Thought for the day

"When people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is more tyranny. Apologies to Thomas Jefferson!" -- Michael Rivero
"A rocket will never be able to leave Earth's atmosphere." -- New York Times, 1936


45th President Trump’s endorsement is looking more and more like it’s made of gold with Kari Lake’s win in the Arizona primary against extreme moderate and RINO-backed Karrin Taylor Robson, who lost to Lake. Lake had the coveted endorsement of Trump, while Robson was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence and the state’s retiring Gov. Doug Ducey — a Trump critic.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Lake bested wealthy businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson 47.9% to 43.2% in the Arizona GOP gubernatorial primary despite being outspent 18 to 1 on radio and broadcast and cable television. Lake spent just shy of $827,000 on the air, according to the most recently available figures, while Taylor Robson blanketed the airwaves with $15.3 million in campaign advertising. Lake also got clobbered by Taylor Robson on total spending, $18.4 million to $3.6 million.

“Kari Lake had so many built-in advantages over the rest of the field,” Barrett Marson, a Republican operative in Phoenix, said Wednesday. “I don’t think any amount of ground game, any amount of money, or any substantial policy differences could have stopped a Trump-backed media star.”

Posted on: Aug 13 08:21

When it comes to the expenditure on pharmaceuticals across OECD countries, the United States spends much more than other industrialized nations that are part of the organization.

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You will find more infographics at Statista

In 2019, the average American racks up costs of $1,376 for medications after adjusting for purchasing power parity, almost 2.5 times the OECD average of $571 and still 47 percent more than the next biggest spender, Germany. Canada and Japan followed in third and fourth place, both with spending that was around 40 percent higher than average, at $811 and $803, respectively. The OECD members with the least spending on pharmaceuticals and were Mexico and Costa Rica, while spending was also below average in many Eastern European and Scandinavia nations.

Prescription drugs made up the bulk of pharmaceutical spending in most countries. English-speaking nations on the list, including the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK, shared the characteristic of above-average spending on over-the-counter meds despite their overall expenditure levels diverging quite a bit.

Government and government-mandated insurance covered 55 percent of total pharmaceutical spending across OECD nations, with the share as high as 80 percent in Germany and France. That number was 70 percent in the United States. Across Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, out-of-pocket spending often hovered around 50 percent, hitting as much as 97 percent in Costa Rica.

Webmaster addition: Keeping you sick is good for business!

Posted on: Aug 13 08:17

The FBI is dissolving before our eyes into a rogue security service akin to those in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

Take the FBI’s deliberately asymmetrical application of the law. This week the bureau surprise-raided the home of former President Donald Trump — an historical first.

A massive phalanx of FBI agents swooped into the Trump residence while he was not home, to confiscate his personal property, safe, and records. All of this was over an archival dispute of presidential papers common to many former presidents. Agents swarmed the entire house, including the wardrobe closet of the former first lady.

Note we are less than 90 days out from a midterm election, and this was not just a raid, but a political act.

Posted on: Aug 13 08:17

The FBI raided former U.S. President Donald Trump’s private club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday, where they reportedly opened up a safe, following a search warrant for classified documents believed to have been removed from the White House.

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As Statista's Anna Fleck notes, the raid has fueled anger from Trump’s supporters, dozens of whom gathered outside the Mar-a-Lago home that night. Several Republicans have condemned the investigation body, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who said in a statement:

“I’ve seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization.”

So what do Americans actually think of the FBI?

Posted on: Aug 13 08:14

With the recent FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Florida home, the Democrats and the Biden administration have raised the political stakes to a level from which this country as we have known it may never return. All one can say to those that are demanding a criminal prosecution of the former president is: Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.

Although the raid ostensibly was to see if Trump took classified documents from the White House when he left in a chaotic move in January 2021, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy believes the Biden administration was again attempting to find that proverbial “smoking gun” tying Trump to the January 6 Capitol riot. Whether or not Attorney General Merrick Garland is able to grab the brass ring and prosecute Trump after yet one more fishing expedition is another story, although I doubt that any president has seen as many resources used to investigate him as has Donald Trump, but the Department of Justice has not filed charges yet.

Understand that anyone reading this article has committed a federal crime at some point, perhaps more than once. I adopted four children from overseas, and while I was not involved in the details (done through legitimate and registered adoption agencies), I can be held criminally responsible if anyone paid bribes in the countries where the adoptions took place. Even if investigators could not prove someone paid bribes, they could still charge me with a crime on a mere pretext. And the charges would stick, and most likely a federal jury would vote to convict.

Posted on: Aug 13 08:13

What could go wrong? It's being widely reported that some Congressional members are taking unauthorized trips to Ukraine following complaints that the White House stopped approving them

The Hill reports Friday that "At least one Democrat and six Republican lawmakers, including Fitzpatrick, have traveled to Ukraine independently between April and July." This is in reference to Pennsylvania Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, who in May went to Odesa and Kyiv, but without waiting for Biden administration approval. 

Image via US Senate

The White House has meanwhile warned of serious security risks for these "off the books" trips. Concerning Fitzpatrick, The Hill writes, "The former FBI agent, who helped stand up Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau in 2015, traveled with Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), relying on a network of personal contacts and the Ukrainian government to ensure his safety."

Fitzpatrick told the publication, in reference to Rep. Crenshaw, "Me and Dan just decided to go, because we were told that [trips] were not being approved," and added: "So that’s why we chose that course. Dan’s a Navy SEAL, I’m an FBI agent, so we can handle ourselves."

Posted on: Aug 13 08:10

Author Salman Rushdie — the subject of a decades-old death threat from Iranian Muslim clerics — was knifed in the neck Friday in a stunning attack as he prepared to deliver a lecture in western New York.

Rushdie, 75, was on a ventilator Friday night, his agent, Andrew Wylie said. He has a damaged liver, severed nerves in one arm and is likely to lose an eye, the agent said. Rushdie was flown to a hospital in Erie, Pa., where he underwent surgery.

Dr. Martin Haskell, one of the people one the scene who rushed to help, described the prolific and controversial author’s wounds as “serious but recoverable.”

At the scene, cops arrested 24-year-old Hadi Matar of Fairview, N.J., a town in Bergen County across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

Posted on: Aug 13 08:10

The growing rental crisis in the U.S. has shown no signs of stopping.

That was the topic of a new Bloomberg report this week that highlighted the stories of numerous Americans struggling to meet their rental obligations. 

The cost of rent in the U.S. is moving higher at the highest pace in three decades, the report notes, blowing past a median of $2,000 per month for the first time ever. Rents are now above where they were prior to the pandemic in most major cities.

Areas just outside cities, which saw a large influx of new renters during the pandemic, have seen their rents rise disproportionately higher. People returning to large cities, post-pandemic, have also not helped prices cool off.

Additionally, rising interest rates have now deterred some would-be buyers, who are now becoming renters. Tight inventory continues to lead to bidding wars, even in the rental market, the report says. 

Posted on: Aug 13 07:57

There’s a well-known old fable that describes a frog being boiled alive. It states that if a frog is dropped in boiling water, it will hop out. But if it’s placed in lukewarm water, it will be comfortable. Then, if the heat is turned up slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be boiled to death.

In political terms, this translates into a slow increase, say, the slow rise of taxation or the gradual removal of freedoms.

But there’s another way to boil the electorate of a country: have them become willing participants in their own demise.

This method is a common practice in many countries, particularly the US. Americans have repeatedly been conned into begging for their second amendment rights to be diminished.

The method is to make use of the media to shine a light on the horrific murder of innocents through the use of firearms.

In recent years, this effort has been ramped up through regular senseless massacres of people, particularly children, in public places, such as schools and movie theatres.

Whether or not these incidents are actually created by the ruling elite is a moot point. What matters is that their proliferation has been extremely effective in providing the media will the fodder to repeatedly ask, “When is the Government going to make the possession of guns illegal so that the killing will stop?”

Posted on: Aug 13 07:56

Only one Asian city, Osaka, makes the top 10 list, tying with Melbourne for 10th place. Notably, not a single U.S. city is found in the top ranks.

Posted on: Aug 13 07:55

While the annual pace of inflation in the United States eased slightly in July, a deeper dive into the numbers reveals that some of the categories that hit everyday Americans especially hard in the pocketbook have soared, with the price of groceries jumping to the highest level since 1979.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Aug. 10 that the headline pace of inflation, as reflected in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) ticked down from a recent peak of 9.1 percent in June to 8.5 percent in July.

The month-over-month CPI inflation figure came in at 0 percent, meaning the overall pace of price growth stayed flat between June and July, prompting President Joe Biden to take a victory lap saying that the “economy had zero percent inflation in the month of July.”

Republicans and some economists objected to the White House messaging on “zero” inflation by arguing that Biden was cherry picking the data by focusing on the 0 percent month-over-month pace of growth, while overlooking that the year-over-year rate of inflation—which tends to be the more commonly reported figure—remained at an eye-watering 8.5 percent.

It’s a bogus math trick. This is the overall one-month index change. Overall that means that the big drop in fuel oil and gas (following previous massive monthly increases) swamped the huge increases everywhere else,” wrote Jeffrey Tucker, president of the Brownstone Institute think tank and columnist for The Epoch Times.

Posted on: Aug 13 07:54

Former President Donald Trump has waived any objections to the release of the warrant and property receipt after the filing of a motion by the Justice Department. The motion, however, did not seek the release of the most important document in this controversy: the supporting FBI affidavit. That is the document that would reveal what the FBI told the magistrate about the prior communications with the Trump team and the specific allegations of the status of the documents in question.

There are reports that the documents involved material of the highest possible classification dealing with nuclear weapons. There is no question that the former President has no authority to retain classified material and that the government has a legitimate right to retrieve such material.

We should see the warrant and property list relatively soon in light of the DOJ motion and the Trump waiver. My greatest interest is the specificity of the information. Here are a few questions as we wait for the warrant and list:

Posted on: Aug 13 07:53

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is admitting it gave false information about COVID-19 vaccine surveillance, including inaccurately saying it conducted a certain type of analysis over one year before it actually did.

A general view of the Centers for Disease Control headquarters in Atlanta on April 23, 2020. (Tami Chappell/AFP via Getty Images)

The false information was conveyed in responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the results of surveillance, and after the CDC claimed COVID-19 vaccines are being monitored “by the most intense safety monitoring efforts in U.S. history.”

“CDC has revisited several FOIA requests and as a result of its review CDC is issuing corrections for the following information,” a CDC spokeswoman told The Epoch Times in an email.

No CDC employees intentionally provided false information and none of the false responses were given to avoid FOIA reporting requirements, the spokeswoman said.

Posted on: Aug 13 07:51

Texas joined a group of Republican-led states accusing BlackRock Inc. of putting woke investment criteria above shareholder profits in state pension funds.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink attends a session at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 23, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

In a letter to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, 19 attorneys general, mainly from conservative states, challenged his company’s reliance on environmental, social, and governance criteria at the expense of investor returns.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in an Aug. 8 news release that ESG climate goals harm Texas’s oil and gas economy and state pension fund performance. The release said that BlackRock’s actions might also violate state and federal law.

​​BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, recently sent a letter to several states, claiming it has joined climate organizations merely for “dialogue” and is focused solely on its fiduciary duty.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich led the charge in responding to the investment firm by pointing out inconsistencies and conflicts between BlackRock’s letter (pdf) and its public statements and commitments.

Posted on: Aug 13 07:51

It looks as though the drama between Peter Schiff and Puerto Rican banking regulators has finally come to a close.

Schiff announced yesterday in a press release that the OCIF Commissioner, previously responsible for suspending operations at Schiff's Euro Pacific Bank, had agreed to a settlement.

More importantly, Schiff noted that the Commissioner admitted during an exchange with reporters that there had been no conclusion drawn that Euro Pacific Bank had helped its clients commit money laundering and tax evasion, a baseless allegation that has followed Schiff for years, since the story that his bank was being investigated was first reported. 

Posted on: Aug 13 07:49

Update(1530ET): The Chautauqua Institution, where the attack on Salman Rushdie happened earlier in the morning, reportedly had no security checks upon entrance as the famous author who had previously spent years in hiding given he was under official Iranian death threats (a fatwa from the Ayatollah) was due to speak. According to The New York Times

An usher at the amphitheater, Kyle Doershuk, 20, said security at the Institution is lax and that there did not appear to be any additional measures in place for Mr. Rushdie’s visit. “It’s very open, it’s very accessible, it’s a very relaxed environment,” he said. “In my opinion something like this was just waiting to happen.”

Eyewitnesses in the crowd said Rushdie was stabbed in the neck before the attacker, who remains unidentified, was subdued. The moderator of the event suffered injury as well, though it was said to be mild. A photograph of a suspect in NYPD custody has since emerged...

Posted on: Aug 13 07:48

Update (1203ET): From the last update, the water level on the Rhine River at Kaub, Germany, has fallen one centimeter (.40 inches), below the critical level of 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) to 39 centimeters (15.3 inches). Now the shipping industry is in disarray as low water levels mean barges can no longer transit parts of the river. 

Bloomberg reported container company Contargo GmbH & Co. KG said it would discontinue transport service on the middle and upper Rhine due to low water levels. 

Posted on: Aug 13 07:47

A federal court in Florida has removed the webpage for the judge who signed off on the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s home.

Former US President Donald Trump's residence in Mar-A-Lago, Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 9, 2022. (Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images)

The page for U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart was taken down on Aug. 10, archived versions of it confirm.

No information at this time,” the computer operations manager for the court, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, told The Epoch Times.

A deputy clerk for the clerk did not pick up the phone or return a voicemail.

The page contained Reinhart’s biography, his email address, directions to the courthouse at which he works, the phone number for his chambers, the number for his deputy, and the names of the deputy and the judge’s law clerks.

The pages for all of the other magistrate judges for the court remain online.

Posted on: Aug 13 07:43

Facebook and Instagram are reportedly 'rewriting websites' visited by their users so they can follow them around the web.

Research from an ex-Google engineer claims that the social networks 'inject' other websites with a tracking code whenever a link is opened through their in-app browser.

This means Facebook and Instagram can monitor everything from your Internet history to your 'passwords, addresses, and credit card numbers'.

Meta has hit back at the claims saying that the tracking code follows users' privacy preferences, and that the data gathered is only 'aggregated' for use in targeted advertising.

Posted on: Aug 13 07:42

For the past several years, the UMC has been dealing with increasingly divisive debate over whether to change its official stance on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

According to the UMC Book of Discipline, homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching,” with the denomination's rule book banning clergy from blessing same-sex unions, as well as barring the ordination of people in same-sex romantic relationships.

The UMC had originally intended to consider a measure to allow theologically conservative churches to amicably leave the denomination to end the debate at its 2020 General Conference;. However, the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the gathering to the fall of 2022.

In March, the UMC declared that it would again delay the General Conference to 2024, citing ongoing travel matters related to pandemic lockdown.

Organizers of the Global Methodist Church denounced the decision, with the latest postponement leading them to decide to launch their conservative denomination in May instead of their previous plan to launch after the General Conference.

Posted on: Aug 13 07:41

Rep. Liz Cheney on Thursday slammed her fellow GOP lawmakers for the ''sickening'' attacks they have pointed at the FBI agents who implemented a search warrant at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, saying the comments are putting lives at risk.

''I have been ashamed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of the FBI agents involved with the recent Mar-a-Lago search,'' the Wyoming congresswoman tweeted. ''These are sickening comments that put the lives of patriotic public servants at risk.''

Cheney's statement comes several days after the FBI searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, reportedly looking for classified documents regarding nuclear weapons that the former president supposedly brought to his Florida property when he left office.

Posted on: Aug 13 07:40

Outgoing Whole Foods CEO John Mackey raised concerns that "socialists are taking over" major establishments across the country.

Depicting himself as a "capitalist at heart," Mackey complained that rights such as the right to bear arms and freedom of speech are coming "under threat" as socialist influences start to dominate education, corporations, and other institutions.

"My concern is that I feel like socialists are taking over," Mackey explained during an interview with Reason. "They're marching through the institutions. They're …taking over education. It looks like they've taken over a lot of the corporations. It looks like they've taken over the military. And it's just continuing."

Mackey co-wrote a book called Conscious Capitalism, in which he addressed four key principles to help support capitalism: stakeholder integration, conscious leadership, conscious culture, and conscious management.

Posted on: Aug 13 07:39

Back in early June, federal investigators served a subpoena from a federal grand jury and gathered documents assumed to have contained secret national security information stockpiled in the basement of the resort, CNN reported.

"Pretty clear what happened here: DOJ tried to gain possession of classified documents by subpoena and then got intel that Trump did not produce everything required. So SW was needed," Andrew Weissmann, a former Mueller prosecutor, tweeted in response to the report.

Trump reportedly attended the opening of the June meeting between

his lawyers and federal investigators regarding the documents. He then allowed his attorneys to engage with investigators and show them the material in question. 

Posted on: Aug 13 07:38

Ex-president Donald Trump's go to personal lawyer Alina Habba has continued her offensive against officials who orchestrated the FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago on Monday.  

'They needed a little drama, so they throw this out there. They go to the judge that had recused himself in my Hillary case a month ago,' Habba told Fox News host Jesse Watters during an appearance Friday.

'I would like to know why he recused himself in that case, but then he was able to sign this warrant. I want to know that.'

Posted on: Aug 13 07:33

The outrage amongst Americans over the unprecedented FBI raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home is anti-Semitic in nature because Attorney General Merrick Garland is Jewish, warns ABC News chief investigative reporter Josh Margolin.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 12 20:41

Another day, another leak by the FBI Deep State to damage President Donald Trump.

The Deep State FBI leaked the contents of the boxes of documents they took in the raid on President Trump’s home on Monday night.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 12 20:40

The House of Representatives on Friday passed the $740 billion Bidenflation scam bill which will raise taxes on the middle class and make inflation worse.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 12 20:38

 IRS Criminal Investigation special agents can be seen in the 2021 annual report of the Internal Revenue Service conducting a variety of deadly force exercises.  The agents are trained to shoot and kill you over your government taxes. The training exercises include building entry, the use of weapons, defensive tactics, and others.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 12 20:38

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney is not likely to win her upcoming primary next week, according to most polling, so she has begun to focus on her next political chapter.

The Republican lawmaker, who is trailing Trump-backed Harriet Hageman by double digits, now says her most important political priority moving forward will be to keep the former president out of the White House.

“America cannot remain free if we abandon the truth. The lie that 2020 presidential election was stolen is insidious. It preys on those who love their country,” she said in a final campaign video to Wyoming voters, according to Fox News. “It is a door Donald Trump opened to manipulate Americans to abandon their principles, to sacrifice their freedom, to justify violence, to ignore the rulings of our courts and the rule of law.”

The outlet added:

Cheney was the most senior of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the then-president on a charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol. The attack was waged by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters who aimed to disrupt congressional certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory in the 2020 election.

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Public opinion polls indicate Cheney will likely get trounced on Tuesday in the Republican primary for Wyoming’s statewide congressional district. She badly trails Harriet Hageman, a lawyer and politician who has been endorsed and heavily supported by Trump as the former president aims to oust Cheney from her House seat in a state where he won a whopping 70% of the vote in 2020.

Posted on: Aug 12 17:31