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Do You Get The Feeling That Events Happening Now Are Leading Us Into An Endless Global Nightmare?

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

2021 was supposed to be the year that life went back to normal.  Obviously, that is not happening, and so a lot of prominent voices out there are going to be forced to update their narratives.  Global events have really started to accelerate, and so many of the things that the “doom and gloomers” have been warning about are starting to happen right in front of our eyes.

For example, on my websites, I have been talking about Israel a lot in recent months, and now it appears that the region is on the brink of war.  So far, more than 700 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza, but by the time you read this article, that number will probably be even higher.  In response, the IDF has conducted a series of dramatic strikes inside Gaza, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising “to attack harder and increase the pace of attacks”

‘Hamas will be hit in ways that it does not expect,’ Netanyahu said. ‘We have eliminated commanders, hit many important targets and we have decided to attack harder and increase the pace of attacks.’

Joe Biden and other world leaders are begging for peace, but neither side appears to be inclined to back down.

Every time Israel retaliates, Hamas just launches even more rockets at Israeli cities, and they are insisting that this is their “right”

“We have the right to respond to the Israeli offensive and protect the interests of our people as long as the Israeli occupation continues the escalation,” Hamas said in a statement.

So here we go.

As I discussed yesterday, this situation has the potential to get wildly out of control very rapidly.

On Tuesday, the skies above Tel Aviv looked like something out of a science fiction movie as Israel’s Iron Dome intercepted countless incoming rockets from Gaza.  Could you imagine living in fear that a rocket could explode right next to you at any moment?

If that was happening in this country, millions of Americans would be screaming for Biden to nuke somebody.

Meanwhile, the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack has caused massive gasoline shortages up and down the east coast of the United States.  On Tuesday evening, the Drudge Report breathlessly declared that more than 1,000 gas stations had run out of gasoline, and Zero Hedge was reporting that some people were waiting in line for up to five hours in a desperate attempt to fill up their vehicles.

Up until recently, just about the only thing that we were missing from the economy of the 1970s was the long gas lines, but now here we are.

North America’s largest petroleum pipeline has been shut down for just a few days, and now much of the southeastern quadrant of the country is absolutely paralyzed.

Do you think that there is a lesson to be learned here?

Of course, there is.  Once again we see how incredibly vulnerable we are to any sort of a major disruption.  If the unprecedented power grid failure in Texas a few months ago was not enough of a wake-up call for you, this definitely should be.

At this point, we are being told it is uncertain whether or not the Colonial Pipeline will be able to restore operations by this weekend…

If the Colonial Pipeline is not back in business by the weekend, prices could continue to rise at the pump and there will be broader localized fuel shortages across the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

Eventually, the flow of gasoline will be restored and everyone along the east coast will be able to fill up their vehicles again.

But the crazy inflation that we are witnessing right is not going to go away.

For years, economic “doom and gloomers” have been warning that if we kept recklessly creating, borrowing, and spending money that really bad things would happen.

How many times have we heard about “the death of the dollar” and the dangers of wildly inflating our currency?

Well, it turns out that the “doom and gloomers” were dead-on accurate.  Inflation is one of the biggest stories of 2021 so far, and we just got another confirmation of how bad things are getting out there…

The median price for a single-family home in the U.S. rose the most on record in the first quarter, as buyers fought over a dearth of inventory, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Prices jumped 16.2% from a year earlier to a record high of $319,200. The growth eclipsed the 14.8% rate in the fourth quarter, which was the highest in data going back to 1989, the group said in a report Tuesday.

But at least home prices are not rising as fast as the price of cotton is.

If you can believe it, the price of cotton is up more than 50 percent over the past year.

Of course the price of corn is rising even more rapidly.  As I discussed the other day, the price of corn is up about 50 percent just since the turn of the year.

Needless to say, lumber still has everyone else beat.  The price of lumber has actually risen more than 200 percent over the past 12 months.

A lot of comparisons have been made to the horrible inflation that the U.S. experienced during the 1970s, but really I think that we need to go all the way back to the 1930s for a more accurate parallel to our current situation.

At this point, we are becoming more like the Weimar Republic with each passing day.

But if you think that things are really bad now, just wait, because you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Everywhere you look, systems are failing, society is crumbling and evil is growing.  Even the Secret Service, who are supposed to be the best of the best, are now plagued by endless scandals and widespread incompetence.

This is not a drill.  A widespread societal collapse is now underway, and it is going to get progressively worse.

This is the time of our endless nightmare, but nobody is going to ever be allowed to wake up from it.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post Do You Get The Feeling That Events Happening Now Are Leading Us Into An Endless Global Nightmare? first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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U.S. Legislators Concerned about China’s Efforts to Genetically Engineer “Super Soldiers”

This article was originally published by B.N. Frank at Activist Post. 

Americans have had various concerns about the Chinese government for decades.  Recently, the U.S. government identified hundreds of scientists and organizations that may have been compromised by China.  Earlier this year, CBS 60 Minutes aired a segment about risks associated with Chinese companies collecting health care data from Americans. The Department of Defense (DoD) has asked U.S. military personnel to not submit their DNA to genealogy research groups because of concerns about where it might end up.

Earlier this week, Full Measure aired a segment that reveals more disturbing details about all of that and more.  Of course, it’s not just the Chinese government that Americans have to worry about – this research is being explored in the West as well. Will we see a super-soldier arms race? Just what the world needs…


Super Soldiers

For years, intel officials and members of both parties have warned that China is the most serious global threat to America. Yet we have continued to allow China to buy U.S. companies that have sensitive data and operate other companies that collect it. Now comes word that China is trying to genetically engineer a force of superhuman soldiers. Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania has been looking at the Chinese threat.

Sharyl: It’s been reported that China has conducted tests on soldiers to develop soldiers with some kind of enhanced biological capabilities. What do you know about that?

Rep. Scott Perry: Let me be clear. It’s because of the things that they are saying and doing that leads us to believe. Because they’re saying so. That they literally want to create super soldiers and almost like the superhuman race. 3:05ish All their rhetoric says that they’re moving into this area and they consider it a new area of warfare, and the American people need to, and policymakers need to understand, this doctrine of “unrestricted warfare.” Everything’s on the table. They literally have said that “We as China, shouldn’t have to abide by treaties and all these international doctrines that prohibit this kind of thing.” We’re talking about superhuman soldiers and something else that’s very chilling, especially during this pandemic, where they would literally create ethnic, Ethno-bioweapons. Right? Literally talking about clearing out everybody across the continent of the United States, who’s not of Chinese or Asian origin, and the ability to do that.

Sharyl: Is China collecting DNA-

Rep. Perry: Yes.

Sharyl: In mass quantities?

Rep. Perry: Collecting every bit of DNA across the globe. For instance, just for example, I believe it’s Morocco. They’re providing the vaccinations for Morocco for the COVID virus. The China virus is what it really should be called. They’re providing it. In return, Moroccans must give their DNA. It’s a one-way street. Not only do they do things like that, but they bought up the largest DNA banks in the United States of America. China owns them.

Sharyl: What are the U.S. DNA genetic banks, or DNA banks, and how were they allowed to purchase them?

Rep. Perry: Well, there’s no prohibition. Most of these banks are. And I don’t want to name certain companies.

Sharyl: Talking about popular websites where people have their genes analyzed?

Rep. Perry: Sure. Those are open for purchase because they’re… You freely gave your DNA as a condition of wanting to find out your ancestry, or you gave it otherwise, and now it’s owned by them, and they can sell that information, and they have. They have done that and China has bought it. There’s no prohibition on that.

Rep. Perry: The argument seems to be that we’re economically tied too closely, and you can’t decouple either at all, or even a little bit. Quite honestly, that argument just comports to greed. Right? We’re using… Literally, the solar panels on your home or your neighbor’s home are probably made by slave labor and slave child labor, either in China or mining out the materials by slave children in Africa, through China. These are the things that we have to come to terms with. The Chinese Communist Party has come to what we would currently configure or describe as concentration camps. They perform unauthorized organ harvesting. These are horrific things, and we’re doing business with them, and we’re saying that it’s diplomatically difficult to decouple because there’s too much money involved.

Sharyl: Then I don’t know if you know about this, but it struck me that President Trump had talked about TikTok.

Rep. Perry: Right.

Sharyl: Which is China-owned-

Rep. Perry: Right.

Sharyl: Was to be sold.

Rep. Perry: Yes.

Sharyl: Whatever happened to that.

Rep. Perry: There was a deal that was made, and I think it was going to go through… In which we or some Western powers would have control over the data, and so on and so forth. Now, I’m sure China didn’t like that, but they just… They kept on playing it out, and as far as I understand now, that deal is over and TikTok is going to remain in the United States, getting your facial recognition information to be used on a system of social credits that China uses in China, that will then be instituted in the United States. Not necessarily by the government, but by big corporations like the big tech companies, or airlines or whoever who says, “You can’t fly unless you comply with this in this way.” It doesn’t have to necessarily be the government, but it can be pseudo things that are supported by the government, that are so integral to society. It absolutely strips off of our freedom, and we’re allowing it in TikTok being here.

Sharyl (on-camera): Perry has introduced legislation to label the Chinese Communist Party, a transnational criminal organization. No action has been taken on it.

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Yikes! Corn Prices Are Up Roughly 50% In 2021 As Americans Brace For Years Of Horrific Food Inflation

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

PREPPING FOR THE UPCOMING GOVERNMENT-INDUCED FOOD SHORTAGES

It sure didn’t take long for the Joe Biden era to start resembling the Jimmy Carter era.  Prices are going up so fast that even the mainstream media can’t stop talking about it.  This has already become a major national crisis, and it should be exceedingly obvious to everyone that it is only going to get worse.

The Biden administration wants to borrow and spend trillions of more dollars on top of all the absurd spending that has already happened, and the Federal Reserve is going to continue to pump gigantic piles of fresh cash into the financial system.  Collectively, our leaders are literally committing economic malpractice, and if most Americans truly understood what was going on they would be out in the streets protesting against it.

Already, a lot of people out there are becoming extremely alarmed that their food bills are so high.  One of the things that is driving this is the price of corn.  Most Americans don’t eat a lot of canned corn or corn on the cob, but corn has become a key ingredient in literally thousands of other products in our grocery stores.  If you doubt this, just wander through a grocery store sometime and look for products with these ingredients

  • Corn flour, cornmeal. corn gluten, cornflakes, etc.
  • Cornstarch, also listed on labels as starch or vegetable starch
  • Corn oil
  • Corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup
  • Dextrins
  • Maltodextrins
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose or crystalline fructose
  • Hydrol, treacle
  • Ethanol
  • Free fatty acids
  • Maize
  • Zein
  • Sorbitol

When you know what to look for, pretty soon you start realizing that corn is in the majority of our processed foods.  They put it in bread, they put it in soda, they put it in baby formula, and food manufacturers are constantly coming up with new ways to stick it into even more products.

Needless to say, this is absolutely horrible for our health, but that is a topic for another article.

In this article, the point I am trying to make is that the price of corn is going to affect the price of most of the things that the average American buys at the grocery store, and at this point, the price of corn is up “roughly 50%” so far in 2021…

America’s biggest cash crop has rarely been more expensive. Corn prices have risen roughly 50% in 2021 and a bushel costs more than twice what it did a year ago.

Corn has been one of the sharpest risers in the broad rally in raw materials that is prompting companies to boost prices for goods and fueling concern among investors that inflation could hobble the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Here in the United States, most Americans will be able to absorb the price increases that are coming, but in other parts of the globe, a price shift of this magnitude could mean that millions of families will no longer have enough money to buy the food they need.

Of course, it isn’t just the price of corn that is going crazy.  As that same Wall Street Journal article noted, we are seeing wild inflation in many areas of the U.S. economy right now…

Lumber prices have shot to more than four times what is typical, pushing up home prices and obliterating renovation budgets. Copper, a cog of industry found throughout the home and in electronics, hit record prices Friday. Crude oil hasn’t cost so much since 2018 and soybeans are trading at their loftiest level since 2012.

Day after day, inflation is making headlines, and this is going to cause a lot of fear.  As a result, hordes of people will be rushing out to their local retail stores “to stock up”, and this will do a couple of things.

First of all, it will make inflation even worse.  When demand rises relative to supply, that pushes prices in an upward direction, and that is just basic economics.

Secondly, it will intensify our ongoing shortages.  As I detailed the other day, the shortages that we are experiencing now are worse than anything that we went through in 2020, and there will be more shortages in the months ahead.

And as if we weren’t already facing enough problems, one of the most important fuel pipelines in the U.S. was just shut down by a very sophisticated ransomware attack

One of the largest US fuel pipelines remained largely paralyzed Monday after a ransomware cyberattack forced the temporary shutdown of all operations late last week — an incident that laid bare vulnerabilities in the country’s aging energy infrastructure.

The victim of the attack, Colonial Pipeline is a company that transports more than 100 million gallons of gasoline and other fuel daily from Houston to the New York Harbor.

It is very interesting to note that some in the mainstream media are trying to link this attack to Russia.  Whether that is true or not, we all know where all of this is eventually heading.

These are such troubled times, but most Americans still don’t realize what we are facing.

Sending out big government checks made everyone feel good for a little while, but it came at a great cost.  Creating trillions of dollars out of thin air is absolutely destroying the value of our currency, and once the U.S. dollar is dead there will be no going back.

To me, we just hit a milestone that is extremely telling.  If you can believe it, the total value of all cryptocurrencies is now greater than the value of all U.S. currency currently in circulation

Cryptocurrency has hit a significant milestone: It’s now worth more than all US dollars currently in circulation.

Cryptocurrencies hit a valuation of $2 trillion on April 29, according to The Wall Street Journal. That’s about the same valuation as all US dollars in circulation. However, it has since hit as high as $2.25 trillion — and in the process actually exceeding dollars in circulation.

This is utter madness!

But this is what can happen when the Federal Reserve electronically pumps trillions upon trillions of new dollars into the financial system.

An inflationary collapse is in the process of unfolding right in front of our eyes, and I am certainly not the only one loudly warning about this.  Earlier today, I came across a piece that was authored by Dr. Don Boys

I am yelling fire because fire is raging. Mixing metaphors, the storm is not coming; it’s already here. America’s financial house of cards will fall, taking other nations with her. Thoughtful Conservatives must inform people of imminent danger because families will be disrupted, businesses will fail, couples will be divorced, and children will suffer immeasurably.

The economy has faltered, is failing, and will fall.

I see no way out of the coming collapse. Sometimes politicians make such a mess of things that there is no way to correct or solve the mess. It’s almost like being in a small boat on a raging sea, unsure how far you are from the coast you left and the distance to where you hope to dock. You keep going hoping to stay afloat; however, our “boat” is overwhelmed with accelerating debt.

For years we have been marching toward this sort of a disaster, but now that march has evolved into a full-on sprint.

Everything that the “economic alarmists” have been warning about is starting to happen, but this is just the beginning.

Much worse is still to come, and the fall of the U.S. economy is going to absolutely shock the entire globe.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post Yikes! Corn Prices Are Up Roughly 50% In 2021 As Americans Brace For Years Of Horrific Food Inflation first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Has The Mainstream Media Finally Turned Against Bill Gates?

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Not long after we pointed out a report from the Daily Beast which traced the tensions in the marriage of Bill and Melinda Gates to Bill’s relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the Wall Street Journal has followed up with more reporting that confirms that Melinda Gates started consulting divorce attorneys as far back as 2019, before the pandemic thrust her husband back into the global spotlight as the world’s de facto vaccine czar.

Documents obtained by WSJ show the couple negotiated their divorce throughout the pandemic.

Ms. Gates consulted with divorce lawyers roughly two years before she filed for divorce from Mr. Gates, saying their marriage was “irretrievably broken,” according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

As the Daily Beast also reported, tensions in their marriage can be traced back to a New York Times report claiming that Gates had met with Epstein several times and that he had once stayed late into the night at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse. Their meetings, according to Gates’ people, reportedly focused on issues of philanthropy. The pair first announced their split a week ago, and since then, the world has been waiting to learn more about how they plan to split their $130 billion-plus fortune.

But what’s almost more notable than the details report by WSJ and the Daily Beast, is the fact that the MSM seems to be jumping on the story that Bill Gates’ relationship with Jeffrey Epstein directly led to the dissolution of his marriage.

This is a big deal because, as we reported more than a year ago, Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation have built up one of the world’s most formidable media-manipulation machines to help silence Gates’s growing chorus of critics.

Here’s a snippet from a Columbia Journalism Review story on how Gates manipulates the press:

Gatess generosity appears to have helped foster an increasingly friendly media environment for the worlds most visible charity. Twenty years ago, journalists scrutinized Bill Gatess initial foray into philanthropy as a vehicle to enrich his software company, or a PR exercise to salvage his battered reputation following Microsofts bruising antitrust battle with the Department of Justice. Today, the foundation is most often the subject of soft profiles and glowing editorials describing its good works.

During the pandemic, news outlets have widely looked to Bill Gates as a public health expert on covideven though Gates has no medical training and is not a public official. PolitiFact and USA Today (run by the Poynter Institute and Gannett, respectivelyboth of which have received funds from the Gates Foundation) have even used their fact-checking platforms to defend Gates from false conspiracy theories and misinformation, like the idea that the foundation has financial investments in companies developing covid vaccines and therapies. In fact, the foundations website and most recent tax forms clearly show investments in such companies, including Gilead and CureVac.

In the same way that the news media has given Gates an outsize voice in the pandemic, the foundation has long used its charitable giving to shape the public discourse on everything from global health to education to agriculturea level of influence that has landed Bill Gates on Forbess list of the most powerful people in the world. The Gates Foundation can point to important charitable accomplishments over the past two decadeslike helping drive down polio and putting new funds into fighting malariabut even these efforts have drawn expert detractors who say that Gates may actually be introducing harm, or distracting us from more important, lifesaving public health projects.

As we have reported, Gates’ ties to Epstein are much deeper than a simple prearranged meeting or two on the subject of philanthropy. The Daily Mail once reported that Gates was a guest aboard Epstein’s plane.

When confronted about this, a representative for Gates said he wasn’t aware the plane belonged to Epstein!

Meanwhile, employees of the Gates foundation also visited Epstein’s mansion on multiple occasions, while Epstein also “spoke with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase about a proposed multibillion-dollar charitable fund — an arrangement that had the potential to generate enormous fees for Mr. Epstein,” according to the Times.

Two of Gates’ closest advisors developed close relationships with Epstein and later introduced him to Gates.

Gates once said in an email that he found Epstein’s “lifestyle” to be “intriguing”, though he immediately noted that it wouldn’t suit him.

With all this preamble once again coming out in the press, we can’t help but wonder: is a Bill Gates accuser about to step forward?

The post Has The Mainstream Media Finally Turned Against Bill Gates? first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Covid Authoritarians Abuse Children

This article was originally published by Ron Paul at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. 

Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has “recommended” that children wear masks while playing. Her offered reason is to ensure Covid is not spread by “heavy breathing” of children near each other while around a soccer ball.

Dr. Walensky’s recommendation is one more example of Covid authoritarians’ refusal to “listen to the science.” The science says no to lockdowns and masks. The masks are not blocking the very small viruses in “heavy breathing.” Dr. Walensky also ignores the science showing that wearing a mask while exercising or playing sports has negative health effects.

Dr. Walensky’s most outrageous disregard of science is ignoring the fact that children are statistically unlikely to be at risk of either spreading Covid or becoming very sick from it.

Dr. Walensky’s recommendation is one of many examples of how children are harmed by the overreaction to coronavirus. Many children have had their physical and mental health damaged because they cannot go to school, play with their friends, or even have a birthday party because of the lockdowns.

Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, the two major teachers’ unions — the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) — have stood in the way of reopening schools. Teachers’ union leaders have claimed it is too dangerous for teachers to resume in-person instruction, even though adults are at little or no risk of getting Covid from children. Sadly, teachers’ unions are disregarding the interest of children. Recently released emails show the CDC disregarded the science in favor of the AFT’s restrictive guidance when developing recommendations concerning reopening schools.

The negative effects of lockdowns and school closings for children have led many parents to consider alternatives to government schools. Some private schools have not just remained open, they have followed the science and not forced their students to wear masks. Many parents are also considering homeschooling. Homeschooling parents obviously can ensure their children are not forced to obey mask, social distancing, and other unscientific mandates.

Parents interested in providing their children with a quality education that emphasizes the ideas of liberty should consider my homeschooling curriculum. The Ron Paul Curriculum provides students with a well-rounded education that includes rigorous programs in history, mathematics, and the physical and natural sciences. The curriculum also provides instruction in personal finance. Students can develop superior communication skills via intensive writing and public speaking courses. Another feature of my curriculum is that it provides students the opportunity to create and run their own internet-based businesses.

The government and history sections of the curriculum emphasize Austrian economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of liberty. However, unlike government schools, my curriculum never puts ideological indoctrination ahead of education.

Interactive forums allow students to learn from each other outside of a formal setting. The curriculum’s emphasis on self-directed learning and student interaction makes it ideal for parents who need to work from home but still want to homeschool their children.

I encourage parents looking at alternatives to government schools to go to RonPaulCurriculum.com for more information about my homeschooling program.

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US Declares State Of Emergency To Keep Gasoline Flowing After Colonial Fails To Restart Hacked Pipeline

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Update 9:00 pm ET:  The US government declared a state of emergency late on Sunday, lifting limits on the transport of fuels by road in a bid to keep gas supply lines open as fears of shortages spiked after the continued shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

“This Declaration addresses the emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products and provides necessary relief,” the Department of Transportation said. White House Press Sec Jen Psaki added that “as the Administration works to mitigate potential disruptions to supply as a result of the Colonial Pipeline incident, @USDOT is taking action today to allow flexibility for truckers in 17 states.”

The move lifted limits on the transport of fuels by road to ease the fallout from the continuing closure of the Colonial pipeline, which carries almost half the fuel consumed on the US East Coast, following a ransomware cyberattack on Friday.

The decision comes as the government scrambles to deal with the fallout from the closure of Colonial, the biggest refined products pipeline in the US, transporting 2.5m barrels of fuel a day from refineries on the Gulf Coast to markets such as Atlanta, Washington, and New York (see more below).

If the pipeline is not quickly reopened the impact on prices could become more severe in the coming days, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at data provider GasBuddy. “We’re realizing the gravity of it is maybe worse than what we’d expected,” said De Haan. “There’s still a little breathing room, we’re starting to run low on it. But Monday, Tuesday if there’s no news, you know we’re dealing with something fairly significant.”

* * *

Just in case the US didn’t already have a “transitory hyperinflation” problem, gasoline futures soared more than 4% – and are likely to jump much more – late on Sunday after the Colonial Pipeline announced that while some smaller lateral lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational, its mainlines (Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4) remain offline since late Friday after the company suffered a crippling cyberattack that affected its key IT systems.

Colonial operates Line 1 for gasoline and Line 2 for diesel and jet fuel from Pasadena, Texas, some 15 miles from the nation’s largest refineries, to Greensboro, North Carolina, at a combined 2.5 million barrels a day. They merge at Greensboro to feed a line carrying about 900,000 barrels a day into New York Harbor, and other East Coast pipelines.

Colonial said that it is “in the process of restoring service to other laterals and will bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations.” Full statement below:

Update — Sunday, May 9, 5:10 p.m.

On May 7, Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack and has since determined that the incident involved ransomware. Quickly after learning of the attack, Colonial proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat. These actions temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our IT systems, which we are actively in the process of restoring.

Leading, third-party cybersecurity experts were also immediately engaged after discovering the issue and launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident. We have remained in contact with law enforcement and other federal agencies, including the Department of Energy who is leading the Federal Government response.

Maintaining the operational security of our pipeline, in addition to safely bringing our systems back online, remain our highest priorities. Over the past 48 hours, Colonial Pipeline personnel have taken additional precautionary measures to help further monitor and protect the safety and security of its pipeline.

The Colonial Pipeline operations team is developing a system restart plan. While our mainlines (Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4) remain offline, some smaller lateral lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational. We are in the process of restoring service to other laterals and will bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations.

At this time, our primary focus continues to be the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system, while minimizing disruption to our customers and all those who rely on Colonial Pipeline. We appreciate the patience and outpouring of support we have received from others throughout the industry.

Meanwhile, downstream customers, which includes pretty much the entire Eastern seaboard, are starting to freak out as they face a new week without the primary source of gasoline supply for hundreds of millions of customers.

In response to the news, gasoline futures jumped 4% to $2.21 a gallon, approaching the highest since 2014. WTI and Brent both spiked more than 1%, while other products such as diesel and jet fuel are also likely to jump.

Should Colonial be unable to bring its main pipeline back online, which as a reminder were hacked by a ransomware group called DarkSide, according to Allan Liska, senior threat analyst at cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, there is no telling how high prices will shoot up as Colonial supplies nearly half the east coast gasoline.

On Friday, the national average stood at $2.96 a gallon Friday, according to auto club AAA, and with national gasoline inventories ample, the pump price wasn’t expected to tick much higher until Memorial Day at the end of May, which is traditionally viewed as the start of the U.S. summer driving season. However, it now appears that we can add gas to the list of items that have seen prices soar. Gasoline last bested the $3 average in October 2014.

Price increases in road fuel may stoke even more worries about inflation as commodities from oil to lumber to corn skyrocket with the world’s major economies emerging from pandemic restrictions. The oil industry was gearing up to meet what is expected to be a surge in fuel demand as newly vaccinated Americans take to the roadways and skies this summer. The downed Colonial Pipeline is a key artery for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel produced by oil refiners on the U.S. Gulf Coast and major metropolitan areas between Atlanta and New York.

“It all comes down to the duration of the disruption. If it lasts longer, it’s likely to result in some location dislocations — shortage of oil products in the East Coast, abundance in the Gulf region. That will support New York product prices and might attract more oil products from abroad,” said Giovanni Staunovo, commodity analyst at UBS Group AG.

One bank that is optimistic on the outcome of the shutdown is Goldman, its commodities strategist Damien Courvalin writing on Sunday that “the Colonial pipeline disruption likely to be brief” while “falling inventories will exacerbate the impact of future potential outages.” Some more details from the note:

With no physical damage to the pipeline, sufficient PADD1 inventories and above seasonal gasoline imports into the region, only a long outage (likely more than 5 days) would materially tighten local supplies. The Southeast region is most at risk of shortages given tighter inventories in the PADD 1C region.

As prior Colonial outages have shown, like in 2016, resupply is further likely to be rapid:

  1. the Colonial pipeline was running below capacity so a resumption of flows at capacity would accelerate the restocking,
  2. Kinder Morgan is working to accommodate additional barrels on its PPL line,
  3. vessels from the USGC and EU can arrive in 7 to 14 days, while
  4. the US administration could waive the Jones Act shipping restriction as well as summer gasoline requirements.

As a result, while NY Harbor petroleum product June cracks and June-July timespreads are set to rally on Sunday’s open/Monday should the pipeline not have been restarted by then, such moves are likely to be short-lived and mean reverting, with the June RBOB contract expiring on May 28.

Not everyone is so sure, and Bloomberg reports that traders are already seeking vessels to deliver gasoline that would have otherwise been shipped on the Colonial system. Some tankers are being secured to temporarily store gasoline in the U.S. Gulf in the event of a prolonged shutdown, they said.

There is some good news: the terminus of the pipeline, New York, was well stocked with fuel ahead of the attack and could weather the upset if missing fuel is replaced or the line restarts quickly. East Coast gasoline stockpiles at the end of April were near five-year seasonal averages. Of course, a lenghty shutdown would mean gasoline shortage the likes of which were last seen in the 1970s…

… which would be poetic justice since price are already soaring at a pace that has surpassed America’s hyperinflationary period, which ended with the Volcker Fed hiking rates to 20% in 1980.

Future Money Trends: Uranium On The Move!

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‘Furious’ Melinda Gates Warned Bill Over Jeffrey Epstein Escapades: Report

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Melinda Gates, whose ‘people’ are undoubtedly trying to distance her from Bill’s controversies, was reportedly ‘furious’ after the couple had an uncomfortable 2013 meeting with Jeffrey Epstein – who by then was a convicted pedophile.

People “familiar with the matter” tell the Daily Beast, the previously unreported meeting was held at Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion in September 2013, the same day the couple was awarded the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service award at the Pierre Hotel, where they were photographed with then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

According to said ‘people’, the 2013 meeting would “prove a turning point for the Gates’ relationship with Epstein,’ with Melinda telling friends after the encounter how uncomfortable she was to be hanging around the wealthy sex offender.

According to the New York TimesGates and Epstein met at least six times, including visits to Epstein’s New York mansion on ‘multiple occasions,’ staying at least once into the night.

So – the Gates’ had no problem traveling across the country to meet with the convicted pedophile – who named Gates adviser Boris Nikolic as a fallback executor in a will Epstein amended just days before his August 2019 death in a Manhattan jail cell.

Now, eight years later, Melinda apparently had a problem with it.

Gates thought Epstein’s lifestyle was “kind of intriguing” 

In a 2011 email to colleagues, Gates wrote: “His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me.”

A spokeswoman or Gates, Bridgitt Arnold, said he “was referring only to the unique décor of the Epstein residence — and Epstein’s habit of spontaneously bringing acquaintances in to meet Mr. Gates,” adding “It was in no way meant to convey a sense of interest or approval.” Perhaps Gates was taken aback by Epstein’s “main hallway that was covered with rows of artificial eyeballs from England that had been made for wounded soldiers” (via the Daily Mail).

Also contradicting Gates’ distancing are flight records, which reveal that “Gates flew with Epstein from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach on March 1, 2013,” on Epstein’s private jet – “one of the few flights that year where pilot Larry Viskoski recorded the name of a passenger,” According to the Daily Mail.

Gates hilariously claimed that he wasn’t aware it was Epstein’s plane!

In March 2013, Mr. Gates flew on Mr. Epstein’s Gulfstream plane from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach, Fla., according to a flight manifest. Ms. Arnold said Mr. Gates — who has his own $40 million jet — hadn’t been aware it was Mr. Epstein’s plane. –New York Times

Meanwhile, employees of the Gates foundation also visited Epstein’s mansion on multiple occasions, while Epstein also “spoke with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase about a proposed multibillion-dollar charitable fund — an arrangement that had the potential to generate enormous fees for Mr. Epstein,” according to the Times.

In late 2011, at Mr. Gates’s instruction, the foundation sent a team to Mr. Epstein’s townhouse to have a preliminary talk about philanthropic fund-raising, according to three people who were there. Mr. Epstein told his guests that if they searched his name on the internet they might conclude he was a bad person but that what he had done — soliciting prostitution from an underage girl — was no worse than “stealing a bagel,” two of the people said.

How Gates and Epstein met, according to the New York Times;

Two members of Mr. Gates’s inner circle — Boris Nikolic and Melanie Walker — were close to Mr. Epstein and at times functioned as intermediaries between the two men.

Ms. Walker met Mr. Epstein in 1992, six months after graduating from the University of Texas. Mr. Epstein, who was an adviser to Mr. Wexner, the owner of Victoria’s Secret, told Ms. Walker that he could land her an audition for a modeling job there, according to Ms. Walker. She later moved to New York and stayed in a Manhattan apartment building that Mr. Epstein owned. After she graduated from medical school, she said, Mr. Epstein hired her as a science adviser in 1998.

Ms. Walker later met Steven Sinofsky, a senior executive at Microsoft who became president of its Windows division, and moved to Seattle to be with him. In 2006, she joined the Gates Foundation with the title of senior program officer.

At the foundation, Ms. Walker met and befriended Mr. Nikolic, a native of what is now Croatia and a former fellow at Harvard Medical School who was the foundation’s science adviser. Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates frequently traveled and socialized together.

Ms. Walker, who had remained in close touch with Mr. Epstein, introduced him to Mr. Nikolic, and the men became friendly.

Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates first met face to face on the evening of Jan. 31, 2011, at Mr. Epstein’s townhouse on the Upper East Side. They were joined by Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden whom Mr. Epstein had once dated, and her 15-year-old daughter. (Dr. Andersson-Dubin’s husband, the hedge fund billionaire Glenn Dubin, was a friend and business associate of Mr. Epstein’s. The Dubins declined to comment.)

The gathering started at 8 and lasted several hours, according to Ms. Arnold, Mr. Gates’s spokeswoman. Mr. Epstein subsequently boasted about the meeting in emails to friends and associates. “Bill’s great,” he wrote in one, reviewed by The Times.

“I didn’t go to New Mexico or Florida or Palm Beach or any of that,” claims Gates. “There were people around him who were saying, hey, if you want to raise money for global health and get more philanthropy, he knows a lot of rich people.”

And it looks like Gates was one of Epstein’s “rich people.” According to the report, Gates donated $2 million to MIT’s Media Lab, which university officials described as having been “directed” by Epstein.

According to Arnold, Gates’ spokeswoman, “Over time, Gates and his team realized Epstein’s capabilities and ideas were not legitimate and all contact with Epstein was discontinued.”

Perhaps ‘Gates and his team’ should have steered clear of the known pedophile in the first place?

The post ‘Furious’ Melinda Gates Warned Bill Over Jeffrey Epstein Escapades: Report first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Social Unrest Fears Mount As World Food Prices Soar In April

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

PREPPING FOR THE UPCOMING GOVERNMENT-INDUCED FOOD SHORTAGES

Global inflation is headed into overdrive as the leading food price indicator that is the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index increased for an 11th consecutive month in April, hitting levels not seen since May 2014, with sugar prices leading the rise in the main index.

The Rome-based FAO released data Thursday showing the food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat, and sugar, surged 2 points from 118.9 points in March to 120.9 in April.

That is a 30.7% YoY jump – the fastest rise since 2011…

The April surge was primarily led by price increases of sugar, oils, meat, dairy, and cereals.

FAO’s cereal price index moved up 1.2% in April M/M and 26% Y/Y. Drought conditions in Argentina, Brazil, and the US increased corn prices by 5.7% last month, while wheat prices were flat. Global rice prices slipped last month.

FAO’s vegetable oil price index rose 1.8% last month because of increasing soy, grapeseed, and palm oil prices, which offset lower sunflower oil prices.

Milk prices increased 1.2%, with surging demand from Asia, while the meat index rose 1.7%. FAO said there was “solid demand” for bovine and ovine meat in East Asia.

The idiots at the Marriner Eccles building seemingly have no interest in reading the extensive literature in connecting higher food prices to periods of social unrest.  Indeed, you’ll notice from the chart below that the last big surge from the middle of 2010 to early 2011 coincided with the start of the Arab Spring, for which food inflation is regarded as a contributing factor.

While this is hardly new – we discussed it in “Why Albert Edwards Is Starting To Panic About Soaring Food Prices” and in “We Are Edging Closer To A Biblical Commodity Price Increase Scenario.”

DB’s Jim Reid reminds us that emerging markets are more vulnerable to this trend since their consumers spend a far greater share of their income on food than those in the developed world.

Inflation is always a monetary phenomenon, and this time is no different. Central bankers call transitory effects, but we beg to differ.

 

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Bill Gates, China, 23andMe, And Your DNA

This article was originally published by Derrick Broze at The Last American Vagabond. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: *Whether you believe the “vaccine” is altering your genetic material or not, there is no denying at this point that our genetics have something to do with this overall agenda. The “vaccine” is playing a role in making the agenda a reality.

Is there a connection between China, Bill Gates, YouTube, and DNA collection?

Recent reports reveal that a Chinese company with connections to the Gates Foundation is involved in COVID-19 testing and poses a potential threat to American privacy, particularly the medical and health data of those who have been tested for COVID-19.

In late January, CBS’ 60 Minutes reported:

“60 Minutes has learned Chinese company BGI Group, the largest biotech firm in the world, offered to build COVID labs in at least six states, and U.S. intelligence officials issued warnings not to share health data with BGI. 

The largest biotech firm in the world wasted no time in offering to build and run COVID testing labs in Washington, contacting its governor right after the first major COVID outbreak in the U.S. occurred there. The Chinese company, the BGI Group, made the same offer to at least five other states, including New York and California, 60 Minutes has learned. This, along with other COVID testing offers by BGI, so worried Bill Evanina, then the country’s top counterintelligence officer, that he authorized a rare public warning.”

“Foreign powers can collect, store and exploit biometric information from COVID tests” declared the notice. Evanina believes the Chinese are trying to collect Americans’ DNA to win a race to control the world’s biodata.”

Evanina said a foreign entity could learn about a person’s current or future medical conditions by studying their DNA and using this information to gain a monopoly over necessary drugs and treatments.

BGI Group declined to be interviewed by 60 Minutes and said the idea that Americans genomic data has been compromised by BGI is “groundless”.

Concerns around BGI also arose in late January when Reuters reported that more than 40 publicly available documents and research papers show BGI’s links to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Reuters said the research dealt with topics as varied as mass testing for respiratory pathogens to brain science.

The Gates Foundation and BGI

In March, journalist Natalie Winter of National Pulse uncovered documentation of a relationship between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and BGI going back nearly a decade. Winter found a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Gates Foundation and BGI to “form a collaboration on global health and agricultural development with the goal of achieving common objectives in health and agricultural development.”

Specifically, this collaboration deals with developments in human, plant, and animal genomics, the study of DNA. In the press release for the MOU, the co-founder of BGI directly mentions the partnership as focused on genomics.

BGI looks forward to partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in this significant collaboration to apply genomics research to benefit global human health,” said Dr. Huanming Yang, Chairman, and Co-Founder of BGI.

Bill Gates also visited BGI headquarters in 2010, according to a report from the Financial Times. The Times stated that BGI “is working towards a goal of building a huge library based on the DNA of many millions of people.” BGI’s goal is to use this information for new drugs, genetic research, and “transforming public health policy”.

It would appear the COVID-19 crisis has helped BGI and the Gates Foundation step into the role of influencing and transforming international health policy.

Winter’s report also notes that:

the Gates Foundation has also funded BGI projects relating to genome sequencing alongside Chinese Communist Party bodies such as the Ministry of Science and Technology and Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Similarly, Dr. Tadataka Yamada, the former president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s global health program, serves as the Chairman of BGI’s Scientific Advisory Board.”

It’s clear that BGI Group and the Gates Foundation have a documented relationship over the last decade. It’s equally apparent that BGI Group has an extensive relationship with the Chinese military and government. It is these connections – the relationship that exists between the Chinese government, the BGI Group, and the Gates Foundation – which has sparked fears regarding the potential misuse of the COVID-19 tests manufactured by BGI.

BGI and the DNA Testing Industry

Since March 2020, BGI has sold millions of its COVID-19 test kits around the world, including the United States, Europe, and Australia. Reuters reports that shares of BGI Genomics Co. have doubled in the last year, giving BGI a market value of around $9 billion USD.

The company is based in Shenzhen, on the coast of Guangdong, China. They have made a name for themselves by selling genetic sequencing services around the world, which has helped them to create a large database of DNA. BGI is also well known for creating a cloned pig in 2010.

The company has regularly partnered with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. BGI and the PLA’s Academy of Military Medical Science share a dozen patents for DNA tests. Coincidentally, Reuters notes that one patent from 2015 is for a “low-cost test kit to detect respiratory pathogens, including SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and coronaviruses.”

Further, Chen Weijun, BGI’s chief infectious disease expert, is listed as an inventor on the patent while also holding the title of one of the first scientists reported to have sequenced COVID-19 used samples from a military hospital in Wuhan.

BGI says the test kit developed with the Chinese military is not the same one sold to foreign countries.

The danger of COVID-19 tests being used as a method for gathering genomic data on the unsuspecting public is part of a larger conversation about the dangers posed by genealogy companies generally. Millions of people around the world have voluntarily submitted their DNA in exchange for information about their ancestry. The vast majority of the users of these companies, such as Ancestry and 23andMe, do not read the Terms of Service which outline how the genealogy firms can use the data.

One of the ways this data is used is to sell it to biotech companies that are interested in developing new drugs and therapies. Clearly, there are governments and militaries who also have an interest in collecting this data.

Evanina, the former counterintelligence officer, told 60 Minutes that Chinese companies are investing in U.S. biotech companies to gain access to the health data. He says most people do not realize that their genetic material represents “your past and your future as well as your children’s future.”

While there are clear reasons to be concerned about the influence of the Chinese government and what they might do with your DNA, the reality is most governments with the resources will likely seek to mine DNA as well. This absolutely includes the United States government, military, and private companies.

One such company is the aforementioned 23andMe. In the January 60 Minutes report Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe, answered questions regarding her company’s use of the data they are collecting. While Wojcicki says that her company has “empowered individuals with this opportunity to come together, to crowdsource research”, she doesn’t shy away from acknowledging that her company plans to use the information to develop drugs.

“And I absolutely stand behind: we are going to develop drugs. So that everyone is actually benefiting from the human genome. So absolutely the data is valuable,” Wojcicki told 60 Minutes.

While she says she agrees that Americans should be concerned about China’s investments in genomic research, she believes the answer is for the United States to invest in genetic programs.

Wojcicki and 23andMe have faced their own criticisms regarding how they use the data and whether the public can truly expect records of their DNA to be safe. In February it was announced 23andMe would become a publicly-traded company with help from billionaire Richard Branson. The Guardian noted that Branson’s Virgin Acquisition Group said 23andMe and their “vast proprietary dataset” of DNA would allow Virgin to “unlock revenue streams across digital health, therapeutics, and more”.

Branson’s interest in the study of DNA resembles the interests of wannabe billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein had an obsession with funding DNA programs. Bill Gates is also a part of this web because of his relationship with Epstein and partnership with the BGI Group. TLAV’s Whitney Webb recently reported:

Epstein donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the institution and Epstein was also used as a channel for making donations to MIT by billionaire Bill Gates. Gates has yet to explain why he would funnel his donations through Epstein as opposed to publicly donating via his well-known “philanthropic” foundation. Epstein’s funding of the MIT Media Lab in particular led to the resignation of its former director Joi Ito in September 2019 following Epstein’s arrest and subsequent ‘suicide.’”

The DNA-Biosecurity-Big Tech Web

What is not mentioned in the 60 Minutes piece – or anywhere else – is the fact that Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe, is the sister of Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube.  Additionally, Anne Wojcicki’s husband until 2015 was Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google and president of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc, until December 2019. Google also owns YouTube.

The reason these connections matter is because there are common threads between Google, the Gates Foundation, companies like 23andMe, and the Chinese government. While Anne Wojcicki and 23andMe work on DNA mining, her sister at YouTube censors reports on such topics that are often labeled misinformation. Understanding the incredible conflicts of interest here is of the utmost importance.

In a coming report, I will dive deeper into this tangled web of Big Tech, Big Philanthropy, and the Chinese government.

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What Will You Do When Inflation Forces U.S. Households To Spend 40 Percent Of Their Incomes On Food?

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

Did you know that the price of corn has risen 142 percent in the last 12 months?  Of course, corn is used in hundreds of different products we buy at the grocery store, and so everyone is going to feel the pain of this price increase.  But it isn’t just the price of corn that is going crazy.

We are seeing food prices shoot up dramatically all across the industry, and experts are warning that this is just the very beginning.  So if you think that food prices are bad now, just wait, because they are going to get a whole lot worse.

Typically, Americans spend approximately 10 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food.  The following comes directly from the USDA website

In 2019, Americans spent an average of 9.5 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food—divided between food at home (4.9 percent) and food away from home (4.6 percent). Between 1960 and 1998, the average share of disposable personal income spent on total food by Americans, on average, fell from 17.0 to 10.1 percent, driven by a declining share of income spent on food at home.

Needless to say, the poorest Americans spend more of their incomes on food than the richest Americans.

According to the USDA, the poorest households spent an average of 36 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food in 2019…

As their incomes rise, households spend more money on food, but it represents a smaller overall budget share. In 2019, households in the lowest income quintile spent an average of $4,400 on food (representing 36.0 percent of income), while households in the highest income quintile spent an average of $13,987 on food (representing 8.0 percent of income).

Needless to say, the final numbers for 2020 will be quite a bit higher, and many believe that eventually the percentage of disposable personal income that the average U.S. household spends on food will reach 40 percent.

That would mean that many poor households would end up spending well over 50 percent of their personal disposable incomes just on food.

At one time that would have been unimaginable, but now everything is changing.  As I noted above, the price of corn his increased 142 percent since this time last year…

Corn prices have jumped roughly 142% over the past year to $7.56 per bushel, the highest price seen in eight years for the crop.

A drought in Brazil and increased demand in China have put pressure on global suppliers.

In other areas we are seeing more moderate inflation, but overall we just witnessed the largest increase in food inflation “in almost nine years”

The average prices in March of 2021 for pork chops and chicken breasts are both up more than 10% compared to March of 2020. Eggs and cheddar cheese are both up 6%.

Looking at all consumer goods as a whole, the latest inflation data in the Consumer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the largest month-to-month increase in almost nine years.

Meanwhile, the price of lumber just continues to shoot even higher.

In New Jersey, one man says that the total cost of lumber used in building his new home will reach $70,000

Tom McCarthy can’t finish building a home in Bergen County, New Jersey because of the lumber shortage.

“There are pieces of wood that we can’t find,” said McCarthy, a real estate broker with the Chen Agency who also builds homes with his father on the side.

McCarthy estimates the cost of lumber for the home will hit $70,000, nearly double the cost of building the exact same home in a nearby town just eight months ago.

Isn’t that nuts?

Instead of building a new home, you could try buying an existing one instead, but real estate prices in many areas have gotten completely insane.

In northern California, one house recently sold for more than a million dollars over listing price

When a house in Berkeley sold for more than $1 million over its list price in late March 2021, it was covered in media outlets across the Bay Area, including this one.

While the Berkeley sale was particularly sensational — it sold for double its list price and received 29 offers — these individual stories are becoming more common in today’s real estate market, according to recent data and anecdotes from real estate professionals.

I never imagined that I would see such a thing happen.

But one real estate agent says that such wild bidding wars are becoming increasingly common

And that’s especially true in the East Bay. “People are not surprised when a home goes $1 million over,” said Josh Dickinson, the founder of real estate agency Zip Code East Bay. “When my clients see a house for $1.9 million they’re almost conditioned to think it’ll go over $3 million in Piedmont or North Berkeley.”

This is what the beginning stages of hyperinflation look like, but Federal Reserve officials insist that we have nothing to be concerned about.

In fact, Eric Rosengren just told the press that the crazy inflation we are seeing now “is likely to prove temporary”

Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren in an interview with MarketWatch on Wednesday dismissed talk of scaling back asset purchases as premature, and said temporary factors pushing up inflation this spring won’t last.

“My view is that this acceleration in the rate of price increases is likely to prove temporary,” Rosengren said Wednesday.

Do you believe him?

I don’t.

As Simon Black has pointed out, the federal government is just going to continue to borrow and spend trillions upon trillions of dollars…

This is the big one. The US federal government is hoping to spend a whopping $11 TRILLION this year, between the regular budget, COVID stimulus already passed, and all the new legislation they’re proposing.

And it’s only May.

Obviously Uncle Sam doesn’t have the money. So they have to borrow it.

Almost everybody loved it when the federal government started sending out big, fat stimulus checks.

But you aren’t going to love it when a cart of food costs you $400 at the grocery store.

Whenever the government hands out “free money”, someone has got to pay for it, and one way we are paying for it is through higher prices.

If you do not believe that this is a major national crisis yet, you will soon, because it won’t be too long before most of the country is loudly complaining about how nightmarish inflation has become.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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Silicon Valley Algorithm Manipulation Is The Only Thing Keeping Mainstream Media Alive

This article was originally published by Caitlin Johnstone at Caitlin Johnstone.com.

The emergence of the internet was met with hope and enthusiasm by people who understood that the plutocrat-controlled mainstream media were manipulating public opinion to manufacture consent for the status quo. The democratization of information-sharing was going to give rise to a public consciousness that is emancipated from the domination of plutocratic narrative control, thereby opening up the possibility of revolutionary change to our society’s corrupt systems.

But it never happened. Internet use has become commonplace around the world and humanity is able to network and share information like never before, yet we remain firmly under the thumb of the same power structures we’ve been ruled by for generations, both politically and psychologically. Even the dominant media institutions are somehow still the same.

So what went wrong? Nobody’s buying newspapers anymore, and the audiences for television and radio are dwindling. How is it possible that those same imperialist oligarchic institutions are still controlling the way most people think about their world?

The answer is algorithm manipulation.

Last month a very informative interview saw the CEO of YouTube, which is owned by Google, candidly discussing the way the platform uses algorithms to elevate mainstream news outlets and suppress independent content.

At the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Technology Governance Summit, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki told Atlantic CEO Nicholas Thompson that while the platform still allows arts and entertainment videos an equal shot at going viral and getting lots of views and subscribers, on important areas like news media it artificially elevates “authoritative sources”.

“What we’ve done is really fine-tune our algorithms to be able to make sure that we are still giving the new creators the ability to be found when it comes to music or humor or something funny,” Wojcicki said. “But when we’re dealing with sensitive areas, we really need to take a different approach.”

Wojcicki said in addition to banning content deemed harmful, YouTube has also created a category labeled “borderline content” which it algorithmically de-boosts so that it won’t show up as a recommended video to viewers who are interested in that topic:

“When we deal with information, we want to make sure that the sources that we’re recommending are authoritative news, medical science, et cetera. And we also have created a category of more borderline content where sometimes we’ll see people looking at content that’s lower quality and borderline. And so we want to be careful about not over-recommending that. So that’s a content that stays on the platform but is not something that we’re going to recommend. And so our algorithms have definitely evolved in terms of handling all these different content types.”

Progressive commentator Kyle Kulinski has a good video out reacting to Wojcicki’s comments, saying he believes his (entirely harmless) channel has been grouped in the “borderline” category because his views and new subscribers suddenly took a dramatic and inexplicable plunge. Kulinski reports that overnight he went from getting tens of thousands of new subscriptions per month to maybe a thousand.

“People went to YouTube to escape the mainstream nonsense that they see on cable news and on TV, and now YouTube just wants to become cable news and TV,” Kulinski says. “People are coming here to escape that and you’re gonna force-feed them the stuff they’re escaping like CNN and MSNBC and Fox News.”

It is not terribly surprising to hear Susan Wojcicki admit to elevating the media of the oligarchic empire to the CEO of a neoconservative publication at the World Economic Forum. She comes from the same elite empire management background as all the empire managers who’ve been placed in charge of mainstream media outlets by their plutocratic owners, having gone to Harvard after being literally raised on the campus of Stanford University as a child. Her sister Anne is the founder of the genetic testing company 23andMe and was married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Google itself also uses algorithms to artificially boost empire media in its searches. In 2017 World Socialist Website (WSWS) began documenting the fact that it, along with other leftist and antiwar outlets, had suddenly experienced a dramatic drop in traffic from Google searches. In 2019 the Wall Street Journal confirmed WSWS claims, reporting that “Despite publicly denying doing so, Google keeps blacklists to remove certain sites or prevent others from surfacing in certain types of results.” In 2020 the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet admitted to censoring WSWS at a Senate hearing in response to one senator’s suggestion that Google only censors right-wing content.

Google, for the record, has been financially intertwined with US intelligence agencies since its very inception when it received research grants from the CIA and NSA. It pours massive amounts of money into federal lobbying and DC think tanks, has a cozy relationship with the NSA and has been a military-intelligence contractor from the beginning.

Then you’ve got Facebook, where a third of Americans regularly get their news. Facebook is a bit less evasive about its status quo-enforcing censorship practices, openly enlisting the government-and-plutocrat-funded imperialist narrative management firm The Atlantic Council to help it determine what content to censor and what to boost. Facebook has stated that if its “fact-checkers” like The Atlantic Council deem a page or domain guilty of spreading false information, it will “dramatically reduce the distribution of all of their Page-level or domain-level content on Facebook.”

All the algorithm stacking by the dominant news distribution giants Google and Facebook also ensures that mainstream platforms and reporters will have far more followers than indie media on platforms like Twitter since an article that has been artificially amplified will receive far more views and therefore far more clicks on their social media information. Mass media employees tend to clique up and amplify each other on Twitter, further exacerbating the divide. Meanwhile left and antiwar voices, including myself, have been complaining for years that Twitter artificially throttles their follower count.

If not for these deliberate acts of sabotage and manipulation by Silicon Valley megacorporations, the mainstream media which have deceived us into war after war and which manufacture consent for an oppressive status quo would have been replaced by independent media years ago. These tech giants are the life support system of corporate media propaganda.

The post Silicon Valley Algorithm Manipulation Is The Only Thing Keeping Mainstream Media Alive first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Pfizer Expects Vaccine Will Be “Durable Revenue Stream” As It Seeks Approval For Children 2 To 11

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Yesterday, Pfizer released a strong earnings report (surpassing Wall Street’s elevated projections), and also revealed that it’s both on the cusp of securing regulatory approval in the US for minors between the ages of 12 and 15 to receive the vaccine (setting off another wave of demand as the Biden Administration heaps pressure on states to get their vaccination numbers up).

During a call with analysts and reporters, CEO Albert Bourla revealed that Pfizer is in talks with “basically all the governments of the world” about providing shots and booster shots through 2024.

The key number is that Pfizer expects sales of its coronavirus jab to hit $26 billion by the end of this year, a milestone that would make the vaccine the company’s biggest-selling pharmaceutical product, eclipsing Humira, the popular rheumatoid arthritis drug made by Abbvie. Also, Pfizer said it intends to use its mRNA technology underpinning its COVID-19 jab for other therapies and vaccines. For example, the company is working on creating seasonal flu shots using the same RNA lipid nanoparticle technology.

Bourla has already primed the public to expect to receive at least one additional shot within a year of their second dose, while also teasing the likelihood that the world might require annual booster shots – something that would be a boon to Pfizer’s bottom line as it moves to grow its COVID-19 vaccine division into a major, and permanent, line of business.

To help make its product more durable (and thus increase demand in poorer countries) the company said it is studying whether doses ould be stored at standard refrigerator temperatures.

Regardless, Bourla expects “durable demand” for vaccnes, similar to the flu vaccine.

“It is our hope that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will continue to have a global impact by helping to get the devastating pandemic under control and helping economies around the world not only open, but stay open,” Bourla said in prepared remarks.

That’s bad news for the rag-tag band of emerging-market economies pushing a proposal at the WTO to waive IP rights when it comes to vaccine technology. If Washington were to back such a move, it would supercharge the “open vaccine” movement, and represent a major threat to Pfizer’s latest profit stream. That effort is being led by India and South Africa, yet Bill Gates and Washington lobbyists have continued to insist that respecting IP and letting Big Pharma handle global distribution (as Covax dramatically lags expectations), which means the status quo is likely safe.

Even as WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus decries a “shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines” and calls for more efforts to fortify the WHO’s Covax programs and speed up delivery to poorer nations, Pfizer appears to be more focused on building out its latest profit stream.

President Biden said Tuesday that while he had yet to make a decision on whether to support a vaccine waiver, the US was already moving “as quickly as we can” to export doses.

Pfizer’s earnings were so strong, they helped lift shares of vaccine makers on the other side of the world. Shares of some Asian vaccine makers with deals to distribute Pfizer’s jabs on the Continent rallied in sympathy with Pfizer. India’s Pfizer Ltd., a unit of Pfizer, rallied 4.9%, on Wednesday while Dr. Reddy’s and Cadila Healthcare rallied as much as 2.7% and 5.9%.

Looking ahead, CNN reported Wednesday that the FDA will approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID jab for use in 12 to 15-year-olds as early as next week. Data released by Pfizer recently purported to show that the jab is 100% effective at preventing serious symptoms. According to recent media reports, Pfizer is also seeking approval for the vaccine to be used on children as young as 2 and as old as 11 in both the US and Europe, an authorization it expects to arrive in September.

The post Pfizer Expects Vaccine Will Be “Durable Revenue Stream” As It Seeks Approval For Children 2 To 11 first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Will Special Interests Allow America’s ‘Longest War’ to Finally End?

This article was originally published by Ron Paul at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Even if “won,” endless wars like our 20-year assault on Afghanistan would not benefit our actual national interest in the slightest. So why do these wars continue endlessly? Because they are so profitable to powerful and well-connected special interests.

In fact, the worst news possible for the Beltway military contractor/think tank complex would be that the United States actually won a war. That would signal the end of the welfare-for-the-rich gravy train.

In contrast to the end of declared wars, like World War II when the entire country rejoiced at the return home of soldiers where they belonged, an end to any of Washington’s global military deployments would result in wailing and gnashing of the teeth among the military-industrial complex which gets rich from other people’s misery and sacrifice.

Would a single American feel less safe if we brought home our thousands of troops currently bombing and shooting at Africans?

As Orwell famously said, “the war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous.” Nowhere is this more true than among those whose living depends on the US military machine constantly bombing people overseas.

How many Americans, if asked, could answer the question, “why have we been bombing Afghanistan for an entire generation?” The Taliban never attacked the United States and Osama bin Laden, who temporarily called Afghanistan his home, is long dead and gone. The longest war in US history has dragged on because…it has just dragged on.

So why did we stay? As neocons like Max Boot tell it, we are still bombing and killing Afghans so that Afghan girls can go to school. It’s a pretty flimsy and cynical explanation. My guess is that if asked, most Afghan girls would prefer to not have their country bombed.

Indeed, war has made the Beltway bomb factories and think tanks rich. As Brown University’s Cost of War Project has detailed, the US has wasted $2.26 trillion dollars on a generation of war on Afghanistan. Much of this money has been spent, according to the US government’s own Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, on useless “nation-building” exercises that have built nothing at all. Gold-plated roads to nowhere. Aircraft that cannot perform their intended functions but that have enriched contractors and lobbyists.

President Biden has announced that the US military would be out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11. But as always, the devil is in the details. It appears that US special forces, CIA paramilitaries, and the private contractors who have taken an increasing role in fighting Washington’s wars, will remain in-country. Bombing Afghans so that Max Boot and his neocons can pat themselves on the back.

But the fact is this: Afghanistan was a disaster for the United States. Only the corrupt benefitted from this 20-year highway robbery. Will we learn a lesson from wasting trillions and killing hundreds of thousands? It is not likely. But there will be an accounting. The piper will be paid. Printing mountains of money to pay the corrupt war profiteers will soon leave the working and middle classes in dire straits. It is up to non-interventionists like us to explain to them exactly who has robbed them of their future.

The post Will Special Interests Allow America’s ‘Longest War’ to Finally End? first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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From Mind Control to Viruses: How the Government Keeps Experimenting on Its Citizens

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“They were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don’t recognize them for what they are until it’s too late.” — Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

The U.S. government, in its pursuit of so-called monsters, has itself become a monster.

This is not a new development, nor is it a revelation.

This is a government that has in recent decades unleashed untold horrors upon the world—including its own citizenry—in the name of global conquest, the acquisition of greater wealth, scientific experimentation, and technological advances, all packaged in the guise of the greater good.

Mind you, there is no greater good when the government is involved. There is only greater greed for money and power.

Unfortunately, the public has become so easily distracted by the political spectacle out of Washington, DC, that they are altogether oblivious to the grisly experiments, barbaric behavior, and inhumane conditions that have become synonymous with the U.S. government.

These horrors have been meted out against humans and animals alike. For all intents and purposes, “we the people” have become lab rats in the government’s secret experiments.

Fifty years from now, we may well find out the whole sordid truth behind this COVID-19 pandemic. However, this isn’t intended to be a debate over whether COVID-19 is a legitimate health crisis or a manufactured threat. It is merely to acknowledge that such crises can—and are—manipulated by governments in order to expand their powers.

As we have learned, it is entirely possible for something to be both a genuine menace to the nation’s health and security and a menace to freedom.

This is a road the United States has been traveling for many years now. Indeed, grisly experiments, barbaric behavior, and inhumane conditions have become synonymous with the U.S. government, which has meted out untold horrors against humans and animals alike.

For instance, did you know that the U.S. government has been buying hundreds of dogs and cats from “Asian meat markets” as part of a gruesome experiment into food-borne illnesses? The cannibalistic experiments involve killing cats and dogs purchased from Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam, China, and Ethiopia, and then feeding the dead remains to laboratory kittens, bred in government laboratories for the express purpose of being infected with a disease and then killed.

It gets more gruesome.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been removing parts of dogs’ brains to see how it affects their breathing; applying electrodes to dogs’ spinal cords (before and after severing them) to see how it impacts their cough reflexes, and implanting pacemakers in dogs’ hearts and then inducing them to have heart attacks (before draining their blood). All of the laboratory dogs are killed during the course of these experiments.

It’s not just animals that are being treated like lab rats by government agencies.

“We the people” have also become the police state’s guinea pigs: to be caged, branded, experimented upon without our knowledge or consent, and then conveniently discarded and left to suffer from the after-effects.

Back in 2017, FEMA “inadvertently” exposed nearly 10,000 firefighters, paramedics and other responders to a deadly form of ricin during simulated bioterrorism response sessions. In 2015, it was discovered that an Army lab had been “mistakenly” shipping deadly anthrax to labs and defense contractors for a decade.

While these particular incidents have been dismissed as “accidents,” you don’t have to dig very deep or go very back in the nation’s history to uncover numerous cases in which the government deliberately conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace—citizens and noncitizens alike—making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins.

At the time, the government reasoned that it was legitimate to experiment on people who did not have full rights in society such as prisoners, mental patients, and poor blacks.

In Alabama, for example, 600 black men with syphilis were allowed to suffer without proper medical treatment in order to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis. In California, older prisoners had testicles from livestock and from recently executed convicts implanted in them to test their virility. In Connecticut, mental patients were injected with hepatitis.

In Maryland, sleeping prisoners had a pandemic flu virus sprayed up their noses. In Georgia, two dozen “volunteering” prison inmates had gonorrhea bacteria pumped directly into their urinary tracts through the penis. In Michigan, male patients at an insane asylum were exposed to the flu after first being injected with an experimental flu vaccine. In Minnesota, 11 public service employee “volunteers” were injected with malaria, then starved for five days.

As the Associated Press reports, “The late 1940s and 1950s saw huge growth in the U.S. pharmaceutical and health care industries, accompanied by a boom in prisoner experiments funded by both the government and corporations. By the 1960s, at least half the states allowed prisoners to be used as medical guinea pigs … because they were cheaper than chimpanzees.”

Moreover, “Some of these studies, mostly from the 1940s to the ’60s, apparently were never covered by news media. Others were reported at the time, but the focus was on the promise of enduring new cures while glossing over how test subjects were treated.”

Media blackouts, propaganda, spin. Sound familiar?

How many government incursions into our freedoms have been blacked out, buried under “entertainment” news headlines, or spun in such a way as to suggest that anyone voicing a word of caution is paranoid or conspiratorial?

Unfortunately, these incidents are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the atrocities the government has inflicted on an unsuspecting populace in the name of secret experimentation.

For instance, there was the U.S. military’s secret race-based testing of mustard gas on more than 60,000 enlisted men. As NPR reports, “All of the World War II experiments with mustard gas were done in secret and weren’t recorded on the subjects’ official military records. Most do not have proof of what they went through. They received no follow-up health care or monitoring of any kind. And they were sworn to secrecy about the tests under threat of dishonorable discharge and military prison time, leaving some unable to receive adequate medical treatment for their injuries, because they couldn’t tell doctors what happened to them.”

And then there was the CIA’s MKULTRA program in which hundreds of unsuspecting American civilians and military personnel were dosed with LSD, some having the hallucinogenic drug slipped into their drinks at the beach, in city bars, at restaurants. As Time reports, “before the documentation and other facts of the program were made public, those who talked of it were frequently dismissed as being psychotic.”

Now one might argue that this is all ancient history and that the government today is different from the government of yesteryear, but has the U.S. government really changed?

Has the government become any more humane, any more respectful of the rights of the citizenry? Has it become any more transparent or willing to abide by the rule of law? Has it become any more truthful about its activities? Has it become any more cognizant of its appointed role as a guardian of our rights?

Or has the government simply hunkered down and hidden its nefarious acts and dastardly experiments under layers of secrecy, legalism and obfuscations? Has it not become wilier, more slippery, more difficult to pin down?

Having mastered the Orwellian art of Doublespeak and followed the Huxleyan blueprint for distraction and diversion, are we not dealing with a government that is simply craftier and more conniving that it used to be?

Consider this: after revelations about the government’s experiments spanning the 20th century spawned outrage, the government began looking for human guinea pigs in other countries, where “clinical trials could be done more cheaply and with fewer rules.”

In Guatemala, prisoners and patients at a mental hospital were infected with syphilis, “apparently to test whether penicillin could prevent some sexually transmitted disease.” In Uganda, U.S.-funded doctors “failed to give the AIDS drug AZT to all the HIV-infected pregnant women in a study… even though it would have protected their newborns.” Meanwhile, in Nigeria, children with meningitis were used to test an antibiotic named Trovan. Eleven children died and many others were left disabled.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Case in point: back in 2016, it was announced that scientists working for the Department of Homeland Security would begin releasing various gases and particles on crowded subway platforms as part of an experiment aimed at testing bioterror airflow in New York subways.

The government insisted that the gases released into the subways by the DHS were nontoxic and did not pose a health risk. It’s in our best interests, they said, to understand how quickly a chemical or biological terrorist attack might spread. And look how cool the technology is—said the government cheerleaders—that scientists can use something called DNATrax to track the movement of microscopic substances in air and food. (Imagine the kinds of surveillance that could be carried out by the government using trackable airborne microscopic substances you breathe in or ingest.)

Mind you, this is the same government that in 1949 sprayed bacteria into the Pentagon’s air handling system, then the world’s largest office building. In 1950, special ops forces sprayed bacteria from Navy ships off the coast of Norfolk and San Francisco, in the latter case exposing all of the city’s 800,000 residents.

In 1953, government operatives staged “mock” anthrax attacks on St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Winnipeg using generators placed on top of cars. Local governments were reportedly told that “‘invisible smokescreen[s]’ were being deployed to mask the city on enemy radar.” Later experiments covered territories as wide-ranging as Ohio to Texas and Michigan to Kansas.

In 1965, the government’s experiments in bioterror took aim at Washington’s National Airport, followed by a 1966 experiment in which army scientists exposed a million subway NYC passengers to airborne bacteria that causes food poisoning.

And this is the same government that has taken every bit of technology sold to us as being in our best interests—GPS devices, surveillance, nonlethal weapons, etc.—and used it against us, to track, control and trap us.

So, no, I don’t think the government’s ethics have changed much over the years. It’s just taken its nefarious programs undercover.

The question remains: why is the government doing this? The answer is always the same: money, power and total domination.

It’s the same answer no matter which totalitarian regime is in power.

The mindset driving these programs has, appropriately, been likened to that of Nazi doctors experimenting on Jews. As the Holocaust Museum recounts, Nazi physicians “conducted painful and often deadly experiments on thousands of concentration camp prisoners without their consent.”

The Nazi’s unethical experiments ran the gamut from freezing experiments using prisoners to find an effective treatment for hypothermia, tests to determine the maximum altitude for parachuting out of a plane, injecting prisoners with malaria, typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and infectious hepatitis, exposing prisoners to phosgene and mustard gas, and mass sterilization experiments.

The horrors being meted out against the American people can be traced back, in a direct line, to the horrors meted out in Nazi laboratories. In fact, following the second World War, the U.S. government recruited many of Hitler’s employees, adopted his protocols, embraced his mindset about law and order and experimentation, and implemented his tactics in incremental steps.

Sounds far-fetched, you say? Read on. It’s all documented.

As historian Robert Gellately recounts, the Nazi police state was initially so admired for its efficiency and order by the world powers of the day that J. Edgar Hoover, then-head of the FBI, actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police, the Gestapo.

The FBI was so impressed with the Nazi regime that, according to the New York Times, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen.

All told, thousands of Nazi collaborators—including the head of a Nazi concentration camp, among others—were given secret visas and brought to America by way of Project Paperclip. Subsequently, they were hired on as spies, informants and scientific advisers, and then camouflaged to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. All the while, thousands of Jewish refugees were refused entry visas to the U.S. on the grounds that it could threaten national security.

Adding further insult to injury, American taxpayers have been paying to keep these ex-Nazis on the U.S. government’s payroll ever since. And in true Gestapo fashion, anyone who has dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties has found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.

As if the government’s covert, taxpayer-funded employment of Nazis after World War II wasn’t bad enough, U.S. government agencies—the FBI, CIA and the military—have since fully embraced many of the Nazi’s well-honed policing tactics, and have used them repeatedly against American citizens.

It’s certainly easy to denounce the full-frontal horrors carried out by the scientific and medical community within a despotic regime such as Nazi Germany, but what do you do when it’s your own government that claims to be a champion of human rights all the while allowing its agents to engage in the foulest, bases and most despicable acts of torture, abuse and experimentation?

When all is said and done, this is not a government that has our best interests at heart.

This is not a government that values us.

Perhaps the answer lies in The Third Man, Carol Reed’s influential 1949 film starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. In the film, set in a post-WW II Vienna, rogue war profiteer Harry Lime has come to view human carnage with a callous indifference, unconcerned that the diluted penicillin he’s been trafficking underground has resulted in the tortured deaths of young children.

Challenged by his old friend Holly Martins to consider the consequences of his actions, Lime responds, “In these days, old man, nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don’t, so why should we?

“Have you ever seen any of your victims?” asks Martins.

“Victims?” responds Limes, as he looks down from the top of a Ferris wheel onto a populace reduced to mere dots on the ground. “Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax — the only way you can save money nowadays.”

This is how the U.S. government sees us, too, when it looks down upon us from its lofty perch.

To the powers-that-be, the rest of us are insignificant specks, faceless dots on the ground.

To the architects of the American police state, we are not worthy or vested with inherent rights. This is how the government can justify treating us like economic units to be bought and sold and traded, or caged rats to be experimented upon and discarded when we’ve outgrown our usefulness.

To those who call the shots in the halls of government, “we the people” are merely the means to an end.

“We the people”—who think, who reason, who take a stand, who resist, who demand to be treated with dignity and care, who believe in freedom and justice for all—have become obsolete, undervalued citizens of a totalitarian state that, in the words of Rod Serling, “has patterned itself after every dictator who has ever planted the ripping imprint of a boot on the pages of history since the beginning of time. It has refinements, technological advances, and a more sophisticated approach to the destruction of human freedom.”

In this sense, we are all Romney Wordsworth, the condemned man in Serling’s Twilight Zone episode “The Obsolete Man.”

The Obsolete Man” speaks to the dangers of a government that views people as expendable once they have outgrown their usefulness to the State. Yet—and here’s the kicker—this is where the government through its monstrous inhumanity also becomes obsolete. As Serling noted in his original script for “The Obsolete Man,” “Any state, any entity, any ideology which fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of Man…that state is obsolete.

How do you defeat a monster?

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, you start by recognizing the monster for what it is.

The post From Mind Control to Viruses: How the Government Keeps Experimenting on Its Citizens first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Why Your Grocery Bills Are Going Up (And Are Only Expected to Get Bigger)

This article was originally published by Hannah Cox at The Foundation for Economic Education. 

It’s official: food inflation has arrived. Food prices soared 3.9 percent in 2020, the Department of Agriculture recently reported.

Americans spent a lot of money on groceries over the past year—and it isn’t just because they were eating more meals at home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices jumped 3.9 percent in 2020, nearly triple the rate of inflation.

Unfortunately, this trend seems poised to continue. The US Department of Agriculture estimates grocery bills could increase by another 3 percent in 2021, while some experts are betting on even longer-term problems.

“I think food prices are going to continue to increase for probably a good year, year, and a half,” warns Phil Lempert, founder of SupermarketGuru.com.

Shoppers are already feeling the crunch. Long Island resident John Kermaj recently told NBC News, “We used to buy this stuff for $30. Now it’s $60.”

Diet staples like wheat, corn, soybeans, and meat are among the products seeing the sharpest price uptick. Meat shot up 5.5 percent last year, and prices for fruits like apples, strawberries, and citrus went up by 11.3 percent.

This is no small matter.

Before the pandemic, the number of Americans experiencing food insecurity had been steadily falling. That trend was reversed last year. Northwestern University researchers estimate that food insecurity doubled during this time—placing 23 percent of households in danger of going hungry. It is likely this problem will only worsen as the cost of food continues to grow.

So, what’s causing the spike? A perfect storm, really. Bad weatherstockpiling, increased demand from China, global shipping interruptions, and inflation caused by the extreme money printing by central banks all get honorable mentions. But a significant number of the factors to blame can be traced back to the government’s lockdowns and regulatory policies.

Meat processing plants were one of the industries hardest hit by the lockdowns. Many were forced to close for extended periods of time, and others invested in expensive new equipment and technology to reduce their in-person workforce. These costs were of course ultimately borne by the consumer, and the closures led to supply chain disruptions. Both made the price of meat go up.

Northwestern University researchers estimate that food insecurity doubled during this time—placing 23 percent of households in danger of going hungry.

These closures not only affected the meatpacking plants and their employees but those of many related businesses in the food processing industry as well. The lockdowns also impacted farmers, shipment and distribution facilities, companies that produce the containers and plastic needed to store the meat, and grocers. In a market, one government action can have a ripple effect across hundreds of other industries, and that’s certainly what happened here.

The coronavirus and lockdowns didn’t necessarily cause all of the problems in the meat industry, but they did exacerbate existing issues. The industry was already struggling under absurd government regulations that force farmers to waste good livestock and block them from selling directly to consumers. Combined with the lockdowns, these policies began to threaten our supply chain.

Congressman Thomas Massie called attention to this problem more than a year ago and warned it could lead to a meat shortage. The Kentucky Republican urged Congress to support his PRIME Act to repeal these regulations, but his warnings went unheeded.

Other producers in the agriculture sector have struggled to obtain the workers needed to ramp up production. Across the country, small businesses have been unable to attract Americans back to the workplace as many remain on increased unemployment benefits that pay more than work.

Esteemed economist Thomas Sowell famously said, “There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.” This principle has certainly been put on display during the pandemic, as the government made many trade-offs in its attempts to mitigate the crisis.

There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.

Ultimately, we know that many of their prescribed solutions—closing outdoor spaces, lockdowns, scrubbing surfaces with alcohol—were abject failures. But the trade-offs made in exchange for promises of increased security won’t be fading away anytime soon.

The current food price spikes, and the resulting food instability issues they have fueled, are only the latest in a long line of consequences Americans have suffered as a result of the government’s attempts at solutions in 2020.

Viruses are scary. But the surge in food insecurity is a reminder that all policies come with trade-offs—and that panic-fueled government interventions often only make a crisis worse.

WATCH: Freedom vs. Fear: Which Side Are YOU On?

The post Why Your Grocery Bills Are Going Up (And Are Only Expected to Get Bigger) first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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“The Costs Are Up, Up, Up. We’re Seeing Substantial Inflation” Admits A Surprised Warren Buffett As Powell, Yellen See Nothing

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

We already touched on two of the more colorful exchanges from Saturday’s Berkshire annual videoconference, both of which incidentally starred the traditionally far more outspoken Charlie Munger, who first crushed a generation’s monetary dreams saying that today’s Millennials will have “a hell of a time getting rich compared to our generation”, and then infuriated tens of millions of crypto fans and diamond hands (such as Dan Loeb) when he said that “the whole damn development” of cryptocurrencies “is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.”

Yet while those two incidents may prompt the most Monday morning watercooler talk, what was most relevant from a macro and markets standpoint was Buffett’s observation of something the Fed and Treasury are terrified to admit: that a tidal wave of inflation has been unleashed upon the US and it’s only getting worse.

Speaking to Berkshire’s millions of shareholders on Saturday, Buffett said that he was surprised by the “red hot” US economic rebound and warned the company was being hit by inflationary pressures.

“We’re seeing very substantial inflation,” the 90-year-old billionaire who apparently does not have a Fed charge card, said in his nearly 6-hour long address to investors. But it’s what he said that was especially ominous:  “It’s very interesting. We’re raising prices. People are raising prices to us and it’s being accepted.”

Why does this matter? Because the ability to pass on price increases and have them stick, means the surge in prices will not be transitory, no matter how many times the Biden admin, the Fed, or the Treasury lie and vow the opposite.

Buffett’s comments came one day after the US revealed that household incomes rose by the most in recorded history in March as the latest round of Biden stimmies hit bank accounts.

This has also pushed the total amount of government transfer payments to a record 34%. That’s right: a third of all US household income is now from the state. Marx would be proud.

The surge in income which for now has resulted in record excess savings of roughly $2 trillion, has sent reverberations throughout financial markets, with investors’ inflation expectations over the next decade rising to an eight-year high.

“It just won’t stop,” Buffett added. “People have money in their pocket and they’ll pay the higher prices… There’s more inflation going on that people would have anticipated six months ago or thereabouts” he added.

We urge readers to go over the full exchange because the world Buffett lives in and the one populated by the clueless career economists of the Fed are apparently totally different:

BECKY QUICK: I will ask this question from Chris Freed from Philadelphia. And whoever wants to take this on stage, “From raw material purchases by Berkshire subsidiaries, are you seeing signs of inflation beginning to increase?”

WARREN BUFFETT: Let me answer that, then Greg can get more into that. We’re seeing very substantial inflation – it’s very interesting. I mean, we’re raising prices. People are raising prices to us. And it’s being accepted. Take home-building. I mean, you know, the cost of– we’ve got nine home builders in addition to our manufactured housing operation, which is the largest in the country.

So we really do a lot of housing. The costs are just up, up, up. Steel costs, you know, just every day, they’re going up. And there hasn’t yet been because the wage– the wage stuff follows. I mean, the– the UAW writes a three-year contract, we got a three-year contract.

But if you’re buying steel at General Motors or someplace, you’re paying more every day. So it’s an economy, really– it’s red hot. I mean, and we weren’t expecting it. I mean, all our companies, when they thought when they were allowed to go back to work at, well, various operations, we closed the furniture stores, I mentioned.

You know, they were closed for six weeks or so on average. And they didn’t know what was going to happen when they opened. And they can’t stop people from buying things. And we can’t deliver them. They say, well, that’s OK because nobody else can deliver them either, and we’ll wait for three months or something of the sort.

The backlog grows, and then we thought it would end when the $600– the payments ended, and I think around August of last year, it just kept going. And it keeps going and it keeps going and it keeps going. And I get the figures. Every week, we go over, day by day, what happened at the three different stores in Chicago and Kansas City and Dallas.

And it just won’t stop. People have money in their pocket, and they pay the higher prices. And when corporate prices go up in a month or two– and that was the price increase for April 1– our costs are going up, supply chain’s all screwed up for all kinds of people. But it’s a buy– it’s almost a buying frenzy, except certain areas, you can’t buy at.

You know, you really can’t buy international air travel. And so the money is being diverted from a little– some piece of the economy into the rest. And everybody’s got more cash in their pocket than– except for, meanwhile, it’s a terrible situation for a percentage of the people.

I haven’t worn a suit for a year, practically. And that means that the dry cleaners just went out of business. I mean, nobody’s bringing in suits to get dry cleaned, and nobody’s bringing in white shirts the place where my wife goes.

The small business person, if you didn’t have takeout and delivery services for restaurants, you got killed. On the other hand, if you’ve got takeout facilities, then, same-store sales at Dairy Queen are up a whole lot, and they adapted. But it is not a price-sensitive economy right now in the least. And I don’t know exactly how– what shows up in different price indices. But there’s more inflation going on than– quite a bit more inflation going on than people would have anticipated just six months ago or thereabouts.

CHARLIE MUNGER: Yeah, and there’s one very intelligent man who thinks it’s dangerous. And that’s just the start.

WARREN BUFFETT: Greg, you probably are in a good position to comment.

GREG ABEL: Yeah, well, Warren, I think you touched on it. When we look at steel prices, timber prices, any petroleum input, you know, fundamentally there’s pressure on those raw materials. I do think something you’ve touched someone, Warren, and it goes really back to the raw materials.

There’s a scarcity of product right now, of certain raw materials. It’s impacting price and the ability to deliver the end product but, you know, that scarcity factor is also real out there right now, as our businesses address that challenge. And it may be the sum of that’s contribute– or arisen from the storm we previously discussed in Texas. When you take down that many petrochemical plants in one state that the rest of the country is very dependent upon it, we’re seeing it flow through both on price, but overall in scarcity of product, which obviously go together. But there’s challenges, that’s for sure.

Buffett’s admission was also remarkable because it was in opposition to all the official manure spoon-fed to the gullible peasants by the President and his economic henchmen (or is that sexist: perhaps henchpeople is more apt?). Case in point, today former Fed chair and current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that Biden’s multi-trillion economic plan is unlikely to create inflation pressure in the U.S. because the boost to demand will be spread over a decade.

“I don’t believe that inflation will be an issue. But if it becomes an issue, we have tools to address it,” Yellen said Sunday on NBC’s leftist Meet the Press show. “It’s spread out quite evenly over eight to 10 years. So, the boost to demand is moderate,” she said of the proposed spending.

Yellen also said the U.S. has the “fiscal space” to make investments in its economy, with interest rates low and likely to remain so, but over the long haul, budget deficits need to be “contained.”

In other words, all those soaring prices, including the Costco shrinkflation seeking to mask a 14% price increase with small offerings… well, just ignore that for a few more years until the “transitory” period ends. Assuming it ends, of course. It didn’t quite end in the 1970s when inflation was also supposed to be transitory.

Yellen said that while the administration needs “fiscal space to be able to address” emergencies like the pandemic, it needs to do so with a long-term plan in mind. “We don’t want to use up all of that fiscal space, and over the long-run deficits need to be contained to keep our federal finances on a sustainable basis,” she said.

Asked about the proposed tax increases that would come with Biden’s spending plan, Yellen focused on the U.S. proposal for a global minimum corporate tax, and efforts to clamp down on tax loopholes in the U.S. “An important way of paying for this is increasing tax compliance,” she said. “It’s estimated that underpayment of taxes that are really due is costing us, the federal government, about $7 trillion over a decade.”

While Yellen touched on rising taxes, there were several other items she refused to touch upon:

It wasn’t just Yellen lying to the people: another top Biden administration economic adviser said inflation now apparent in certain pockets of the economy is “transitory” as the nation exits the pandemic. Cecilia Rouse, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said supply chain issues and labor market shortages are “bumps along the way” to recovery.

There’s no sense for now that these price increases are becoming “de-anchored,” she said on “Fox News Sunday,” while promising to remain vigilant on inflation pressures.

“For the time being we expect at most transitory inflation, that is what we expect coming out of a big recession,” she said. It wasn’t clear what would happen when her expectation was proven to be wrong.

Yellen and Rouse spoke following last week’s unveiling of the latest economic plan from the Biden administration, which is proposing a combination of $1.8 trillion in spending and tax credits for areas such as education, child care, and paid family and medical leave. This comes on top of almost $2.25 trillion in infrastructure, home health care and other outlays that the administration proposed at the end of March, not to mention the $5 trillion that the government has injected into the economy through the three pandemic relief packages passed by Congress during the past 14 months.

In short, we are looking at $10 trillion in new government handouts in the coming years, give or take a few trillion.

None of this matters to the “big man” himself – and no, not the nearly 80-year-old Biden, of course, who is merely a puppet for whoever writes the lines into his teleprompter – but Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who shrugged off such concerns last week, telling reporters that the reopening of the economy may lead to a single episode of price increases, but not a long-running bout of inflation.

Which, of course, is a lie and for what is really coming please re-read “We Are At The Early Stage Of The Biggest Cobra Effect In The History Of Economics.

* * *

Finally, for those who missed it, here are the main highlights from Berkshire’s nearly 6 hour Saturday tour de force annual meeting, (courtesy of Bloomberg):

  • SPACs, Robinhood, and day trading. We got plenty of opinions from Buffett and Munger on these trends that have gripped the markets over the past year. Buffett called the SPAC boom a “killer” when it comes to creating more competition for Berkshire’s dealmaking desires. But he acknowledged that the stock market has become more of a casino with all the day trading and it creates its own reality for a while until it all blows up. On Robinhood, Buffett acknowledged that gambling isn’t bad but taking advantage of that instinct isn’t the most admirable part of society.
  • Buffett made some big moves last year, dumping airline stocks and paring back bank bets. He acknowledged today that airlines could have had a different outcome on federal relief if they had a super-rich company as a top shareholder, but even then, he wouldn’t buy airlines given the slump in international travel.
  • Buffett admitted to a few missteps over the past year. Haven, the health care venture, failed eventually and Buffett said that they couldn’t really tackle the “tapeworm” of health care. He added that last year, amid the airline sales, wasn’t Berkshire’s greatest moment. Plus, it was a mistake to sell some Apple stock last year, he added.
  • We only got a potential new clue about succession. At one point, Charlie Munger mentioned that Greg Abel would maintain the culture at Berkshire. Abel has been seen as the most likely successor — he’s younger and controls a lot of Berkshire businesses. But no successor has been publicly announced, so that little comment might be picked up by a few investors eager to know who will take over.
  • Two shareholder proposals — one on climate change and one on diversity — got a lot of attention ahead of the meeting with proxy advisers Glass Lewis and ISS pushing back against some of Berkshire’s views. But both of those ended up being voted down at the end of the meeting.

And here is a detailed breakdown courtesy of @TheRationalWalk

Starting a thread for the Berkshire Hathaway 2021 annual meeting which has just started. $BRKA $BRKB

Abel and Jain are present on stage, although off to the side from Buffett and Munger.

Buffett is spending a few minutes talking about Jain and Abel to introduce them to the shareholders.

Very good to have all of them available for Q&A on the same stage.

Buffett is pointing out how the accounting rule change a few years ago distorted quarterly (and annual) earnings by including unrealized gains and losses from investments in net income.

This makes periodic earnings swing dramatically and misleads many investors.

Buffett has a slide of the top 20 companies in the world by market cap, 5 of the top 6 U.S. based which led into a pep talk on the United States, which he does so well.

“The system has worked unbelievably well.”

Now Buffett puts up a slide of the top 20 companies in the world from 1989. None of the 20 from 30 years ago are on the present list. Zero. And 13 of the 20 were from Japan!

The top company in 1989 had a market cap of $104 billion – Industrial Bank of Japan.

Buffett is directing this very good history lesson at new investors, but most will just see an old man talking about Henry Ford and disregard his statements. Too bad for them.

Buffett has a list of auto companies from the early 20th century that eventually went bust. Dozens of auto companies just starting with the letters “Ma”. Thousands of entrants. Incredible future. Most failed.

“It’s not as easy at it sounds.”

Referring to entering new and exciting markets that will change the world.

First question asks why Buffett was defensive early in the pandemic. A lot of hindsight bias in that question. Of course it wasn’t the right call … given the history that played out.

Buffett talks about his role controlling risk at Berkshire.

Buffett implies that if Berkshire was still in the airlines, they might not have received the aid that they did. That’s very interesting. He’s implying that Berkshire’s exit from the airlines in some way facilitated the fact that government bailed them out.

Next question is why Berkshire didn’t deploy more cash at the lows in March 2020. More hindsight bias in that question …

Interestingly, Buffett notes that the $20 billion minimum cash balance is going to be increased given Berkshire’s current size.

The day before the Fed acted, Buffett thinks that even Berkshire could not have issued debt. Markets were closed. He’s praising Powell for acting, praising Congress for acting. “It did the job.”

Buffett did not think that it was a “sure thing” that government would act as they did. He was unwilling to COUNT on government acting as they did in March 2020. He won’t rely on the kindness of anyone. And that’s how I like it, and I suspect most shareholders agree.

Munger says that the questioner is “out of their mind” to think that Berkshire could bottom tick the market in March 2020.

Q: Should long term Berkshire shareholders diversify into an index fund?

A: Munger prefers holding Berkshire to holding an index fund. Buffett recommends the S&P 500 index fund, has never recommended Berkshire to anyone.

Buffett “likes Berkshire” but suggests that people who don’t know anything about stocks or no “special feelings” about Berkshire should buy the S&P 500 index.

Buffett is going out of his way to not talk up Berkshire, which is fine, but I question the idea of suggesting the S&P 500 index at current valuations. I don’t think that does anyone any favors.

In the context of dollar cost averaging into index over a long lifetime, S&P 500 is OK, but the question was from a longtime shareholder asking if he should diversify into an index. It would seem nuts to sell BRK to buy the S&P 500, in my opinion. Munger seems to agree.

BREAKING: Munger would prefer to have a son-in-law who works at Chevron rather than as an English professor at Swarthmore.

Buffett doesn’t use the word “asinine” often, but tears into the ESG proposals which I assume will be discussed more fully during the formal shareholder meeting when the matter comes up for a vote.

“We don’t do things just because we have a department of this or a department of that … what’s important is what we are doing at BHE and the railroad…”

Buffett is really fired up talking about renewables and how you can’t turn off the coal plant until you have transmission from wind power to where it is actually used.

I can tell he’s pissed about Berkshire getting a bum rap on the environment.

Buffett turns over the question to Abel who has slides prepared regarding Berkshire’s environmental record at the energy group. Goes back to a 2007 conference where he discussed climate change, policy, innovation, etc… These guys are prepared for the ESG proposals…

Buffett asks “How many other energy companies were there” when Abel talks about a group of companies that made commitments regarding the Paris climate agreement. Abel says “none”.

Buffett: “We’d spend $100 billion on infrastructure” referencing Biden’s speech on Wednesday stating that we need more infrastructure spending.

If we get a 10% return, I’m all for it as well.

Good question on prospects for insurance when Buffett and Jain are no longer involved. Should Berkshire then focus on short-tail lines?

Jain talks about pricing for the unknowns unknowns – a good answer, but not really addressing succession.

Buffett: “We are willing to lose $10 billion in a single event” if paid appropriately for taking on a risk.

Sounds like a big number but not relative to Berkshire’s current size.

“Warren and I don’t have to agree on every damn thing we do.”

Charlie’s answer when asked about differences of opinion between him and Buffett on Costco and Wells Fargo.

Having Jain and Abel on stage interacting with each other is quite valuable for shareholders.

“In three more years, Charlie will be aging at 1% per year. No one is aging less than Charlie.”

Very funny, Warren …

Jain talking about GEICO and Progressive – very candid about Progressive as a formidable competitor and the relative advantages of GEICO and Progressive.

I can tell Jain doesn’t engage in BS. At all.

Buffett talking about $AAPL. Munger thought that Buffett selling a little was a mistake.

Charlie: “Yes”

Buffett is talking about how Apple products are indispensable to customers.

He’s right about some people picking their phone over a car if they had to choose between the two.

People are addicted to their damn phones.

Buffett talking about how interest rates are like financial gravity when asked about stock valuations.

Buffett looking for a clipping from a … paper WSJ … noting that the government sold 4 week t-bills at an average price of 100.000000. Free money for Uncle Sam.

Buffett notes that there has been an incredible change in anything that produces money because the risk free rate is now zero.

And of course he’s right. But for how long will this last? Is it “safe” to price stocks as if the risk free rate will be zero forever?

“The most interesting movie we have ever seen.”

Buffett characterizing the current economic environment.

Buffett: Low interest rates reduce the value of float substantially but Berkshire has options for investing that others don’t have.

As noted earlier today, Buffett shuns fixed income securities for this very reason.

Buffett notes that most SPACs have a two year limit for deploying cash. If you have a gun to your head, then you’ll buy something.

The meeting is half over and no Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Elon, or Crypto questions yet, unless I missed it.

Buffett says that he has roughly $70-80 billion that he would love to put to work.

$20 billion is not the minimum cash level anymore, as he alluded to earlier. It is probably double of that or more, but he has not specified.

Charlie: “Bernie Sanders has won.” Referring to the millennials having trouble rising as far as earlier generations. Um….

Buffett defends the logic of repurchases vs. dividends as a way of cashing out shareholders who want cash, leaving the rest of us alone to continue compounding.

Tax efficiently, I might add.

Munger: Critics are bonkers.

Amen.

I feel very good about not receiving a surprise dividend from Berkshire anytime soon.

Which I suspect will remain the case as long as Buffett and Munger are around since they don’t want to pay the taxes any more than I do.

Buffett stresses that he doesn’t speak for Berkshire when providing his personal views on taxes.

He punts on tax questions. Although he certainly has spoken in the past on taxes at prior meetings.

I like the new policy.

Munger: “I wouldn’t move across the street to save my children $500 million in taxes.”

But … “Who in the hell would drive out the rich people?”

The government owns “Berkshire Class AA stock”. They can take a percentage of earnings without owning any of the company. Indeed.

Buffett thinks that his wealth will accomplish more utility in private philanthropy run by smart people. It won’t make a “damn bit of difference” if it goes to the Federal government. I agree.

I suspect (or at least hope) that Buffett has spoken to the President about tax policy, especially the folly of even thinking about thinking about taxing *unrealized* gains annually, one of the more bonkers ideas to ever be proposed in Washington. Truly nuts.

Buffett: Valuation for Kansas City Southern deal would not be happening without interest rates at current levels. A combination would have a small impact on BNSF and Union Pacific.

Buffett: Biggest single “risk factor” never appearing in a company filing is a CEO who is personable and everyone likes but doesn’t know what he or she is doing.

CRYPTO/BITCOIN QUESTION!!!

Buffett dodges the question. He doesn’t want 400,000 people mad at him and 2 people happy.

Charlie: “You’re waving a red flag at a bull.” Rant follows on bitcoin and other things invented out of thin air … Disgusting, contrary to the interests of civilization…

Q: Why is BRK’s proposal for TX grid better than Musk’s proposal?

Abel: BRK’s proposal is the best they could come up with. If Elon’s proposal is better, then Texas should pursue it. Notes that battery solution isn’t as robust in terms of duration of power supplied.

Buffett: We know what we can do for TX grid. If someone can provide a solution cheaper and faster, they should do it.

Notes that Berkshire is backing proposal with $4 billion penalty if they fail to deliver.

Q for Ajit: Would you underwrite an insurance policy for Elon Musk’s mission to Mars?

“No thank you, I will pass.”

Buffett: Depends on the premium. And on whether Elon is on the mission or not. Skin in the game.

Ajit: “I would be very concerned about writing an insurance policy with Elon Musk on the other side.”

Q: Why aren’t Ted and Todd available to answer questions?

Buffett: Why would we make Ted and Todd available to talk stocks and share ideas with competitors?

Munger is convinced that China will allow companies to flourish. They “changed communism” because they didn’t want to stay poor. A remarkable change coming from such a place. And it has worked like gangbusters. Munger very complimentary.

This will trigger many people.

Q:What happened to the joint health care initiative with Amazon and J.P. Morgan?

Buffett: We learned more about health care in decentralized Berkshire subsidiaries and is one place where centralization could save some real money.

Very hard to change the overall system.

Buffett notes that when companies pay healthcare costs for employees, its an abstraction to employees. They don’t realize that they are really paying in the form of lower wages. And they like that.

Munger: “No kidding”

Buffett notes that U.S. pays 17% of GDP for healthcare while no other major country pays more than 11% yet we get poorer results.

Rational Walk: “No kidding”

Buffett on the failure of the joint healthcare initiative with J.P. Morgan and Amazon:

“We were fighting a tapeworm, and the tapeworm won.”

Question: What do Jain and Abel read on a daily basis?

90% of Ajit’s reading is related to insurance. Abel focuses on the operating businesses he’s in charge of.

Blocking and tackling.

Buffett: Nothing illegal or immoral about gambling on Robinhood but you can’t build a society around it. Not admirable. Will read prospectus.

Munger: “Waving a red flag at a bull.” Godawful. Deeply wrong. State lotteries: States pushed aside mafia in numbers game.

Q: Signs of inflation in subsidiaries?

Buffett: Very substantial. We are raising prices. People are raising prices to us. It’s being accepted. Take homebuilding. Cost up up up. Every day. cc @federalreserve

Buffett is clearly seeing inflation pressure. Doesn’t sound like he thinks it is “transitory”.

Who do you believe? Warren Buffett or Jay Powell and his army of phd economists?

I am paraphrasing, but the transcript will be posted soon, the video will be available, and I’d encourage everyone to read his statements on cost pressures verbatim.

“There’s more inflation going on that people would have anticipated six months ago or thereabouts.”

Listening to that exchange just now makes me want to take out a large thirty year fixed rate mortgage as soon as possible even if I might be paying a high price for a property.

Buffett notes that while rich people can change states relatively easily, a business with plants cannot change so quickly and must be very careful about the pension deficits in various jurisdictions.

Q: Biggest lesson over the past year?

Buffett: “Listen more to Charlie.”

Munger: “We are in uncharted territory.”

Buffett talks about the long term prospects for Berkshire over the next many decades, etc.

No break between the 3 1/2 hour Q&A session and formal meeting. Buffett is 90. Munger is 97.

The formal meeting is a foregone conclusion in terms of the outcome of the two shareholder proposals so I’ll conclude this thread here.

The full annual meeting is here.

The post “The Costs Are Up, Up, Up. We’re Seeing Substantial Inflation” Admits A Surprised Warren Buffett As Powell, Yellen See Nothing first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Get Ready For The Most Painful Inflation Since The Jimmy Carter Years Of The 1970s

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

If you are too young to have been alive during the 1970s, you might want to read up on that decade, because current economic conditions are starting to become eerily similar to what we experienced back then.  In the 1970s, an energy crisis caused tremendously long lines at gas stations all over the country.

In 2021, we don’t have a shortage of gasoline, but shortages of other key products are starting to cause very serious problems.  In fact, as you will see below, even the Biden administration is publicly admitting that there will be “supply chain disruptions” in the months ahead.  The 1970s also featured extremely painful inflation, and I certainly don’t need to tell you that prices have been rising very aggressively lately.  In fact, Bloomberg is using the term “skyrocketing” to describe the “upward trajectory” of commodity prices…

The prices of raw materials used to make almost everything are skyrocketing, and the upward trajectory looks set to continue as the world economy roars back to life.

From steel and copper to corn and lumber, commodities started 2021 with a bang, surging to levels not seen for years. The rally threatens to raise the cost of goods from the lunchtime sandwich to gleaming skyscrapers. It’s also lit the fuse on the massive reflation trade that’s gripped markets this year and pushed up inflation expectations. With the U.S. economy pumped up on fiscal stimulus, and Europe’s economy starting to reopen as its vaccination rollout gets into gear, there’s little reason to expect a change in direction.

Over the past year, the Federal Reserve has pumped more money into the financial system than ever before, and the U.S. government has been on a wild spending spree that makes Zimbabwe look fiscally conservative.

It was inevitable that this was going to cause rampant inflation, but the numbers that we are starting to see are so crazy they are difficult to believe.  A couple of weeks ago, Charlie Bilello posted a summary of how commodity prices have changed over the past year…

Lumber: +265%
WTI Crude: +210%
Gasoline: +182%
Brent Crude +163%
Heating Oil: +107%
Corn: +84%
Copper: +83%
Soybeans: +72%
Silver: +65%
Sugar: +59%
Cotton: +54%
Platinum: +52%
Natural Gas: +43%
Palladium: +32%
Wheat: +19%
Coffee: +13%

At this point, nobody can deny what is happening, and even the Biden administration is admitting that there will be “supply chain disruptions” and “transitory increases in prices”…

Council of Economic Advisers chair Cecilia Rouse said on this week’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday” that they expect to see some “transitory inflation” as America is coming out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Anchor Chris Wallace said, “Can you guarantee with all this spending that we are not going to have a new round of overheating the economy and serious inflation?

Rouse said, “These are very serious concerns, and we know that coming out of an extremely deep recession that there are going to be bumps along the way. We expect that there is going to be supply chain disruptions. That will cause some transitory increases in prices.”

Biden administration officials would like for us to believe that this inflationary period will just be “temporary”, but exactly how do they plan to achieve that?

Do they have a plan to somehow pull trillions of dollars out of the system?

No, they are planning to borrow and spend trillions more.

In the 1970s, double-digit inflation made headlines for years on end.  Many people believe that we are well on the way to a return to such levels, but according to John Williams of shadowstats.com, we are already there.  In fact, if inflation was still calculated the way that it was back in 1980, we would already be in double-digit territory.

And for certain items, we are already seeing inflation that is off the charts.

For example, the price of corn is up more than 30 percent so far in 2021…

From tortillas to cornbread, some of your favorite corn-based dishes may go up in price late this summer.

Corn has been leading the rally among grain commodities, rising more than 30% in 2021, according to MarketWatch.

Corn is used in hundreds of different products at the grocery store, and so this is going to dramatically affect the food budgets of millions upon millions of American families.

Meanwhile, we continue to see more shortages start to emerge.  Last week, the mainstream media was freaking out over our new nationwide chicken shortage

A chicken shortage is taking place across the country, much of it fueled by the chicken sandwich craze at fast food chains such as KFC and Bojangles, which are having a hard time keeping up with soaring demand. Experts say February’s massive winter storm in Texas also contributed to gaps in the supply chain.

That shortage is supposed to be “temporary”, but analysts are warning that the current computer chip shortage could last until 2022.

But despite all of the problems that I just detailed, Americans are increasingly optimistic about the future.

In fact, one recent poll found that a whopping 64 percent of all Americans “are optimistic about the direction of the country”

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) are optimistic about the direction of the country in the poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel.

And Americans are also extremely optimistic about the stock market.  If you can believe it, Americans now have more of their assets invested in the stock market than ever before

Individual investors are holding more stocks than ever before as major indexes climb to fresh highs. They are also upping the ante by borrowing to magnify their bets or increasingly buying on small dips in the market.

Stockholdings among U.S. households increased to 41% of their total financial assets in April, the highest level on record. That is according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Federal Reserve data going back to 1952 that includes 401(k) retirement accounts.

Most Americans seem to believe that happy days are here again, and the stage is set for an immense nationwide emotional meltdown once this “bubble of hope” inevitably bursts.

Anyone that believes that things are going to get better has a fundamental misunderstanding of the times in which we live.

We have just been through the most painful year for the U.S. economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and I know that most people would like to see things turn around, but that simply is not going to happen.

Very dark days are ahead, and those that are trusting Joe Biden to save America are going to be bitterly, bitterly disappointed.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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US Intelligence Tells Congress China’s Nuclear Arsenal “On Track To Exceed Our Previous Projection”

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

A hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee this week on the range of threats the United States faces globally focused on China and Chinese leadership viewing US power as “declining” while Beijing is “rising” on the world stage.

Most notable from the testimony is US intelligence’s view of China’s expanding nuclear arsenal, which is projected to at least double over the next decade. While currently, the Department of Defense estimates China’s warhead stockpile to be in the low-200s, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, told the Senate hearing on Thursday that a rapid expansion of its stockpile is a top priority for Beijing. To the surprise of lawmakers, he strongly suggested that the DIA’s most recent projections actually underestimated China’s true nuclear expansion and ambitions.

“In the span of capabilities that they have, the nuclear piece has been one component. It has been a priority for them,” Berrier told the lawmakers in response to a question by Sen. Tom Cotton, a well-known foremost China hawk. “And I think they have racked and stacked that in the things that they think that they need to get done by 2030 or 2035,” the DIA director followed with.

Gen. Berrier explained that US defense intelligence now sees China as seeking to outpace even the earlier Pentagon projections. He said:

“China is expanding and diversifying its nuclear arsenal… Last year, we assessed that China had a nuclear warhead stockpile in the low-200s and projected it to at least double over the next decade.

Since then, Beijing has accelerated its nuclear expansion and is on track to exceed our previous projectionPLA nuclear forces are expected to continue to grow with their nuclear stockpile likely to at least double in size over this decade and increase the threat to the U.S. homeland.”

And he further warned China is “probably” seeking to “match” many of America and Russia’s more advanced nuclear warhead capabilities and delivery platforms:

China probably seeks to narrow, match, or in some areas exceed U.S. qualitative equivalency with new nuclear warheads and delivery platforms that at least equal the effectiveness, reliability, and/or survivability of some U.S. and Russian warheads and delivery platforms under development. The PLA continues to improve its pursuit of a nuclear triad, and increasing evidence indicates that Beijing seeks to keep a portion of its nuclear forces on a “launch-on-warning” posture.

You will find more infographics at Statista

 

Berrier elsewhere in the testimony affirmed that China is “the long-term strategic competitor to the United States” and remains “as a pacing threat, [Beijing] poses a major security challenge.”

Via Japan Times

He said Beijing is focusing its defense technology efforts “almost certainly” toward holding” the US and allied forces at greater risk and greater distances from the Chinese mainland.”

In 2020 the Illinois-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimated that China possesses 350 nuclear warheads, a number far higher than the more conservative DoD estimate. In its report at the time, the think tank wrote, “We estimate that China has a produced a stockpile of approximately 350 nuclear warheads, of which roughly 272 are for delivery by more than 240 operational land-based ballistic missiles, 48 sea-based ballistic missiles, and 20 nuclear gravity bombs assigned to bombers. The remaining 78 warheads are intended to arm additional land- and sea-based missiles that are in the process of being fielded.”

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FACT CHECK: No, Biden is NOT Ending the War in Afghanistan, He’s Just Rebranding It

This article was originally published by Matt Agorist at The Free Thought Project. 

Americans on both the right and the left celebrated the words of Joe Biden’s April 14th speech in which he said, “ it’s time to end the forever war….It is time for American troops to come home.” After all, the idea of ending the brutal occupation of Afghanistan is appealing, but Biden was lying through his teeth.

“War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking,” Biden said. “We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is degraded in Afghanistan.”

Exactly what “objectives” the president was talking about remain unclear, however. Did he mean the epidemic of veteran and active duty suicides skyrocketing as a result of PTSD? Was one of the objectives to kill thousands of US troops and maim, mangle, and mentally destroy tens of thousands of others?

What about Afghanistan, was one of the objectives to destabilize the entire country and turn it into a pit of rubble? Because that certainly happened.

Was another objective to create a breeding ground for Islamist extremism by constantly blowing up innocent civilians ensuring an assembly line of pissed-off Afghans who justly call for the blood of those who dropped bombs on them for decades?

Was the objective to spend trillions of dollars in taxpayer money and future debt and get absolutely nothing in return?

If these were the objectives, by all means, the Biden administration deserves a pat on the back, because, for eight years, they helped to accomplish these objectives. Just like Bush and Cheney before them and Trump and Pence after them, the establishment’s objective of perpetual war did nothing to bolster the freedom and quality of life for Americans and everything to turn the Middle East into a hellscape of death, destruction, and suffering.

To be clear, no one here at the Free Thought Project disputes that it is time to end this war and bring the troops home. The American military never should have been there to begin with and America’s presence there has only served to further destabilize, destroy, and create a breeding ground for terrorism.

The Biden administration knows this. They also know that anyone who declares an end to the Afghan war is lying through their teeth, including Joe Biden. But don’t take our word for it, let’s see what the pro-Biden media has to say about it.

Not 24 hours after Biden declared the war in Afghanistan to be over, the New York Times reported “the Pentagon, American spy agencies and Western allies are refining plans to deploy a less visible but still potent force in the region.”

Wait what? I thought our lord and savior Biden said the war was over? How are all these facets going to remain and the war be over?

In the Times article, former CIA officer and counterterrorism expert Marc Polymeropoulos explained in essence that the war will certainly continue, it’s merely changing shape.

“What we are really talking about are how to collect intelligence and then act against terrorist targets without any infrastructure or personnel in the country other than essentially the embassy in Kabul,” he said.

With no “troops” on the ground, CIA and “black” special operations will continue, some of it based in neighboring countries, while a combination of “trainers,” contractors, and non-military assets (e.g., DEA, FBI, State Department) will continue. And of course, given that air and drone strikes are the epitome of counter-terrorism, high-value targeting will continue against al-Qaida and ISIS, and even the Taliban, just from remote bases.

How can Biden declare war to be over if he is still raining down hellfire missiles inside the borders of the country? He can’t. That’s why he’s lying. What he really meant to say is that America’s war machine is simply changing shape and death and destruction will continue to take place — in the name of “spreading democracy” — but it will happen remotely from Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, and other states instead.

If you want a glimpse into the future of a “remote” war in Afghanistan, you need only look at the hellish scenarios produced by similar tactics in US proxy wars in Yemen, Syria, and Somalia.

What’s more, also absent from Biden’s speech is the fact that the US taxpayers are currently footing the bill, according to the Times, for “[m]ore than 16,000 civilian contractors, including over 6,000 Americans, [who] now provide security, logistics and other support in Afghanistan.”

Is it not considered war when taxpayer dollars flow to private mercenaries to carry out death and destruction in America’s name? If it is not war, then is it a conspiracy to commit murder on a massive scale by hiring thousands of hitmen?

According to a recent analysis from Brown University called the Cost of War Project, the size and scope of the suffering and debt caused by the Afghan war alone, is unfathomable and nearly limitless.

On top of more than 2 trillion in taxpayer dollars paying for decades of senseless violence in Afghanistan, the human toll is soul-crushing. The analysis estimates that 241,000 people have lost their lives in the Afghanistan War, including 2,442 US military service members, nearly 4,000 US contractors, and more than 71,000 civilians.

However, these numbers are likely five to ten times higher or more because they do not take into account indirect deaths due to hunger, disease, water shortages, and more that stem from the horrors of the US conducting war in the region.

After two decades of fighting, neither al-Qaida nor the Taliban have been eliminated, ISIS has emerged, and radical Islam has expanded. Countless veterans suffer daily and so do the families of those who never came home — and it was all for nothing. When will this horror actually end?

Anything short of a complete withdraw of all US funding, assets, contractors, troops, equipment, and yes, remote operations, would be a complete insult to the lives lost in America’s longest quagmire. Anyone who claims the war has ended without explicitly naming everything in this list is lying through their teeth. And that includes the Commander-in-Chief.

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CNN’s New “Reporter,” Natasha Bertrand, is a Deranged Conspiracy Theorist and Scandal-Plagued CIA Propagandist

This article was originally published by Glen Greenwald at Glen Greenwald.

CNN’s new national security reporter Natasha Bertrand, then of Politico and NBC News, with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Sept. 19, 2019

The most important axiom for understanding how the U.S. corporate media functions are that there is never accountability for those who serve as propagandists for the U.S. security state. The opposite is true: the more aggressively and recklessly you spread CIA narratives or pro-war manipulation, the more rewarded you will be in that world.

The classic case is Jeffrey Goldberg, who wrote one of the most deceitful and destructive articles of his generation: a lengthy New Yorker article in May 2002 — right as the propagandistic groundwork for the invasion of Iraq was being laid — that claimed Saddam Hussein had formed an alliance with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. In February 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, NPR host Robert Siegel devoted a long segment to this claim. When he asked Goldberg about “a man named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,” Goldberg replied: “He is one of several men who might personify a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda.”

Needless to say, nothing could generate hatred for someone among the American population — just nine months away from the 9/11 attack — more than associating them with bin Laden. Five months after Goldberg’s New Yorker article, the U.S. Congress authorized the use of military force to impose regime change on Iraq; ten months later, the U.S. invaded Iraq; and by September 2003, close to 70% of Americans believed the lie that Saddam had personally participated in the 9/11 attack.

Goldberg’s fabrication-driven article generated ample celebratory media attention and even prestigious journalism awards. It also led to great financial rewards and career advancement. In 2007, The Atlantic‘s publisher David Bradley lured Goldberg away from The New Yorker by lavishing him with a huge signing bonus and even sent exotic horses to entertain Goldberg’s children. Goldberg is now the editor-in-chief of that magazine and thus one of the most influential figures in media. In other words, the person who wrote what is arguably the most disastrous article of that decade was one most rewarded by the industry — all because he served the aims of the U.S. security state and its war aims. That is how U.S. corporate journalism functions.

Another illustrative mascot for this lucrative career path is NBC‘s national security correspondent Ken Dilanian. In 2014, his own former paper, The Los Angeles Times, acknowledged his “collaborative” relationship with the CIA. During his stint there, he mimicked false claims from John Brennan’s CIA that no innocent people were killed from a 2012 Obama drone strike, only for human rights groups and leaked documents to prove many were.

A FOIA request produced documents published by The Intercept in 2015 that showed Dilanian submitting his “reporting” to the CIA for approval in violation of The LA Times’ own ethical guidelines and then repeating what he was told to say. But again, serving the CIA even with false “reporting” and unethical behavior is a career benefit in corporate media, not an impediment, and Dilanian rapidly fell upward after these embarrassing revelations. He first went to Associated Press and then to NBC News, where he broadcast numerous false Russiagate scams including purporting to “independently confirm” CNN’s ultimately retracted bombshell that Donald Trump, Jr. obtained advance access to the 2016 WikiLeaks archive.

The Huffington Post, Sept. 5, 2014

On Monday, CNN made clear that this dynamic still drives the corporate media world. The network proudly announced that it had hired Natasha Bertrand away from Politico. In doing so, they added to their stable of former CIA operatives, NSA spies, Pentagon Generals, and FBI agents a reporter who has done as much as anyone, if not more so, to advance the scripts of those agencies.

Bertrand’s career began taking off when, while at Business Insider, she abandoned her obsession with Russia’s role in Syria in 2016 in order to monomaniacally fixate on every last conspiracy theory and gossip item that drove the Russiagate fraud during the 2016 campaign and then into the Trump presidency. Each month, Bertrand produced dozens of Russiagate articles for the site that were so unhinged that they made Rachel Maddow look sober, cautious, and reliable

In 2018, it was Jeffrey Goldberg himself — knowing a star CIA propagandist when he sees one — who gave Bertrand her first big break by hiring her away from Business Insider to cover Russiagate for The Atlantic. Shortly thereafter, she joined the Queen of Russiagate conspiracies herself by becoming a national security analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. From there, it was onto Politico and now CNN: the ideal, rapid career climb that is the dream of every liberal security state servant calling themselves a journalist. Her final conspiratorial article for The Atlantic before moving to Politico is the perfect illustration of who and what she is:

CNN’s new national security star was no ordinary Russiagate fanatic. There was no conspiracy theory too unhinged or evidence-free for her to promote. As The Washington Post‘s media reporter Erik Wemple documented once the Steele Dossier was debunked, there was arguably nobody in media other than Rachel Maddow who promoted and ratified that hoax as aggressively, uncritically, and persistently as Bertrand. She defended it even after the Mueller Report corroborated virtually none of its key claims.

In a February 2020 article headlined “How Politico’s Natasha Bertrand bootstrapped dossier credulity into MSNBC gig,” Wemple described how she was rewarded over and over for “journalism” that would be regarded in any health profession with nothing but scorn:

Where there’s a report on Russian meddling, there’s an MSNBC segment waiting to be taped. Last Thursday night, MSNBC host Joy Reid — subbing for “All In” host Chris Hayes — turned to Politico national security reporter Natasha Bertrand with a question about whether Trump “wants” Russian meddling or whether he can’t accept that “foreign help is there.“ Bertrand responded: “We don’t have the reporting that suggests that the president has told aides, for example, that he really wants Russia to interfere because he thinks that it’s going to help him, right?”

No, we don’t have that reporting — though there’s no prohibition against fantasizing about it on national television. Such is the theme of Bertrand’s commentary during previous coverage of Russian interference, specifically the dossier of memos drawn up by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. With winks and nods from MSNBC hosts, Bertrand heaped credibility on the dossier — which was published in full by BuzzFeed News in January 2017 — in repeated television appearances.

Wemple systematically reviewed the mountain of speculation, unproven conspiracies, and outright falsehoods Bertrand shoveled to the public as she was repeatedly promoted. But it was the document that gave us deranged delusions about pee-pee tape blackmail and Michael Cohen’s trip to Prague that was her crown jewel: “The Bertrand highlight reel features a great deal of thumb-on-scale speculation regarding the dossier,” Wemple wrote.

And when information started being declassified that proved much of Bertrand’s claims about collusion to be a fraud, she complained that there was too much transparency, implying that the Trump administration was harming national security by allowing the public to know too much — namely, allowing the public to see that her reporting was a fraud. A journalist who complains about too much transparency is like a cardiologist who complains that a patient has stopped smoking cigarettes, or like a journalist who voluntarily rats out her own source to the FBI or who agitates for censorship of political speech: a walking negation of the professional values they are supposed to uphold. But that is Natasha Bertrand, and, to the extent that there are some people who still believe that working at CNN is desirable, she was just rewarded for it again yesterday — just as journalists who rat out their own sources to the FBI and advocate for internet censorship are now celebrated in today’s rotted media climate.

The Washington Post, Feb. 28, 2020


Bertrand’s trail of journalistic scandals and recklessness extend well beyond her Russiagate conspiracies. Last October, she published an article in Politico strongly implying that Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe was speaking without authorization or any evidence when he said Iran was attempting to undermine President Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign. But last month, the Biden administration declassified an intelligence report which said they had “high confidence” that Iran had done exactly what Ratcliffe alleged: namely, run an influence campaign to hurt Trump’s candidacy. A former national security official, Cliff Sims, said upon hearing of CNN’s hiring that he explicitly warned Bertrand’s editors that the story was false but they chose to publish it anyway.

It was also Bertrand who most effectively laundered the extremely significant CIA lie in October 2020 that the documents obtained by The New York Post about the Biden family’s business dealings in China and Ukraine were “Russian disinformation.” Even though the John-Brennan-led former intelligence officials admitted from the start that they had no evidence for this claim, Bertrand not only amplified it but vouched for its credibility by writing that the Post‘s reporting “has drawn comparisons to 2016, when Russian hackers dumped troves of emails from Democrats onto the internet — producing few damaging revelations but fueling accusations of corruption by Trump” (that those 2016 DNC and Podesta documents produced “few damaging revelations” would come as a big surprise to the five DNC operatives, led by Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who were forced to resign when their pro-Hillary cheating was revealed).

It was this Politico article by Bertrand that was then used by Facebook and Twitter to justify their joint censorship of the Post‘s reporting in the weeks before the 2020 election, and numerous media outlets — including The Intercept — gullibly told their readers to ignore the revelations on the ground that these authentic documents were “Russian disinformation.” Yet once it did its job of helping defeat Trump, that claim was debunked when even the intelligence community acknowledged it had no evidence of Russian involvement in the appearance of these materials, and Hunter Biden himself admitted he was the subject of a federal investigation for the transactions revealed by those documents.

Politico, Oct. 19, 2020

But even when her fantasies and conspiracies are debunked, Bertrand — like a good intelligence soldier — never cedes any ground in her propaganda campaigns. She was, needless to say, one of the journalists who most vocally promoted the CIA’s story — published as Trump was announcing his plans to withdraw from Afghanistan — that Russia had paid bounties to the Taliban for the death of U.S. soldiers. Yet even when the U.S. intelligence community under Joe Biden admitted last week that it has only “low to moderate” confidence that this even happened — with the NSA and other surveillance agencies saying they could find no evidence to corroborate the CIA’s story — she continued to insist that nothing had changed with the story, denying last week on a Mediaite podcast that anything had happened to cast doubt on the original story: “I think it’s much more nuanced than it being a walk-back. I don’t think that’s right actually.”

Even a cursory review of Bertrand’s prolific output reveals an endless array of gossip, conspiracy and speculative assertions masquerading as journalism. The commentator Luke Thomas detailed many of these transgressions on Monday and correctly observed that “arguably no single reporter has contributed more to the deranged and paranoid national security fantasies of the center-left than Natasha Bertrand. She’s an embarrassment to her profession and will, therefore, fit right in at CNN.”

As Thomas noted, beyond all of Bertrand’s well-documented and consequential propaganda, “she sees conspiracies and perfidiousness around every corner,” pointing to this demented yet highly viral tweet that deciphered comments from former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) as inadvertently revealing some secret scheme to expand Trump’s pardon powers. That scheme, like most of her speculative predictions, never materialized.

Then there is her garden-variety ethical scandal. In January, freelancer Dean Sterling Jones accused Bertrand of stealing his work without credit or payment. In a post he published, Jones documented how he emailed Bertrand a draft with reporting he had been working on, and in response she agreed to report it jointly with him on a co-byline. Yet two weeks later, the article appeared in The Atlantic with Bertrand as the only named reporter. Only after Jones complained did they insert a sentence into the story begrudgingly citing him as a source. “By my count,” Jones wrote, “Bertrand’s article contains at least six unequivocal examples of direct copying and revisions of my work.” When he published his post detailing his accusations, Bertrand arrogantly refused even to provide comment to the freelancer whose work she pilfered.

Natasha Bertrand has spent the last five years working as a spokesperson for the alliance composed of the CIA and the Democratic Party, spreading every unvetted and unproven conspiracy theory about Russiagate that they fed her. The more loyally she performed that propagandistic function, the more rapidly she was promoted and rewarded. Now she arrives at her latest destination: CNN, not only Russiagate Central along with MSNBC but also the home to countless ex-operatives of the security state agencies on whose behalf Bertrand speaks.

Once again we see the two key truths of modern corporate journalism in the U.S. First, we have the Jeffrey Goldberg Principle: you can never go wrong, but only right, by disseminating lies and propaganda from the CIA. Second, the organs that spread the most disinformation and crave disinformation agents as their employees are the very same ones who demand censorship of the internet in the name of stopping disinformation.

I’ve long said that if you want to understand how to thrive in this part of the media world, you should study the career advancement of Jeffrey Goldberg, propelled by one reckless act after the next. But now the sequel to the Goldberg Rise is the thriving career of this new CNN reporter whose value as a CIA propagandist Goldberg, notably, was the first to spot and reward.

Update, Apr. 27, 2021, 4:32 pm ET: Just as several readers predicted would happen, other corporate journalists responded to this article by engaging in a rank-closing defense of Bertrand, principally by accusing me of misogyny for publishing this critique of her reporting. Unlike me, they evidently view adult professional woman in highly influential media roles (such as Bertrand) as too fragile to endure critiques of their journalism, unlike adult men, who they apparently believe are strong enough to handle criticisms: a regressive view of the sexes right out of the 1950s. They also apparently skipped over the entire first section of this article detailing how Jeffrey Goldberg and Ken Dilanian — both men — were the pioneers of the CIA-serving career trajectory Bertrand is now following. But the oddest aspect of this media reaction, the only one that makes it worth noting here, is that misogyny allegations against me for this article were led by GQ’s own Russiagate fanatic Julia Ioffe, even though Ioffe herself, in 2019, publicly accused Bertrand of a rather serious ethical violation that probably should be added to the list:

 

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Cops Attack, Severely Injure Innocent Elderly Woman—Laugh, Fist Bump to Celebrate Her Pain

This article was originally published by Matt Agorist at The Free Thought Project. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is incredibly disturbing. When some humans act as though they have the right to destroy others, we live in a horrific dystopian police state. If you are stuck in the left vs. right paradigm lie still, this article and the videos of police officers brutally abusing an elderly woman because they have a badge and believe they can, will probably offend you. No human has the right to treat another this way badge or not. Wake up. They don’t have more rights than we do and it’s time to recognize that fact. 

Special thanks to Matt Agorist and Brian from High Impact TV for showing us just how vile people become when they are given power and qualified immunity.

On June 26, 2020, Karen Garner, 73, walked from her home to the local Walmart two blocks away to get some supplies. Everything that happened after this trip to Walmart is now the subject of an excessive force lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department because they have no idea how to treat elderly women with dementia. For nearly a year, the cops who savagely attacked the elderly woman thought they got away with it. However, thanks to a lawsuit and the release of body camera and surveillance footage, that is all changing.

On Tuesday, the Loveland [Colorado] city manager announced that Officer Austin Hopp, Officer Daria Jalali, Sgt. Phil Metzler and Community service officer Tyler Blackett have all been suspended and placed on administrative leave.

As TFTP reported earlier this month, body camera video showed the officers attack Garner. However, after the media began picking up on her story, another video was released showing that officers knew about the injuries they caused, neglected to provide aid, and laughed and celebrated their brutality against an elderly woman with dementia.

As 9News reports, the officers’ initial report said Garner, who has dementia, was not injured. Her lawyer, Sarah Schielke, said the officers dislocated Garner’s shoulder, broke a bone in her arm, and sprained her wrist.

Schielke alleges the video shows the three arresting officers watching body camera video of Garner’s arrest, laughing and celebrating the excessive force, and fist-bumping the fact that one of the officers intimidated a citizen who stopped to make a complaint.

Only because the video was released and drew the appropriate criticism did the department react. Now, they have no other option and have since launched a criminal investigation.

“It’s a really important thing for everyone to know that this is now a criminal investigation,” Tom Hacker, a spokesperson for LPD, said. “It’s one that LPD asked for and the DA is taking it on Fort Collins Police, both working on this [investigation] and we hope that this investigation goes as expeditiously as possible and that we learn of the outcome very soon.”

What should have been a situation in which an officer offers an elderly woman a ride home turned into senior citizen abuse at the hands of Loveland’s finest.

As we reported, like those with dementia often do, Garner simply grabbed her items in Walmart that day and walked out. She was quickly confronted by store security who then guided her back into the store for accidentally failing to pay for $13.88 worth of items.

After being escorted back into the building, Garner realized her mistake and tried to pay for the items but the store called the police anyway. By the time police arrived, Garner had left the store and was walking home. She had left the items back at the store and no crime had been committed.

When police arrived, the interaction was captured on body camera footage.

Officer Austin Hopp said, “Alright let’s stop ma’am. I don’t think you want to play it this way. Ma’am, police. Stop,” as he exited his patrol car.

Clearly illustrating her dementia, when Garner tries to respond to the officer, she simply mumbles.

But officer Hopp couldn’t have cared less that this was an elderly woman suffering from dementia, who by this time, had committed no crime. He just knew he had to escalate force.

After just two minutes, this “hero” cop tackles the frail elderly woman with dementia to the ground and puts her in handcuffs.

According to the lawsuit, when a second cop, officer Daria Jalali arrived, she “put her own hands on Ms. Garner to hold her while Officer Hopp continued pushing painfully upward on Ms. Garner’s already-restrained left arm and while also violently touching her all over her body.”

Illustrating how confused and scared Garner was, the entire time, she kept telling the officers, “I’m going home.”

“It makes you very worried about vulnerable people in the community with a police force like that,” civil rights attorney Sarah Schielke, of The Life & Liberty Law Office, who is representing Garner said. “The behavior is indefensible they knew they were being recorded and yet they did it anyway, we have to ask, ‘why?’”

In the video, we can hear the cops talking about Garner bleeding and then plotting all the charges against her. Every single one of the contrived charges had to do with cops escalating force against an innocent woman with dementia.

The cops were so rough with Garner they left her bloody and with broken bones. Despite her clearly visible injuries, according to the lawsuit, police brought her to jail and then denied her care. Instead of tending to her injuries, police left her chained to a cell for hours.

“The officers handcuffed her to a cell at the station for over 2 hours, keeping her isolated and terrified, in extreme pain, and then deposited her at the Larimer County jail where they lied and said she was uninjured, which ensured she continued to not receive medical treatment for another 3 hours,” the law office wrote in a press release.

We now have a video of officers fist-bumping and laughing at the abuse they doled out to a senior citizen with dementia. And these are the folks the thin blue line crowd wants us to blindly worship. Never.

Time to wake up. These people are imposing the will of the ruling class masters on us and we need to start to use our own critical thinking to see through the brainwashing and blind worship of the state and its enforcers and do the moral thing.

The post Cops Attack, Severely Injure Innocent Elderly Woman—Laugh, Fist Bump to Celebrate Her Pain first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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The Mass Exodus From The West Coast Is Driving Home Prices In Idaho To Insane Levels

This article was originally published by Micahel Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

Lots of people have been moving away from the west coast over the last decade, but we have never seen the sort of mass exodus that we have seen over the last year.  This mass exodus has created some extremely hot real estate markets in desirable areas located away from the coast, and according to the Wall Street Journal, the hottest real estate market in the entire country right now is Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Any house in the area that gets placed on the market is likely to spark a bidding war, and according to the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, the median price of a home in the region has risen by a whopping 47 percent in the last 12 months…

The median sales price in the Coeur d’Alene region rose in March to $476,900, up 47% from a year earlier, according to the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors. Finding a home to buy in the metro area of about 166,000 is getting tougher: Inventory of homes for sale shrank by 71% to just 337 homes. That amounts to less than a month’s supply.

“That’s not enough to go around—therefore, every listing gets 30 offers,” Ms. Johnson said. “Since the pandemic, our market has been crazy.”

In particular, the demand for high-end homes is off the charts.

During the first two months of this year, the number of million-dollar homes sold in the Coeur d’Alene area was more than five times higher than the number sold during the first two months of 2020…

That has helped boost the number of high-end sales. In the first two months of the year, 67 homes in the area sold for $1 million and above, up from 12 sales in that price range in the first two months of 2020, Ms. Williams said.

Of course, the Coeur d’Alene region is not the only extremely hot real estate market that has been fueled by this mass exodus.

According to the Wall Street Journal, these cities round out the top 5…

Austin, Texas

Springfield, Ohio

Billings, Montana

Spokane, Washington

It is interesting to note that three of the top five hottest markets are in the Northwest.  For a variety of reasons, large numbers of people are being drawn to the region, and this has both positives and negatives.

If people want to make positive contributions to their new communities, that can be a good thing, but in too many cases new arrivals want to make their new communities just like the hellholes that they are escaping from.

According to Realtor.com, a large percentage of the people viewing Coeur d’Alene property listings are located in major cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle

About 70% of page views on Coeur d’Alene property listings came from outside the state in the first quarter, up from about 66% a year earlier, according to Realtor.com. The top metro areas for interest in Coeur d’Alene listings were Seattle, Spokane and Los Angeles.

Vast numbers of “west coast refugees” are fleeing to Texas as well.  In fact, one real estate executive based in Dallas says that “70% of the people moving in are from California”

“It’s like waiting for people to get an iPhone when it comes out,” he added. “We have lines out the door for people seeing houses all across all sorts of price points.”

Healy, who is based in Dallas, said hundreds of people per day are moving to his city. He pointed out that 70% of the people moving in are from California and increasing “luxury price points.”

Overall, home prices are much higher in the U.S. today than they were last year.

In fact, we just learned that the Case-Shiller Home Price Index has risen 12 percent over the last 12 months…

House prices soared by 12.0% from a year ago, the biggest increase since February 2006, near the peak of Housing Bubble 1, according to today’s National Case-Shiller Home Price Index for “February,” which reflects the three-month average of sales recorded in public records in December, January, and February.

But the Federal Reserve says that inflation is very low and that there is nothing to be concerned about.

Used car prices are escalating rapidly as well.  In fact, the Manheim U.S. Used Vehicle Value Index is up 52 percent over the last year…

Used car prices in the U.S. continue to skyrocket as a result of both the country’s economic recovery and an ongoing supply crunch.

The Manheim U.S. Used Vehicle Value Index has continued to soar through the month of April, to a new record, as a result of the worsening of a semiconductor shortage, low lot inventories, and a continuing post-Covid “boom”.

The index was up 6.8% in the first 15 days of April, Bloomberg noted. The index is up an astounding 52% from the same time last year to 191.4.

But the Federal Reserve says that inflation is very low and that there is nothing to be concerned about.

The price of gasoline just keeps rising as well.  It has jumped 9 percent since last month and it is up more than 22 percent overall since this time last year…

Gas prices jumped over 9% in the past month and they’re not expected to slow down anytime soon.

Gas prices are up 22.5% from the previous year and were the biggest contributor to an overall increase in goods and services in the nation, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index. Fuel prices pushed a 1-month increase in the overall price of goods for March that was the highest in nearly 9 years.

But the Federal Reserve says that inflation is very low and that there is nothing to be concerned about.

Do you believe the Fed?

I think that Fed officials should be forced to shop for lumber if they want to try to keep convincing us that inflation is very low.

According to Fortune, the price of lumber has shot up 232 percent since the start of the pandemic.

232 percent!

That is just nuts.

By the way, the book that I published last year warned way in advance that inflation would get way out of control.

Events are playing out just as we anticipated, and a lot more inflation is on the way.

Whenever a crisis arises, our leaders always flood the system with more money, and they are pushing us dangerously close to the point of no return.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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Biden Set To Unveil $1.8 Trillion Expansion Of American “Social Safety Net”

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

President Biden will head to Capitol Hill Wednesday night for the first time since Inauguration Day (a casual visit by the president would risk spoiling the narrative that the Capitol remains a battle-scarred wreck since the Jan. 6 “uprising”) to unveil the second part of his “Build Back Better” plan, a $1.8 trillion proposal to expand the American “safety net” that will be financed by hefty tax increases on individuals and businesses, including a nearly 40% tax on short-term capital gains that spooked the market when it was first reported last week.

The scale of the plan, which has been named “the American Families Plan” and is intended to compliment Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” unveiled four weeks ago, has increased in scope since the first details of a preliminary version were leaked to the press earlier this month.

With spending spanning a decade, the plan’s main features include $225 billion for child care spending, another $225 billion to create a national family and medical leave program. $200 billion in funding for universal access to pre-K schooling for young children. And $109 billion for two free years of community college, as well as additional subsidies for Americans to purchase health insurance. On the tax credit side, the plan extends a tax credit for up to $3,600 per child until 2025. Biden is scheduled to speak at 2100ET, according to his public calendar.

The AFP marks the trillion-dollar-plus installment in Biden’s sweeping economic programs, enabled by the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. First there was the $1.9 trillion, then the nearly $3 trillion American Jobs Plan, and now this. Their ambitious scale means they face an uncertain path through Congress, with Republicans expected to oppose the plan (though it’s possible Biden might win over a few moderates). Planned tax hikes would offset much of the cost of the plan.

According to the FT, senior administration officials have confirmed that the plan would include an increase in the top income tax rate from 37% to 39.6% for Americans earning more than $400,000, eliminate the preferential tax treatment of capital gains and dividends for those earning more than $1 million (so those making a living day trading on Robinhood can relax) and scrap provisions allowing people to pass unrealized capital gains to their heirs tax-free. What’s more, the hike in the cap gains tax will be felt by the private equity industry, since their share of the appreciation in assets they oversee – known as carried interest – is treated as capital gains, and will now be taxed at a much higher rate.

The end result is that much of President Trump’s tax cuts for individuals and businesses will be revered.

“The president’s tax agenda will not only reverse the biggest 2017 tax law giveaways, but reform the tax code so that the wealthy have to play by the same rules as everyone else,” the White House said in a fact sheet accompanying its proposal.

And as we reported yesterday, Biden also intends to hand $80 billion more to the IRS to finance campaigns to track down wealthy tax cheats who move money to tax havens overseas.

Biden has repeatedly insisted that he would try and work with Republicans, and that he might be open to complaints about specific taxes. But if the GOP tries to stymie the plan, Biden has said he would have no problem going it alone.

Since the text of the plan has yet to be released, those interested in a more comprehensive breakdown of its contents should check out the following summary courtesy of Bloomberg:

Income Taxes

Biden is calling to raise the top personal income tax rate to 39.6% for those among the highest 1% of earners. “No one making $400,000 per year or less will see their taxes go up,” the White House said in a fact sheet on the plan. Still, the document didn’t specify whether that threshold applies to both single earners as well as married couples.

Capital Gains

Biden would increase the capital gains rate to 39.6% from 20% for those earning $1 million or more — 0.3% of taxpayers or roughly half a million households — equalizing that rate with the top marginal income tax rate. A 3.8% Obamacare tax on investment would then be added on top, meaning the richest would pay a 43.4% federal rate on realized investment returns. State taxes could put the combined tax bill north of 50%.

The plan would also end a long-standing capital gains tax break on inheritances known as “step-up in basis,” which allows heirs to use the market value of assets at the time of inheritance rather than the actual purchase price as the cost basis for capital gains when the holdings are sold.

The proposal exempts the first $1 million of gains from the end of stepped-up basis, while there’s no tax if the gains are used for charitable donations. There will also be “protections so that family-owned businesses and farms will not have to pay taxes when given to heirs who continue to run the business.”

Carried Interest, Real Estate

The carried interest tax break used by private equity and hedge fund managers to lower their tax bills would be eliminated under Biden’s plan. In what critics call a loophole, that allowed for a share of income being classed as a capital gain, with an associated lower tax rate.

The administration also would eliminate a real estate tax break for when property investors sell one holding for a more expensive one.

IRS Audits

The plan calls for increased audits on high-earners that could collect an additional $700 billion in tax revenue, with funding increases for the Internal Revenue Service. Biden is also proposing to require banks to report information on account flows, so that earnings from investments and business profits are reported to the IRS like wages are.

Child Tax Credit

Biden is proposing to extend through 2025 an enhanced version of the child tax credit. The credit, increased for 2021 in the March pandemic-relief package, provides a $3,600 credit for children under six and $3,000 for those six and older. The IRS is slated to send the payments regularly, which amounts to $250 or $300 per child per month, depending on their age. Congressional Democrats are pushing Biden to make this change permanent.

Child Care

The plan includes $225 billion to help low-income families pay for child care, provide funding to child care providers and boost wages for child care workers to $15 an hour. Biden is also proposing to make permanent a tax credit for child care costs that would reimburse families for care of children 12 and under with a credit worth up to $4,000 for one child or $8,000 for multiple children.

Paid Leave

Biden would create a $225 billion national paid family and medical leave program. It would provide partial wage replacement for workers who take time off to care for a newborn or an ill family member, recover from a health issue, deal with a family member’s military deployment, address domestic violence issues or deal with the death of a loved one. The plan guarantees 12 weeks of paid parental, family, and personal leave by year 10 of the program. It provides workers with two-thirds of average wage replacement per month, up to $4,000. Lowest-wage workers will get pay replaced at 80%.

Health Tax Credits

The plan would pump $200 billion into an expansion of tax credits for households that buy health insurance on their own, saving families an average of $50 per person per month. Biden’s outline said nine million people would save hundreds of dollars per year on their premiums, and four million uninsured people will gain coverage.

Low-income Tax Credits

An expansion of the earned-income tax credit for childless workers who earn wages below the poverty line would be made permanent under Biden’s proposal. The expansion roughly triples the value of the benefit for those individuals, the fact sheet said.

Pre-School

The plan includes $200 billion for free universal pre-school for all three- and four-year-olds. Pre-kindergarten teachers will earn at least $15 per hour, and those with academic qualifications will receive pay comparable to that of kindergarten teachers.

College Tuition

The plan would provide $109 billion to cover two years of tuition-free community college for students and an $85 billion investment in Pell Grants, to aid students pursuing up to a four-year degree. The plan also includes $62 billion to improve college retention rates for disadvantaged students and pump $46 billion into historically black universities, tribal colleges and other institutions that serve minorities.

Nutrition Assistance

There is $45 billion to improve the health of school meal programs and provide food for K-12 students during summer breaks in Biden’s proposal.

Unemployment Systems

The proposal earmarks $2 billion to modernize the unemployment insurance system, which has been subjected to fraud and technical challenges during the spike in unemployment caused by the pandemic. Biden didn’t call for an automatic extension of jobless benefits as some Democrats had requested, but he pledged to work with Congress to automatically extend benefits based on economic conditions.

Notably Omitted

The plan did not include any references to expanding the $10,000 state and local tax, or SALT, deduction. More than 20 House Democrats have said that a tax break must be boosted to support Biden’s economic agenda. The proposal also didn’t include an expansion of the estate tax — a long-standing Democratic priority that Biden campaigned on. Nor was there an enlargement of Medicare or the drug-price reduction measures that many congressional Democrats have pushed for — though Biden’s outline said both issues were priorities for him.

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The Reasons Why Leftists Will Never Successfully Disarm Americans

This article was written by Brandon Smith at Alt-Market.us.

Gun confiscation has always been the Holy Grail of totalitarian regimes. Without disarmament, fully centralized control of a population is not possible. And though it is true that not every evil regime seeks to disarm every single citizen (at least not right away), they always disarm the people they specifically intend to hurt the most.

For example, gun control advocates today like to point out that the Third Reich in Germany did not disarm the entire German population. This is a rather bizarre position for leftists as they continually wail and scream about Nazis around every corner and behind every tree, but they will STILL defend their gun-grabbing policies by arguing that the Nazis were not as bad as conservatives assume. Of course, what they rarely mention is that the Nazis DID disarm millions of people; most of them Jews and political opponents under 1938 German gun laws.

The National Socialists disarmed the people they planned to destroy. It’s not hard to figure out why; they didn’t want their targets to be able to fight back. They allowed their political supporters to keep their weapons legally; this is not a relaxation of gun laws, in fact, it’s the reverse – It is selective enforcement of gun confiscation based on ideological loyalty.

Hilariously, leftists in the US when confronted with this fact double down on their gun control arguments. Instead of admitting their foolish error they will say: “Yes, the Nazis disarmed the Jews and others, but having guns would have made no difference in saving their lives…” And there you have it – The most backwards circular logic of all time. If Jews and others owning guns was not a deterrent to their slaughter, then why would the Nazis bother disarming them in the first place? Leftists have no answer to this question.

They are trying to argue against facts using a hypothetical; really, how would they know? Maybe owning guns might have saved the lives of millions of people the Nazis had deemed enemies of the state? Maybe it would have acted as a deterrent to the Holocaust? Maybe the Nazis would have been afraid to expand tyranny into Europe if they had to worry about their own population fighting back and disrupting their momentum? Maybe, WWII would have never happened? We could argue hypotheticals all day long…

What we do know for certain is that disarmament is ALWAYS one of the first steps by totalitarians in cementing their control of a population, and this is most common among the biggest political killers in modern history – And no, it’s not the Nazis; it’s the communists.

While a debate rages over the exact number of deaths attributed to communist governments, it is estimated that they are responsible for approximately 65 million to 100 million murders over the course of the last century, a genocide beyond anything history has ever seen before. These deaths were caused by direct means, such as shooting dissidents, or indirect means, such as imprisoning dissidents until they died from complications, or stealing food supplies from rural communities and allowing them to starve en masse.

Stalin, in particular, declared any theft of state property a crime punishable by death. He then at the same time declared that all products including food production was state property. So, if you eat food that was not granted to you by the state, you are stealing, and could therefore be shot. See how that works?

None of this would have been possible without gun control and confiscation laws put in place before the larger genocide was enacted. In 1918 the Bolsheviks and the Council of the People’s Commissar mandated that Russian citizens turn in their firearms under penalty of prosecution. Gun restrictions and penalties were increased over the years until WWII when the Soviets were loath to arm their own population in response to the Nazi invasion. In fact, the ease by which the Nazi army rolled through the Eastern front was partly due to the disarmament of the Russian population.

Communist governments only allow people to have firearms in their hands when they are fighting against the ideological and foreign foes of the regime. You are allowed to be cannon fodder for the elites, you are not allowed the means to defend yourself from those same elites.

Americans (primarily conservative Americans) have an in-depth understanding of this dynamic. While leftists are more concerned with rewriting history to their benefit, we are more concerned with learning from it. We know where gun control leads, and so did the Founding Fathers of our nation, which is why they codified gun ownership into the US constitution as an inalienable right under the 2nd Amendment. Here are the reasons why leftists, globalists and communists will NEVER be able to disarm the American population as they have done in previous nations…

We Know The History Of Gun Control

As noted above, we have studied the history of tyrants. There is no tyranny that has ever existed that did not try to disarm the population or disarm the portion of the population the government intended to enslave or destroy. Leftists froth at the mouth trying to re-imagine history in a way that circumvents or ignores the tyranny issue when it comes to gun control. They are wasting their time.

They are never going to convince conservatives and moderates that gun confiscation was not a key step in the establishment of various tyrannies in modern history. All the mental gymnastics and manipulation, all the energy they spend trying to rationalize away genocide as somehow “inevitable” regardless of gun rights – it’s all for nothing. We are far smarter than they are. We are well versed in the legacy of gun control, and this makes their tactics useless.

We Understand Incrementalism – We Know All The Tricks

The level of dishonesty involved in gun control advocacy is astonishing. Leftists often use lies as a means to gain political capital; if they were completely honest about their intentions they would not receive much support from the general population for their efforts. Gun grabbers are very careful in most cases to use phrases like “common sense” when talking about new restrictions. They try to refrain from admitting what they really want is complete disarmament, at least, they tried until recently.

Incrementalism was the name of the game for decades, but in the past year, they are going for broke. Some leftist politicians are openly admitting their true goals because frankly the song and dance wasn’t working and they know conservatives aren’t going to allow any further encroachment on their rights.

I find it interesting that leftists are so astonished at our refusal to compromise on any further gun restrictions. They seem to think that any new mass shooting buys them new gun control capital. Maybe that’s how things used to work, but not any longer. Frankly, these shootings are irrelevant to our gun rights. Punishing everyone for the crimes of a handful is no longer acceptable to conservatives because we know that if we give gun control advocates an inch, they will take a mile.

Kamala Harris, now Vice President of the US, is one of the many Democrats openly seeking mandatory government buybacks of firearms and the dismantling of gun rights. However, it was Beto O’Rourke who really took the mask off when it came to the true intentions of gun grabbers.  Stating that “hell yes” the Dems are going to take away our AR-15s.

Joe Biden is famous for his statements admonishing military-grade weapons in civilian hands and telling people that a “double-barreled shotgun” is “superior” to the AR-15 for home defense. Obviously, a two-shot weapon with a limited effective range of around 50 yards or less makes it very difficult to fight back against government tyranny. And, we all know that eventually even the shotguns would be taken away.

Biden’s specific focus, though, seems to be Red Flag gun laws, which allow authorities to confiscate firearms from people not involved in criminal activity, and this is based on hearsay testimony and without due process. Criteria includes any “suspicion of mental illness”, which is completely subjective. Conservatives have been accused of mental illness because they oppose Covid lockdowns, they question vaccine safety, they question the legitimacy of Global Warming fear-mongering in the media, etc. ANYTHING could be labeled a mental illness by the state and therefore make a person susceptible to Red Flag confiscation.

This is targeted incrementalism and slective enforcement of gun control, much like that used by the Nazis. Red Flag laws allow the government to attack political and ideological opponents one at a time and disarm them, just as the Nazis selectively targeted their political opponents for disarmament. We know where all of this is going. We’ve seen it before.

BLM Race Riots

Despite the false claims of the mainstream media, we have seen first hand the destruction and insanity perpetrated by Marxist groups like Black Lives Matter. They are anything but “peaceful”, they are dangerous in their lack of intelligence and logic, and their social justice ideology is a cancer that infects and debilitates every vital organ of Western civilization.

In his movie ‘Platoon’, Oliver Stone’s character Chris Taylor says: “Hell is the impossibility of reason”. If this doesn’t describe the social justice movement today then I don’t know what does.

If a group of people is determined to make every single tragedy about racism and “white supremacy” despite all facts to the contrary, and then use those tragedies as an excuse for mass violence, then they are zealots, and zealots cannot be reasoned with. They are cultists with a mission, and they will do anything to accomplish that mission.

In this case, the mission of Marxists within BLM and the globalist foundations that fund them (like Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundation) is to destroy the very fabric of America, “burn it to the ground”, and then rebuild it into an unrecognizable husk devoid of principles or freedom.

Yeah, I don’t think conservative gun owners are going to go along with that. Burning down their own neighborhoods is one thing, but BLM activists have tried to spread beyond the borders of their own garbage cities in the past, and we aren’t going to allow them to act violently. For this reason alone, conservatives will never disarm.

The Control Agenda Is Out In The Open

There is a reason why leftists and globalists are so obsessed with taking away combat-ready firearms from Americans, and it’s not about “saving lives”. These weapons act as a deterrent to full blown tyranny. As long as they exist, our ability to take back our other rights and freedoms exists.

If anything has convinced gun owners of the need for firearms, it has been the past year of pandemic fear-mongering. What have we learned so far? Well, we are now fully aware of the “Great Reset” agenda, which has been promoted nonstop by the World Economic Forum and various political leaders. This agenda calls for years of economic lockdowns and medical mandates, forced vaccination, medical passports without which a person might be completely removed from the economy, a new cashless society, a shared economy in which you will “own nothing and like it”.

The medical or vaccine “passports” are particularly disconcerting. For one, governments don’t necessarily have to enforce them right away. Rather, they can simply allow their corporate partners to demand said passports from anyone that wants to get a job or shop in their stores. Once this system is ingrained into the consumer world, governments can then step in and make passports a legal requirement. Eventually, the passports give the establishment the ability to control and micro-manage every aspect of every individual life. Without compliance to every whim, the technocrats can easily void your passport, and then you die from poverty and starvation.

This would be impossible to do in a country where a majority of the population is armed. I think it’s safe to say most Americans do not want to live in the dystopian world that the globalists at the WEF envision, and we will fight to ensure it does not happen.

Tyranny Is Enforced By Armed Men On The Ground

My favorite mantra of gun grabbers is the claim that “Your AR-15 isn’t going to help you against an Abrams tank or a predator drone”. These people don’t understand how totalitarian systems function. In order to control a population, you have to have loyal troops on the ground…everywhere. Not only that, but you also need loyal civilians, a large percentage of the population, to act as your eyes and ears and sometimes brute force. And finally, you need anyone who might oppose you to be afraid to take action to defend themselves. You need them docile and passive.

There are a lot of moving parts to tyranny, and tanks and planes are secondary to basic manpower. And where there are troops and others enforcing tyranny, there are numerous targets. Where there are firearms, there is a means to eliminate a tyrant at the top of the pyramid with a single well-placed bullet. Furthermore, you don’t need armored vehicles and stealth jets to fight tyranny; what you need is a good firearm to remove the people driving and flying those machines. A smart rebel might even take those weapons for his own arsenal in the process.

A lot of gun owners are also military veterans, and they have seen how things played out in places like Afghanistan, where all the military might in the world was ineffective against tribesman with old AK-47s and roadside IEDs. It’s about force of will along with minimal necessary firearms. Guerrilla wars are not fought in terms of battles, they are fought in terms of attrition. Americans understand this better than most.

For all these reasons and more, the gun grabber ethos is essentially pointless. They can have total dominance in the federal government, they could have every state government on their side and pass hundreds of laws and executive orders making every gun owner a criminal, and it still would not matter. We will not budge, we would rather fight.

Elitists and leftists just don’t seem to get it. Maybe it’s the way their brains work. Maybe they just can’t comprehend the idea that some people will not compromise certain freedoms no matter the cost. They think everyone has a limit; that everyone has a price. They think anyone can be bought, or that anyone can be leveraged into submission. The truth is, many of us can’t. Some of us have no price, and we cannot be compelled to comply.

We are the people that keep freedom alive, and totalitarians are terrified of us; gun-grabbing is merely a natural extension of their fear and doubt. Wherever an oligarchy is seeking to disarm the population this is a sure sign they are about to grasp for even more control, and they are afraid that the population might dethrone them. And honestly, they should be afraid.

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