MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Thousands of witches plotting to cast ‘binding spell’ on Donald Trump on Halloween so he loses to Biden on election day

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2020

I never realized witches were of a particular political persuasion.

https://www.the-sun.com/news/1678082/witches-donald-trump-biden-election/

Claudia Aoraha

THOUSANDS of witches are plotting to cast a “binding spell” on Donald Trump on Halloween, so that he loses the US election.

The mystic women believe that the two full moons this month have given them extra magical powers to kick Trump out of the White House….

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Erie Times E-Edition Article-America needs stimulus relief

Posted by M. C. on October 22, 2020

Louie did not offer specific prescriptions for Erie’s economic recovery except the need for stimulus. House Democrats first put forward their proposals for the next round of COVID-19 stimulus funding long months ago. So it is galling that the wrangling — with Senate Republicans and the White House divided on the scale and focus of the funding — continues.

The pandemic has plunged another 8 million Americans into poverty.

Not one word about ending lockdowns, getting people back to work, re-opening businesses.

“Free” money. That is the best the Behrend Economic Research Institute and Gannett Times…err…Erie Times-News have to offer.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=17b3b9091

The issue: Erie economic downturn Our view: Stimulus overdue

President Donald Trump promised exuberant crowds at Erie International Airport Tuesday night the ‘greatest economic year’ in history. It is happening right now, he said.

Perhaps he should have stayed longer in Erie rather than cut the visit — which he said he made only to ask for votes — short. Trump boasted that historic unemployment rates at the outset of the pandemic had dropped to 7.8%. But in Erie, as reporter Jim Martin detailed, the pace of recovery lags. In August the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 11.2%, far above the then-national rate of 8.4%. Wabtec Corp. announced new layoffs just before Trump’s visit.

Not all of the data is in to complete the Erie Leading Index, but Penn State Behrend Professor Ken Louie said it appears for the first time in a decade that Erie’s economy is moving from expansion to decline. The Penn State Behrend Economic Research Institute of Erie tracks eight indicators to detect changes in the local economy.

The trend is not surprising given the wrecking ball the pandemic took to the global economy. But the time to take command of this carnage, confront the virus comprehensively and steer the country to recovery is past due.

Louie did not offer specific prescriptions for Erie’s economic recovery except the need for stimulus. House Democrats first put forward their proposals for the next round of COVID-19 stimulus funding long months ago. So it is galling that the wrangling — with Senate Republicans and the White House divided on the scale and focus of the funding — continues.

The pandemic has plunged another 8 million Americans into poverty.

People face hunger and eviction and local and state governments risk insolvency and the prospect of layoffs and suspended services. Entities key to the recovery, from small businesses to the airlines, teeter on ruin.

As Louie said, ‘It isn’t as easy as it sounds to turn things around.’

Stimulus funds must be used to track and mitigate the virus and shore up those workers and industries who have paid a toll to keep Americans safe. States and local governments that face crippling tax revenue shortfalls need help now. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, Pennsylvania confronts a $4.5 billion deficit.

The president and Congress must act with Americans, not the upper hand, in mind.

It appeared Wednesday that the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were nearing agreement, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried and failed to pass a package less than half the size of the $2.2 trillion and $1.9 trillion packages eyed by Pelosi and the White House, respectively.

It is welcome to see the president join with Democrats to seek a package that matches the scale of the need.

Delivering relief to the American people is a winning strategy for both sides.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

How the Media Has Whitewashed FBI Abuses in the Russia Probe | The National Interest

Posted by M. C. on October 15, 2020

It’s hard to decide which development is worse: the FBI’s lengthy pattern of arrogant misconduct, or the mainstream media’s willingness to be an accomplice in excusing such misconduct. Either behavior undermines government accountability and the protection of civil liberties. The entire episode is a sobering example of irresponsibility on the part of institutions that nevertheless insist on respect from the public.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/politics/how-media-has-whitewashed-fbi-abuses-russia-probe-170709

by Ted Galen Carpenter

he mainstream media not only continues to parrot the narrative that President Donald Trump is a Russian asset who collaborated with Moscow to steal the 2016 presidential election, but journalists have also minimized or dismissed evidence about FBI abuses during the course of the investigation into those allegations. 

One point that emerged clearly when Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued his report in December 2019 was that the FBI had committed serious violations of its own procedures and basic requirements of due process. The scope and severity of that misconduct have become even more apparent with the passage of time.

Although Horowitz did not endorse the Trump White House’s core allegation that the FBI had initiated the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation of the Trump campaign out of political bias, the IG report identified 17 major instances of improper behavior, including violations of standard procedures and safeguards for the rights of individuals targeted in an investigation. Most of the abuses occurred with respect to investigative warrants aimed at Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. Especially disturbing violations included the withholding of exculpatory evidence in warrant applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. Among the offenses was the repeated failure to disclose that Page was working for the CIA during the period he was making contact with Russian diplomatic and intelligence officials.  In one instance, FBI assistant general counsel Kevin Clinesmith even altered a document to make it state the opposite of its original language about Page’s role.

Despite the damaging revelations in the IG report, most of the initial accounts in the mainstream media echoed the arguments that former FBI director James Comey and other agency defenders made.  News stories emphasized the rejection of the political bias charge, with that aspect eclipsing all other conclusions that placed the FBI in a less favorable light. NBC News opted for the headline “Internal Justice watchdog finds that Russia probe was justified, not biased against Trump.” PBS NewHour’s headline was “DOJ inspector general finds no bias in FBI’s Russia probe.” Other outlets were at least as flagrant in their spin of the IG’s report.  New York Magazine’s headline blared that “Inspector General Finds Russia Investigation Wasn’t an FBI Witch Hunt,” “So much for the Deep State Plot against Donald Trump,” proclaimed an article in Wired.

Even when news stories acknowledged problems with the FBI’s behavior, writers and reporters attributed those actions to “errors” and “missteps,” not misconduct or abuses. But Horowitz himself pushed back on the notion that he had exonerated the FBI. A week later, he clarified that his investigation into the FBI’s FISA warrants “did not reach” the conclusion that the bureau was unaffected by political bias during its Russia investigation. In response to questioning from Senator Josh Hawley (R- MO.), Horowitz explained that his investigation did leave the door open to possible political bias, because his team could not accept the explanations FBI members gave about why there were “so many errors” in their investigation.  As reasons for caution, he specifically cited  “the alteration of the email, the text messages associated with the individual who did that, and our inability to explain or understand, to get good explanations so that we could understand why this all happened.” Such caveats indicated that the Horowitz report was far from being an exoneration of the FBI.

Since then, the media’s favorable spin on the FBI’s performance has become even more difficult to sustain. That was especially true once the FISA court forcefully rebuked the FBI for its actions, and then retroactively invalidated two of four warrants issued in the Page investigation. That move was virtually unprecedented.  So too was a subsequent move in March 2020, when the court barred any agents involved in the original warrant applications from submitting future surveillance applications.

Such measures were stunning since the FISA court was notorious over the years for rubber-stamping warrant requests from national security agencies. Sharp criticism from the FISA court of such an agency, much less the imposition of sanctions against that agency’s personnel, was only a little less startling than if the Chinese People’s Congress had criticized President Xi Jinping and curtailed his powers. 

Yet another blow to the media narrative came in early June 2020 when former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stated in congressional testimony that he never would have signed the FISA warrant renewal application if he had known how unreliable was the Steele dossier and the other underlying evidence. On this occasion, his statement received a respectable amount of attention in the mainstream media, including the Washington Post, CBS News, and Yahoo News.  Most of them also acknowledged that the admission was the main thrust of Rosenstein’s testimony.  NBC News, though, went out of its way to put a different spin on that testimony, with the utterly misleading headline: “Rod Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, approval of FISA applications in Russia probe.”

The prevailing, but increasingly strained, media narrative that any problems with the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation suffered another blow in August 2020 when former assistant general counsel Kevin Clinesmith pled guilty to the document alteration charge in the FISA warrant applications for the continuing surveillance of Carter Page. Mainstream press stories acknowledged the guilty plea, but they carefully avoided drawing any wider conclusions about Crossfire Hurricane abuses.

Indeed, some of the accounts went out of their way to assert that Clinesmith’s offense was nothing more than an isolated incident. CNN’s treatment was typical. The network’s analysis contended that “court documents laying out the single charge against Clinesmith don’t make any broader allegation of a conspiracy by FBI investigators against Trump, an accusation Trump has frequently made. Instead, it shows another FBI official who signed the fourth FISA warrant raising a concern about whether Page was a CIA source and seeking email proof when Clinesmith downplayed the CIA relationship with Page.”

Only a few analyses in conservative publications pointed out that the forgery episode was part of a larger pattern of FBI procedural violations during Crossfire Hurricane. Andrew McCarthy’s article in National Review explicitly concluded that Clinesmith’s plea was a “perfect snapshot of Crossfire Hurricane’s duplicity.” It was a valid point; Clinesmith’s conduct was merely the most egregious case among numerous episodes of FBI misconduct during that probe, as Horowitz’s report had already documented.

Subsequent Senate hearings in September and October 2020 have cast further doubt on the thesis that there was enough evidence to justify commencing the Russia collusion investigation in the first place. The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel provided a blunt assessment of the excesses. “Chairman Lindsey Graham hauled the former FBI director in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee ostensibly to answer for stunning new details in the bureau’s Trump-Russia probe.  But the hearing more broadly resurrected the breathtaking arrogance of the swamp. This was the crew that in 2016—based on the thinnest of tips—launched a counterintelligence investigation into a presidential campaign, complete with secret surveillance warrants and informants.”

Strassel added:  “FBI agent Peter Strzok in 2018 lectured Congress that the bureau had too many “safeguards” and “procedures” ever to allow “improper” behavior. Yet this past week provided evidence the FBI leaders blew through red light after red light.  We already knew they based the probe on a dossier that came from a rival campaign. We knew the bureau was warned early on that the dossier was potential Russian disinformation.  And now we know it discovered that the man who was the dossier’s primary source had been under FBI investigation as a suspected agent for Moscow. The bureau hid all of this from the surveillance court.”  

It’s hard to decide which development is worse: the FBI’s lengthy pattern of arrogant misconduct, or the mainstream media’s willingness to be an accomplice in excusing such misconduct. Either behavior undermines government accountability and the protection of civil liberties. The entire episode is a sobering example of irresponsibility on the part of institutions that nevertheless insist on respect from the public.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at the National Interest, is the author of 12 books and more than 850 articles.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trump, Biden, Jorgensen discuss military and veterans issues – Task & Purpose

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2020

Jo Who?

https://taskandpurpose.com/news/trump-biden-jorgensen-defense-veterans-issues

For the first time, all three major presidential candidates have weighed in on the most pressing issues facing service members, military families, and veterans.

President Donald Trump, his democratic rival former Vice President Joe Biden, and Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen have provided answers to the Military Officers Association of America to a wide variety of questions about their plans for the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

MOAA, a non-partisan group, published the verbatim responses from Trump, Biden, and Jorgensen on Wednesday without any editorial comment.

“We wanted to go beyond the soundbites for our membership,” said retired Air Force Col. Dan Merry, MOAA’s vice president of government relations. “When candidates discuss military and veteran issues on the campaign trail they hit the high notes and play to a wide audience.” 

“Our members have a deeper understanding, and a much deeper involvement, with these topics,” he continued. “We thank the candidates for offering their expanded plans on these important issues, and we hope making the responses available to everyone, members and nonmembers alike, will help all voters make an informed decision.”

Separately, Task & Purpose has submitted questions to the Trump and Biden campaigns. Neither has provided responses.

Here are some of the highlights from candidates’ responses to MOAA:

Greatest national security threats

Trump views China as a growing military and economic threat to the United States as it seeks to increase its influence worldwide. China and other “near-peer competitors” represent the greatest long-term security challenges.

The president also reiterated that NATO allies need to spend more of their own money on defense and he vowed that the United States and its allies would continue to work with partners in the Middle East to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

While Biden acknowledged that Russia and China are both immediate threats, he argued that several of the greatest dangers facing the United States stem from climate change and global pandemics, like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Biden also vowed to “end the forever wars” while leaving a counterterrorism force in Afghanistan and maintaining a small presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria to prevent the resurgence of the Islamic State terrorist group, adding: “We do not need large deployments of combat forces to maintain our security.”

Jorgensen vowed to bring home all U.S. troops stationed overseas, end all U.S. military aid to foreign countries, and focus on defending the homeland.

“We should turn America into one giant Switzerland: armed and neutral, with a military force that’s ready to defend America’s shores and soil against any foreign attack,” she said.

Defense spending

Trump said he was proud to approve a $738 billion budget for the Defense Department in December, which the president said has helped repair the damage caused by budget cuts under former President Barack Obama.

“In addition to massive acquisitions made over the past two years, our current effort authorizes nearly 100 new F-35s; 24 brand-new F/A-18s; 155 Army helicopters, of all different types; 165 brand-new Abrams tanks; more than 50 Paladin howitzers; 2 new Virginia-class submarines; 3 new Arleigh Burke destroyers; a Ford-class aircraft carrier, and two others on their way; and much, much more. And it’s all made, right here, in the USA,” the president said.

Biden claimed that Trump has “abandoned all fiscal discipline” regarding defense spending by focusing on older legacy weapon systems when the military really needs to prepare for future wars by investing in cyber, space, unmanned systems, and artificial intelligence technologies.

“We can maintain a strong defense and protect our safety and security for less,” Biden said. “The real question is not how much we invest — it’s how we invest.”

Jorgensen said that defense spending would fall under her administration because no U.S. troops would be stationed overseas.

“With no U.S. involvement in foreign wars, a military that’s laser-focused on defending America, and a citizenry with the unabridged right to keep and bear arms, America will be safe,” she said.

Recruitment and the Selective Service System

For Trump, the best recruiting tool for the all-volunteer force is to ensure that veterans successfully make the transition to the private sector.

“To that end, I have signed an executive order supporting our veterans during their transition from uniformed service to civilian life,” the president said. “I’m honored to be at the forefront of the greatest strides ever made at the [Department of Veterans Affairs] for our veterans.”

Biden said he does not believe the United States needs a larger military, nor does he see a reason to bring back the draft.

“I would, however, ensure that women are also eligible to register for the Selective Service System so that men and women are treated equally in the event of future conflicts,” Biden said. “We should explore targeted recruiting efforts to build a military that is more geographically and demographically representative of the nation as a whole and that has the skill sets needed for modern warfare.”

Jorgensen promised to abolish the Selective Service System because there has not been a draft since the Vietnam War.

“The so-called military-civilian divide can best be bridged by staying out of foreign conflicts, and creating as much transparency as possible while maintaining the protection of vital military intelligence,” she said.

Caring for veterans

Trump touted the reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs passed under his administration, including the MISSION Act, allowing veterans to get care from private healthcare providers without prior authorizations.

The president also stressed that the VA is working on reform its health system so that veterans will have one electronic copy of their medical records “from the first day of boot camp until they are honorably laid to rest.”

Biden said he would prioritize research into emerging service-connected conditions including Traumatic Brain Injury and exposure to toxins.

“I would expand the list of presumptive conditions to ensure that no veteran who experienced a TBI or had exposure to burn pits or other environmental toxins goes without access to VA health care and benefits,” Biden said. “We must never again have an Agent Orange-like crisis.”

Jorgensen said she plans to drastically cut the cost of healthcare by reducing government and insurance paperwork so that veterans could afford better medical care.

“I will work to replace the VA with direct payments to veterans who were wounded in combat, so they can spend their health-care dollars how and where they want to spend them,” Jorgensen said. “Veterans deserve better than denied care and bureaucratic roadblocks.”

Related: Here are the biggest national security challenges that Trump or Biden will face after the presidential election

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Watch “A Nobel Peace Prize For Trump?” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on September 10, 2020

Check out discussion @ 20:00.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

At the RNC, Rand Paul Is Right About the Need To End Wars, but Trump Hasn’t Ended Any – Reason.com

Posted by M. C. on September 4, 2020

Trump even vetoed a bill that would stop him from military action in Iran without congressional approval.

https://reason.com/2020/08/25/at-the-rnc-rand-paul-is-right-about-the-need-to-end-war-but-trump-hasnt-ended-any/

Tonight Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) spoke on behalf of President Donald Trump’s reelection. His remarks were heavily influenced by Paul’s own longstanding positions against excessive foreign military interventions, but only loosely tied to Trump’s actual record.

“I flew with him to Dover Air Force Base to honor two soldiers whose remains were coming home from Afghanistan,” Paul said. “I will never forget that evening. I can tell you the president not only felt the pain of these families but the president is committed to ending this war.

“President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one. He intends to end the war in Afghanistan. He is bringing our men and women home.”

You all may remember that Barack Obama ran for president also promising to end our overseas wars, and it did not happen.

As we approach the end of Trump’s first term, we cannot help but notice that the president has not, in fact, ended any wars and has in fact risked escalation of military engagement between the United States and Iran when he approved the drone-strike assassination of an Iranian general.

It’s true that Trump is promising to bring thousands of troops home from Afghanistan, and that’s wonderful, assuming it all happens and he completes the pullout. The Trump administration is, in reality, resisting any and all attempts by Congress to rescind the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that previously gave President George W. Bush permission to wage war against Al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his speech, Paul railed against Biden for supporting this war. But when Congress, in a rare act of bipartisanship, passed a resolution stopping the president in engaging in any further military action against Iran without congressional approval, Trump vetoed it. Paul voted for this resolution and has consistently voted to rescind the AUMF.

And despite Paul’s attempts to insist tonight that Biden and the Democrats will continue overseas wars or start new ones, the congressional record shows that in reality, Democrats have been joining with Paul, agreeing with him in votes to bring the troops back home. It’s actually the White House and hawks within the Republican Party who have really been standing in the way.

Now both the Democratic Party 2020 platform and Trump’s 50-point plan for his second term promise, yet again, to end the wars and bring the troops home. For those who truly oppose foreign military intervention, the appropriate way to look at Trump’s first term is not unlike Obama’s. This promise has not been kept.

Watch more about Trump’s failed promises to end war:

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Huawei, Tik-Tok and WeChat, by Larry Romanoff – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on August 11, 2020

That part is okay, but how can the CIA and NSA approach Huawei and ask the company to build back doors into its equipment so the US can spy on China – among all other countries?

https://www.unz.com/lromanoff/huawei-tik-tok-and-wechat/

First, let’s dispel the combined notion that China spies on everyone and the US spies on no one. There is so much public evidence to destroy both these assertions that I won’t bother repeating them here. I will however remind readers that a few years ago China more or less banned Windows 8 from the country because it was discovered that the O/S had a built-in NSA back door.[1] It seems that Germany reported on this first, but the devastating proof was at an IT conference where a Microsoft executive was interrupted during a speech with precisely this accusation.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] He did not deny it because the person making the accusation was the person who discovered it and had with him the proof, but refused to discuss it and changed the subject.

But this is hardly news. Forty years ago it was proven that all Xerox copy machines delivered to foreign embassies and consulates in the US were “espionage-ready”.[10][11] Also, for at least 20 years, and perhaps much more, it was common knowledge that when any foreign embassies, consulates, banks and other corporations ordered computers and similar hardware from US suppliers, those shipments were intercepted by UPS, delivered to the CIA and/or NSA for installation of “extra” hardware and software before delivery to their destinations. This was one of the confirmations by Edward Snowden.[12][13][14][15] Any search on this will give you millions of hits unless Google chooses that moment to lose its memory.

Huawei

Trump’s problems with Huawei are twofold. The most obvious is that China is eating America’s lunch when it comes to innovation and invention and Trump would like to slow this down by destroying Huawei and is clearly making every possible effort in this regard, including bullying and threatening half the known world against using Huawei’s products. But this is the small part of the problem; the real issue is espionage. There is no practical value in disputing the assertion that Cisco and other American hardware and software firms install back doors to all their equipment for the convenience of CIA and NSA access. But suddenly Huawei is replacing Cisco and those other American firms with its better and less expensive equipment.

That part is okay, but how can the CIA and NSA approach Huawei and ask the company to build back doors into its equipment so the US can spy on China – among all other countries? There is no solution to this problem other than to trash Huawei’s reputation by accusing it of being an espionage threat and having the company’s equipment banned. And this applies not only to the US, but to the entire Five Eyes Espionage Network, involving the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.[16] Briefly, this was set up to break laws while pretending no laws were being broken. It is generally against the law for a government to spy on its own citizens, but that law doesn’t apply to a foreign government. So Canada spies on Australian citizens and sends the information to the Australian spooks who can claim they did nothing wrong. Rinse and repeat. The sad part is that the “intelligence” received is usually of little interest to the four minor participants but all of it is shared with the US who are frothing to spy on the entire world and to take possession of “every communication” of every kind in the entire world. Thus, it isn’t sufficient to ban Huawei only from the US because this company’s equipment would castrate the NSA’s effort in the other four nations. Thus, US bullying to ensure each of its five eyes is Huawei-free. And that’s the entire story, like it or not.

Tik-Tok

Tik-Tok is nothing of consequence, except that it is in direct competition with similar American platforms and has proven too popular and too competitive to be permitted to survive. This is just a cheap, below-the-belt and illegal-as-hell shot at China. No threat, no nothing. However, as with all similar IT products and platforms it contains much personal information especially useful for marketing, which has so far been the private property of people like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Thus, Trump kills two birds with one stone: either simply kill Tik-Tok on some trumped-up accusation (if you’ll excuse the expression) of espionage, or force a sale to an American company. Either way, China loses massively while the political oppression and marketing value of that personal information remains safely in trusted American hands.

WeChat

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trump Just Admitted on Live Television He Will ‘Terminate’ Social Security and Medicare If Reelected in November | Common Dreams News

Posted by M. C. on August 9, 2020

Much ado about nothing.

CommonDreams.org is more like a nightmare. Desperation is not a good look.

Yah, Trump is talking about reducing or eliminating payroll tax to help working stiffs.

It might actually help a little, for a little while.

SS and Medicare will not be eliminated. It would be a disaster for the public. No congressperson will support such a measure.

Trump is just cooking the books on funding.

We Pennsylvanians recently learned our gas tax, supposedly in place to pay for our crumbling infrastructure, is regularly diverted to pay for state police training. All legal so we are told.

It is all a shell game.

Let’s get real. SS and medicare taxes get sucked into the swamp and no one knows where specific funds go. Your SS deduction for this week may have been IOU’d by the war department and spent bombing Yemen.

Pre-COVID taxes paid 50% or less of the budget. This year it may be closer to 20%. The rest is borrowed, printed or just magicked from electrons in a bank’s computer.

Congress and the treasury will wave their magics wands and everything will get paid for just like COVID recovery plans, just like always, …until the system goes bust.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/08/trump-just-admitted-live-television-he-will-terminate-social-security-and-medicare?fbclid=IwAR3Pc0rL5byZO1jInyJVl8SlIEwE7CboURKIwxqjivJSQF4qn1O7SkeDoRk

President Donald Trump on Saturday afternoon openly vowed to permanently “terminate” the funding mechanism for both Social Security and Medicare if reelected in November—an admission that was seized upon by defenders of the popular safety net programs who have been warning for months that the administration’s threat to suspend the payroll tax in the name of economic relief during the Covid-19 pandemic was really a backdoor sabotage effort.

“We just heard it straight from Trump’s own mouth:  If reelected, he will destroy Social Security.” —Social Security Works…

Blah, blah, blah
Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Seven-Step Path from Pandemic to Totalitarianism – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on July 30, 2020

https://off-guardian.org/2020/04/23/the-seven-step-path-from-pandemic-to-totalitarianism/

There are just seven steps from pandemic declaration to permanent totalitarianism – and many jurisdictions are about to start Step 5

Rosemary Frei

As if it was planned in advance, billions of people around the globe are being forced step by rapid step into a radically different way of life, one that involves far less personal, physical and financial freedom and agency.

Here is the template for rolling this out.

Step 1

A new virus starts to spread around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) declares a pandemic.

International agencies, public-health officials, politicians, media and other influential voices fan fear by focusing almost exclusively on the contagiousness of the virus and the rising numbers of cases, and by characterizing the virus as extremely dangerous.

Within a few days governments at national and local levels also declare states of emergency. At lightning speed they impose lock-down measures that confine most people to their homes – starting with closing schools – and shut down much of the global economy. World markets implode.

The stunned, fearful and credulous public – convinced over the previous few years that their bodies do not have the natural ability to react to pathogens by producing antibodies that confer long-lasting immunity – largely complies willingly.

The first weekly virtual class on local emergency and crisis responses to COVID19 is held for mayors and other city officials around the world. Coordinated by a handful of American organizations in the academic, medical, financial, political and transportation spheres, the classes feature guests ranging from Barack Obama to Bill Gates.

Step 2

National, state/provincial and municipal leaders, as well as public-health officials, start daily press briefings. They use them to pump out frightening statistics and modelling asserting the virus has the potential to kill many millions.

Most of this information is hard to decipher and sheds little real light on the natural course of the virus’s spread through each geographic area.

Officials and media downplay or distort inconveniently low death tolls from the virus and instead focus on alarming statistics produced by compliant academics, social-media influencers and high-profile organizations.

The main message is that this is a war and many lives are at stake unless virtually everybody stays at home. Mainstream media amplify the trope that the world is at the mercy of the virus.

Simultaneously, central banks and governments hand out massive amounts of cash largely to benefit the big banks. And they bring in giant private-sector financial firms to manage the process despite these global companies’ very poor track record in the 2008-2009 crash. Governments also rapidly start to create trillions of pounds’ worth of programs that include compensating businesses and workers for their shutdown-related losses.

Step 3

There is a concerted effort by all levels of government and public health to very rapidly ramp up testing for viral RNA, along with production of personal protective equipment.

They push aside the need for regulation, including quality standards and independent verification of tests’ rates of accuracy, by insisting that fast approval and roll-out are imperative for saving lives.

Models are released that predict snowballing of numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths even under best-case scenarios.

At about the same time, public-health officials significantly loosen the criteria for viral infections, outbreaks and deaths, particularly in the oldest members of society. That increases the numbers of cases and deaths ascribed to the new pathogen.

The media continue to clamour for more testing and for severe punishment of people who aren’t completely compliant with the lock-down measures.

As a result, there’s little backlash as police and military with sweeping new powers enforce these measures and give stiff penalties or even jail terms to those who disobey orders. States also monitor with impunity massive numbers of people’s movements via their cellphones.

Vast human resources are focused on tracking down people who have had contact with a virus-positive individual and confining them to their homes. Thus the portion of the public exposed to the virus remains relatively small.

It also contributes to social isolation. Among many effects, this enables those in control to even further erase individual and collective choices, voices and power.

Step 4

When the numbers of cases and deaths start to plateau, local officials claim it’s too early to tell whether the virus has finished passing through their population and therefore, restrictive measures must continue.

An alternative narrative is that if such measures aren’t kept in place there will be a resurgence of cases and deaths. Yet another is that the continuing climb in elderly persons’ deaths means all bets are off for the time being.

They admit that initial models incorrectly predicted there would be a tsunami of cases, ICU admissions and deaths. However, they assert more time is needed before it can be determined whether it’s safe to loosen some of the restrictions and let children return to school or adults go back to work.

Officials do not try to calculate the overall skyrocketing cost to their populations and economies of the shut-downs and other measures against, nor do they discuss what cost level may be too high.

They and powerful media organizations also push for the massive virus-testing over-capacity to be used to surveil the general population for viral RNA in their bodies. At the same time, the roll-out begins of widespread blood testing for antibodies to the virus.

Meanwhile, new data are published showing the virus has a high capacity to mutate. Scientists and officials interpret this as meaning a larger medical arsenal will be needed to combat it.

Step 5

About two or three weeks later, the dramatic increase in testing for viral RNA produces the desired goal of a significant upsurge in the number of people found positive for the virus.

Public-health officials add jet fuel to the surge by adding to their case and death tallies the large number of people who are only suspected – and not lab-test-confirmed – to have had an infection. Politicians and public-health officials tell the populace this means they cannot return to their jobs or other activities outside the home for the time being.

Governments work with public-health agencies, academics, industry, the WHO and other organizations to start to design and implement immunity-passport systems for using the results of the widespread antibody testing to determine who can be released from the lock-downs. This is one of many goals of the seven steps.

Meanwhile, government leaders continue to highlight the importance of vaccines for besting the virus.

Step 6

Large-scale human testing of many different types of antivirals and vaccines begins, thanks to a concerted push from the WHO, Bill Gates and his collaborators, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, governments and universities.

Large swaths of the population don’t have the antibodies to the virus because they’ve been kept from being exposed to it; they eagerly accept these medications even though they’ve been rushed to market with inadequate safety testing. They believe these medical products offer the only hope for escaping the virus’s clutches.

Step 7

Soon the new virus starts another cycle around the globe – just as influenza and other viruses have every year for millennia. Officials again fan the flames of fear by positing the potential for millions of deaths among people not yet protected from the virus.

They rapidly roll out virus and antibody testing again, while companies sell billions more doses of antivirals and booster vaccines.

Governments simultaneously cede control of all remaining public assets to global companies. This is because local and national governments’ tax bases were decimated during Step 1 and they’re virtually bankrupt from their unprecedented spending in the war against the virus in the other steps.

The overall result is complete medicalization of the response to the virus, which on a population level is no more harmful than influenza.

This is coupled with the creation of permanent totalitarianism controlled by global companies and a 24/7 invasive-surveillance police state supported by widespread blossoming of ‘smart’ technology.

The key players repeat the cycle of hysteria and massive administration of antivirals and booster shots every few months.

And they implement a variation of steps 1 to 7 when another new pathogen appears on the planet.

Sounds far-fetched? Unfortunately, it’s not.

With the arrival of COVID19 many countries quickly completed Steps 1, 2 and 3.

Step 4 is well under way in a large number of jurisdictions.

Step 5 is on track to start in early May.

Rosemary Frei has an MSc in molecular biology from a faculty of medicine and was a freelance medical writer and journalist for 22 years. She is now an independent investigative journalist in Toronto, Ontario. You can find her earlier article on the novel coronavirus for Off-Guardian here, watch and listen to an interview she gave on COVID19 and follow her on Twitter.

Be seeing you

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Donald Trump is completely right about mail-in ballots – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on May 30, 2020

https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/29/donald-trump-is-completely-right-about-mail-in-ballots/

Kit Knightly

It’s an artefact of the peculiar world in which we live that we are sometimes forced to agree with, fight alongside or even defend people with whom we would never wish to be associated.

Donald Trump is right at the top of that list. And his “feud” with twitter over tweets concerning postal votes is a perfect example.

To be clear, whatever the MAGA crowd and QAnons may wish to believe, Trump is NOT some kind of anti-establishment rebel.

Whatever small threat he posed to the status quo was stamped out shortly after the Deep State switched sides from Hillary to Trump sometime in October 2016.

From Syria to Russia to Wikileaks, most of the good parts of Trump’s “America first” or “isolationist” approach have fallen completely by the wayside. Either opposed by the Deep State to the point of total paralysis or shown to be nothing but talk in the first place.

Ever since he was elected, despite his rhetoric, Trump has been little more than a boorish Bush. Most of the time.

But sometimes, in small ways, he strikes a raw nerve with the establishment.

Like two days ago, when he tweeted out criticisms of the proposal to rely on postal votes for forthcoming elections:

Whether this was put into Trump’s mouth by his handlers to create the controversy, or whether it’s his genuine opinion, it is obviously something people are not supposed to agree with. Because twitter then took the unprecedented step of adding “fact-checking links” to his tweets.

Donald Trump is a crass, narcissistic bullshit merchant, but twitter has never done that to him before.

So why now? Why is twitter “fact-checking” Trump’s claim that postal ballots are easier to rig?

Well, it’s certainly not because he’s wrong. Because he’s actually right.

Postal ballots ARE much easier to rig than in-person voting. This is not just logically obvious, it is historically shown to be true through dozens of examples.

In 2002, a Labour councillor was convicted of voter fraud after acquiring 200 blank postal ballots, filling them in and adding them to the uncounted votes.

In 2005, when on-demand postal voting was first spreading around Britain, many councils expressed concerns that the system was vulnerable to fraud. These fears were repeated in 2010, when there was a surge in those using the system.

In 2014 the electoral commission warned that “ghost voters” could be created using mail-in ballots.

Also in 2014 Richard Mawrey QC, a UK deputy High Court judge in charge of hearing electoral fraud cases, warned that on-demand postal ballots were open to “systematic and widespread” voter fraud.

This was echoing thoughts he first expressed in 2005, after finding 6 Labour councillors guilty of postal ballot-related fraud schemes.

Mawrey repeated those concerns again in 2015, after former Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman was convicted of election fraud using postal votes.

In Decmeber 2019 Steve Baker MP wrote that:

There is widespread abuse of postal votes, this simply cannot go on

That same month, the BBC’s political editor accidentally revealed a serious potential corruption on the postal ballot front.

Now, all of these examples are from the UK but the same frailties exist in the United States.

In fact, just two years ago, a Republican candidate was found to have committed electoral fraud in North Carolina…using absentee postal ballots.

In 2007 Teresa James and Michael Slater of Project Vote authored a report titled “Vote By Mail Doesn’t Deliver” in which they found there was evidence that:

Vote by mail is more susceptible to corruption than voting at polling places.

And:

Vote by mail is amenable to manipulation by election officials.

They cite multiple examples, including the Miami mayoral election of 1997 being overturned by the courts after a candidate was found to have committed widespread absentee ballot fraud.

As recently as March of this year, when Joe Biden repeatedly won primaries he was predicted to lose, there were reported irregularities in postal ballots in several states, including Wisconsin, New Jersey and Ohio.

So, if there are so many recent examples of fraud – and so many obvious potential vulnerabilities to the system – why is Twitter suddenly (incorrectly) fact-checking “The Donald”?

And not just Twitter, but all of the mainstream media as well. For example, CNN, the Washington Post and The New York times all have very long, very similar refutations of Trump’s anti-postal votes diatribe.

It’s interesting to note that the Wikipedia page for “Postal Voting” has already been edited to insert the same quote twice, from a New York Times article which came out today.

Their defences of the system are, frankly, sad.

The New York Times argues that, yes, postal vote rigging does happen (and even cites some of the examples I mentioned) but says doing it on a scale large enough to swing an election would be really hard, and someone would probably notice.

CNN’s is even worse. Collapsing from incompetence to unintentional hilarity, by using a report commissioned by George W. Bush in 2002 which found there was “virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections.” (Eagled-eyed readers will note it says “virtually no evidence”, and not “no evidence”.)

Students of history will no doubt realise that this report from the Bush-era Justice Department was commissioned in direct response to allegations that the 2000 Presidential election was rigged (which it fairly obviously was).

So, apart from twitter fact-checking the POTUS for criticising postal votes, we also have all the mainstream media doing pretzel-like feats of mental and verbal gymnastics to try and refute him. Why?

Well, because postal ballots are a large part of the establishment’s agenda at the moment. They are one of the key ideas being pushed in the wake the Covid19 “crisis”.

Just three weeks ago, the New York Times had an article headlined:

We Should Never Have to Vote in Person Again

And that’s just the latest and most brazen example of the propaganda surge on this issue.

In February, well before he could use Covid19 as an excuse, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was campaigning for more postal votes.

In March Poland’s lower house approved a bill to conduct this year’s Presidential election by post (which was later rejected by the upper house). Australia likewise “urged” postal votes in their local elections this year.

The Independent reports that “two thirds of Americans favor postal votes”, and Joe Biden called opposing mail-in ballots “un-American”

There are many other examples of pro-postal voting stories, all over the local and national media: see here, here, here, here and here.

Oh, and here and here.

You could even see this whole “controversy” as part of the propaganda itself. Trump has such a lousy reputation that any thought he expresses is instantly discredited by association.

From now on anybody that doubts the postal ballot system can be said to be “agreeing with Trump”, whilst the hordes of potential voters whose only understanding of politics is “Orange Man Bad” will throw their weight behind postal ballots as if it were some kind of moral crusade. (Expect a hashtag like #ImGoingPostal in the next couple of days).

Here, in the UK, our elections are currently totally suspended. When they “lift the lockdown”, postal ballots will be pushed as a way of “saving democracy”. But that will be far from the truth.

Trump expressed it brashly, coarsely and with his trademark lack of nuance, but anybody paying attention should definitely be very wary of widespread postal voting. And worried by the large-scale media campaign to promote it.

Be seeing you

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Donald Trump is completely right about mail-in ballots – OffGuardian