DOJ audit prompted by FBI spying on Americans finds errors in EVERY sample FISA application


01-04-20 09:54:00,

A review of 29 FBI applications to spy on US citizens or residents found mistakes in every single one, and four cases of proper documentation missing entirely, the Justice Department inspector general has revealed.

From a dataset of more than 700 applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) submitted by eight FBI field offices, Inspector General Michael Horowitz and his team selected a sample of 29, made between October 2014 and September 2019, pertaining to US citizens or “green card” holders.

They found an average of 20 errors in each one.

Remember when the newly beloved liberal heroes of the security state — the FBI, NSA & DOJ agents who now make up huge parts of CNN & MSNBC and the liberal pantheon — kept telling you the FISA process is very rigorous & immune to abuse? They lied:

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 31, 2020

The Woods Procedures mandate “compiling supporting documentation for each fact in the FISA application,” Horowitz wrote in his findings, which were made public on Tuesday. Yet his auditors found at least some of that documentation contained erroneous or mistaken information in 25 of the applications – and was entirely missing in four other cases.

“We could not review original Woods Files for 4 of the 29 selected FISA applications because the FBI has not been able to locate them and, in 3 of these instances, did not know if they ever existed,” Horowitz wrote.

The auditors “do not have confidence” the FBI actually followed procedure in any of the cases, the report concluded.

Horowitz’s findings managed to attract a considerable amount of attention on Tuesday, even as the US continued to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Attorney General Bill Barr was “appalled” at the way the FISA process was abused, resulting “in one of the greatest political travesties in American history,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said.

Barr was referring to FBI failure to follow Woods procedures in the four FISA warrants used to spy on the campaign of President Donald Trump – via adviser Carter Page – during and after the 2016 US presidential election.

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The Israeli-Indian Arms Deal | New Eastern Outlook


01-04-20 09:46:00,


With Covid-19 dominating everyone’s thoughts and actions, it is also dominating the news media. At first glance, this would seem obvious. But is it?

Clearly people need to be updated with the latest information about this killer virus, particularly when governments are trying to wreck lives and economies over it, and blaming their citizens for breathing rather than their own lack of preparation. But is the virus actually news? Even if it is, do people want to hear about nothing else 24 hours a day, when it is most of the content of their lives already?

In such circumstances it is always wise to look for the stories which casually leak out under the oppressive weight of the preferred one. Where would we find them? One of the best mainstream sources is a journal little read outside the borders of its own country, The Jordan Times.

Jordan is a moderate country on the wrong side of the global political argument. So the articles there offer straightforward news from a different perspective, and a lot of stuff which the rest of the world won’t touch ends up in there, not as a sensation but simply a matter of interest to its differently-thinking readership.

Like all other newspapers, The Jordan Times is full of articles about the virus at present. But there is one story which has snuck in which might explain a lot of why our attention is being directed away from it – and possibly part of the reason this virus was invented, as it probably was, given that it was warned about long before 200 scientists from around the world descended on Wuhan.

Casual slaughter

We all know Israel manufactures and exports a lot of weapons. We also know Jordan is on the opposite side to Israel in regional politics, so you would expect it to complain about this.

But look at the detail in this story. It doesn’t derive from Jordan, and its conclusions are both credible and of global significance. What better story to leak out when people are obsessed with coronavirus?

It is the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute which has released a report claiming that demand for weapons in the Middle East has grown a whopping 61% between 2015 and 2019.

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Chemical brothers: Monsanto & BASF knew for years their products destroy US farms, documents reveal


31-03-20 04:04:00,

US agro-chemical firm Monsanto and Germany’s BASF were aware for a long time that their plan to introduce a new agricultural seed and chemical system would probably lead to damage on many US farms.

According to internal documents seen by the Guardian, the firms disregarded the risks even while they planned on how to profit off farmers who would buy Monsanto’s new seeds just to avoid damage.

The documents (some of them date back more than a decade) have been uncovered during a recent successful $265 million lawsuit brought against both firms by a Missouri farmer.

They also revealed how Monsanto opposed some third-party product testing, in order to curtail the generation of data that might have worried regulators.

In some of the internal BASF emails, employees were joking about sharing “voodoo science” and hoping to stay “out of jail.”

Also on
Monsanto sues California over weed killer cancer warnings

Records showed that at private meetings dating back to 2009, agricultural experts warned that the plan to develop a dicamba-tolerant system could have catastrophic consequences.

Dicamba herbicide would normally kill crops such as soybean or cotton, but Monsanto altered the genes in these crops to create genetically modified varieties which are resistant. This meant that farmers can spray the weedkiller directly on those soybean or cotton plants to destroy weeds but leave the crops unharmed.

The experts told Monsanto that farmers were likely to spray old volatile versions of dicamba on the new dicamba-tolerant crops. They have warned that even new versions were still likely to be volatile enough to move away from the special cotton and soybean fields on to crops growing on other farms.

What is more important, under the system designed by Monsanto and BASF, only farmers buying Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean seeds would be protected from dicamba drift damage.

Read more

Monsanto’s monster-herbicide blamed for killing millions of crop acres

According to a report prepared for Monsanto in 2009 as part of industry consultation, such “off-target movement” was expected, along with “crop loss”, “lawsuits” and “negative press around pesticides.” 

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What’s Up With The Italian Mortality Rate? – Questions For Corbett


31-03-20 03:45:00,


Tom from Scotland asks about the mortality rate of Covid-19, and why it is reportedly so much higher in Italy. James answers with an in-depth look at the numbers, how they’re being reported, and what’s being left out from the equation.

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What Is The Right Way To Handle COVID-19? (Free Online Event: March 30 – April 1) – Activist Post


31-03-20 03:35:00,

By Neenah Payne

Note: Register for the Free Coronavirus Virtual Series: March 30-April 1

Two radically different views of the threat COVID-19 poses to America and the world are increasingly playing out now. Which view the US government adopts will have major implications for health, the economy, and our freedoms under the US Constitution.

While the World Health Organization and Bill Gates present COVID-19 as a show stopper that requires drastic measures to control, a growing number of doctors and even the Wall Street Journal are now questioning the official narrative. In the last week of March, New York Governor Cuomo – at the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in the US – began second guessing his decision to close most businesses and schools.

We each have a critical choice to make now. We can’t afford to be wrong. Which view do you support and why? The view the public accepts will play a critical role in our fate. Unfortunately, the corporate media is not providing people with enough information to make an informed choice. In this scenario, the alternative media is playing a vital role in helping to inform us so we can choose wisely now. (You can use Patreon to support Activist Post and Natural Blaze to help ensure continued access to the sites.)

The belief that COVID-19 represents a global pandemic which threatens the survival of humanity is leading to increasingly draconian and dystopian measures around the world and in the US. A growing number of observers warn that the “cure may be worse than the disease.” The following articles indicate some of the consequences of the belief that COVID-19 is a plague that could decimate humanity.

  1. Canada Has Abolished Civil Liberties in the Name of “Safety”
  2. Footage of Indian Police Beating Lockdown Violators Goes Viral
  3. How Governments Are Deploying Big Data To Enforce COVID-19 Quarantines
  4. Police, Military Begin Door to Door Searches To Hunt Down New Yorkers Seeking Refuge

Two Widely Different Views of COVID-19 Threat

The World Health Organization continues to present COVID-19 as a serious threat to world health.

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The ‘Modi Migrants’ Are India’s Self-Inflicted Humanitarian Disaster During “World War C” – Global Research


31-03-20 01:38:00,

The Indian government so terribly mishandled its 21-day lockdown demand that Prime Minister Modi was compelled to unprecedentedly ask for forgiveness from the nation’s poor after his policy was responsible for suddenly uprooting millions of migrants across the country who fled their cities of temporary residence to return back home to their villages where they feel more confident of their chances for surviving World War C, but the credible threat remains that some of them might already be infected with COVID-19 and could therefore end up carrying this deadly virus all throughout the country.

Prime Minister Modi’s terrible mishandling of his country’s 21-day lockdown demand has created a self-inflicted humanitarian crisis of extreme proportions in the world’s second most populous state. The government abruptly ordered a mandatory three-week quarantine across the country as an emergency response to World War C, fearing that the densely populated, “super poor“, and generally underdeveloped nation is at serious risk of becoming “the world’s main battlefield in the fight against Covid-19“, as RT contributor and former Indian naval intelligence officer Shishir Upadhaya recently put it. He’s right, though, as even the author of the present article asked last week, “Can South Asia Survive World War C?“, for many of the same reasons. The reader should be informed that 22% of India’s population live in poverty , and the country comprises 24% of the total people in the world living in extreme poverty according to the World Bank, which is more than any other nation. Unsurprisingly, then, the sudden lockdown announcement sparked panic among India’s millions of internal economic migrants, many of whom are day laborers that live hand to mouth and cannot afford to miss even a single day’s worth of wages if they hope to avoid the Damocles’ swords of starvation and homelessness.

These desperate people, which the BBC estimates to be in the “millions” in their related piece on the topic titled “Coronavirus: India’s Pandemic Lockdown Turns Into Human Tragedy“, fled their cities of temporary residence to return back home to their villages where they feel more confident of their chances for surviving World War C. Apart from being extremely poor,

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Opinion – It Is A Time Of Crisis And U.S. Foreign Policy Is Becoming Unhinged


31-03-20 01:05:00,

It Is A
Time Of Crisis And U.S. Foreign Policy Is Becoming

By Moon
Of Alabama

March 28,
2020 “Information
Clearing House

The Trump administration is reacting to
the pandemic stress by lashing out at perceived
internal and external enemies. Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo is leading the external onslaught.

Secretary General Antonio Guterres has

for an
“immediate global ceasefire” to focus on fighting
Covid-19. He has appealed for the “waiving of
sanctions that can undermine countries’ capacity to
respond to the pandemic.”

Washington is not listening.

from Venezuela and Iran for emergency IMF loans to
buy medical supplies were blocked by U.S.

a month ago Pompeo announced an

increase of sanctions

against Iran. The sanctions block money transfers.
They make it impossible for Iran to import the
medical equipment it urgently needs to counter the

the U.S. renewed the sanction waiver which allows
Iraq to import electricity and gas from Iran the

is now limited to only 30 days
One third of Iraq’s electricity depends on those
imports from Iran and, if the waiver is not renewed,
its hospitals will go dark just when the epidemic
will reach its zenith.

of the Trump administration are even

pressing for a wider war

against alleged Iranian proxy forces in Iraq:

Pentagon has ordered military commanders to plan
for an escalation of American combat in Iraq,
issuing a directive last week to prepare a
campaign to destroy an Iranian-backed militia
group that has threatened more attacks against
American troops.

But the
United States’ top commander in Iraq has warned
that such a campaign could be bloody and
counterproductive and risks war with Iran.

Some top officials, including Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo and Robert C.

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Russia sets up new oil company to potentially take over operations in Venezuela


31-03-20 12:59:00,

A company specializing in the production and transportation of oil and gas has been set up in Russia, according to the state registry data. The new firm could take over projects in Venezuela after Rosneft sold its assets there.

Roszarubezhneft, which is owned by the Federal Agency for Government Property Management, will have an authorized capital of 322.7 billion rubles (over $4 billion). 

The company was registered in Moscow on March 28, after Russia’s oil major Rosneft announced the sale of its assets in Venezuela. On Saturday, Rosneft signed an agreement with the newly established government-run company on selling its shares and on the cessation of its participation in all projects in Venezuela (including its stock in Petromonagas, Petroperija, Boqueron, Petromiranda and Petrovictoria). Under the agreement, the oil giant will receive 9.6 percent of shares in Roszarubezhneft.

Also on
Venezuela slams US sanctions on Russia’s Rosneft as an attempt at grabbing control of global oil market

In February, the US slapped sanctions on a Rosneft subsidiary over its trade ties with Venezuela. The Russian company slammed those sanctions as illegal and groundless, pointing out that all of its operations in Venezuela were fully compliant with international law. It has explained that it had been investing in the Venezuelan oil and gas sectors long before the US sanctions were rolled out.

READ MORE: Trump threatens to slap ‘very serious’ sanctions on buyers of Venezuelan crude

Venezuela’s state energy firm PDVSA has also condemned the US sanctions and accuses Washington of attempting to create unfair competition to attain an advantage in the oil market.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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Pentagon Says Boot Camps Must Continue For ‘National Security’ Despite ‘Putting Lives in Danger’


31-03-20 11:27:00,

Police are breaking up “coronavirus parties” in New Jersey, authorities are hunting down a Florida pastor for violating a ‘health order’ to not hold services, state troopers are enforcing quarantine orders along the Louisiana-Texas border, and yet it’s business as usual for US military recruiting even as calls grow to close boot camps across the United States, especially at hard-hit coronavirus hot spots on the East and West coasts.

“Marine recruiters in the state hit hardest by the novel coronavirus have grave warnings about the military’s decision to continue sending young men and women off to boot camp in the middle of a global pandemic,” reports “Marines at New York recruiting stations say it’s only a matter of time before COVID-19, the serious illness caused by the coronavirus, sweeps through one of the service’s two entry-level training depots.”

Marine boot camp file image, via AiirSource Military/YouTube

Efforts have been implemented at Army and Marine recruiting offices to do remote virtual initial recruiting interviews; however, boot camp training grounds which see thousands of young future Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen conduct drills and exercises in close quarters – also sleeping in close quarter barracks – have taken no initiative to halt or alter training. Crowded chow halls and dining facilities are also potential places of rapid outbreak.

Top Pentagon brass has said keeping entry-level recruit training operational is essential to national security, as notes based on a DoD policy ruling:

The Pentagon has decided that keeping all the services’ entry-level training camps up and running is critical to national security. The decision was reportedly at odds with what some service leaders recommended: a temporary pause on recruit shipping until the threat of the coronavirus lessened.

Defense Department officials overrode the recommendations from senior military leaders to halt training for 30 days, The Washington Post reported March 16.

As of late in the day Monday, the Marine Corps announced it would delay sending new recruits to Parris Island, South Carolina. Yet basic training for the thousands of recruits already there will continue, the statement said.

The Marine Corps are putting a halt on sending recruits to Parris Island,

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“This Could Turn Violent” – Italian Officials Fear South Turning Into A Powder Keg


31-03-20 10:34:00,

Signs of social unrest in major Western cities could be developing over the next few weeks, and as we previously warned last Friday, a global depression with high unemployment could unleash a “social bomb” in European countries and or North America. 

At the moment, Italy is the most high-risk country in the West to experience a potential breakdown in society. The country is suffering from an explosion in COVID-19 cases and deaths, a collapsed hospital system, an economic depression, and high unemployment. Sounds a lot like Venezuela… 

Italy has called up the military in recent weeks to enforce lockdowns across the country. There have also been reports of organized gangs operating in the Southern part of the country that are using social media to plot raids on businesses, reported Bloomberg.

It’s a race against time for Italian officials to prevent social unrest: 

“We need to act fast, more than fast,” Mayor Leoluca Orlando of Palermo, a city of Southern Italy, told daily La Stampa. “Distress could turn into violence.”

Lockdowns in the country have entered the fourth week, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement on Monday recommending that the government must extend the countrywide lockdown through Easter. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has been injecting stimulus into the economy to prevent a complete economic crash, and the next round could hit as early as mid-April, worth $33 billion.

Italy is the epicenter of COVID-19 in Europe. As of Monday afternoon, 101,739 confirmed cases had been reported, with 11,591 deaths. The growth rates in deaths in Northern Italy is still on an exponential curve. 

“Discomfort and malaise are growing, and we are recording worrying reports of protest and anger that is being exploited by criminals who want to destabilize the system,” said Orlando.

“The more time passes, the more resources are exhausted. The few savings people are running out. This tells us socio-economic issues will erupt.”

The most southern part of the country has the highest unemployment. Stories are already starting to surface of social unrest. People, with no money, are now starting to raid supermarkets.  

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Covid-19 pandemic in Asia ‘far from over,’ countries should brace for ‘large-scale community transmission,’ WHO warns


31-03-20 10:19:00,

While some Asian countries appear to have slowed down the spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease, no nation should let its guard down, World Health Organization (WHO) experts have warned.

“Let me be clear. The epidemic is far from over in Asia and the Pacific,” WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Takeshi Kasai told reporters on Tuesday.

This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard… We need every country to keep preparing for large-scale community transmission.

While positive news has been coming out of China and South Korea, whose response seems to have slowed down the spread of the virus, WHO technical adviser Matthew Griffith explained that this should not be interpreted as Covid-19 leaving particular areas.

Also on
Human life must trump economics in a pandemic. THIS is why China is succeeding in war on Covid-19 and US is on path to disaster

“Whereas countries and areas in this region have shown how to flatten the curve, outbreaks continue to pop up in new places and importation remains a concern,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chinese health officials reported on Tuesday that there were no new confirmed Covid-19 cases recorded in the Hubei Province – where the outbreak initially started – for the seventh day in a row. All new 48 cases reported on Tuesday were linked to people arriving from abroad.

Chinese authorities said that although the domestic transmission of the disease has been largely stopped, the growing number of imported cases risks triggering a secondary wave of the infection.

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“A Multitrillion Dollar Helicopter Credit Drop”: How The Fed Turned $454 Billion Into $4.5 Trillion


31-03-20 10:06:00,

Last Friday, to bipartisan cheers – and one sole, rational dissenter who was promptly silenced after asking “if $6 trillion is fine, why not $350 trillion” – Trump signed into law a $2.2 trillion corporate, hedge fund and bank bailout fiscal spending package, which quickly became the main topic of the current new cycle. What was not at all discussed, purposefully so due to the complexity of the underlying math, is that in parallel to the Treasury’s 2 trillion package, the Fed received a green light to lend up to $4.5 trillion in new credit (which is where Kudlow’s misconstrued “$6 trillion stimulus” comment came from).

And as usually happens with matters Fed related, the fact that the Fed received permission from the Treasury to “stimulate” by more than twice the full amount of the CARES act, flew right over America’s head. Which, if to be expected, is lamentable, because by giving the Fed a green light to inject money at will, the US government officially launched helicopter money.

Or rather, “helicopter credit” as Wrightson ICAP chief economist Lou Crandall put it, and as Bloomberg further refined it, “a Multitrillion Dollar Helicopter Credit Drop.”

So how do we get to $4.5 trillion? Here’s how it happened.

The roles of the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve are different in a bailout. The Treasury Department is part of the Executive Branch. It receives its funding from taxpayers. It is accountable to Congress and to the President. It just received $454 billion in the CARES Act. The Federal Reserve, in contrast, is a private, bank-owned agency which pretends to operate on behalf of the people but in reality makes sure the financial system and the commercial banks that dominate are viable and profitable (if they aren’t they are bailed out).

Source: Bank of England

As a result, the Fed’s members and private owners are banking institutions who keep massive reserves on deposit at the Fed. The Federal Reserve has many roles in the economy, but none of them is to take on credit risk. So how do you get the Fed to establish a “loan” facility, as contemplated in the CARES Act,

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Execs Scramble To Buy Spyware To Keep Tabs On ‘Locked-Down’ Employees


31-03-20 10:03:00,

Tens of millions of Americans have transitioned from their corporate desks to living room sofas in the last month as “shelter in place” government health orders have forced many to work at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Corporate executives, who once had unlimited control over employees, have lost much of it, and that is why they’re now panic buying spy software to monitor employees who work from home, reported Bloomberg

Axos Financial Inc. told employees who are working from home that they’re monitoring every keystroke, logging every website, and taking screenshots of their desktops, in a bid to keep tabs on how productive they’re. In an internal email to employees, the company wrote that “disciplinary action” or “termination” is possible if slacking was seen. 

“We have seen individuals taking unfair advantage of flexible work arrangements,” Axos Financial CEO wrote in an internal email reviewed by Bloomberg. If daily tasks aren’t completed, workers “will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”

It’s not just corporations that are ushering in digital surveillance tools to monitor employees, but also we’ve noted that governments are utilizing mass surveillance to monitor social distancing and the health care system

“Of course, digital surveillance has been used for years on office desktops, yet it seems a violation of privacy to a lot of workers when they’re required to have software on their computers that tracks their every move in their own homes.

Employers justify going full Orwell by saying that monitoring curbs security breaches, which can be expensive and helps keep the wheels of commerce turning.

With so many people working remotely because of the coronavirus, surveillance software is flying off the virtual shelves.” – Bloomberg.

Brad Miller, CEO of surveillance-software maker InterGuard, said businesses are “scrambling” to purchase software that monitors the productivity of employees who are working from home. 

Axos spokesman Gregory Frost released a statement to Bloomberg that said, “the enhanced monitoring of at-home employees we implemented will ensure that those members of our workforce who work from home will continue” to be productive during these challenging times.

Along with InterGuard,

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Maryland ups the ante on coronavirus quarantine enforcement with $5,000 fine or one year in PRISON


30-03-20 08:45:00,

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has issued a stay-at-home order for state residents, warning that violations are punishable by fines of $5,000, a year’s prison time, or both, the heftiest sentence yet as states strengthen penalties.

Hogan effectively locked down Maryland residents on Monday, declaring that as of 8pm that night leaving one’s home for any other reason than “an essential job or for an essential reason such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention or for other necessary purposes” would incur the steep punishment.

Also on
Six months in jail for standing too close to strangers? Countries worldwide roll out draconian measures to fight Covid-19

The stay-at-home order includes a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people and the closure of all “non-essential” businesses, echoing similar decrees by other states and cities. However, while New York City and Chicago have adopted $500 fines for repeat violators of the six-foot “social distancing” rule, their punishments are a slap on the wrist compared to Hogan’s sentence.

This is a deadly public health crisis,” the governor explained at a press conference. “We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home. We are directing them to do so.”

Maryland has 1,414 diagnosed cases of coronavirus, while 16 people have died of the disease. The state reported 174 new cases on Monday. Total cases in the US number 144,146, with 2,572 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Also on
US coronavirus cases near 150,000, with over 2,500 dead

Later on Monday, Virginia joined its neighbor in the lockdown, with Governor Ralph Northam ordering residents to stay at home effective until June 2010. Virginians will be permitted to venture outdoors to buy groceries and medicines, go to work, care for family members, seek medical help, and engage in “outdoor activity,” but must follow “strict social distancing requirements” and are forbidden from gathering in groups of 10 or more, Northam warned.

More than 1,020 cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in Virginia,

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Kunstler: When Americans Wake From The Corona-Coma, This Will Be A Different Country


30-03-20 08:45:00,

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,

People, Get Ready!

The cable news announced the other day that Covid-19 patients placed in critical care may have to be on ventilators for 21 days. Only a few years ago, I went in for an ordinary hip replacement. A month or so later, I got the hospital billing statement. One of the line-items went like this: Room and board: 36 hours…$23,482.79. I am not jiving you. That was just for the hospital bed and maybe four lousy hospital meals, not the surgery or the meds or anything else. All that was billed extra. Say, what…?

Now imagine you have the stupendous good fortune to survive a Covid-19 infection after 21 days on a ventilator and go home. What is that billing statement going to look like? Will the survivors wish they’d never made out of the hospital alive?

Right now, we’re in the heroic phase of the battle against a modern age plague. The doctors, nurses, and their helpers are like the trembling soldiers in an amphibious landing craft churning toward the Normandy beach where the enemy is dug in and waiting for them, with sweaty fingers on their machine guns and a stink in the pillbox. Some of the doctors and nurses will go down in the battle. The fabled fog-of-war will conceal what is happening to the health care system itself, while the battle rages. After that, what?

One thing will be pretty clear: That the folks in charge of things gave trillions of dollars to Wall Street while tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 survivors got wiped out financially with gargantuan medical bills. Do you think the Chargemaster part of the hospital routine will just stop doing its thing during this emergency? The billings will continue – just as the proverbial beatings will continue until morale improves! In the aftermath, I can’t even imagine the ‘splainin’ that will entail. The rage may be too intense to even get to that. For some, it may be time to lubricate the guillotines?

Meantime, of course, the global economy has shut down which suggests to me, anyway, that any prior frame of reference you may have had about money and business and social normality goes out the window.

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Handout or Bailout? Transferring Trillions to the Super-Rich. “Crumbs” for US Households – Global Research


30-03-20 08:34:00,

The measure agreed to near-unanimously by both right wings of the one-party state is all about transferring countless trillions of dollars from ordinary Americans to the nation’s privileged class.

Deception defines it by including crumbs for about 150 million US households. Most people are unaware of how Congress and the White House are fleecing them.

The scheme is straight from Wall Street’s playbook, discussed in my books titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America” and “Banker Occupation.”

What Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein once claimed was doing “God’s work” is all about making money the old-fashioned way by stealing it.

GS and other Wall Street banks do it by fraud, grand theft, market manipulation, front-running, pump and dump schemes, scamming investors, bribing politicians, serving in senior government posts, and getting trillions of dollars in bailouts on request.

According to Section 4018/Division A of the corporate bailout bill, “a new special inspector general…within the” Treasury Department is established to oversea distribution of half a trillion dollars in corporate bailout funds.

In his Friday signing statement, Trump claimed the measure “includes several provisions that raise constitutional concerns” — regarding executive branch authority and the separation of powers.

The bill mandates congressional oversight over distribution of funds, the newly created inspector general required to report to Congress on how this is administered.

Trump wants control of the slush fund to hand disbursements to regime favorites with no oversight.

He cited the Constitution’s Article II, Section 3, stating that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” — the so-called Take Care Clause.

According to the Constitution Center, it’s “a major source of presidential power because it seemingly invests the office with broad enforcement authority.”

“Yet, at the same time, the provision also serves as a major limitation on that power because it underscores that the executive is under a duty to faithfully execute the laws of Congress and not disregard them.”

Three US presidents, including Trump, were in part impeached for allegedly violating the Take Care Clause.

The same holds for most or all of their predecessors and vast majority of current and former congressional members.

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The Totally Spontaneous Health Worker Balcony Applause Phenomenon – #PropagandaWatch


30-03-20 08:32:00,


Are you thanking the valiant soldiers in the war on the invisible enemy? Yes? Good. But are your thanking them in the right way? At the appropriate time? Using the state-sanctioned hashtag? No? Then you are a thoughtcriminal! Join James for this week’s edition of #PropagandaWatch as we peel back the curtain on The Totally Spontaneous Health Worker Balcony Applause Phenomenon, and how the propagandists will use this programming in the long run.

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Netanyahu uses coronavirus to lure rival Gantz into ‘emergency’ government


30-03-20 07:57:00,

Benny Gantz, the former Israeli general turned party leader, agreed late last week to join his rival Benjamin Netanyahu in an “emergency government” to deal with the coronavirus epidemic.

Two weeks ago he had won a wafer-thin majority vote in the parliament that gave him first shot at trying to put together a coalition government.

Instead he has conceded to Netanyahu, who will remain prime minister for the next 18 months. Gantz is supposed to take over in late 2021, though Netanyahu has a formidable reputation for double-dealing.

Over the past year Gantz fought three hotly contested, though indecisive, general elections in which he vowed to bring down Netanyahu, who has ruled continuously for 11 years.

He had promised supporters he would never sit in a government alongside Netanyahu, who is due to stand trial on multiple corruption charges.

Predictably, the U-turn tore apart Gantz’s Blue and White party. Denouncing the decision, two of the alliance’s three constituent factions said they would head into the opposition.

There has been increasing governmental paralysis over the past year with neither Gantz nor Netanyahu able to cobble together a majority coalition with other parties.

The reason was the Joint List party, representing Israel’s Palestinian citizens, a fifth of the country’s population, which effectively held the balance of votes. None of the main Jewish parties was prepared to be seen relying on its 15 seats.

Even with Gantz’s depleted party, Netanyahu’s “emergency government” should now be able to muster more than 70 seats in the 120-member parliament, giving him a safe majority.

Renowned for his ability to pull off political miracles, Netanyahu appears to have gradually worn down Gantz’s resistance over the past 12 months. The coronavirus epidemic proved the final straw.

Netanyahu has exploited justifiable fears about the virus to cement his status as Father of the Nation. In regular addresses, he has presented himself as Israel’s Winston Churchill, the British wartime leader who helped vanquish the Nazis.

He has now served longer as prime minister than the country’s founding father, David Ben Gurion.

Gantz, it seems, assessed that there was no practical way to push for a fourth election during the current lockdowns. And in any case Netanyahu,

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“What Is Really Essential”? In The US Golf And Guns, In France Wine And Pastries


30-03-20 10:16:00,

Among countless other unprecedented changes and transformation, the coronavirus pandemic has unveiled an odd divergence within global cultures: the definition of what’s deemed “essential” for people across the world, and what things we really can’t do without, even though we might not need most of them for survival.

As AP reports, in its attempt to slow the spread of the virus, authorities in many places are determining what shops and services can remain open. They’re also restricting citizens from leaving their homes. Stay-at-home orders or guidance are affecting more than one-fifth of the world’s population. This has left many contemplating an existential question: What, really, is essential?

Whether it is in Asia, Europe, Africa or the United States, there’s general agreement: Health care workers, law enforcement, utility workers, food production and communications are generally exempt from lockdowns. But some lists of exempted activities reflect a national identity, or the efforts of lobbyists.

In some U.S. states, golf, guns and ganja have been ruled essential, raising eyebrows and — in the case of guns — a good deal of ire.  In many places, booze is also on the list of essentials. Britain at first kept liquor stores off its list of businesses allowed to remain open, but after reports of supermarkets running out of beer, wine and spirits, the government quickly added them.

“Recent events clearly demonstrate that the process of designating ‘essential services’ is as much about culture as any legal-political reality about what is necessary to keep society functioning,” said Christopher McKnight Nichols, associate professor of history at Oregon State University.

Countries including India and U.S. states are listing the information technology sector as essential. The world’s dependency on the internet has become even more apparent as countless people confined to their homes communicate, stream movies and play games online to stave off cabin fever.

Several states where marijuana is legal, such as California and Washington, deemed pot shops and workers in the market’s supply chain essential. For some, the emphasis is on medicinal uses, not enabling cooped-up people to get stoned.

“Cannabis is a safe and effective treatment that millions of Americans rely on to maintain productive daily lives while suffering from diseases and ailments,” Erik Altieri,

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With a Quarter of the World’s Population Under US Sanctions, Countries Appeal to UN to Intervene – Global Research


30-03-20 08:38:00,

The governments of China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela – all under sanctions from the United States – sent a joint statement to the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN’s High Commissioner on Human Rights and the Director-General of the World Health Organization calling for an end to the unilateral American economic blockade, as they are, “illegal and blatantly violate international law and the charter of the United Nations.” 

The eight countries, representing around one-quarter of humanity, say that Washington’s actions are undermining their response to the COVID–19 pandemic sweeping the planet. “The destructive impact of said measures at the national level, plus their extraterritorial implication, together with the phenomenon of over-compliance and the fear for ‘secondary sanctions,’ hinder the ability of national governments” in procuring even basic medical equipment and supplies, including coronavirus test kits and medicine. It is a “hard if not impossible deed for those countries who are currently facing the application of unilateral coercive measures,” to cope, they conclude.

The letter was shared on Twitter by Joaquin Perez, Venezuela’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN.

Today 🇨🇳,🇨🇺,🇰🇵,🇮🇷,🇳🇮,🇷🇺,🇸🇾,🇻🇪 addressed the #UNSG on the negative impact of sanctions on nat’l efforts to fight COVID19. We cannot allow a zero-sum game in the midst of a pandemic. #SanctionsAreCriminal & must end now! Political calculations cannot get in the way of saving lives!

— Joaquín A. Pérez Ayestarán (@japerezve) March 26, 2020

That U.S. sanctions are “blatant violations of international law,” the letter states, is not in doubt. As the American Special Rapporteur to the UN, Alfred de Zayas, notes, only sanctions expressly verified and imposed collectively by the UN Security Council can be considered legal; any unilateral punishment is, by definition, illegal. De Zayas, a legal scholar, notes that sanctions are tantamount to a “collective punishment” against a population, an explicit violation of multiple articles of the UN Charter, the foundation of international law.

De Zayas traveled to Venezuela last year, describing the U.S. sanctions as akin to a medieval siege and accusing the Trump administration of “crimes against humanity.” The United Nations Human Rights Council formally condemned the U.S., called on all member states to break the sanctions,

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U.S. Troops Out of Iraq – Global Research


30-03-20 08:37:00,

A petition launched on March 19, 2020

The mass killing and destruction of Iraq that began 17 years ago today, assessed by the most scientifically respected measures available, killed over 1.4 million Iraqis, saw 4.2 million additional people injured, and 4.5 million made refugees.

The 1.4 million dead (and still rising) was 5% of the Iraqi population. That compares to 2.5% of the U.S. population lost in the U.S. Civil War, or 3.5% in Japan in World War II, 1% in France and Italy in World War II, 0.3% in the United States in World War II, and 0.001% in the United States in this war on Iraq.

The U.S. military has targeted civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances. It has made use of cluster bombs, white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new kind of napalm in urban areas. Birth defects, cancer rates, and infant mortality are through the roof. Water supplies, sewage treatment plants, hospitals, bridges, and electricity supplies remain devastated. Healthcare, nutrition, and education are nothing like they were before the war. And we should remember that healthcare and nutrition had already deteriorated during years of economic warfare waged through the most comprehensive economic sanctions ever imposed in modern history, sanctions that were accompanied by bombs and which followed the destruction of the Gulf War.

For years, the occupying forces have broken the society of Iraq down, encouraging ethnic and sectarian division and violence, resulting in a segregated country and the repression of rights that Iraqis used to enjoy, even under Saddam Hussein’s brutal police state – which, of course, was itself supported by the U.S. government for years.

While U.S. troops have been reduced in Iraq, they have never been removed. In January, the Iraqi Parliament voted that all U.S. troops should leave. The U.S. government has refused to leave, and has instead proposed installing (“defensive”) missiles in Iraq targeting Iran. While Iran is depicted in U.S. media as an evil enemy, the U.S. military does not claim that Iran is a threat to the actual United States, only to U.S. troops near Iran and U.S. “interests.” The refusal to leave and the decision to install missiles endanger Iraq, Iran, the entire region, and a world at risk of nuclear escalation and climate collapse that cannot afford any more wars.

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Transformational Hypnosis with a certified master clinical hypnotherapist


30-03-20 08:25:00,

 The Choice between Two Things, or is it Three?

In the beginning of this second week of house arrest here in Spain, known globally as social distancing, where I get to go out for a few minutes to the local store to buy food each day, making sure I don’t get too close to anyone, I’ve started to think. I mean it’s obvious that this virus or whatever it is, is nothing compared to past pandemics or even close to the deadly effects of the ‘normal’ flu, so what on Earth is actually going on. Big changes, that’s for sure.

Many years ago, I read of an upcoming split between ‘realities’, where some of humanity moved into a higher frequency and others moved into an increasingly negative one; an ascension if you like. As time went by, I noticed a huge evolution and awakening of millions of people, while the evil in the world also became more palpable and obvious. I thought ah ha, the evil ones with be sucked down into lower realms and the awakened and good will somehow find themselves on a parallel reality of a higher frequency and my gosh, that’s where I intend to be.

And so now here we are in 2020, the year of clear vision, locked down in our houses by a manufactured pandemic as laws are made to destroy the last vestiges of personal freedom we had, in the name of public health. It’s so much easier than using force. Hell, we police ourselves. I can’t take my dog for a walk in the hills in case someone sees me and calls the police who will inflict some huge fine!

Some are in fear during this time, while others are not. Some are panic buying, dressing up in useless masks and plastic bags, while others they are enjoying the peace, reading, meditating etc.…. but everyone is thinking or talking about what all this means. 

The dual camps seem very clear. On the one hand we have the putrid, dystopian, service to self, fear and ego driven AI/Satanic/Elite partnership with their forced vaccines, GMO food, constant surveillance, digital currency, military boot stomping, war, starvation, social credit system from hell, murder, rape and consumption of children and the manufacturing of adrenochrome,

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Pentagon Orders Essential Staff To Deep Underground Mountain Bunker As Pandemic Prep Escalates


30-03-20 08:08:00,

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) & the US’ Northern Command (NORTHCOM) held a Facebook Live town hall meeting on Tuesday, March 24, informing the public how their essential teams in charge of homeland security are isolating at the Cheyenne Mountain bunker in Colorado amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, who commands NORAD and NORTHCOM, told reporters on Facebook Live last Tuesday that essential staff is being moved from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado to the underground bunker complex that is 24 miles away in Cheyenne Mountain. The facility is more than 2,000 feet underground and can survive a 30 megaton nuclear explosion.

“To ensure that we can defend the homeland despite this pandemic, our command and control watch teams here in the headquarters split into multiple shifts and portions of our watch team began working from Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, creating a third team at an alternate location as well,” O’Shaughnessy said. 

“Our dedicated professionals of the NORAD and NORTHCOM command and control watch have left their homes, said goodbye to their families and are isolated from everyone to ensure that they can stand the watch each and every day to defend our homeland.

“It’s certainly not optimal, but it’s absolutely necessary and appropriate given the situation.”

NORAD and NORTHCOM have already used up about 30% of the underground facility, according to The Drive. O’Shaughnessy said with the increased personnel, his “primary concern was … are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there, and I’m not at liberty to discuss who’s moving in there.”

If the staff at Cheyenne are infected, there is a third team of higher-ranking military officials operating at another facility that can remotely assume command. 

With the virus crisis deepening in the US, confirmed cases have now surged over 124,000, with 2,191 deaths (as of Sunday morning). President Trump signed an executive order Friday, allowing the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to activate National Guard and reservists to battle the COVID-19 outbreak across the US. 

We noted last week that the US is in the “acceleration phase”

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How To Actually Effectively Cope With Your Covid-19 Anxiety


30-03-20 08:06:00,

As 2020 gets crazier and crazier, emotional self-care is getting more and more important. A lot of people, especially the “plugged-in” types who like to pay close attention to what’s going on in the world, are getting into some looping stress patterns over the Covid-19 pandemic that are unnecessary, unhealthy, and unhelpful.

It’s an understandable web to get tangled in; there are all these alarming news stories and statistics pouring in every single day, many of which speak of dangers which may pose a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of ourselves and our loved ones. Some people spend hours online combing through all the latest information they can find about this thing, and as they’re doing this a tremendous amount of stress builds up in the background of their experience, ultimately culminating in depression, panic attacks, angry outbursts, substance abuse or other unpleasantness.

You see strategies for coping with this increasingly common problem everywhere online, from common healthy stress management techniques like deep breathing and meditation, to escapist claims that the virus doesn’t pose any real danger, to many people simply unplugging from their news feeds altogether. What people aren’t talking about nearly enough, in my opinion, is the simple yet highly effective practice of consciously feeling your feelings.

You wouldn’t think “feel your feelings” is something that needs to be said; it sounds not just like common sense, but like something that happens automatically without your intention or permission. We’ve all experienced emotions we’d prefer not to experience if given the choice, so we assume emotion arises unbidden like a force of nature.

While that can certainly be true, a tremendous range of our emotional spectrum is often blotted out by a basic lack of emotional attentiveness. Our culture tends to encourage us to put all but our loudest emotions on the back burner and focus on other matters, and Covid-19 happens to feed into that dynamic especially well by giving us a bunch of sparkly news headlines and statistics to focus on while this low-level background anxiety slowly builds unnoticed.

Feelings need to be felt. Not acted out on other people, but felt. They’re like small children; if you just give them a cuddle, let them cry and listen to their grievances they feel better in a few minutes,

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COVID-19: Martial Law, Digital Currency, and World Government – Global Research


29-03-20 08:48:00,

I certainly don’t claim to be a financial wizard. In fact, at best, I have a rudimentary understanding of how the convoluted funny money economy works. However, you don’t need to fully comprehend the ins-and-outs of rigged monetary system to understand we’re in for big trouble and the coronavirus “pandemic” is not only accelerating the fall but will make the outcome far, far worse. 

For more detail on the financial end of this disaster, read Mike Whitney’s Why Washington’s COVID-19 Relief Package Must Be Stopped!

No chance, however. As I write this, Congress passed a pork-laden“stimulus” bill. 

If we can believe numbers put out by the CDC, as of Friday, March 27 there were 1,246 deaths in the US attributed to the virus. Compare this with the 1968 H3N2 “Hong Kong Flu.” It reportedly killed 100,000 people in the US and around a million around the world. 

At the time, the response was not to lock down the country and destroy the livelihood of millions of Americans and usher in the severe violations of the Constitution we are now witnessing.

Short of COVID-19 numbers shooting into the stratosphere in the long run, the death rate will be nowhere near those of the H3N2 pandemic. After the virus is put down by warm temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, jobless and impoverished Americans will scratch their heads in wonderment at the overreaction by government. 

Back in 1968, the US economy was doing fairly well. It was the economic powerhouse of the world. The economy began the slow process of engineered deterioration after the so-called “Nixon shock” imposed wage and price freezes in response to Federal Reserve manufactured inflation and the direct international convertibility of the dollar to gold in 1971. 

10% inflation in the 1970s was “the result of the honest mistakes of a well-meaning central bank (sic),” according to the Fed.

The former Fed boss, Ben Bernanke, said in 2002 “honest mistakes” were also responsible for the stock market crash in 1929 and the Great Depression that followed (see Jerry Mazza’s How the FED engineered the Great Depression;

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After Receiving $25 Million Coronavirus Bailout, JFK Center Stops Paying Musicians


29-03-20 08:40:00,

After receiving a controversial $25 million bailout (which would pay for a lot of respirators), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts notified nearly 100 musicians with the National Symphony Orchestra that they won’t receive paychecks after April 3rd, according to the orchestra’s COVID-19 Advisory Committee obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

“The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center President] Deborah Rutter,” reads the email. “Ms. Rutter abruptly informed us today that the last paycheck for all musicians and librarians will be April 3 and that we will not be paid again until the Center reopens.”

The email went out to members on Friday evening, shortly after President Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act, a stimulus package intended to provide relief to people left unemployed by the coronavirus pandemic. Congress included $25 million in taxpayer funding for the Kennedy Center, a provision that raised eyebrows from both Democrats and Republicans, but ultimately won support from President Trump. The bailout was designed to “cover operating expenses required to ensure the continuity of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and its affiliates, including for employee compensation and benefits, grants, contracts, payments for rent or utilities, fees for artists or performers,” according to the law’s text. The arts organization decided that the relief did not extend to members of the National Symphony Orchestra, its house orchestra. –Washington Free Beacon

“Everyone should proceed as if their last paycheck will be April 3,” the email continues. “We understand this will come [as a] shock to all of you, as it did to us.”

One veteran member of the orchestra (who we suspect forwarded the email to the Beacon) told the outlet that the decision has “blindsided” musicians.

“It’s very disappointing [that] they’re going to get that money and then drop us afterward,” the musician said. “The Kennedy Center blindsided us.”

The cente, which received $41 million from taxpayers in 2019, just completed a $250 million renovation – however it faced insurmountable deficits after shuttering its doors on March 12 due to COVID-19.

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What an Incredibly Useful Little Virus This Has Been for the Power Elite


29-03-20 10:19:00,

I’m not saying it’s a conspiracy. But if it was, what would be any different?

Christmas came early for our rulers and power elite this year. Let’s count up all the goodies covid hysteria pandemic nets them:

  • They get to distribute hundreds of billions, even trillions in dollars, euro and pound among their friends in the name of making up for an economic slowdown amid outbreak and countermeasures.
  • They get to posture as decisive men of the moment who take drastic action when circumstances demand it. And when spring sunshine takes care of the viruses, as it does every year, they can posture as our saviors.
  • They get to push us off the streets and into our homes. Forget Kim Jong-il, Stalin or African post-coup martial law, this is the real deal. It’s a level of repression even North Korea couldn’t get away with. It serves to bring relief from and possibly break the populist revolt (gilet jaunes anyone?), but more than that don’t forget about the straightforward pleasure these people get from exercising power and feeling important.
  • They get to dodge the blame for the coming economic collapse. A collapse which was due to happen soon anyway, as something or other was bound to burst the global debt bubble their central banks and monetary policies had blown up, but which will now be blamed on corona. What a dodge!

This hysteria pandemic has been such godsend to them. So much so that if I were in their place I would be looking to extend it for as long as possible.

I would make sure everyone who died while having coronavirus would be counted as its victim. And I would drown the land with corona test kits (who cares just how reliable they are having been approved so quickly) to make sure the number of infected keeps rising for as long as possible as an ever-greater proportion of your usual seasonal patients with flu-like symptoms are identified as having the dreaded covid-19.

If Trump is smart he’ll put the US under an European-style martial law to extend the crisis. The bigger the virus hysteria and the greater the fallout from anti-virus measures the more believable his claim in November that it was a great economy until the unfortunate act of nature/god.

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You might not want to scroll down! Dr. Bruce Lipton “BE AWARE OF THIS!”


29-03-20 10:18:00,

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Russia declares European Endowment for Democracy undesirable


29-03-20 09:58:00,

On 10 March 2020, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office added the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) to the list of “undesirable organizations.” The NGO was asked to cease its activities in Russia or be liable to a prison sentence.

It is the twentieth foreign organization which has been banned from working in Russia.

The European Endowment for Democracy (EED) is the European Union’s replica of the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED), also undesirable in Russia.

This Cold War construct was devised by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, within the framework of the 1941 Atlantic Charter which had been set up to enlist US and British Trotskyists against Soviet Stalinist sympathisers to advance their goal of “world revolution” … under Anglo-Saxon leadership.

The 1983 initiative ushered in the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) whose budget is voted with that of the Department of State and the US Institute of Peace (USIP) whose budget is in turn voted with that of the Department of Defense. President Reagan called on all vital forces in the United States, including those on the left, to rally against the “Empire of Evil” (Kirkpatrick Doctrine). Sister organizations were created in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

This system was maintained beyond the dissolution of the USSR. It proved particularly effective in the staging of coups d’etat branded as “colour revolutions.” In 2006, realizing that they were up against a new form of covert war, several countries banned the activities of the NED and the USIP, including Russia. In 2012, the High Representative of the European Union, British national Catherine Ashton, created the European Endowment for Democracy to fill in for its US counterpart. In particular, it played a prominent role in fostering the 2013 Euromaidan coup in Ukraine.

After a pause for reflection, on 27 March, the European Union issued a declaration rejecting the decision of the Russian authorities.

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The Propaganda Of Terror And Fear: A Lesson From Recent History


29-03-20 09:48:00,

Authored by Dr Piers Robinson, Co-Director Organisation for Propaganda Studies,  via,

The ongoing and unfolding reactions to the Coronavirus look set to have wide-ranging and long-lasting effect on politics, society and economics. The drive to close down all activities is extraordinary as are the measures being promoted to isolate people from each other.

The deep-rooted fear of contagious disease, hardwired into the collective consciousness by historical events such as the ‘Black/Bubonic Plague’ and maintained through popular culture (e.g. the Hollywood movies Outbreak and Contagion), means that people are without question highly susceptible to accepting extreme emergency measures whether or not such measures are rational or justified. The New York Times called for America to be put on a war footing in order to deal with Corona whilst former Army General Stanley McChrystal has been invoking his 9/11 experience in order to prescribe lessons for today’s leaders.

At the same time, political actors are fully aware that these conditions of fear and panic provide a critical opportunity that can be exploited in order to pursue political, economic and societal objectives. It is very likely, however, that the dangers posed by the potential exploitation of Corona for broader political, economic and societal objectives latter far outweigh the immediate threat to life and health from the virus. A lesson from recent history is instructive here.


The events of September 11 2001 represent a key moment in contemporary history. The destruction of three skyscrapers in New York after the impact of two airliners and an attack on the Pentagon, killing around 3000 civilians, shocked both American and global publics. The horror of seeing aircraft being flown into buildings, followed by the total destruction of three high rise buildings within a matter of seconds, and the spectre of a shadowy band of Islamic fundamentalists (Al Qaeda) having pulled off such devastating attacks, gripped the imagination of many in the Western world.

It was in this climate of paranoia and fear that extraordinary policies were implemented. The USA Patriot Act led to significant civil liberty restrictions whilst the mass surveillance of the digital environment became normalized.

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It’s Okay To Be Uncertain What’s Happening And Where This Is All Going


29-03-20 09:46:00,

There was a kids’ game show on Nickelodeon in the early nineties called Get the Picture where contestants would be shown an image that is obscured in some way and slowly made more clear. First one to guess the image correctly got the points.

That’s kind of how our whole situation feels right now. No one really knows exactly what’s going on just yet, and those of us who are interested in figuring it out are intensely peering at the screen trying to make out what we’re looking at. We’re all shouting out guesses, but that’s all they are. The picture’s still unclear, and Mike O’Malley hasn’t chimed in with the correct answer.

There’s so much going on right now as this new virus works its way through world populations, and so much is still very uncertain. There are individual issues coming up which we can shake our fists at, like massive bailouts for corporations and governments implementing dangerously authoritarian measures while refusing to adequately provide for their citizenry, but a full picture of what’s happening and where this is all going remains unclear.

There’s this weird dynamic in conspiracy and anti-establishment circles where everyone wants to pretend they know exactly what’s going on, and those who express uncertainty tend to attract less interest and attention than those who claim forcefully and assertively to have a crystal-clear HD perspective of The Big Picture. This dynamic of has led to the rise of many professional fringe pundits who don’t actually have much going for them other than the ability to communicate in a confident tone, and it’s created a very confusing information ecosystem during the current pandemic.

And today I’m just writing to say that it is actually okay to simply not know for a bit.

It seems like some of the conflict and stress people are expressing–at least in the circles I move in–stems not only from perfectly valid concerns about the future, but from a general discomfort with not knowing exactly what’s happening. We know from our experience that understanding what’s happening gives us more control over our fate, so not fully understanding can make us feel out of control. It can feel threatening. It can feel like a very stressfully urgent matter that we come up with an cohesive “How It Is” understanding of what exactly is happening.

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Fictional Reserve Lending Is The New Official Policy


29-03-20 09:41:00,

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Official policy finally caught up with reality. Reserves are fictional.

Official Announcement

With little fanfare or media coverage, the Fed made this Announcement on Reserves.

As announced on March 15, 2020, the Board reduced reserve requirement ratios to zero percent effective March 26, 2020. This action eliminated reserve requirements for all depository institutions.

Amusingly, a few days ago yet another article appeared explaining how the Money Multiplier works. The example goes like this: Someone deposits $10,000 and a bank lends out $9,000 and then the $9,000 gets redeposited and 90% of the gets lent out and so an and so forth.

The notion was potty. That is not remotely close to how loans get made. Deposits and reserves never played into lending decisions.

What’s Changed Regarding Lending?

Essentially, nothing.

The announcement just officially admitted the denominator on reserves for lending is zero.

There are no reserve lending constraints (but practically speaking, there never were).

Fictional Reserve Lending Flashback

I wrote about this in December of 2009 in Fictional Reserve Lending and the Myth of Excess Reserves.

The flashback is amusing as I reference a number of people worried about hyperinflation.

Here are the facts of the matter as I explained in 2009.

Money Multiplier Theory Is Wrong

  • Lending comes first and what little reserves there are (if any) come later.

  • There really are no excess reserves.

  • Not only are there no excess reserves, there are essentially no reserves to speak of at all.

The rationale behind the last bullet point pertains to banks hiding losses. Regulators suspended mark-to-market accounting.

When Do Banks Make Loans?

  1. They meet capital requirements

  2. They believe they have a creditworthy borrower

  3. Creditworthy borrowers want to borrow

All three requirements must be met.

  1. Banks generally do not lend if they are capital impaired.

  2. Clearly someone must want to borrow.

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