NYC Judge Prevents Father From Visiting His Daughter Unless He Gets Vaccinated

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,A judge in New York City has blocked a father’s right to see his three-year-old daughter unless he agrees to take the COVID-19 vaccine.Yes, really.In early September, Evan Schein, an attorney acting on behalf of the mother in the couple’s divorce case (the family has not been named), raised concerns about the father’s vaccination status, leading high profile judge Judge Matthew Cooper to suspend his visitation rights until he received the jab.According to Cooper, the father needs to submit to the shot because it has become a prerequisite “to participate meaningfully in everyday society.”“The dangers of voluntarily remaining unvaccinated during access with a child while the COVID-19 virus remains a threat to children’s health and safety cannot be understated,” said the judge.“Unfortunately, and to my mind, incomprehensibly, a sizable minority, seizing upon misinformation, conspiracy theories, and muddled notions of ‘individual liberty,’ have refused all entreaties to be vaccinated,” he added.The father’s only other option is to pay for expensive PCR tests every week in addition to taking a biweekly antigen test within 24 hours of his every other weekend visits.The ruling was praised by the mother’s attorney, who called it “an incredibly important one that highlights the extraordinary times we are living in and reinforces that a child’s best interests are paramount.”New York City judge STOPS Long Island father from visiting his three-year-old daughter in Manhattan unless he gets the shot or has weekly COVID-19 testsvia https://t.co/Ggez6clg1M https://t.co/vjFbA2NZ9e
— Samantha DelVecchio (@SamanthaDelVec1) October 15, 2021However, Lloyd Rosen, the father’s attorney, warned that the ruling sets a terrible precedent.“My client is not a conspiracy theorist,” Rosen said.“He has concerns about the vaccine. He’s heard about side effects. He once had a bad reaction to a flu vaccine.”“This judge must feel that 80 million Americans who aren’t vaccinated are placing their children at imminent risk or harm and, therefore, the courts should intervene and remove those children from their parents,” he added.“This is an absurd position to take.”The father has previously been infected with COVID-19, meaning he has antibodies that offer him far greater protection than the vaccine, but that isn’t even being taken into account.As we previously highlighted, patients who are in urgent need of life-saving organ transplants are now being denied treatment due to their refusal to take the vaccine.As we warned all along, the agenda behind mandatory vaccination schemes is to make life a living hell for refusniks who don’t comply, while maintaining all along that the vaccine isn’t “mandatory.”We are now hurtling full throttle towards a Chinese-style social credit score system where basic functions of living are denied to those who choose to exercise their bodily autonomy.*  *  *Brand new merch now available! Get it at https://www.pjwshop.com/In the age of mass Silicon Valley censorship It is crucial that we stay in touch. I need you to sign up for my free newsletter here. Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown. Get early access, exclusive content and behinds the scenes stuff by following me on Locals.

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Working-Poor Still Use Food Banks As Millions Had Their Savings Wiped Out During COVID  

Eighteen months since the virus pandemic began, hunger and food insecurity continue to plague millions of households across the country. Some of these folks have had their life savings drained with no financial safety net for the next crisis. Compound food insecurity and deterioration of financial conditions of households, and it appears the working-poor have barely recovered from the pandemic downturn. What’s likely to happen is the Biden administration will continue handing out free money to these folks to prevent social upheaval. An example of this was when Biden increased SNAP allowances by a quarter a few months ago. First, let’s talk about food banks and their current state. Katie Fitzgerald, COO of Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that oversees a nationwide network of 200 food banks feeding more than 46 million people, told AP News that despite the decreasing numbers of households reliant on food banks. Today’s numbers remain 55% above pre-pandemic levels “We’re worried (food insecurity) could increase all over again if too many shoes drop,” she said.The next is a new NPR poll that finds almost 20% of U.S. households had their savings wiped out during the pandemic. The share of respondents who made $50k or less was about 30%. Avenel Joseph, a vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said many used their savings to cover basic expenses and survive as tens of millions were laid off during the pandemic. “When crisis hits, or anything goes out of the norm—your child is sick, for example—you are sacrificing wages,” she said. About 66% of households earning $50k or less had difficulty pay rent, feeding their family, and covering medical bills. Countless times we have described the disparity between the people who hold assets and those who don’t. The gap in wealth inequality surged even wider, already at emergency levels before the pandemic, after the Federal Reserve pumped trillions of dollars in liquidity into financial markets to boost asset prices higher, such as stocks, bonds, homes, art, classic cars, wine, and crypto. Those who owned nothing were the worst off. The age-old question for the Biden administration: How will they elevate those stuck in poverty? Keep handing out free money and disincentivizing people not to work?

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Win For Virginia Parents After Loudon County School Board Member Announces Resignation

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),Embattled Loudoun County, Virginia, School Board member Beth Barts, who was the subject of a recall petition, announced Friday that she will resign from her position in November.“This was not an easy decision or a decision made in haste. After much thought and careful consideration, it is the right decision for me and my family,” Barts said in a statement on Facebook.“Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from the Loudoun County School Board effective November 2, 2021.”Children hold up signs during a rally against critical race theory being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Va., on June 12, 2021. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)The Epoch Times has contacted the Loudoun County School Board for comment. The Loudon County Public School system also confirmed her resignation on Friday, saying it will start the process of filling the Leesburg District seat.“I want to thank Board Member Barts for her service to the Leesburg District,” School Board Chair Brenda L. Sheridan said in a statement.“The School Board will announce its process for filling the Leesburg seat at its October 26 meeting and anticipates filling this position at its December 14 meeting.”Last week, a Virginia judge denied Barts’ motion to dismiss a Loudon County parents’ organization’s petition to recall her before also removing Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj from the case. The decision represented a victory for opponents of critical race theory, a quasi-Marxist ideology that is the center of a culture war that’s going on across the United States.The group Fight For Schools and other organizations alleged that Barts was involved in a private Facebook group that violated the School Board’s Code of Conduct and local laws after the page’s members allegedly tried to attempt to reveal private information about—or doxx—parents as well as opponents of critical race theory and similar ideologies.Asra Nomani, vice president of strategy and investigation for Parents Defending Education and a key opponent against critical race theory being taught in schools, hailed the announcement that Barts will be resigning.“The first domino falls,” Nomani wrote to her 66,000 Twitter followers. “This will not save her from investigations into her corruption,” she added.School Board Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser said in March that Barts repeatedly violated the school board’s code of conduct. Responding to allegations that she was part of a Facebook group that tried to doxx parents, Barts said earlier this year that “it’s not my job to be liked. It’s my job to ask hard questions, work to provide the best education for our kids, make sure our teachers are paid what they really deserve, and represent the people of Leesburg.”Barts’ resignation comes just days after the Department of Justice announced it was tasking FBI agents and U.S. attorneys to discuss strategies to address alleged threats against school administrators, teachers, and board members. The move has drawn significant condemnation from Republican lawmakers and officials, who alleged the agency is now treating concerned parents as political enemies.Barts’ resignation announcement also came after the father of a 15-year-old girl who attends a Loudon County high school told news outlets that his daughter was sexually assaulted by an unnamed boy in the bathroom. Scott Smith, the father, suggested that the boy allegedly exploited left-wing school bathroom policies around gender.Smith announced plans to sue the school district this week.

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International Space Station Briefly Destabilized After Accidental Russian Rocket Firing 

A Russian spacecraft docked at the International Space Station (ISS) accidentally rotated the station 57 degrees during engine testing, causing the crew of NASA astronauts and Russian cosmonauts to initiate emergency protocols. According to The Moscow Times, Russian cosmonauts were test-firing engines of the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft on Friday ahead of Sunday’s journey back to Earth. “As a result, the International Space Station temporarily changed its position,” Roscosmos said in a statement. NASA spokesperson Leah Cheshier told NYT that the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft’s engine testing was scheduled to end, but “the thruster firing unexpectedly continued.” Shortly after, the ISS lost control of its orbital positioning as it was turned 57 degrees. This prompted NASA’s mission control in Houston to prepare the crew for emergency procedures. After the ISS deorbited around 0513 Friday, the station’s crew regained control 30 minutes later. “The station’s orientation was swiftly recovered due to the actions of the ISS Russian Segment Chief Operating Control Group specialists. The station and the crew are in no danger,” Roscosmos continued. This is the second emergency on the station in the last several months. In July, Russia’s Nauka module unexpectedly and mysteriously started firing its thrusters, moving the entire station out of orbit. Thruster firings of multiple spacecraft deorbiting the station may have already place unwanted structural stress on the aging station. Several issues have developed this year, including smoke alarms that were triggered after the smell of burnt plastic came from the Russian segment of the space station and numerous cracks have been found, which prompted Moscow to depart from the ISS by 2025, citing the aging station is too dangerous for their cosmonauts.  

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We're Living In A Chaos Economy… Here's How To End It

Authored by Mark Thornton via The Mises Institute,The Federal Reserve has been increasing the money supply at an explosive rate. The federal budget, deficits, and the trade deficit are record levels. Governments, both foreign and domestic, have locked down people, restricting production and consumption. How should this be viewed by an economist?There is clearly chaos in the economy, and hardly a day goes by when I don’t find unusual if not unprecedented situations in day-to-day economic life.However, many people and economists are either oblivious to the problems or in denial. Things are normal for them. Politicians are mostly in this camp. For economists and investment promotors, inflation is “transitory.” They don’t know how the economy works and they expect near perfection from the economy and entrepreneurs. This view is wrong.The chaos is all too real for most others. Homemakers who spend household income are seeing their purchasing power shrink, their choices disappearing, and more of their time consumed stretching the family budgets. Christmas shopping will be worse than normal.Chaos deniers are further entrenched in their experience by the mainstream media (MSM). The problems are either not reported by the MSM or are masked by aggregate statistics like price inflation, i.e., the Consumer Price Index, low unemployment, wage increases, and extremely high stock markets and real estate, especially housing prices. These stats make people feel good, or at least less nervous.Below the government economists’ radar there is real economic suffering. Small businesses are hurting and going out of business. Based on Help Wanted signs I drive by every day, it is extremely difficult to hire employees or purchase inputs. One local BBQ restaurant recently had a sign that said, “Out of Chicken, Pork and Beef.”Big business is likewise finding roadblocks throughout their supply chains, primarily because of lockdowns and covid restrictions. This government roadblock to economic life is epitomized by the five hundred thousand shipping containers stuck off the port of Long Beach, California. Meanwhile, domestic inventories are dwindling for everything from houses to mayonnaise. Austrian economics provides an understanding of the causes of this chaos and the way to solve it.The Fed’s actions have been a tidal wave force against the economy. Printing money has given some signs of prosperity, but its main known effect tangible effects are higher prices, malinvestment, and more wealth redistributed from the middle class to the very wealthy.The solution is straightforward. The central bank needs to stop its policy of propping up the markets for government bonds and home mortgages and the perverse effects it is creating on the general loan market in the form of ultralow interest rates. Promises of the Fed “tapering,” where they do fewer asset purchases, is really too little too late. Completely ending assets purchases by the Fed would stop their mischief, limit the damage, and would make stocks, bonds, and homes more affordable for Americans.Lockdowns and restrictions are a great harm to the US and world economies. Why are so many cargo ships sitting waiting for unloading? Why are others going unfilled in the first place? Why aren’t truckers driving product to market? Why isn’t product being placed on shelves? There are millions of details here, but in many cases, workers are not available or are unwilling to comply with covid restrictions and requirements. Production is stuck in a quagmire of government intervention.A big piece of the problem are the restrictions and subsidies in the US labor markets. Special unemployment benefits and stimulus checks from the government mean that not working pays more than working, plus more leisure time for those that accept being on the public dole. In one recent week I engaged with three small businesses. They could not have continued to operate if they had not been able to hire a few new workers who were unwilling to be on the dole or, more likely, had not realized how easy it is to collect unemployment. Locally, McDonalds is offering 50 percent higher than minimum wage for fourteen-year-old kids, and they are still having trouble attracting workers!The bottlenecks, empty shelves, business closures, reduced hours, and “worker wanted” signs are not the direct result of price controls nor are they the fault of the market economy. Rather prices in some areas of the economy need to rise so high and so fast to harmonize supply and demand that entrepreneurs can hardly keep pace in this environment dominated by government interventions and heightened uncertainty. I truly sympathize with entrepreneurs who are trying to save jobs, keep food on our tables, plus pay a huge chunk of taxes.Locally, an ice cream stand that has been successfully in business for almost seven decades had to shut down. It wasn’t the complexity of the business, the lack of product or even the higher prices it charged. They could not find and maintain a workforce through the maze of restrictions of unemployment subsidies.The current owner of this beloved multigeneration family-owned business explained, “We don’t really know what’s going to happen. It just depends on COVID and when people want to start working.” It is unclear what aspect(s) of covid is their primary concern, but the main complaint is that “[n]obody wants to work anymore.” The federal government, in a variety of ways, is what killed this business.It is evident and increasingly clear that unemployment insurance bonuses and government stimulus checks must be stopped for the economy to recover.It’s not just retail products that are not readily available even at higher prices. People who repair and replace things that wear out or break in normal circumstances are also much scarcer. Repair-and-replace service dealers are having a hard time finding parts, replacement models, and workers to make parts and products and to service and replace them in a timely manner. I have had several such companies not answer their phone and not be able to offer appointments or show up on time because of a lack of parts and employees. All of these companies were reliable and showed up on time for repair appointments before the government-caused chaos.Buying a new car or large flat-screen smart TV is a joyous occasion in a family’s material life. We know that we will get years of enjoyment for a good price. How does this compare to going without a refrigerator, hot-water heater, or air conditioner because the product was not available?It should be clear that the cause of our new economic problems is massive across-the-board government intervention here and abroad. Among the negative consequences are these harms and dislocations we face. The solution is to remove those government interventions.Not only have they caused a great deal of interference in economic transactions, but they have destroyed businesses and people’s lives. Many have also even died as a result, from the despair and chaos, not the disease. Meanwhile, social media and internet giants, and pharmaceutical companies, among others, have received an enormous unearned windfall.This is an economic crisis, and it is one of the government’s making. Economic statistics and stock markets (led by a small number of superwinners from the lockdowns) have masked the calamity. The sure remedy is to end the interventions, especially the Fed’s inflationary policy and the restrictions and subsidies on production and consumption. This would help restore the market economy to a functioning state.

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UN Climate Change Conference Reportedly Using Diesel Generators To Charge Teslas Being Used As Shuttles

We’re not sure we can think of a better analogue for the lunacy behind the climate change hysteria that what is reportedly going on in Glasgow. As many people know, the Conference of the Parties (COP) Climate Change Conference, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, is taking place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12. One blogger from Brighton wrote this week that attendees from the conference will be staying at Gleneagles Hotel.He wrote that there’s 20 Teslas at the hotel to shuttle people back and forth to and from the convention, which is about 75km. Then, the kicker. Since the hotel only has one Tesla charging station, diesel generators were contracted to help recharge the Teslas overnight. COP coming to Glasgow. Leaders staying at Gleneagles Hotel & 20Tesla cars (£100K each) bought to ferry them 75km back & forth. Gleneagles has 1 Tesla charging station, so Malcolm Plant Hire contracted to supply Diesel Generators to recharge Tesla’s overnight. Couldn’t make it up.
— Donald Clark (no flags, no hashtags) (@DonaldClark) October 13, 2021The stated purpose of the conference is, among other things, “to review the implementation of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.”The climate change conferences now count themselves, according to the UNFCCC’s website, as “among the largest international meetings in the world.””The intergovernmental negotiations have likewise become increasingly complex and involve an ever-increasing number of officials from governments all over the world, at all levels, as well as huge numbers of representatives from civil society and the global news media,” the conference’s website says.Maybe since we’re gathered to talk about the negative effect on the climate, we could at least start by finding a carbon neutral way to shuttle yourself back and forth to the event.It’s almost like these meetings aren’t really about climate change after all…

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Psaki Hit With Ethics Complaint Over Hatch Act Violation

Authored by Jonathan Turley,During the Trump Administration, we discussed a series of Hatch Act violations by officials and the response of the White House Chief of Staff that “nobody really cares.” It is certainly true that the Hatch Act represents little more than a speed bump in governmental ethics as was evident this week when White House press secretary Jen Psaki was hit by a complaint from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). To the credit of CREW, the group is showing the same vigor in defending ethics in this Administration.However, these cases highlight the toothless quality of the Act.Psaki responded to a question about the Virginia gubernatorial race by acknowledging she had “to be a little careful about how much political analysis I do” from the podium. However, she then tossed caution to the winds and declared:“Look, I think the president, of course, wants former Governor McAuliffe to be the future governor of Virginia. There is alignment on a lot of their agenda, whether it is the need to invest in rebuilding our roads, rails, and bridges, or making it easier for women to rejoin the workforce.”The key prohibition is that executive branch employees from “us[ing their] official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” CREW further notes in the complaint:“Activities covered by this prohibition include a federal employee’s use of their official authority or position while participating in political activity. “Political activity” is defined as “an activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.” The Hatch Act further prohibits most federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty, but it does not prohibit certain employees appointed by the President from doing so. However, if these officials do engage in political activity, they must do so in their personal capacities and the costs associated with their political activity must not be paid with money derived from the United States Treasury.”For her part, Psaki seemed to shrug off the complaint and said that she should probably “choose my words more carefully.”The Hatch Act remains a largely aspirational law given the lack of real enforcement elements.These complaints serve a purpose in flagging inappropriate commentary. The line between politics and government can be easily blurred in the White House where officials are asked for the political position of the President on a host of different issues, including close races like the one in Virginia.  That does not take away from the important work that CREW does but the law often seems more honored in the breach.

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Greece & US Sign Defense Pact Allowing US Troop Presence “Just Miles From Turkey”

Late this week the US and Greece signed a defense pact aimed squarely at repelling Turkish expansion in the Mediterranean, after a year of soaring tensions over Turkey’s oil and gas exploration inside Greek and Cypriot waters.The deal was signed in Washington by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, and crucially authorizes expanded use of Greek bases by American forces. It gives the legal greenlight for US troops to be invited in by Greek military forces at any time, particularly if the small US Mediterranean ally should find itself under threat.Recent joint US-Greece special operations drills, via Greek City TimesThe US military can now train and operate “in an expanded capacity” across a handful of additional bases – a significant expansion of a prior pact – according to FM Dendias’ description of the deal.One of the Greek bases in question is a mere few miles from Turkey; however, perhaps not wishing to poke and provoke the number two largest military in NATO, the Greek FM sought to assure the following:”This is not an agreement…against anybody else,” Dendias said in an interview with The Associated Press after the signing ceremony, although he noted the new agreement put a U.S. military presence just miles (kilometers) from Turkey. ”It’s an agreement between Greece and the United States of America, and the purpose of the agreement is the stability and prosperity of both our countries.”The caveat comes after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg accused Athens of “competing with” and “duplicating” NATO – given its deepening military cooperation with France. Dendias had in turn defended military pacts and drills with France as  “an agreement that is complementary to NATO” and further stressed “It does not diminish the role of NATO.”Meanwhile Turkey has for years accused Greece of recklessly “militarizing” Aegean islands close to Turkish mainland…Greece militarizing Aegean islands close to Turkey’s mainland poses national security threathttps://t.co/J0F2r0McQb
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) October 2, 2020But Greece and Cypress have long charged both NATO and the EU with being lukewarm in their response to expanding Turkish territorial claims in the eastern Mediterranean. For example, Turkey is using its decades-long occupation of Northern Cyprus to claim rights to the entirety of waters circling the island. In some instances, Greek and Turkish vessels have rammed each other, or nearly entered into live fire incidents. However, the prospect of a ‘hot war’ may diminish given the increased US and French military presence on Greek island bases. Despite the worsening US-Turkey relationship, Ankara would likely think twice before allowing things to escalate into major military confrontation. 

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Assistant To US House Sergeant-At-Arms Charged With 10 Child Pornography Felonies

Authored by Mimi Nguyen Ly via The Epoch Times,An assistant to the U.S. House of Representatives Sergeant at Arms was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, announced Thursday that Stefan Bieret, of Burke, faces 10 felony charges related to the possession of child porn. The 41-year-old was arrested on Wednesday.According to a release from Fairfax County Police, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was alerted to a “potentially illicit image being uploaded to a Dropbox account,” after which it notified the Northern Virginia-Washington, D.C., Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.Dropbox is an online file-hosting service. The owner of the Dropbox account was determined to be living in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Police Department said that its detectives started investigating in August and found more images of child sexual abuse material on the Dropbox account. Further search warrants helped the detectives identify Bieret.Bieret was arrested at his home after detectives executed a search warrant there on Wednesday and “recovered multiple electronics,” according to the release. Following the arrest and charges, Bieret was taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and is being held without bond.“Detectives will continue to examine the digital evidence that was recovered from the scene and consult with the Office of the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney for any additional charges,” the Fairfax County police announced.It is unclear whether Bieret has an attorney.Legistorm, a platform that identifies congressional staff, showed that as of April, Bieret was employed by the House Sergeant at Arms, who is responsible for maintaining order on the House side of the U.S. Capitol complex. Bieret’s current employment status is unclear.“Capitol insiders will know Stefan very well,” journalist and political analyst Jake Sherman wrote on Twitter.“A longtime employee of the House Sergeant at Arms. If you’re in the Capitol on a regular basis, you will have seen this face.”Police are urging anyone with information on cases related to the exploitation of children to contact the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 6. They can also submit anonymous tips through Fairfax County Crime Solvers online or at 1-866-411-8477.

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After Rapid-Fire “Blame Putin” Headlines, European Commission Quietly Affirms Russia Is Not Manipulating Gas Market

Putin earlier this week batted down as “utter nonsense” widespread accusations among Western media pundits that Europe’s energy crisis is due to the Kremlin using gas as a ‘geopolitical weapon’.  It now appears the European Commission is quietly agreeing with him. This as Nord Stream 2, which Washington has long battled to stop, is awaiting final approval from German regulators begore going online.As the Economist summarized of the ongoing accusations: “Russia is responding to a view gaining currency in European capitals that Gazprom, the state-controlled energy goliath that is the continent’s biggest supplier, has been stoking the continent’s energy crisis by withholding exports of natural gas. European parliamentarians are demanding that Gazprom be investigated for not shipping more gas, allegedly as a ploy to secure final regulatory approval for the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline designed to ship Russian gas to Germany.”Image via New York TimesA somewhat exasperated Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov last week noted Gazprom has fulfilled its current obligations to the maximum extent possible under existing contracts: “Nothing can be delivered beyond the contracts. How? For free? It is a matter of negotiating with Gazprom,” he said.Of course, the somewhat sensational headline-grabbing accusations are what dominated press reports for much of the week, with new Friday comments from the European Commission getting buried. Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans indicated there’s no reason to believe Russia is manipulating the market. Timmermans bluntly said the following in an interview with Bulgarian broadcaster bTV:”Russia is fulfilling its gas supply contracts.” He added that “we have no reason to believe it is putting pressure on the market or manipulating it.”The top level Europe Commission official pointed to global nature of the problem of rising gas and energy prices, saying “the demand for gas at the global level is huge, including there.”Frans Timmermans. Source: Council of the European UnionThe illuminating remarks from EU authorities themselves, once again demonstrating the ease of the “blame Russia first” narrative (and worry about hunting down evidence later), come two days after Putin spoke before Russia’s annual Energy Week.”Higher gas prices in Europe are a consequence of a deficit of energy and not vice versa and that’s why we should not deal in blame shifting, this is what our partners are trying to do,” Putin said during the panel conversation.The statement, from Frans Timmermans, the Commission’s deputy head, contradicts weeks of hysterical US/UK media coverage which alleged Russia was withholding gas in order to “weaponise” energy supplies.For example… pic.twitter.com/nMPQE228v9
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) October 15, 2021He invoked Europe’s green agenda as playing a big part in its energy costs soaring just ahead of winter: “You see the problem does not consist in us, it consists in the European side, because, first, we know that the wind farms did not work during summer because of the weather, everyone knows that.”Putin said something similar to the latest assessment from Frans Timmermans. The Russian president added: “Moreover, the Europeans did not pump enough gas into their underground gas facilities… and the supplies to Europe have decreased from other regions of the world.”

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Distraction As Policy While Our Economic Rome Burns

Authored by Matthew Piepenberg via GoldSwitzerland.com,Desperation and distraction are masquerading as economic policy. Below we see how and why…and at what cost…COVID: The Great Economic and Political Hall-PassIf every time I stole a cookie from the jar in front of my mom (age 8), or drove dad’s car (sometimes into a tree) without permission (age 16), failed a dorm-room inspection (age 17), broke a lawnmower for driving over a fence post (each year) or forgot a key anniversary (eh-hmm), it would have been so convenient to have a universal “hall pass” to excuse what is/was otherwise just plain stupid behavior.Luckily for the grown children running our global financial system into the ground, the COVID pandemic is becoming precisely that: “A global hall pass for excusing decades of stupid.”As we’ve written many times, inexcusably high debt levels, tanking growth data, struggling work force figures, embarrassing wealth disparity and insider market rigging between Wall Street and DC was well in play long before COVID made the headlines.But now, the architects of such “pre-COVID stupid” have the current COVID narrative to justify and excuse even, well… more stupid.The Latest Jobs Report “Explained” …Take, for example, the latest job reports data from those DC-based creative writers at that comic-book publication otherwise known as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).Known for years on Wall Street as mathematical magicians capable of turning 12% inflation into a 2% CPI lie, that same BLS is operating yet again to fib away the latest (and otherwise telling) jobs data.The September jobs report was the second consecutive and disappointing report from the BLS, which they were quick to blame on “pandemic-related staffing fluctuations.”Hmmm. That’s a nice phrase, no? “Pandemic-related staffing fluctuations.”But the real description boils down to something more PRAVDA-like under the new Biden Vaccine Mandate, namely: “Obey or we take your job away.”Needless to say, not everyone is obeying.Since 2020, employment in local government education is down by 310,000; in state government education, employment is down by 194,000 jobs, and in private education the numbers are down by 172,000.Ouch.Why such “staffing fluctuations”?The answer is simple: Many educated folks in the education sector don’t like being mandated to inject a vaccine into their bodies which by all reports from vaccinated infection rates, is no vaccine at all, but a debatable form of treatment at best.Thankfully for all of us, I’m not interested in debating the hard vaccine data here, as folks like me should not be proffering unwanted medical expertise, which I clearly lack.No one, myself included, really knows everything about mutating virology, but I’d wager to say that many of us are more mathematically dubious than Fauci is medically honest…Jefferson (and History) IgnoredFor followers of American history and markets, however, certain ideals and facts are easier to track despite distraction-as-policy tactics.We are reminded, for example, of how passionately Thomas Jefferson warned us circa 1776 that a private central bank would eventually destroy our nation, and that only an educated population could save it.Sadly, the new President is taking the inverse approach: Firing teachers and propping bankers.Fast-forward some 240+ years from our founding fathers to our semi-conscious Biden, and we discover a nation wherein a private central bank effectively finances our national debt while the teachers, students and institutions charged with making citizens wiser, educated and free now find themselves locked out of their offices, classrooms and lecterns.Seems a little upside down, no?Red or blue, most of us can agree than nothing coming out of the White House in recent memory remotely resembles the vision or freedom-driven intellect of founding fathers like Jefferson, despite his known flaws.Instead, we have seen red and blue administrations whose grasp on coherency, let alone math, history, economics or even Afghan geography is questionable at best.Biden’s ResponseAnd what does Biden (or his “advisors”) have to say about the recent and scary numbers within a gutted and “locked-out” educational labor force?Well, you’ll have to see it to believe it..Really? Really? Really?That’s right folks.The President of the United States, home to the world’s reserve currency and former beacon of global freedom, is telling Americans not to worry about the slow death of genuinely informed dissent (as well as educational access and jobs) or the attempted popularizing of otherwise tyrannical mandates, but to focus instead on the vaccine rates at United Airlines?Yes. Really.The leader of the free world is boastfully telling us that the “bigger story” is a fully vaccinated United Airlines (who were forced to choose between a jab or job), so why worry about the problems in that silly ol’ educational sector or outdated Bill of Rights?Playing with Minnows While Ignoring WhalesWhere ever one stands on the understandably divisive vaccine issue, how can anyone compare a private airline’s vaccine rate to a national education, civil liberty and employment crisis?Why are politicians, Davos dragons, statisticians, media bobble-heads and central bankers focusing our/your attention more on a virus with a case fatality rate of less than 0.5% than they are on openly addressing whale-sized issues like unsustainable debt, rising inflation, embarrassing labor inequality, a dying currency or even more declining GDP?Deliberate and Desperate Distraction as PolicyWell, history tells us why.As anyone not banned from a classroom knows, the history of desperate leaders seeking to distract, censor and control the masses in times of a self-inflicted and debt-induced cycle of internal economic rot is long and distinguished.As Biden doubles down on the bad (yet deliberately distracting) hand of what was hoped to be an optically humanitarian policy of vaccine mandates, the masses are getting restless as well as fired…Solution?Criminalize the non-consenting as anti-vaccine, anti-science or anti-American “flat-earthers” while denying open discussion on such otherwise relevant topics as basic math, constitutional law, calm science or individual rights…Meanwhile, those who won’t tow Biden’s increasingly incoherent mandate (or Don Lemmon’s always coherent ignorance) are losing jobs and/or forced to prioritize (in a Jeffersonian way) individual liberty over financial security.Ben Franklin, of course, said those who surrender liberties for security deserve neither.In such a polarized backdrop, everyone, pro or anti-vaccine, loses.Informed, open and calm debate has been replaced by a contradictory, censored, sanctimonious and hysterical autocracy from prompt-readers to political puppets.So much for leading the free world… Let me remind Biden to consider the words of another founding father, Thomas Paine:“I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”As someone who studied and practiced constitutional law, worked within a rigged Wall Street and read nearly every book I could find on America’s founding fathers, I can say without hyperbole that I no longer recognize the country (or values) of my birth nation.As Franklin also noted, “All democracies eventually die; usually by suicide.”Hmmm.But let’s get off my high-horse and back to those job reports…Conviction vs. EmploymentAs Bloomberg recently noted, the result of these “pandemic-related staffing fluctuations” is a bit alarming.The following critical industries are witnessing the following job-loss percentages: Nursing and Residential Care (-1.26%); Local Government Education (-1.83%); Community Care for the Elderly (-2.20%) and lodging (-2.25%).But thank goodness that despite a deliberate weaning of nurses, teachers and elderly care experts, United Airlines is nearly fully vaccinated and our Motion Picture Industry (universally known for its astounding political and financial wisdom) is seeing a +4.21% job increase.Awe, but as Johny Mellencamp would say, “Aint that America?”Now instead of more employed and free-thinking nurses, teachers and students allowed to gather, speak and think freely at their own campus or clinic, we can be glad that jobs in Hollywood, like DC, are growing to keep us living on more fantasy rather than actual, informed and hard-earned knowledge.Oh, and the Economy…But rather than just rant otherwise rhetorical sarcasm, let’s get back to those other barbaric (and soon-to-be empty) old-school disciplines like economics…Biden’s mandates are more than just evidence of distraction as policy and constitutional interpretation/usurpation, they have direct impacts on our financial lives outside of the deliberately exaggerated vaccine debacle/debate.Let’s go down the list of what economics taught us years ago, when we were allowed to enter a classroom:Stagflation Ahead.As more and more folks are locked out of work, the entitlement costs for these “un-American” free-thinkers will rise, placing greater inflationary pressures upon a deliberately constrained rather than open economy.Rising inflation + slowing economic activity = stagflation.Prepare for this, as that’s what’s coming.Inflation, by the way, is an invisible tax on those who can afford it the least. Thanks again Powell et al for shafting the middle class…A Divided States of AmericaA country which once revered open rather than censored debate, investigative rather than complicit journalism, and respected rather than polarized differences of opinion, is becoming increasingly factionalized, divided and angry.Jab or no jab, I fully respect both views. Can’t we all do the same without a “mandate”?Like Thomas Paine, I hope so, because as Thomas Jefferson warned, we face far greater economic and political threats ahead than COVID.Rather than accountability, transparency and cooperation, leadership today is defined by fantasy and magic, from magical money created at the Fed to magical employment and CPI data downplayed at the BLS.Such left or right fantasy-as-policy is as old as history—it’s darker side, that is. Just ask Lenin, Castro, Nixon or Greenspan.Whenever backed into a debt corner of their own design, leaders employ a familiar combo of boogeyman and salvation narratives to divert the masses away from the slow-drip erosion of their personal liberties, dying currencies and debt-driven stagnation.This distraction-as-policy is happening right now. The rise of the COVID narrative in 2020 is more than a coincidence. It’s a conveniently exploited opportunity for political and financial opportunists.More Centralized Controls and Fake MarketsWith debt levels far beyond the Pale of productivity levels (i.e., embarrassing debt to GDP ratios), the U.S. and other developed economies are mathematically and factually unable to ever grow their way out of the debt hole they have been digging us into for years.Period. Full stop.If I know this, and if you know this, well…they certainly know this too in DC.The only difference is that these policy makers, like most kids caught with a hand in the cookie jar, are incapable of admitting fault.Instead, today’s “leadership” can blame their economic and policy failures (and self-preservation rather than “service” instincts) on something else—i.e., “COVID did it.”But as we’ve voiced elsewhere, the debt time bomb, growth declines, social unrest, wealth disparity and failing political credibilities in play today were already a major problem BEFORE COVID.Now, as then, the empirical data objectively confirms that tanking manufacturing data, jobs growth, economic productivity, broken supply chains, scary transport numbers and political mistrust can never service the over $28.5T in public debt sitting on Uncle Sam’s bar-tab.As a natural result, we can therefore expect far more “accommodation” (i.e., monetary expansion) from the Fed, and far more “Fiscal Stimulus” (i.e., deficit spending) from our comical legislature ahead.Stated otherwise: Get ready for more real debt, fake money, centralized controls and hidden wealth destruction.Zombie Stocks, Bonds and Bankers: Too Big to Fail 2.0Sadly, one of the only forms of income which Uncle Sam enjoys today is the capital gains receipts from a bloated, rigged and artificially Fed-supported stock market.This means we can anticipate more “stimulus” for a zombie, crack-up-boomed market well past its natural expiration date.The same is true of for government IOU’s.  No one wants our bonds. 2020 saw $500B in foreign outflows rather than inflows for US Treasuries.So, who will pay Uncle Sam’s bar tab now?Easy:  Uncle Fed at the Eccles Building down the avenue from a Treasury Department now led by a former Fed Chairwoman.One really can’t make this crazy up. It’s all that real, that rigged and that true.The U.S. debt crisis is now being “solved” by a circular loop of a Wall Street and a White House children tossing their hot potatoes of bad debt (MBS and sovereign) around until they are bought with money created out of thin air by the Fed.And yet despite such insider support, rigged markets and “accommodated” securities, even the rising tax receipts from these bloated markets are not enough to cover the interest expense on Uncle Sam’s bar tab.In short, US Treasury bonds and stocks are openly supported Frankenstein-assets kept alive by a central bank and White House cabal (sorry, Mr. Jefferson…) who blame every problem (and justify every expenditure) on a virus rather than confess to the cancerous reality of over 20+ years of their open and obvious mismanagement of a rigged banking and distorted financial system.But rather than account for such sins, we can expect a bigger bail-out rather than an honest confession…In 2008, for example, the response from DC and NYC to bankers gone mad was to declare bankrupt banks as “Too Big to Fail.”Fast-forward some 13 years later and that same toxic duo of bankers and politicos have now effectively telegraphed that bankrupt government bonds and private stocks are also “too big to fail.”That ought to anger an informed population. But instead, we are fighting about masks, vaccine shaming and Prince Harry’s sensitive upbringing.So far, the distraction-as-policy technique seems to be working in favor of the foxes guarding our financial henhouse.Signal More Currency-Debasing “Miracle Solutions”Which brings us right back to a harsh but increasingly undeniable yet ironic reality.If objectively broken bonds, stocks and financial regimes are too big to fail, then the only way to “save” them is with more mouse-click-created currencies which are too debased to succeed.As precious metal and other long-term, real-asset investors long ago understood, currency expansion is just another name for currency debasement.In other words, eventually, all that “system saving” new money simply drowns the system it was allegedly designed to save in ever more debased dollars.Again, it’s just that tragic and just that simple.Yes: More monetary and debt expansion can buy time and rising markets.But those markets are measured in currencies which time has equally taught us lose their value with each passing second.And the only ones paying for that time are you and I–with dollars, euros, yen and pesos whose purchasing power and inherent value are tanking faster than the credibility of the folks who brought us to this historical and debt-driven turning point.Stated bluntly: The financial and political leadership of the last 20+ years has placed the global financial system into a debt corner for which there is no exit other than deliberate inflation (and hence currency debasement).This foreseeable disaster, however, is now conveniently blamed on a current pandemic rather than a grotesque history of equally grotesque mismanagement by policy markets who have confused debt with prosperity and double-speak with accountability.Wouldn’t it be nice if such economic topics were making at least as many headlines as the latest infection rates?Meanwhile, the mainstream media pursues plays chess with context-empty headlines, bogus job data and ignored debt bombs as our economic Rome (and currencies) burns silently around us all.

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