.

He said most have been. Despite the images circulating on social media, Teague said, most interactions were nonviolent and only a few counterprotesters got physical with demonstrators.

Teague, a former jet engine designer at GE, has been chief in Bethel for a year. The past few days are unlike anything he’s faced on the job, and he knows it doesn’t look good for the town he’s called home for the past six years.

“Those people have a 15-second clip, and they’re judging our entire town,” Teague said. “That’s just not right.”

A few blocks away, Donna Henson was on her front porch again, watching evening fall on an empty Union Street. It was another beautiful afternoon.

She sat next to her boyfriend, Mike Luck, surrounded by flower boxes and an American flag flapping in the breeze. Her dog, a Pekingese named Goldie, roamed the porch.

Henson said she’s watched the protests on TV for weeks and struggles to understand why everyone has been so upset for so long. She’s lived in Clermont County her whole life and, until now, the protests and unrest had seemed distant, like someone else’s problem.

“I’ve never been around Black people,” she said. “I just wish everybody could get along.”

She said she was appalled by the video of George Floyd’s death, but she wants the protests to end. She wants her town to get back to normal, back to the way it’s always been.

Contributing: Erin Glynn and Cameron Knight 

Follow reporter Dan Horn on Twitter: @danhornnews

First, Primary Target of Coronavirus, Next, To Be Hit Hardest By Mass Evictions…Black Community Rightly Feels Victimized

Coronavirus is disproportionately killing the black community. 

Black community braces for next threat: Mass evictions

 

 

A federal moratorium on evictions — which only applies to the 1 in 4 rental units that are backed by the government — expires in a matter of weeks.

Apartment buildings in Brooklyn

A new tremor is threatening to shake minority communities as protests over racial injustice sweep the country: A wave of evictions as a federal moratorium on kicking people out of their rental units expires.

The ban on evictions — which applies to rentals that are backed by the government — expires in a matter of weeks. On top of that, the federal boost to unemployment benefits that many laid-off workers have used to pay their rent is set to end July 31.

The moratorium covers evictions, not rent payments, and nearly 26 million people will have trouble coming up with the rent by September amid the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, according to Zach Neumann of the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project. Forty-four percent of black tenants said they have little or no confidence they would be able to meet their next rent payment, according to the latest snapshot from the census, conducted the last week of May.

That and rising black unemployment could make for a combustible mix on the streets. The May 25 killing of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of cops has sparked protests in cities around the country. Mass evictions this summer would almost surely fuel additional unrest.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told housing advocates on a call last week that the furor over Floyd’s death had brought new urgency to discussions of the racial disparities endemic in American life.

“One knee to the neck just explode[d] a tinderbox of other injustices that we must address, and one of them is housing,” Pelosi said. “Housing security is a matter of justice, as structural racism puts communities of color unfairly at risk of being rent-burdened or homeless.”

The congressionally mandated eviction plan applies to tenants in buildings with federally backed mortgages — covering just over 12 million of the nearly 44 million rental units in the country. Others may be covered by a patchwork of state and local moratoriums, but those are also starting to expire. Twelve states ended eviction protections in May, and the 8.2 million renters in New York will see their protections start to lapse on Aug. 20.

That gives a large advantage to white people: While about 74 percent of white households live in homes they own, only about 44 percent of black households and 49 percent of Latino households do, according to census data.

Black and Latino households also pay a higher share of their income on rent in most major metropolitan areas, according to a Zillow analysis.

House Democrats have passed sweeping legislation that would replace the current eviction ban on federally backed properties with a 12-month expanded moratorium on evictions for all tenants. It would also give tenants $100 billion in rental assistance to prevent falling behind on payments and getting hit with a massive bill when moratoriums end.

It’s not just Democrats who are worried about a potential rash of evictions, though. Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) said this week that policymakers need to figure out “what else can be done for the renters to ensure that they’re not put in a situation of potential eviction once the grace periods might end.”

But Senate Republicans are pumping the brakes on pouring more stimulus into the economy before the last relief package is exhausted, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell floating August as a timeline for the next round.

Key Republicans also oppose continuing to provide expanded unemployment benefits, arguing that the enhanced payments are discouraging recipients from returning to lower-paying jobs.

Housing advocates warn that landlords around the country are already preparing eviction proceedings to file the moment they’re allowed to proceed, even as more than 20 million Americans — including more than 1 in 6 black workers — remain out of work.

“Unless Congress intervenes soon, the coming tsunami of evictions and homelessness will disproportionately harm black and brown people,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

About 40 percent of homeless people in the U.S. and over half of homeless families with children are black, even though just 13 percent of the population is black.

Rice said Floyd’s death was “just the straw that broke the camel’s back,” and that decades of redlining — the government practice of blocking off black neighborhoods on official maps to discourage mortgage lending — was one of the main underlying contributors to the current unrest.

“It’s all connected — when you really pull back the layers of the onion, the root cause is residential segregation and systemic structural racism,” she said. “I think making sure we don’t have massive wholesale evictions is a sort of a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, but ultimately we’re going to have to get to the root causes.”

The Real Economic Catastrophe Hasn’t Hit Yet. Just Wait For August.

What Happens When the Homeless Populations Suddenly Double?

The Real Economic Catastrophe Hasn’t Hit Yet. Just Wait For August.

After a terrifying spring spent in lockdown and a summer of protests in the streets, things are going to get a lot worse in the fall.

BuzzFeed News

More than 40 million people lost their jobs in the last few months, in the fastest and deepest economic slowdown ever recorded. More than half of all households with low incomes in the United States have experienced a loss of earnings, as have a quarter of all adults. The numbers are grim — but as bad as things look today, they’re on track to get much, much worse.

The US economy right now is like a jumbo jet that’s in a steady glide after both its engines flamed out. In about six weeks, it will likely crash into the side of a mountain.

What’s kept us in the air so far is an extraordinary government relief effort. In most states, evictions have been temporarily banned, preventing a mass homelessness crisis. Most federal student loan payments have been put on hold, removing one of the largest recurring monthly expenses that millions of people face. Banks were ordered to give their customers a six-month break on mortgage payments if requested.

Most importantly, and counterintuitively, household income sharply increased in April as hundreds of billions of dollars in lost wages were replaced by trillions in government spending. The government sent out more than 159 million stimulus payments of up to $1,200 per adult (more if you have kids), and more than 20 million unemployed people became eligible for an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. The result, according to Bloomberg, was the largest monthly increase in household income ever recorded.

This happened in April, when there were far fewer things to spend your money on; shops and restaurants were closed, nobody went to the ball game or took the kids to a theme park, and a shaggy nation longed for a haircut. Meanwhile, the prospect of a massive economic crash meant that Americans who were still on the job were more likely to tuck money away that they might otherwise have spent. So the national savings rate — the share of people’s income that is saved rather than spent — hit 33%, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, also the highest level ever recorded. In the same month that we reached the worst mass unemployment in living memory, Americans saved a total of $6.15 trillion — up by $4 trillion from the month prior.

The massive interventions that made all this possible will soon come to an end — but the unemployment won’t.

On July 31, the $600 federal unemployment payments going to unemployed people every week will end, and there’s no sign they’ll be replaced with anything nearly as generous. In fact, many Republicans want to replace them with nothing at all — and there’s also little sign that another round of one-time stimulus checks will get mailed out. So income for tens of millions of households is likely to nose-dive in August.

That will coincide with evictions returning after being put on hold for months. This month, about one-third of renters were unable to pay their rent in full or at all, despite all the stimulus money. A federal law that bans evictions in any properties financed by federally backed mortgages — more than a quarter of all households, according to one estimate — expires on July 25, just a week before millions of people’s main economic lifeline is pulled away. Unless they are extended, statewide orders banning all evictions in places that have been hardest hit by the unemployment crisis will also expire around then: Florida’s on July 1, California’s on July 28, and New York’s on Aug. 20.

As millions of people experience a sudden collapse of their income at the very moment their landlords are allowed to start kicking them out, other bills will also come due. Payments on millions of paused student loans will begin again at the beginning of October; the more than 4 million homeowners who received a six-month pause on their mortgage after April’s mass layoffs will need to start making payments again at the end of October.

Few seriously expect the US economy to recover as fast as those bills come due; the federal government’s own projections expect unemployment will remain frighteningly high well into next year, even as people return to work as the lockdowns are lifted. Many companies will only rehire workers as quickly as consumer demand returns, and in labor-heavy industries, such as restaurants, entertainment, and travel, nobody expects things to go back to normal anytime soon.

And across the economy, big employers will use this moment as a kind of workforce reset button — a chance to rethink how many workers they really want, outsource some jobs, offshore others, and eliminate some entirely. By some estimates, more than 40% of all the job losses of the last few months could be permanent, not temporary.

You might have noticed a few major things — like, well, the coronavirus pandemic — missing from this equation. If we’re really lucky, we won’t experience a nasty second wave of infections in the fall and early winter, spurring new rounds of attempted lockdowns shortly after the economic plane crashes into the mountain — lockdowns that will once again disproportionately affect Black people and people with low incomes who can’t safely work from home. Fingers crossed on that one.

And I didn’t mention the nationwide protest movement that shows no sign of slowing down, or the US election that will be overheating in the fall, involving a phenomenally unpopular and wildly divisive president whose passionate supporters tend to distrust the government.

These are all ingredients in what Adam Elkus memorably described recently as the “omni-crisis” that we’re currently stumbling our way through. “The omni-crisis has significantly enlarged the space of possible outcomes beyond that normally considered day-to-day by most Americans,” he wrote. “And it is not clear how many people in positions of influence and authority recognize this.”

That will become clearer in the next few weeks as Congress considers what comes next. So far, the Democrat-controlled House has passed an expansive new relief bill with trillions in new spending, which was declared dead on arrival by the Republican-controlled Senate — and Republicans don’t seem to be in much of a hurry to even begin negotiations. There are hints that our political leaders understand the gravity of the crisis, but they may be simply incapable of rising to the moment. ●

U.S. Orders Canadian Arrest of Daughter of China’s 5G Huawei Corp Founder

FILE PHOTO: Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s intelligence agency warned that arresting the daughter of billionaire Huawei founder Ren Zheng would set off global “shock waves” and seriously affect ties with China, just before her detention in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition request, new court documents show.

Released on Friday, the documents show the involvement of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in the December 2018 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, which soured diplomatic ties between Ottawa and Beijing.

Meng is chief financial officer of China tech giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the company at the center of next generation 5G wireless technology and a long-running dispute the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

A CSIS report was disclosed in the court documents as part of Meng’s extradition proceedings. In a redacted Dec. 1, 2018 memo, CSIS said it was advised by the U.S. FBI of plans to arrest Meng when she arrived on a flight to Vancouver International Airport later that same day.

“The arrest is likely to send shockwaves around the world,” CSIS said. “The planned event will be of great consequence internationally and bilaterally,” the report said.

Huawei lawyers called the documents proof that authorities had conspired against Meng.

Meng is accused by U.S. authorities of bank fraud for misleading HSBC (HSBA.L) about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran, putting HSBC at risk of fines and penalties for breaking U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

Meng’s lawyers have argued the case should be thrown out because Canada did not have sanctions against Iran. Meng says she is innocent. Last month, a Canadian judge allowed the case to continue, rejecting defense arguments that the U.S. charges against Meng do not constitute crimes in Canada.

The new court documents show the CSIS was concerned about when Meng’s arrest might become public. Her lawyers noted the point was of particular interest, since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were attending the G20 summit in Argentina and dining together on the evening of Dec. 1.

Reporting by Denny Thomas, Editing by Tom Brown

What Happens When the Homeless Populations Suddenly Double?

As eviction bans across the country start to lift, the US could face an eviction ‘apocalypse’

Housing crisis
Many Americans are now at risk of being evicted from their homes. 
John M Lund Photography Inc / Getty Images

The United States is preparing to deal with yet another crisis: an eviction crisis.

On Thursday, Business Insider’s Carmen Reinicke reported that 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last 12 weeks. The mass layoffs and cratering industries have left many unable to pay their rent or utilities due to the lack of income.

Because of the financial crisis, the pandemic has caused, the federal government put a temporary ban on evictions in federally assisted properties, set to last until July 25. Individual states — like Michigan, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania — had their own eviction moratoriums. But those have expired or are set to expire soon, with no extensions in place: Michigan’s moratorium expired on June 11, while Louisiana’s and Pennsylvania’s are expected to expire on June 15 and July 10 respectively.

The extra funds the stimulus bill extended to Americans are also running out. At the end of July, the extra $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits will expire, and there’s no confirmation yet whether additional stimulus checks are coming.

This is the money that has been allowing people who lost their jobs to continue paying their rent, CNBC’s Alicia Adamczyk reports. The loss of extra income, in conjunction with the end of eviction moratoriums, may cause a nationwide eviction crisis — or worse. Aaron Carr, founder and executive director of the Housing Rights Initiative, told CNBC that evicting people right now, during an ongoing pandemic, could turn “a catastrophe into an apocalypse.”

Homeless shelters in the United States are not set up for social distancing

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on renters since the outbreak and subsequent lockdown measures first began in the US in March.

Between March 25 and April 10, the Urban Institute found that almost half of the renters between the ages of 18 and 64 had trouble paying their rent or utilities, were food insecure, or couldn’t afford necessary medical care. And this issue was far more pronounced in some communities than others: In May, the institute found that 25% of Black and Latino renters deferred or could not pay their rent, compared to just 14% of white renters.

Now, Axios, citing the weekly US Census survey which measures the impact the pandemic has had on Americans, reported that one-fifth of adults said in May that they were unsure whether they’d be able to pay their rent or mortgage in June.

As Carr told CNBC, evicting people from their homes could lead them into homelessness or unstable housing, which could raise their risk of catching COVID-19.

Mass evictions could also create a mental health crisis, causing an emotional and mental strain on those who lost their shelter, and who could end up food insecure. Evicting people also generally ruins credit, which may make it harder to find new housing, especially during a pandemic.

All of these factors could result in an “eviction apocalypse,” with widespread evictions leading to a surge in homelessness and rising COVID-19 infections throughout the country.

Even though activists have been pushing for reforms on rental assistance and cancellation, states have been slow to adopt such measures. A glimmer of hope could be the HEROES Act, which has an extension of the nationwide moratorium on evictions that would last 12 months. The bill was passed by the House in May but has stalled in the Senate.

Why Manufacture 2 Billion Doses of A “Potential” Vaccine?

“AstraZeneca recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical program with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.”

nonetheless:

“AstraZeneca’s enormous manufacturing and distribution layout represents the single largest effort so far to pump hundreds of millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine hopeful onto the market before the end of 2020. “

Syringe injection vaccine needle
AstraZeneca said its total capacity for COVID-19 vaccine production has exceeded 2 billion doses per year. (Pixabay)

What America and the World Need Now–Stephen Lendman

What America and the World Need Now

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Mass protests in the US and elsewhere over racist killings of Black males like George Floyd aren’t good enough.

They divert attention from an array of core issues ignored by officialdom and establishment media.

Justice won’t be served unless they’re all addressed and corrected, systemic change that requires longterm struggle.

Days, weeks, even a few months of street protests alone will fail like always before, especially if pacified by cosmetic changes alone.

Tinkering around the edges alone assures status quo forever wars, inequity and injustice for ordinary people while privileged ones enjoy gravy train benefits.

That’s the American way that’s replicated throughout the West and elsewhere worldwide — governance of, by, and for special interests at the expense of the exploited vast majority.

All lives matter, those most disadvantaged harmed most by institutionalized fantasy democracy, racism, inequity and injustice in the US and worldwide.

Systemic change that’s needed demands going for the following — without compromise:

Money power put back in public hands where it belongs, in the US by abolishing the Wall Street owned Fed and giving back to Congress what’s constitutionally mandated.

Break up and prohibit too-big-to-fail banks, including an end to allowing commercial and investment banking combinations, along with letting them own insurance companies.

End countless billions of dollars of corporate handouts and bailouts.

Rescind the Commodity Futures Modernization Act that greatly contributed to speculative excess, including no regulartory oversight of derivatives and leveraging that turned Wall Street more than ever into a casino

Enact progressive policies, eliminating neoliberal ones, including force-fed austerity on ordinary people, the nation’s wealth used for everyone, not just the privileged few.

Mandate social justice in the US by constitutional amendment, including universal healthcare, public education to the highest levels, along with human, civil and organized labor rights, what was omitted in the US founding document.

Breaking up and banning corporate monopolies and oligopolies.

Getting money entirely out of politics.

Changing rigged elections to free, fair and open ones.

In the US, ending one-party rule with two right wings, fostering a climate that encourages parties independent from the current system.

Mandate ecosanity over raping and plundering the earth for maximum profits.

Reestablish and strengthen the vanishing middle class.

Reinstate progressive taxes, requiring the wealthy and business to pay their fair share.

Slash military spending, declaring a new era or peace and stability by beating swords into plowshares, using the revenue for rebuilding US infrastructure and enhancing social programs.

End corporate personhood, the US gulag prison system, capital punishment, and unrestrained predatory capitalist practices.

The difference between the latter and my decades of experience in small family business is worlds apart — public service v. big business rapaciousness for maximum profits in cahoots with big government, an unholy alliance against peace, equity and justice.

Todays America is the product of its founders — a men-only Wall Street crowd equivalent, given their economic status and prominence.

Designers of the nation’s founding document were bankers, merchants, lawyers, politicians, judges, and other wheeler-dealers.

The Constitution and Bill of Rights five years later served their interests, not the general welfare — notably not African Americans considered property, not people.

Not women at the time, considered child-rearers and homemakers alone, not decision-makers, not independent from their husbands.

The general welfare was off the table, special interests alone served, not ordinary America — fantasy democracy institutionalized from inception.

In his last State of the Union address on January 11, 1944, Franklin Roosevelt proposed a second bill of rights, economic ones, because original ones in the Constitution’s first 10 amendments “proved inadequate to assure us equality…”

FDR didn’t live long enough to push for what he proposed to become the law of the land post-WW II.

Economic rights he proposed are more greatly needed now, what should be core demands of protesters on US streets. They included the following:

Full employment with a guaranteed living wage adjusted to the real cost of living the way it was calculated pre-1990.

Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies.

Ending homelessness by assuring housing for all.

Universal healthcare and public education to the highest levels.

Enhanced social security beyond what New Deal legislation provided — that’s greatly eroded today.

All of the above and more are needed for egalitarian rule over governance serving privileged interests alone like now.

Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, his economic bill of rights along with him.

The vast majority of protesters on US streets know nothing about it, along with little about the nation’s dark history from before its inception to the present day.

Ending institutionalized racism and police brutality are vital objectives.

It’s not enough. Key is ending all forms of inequity and injustice along with forever wars on humanity at home and abroad.

These are goals to pursue by committed longterm struggle.

Achieving them won’t come any other way. 

Iconoclast muckraking journalist IF Stone once explained the following:

“The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins…”

That’s what longterm struggle is all about — fighting the good fight for peace, equity and justice so one day what’s now unattainable is possible.

If that’s not worth fighting for, what is?

VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Knees will be on everyone’s necks in the months ahead.

The Shallow Deep-State Goes Deeper as It Moves Toward Martial Law

Edward Curtin

Iam not trying to be cute and play with words. That title is meant to convey what it says, so let me explain.

The people who own the United States and their allies around the world have a plan. It is so simple that it is extremely devious.

Their plan has been in operation for many years. It has most people bamboozled because it is Janus-faced by design, overt one day, covert the next, but both faces operate under one controlling head. Some call this head the Deep-State. Even the Deep-State calls itself the Deep-State in a double fake. It is meant to make people schizoid, which it has.

The so-called Deep-State has been given many names over the years. I will not bore you with them, except to say that it was once called the power elite. They are the upper classes, the super wealthy who control the financial institutions, Wall Street, the intelligence agencies, the corporate media, the internet, the military, and the politicians. They are multinational.

They are the wealthy nihilists who care not one jot for the rest of the world. They operate in secret, yet also run above-ground organizations such as the World Bank (WB), the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), etc. Their bloodstream runs on war, the preparations for war, and economic exploitation of the world.

All wealthy people are not party to their machinations, but they are almost always complicit in profiting from their crimes, unless they are very stupid. Or play stupid. Since I am talking about a great confidence game, that is quite common.

Other people, all other classes, the poor, middle-classes, even a portion of the upper middle classes mean nothing to the power elite unless they can serve their interests. They are always waging class warfare to maintain their domination and control. Their recent version of this class war is underway in the United States and in many other countries.

As of today, they are using race fears to create chaos and outrage to disguise their class warfare that is leading to the imposition of martial law. Soon they will shift back to the coronavirus fraud. Back and forth, in and out, now you see it, now you don’t.

By shutting down the world’s economy, they have destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people and are creating poverty on a vast scale. Much famine and death will follow. In the United States alone, 40-45 million people have applied for unemployment insurance and job loss is the greatest since the Great Depression. The reason: a massive propaganda campaign created around Covid-19 fear porn.

This class war is not new, but it is conducted today at warp speed since these people control the technology that has allowed them vastly increased power.

In the USA, it is conducted as usual under the guise of Republicans versus Democrats, the two representative political factions that are the faces of the controlled “opposition,” who are actually allies in the larger confidence game. Keeping “hope” alive is central to their strategy. Mind control is what they do. Speed is their greatest ally. Race is central to their game plan. They always say they are protecting us.

It is all a lie. A show. Nothing but a spectacle for the gullible. A shadow play.

The current president, Donald Trump, is the choice of one faction of these psychopaths. This year, Joseph Biden, is the shaky presumptive choice of the other. Both are deranged puppets. Regular people fight over who is better or worse because they are living inside what Jim Garrison, the former District Attorney of New Orleans and the only person to ever bring a trial in the assassination of President Kennedy, long ago called “the doll’s house.”

It is a place where illusions and delusions replace reality. It is 24/7 propaganda. It keeps people engaged. It gives them something to argue about, one team to root for. It’s a sport. It is similar to Plato’s Cave. Fire has been replaced with electronic lighting and screens, but little has changed.

The sick system of exploitation is oiled and greased with the tantalizing bait of hope dangled for the masses. Shit slogans like “We are all in this together.”

But there is no hope for this system.

But when the propaganda is so slick that it creates a double-bind, people grasp at any neurotic “solution” out of frustration. As I write, huge angry crowds are out in the streets protesting the sick murder of a black man, George Floyd, by a white cop. Police infiltrators have started violent looting. Chaos reigns, as planned.

Such killings are routine, but someone turned a switch for this one when just yesterday operation corona lockdown with its fear and fake statistics had everyone cowering behind masks at home as the economic lives of vast numbers were destroyed in a flash.

For today, the masquerade is in the streets. Many good people are caught up in it. In a few days the scene will shift and we can expect another “bombshell.”

These surprises will keep happening one after another for the foreseeable future. Shock and Awe for the home crowd. The war come home. The controllers know you can’t wage war against the rest of the world unless you do so at home as well.

When one group within the deep-state won the internecine battle in 2016 and “shocked” the country with the election of the comical Trump, the other deep-state group called the Democrats, immediately set in motion a plan to try to oust him or to make it seem as if they were trying to do so.

The naïve thought this may happen, and their deluded yearning has been stretched until the 2020 presidential election, although some probably think Trump might go before then. He won’t.

So many people have destroyed their minds and relationships because they can’t see through the fraud.

Early in 2017, as the outgoing front man for the CIA/warfare/Wall St. state, Barack Obama, left his time bombs for the future. The pink pussy hats were sent out marching to open the show. Russia-gate was launched; eventually impeachment was tried. The Democrats. with their media allies, went on a non-stop attack.

It was all so obvious, so shallow in its intent, as it was meant to be. But millions who were in the doll house were outraged, obsessed, frantic with rage. They bought the con-game. Both those who hate Trump and those that love him have spent almost four years foaming at the mouth, breathless.

Trump was cast as the personification of evil. A relentless attack on Trump began and has continued all this time. It is pure theater. Trump remains at the helm, as planned, holding the Bible aloft in a style reminiscent of a Bible thumping Klansman from The Birth of a Nation. Only the ignorant thought it might have been different.

He knows how to perform his role. He is a fine actor. He outrages, spews idiocies, as he is supposed to do. That Mussolini style stance, that absurd hair, the pout. Just perfect for an arch-villain. It’s so obvious that it isn’t. Herein lies the trick.

And who profits from his policies? The super-rich, of course, the power-elite.

Who just stole 6-10 trillion dollars of public money under the hilariously named Cares Act? The super-rich, of course, the deep-state.

It was a bi-partisan bank robbery from the public treasury carried out under the shadow of Covid-19, whose phony hyped up numbers were used to frighten the populace into lockdown mode as the Republican and Democratic bank robbers smiled in unison and announced forcefully, “We care!” We are here to protect you.

Remember how Barack Obama “saved” us by bailing out Wall St. and the big banks to the tune of trillions in early 2009. Then waged unending wars. Left black Americans bereft. He cared, too, didn’t he. Our leaders always care.

Obama was the black guy in the white hat. Trump is the white guy in the black hat. Hollywood on the Potomac, as Gary Wills called it when Ronald Reagan was the acting-president.

Now Obama’s war-loving side-kick, the pale-faced, twisted talking Biden is seriously offered as an alternative to the Elvis impersonator in the White House. This is the false left/right dichotomy that has the residents of the doll’s house in its grip.

If you can’t see what’s coming, you might want to break out of the house, take off your mask, go for a walk, and take some deep breaths. The walls are closing in.

Knees will be on everyone’s necks in the months ahead.

Now Trump Suddenly Wants To Bring US Troops Home From Germany…First Afghanistan, Now This

[Trump Ex. Order Activates National Guard, Up To One Million Soldiers, For Up To Two Years ; What If Trump Tried to Cancel the November Election? ; Why Does Trump Suddenly Want Combat Troops Home From Afghanistan By Election Day? ]

Trump orders Pentagon to remove thousands of troops from Germany: report

President Trump has directed the Department of Defense to send 9,500 troops home from Germany, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, which would bring the total stationed there down to 25,000.

A defense official told the Journal the plan, which was ordered by national security adviser Robert O’Brien, has been underway since September and is not related to rising tensions between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, who also served as Trump’s ambassador to Germany, has advocated for the reduction of troops in Germany and pushed for Berlin to spend more on its own defense.

When asked, National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot did not confirm the move to The Hill, but said Trump “continually reassesses the best posture for the United States military forces and our presence overseas.”

“The United States remains committed to working with our strong ally Germany to ensure our mutual defense, as well as on many other important issues,” Ullyot said.

The Hill has reached out to the Department of Defense and the White House for further comment.

The Journal noted under current conditions, there can be up to 52,000 U.S. troops in Germany at a time as units rotate in and out or take part in training exercises.

The troop reduction will reportedly take place by September.

Trump has pushed for fewer U.S. service members to be deployed overseas, including in Afghanistan, the site of America’s longest military conflict.

Brutal Israeli Trainers Taught Knee-To-Neck Strangle-Hold To Minnesota Cops and Thousands of Others

Israeli police detain a Palestinian protestor on March 12, 2019, with the same knee-to-neck move that killed George Floyd.

Israelis Trained the Minnesota Cop How to Kill

Precisely as I reported, Minnesota police received Israeli training. The knee-on-neck is an Israeli restraint hold that Israeli forces use for breaking Palestinian necks.  I doubt the Minneapolis cop intended to kill Floyd.  He probably thought he was just using a restraint technique.  In so many of the cases of police-inflicted death and injury there is no need for restraint. People are not resisting. Maybe the cops just want to practice their training.

Another main cause of police-inflicted death and injury are the middle of the night home invasions, sanctioned by courts and local authorities.  There is absolutely no reason for these invasions.  They are nothing but murder weapons.

The real murderers of George Floyd were the Israelis who taught the Minnesota cops the knee-on-neck restraint technique.  The irresponsible court rulings that permit unannounced home invasions have also killed a lot of people. The police have been turned into killers by their absurd and inappropriate training. The cop will pay the price for his wrongful training just as did George Floyd.

It is pure idiocy to let those responsible for these practices off the hook and to run around shouting “racism.”  Knee-on-neck is a restraint technique taught to the police.  It is not racism. The technique should not have been taught to American police, and people who are not resisting should not be restrained. George Floyd died because of wrongful police training, not because of racism.

Source

Over 100 Minnesota law enforcement officers attended a 2012 conference organized by the Israeli consulate in which Israeli police trained them. Israeli forces often use the knee-on-neck restraint on Palestinians. (Meanwhile, Congress is poised to pass a bipartisan $38 billion package to Israel)… Read two reports below:

Minnesota cops ‘trained by Israeli forces in restraint techniques’

By Jon Collins, reposted from the UK Morning Star newspaper (embedded links added by IAK)

Officers from the US police force responsible for the killing of George Floyd received training in restraint techniques and anti-terror tactics from Israeli law-enforcement officers.

Mr Floyd’s death in custody last Monday, the latest in a succession of police killings of African Americans, has sparked continuing protests and rioting in US cities.

At least 100 Minnesota police officers attended a 2012 conference hosted by the Israeli consulate in Chicago, the second time such an event had been held.

There they learned the violent techniques used by Israeli forces as they terrorise the occupied Palestinian territories under the guise of security operations.

The so-called counterterrorism training conference in Minneapolis was jointly hosted by the FBI.

Israeli deputy consul Shahar Arieli claimed that the half-day session brought “top-notch professionals from the Israeli police” to share knowledge with their US counterparts.

It is unclear whether any of the officers involved in the incident in which Mr Floyd was killed attended the conference.

Israeli forces broke necks

Continues … https://israelpalestinenews.org/minn-cops-trained-by-israeli-police-who-often-use-knee-on-neck-restraint/ 

American cities and towns…are not “battle spaces” to be dominated.–Adm. Mike Mullen

 

DREW ANGERER / GETTY 

It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent.

Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.

There was little good in the stunt.

While no one should ever condone the violence, vandalism, and looting that has exploded across our city streets, neither should anyone lose sight of the larger and deeper concerns about institutional racism that have ignited this rage.

As a white man, I cannot claim perfect understanding of the fear and anger that African Americans feel today. But as someone who has been around for a while, I know enough—and I’ve seen enough—to understand that those feelings are real and that they are all too painfully founded.

We must, as citizens, address head-on the issue of police brutality and sustained injustices against the African American community. We must, as citizens, support and defend the right—indeed, the solemn obligation—to peacefully assemble and to be heard. These are not mutually exclusive pursuits.

And neither of these pursuits will be made easier or safer by an overly aggressive use of our military, active duty or National Guard. The United States has a long and, to be fair, sometimes troubled history of using the armed forces to enforce domestic laws. The issue for us today is not whether this authority exists, but whether it will be wisely administered.I remain confident in the professionalism of our men and women in uniform. They will serve with skill and with compassion. They will obey lawful orders. But I am less confident in the soundness of the orders they will be given by this commander in chief, and I am not convinced that the conditions on our streets, as bad as they are, have risen to the level that justifies a heavy reliance on military troops. Certainly, we have not crossed the threshold that would make it appropriate to invoke the provisions of the Insurrection Act.

Furthermore, I am deeply worried that as they execute their orders, the members of our military will be co-opted for political purposes.

Even in the midst of the carnage we are witnessing, we must endeavor to see American cities and towns as our homes and our neighborhoods. They are not “battle spaces” to be dominated, and must never become so.

We must ensure that African Americans—indeed, all Americans—are given the same rights under the Constitution, the same justice under the law, and the same consideration we give to members of our own family. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.

Too many foreign and domestic policy choices have become militarized; too many military missions have become politicized.

This is not the time for stunts. This is the time for leadership.

Antifa Logistics Proven By Pallets of Conveniently Pre-Positioned Bricks In Riot Areas

[Law Enforcement, why aren’t you tracing these bricks back to the firms which delivered them?]

ANTIFA’S AMERICAN INSURGENCY


The far-left has perfected the art of rioting

ED Noor: Antifa and BLM are Marxist sisters beneath the Soros blanket.

By:  Andy Ngo

Protesters riot in Seattle
May 31, 2020


We are witnessing glimmers of the full insurrection the far-left has been working toward for decades. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was merely a pre-text for radicals to push their ambitious insurgency. In a matter of hours, after the video of Floyd began circulating the internet, militant antifa cells across the country mobilized to Minnesota to aid Black Lives Matter rioters. Law enforcement and even the state National Guard have struggled to respond in Minnesota.

 

Portland, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta are just some of the other cities waking up and finding smoldering ruins where businesses once operated. Nearly 30 other cities experienced some form of mass protest or violent rioting. At least three people have been killed so far.

Armed in Philadelphia and calling for more mayhem.
.

Antifa, the extreme anarchist-communist movement, has rioting down to an art. The first broken window is the blood in the water for looters to move in. When the looting is done, those carrying flammable chemicals start fires to finish the job. Footage recorded in Minneapolis and other cities show militants dressed in black bloc ~ the antifa uniform ~ wielding weapons like hammers or sticks to smash windows. You see their graffiti daubed on smashed up buildings: FTP means ‘Fuck the Police’; ACAB stands for ‘All Cops Are Bastards’; 1312 is the numerical code for ACAB.

People in riot-targeted areas found pallets of bricks stacked around their areas. No construction going on, just piles of bricks. Everywhere there were riots.

Last night, rioters reached the gates of the White House, possibly the most secure location on Earth. There, they chipped away at the barriers piece-by-piece while law enforcement struggled to respond. One Secret Service officer reportedly had a brick thrown at his head. Footage recorded at the scene showed him blood-soaked. Police were eventually able to repel masked rioters by using pepper spray and tear gas. That worked, for now.
.

The militants uprising across the country want a revolution and they don’t care who or what has to be destroyed in the process. If their comrades die, they are elevated as martyrs in propaganda. Death is celebrated.

At its core, BLM is a revolutionary Marxist ideology. Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and

Patrisse Cullors, BLM’s founders, are self-identified Marxists who make no secret of their worship of communist terrorists and fugitives, like Assata Shakur. They want the abolishment of law enforcement and capitalism. They want regime change and the end of the rule of law. Antifa has partnered with Black Lives Matter, for now, to help accelerate the breakdown of society.

The US is getting a small preview of the anarchy antifa has been agitating, training and preparing for. Ending law enforcement is a pre-condition for antifa and BLM’s success in monopolizing violence. Those who are harmed first are the weak and vulnerable, the people who cannot protect themselves. Small business owners in Minnesota pleaded for mercy, even putting up signs and messages in support of the rioters, but to no avail.

ED Noor: Lest ye forget, boys and girls!

The destruction of businesses we’re witnessing across the US is not mere opportunism by looters. It plays a critical role in antifa and BLM ideology. Their stated goal is to abolish capitalism. To do that, they have to make economic recovery impossible. Antifa sees a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to exploit an economically weakened America during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s Going Down, one of the most popular antifa blogs in North America, tweeted on Friday:

’10 years from now, people won’t look back and ask: “Why did it explode in 2020?” Massive unemployment while the rich rake in billions from tax-cuts + bailouts, the earth on the brink of collapse + police murdering people daily. Instead they’ll ask: “Why didn’t it happen sooner?”‘

Antifa are taking actions considered extreme even among their own ranks. On Thursday night in Portland, rioters surrounded a vehicle filled with passengers and shot at it, hitting one person inside. The driver was able to escape but the injured passenger had to go to hospital for treatment. In Oakland, two federal police officers guarding a government building were shot in an ambush drive-by. One was killed and the other has critical injuries. The following day in Seattle, masked antifa militants stole a rifle from a police vehicle before setting it ablaze.

Media, politicians, the public ~ all of us ~ have underestimated the training and capability of left-wing extremists, who are united in purpose. All the parts of rioting serve a purpose. Looting and fires destroy local economies. Riots can overwhelm the police and even the military. All of this leads to a destabilized state.

America is brave and beautiful.  She is not invincible.



I thought they hated “notsees”!

Posted by 

All 5 Iranian Tankers Deliver Their Cargo To Venezuela, Despite State Dept. Claims

[American mainstream media misinforms American people about State Dept. disrupting Iranian oil shipments to Venezuela.  (SEE: US disrupts Iranian fuel deliveries to Venezuela, official says )]

[All 5 Iranian Tankers Deliver their cargo to Venezuela. One Iranian Tanker In Venezuelan Waters, While 4 More Watch From African Coast ]

by 

Earlier, two American media outlets reported that several tankers carrying Iranian fuel to Venezuela were forced to turn around as Washington placed pressure on the ships’ owners.

The last Iranian tanker carrying fuel and components for its production has docked at a Venezuelan port after entering the country’s waters on 31 May. The vessel called Clavel arrived just three days after the previous tanker, Faxon, brought its much-needed cargo to the Latin American state.

Three other tankers, Fortune, Forest, and Petunia arrived earlier, with Forest having already unloaded its shipment of fuel, which was urgently needed in Venezuela, and left for an unknown destination. The shipping of the fuel to the country thus successfully concluded despite reported attempts of the US to thwart the transaction between Caracas and Tehran, both of which suffer from American sanctions.

Workers of the state-oil company Pdvsa holding Iranian and Venezuelan flags greet during the arrival of the Iranian tanker ship Fortune at El Palito refinery in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela May 25, 2020
© REUTERS / MIRAFLORES PALACE/HANDOUT
Workers of the state-oil company Pdvsa holding Iranian and Venezuelan flags greet during the arrival of the Iranian tanker ship “Fortune” at El Palito refinery in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela May 25, 2020

Last week, The Wall Street Journal and Fox News reported that Washington had pressured the Greek owners of two tankers, purportedly carrying Iranian oil towards Venezuela, to turn their vessels around under threat of sanctions.

The tankers,
Bering  marinetraffic.com


and Bella, reportedly followed the order.

Venezuela has been experiencing harsh fuel shortages lately despite possessing among the biggest oil reserves in the world. The crude extracted in the country is extremely heavy and requires sophisticated equipment to refine it into fuel. Caracas mostly lost access to such equipment after Washington imposed sanctions against the country’s oil industry in an attempt to topple its elected President Nicolas Maduro – an endeavour which the US has failed to carry out, despite making several attempts.

Iran pledged to help its Latin American partner, condemning American attempts to “destroy” the Venezuelan economy. The US Special Representative for Venezuela, in turn, slammed the two countries’ cooperation, claiming that Maduro is using Venezuelan gold reserves to pay Iran back.

This Is Not a Revolution.

This Is Not a Revolution. It’s a Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation

by JOHN W. WHITEHEAD, The Rutherford Institute
John Whitehead

“When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you—pull your beard, flick your face—to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you.”—John Lennon

Brace yourselves.

There is something being concocted in the dens of power, far beyond the public eye, and it doesn’t bode well for the future of this country.

Anytime you have an entire nation so mesmerized by political theater and public spectacle that they are oblivious to all else, you’d better beware.

Anytime you have a government that operates in the shadows, speaks in a language of force, and rules by fiat, you’d better beware.

And anytime you have a government so far removed from its people as to ensure that they are never seen, heard or heeded by those elected to represent them, you’d better beware.

What is unfolding before us is not a revolution.

The looting, the burning, the rioting, the violence: this is an anti-revolution.

The protesters are playing right into the government’s hands, because the powers-that-be want this. They want an excuse to lockdown the nation and throw the switch to all-out martial law. They want a reason to make the police state stronger.

It’s happening faster than we can keep up.

The Justice Department is deploying federal prison riot teams to various cities. More than half of the nation’s governors are calling on the National Guard to quell civil unrest. Growing numbers of cities, having just barely emerged from a coronavirus lockdown, are once again being locked down, this time in response to the growing upheaval.

This is how it begins.

It’s that dystopian 2030 Pentagon training video all over again, which anticipates the need for the government to institute martial law (use armed forces to solve domestic political and social problems) in order to navigate a world bedeviled by “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” a “growing mass of unemployed,” and an urban landscape in which the prosperous economic elite must be protected from the impoverishment of the have nots.

We’re way ahead of schedule.

The architects of the police state have us exactly where they want us: under their stamping boot, gasping for breath, desperate for freedom, grappling for some semblance of a future that does not resemble the totalitarian prison being erected around us.

This way lies certain tyranny.

For just one fleeting moment, “we the people” seemed united in our outrage over this latest killing of an unarmed man by a cop hyped up on his own authority and the power of his uniform.

That unity didn’t last.

Indeed, it didn’t take long—no surprise there—for us to quickly become divided again, polarized by the misguided fury and senseless violence of mobs taking to the streets, reeking of madness and mayhem.

Deliberately or not, the rioters have directed our attention away from the government’s crimes and onto their own.

This is a distraction.

Don’t allow yourself to be so distracted.

Let’s not lose sight of what started all of this in the first place: the U.S. government.

More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the systemic violence being perpetrated by agents of the government constitutes a greater menace to the life, liberty and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us.

Case in point: George Floyd died at the hands of the American police state.

The callous, cold-blooded murder of the unarmed, 46-year-old black man by police is nothing new: for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, police knelt on Floyd’s neck while the man pleaded for his life, struggled to breathe, cried out for his dead mother, and finally passed out and died.

Floyd is yet another victim of a broken system of policing that has placed “we the people” at the mercy of militarized cops who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

Daily, Americans are being shot, stripped, searched, choked, beaten and tasered by police for little more than daring to frown, smile, question, challenge an order or just exist.

I’m talking about the growing numbers of unarmed people are who being shot and killed for just standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety.

Killed by police for standing in a “shooting stance.” Killed for holding a cell phone. Killed for holding a baseball bat. Killed for opening the front door. Killed for being a child in a car pursued by police. Killed for approaching police while holding a metal spoon. Killed for running in an aggressive manner while holding a tree branch. Killed for crawling around naked. Killed for hunching over in a defensive posture. Killed because a police officer accidentally fired his gun instead of his taser. Killed for wearing dark pants and a basketball jersey. Killed for reaching for his license and registration during a traffic stop. Killed for driving while deaf. Killed for being homeless. Killed for brandishing a shoehorn. Killed for peeing outdoors. Killed for having his car break down on the road. Killed for holding a garden hose.

Now you can make all kinds of excuses to justify these shootings, and in fact that’s exactly what you’ll hear from politicians, police unions, law enforcement officials and individuals who are more than happy to march in lockstep with the police. However, as these incidents make clear, the only truly compliant, submissive and obedient citizen in a police state is a dead one.

Sad, isn’t it, how quickly we have gone from a nation of laws—where the least among us had just as much right to be treated with dignity and respect as the next person (in principle, at least)—to a nation of law enforcers (revenue collectors with weapons) who treat us all like suspects and criminals?

This is not how you keep the peace.

This is not justice. This is not even law and order.

This is certainly not freedom. This is the illusion of freedom.

Unfortunately, we are now being ruled by a government of psychopaths, scoundrels, spies, thugs, thieves, gangsters, ruffians, rapists, extortionists, bounty hunters, battle-ready warriors and cold-blooded killers who communicate using a language of force and oppression.

The facts speak for themselves.

We’re being ravaged by a government of ruffians, rapists and killers. It’s not just the police shootings of unarmed citizens that are worrisome. It’s the SWAT team raids gone wrong that are leaving innocent citizens wounded, children terrorized and family pets killed. It’s the roadside strip searches—in some cases, cavity searches of men and women alike carried out in full view of the public—in pursuit of drugs that are never found. It’s the potentially lethal—and unwarranted—use of so-called “nonlethal” weapons such as tasers on children for “mouthing off to a police officer. For trying to run from the principal’s office. For, at the age of 12, getting into a fight with another girl.”

We’re being held at gunpoint by a government of soldiers—a standing army. While Americans are being made to jump through an increasing number of hoops in order to exercise their Second Amendment right to own a gun, the government is arming its own civilian employees to the hilt with guns, ammunition and military-style equipment, authorizing them to make arrests, and training them in military tactics. Among the agencies being supplied with night-vision equipment, body armor, hollow-point bullets, shotguns, drones, assault rifles and LP gas cannons are the Smithsonian, U.S. Mint, Health and Human Services, IRS, FDA, Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Education Department, Energy Department, Bureau of Engraving and Printing and an assortment of public universities. There are now reportedly more bureaucratic (non-military) government civilians armed with high-tech, deadly weapons than U.S. Marines. That doesn’t even begin to touch on the government’s arsenal, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, and the speed with which the nation could be locked down under martial law depending on the circumstances. Clearly, the government is preparing for war—and a civil war, at that—and “we the people” are the perceived enemy.

We’re being taken advantage of by a government of scoundrels, idiots and cowards. American satirist H.L. Mencken calculated that “Congress consists of one-third, more or less, scoundrels; two-thirds, more or less, idiots; and three-thirds, more or less, poltroons.” By and large, Americans seem to agree. When you’ve got government representatives who spend a large chunk of their work hours fundraising, being feted by lobbyists, shuffling through a lucrative revolving door between public service and lobbying, and making themselves available to anyone with enough money to secure access to a congressional office, you’re in the clutches of a corrupt oligarchy. Mind you, these same elected officials rarely read the legislation they’re enacting, nor do they seem capable of enacting much legislation that actually helps rather than hinders the plight of the American citizen.

We’re being locked up by a government of greedy jailers. We have become a carceral state, spending three times more on our prisons than on our schools and imprisoning close to a quarter of the world’s prisoners, despite the fact that crime is at an all-time low and the U.S. makes up only 5% of the world’s population. The rise of overcriminalization and profit-driven private prisons provides even greater incentives for locking up American citizens for such non-violent “crimes” as having an overgrown lawn.  As the Boston Review points out, “America’s contemporary system of policing, courts, imprisonment, and parole … makes money through asset forfeiture, lucrative public contracts from private service providers, and by directly extracting revenue and unpaid labor from populations of color and the poor. In states and municipalities throughout the country, the criminal justice system defrays costs by forcing prisoners and their families to pay for punishment. It also allows private service providers to charge outrageous fees for everyday needs such as telephone calls. As a result people facing even minor criminal charges can easily find themselves trapped in a self-perpetuating cycle of debt, criminalization, and incarceration.”

We’re being spied on by a government of Peeping Toms. The government, aided by its corporate allies, is watching everything you do, reading everything you write, listening to everything you say, and monitoring everything you spend. Omnipresent surveillance is paving the way for government programs that profile citizens, document their behavior and attempt to predict what they might do in the future, whether it’s what they might buy, what politician they might support, or what kinds of crimes they might commit. The impact of this far-reaching surveillance, according to Psychology Today, is “reduced trust, increased conformity, and even diminished civic participation.” As technology analyst Jillian C. York concludes, “Mass surveillance without due process—whether undertaken by the government of Bahrain, Russia, the US, or anywhere in between—threatens to stifle and smother that dissent, leaving in its wake a populace cowed by fear.”

We’re being forced to surrender our freedoms—and those of our children—to a government of extortionists, money launderers and professional pirates. The American people have been repeatedly sold a bill of goods about how the government needs more money, more expansive powers, and more secrecy (secret courts, secret budgets, secret military campaigns, secret surveillance) in order to keep us safe. Under the guise of fighting its wars on terror, drugs, domestic extremism, pandemics and civil unrest, the government has spent billions in taxpayer dollars on endless wars that have sown the seeds of blowback, surveillance programs that have subjected all Americans to a surveillance society, and militarized police that have turned communities into warzones.

We’re being robbed blind by a government of thieves. Americans no longer have any real protection against government agents empowered to seize private property at will. For instance, police agencies under the guise of asset forfeiture laws are taking property based on little more than a suspicion of criminal activity.

And we’re being forced to live in a perpetual state of emergency. From 9/11 through the COVID-19 lockdowns and now the threat of martial law in the face of growing civil unrest, we have witnessed the rise of an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security.

Whatever else it may be—a danger, a menace, a threat—the U.S. government is certainly not looking out for our best interests, nor is it in any way a friend to freedom.

When the government views itself as superior to the citizenry, when it no longer operates for the benefit of the people, when the people are no longer able to peacefully reform their government, when government officials cease to act like public servants, when elected officials no longer represent the will of the people, when the government routinely violates the rights of the people and perpetrates more violence against the citizenry than the criminal class, when government spending is unaccountable and unaccounted for, when the judiciary act as courts of order rather than justice, and when the government is no longer bound by the laws of the Constitution, then you no longer have a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

What we have is a government of wolves.

Our backs are against the proverbial wall.

The government and its cohorts have conspired to ensure that the only real recourse the American people have to express their displeasure with the government is through voting, which is no real recourse at all.

The penalties for civil disobedience, whistleblowing and rebellion are severe. If you refuse to pay taxes for government programs you believe to be immoral or illegal, you will go to jail. If you attempt to overthrow the government—or any agency thereof—because you believe it has overstepped its reach, you will go to jail. If you attempt to blow the whistle on government misconduct, there’s a pretty good chance you will go to jail.

For too long, the American people have obeyed the government’s dictates, no matter now extreme. We have paid its taxes, penalties and fines, no matter how outrageous. We have tolerated its indignities, insults and abuses, no matter how egregious. We have turned a blind eye to its indiscretions and incompetence, no matter how imprudent. We have held our silence in the face of its lawlessness, licentiousness and corruption, no matter how illicit.

We have suffered.

How long we will continue to suffer depends on how much we’re willing to give up for the sake of freedom.

America’s founders provided us with a very specific explanation about the purpose of government and a roadmap for what to do when the government abuses its authority, ignores our objections, and establishes itself as a tyrant.

We must choose between peaceful slavery (in other words, maintaining the status quo in servitude to the police state) and dangerous freedom. That will mean carving out a path in which we begin to take ownership of our government, starting at the local level, challenging the status quo, and raising hell—nonviolently—whenever a government official steps out of line.

We can no longer maintain the illusion of freedom.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we are at our most vulnerable right now.

ABOUT JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

Read more: The Gilmer Mirror – This Is Not a Revolution It s a Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation

Former UK Vodaphone Executive Revealed As Fraud “5G Expert”

[Many thanks to “auribusarrectis” for this gem.  Had to go to Tor browser to copy this one, Guardian had copy-block on article.]

Revealed: ‘former Vodafone executive’ in 5G conspiracy video is UK pastor

This article is more than 1 month old

Jonathon James is previously unidentified individual who reached millions with false claims about Covid-19

Jonathon James
Jonathon James. Vodafone sources say he was hired for a sales position in 2014 and left after a year. Photograph: YouTube

A recording spread around the world at the end of March, purportedly featuring a former Vodafone executive claiming to let the public in on a secret that the coronavirus pandemic is cover for a global plot to install 5G mobile phone masts, track the world’s population through vaccines, and then destroy human society as we know it.

In reality, the Guardian can reveal, the voice on the tape making the baseless claims is an evangelical pastor from Luton who recently tried to convince Zimbabweans to use cryptocurrency in their economy.

Jonathon James, who regularly preached at churches in Bedfordshire, is the previously unidentified individual who reached millions of people with his detailed but nonsense claims that Covid-19 is a fake disease covering for the impact of 5G.

“It has nothing to do with biological warfare but is our bodies reacting to radiofrequency radiation,” he told listeners to the 38-minute recording, claiming the real cause of global deaths was new mobile technology causing cell poisoning. “They are using coronavirus to try to hide the fact that people are dying from the 5G frequency.”

Although James was not the first individual to attempt to connect the pandemic and 5G, the popularity of his recording grew at the end of last month, just as people believing the conspiracy theory began to burn down phone equipment and harass telecoms engineers.

In the recording he suggests that Bill Gates is involved in a plot to produce coronavirus vaccinations that will contain computer chips to track individuals, a move he claims will ultimately herald the destruction of society.

“The coronavirus is not what’s killing people, it is clearly, categorically, unequivocally proven that the radio frequencies we are being exposed to are killing the people,” he told his audience without any evidence. “God has blessed me with the ability to bring disparate pieces of information together that puts the puzzle together and makes sense of it.”

Although many copies of the recording have been deleted by YouTube for breaching its policy on dangerous disinformation, new uploads continue to be available. Delivered in the form of a sermon, it has also racked up millions of views across other networks and continues to circulate on WhatsApp. But until now the originator’s identity has been unknown.

Much of the audio clip’s claims to credibility rely on James’s assertion that he is the former head of the largest business unit at Vodafone, supposedly giving him the inside track on new technologies at one of the world’s biggest telecoms companies.

Vodafone insiders told the Guardian that while James had worked for the company, he was hired for a sales position in 2014 at a time when 5G was not a priority for the company and was unlikely to be in his remit. They said he ultimately left Vodafone after less than a year.

International radiation watchdogs have cleared 5G as safe, while NHS bosses have called on people to stop spreading rumours linking the pandemic to 5G and threatening vital infrastructure.

James’s identity was ultimately pieced together by researchers at the fact-checking startup Logically, working in conjunction with the Guardian. When the preacher was contacted he said he “was absolutely shocked that [a] somewhat ‘private message’ to a dedicated small community went viral and [was] ubiquitously covered [on] various social media platforms”.

The preacher, whose WhatsApp profile picture shows him relaxing on a private jet wearing a monogrammed shirt, said: “For the record, I certainly wasn’t trying to vilify, incriminate or implicate any mobile network operator for their commercial endeavours to roll out their unified telecoms and next generation of mobile topologies in this regard.

“Had I known my voice note would have gone to a wider audience I certainly would have contextualised my thoughts, been more specific on what I was sharing citing references, and far less explicit. I was simply trying to summarise what the ‘perceived truth’ was behind this bizarre pandemic in the interest of serving my community.”

James, who regularly preaches at the Light City Christian Ministries in Luton, has apparently had a varied career since his time at Vodafone. He claims to have at one point advised central bankers in “the Congo” and Bangladesh on cryptocurrencies and he has posed with the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa. In 2018 he was working as an economic adviser for a Zimbabwean opposition party, urging it to save the economy using Bitcoin-type products pegged to diamond deposits through blockchain technology.

Asked if he had any final comment, James said he was unable to reply as he “had some rather pressing head of state engagement necessitating my full attention and time [for the] last 48 hours”.

Louisville police chief fired after officer bodycams found to be off during fatal shooting

Louisville police chief fired after officer bodycams found to be off during fatal shooting

The two officers involved, who were either not wearing or did not have their cameras activated, have been placed on administrative leave.

By Doha Madani

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad has been relieved of duty after it was revealed that the officers involved in a shooting that killed a local business owner early Monday did not activate their body cameras.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the decision to relieve Conrad during a Monday afternoon press conference, where the deceased was identified as David McAtee. Conrad was set to retire later this month.

“David was a friend to many, a well known barbecue man that nurtured so many people in their bellies and their hearts before,” Fischer said of the victim. “And for him to be caught up in this, for him to not be here with us is a tragedy. It’s just hard to put into words.”

The two officers involved, who were either not wearing or did not have their cameras activated, have been placed on administrative leaveIt’s unclear whether the fatal shot was fired by law enforcement or a separate individual, active Chief Rob Schroeder said Monday.

“We are working diligently to determine what happened, the community has a lot of questions and we share those same questions,” Schroeder said.

Other audio and video from the incident will be released, officials said.

Louisville officers and the National Guard were sent to a parking lot to break up a crowd at around around 12:15 a.m., according to a statement Conrad gave earlier Monday. He said officers were “shot at” at some point while trying to clear the area and returned fire, leaving one person dead.

Image: Protests in Louisville following the death of Breonna Taylor
Security Police Officers with the Air National Guard stand with Louisville Metro Police officers during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 31, 2020.Bryan Woolston / Reuters

In a statement Monday morning, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said “LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard returned fire resulting in death” and said he has asked the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the shooting.

Officers were required to wear active body cameras following the death of Breonna Taylor, 26, a black woman killed in her home in March by Louisville police while they served a “no-knock” warrant against the couple in an alleged drug case. Taylor’s family claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit that Taylor and her boyfriend believed their home was being broken into and shot at officers because they did not identify themselves.

Taylor’s death has been a catalyst for protests in Louisville, demonstrations that over the weekend were reignited by the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died last week after a police officer kept a knee on his neck for over eight minutes.

More than 40 people were arrested Sunday night, the city’s fourth consecutive night of demonstrations, according to NBC Louisville affiliate WAVE.

Last Thursday, seven people were shot in the city during protests that turned violent. Officers were not involved in the Thursday shootings, Police Sgt. Lamont Washington said at the time.

Kaitlin Rust, a reporter for WAVE, was on air Friday when she yelled and said she was “getting shot” by rubber bullets or pepper bullets.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

One dead in Louisville after police and National Guard ‘return fire’–First Volley In New Civil War?

One dead in Louisville after police and National Guard ‘return fire’ on crowd

Louisville authorities did not specify who fired the fatal shot, and authorities have not released information about the victim

Image: The Army National Guard and Louisville Metro Police block a street during a protest in Kentucky on May 31, 2020.

The Army National Guard and Louisville Metro Police block a street during a protest in Kentucky on May 31, 2020.Bryan Woolston / Reuters

By Ben Kesslen

A man was shot dead in Louisville after police officers and the Kentucky National Guard “returned fire” while clearing a large crowd early Monday.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said in a statement that at around 12:15 a.m. his officers and the National Guard were sent to a parking lot to break up a crowd.

“Officers and soldiers began to clear the lot and at some point were shot at,” Conrad said in a statement. “Both LMPD and National Guard members returned fire, we have one man dead at scene”

In a statement Monday morning, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said “LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard returned fire resulting in death” and said he has asked the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the shooting. The governor’s office did not immediately return NBC News’ request for further clarification on who fired the fatal shot.

Louisville police say they are interviewing “several persons of interests” and collecting video. The city was under a “dusk to dawn” curfew on Sunday night into Monday, beginning at 9 p.m.

Louisville has seen a weekend of protests, as the city mourns Breonna Taylor, 26, a black woman killed in her home in March by Louisville police who were executing a “no-knock” warrant targeting her former boyfriend. More than 40 people were arrested Sunday night, the city’s fourth consecutive night of demonstrations, according to NBC Louisville affiliate WAVE.

Last Thursday, seven people were shot in the city during protests that turned violent. Officers were not involved in the Thursday shootings, Police Sgt. Lamont Washington said at the time.

Kaitlin Rust, a reporter for WAVE, was on air on Friday when she yelled and said she was “getting shot” by rubber bullets or pepper bullets.

As The World Burns

[This should be the focus of all protests and resistance against the fleecing of America by the very wealthiest minority.  Distractions from this vital national focus, such as mixing-up protests against the police state with anti-vax protests or any-other-anti-protest, shatter that single-minded focus, risking the entire effort.  Make this clear…IT IS THE POLICE STATE that is killing black folks, and NOT JUST INDIVIDUAL COP RACISTS. 
The timely piece below identifies this problem and highlights some of the difficulties we will inflict upon ourselves in the near future, as the protests/resistance grow larger with each new wave of America’s dispossessed, growing homeless, unemployed, the starving and the just plain pissed-off.  What we see taking place today in America’s cities is likely to spread to rural areas in the near future, especially when the money and the stimulus checks run out and starving becomes a personal issue.  When the rioting and the looting become overwhelming, we will see an American civil war for survival, UNLESS national leaders act now, to avoid this coming nightmare.–Peter]

As The World Burns

Personal safety & security are quickly becoming more important in this era of growing social rage
by Chris Martenson

Friday, May 29, 2020, 6:35 PM

Decades of unfairness are now boiling over in the United States in the form of protests, riots, burning buildings and violence.

Minneapolis is on fire – literally – and the unrest has spread to numerous other major cities.

Last year (2019) The Yellow Vest protesters in France dealt with enormous amount of police violence and intimidation as they put life and limb on the line to try and wrest better economic and living conditions for themselves.

The people of Hong Kong are back out in force again now that the Coronavirus threat has abated, seeking greater autonomy and control over their own lives. Last year (2019) Chileans also protested, seeking better wages and living conditions.

While the specific demands of each of these movements are unique, they all share common causes.

Our analysis at Peak Prosperity is this: the days of constant exponential growth on a finite planet are drawing to a close. All of the systems that govern the sharing of resources among humans – political, economic and especially financial – are designed to concentrate, not share, wealth.

Taken together, we have an economic pie that is no longer growing but is subject to a set of laws and financial predation that guarantee the wealthy get more than their fair share of what remains.

This leads to increasingly visible, palpable unfairness.

Primates hate that:

In today’s world, it’s grapes for the elites and cucumbers for the rest of us (if we’re even that lucky).

That’s been the model for a long time, but lately it’s been both accelerating and exposed for all to see.

Team Elite™ is busy gorging on grapes. It has granted itself $trillions of freshly printed dollars from the US Federal Reserve in order to prop up ‘their fair share of things’ like bonds, stocks, and derivatives.

That leads to these sorts of jarring headline juxtapositions:

(Source and source)

Without any question whatsoever, the Federal Reserve has been printing up money like crazy and stuffing it into every crevice of the US financial markets in a bid to…well, drive up financial asset prices.

They’ve been extremely tone deaf the entire way while pretending that their aim isn’t to make the rich richer, or deliver fatter profits to banks. Of course, both of those things are indeed happening as a direct result of the Fed’s policies and anybody with eyes can see that — yet the media refuses to acknowledge this.

Really, it’s extremely easy to identify. Here’s what ‘grapes for the wealthy!’ looks like — see that $3 trillion spike since April?

All of that printing leads to some stocks now being at their priciest ratio to earnings ever:

That means that those holding them are being rewarded like never before. And don’t forget that the richest 10% of Americans own over 84% of all stocks

We also see the same price-goosing with bonds. Corporate bonds are now once again approaching historically low yields which means, in the see-saw language of bonds, they are almost as pricey as they’ve ever been. In history:

Who received the benefits of that gigantic cluster of grapes that the Fed has lavished upon the bond markets?

Well, the owners of all those bonds of course, and the major corporations now able to borrow at rock bottom costs even as small and medium sized enterprises are being wiped out.

As I often say, the Fed doesn’t actually create wealth, it redistributes wealth.  While doing that it is both directly and indirectly picking winners and losers.

The above chart of corporate bond yields says the Fed is picking large corporations and the wealthy elite  over small companies and Main Street folks.

Of course, there are no grapes quite as sweet as the ‘special interest’ varietals that are served to only the wealthiest of real estate investors:

The only thing that could make this worse would be for some White House official to condescendingly insult all us regular people by referring to us in non-human terms.

Oops:

(Source)

I have dozens more such examples. But I trust you get the point: the vast unfairness of the US system is now exposed for all to see. And that inequity has become even more predatory in our hour of need during the Covid-19 pandemic. Which is why social frustration and angst are now in the process of boiling over.

The reason why is as old as civilization itself, showing up ever since the first group of humans organized themselves into a cultural pyramid:

People often ask me why I shake my angry monkey-fist at the Federal Reserve so often. It’s because of the above quote. I’m the sort that prefers to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering. The Federal Reserve seems to be institutionally ignorant of the above fatal ailment.

What the Fed is doing is wholly unnecessary and manifestly unfair. It will lead to tears yet, regrettably, it is completely avoidable. Grapes for Wall Street, and cucumbers (or worse) for everyone else. It’s just how they’re wired. They literally cannot help themselves,. So things are certain to get worse before they get better.

It All Boils Over

The institutional failures of the Federal Reserve aside, there are also the obvious failures of management (I can’t bring myself to call them ‘leadership’ anymore) at our major health institutions, politicians who are far quicker to the rescue of major corporations than constituents, politicized and even falsified ‘science’ coming from formerly respected institutions, the list goes on and on.

Every one of these breaches of public trust undermines our collective safety and security. Beyond some incalculable level the foundation gives way.

The lowest level of management in this story are the police. For decades many police departments have been heavily militarized and trained often by Israelis who’ve done a remarkable job embedding the mindset of occupying forces into US policing.

Toss in some unresolved racial biases and animosity, civil asset forfeiture, no-knock raids for petty reasons that routinely result in innocent lives being violently taken, and you’ve got a tinder pile waiting for a spark.

George Floyd was that spark. A particularly callous officer with a long string of unpunished claims of excessive force and violence lodged against him, knelt on George’s neck until he was dead while 3 other officers stood by and casually watched.  Against the backdrop outlined above, this was one flagrant abuse too many.

Editorially, the person now being vetted as a possible VP for the Biden campaign, Amy Klobuchar was the prosecutor in Minneapolis for many years who could have delivered justice to the lower classes. Let’s check her record:

Sadly, this is a record that can be found in hundreds of other cities. It’s neither an uncommon nor a defensible record. As a reminder, in the aftermath of the Michael Brown killing and riots in Ferguson MO (2014) the justice department came in and discovered that in a city of 20,000 mostly poor people there were 16,000 outstanding arrest warrants.  Think about that for a second.

Many for infractions like ‘impeding pedestrian flow’ (a.k.a. standing on the sidewalk). The humans were little more that ATM livestock for the police and court machinery to exploit.

And so, with the killing of George Floyd, Minneapolis exploded.

There’s More Unrest On The Way. Get Prepared.

Welcome everyone to these turbulent times.

We all want to live in a just, fair, and safe world. Some people are born into peaceful times. Others aren’t so lucky. History goes through its turnings.

Well, here we are, smack in the middle of a whopper of a fourth turning. So let’s make the most of it.

I take the safety and security of myself and the people around me very seriously. Because it’s my responsibility I train, and I plan, and I think things through.

My home is in a town I judge to be very safe, and I’m not the fearful sort, so I really have to push myself to prioritize the other steps. Which I am doing because it has to be done.

The calm days are over. There’s a new future coming, one that promises to be a lot more interesting as the old Chinese saying goes.

I wish I believed that the worst of the social unrest was behind us. I don’t. Given the actions of the Fed and Plutarch’s quote, and the total lack of any pushback from the media on these matters, I am anticipating grapes for the elites and worse-than-cucumbers for everyone else for many years to come.

Which means it’s time for you to more seriously consider your approach to personal security, especially if you live in or near a city. I certainly am.

As a true mark of the turning, a growing number of my friends who would never have considered owning a gun before are now thinking about doing so. All sorts of formerly ‘hard’ decisions suddenly become up for grabs when folks start feeling more physically vulnerable.

But personal security is far more than ‘owning a gun.’ It’s a mindset as well as a behavior set. And above all, it’s about avoiding trouble in the first place.

It includes taking sensible steps to protect your home from being an easy target for crime. It means having a plan and well-practiced skills in place to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from violence. It means aligning with neighbors to watch each others’ backs. It means practicing with whatever tools or systems you adopt so that they are second nature to you if you ever have to use them.

For those without extensive experience and training (which I assume is just about everyone reading this), the best presentation I’ve ever seen covering the practical essentials you need to know to maximize your odds of staying safe is this video from Peak Prosperity member Tom C., a 19-year veteran inner city police sergeant, given at our most recent annual seminar:

Here’s a brief 3-minute clip from it in which Tom is fielding Q&A on the audience’s top concerns:

Tom’s full seminar presentation is 48 minutes long and addresses key safety & security issues including how to reduce your threat risk profile, situational awareness, what to do (both mindset and actions) if in danger, how to create “layers” of defenses, as well as good home security options. Peak Prosperity’s premium members can watch it in full here.

Rage Against the (Wrong) Machine

slope of hope

From the Slope of Hope:

On the printout of people qualified to discuss urban violence, I’m pretty far down the list. My encounters with the police have all been negative, but that’s the nature of the beast. No officer is going to stop me and tell me I have fabulous hair (OK, that happened just once, but it’s uncommon). They’re just going to give me a ticket for not coming to a full stop. They’re enforcers.

In fact, my most negative police encounter was at my own home. An officer showed up, very soon after I moved into my house, and said my dog wasn’t licensed by the city. My dog (a half chow, half golden named Chelsea, a painting of whom hangs in my office) started barking at this intruder, and the officer drew his gun and pointed it at Chelsea, screaming how I have to get my dog under control.

After finding out the unlicensed dog in question was actually the dog of the guy who used to live there, not me, I was supremely pissed, so I called the police to tell what had happened. Shortly thereafter, a sergeant brought the officer to my front door and, hanging his head, he apologized for his behavior.

So that’s about as close as I’ve come to a bad police encounter.

What’s happening across the country right now is a few orders of magnitude different. I see that there are plans for riots (oh, sorry, “protests“) in 50 different U.S. cities on Saturday night.

This is a perfect recipe for such chaos. You’ve got an unemployed population who has been under house arrest for months, with the widest wealth divide in history, and an environment of racism and violence. I’m surprised this kind of thing doesn’t happen non-stop, even without anyone being killed by having their neck squished.

I was particularly struck by this image below, which is sort of an upside-down version of Kristallnacht, 82 years later.

You’ve got to feel for the poor souls whose job it is to attract conventions and tourists to this place. Their website is unintentionally drenched with irony these days.

And here’s Exhibit B:

Of course, this isn’t confined to Minneapolis. Perhaps you’ve heard that, for whatever reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to dress up a bunch of little kids in military garb, hand them weapons, and send them off to counter-protests in Georgia. (This will clear up any confusion as to why “Hitler Youth” was a top trending term on Twitter today).

The billionaires couldn’t be happier. The highest echelons in this country have two gargantuan advantages working in their favor:

  1. A nonstop circus of distractions, so that no one has a chance to see how, over the past 50 years, they have absolutely taken over everything, and they’re going to wind up with everything, absolutely everything, for themselves;
  2. They’ve got a bureaucratic whore by the name of Jerome Powell who is absolutely thrilled to be stealing trillions of dollars from future generations to create the most overvalued stock market in human history during one of the most economic periods the country has ever witnessed. Honest to God, people. Wake up.

Since I’m watching from a safe distance, I don’t have a problem with all the mayhem, although I think it’s misdirected. These angry hordes are destroying their local Target store (where are you going to get your Charmin now, pal?) instead of, oh, let’s just say, the Federal Reserve located right in downtown Minneapolis:

Although some of these rioters are starting to wise up, such as this chap from the Los Angeles chaos:

So, to be quite honest, I’d much rather see them emptying the Louis Vuitton store (as they did a few hours ago) than Target, for God’s sake. Or, even worse, destroying a police precinct.

The shame of it is that these people have every right to be boiling mad, but stealing underwear from Target or setting fire to a local bar isn’t going to do a goddamned thing. If these people had a clue – – even a clue – – about what the likes of Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen, Lloyd Blankfein, Steve Mnuchin, and Larry Fink had done to them, they would be dragging THEM by their necks down the street and beating them with clubs. Not wrecking the local grocery store. They could even put the Mnuchin Beating on pay-per-view. I’ve got my credit card ready.

But these people have no clue. Zero. They couldn’t tell you what the Federal Reserve does. Or what fractional banking is. Or who Larry Fink is. Those $1200 checks were enough to keep the sheep in line, although that money has long been spent. The powers that be are going to have to keep throwing free cash at people to keep them shut up and feeble. As of now, the gravy train ends on July 31st.

We’re getting a sneak preview of this autumn, as these tweets strongly confirm:

The most vicious dogs. The most ominous weapons. Just waiting for action. Anyone else get the feeling he’s really getting off on the prospect of violence? I sure do. Thus, can you imagine what he’s going to be tweeting if he loses? Or, better yet, what if we get a second wave of Covid PLUS civil war, created by angry tweets?

But there’s one man who has declared himself innocent, and it’s this son of a bitch:

We live in a time which is nothing less than appalling. Lies. Cheating. Stealing. Deception. Theft. All for the benefit of the richest. Every bit of it. And these ignorant lunatics shrieking and smashing glass are destroying the businesses that serve their “community” while leaving the billionaires alone, laughing their asses off. Jeff Bezos has never had it so good.

The human race has a long history. This is not the end of time. The age of revenge is only just beginning, and we all have a responsibility to our families to try our best to keep them safe.

The storm brewing out there is no anomaly. What we are witnessing this very weekend is, I believe, just an appetizer in an all-you-can-eat buffet of pandemonium on its way. Powell and his completely fake stock market won’t change that.

You can’t stop what’s coming. That’s vanity.

My Backward Little Hometown Gets This Peaceful Protest Right…Right On!

Peace prevails at Portsmouth protest

By Adam Black – ablack@aimmediamidwest.com

 

A protester holding a sign that says justice for George Floyd as he marched down Second Street Sunday evening.

A protester holding a sign that says justice for George Floyd as he marched down Second Street Sunday evening.

A protester holding a sign with Black Lives Matter written on it outside the Portsmouth Police Department.

By Darian Gillette |PDT

Portsmouth PD takes a knee during a protest Sunday evening in downtown Portsmouth.

By Darian Gillette |PDT

PORTSMOUTH — Residents of Scioto County marched down Second Street chanting “We united. We want peace,” to spread a positive message about the social climate between communities and police.

On Sunday, area residents peacefully marched down the streets of Portsmouth and gathered outside of the Portsmouth Police Department and Municipal Building. Community members came out to show their support and hopefully send a message to end police brutality in response to the recent events between a police officer and George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“We created a group called We United,” Organizer Datoine Robinson said. “Once that George Floyd incident happened, everybody separated, and it became a black versus white versus cop thing, and I wanted to have something where everyone came back together.”

Residents of all races attended the protest, which marched from Spartan Stadium to the Portsmouth Police Department. Demonstrators chanted and talked with Portsmouth police peacefully. Along the route, residents came out of their homes and cheered.

“Even though we are angry, it’s important that we’re not separating ourselves,” Robinson said. “I believe that can change the world.”

Protests have been taking place across the nation in support of George Floyd, many turning violent. In Columbus, riots have taken place for the past three nights, causing Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine to mobilize the National Guard and set a 10 p.m. curfew.

“Thank you to all the people who kept it peaceful,” Robinson said. “I knew everybody’s intentions and everybody’s hearts, and we did have those people online saying it wasn’t going to be, but maybe they can see this and know they can come and be a part of the change.”

In a Facebook group called We United, Robinson stated several times the protest was to be peaceful and that he has been in contact with the Portsmouth Police Department. As the protesters made their way to the Police Department, they were welcomed and embraced by the Portsmouth Police.

“I totally understand why they want to do this,” Portsmouth Police Chief Debbie Brewer said. “I personally don’t feel what happened was correct. I believe what the officer did was improper, so I support their efforts to change that.”

Robinson, along with Brewer, spoke to the crowd at the police department, spreading the message of peace and justice. As Robinson asked the group to take a knee, he asked members of the department to join them. Without hesitation, the department knelt in solidarity and to remember those who have been lost due to police brutality.

“This was very peaceful and I’m very pleased with that,” Brewer said. “We have had community members come up and thank us and share their concerns, and we want them to know we are here and willing to listen.”

During a speech to the crowd, Brewer shared that she has heard the phrase “there are bad apples everywhere,” but Brewer assured the community that if she found out about a “bad apple,” they would not be working for the department.

“Peaceful protesting is their constitutional right. We will not take that away,” Brewer said. “This is the way to have your voice heard. Be peaceful, interact with people, don’t try to hurt each other.”

Austin Spears also shared that he wanted to do his part to bring peace and justice to the community.

“We can’t rest unless our brother and sisters can rest,” Spears said. “We can be leaders here, in small communities like Portsmouth. We can hold the light for other communities to see and pass that touch to them.”

Spears said he hopes that the peaceful protest in Portsmouth will be followed around the nation and that they will inspire change.

“We can’t drown everything out with hate. We have to drown it out with love and peace,” Spears said. “Now is the time to stand up and rise up and hold hands with our brothers and sister and get stuff accomplished.”

Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at ablack@aimmediamidwest.com.

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

America Will Never Be “Great Again” As Long As We Tolerate Cops Killing Black Men and Women

America is pulling itself apart because it is forgetting what America means

Our country, at this moment, is facing a constellation of challenges that touch fundamental precepts of our society, and these are challenges that need to be met head on with courage and with commitment to the only values that can truly unite us — values of respect for each individual person and that foster a culture of inclusion and opportunity for every person.

If this nation feels like it is pulling itself apart, it is because Floyd’s death is a Minneapolis story with a corollary in every community.

It’s also because some would take us down the wrong path. While the underlying frustration is something everyone with an ounce of humanity should feel in response to this injustice, those who are responding with riots, violence and looting are making change harder to enact.

It’s also true that when the president of the United States reacts to events with tweets using such loaded words as “thugs” and seeming to endorse callous use of lethal force, he is stoking fires rather than offering constructive leadership that can pull communities together. And leadership that can unite this country is what is sorely needed right now. We are battling a disease in racism that is as old as humanity itself and that fosters nervous separation rather than inclusiveness.

If ever there was a time we needed the best America, it is now. Instead, it feels as if we are getting the worst.

This was coming for a long time, a slow train rolling in the distance. We’ve spent years feeding our divisions, instead of nurturing our unity. We have made the other of one another. We have looked out at our nation with eyes of contempt and spoken with tongues of enmity. We have closed our hearts to one another. We’ve let ourselves be isolated in the false world of our little internet silos. We’ve created all the fuel we need for our own burning. We just need a match.

George Floyd’s killing should not be that match. It should instead be an awakening light. For this, we will insist on justice. For this, we will bolster the institutions we have created as a free people to deliver that justice.

There is justifying the anger. There is justifying the rage. There is no justifying destruction. There is no justifying stealing and hurting. Nothing about George Floyd’s death should be used to justify opening that door.

There are those who will say this is the inevitable result of a system that has failed a people. To them, we say you are rejecting the history and the possibility of America. We believe our nation has struggled in blood and pain toward equality and toward justice.

The work is far from finished. Each terrible and evil killing is a wound against our progress. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr. The list of names stretches so deeply into our history that we cannot know all the names — as many as the stars in the sky is all we know.

No, the work is not finished. It will never be finished. But the best America is the place where the work can be done. It is where the work has been done, from the bloody fields of Shiloh to the Pettus Bridge of Selma. The best America is a nation that embraces the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity in a shared dignity and a natural freedom protected under law for all.

Many of our people are scared or anxious about the future. They are worried and they are hurting. After all, we are inundated with images that cause trauma rather than healing, washed over with words calculated to divide rather than crafted to unify in common purpose.

It’s important to remember, as we scroll and scroll the images and the words that bring the world so intimately to us, that we can have another reaction.

We can remember that we are together. We are still one as a people. We are Americans, and that needs to mean something good. It needs to mean that we are people who seek justice for all, who live to create a better nation, a more perfect union.

That word, union, stretches so deeply into our history. It was the Union that rejected human bondage. It was the Union that bled together against a rebellion committed to the evil of slavery.

It was the Union that stood against tyranny in the world. It was the Union that defeated imperial Japan and that freed western Europe from a genocidal regime. It was the Union that stared down the Soviet threat through decades of fear and that restored nations to their own people. It was the Union that said enough to laws that codified our racist past.

It is our union now that will see us together through these times. Lincoln told us long ago that we could not let ourselves be divided. We have to stand with one another, hand in hand. We do not have to agree on every matter. But we need to be united in the understanding that our futures are intertwined. As Lincoln reminded us in a different but connected context, “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.”

We are together. We are one with one another. We are Americans.

Read the criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin–NYT

Why Derek Chauvin Was Charged With Third-Degree Murder

A document by prosecutors details how Mr. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, interacted with George Floyd before his death. Third-degree murder does not require an intent to kill.

A still image taken from a video, courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, showed Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis officer, during the arrest of George Floyd.
Credit…Darnella Frazier, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd held his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, including for two minutes and 53 seconds after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive, according to a document released by prosecutors on Friday.

The document, a statement of probable cause, was used to support a third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges against the former officer, Derek Chauvin. The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 35 years in prison.

The probable cause statement also said that preliminary results from an autopsy “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” adding that Mr. Floyd had coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. “The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,” the statement said.

Mr. Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis police officer, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, for nearly nine minutes. Mr. Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital. (PDF, 7 pages, 0.69 MB)

Mr. Floyd’s family released a statement on Friday saying the charges did not go far enough: “We expected a first-degree murder charge. We want a first-degree murder charge.”

A first- or second-degree charge would require prosecutors to prove that Mr. Chauvin intended to kill Mr. Floyd, said Richard Frase, a professor of criminal law at the University of Minnesota. He said the criminal complaint against Mr. Chauvin did not identify any specific motive for officers to kill Mr. Floyd, which essentially ruled out stronger murder charges.

Third-degree murder does not require an intent to kill, according to the Minnesota statute, only that the perpetrator caused someone’s death in a dangerous act “without regard for human life.” Second-degree manslaughter requires prosecutors to prove that Mr. Chauvin was so negligent as to create an “unreasonable risk,” and consciously took the chance that his actions would cause Mr. Floyd to be severely harmed or die.

The charges facing Mr. Chauvin are similar to another fatal case involving a Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor, who was convicted in the 2017 shooting death of an unarmed woman, Justine Ruszczyk.

Professor Frase said the case against Mr. Chauvin appeared to be even stronger than the one brought against Mr. Noor, who was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

In that case, Professor Frase said, the officer had seemingly panicked and fired a single shot. “There’s a question of whether he even had time to be reckless,” he said, referring to Mr. Noor. “Here, there’s eight minutes.”

The statement, which was written by Michelle M. Frascone, a special agent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, also describes how officers, including Mr. Chauvin, had come in contact with Mr. Floyd on Monday evening after responding to a report of someone trying to make a purchase at a store with a fake $20 bill.

Two officers approached Mr. Floyd, a former high school sports star who worked as a bouncer at a restaurant in Minneapolis, as he sat in a car not far from the store, the probable cause statement said. Mr. Floyd, who was in a car with two other people, was ordered out and arrested. But when the officers began to move him toward a squad car, he “stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic,” the statement issued by prosecutors said.

When two other officers arrived, including Mr. Chauvin, the officers “made several attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the back seat” of a squad car, while Mr. Floyd “struggled with the officers by intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still,” the statement said.

While still standing, Mr. Floyd began to say he could not breathe, the document said.

Around 8:19 p.m., Mr. Chauvin placed his knee onto Mr. Floyd’s neck area, holding him on the ground while another officer held his legs. At times, Mr. Floyd pleaded, saying, “I can’t breathe,” “please” and “mama.”

“You are talking fine,” the officers said as Mr. Floyd moved back and forth on the ground, according to the probable cause statement.

At 8:24 p.m., Mr. Floyd grew still, the statement said. A minute later, one of the other officers checked his wrist for a pulse but could not find one. Mr. Chauvin continued to hold his knee down on Mr. Floyd’s neck until 8:27, according to the statement.

Read the criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin

Every Person Arrested In Saint Paul Last Night Was From Out Of State, Mayor Says

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, along with mayors Jacob Frey and Melvin Carter, on Saturday condemned violent protests in the state, blaming organized outside groups for promoting unrest, while also announcing that they will fully mobilize the Minnesota national guard.

“Lets be very clear, the situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd,” Walz said in a press conference. The violent unrest has now turned into attacks on civil society, “instilling fear and disrupting our great city.”

“I want to be very, very clear: The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey added. “They are coming in largely from outside of the city, from outside of the region, to prey on everything we have built over the last several decades.”

According to Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, every person arrested in the city last night was from out of state: “We don’t know these folks,” he reiterated.

Walz, who also announced that he would fully mobilize the Minnesota national guard for the first time in 164 years, called the unrest “an organized attempt to destabilize civil society with no regard for civil life or property.”

“That situation can be expected to deteriorate further with these people,” Walz said, adding that violent protestors are being fed professional tactics in urban warfare by outside groups.

The dynamic has changed over the last couple days, Walz, Carter and Frey said. Protests gradually shifted from being peaceful on Tuesday, but as more people came from outside of the city, they’ve turned increasingly violent in recent days.

“Our great cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are under assault by people who do not share our values, who do not value life and the work that went into this, and certainly who are not here to honor George Floyd,” Walz said. “So if you are on the streets tonight, it is very clear: You are not with us.”

“This is no longer about protesting… This is about violence and we need to make sure that it stops,” Frey said. “We’re in the middle of a pandemic right now.” The protection of citizens and property is the top priority, Walz and Frey confirmed on Saturday.

CHAOS DESCENDS UPON AMERICA

SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz summed-up the current chaos erupting nationwide perfectly:

“This is absolutely no longer about George Floyd or addressing inequities anymore. This is an organized attack designed to destabilize civil society.”

Protests raged overnight in dozens of U.S. cities, including Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., New York City, Atlanta, Houston, and several large metro areas on the West Coast.

Protests or social unrest was seen in these major metros on Friday night:

  • Houston & Fort Worth, TX
  • NYC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Washington D.C.
  • Detroit, MI
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Vegas, NV
  • Charlotte, NC
  • San Jose, CA
  • Boston, MA
  • Memphis, TN
  • Columbus, OH
  • Denver, CO
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Portland, ME
  • Louisville, KY

Starting in Minneapolis, where unrest continued into the fourth night following the death of George Floyd, a man who was killed by Minneapolis Police on Monday, had Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Jon Jensen and Governor Tim Walz announce the request for 1,000 more soldiers from the National Guard as widespread rioting and looting continued.

“This is the largest civilian deployment in Minnesota history that we have out there today, and quite candidly right now, we do not have the numbers,” Walz said Saturday morning.” We cannot arrest people when we are trying to hold ground because of the sheer size, the dynamics, and wanton violence.”

Jensen expects by Saturday evening, up to 1,700 soldiers will be “ready to go.” On Friday night, assault rifle-wielding soldiers were spotted on the streets within the ranks of local police.

Minneapolis protest May 29. h/t Unicorn Riot

A fleet of armored Humvees lined the street “on Chicago Ave in between Lake St. and 31st as firefighters battle raging fires 8 blocks from where George Floyd was killed,” tweeted Unicorn Riot.

Minneapolis protest May 29. h/t Unicorn Riot

Protesters appeared to have torched a Wells Fargo bank.

 

Building structure(s) are still on fire on Saturday morning.

Chaos and destruction continue into the weekend.

Scenes last night from Interstate 35W, a major highway system in the U.S. that passes through downtown Minneapolis, where protesters broke into a moving UPS truck and stole packages.

In response to Washington, D.C. protests on Friday evening, President Trump thanked the Secret Service on Saturday morning for protecting the White house.

“Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action,” President Trump tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Treasury Department in DC was breached by rioters, who spray-painted the building. According to CNN, some of the protesters were stopped by US Secret Service but eventually let go.

Down in Atlanta, CNN’s headquarters were attacked by protesters on Friday evening.

h/t Ryan Maue May 29

h/t Ryan Maue May 29

Several stunning images of the unrest in Atlanta last night.

h/t Twitter handle kieroncg May 29

An angry mob lit NYPD Police vans on fire last night:

h/t Twitter May 29

Rioting in Brooklyn overnight.

From Houston to Phoenix to Portland, police forces have reported widespread social unrest.

As things spiral out of control, two Federal Protective Service officers suffered gunshot wounds in Oakland, California, last night, leaving one of them dead.

Oakland was crazy in the overnight, one protester stole a skid loader tractor and drove it down the street.

Protesters clashed with police in Oakland.

Protesters looting a car dealership in Oakland.

Several years ago, US Northern Command “rehearsed non-lethal riot control tactics” at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. Perhaps preparation for widespread social unrest across the country. The government has known this day was coming…

US Northern Command training for riots in 2018

President Trump signed an executive order in late March that allows the Pentagon to mobilize up to a million troops to combat the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The order could now be directed at social unrest. It’s only a matter of time before more state governors activate National Guard troops like Minnesota did early this week.

We were the first to note Friday, the federal government flew a military drone above Minneapolis to spy on protesters.

A perfect storm develops: 40 million unemployed, economy crashed, record polarization and wealth inequality at extremes, the country is quickly descending into chaos into the summer months. So what happens when the government stops unleashing helicopter money for people who recently lost their jobs?

The 10:09 Video That Set Minneapolis On Fire

[It is almost impossible to watch the shocking 10:09 murder video in full,  so here is the shortened version, followed by link to full Facebook video.]

[SHORTENED YOUTUBE VERSION OF GEORGE FLOYD MURDER VIDEO]

[Full video on Facebook an unbelievable 10:09 minutes long]

New Security Video Shows Events Leading Up To George Floyd’s Arrest | NBC News NOW

NBC News obtained over 60 minutes of security footage from a nearby restaurant showing some of the events leading up to George Floyd’s arrest and eventual death. Some of the footage shows two officers arriving at the scene around 8 p.m., removing a man later identified as George Floyd from a car parked on the street, handcuffing and questioning him before eventually walking him across the street as another police car arrives.

Viral stupidity is no joke anymore.

We all had a good laugh — or rather, most of us did — in late 2015 when a Public Policy Polling survey of 1,057 likely voters in the presidential primary found that 41% of supporters of Republican front-runner Donald Trump favored the idea of bombing Agrabah, the fictional Arab city in Disney’s 1992 animated movie “Aladdin.”

That was some grade-A, knee-jerk, bellicose racism on display there! Revealing, to be sure, and bit frightening, but inconsequential outside of the cartoon universe.

Less amusing and more alarming is news of last week’s Yahoo News/YouGov poll of 1,640 Americans showing that 44% of Republicans and 50% of those who get most of their TV news from conservative Fox News believe that Microsoft founder Bill Gates “wants to use a mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 to implant microchips that would be used to track people with a digital ID.”

The very idea is all kinds of crazy. First, anything small enough to be surreptitiously and safely injected into a person’s veins would have no independent transmitting power. And second, nearly all of us already willingly carry digital tracking devices with us in the form of cellular telephones. Big Tech already knows where most of us are most of the time.

And it reflects a level of paranoia that will make it difficult to impossible for our population to achieve general immunity to COVID-19 should a vaccine be developed.

Will you get the shot? In that same poll, only 50% of respondents said yes. Overall, 73% said they were at least somewhat concerned with the safety of a fast-tracked vaccine (understandable!) and only 42% said they trusted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health officials to “judge the risks of vaccines.”

similar poll of 1,056 adults conducted May 14-18 by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago found just 49% of respondents saying they planned to get a COVID-19 vaccine if one becomes available.

This is well below the 70% to 90% of the population that the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimates needs to be vaccinated or to have already recovered from an infectious disease for the population to achieve “herd immunity” that severely limits contagion and reduces risks of new infection.

Along those lines, 79% of the respondents to the AP-NORC poll said they thought it was important for a vaccine to be publicly available “before restrictions on social and economic activities” are lifted.

You can’t blame this grim paradox on President Trump. He’s been talking up the promise of a vaccine since at least March 2, when he expressed the hope that one would be available “in the next few months” to put and end to this crisis. And I can find no record of him or his sycophants at Fox News promoting anti-vaxx conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and tracking chips.

In fact, you can’t blame just Republicans. The Yahoo/YouGov poll found 19% of Democrats believe the wacko Bill Gates theory, including 15% of those who get most of their TV news from liberal MSNBC. Will Democrats get the shot if a vaccine becomes available? Only 64% said yes (compared with 43% of Republicans). And just 55% said they trust the CDC to judge vaccines (compared with 33% of Republicans).

Going back to 2015 and the poll question about bombing Agrabah, nearly 1 in 5 supporters of then-Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton took the magic carpet ride of ignorance and indicated their support for laying waste that make-believe city.

And the recent Yahoo/YouGov poll found 58% of Democrats but just 33% of Republicans agreeing with the currently false assertion that “coronavirus-related deaths have surged in states like Florida, Georgia and Texas which have reopened their economies.”

Truth isn’t the only weapon we’ll need to vanquish this virus, but without it we’re in for a much longer and deadlier slog.

Twitter @EricZorn

Eric Zorn is an op-ed columnist for the Chicago Tribune with a liberal/progressive bent who specializes in local news and politics. He’s married with three adult children, lives on the Northwest Side of Chicago and is a regular panelist on “The Mincing Rascals,” an award-winning news-talk podcast. He’s also a pretty good square-dance fiddler.

US Predator Drone Circles Minneapolis Following Trump’s ‘Shooting Starts’ Tweet

Publicly available flight data shows that a Predator drone belonging to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) departed North Dakota’s Grand Forks Air Force Base on Friday and traveled around the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, on a hexagonal flight path before leaving the state.

The ADB-S Exchange, an online, publicly available flight-tracking tool built on open-source software, revealed that an aircraft labeled “CBP104” took particular interest in Minneapolis on May 29 and hovered around the embattled city.

Investigative reporter Jason Paladino, of the watchdog group Project on Government Oversight, first called attention to the seemingly unusual flight path and identified the aircraft as a MQ-1 Predator drone.

Sputnik confirmed the flight path of CBP104 was accurately depicted, according to ADB-S Exchange data.

Flight path of CBP104 on May 29, 2020, as shown by the ADB-S Exchange.
SPUTNIK SCREENSHOT  Flight path of “CBP104” on May 29, 2020, as shown by the ADB-S Exchange.

Friday evening, the CBP released a statement, noting that the drone was deployed to “provide live video to aid in situational awareness at the request of our federal law enforcement partners in Minneapolis.”

However, “[a]fter arriving into the Minneapolis airspace, the requesting agency determined that the aircraft was no longer needed for operational awareness and departed back to Grand Forks.”

The Predator drone’s trip from North Dakota to Minnesota comes after US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce that he would support the shooting of American citizens as a response to looting in Minneapolis.

Twitter’s decision to flag the president’s provocative tweet led him to issue another post, which called for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to be revoked.

On Thursday, US Attorney General William Barr noted that Trump’s recent executive order regarding social media companies would have no impact on Section 230, which says that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

Following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd at the hands of police after a Monday arrest, protests and riots have broken out in the city. Amid lockdowns and constant media coverage, this has led to a national conversation in the US surrounding police brutality, racism and justice.

It was announced Friday afternoon that ex-Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the force, had been arrested and charged with third-degree murder in connection to Floyd’s death.

Though some view the arrest and charge as a step toward justice, Dr. Phil Stinson, the principal investigator for the Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database, told Sputnik on Thursday that it is possible that the Minneapolis Police Department may impede the ongoing investigation, as it reportedly did when it came to the case of Mohamed Noor.

On the state level, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called upon the National Guard to assist with protecting peaceful protesters and guarding local businesses from looters. Some have viewed the governor’s contact of the military force as a potentially fatal escalation of policing in the city.

The Lid Comes-Off the American Pandora’s Box, “See the violence inherent in the system!”

George Floyd protests live updates: Anger floods cities across the US; Pentagon could order military police to Minneapolis, report says

White House briefly locked down as unrest spreads to Atlanta, DC, NYC after George Floyd death

Scenes from a country in free fall.

A demonstrator in Minneapolis injured by rubber bullets during protests Thursday over the death of George Floyd.
Credit…Carlos Barria/Reuters

The last two and a half months in America have felt like the opening montage in a dystopian film about a nation come undone. First the pandemic hit and hospitals in New York City were overwhelmed. The national economy froze and unemployment soared; one in four American workers has applied for unemployment benefits since March. Lines of cars stretched for miles at food banks. Heavily armed lockdown protesters demonstrated across the country; in Michigan, they forced the Capitol to close and legislators to cancel their session. Nationwide, at least 100,000 people died of a disease almost no one had heard of last year.

Then, this week, a Minneapolis police officer was filmed kneeling on the neck of a black man named George Floyd. As the life went out of him, Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe, echoing the last words of Eric Garner, whose 2014 death at the hands of New York policemen helped catalyze the Black Lives Matter movement. Floyd’s death came only days after three Georgia men were arrested on charges of pursuing and killing a young black man, Ahmaud Arbery, whom they saw out running. A prosecutor had initially declined to charge the men on the grounds that their actions were legal under the state’s self-defense laws.

In Minneapolis protesters poured into the streets, where they met a far harsher police response than anything faced by the country’s gun-toting anti-lockdown activists. On Wednesday night, peaceful demonstrations turned into riots, and on Thursday Minnesota’s governor called in the National Guard.

For a moment, it seemed as if the blithe brutality of Floyd’s death might check the worst impulses of the president and his Blue Lives Matter supporters. The authorities were forced to act: All four of the policemen involved were fired, police chiefs across the country condemned them and William Barr’s Justice Department promised a federal investigation that would be a “top priority.” Even Donald Trump, who has encouraged police brutality in the past, described what happened to Floyd as a “very, very bad thing.”

But on Thursday night, after a county prosecutor said his office was still determining if the four policemen had committed a crime, the uprising in Minneapolis was reignited, and furious people burned a police precinct. (One of the officers was arrested and charged with third-degree murder on Friday.) On Twitter, an addled Trump threatened military violence against those he called “THUGS,” writing, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Whether Trump knew it or not, he was quoting a racist phrase from the 1960s used by George Wallace, among others. The president later tried to tamp down outrage by saying he was just warning of danger — the Trump campaign has hoped, after all, to peel off some black voters from the Democrats — but his meaning was obvious enough. This is the same president who on Thursday tweeted out a video of a supporter saying, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”

The Trump presidency has been marked by shocking spasms of right-wing violence: the white nationalist riot in Charlottesville, Va., the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the mass shooting targeting Latinos in El Paso. But even as the country has simmered and seethed, there hasn’t been widespread disorder. Now, though, we might be at the start of a long, hot summer of civil unrest.

So many things make America combustible right now: mass unemployment, a pandemic that’s laid bare murderous health and economic inequalities, teenagers with little to do, police violence, right-wingers itching for a second civil war and a president eager to pour gasoline on every fire. “I think we’re indeed in a moment where things are going to get a lot more tense before they get more peaceful,” said the University of Michigan historian Heather Ann Thompson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her 2016 book “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.”

Already the Minneapolis protests have spread to other cities. On Thursday night, someone fired a gun near a crowd of demonstrators in Denver and more than 40 people were arrested in New York City. Seven people were shot at a protest in Louisville, Ky., where crowds had turned out to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, an unarmed black woman who was shot by police in her own apartment in March.

These demonstrations were sparked by specific instances of police violence, but they also take place in a context of widespread health and economic devastation that’s been disproportionately borne by people of color, especially those who are poor. “Sociologists have studied collective behavior, urban unrest for decades, and I think it’s safe to say that the consensus view is that it’s never just about a precipitating incident that resulted in the unrest,” Darnell Hunt, dean of social sciences at U.C.L.A., told me. “It’s always a collection of factors that make the situation ripe for collective behavior, unrest and mobilization.”

Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s progressive attorney general, told me that lately, when he goes out walking or running in Minneapolis, he feels a “coiled sort of anxiousness ready to spring.” Many people, he said, “have been cooped up for two months, and so now they’re in a different space and a different place. They’re restless. Some of them have been unemployed, some of them don’t have rent money, and they’re angry, they’re frustrated.”

That frustration is likely to build, because the economic ruin from the pandemic is just beginning. In some states, moratoriums on evictions have ended or will soon. The expanded unemployment benefits passed by Congress as part of the CARES Act run out at the end of July. State budgets have been ravaged, and Republicans in Washington have so far refused to come to states’ aid, meaning we’ll likely soon see painful cutbacks in public jobs and services.

“Where people are broke, and there doesn’t appear to be any assistance, there’s no leadership, there’s no clarity about what is going to happen, this creates the conditions for anger, rage, desperation and hopelessness, which can be a very volatile combination,” said Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor of African-American studies at Princeton. “I would not at all be surprised to see this kind of reaction elsewhere over the course of the next several months.”

But if America feels like a tinderbox at the moment, it’s not just because of pressure coming from the dispossessed. On Wednesday, the journalists Robert Evans and Jason Wilson published a fascinating and disturbing look at the “boogaloo” movement — “an extremely online update of the militia movement” — on the investigative website Bellingcat. “The ‘boogaloo Bois’ expect, even hope, that the warmer weather will bring armed confrontations with law enforcement, and will build momentum towards a new civil war in the United States,” Evans and Wilson write. They add, “In a divided, destabilized post-coronavirus landscape, they could well contribute to widespread violence in the streets of American cities.”

The boogaloo movement’s surreal iconography includes Hawaiian shirts — often mixed with combat gear — and igloos. (The idea is that “luau” and “igloo” sound like “boogaloo.”) People associated with the subculture had a significant presence at the lockdown protests, but some, motivated by hatred of the police and a love of bedlam, took part in the Minneapolis demonstrations as well. (According to Evans and Wilson, while much of boogaloo culture is steeped in white supremacy, there’s a “very active struggle within some parts of this movement as to whether or not their dreamed-of uprising will be based in bigotry.”) Ellison told me he saw boogaloo bois holding a flag with an igloo on it at the Wednesday night protest in Minneapolis.

Most American presidents, faced with such domestic instability, would seek de-escalation. This is one reason civil unrest, for all the damage it can cause to communities where it breaks out, has often led to reform. Change has come, said Thompson, when activists have “created a situation where the people in power actually had to act in order to bring back some meaningful public peace.”

Now, however, we have a president who doesn’t much care about warding off chaos. “In every other time when protest has reached a fever pitch because injustices very much needed to be remedied, the country ultimately tried to find a new equilibrium, tried to address it enough to reach some sort of peace,” said Thompson. “We now have a leadership that’s been crystal clear that it’s perfectly OK if we descend into utter civil war.”

Some of the tropes are familiar, but we haven’t seen this movie before. No one knows how dark things could get, only that, in the Trump era, scenes that seem nightmarish one day come to look almost normal the next.

“When the looting starts, the shooting starts,”–Donald Trump

Twitter adds unprecedented warning to Trump tweet threatening to shoot Minneapolis protesters

‘This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence,’ message reads

Twitter has added an unprecedented warning to a Trump tweet, warning users that the post “glorifies violence”.

The message was added to a post in which Mr Trump seemed to threaten that people protesting against the death of an unarmed black man in custody could be shot.

“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence,” the message reads. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

The decision comes as Mr Trump signed a new executive order on social networks. Mr Trump’s announcement that social media companies would be more strictly regulated came after Twitter placed a different warning on another of his posts, which fact-checked the claim that mail-in voting would lead to widespread fraud.

Adding the warning is likely to cause yet more animosity between Twitter and Mr Trump, who has ramped up his attacks on the social network since the fact-checking messages were displayed.

It is the first time that Twitter has applied such a warning to the president’s tweets. Twitter has said in the past that other potentially violent tweets – such as posts appearing to threaten North Korea with nuclear war – would stay visible on the site becuase they are “newsworthy”, despite the fact they would otherwise be judged to have broken the sites rules.

As well as showing a message above the tweet whenever it appears in a users’ feed, the decision means that people will not be able to reply or retweet the post.

“We have placed a public interest notice on this Tweet from Donald Trump,” Twitter said in a post on its ​official feed.

“This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.

“We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance.

Twitter’s thread was retweeted by chief executive Jack Dorsey, who is reported to have been consulted on the plan to add the warning before it happened.

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right,” he wrote.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

Protests first erupted on Tuesday, a day after George Floyd’s death in a confrontation with police which was captured on a widely seen video.

On the footage, Mr Floyd can be seen pleading as Officer Derek Chauvin presses his knee against him.

As minutes pass, Mr Floyd slowly stops talking and moving. The 3rd Precinct covers the portion of south Minneapolis where Mr Floyd was arrested.

Minnesota governor Tim Walz earlier activated the US National Guard at the Minneapolis mayor’s request, but it was not immediately clear when and where the Guard was being deployed, and none could be seen during protests in Minneapolis or neighbouring St Paul.

The Guard tweeted minutes after the precinct burned that it had activated more than 500 soldiers across the metro area.

The National Guard said a “key objective” was to make sure fire departments could respond to calls, and said in a follow-up tweet it was “here with the Minneapolis Fire Department” to assist.

But no move was made to put out the 3rd Precinct fire. Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Tyner said fire crews could not safely respond to fires at the precinct station and some surrounding buildings.

Earlier on Thursday, dozens of businesses across the Twin Cities boarded up their windows and doors in an effort to prevent looting, with Minneapolis-based Target announcing it was temporarily closing two dozen nearby stores.

Riots In Midwestern Cities Over Racial Killings/Lockdown Tensions

South Minneapolis still burning Friday morning after night of protests, riots over death of George Floyd

7 shot during protests in Louisville, police say

At least one person was described as being in critical condition. The shooting did not involve police, but occurred amid protests.

By Phil Helsel and Dennis Romero

Seven people were shot in Louisville, Kentucky, one of whom was in critical condition, during protests that turned violent Thursday night, police said.

Circumstances of the shootings were not immediately clear, and a police spokesman called the situation downtown fluid early Friday.

Officers were not involved in the shootings, Police Sgt. Lamont Washington said.

No other details were immediately available from police. Mayor Greg Fischer said in a video statement early Friday that seven people were shot “from within the crowd” and no police officers fired their weapons. Five were in good condition, two were sent to surgery, he said, adding “my prayers are with all of them.”

The violence happened as hundreds had gathered to protest the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old woman who was killed by Louisville police this spring.

“What we are seeing tonight in this community is the obvious frustration of the tension between police and residents,” police special adviser Jessie Halladay said earlier in a video call.

“What started out as a peaceful protest earlier this evening is now escalating into property damage, more aggressive action, and we’ve just heard reports of shots fired in the crowd,” she said at the time. She said that in addition to property damage bottles had been thrown at officers.

The Louisville crowd had gathered to decry the death of Taylor, who was fatally shot by Louisville police during a raid at her home in the early-morning hours of March 13.

Trump/Pompeo Strong-Arms Liberian Govt. To Block Greek-Owned Tankers Delivering To Venezuela

One Iranian Tanker In Venezuelan Waters, While 4 More Watch From African Coast

US disrupts Iranian fuel deliveries to Venezuela, official says

Iran and Venezuela attempted to outmaneuver American sanctions by establishing a new oil partnership.

Two Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned ships that “were en route to Venezuela carrying Iranian fuel, scrapped their deliveries after the U.S. threatened sanctions,” a senior U.S. official told Fox News.

First reported by The Wall Street Journal, the ships were expected to arrive in Venezuela as the final delivery in a previously planned five-oil-tanker shipment, an effort that the Venezuelan regime has said is a partnership to thwart the American sanctions.

“The Iranian oil tankers arriving in Venezuela are nothing but a distraction from the real problems facing Maduro,” a spokesperson from the State Department told Fox News. “These shipments will do nothing to help Venezuelans, they will only help prop up the former Maduro regime for a little while longer.”

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said in a televised address: “We are two rebel revolutionary peoples that are never going to kneel before North American imperialism.”

But the Greek-owned ships would have been unable to access international banking and maritime insurance had they carried out the shipment.

U.S. officials have been in direct communication with the ships, which are no longer heading to Venezuala but heading south off the coast of Senegal near Liberia, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The State Department’s Iran Action Group reportedly contacted the Liberian government, to which the two ships are registered, to warn them against sanctions. The Liberian government immediately revoked the ships’ accreditation.

The two Greek firms that own the ships were also threatened with U.S. sanctions and legal action, at which point the two ships abandoned the course, according to The Journal.

The U.S. has been increasing its efforts in pressuring both nations with sanctions.

“We will continue to use the full weight of United States’ economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy,” the State Department spokesperson told Fox News.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that the U.S. will be removing all sanction waivers that allowed Chinese, European and Russian companies to work with Iranian nuclear sites without falling target to existing U.S. sanctions on Iran.

President Trump has also increased sanctions on Venezuela, drastically affecting its oil production.

According to experts, the oil shipments were only expected to satisfy Venezuelan demand for a couple of weeks.

“Iranian gas cannot prevent the inevitable: a democratic transition that restores prosperity to Venezuela,” the State Department spokesperson said.

They Have Murdered the National Economy, When They Only Had To Protect the Sick and the Elderly

COVID-19 Targets the Elderly. Why Don’t Our Prevention Efforts?

Feud over Stanford coronavirus study: ‘The authors owe us all an apology’

Nearly every Mass. coronavirus death was patient with underlying medical condition, data shows

NIAID-RML

Frank O’Laughlin

BOSTON (WHDH) – Nearly every coronavirus-related death in Massachusetts has been a patient with an underlying health condition or previous hospitalization, Massachusetts health data shows.

RELATED: More than half of Massachusetts’ coronavirus deaths have been nursing home residents

Data from deaths following completed investigations indicate 98.1 percent (1,289) of people who died after contracting the disease had an underlying condition, such as chronic lung disease, serious heart ailments, obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or liver disease.

Individuals who have been hospitalized at any point in time are also dying at an alarming rate. Fifty-nine percent (1,777) of the state’s 3,003 total deaths include people who have spent time in the hospital prior to contracting coronavirus.

The data also shows that males and females are equally susceptible to getting infected. There have been 1,503 females (50.3 percent) who have died from coronavirus. It has claimed the lives of 1,487 (49.7% percent) males.

RELATED: Simulator shows thousands more could die of COVID-19 in Mass. if stay-at-home

Those who are 80 years of age or older have been dying at the highest rate. There have been 1,905 (63 percent) reported deaths in that age group.

Middlesex County has recorded the most deaths with 700 fatalities.

Jim Stone Reports Corrects Post On Minneapolis Riots

[Report Still Stands, only error made in debunking video by GAS/COFFEE SIGN.  Cop and victim both reportedly worked security at same nightclub.–ed.]

COP AND DECEASED WERE BOUNCERS AT THE SAME NIGHT CLUB

MAJOR ERROR

Many readers likely saw a picture I had posted that had the gas station in the background showing diesel at 99 cents a gallon. Though at one time it was that low, and in various parts of Minnesota it is still below $2, the picture was an error caused by low video resolution. I got onto Google maps to double check the gas station in the video, and in street view it does not say diesel, it says coffee. So Speedy puts ONE gas price, and the price of coffee on their sign. I have not seen that done before.The rest of the post was legit, where nothing in the video made sense but right when I had taken it down and had it cached in “cut” so I could remove the error and re-post, there was a power outage and I lost the entire thing. I am looking into other anomalies now.

 

I removed the “diesel price” post because it was an error (at least a good enough debunk came out for me to pull it.

I am skeptical. I think it was legit but I am not going to argue with a debunk that could end up being real.

Radio Frequency ID Chips Do Not Track You…Your Cellphone Tracks You

Microchips Inserted via Vaccine Would Be a Terrible Way to Track People

A woman wearing sunglasses and a mask
A woman wears a mask that reads “Don’t give Gates a chance. Don’t pay the bill” during a protest against lockdown measures and other government coronavirus policies on May 16 in Berlin.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

This article is part of Privacy in the Pandemic, a Future Tense series.

The coronavirus pandemic has spawned a glut of conspiracy theories as nefarious actors work to capitalize on people’s fear and anxiety, further dividing us through bot accounts. Some of these theories center on Bill Gates, who’s been funding quite a bit of coronavirus vaccine research.

Gates has long been a target of conspiracy theories, but the pandemic seems to have ratcheted it up a notch. Yahoo News and YouGov recently polled U.S. adults on their coronavirus beliefs and found that only 40 percent of respondents believe it’s false that “Bill Gates wants to use a mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 to implant microchips in people that would be used to track people with a digital ID.” The other 60 percent say it’s true or are “not sure.”

The same principles hold true for biohackers, a dedicated subculture of body modification enthusiasts who inject chips for fun. A few years ago, I interviewed several of these “cyborgs,” who said that it’s a cool party trick but they wished the chips were more versatile. The vast majority of these chips use RFID technology, the same thing that allows you to wave your card over a reader at a store instead of swiping it. The implanted chips can unlock doors with digital locks or serve as a digital business card if an associate scans your hand, but their use is only available if someone is up close to you and knows exactly where to scan. Even worse, they go on the fritz within a few years, and given chips’ limited abilities, many people don’t bother replacing their chip once it stops scanning.

In dogs or humans, these RFID microchips only transmit information; for one to track you, it would also need to receive information from, say, cell towers, so that it could receive the data to figure out its location, then transmit it back to the tower. That’s also a pretty power-intensive transaction, which means your chip would need some juice from a battery pack. Think about how quickly your phone dies when trying to find cell service in a spotty area. A GPS tracker needs that same amount of power.

That means if you wanted to inject GPS into someone else, you’d also have to inject a battery—which sounds downright unpleasant, if not deadly. Perhaps someone, someday, will figure out how to miniaturize an injectable GPS chip with a battery pack that doesn’t kill its host, but it doesn’t yet exist.

And the ability to get it so small that it fits into a vaccine needle? That’s going to take even longer.

If you’re worried about location tracking, look no further than your cellphone. Phones are bona fide tracking devices; people use their GPS functions all the time to find their friends or map their routes. There are serious, worrisome privacy violations that can come from companies collecting and sharing your GPS data, yet we willingly give up that information daily. As Slate’s politics editor Tom Scocca puts it: “Bill Gates doesn’t have to implant a tracker in you because Steve Jobs got you to buy one yourself.”

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.

Unemployed Americans Have Been Running Out of Food

Poll: 37% of unemployed Americans ran out of food in past month

Oak Park, Ill. — Kate Maehr has never seen anything like it: lines stretching for blocks as people, many with children, inch forward to get boxes of food they hope will last until the next giveaway, until the next paycheck or until they can get government food assistance.

“It’s just heartbreaking,” said Maehr, executive director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “They’re finding themselves in a set of circumstances where they have no income and they also have no food, and it happened in an instant.”

The number of people seeking help from her organization and affiliated food pantries has surged 60% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down the nation’s economy and thrown tens of millions of people out of work. Across the country, worries about having enough to eat are adding to the anxiety of millions of people, according to a survey that found 37% of unemployed Americans ran out of food in the past month and 46% said they worried about running out.

Even those who are working often struggle. Two in 10 working adults said that in the past 30 days, they ran out of food before they could earn enough money to buy more. One-quarter worried that would happen.

Those results come from the second wave of the COVID Impact Survey, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for the Data Foundation. The survey aims to provide an ongoing assessment of the nation’s mental, physical and financial health during the pandemic.

There is no parallel in U.S. history for the suddenness or severity of the economic collapse, which has cost more than 36 million jobs since the virus struck. The nationwide unemployment rate was 14.7% in April, the highest since the Great Depression. While many Americans believe they will be working in the coming months, unemployed Americans – those most likely to report running out of food – aren’t as optimistic.

Overall, those who are still working are highly confident they will have a job in one month and in three months, with more than 8 in 10 saying it’s very likely. But among those who aren’t working because they are temporarily laid off, providing care during the pandemic or looking for work, just 28% say it is highly likely that they will be employed in 30 days and 46% say it’s highly likely they’ll be working in three months. Roughly another quarter say it’s somewhat likely in 30 days and 90 days.

The likelihood of unemployed people returning to work depends heavily on whether states can restart their economies without creating new surges in COVID-19 infections, said Gabriel Ehrlich, an economic forecaster at the University of Michigan. He said most layoffs are expected to be temporary. But he worries that many small businesses will fail while fewer new ones take their place, and that state and local governments won’t get federal help to avoid furloughs.

“The most important thing driving what happens to the economy is the course of disease. Do people feel safe? Are they safe?” Ehrlich said. “We’re hoping we’ve seen the worst.”

Kim Scanland, from the Detroit suburb of Lincoln Park, said she and her husband are managing to get by on unemployment benefits for now.

Scanland, 49, was laid off in mid-March from her job testing students’ hearing and vision in Wayne County and isn’t sure if or when she will go back. Her husband, 50, lost his job at a steel plant when it closed for good last month. That could make it challenging for him to find work, she said, “because there’s a lot of people that are gonna be looking for jobs.”

Their church has asked if the family needs help with food, “but we don’t want to take it away from others,” said Scanland. “We know how to pinch pennies when we have to.”

Cassandra Humphrey of Chicago said she began going to food giveaways to help feed her family after recently quitting a job at a drug store because she didn’t feel management was taking precautions against the virus. She feared contracting it and spreading it to others.

“No masks and people were coming to work sick,” said Humphrey, as she drove through a food distribution site Thursday on the city’s West Side. “My mother is 80 and I just wanted to make sure she was safe.”

Perhaps most troubling about the current crisis is the higher need among people of color and the surge in children going hungry, said Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The COVID Impact Survey found that about one-third of black Americans and Hispanic Americans said it was often or sometimes true in the past 30 days that food bought didn’t last and there was not enough money for more, compared with about 1 in 10 white Americans. Black and Hispanic Americans also were roughly twice as likely as white Americans to report feeling worried about depleting their food supply.

Some 40% of Americans in households earning less than $50,000 annually said they were at least sometimes worried about running out of food and 33% said that happened often or sometimes in the past 30 days. Americans in households with children were especially likely to report running out of food (31%) and feeling worried about that happening (36%).

“The inequities and inequalities that were preexisting have just been made worse by this whole experience,” Dean said. “It’s deeply, deeply troubling that so many … are in absolute crisis.”

When Economic Order Ends and Government Stimulus Runs-Out

[SEE: COVID-19: FORCE MAJEURE EVENT? ; 30-50% Unemployment…This Country Will Explode ]

The economic downturn is shaping up to be particularly devastating for renters, who are more likely to be lower-income and work hourly jobs cut during the pandemic.

Sandy Naffah in her apartment in Euclid, Ohio, with her dog, Shadow. Ms. Naffah is worried about eviction after losing two part-time jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Credit…Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

By

EUCLID, Ohio — The United States, already wrestling with an economic collapse not seen in a generation, is facing a wave of evictions as government relief payments and legal protections run out for millions of out-of-work Americans who have little financial cushion and few choices when looking for new housing.

The hardest hit are tenants who had low incomes and little savings even before the pandemic, and whose housing costs ate up more of their paychecks. They were also more likely to work in industries where job losses have been particularly severe.

Temporary government assistance has helped, as have government orders that put evictions on hold in many cities. But evictions will soon be allowed in about half of the states, according to Emily A. Benfer, a housing expert and associate professor at Columbia Law School who is tracking eviction policies.

“I think we will enter into a severe renter crisis and very quickly,” Professor Benfer said. Without a new round of government intervention, she added, “we will have an avalanche of evictions across the country.”

That means more and more families may soon experience the dreaded eviction notice on the front door, the stomach-turning knock from sheriff’s deputies, the possessions piled up on the sidewalk. They will face displacement at a time when people are still being urged to stay at home to keep themselves and their communities safe.

That fear has been eating away at Sandy Naffah ever since she lost her income as the virus led to economic shutdowns. Ms. Naffah, who had been juggling two part-time jobs — teaching elementary school students how to read and working as a beauty consultant at a mall — quickly fell behind on the $800 she pays in rent each month for a one-bedroom apartment in Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

She is now staring down a precarious future, desperately hoping that a one-off federal stimulus check and unemployment benefits — which she said she had yet to receive — will keep her afloat and stave off eviction.

“It’s a ticking clock,” she said. “I can’t continue to go on this way, otherwise I will be out on the street.”

In many places, the threat has already begun. The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that evictions could begin again in the nation’s second-largest state. In the Oklahoma City area, sheriffs apologetically announced that they planned to start enforcing eviction notices this week. And a handful of states, like Ohio, had few statewide protections in place to begin with, leaving residents particularly vulnerable as eviction cases stacked up or ticked forward during the pandemic.

ImageMs. Naffah’s empty mailbox. She checks every day for a government stimulus check she said she had not received.
Credit…Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Christie Wilson, 37, was among them. After fleeing a dangerous relationship, she said, she spent several months sleeping in her car last year before a veterans program helped her pay for a two-bedroom apartment in Decatur, Ga. She had recently become responsible for the rent herself, she said, and had lined up a job at a warehouse.

But after two days on the job, she said, she was laid off as the coronavirus outbreak intensified in March.

A few weeks later, she found an eviction notice on her door. She now fears losing her apartment, where, in the fragile stability of recent months, she has enjoyed small luxuries, like listening to gospel music on her patio in the mornings and spending Mother’s Day in her own home with her teenage son.

The real estate company managing her apartment said that it had followed protocol in filing for eviction, and that employees were working with Ms. Wilson to waive fees and help connect her to nonprofit groups. If she has to move out, she worries she would end up in a homeless shelter, where preliminary testing has shown high rates of infection.

“There would be no six-feet distance — we’d be sleeping on top of each other,” said Ms. Wilson, who is racing to pay back more than $2,000 in back rent before Georgia courts reopen next month.

Though about 90 percent of renters made full or partial rent payments by late May, down only 2 percent from last year, lawyers and landlords alike fear that the trend will not last. More than 38 million people have filed jobless claims since March, including a high proportion of people living in households making less than $40,000 a year. In a survey released this month by the Census Bureau, nearly a quarter of respondents said they missed their last rent or mortgage payment or had little to no confidence that they would be able to pay on time next month.

The devastation has drawn comparisons to the Great Recession, when millions of people lost their homes during a foreclosure crisis. But this time, renters are likely to be on the front lines.

“We sort of expect this to be more of a renter crisis than a homeownership crisis,” said Elora Lee Raymond, an assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology who focuses on affordable housing and real estate.

Even before the current joblessness crisis, eviction was troublingly common in American life. Researchers estimate that about 3.7 million eviction cases were filed in 2016, a year when the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent.

“Now we have 14.7 percent,” said Matthew Desmond, a sociologist at Princeton and the author of the book “Evicted,” who is leading an effort at the university’s Eviction Lab to track cases nationally. Without intervention, he said, “I don’t see how we wouldn’t have a wave of evictions.”

A $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill backed by House Democrats includes a proposal to dedicate $100 billion for rental assistance, a measure that could bring broad relief, but Republicans have criticized the package as too costly, and it is unlikely to pass in its current form.And some argue that the federal government has already intervened effectively, in the form of the stimulus checks and a $600 weekly boost to unemployment payments.

Many low-wage workers are making more money on unemployment than they were when they were working, said Ken Rosen, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “It’s happening, not through the housing system, but through the unemployment compensation system,” he said.

But there is a looming question about what happens next. “People may be paying their rents, but at what cost?” said Tara Raghuveer, the director of KC Tenants, an advocacy group in Kansas City, Mo. “I know several people who are taking out title loans. They are paying their rent on their credit card.”

Credit…Christopher Smith for The New York Times

Many landlords say they are working with their tenants, waiving late fees and advocating the government cover missed rent. “We are in uncharted waters,” said Tom Bannon, chief executive of the California Apartment Association, who added that most landlords were not eager to evict residents when there was little guarantee of a replacement.

Still, landlords have bills to pay, too. When tenants cannot pay their rent, landlords with mortgages remain responsible to the banks, who answer to investors. “I call it the responsibility chain,” Mr. Bannon said. “There is this link, and if there is a break in the link, the ripple effect is pretty significant.”

Among the first to face eviction have been those who were already struggling before the pandemic.

Stephen Jenkins, 64, was let go from his assembly job in January, making it difficult to pay his $900 monthly rent in Springfield, Ohio. By March, he said, his savings had run out, and he asked his landlord if he could pay late after his Social Security check came through.

His landlord, who declined to comment, filed for eviction.

In the weeks since, Mr. Jenkins said, his wife lost her hostess job at Bob Evans when restaurants shut down. They have not been able to move out as few realtors are showing homes because of the virus.

The stress is giving him health problems, and he is anxiously counting down the days until his eviction hearing, now scheduled for Wednesday.

“I haven’t slept through a night since March,” he said. “I wake up at three or four in the morning worried about what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

Why Does Trump Suddenly Want Combat Troops Home From Afghanistan By Election Day?

President Trump has repeatedly voiced a desire to leave Afghanistan sooner than the timeline laid out in the Feb. 29 peace agreement. He may want to campaign on bringing home every soldier.

American troops during a visit last year by President Trump to Bagram air base outside Kabul.
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and

WASHINGTON — Senior military officials are set to brief President Trump in the coming days on options for pulling all American troops out of Afghanistan, with one possible timeline for withdrawing forces before the presidential election, according to officials with knowledge of the plans.

The proposal for a complete withdrawal by November reflects an understanding among military commanders that such a timeline may be Mr. Trump’s preferred option because it may help bolster his campaign.

But they plan to propose, and to advocate, a slower withdrawal schedule, officials said.

The move is part of the Pentagon’s attempt to avoid another situation like the one in December 2018 and again in October 2019, when Mr. Trump surprised military officials by ordering the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. Diplomatic chaos and violence followed, and the president subsequently modified each announcement. American troops remain in Syria, although in smaller numbers.

Senior military officials believe a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan would effectively doom the peace deal reached this year with the Taliban.

In recent months, Mr. Trump has repeatedly voiced a desire to leave Afghanistan sooner than the timeline laid out in the Feb. 29 peace agreement with the Taliban, which stipulated U.S. troops would leave in 12 to 14 months if the insurgent group met certain conditions.

The Pentagon is expected to try to persuade a commander in chief who has made clear his desire to end America’s involvement in what he has criticized as “endless wars” — and who has regularly surprised the military with his decisions.

The debate also highlights the mounting difficulty facing the February agreement. Political strife, the novel coronavirus and bloody Taliban attacks have almost derailed what little progress has been made since the deal’s signing.

This article is based on conversations with five officials familiar with the debate over the troop withdrawal. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations were intended to be private.

The Pentagon is set to lay out multiple options in the meeting with Mr. Trump.

One would give Mr. Trump the option of pulling all forces from the country before Election Day. But the Pentagon has other options that would withdraw forces more slowly, with one plan sticking close to the current timeline that would keep American forces in the country until May 2021.

Senior officials believe the president may be able to be persuaded that protecting the peace agreement, which his administration sponsored and supports, will require a slower drawdown of forces, to give the Taliban an incentive to reduce attacks.

Defense Department officials are also arguing to the White House that they cannot yet guarantee that Afghanistan will not again become a haven for attacks against the United States. Arguably the only clear-cut condition of the February deal, outlined in one of the secret annexes, is that the Taliban must publicly renounce the Islamic State and Al Qaeda before the full troop withdrawal begins.

There are currently fewer than 12,000 troops in Afghanistan. The U.S.-led mission in the country is in the process of drawing down to 8,600 troops as part of the February agreement. This smaller American contingent will rely heavily on Special Operations forces and joint United States-Afghan cells, known as “regional targeting teams,” that are focused on counterterrorism missions across the country.

“Any reduction under 8,600 U.S. troops will be conditions-based after the U.S. government assesses the security environment and the Taliban’s compliance with the agreement, and in coordination with our NATO allies and partners,” Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

Another factor that has contributed to Mr. Trump’s desire for an early withdrawal is the coronavirus and its unchecked spread throughout Afghanistan after it crossed over the country’s western border from Iran.

The Pentagon believes that at least 50 percent of Afghan security forces most likely have the virus, meaning that any training and joint operations between United States and Afghan forces have been paused, halting a key pillar of the American war effort, especially against Islamic State enclaves in the country’s east. But airstrikes against the group still continue.

As part of the peace agreement, the U.S. military is shutting several bases. But the spread of the coronavirus has also accelerated the closing of smaller Special Operations outposts used by the elite units while operating alongside their Afghan counterparts.

In a statement on Saturday, the Taliban declared a temporary cease-fire for the three days of the Islamic festival Eid al-Fitr, which started on Sunday and marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of daytime fasting.

The Afghan government followed, declaring a cessation of fighting even though officials had recently declared that they were restarting offensive operations after waves of Taliban attacks had killed hundreds of security forces after the February agreement. Sunday’s cease-fire is the second of the entire war. The first, widely praised on all sides and in the international community, was in 2018, also during Eid.

“This development offers the opportunity to accelerate the peace process,” Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States envoy for Afghan peace, said in a statement. “Other positive steps should immediately follow: the release of remaining prisoners as specified in the U.S.-Taliban agreement by both sides, no returning to high levels of violence, and an agreement on a new date for the start of intra-Afghan negotiations.”

The exchange of 6,000 prisoners was one of the first sticking points after the United States-Taliban deal, as it all but forced the Kabul government to release Taliban prisoners even though it was not a signatory of the agreement.

Top American officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have pressured President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan to release the prisoners in the hopes that it would pave the way for the Afghan government to negotiate with the Taliban. Mr. Ghani has ordered their release in a series of groups, as has the Taliban, but after the announced cease-fire, Mr. Ghani pledged to release up to 2,000 more in an attempt to use the three-day cease-fire as a reset for a peace deal that was on the verge of falling apart.

On Tuesday, the Afghan government released 900 Taliban prisoners, the largest in one day since the slow process of prisoner release started and in what Afghan officials described a “good will” move in the hopes the cease-fire could be extended before direct negotiations.

During the closing days of the Obama administration, the Pentagon was also pressing the White House to slow its planned drawdown.

President Barack Obama had been intent on ending the long war in Afghanistan, but the military thought it precipitous. Commanders argued that removing troops would threaten what little progress had been made after years of prolonged fighting, but officials also acknowledged the pause would give the a new president time to reassess options. In October 2015, Mr. Obama halted his drawdown. Mr. Trump and America’s NATO allies ultimately added forces after the Taliban had retaken broad parts of the country.

The current plan of keeping forces in Afghanistan until May 2021 would allow Mr. Trump, if he is re-elected, to re-evaluate his decision to remove troops based on the level of Taliban violence and how well the peace agreement is working. Some American officials also say the political pressure to remove the troops could be different in a second term.

And if Mr. Trump is defeated, a new president may want to reassess whether a continued American troop presence is necessary.

Lisa Maddox, a former C.I.A. analyst, said that cutting short the deployment by only a few months might not seem like a lot, but the current situation in Afghanistan was fragile.

“It sends a message to our Afghan partners that we are running away,” she said. “Extra time allows for better turnover, which is a complicated process given the U.S. government’s involvement in supporting the country’s security and governance.”

Mujib Mashal contributed reporting from Kabul.