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"Globalists Are Marching Us Relentlessly Toward Nuclear Armageddon," Warns Former Senator

"Globalists Are Marching Us Relentlessly Toward Nuclear Armageddon," Warns Former Senator Fears of nuclear war are increasing across the West as Russia mobilizes hundreds of thousands of troops and declares annexation of parts of Ukraine. Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine is applying for membership in NATO. These two developments could be the most significant escalation since the war's start.  Today's developments are a sobering reminder that nuclear war threats are mounting. Retired Virginia State Senator and retired Marine Col. Richard Black addressed members of the US Congress in an open letter on Tuesday about "globalists are marching us relentlessly toward this nuclear Armageddon." Black pointed out: There would have been no war had we not overthrown the democratically-elected government of Ukraine by violently ousting President Yanukovych in 2014. We promoted war by flooding Ukraine with massive arms shipments afterwards. The former senator said, "the US could have achieved peace by simply pressing Ukraine to implement the 2014 Minsk Peace Agreements which it had signed, establishing a clear framework for settling outstanding issues peacefully. Ukraine promised to implement the Minsk agreements, but chose instead to make war on the Donbass for the next seven years."  He said NATO could've sought peace but chose war instead.  NATO had ample opportunity for peace but deliberately chose war. The US realized that, with Russia's back to the wall, it would have no choice to but to attack. In 2007, US Ambassador to Russia William Burns pointedly warned that movement toward absorbing Ukraine into NATO might well trigger war between Ukraine and Russia. Nonetheless, the Obama administration overthrew the Ukrainian president and flooded in weapons, knowing that doing so would trigger war. Black said billionaire elites who have an interest in the region are making "war profits even if it means gambling the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the globe."  "Should we annihilate the world's population to intervene in a border war where the US has no vital national interest?" the former senator asked.  Black called for an immediate end to this war by making Ukraine a neutral, non-aligned state, "just as we did during the Cold War with Austria in 1955."  But it appears the former senator's plea to avoid further conflict went unheard after Zelensky's declared intent to apply for expedited NATO membership as President Putin proclaimed the annexation of 15% of Ukraine.  Based on Article 5, any acceptance of Ukraine into NATO would automatically trigger a Russia-West world war (WWIII).  In a speech Friday, Putin said the US created a "precedent" by using nuclear weapons against Japan during WW2.  Last week, Navy Admiral Charles A. Richard - currently serving as the US Strategic Command chief -- warned that "possible direct armed conflict with a nuclear-capable peer" could be ahead.  Here's the former senator's open letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill: Tyler Durden Fri, 09/30/2022 - 20:50.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 30th, 2022

"We Must Speak With Prudence": Macron Scolds Biden For "Armageddon" Rhetoric

"We Must Speak With Prudence": Macron Scolds Biden For 'Armageddon' Rhetoric In a rare rebuke from a leading European NATO ally, French President Emmanuel Macron when asked about US President Joe Biden's Thursday warning of Russia posing the threat of nuclear "Armageddon" strongly suggested the words were imprudent.  Macron said "we must speak with prudence" in reacting to Biden's comments, explaining that world leaders must speak with care on questions of a nuclear threat. "I have always refused to engage in political fiction, and especially... when speaking of nuclear weapons," Macron said Friday at an EU summit in Prague. The French leader further emphasized, "On this issue, we must be very careful."  Macron remains among the very few Western leaders who has maintained open lines of communication with Russia's Vladimir Putin (another being Hungary's Viktor Orban), defending himself against critics, explaining that diplomacy must remain an option in hopes of ending the war in Ukraine. To review, Biden said that the world hasn't been this close to the threat of nuclear weapons use since the 1960's at the height of the Cold War:  "We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis," he added. He suggested the threat from Putin is real "because his military is — you might say — significantly underperforming." And yet the following day White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sought to perhaps re-interpret and downplay Biden's warning, saying it remains that the US has "not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture nor do we have indications that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons." Alongside Macron's pushback, European Council President Charles Michel said Friday that European leadership is taking "every escalation very seriously." Michel explained, "Threats will not intimidate us," and added: "Instead, we are going to remain calm. We are going to keep cool heads and we will, each time, denounce the irresponsible character of these threats." The Russiagate hoax was designed to criminalize open diplomacy between the US and Russia, with Trump blasted as a traitor every time he spoke to Putin. Now Biden warns of nuclear armageddon as though the cynical forces that put him in power did not make this crisis inevitable. — Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) October 7, 2022 The EC president aimed his criticisms at Vladimir Putin, following headlines charging that the Russian president is engaged in nuclear saber-rattling and blackmail, something which the Kremlin has denied. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/08/2022 - 07:35.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 8th, 2022

UN chief warns the world is just "one misunderstanding" away from "nuclear annihilation" as tensions rise across the globe

"The clouds that parted following the end of the Cold War are gathering once more," the UN chief warned. A Russian long-range missile rolls along Red Square during the military parade marking the 75th anniversary of Nazi defeat, on June 24, 2020 in Moscow, Russia.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images Antonio Guterres on Monday warned that the world is "one misunderstanding" away from "nuclear annihilation." The UN chief was calling on countries to work toward a world without nuclear weapons. His comments came as Putin warned that "there can be no winners in a nuclear war." UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged countries to reduce their nuclear stockpiles, warning that "humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.""Almost 13,000 nuclear weapons are now being held in arsenals around the world. All this at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing and guardrails to prevent escalation are weakening," Guterres said at a conference in New York of countries that are party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). "The clouds that parted following the end of the Cold War are gathering once more," the UN chief said, pointing to "festering" crises occurring around the world — including the "invasion of Ukraine by Russia."Guterres said "eliminating nuclear weapons is the only guarantee they will never be used," calling on countries to work "relentlessly towards this goal."The UN chief's comments came amid concerns over rising tensions, with issues like the war in Ukraine, China and Taiwan, and Iran's nuclear program causing friction. Throughout Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine, some Western officials have expressed concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin could get desperate enough to use nuclear weapons to achieve his goals in the war. As Russia launched its attack on Ukraine in February, Putin said that any countries attempting to intervene would face "consequences you have never seen." Putin also put Russia's nuclear deterrent forces on highly alert shortly after he ordered the start of the so-called "special operation" in Ukraine. In a letter to the NPT conference on Monday, the Russian leader warned that there could be no winners in a nuclear war. "We proceed from the fact that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed, and we stand for equal and indivisible security for all members of the world community," Putin said, according to Reuters.US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday ripped into Putin for his past "nuclear saber rattling.""It's engaging in reckless, dangerous nuclear saber rattling, with its president warning that those supporting Ukraine self-defense 'risk consequences such as you have never seen in your entire history,'" Blinken said of Russia during remarks to the NPT conference.The US and Russia collectively possess roughly 90% of the world's nuclear warheads. The top US diplomat during his remarks also excoriated North Korea for expanding "its unlawful nuclear program" and continuing "its ongoing provocations against the region." He mentioned in his remarks that North Korea appears to be preparing for a seventh nuclear test. And as the Biden administration vies to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Blinken also accused Tehran of remaining on a "path of nuclear escalation."Talks aimed at restoring the Iran nuclear deal — formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — are stalled. Blinken on Monday urged Iran to come back into compliance with the deal, which President Donald Trump withdrew the US from in May 2018. "Although it publicly claims to favor return to mutual compliance with the JCPOA, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, since March, Iran has been either unwilling or unable to accept a deal to achieve precisely that goal," Blinken said. "Getting back to the JCPOA remains the best outcome – for the United States, for Iran, for the world."Meanwhile, Iran's atomic energy chief said on Monday, per BBC News, that the country has the technical capacity to build a nuclear bomb but no plans to do so.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 1st, 2022

Rabobank: The IMF Warning Of "Economic Collapse" Should Get Headlines

Rabobank: The IMF Warning Of "Economic Collapse" Should Get Headlines By Michael Every of Rabobank "Economic Collapse" you say? The IMF are warning of “economic collapse”, which should get headlines. Not because the IMF have any kind of track record of being timely or right about anything, but because the Fund so rarely says anything negative for fear of being seen as precipitating the crises which the policies it imposes always end up creating anyway. Besides a total lack of surprise on first seeing the headline, my initial thought was “Yes, but where?” There are so many candidates as: Supply chain issues are being swept out to sea in lieu of having a rug large enough. (A ship outside a port is not at a port; a container dumped outside a port is not in a port – success!) Just about everyone at the Fed now says tapering needs to be accelerated and rate hikes happen far sooner than we had thought. On top of all the debt we added under Covid. The curve flattening we see speaks volumes on that. Janet Yellen says "I'm ready to retire the word transitory. I can agree that that hasn't been an apt description of what we're dealing with." What adjective is she thinking of instead as she pushes more stimulus for groups with the highest marginal propensity to consume without addressing supply-chain issues? Confusingly, Yellen also said the Fed should keep a close eye on rising wages to avoid a 70’s-style "wage-price spiral". THIS IS NOT HER JOB, and without wage gains there is no way to escape the economic paradigm she seems determined to shift…or is it OK to give people benefits, but not for them to earn that money? Oil prices The US government may see a shut down as soon as this evening, and perhaps even technical debt default, with just one senator now able to force this to happen. The Australian Financial Review plaintively asked yesterday how long the can can be kicked on the $7 trillion debt Chinese developers are carrying. Kaisa is now the new Evergrande, it seems, which I was being told repeatedly was a firm-specific “contained” issue a few months ago. It wasn’t. It isn’t. It cannot be given the scale of borrowing and the policy shift away from bubbles. But that doesn’t mean we are going to get a Chinese GFC – just a long growth slowdown, with real financial pain for some investors, and the likelihood surely being that foreign investors are near the top of that list? On which note, the race from both the US and the Chinese sides to stop offshore listings of Chinese firms continues apace – with Didi taking the lead in a move back to Hong Kong. Moreover, China is warning China-linked US businesses: you cannot ‘make a fortune in silence’, with Vice-foreign minister Xie Feng telling them to push the White House towards a ‘rational’ China policy and end ‘ideological’ conflicts over trade and tech. Many US firms of course will, and if you look at alleged Democratic attempts to drop human rights provisions on imports from Xinjiang in pending legislation, some US politicians are already receptive. However, this also risks making some other politicians warier of US business being in China, and there is an election in 2022. Or, as the WTA show, some firms may just act unilaterally. Turkey is slashing rates in the face of rising inflation – which only developed economies can, while not understanding “transitory”. As the lira collapses against the Dollar, Ankara seems to be sending the signal this FX metric does not matter. If it is wrong, the consequences will be painful: hyperinflation is mentioned in a far from unconnected economy. Yet if it is right, the message for the US ought to be clear: and Turkey is extremely important in geostrategic terms. The US warns Russia of “terrible consequences” if it moves on Ukraine, as Moscow says Ukraine’s possible move to retake Russian enclaves is a risk to it, giving both the US and Russia a casus belli - yet only one with a military force in place. Russia is also putting missiles on islands contested by Japan. The US and Iran are pessimistic about the 2015 nuclear deal, and Israel defiant, as Tehran negotiates how you should in the Middle East – as if you can walk away. By contrast, the US is negotiating like the 1980’s “Wilma, that bird stole my hairpiece!” tourists or European diplomats who think box-ticking stops deadly ticking boxes.) "I have to tell you, recent moves, recent rhetoric, don't give us a lot of cause for ... optimism," says Secretary of State Blinken, trying to keep a poker-face against Russia and Iran (and China) simultaneously, while holding a pair of 2s. (With three US aces not being used ‘because reasons’.) OPEC+ may have stuck to a looming output hike, but oil did not fall for long, and longer-term European electricity prices are back at record highs. Imagine if the Russia/Ukraine and Iran thing goes wrong. In France, Les Républicains voted for hard-right Ciotti in the first round of voting for their presidential candidate over the better-known ‘French sovereignty first’ Barnier: the victor wants a referendum ‘to stop mass immigration’, and to set up ‘a French Guantánamo bay’. If he wins, he will be competing against Le Pen, who needs no explanation, and newcomer Zemmour, who is literally running on a “they will not replace us” platform. And President Macron, who is hardly a cultural leftist of late, having just reintroduced Greek and Latin into schools. Of course, none of this has anything to do with ECB acronyms, so markets will blindly shrug it all off, (hard) right? Regardless, markets are already seeing lunatic volatility anyway, with hedge funds allegedly piling out, retail pundits piling in, and some funds almost certainly seeing year-to-date gains made via let’s-ignore-underlying-risks-and-buy-all-of-the-things strategies suddenly wiped out, leaving them only a few trading days between now and year end to ensure their books don’t close looking as ugly as the IMF’s description of the economic outlook. Expect Hail Mary trading in response? Anyway, back to the IMF. "We may see economic collapse in some countries unless G20 creditors agree to accelerate debt restructurings and suspend debt service while the restructurings are being negotiated," IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said in a blog, adding that it is critical private creditors also offer relief. Yet exhale: the Fund was ‘only’ talking about the outlook for very poor countries! Carry On Regardless while extolling the virtues of diversity and inclusion, please. Remind me again – how did these very poor countries get so much debt without servicing ability in the first place? Why wasn’t the IMF advising capital controls and Hamiltonian-style growth models to prevent it? And why aren’t these countries allowed to tell their central banks to buy all their worthless assets at par to bail everyone out? After all, that’s what developed economies get to do! On top of this we also have a US payrolls report today that may actually matter – and regular readers will know it’s rare that I say that. The expectation is 550K after 531K last month. Anything stronger or weaker and goodness knows where Powell, Yellen, curves, the Dollar, China, Turkey, Russia, and Iran, as well as Europe (and US tourists in it shouting “Wilma, that bird stole my hairpiece!”) will sit. Or slump. Hey, but Happy Friday. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 08:49.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2021

Market Extra: Treasury-bill market’s march toward 5% gets interrupted by Fed’s Powell

MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphotoFor much of Wednesday, the yield on the one-year Treasury bill was marching closer to 5% and on track to finish the New York session at its highest level in 15 years. Then, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stepped in. In an afternoon speech, Powell said the pace of interest-rate increases by Fed officials may slow as soon as their Dec. 13-14 meeting. Those comments took some of the momentum off the 1-year rate BX:TMUBMUSD01Y, which had climbed to almost 4.9% earlier in the day but settled around 4.8% after the release of Powell’s remarks to the Brookings Institution.Read:Powell says pace of interest-rate increases can slow as soon as December meetingTraders’ decision to push the one-year rate closer to 5% hasn’t been a swift or easy one to make, even for fast-moving financial markets that are usually adept at figuring out the central bank’s next steps. On Wednesday, Powell kept alive the idea of the Fed pushing borrowing costs above 5% in 2023, by saying that the likely ultimate level for interest rates will be “somewhat higher” than 4.75% and that history warns against “prematurely loosening policy.” The prospect of a 5% fed-funds rate target has been around since at least September, when Deutsche BankXE:DBK, Wall Street’s most pessimistic bank, flicked at the idea of something close to that level. Before Wednesday, many market players had generally held back on pricing in such a scenario because of October’s smaller-than-expected rise in inflation, which raised hopes of a less-aggressive policy stance by the Fed.After Powell’s remarks on Wednesday, fed-funds futures traders boosted the likelihood of a half-percentage-point hike by the Fed on Dec. 14 to 76% versus 66% a day ago. But they also held on to decent chances of additional rate hikes next year that would push the Fed’s main policy rate target above 5%, up from a current range between 3.75% and 4%. The Fed’s December meeting includes the release of rate projections, which will give financial markets more clues about how much higher interest rates could go. “There was hope from the market that there could be a Fed pivot, but when you look through the [Fed’s November meeting] minutes and what some have said, officials are still going to tighten financial conditions” since inflation hasn’t moved down enough, said Robert Daly, director of fixed income for Glenmede Investment Management in Philadelphia. “There’s a lot of cash on the sidelines so buying yield in fixed income is what investors are doing. Buyers are coming back in the belly and long end as a protection mechanism for their portfolios,” resulting in relatively lower yields on 5-, 7-, 10-, and 30-year maturities, which were all trading below 4% on Wednesday.An almost 5% level on the one-year T-bill yield BX:TMUBMUSD01Y could eventually spill over into other rates, such as the two-year T-bill rate BX:TMUBMUSD02Y, and raise jitters in the broader financial market in much the same way that the market’s move toward a 4% level for rates did. In addition, some analysts said, it’s likely to result in an even more deeply inverted Treasury curve that emits even more worrisome signals about the economic outlook.“You could see the 2-year rate going above 5% and each leg higher shows up as nervousness in the markets,” as well as a deeper inversion of the Treasury curve that points to more fear that the U.S. is heading into a recession, Daly said via phone. The last time that the one-year T-bill yield climbed to levels comparable to Wednesday’s was on Aug. 8, 2007, when it hit 4.89%, according to FactSet data. In January 2007, the 1-year closed as high as 5.12%. As of Wednesday afternoon, most Treasury yields were moving lower, with the exceptions of the 3-month and 1-year rates. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchNov 30th, 2022

Inside the frightening, thrilling experience of driving the quickest car in the world, the $2 million Pininfarina Battista

The electric supercar recently hit 60 mph in a mind-boggling 1.79 seconds. Only 150 will ever be made, and we got to drive one. The Pininfarina Battista.TangentVector I tested the Pininfarina Battista, a dizzyingly quick electric supercar that costs $2.2 million and up.  The Italian EV recently claimed the world acceleration record with a blistering 1.79-second run to 60 mph.  It cranks out 1,900 horsepower from four electric motors.  You know that scene in "Top Gun: Maverick" when Tom Cruise's character flies his fighter jet through the desert at ludicrous speeds, every muscle tensed to combat the extraordinary G-forces?That's kind of what driving the Pininfarina Battista is like. At least that's what it felt like in my head — minus the majestic soundtrack and threat of nuclear war.The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderThe $2.2 million, 1,900-horsepower electric supercar is mind-bendingly, frighteningly quick, recently claiming to break the world acceleration record for a street-legal car. On a track in Dubai, the Battista scorched to 60 mph in 1.79 seconds and hit 124 mph in 4.75 seconds. It's astonishing in practically every other respect too, from the way it growls at idle to its stunning looks. The Battista doesn't just prove electric vehicles aren't glorified golf carts or boring commuter cars — it's also an excellent reason to buy a Powerball ticket every now and then.The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderThe Battista is the first model from Pininfarina, a new spinoff car brand from the famed Italian design studio of the same name. The hypercar is named for the company's founder, Battista "Pinin" Farina, who always wanted to launch a car of his own, but never got the chance between designing iconic models for Ferrari and others. That history shines through in the Battista's classic, timeless silhouette. But underneath, it's all about the now and pushing the boundaries of what an EV can be. The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderWalk up close to the Battista and you'll detect a pulsing, futuristic whirr that tells you this is no ordinary vehicle. In its most subdued driving setting — aptly named "Calma" — the sound is faint, almost undetectable. Switching to Furiosa mode unleashes all of the supercar's monstrous power and a noisy, aggressive rumble to match. Touch the car and you can feel it vibrating, despite the lack of an engine. The Battista keeps on purring even when on the move, because what's the point of buying a flashy supercar if nobody knows to turn and snag a glimpse. The soundscape — though artificial — injects some theater and drama into a car that could just as easily be as dead quiet as a Tesla or a Nissan Leaf. The Pininfarina Battista.TangentVectorLike any supercar worth its extremely expensive salt, the Battista has doors that open up — not out. They include a section of the roof, so you don't need to duck too low to get in. From behind the wheel, the Battista gives off the vibes of a spaceship or airplane more than a regular automobile. Its low, deep seats hug you tight. Its cockpit features two touchscreens flanking the steering wheel that are slanted toward the driver. A small display just behind the wheel shows only crucial information like your speed and range so as not to distract you from the road ahead. A pair of substantial, shiny knobs act as selectors for the Battista's driving settings and gears. The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderMy test car came done up in gorgeous tan leather on the seats, center console, doors, and dashboard. But each of the 150 Battistas Pininfarina plans to make will be unique; every combination of options a customer chooses won't be available to future buyers. Each car takes around 1,300 hours of labor to produce, according to Pininfarina. I pulled out onto the road for the first time abundantly aware that millions of dollars worth of painstakingly crafted machinery was now in my hands. I started out in Calma as I got a feel for what the supercar can do. The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderThings were totally manageable. After all, Calma unlocks only about 700 horsepower and mainly employs two of the Battista's four motors. (It has one driving each wheel.) In this most efficient setting, the Battista can travel 300 miles between charging stops, according to the EPA. With a satisfying click of the rotary dial to my left, I cranked up the intensity by switching to Pura, then to Energica. Each time, the Battista's acceleration grew fiercer and the artificial driving sound pumped into the cabin louder and more intimidating. The Pininfarina Battista.TangentVectorEventually my copilot, one of Pininfarina's top engineers, suggested I might be ready for Furiosa — to see what the Battista can do when all of its 1,900 horsepower and 1,726 pound-feet of torque are unleashed. I thought I was ready too. I was not ready. I came up to an open stretch of road, death-gripped the steering wheel, and floored it. In an instant — less than an instant, if that's even possible — the Battista was gone, hurtling down the road faster, and faster, and faster until I let off the throttle, exiting whatever time-warp I was just in and snapping back into reality. The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderAfterward, all I could do was gasp and giggle and babble incoherently while my brain caught up and tried to process what just happened. Perhaps naively, I thought the Battista would be just another very quick electric car. I've driven a few of those. But the Battista is on a different planet. It's kind of like getting shot out of a cannon — except a cannonball slows down, while the Battista relentlessly keeps picking up speed. The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderI came away from my time in the Battista wondering what many of you probably want to know too: Is it worth it?That's tough to answer for someone who doesn't have the fortune to justify such a purchase. Is going to space on Jeff Bezos's spaceship worth millions of dollars? Probably, if you're lucky enough to afford it. The Battista is ridiculously expensive, but it's also extremely rare and offers an experience most people will never get. What I can say is this: If you're the lucky one who won that $2 billion jackpot the other day, go for it. You won't be disappointed.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 24th, 2022

FTX"s collapse shows regulation is needed "before the next crypto catastrophe takes down our economy," Elizabeth Warren warns

"FTX's implosion should be a wake-up call. Regulators must enforce the law before more people get cheated," Warren said. FTX's collapse shows the need for proper crypto regulation, US senator Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday.REUTERS/Joshua Roberts FTX's bankruptcy shows the need for crypto regulation, Elizabeth Warren warned Tuesday. "FTX's implosion should be a wake-up call. Regulators must enforce the law before more people get cheated," she said. Warren criticized crypto’s usage in money laundering and its high environmental cost. FTX's sudden implosion shows there's a need for proper crypto regulation before digital assets cause wider economic damage, according to Elizabeth Warren.The Massachusetts senator said Tuesday that financial watchdogs need to intervene in the space to protect retail investors, after the sudden collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's exchange erased at least $1.7 billion in customers' funds."FTX's implosion should be a wake-up call," she wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. "Regulators must enforce the law before more people get cheated, and Congress must plug the remaining holes in our regulatory structure — before the next crypto catastrophe takes down our economy."FTX filed for bankruptcy last week after rival exchange Binance marked down its holdings of the group's FTT token, sparking a solvency crisis.FTX's new CEO John Ray III said in a Chapter 11 filing published November 17 that the group's total crypto holdings had been worth just $659,000, rather than the $5.5 billion claimed by Bankman-Fried – and that he had "substantial concerns" over their financial statements. Warren compared last week's events to the 2008 financial crisis, saying that crypto is "following a well-worn path of financial innovations, such as subprime mortgages and credit-default swaps, that began with dazzling rewards and ended with crippling losses."As well as protecting retail investors, Warren also wants to see crypto regulation crack down on money laundering. According to Warren, terrorists, drug dealers and ransomware criminals can "hide their illegal activities by trading billions of dollars of cryptocurrencies with complete anonymity."She also wants to see a reduction in the industry's high pollution levels: "Crypto-mining firms polluting and straining power grids should be required to disclose their emissions and energy consumption to the public. The Energy Department has the tools to require these disclosures, but if it's unwilling to use them, Congress should step in."Read more: FTX's bankruptcy filings show the situation is much worse than anyone thought. From a million creditors to a stunning lack of oversight, here are the craziest details.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 24th, 2022

North Korea"s flurry of missile tests has South Korea talking about the nuclear option

Kim Jong Un has pushed South Korea into a tight corner where the discussion of more and more radical options is almost inevitable. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his daughter inspect what Pyongyang says a Hwasong-17 ICBM on November 18.Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP North Korea has done dozens of missile tests this year, including an ICBM test last week. The tests come after years of talks and of sanctions in pursuit of an arms-control deal with the North. In South Korea, debate about defenses is intensifying — including preemptive strikes and nuclear weapons. North Korea, once again, tested an intercontinental ballistic missile last week. It is another among dozens of missile tests this year. This one notably can strike the continental United States.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to continue this year's aggressive testing regimen. And a seventh nuclear test is widely expected this year too. As usual, our response options to Northern testing are poor.Can we negotiate an arms-control deal with North Korea?Kim and his daughter walk away from an ICMB in a photo released on November 19.ReutersNorth Korea does not belong to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Outsiders have very little concrete detail about the number of missiles and warheads it has. The best way to get a handle on that and, ideally, slow down the pace of testing and building, would be a negotiated deal.Unfortunately, the record of such efforts is poor. The two Koreas have been talking about nuclear weapons since the early 1990s. North Korea has signed multiple non-binding protocols declaring its support for a denuclearized Korean peninsula. Yet Pyongyang has ignored these and marched toward more and better weapons of mass destruction for decades.Similarly, North Korea has been an untrustworthy counter-party in previous negotiations, including the Agreed Framework in the 1990s and the Six-Party Talks in the 2000s. President Barack Obama made another effort in 2012, which agreement the North promptly violated. President Donald Trump tried too, but despite three high-profile summits, nothing came of that.We should always keep talking to North Korea — it is too dangerous to ignore — but there is little realistic hope that North Korea will deal profoundly with its nukes or missiles at this point. Kim has even said they are not an area of negotiation.Should we sanction North Korea yet further?Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kim after a meeting in Vladivostok in April 2019.ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/AFP via Getty ImagesNorth Korea is already pretty heavily sanctioned already. The problem is not so much to add more restrictions, but to enforce them.China and Russia permit North Korea to cheat on the sanctions, and the world's democracies have struggled to induce them to enforce the rules. This has worsened, unsurprisingly, since the start of the Ukraine War. Russia is now profoundly alienated from the West and has happily looked the other way at North Korean bad behavior to annoy the West.China too has generally been unwilling to push North Korea too hard. Like Russia, it finds North Korea a useful geopolitical troublemaker. The more the US and Japan focus on North Korea in northeast Asia, the less they pay attention to Chinese encroachments in southeast Asia.China is a formal treaty of the North, and it is happy to look the other way on North Korean sanctions-busting to prop it up and ensure that sanctions do not provoke a regime collapse.What defensive options do we have?South Koreans watch a news report on North Korean missile tests.JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty ImagesThis is where the discussion is now leading. In the conferences I have attended this year in South Korea, there is little talk about a deal or negotiation. It is all about defense now.Trump and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-In, made a vast outreach effort — the biggest ever in the history of negotiation with North Korea, including six summits. Yet North Korea offered very little in those talks and has been very belligerent this year.So unsurprisingly, the discussion has turned toward increasingly risky kinetic options. Hawkish positions previously considered too extreme are now entering the public debate.Early last year, I argued that the failure of the Trump-Moon détente effort would push the debate toward more hawkish options. I speculated that a naval quarantine, along the lines of the US Navy blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, might be the next step.North Korean sanctions-busting relies heavily on water-borne shipping. Blockading North Korean ports would enforce sanctions where China and Russia refuse to act. This would be economic warfare with a sharp edge.Instead, the debate has swung even further to the right. The current South Korean president, Yoon Seok-yeol, suggested, as a candidate, that South Korea might preemptively air-strike North Korean missile sites in a crisis. And a large debate over South Korean nuclear weaponization has also broken out. The South Korean conservative party has suggested that South Korea should withdraw from the NPT if the North conducts a seventh nuclear test.This is the first step toward an independent South Korean nuclear arsenal, for parity with the North. A Southern arsenal need not be large, and the South is also stepping up missile-defense efforts. But still, this is momentous.If it happens, Kim Jong Un has only himself to blame. He has relentlessly pushed South Korea into a tight corner where the discussion of more and more radical options is almost inevitable.Expert Biography: Dr. Robert E. Kelly (@Robert_E_Kelly; RobertEdwinKelly.com) is a professor of international relations in the Department of Political Science at Pusan National University and 19FortyFive contributing editor.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2022

Toxic workplace culture is the top reason people quit their jobs. Here are 26 signs you have a bad boss fueling your unhappiness.

Aggression and unprofessionalism from a manager or CEO can impact your mental health, research shows. Elon Musk.Adrees Latif/Reuters A top reason people quit their jobs is because of toxic workplace cultures, per MIT.  Elon Musk's recent "extremely hardcore" ultimatum is an example of bad leadership. If you don't quit, there are some ways to mend your relationship like trying to find common ground. Elon Musk recently gave Twitter workers an ultimatum: Either agree to the company's "extremely hardcore" reset of its working culture or leave with a severance package. Hundreds of workers, per reports, said "goodbye." That type of ultimatum is characteristic of poor leadership, and at least at Twitter, workers aren't having it. "A bad boss won't just jeopardize your career growth — they'll also negatively impact your personal life," says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert, author, and leadership coach. "A good manager will bring out the best in you and have a more uplifting affect on all aspects of your life."It's important to know whether you've got a bad boss on your hands so you can "take measures to mitigate the stress and own greater power in the relationship" as soon as possible, she adds. Some ways you can try mending your relationship include looking for commonalities to bond over, and proactively offering to help lighten their workload, CNN reported.Based on an interview with Taylor and using the books "Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots" by Vicky Oliver and "The Asshole Survival Guide" by Bob Sutton, Insider compiled 26 signs your boss will eventually crush all happiness you're clinging to — and steps you can take along the way.Elon Musk's failed ultimatum to employees is characteristic of a leadership style many would characterize as overly aggressive.The Wolf of Wall Street/Paramount PicturesYour boss lies.Antonio Guillem/ShutterstockA boss who lies is untrustworthy — not a good foundation for a productive relationship. "Some can become so immune to their own stories that they can convince themselves that the lies are true," says Taylor. "They may legitimize their fibbing by rationalizing that others do it, deflect this character flaw by pointing the finger to others, or use mistruths to generally hide blunders."Other bad bosses just can't face the fallout that will result from telling the truth."Examine what motivates your boss to lie," she suggests. "Make sure you have all your facts before you start any questioning. And remember that it's best to encourage honesty than to go on the offense or use sarcasm."Your boss is never, ever wrong.Luis Alvarez/Getty ImagesLearning to admit that you're wrong is one of the best things you can do for your colleagues.Ask Lexi Reese, the COO of Gusto and a former Googler, and she'll tell you the best thing a boss can do is communicate to their reports the type of leader they aspire to be and then say, "But I also am human and I'll probably f—k it up." Most importantly, the boss should encourage their reports to let them know when they're falling short.If your boss refuses to admit that they're wrong, this means they're not willing to go out of their comfort zone for you.A national independent study by Lynn Taylor Consulting found that 91% of employees said that owning up to one's mistakes as a manager was an important factor in employee job satisfaction."Admitting to mistakes sends a message to your employees that it's a safe environment to take smart risks — and without that, you're sapping innovation," Taylor says.Your boss overpromises.WeStudio/ShutterstockAn overpromising boss is an untrustworthy boss. "You might have been promised a series of promotions, increased responsibility, or a raise, but all you get is silence," says Taylor. "It's often helpful to get to the truth through emails, if one-on-one discussions are getting you nowhere. If the responses aren't coming via email, or at all, be wary." They're quick to blame you for mistakes, but rarely express gratitude when you succeed.Getty ImagesDoes your boss put you down in front of others? If you let it go once, it'll happen over and over again. Good bosses know they should have this conversation with their employees in private.Oliver suggests apologizing to your boss behind closed doors."While it may sound counterintuitive to apologize to someone for something that clearly wasn't your fault, amazing things happen when you can bring yourself to do so," she writes. "An intimate bond is forged. All you have to say is something akin to, 'I blame myself for your outburst earlier today. Clearly, I've been relying on you too much. If you have any issues with me, I'd appreciate hearing about them in the privacy of my office.'"Your boss expects you to be just like them.Larry Busacca/Getty ImagesMost people like others who are similar to them.But good bosses know that different types of personalities can improve their team. According to Goldman Sachs HR head Sally Boyle, the best thing a manager can do to help their employees succeed is get to know them as individuals.If your boss is constantly trying to cast their image onto everything you do, try following one or two of their suggestions and thank them for the rest. Stay true to your colors, but also show that you value your boss' suggestions.Your boss is a micromanager.Scientist Matt Manahan looks at data as he works in a laboratory at the Merck company facilities in Kenilworth, N.J.AP Photo/Mel EvansIs your boss so pushy and overbearing that you find yourself unable to accomplish anything efficiently? This may be a perpetual problem, so get ready for it early.If they want a play-by-play of every meeting, email, and call, then take detailed notes of every business interaction and send them to your boss, suggests Oliver. Your boss will think that they're on top of things and will leave you alone."By over-communicating with a micromanager or needy boss, you'll diffuse their desire to constantly check in, while you build all-important trust at the same time," says Taylor.They have a pesky habit of calling you on your day off.Heino Kalis/ReutersYou put in your hours and get permission for a long weekend off, but your boss doesn't hesitate to call you during your off hours. To deal with this kind of boss, Oliver says you need to set your boundaries early."'Separation anxiety' can kick in if you have a power-hungry boss, and you inadvertently chip away at that power," adds Taylor. "You're best served to instill a sense of comfort with a terrible boss who's demanding, much as you would with a 'terrible two' toddler — whether you plan to take a day off, leave early, arrive late, or take vacation." If you're going to be gone, give ample warning and let them know that things are under control, with appropriate detail.Your boss has favorites.Delmaine Donson/Getty ImagesThis will cloud their ability to recognize your skills and the value you add to the company. They also fail to see that they're treating you unfairly."No matter how hard you work, or the results you achieve, they somehow become dwarfed by those of the teacher's pet," Taylor explains. "It's worth modeling good behavior in this scenario, praising others on your staff or those in other departments, for their team effort. You're giving recognition to those who deserve it and demonstrating the powerful impact that has for people like you."They don't want to hear your viewpoint.REUTERS/ Issei KatoStubborn bosses are as common as company water coolers. "But there's a fine line between appearing insubordinate and arguing your case," says Taylor. If there's something in it for your boss, you have the best chance of changing behavior. "Avoid the temptation to fight the same battles repeatedly. Change your argument to find compromise, and document your case if you're passionate about your perspective. Just don't win the battle and lose the war."Your boss hogs the limelight.REUTERS/Larry DowningDoes your boss constantly use the word "I" when associating with success? Do they fail to invite you to meetings to present your own work?They may be intentionally keeping you out of the limelight so that they can stay in it, warns Oliver."Territorialism is in the DNA of a bad boss," Taylor adds. "They can become glory hogs and take credit for your hard work. Your best option is to manage up and understand the real root of the problem."Their feedback isn't relevant.Rafa Elias/GettyDo you feel like you've gained nothing after receiving feedback from your boss? Is it so vague that it's not helpful? Your boss may either be unsure of what to tell you, meaning they're not equipped for the job, or they don't want to tell you anything useful, says Oliver.Your boss could be withholding information in order to have some kind of advantage. This person is not a team player."You'll have to decide if your career will remain stagnant reporting to this boss; if a lateral move is possible; or if you can still grow due to interactions with other senior members of the team," says Taylor.Your boss gossips. Getty ImagesWhen your manager spreads rumors or gossips about the staff, it's disheartening and awkward — and entirely unprofessional. "Your terrible boss may try to drag you in, but you're better off diplomatically staying out of the fray," says Taylor. "Otherwise, you may find yourself inadvertently alienating others if word spreads further."Try segues that bring current projects back into focus: "Hmm, I hadn't heard that. But while I have your attention, I'd like to mention some good news about the XYZ account."They tease or flirt.Andrew Burton / Getty ImagesJokes that are at your expense can be upsetting. Bad bosses have trouble seeing that by relentlessly teasing people who aren't their equals, it can be hurtful, Taylor explains. "They lack the emotional intelligence to see the difference between humor and insults."Equally as inappropriate, or worse, are bosses who cross the line and flirt. "It may not qualify as sexual harassment (if it does, don't allow it and speak up early)," she says, "but it might be unwanted comments that are borderline, and seem flirtatious or awkward."If the comments are merely friendly and build rapport, great. If anything more than that, you have reason to push back and address it privately. Your boss constantly changes their mind.Tesla Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, reacts to a reporter's question following the electric automaker’s initial public offering on Nasdaq, Tuesday, June, 29, 2010 in New York.AP Photo/Mark LennihanDoes this sound familiar? In the morning, they tell you one thing. After lunch, it's a different story. "Pick the [suggestion] that benefits you most and pursue that direction," Oliver advises. "Kick the habit of being dependent on him in the first place. Never ask for permission. Instead, simply inform him of your intentions. If he has a problem with any of your decisions, he'll let you know."Taylor says fickle bosses are challenging, because they can trigger never-ending false starts. "And that can affect the initiatives you give to your team, causing a colossal productivity and morale drain."It's often better to wait before going full bore on a whim from this kind of boss, she says. "Also, you can be the voice of reason by asking non-threatening, thoughtful questions about the newest idea or flavor of the day. That can give a terrible boss pause, and foster a more strategic approach next time you're given an 'urgent' project."You're not given a chance to grow.Crystal Cox/Business InsiderThere are few things more aggravating at work than being kept stagnant with the same routine responsibilities over a long period of time, especially after you've voiced interest in expanding your level of contribution."If you feel your sentiments are going unheard, you may still proactively demonstrate your more strategic skills on a current project and propose them to your boss; contribute new ideas to your boss' pet project; get more specific with how your background and credentials could specifically be better tapped for XYZ initiatives; or, with your manager's permission, offer to volunteer on a related department's project where your skill set applies, building on your existing credentials," says Taylor.They're passive aggressive or ignore you.Business InsiderOne of the most unnerving, telltale signs of a terrible boss is one who rarely lets you know where you (or they) stand. "Most employees would rather get direct criticism from their manager than face a seemingly pleasant, but backstabbing boss," Taylor explains.If they're simply not attentive, that's also a problem. "When your boss has the attention span of a fly, it not only saps your motivation; you feel like you're spinning your wheels," she says. "Try observing how others get the manager's attention." Your boss has mood swings.Visitors at Knott's Berry Farm ride the new HangTime rollercoaster during it's first day of public operation in Buena Park on Friday, May 11, 2018.Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images"Not everyone is even-keeled all the time. But a bad boss can be a charmer in the morning and a Raging Bull an hour later, depending on events of the day," Taylor says. "You can easily overreact and follow suit with the wide swings. Or, you can be the even-tempered professional who suppresses the 'sky is falling' dynamic."By offering rational thinking — "That's true, but we have until tomorrow to finish the project, and that's more than enough time," for example — you can demonstrate a more constructive approach. "Realize, too, that this yo-yo behavior is rarely directed solely at you."Your boss never discusses your future with you.Reuters / Lee Jae WonAre the discussions with your manager mostly transactional, with rare discussions about your future growth path? A good boss will discuss your prospects for long-term growth within the company — and not just during your performance evaluation, Taylor explains. "Savvy bosses check in with their team on a regular basis, rather than being reactive or waiting for an emergency, such as your brand-new job offer."It's getting harder for you to wake up in the morning.Reuters/Dan KitwoodIf you have a knot in your gut every time you have to face your boss, or if it's taking you twice as long to drag yourself out of bed every morning, take notice. You may just have a terrible boss."The worst thing you can do is nothing," says Taylor. "Better to first examine if this is a relationship worth salvaging with some diplomatic, high-road tactics."Your boss throws tantrums easily.ShutterstockNo one should be subjected to an out-of-control boss. In fact, leadership experts say the most effective managers are pretty boring, i.e. emotionally stable.If you've noticed your boss getting out of control, "your next step might be to check out your favorite job board," says Taylor.But if your manager only has occasional outbursts, you may be able to work through the situation."Consider the acronym CALM:Communicate — more frequently and in a venue that works for your bossAnticipate problems before they worsen, and have solutionsLaugh — use levity to help your boss keep a rational perspectiveManage up — set limits with your bosses diplomatically, and let them see the benefits of your suggestions.Timing is important with emotionally prone bosses. Don't go into the lion's den in your zeal for approvals, and certainly avoid early mornings, just before lunch, or after some bad company news."Your boss is self-centered.shironosov/Getty ImagesDoes you boss truly believe that the world revolves around them? "Some bosses immediately take the conversation to themselves; what happened to them, their latest golf score, a conversation they had ... you get the picture," Taylor says. "You can become more adept at getting to your agenda by saying something like, 'That's interesting. It reminds me of the project you gave me yesterday.' And then don't stop talking until you've safely equalized the conversation."None of your coworkers speak up.Fizkes/ShutterstockIf someone is scared of their boss, they're not going to speak up, "The Asshole Survival Guide" guide author said. "When people with less power try to speak up, they get shut down," Sutton told Business Insider. "There's sort of a cold silence as leaders talk. That, to me, is a sign of fear." It's an indication not everyone's ideas are heard and that there are stark differences in the way people at different levels are treated, he said.Your ideas never go anywhere.GaudiLab/ShutterstockThere's a certain type of evil boss that will never tell you "No" to your face. Instead, they'll listen to your ideas, and then let them fall by the wayside, according to Sutton."They pretend to enthusiastically agree with every decision you make or idea that you have, but rather than telling you when they disagree, they never actually implement the ideas, or do the exact opposite, or intentionally implement the decisions or ideas so badly that failure is inevitable. Then they bad-mouth you and other colleagues behind your backs for your terrible ideas and judgment," Sutton writes. Your work is never enough.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images"It's 8:30 am and your inbox is crashing the corporate server due to your boss' excessive requests and inquiries," Taylor says. "You could work 24/7 and still find your boss dissatisfied."Your manager must realize that you have limited time in a day, and can't do all things (well) at once. If you don't speak up, your boss will keep pushing. Projects are suddenly whisked away.Brendon Thorne/Getty"You're given the plum project of the year on Friday, but on Monday, John is now somehow in charge," Taylor says. "It feels like the rug was just pulled from under your cubicle."You have the right to get clarity, albeit tactfully, she explains. You want to avoid: "Why is John handling my project?!" Use a cool-down period to collect your thoughts, diffusing any signs of emotion.Try something like this in a face-to-face meeting: "I want to do the best job I can here and was really looking forward to managing that project. What happened that changed that plan?""You may not be the only one on the receiving side of this form of mismanagement, so don't assume you're being singled out," she says. "If you're seeing a pattern of losing work assignments, ask to handle specific new projects and gauge the responses before making your next move."Your boss operates by irrational fear.David Rogers/Getty ImagesIf your boss acts as if the world is coming to an end, that spawns fear throughout the office and hurts your concentration. "Try to be a beacon of rationality by posing the 'what ifs' to your boss, and point out the positives of the situation with real facts," Taylor says.Jacquelyn Smith and Vivian Giang contributed to earlier versions of this article which was originally published in 2016. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 18th, 2022

Extinction Rebellion Activists Have Worn Out Their Welcome And The Public Is Angry

Extinction Rebellion Activists Have Worn Out Their Welcome And The Public Is Angry When does activism for a cause turn into a narcissistic agenda for attention and self gratification?  There's a fine line, and the Extinction Rebellion movement has surely crossed it with their incessant and self-indulgent drama. This week, motorists in France were greeted with yet another Extinction group trying to glue themselves to the pavement of a major thoroughfare to block traffic in the name of stopping climate change.  However, this time drivers did not simply sit around waiting for the police to arrive; instead, they began dragging the activists off the road by force. This incident is part of a growing frustration among normal people in response to climate cultism, with the Extinction Rebellion movement making up the bulk of the worst events.  In the past several months there have been an increasing number of traffic disruptions and acts of vandalism.  The most prominent actions include the attempted destruction of major works of art in national museums, many of them painted centuries before carbon “pollution” was an issue.   This too has prompted museums to become more aggressive in stopping activists from using vandalism as a means to get attention.   The inevitable outcome is obvious – The activists are going to start getting hurt.  If the cause was based in reality then the hostility from the public might be diminished, but the cause is fraudulent.  There is no man-made global warming and carbon pollution is not a threat to the future of the planet.   All the talk of global warming in the media might make people believe that the Earth is rapidly plunging into a hot cauldron of doom, but the truth according to the numbers of climate scientists is that the Earth's temperature has risen less than 1°C  in the past 100 years.  That's right, the Earth is supposed to be on the verge of Apocalypse because of less than ONE DEGREE of heat. But what about context?  Has the Earth ever been this hot before?  And if so, what caused it?   In fact, the Earth has been much hotter in the past, and there is no evidence that carbon pollution was a singular trigger.  Certainly, man-made carbon was not a factor in any previous heating event in the Earth's history. So what is climate change hysteria and the Extinction Rebellion really all about?  In the case of activists the issue is a need for rebellion and desperation for a cause.  These are people who have far too much time on their hands and a feeling of inadequacy in life.  In order to bring meaning to their hapless existence, they have attached themselves to the climate agenda without researching the circumstances and data.   In the case of the corporate media and global climate institutions funded by the UN and various governments, the issue is control.  Climate change legislation along with carbon taxation gives the establishment the ability to micromanage almost all food production, manufacturing, resource development and energy usage.  Not to mention, it creates an excuse for the implementation of population controls. In a world where the UN and Extinction activists get their way, there might be a very real extinction involving mass reduction in energy output, the decline of the global economy and available agriculture.  The world cannot sustain on green technology which is highly inefficient and incredibly costly.  Oil, gas coal and perhaps nuclear power are the only practical resources to maintain our current civilization.  But maybe that's the point?   Maybe the ultimate goal is to create a production environment that is so restrictive that only governments can manage it, while private businesses are forced out of the market.  Maybe the goal is to make production and economy into a point of leverage that can be used to muscle the public into compliance with more authoritarian designs.  Maybe climate change is nothing more than a springboard for tyranny.   As The Club Of Rome, a group of globalists sponsored by the UN, once stated in their book 'The First Global Revolution': “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.” The quote comes from Chapter 5 of the treatise titled The Vacuum, which covers the concept of global government.  It suggests that global warming and environmental hysteria are not actual threats, but fabricated dragons created for gullible activists to slay.  Not only that, but these dragons are creations of human existence and subsistence.  The only way to kill these paper thin dragons is total centralization, giving governments and global institutions ultimate power to “save humanity from itself.”  How convenient for the globalists.  The activists on the the other hand as simply useful idiots being used to set fires to western civilization, to create havoc and inspire a sense of impending climate catastrophe that will never come.  They might believe that once carbon controls are put in place they will have earned a seat a the table, or that their future's within the establishment edifice are assured.  This is probably not the case.  As history often shows with these kinds of movements, once the activists have served their purpose the elites do away with them.      Tyler Durden Thu, 11/17/2022 - 05:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 17th, 2022

A former economic advisor to the Russian government breaks down the telltale signs that a recent anti-America rally in Moscow was staged by Russian authorities

Anders Åslund says the Moscow rally was full of paid protesters and shows the Kremlin is running out of ideas. Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony in Moscow on November 9 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency.SERGEI BOBYLYOV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images People were filmed marching through Moscow and calling for nuclear strikes on the US. A Russia expert described what he said were telltale signs the rally was staged by the Kremlin. The expert said the rally indicated the Kremlin's propaganda machine might be losing steam. Clad in orange and black, a small crowd marched through the streets of Moscow, clutching USSR flags and neatly written signs. Two men in black jackets walked ahead of them, filming on their phones."A flight task for the Sarmat missile!" a man at the head of the crowd sang in Russian.He pumped his fist in the air, chanting: "On Washington! On Washington!" Bored faces in the crowd joined in after some delay.Every few seconds, the leader interjected with a new cheer."We will go to heaven as martyrs! They will simply croak!" he yelled, echoing the words of President Vladimir Putin. He called for nuclear strikes on the US, demanding attacks on American "decision-making centers."It's unclear when the rally was held, but the videos were distributed on Russian Telegram channels on Saturday. Russian media dubbed the rally "the March on Washington," highlighting the display of pro-war sentiment in Russia.In reality, there were clear signs it was a staged affair, one Russia expert told Insider.—Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) November 12, 2022"It was obvious," said Anders Åslund, who served as an economic advisor to the Russian government when it overhauled its economy after the collapse of the Soviet Union. "You have one chap who goes in front and shouts, 50 people walking in a clear formation, signs cut out from the same material, all written in the same handwriting."In a city where protests always see some sort of police presence, law enforcement was notably absent in the video, said Åslund, now a senior fellow at the Stockholm Free World Forum, a think tank in Sweden.Åslund also said it was unlikely the rally was held by a rogue organization operating independently."They wouldn't even be allowed to stage a protest," he said. "The Kremlin wants to control everything — they want full control."Unlike at the recent rally, the Russian police previously arrested over a thousand people protesting Putin's mobilization of reservists.Contributor/Getty ImagesHow the Kremlin is managing public war sentimentSome elements of the "March on Washington" show how the Kremlin is managing public sentiment about Russia's war in Ukraine, Åslund said.For one, he said, few people were present at the rally compared with previous demonstrations."They've done this many times outside the US Embassy, on other matters," Åslund said. "The numbers were definitely much more than this."He said that the rallygoers were most likely paid actors and that the smaller size of the crowd indicated that fewer Russians were willing to appear as though they supported aggression against the West.Most of the protesters also seemed to be doing the minimum, tepidly holding their phones or flags in the air and chanting only when prompted by the crowd leader."They were not paid much, so they did the minimum," Åslund speculated. "It was very low-budget."Even Russian pundits on state TV disapproved of the rally, with the media host Sergey Mardan calling it a "gross clown show," according to a translation by the Daily Beast reporter Julia Davis.Nikita Danyuk, a Russian political scientist at the Institute for Strategic Studies and Predictions, told Mardan the rally was so extreme it was "discrediting patriotic movements" in Russia and could be used as fuel for Ukrainian propaganda."I don't know who signed off on this," he said. "Honestly, when it's happening in the center of Moscow, it's done on camera, you can see it's coordinated. They've obviously received some kind of permission.""If you try doing that without coordination, specially trained people will quickly arrive and you won't be able to do anything," Danyuk added.Mardan noted that the crowd probably had to get permission from the Federal Security Service, the main successor to Russia's KGB.'The ultimate end of their imagination'Then there's the rally's message."It's the ultimate end of their imagination," Åslund said. "What's at the top of their heads — what would we like? Bomb Washington. What can we bomb them with? Sarmat."The Sarmat is a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile that can carry dozens of nuclear payloads. Previous demonstrations in Moscow in October also featured protesters clamoring for Sarmat strikes on the US. They paraded a black rocket on the streets, which appears to have been reused in the most recent staged rally.As for why Moscow would bother with such a low-effort act, Åslund compared it to a classic Soviet-era practice to continually churn out propaganda, even if it's unlikely to convince anyone."Nobody will listen to this," Åslund said. "They have gone back to the tactics of the Soviet Union. Hammer, hammer, hammer. Fill the space with monotony."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 17th, 2022

Escobar: Russia, India, China, Iran - The Quad That Really Matters

Escobar: Russia, India, China, Iran - The Quad That Really Matters Authored by Pepe Escobar, Southeast Asia is right at the center of international relations for a whole week viz a viz three consecutive summits: Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh, the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Bali, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok. Eighteen nations accounting for roughly half of the global economy represented at the first in-person ASEAN summit since the Covid-19 pandemic in Cambodia: the ASEAN 10, Japan, South Korea, China, India, US, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. With characteristic Asian politeness, the summit chair, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (or “Colombian”, according to the so-called “leader of the free world”), said the plenary meeting was somewhat heated, but the atmosphere was not tense: “Leaders talked in a mature way, no one left.” It was up to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to express what was really significant at the end of the summit. While praising the “inclusive, open, equal structure of security and cooperation at ASEAN”, Lavrov stressed how Europe and NATO “want to militarize the region in order to contain Russia and China’s interests in the Indo-Pacific.” A manifestation of this policy is how “AUKUS is openly aiming at confrontation in the South China Sea,” he said. Lavrov also stressed how the West, via the NATO military alliance, is accepting ASEAN “only nominally” while promoting a completely “unclear” agenda. What’s clear though is how NATO “has moved towards Russian borders several times and now declared at the Madrid summit that they have taken global responsibility.” This leads us to the clincher: “NATO is moving their line of defense to the South China Sea.” And, Lavrov added, Beijing holds the same assessment. Here, concisely, is the open “secret” of our current geopolitical incandescence. Washington’s number one priority is the containment of China. That implies blocking the EU from getting closer to the key Eurasia drivers  – China, Russia, and Iran – engaged in building the world’s largest free trade/connectivity environment. Adding to the decades-long hybrid war against Iran, the infinite weaponizing of the Ukrainian black hole fits into the initial stages of the battle. For the Empire, Iran cannot profit from becoming a provider of cheap, quality energy to the EU. And in parallel, Russia must be cut off from the EU. The next step is to force the EU to cut itself off from China. All that fits into the wildest, warped Straussian/neo-con wet dreams: to attack China, by emboldening Taiwan, first Russia must be weakened, via the instrumentalization (and destruction) of Ukraine. And all along the scenario, Europe simply has no agency. Putin, Raeisi and the Erdogan track Real life across key Eurasia nodes reveals a completely different picture. Take the relaxed get-together in Tehran between Russia’s top security official Nikolai Patrushev and his Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani last week. They discussed not only security matters but also serious business – as in turbo-charged trade. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will sign a $40 billion deal next month with Gazprom, bypassing US sanctions, and encompassing the development of two gas fields and six oilfields, swaps in natural gas and oil products, LNG projects, and the construction of gas pipelines. Immediately after the Patrushev-Shamkhani meeting, President Putin called President Ebrahim Raeisi to keep up the “interaction in politics, trade and the economy, including transport and logistics,” according to the Kremlin. Iranian president reportedly more than “welcomed” the “strengthening” of Moscow-Tehran ties. Patrushev unequivocally supported Tehran over the latest color revolution adventure perpetrated under the framework of the Empire’s endless hybrid war. Iran and the EAEU are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in parallel to the swap deals with Russian oil. Soon, SWIFT may be completely bypassed. The whole Global South is watching. Simultaneous to Putin’s phone call, Turkiye’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan – conducting his own diplomatic overdrive, and just back from a summit of Turkic nations in Samarkand – stressed that the US and the collective West are attacking Russia “almost without limits”. Erdogan made it clear that Russia is a “powerful” state and commended its “great resistance”. The response came exactly 24 hours later. Turkish intelligence cut to the chase, pointing out that the terrorist bombing in the perpetually busy Istiklal pedestrian street in Istanbul was designed in Kobane in northern Syria, which essentially responds to the US. That constitutes a de-facto act of war and may unleash serious consequences, including a profound revision of Turkiye’s presence inside NATO. Iran’s multi-track strategy A Russia-Iran strategic alliance manifests itself practically as a historical inevitability. It recalls the time when the erstwhile USSR helped Iran militarily via North Korea, after an enforced US/Europe blockade. Putin and Raeisi are taking it to the next level. Moscow and Tehran are developing a joint strategy to defeat the weaponization of sanctions by the collective West. Iran, after all, has an absolutely stellar record of smashing variants of “maximum pressure” to bits. Also, it is now linked to a strategic nuclear umbrella offered by the “RICs” in BRICS (Russia, India, China). So, Tehran may now plan to develop its massive economic potential within the framework of BRI, SCO, INSTC, the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), and the Russian-led Greater Eurasia Partnership. Moscow’s game is pure sophistication: engaging in a high-level strategic oil alliance with Saudi Arabia while deepening its strategic partnership with Iran. Immediately after Patrushev’s visit, Tehran announced the development of an indigenously built hypersonic ballistic missile, quite similar to the Russian KH-47 M2 Khinzal. And the other significant news was connectivity-wise: the completion of part of a railway from strategic Chabahar Port to the border with Turkmenistan. That means imminent direct rail connectivity to the Central Asian, Russian and Chinese spheres. Add to it the predominant role of OPEC+, the development of BRICS+, and the pan-Eurasian drive to pricing trade, insurance, security, investments in the ruble, yuan, rial, etc. There’s also the fact that Tehran could not care less about the endless collective West procrastination on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as Iran nuclear deal: what really matters now is the deepening relationship with the “RICs” in BRICS. Tehran refused to sign a tampered-with EU draft nuclear deal in Vienna. Brussels was enraged; no Iranian oil will “save” Europe, replacing Russian oil under a nonsensical cap to be imposed next month. And Washington was enraged because it was betting on internal tensions to split OPEC. Considering all of the above, no wonder US ‘Think Tankland’ is behaving like a bunch of headless chickens. The queue to join BRICS During the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand last September, it was already tacit to all players how the Empire is cannibalizing its closest allies. And how, simultaneously, the shrinking NATO-sphere is turning inwards, with a focus on The Enemy Within, relentlessly corralling average citizens to march in lockstep behind total compliance with a two-pronged war – hybrid and otherwise – against imperial peer competitors Russia and China. Now compare it with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Samarkand presenting China and Russia, together, as the top “responsible global powers” bent on securing the emergence of multipolarity. Samarkand also reaffirmed the strategic political partnership between Russia and India (Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it an unbreakable friendship). That was corroborated by the meeting between Lavrov and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar last week in Moscow. Lavrov praised the strategic partnership in every crucial area – politics, trade and economics, investment, and technology, as well as “closely coordinated actions” at the UN Security Council, BRICS, SCO and the G20. On BRICS, crucially, Lavrov confirmed that “over a dozen countries” are lining up for membership, including Iran: “We expect the work on coordinating the criteria and principles that should underlie BRICS expansion to not take much time”. But first, the five members need to analyze the ground-breaking repercussions of an expanded BRICS+. Once again: contrast. What is the EU’s “response” to these developments? Coming up with yet another sanctions package against Iran, targeting officials and entities “connected with security affairs” as well as companies, for their alleged “violence and repressions”. “Diplomacy”, collective West-style, barely registers as bullying. Back to the real economy – as in the gas front – the national interests of Russia, Iran and Turkiye are increasingly intertwined; and that is bound to influence developments in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and will be a key factor to facilitate Erdogan’s re-election next year. As it stands, Riyadh for all practical purposes has performed a stunning 180-degree maneuver against Washington via OPEC+. That may signify, even in a twisted way, the onset of a process of unification of Arab interests, guided by Moscow. Stranger things have happened in modern history. Now appears to be the time for the Arab world to be finally ready to join the Quad that really matters: Russia, India, China, and Iran. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/16/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 17th, 2022

Senator Cotton Vs. Progressive Foreign Policy

Senator Cotton Vs. Progressive Foreign Policy Authored by Peter Berkowitz via RealClear Wire, Responsible foreign policy in a free and democratic nation-state is a matter of balance. Interest and principle; the logic of geopolitics and the sway of tradition, faith, and political ideology; force of arms and diplomatic finesse; national interest and alliances; spheres of influence and the laws binding all nations; necessity and justice – these and more must be constantly combined and reconciled to meet the demands of the moment and long-term strategic objectives. The Biden administration has thrown this combining and reconciling out of whack. Despite President Trump’s bluster and bravado, his administration transmitted to the Biden administration a variety of foreign-policy accomplishments. Foremost among them was reorientation of U.S. diplomacy around the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party to American freedom and prosperity and to the nation’s interest in preserving a free and open international order. In addition, the Trump administration revived the Quad – Japan, India, and Australia, along with the United States – to advance shared interests in the Indo-Pacific. It withdrew from the Iran deal, which omitted reliable mechanisms for monitoring Tehran’s nuclear programs and put the terrorism-exporting Islamic republic on a clear timetable to join the nuclear club. It brokered the Abraham Accords, inaugurating a new era of comity between Israel and Arab nations. It persuaded several NATO partners to meet – or come closer to fulfilling – their agreed-upon obligations to fund the alliance. It fostered U.S. self-reliance by encouraging development of domestic oil and natural gas. And it reasserted control over America’s southern border, substantially reducing the influx of illegal immigrants. Biden and his team laudably followed the Trump administration in breaking with decades of engagement with China by recognizing that the CCP acts as a strategic competitor determined to reshape the world order to suit the party’s authoritarian convictions. But Biden’s diplomacy has left America in a weaker position than the one his White House inherited. The Biden administration opened the southern border, producing record numbers of non-citizens illegally entering the country and permitting the importation of deadly drugs. It restricted production of domestic oil and natural gas, which enriched oil-and-gas-rich Russia and increased European dependence on Vladimir Putin; then, when U.S. gasoline prices predictably skyrocketed, the Biden administration went hat in hand to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia (despite during the 2020 campaign Biden scorning the Kingdom as a “pariah”) pleading for them to pump more oil. It entreated Iran to conclude a second nuclear deal which, like the first, would lack adequate monitoring procedures and provide Tehran tens of billions of dollars in relief while allowing the ayatollahs to continue to develop ballistic missiles and foment terror and sectarian strife throughout the region. It strained to pronounce the words “Abraham Accords” let alone celebrate the historic agreements. And the Biden administration’s calamitously ill-conceived withdrawal from Afghanistan cast doubt in friends’ minds about America’s competence and trustworthiness and emboldened adversaries to surmise that the United States need not be feared. To the United States’ detriment, Biden administration foreign policy reflects the spirit and duplicates the consequences of Obama administration foreign policy. To take one example, in August 2013, in the Syrian civil war, President Bashar al-Assad attacked adversaries with the chemical agent sarin. Instead of enforcing his openly declared red line – and decades after the Soviet Union’s expulsions from the region – Obama invited Moscow back into the Levant to preside over removal of Assad’s chemical weapons. Six months later, on February 20, 2014, Putin invaded Ukraine. Similarly, on February 24, 2022 – almost exactly eight years later and six months after President Biden’s August 2021 Afghanistan debacle – Putin again invaded Ukraine. By misjudging foes and leaving friends high and dry, the Obama and Biden administrations dishonored the nation, encouraged aggression, and eroded world order. The continuities between the two Democratic administrations are not a matter of bad luck, overpowering events, or impersonal and irresistible forces, argues Sen. Tom Cotton. In “Only the Strong: Reversing the Left’s Plot to Sabotage American Power,” Cotton (an old friend whom I’ve known since his undergraduate days at Harvard) contends that the method to the messes made by Presidents Obama and Biden stems from their progressive convictions and dispositions. With characteristic forthrightness, shrewdness, and tenacity, he sets forth a devastating indictment of the progressive mindset in foreign affairs. He also provides a blistering critique of the deleterious policy choices and ham-handed execution of military operations and diplomacy to which, for more than half a century, progressivism has disposed Democratic presidents. His goal is “to reclaim the tradition of American strength.” Cotton knows full well that over the last half century conservatives, too, have made costly foreign-policy errors. But his analysis, informed by serious study of American political ideas and institutions, reveals a crucial difference: Whereas conservatives go wrong when they depart from their principles, which derive from the American founding, progressives do damage by acting on their principles, which repudiate the Founders’ wisdom. Cotton contrasts the Founders’ sobriety to progressives’ utopianism. The Founders “built America on eternal principles and timeless truths” rooted in a realistic assessment of human nature. They knew that human beings were unequal in many respects and prone to selfishness and shortsightedness but also inclined to cooperate to achieve common goods and, when put to the test, capable of self-sacrifice and nobility. The Founders embraced the Declaration of Independence’s self-evident truths: Human beings are equally endowed with natural and unalienable rights; government’s chief purpose is to secure these rights; and just power derives from the consent of the governed and is limited by what is necessary and proper to secure citizens’ rights. Progressivism arose in the late 19th century and early 20th century in opposition to the Founders’ ideas about human nature and government. Progressives tended to deny that human nature served as a moral guide and political standard. Instead, they supposed that science and enlightenment could steadily perfect human beings, and they placed their faith in a theory of history as ineluctably impelling humanity towards peace, prosperity, and happiness. Owing to the elites’ moral improvement and intellectual refinement coupled with the people’s persisting backwardness, progressives argued, government must be expanded beyond the Constitution’s obsolete limits to enable officials to instruct and improve ordinary voters. Opinions about human nature and government shape accounts of America’s dealings with other nations. The Founders, Cotton stresses, fashioned a “hard-nosed” foreign policy that made a priority in a dangerous world of ensuring the American people’s safety, freedom, and prosperity. The flux of circumstance, the Founders readily acknowledged, compelled prudent statesmen to adjust policies to achieve America’s abiding national interests. President Reagan’s diplomacy, culminating in the U.S.-led victory in the Cold War, epitomizes, for Cotton, a foreign policy that secures American freedom and prosperity through a blend of principle, competence, and courage. In line with the belief that history drives humanity’s unification and perfection, progressive foreign policy tended to put the international community first. Progressives appealed to a transnational corps of supposedly disinterested technocrats, diplomats, and judges to overcome great-power politics and make war obsolete by crafting rules, regulations, and agreements that knit together all peoples and nations in a global society under unified government. In practice, argues Cotton, the progressive sensibility issues in dithering and inconstancy, overestimation of America’s persuasive powers, underestimation of adversaries’ ruthlessness, and aversion to use of American military force. The senator chronicles the high price paid by the nation – and military men and women in particular – for progressive heedlessness and irresoluteness. His “brutally frank” examination covers President Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs; President Johnson and the Vietnam War; President Carter and the Iran hostage crisis; President Clinton and Somalia; President Obama and Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan as well as Syria and Iran; and President Biden and Afghanistan and Iran. To secure anew the American people’s freedom and prosperity, Cotton argues, we must recover the Founders’ wisdom, rebuild the military, strengthen the southern border, achieve energy independence, distinguish friends – including non-democratic ones – from foes, maintain our global network of partners, and gear up to prevail in the strategic competition launched by China. “Only the strong,” Cotton concludes, “can defend a city on a hill.” This stirring image does not mean that the patriotic warrior’s grit, discipline, and courage alone secure justice. Fidelity to America’s founding principles and the finest in its constitutional traditions obliges America also to educate its young people in, rather than against, constitutional democracy. Such fidelity fosters the political cohesiveness that enables partisans of many stripes to recognize one another as fellow citizens. And it disposes a responsible U.S. foreign policy to champion human rights while respecting the harsh realities of world affairs and the diversity of other peoples and nations. Striking the right balance is the fullest and truest expression of national strength. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/14/2022 - 22:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 14th, 2022

I drove a $2 million electric car with 1,900 horsepower and saw the unimaginably fast future of supercars

The Pininfarina Battista can hit 62 mph in under two seconds, making it one of the fastest-accelerating cars in the world. Only 150 will ever be made. The Pininfarina Battista.TangentVector I drove the Pininfarina Battista, a new electric supercar that costs $2.2 million and up.  The Italian EV cranks out 1,900 horsepower from four electric motors and hits 62 mph in under two seconds.  It accelerates faster than I thought was even possible.  You know that scene in "Top Gun: Maverick" when Tom Cruise's character flies his fighter jet through the desert at ludicrous speeds, every muscle tensed to combat the extraordinary G-forces?That's kind of what driving the Pininfarina Battista is like. At least that's what it felt like in my head — minus the majestic soundtrack and threat of nuclear war.The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderThe $2.2 million, 1,900-horsepower electric supercar is mind-bendingly, frighteningly quick, promising to hit 62 mph from a standstill in less than two seconds. It's astonishing in practically every other respect too, from the way it growls at idle to its stunning looks. The Battista doesn't just prove electric vehicles aren't glorified golf carts or boring commuter cars — it's also an excellent reason to buy a Powerball ticket every now and then.The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderThe Battista is the first model from Pininfarina, a new spinoff car brand from the famed Italian design studio of the same name. The hypercar is named for the company's founder, Battista "Pinin" Farina, who always wanted to launch a car of his own, but never got the chance between designing iconic models for Ferraris and others. That history shines through in the Battista's classic, timeless silhouette. But underneath, it's all about the now and pushing the boundaries of what an EV can be. The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderWalk up close to the Battista and you'll detect a pulsing, futuristic whirr that tells you this is no ordinary vehicle. In its most subdued driving setting — aptly named "Calma" — the sound is faint, almost undetectable. Switching to Furiosa mode unleashes all of the supercar's monstrous power and a noisy, aggressive rumble to match. Touch the car and you can feel it vibrating, despite the lack of an engine. The Battista keeps on purring even when on the move, because what's the point of buying a flashy supercar if nobody knows to turn and snag a glimpse. The soundscape — though artificial — injects some theater and drama into a car that could just as easily be as dead quiet as a Tesla or a Nissan Leaf. The Pininfarina Battista.TangentVectorLike any supercar worth its extremely expensive salt, the Battista has doors that open up — not out. They include a section of the roof, so you don't need to duck too low to get in. From behind the wheel, the Battista gives off the vibes of a spaceship or airplane more than a regular automobile. Its low, deep seats hug you tight. Its cockpit features two touchscreens flanking the steering wheel that are slanted toward the driver. A small display just behind the wheel shows only crucial information like your speed and range so as not to distract you from the road ahead. A pair of substantial, shiny knobs act as selectors for the Battista's driving settings and gears. The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderMy test car came done up in gorgeous tan leather on the seats, center console, doors, and dashboard. But each of the 150 Battistas Pininfarina plans to make will be unique; every combination of options a customer chooses won't be available to future buyers. Each car takes around 1,300 hours of labor to produce, according to Pininfarina. I pulled out onto the road for the first time abundantly aware that millions of dollars worth of painstakingly crafted machinery was now in my hands. I started out in Calma as I got a feel for what the supercar can do. The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderThings were totally manageable. After all, Calma unlocks only about 700 horsepower and mainly employs two of the Battista's four motors. (It has one driving each wheel.) In this most efficient setting, the Battista can travel 300 miles between charging stops, according to the EPA. With a satisfying click of the rotary dial to my left, I cranked up the intensity by switching to Pura, then to Energica. Each time, the Battista's acceleration grew fiercer and the artificial driving sound pumped into the cabin louder and more intimidating. The Pininfarina Battista.TangentVectorEventually my copilot, one of Pininfarina's top engineers, suggested I might be ready for Furiosa — to see what the Battista can do when all of its 1,900 horsepower and 1,726 pound-feet of torque are unleashed. I thought I was ready too. I was not ready. I came up to an open stretch of road, death-gripped the steering wheel, and floored it. In an instant — less than an instant, if that's even possible — the Battista was simply gone, hurtling down the road faster, and faster, and faster until I let off the throttle, exiting whatever time-warp I was just in and snapping back into reality. The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderAfterward, all I could do was gasp and giggle and babble incoherently while my brain caught up and tried to process what just happened. Perhaps naively, I thought the Battista would be just another very quick electric car. I've driven a few of those. But the Battista is on a different planet. It's kind of like getting shot out of a cannon — except a cannonball slows down, while the Battista relentlessly keeps picking up speed. The Pininfarina Battista.Tim Levin/InsiderI came away from my time in the Battista wondering what many of you probably want to know too: Is it worth it?That's tough to answer for someone who doesn't have the fortune to justify such a purchase. Is going to space on Jeff Bezos's spaceship worth millions of dollars? Probably, if you're lucky enough to afford it. The Battista is ridiculously expensive, but it's also extremely rare and offers an experience most people will never get. What I can say is this: If you're the lucky one who won that $2 billion jackpot the other day, go for it. You won't be disappointed.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 12th, 2022

Delaware Professor: Doubting Fetterman"s Fitness Is Embracing Eugenics

Delaware Professor: Doubting Fetterman's Fitness Is Embracing Eugenics Authored by Jonathan Turley, On the eve of the midterm elections with Pennsylvania’s Senate race viewed as a dead heat, Democratic candidate John Fetterman declared “I run on Roe v. Wade. I celebrate the demise of Roe v. Wade.” It was obviously a jarring moment for his pro-choice crowd particularly after calling for the codification of Roe. It was an all-too-familiar moment for the candidate who suffered a serious stroke that has impaired his communication and processing skills. However, as we previously discussed, many on the left have swatted back questions concerning Fetterman’s fitness as “ableism.” Now, the Washington Post has run a long column from University of Delaware Professor Jaipreet Virdi declaring that it is not just embracing ableism but eugenics to question Fetterman’s fitness. Professor Virdi is an associate professor at the University of Delaware who describes herself as “Deaf & forever a radical.”  She is a prominent and influential voice against discrimination against the deaf. There were parts of her column that I thought raised valuable and probative insights, including Virdi’s observation that “disabled people are the ‘original life hackers,’ people who adapt to their circumstances and find their way through the disabled world, by creating new objects and paths that allow them full participation.” She is also right that we need to reevaluate how our expectations might be barriers to those with disabilities. However, she engages in her own sweeping generalizations of those who raise these concerns and tells them that they must “jettison[] eugenics-influenced ideas about disability.” Virdi frames her analysis by insisting that Fetterman is just given to “verbal stumbles and pauses.”  The problem is that we do not know if there is more serious cognitive damage. Fetterman has refused to release his medical records despite requests from the media, including newspapers that support him. Moreover, Fetterman had this stroke before the primary vote but he and his staff kept the serious impact of the stroke a secret. After he received the nomination, they then largely prevented the media or voters from questioning him and sharply limited his public appearances. They would only agree to one debate and insisted that it occur relatively late in the election after hundreds of thousands voted. In other words, we still do not know the extent to which Fetterman can process information and communicate. His sole debate was widely viewed as alarming. However, it is the escalation of the rhetoric that is most notable about the Washington Post column. Professor Virdi explains that the doubts raised over Fetterman are reflective of our history with eugenics and view that certain groups are “socially deficient.” “As far as eugenicists were concerned, science said that “moral” flaws were hereditary and threatened the health of the nation. This meant that the solution to social problems such as crime, promiscuity and poverty aimed at the institutionalization and sterilization of the “morally degenerate”. As [Sir Francis ] Galton envisioned, human improvement was only possible through consistent, scientific intervention brought about by eugenics: ‘What nature does blindly, slowly, and recklessly, man can do proactively, swiftly, and kindly.’” Professor Virdi ties such doubts over the fitness of disabled people to past efforts of sterilization and the view that “controlling human reproduction through better breeding was a must.” She warns the such “at its core, eugenics simply applied a scientific gloss to existing racial, class, and gender prejudices. Immigrants, people with disabilities, and racial and ethnic minorities were among those identified as socially ‘disabled.'” As I wrote in the earlier column, there is no reason why a senator cannot be fully effective despite a disability, including the use of such devices as readers.  The problem in Pennsylvania is that the Fetterman campaign has actively prevented efforts to determine if there are more serious cognitive difficulties for Fetterman in processing information. In the end, the Fetterman strategy worked in sheltering the candidate from further questioning or debates. The best way to dispel such questions would have been greater interaction with the candidate to show that this was limited, as Professor Virdi suggests, to mere “verbal stumbles and pauses.”  As it stands, voters will largely vote without such information and any doubts are the result of the concerted effort to leave these questions answered. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/07/2022 - 20:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 7th, 2022

School Choice Is About To Revolutionize K-12 Education

School Choice Is About To Revolutionize K-12 Education Authored by Brian McGlinchey via starkrealities.substack.com  Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, America’s parents have shifted nearly 2 million students from public schools to alternatives that include private schools and home schooling. For public schools, that represents a loss of about 4% of their enrollment. Expect the exodus to grow larger, as the United States is undergoing a major change in philosophy regarding publicly-funded K-12 education, away from funding government-run school systems and toward funding individual students—with parents getting to choose where their children learn. In June, Arizona put itself at the leading edge of that shift: Every Arizona family can now direct about $7,000 a year per student toward the education solution of their choice. Funds can be used for private schools, home schooling, tutoring and online learning. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey at a celebration of his signing of the law allowing all students to use pubic funds to attend the school of their choice (Photo: Governor's office)  Arizona also provides free choice among public schools — rather than being forced into a particular school by neighborhood, parents who prefer public schools can pick whichever one they want, first-come first-served. Defenders of the status quo typically characterize school-choice laws as “taking money away” from public schools, recoiling at the very idea that government money would be spent anywhere other than a government institution. However, that’s already how the great majority of publicly-funded education and other entitlements work, without uproar. “We have Pell Grants for low-income students for higher eduction, we have the Head Start program for pre-K where you can pick public, private, religious or non-religious,” said Corey DeAngelis, a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children, on Michael Malice’s “Your Welcome” podcast. “We have food stamps where the money goes to the person and you can pick Walmart or Trader Joe’s…it doesn’t go to a residentially-assigned, government-run grocery store. That would be absolutely ridiculous.” Meanwhile, those who say school choice programs will drain public schools of huge sums of money are implicitly asserting that, were it not for a system that protects public schools from competition — by granting them a monopoly on the use of public K-12 funds — a great many more parents would send their children elsewhere. For decades, public school monopolies have been protected by a particular, self-reinforcing power dynamic: Powerful teacher unions overwhelmingly favor Democratic politicians. Exhibit A: Democrats have received 99.94% of congressional contributions from the American Federation of Teachers in 2022. Democratic politicians protect public school monopolies by opposing voucher and other school choice programs, while relentlessly pushing for increased public school funding Increased funding enables the hiring of more public school staff Larger staffs mean more union dues, enriching teacher unions and increasing their political power…and the cycle repeats Today, however, there are large cracks in the foundation of this monopoly-protecting fortress, and the government response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been a big factor. With public schools closed to in-person instruction, parents were suddenly much more engaged in their children’s education, and many didn’t like what they were seeing as they observed remote teaching. As the pandemic ground on, relentless union opposition to school re-openings, and the insistence on masking children despite the many collateral harms of doing so, made it all too clear to enlightened parents that public teacher unions — and public school boards — can’t be trusted to always put children’s interests first. Mask-free GA gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams surrounded by children forced to wear masks Though the government’s destructive responses to the pandemic are now largely behind us, the impact on parent attitudes about public schools is still growing, as a steady stream of reports illuminates the massive learning setbacks experienced by K-12 victims of school shutdowns. At the same time, new data shows that students in private schools — which were much more eager to provide in-person instruction — fared significantly better. The ongoing culture wars are another reason more people are embracing the idea of funding students rather than systems. Parents understandably have strongly differing ideas about what’s appropriate for the classroom. Rather than forcing opposing parents into the same school and having them fight at board meetings about which curriculum will be forced onto everyone, each family should be free to seek out a school arrangement that best matches their own philosophy — and use public money to do so. Austin elementary school kids forced to mask and join a Pride Month march (via Libs of TikTok) Many politicians who oppose school choice are themselves private school products or send their own children to private schools. One of the most notorious such hypocrites is Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. Pandering to teacher unions as a presidential candidate, Warren said she not only wanted to stop school choice programs, but also end federal funding for charter schools and make it harder to open new ones. Yet Warren sent her son to private schools — including one on Philadelphia’s wealthy Main Line where total fees today are $42,600. Worse, she actually denied it when confronted about her hypocrisy by a group of black Atlanta activists, who know the worst-performing public schools tend to be in poor, minority communities — and that wealthier people like Warren have the disposable income to afford private schools without using government money. Nebraska state senator Justin Wayne, a black Democrat who supports school choice, knows all that too. Wayne told his colleagues he’d vote against school choice if they moved their children to a school in his neighborhood “so we can go through the transformation — that you keep telling my community to wait for — together.” BREAKING: Nebraska Senator Justin Wayne (D) again calls out his colleagues for sending their kids to private school while opposing school choice for others. pic.twitter.com/WiXAmcBRN8 — Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) January 11, 2022 Arizona’s 2022 expansion is distinguished from other school-choice experiments by its universality — all children are eligible to use a stipulated amount of state school dollars for education at a public school, private school or home school, regardless of where they live or the incomes of their parents. Having witnessed what Arizona has done, activist parents in other states are now pressuring their own legislatures. As they do, they’re backed by polls showing 72% of Americans now support school choice programs, including 82% of Republicans and 68% of Democrats. Look for the school choice movement to take a major step forward in 2023 — most impactfully in Texas. The Lone Star State’s public school population is a close second in size to California’s, and nearly double the third largest, which is Florida’s. In the wake of Arizona’s school choice expansion, Governor Greg Abbott said he too wants to let parents “send their children to any public school, charter school or private school with state funding following the student,” and the next biennial legislature section starts on Jan. 10. While private school enrollments will surge, the rise of school choice will also stimulate a novel education approach that existed before the pandemic but was greatly popularized by it — learning pods. When parents were let down by public school closures — with working parents suddenly scrambling to manage day-long supervision of their children — many of them formed collaborative learning pods, where small groups of children would gather at a single home to do schoolwork together and have social interaction. Before the pandemic, other parents had already used a pod approach to home-schooling. As school choice programs allow the use of state money to cover the cost of home schooling, look for pods to proliferate. Those pods won’t all be led by parents. The concept could turn into an ideal career alternative for public school teachers yearning to break free from public school system bureaucracy. Consider the math in Arizona for a former public school teacher who sets out on her own and assembles a pod of 15 children to teach. With parents able to tap up to about $7,000 per student per year for education, that teacher could charge $105,000 for her services with no out-of-pocket expense for the parents. In 2021, public school teacher salaries in Arizona ranged between $40,554 and $68,910. Particularly for middle and high schools, where deeper subject-matter knowledge is required, groups of specialist teachers could collaborate to form their own “micro-schools.” Of course, when comparing income, teachers will have to factor in expenses and the loss of public school system employee benefits — as well as intangible changes in quality-of-life they realize by leaving a public school system behind. Parents will have their own pros and cons to consider, which is one reason why school choice shouldn’t be equated with the wholesale destruction of public schools. Indeed, it’s likely to bring about long-needed improvements — especially when programs like Arizona’s let parents who stay in the public system choose which public school their child attends. “Twenty-five of 27 studies suggest that…school-choice competition leads to better outcomes in the public schools,” said DeAngelis. “Why? Because school choice is a rising tide that lifts all boats. Competition works.” * * * Stark Realities undermines official narratives, demolishes conventional wisdom and exposes fundamental myths across the political spectrum. Read more and subscribe at starkrealities.substack.com Stark Realities: Invigoratingly unorthodox perspectives for intellectually honest readers  Tyler Durden Fri, 11/04/2022 - 21:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 4th, 2022

Climate COP-out: Without further action, the world is headed for "irreversible" climate chaos, the UN Secretary-General warns.

Research indicates the world will miss targets to avert climate catastrophe as leaders prepare to gather in Egypt for the UN climate summit. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said global efforts to tackle the climate crisis are falling "pitifully short."Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Research shows that countries and businesses are far off track to meet climate goals by 2030. The planet is on track to warm by catastrophic levels this century.  The grim assessments land as world leaders head to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for COP27. The most important global climate meeting kicks off Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, a resort town along the Red Sea.The two-week event, convened by the United Nations, is where world leaders try to negotiate steeper cuts to greenhouse-gas emissions, business leaders tout their efforts to tackle the crisis, and civil-society groups remind them that none of it is enough.The proof is in recent reports showing that action to slash emissions is moving at glacial pace. Meanwhile, Russia's decision to cut natural gas to Europe has sparked a bidding war for supplies to fill the gap and sent prices soaring. So where do things stand heading into COP27? Here are takeaways from recent assessments:Climate pledges fall 'pitifully short'Under the Paris Agreement, countries are expected to update national climate plans with more ambitious action every five years. At Glasgow, world leaders also agreed to "revisit and strengthen" their goals by the end of 2022 given the insufficient progress. The latest UN progress report showed that little has changed. Despite 166 countries submitting new or updated plans, the world remains far from the goal of holding global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius — a threshold designed to avert catastrophic damage to society. (The planet has already warmed about 1.2 degrees since preindustrial times.)Even if countries follow through on their promises, temperatures will rise by at least 2.4 degrees this century, the UN found. To keep 1.5 alive, countries would, by 2030, have to cut emissions 45% compared with where they're headed under current policies. But since Glasgow, nations have shaved off just 1% of projected emissions.The UN secretary general, António Guterres, described the commitments as "falling pitifully short" and on Thursday said the planet is on course for tipping points that bake in catastrophic temperature rise and make climate chaos irreversible.It's the same story for businessThe world's largest companies aren't performing any better, according to insights by the consulting firm Accenture and a net-zero tracking report by MSCI, a global ratings agency.Nearly all of the world's top 2,000 public and private companies by revenue will fall short of their net-zero goals if they don't slash emissions at double the current pace by 2030, Accenture said.MSCI found that the 9,300 public companies on its net-zero tracker will release enough pollution into the atmosphere within four years to put the 1.5 degree target out of reach. "One of the messages we'll hear at COP27 is that it's about moving from target-setting to taking action," said Mauricio Bermudez Neubauer, Accenture's global lead on carbon strategy and intelligence and a coauthor of the firm's report. "If we are to get to 1.5, this is a major transformation of production and consumption systems."One bright spot: renewable energy There is still uncertainty about the effects of the global energy crisis on the climate crisis. On one hand, shortages have boosted demand for coal and oil, but the International Energy Agency said that long-term energy demand will largely be met by renewables like solar and wind as well as nuclear plants. All three sources get a big boost under President Joe Biden's climate law.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 4th, 2022

Top US Banks Under Investigation Over ESG And Climate Action

Top US Banks Under Investigation Over ESG And Climate Action Authored by Alex Newman via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), A coalition of 19 state attorneys general from across the country launched a formal investigation into six major U.S. banks last week citing legal concerns about banks’ “ESG” investing and their involvement with a United Nations alliance fighting CO2 emissions. A general view shows voting results during a UN General Assembly meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on Oct. 12, 2022. (Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images) The banks “appear to be colluding with the U.N. to destroy American companies” and undermine the nation’s best interests, one of the AGs warned in a statement e-mailed to The Epoch Times. Another AG argued that these U.N.-inspired banking policies were resulting in jobs being sent to communist China as the regime there continues building coal-fired power plants to ensure low-cost, reliable energy. The new investigation is the latest salvo by Republican-led states amid growing nationwide concerns about the “woke” policies of financial institutions and other powerful business interests. Multiple attorneys general who spoke to The Epoch Times about the probe said it was their job to enforce consumer protection laws and protect citizens in their states from potentially illegal activity by companies. In particular, officials are investigating the banks’ involvement in the controversial United Nations Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). The global network of banks, convened and overseen by the U.N., pledges to eliminate emissions of so-called “greenhouse gases” by 2050 by transforming their lending and investment practices. Numerous AGs sounded the alarm about the U.N.’s involvement in targeting key American industries as banks cede policymaking influence to the global organization. The top law-enforcement officers for the group of mostly Republican-controlled states said they have reason to believe the banks being investigated agreed to align their investing and loan portfolio with U.N. emissions goals. The goals, outlined in the U.N. Paris Agreement on climate change, call for a transformation of the economy away from traditional energy sources. Government and business leaders in developed nations including the United States and Western Europe agreed to pursue significant reductions in CO2. The effect of these policies, the AGs warned, would be to starve key industries of credit—especially companies in the energy and agriculture sectors that are critical to the prosperity and even the national security of the United States. The banks being scrutinized by the top lawmen for their states include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup. Each of the companies was served last week with civil investigative demands, essentially acting as a subpoena, demanding that they turn over documents related to their involvement in the U.N. NZBA. The banks are also expected to provide records of all “Global Climate Initiatives” in which they are participating, and how these U.N.-backed agendas are being incorporated into their businesses, civil investigative demands reviewed by The Epoch Times show. In addition, the banks are being asked to give details on the involvement of their CEOs in the process and how the decisions were made. Also under scrutiny are banking actions related to “Environmental, Social, and Governance” (ESG) investing. The controversial metrics take into consideration environmental and social policies in making business decisions, rather than simply the traditional metrics of risk and return. Critics say ESG investing is being used to impose unpopular and economically harmful ideas on Americans while forcing businesses across the economy to adopt them. The term is increasingly being linked by opponents to a woke mentality, “social justice” ideas, and radical left-wing politics. AGs Speak Out “We got involved in this investigation because this is another attempt by the liberal woke left to shove their ideas down our throats, and since they can’t change the laws using the political process, they want to do it by weaponizing business,” said Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen. “They are doing this out of some misplaced desire to advance their liberal agenda.” But it may not be legal, Knudsen and many other state AGs say. “This seems to run afoul of our consumer protection laws that I’m in charge of enforcing,” Knudsen continued in a phone interview with The Epoch Times, saying his office and elected officials at all levels were under growing public pressure to address the issue and potential legal violations. “It gets cold here in Montana,” the attorney general added. “We need a robust energy sector to keep our homes warm—and we certainly can’t do that using wind and solar.” Knudsen, who is also working with a coalition of state AGs focusing on investment behemoth BlackRock, said this was essentially a continuation of the same issue: Powerful banking and financial interests seeking to improperly impose their views on the public. “You have corporate banking and the investment industry trying to flex their muscle and pressure businesses into a political direction and political action,” he said. “But that’s not their function. Their job is to provide credit and earn profit for shareholders.” “This is a continuation of the woke ESG garbage that we’re having to deal with more and more,” the Montana AG added. Going forward, Knudsen said “everything is on the table,” depending on the outcome of the investigation. Under consumer protection laws, the state has the authority to levy civil fines. Knudsen said Montana lawmakers, who are also under growing public pressure, intend to take strong legislative action when the state legislature reconvenes next year. The effects of these banking policies are hurting numerous legal industries, he continued, pointing to firearms businesses as examples of those “being pinched” by financial services and even insurance companies. “These companies need to be held accountable, so we are all looking at what authorities are available,” Knudsen said. “All options are definitely on the table.” In Oklahoma, Attorney General John O’Connor said his office joined the investigation for two primary reasons: “America is not run by the U.N.,” and “these banks are attacking Oklahoma fossil-fuel producers and consumers as well as Oklahoma jobs.” “The Net-Zero Banking Alliance, overseen by the U.N., will destroy companies that are engaged in fossil fuel-related activities or depend on them for energy or these lenders for capital,” he explained in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times. “It is unacceptable that these banks are pushing an investment strategy designed to impose a leftist social and economic agenda.” The subpoenas sent to the banks by O’Connor’s office include requests to explain how NZBA objectives are being incorporated into the banks’ operations and what actions they have taken to eliminate hydrocarbon energy from the economy. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita sounded the alarm about what his office described as an “apparent conspiracy” involving the U.N. and the banks being probed. “These banks appear to be colluding with the U.N. to destroy American companies that specialize in fossil fuels or otherwise depend on them for energy,” Rokita said. “They are pushing an investment strategy designed not to maximize financial returns but to impose a leftist social and economic agenda that cannot otherwise be implemented through the ballot box.” Blasting ESG investing as a “scheme,” the Indiana AG vowed to protect the people of his state. “This new woke-ism in the financial sector poses a real threat to everyday Hoosiers,” he continued. “Indiana’s farmers, truck drivers, and fuel-industry workers are hurt when the radical Left attacks whole segments of our economy. And it’s troubling that these banks in the Net-Zero Banking Alliance are taking marching orders from U.N. globalists all-too-eager to undermine America’s best interests.” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt warned that the Net-Zero Banking Alliance was a major threat to key industries in his state. “Missouri farmers, oil leasing companies, and other businesses that are vital to Missouri’s and America’s economy will be unable to get a loan because of this alliance,” Schmitt warned in a statement e-mailed to The Epoch Times. Missouri last week became the latest state to divest from BlackRock over its woke policies, announcing that it would withdraw some $500 million of pension fund investments held with the increasingly controversial financial giant. Blasting the banks for “ceding authority to the U.N.,” the Missouri AG said these actions would result in the “killing of American companies that don’t subscribe to the woke climate agenda.” “These banks are accountable to American laws—we don’t let international bodies set the standards for our businesses,” added Schmitt. The Missouri lawman has become increasingly vocal about the threat he believes these trends pose to the nation, sounding the alarm about how these woke policies benefit communist China and its economy at America’s expense. This summer, Schmitt’s office also sent civil investigative demands involving ESG investing to Morningstar and Sustainalytics. Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas vowed to get to the bottom of the relationship between the U.N. and the banks’ potential legal violations. “The radical climate change movement has been waging an all-out war against American energy for years, and the last thing Americans need right now are corporate activists helping the left bankrupt our fossil fuel industry,” the Texas AG said. “If the largest banks in the world think they can get away with lying to consumers or taking any other illegal action designed to target a vital American industry like energy, they’re dead wrong,” he continued. “This investigation is just getting started, and we won’t stop until we get to the truth.” Other states that are investigating include Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Virginia. At least five other states have joined but cannot be named due to state confidentiality policies. In August, a similar coalition of state AGs warned BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, a board member of the World Economic Forum and the powerful Council on Foreign Relations, that his company’s policies may be illegal. “Our states will not idly stand for our pensioners’ retirements to be sacrificed for BlackRock’s climate agenda,” they warned, pointing to several potential legal violations involving the politically connected firm’s ESG investing. Effects and Implications Bloomberg, a media outlet that has vocally supported the U.N. climate agenda and was founded by Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) co-chair Michael Bloomberg, complained this month that Fink and other key financial leaders would not be at the upcoming U.N. COP27 climate conference in Egypt. “With more than $135 trillion in assets, GFANZ was supposed to be the planet’s ticket to a more climate-friendly form of finance. But a year later, it’s unclear how members will live up to their promises,” Bloomberg writer Alastair Marsh reported, pointing to GOP states’ efforts as part of the reason. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is among the Republican political leaders aiming to stop woke policies at banks. He is asking lawmakers to pass legislation in the 2023 session to rein in ESG policies. Read more here... Tyler Durden Sat, 10/29/2022 - 16:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 29th, 2022

Dear Twitterati – Leave The Road To Serfdom, Learn To Code

Dear Twitterati – Leave The Road To Serfdom, Learn To Code Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, So, Elon Musk completed his purchase of Twitter and the pink slips are flying. From the C-Suite to the CS desk in a few weeks Twitter will cease to be the company we’ve all loved to hate delivering a product we hated to love. From the beginning of this saga I maintained that it didn’t matter in the end if Musk prevailed or not. What was important was his ripping the duct tape off the hairy ass of the ridiculous double standard at work. Every stupid argument you’ve heard justifying Twitter’s behavior was invalidated during Musk’s six month quest to overpay for one of the biggest pillars of the control engine operated by the patriarchy oligarchy. From the moment that Musk made his initial overture to his walking in and firing the leadership, this story has been equal parts hilarious and thrilling. First, Musk makes an offer the Twitter board can’t refuse without incriminating themselves, which puts to the test all the academic poison pill theories about how to defend against a hostile takeover. As always, academic bullshit failed the real world sniff test. You know kinda like what’s in the process of happening to the ultimate academic egghead Klaus von Commie Schnitzel and his moronic Great Reset. Second he outed every bit of Twitter’s leadership and middle management as a feckless bunch of Davos trolls with layers of plausible deniability who never thought they would ever get caught. And then Pieter Zatko entered the conversation, blowing up the idea that Twitter’s censorship was just rogue purple hairs revealing brown shirts underneath their playful exterior. But that doesn’t cover the half of it. The reality is that it wasn’t some evil mandated corporate conspiracy, but rather a poorly-built internal architecture which was purposefully allowed to remain broken for plausible deniability purposes. “ALL THAT TWITTERS IS NOT FAIRY DUST” Ooops.. Because no one ever thought that Musk would turn his corporatist bribes, I mean Tesla shares, into weapons of mass formation psychosis destruction. Really? No one could see this coming? Then again this is the same media that can’t see anything that isn’t scrolling up the teleprompter. Lastly, he called everyone’s bluff and just said, “Screw it, it’s just money.” And he’s more right than you can ever really imagine. Because the rise and fall of Woke Twitter is a harbinger of things to come now that Outside Money is getting its revenge against the depredations of Inside Money. When civilization breaks down, legal claims tend towards zero value. Civilization breaks down through the systemic subversion of the agreed upon rules to the advantage of some at the expense of the other. And what bigger subversion of the rule, “thou shalt not steal” could there be than a debt-based Ponzi scheme of inside money being used to suck up legal claims to most of the world’s valuable resources while actively suppressing the value of the competing outside money to defend people’s claims to it? THE INS AND OUTS OF WHOSE MONEY IS IT, ANYWAY? What the credit bubble giveth on the way up — empowering billionaire Satanists to providing welfare jobs to harpy millennial chicks and the soyboys who simp for them — taketh away twice as fast on the way down. What was that about Elon top-ticking Tesla again for FU Money? I have to believe that part of Musk’s decision to finally just buy Twitter despite the fictitious valuation (and userbase) was the grief he got publicly for going against the war orthodoxy of the collective West (and specifically Davos’ enforcement of a single point of view) over, of all things, using Twitter to engage in discussion about what the outcome in Ukraine should look like. I guess advocating for peace and to stop angry Slavs from murdering each other is no longer a core “European value.” Actually, now that I type that out, it never was. Musk could have dragged this out for months and proven in court that Twitter was a cesspit. But, we’re edging closer to a point of no return over Ukraine; a point we are being railroaded towards by psychopaths and solipsistic assholes who never met a dead member of the hoi polloi, especially of the wrong ethnicity, they didn’t give a second thought to. And note which entity at the last tried to stop his taking over Twitter, the “Biden” White House who tried to claim it was a National Security issue. For fucks’ sake. All these Davos ninnies can do now is talk about the EU’s rules for hate speech. The shakedown and the finger-wagging has already begun. It’s important to remember that free speech in the US is a matter of law. In Europe so is hate speech. So, Europe is now testing another academic idea in the real world. Can they dictate to the world their speech rules to an international company and force everyone onto its standard? Of course it will fail, but that’s exactly what this tired EU apparatchik believes he can do. I hate to break it to Thierry, Musk can and will just hive Europe off on its own servers with their own sanitized feeds and see how long the EU can maintain control over that. The technology is simple the only thing missing previously was the will to implement it. So, if Europe doesn’t want to participate in open dialogue with the rest of humanity, they are free not to do so. Say hello to North Korea for me, Thierry. I mean for pity’s sake even Vladimir Putin is laughing at us and our fragile widdle egos needing to protect ourselves from unpure thoughts…. unless it’s child porn or ISIS calls for violence. But as happy as I am to see Twitter begin the process back to something resembling a communications platform interested in all of its customers, I’m even happier to write the following open letter to those Musk is about to put on the unemployment line. Dear Tumblrina von Safespace, This is what the real world looks like when someone takes away the punch bowl and the easy money engine goes into reverse gear. It’s not your fault, it’s just that the grown ups have finally looked at the credit card bills and said, “Um.. no.” So, if I were y’all at this point I’d lose the nose ring, shave the purple hair and throw them in the circular file right next to your unsustainable and egregious sense of entitlement. Because this isn’t a small setback on the road to woke serfdom, it’s the first step away from the abyss the society was staring into. Honestly, we only tolerated it because we had no real other choice. But, the bribes were good enough for most of us. Now, the cost is a little bigger than just silencing a bunch of self-marginalizing bigots who LARP as neo-Nazis on /pol. The costs now involve normalizing nihilism, grooming children for sex slavery and nuclear war. Not one cell in my body this morning feels one erg of regret or sympathy for you or the violence you did to the square of public debate. You happily acted as thought enforcers for globalists who hate you. When you could have performed real acts of rebellion by not enforcing the Terms of Service, approving blue checkmarks for non-Marxists, and using your root priv to sabotage the algorithm rather than reinforcing it. But I will concede that some of you are simply victims of false expectations created by a society grown careless and sloppy thanks to decades of the corrupting influence of fake money sending the false signal that anything you had to say was worth one moment’s consideration by anyone with a pulse. So, and I mean this with all the violence and metaphor my words can muster… Learn. To. Fucking. Code. Kek *  *  * Join my Patreon if you know how to code Tyler Durden Sat, 10/29/2022 - 09:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 29th, 2022

US Accelerates Upgraded Nuke Delivery To Jittery European Allies: Cable

US Accelerates Upgraded Nuke Delivery To Jittery European Allies: Cable On the same day that Russia hailed completion of its 'successful' annual nuclear drills, Politico published a bombshell report describing that the US has accelerated plans to maintain upgraded nuclear weapons in Europe.  Specifically, US defense officials informed NATO allies earlier this month that Europe will host a B61-12 air-dropped gravity bomb, to be transferred by December. Politico reported Wednesday that a classified cable it has seen confirmed this.  USAF file image: an unarmed B61-12 bomb The upgraded bomb was expected to arrive in Europe next spring, but the timeline was accelerated amid Russia's growing nuclear rhetoric surrounding the war in Ukraine. President Biden recently raised eyebrows in saying nuclear "armageddon" is a real possibility for the first time since the close of the Cold War.  On an official level the Pentagon is disputing that its planned nuclear upgrade for NATO's Europe arsenal is in any way connected to events in Ukraine, however, Politico cites the following sources:  Two people familiar with the issue of the upcoming shipment to Europe confirmed the accelerated timeframe reported in the diplomatic cable. They asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue. The cable, which has not previously been made public and was written to be distributed throughout the Pentagon and State Department to give policymakers a rundown of what was discussed among defense ministers at the NATO meeting, clearly indicates that allies are jittery. The document says that during the meetings, 15 NATO allies raised concerns that the alliance “must not give in to Putin’s nuclear blackmail.” 2018 test drop: F-15E Strike Eagle jet dropping the first inert B61-3/4 tactical nuclear bomb (Source: Sandia National Labs/YouTube) The cable is further quoted by Politico as follows: "Given the rising volume and scale of Russia’s nuclear rhetoric, a subset of allies requested continued consultations at NATO to ensure continued readiness and consistent messaging." Some analysts cited in the report say the White House is fundamentally sending a message of reassurance to NATO at a moment European countries are feeling "vulnerable", and that the intent is not to escalate nuclear tensions with Moscow:  “My guess is it is aimed more towards NATO than Russia,” said Tom Collina, director of policy at the Ploughshares Fund, a disarmament group. “There are [older] B61s already there. The Russians know that. They work just fine. The new ones will be newer, but it’s not really that much of a difference. But it may be a way to assure the allies when they are feeling particularly threatened by Russia.” The upgraded B61-12 is designed to allow the bomb to be carried by a fuller array of US and allied bombers and fighter jets, while older versions had more limited delivery options. The upgraded version is also said to be more accurate.  The B61 nuclear gravity bomb is deployed at a number of US Air Force and NATO military bases and has almost five decades of service, making it the oldest bomb in the US stockpile. Numerous programs have modified the B61 for safety, security, and reliability since it entered service in the late 1960s, including four B61 variants. The upgraded B61-12 LEP - a project years in the making, will replace all of the bomb’s nuclear and non‐nuclear components for another two decades, and improve the bomb’s safety, effectiveness, and security. This life extension program will address all age-related issues of the weapon, and enhance its reliability, field maintenance, safety, and use control. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/28/2022 - 04:15.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 28th, 2022

If Red States Want Protection From Collapse They Will Have To Build Alternative Economies

If Red States Want Protection From Collapse They Will Have To Build Alternative Economies Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us Economic centralization is the ultimate form of organized conspiratorial power, because it allows a small group of people to dictate the terms of trade for a society and therefore dictate the terms of each person’s individual survival. For example, the Federal Reserve as a banking entity has free rein to assert policy controls that can disrupt the very fabric of the US economy and the buying power of our currency. They can (and do) arbitrarily create trillions of dollars from thin air causing inflation, or arbitrarily raise interest rates and crash stock markets. And according to former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, they answer to no one, including the US government. I have started to see a new narrative being spread within mainstream media platforms as well as alternative media platforms suggesting that the Fed is necessary because it is working to “counter” the agenda of Joe Biden and the Democrats. Some people claim the central bank is “protecting” America from the schemes of the UN and European interests. This is perhaps the most moronic theory I’ve ever heard, but it makes sense that the central bank and its puppets would be trying to plant the notion that the Fed is some kind of “hero” secretly fighting a war on our behalf. The money elites associated with the Fed have inflated perhaps the largest financial bubble in the history of the world over the past 14 years. They did this with bailouts, they did this with QE, they did this with covid pandemic checks and loans, and now the bubble is popping. They know it is popping, because they WANT it to pop. As I have warned for years, the Fed has been staging a massive controlled demolition of the US economy. Why? Because the US economy must be diminished in order to make way for the “Great Reset,” a term created by the World Economic Forum to describe an unprecedented paradigm shift in the global economy and how it operates, and a complete upending of society. The end game is openly admitted – A one world digital currency system and one world governance controlled by a league of corporate partners working in concert with politicians. This is not conspiracy theory, this is conspiracy reality. This is undeniable fact. The Fed does not care about the US economy, its loyalty is to a global agenda and it takes its marching orders from a consortium of banking institutions called the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). This is how global central banking policies are coordinated to either work in harmony to create artificial stability, or to work in conflict, creating artificial crisis events. The truth is, the foundations of global governance already exist, but what the establishment does not have is public acceptance and total submission to their authority. What the banks want is to create a crisis so profound that the masses will run to THEM, begging for help. Once a population begs their captors for relief or resolution and it is given, it’s far less likely that the people will revolt against those captors in the future. Psychologically, the central banks and the establishment elites are trying to create a planetary Stockholm Syndrome, and we are seeing it already with the Federal Reserve being painted as the “shield” holding back the tide of economic ruin that they actually engineered. The initial stages of the Great Reset have already been launched. With the economic bubble expanded to incredible levels, the Fed is now staging an aggressive implosion using interest rate hikes into economic weakness. There are multiple threats that come with this dynamic: Stagflation With stagflation, normal credit market interventions do not necessarily work right away. As we saw recently with the official CPI print rising despite the Fed’s rate hikes, prices are not going to go down that easily. During the last stagflation event 40 years ago, the Fed raised rates to around 20% before prices finally stopped their epic climb, and back then the US did not have $31 trillion in debt nor did it just print over $8 trillions in the span of two years. Rates are likely to go much higher than many people expect. Treasury Bond Crisis The Fed replaced foreign investors like Japan and China as the primary buyers of US government Treasury Bonds, and they did so years ago. Now, with the Fed cutting purchases, reducing its balance sheet and raising rates, who is going to buy all that US debt and keep the government funded? Well, the answer is no one. For now, foreign purchases are enough to give a semblance of stability, but with geopolitical tensions rising it’s only a matter of time before countries like China dump their T-bond and dollar holdings completely. Then, the dollar’s world reserve status will come into question and inflation becomes an even greater threat as the trillions of greenbacks held overseas come flooding into the US again. Stock Market Spiral Without the Federal Reserve as the backstop fueling corporate share buybacks with cheap money, stocks will continue to slide. They’ll jump every now and then on rumors that the Fed will pivot away from tightening, and when the Fed doesn’t, stocks will start dropping again. Without stimulus and near zero rates there is no hope for equities beyond the occasional jawboning. The Fed has the ability to slow down or speed up all of the conditions above, and so far they appear to be speeding things up. We obviously can’t rely on the Biden Administration to do anything about these problems; in all likelihood Biden and his handlers are joyful in the prospect of the inevitable calamity. No one in government is trying to do anything legitimate to stop the landslide and no one is trying to prepare Americans for the consequences. In fact, Americans are being told there are no consequences. Thus, it’s up to individuals to prepare and warn their friends and family, but what about a larger organized response? Despite numerous claims that conservatives would “do nothing” to stop the rise of medical fascism in the name of the covid pandemic, almost half the states in the US stood their ground against the mandates and the push for vaccine passports. If this had not happened, America would look like China does today with endless lockdowns and draconian tracking apps. I don’t think enough people understand just how close we came to losing every freedom we have left – We were on the doorstep of an Orwellian hell, and probably civil war. The red state defiance of covid restrictions represented an organized action at the state and interstate level. What if these states did the same thing in the face of the economic crisis? Without organization at the state level to create alternatives to the mainstream economy the plight of the public becomes much more daunting and dangerous. Rather than trying to start completely from scratch, there are solutions that can be pursued at the state level to help mitigate the disaster. Currency Alternatives States like Texas, Utah and Louisiana (currently Dem controlled) all have legislation in place to utilize gold and silver as legal tender. Such efforts need to be expanded to as many states as possible, and the list of alternatives needs to grow. Gold, silver, copper, and other commodities like oil, electricity, wheat and grains could be used to back a state recognized currency system. Is it constitutional? Not technically, but the federal government violated the constitutional money creation mandate over a century ago when they allowed the institution of the Federal Reserve. The system is already broken. If states were to offer commodity backed currencies in parallel with the dollar, then they could actually stave off price inflation and possibly reverse it. This can’t be achieved by only one or two states, though. It would have to be organized among multiple states with multiple trade agreements in place. State Banks North Dakota has its own state run bank that provides credit opportunities specifically to ND locals and ND businesses. It has operated successfully for decades. Why has no other state adopted this model? Why should we rely on banks that are all tied back to corporate conglomerates that want to destroy us? State banks are the answer to the problem of leftists and globalists using corporate banks as a weapon against conservatives and liberty activists. Localized Trade Alternatives States should be utilizing the resources within their own borders to generate real jobs (rather than precarious and temporary service sector jobs) and economic prosperity. Why are states and citizens in those states allowing the federal government under Biden to dictate the terms of how they grow their economies? Leftists will claim that resource management needs to be supervised by federal agencies, but why? These people have consistently proven themselves to be incompetent and destructive. Why should they be trusted to control our ability to expand in our own states? Conservation and intelligent handling of state resources should not be relegated to bureaucrats who live outside of those states and who care nothing about the citizens of those states. State Incentives For Industry The vast majority of retail goods purchased by US citizens are made outside the US. It is a simple matter of profit incentives involving cheap labor overseas. But, what if there were big tax reductions for companies that manufacture in America? What if state banks offered easier credit to companies that build factories within that state’s borders and hire American workers at a reasonable wage? It can be done in the US – It’s been done in the past. If we don’t restart domestic production, our country is doomed to remain dependent on international corporations and foreign entities that do not have our best interests in mind. The only hope any state has to weather the coming storm is to localize production and manage their resources to kick-start trade. Local production would act as a redundancy should the mainstream economy collapse (which it will). States don’t need Biden’s permission to make this happen. They don;t need the Federal Reserve’s permission either. They can and should take action now before it’s too late. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/27/2022 - 23:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 28th, 2022