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  1. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Since the Council, an idea has been spreading that Judaism is not superseded by the New Covenant of Jesus Christ; that Jews still have available to them the Covenant of the old Law, by which they can be saved. It is therefore unnecessary for them to turn to Christ; unnecessary for anybody to convert them to faith in Christ. Indeed, attempting to do so is an act of aggression not dissimilar to theFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com11
  2. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    S Paul loved his fellow Jews, his 'kinsmen' and believed "the gifts and call of God are irrevocable". He believed that at the End, those among them who had rejected Christ would be brought in to the chosen people. He believed that they were like olive branches which had been cut off so that the Gentiles, wild olive branches, could be grafted in. But, when the fulness of the Gentiles had entered Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com3
  3. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Lex orandi lex credendi. I have been examining the Two Covenant Dogma: the fashionable error that God's First Covenant, with the Jews, is still fully and salvifically valid, so that the call to saving faith in Christ Jesus is not made to them. The 'New' Covenant, it is claimed, is now only for Gentiles. I want to draw attention at this point to the witness of the post-Conciliar Magisterium of theFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com13
  4. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    We have seen that the Two Covenant Theory, the idea that Jewry alone is guaranteed Salvation without any need to convert to Christ, is repugnant to Scripture, to the Fathers, even to the post-Conciliar liturgy of the Catholic Church. It is also subversive of the basic grammar of the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments. Throughout  two millennia, in Scripture, in Liturgy, in her Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com7
  5. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    The sort of people who would violently reject the points I am making are the sort of people who would not be impressed by the the Council of Florence. So I am going to confine myself to the Magisterium from the time of Pius XII ... since it is increasingly coming to be realised that the continuum of processes which we associate with the Conciliar and post-Conciliar period was already in operationFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com0
  6. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    In 1980, addressing a Jewish gathering in Germany, B John Paul II said (I extract this from a long sentence): " ... dialogue; that is, the meeting between the people of the Old Covenant (never revoked by God, cf Romans 11:29) and that of the New Covenant, is at the same time ..." In 2013, Pope Francis, in the course of his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, also referred to the Old Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com10
  7. Site: Steyn Online
    0 sec ago
    Today, Thursday, I'll be conducting another edition of our Clubland Q&A, live across the globe at 11am North American Eastern/3pm Greenwich Mean Time/4pm British Summer Time. We'll try to pin down the rest of the time zones below, but do, as they say,
  8. Site: southern orders
    1 hour 10 min ago

     This is the secular press’s take on Pope Francis’ complaining about the polarization His Holiness has created even with His Holiness’ cardinals and other bishops. With all the scandals in the Church and the loss of Catholic full, active and actual participation in the Mass and the Church in general, the Holy Father creates even more fodder for the world to show how inane the Church as become:


    Pope jokes he’s ‘still alive’ against bishops’ wishes

    BY ELLEN FRANCIS

    THE WASHINGTON POST

    Pope Francis has a message for his haters: “Still alive. Even though some people wanted me dead.”

    Hundreds of Italians cheered for him under a Rome hospital balcony this summer. But not everybody was happy he made it out of colon surgery, the pontiff has quipped. Some of his foes held secret meetings about his health.

    “I know that there were even meetings between prelates who thought the pope was in a more serious condition than what was being said,” he added in a meeting this month with Jesuits in Slovakia, after someone asked him how he was doing.

    “They were preparing the conclave,” he said, referring to a meeting where a new pope is elected. “Patience! Thank God, I am well.”

    At 84, the head of the Roman Catholic Church is back at work after spending 10 days at a hospital in July. The colon operation went smoothly, though it did revive questions about whether Francis would stay in his role. 

    In his eight-year tenure, Francis’s more liberal overtones than the popes before him – from his invitation of LGBT advocates to the Vatican to his calls to welcome refugees – have stirred tensions with conservatives.

    The post-op papal joke about bishops wishing him ill marked a frank acknowledgment of the forces within the church who are at odds with him.

    One detractor Francis mentioned was “a large Catholic television (network) that constantly gossips” about him.

    While he did not name names, Catholic TV network EWTN often features U.S. conservatives who oppose his warnings about climate change and voice anger at his new restrictions on the old Latin Mass.

  9. Site: Real Investment Advice
    1 hour 28 min ago
    Author: Michael Lebowitz and Lance Roberts

    Stocks rally nearly 1% higher yesterday despite a surprisingly hawkish tone from Fed Chair Jerome Powell teasing taper. Next on the horizon for the bulls is the 50-day moving average at 4435. With taper looming on the horizon will the moving average act as resistance?

    If overnight trading is any indication we may answer that question this morning. The NASDAQ is leading the way, up .75% this morning with the S&P and Dow closely behind. S&P 500 futures are less than ten points below the key moving average. The dollar is weaker this morning as the currency markets appear to be taking Powell’s word that the Fed remains on course to start tapering in November and finish in mid-2022.

    Daily Market Commnetary

    What To Watch Today

    Economy

    • 8:30 a.m. ET: Chicago Fed National Activity Index, August (0.50 expected, 0.53 in July)
    • 8:30 a.m. ET: Initial jobless claimsweek ended September 18 (320,000 expected, 332,000 during prior week)
    • 8:30 a.m. ET: Continuing claimsweek ended September 11 (2.600 million during prior week)
    • 9:45 a.m. ET: Markit Manufacturing PMI, September preliminary (61 expected, 61.1 in August)
    • 9:45 a.m. ET: Markit Services PMI, September preliminary (54.9 expected, 55.1 in August)
    • 10:00 a.m. ET: Leading Index, August (0.7% expected, 0.9% in July)

    Earnings

    Pre-market

    • 7:00 a.m. ET: Darden Restaurants (DRI) is expected to report adjusted earnings of $1.65 per share on revenue of $2.24 billion

    Post-market

    • 4:05 p.m. ET: Vail Resorts (MTNis expected to report adjusted losses of $3.50 per share on revenue of $169.36 million
    • 4:15 p.m. ET: Costco (COSTis expected to report adjusted earnings of $3.55 per share on revenue of $61.57 billion
    • 4:15 p.m. ET: Nike (NKEis expected to report adjusted earnings of $1.12 per share on revenue of $12.47 billion

    Courtesy Of Yahoo!

    Buy Stocks As The Fed Put Is Alive And Well

    The Federal Reserve did exactly as expected yesterday and threaded the needle well on putting “taper on the table” and assuring markets the “punch bowl” wasn’t being taken away just yet.

    “There has been a great deal of handwringing by some market participants over the potential market implications of the Fed’s eventual tapering of asset purchases, and a great deal of ink spilled on the topic too. But at the risk of merely contributing to the latter, we hope to assuage those who worry about the former.

    In sum, we think that the tapering of Fed asset purchases (likely a $10 billion reduction in U.S. Treasury purchases and a $5 billion reduction in agency mortgages per month) is likely to have minimal market impact at this stage. This is partly because the Fed has done a decent job of telegraphing when tapering is likely to begin (most market participants believe the announcement will come this year), but more importantly it’s because the asset purchase reductions are likely to be trivial when seen in the context of how large the fixed income markets are today, and how overwhelming the demand for income has become.” – Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s CIO of Global Fixed Income

    With stocks deeply oversold on a short-term basis, as noted yesterday, and the threat of “taper” largely baked into the recent decline, there is a decent entry point for traders to add exposure near term. As noted, the 50-dma is the only really challenge ahead but will likely be resolved today.

    Powell Q&A Session: A More Hawkish Picture

    Following a vague reference to taper in the FOMC statement, Jerome Powell made some hawkish comments during his press conference:

    • With respect to progress towards taper, Powell commented, “In my own thinking, the test is all but met”.
    • “I think if the economy continues to progress broadly in line with expectations and the overall situation is appropriate for this, we could easily move ahead [with taper] by next meeting, or not…”
    • Again, with respect to a decision for November taper, “I don’t need to see a good employment report next month; I just need to see a decent employment report”. Powell is clearly signaling that Fed is likely to announce taper in November barring an unexpected deterioration in economic conditions.
    • Powell commented that it may be appropriate for taper to conclude by mid-2022.
    • As expected, Powell is leaving a back door open in case taper doesn’t go over well. “If necessary, we can accelerate or decelerate the taper”.

    Taper Talk Continues

    Changes to the FOMC statement are highlighted below. Of note, the Fed signaled taper could be around the corner, but did not drop any hints in the statement with respect to timing. “Since then, the economy has made progress towards these goals, and if progress continues broadly as expected, the Committee judges that a moderation in the pace of asset purchases may soon be warranted”. However, in the FOMC press conference Q&A session, Powell noted that taper could come “as soon as the next meeting”.

    The Fed reduced their projection for 2021 real GDP growth to 5.9% from 7%. Further, the Fed raised their core PCE inflation forecast for 2021 to 3.7% from 3.0%. The “dot plot” graph below shows the level of Fed Funds that each Fed member expects by year. There are now 9 FOMC members that think the Fed will hike rates as soon as next year, compared to only 7 in June. This represents an even split between members that see liftoff in 2022 and those who don’t, and could have implications for the pace of taper once initiated.

    FOMC Pre-Taper Market Review

    Adobe Q3 Earnings

    ADBE reported earnings for the 3rd quarter yesterday after the close. GAAP EPS of $2.52 easily beat the consensus estimate of $2.29. Similarly, revenue of $3.94B (+22% YoY) beat expectations of $3.54B, driven by a 24% increase in subscription revenue. Management guided to Q4 revenue of $4.07B- slightly above the consensus of $4.05B. Guidance for non-GAAP EPS is also above consensus, at $3.18 vs. an expected $3.09. ADBE is down ~4% in pre-market trading despite beating expectations across the board and guiding above consensus for Q4. We hold a 1.5% position in the Equity Model.

    FedEx is Raising Prices

    Federal Express announced that effective January 2022, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Home Delivery shipping rates will increase by an average of 5.9%. FedEx Freight rates will increase by an average of 5.9% to 7.9%. We suspect UPS and other carriers will take similar action.  Given a large number of goods are now ordered online, the increase in shipping costs will inevitably work its way into higher prices next year.

    Cash on the Sidelines

    The graph below from Sentimentrader compares the amount of cash in money market funds to corporate equity issuance. Per Sentimentrader:

    “During the pandemic panic, the ratio neared 30 and was the highest in 30 years. In other words, there was 28 times more cash available than shares offered in supply. There are ways to quibble with the technicals, but it’s simply meant as a reflection of sentiment.

    Over the past year, the ratio has declined steadily as supply ramped up. Corporations are “feeding the ducks,” as the saying goes. Even though money market assets haven’t been drained much, the skyrocketing supply has caused the ratio to drop below 10 for the first time since the year 2000.”

    Record buybacks have been a major support of asset prices this year.

    Declining Earnings Confidence

    The graph below, courtesy of the Market Ear, shows declining sentiment towards earnings expectations. Each line representing the four major global equity markets shows the number of earnings upgrades less the number of downgrades, divided by the total number of estimates. Each line is approaching zero but still above it, denoting net confidence remains positive but if falling.

    The post Stocks Rally As Fed Teases Taper appeared first on RIA.

  10. Site: From Rome
    2 hours 56 sec ago
    Author: Editor
  11. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    2 hours 54 min ago
    A great benefactor of the restored Shrine at Walsingham was Sir William Milner; who, in 1926, composed the first version of the Pilgrimage Hymn, designed to utilise the melodies of the Lourdes hymn. In the 1960s, the then Administrator replaced Sir William's wording. One can see why it was felt that some of the expressions offered problems of vocabulary or rhythm; but, well, not everybody is Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com0
  12. Site: Voltaire Network
    3 hours 44 sec ago
    Author: Thierry Meyssan
    The official reactions to the announcement of the Australian-British-US pact (AUKUS) are only about the termination of the Australian-French arms contract. As terrible as this is for the shipyards, it is only a collateral consequence of a reversal of alliances aimed at preparing for a war against China.
  13. Site: Crisis Magazine
    3 hours 9 min ago
    Author: David Laidlaw
    churchchurch

    “I am a queer Catholic. When will the church feel like home?” This question was posed by a young woman named Grace Doerfler in a recent essay in America magazine. As someone who once lived life as a gay man and who has now converted to the Catholic Church and found there a welcome home, I am always interested in those who identify as LGBTQ and argue that the Catholic Church is not a home for them. These narratives are always the same: the only conversion that is ever discussed in these sorts of complaints is how the Church needs to change to suit them. 

    Doerfler’s essay is no different. She begins by letting her readers know that though she is Catholic, she has felt more comfortable of late in an Episcopalian Church because, as she tells us, “I often question if I can truly find home in this church, which often seems to go to great lengths to make people who love the way I do feel unwelcome in the Body of Christ.” In her essay, she speaks in flowery “spiritualese” of her Catholic faith and her “queer” identity:

    As someone who identifies as both Catholic and queer, I deeply believe there is a connection between our words and our lives. Through my Catholicism, I have faith that language is a holy space in which we encounter the divine. It was through the Word becoming flesh that God chose to encounter her people; it was with a word that Jesus offered healing and grace; in naming, we commit to relationship with God.

    Similarly, for many L.G.B.T.Q. people, the process of coming out can hold a certain sacramentality. Each disclosure of our identities (for those of us who are able to come out) is a leap of faith. Breaking the silence can allow the inbreaking of the Spirit…

    Leaving aside her provocative (and heretical) use of the word “her” to describe God—or why a Jesuit-run magazine would allow such heterodox nonsense to appear in their magazine—she is right that in Catholicism there is a connection “between our words and our lives.” Consider the importance of the words said at Baptism where changing one word, from “I baptize you,” to “we baptize you,” makes the sacrament invalid

    I also agree with her that in the realm of human sexuality and our identity, there is a “holy space” in which language plays a vital role, though I disagree that we, as creatures, have any power to “disclose our identities,” as if we can (to use her chosen term) “narrate” them. In the Catholic understanding of human sexuality, our sexual identities are self-evident, based on the bodies that God gave us. But I doubt that Grace will accept my argument, so I will appeal to a higher authority, in words said in that most holy of spaces, in Mass on August 13, 2021, the same day on which her essay was published. From ambos around the world, it is no accident that these words from Matthew 19 were proclaimed, as a loving rebuttal by Our Lord to His beloved daughter Grace’s confusion about her sexual identity:

    He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
        the Creator made them male and female and said,
        For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
        and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?
    So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
    Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” 

    Language, indeed, is a “holy space in which we encounter the divine,” and it is in the words of Genesis that men and women like Grace and I, who live with sexual attractions to the same sex, can discover the divine architecture of our sexuality. No one is an  “LGBTQ Catholic,” as Archbishop Chaput has stated so clearly for our benefit, as a good shepherd should in these confusing times:

    [W]hat the Church holds to be true about human sexuality is not a stumbling block. It is the only real path to joy and wholeness. There is no such thing as an “LGBTQ Catholic” or a “transgender Catholic” or a “heterosexual Catholic,” as if our sexual appetites defined who we are; as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within the real ecclesial community, the body of Jesus Christ. This has never been true in the life of the Church, and is not true now. It follows that “LGBTQ” and similar language should not be used in Church documents, because using it suggests that these are real, autonomous groups, and the Church simply doesn’t categorize people that way.

    God is the author and giver of our sexual identities, and we are called to accept our God-given sexual identity, as either male or female, in humility and gratitude. 

    The Catechism tells us this is the duty of every Catholic:

    Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out. (No. 2333)

    Grace writes, “In narrating my own identity and letting it coexist with my faith, I have finally found not a cross but new life.” And yet, fundamental to the Catholic faith is believing and affirming that there are only two sexes, as the sole sexual identities created by God. To attempt to “narrate” one’s own identity as LGBTQ is therefore a rejection of the Catholic faith and rebellion against God. Simply put, “narrating” one’s own sexual identity as “LGBTQ” can’t coexist with the Catholic faith. 

    What should trouble readers of Grace’s essay more than concern for her own confused self-narrated identity is her prescription for what she believes young people who, like her, have been tempted to adopt one of the various identities of the LGBTQ rainbow need. According to Grace,

    Young L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics need stories in which we can see that a future that includes our queerness is possible. Perhaps just as importantly, straight Catholics need these stories, too. We need more scripts in which L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics can see ourselves, more ways of saying aloud all the ways in which people can be images of God.

    As long as L.G.B.T.Q. young people grow up without seeing ourselves represented or respected in the church, I do not know how church leaders can expect us to find spiritual belonging here. I want to belong to a church that is willing to see my L.G.B.T.Q. siblings and me as just like straight and cisgender Catholics in our striving to follow Jesus. What would the church gain if it treated L.G.B.T.Q. people as fully part of its varied tapestry—as people, not as an ideology or disorder—so we could all get back to the Gospel?

    God forbid this horrible advice is ever followed in the Church founded by Christ. What these young people need is the Church to engage in its prophetic role by being  a “sign of contradiction” to the insanity of gender ideology. Young people need to be taught clearly—and yes, with “sensitivity, compassion, and respect”—that God is the only one who has the power or authority to “say aloud all the ways in which people can be images of God” and that He did so once, and for all time, in Genesis, and then confirmed those words in the Gospels.

    We need more Bishops to follow the courageous examples of  Bishops Carlson of St. Louis, and Burbidge of Arlington, who each have released teachings on the evil nature of gender ideology in the past two years. Thankfully, confused Catholics can be directed to the excellent document, approved by Pope Francis and published by the Congregation for Catholic Education, called Male and Female He Created Them, which effectively combats the confusion of gender ideology.

    Young people who identify as LGBTQ need to hear the testimonies of men and women who have rejected the lies of gender ideology, have repented of their sinful past, and have submitted themselves to God’s design for human sexuality. They need to hear the stories of the members of the Courage apostolate, or the witness of a woman like Dana Epperly; or of Andrew Comiskey and the excellent work of his ministry, Desert Stream; of men like David Prosen and Joseph Sciambra; or the three people in Desire of the Everlasting Hills, and the stories of those in The Third Way; as well as the witness of young people like Avera Maria Santo and Emmanuel Gonzalez; and of Protestants such as Christopher Yuan and Rosaria Butterfield; of men and women like Walt Heyer or Laura Perry and those at SexChangeRegret.com who have rejected the lies of transgenderism and have now “detransitioned” back to their biological—and thus, their actual sex; and so many others like them. All of these voices tell a different story of “the Church as home” than those who complain like Grace does. These are the models young people need, not people who desire for the Church to feel more like an Episcopalian church. 

    The complaining crowd of “queer Catholics” who demand the Church change in order to make them feel “more welcome” should be countered by the words of Pope Francis about what it means to be at home in the Catholic Church. In a homily preached on the unity of the Church, Pope Francis warned of those he called “alternativists,” those who, in the Pope’s words, say to themselves,

    “I’ll enter the Church, but with this idea, with this ideology.” They propose conditions “and their membership in the Church is thereby partial.” They too “have one foot outside the Church; they’re renting the Church” but don’t really experience it; and they too have been present from the very outset of evangelical preaching, as testified by “the agnostics, whom the Apostle John harshly lambasted: ‘We are… yes, yes… we are Catholics, but with these ideas.’” They seek an alternative, because they don’t share the common experience of the Church.

    Those who think like Grace “don’t share the common experience of the Church” in their beliefs about human sexuality. They are discontented “renters” who demand that the lies of gender ideology be accepted by the Church. Many of these complainers seem to think that Pope Francis is “with them,” even though Pope Francis has spoken against gender ideology more than any of his predecessors. Based on what Pope Francis has said and taught time and time again about the evils of gender ideology, there can be no question that “gender ideology” is one of those ideologies which Pope Francis believes is a telltale sign of “alternativist” Church renters who undermine Catholic unity. 

    There is a way for the Church to feel like home for Grace and other “queer Catholics.” The answer is simple: it begins with them. The Church will feel like home as soon as they decide to follow the path of chastity, which has been a sure guide and path for all the saints who have gone before us. 

    If that is unappealing to them, the Episcopalian church—at least for now—is still meeting on Sunday mornings. As for those of us who have repented of our past lives living as “LGBTQ persons,” we must pray earnestly for the conversion of people like Grace and, in the meantime, do everything in our power to prevent them from having any influence in the Church whatsoever.

    [Photo Credit: Unsplash]

  14. Site: Crisis Magazine
    3 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Donald DeMarco
    child readingchild reading

    “Pride goeth before a fall,” as the Good Book tells us. But prior to the fall, there is often a leap. The proud person believes he can do things that are far beyond his ability. Being ignorant, incompetent, or unqualified are not factors that deter him from attempting to do what he cannot do.

    A case in point is a book entitled What Is an Abortion Anyway? put together by two trendy young women who believe that simply riding the Zeitgeist is sufficient to bring a brave new message to a benighted world. The book aims at propagandizing children (ages 8+) into accepting abortion. Since 59 percent of women who have had abortions, according to the book’s author Carly Manes, also have children, these parents need to explain to their children why they are no longer pregnant.

    Manes describes herself as “white, queer, and Jewish.” The book’s illustrator goes by the singular name of Mar. She describes herself as a “brown, genderqueer, cultural worker.” Despite her abbreviated name, she requires people to refer to her as they/them. They (respecting her pronoun of preference) create art under the name Emulsify. Manes intends to send a free copy of the book to every abortion clinic in the United States. In this way, the author has stated in an interview, there will be a copy in every waiting room so that “kids hanging out waiting for their parent [sic] they can take a look at that book.”

    Carly confesses that she “emailed probably 300 to 400 book agents and 15 to 20 presses and no one wanted to take the book.” This was a little confusing to her since, as she states, abortion is simply “another outcome of pregnancy.” Nonetheless, she received enough money in donations to launch the book herself. She appears, however, oblivious as to why her project was consistently rejected.

    Manes claims that her book is “a medically accurate, nonjudgmental, and gender inclusive resource for young folks about abortion care.” Her claim to medical accuracy is hard to justify given the fact that she states that “anyone can get pregnant regardless of gender” and refers to pregnant women as “people who are pregnant.” Therefore, abortion is not the killing of a preborn human being, but rather it is “when someone decides to stop growing their pregnancy” or “going to the doctor to get the pregnancy removed,” or “taking medicine to stop the pregnancy from growing bigger.” So much for medical accuracy.

    In her book The Ambivalence of Abortion, Linda Bird Francke records a conversation she had with her twelve-year-old son, Andrew. Not wanting to reveal that she aborted his sibling, she broached the problem hypothetically: “Suppose I had an abortion?” She was not prepared for the vehemence of his response: “How could you kill something—no matter how little it is—that’s going to grow and have legs and wiggle its fingers? I would be furious with you if you had an abortion. I’d lose all respect for you for being so selfish. I’d make you suffer and remind you of it all the time.” Mrs. Francke decided to return to the issue when her son was “more mature.” Manes’ book purports to disabuse Andrew and his like of their misconceptions about abortion.

    Manes concludes her book by stating that no woman should be questioned about her decision to abort her preborn child since we do not know what it means to be someone else. Her advice appears on the surface to be respectful, non-interfering, and nonjudgmental. In truth, however, it exemplifies the fine art of deception. And this deception is the most sinister part of the book.

    The fact that no person can know exactly what it means to be another person is precisely why one person can help another. Knowing and feeling exactly the way another knows and feels would not be helpful. We can help another person only when we are free of the areas of ignorance and confusion that are part of that other person’s mindset.

    What we want to know, whenever we make a decision, is whether that decision is right or wrong.  We often make wrong decisions that we later regret. We are not infallible. Wrong decisions are part of our life. We make wrong decisions for many reasons: inadequate information, poor judgment, social pressure, selfishness, emotional upset, convenience, and so on. It is precisely because of our fallibility that we need the counsel of others. People can and do help each other in making good decisions. Even if we could know exactly what it means to be someone else, all that amounts to is that we would make the same decision that the other person made. A woman should not be abandoned to herself when it comes to so important a decision as aborting or not aborting her child.

    We seek advice before we buy a car or purchase a house. There is counselling available for people who are thinking about marriage, divorce, or suicide. We should not alienate ourselves from another person simply because we cannot be that other person. Love breaks down the barrier that separates people from each other. Manes’ book is attempting to teach children not to love.

    Manes’ tactic brings to mind the predicament of Socrates, who eventually would be put to death.  In his Apology, Plato likens the trial of the Gadfly of Athens to a doctor being prosecuted by a cook before a jury of children. The doctor represents healing, though sometimes with painful remedies. The cook represents pleasure, treating the children with sweet things. The children represent ignorance. Pro-lifers are the doctors who advise a course of action that may be difficult but ultimately good. Manes is the cook serving delicious treats in order to propagandize children into taking the easy way, the thoughtless way, and the way of apathy.

    The “I-Thou” relationship specifies the essential dynamic of human beings as caring for one another. “No man is an island” speaks to the truth of the human being who is created to love. For Martin Buber, we are called by our nature to “meet” each other on the horizon of an “I-Thou relationship. Conversely, we are obliged not to abandon the other to the misery of self-isolation. “Insanity,” in the words of Ferdinand Ebner, a close associate of Martin Buber, is “the complete closedness of the I to the Thou. It is a spiritual condition in which neither the word nor love is any longer able to reach the individual.” We are made for dialogue, not neglect.

    The fact that women who chose abortion, in their own judgment, made wrong decisions is evident in groups such as Victims of Choice, Women Exploited by Abortion, and Silent No More.

    To advise children to disregard any obligation to care for others and remain morally isolated from them is an intent to disable the caring capacities of their minds. Andrew’s reaction to even the possibility of his mother having an abortion represents more wisdom than anything contained in Manes’ book. Christ was most severe on this point: “But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

    [Photo Credit: Unsplash]

  15. Site: Padre Peregrino
    4 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Father David Nix
    This is a prophesy of St. Francis of Assisi.  Notice it is sourced at the end: “Act bravely, my brethren; take courage and trust in the Lord. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will [...]
  16. Site: AsiaNews.it
    4 hours 57 min ago

    A report by Save the Children denounces the death of at least 62 children since the beginning of 2021. Among the causes are malnutrition, disease, poor sanitary conditions and arson. Two children have been murdered. In the country, infections from Covid have resumed both in government areas and in rebel-held enclaves. 

     

  17. Site: AsiaNews.it
    5 hours 12 min ago

    At least 5,500 people have fled to the Indian state of Mizoram. The junta has bombed about twenty houses and killed a Baptist pastor. Emergency shelters made of metal sheets and tarpaulins have been set up for the displaced.

  18. Site: Global Research
    5 hours 20 min ago
    Author: Global Research News

    Video: A Final Warning to Humanity from Former Pfizer Chief Scientist Michael Yeadon

    By Dr. Mike Yeadon, September 22, 2021

    Listen to Dr. Michael Yeadon, former Vice President and Chief Science Officer of Pfizer, talking about the pandemic and …

    The post Selected Articles: A Final Warning to Humanity from Former Pfizer Chief Scientist Michael Yeadon appeared first on Global Research.

  19. Site: Zero Hedge
    5 hours 34 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    UK Strikes Emergency Deal With CO2 Producer To Restart Operations Amid Shortage

    US company CF industries will restart carbon dioxide (CO2) production this week at one of its two shuttered UK plants after the government offered financial support. CF closed both plants last week after soaring natural gas prices made it uneconomical to produce CO2, a byproduct of fertilizer that is derived from natural gas. 

    According to FT, CF's ammonia plant at Billingham will "immediately restart operations" after the government signed an "exceptional short-term arrangement" with the company. 

    "The government will provide limited financial support for CF Fertilisers' operating costs for three weeks while the CO2 market adapts to global gas prices," the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said on Tuesday. Sources told FT, financial support could be upwards of £20 million. 

    British Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the short-term financial agreement with CF will last for several weeks to increase the production of CO2 for critical industries.

    "This agreement will ensure the many critical industries that rely on a stable supply of CO2 have the resources they require to avoid disruption," Kwarteng said.

    George Eustice, environment secretary, said with one plant coming back online, it would be enough to divert new CO2 supplies to industries that need it the most, such as the meat industry, food packaging industry, hospitals, and nuclear power plants, among others. 

    The closure of CF's Billingham and Ince plants is about 45% of the country's commercial production of CO2. The government warned with limited supplies. Companies could pay upwards of 500% more for the CO2. This will make the production or handling of products even more expensive for companies that will either eat costs and experience margin compression or pass the costs on to consumers. 

    COMMODITY INFLATION: UK government flags massive jump in industrial CO2 prices.

    “The food industry knows that there’s going to be a sharp rise in the cost of CO2 […] from £200 a ton, eventually closer to £1,000," Environment Secretary George Eustice said pic.twitter.com/B36nO1KQ21

    — Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) September 22, 2021

    With soaring natural gas prices, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier this week that his government would do everything in its power to prevent an energy crisis from severely disrupting the economy. 

    There's also been destabilization in energy markets where smaller power companies are folding left and right as a bankruptcy wave appears to have begun

    The disruptive nature of soaring natural gas prices is rippling through the UK economy and may get worse ahead of winter.

    Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 02:45
  20. Site: RadTrad Thomist
    5 hours 57 min ago


    Here is a complete audio presentation of our first, and so far only, in-person presentation of the results of the Sister Lucy Truth investigation  that began in 2017 and continues to this very day. After listening to this and viewing all of our so-far-published information at sisterlucytruth.org, please tell us if we have not at least shown you that there is need for an investigation into the case of Sister Lucy dos Santos, the famous Seer of Fatima. 

    As was even clear 2 years ago, but has become clearer over the past months, when we are dealing with the case of Sister Lucy dos Santos, the actual seer of Fatima, who predicted and witnessed the Miracle of the Sun on October 13, 1917, we find that we are clearly and undeniably dealing with a case of stolen identity that could be the result of murder, kidnapping, or illicit confinement. The overwhelming evidence backing up that assertion, plus the total lack of real scientific evidence that would argue the contrary, has been presented by Sister Lucy Truth in the public forum, accessible on-line at sisterlucytruth.org

    Based upon the findings present in these reports we have found that there was an imposter substituted for the real Sister Lucy of Fatima at least by the date of May 13, 1967 when the Imposter appeared along side Paul VI when the latter was making an obligatory trip to Fatima to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first apparition. The woman that appeared on that day has been scientifically identified as the same woman that appeared as "Sister Lucy" in 1982 when John Paul II, after the assassination attempt against him on May 13, 1981, "visited" "Sister Lucy" in his attempt to associate his recovery with the Fatima Apparitions and, seemingly, to prepare the ground for the claim that the Third Secret, given in 1917 was actually about the assassination attempt against him in 1981, even though, according to Sister Lucy, the Secret was supposed to be released by 1960 because by that year, the content of the Secret would be "clearer." In light of the scientific findings in this case, we at Sister Lucy Truth assert that this first visit to the Imposter in 1982 was the first stage of an attempt to hijack the Third Secret for John Paul II's own Neo-Modernist ends. Suddenly, by 2000 HE WAS THE HERO AND MEANING OF THE THIRD SECRET. We are convinced that this could only have happened if there was an imposter which long before had taken the place of Sister Lucy of Fatima

    Now Sister Lucy Truth moves its investigation on to answering the questions, why it was done, how it was done, when it was done, who did it, and who was the substitute put in the place of the real Sister Lucy of Fatima. We will also seek the DNA proof that will render our case irrefutable. Please support us by donating at sisterlucytruth.org/donate 




  21. Site: From Rome
    6 hours 6 min ago
    Author: Editor
  22. Site: Zero Hedge
    6 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    The Afghanistan Debacle Was A Major Wake Up Call For NATO

    Via Global Risk Insights,

    Overview of Prior EU Bureaucratic Actions 

    The vestiges of the Trump administration’s “America first” foreign policy have forced Europe to consider more autonomous defense initiatives. The EU lacks the military capabilities required to confront mounting geo-strategic concerns. Limited defense budgets increase Europe’s reliance on US expenditures, and uneven national allocations to NATO threaten the political viability of the alliance. 

    To rectify strategic shortcomings, the EU introduced the European Defense Fund (EDF). The EDF establishes the industrial foundation required for a resilient European defense program. The EU’s 2016 Global Strategy report included the EDF. The strategy sought to integrate Europe’s foreign policy and allocate resources toward external security threats.

    In 2018, the EU established The Capability Development Plan (CDP) to “address long-term security and defense challenges”.  The CDP encourages supranational cooperation and promotes capability cohesion with NATO.  In the midst of COVID’s economic disruption, bridging the capability gap remains an aspirational strategic objective. The notional budgetary allocations to the EDF and CDP (proposed within EU defense and security briefs prior to 2020) may decrease to account for the fiscal and political uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

    Military Realities

    Beyond the broad, rather philosophical debate surrounding European strategic autonomy, the Afghanistan imbroglio reveals military deficiencies that are unique to the EU. The disparity in military expenditures across Western states may prove unsustainable as geostrategic competition intensifies.  Inadequate defense budgets preceded the capability deficiencies that plagued NATO’s European member states in Afghanistan.

    In an interview with Foreign Policy, retired British General Richard Barrons states that without the US, “NATO is a very limited concept and very limited force”.  As the future strategic risks and threat perceptions of Europe and the US diverge, Europe will be responsible for defending its own interests. A shift toward a more autonomous European foreign policy will include improving the ability of the EU to intervene and protect their strategic priorities.

    Russian belligerence in Eastern Europe adds a measure of urgency to the question of strategic autonomy.  The lingering ambiguity regarding US willingness to fulfill Article V commitments remains a driver of EU security policy initiatives. NATO-Russia force balance improvements on NATO’s eastern flank will be a strategic priority as Russia calculates the cost of future belligerence. Improving force readiness and maintaining operative-forward deployment positions in Eastern Europe may support European defense autonomy and promote capability cohesion within NATO. 

    Political Implications

    Emmanuel Macron continues to advance his conception of ‘European Sovereignty’.  In a February interview with the Financial Times, Macron said that he defends strategic autonomy “not because I am against NATO or because I doubt our American friends…but because I think we need a fair sharing of the burden and Europe cannot delegate the protection of its neighborhood to the USA.”

    Angela Merkel agrees that Europe must “take [its] fate into [its] own hands”.  Macron faces reelection with an approval rating hovering around 40% and Merkel steps down as chancellor in September.  Therefore, transitional stability is a reasonable concern. Policy continuity among the EU’s principal members may determine the efficacy of Europe’s independent security agenda.

    The resurgence of the ‘America First’ mentality is a threat to transatlantic defense cooperation. Hardline voters in Republican strongholds may determine the extent to which US foreign policy reflects isolationist doctrine. A 2024 general election triumph by a viable Republican candidate might call into question America’s commitment to Article V and to NATO itself.

    Public opinion may determine how, and to what degree, European policymakers pursue strategic autonomy through increased budgetary expenditures. Though 61% of Europeans hold a favorable opinion of NATO, all but five member states oppose, in the majority, defending a NATO ally should Russia attack.  Such polling data suggests an overreliance on US protection, the aggregate fragility of Article V commitments, and the necessity of a more independent European security apparatus. 

    Outlook

    Theresa May, while addressing Parliament, framed the question of European strategic autonomy, “What does [the Afghanistan pullout] say about us as a country? What does it say about NATO, if we are entirely dependent on a unilateral decision by the U.S.?”.  Forward-facing policy proposals will address the capability disparities within NATO and without it. Public opinion and the political will of elites to increase military expenditures against possible political headwinds determine, in part, the ultimate impact of such initiatives.

    A more functional independent European security may inoculate the EU against the inherent uncertainty of quadrennial US presidential transitions. The volatility of US domestic politics will contribute to European skepticism regarding US commitment to the collective defense provision of the NATO charter.  Transatlantic incredulity will introduce urgency into policy planning and may provide political justification for increased defense spending.

    The Afghanistan pullout has renewed calls to improve EU intervention capabilities. France and Germany have proposed the creation of an “initial entry force”. The conceptual force includes 5,000 troops supported by aircraft and ships. Such an EU rapid-reaction force, employed in concert with increased global development expenditures, may provide stability for struggling democracies abroad. Pursuing a balanced, synergistic combination of hard and soft power projection will make the EU a more capable NATO partner and a more formidable international actor.

    US-Russia-China trilateral relations will play a large role in shaping the transatlantic alliance in the medium and long term. In the short term, while US and EU threat perceptions regarding Russia and China differ, regional NATO cooperation in the Middle East will be a necessity. It is unclear what the nature of Russian and Chinese influence will look like on the ground, but the willingness of the two powers to engage with the Taliban is telling. The urgency with which NATO and the EU respond to these developments may determine the scale of imminent irregular migration crises.

    In a September 1st guest essay for the New York Times, Josep Borrell Fontelles (the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy) underscores the instructive nature of the Afghanistan withdrawal. He writes that “Some events catalyze history: The Afghanistan debacle is one of them.” Whether Europe will pursue more efficacious security policies remains unclear. 

    Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 02:00
  23. Site: Vox Cantoris
    7 hours 49 min ago


     

  24. Site: The Catholic Thing
    8 hours 17 min ago
    Author: Stephen P. White

    By almost any measure, America is the wealthiest nation in the world. Whether compared to other nations of the world today or in the past, ours stand out as perhaps the most affluent society in history. Sure, there are a handful of countries with higher per capita GDP. Switzerland, for example, has a higher per capita GDP than the United States; it also has fewer people than New York City. Almost no other major country has a higher median income. No country has more disposable income, per capita, than the United States. We lead the world in household consumption. We are the undisputed world champions of “having stuff.”

    Are we better for it?

    Almost no one I know would argue that we’d be better off if we were poorer. Probably this is because most Americans don’t feel particularly well-off. Just over half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, if you believe the news. I doubt many of them feel that being poorer would be better for them, either. In 2019, 10.5 percent of Americans were living below the federal poverty line. While that was the lowest rate observed since estimates were first published in 1959, I doubt those 34 million Americans feel like they’d be better off with less.

    Even setting aside the wealthiest of the wealthy, the broad American middle is still absurdly well-off by global, let alone historical standards. No Roman emperor ever enjoyed the conveniences I have in my suburban home: central air, two (!) color (!!) TVs, and Wi-Fi that reaches most corners of the house most of the time.

    The ubiquity of American affluence makes it harder, not easier for us to see. When it comes to the specter of consumerism, there is a kind of perverse temptation to seek safety in the anonymity of the comfy middle: “I’m not some billionaire! I drive a used Ford! I worry about paying the bills and saving for college for my kids. I’m ordinary.”

    If you’re anything like me, the relative security and modest comforts of middle-class life in America come with a nagging suspicion. Scripture isn’t exactly silent on the dangers of wealth. Neither are the saints. Nor the magisterium. We all know the greatest hits:

    — “Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven.”

    — “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    — “The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.”

    — “The love of money is the root of all evils.”

    — “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much.”

    — “You cannot serve both God and Mammon.”

    It’s hard to write about these things without sounding like a moralizing scold (or at the very least a hypocrite). But given the ubiquity of wealth in this country, and given the innumerable warnings from Scripture, the saints, and the tradition about the perils of wealth, consumerism, materialism, and the like – and given the manifest prevalence of these vices in the world around us – isn’t it at least possible that we Americans ought to be paying much closer attention to these warnings?

    *

    Isn’t it possible that those of us in the broad, comfy middle, ought to pay heed even if – perhaps especially if – we don’t feel especially well-off compared to those around us? Isn’t it possible that, if comparing ourselves to those around us (a dicey proposition in the best of times) makes us comfortable or complacent, that is in itself a warning sign?

    It’s true that the Church has always insisted that it’s not so much about what or how much you have, but what you do with it that matters. As St. John Chrysostom put it, “He is not rich who is surrounded by many possessions, but he who does not need many possessions; and he is not poor who possesses nothing, but he who requires many things.” But that teaching should not soothe us in our comfort so much as compel us to see in everything we possess an obligation and responsibility to use it for others, for the Kingdom.

    Most Americans are at least rich enough to believe the myth of our own self-sufficiency. We are just wealthy enough to believe that we can afford to live without the kind of solidarity past generations depended on for survival. This presumption of self-sufficiency can manifest itself in a callous resentment towards those who depend upon us. It can even make us resent the very idea that we might have to rely on someone else. This isn’t just a spiritual danger; it’s a social and political danger as well.

    As a society, we have actually come to believe that the human solidarity without which we cannot flourish can be replaced by the independence and isolation our money can buy. Marriage rates fall, birthrates collapse, social distrust spreads. Forced isolation brought about by the pandemic in recent months has only served to underscore this reality, as have the related spikes in substance abuse and suicides.

    Maybe, just maybe, having all the good things money can buy, and Amazon to deliver them to us, makes us less dependent on one another, and that in turn makes us less happy. And less likely to realize that we’re dependent, not just on one another, but on God.

    Is America better off for being so rich? Are we better disciples and evangelists for being affluent?

    Happily, all those stern warnings about the perils of wealth are not just warnings, but promises, too:

    “As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore.
    All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
    Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides.”

     

    *Image: The Worship of Mammon by Evelyn De Morgan, 1909 [De Morgan Collection]

    You may also enjoy:

    Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s Freedom

    Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky’s In Search of the Good Samaritan

    The post Going for Broke appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  25. Site: The Catholic Thing
    8 hours 18 min ago
    Author: Karen Popp

    The Archbishop of San Francisco warned that an abortion bill (the Women’s Health Protection Act or H.R. 3755) to be voted on in Congress this week amounts to “child sacrifice.” He called on Catholics to pray and fast for the defeat of the bill. And Abp. Joseph Naumann, chair of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, says, “This deceptively-named, extreme bill would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute.”

     

    The post Abp. Cordileone: Abortion bill ‘child sacrifice’ appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  26. Site: The Catholic Thing
    8 hours 18 min ago
    Author: Karen Popp

    Do Catholics “believe that human life begins at conception” — a formulation that’s become ubiquitous in recent weeks? Well, yes, in precisely the same sense that Catholics “believe” that the Earth is spherical, not flat; that Venus is the second planet in the solar system; that a water molecule is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom; that blood circulates through the body; that the human heart has four chambers; and so forth and so on.
     

    The post Catholic “beliefs” and the abortion debate appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  27. Site: The Catholic Thing
    8 hours 18 min ago
    Author: Karen Popp

    I remember a house where all were good
    To me, God knows, deserving no such thing:
    Comforting smell breathed at very entering,
    Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood.
    That cordial air made those kind people a hood
    All over, as a bevy of eggs the mothering wing
    Will, or mild nights the new morsels of Spring:
    Why, it seemed of course; seemed of right it should.

    Lovely the woods, waters, meadows, combes, vales,
    All the air things wear that build this world of Wales;
    Only the inmate does not correspond:
    God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales,
    Complete thy creature dear O where it fails,
    Being mighty a master, being a father and fond.
     

    The post In the valley of the Elwy appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  28. Site: The Catholic Thing
    8 hours 18 min ago
    Author: Karen Popp

    Iterations of this bill have been introduced every year since 2013, but it wasn’t until this year that dramatically new language was introduced. The neologisms are emblematic of the wild-eyed activists who work in the White House.
     

     

     

     

    The post Biden abortion bill most extreme ever appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  29. Site: The Catholic Thing
    8 hours 18 min ago
    Author: Karen Popp

    Record-breaking freshmen classes speak to the focus on Catholicity at schools such as the University of Dallas, Ave Maria University, Christendom College and Thomas Aquinas College. While not record breaking, other Catholic institutions experienced a boost in enrollment. Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, which has long included an online component to its curriculum, saw an increase as well.
     

     

    The post Big universities struggle as small Catholic colleges thrive appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  30. Site: The Unz Review
    8 hours 18 min ago
    Author: Eric Striker
    The New York Times is looking to get ahead of next Monday's scheduled release of FBI national crime data, which is expected to show a historic spike in murders largely driven by systematically emboldened black criminals. The anti-racist policies that have created these conditions, including criminal justice reform, have enjoyed bipartisan support from US elites...
  31. Site: AntiWar.com
    8 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Ramzy Baroud

    Scenes of thousands of Afghans flooding the Kabul International Airport to flee the country as Taliban fighters were quickly consolidating their control over the capital, raised many questions, leading amongst them: who are these people and why are they running away? In the US and other Western media, answers were readily available: they were mostly … Continue reading "Who Represents Afghanistan: Genuine Activists vs. ‘Native Informants’"

    The post Who Represents Afghanistan: Genuine Activists vs. ‘Native Informants’ appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

  32. Site: The Unz Review
    8 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Andrew Anglin
    New data shows that them niggas out there be wilin, with many suggesting they are wilin like a muffagguh out of this bitch. Daily Mail: So the murder rate rose almost three times more than any previous murder rate rise in history? [image][F]https://dailystormer.su/wp-content/uploads
  33. Site: Zero Hedge
    8 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Do The 'Global Managers' Really Want The Pandemic To End?

    Authored by Brian Jones via TheAmericanConservative.com,

    Early treatment of symptoms is the last remaining enemy of the global Covid consensus...

    In his March 17, 2020, article in StatStanford epidemiologist Dr. John Ioannidis argued for a vast reconsideration of the societal response to the emerging SARS-COV-2 pandemic, commonly called Covid-19.

    For unknown reasons, the scientific and medical tradition forming the foundation for how to respond to pandemics was being quickly disbanded. Abandoning such previously established traditions entailed filling the void with the appearance of a new global consensus: The combination of unending non-pharmaceutical interventions (masks, social distancing, etc.) and universal vaccination was the key that would end the pandemic.

    The totalizing power of this new global pandemic consensus has certainly been effective over the last year and a half. However, the last month and a half has brought about a palatable instability to this apparently once-certain agreement.

    As one writer observes,

    Until now, Corona policy in every western country has unfolded more or less according to the same script, devised by the World Health Organization at the end of February 2020. The final act was supposed to be the wide-scale eradication of Corona after mass vaccination. It is now clear that this will never happen. For the first time since March 2020, there is no obvious international consensus on the way forward.

    The global political and health managers of Western nations and their media allies increasingly seem uncertain as to where to go next. Lurking behind the uncertainty of how to respond to the variants, however, is the last remaining consensus. And while it is the last remaining consensus, it has been a little-known, yet real, part of the script from the beginning. It is as simple as it is all-encompassing: Use every available means possible to assault early treatment of the virus. 

    Consider one of the latest displays of this charade.

    Many have now seen, or heard about, the American podcaster Joe Rogan’s recent experience with Covid-19. After recognizing some of the common symptoms of Covid-19, Rogan decided to “throw the kitchen sink at it.” Following the insights offered by Dr. Peter McCullough and his multi-drug treatment protocol, Rogan pursued infusion of monoclonal antibodies. Along with antibody infusion, Rogan took a cocktail that consisted of ivermectin, Azithromyicin, the corticosteriod Predinsone, and high doses of vitamin D (through drip line). Within 72 hours after beginning the treatment regimen, Rogan declared that he felt great, and had practically recovered from the virus.

    We would not have needed the gift of prophecy to have predicted what followed: The Covid machine was deployed to attack Rogan. The inspiration for the assault has been helped by a recent tweet from the FDA, which read: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” Moving on from its initial onslaught against the effective early use of hydroxychloroquine, the global consensus has now overwhelmingly shifted its ire to ivermectin. Coinciding with the attack on Rogan was a supposed news story from Rolling Stone, which claimed that access to emergency care for gunshot victims at an Oklahoma hospital was threatened due to the number of patients who had been poisoned by overdosing on ivermectin. The hospital offered a clarification that denied the claims, which had been made by a former employee. And yet, only updates have been added; thus far, the story has not been retracted.

    This widespread jettisoning of the principle and effectiveness of preventative and early treatment has been described as “therapeutic nihilism.” Nearly two years into this pandemic, getting early treatment for Covid-19 that can prevent hospitalization and death is still extremely difficult. Continued attempts to undermine early treatment protocols, as well as frequented campaigns against those who are skeptical of the prevailing narrative, give the impression that certain interested parties are hesitant to bring the pandemic to an end.

    The global managers writing and executing the Covid script are using it to manipulate the populace. I am reminded of the Polish philosopher and statesman Ryszard Legutko’s 2016 book The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies. Following the collapse of totalitarianism regimes in 1989, Legutko began noticing something that was as confusing as it was unsettling. Supporters of communism appeared to find a somewhat comfortable home in liberal democratic societies. In an attempt to parse out and understand this political phenomenon, Legutko came to realize some shared similarities between the principles of communism and modern liberal democratic regimes:

    Communism and liberal democracy proved to be all-unifying entities compelling their followers how to think, what to do, how to evaluate events, what to dream, and what language to use. They both had their orthodoxies and their models of an ideal citizen. [Emphasis added]

    What Legutko’s diagnosis reveals is that the global response to the pandemic has been utilized to accelerate the conditions whereby rigorous and independent thinking may be snuffed out. The pandemic seems to have accelerated the project of Western nations transmuting into large, mechanizing systems oriented towards uniformity of thought and practice.

    Here is Stanford’s Ioannidis commenting upon this disturbing integration of rapidly declining transparency and collectivism:

    The retraction of a highly visible hydroxychloroquine paper from the The Lancet was a startling example: A lack of sharing and openness allowed a top medical journal to publish an article in which 671 hospitals allegedly contributed data that did not exist, and no one noticed this outright fabrication before publication. The New England Journal of Medicine, another top medical journal, managed to publish a similar paper; many scientists continue to heavily cite it long after its retraction.

    Such a situation reveals the emptiness of supposed concerns about “evidence.” Abused tropes such as “follow the science” are revealing themselves to be nefarious power grabs seeking to destroy nuance. “Good” citizens should not even consider the possibility of calling into question the prevailing narrative regarding Covid. More specifically, it is anathema to even fathom the thought that preventative and early treatment should be a fundamental pillar of the response to a pandemic.

    As the consensus equating vaccination with the elimination of the virus continues to weaken, Ioannidis’s original prediction continues to be persuasive: The response to SARS-COV-2 will eventually be seen as a “once in a century evidence fiasco.” But the citizens of Western nations must think critically for themselves if the coils of the Covid machine have a chance of being loosened.

    Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 00:00
  34. Site: AntiWar.com
    8 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Andrew Corbley

    With outer space being, as anyone over the age of 25 or so knows, the Final Frontier, is it any surprise that the Pentagon is rushing full speed ahead to turn it, against the general desire of almost everyone on Earth, into a battlefield? To borrow science fiction parlance, Afghanistan was a long time ago … Continue reading "The Space Force Is Transforming the Final Frontier Into a Battlefield"

    The post The Space Force Is Transforming the Final Frontier Into a Battlefield appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

  35. Site: Zero Hedge
    8 hours 39 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Bill Gross's Feud With His Neighbor Is A Cockroach That Just Won't Die

    If you're wondering what, exactly, Bill Gross and his wife have decided to take on as a hobby during their "retirement", we might know. It appears the Gross household has made it the family's life work to bicker with their neighbor, Mark Towfiq, until the end of time.

    That's because the feud you may have foolishly thought ended with a court decision back in December 2020 has once again reignited, with Gross’s wife, Amy, claiming that Towfiq has "driven her from her oceanfront home," according to Bloomberg

    Amy Gross and Bill Gross 

    “I fear going into my backyard. I couldn’t have my wedding reception there. I couldn’t have my birthday there,” the former tennis pro told Bloomberg. 

    The couple has once again found themselves in court after neighbor Towfiq asked a judge to find them in violation of a court order handed down in December that says the family can't play music loudly when they are not outdoors. 

    Carol Nakahara, Towfiq’s wife, testified: “I thought this was over. What else are we supposed to do?”

    But Gross' wife insists she's the victim, stating she needs to announce every time she's out back of her own home so the neighbors don't call the police. She testified: “I’m being monitored 24-7 inside my home. I’m very frustrated.”

    The sculpture and net on left, and the yards in question / Bloomberg

    Gross and Towfiq have a feud that's as inane as it is lengthy. It was thought to have culminated in December of 2020, when Gross lost a lawsuit after Trowfiq and his wife sued the billionaire bond king over what court documents described as a coordinated campaign of harassment intended to coerce the couple into dropping a nuisance complaint involving a lawn statue and safety net owned by Gross.

    Gross also sued for installing cameras on his property. Towfiq initially sued for psychological distress, arguing that Gross subjected him to a form of "torture" for refusing to simply drop his complaint to the town about Gross's lawn sculpture.

    Gross has a history of high-profile feuds, including with his ex-wife, whom he terrorized with fart spray and old fish. And that was before he retired from his day job as a portfolio manager at Janus Henderson.

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 23:40
  36. Site: AntiWar.com
    8 hours 48 min ago
    Author: Margaret Griffis

    Four civilians were killed in attacks.

    The post <I>Iraq Daily Roundup</I>: Four Killed appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

  37. Site: Zero Hedge
    8 hours 59 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Escobar: Eurasia Takes Shape, Part 1 - How The SCO Just Flipped The World Order

    Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Cradle,

    As a rudderless West watched on, the 20th anniversary meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was laser-focused on two key deliverables: shaping up Afghanistan and kicking off a full-spectrum Eurasian integration.

    The two defining moments of the historic 20th anniversary Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan had to come from the keynote speeches of – who else – the leaders of the Russia-China strategic partnership.

    Xi Jinping: “Today we will launch procedures to admit Iran as a full member of the SCO.”

    Vladimir Putin: “I would like to highlight the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed today between the SCO Secretariat and the Eurasian Economic Commission. It is clearly designed to further Russia’s idea of establishing a Greater Eurasia Partnership covering the SCO, the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI).”

    In short, over the weekend, Iran was enshrined in its rightful, prime Eurasian role, and all Eurasian integration paths converged toward a new global geopolitical – and geoeconomic – paradigm, with a sonic boom bound to echo for the rest of the century.

    That was the killer one-two punch immediately following the Atlantic alliance’s ignominious imperial retreat from Afghanistan. Right as the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, the redoubtable Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, told his Iranian colleague Admiral Ali Shamkhani that “the Islamic Republic will become a full member of the SCO.”

    Dushanbe revealed itself as the ultimate diplomatic crossover. President Xi firmly rejected any “condescending lecturing” and emphasized development paths and governance models compatible with national conditions. Just like Putin, he stressed the complementary focus of BRI and the EAEU, and in fact summarized a true multilateralist Manifesto for the Global South.

    Right on point, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan noted that the SCO should advance “the development of a regional macro-economy.” This is reflected in the SCO’s drive to start using local currencies for trade, bypassing the US dollar.

    With Iran's arrival, the SCO member-states now number nine, and they're focused on fixing Afghanistan and consolidating Eurasia.

    Watch that quadrilateral

    Dushanbe was not just a bed of roses. Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon, a staunch, secular Muslim and former member of the Communist Party of the USSR – in power for no less than 29 years, reelected for the 5th time in 2020 with 90 percent of the vote – right off the bat denounced the “medieval sharia” of Taliban 2.0 and said they had already “abandoned their previous promise to form an inclusive  government.”

    Rahmon, who has never been caught smiling on camera, was already in power when the Taliban conquered Kabul in 1996. He was bound to publicly support his Tajik cousins against the “expansion of extremist ideology” in Afghanistan – which in fact worries all SCO member-states when it comes to smashing dodgy jihadi outfits of the ISIS-K mold .

    The meat of the matter in Dushanbe was in the bilaterals – and one quadrilateral.

    Take the bilateral between Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Chinese FM Wang Yi. Jaishankar said that China should not view “its relations with India through the lens of a third country,” and took pains to stress that India “does not subscribe to any clash of civilizations theory.”

    That was quite a tough sell considering that the first in-person Quad summit takes place this week in Washington, DC, hosted by that “third country” which is now knee deep in clash-of-civilizations mode against China.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was on a bilateral roll, meeting the presidents of Iran, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The official Pakistani diplomatic position is that Afghanistan should not be abandoned, but engaged.

    That position added nuance to what Russian Special Presidential Envoy for SCO Affairs Bakhtiyer Khakimov had explained about Kabul’s absence at the SCO table: “At this stage, all member states have an understanding that there are no reasons for an invitation until there is a legitimate, generally recognized government in Afghanistan.”

    And that, arguably, leads us to the key SCO meeting: a quadrilateral with the Foreign Ministers of Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran.

    Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi affirmed: “We are monitoring whether all the groups are included in the government or not.” The heart of the matter is that, from now on, Islamabad coordinates the SCO strategy on Afghanistan, and will broker Taliban negotiations with senior Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara leaders. This will eventually lead the way towards an inclusive government regionally recognized by SCO member-nations.

    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was warmly received by all – especially after his forceful keynote speech, an Axis of Resistance classic. His bilateral with Belarus president Aleksandr Lukashenko revolved around a discussion on “sanctions confrontation.” According to Lukashenko: “If the sanctions did any harm to Belarus, Iran, other countries, it was only because we ourselves are to blame for this. We were not always negotiable, we did not always find the path we had to take under the pressure of sanctions.”

    Considering Tehran is fully briefed on Islamabad’s SCO role in terms of Afghanistan, there will be no need to deploy the Fatemiyoun brigade – informally known as the Afghan Hezbollah – to defend the Hazaras. Fatemiyoun was formed in 2012 and was instrumental in Syria in the fight against Daesh, especially in Palmyra. But if ISIS-K does not go away, that’s a completely different story.

    Particular important for SCO members Iran and India will be the future of Chabahar port. That remains India’s crypto-Silk Road gambit to connect it to Afghanistan and Central Asia. The geoeconomic success of Chabahar more than ever depends on a stable Afghanistan – and this is where Tehran’s interests fully converge with Russia-China’s SCO drive.

    What the 2021 SCO Dushanbe Declaration spelled out about Afghanistan is quite revealing:

    1. Afghanistan should be an independent, neutral, united, democratic and peaceful state, free of terrorism, war and drugs.

    2. It is critical to have an inclusive government in Afghanistan, with representatives from all ethnic, religious and political groups of Afghan society.

    3. SCO member states, emphasizing the significance of the many years of hospitality and effective assistance provided by regional and neighboring countries to Afghan refugees, consider it important for the international community to make active efforts to facilitate their dignified, safe and sustainable return to their homeland.

    As much as it may sound like an impossible dream, this is the unified message of Russia, China, Iran, India, Pakistan and the Central Asian “stans.” One hopes that Pakistani PM Imran Khan is up to the task and ready for his SCO close-up.

    That troubled Western peninsula

    The New Silk Roads were officially launched eight years ago by Xi Jinping, first in Astana – now Nur-Sultan – and then in Jakarta.

    This is how I reported it at the time.

    The announcement came close to a SCO summit – then in Bishkek. The SCO, widely dismissed in Washington and Brussels as a mere talk shop, was already surpassing its original mandate of fighting the “three evil forces” – terrorism, separatism and extremism – and encompassing politics and geoeconomics.

    In 2013, there was a Xi-Putin-Rouhani trilateral. Beijing expressed full support for Iran’s peaceful nuclear program (remember, this was two years before the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the JCPOA).

    Despite many experts dismissing it at the time, there was indeed a common China-Russia-Iran front on Syria (Axis of Resistance in action). Xinjiang was being promoted as the key hub for the Eurasian Land Bridge. Pipelineistan was at the heart of the Chinese strategy – from Kazakhstan oil to Turkmenistan gas. Some people may even remember when Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was waxing lyrical about an American-propelled New Silk Road.

    Now compare it to Xi’s Multilateralism Manifesto in Dushanbe eight years later, reminiscing on how the SCO “has proved to be an excellent example of multilateralism in the 21stcentury,” and “has played an important role in enhancing the voice of developing countries.”

    The strategic importance of this SCO summit taking place right after the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok cannot be overstated enough. The EEF focuses of course on the Russian Far East – and essentially advances interconnectivity between Russia and Asia. It is an absolutely key hub of Russia’s Greater Eurasian Partnership.

    A cornucopia of deals is on the horizon – expanding from the Far East to the Arctic and the development of the Northern Sea Route, and involving everything from precious metals and green energy to digital sovereignty flowing through logistics corridors between Asia and Europe via Russia.

    As Putin hinted in his keynote speech, this is what the Greater Eurasia Partnership is all about: the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), BRI, India’s initiative, ASEAN, and now the SCO, developing in a harmonized network, crucially operated by “sovereign decision-making centers.”

    So if the BRI proposes a very Taoist “community of shared future for human kind,” the Russian project, conceptually, proposes a dialogue of civilizations (already evoked by the Khatami years in Iran) and sovereign economic-political projects. They are, indeed, complementary.

    Glenn Diesen, Professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway and an editor at the Russia in Global Affairs journal, is among the very few top scholars who are analyzing this process in depth. His latest book remarkably tells the whole story in its title:  Europe as the Western Peninsula of Greater Eurasia: Geoeconomic Regions in a Multipolar World. It’s not clear whether Eurocrats in Brussels – slaves of Atlanticism and incapable of grasping the potential of Greater Eurasia – will end up exercising real strategic autonomy.

    Diesen evokes in detail the parallels between the Russian and the Chinese strategies. He notes how China “is pursuing a three-pillared geoeconomic initiative by developing technological leadership via its China 2025 plan, new transportation corridors via its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, and establishing new financial instruments such as banks, payment systems and the internationalization of the yuan. Russia is similarly pursuing technological sovereignty, both in the digital sphere and beyond, as well as new transportation corridors such as the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic, and, primarily, new financial instruments.”

    The whole Global South, stunned by the accelerated collapse of the western Empire and its unilateral “rules-based order," now seems to be ready to embrace the new groove, fully displayed in Dushanbe: a multipolar Greater Eurasia of sovereign equals.

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 23:20
  38. Site: Zero Hedge
    9 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Russia Uses AUKUS Spat To Highlight "Shock" Of Disunity For NATO

    Russia is now weighing in on the AUKUS agreement unveiled last week and which has enraged France given it effectively got cut out of its prior $66 billion deal to deliver submarines to Australia, and instead now Washington will give Canberra nuclear-powered submarines for the first time.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry highlighted NATO disunity and "shock" within the alliance after EU leadership said the bloc was caught completely off-guard, only learning about the pact when it hit the media. Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out on Wednesday, "It came as a total surprise and a shock for NATO."

    She continued: "It came as an absolute surprise not for those whom the US, Australia and the UK call their opponents and whom they are collaborating against, but for their allies and the military and political blocs that the US and the UK are part of," as cited in TASS.

    "The developments that are unfolding around Australia, a seemingly a faraway land, what is happening there is not just interesting - though it is interesting indeed - but it also requires special attention from the political analyst community, including experts on international relations and military and strategic issues," the Russian diplomat added.

    Reading between the lines, she appears to be suggesting a fragile or greatly weakened NATO alliance, given the major inter-NATO spat was unleashed by dealings in "a seemingly faraway land" - as Zakharova put it.

    After all, it led to France recalling its ambassador to Washington for what's believed to be the first time in history (a move done also with the ambassador to Australia). Tensions are also running high between France and the UK over what Paris charged as 'backroom dealing' and "duplicity, disdain and lies".

    Russia is not happy about AUKUS. Moscow's top security official says the US/UK/Australia nuclear bloc a hostile step aimed not only at China, but it's a threat to “the entire security architecture in Asia.”https://t.co/Ukxb6gJoIf

    — Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) September 21, 2021

    China has been especially angered at the potential for a large US ally operating nuclear subs in its Indo-Pacific backyard. No doubt Moscow is unhappy too that Australia will join the small number of nations that possess them, which currently includes only the US, UK, France, China, India as well as Russia. The US will now transfer technology and help allowing Australia to construct at least eight nuclear powered submarines.

    But with the diplomatic fighting still unfolding between Europe on one side, and the UK and US on the other over the AUKUS, likely at the Kremlin they're currently content to kick back and grab the popcorn.

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 23:00
  39. Site: Zero Hedge
    9 hours 39 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Greenwald: A Definitive Account Of The CIA/Media/BigTech Fraud Over Hunter Biden Emails

    Authored by Glenn Greenwald via greenwald.substack.com, (Watch Glenn's podcast on this fiasco here),

    A severe escalation of the war on a free internet and free discourse has taken place over the last twelve months. Numerous examples of brute and dangerous censorship have emerged: the destruction by Big Tech monopolies of Parler at the behest of Democratic politicians at the time that it was the most-downloaded app in the country; the banning of the sitting president from social media; and the increasingly explicit threats from elected officials in the majority party of legal and regulatory reprisals in the event that tech platforms do not censor more in accordance with their demands.

    CNN's Wolf Blitzer warns that emails and other documents reported on by The New York Post about Joe Biden's activities in Ukraine and China may be "Russian disinformation,” Oct. 16, 2020.

    But the most severe episode of all was the joint campaign — in the weeks before the 2020 election — by the CIA, Big Tech, the liberal wing of the corporate media and the Democratic Party to censor and suppress a series of major reports about then-presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. On October 14 and then October 15, 2020, The New York Post, the nation's oldest newspaper, published two news reports on Joe Biden's activities in Ukraine and China that raised serious questions about his integrity and ethics: specifically whether he and his family were trading on his name and influence to generate profit for themselves. The Post said that the documents were obtained from a laptop left by Joe Biden's son Hunter at a repair shop.

    From the start, the evidence of authenticity was overwhelming. The Post published obviously genuine photos of Hunter that were taken from the laptop. Investigations from media outlets found people who had received the emails in real-time and they compared the emails in their possession to the ones in the Post's archive, and they matched word-for-word. One of Hunter's own business associates involved in many of these deals, Tony Bobulinski, confirmed publicly and in interviews that the key emails were genuine and that they referenced Joe Biden's profit participation in one deal being pursued in China. A forensics analyst issued a report concluding the archive had all the earmarks of authenticity. Not even the Bidens denied that the emails were real: something they of course would have done if they had been forged or altered. In sum, as someone who has reported on numerous large archives similar to this one and was faced with the heavy burden of ensuring the documents were genuine before risking one's career and reputation by reporting them, it was clear early on that all the key metrics demonstrated that these documents were real.

    Despite all that, former intelligence officials such as Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led a group of dozens of former spooks in issuing a public statement that disseminated an outright lie: namely, that the laptop was "Russian disinformation.” Note that this phrase contains two separate assertions: 1) the documents came from Russia and 2) they are fake ("disinformation"). The intelligence officials admitted in this letter that — in their words — “we do not know if the emails are genuine or not,” and also admitted that “we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.Yet it repeatedly insinuated that everyone should nonetheless believe this:

    Letter from 60 former intelligence officials about the New York Post reporting, Oct. 19, 2020

    But the complete lack of evidence for these claims — that even these career CIA liars acknowledged plagued their assertions — did not stop the corporate media or Big Tech from repeating this lie over and over, and, far worse, using this lie to censor this reporting from the internet. One of the first to spread this lie was the co-queen of Russiagate frauds, Natasha Bertrand, then of Politico and now promoted, because of lies like this, to CNN. “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say,” blared her headline in Politico on October 19, just five days after the Post began its reporting. From there, virtually every media outlet — CNN, NBC News, PBS, Huffington Post, The Intercept, and too many others to count — began completely ignoring the substance of the reporting and instead spread the lie over and over that these documents were the by-product of Russian disinformation.

    On October 21 — exactly one week after the Post's first report — The Intercept published a false story under the melodramatic headline “We're Not a Democracy” about these materials from former New York Times reporter James Risen. This propaganda assault masquerading as "news” mindlessly laundered the CIA's lies about the laptop. This is what appeared in this outlet that still claims to do “adversarial” reporting:

    Their latest falsehood once again involves Biden, Ukraine, and a laptop mysteriously discovered in a computer repair shop and passed to the New York Post….This week, a group of former intelligence officials issued a letter saying that the Giuliani laptop story has the classic trademarks of Russian disinformation.

    Note that even the intelligence officials, who acknowledged they had no evidence to support this claim, were more honest than The Intercept, which omitted that critical admission. Days later, this very same outlet — which I co-founded seven years earlier to be adversarial, not subservient, to evidence-free assertions from the intelligence community, and which was designed to be an antidote to rather than a clone of The New York Times — told me that I could not publish the article I had written about the Biden archive because it did not meet their lofty and rigorous editorial standards: the same lofty and rigorous editorial standards that led to uncritical endorsement of the CIA's lies just days earlier. It was that episode, as Matt Taibbi recounted at the time, that prompted my resignation from the outlet I created in protest of this censorship, in order to report instead only on free speech platforms such as this one.

    But the media disinformation about the Post's documents — obviously designed to protect Joe Biden in the lead-up to the election — were not the worst aspect of what happened here. Far worse was the decision by Twitter to prohibit any discussion of this reporting or posting of links to the story both publicly and privately on the platform. Worse still was the immediate announcement by Facebook through its communications executive Andy Stone — a life-long Democratic Party operative — that it would algorithmically suppress the story pending a "fact check” by "Facebook's third-party fact-check partners.” Despite multiple requests from me and others, Facebook never published the results of this alleged fact-check and still refuse to say whether it ever conducted one. Why? Because the documents they blocked millions of Americans from learning about were clearly true and authentic.

    While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook's third-party fact checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.

    — Andy Stone (@andymstone) October 14, 2020

    As indicated, there was ample proof from the start that these documents were genuine and that the only ones engaged in "disinformation" and lies was this axis of the CIA, corporate media, and Big Tech. Yet the most dispositive proof yet emerged on Tuesday — not from a right-wing news outlet that liberals have been trained to ignore and disbelieve but from one of the most mainstream news institutions in the country.

    A young reporter for Politico, Ben Schreckinger, has published a new book entitled "The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power.” To his great credit, he spent months investigating the key documents published by The New York Post and found definitive proof that these emails and related documents are indisputably authentic. His own outlet, Politico, was the first to publish the CIA lie that this was "Russian disinformation,” but on Tuesday — without acknowledging their role in spreading that lie — they summarized Schreckinger's findings this way: the book “finds evidence that some of the purported Hunter Biden laptop material is genuine, including two emails at the center of last October’s controversy.” In his book, the reporter recounts in these passages just some of the extensive work he did to obtain this proof:

    A person who corresponded with Hunter in late 2018 confirmed to me the authenticity of an email in the cache. Another person who corresponded with Hunter in January 2019 confirmed the authenticity of a different email exchange with Hunter in the cache. Both of these people spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fears of being embroiled in a global controversy.

    A third person who had independent access to Hunter’s emails confirmed to me that the emails published by the New York Post related to Burisma and the CEFC venture matched the substance of emails Hunter had in fact received. (This person was not in a position to compare the published emails word-for-word to the originals.)

    The National Property Board of Sweden, part of the Swedish Finance Ministry, has released correspondence between Hunter and House of Sweden employees to me and to a Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, under the country’s freedom of information law. Emails released by the property board match emails in the cache.

    Excerpts from POLITICO reporter Ben Schreckinger's new book: "The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power”, Sept. 2020

     

    Given what I regard as the unparalleled gravity of what was done here — widespread media deceit toward millions of American voters in the weeks before a presidential election based on a CIA lie, along with brute censorship of the story by Big Tech — and given that so much of what was done here took place on television, we produced this morning what I regard as the definitive video report of this scandal. I realize this report is longer than the standard video — it is just over an hour — but I really believe that it is vital, particularly with the emergence of this new indisputable proof, to take a comprehensive look at how the intelligence community, in partnership with Big Tech and the corporate media, disseminated massive lies and disinformation, using censorship and other manipulative techniques, to shape the outcome of what was a close election. (We will very shortly institute our new feature of producing transcripts for all videos above ten minutes in length, but I really hope that as many people as can do so will watch this video report).

    After observing what they did, I hope and believe you will have a similar reaction to the one I had after spending the day compiling and reporting it all. No matter how much you despise this sector of the corporate media, it is nowhere near close enough to the level of contempt and scorn they deserve. You can watch our video report on my Rumble page or on the player below.

    Watch:

    To support the independent journalism we are doing here, please obtain a gift subscription for others and/or share the article

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 22:40
  40. Site: Zero Hedge
    9 hours 59 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    China Locks Down Northeastern City After Discovering First Outbreak Since February

    China's latest COVID outbreak continued to smolder through the mid-Autumn festival. In the Northeastern city of Harbin, where authorities imposed a new round of lockdown restrictions after discovering a single case. Another 5 new local infections were confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the total cases in the city to 8.

    Officially, China has recorded fewer than 100K COVID cases and fewer than 5K deaths, although the true number may never be known. Recently, the country has seen a handful of outbreaks as new variants have finally invaded the country, overpowering China's domestically produced COVID jabs. In total across the country, China reported a total of 16 cases Wednesday. It's Harbin's first outbreak since February.

    Despite the negligible number of cases, authorities in Harbin imposed travel restrictions ordering residents not to leave the city while a range of venues - including spas, cinemas, karaoke halls, dancing and gaming venues and mahjong salons - have been temporarily closed.

    In response to the outbreak, Harbin will conduct city-wide testing before Thursday while some venues will be shut in keeping with China's "war-like" response to dealing with COVID. China's virus outbreak was previously in southeastern province of Fujian..

    Those approved for essential travel will need to show a green health-code pass to prove they are "safe".

    Religious sites, as well as large-scale conferences and events, have also been subject to close. Tourist attractions are required to work at half capacity and stagger the flows of people.

    In order to facilitate the mass testing in Harbin, vaccinations were suspended for three days. The outbreaks keep happening despite Beijing announcing earlier this month that it has fully vaccinated 1 billion of its population against the disease, with Chinese vaccines used at the forefront of the mammoth inoculation campaign.

    According to the SCMP, authorities haven't linked the cases in Harbin to the delta variant outbreak in Fujian province, which is more than 1,400 miles away in the country’s southeast, where 13 new infections were recorded. No deaths were reported. Authorities have begun gene-sequencing efforts to determine the source.

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 22:20
  41. Site: Zero Hedge
    10 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Watch: 'Liberal Media Darling' George W. Bush Confronted By Iraq Veteran

    Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

    An Iraq veteran gave George W. Bush a stark reminder this past weekend that although he’s now a liberal media darling, there are plenty of Americans who remember the lies that led to millions of deaths.

    Corporal Mike Prysner was captured on video launching into a tirade against Bush during a speech in Beverly Hills.

    “When are you going to apologize for the million Iraqis who are dead because you lied?” Prysner yelled at Bush.

    “You lied about weapons of mass destruction! You lied about connections to 9/11! You sent me to Iraq! You sent me to Iraq!” Prysner continued.

    Bush can be heard responding “you said you’d behave yourself.”

    As he was bundled out of the room, Prysner demanded Bush “apologise” adding “my friends are dead, you killed people.”

    Watch:

    Following a 9/11 memorial speech in which he directly compared supporters of President Trump to Al Qaeda terrorists, Bush is being held up as an icon by the left.

    As journalist Glenn Greenwald noted last week, “it turned into this love-fest. I mean they dripped with effusive praise for him because of what he said, essentially that the 9/11 attacks are the same as the three hour riot on January 6th, and more importantly that the people who did 9/11, Al Qaeda, are similar or identical to ‘the same foul spirit’ as he put it, Trump supporters essentially.”

    “A domestic war on terror against your fellow citizens is music to the ears of American liberals because they want nothing more than treating their political adversaries, like the Bush administration treated Al Qaeda,” Greenwald asserted.

    Watch:

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    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 22:00
  42. Site: Zero Hedge
    10 hours 39 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    JPMorgan Being Investigated By Brazilian Authorities Over Potential Oil Bribes

    Another day, another "cost of doing business" fine likely on its way for one of the big banks. 

    J.P. Morgan is being investigated by Brazilian authorities about whether or not the bank "played a role in an alleged bribery and money laundering scheme that dated back to 2011 and involved state-run oil company Petrobras", according to a new exclusive from Reuters

    The probe is in preliminary stages, according to the report. 

    Authorities are looking at the purchase of 300,000 barrels of Petrobras fuel by the bank in 2011, according to court documents and sources.

    The documents included email messages, witness testimony and bank records. Regulators are in the midst of trying to decypher whether or not bribery continued in subsequent years. 

    Testimony from a former Petrobras fuel trader named Rodrigo Berkowitz was reviewed by Reuters. The trader makes note two fuel cargoes that were sold to a JPMorgan unit in his testimony. 

    The investigation is one piece of a larger look by Brazilian authorities into wrongdoing in the commodity trading space. Authorities are seeking to figure out if JP Morgan secured oil shipments at artificially low prices by sending bribes to employees at Petrobras' trading desk using middlemen. 

    Investigations are also ongoing into some of the world's largest commodity traders after years of probes looking into whether or not bribes were offered to win contracts in countries in Latin America. 

    No charges have been brought in the ongoing investigation. Petrobras told Reuters it has "zero tolerance in relation to fraud and corruption."

    J.P. Morgan, on the other hand, declined to comment. 

     

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 21:40
  43. Site: Zero Hedge
    10 hours 59 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    House Progressives Strip $1BN In Military Aid For Israel From Stopgap Funding Bill

    Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

    House Democrats removed $1 billion for additional military aid for Israel from a stopgap funding bill that was passed in the House on Tuesday.

    The $1 billion would be on top of the $3.8 billion the US already gives Israel each year. Israel requested the additional amount after its bombardment in Gaza in May, which killed over 250 Palestinians, including over 60 children.

    Image: Associated Press

    The Israelis say they need the money to restock the iron dome missile defense system. But when the request was first reported, Israeli officials also said they would also use the money to purchase munitions, mainly precision-guided bombs for the Israeli Air Force.

    The stopgap bill is being pushed through to avert a government shutdown, but it could fail in the Senate. The $1 billion for Israel was removed over protests by progressive Democrats, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

    Since no Republicans were expected to vote for the bill, Democratic leadership needed the support of the progressives to pass the legislation.

    US lawmakers were quick to assure Israel that it will get its money. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) promised to bring the extra $1 billion to a vote in the House as early as this week during a call with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

    This evening, I announced on the Floor that the House will consider legislation this week to fully fund Iron Dome. We will act to ensure Israel has the ability to defend itself, and I expect strong, bipartisan support for this effort.

    — Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) September 22, 2021

    "This evening, I announced on the Floor that the House will consider legislation this week to fully fund Iron Dome," Hoyer wrote on Twitter. Other members of Congress said the extra $1 billion will be included in the 2022 defense appropriations bill.

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 21:20
  44. Site: Zero Hedge
    11 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Not The Onion: UN Mulling Taliban Request To Address General Assembly

    A UN spokesman revealed late Tuesday that the Taliban has formally requested to address world leaders gathered this week in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. 

    It comes after the international body received an official letter on Monday addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the group is "requesting to participate" in the high-level debate, according to AFP.

    "The credentials committee will now rule on the request," the UN statement added, suggesting the body is actually taking the request seriously.

    UN headquarters in NYC, via Shutterstock

    As a now established government having control over all of Afghanistan following the late August US troop pullout and evacuation, the Taliban says it even has a permanent representative to the UN at this point, named as Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen, which means it's challenging the legitimacy of the current representative, Ghulam Isaczai.

    AFP has more details of the letter's contents as follows

    It was signed by Amir Khan Muttaqi as "Minister of Foreign Affairs," the spokesman said. The letter also indicated that Ghulam Isaczai "no longer represents" Afghanistan at the United Nations.

    ...The note, which had the letterhead "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs," said that former president Ashraf Ghani was "ousted" on August 15, the day he fled the country.

    The UN spokesman confirmed the letter had been submitted for consideration to the "credentials committee" to consider further action.

    That committee includes the US, Russia, China, South Africa, Sweden, Sierra Leone, Chile, Bhutan and the Bahamas. Likely China and Russia would push for allowing the Taliban's participation at the UNGA, while Washington would no doubt see it as an embarrassment and deeply awkward. 

    #Taliban have challenged the credentials of Afghanistan's former U.N. ambassador and are asking to speak at the #UNGA76...#UN says....https://t.co/oKPIUK5J9V

    — Sumaira Khan (@sumrkhan1) September 21, 2021

    Continued US sanctions on the Taliban would prevent or at least complicate any Taliban official's in-person trip to New York, so such a potential address to the assembly would take place via video link. This scenario is similar to the Iranian situation - with sanctions on him personally President Ebrahim Raisi was prevented from traveling and spoke via a pre-recorded video.

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 21:00
  45. Site: Zero Hedge
    11 hours 39 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Stunning Interview Sees China Warn "23 Million Australians" That US Pact Now Makes Them "Target" For Nuclear Attack

    During an Australian TV primetime segment this week, the well-known China-based expert Victor Gao, who is vice president of the Center for China and Globalization and once served as communist leader Deng Xiaoping's translator, issued a chilling scenario and shock to his Aussie audience over the controversial AUKUS defense pact between the US, Australia and the UK.

    Gao bluntly warned that the deal which will see Washington give Canberra nuclear submarine technology now makes all of Australia a target for nuclear strike:

    "The watershed moment will be if Australia is armed with nuclear submarines to be locally produced in Australia, Australia will lose that privilege of not being targeted with nuclear weapons by other countries," Gao warned.

    He then appealed to the "23 million Australians" who will now live with this anxiety if the deal is completed in the coming years over "possible nuclear war" on their doorstep and over their cities.

    Gao posed that the stakes are incredibly high: "And that should be the wake up call for the Australians - the 23 million Australians. Do you really want to be a target in a possible nuclear war? Or do you want to be free from the 'nuclear menace' going forward?"

    Of course the subtext, almost unbelievably, is that Beijing is declaring that Australia will become fair game for nuclear first strike. The incredulous ABC Australia news host then questioned back at him: "It is extraordinary that you're talking about nuclear war and attacks on Australia," the anchor said.

    The questioning then turned to whether what Gao was saying reflects the position of Chinese government, to which he responded...

    Listen, as a general policy Australia is not targeted with nuclear warheads right now... now if the Australian government wants to... go nuclear, with nuclear submarines, they will lose that privilege of not being targeted with nuclear warheads going forward. It's as simple as that... this is the most profound consequence.

    He charged that it's a "gross violation" of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty by the US and UK, underscoring the "consequences" of this for Australia. 

    Via The Drive

    The ABC host questioned directly, "Are you saying that Australia will be targeted by China? Are you warning that Australia now is under threat?"

    Gao that repeated that his words have been "clear" - reiterating that China will see Australia as in breach of having a nuclear free zone and that this will carry with it profound consequences. He then repeated his "thinly-veiled threat that the AUKUS pact announced last week was a 'gross violation of international law' that will have 'profound consequences' for 'brainless' Aussies."

    Meanwhile, here's Rabobank's take on the stunning interview and not so subtle threat....

    I have to share last night’s ABC interview with China’s Victor Gao as a sample of the current zeitgeist in this region. It is worth a watch in its entirety if you don’t live in the region: imagine if this was your prime-time TV slot last night.

    Gao was emphatic about Australia being "logically" targeted for a potential nuclear attack because it wants nuclear-powered submarines. Notably, he is correct in saying this threat is clear strategic logic. Yet geostrategists would point out that Australia wanting such subs is also clear strategic logic – of the need for a balance of power and deterrence against any threats.

    Also recall, this is happening as China lobbies Australia to support its entry into the CPTPP trade partnership - which would of course help Beijing prop up those soon-to-be-needed-even-more trade surpluses, structurally.

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 20:40
  46. Site: Zero Hedge
    11 hours 59 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    UBS Trader Sues Bank, Claims "Toxic Environment" Destroyed His Mental Health

    Sympathy for the junior bankers who have been overworked to the bone waned a bit yesterday when it was revealed that the leader of the original uprising of Goldman junior bankers was the son of a vice chairman at TPG, the private equity giant and longtime Goldman client.

    But as it turns out, twenty-something analysts aren't the only ones struggling with long hours and deteriorating mental health. One trader from UBS's London office says his job was so psychologically demanding that he's now suing UBS for the psychic damage to which he was subjected.

    Simon Rope, a 35-year-veteran at UBS, is seeking $273K over alleged "negligence" by the bank's management that led to him developing an anxiety disorder due to the extreme stress of the trading floor,

    According to Bloomberg, the case - which was filed in the UK - "offers a window into the stressful world of trading, and the mental toll it can have on workers under pressure to drive profits and not make costly mistakes."

    Lawyers for Rope, who has been on medical leave and hasn't been on a trading floor since 2018 (though Rope is still employed at the bank), claim their client was subjected to a "toxic environment" on the trading floor where "often bad tempered" traders would "shout across the trading floor and publicly shame" him. They added that this "generally pressured environment" represents "the unavoidable reality of the work of a City trader," UBS lawyers said.

    By 2016, symptoms of a stress and anxiety disorder had begun to develop, and by 2018 he and his three colleagues were trading around 3,500 different stocks. “An exceptionally large number of companies for such a small team to cover,” they said in documents filed at the High Court in February.

    The trouble with Rope's claim is that for years beforehand, Rope "not only coped but thrived in for decades, giving the bank a good basis for its belief that he was psychologically able to manage the demands" of his most recent role.

    Rope's lawyers wrote that by the beginning of 2018, Rope was experiencing "exhaustion, finding it increasingly difficult to sleep, was no longer able to socialize, and was focusing all his efforts on functioning solely for work."

    Most of the joy in Rope's life at this point came from criticizing a group of UBS managers known as "the Shooting Party" (the nickname is related to a practice of leaving the office early on Friday to go "shooting").

    Though we very much doubt the humor is intentional, UBS claimed in its defense papers that "disillusionment and discontent with management during times of structural change and rationalization is common on the workplace."

    UBS did say that shouting sometimes occurred on the trading floor and that the language of traders was “intemperate” from time to time. The bank denies the claims made by Rope's legal team, and claims he was not "drowning" in work.

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 20:20
  47. Site: Public Discourse
    12 hours 18 min ago
    Author: Aaron Walayat

    As many Westerners know, Confucius (c. 551–479 BC) is one of the most important figures in traditional Chinese culture. His legacy touches almost all aspects of Chinese civilization, whether religion, philosophy, or law.

    It’s common to think Confucius had little regard for law, since he was primarily a moral philosopher, advocating a philosophy of moral education to realize a moral project. He even expressed doubts about positive law’s ability to aid moral development, as shown in this passage from his Analects:

    If the people be led by laws, and uniformity [be] sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity [be] sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of shame, and moreover will become good.

    Comparative philosopher Joel Kupperman, commenting on this passage, went so far as to describe the use of law as the point of divergence between Confucius and Aristotle, who did recognize a place for public law in moral development.

    On the other hand, there is a long Western tradition of interpreting Confucius as a legal philosopher or lawgiver. The sculptor Adolph Weinman, for example, included Confucius in a frieze in the Supreme Court courtroom, standing alongside Moses, Solon, Draco, John Marshall, and, most controversially, Mohammed.

    Should we place Confucius with the great lawgivers? Is his understanding of law congruent with that of the Western natural law tradition, as figures like Sohrab Ahmari have asserted?

    The question of how Confucius understood law can be understood by exploring his concept of li, or ritual. Although we should not conflate li completely with the Western notion of law, these two concepts are, nevertheless, quite similar. There is some truth to the claim that Confucius’s theory was a legal one, and understanding that theory in light of the Western legal tradition can help expand our notion of what law is and does.

    Li and Law

    Confucius’s philosophy focused on morality, whether in family relations or in political society. Morality, he believed, had to be ingrained internally in the culture, for its own sake, and not merely mechanically followed for the sake of external social cohesion. Nevertheless, morality had to develop through the external world. Students, for example, needed to be habituated to morality through a system of moral education.

    But in order for society to succeed, everyone—not just the well-educated—needed to participate in public morality. Most people did so primarily by learning their own social role and the duties attached to that role by the practice of li, the Confucian rituals. As Karyn Lai says, these rituals “provid[e] the parameters of appropriate behavior that indicate and reinforce the respective positions of people engaged in interaction.”

    Although li is not exactly law, it has long been described similarly to law, going back to the Confucian philosopher Xunzi (c. 310–235 BC), who said:

    Li is human emotion expressed, harmonized, and beautified so as to become a pattern for all. It uses the features, the voice, food, garments, and dwellings, and gives each their appropriate means of expressing emotion. As a pattern, li aids those whose expression of sorrow would be too little, and those whose expression of sorrow would be too violent, alike to reach a golden mean. By means of li, the degenerate son is kept from becoming worse than a beast, and the over-sensitive man is prevented from injuring himself. Li is the beautifying of man’s original nature by means of acquired characteristics which could not be acquired by themselves.

    Compare this to Thomas Aquinas’s definition of law as “an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community, and promulgated.” For St. Thomas, law has an end—the common good—and it consists of ordinances of practical reason that move society toward that end. At times, li also uses practical reason for the sake of the common good.

    But also like law, li sometimes has little direct connection to any substantive moral ends. For instance, in the Western legal tradition one finds laws that solely coordinate collective action, like those concerning on which side of the street people drive, or the procedures for adjudicating disputes in court. Compare these laws to Confucianism’s teaching on the rituals necessary to properly venerate one’s ancestors, which do not aim at any outcome beyond the action itself.

    In addition, both law and li have a teaching function. The Western tradition acknowledges how law communicates something about the community by identifying the person’s place within it, including his roles and responsibilities. The same is true for li in Confucianism. In the case of ancestor veneration, the rituals teach that there is something valuable about venerating one’s ancestors—that one’s family is not limited to the living. They thereby also teach that the political community is not limited to the living, but also includes those who have passed away.

    Like Western law, another goal of li is to build a person’s character, and sometimes that means one must not follow li strictly. Consider this passage from the Mencius: A follower of the Confucian philosopher Mencius (c. 372–289 BC) asks his teacher, “Is it the rule that males and females shall not allow their hands to touch in giving or receiving anything?” Mencius says yes. The interlocutor replies, “If a man’s sister-in-law be drowning, shall he rescue her with his hand?” Mencius replies that “He who would not do so is a wolf. [That] males and females are not allowed to touch hands is a general rule, but when a sister-in-law is drowning, rescuing her with the hand is a peculiar exigency.” The interlocutor then asks, “The whole kingdom is drowning. How strange it is that you will not rescue it!” To this, Mencius replies: “A drowning kingdom must be rescued with right principles, as a drowning sister-in-law has to be rescued with the hand. Do you wish me to rescue the kingdom with my hand?”

    Here we can see some parallels with natural law thought, which similarly holds that positive human laws that are unjust—that conflict with the higher law of nature—are not true laws. In addition, the Western tradition has long held that a human law may need to be set aside in circumstances in which the law may conflict with the just purpose for which it was made. Such exceptions by no means condone licentiousness. As the Mencius suggests, those who set aside the ordinances of li must still act within the right “principles” for which li exists in the first place. This point of Confucius’s thought, along with others, is what has led Sohrab Ahmari and others to describe Confucius’s philosophy as a form of natural law or higher law thinking.

    Confucians do distinguish themselves from the Western tradition of law, inasmuch as they stress li’s relation to beauty much more strongly, as in the earlier quote from Xunzi. Karyn Lai calls this li’s “aesthetic” aspect, which “incorpor[ates] decorum in[to] a person’s interactions with others,” and thereby, we might say, attracts people to live by li because of its beauty.

    In order for society to succeed, everyone—not just the well-educated—needed to participate in public morality. Most people did so primarily by learning their own social role and the duties attached to that role by the practice of li, the Confucian rituals.

     

    The Lessons of Li for Today

    Thus, Confucian li has the effect of being an ordinance constructed by practical reason for pursuing the common good, but li also has the effect of communicating the community’s values within the aesthetics of its practice. In this way, if I may make the mistake of using Western categories, it blends elements of St. Thomas’s natural law thought with elements of the natural law thought expressed by the Protestant Reformers like Philip Melanchthon.

    The value of comparative philosophy, of examining the different strands of Western natural-law thought with similar concepts within Eastern thought, is that it highlights the way our notions of Western concepts, such as law, may be limited in scope or perhaps instructive to the other tradition. In this case, the Confucian notion of li is helpful when compared to Western notions of law.

    Both the wider Western legal tradition and Confucius’s notion of li help us see that one cannot simply coerce social change by commanding substantive ends in positive law.

     

    Many contemporary Westerners view law as did Roscoe Pound, who famously called it a tool of “social engineering”: something the community uses both to reflect itself and to change itself to achieve certain results. Both the wider Western legal tradition and Confucius’s notion of li help us see that one cannot simply coerce social change by commanding substantive ends in positive law. Rather, human law can facilitate social change by rewarding, punishing, or even simply valuing certain actions and thereby also communicating the inherent value of that action. Law does not so much dictate values as habituate them by encouraging their practice.

    More importantly, Western legal theory and Confucianism encourage us to ask, not how to use the law to create a better society, but what society’s current laws are already communicating and how they might need to change. Do they serve the higher standard by which human law should be judged, whether one calls it the law of nature or right principles? For the final goal of both law and li is less without than within: that we order ourselves according the higher order on which every human society and person depends.

  48. Site: Global Research
    12 hours 18 min ago
    Author: The Global Research Team

    Dear Readers,

    As some of you may recall, around this time last year, Global Research needed your help to “stay afloat”. Our financial situation was in bad shape and we were metaphorically sinking. Happily, many of you have since thrown …

    The post Global Research in Troubled Waters: We Need Your Support appeared first on Global Research.

  49. Site: Zero Hedge
    12 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Biden To Stick Haitian Immigrants In Gitmo, Seeks Contractor With 'Creole-Speaking Guards'

    The Biden administration is looking for a private contractor to operate a migrant detention facility at the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, according to NBC News, citing government records. One requirement - some of the guards must speak Spanish and Haitian Creole, and the contractor itself needs to be able to build temporary housing facilities.

    The razor wire-topped fence of Camp 6 detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, seen in 2014. Photograph: Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

    "The service provider shall be responsible to maintain on site the necessary equipment to erect temporary housing facilities for populations that exceed 120 and up to 400 migrants in a surge event," reads the contract solicitation.

    A little-known immigrant holding facility on the base has a capacity of 120 people, the records say, and it "will have an estimated daily population of 20 people," according to a solicitation for bids issued Friday by the Department of Homeland Security.

    The records provided no indication that the Biden administration is planning to transfer migrants from the southern border to Guantánamo Bay. In the recent past, migrants picked up at sea have been housed there for short periods. -NBC News

    What will Democrats say?

    In late 2019, then-anonymous Trump admin DHS official Miles Taylor claimed in a book that Trump proposed sending migrants to Guantánamo, leading to mass pearl-clutching on the left over the 'inhumane' president who was also both orange and bad.

    What will they say now?

    Gitmo's history of housing immigrants

    In the early 90s during the George H.W. Bush administration, as many as 12,000 Haitians seeking asylum in Florida were sent to the Guantanamo Bay holding facility overseen by then-Attorney General William Barr. At the time, immigrants' advocates said that the policy was driven in part by the fact that some Haitians were HIV-positive, according to the report.

    "It's highly concerning that the administration may be considering using Guantánamo to detain Haitian asylum-seekers or others, according to Wendy Young, president of the immigrant advocacy group Kids in Need of Defense, who added "It's a sense of déjà vu all over again."

    According to Young, Guantánamo "was used in the early 1990s and proved highly deficient in terms of providing the services that migrant families and children urgently need, including legal representation," and "Instead of defaulting to a law enforcement response grounded in deterrence, the administration should instead live up to our legal and ethical obligation to allow Haitians to apply for asylum. Conditions in Haiti underscore how essential that is."

    The new DHS contract solicitation says that the winning bidder would have to supply tents and cots and that "the contractor must be able to have these assembled and ready with little notice," adding, "In addition, the service provider must maintain a roster of at least 50 individuals who meet the minimum requirements of the unarmed custody officer job classification and have a viable contingency plan to deploy these individuals within 24 hours of notification."

    "At least 10% of the augmented personnel must be fluent in Spanish and Haitian Creole. Air transportation to/from the facility is the sole responsibility of the service provider," the contract ads.

    Will AOC condemn Biden's new kids in cages - island edition?

    Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 20:00
  50. Site: ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP
    12 hours 32 min ago
    Author: abyssum
    Imprimis

    The Disaster at Our Southern Border

    August 2021 • Volume 50, Number 8 • Mark Morgan

    Mark Morgan
    Former Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    Mark Morgan is a visiting fellow at the Federation for American Immigration Reform and at the Heritage Foundation. He served as acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Trump administration and as chief of U.S. Border Patrol in the Obama administration. A Marine veteran and a former officer in the LAPD, he served for over 20 years in the FBI, including as the assistant section chief of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime Branch; deputy on-scene commander in Baghdad, Iraq; special agent in charge of the El Paso Division; and assistant director in charge of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He has a B.S. in engineering from Central Missouri State University and a J.D. from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

    The following is adapted from a speech delivered on July 22, 2021, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.

    In just a few short months, the Biden administration has created a disaster on the southern border of the United States. It did so by methodically—and by all indications intentionally—undoing every meaningful border security measure that had been in place. As a result, we have had five straight months of over 170,000 illegal immigrants apprehended at the border. The number in June was the highest in over 20 years. And Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been effectively shut down.

    Our national discussion of border security is generally misleading, and it is designed to be misleading by those who favor open borders. They frame the issue as if the American people face a binary choice: either let all immigrants in because they are “looking for a better life” or close our borders completely and inhumanely. But this is a false choice. The unspoken alternative is to enforce the law, taking in immigrants who enter the U.S. legally while securing our borders against those who attempt to enter illegally—particularly those meaning to do us harm.

    Illegal immigration is, of course, nothing new. It has been a problem in our country for many decades. What is relatively new is the total lack of concern we see in the Biden administration, especially in terms of the national security aspect of border control.

    Unbelievable as it may seem to us today, it was only 15 years ago—with the 9/11 terrorist attacks still fresh in our minds—when Congress came together in a bipartisan effort to pass the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The Secure Fence Act directed the Department of Homeland Security to take appropriate actions to achieve “operational control” over U.S. land and maritime borders to “prevent unlawful entry.” It defined operational control as the prevention of all unlawful entries into the U.S., including terrorists, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband. And it specifically set the goal of “provid[ing] at least two layers of reinforced fencing, installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors.” It added thousands of Border Patrol personnel, mandated the acquisition of new technologies, and resulted in the construction of more than 650 miles of physical barrier along the southern border of the U.S. between 2006 and 2011. 

    To repeat, this legislation was passed in a bipartisan spirit, with 80 members of the U.S. Senate voting to approve it. This included Senator Barack Obama, who said in 2005: “We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently, and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.” It included Senator Chuck Schumer, who said in 2009: “Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple. . . . People who enter the United States without permission are illegal aliens and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who enter the U.S. legally.” And it included Senator Joe Biden, who said in 2006: “Let me tell you something, folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons—hear me, tons—of everything from byproducts from methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin, and it’s all coming up through corrupt Mexico.”

    Some attribute the breakdown of the bipartisan consensus on securing the border to the fact that Democrats came to look on illegal immigrants as much-needed Democrat voters. For whatever reason, a decade later these same Democratic leaders were lambasting President Trump’s border wall policy as “immoral and ineffective,” even “racist,” and fiercely opposing any and every serious proposal aimed at enforcing immigration law.

    ***

    When I say that the Biden administration methodically undid every meaningful border security policy that it inherited, what specifically do I mean? I’ve mentioned the border wall. And it is a demonstrable fact that border walls, placed in strategic locations, act as effective impediments and improve the ability of law enforcement to drive and dictate the behavior of criminal organizations rather than being driven and dictated to themselves. One of the most ridiculous criticisms I’ve heard is that the wall is “a fourteenth century solution for a twenty-first century problem.” The same could be said of the wheel, which also still works pretty well. 

    In any case, the first bullet point of President Biden’s budget for the Department of Homeland Security this year trumpets the fact that not a cent will go towards the construction of border walls. 

    Yet despite the amount of intense debate the border wall engendered, it was not the only or even the most important border security measure instituted under the Trump administration. Let me outline two other key game changers.

    Prior to Trump’s presidency, a combination of three things had the effect of forcing the Department of Homeland Security to institute a “catch and release” policy for illegal immigrants: the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which mandated that the U.S. detain all unaccompanied minors from non-contiguous countries (countries other than Mexico and Canada); Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an executive policy adopted in 2012 to allow some of the migrants brought into the country illegally as children to receive a renewable deferred action from deportation; and the Flores Settlement Agreement, a 1997 court decree that was reinterpreted in 2015 to prevent the U.S. from detaining migrant families and unaccompanied minors for more than 20 days. In addition to catch and release, these things combined to bring about a demographic shift in illegal immigration that was immediately exploited by smuggling organizations—a shift from the influx of predominantly single adult males from Mexico to an explosive influx of families and unaccompanied minors from far and wide, and particularly from Central America. By 2016, the message had been sent and received that America’s southern border was wide open.

    In response to this, the Trump administration negotiated the Migrant Protection Protocol, a bilateral agreement with Mexico more commonly known as the Remain in Mexico Program. Under this agreement, people illegally entering or being smuggled into the U.S. with a minor would no longer be able to stay simply by asking for asylum. It was chiefly this Remain in Mexico Program that ended catch and release, removing the greatest incentive for people to try to enter the U.S. illegally. 

    Prior to the full implementation of the Remain in Mexico Program—at the height of the 2019 border crisis when Department of Homeland Security facilities were overwhelmed—the Flores Settlement Agreement had forced Border Patrol to release illegal alien families, often just hours after they were apprehended. In May of that year, Customs and Border Protection were apprehending over 5,000 illegals per day. After full implementation of Remain in Mexico, illegals who applied for asylum were returned to Mexico to await their hearings. This resulted in a dramatic reduction in the flow of illegal immigrants, especially of families and unaccompanied minors. By February 2020, we had seen a 75 percent reduction in families attempting to enter illegally. Many chose to return home—either on their own or with the assistance of the Mexican government—since catch and release was no longer in effect. It was a big victory for the rule of law.

    The current out-of-control surge at the border stems chiefly from the fact that the Biden administration acted quickly to halt the Remain in Mexico Program and return to catch and release. In response to a lawsuit brought by the Texas Attorney General, a federal judge has recently ruled that Remain in Mexico must be reinstated, and the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to overturn that ruling. How this will play out remains to be seen.

    Another game-changing development under the Trump administration was a series of Asylum Cooperative Agreements made between the U.S. and the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. These Asylum Cooperative Agreements codified accepted international practices governing asylum seekers, which encourage migrants to seek relief from the first safe country able to assist them. Migrants from these countries seeking asylum in the U.S. were traversing thousands of miles, across multiple countries, and our policies were encouraging that. The Agreements not only encouraged migrants to obtain immediate assistance closer to home, they also served as a deterrent to those with fraudulent claims. 

    Less than three weeks after President Biden took office, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that “in line with the President’s vision” the U.S. had suspended, and was in the process of terminating, the Asylum Cooperative Agreements with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. In the same announcement, Blinken said that the new U.S. approach to the problem of migration from these countries would be to address the “root causes” of that migration—especially economic underdevelopment and poverty, although, oddly enough, climate change has been mentioned as a root cause as well. 

    We are hearing more and more subsequently about root causes—especially from Vice President Harris, who President Biden charged with developing a “Root Causes Strategy.” But what we are hearing is bunk. The fact is that when the U.S. opens its borders—which is what it amounts to when we return to a catch and release policy—illegal immigrants flock to the U.S. That’s the root cause of the crisis on our southern border. Compare the numbers in April of last year to those of this April: there was a 900 percent increase in illegal immigration. The economic conditions in Central America didn’t markedly change during that period. The climate didn’t markedly change. Our policies changed! That’s the root cause.

    There is a second important point to make in this regard. The basic legal premise of asylum is that the migrant must have a valid claim to be the victim of persecution in his or her home country due to race, religion, nationality, political affiliation, or membership in a protected class. Under current law, a desire to improve one’s economic status is not a valid asylum claim. If it were, the overwhelming majority of people in the world would have a valid claim to seek asylum here. Open borders advocates, including those in the Biden administration who harp on root causes, cultivate the myth that a desire for economic betterment is a valid reason by itself to seek asylum. That would require a radical change in U.S. law that I don’t think the American people would accept.

    ***

    The incoming Biden team received exhaustive briefings on the situation at the border and was warned about the consequences of undoing the security policies they inherited. They were told clearly that Border Patrol stations didn’t have adequate capacity to handle the surge of illegal immigrants that would follow a reversal of policy; they were told clearly that the Department of Health and Human Services did not have the detention capacity to handle it. They were told that smuggling organizations and other criminal groups would exploit a return to catch and release. 

    Despite this, they rushed to dismantle the entire system. And with the results becoming evident to the public, they resorted to deception. I’ve served in federal law enforcement in various capacities for more than 35 years, under six different administrations. And while I’ve become numb to the spin and misdirection that is commonplace in Washington, I have never seen as blatant a disinformation campaign as this one. 

    Initially, this campaign involved outright denial: “Our message has been straightforward—the border is closed,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on March 21, in the midst of a surge across the border of families and unaccompanied minors. There was also deflection: Mayorkas blamed the surge on the Trump administration, which he claimed had “torn down” the “entire [immigration] system” that had been in place. This took a lot of gall, given that the surge was so obviously a direct response to the termination of Trump’s Remain in Mexico Program and Asylum Cooperative Agreements and the revival of catch and release.

    We were also treated to a fictitious narrative according to which the surge was the reflection of seasonal trends. A “significant increase” in migration “happens every year” in the winter months, President Biden claimed at his first presidential press conference, since that is when migrants “can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way.” The problem is that this year’s winter numbers dwarfed those of 2020—not to mention the fact that the surge has continued unabated into the spring and summer. The June apprehension number exceeded 180,000, and in July it exceeded 210,000. Year-to-date apprehensions are over one million, including more than 100,000 unaccompanied minors—a 444 percent year-to-year increase.

    At the point when the administration could no longer deny the dangerously overcrowded conditions at Border Patrol facilities, some operating at more than 400 percent capacity, it adopted a shell game strategy, first moving migrants into newly-constructed facilities and then surreptitiously flying families and unaccompanied minors to cities throughout the U.S. The point of this ongoing shell game is not to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into our country, but to improve the political “optics” of the crisis.

    ***

    Make no mistake, criminal organizations—which are adept at exploiting weak and ambiguous U.S. immigration policies—are paying close attention to what’s happening and will adapt their tactics and procedures accordingly. The commonsense reality is that by incentivizing and facilitating illegal immigration, the Biden administration is making it easier for drugs to pour into the U.S., for human trafficking to expand, and for criminal aliens to infiltrate our society. Simply consider that between 40 and 50 percent of Border Patrol and other Customs and Border Protection enforcement resources have been pulled off the front lines to provide humanitarian aid, leaving large areas of the border unmonitored and unsecured. 

    It is estimated that the number of “got aways”—not the illegal immigrants being relocated around the country, but those who have successfully entered undetected—already surpasses 260,000, more than the population of the city of Arlington, Virginia. And we can safely assume that not all of them are good upstanding people.

    In the past decade, the Border Patrol has apprehended tens of thousands of criminal aliens and gang members. It is estimated that just this year, the Border Patrol has apprehended 8,000 criminal aliens—including 46 murderers, 393 sex offenders, and 880 assailants. Over the July 4 weekend, it apprehended several members of MS-13, the most violent transnational gang operating in the U.S. It also recently apprehended two Yemeni nationals who were listed on the U.S. Terrorist Screening Database. In 2020, ICE made more than 100,000 arrests, with 90 percent of those arrested having a criminal conviction or pending criminal charges. 

    In addition to utilizing illegal immigration as a distraction technique, smuggling organizations often force migrants to carry drugs across the border as a means of payment. And they use their profits from human smuggling activities to finance increasingly more sophisticated drug smuggling techniques that involve tunnels, drones, ultra-light aircraft, and maritime operations. So far this year, Customs and Border Protection assets have participated in the seizure of more than 600,000 pounds of drugs. Fentanyl seizures have skyrocketed in 2021, with more than 6,000 pounds being seized by Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection—a 300 percent increase over this time last year.

    Let me end by saying something about what is bureaucratically called the 287(g) program—it is called that because it was established in Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1996. This is the program that makes it possible for local law enforcement to work with ICE in removing illegal criminal aliens. A majority of Americans oppose the idea of so-called sanctuary cities, which are disastrous in terms of public safety. What they might not realize is that every city is now threatened with becoming a sanctuary city. Why? Because the Biden administration has effectively shut down ICE. So today, for instance, a sheriff’s department can arrest a known gang member who is in the U.S. illegally for a non-violent felony such as burglary or drunk driving. But if that sheriff calls ICE, he will be told that is not a priority and that he should release the criminal gang member back into the community.

    Thomas Feeley—until recently the director of ICE in New York State—resigned from ICE out of frustration that the Biden administration is, in his words, “doing everything [it] can to cripple [enforcement and removal operations].” In an interview following his resignation, Feeley related an incident where he was told to release an illegal immigrant who was a convicted arsonist. The rationale for releasing the illegal was that he hadn’t been arrested in the past ten years. He hadn’t been arrested, Feeley pointed out, because he had been in prison during that period. But that didn’t matter. He was released into the community anyway.

    ***

    In conclusion, it is simply common sense to view border security as national security. If you make this point today, you risk being called a racist or worse. But it needs to be said over and over until we fight our way back to the point where we have a bipartisan consensus that immigration laws should be enforced. This is not going to be easy. Even as the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, I had my official government Twitter account blocked prior to the 2020 election for posting a photograph of the border wall and explaining that it is an integral part of effective border security. The powers-that-be eventually reversed this decision, but it is an indication of what the American people—who overwhelmingly support border security—are up against.

    What we need is widespread active public involvement. Illegal immigration, border security, the erosion of the rule of law, and the loss of our nation’s sovereignty are interconnected, and should be debated as important issues in local and state politics as well as national. When I was the chief of U.S. Border Patrol in the Obama administration, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told us that 1,000 illegal immigrants a day is a bad day. Today that number is approaching 7,000, and nothing is being done about it. This can’t be allowed to continue. A country that cannot control its borders is not a country, and I’m sad to say that we are facing that eventuality. 

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