Watch AI Robo-Barber Cut Hair In Post-COVID World


24-07-20 08:10:00,

There were several problems people encountered during the virus pandemic. The first, if you couldn’t afford a private barber to make an at-home visit – well, there were no barbershops opened because state governments deemed these businesses non-essential. The second issue, as economies reopened, allowing barbershop to resume operations, people who seriously needed a trim, were still fearful of stepping inside a commercial setting, nevertheless, having a stranger hover over them and touch their head for 15-30 minutes. 

The pandemic has undoubtedly created a confidence crisis in barbershops. To solve this issue, one millennial during the epidemic built an impressive robot that cuts hair. 

Shane Wighton of the YouTube channel Stuff Made Here built what appears to be a robo-barber using AI. 

“There are no buzzers or trimmer involved, just a pair of scissors. And a whole lot of engineering and programming skills,” said Nerdist

Here’s the general gist of how it works. The cutting mechanism, attached to an adjustable lever, rotates around the head of the “customer.” The machine then selects hair and measures how far away it is from the person’s scalp. That way it won’t accidentally cut them. Then, a vacuum grabs the hair and sucks it up. The hair is pulled tight, just like a human would do, while a small section of locks is portioned off. Then the attached scissors snip away the exposed hair at the correct angle. The entire device is attached to a computer program that allows the user to select the haircut of their choice.

Ultimately it was successful. The built-in safety mechanisms worked, as Wighton was never harmed, and he got a passable haircut. Passable. But there were some issues. A math error made the haircut take four times longer than it should have. The protective mechanism also stopped the machine from cutting hair near his ears. -Nerdist 

Wighton explains in the video how the robot works. There’s also a demonstration of the robot cutting the inventor’s hair.   

While robo-barbers could instill confidence among consumers in a post-corona world – the more significant issue will be permanent job loss as the virus has forced corporations to adopt automation and AI at hyperspeed. 

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Twitter QAnon Purge Gives Bigger Monopoly to Corporate Media – Global Research


24-07-20 07:54:00,

Twitter cites fears QAnon activity will lead to “offline harm” while further empowering corporate media whose “offline harm” includes selling wars that have destroyed entire nations abroad and bled the American people dry at home. 


News outlets like CNN reported on Twitter’s move to purge the QAnon movement from its platform.

Articles like, “Twitter cracks down on QAnon accounts,” would claim Twitter fears QAnon’s rhetoric online could eventually lead to “offline harm.”

There is no doubt that QAnon has been behind absurd conspiracy theories and verified lies circulating online – suspiciously absurd. Banning it from Twitter because of alleged fears its activity will lead to “offline harm” is even more absurd.

Source: Land Destroyer Report

Despite making absurd claims that demonstrably never materialize or providing evidence that is later revealed to be clearly fabricated, nothing QAnon has done differs from what the corporate media does on a daily basis. In many ways they are one in the same – dividing and distracting the public while US special interests advance their agenda unnoticed and unopposed.

QAnon allegedly made false claims that Hillary Clinton’s arrest was imminent – she was never arrested. Conversely, the corporate media regularly claims that various world leaders in nations targeted by Western regime change have “fled,” are “dead,” or otherwise “ousted from power” – with lies spread by the Western media over the alleged “fates” of still incumbent leaders like Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un coming to immediate mind.

The Western corporate media also helps sell various wars of aggression.

This includes the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, US interventions in Libya and Syria from 2011 onward and US-backed regime change in Ukraine in 2013-2014.

Collectively these conflicts have killed over a million people and driven millions more from their homes. This “offline harm” – the direct result of lies told by the Western corporate media – has not only gone completely unaddressed by Twitter – it is enabled by Twitter.

Twitter – along with other US tech giants like Facebook and Google – aided the US government in sowing chaos across North Africa and the Middle East in 2011,

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Inflation/Deflation: The Economy Is An Elephant


24-07-20 07:26:00,

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

This is the key dynamic of the economy going forward: defaults on debt, declining wealth as assets are relentlessly repriced lower and sharp declines in income due to layoffs and debt defaults.

The economy is like an elephant surrounded by blindfolded economists and pundits: what each blindfolded person reports about the elephant depends on what part they happen to touch.

This is why aggregate measures such as gross domestic product (GDP) and the consumer price index (CPI) will be misleading and therefore useless going forward: different parts of the economy might experience sharp deflation while other parts are experiencing rapid inflation. What each household and enterprise will experience depends on their exposure to these cross-currents.

Adding up sharply deflationary and equally severe inflationary trends to get a total inflation reading near zero will be utterly meaningless. Let’s review a few key sectors of the economy to see how different participants’ experiences of the economy will be.

Let’s start with two of the apple carts the pandemic has knocked over: retail and commercial office space.

The first chart reveals the enormous surplus of retail space in the U.S. compared to other developed nations. Half of all U.S. retail space could vanish and we’d still have more than twice as much retail space per person as most of the developed world.

Such a vast surplus and the implosion of demand suggests a highly deflationary future for retail space rents. Furthermore, empty retail = no income for landlords = default on mortgages = bank losses = banking crisis. How much is empty retail space worth when the prospects of ever getting a paying tenant are poor? The answer is zero, or even less than zero, since the owner still has to pay property taxes, liability insurance, maintenance, utilities, etc.

The same dynamic dominates the commercial office space there’s a massive surplus of office space while demand is imploding as marginal businesses fold and remote work becomes the desired setting for millions of digital workers and the default setting for employers anxious to avoid lawsuits arising from needlessly exposing their workforce to crowded offices.

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War and the Environment: The Disturbing and Under-researched Legacy of Depleted Uranium Weapons – Global Research


23-07-20 02:19:00,

While on a research trip to the Iraqi city of Basra in 1996, environmental engineer Souad Al-Azzawi encountered a mother taking care of three young children, all of them sick and unable to move on their own. With no idea why her children were ill, the mother hoped Al-Azzawi had come to help her family. Unfortunately, there was little Al-Azzawi—or anyone else—could do.

As the director of the doctoral program in environmental engineering at the University of Baghdad, Al-Azzawi had been researching radioactive contamination in Basra for years. She would go on to publish studies showing that cases of leukemia in children in Basra increased by 60 percent between 1990 and 1997, and that the number of children born with severe birth defects increased by a factor of three.

Al-Azzawi’s research points to depleted uranium as the culprit. Depleted uranium is a by-product of the enrichment of natural uranium, a process used to create fuel rods for nuclear power plants. Due to its incredible density, the United States and United Kingdom have used depleted uranium for tank armor and ammunition during military combat since the early 1990s, during the First Gulf War. While not as radioactive as natural uranium, the metal nevertheless poses a threat.

Basra is located in the very southern tip of Iraq, wedged between Iran, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf. It is the northern terminus of Highway 80, which runs due south all the way to Kuwait City. Iraqi forces used the road to stage the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Months later, as those same troops retreated, they were pinned by 10 hours of US aerial bombardment that left a trail of hundreds of smashed cars, tanks, and other vehicles and equipment strewn along the road.

“The kids were playing on the tanks [leftover from the Gulf War], and they were collecting the bullets,” Al-Azzawi said. “For some of the people, those bullets stayed in their houses for years. It was a disaster.”

Al-Azzawi first learned about the effects of depleted uranium in the early 1990s from environmental activists. Since then, she has devoted her life to researching its impacts, producing more than 50 research papers on chemicals used in the region and conducting three exploration programs to collect data from across areas in Iraq exposed to weapons of war.

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Australia Pours Money Into Insane US War Games Yet Won’t Support Its Own Citizens


23-07-20 07:57:00,

During a suspended parliament without properly elected supervision, the Australian government is slashing financial protections for its own economically struggling citizens while pouring vast fortunes into supporting dangerous US cold war escalations against Australia’s number one trading partner.

In an article titled “Australian government slashes pandemic payments to workers after suspending parliament“, World Socialist Web Site reports:

Despite a worsening COVID-19 surge in Australia’s two most populous states, the Liberal-National government yesterday announced the slashing of its pandemic wage subsidies and welfare benefits, as part of its drive to “reopen the economy.”

Under conditions of mass unemployment, this will impoverish more than five million unemployed or under-employed workers and welfare recipients. The blatant purpose is to give workers no choice but to go back into unsafe workplaces regardless of the danger of infection.

“JobSeeker and JobKeeper are not do—nothing payments,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared, saying they were not designed to prevent people “from going out and seeking work.” Treasury had reported that the payments to workers “potentially blunted their incentives to work, or to take on additional hours of work.”

Got that? It’s too dangerous for our own MPs to go back to work, but everyone else needs to or face economic hardship. These cuts come at a time when 13 out of work Australians can be competing for a single job.

Australian government slashes pandemic payments to workers after suspending parliament

The blatant purpose of the cuts is to give workers no choice but to go back into unsafe workplaces regardless of the rising danger of #COVID19 infection #auspol

— World Socialist Web Site (@WSWS_Updates) July 22, 2020

This is happening at the same time that five Australian warships are conducting provocative naval exercises alongside the United States and Japan in the Philippine Sea as a “show of force” against China.

“As the US rogue regime ramps up its new cold war on China, vassal state Australia joined Washington and Japan in joint military exercises in the Philippine Sea — an obvious threat to Beijing,” journalist Ben Norton observed of the operation on Twitter.

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COVID-19: The Pentagon Confronts the Pandemic


23-07-20 07:39:00,

Michael Klare says naval robotic warfare is beginning to move out of dystopian futuristic fantasies and into official battlefield visions. 

U.S. Navy lieutenant records vitals during morning medical checks for sailors assigned to aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, May 1, 2020, at Naval Base Guam. (U.S. Marine Corps, Jordan E. Gilbert)

By Michael T. Klare

On March 26, the Coronavirus accomplished what no foreign adversary has been able to do since the end of World War II: it forced an American aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, to suspend patrol operations and shelter in port. By the time that ship reached dock in Guam, hundreds of sailors had been infected with the disease and nearly the entire crew had to be evacuated.

As news of the crisis aboard the TR (as the vessel is known) became public, word came out that at least 40 other U.S. warships, including the carrier USS Ronald Reagan and the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd, were suffering from Covid-19 outbreaks. None of these approached the scale of the TR and, by June, the Navy was again able to deploy most of those ships on delayed schedules and/or with reduced crews.

By then, however, it had become abundantly clear that the long-established U.S. strategy of relying on large, heavily armed warships to project power and defeat foreign adversaries was no longer fully sustainable in a pandemic-stricken world.

Just as the Navy was learning that its preference for big ships with large crews — typically packed into small spaces for extended periods of time — was quite literally proving a dead-end strategy (one of the infected sailors on the TR died of complications from Covid-19), the Army and Marine Corps were making a comparable discovery. Their favored strategy of partnering with local forces in far-flung parts of the world like Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, and South Korea, where local safeguards against infectious disease couldn’t always be relied on (or,

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Debt Is Neither Free Nor Irrelevant


23-07-20 07:36:00,


The world is drowning in debt.

And central bank policies globally are encouraging even more borrowing. Most people don’t seem to care. “This is necessary during this time of crisis,” has become the mantra. But the ugly truth is the world was already drowning in debt before the coronavirus pandemic. The government response to COVID-19 has merely exacerbated the problem. And it’s important to understand that debt is neither free nor irrelevant.

Just look at the US government budget deficits. The shortfall in the month of June totaled nearly the entire 2019 fiscal year deficit and would rank sixth largest-ever if it were a yearly deficit.

The June deficit came in at $864.1 billion dollars. To put that into perspective, here are the biggest annual budget deficits in US history.

  1. 2009 – $1.413 trillion (G.W. Bush/Obama)

  2. 2011 – $1.300 trillion (Obama)

  3. 2010 – $1.294 trillion (Obama)

  4. 2012 – $1.077 trillion (Obama)

  5. 2019 – $984 billion (Trump)

  6. June 2020 – $864 billion (Trump)

Of course, Uncle Sam was already hurtling toward a $1 trillion deficit for fiscal 2020 before the pandemic.

It’s not just governments running deeper and deeper into the red. The second quarter was the busiest ever for corporate debt issuance. Approximately $1.2 trillion of investment-grade paper was sold in the first half of the year. It was the highest issuance volume recorded by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

Corporations were leveraged to the hilt before the pandemic. So much so that the Federal Reserve issued warnings about the increasing levels of corporate indebtedness late last year.

Borrowing by businesses is historically high relative to gross domestic product (GDP), with the most rapid increases in debt concentrated among the riskiest firms amid weak credit standards.”

The Fed’s response to COVID-19 was to wade into the corporate bond market and this has only exacerbated the debt problem.

Economist Daniel Lacalle highlighted just how much global debt has grown in an article published by the Mises Wire.

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Stepped Up Trump Regime War on China by Other Means – Global Research


23-07-20 07:33:00,

Another day, more shoes dropped, escalating US war on China by other means, a scenario fraught with danger by pushing things toward a point of no return that risks belligerent confrontation.

Time and again, US charges against Russia, Iran, China, Venezuela, North Korea and other countries were baseless — no credible evidence supporting them.

In less than a 24-hour period, the Trump regime took two hostile actions against China.

Its Justice Department accused Beijing of cyber-espionage, along Trump regime authorities ordering closure of its Houston consulate within 72 hours. More on the latter action below.

On Tuesday, Trump’s Justice Department issued the following statement:

Operating secretly and unconstitutionally, it failed to explain, “(a) federal grand jury in Spokane, Washington returned an indictment earlier this month charging two hackers, both nationals and residents of…China with hacking into the computer systems of hundreds of victim companies, governments, non-governmental organizations, and individual dissidents, clergy, and democratic and human rights activists in the United States and abroad, including Hong Kong and China,” adding:

“The defendants in some instances acted for their own personal financial gain, and in others for the benefit of the MSS (Ministry of State Security) or other Chinese government agencies.”

“The hackers stole terabytes of data which comprised a sophisticated and prolific threat to US networks.”

An 11-count indictment (alleging conspiracy, identity theft, and fraud) accused two Chinese nationals of “targeting companies in countries with high technology industries, including the United States, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.”

The indictment claims they targeted intellectual property, including research on COVID-19 vaccines, defense, communications, and other technology related data.

Assistant AG for national security John Demers sounded like Chinaphobe Pompeo, claiming:

“China has now taken its place, alongside Russia, Iran and North Korea in (a) club of nations that provide a safe haven for cyber criminals in exchange for those criminals being ‘on call’ to work for the benefit of the state, here to feed the Chinese Communist party’s insatiable hunger for American and other non-Chinese companies’ hard-earned intellectual property, including COVID-19 research (sic).”

The US grand jury system is unconstitutional.

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Trump and Pompeo Versus the Pagan Wide World | New Eastern Outlook


23-07-20 07:26:00,


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is the perfect instrument of President Donald Trump. Not only is he as arrogant and self-righteous as the beleaguered American leader, but he is also a impolite, nasty Trump clone who possesses zero social grace. Pompeo, like Trump, feels like his role is to insult and beat down the rest of the world to “win” a ridiculous policy war. Or in other words, he has no business being in charge of our foreign policy. And for those who think I am wrong…

Just recently Secretary Pompeo warned the heads of companies working to complete the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany to “get out now or face the consequences.” For those unfamiliar, Germany wants Russian gas and Russia wants to sell the central European nation all they can use. For years, however, the US and other nations have sought to block Russia from profiting from her vast natural resources. The reasons and instances are many, but basically, the Anglo-European alliance wants to keep the Russians down.

Nord Stream, the Ukraine situation, the war in Syria, and conflicts other parts of the Arab world, all these geo-strategic hotspots are about suppressing Russia, China, Iran, or other people whose leaders are not in the country club Pompeo belongs to. Pompeo’s rhetoric amplifies the nastiness of Trump, and of that segment of American policymaking that thinks the United States should rule the world like an empire. Threatening with still more sanctions, the US Secretary of State went on to say:

“Companies aiding and abetting Russia’s malign-influence projects will not be tolerated.”

Pompeo looks and acts like one of those meat-bone munching bulldogs you’ve seen on Saturday morning cartoons. His business is all about throwing his and Trump’s weight around the world at the expense of America’s reputation on the world stage. Watching from the wings, I find it difficult to believe my country ever passed a law called the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, but seeing these new fascists using the law as a sword for business, it’s really sickening. Yes, we’ve allowed an actual law enabling the neoliberals to conduct an economic war on neighbors, in a world that is supposedly a global community.

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Israel’s Jewish National Fund Is Uprooting Palestinians – Not Planting Trees – Global Research


22-07-20 03:17:00,

The Jewish National Fund, established more than 100 years ago, is perhaps the most venerable of the international Zionist organisations. Its recent honorary patrons have included prime ministers, and it advises UN forums on forestry and conservation issues.

It is also recognised as a charity in dozens of western states. Generations of Jewish families, and others, have contributed to its fundraising programmes, learning as children to drop saved pennies into its trademark blue boxes to help plant a tree.

And yet its work over many decades has been driven by one main goal: to evict Palestinians from their homeland. 

The JNF is a thriving relic of Europe’s colonial past, even if today it wears the garb of an environmental charity. As recent events show, ethnic cleansing is still what it excels at.

The organisation’s mission began before the state of Israel was even born. Under British protection, the JNF bought up tracts of fertile land in what was then historic Palestine. It typically used force to dispossess Palestinian sharecroppers whose families had worked the land for centuries.

But the JNF’s expulsion activities did not end in 1948, when Israel was established through a bloody war on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland – an event Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe.

Israel hurriedly demolished more than 500 cleansed Palestinian villages, and the JNF was entrusted with the job of preventing some 750,000 refugees from returning. It did so by planting forests over both the ruined homes, making it impossible to rebuild them, and village lands to stop them being farmed.

These plantations were how the JNF earned its international reputation. Its forestry operations were lauded for stopping soil erosion, reclaiming land and now tackling the climate crisis.

But even this expertise – gained through enforcing war crimes – was undeserved. Environmentalists say the dark canopies of trees it has planted in arid regions such as the Negev, in Israel’s south, absorb heat unlike the unforested, light-coloured soil. Short of water, the slow-growing trees capture little carbon. Native species of brush and animals, meanwhile, have been harmed.

These pine forests – the JNF has planted some 250 million trees – have also turned into a major fire hazard.

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China, QAnon Censorship, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix


22-07-20 03:15:00,

QAnon is one of the most annoying things on Twitter and its followers are morons. And, also, it is dangerous and unacceptable that monopolistic Silicon Valley tech plutocrats are exerting more and more control over human communication.

I criticize QAnon constantly and find its acolytes intensely irritating. And, also, I don’t want monopolistic tech billionaires paternalistically protecting my fragile little mind from them.

Twitter shouldn’t be censoring this.

In a corporatist system of government, where few meaningful distinctions exist between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. Permitting such a thing, to any extent, is extremely hazardous for the future of human development.


The dawn of political insight is when you realize propaganda isn’t just something that is done by other countries and other political parties.


Step 1: Foment violent extremism in a key geostrategic region you want to control.

Step 2: Wait for the government of that region to respond to extremism.

Step 3: Spin their response as unprovoked tyranny, tell the world interventionism is required to prevent another Holocaust.


Q: What does “tankie” mean?

A: “Tankie” is a noise you make when you want to avoid contemplating the uncomfortable possibility that someone else might be less MSM-brainwashed on foreign policy than you are.


Q: What is China?

A: China is a large Asiatic nation which westerners use as an emotional punching bag for their capitalism-induced rage, propaganda-induced confusion, and fears about the death of the US empire.


Believing China wants to take over your country, censor your internet and give you a social credit score is exactly the same sort of foam-brained othering which told previous generations that black men want to take over your neighborhood so they can have sex with your wives.


“I guess you don’t realize this Caitlin, but it’s actually possible to be critical of the US government and mindlessly regurgitate CIA narratives about China,” said the Smart Internet Person. “It’s called being fair and balanced.”


US conservatives whose precious religion admonishes them to “remove the plank from thine own eye” are obsessed with China,

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US Strikes $2 Billion Deal To Buy COVID-19 Vaccine From Pfizer


22-07-20 02:55:00,

In the latest deal involving a (clearly anxious) government and a (clearly greedy) pharmaceutical giant peddling an as-yet-unfinished remedy or vaccine, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the DoD have announced a deal with Pfizer to buy 100 million doses of a vaccine candidate – once it has been tested and approved and all that.

We received the latest update from German biotech firm BioNTech and US-based Pfizer, who are jointly developing a vaccine, earlier this week. They released the results of an early-stage trial purporting to establish that the vaccine is safe for human consumption. The virus remains on track to begin anticipated Phase 2B/3 safety and efficacy trial later in July. The US government has pledged $1.95 billion for an initial order of 100 million doses of the vaccine.

The deal also includes an option for the government to purchase an additional 500 million doses, contingent on the drug being granted regulatory approval.

The US government said it aims to make the vaccine free to all Americans.

We expect to learn more about the “arrangement” when DHHS Secretary Alex Azar joins the “Squawk Box” crew for an interview in an hour.

As the FT reminds us, several governments have signed agreements with some of the 24 groups currently testing a coronavirus vaccine on humans, including the candidate being developed by Oxford University in partnership with AstraZeneca.

Here’s more on the history of governments striking vaccine deals. In the UK, HMG was aiming to strike deals to distribute each of the four main vaccine technologies being explored. These include: genetic vaccines, viral vectors, inactivated whole virus and protein-based vaccines.

The US move comes after the UK government ordered 30m doses of BioNTech’s vaccine and 60m doses of another vaccine from Valneva of France, which is less advanced in clinical development. But it did not disclose financial details of the agreements. Kate Bingham, head of UK government’s vaccines task force, said the country was aiming for a total of at least eight deals — two for each of the four main vaccine technologies (genetic vaccines, viral vectors, inactivated whole virus and protein-based vaccines).  “We initially talked to the government about going up to 12 vaccines but it’s more likely to around eight,

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The Last Zionist


22-07-20 01:33:00,

In his book Memories, the first Israeli PM and pragmatic early Zionist, David Ben Gurion writes about his early years in Płońsk, Poland.

“For many of us, anti-Semitic feeling had little to do with our (Zionist) dedication. I personally never suffered anti-Semitic persecution. Płońsk was remarkably free of it… There were three main communities: Russians, Jews and Poles. … The number of Jews and Poles in the city were roughly equal, about five thousand each. The Jews, however, formed a compact, centralized group occupying the innermost districts whilst the Poles were more scattered, living in outlying areas and shading off into the peasantry. Consequently, when a gang of Jewish boys met a Polish gang the latter would almost inevitably represent a single suburb and thus be poorer in fighting potential than the Jews who even if their numbers were initially fewer could quickly call on reinforcements from the entire quarter. Far from being afraid of them (the goyim), they were rather afraid of us (the Jews). In general, however, relations were amicable, though distant.” (Memoirs: David Ben-Gurion (1970), p. 36)

Ben Gurion is very explicit when describing the balance of power between Jews and Poles in his town in the early days of the 20th century. “Far from being afraid of them, they were rather afraid of us (the Jews).”

Jews were indeed very powerful in Poland in the first years of the 20th century. The Jewish socialist party, the Bund, was a leading political force in the 1905 Revolution particularly in the Polish areas of the Russian empire. In the early stages of that Revolution, the Bund’s military wing was the strongest revolutionary force in Western Russia.

The Vow, the Bund’s anthem didn’t leave much room for imagination, it declared war and practically sentenced to death those who didn’t fit with their political agenda:

“We swear our stalwart hate persists,
Of those who rob and kill the poor:
The Tsar, the masters, capitalists.
Our vengeance will be swift and sure.
So swear together to live or die!”

“To wage the holy war we vow,
Until right triumphs over wrong.

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Lebanon faced with its responsibilities, by Thierry Meyssan


22-07-20 07:48:00,

The Lebanese economy has collapsed in seven months. People are starting to go hungry. A solution is possible if the causes of the problem are properly analysed. However, it is still necessary to acknowledge one’s mistakes and to distinguish between what is structural and what emerges from regional problems. It is futile and defamatory to accuse the traditional enemy (Israel) or the brutal ally (the United States) of having caused a problem that has lasted for centuries and has become so anachronistic. It is also dangerous to ignore the evolution of Hezbollah’s current main ally (Iran).

JPEG - 33.2 kb
General Chamel Roukoz is the most legitimate Lebanese personality to reform the country. However, the United States would prefer that General Joseph Aoun (with no close family ties to the President of the Republic) play the role of “dictator” (in the ancient Roman sense of the word).

A structural problem inherited from the past

From the beginning of the events in Lebanon, we stressed that the structural problem was not corruption, but the organization of this country according to a confessional community system [1]. Moreover, before the banking problem became public, we announced it and explained that, like all banks, Lebanese women have only one tenth of their deposits. Therefore, when a major political problem arises that undermines confidence, all banks are unable to repay their customers.

We continue to claim that the Lebanese are wrong to blame the corrupt. The people are solely responsible for having accepted the continuation of this feudal system, inherited from the Ottoman occupation, under the quilt of confessional communalism, inherited from the French occupation. It is always the same families who have controlled the country for centuries; the civil war (1975-90) having renewed them only slightly.

It is astonishing to hear the Muslims denying Ottoman colonisation and the Maronites boasting about their “Mother France” (sic). Of course, everyone has reasons for committing these errors, but it is not by blindly looking to the past that a viable future will be created.

Washington and Tel Aviv do not want to destroy Lebanon

The United States is clearly pushing against Hezbollah. However, as General Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of CentCom, said during his recent visit to Beirut, it is an indirect pressure on them against Iran.

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I Don’t Always Believe CIA Narratives. But When I Do, I Believe Them About China.


22-07-20 07:43:00,

My social media notifications have been lighting up the last few days with virulent Chinagaters sharing a video which purports to show Uighur Muslims being loaded onto a train to be taken to concentration camps. It’s actually an old video that had already surfaced last year, but it is magically making the rounds again as a new and shocking revelation in 2020 now that western China hysteria has been officially kicked into high gear, at exactly the same time the US enacts one of the most dangerous and incendiary escalations of recent years in the South China Sea.

So this old video from #Xinjiang of inmates transfer from Kashgar to Korla is making rounds on social media again. It 1st surfaced in Sept, 2019 but appeared to be older video from 2018 based on image analysis. Thread:

— Carl Zha (@CarlZha) July 17, 2020

Everyone tagging me in this video presents it as a self-evident “gotcha” moment, in exactly the same way Russiagaters spent years tagging me in every HUGE BOMBSHELL WALLS ARE CLOSING IN item of thinly sourced narrative fluff in their debunked conspiracy theory that the Kremlin had infiltrated the highest levels of the US government.

They are one hundred percent certain that the video shows Uighurs being loaded onto a train to go to a concentration camp, solely because that is what the bit of text over the video tells them they are seeing. They aren’t looking at the actual data and thinking critically about it, they’re looking at the narrative and believing it on blind faith. Which, in a post-Iraq invasion world, is an absolutely insane thing to do when presented with information about a nation that is targeted by the US-centralized empire.

In reality there’s nothing in the video which tells us that these are Uighur people being sent to a “re-education camp” and not merely a conventional prison transfer of convicted criminals, the likes of which take place in the far more populous US prison system all the time. It’s an unknown. We are told by the BBC’s Andrew Marr (the same Andrew Marr whose phony journalism Noam Chomsky derided years ago) that it has been “authenticated by western intelligence agencies and by Australian experts”,

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Bolivian Coup Government Calls for Another Canada-backed Foreign Intervention in Its Presidential Elections – Global Research


22-07-20 07:42:00,

On July 15, Luis Fernando Camacho, leader of the violent coup against Bolivian president Evo Morales and current candidate for the Bolivian presidency, issued a desperate appeal to the Organization of American States.




Bolivia’s coup leader, Fernando Camacho, has asked the OAS to intervene to stop democratic elections taking place on September 6th.

Camacho says that “we mustn’t allow the elections to become an act of resurrection” for the MAS.

— Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) July 15, 2020

According to a poll done by Centro Estratégico Latinoamericano de Geopolítica, which was released on July 7, Camacho is polling at nine per cent. Meanwhile MAS (Movement for Socialism) candidate Luis Arce, Bolivia’s finance minister from 2006 until the coup, is polling at 42 per cent. To surpass Arce’s lead in the polls, Carlos Mesa, the unelected coup president Jeanine Anez, and Camacho would have to consolidate their votes, while two would need to drop out of the race.

MAS candidate Luis Arce is poised for a first-round win in Bolivia’s presidential election, polling 15+ points ahead of the nearest rival.

New poll by @CELAGeopolitica:

— Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) July 7, 2020

In the appeal, Camacho, who has direct connections to the paramilitary group Unión Juvenil Cruceñista, argued that “we [Bolivia] must not allow the elections to become an act of resurrection” for MAS. This is an open call for the OAS to launch a second coup if Arce wins the presidential election, and violate the sovereignty of Bolivia yet again.

In response to this news, Evo Morales spoke out on Twitter:

Asking the OAS to rule on the suspension of the elections in Bolivia is a new blow against democracy, it is a form of intervention against the sovereignty of the State and the dignity of the people; and furthermore it is being asked by those responsible for the tragic events of 2019

Pedir que la @OEA_oficial se pronuncie para que se suspendan las elecciones en #Bolivia es un nuevo golpe contra la democracia,

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US Senate Candidate Daniel McCarthy Calls Out The COVID Numbers – Activist Post


22-07-20 07:36:00,

By Spiro Skouras

In this interview Spiro is joined by Arizona Senate candidate Daniel McCarthy (R). They discuss the importance of the Arizona GOP Senate primary on August 4th.

Additionally, Spiro and Daniel McCarthy cover what it is like living in one of the states hardest hit by the virus, according to the media.

Senate candidate Daniel McCarthy also speaks to the manipulation of the COVID19 numbers and how politicians and the media are pushing fear to achieve an agenda.

Daniel McCarthy

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Daniel McCarthy Twitter

Daniel McCarthy YouTube

Phoenix Mayor Peddles Misinformation About Hospital Morgue Space To Pick Partisan Fight

Arizona Governor Sits on Board of Group Doing Testing, Affiliate of Prospective Coronavirus Vaccine Maker

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“Wait, Why Is The Fed Buying My Biggest Competitors’ Bonds?”


22-07-20 07:15:00,

Authored by Mark Jeftovic via,

On Cantillionaires, Sycophants and Losers

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”

— Henry Ford

“The ultimate crisis will occur when the situation is so thoroughly perverted that the defenders of the status quo can no longer resurrect confidence in the system”

— Vincent LoCascio, Special Privilege: How the Monetary Elite Benefit at Your Expense

Over several previous blog incarnations I’ve been writing about a couple of core themes for over decade. When I started writing about artificially low interest rates and the bad outcomes they would produce, I didn’t even know the economic terms for some of the things I was writing about.

But I knew keeping interest rates artificially low, or even negative would act like a type of event horizon that would be impossible to normalize from. I knew keeping interest rates too low for too long would force fiduciaries and capital allocators out the risk curve in search of yield, and that the most vulnerable among us, such as senior citizens, were the least able to absorb the inevitable drawdowns that would entail.

I also realized early on that hot money and credit expansion would spur an explosion of money losing unicorns, who would suck up all the oxygen in all the markets cannibalizing entire markets at a loss in order to get that Series E or F up-round. That one became apparent to me when I started seeing billboards for one of my largest competitors every 1/4 mile across the entire city of Toronto on my daily commute, and every other place else I ever travelled to in North America. I knew that they were losing about $300,000,000 a year at the time. They also had some pretty kick-ass Super Bowl commercials.

I only learned about Richard Cantillon and his early economic treatise a couple years ago and since then I’ve never been able to shut up about The Cantillon Effect,

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Swedish coronavirus strategy ‘is working,’ top epidemiologist insists


21-07-20 06:03:00,

A rapid decline in new critical Covid-19 cases alongside slowing death rates indicate that Sweden’s strategy for slowing the epidemic is working, the country’s top epidemiologist said on Tuesday.

Sweden has foregone a hard lockdown throughout the outbreak, a strategy that set it apart from most of Europe. State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell of the Public Health Agency said a rapid slowdown in the spread of the virus indicated very strongly that Sweden had reached relatively widespread immunity.

“The epidemic is now being slowed down, in a way that I think few of us would have believed a week or so ago,” he told reporters.

Sweden’s death toll of 5,646, when compared relative to population size, has far outstripped those of its Nordic neighbors, Reuters said. However, it remains lower than in some European states that locked down, such as Britain and Spain.

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Watch Live: Big Pharma CEOs Testify Before Congress About “Pathway To A Vaccine”


21-07-20 03:40:00,

With stocks continuing to power higher on elevated hopes for a vaccine by the end of the year, executives from five major drugmakers are testifying Tuesday before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee panel. The executives will testify about their high-stakes efforts to develop a vaccine. Lawmakers are expected to grill them about plans to develop and distribute the vaccines.

The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce is hosting the hearing. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is led by Chairman Rep. Frank Pallone, and the subcommittee is led by Rep. Diana DeGette.

Watch live below:

Witnesses include:

  • Dr. Mene Pangalos Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D AstraZeneca
  • Dr. Macaya Douoguih Head of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Janssen Vaccines Johnson & Johnson
  • Dr. Julie Gerberding Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer Merck
  • Dr. Stephen Hoge President Moderna
  • Mr. John Young Chief Business Officer Pfizer

The tesimony is being delivered remotely via Cisco Webex.

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Facebook suspends anti-mask group that branded face coverings a form of ‘enslavement’


21-07-20 03:39:00,

A Facebook group called ‘Unmasking America’ which claimed that masks were a “psychological anchor for suppression” has been suspended by the social media platform under its coronavirus misinformation policies.

Here to speak the TRUTH about masks!” read the ‘about’ page of Unmasking America. It was just one of many groups on Facebook posting messages decrying mask-wearing as a form of “enslavement,” and inaccurately claiming that donning masks limits the wearer’s oxygen intake.

Also on
Trump endorses wearing a MASK against Covid-19 after weeks of criticism, is immediately blasted for being too late

Consisting of some 10,000 users, the group was removed after Facebook found that it was spreading false information repeatedly in violation of the tech giant’s policies. Among the postings were ‘mask exemption cards’ from the “Freedom to Breathe Agency.” These cards, sold online, purport to offer the bearer an exemption from donning a mask, but are fraudulent and carry no legal weight. However, they were popular enough that federal officials had to alert the public about them.  

Wearing a face mask posses [sic] a mental and/or physical risk to me. Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), I am not required to disclose my condition to you,” read the cards, which misspelled “poses” and cited the incorrect title of the relevant legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act.

My office has received reports of individuals attempting to use a “Face Mask Exempt Card” to evade Palm Beach County’s mandatory mask order.Please note that such cards have NO legal authority and businesses should not alter their mask policies based on them. 1/

— Dave Aronberg (@aronberg) July 10, 2020

Unmasking America is one of a plethora of groups that have emerged since the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in June that people wear masks.

When a group shares “misinformation” repeatedly, Facebook will effectively shadow ban it by lowering its prominence in user feeds and by halting suggestions that people join the group, strangling its growth. During the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook has been under increased pressure to be even tougher on the spreading of false information.

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Drone Wars Open New Phase Of Conflict In Syria


21-07-20 07:03:00,

Submitted by South Front

Early on July 20, positions of the Syrian Army came under shelling by militants in the villages of Furu, Bahsa and Beit Hassno in the southern part of the Idlib de-escalation zone. In response, government forces struck positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sam near Kansafra and surrounding areas.

Local tensions increased just a few days after a key infrastructure object of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib became the target of a drone attack. On July 18, three suicide drones hit facilities of the Watad Petroleum Company in the town of Saramada. This company is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and has a monopoly on the fuel market in Greater Idlib. It is deeply involved in oil trafficking with nearby Turkish-occupied areas in northern Aleppo and responsible for the illegal import of fuel from Turkey. A notable part of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s revenue is generated by Watad.

The HTS news agency Iba’a confirmed that the drones struck the headquarters of the company as well as its fuel market. However, the agency claimed that the strikes didn’t result in any human or material losses.

A photo of one of the drones made before the attack shows an X-shaped wing design similar to that of the Hero family of loitering munitions produced by Israel’s UVision. Syrian sources speculate that this drone may be a Russian, Syrian or Iranian reverse-engineered copy of the Israeli munition. At the same time, it is likely that the strike was conducted by Turkey itself, which is silently working to undermine the dominance of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the region.

Earlier in July, Idlib militants attacked a joint Turkish-Russian patrol on the M4 highway with a detonated car driven by a suicide bomber. It is hard to believe that such an attack could be possible without the coordination with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham that controls the frontline in that area. So, Ankara may opt to employ some additional measures to demonstrate its dissatisfaction with such actions of its al-Qaeda partners, that Turkish state media like to call ‘moderate rebels’.

On July 19, an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in the Turkish-occupied town of Afrin in northern Aleppo. The IED targeted a vehicle of the Sham Corps militant group wounding at least 3 of its members,

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USA: Statuen der


20-07-20 09:01:00,

Nach dem Aufruf des antirassistischen Aktivisten Shaun King wurden in den Vereinigten Staaten mehrere Statuen der Jungfrau Maria zerstört, darunter in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles und Sacramento.

Am 22. Juni twitterte der ehemalige protestantische Pastor Shaun King:
« Alle Wandmalereien und Buntglasfenster des Weißen Jesus, seiner europäischen Mutter und ihrer weißen Freunde sollten ebenfalls gestürzt werden.
Sie sind eine grobe Form weißer Vorherrschaft.
Erstellt als Werkzeuge der Unterdrückung.
Rassistische Propaganda.
Sie sollten alle gestürzt werden.”

Shaun King ist ein umstrittener Aktivist, der seinen Moment des Ruhms während des Präsidentschaftswahlkampfes des demokratischen Senators Bernie Sanders hatte.

Als Reaktion auf seinen Tweet bemerkte Bischof Donald J. Hying aus Madison, dass es viele Statuen der Schwarzen Jungfrau in Europa und des Schwarzen Jesus in Afrika gäbe.

An der Ostküste wurden auch mehrere Statuen des Franziskanerheiligen Junipero Serra, – der von Papst Johannes Paul II. als “Apostel von Kalifornien” heiliggesprochen wurde -, zerstört und auch die San Gabriel Mission wurde niedergebrannt. In den Vereinigten Staaten werden regelmäßig jüdische, schwarze und muslimische Kultstätten angegriffen. Diese Intoleranz erreicht nun auch katholische Kultstätten.

Horst Frohlich

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Er gaat haast geen dag meer voorbij of ook dit type ramp wordt voorspeld… dat zal niet voor niets zijn… nog weer meer geestloze angst als ‘succesvolle’ raadgever? Four massive asteroids en route to Earth, as scientists discover space rocks of INTERSTELLAR origin in our solar system


Russian Elite Received ‘Experimental’ COVID-19 Vaccine As Early As April


20-07-20 01:22:00,

Last week, we shared news of what Russia’s scientific community had touted as a major breakthrough in the development of a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2: A vaccine trial at Moscow’s Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University had yielded the first successful human trials. The American business press slavishly parrots every Moderna press release as the company regurgitates its Phase 1 trial results, despite the fact that the politically-connected biotech company’s stage 3 clinical trials won’t begin until later this month. Meanwhile, its CEO Stephane Bancel and other executives have cashed in on their Moderna shares, prompting SEC chief Jay Clayton to sheepishly caution against credibility-destroying insider selling.

Despite all of this, we didn’t hear a peep out of the western press about the Sechenov trial’s accomplishments. However, a few days later, with anxieties about Russia-backed electoral interference intensifying and ‘national polls’ hinting at a Biden landslide, the British press reported on a new ‘policy paper’ accusing those pesky Ruskies of trying to steal British research involving COVID-19 vaccines. Intel shared by Canada and the US purportedly supported this conclusion, though Russia has vehemently denied the accusations.

But that’s not all: Around the same time, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accused Russia of trying to meddle in the UK’s December election (which returned the Tories to power and ended the reign of opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn).

Were these reports about Russia’s vaccine-trial successes merely a smokescreen? The British might see it that way, but on Monday, US-based Bloomberg News published an interesting report claiming that certain Russian VIPs had been administered experimental doses of a vaccine prototype as early as April. Reportedly developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and financed by the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund, this Russian vaccine candidate is a so-called “viral vector vaccine” based on human adenovirus – a common cold virus fused with the spike protein of SARS CoV-2 to stimulate a human immune response. 

It’s similar to a vaccine being developed by China’s CanSino Biologics, according to Bloomberg.

Scores of members of Russia’s business and political elite have been given early access to an experimental vaccine against Covid-19, according to people familiar with the effort, as the country races to be among the first to develop an inoculation.

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Continental Shift: The World’s Biggest Economies Over Time


20-07-20 12:59:00,

According to data from the World Bank and IMF, Asian countries are expected to make up most of the top 5 countries in the world by size of GDP in 2024, thus, as Statista’s Katharina Buchholz points out, relegating European economic powerhouses to lower ranks.

China’s economic growth has been steep since the 1990s, while India and Indonesia have even more recently entered the top 10 of the biggest economies in the world and are expected to reach ranks 3 and 5 by 2024. Japan, an established economy, is expected to cling on to rank 4 in 2024, while Russia will rise to rank 6.

Infographic: Continental Shift: The World’s Biggest Economies Over Time | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Asia’s burgeoning middle class is one of the reasons for the continental shift in GDP. While China has been the posterchild of market growth in the 21st century so far, the country is expected to tackle an ageing population further down the line, which will put a damper on consumption. Indonesia, together with the Philippines and Malaysia, are expected to grow their labor forces significantly in the years to come, contributing to a rise in average disposable incomes, according to the World Economic Forum.

Asian multinationals, like China’s Huawei and India’s Tata, have already emerged in this century and more are expected to appear on the global scene. But rapid growth in Asia also comes with its own set of problems, like a quickly growing divide between rural and urban incomes, environmental degradation and new challenges for governance and institutions, according to the FAO.

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Polls Show Syrians Overwhelmingly Blame U.S. for ISIS – Global Research


20-07-20 12:37:00,

We are reposting this important 2015 article by Eric Zuesse

The British polling organization ORB International, an affiliate of WIN/Gallup International, repeatedly finds in Syria that, throughout the country, Syrians oppose ISIS by about 80%, and (in the latest such poll) also finds that 82% of Syrians blame the U.S. for ISIS.

The Washington Post summarized on September 15th the latest poll. They did not headline it with the poll’s anti-U.S. finding, such as “82% of Syrians Blame U.S. for ISIS.” That would have been newsworthy. Instead, their report’s headline was “One in five Syrians say Islamic State is a good thing, poll says.” However, the accompanying graphic wasn’t focused on the few Syrians who support ISIS (and, at only one in five, that’s obviously not much.) It instead (for anyone who would read beyond that so-what headline) provided a summary of what Syrians actually do support. This is is what their graphic highlighted from the poll’s findings:

82% agree “IS [Islamic State] is US and foreign made group.”

79% agree “Foreign fighters made war worse.”

70% agree “Oppose division of country.”

65% agree “Syrians can live together again.”

64% agree “Diplomatic solution possible.”

57% agree “Situation is worsening.”

51% agree “Political solution best answer.”

49% agree “Oppose US coalition air strikes.”

22% agree “IS is a positive influence.”

21% agree “Prefer life now than under Assad.”

Here are the more detailed findings in this poll, a poll that was taken of 1,365 Syrians from all 14 governates within Syria.

The finding that 22% agree that “IS is a positive influence” means that 78% do not agree with that statement. Since 82% do agree that “IS is US and foreign made group,” Syrians are clearly anti-American, by overwhelming majorities: they blame the U.S. for something that they clearly (by 78%) consider to be not “a positive influence.”

Here is the unfortunately amateurish (even undated) press release from ORB International, reporting their findings, and it links directly to the full pdf of their poll-results, “Syria Public Opinion – July 2015”.

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Ach, moet je ze nu eens zien, die doetjes… wat schattig! “Europe Is Being Blackmailed”: Scandal Erupts As EU Remains Deadlocked Over Critical Recovery Fund


It was supposed to be a “simple” European affair, where leading politicians sat down and agreed to spend all those hundreds of billions in debt that the ECB had…

History of World War II. The Forgotten US-Nazi Alliance – Global Research


20-07-20 11:13:00,

This article was first published by Global Research on January 18, 2018

As the Second World War advanced from its early stages, the United States was assessing which sections of the earth it would hold conquest over. American planners had to remain patient, however. A seemingly endless string of conquests for the Nazis had astonished the world – particularly those in the US – and led to Adolf Hitler being crowned as “the new Napoleon”.

In the summer of 1942, under Hitler’s domineering command of the military, the Germans controlled vast swathes of Europe – from Warsaw to Oslo to Paris, and eastwards onto Athens, Kiev and Sevastopol. It was one major victory after another for the Third Reich, blighted by the narrow failure to take Moscow in late 1941 after a celebrated Russian counterattack, and the inability to gain air superiority over Britain.

Yet, by November 1942, Hitler had plunged deeper into Russian territory than even Napoleon in his pomp 130 years before. By this point, Nazi forces had killed many millions of Russians – much of whom were innocent civilians – in “a war of annihilation”, as Hitler had previously said.

Come early November [1942], 90% of Stalingrad had been taken by German infantry after weeks of fierce house-to-house fighting. The swastika was now flying over the tallest building in Stalingrad city centre. Such news prompted a buoyant Hitler to say in an after-dinner speech in Munich that,

“I wanted to take the place [Stalingrad], and you know, we’ve done it. We’ve got it really, except for a few enemy positions still holding out. Now they say, ‘why don’t we finish the job more quickly?’ Well, I prefer to do the job with quite small assault groups. Time is of no consequence at all”.

At this stage, American planners were preparing with certainty for a postwar world split up between the Third Reich and the leader of the Free World. The Nazis would control the whole of mainland Europe and Eurasia, while the US would command the Western Hemisphere, the Far East, and the former British empire. American imperialists gave this unprecedented sphere of conquest a title, “the Grand Area”.

The plans were soon altered,

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Nine Chinese Financial Institutions With Over $1 Trillion Yuan In Assets Are Nationalized On The Same Day


20-07-20 11:07:00,

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that just two days after we reported that China has been rocked by an “unprecedented” surge in bank runs which forced local regulators to “publicly vouch for the soundness of its lenders as the police halted the run”, on Friday Chinese financial regulators took over a record nine financial institutions which they said broke rules and added risk to a financial system facing increasing headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic. Or perhaps the two are in fact connected, and as faith in China’s financial system sinks and more money is pulled out of the country’s insolvent banks, more banks will be bailed out or nationalized.

Whatever the case, the takeovers of four insurers, two trust firms and three securities companies that managed a combined 1 trillion yuan ($143 billion) in assets represent Beijing’s first major regulatory move this year and follows the extensively documented bailouts of several regional lenders last year. Among the companies taken over the China’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission are Huaxia Life Insurance Co., Tianan Life Insurance Co., Tian An Property Insurance Co. and Yian Property Insurance Co, the regulator said on its website.

Meanwhile, China’s securities regulator said it would take over three other entities—New Times Securities, Guosheng Securities and Guosheng Futures—and two trust firms, New China Trust Co. and New Times Trust Co.

The regulators said the takeovers are aimed at ensuring “stable operations” of the firms, because well, what else can they say: most Chinese financial institutions are insolvent and this is just the beginning? Probably not.

The takeovers continue an effort launched by Chinese authorities in 2019 to prevent systemic risks by taking over failing banks – something Beijing had not done in decades over fears of sparking bank runs – while also curbing debt as the country’s growth slows.

There was another common threat among the insolvent companies. According to the WSJ, many of the newly-nationalized firms have been linked in Chinese media reports to disgraced financier Xiao Jianhua, the founder of Beijing-based Tomorrow Holding which also controlled Baoshang Bank Co., a troubled regional lender that was the subject of the highest profile seizure last year (see “Chinese Bank With $100 Billion In Assets Is Bailed Out“).

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E-Waste, Plastic, and More! “The Story of Stuff Project” Exposes What Happens to Discarded Stuff – Activist Post


20-07-20 11:03:00,

By B.N. Frank

For 11 years, The Story of Stuff Project has been producing and posting videos about what happens to all kinds of discarded stuff. They recently released their first feature-length documentary film, The Story of Plastic.

Plastic pollution is everywhere we look, smothering our oceans and poisoning communities around the world. Meanwhile, Big Plastic only plans to expand production. Luckily, a global resistance movement is rising up to fight back.

Filmed across three continents and featuring never-before-seen footage from the front lines of the crisis, The Story of Plastic is the last documentary about plastic you’ll ever need to see, a seething expose of the true villains and heroes behind plastic pollution fight. Directed by Deia Schlosberg and produced by Pale Blue Dot Media in association with React To Film.

Watch The Story of Plastic today or organize a free, virtual community screening! For more information, visit the film website:

Discarded plastic has been coming under heavy scrutiny this year. PBS Frontline also released a film about it a few months ago. Rolling Stone published a lengthy article about it a few months ago as well. In regard to other discarded stuff, The U.N. recently issued warnings that 82% of E-Waste isn’t being recycled. Remember that before you purchase, support, or turn a blind eye to sources of environmentally UNfriendly digital, electronic, and/or wireless technology (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) including 5G and electric, gas and water utility “Smart” Meters.

Activist Post reports regularly about E-Waste and unsafe technology. For more information visit our archives.

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Hunger is a Weapon of War: Syria Under US Coalition Blockade and Scorched Earth Policy – Global Research


19-07-20 05:54:00,

In a world dominated by American exceptionalism and neo-colonialism, hunger has become a weapon of war. “The use of starvation of the civilian population as a method of warfare is prohibited” under international humanitarian law yet the U.S. regularly reduces entire nations to dangerous levels of food insecurity in order to subjugate them.

Food, next to life itself, has become our greatest common denominator. Its availability, quality, price, its reflection of the culture it feeds and its moral and religious significance make it quite literally history’s staff of life.’ Today, in the never-ending worldwide struggle to determine who will control its production, quality and accessibility, food is no longer viewed first and foremost as a sustainer of life. Rather, to those who seek to command our food supply it has become instead a major source of corporate cash flow, economic leverage, a form of currency, a tool of international politics, an instrument of power,a weapon!” – A.V. Krebs, “The Corporate Reapers: The Book of Agribusiness

The U.S. Coalition’s hybrid war strategy on Syria under the cover of COVID-19 is so vast and interconnected that a single article could never give it the breadth it deserves. In this article, I will demonstrate that the U.S. and its allies are deliberately seeking to plunge Syria into a state of blockade, food insecurity, and aggravated poverty. Infuriated by a failed military campaign to remove the Syrian leadership and government, the U.S. Coalition is now turning the economic screws on a nation that has endured a 10-year brutal war of attrition waged by extremist mercenaries power-multiplied by the U.S. supremacist alliance.

Criminal Caesar Law

On June 17, 2020, the Caesar Act went into effect. According to Morgan Ortagus, U.S. State Department Spokesperson, the law is a sustained campaign of sanctions targeting the Syrian government.

Today, we begin a sustained campaign of sanctions against the Assad regime under the Caesar Act. The individuals and entities targeted today have played a key role in obstructing a peaceful, political solution to the conflict.”

The law targets 39 officials or entities associated with the Syrian government.

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Executives Of Bankrupt Companies Made $131 Million In Bonuses This Year


19-07-20 05:51:00,

While a wave of bankruptcies continues to wash over the country as a result of the pandemic (and just poorly run businesses), that hasn’t stopped the executives of some of the biggest trainwrecks in recent business history from collecting fat bonus checks, despite driving their respective companies into the ground. Among the higher profile names are companies like J.C. Penney, Chesapeake Energy and Hertz, who have all filed for bankruptcy protection this year.

They have also all awarded their executives significant bonuses totaling $10 million, $25 million and $1.5 million respectively in the weeks – or sometimes days – leading up to their bankruptcies. And they’re not the only ones.

Out of the 100 companies that have filed for bankruptcy since the Covid lockdowns began, Bloomberg estimates that 19 of these companies have committed to paying a total of $131 million in retention and performance bonuses. 

The companies claim the bonuses are to keep their management teams in order to lead their turnarounds. Yes, the very same management teams that led the companies to bankruptcy to begin with. And the bonuses are tough to claw back unless they are made after a company officially files for protection with the court. 

At a place like J.C. Penney, where thousands will lose their job, the company’s CEO stands to make $4.5 million in bonuses. Hertz doled out $1.5 million to its top three executives as part of $16.2 million in retention bonuses three days before it filed for bankruptcy. 

Frontier Communications issued bonuses in February, before filing for bankruptcy in April. Chesapeake said in May it intended to pay $25 million in bonuses to 21 executives while requiring others to take salary cuts. The CEO of Intelsat, who led the company to its bankruptcy and has been in charge since 2015, is lined up for a $6.9 million bonus. 

Ian Keas, a principal at Pearl Meyer, an executive-compensation consulting firm, said: 

“Board members want the people that know the business, know the assets of the company, know the nuances and facets of the business, and can leverage that understanding and knowledge to extract value going forward.”

Julie Farb, director of the Center for Strategic Research at AFL-CIO,

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