“Book Your Dome” – Yoga Bubbles In A Social Distancing World 

"Book Your Dome" – Yoga Bubbles In A Social Distancing World  Tyler Durden Tue, 06/30/2020 – 21:45

As US daily COVID-19 cases hit a record on Friday, recording 45,242, the most significant single-day jump of the entire virus pandemic, several states, including Texas, Florida, and California (states with current flare-ups), are now rethinking reopening plans. 

The emergence of the second coronavirus wave could be problematic for gyms and fitness studios that have recently opened because health officials could quickly shut these facilities backdown. 

One possible alternative that fitness centers could adopt to satisfy health officials in an era of social distancing is yoga domes. 

A pop-up yoga studio in Toronto, Canada, located on the grounds of Lake Ontario-front Hotel X, has installed 50 yoga bubbles that measure 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide. 

h/t Reuters  

Each bubble is outfitted with heating and cooling systems, allowing attendees of classes to practice safe yoga while minimizing virus transmission risks.  

h/t Cole Burtson 

“The domes are our design. We actually fabricate them in Canada here,” Steve Georgiev, the yoga event organizer, told Reuters

Classes began last week, is hosted by Lmnts Outdoor Studio in conjunction with local yoga studios in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Everybody’s been really cooped up for the last few months and haven’t been able to go out,” Georgiev said. “This allows us to do this in a safe and responsible way, where people get to enjoy … a group fitness activity in a private environment.”

A world of social distancing will be here until a proven vaccine is seen and mass-produced. So, in the meantime, get used to COVID bubbles, if that is at the yoga studio or at restaurants


ZeroHedge News

Bill Clinton’s Serbian War Atrocities Exposed In New Indictment

Bill Clinton's Serbian War Atrocities Exposed In New Indictment Tyler Durden Tue, 06/30/2020 – 22:45

Authored by Jim Bovard via The Libertarian Institute,

President Bill Clinton’s favorite freedom fighter just got indicted for mass murder, torture, kidnapping, and other crimes against humanity. In 1999, the Clinton administration launched a 78-day bombing campaign that killed up to 1500 civilians in Serbia and Kosovo in what the American media proudly portrayed as a crusade against ethnic bias. That war, like most of the pretenses of U.S. foreign policy, was always a sham.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was charged with ten counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by an international tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands. It charged Thaci and nine other men with “war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture.” Thaci and the other charged suspects were accused of being “criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders” and the indictment involved “hundreds of known victims of Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents.”

Image source: TSGT Victor Trisvan/Public Domain

Hashim Thaci’s tawdry career illustrates how anti-terrorism is a flag of convenience for Washington policymakers. Prior to becoming Kosovo’s president, Thaci was the head of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), fighting to force Serbs out of Kosovo. In 1999, the Clinton administration designated the KLA as “freedom fighters” despite their horrific past and gave them massive aid. The previous year, the State Department condemned “terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army.” The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden.

But arming the KLA and bombing Serbia helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Clinton was aided by many shameless members of Congress anxious to sanctify U.S. killing. Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CN) whooped that the United States and the KLA “stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values.” And since Clinton administration officials publicly compared Serb leader Slobodan Milošević to Hitler, every decent person was obliged to applaud the bombing campaign.

Both the Serbs and ethnic Albanians committed atrocities in the bitter strife in Kosovo. But to sanctify its bombing campaign, the Clinton administration waved a magic wand and made the KLA’s atrocities disappear. British professor Philip Hammond noted that the 78-day bombing campaign “was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called ‘dual-use’ targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorize the country into surrender.”

NATO repeatedly dropped cluster bombs into marketplaces, hospitals, and other civilian areas. Cluster bombs are anti-personnel devices designed to be scattered across enemy troop formations. NATO dropped more than 1,300 cluster bombs on Serbia and Kosovo and each bomb contained 208 separate bomblets that floated to earth by parachute. Bomb experts estimated that more than 10,000 unexploded bomblets were scattered around the landscape when the bombing ended and maimed children long after the ceasefire.

In the final days of the bombing campaign, the Washington Post reported that “some presidential aides and friends are describing Kosovo in Churchillian tones, as Clinton’s ‘finest hour.’” The Post also reported that according to one Clinton friend “what Clinton believes were the unambiguously moral motives for NATO’s intervention represented a chance to soothe regrets harbored in Clinton’s own conscience… The friend said Clinton has at times lamented that the generation before him was able to serve in a war with a plainly noble purpose, and he feels ‘almost cheated’ that ‘when it was his turn he didn’t have the chance to be part of a moral cause.’” By Clinton’s standard, slaughtering Serbs was “close enough for government work” to a “moral cause.”

Shortly after the end of the 1999 bombing campaign, Clinton enunciated what his aides labeled the Clinton doctrine: “Whether within or beyond the borders of a country, if the world community has the power to stop it, we ought to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing.” In reality, the Clinton doctrine was that presidents are entitled to commence bombing foreign lands based on any brazen lie that the American media will regurgitate. In reality, the lesson from bombing Serbia is that American politicians merely need to publicly recite the word “genocide” to get a license to kill.

After the bombing ended, Clinton assured the Serbian people that the United States and NATO agreed to be peacekeepers only “with the understanding that they would protect Serbs as well as ethnic Albanians and that they would leave when peace took hold.” In the subsequent months and years, American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serb civilians, bombing Serbian churches and oppressing any non-Muslims. Almost a quarter-million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Mr. Clinton promised to protect them. By 2003, almost 70 percent of the Serbs living in Kosovo in 1999 had fled, and Kosovo was 95 percent ethnic Albanian.

But Thaci remained useful for U.S. policymakers. Even though he was widely condemned for oppression and corruption after taking power in Kosovo, Vice President Joe Biden hailed Thaci in 2010 as the “George Washington of Kosovo.” A few months later, a Council of Europe report accused Thaci and KLA operatives of human organ trafficking. The Guardian noted that the report alleged that Thaci’s inner circle “took captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a number of Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys, which were sold on the black market.” The report stated that when “transplant surgeons” were “ready to operate, the [Serbian] captives were brought out of the ‘safe house’ individually, summarily executed by a KLA gunman, and their corpses transported swiftly to the operating clinic.”

Despite the body trafficking charge, Thaci was a star attendee at the annual Global Initiative conference by the Clinton Foundation in 2011, 2012, and 2013, where he posed for photos with Bill Clinton. Maybe that was a perk from the $ 50,000 a month lobbying contract that Thaci’s regime signed with The Podesta Group, co-managed by future Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, as the Daily Caller reported.

Clinton remains a hero in Kosovo where a statue of him was erected in the capital, Pristina. The Guardian newspaper noted that the statue showed Clinton “with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999.” It would have been a more accurate representation to depict Clinton standing on a pile of corpses of the women, children, and others killed in the U.S. bombing campaign.

In 2019, Bill Clinton and his fanatically pro-bombing former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, visited Pristina, where they were “treated like rock stars” as they posed for photos with Thaci. Clinton declared, “I love this country and it will always be one of the greatest honors of my life to have stood with you against ethnic cleansing (by Serbian forces) and for freedom.” Thaci awarded Clinton and Albright medals of freedom “for the liberty he brought to us and the peace to entire region.” Albright has reinvented herself as a visionary warning against fascism in the Trump era. Actually, the only honorific that Albright deserves is “Butcher of Belgrade.”

Clinton’s war on Serbia was a Pandora’s box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and most of the media portrayed the war against Serbia as a moral triumph, it was easier for the Bush administration to justify attacking Iraq, for the Obama administration to bomb Libya, and for the Trump administration to repeatedly bomb Syria. All of those interventions sowed chaos that continues cursing the purported beneficiaries.

Bill Clinton’s 1999 bombing of Serbia was as big a fraud as George W. Bush’s conning this nation into attacking Iraq. The fact that Clinton and other top U.S. government officials continued to glorify Hashim Thaci despite accusations of mass murder, torture, and body trafficking is another reminder of the venality of much of America’s political elite. Will Americans again be gullible the next time that Washington policymakers and their media allies concoct bullshit pretexts to blow the hell out of some hapless foreign land?


ZeroHedge News

Russiagate’s Last Gasp

Russiagate’s Last Gasp Tyler Durden Tue, 06/30/2020 – 23:25

Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,

On Friday The New York Times featured a report based on anonymous intelligence officials that the Russians were paying bounties to have U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan with President Donald Trump refusing to do anything about it.  The flurry of Establishment media reporting that ensued provides further proof, if such were needed, that the erstwhile “paper of record” has earned a new moniker — Gray Lady of easy virtue.

Over the weekend, the Times’ dubious allegations grabbed headlines across all media that are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans — which seems to have been the main objective. To keep the pot boiling this morning, The New York Times’ David Leonhardt’s daily web piece, “The Morning” calls prominent attention to a banal article by a Heather Cox Richardson, described as a historian at Boston College, adding specific charges to the general indictment of Trump by showing “how the Trump administration has continued to treat Russia favorably.” The following is from Richardson’s newsletter on Friday:

— “On April 1 a Russian plane brought ventilators and other medical supplies to the United States … a propaganda coup for Russia;

— “On April 25 Trump raised eyebrows by issuing a joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorating the 75th anniversary of the historic meeting between American and Soviet troops on the bridge of the Elbe River in Germany that signaled the final defeat of the Nazis;

— “On May 3, Trump called Putin and talked for an hour and a half, a discussion Trump called ‘very positive’;

— “On May 21, the U.S. sent a humanitarian aid package worth $ 5.6 million to Moscow to help fight coronavirus there.  The shipment included 50 ventilators, with another 150 promised for the next week; …

— “On June 15, news broke that Trump has ordered the removal of 9,500 troops from Germany, where they support NATO against Russian aggression. …”

Historian Richardson added:

“All of these friendly overtures to Russia were alarming enough when all we knew was that Russia attacked the 2016 U.S. election and is doing so again in 2020.  But it is far worse that those overtures took place when the administration knew that Russia had actively targeted American soldiers. … this bad news apparently prompted worried intelligence officials to give up their hope that the administration would respond to the crisis, and instead to leak the story to two major newspapers.”

Hear the siren? Children, get under your desks!

The Tall Tale About Russia Paying for Dead U.S. Troops

Times print edition readers had to wait until this morning to learn of Trump’s statement last night that he was not briefed on the cockamamie tale about bounties for killing, since it was, well, cockamamie.

Late last night the president tweeted: “Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or the VP. …”

For those of us distrustful of the Times — with good reason — on such neuralgic issues, the bounty story had already fallen of its own weight. As Scott Ritter pointed out yesterday:

Perhaps the biggest clue concerning the fragility of the New York Times’ report is contained in the one sentence it provides about sourcing “The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals.” That sentence contains almost everything one needs to know about the intelligence in question, including the fact that the source of the information is most likely the Afghan government as reported through CIA channels. …”

And who can forget how “successful” interrogators can be in getting desired answers.

Russia & Taliban React

The Kremlin called the Times reporting “nonsense … an unsophisticated plant,” and from Russia’s perspective the allegations make little sense; Moscow will see them for what they are — attempts to show that Trump is too “accommodating” to Russia.

A Taliban spokesman called the story “baseless,” adding with apparent pride that “we” have done “target killings” for years “on our own resources.” 

Attendees at the Taliban-U.S. peace signing ceremony in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 29, 2020. (State Department/Ron Przysucha)

Russia is no friend of the Taliban.  At the same time, it has been clear for several years that the U.S. would have to pull its troops out of Afghanistan.  Think back five decades and recall how circumspect the Soviets were in Vietnam.  Giving rhetorical support to a fraternal Communist nation was de rigueur and some surface-to-air missiles gave some substance to that support.

But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool’s errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved.  And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their “own resources.” As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad.

President Lyndon Johnson announces “retaliatory” strike against North Vietnam in response to the supposed attacks on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 4, 1964. (LBJ Library)

Besides, the Russians knew painfully well — from their own bitter experience in Afghanistan, what the outcome of the most recent fool’s errand would be for the U.S.  What point would they see in doing what The New York Times and other Establishment media are breathlessly accusing them of?

CIA Disinformation; Casey at Bat

Former CIA Director William Casey said:  “We’ll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false.”

Casey made that remark at the first cabinet meeting in the White House under President Ronald Reagan in early 1981, according to Barbara Honegger, who was assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser.  Honegger was there, took notes, and told then Senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who in turn made it public.

If Casey’s spirit is somehow observing the success of the disinformation program called Russiagate, one can imagine how proud he must be.  But sustained propaganda success can be a serious challenge.  The Russiagate canard has lasted three and a half years.  This last gasp effort, spearheaded by the Times, to breathe more life into it is likely to last little more than a weekend — the redoubled efforts of Casey-dictum followers notwithstanding.

Russiagate itself has been unraveling, although one would hardly know it from the Establishment media.  No collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.  Even the sacrosanct tenet that the Russians hacked the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks has been disproven, with the head of the DNC-hired cyber security firm CrowdStrike admitting that there is no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked — by Russia or anyone else.

U.S. Attorney John Durham. (Wikipedia)

How long will it take the Times to catch up with the CrowdStrike story, available since May 7?

The media is left with one sacred cow: the misnomered “Intelligence Community” Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017, claiming that President Putin himself ordered the hacking of the DNC. That “assessment” done by “hand-picked analysts” from only CIA, FBI and NSA (not all 17 intelligence agencies of the “intelligence community”) reportedly is being given close scrutiny by U. S. Attorney John Durham, appointed by the attorney general to investigate Russiagate’s origins.

If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll.  That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us.

Do not expect the media to cease and desist, simply because Trump had a good squelch for them last night — namely, the “intelligence” on the “bounties” was not deemed good enough to present to the president. 

(As a preparer and briefer of The President’s Daily Brief  to Presidents Reagan and HW Bush, I can attest to the fact that — based on what has been revealed so far — the Russian bounty story falls far short of the PDB threshold.)

Rejecting Intelligence Assessments

Nevertheless, the corporate media is likely to play up the Trump administration’s rejection of what the media is calling the “intelligence assessment” about Russia offering — as Rachel Maddow indecorously put it on Friday — “bounty for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan.”

I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged — actually, well over the top.

The media asks, “Why does Trump continue to disrespect the assessments of the intelligence community?”  There he goes again — not believing our “intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin.”

In other words, we can expect no let up from the media and the national security miscreant leakers who have served as their life’s blood.  As for the anchors and pundits, their level of sophistication was reflected yesterday in the sage surmise of Face the Nation’s Chuck Todd, who Aaron Mate reminds us, is a “grown adult and professional media person.”  Todd asked guest John Bolton: “Do you think that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election, and he doesn’t want to make him mad for 2020?”

“This is as bad as it gets,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday, adding the aphorism she memorized several months ago: “All roads lead to Putin.”  The unconscionably deceitful performance of Establishment media is as bad as it gets, though that, of course, was not what Pelosi meant.  She apparently lifted a line right out of the Times about how Trump is too “accommodating” toward Russia.

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia as a reflection of the need to pre-empt the findings likely to issue from Durham and Attorney General William Barr in the coming months — on the theory that the best defense is a pre-emptive offense. 

Meanwhile, we can expect the corporate media to continue to disgrace itself.

Vile

Caitlin Johnstone, typically, pulls no punches regarding the Russian bounty travesty: 

All parties involved in spreading this malignant psyop are absolutely vile, but a special disdain should be reserved for the media class who have been entrusted by the public with the essential task of creating an informed populace and holding power to account. How much of an unprincipled whore do you have to be to call yourself a journalist and uncritically parrot the completely unsubstantiated assertions of spooks while protecting their anonymity? How much work did these empire fluffers put into killing off every last shred of their dignity? It boggles the mind.

It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the Western world will uncritically parrot whatever they’re told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh.”


ZeroHedge News

The Purge: The Natural Progression Of “Woke” Censorship Is Tyranny

The Purge: The Natural Progression Of “Woke” Censorship Is Tyranny Tyler Durden Wed, 07/01/2020 – 00:05

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

As I have noted in the past, in order to be a conservative one has to stick to certain principles. For example, you have to stand against big government and state intrusions into individual lives, you have to support our constitutional framework and defend civil liberties, and you also have to uphold the rights of private property. Websites are indeed private property, as much as a person’s home is private property. There is no such thing as free speech rights in another person’s home, and there is no such thing as free speech rights on a website.

That said, there are some exceptions. When a corporation or a collective of corporations holds a monopoly over a certain form of communication, then legal questions come into play when they try to censor the viewpoints of an entire group of people. Corporations exist due to government sponsored charters; they are creations of government and enjoy certain legal protections through government, such as limited liability and corporate personhood. Corporations are a product of socialism, not free market capitalism; and when they become monopolies, they are subject to regulation and possible demarcation.

Many corporations have also received extensive government bailouts (taxpayer money) and corporate welfare. Google and Facebook, for example rake in billions in state and federal subsidies over the course of a few years.   Google doesn’t even pay for the massive bandwidth it uses.  So, it is not outlandish to suggest that if a company receives the full protection of government from the legal realm to the financial realm then they fall under the category of a public service. If they are allowed to continue to monopolize communication while also being coddled by the government as “too big to fail”, then they become a public menace instead.

This is not to say that I support the idea of nationalization. On the contrary, the disasters of socialism cannot be cured with even more socialism. However, monopolies are a poison to free markets and to free speech and must be deconstructed or abolished.

Beyond corporate monopolies, there is also the danger of ideological monopolies. Consider this – The vast majority of silicon valley companies that control the lion’s share of social media platforms are run by extreme political leftists and globalists that are openly hostile to conservative and moderate values.

Case in point: Three of the largest platforms on the internet – Reddit, Twitch, and YouTube just acted simultaneously in a single day to shut down tens of thousands of forums, streamers and video channels, the majority of which espouse conservative arguments which the media refers to as “hate speech”.

To be sure, at least a few of the outlets shut down probably argue from a position of race superiority.  However, I keep seeing the mainstream media making accusations that all the people being silenced right now deserve it due to “racism” and “calls for violence”, and I have yet to see them offer a single piece of evidence supporting any of these claims.

A recent article from the hyper-leftist Salon is a perfect example of the hypocrisy and madness of the social justice left in action.

It’s titled ‘Twitch, YouTube And Reddit Punished Trump And Other Racists – And That’s A Great Thing For Freedom’. Here are a few excerpts with my commentary:

Salon: “Freedom is impossible for everyone when viewpoints prevail that dehumanize anyone. And it appears that several big social media platforms agree, judging from recent bans or suspensions of racist accounts across YouTube, Twitch, and Reddit.”

My Response

Freedom cannot be taken away by another person’s viewpoint. Every individual has complete control over whether or not they “feel” marginalized and no amount of disapproval can silence a person unless they allow it to. If you are weak minded or weak willed, then grow a backbone instead of expecting the rest of the world to stay quiet and keep you comfortable.

Remember when the political left was the bastion of the free speech debate against the censorship of the religious right? Well, now the leftists have a religion (or cult) of their own and they have changed their minds on the importance of open dialogue.

Salon: “For those who are dehumanized — whether by racism, sexism, classism, ableism, anti-LGBTQ sentiment or any other prejudices — their voices are diminished or outright silenced, and in the process they lose their ability to fully participate in our democracy. We all need to live in a society where hate is discouraged, discredited and whenever possible scrubbed out completely from our discourse. This doesn’t mean we should label all ideas as hateful simply because we disagree with them; to do that runs afoul of President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous statement, “In a democracy debate is the breath of life”. When actual hate enters the dialogue, however, it acts as a toxic smoke in the air of debate, suffocating some voices and weakening the rest.”

My Response

Where do I begin with this steaming pile of woke nonsense? First, it’s impossible to be “dehumanized” by another person’s opinion of you. If they are wrong, or an idiot, then their opinion carries no weight and should be ignored. Your value is not determined by their opinion. No one can be “silenced” by another person’s viewpoint unless they allow themselves to be silenced. If they are right about you and are telling you something you don’t want to hear, then that is your problem, not theirs. No one in this world is entitled to protection from other people’s opinions. Period.

It should not surprise anyone though that leftists are actively attempting to silence all dissent while accusing conservatives of stifling free speech. This is what they do; they play the victim while they seek to victimize. They have no principles. They do not care about being right, they only care about “winning”.

Under the 1st Amendment, ALL speech is protected, including what leftists arbitrarily label “hate speech”. Unless you are knowingly defaming a specific person or threatening specific violence against a specific person, your rights are protected. Interpreting broad speech as a “threat” because of how it might make certain people feel simply will not hold up in a court of law. Or at least, it should not hold up…

Political leftists have declared themselves the arbiters of what constitutes “hate speech”, the problem is they see EVERYTHING that is conservative as racist, sexist, misogynistic, etc. No human being or group of human beings is pure enough or objective enough to sit in judgment of what encompasses fair or acceptable speech. Therefore, all speech must be allowed in order to avoid tyranny.

If an idea is unjust, then by all means, the political left has every right to counter it with their own ideas and arguments. “Scrubbing” all opposing ideas from the public discourse is unacceptable, and this is exactly what the social justice movement is attempting to do. If you want to erase these ideas from your own home, or your personal website, then you are perfectly within your rights to do so, but you DO NOT have the right to assert a monopoly on speech and the political narrative.

Generally, when a group of zealots is trying to erase opposing ideals from the discussion, it usually means their own ideals don’t hold up to scrutiny. If your ideology is so pure and correct in its form, there should be no need to trick the masses into accepting it by scrubbing the internet.

Finally, America was not founded as a democracy, we are a republic, and with good reason. A democracy is tyranny by the majority; a collectivist hell where power is centralized into the hands of whoever can con 51% of the population to their side. Marxists and communists love the idea of “democracy” and speak about it often because they think they are keenly equipped to manipulate the masses and form a majority. But, in a republic, individual rights are protected REGARDLESS of what the majority happens to believe at any given time, and this includes the right to free speech.

In the same breath, Solon pretends to value free discussion, then calls for the destruction of free speech and opposing ideas in the name of protecting people’s thin-skinned sensitivities. In other words, free speech is good, unless it’s a viewpoint they don’t like, then it becomes hate speech and must be suppressed.

Solon: “Reddit referred Salon to a statement explaining,”We committed to closing the gap between our values and our policies to explicitly address hate” and that “ultimately, it’s our responsibility to support our communities by taking stronger action against those who try to weaponize parts of Reddit against other people.””

My Response

In other words, they don’t like conservatives using their platforms against them, and since the political left is unable to present any valid arguments to defend their beliefs and they are losing the culture war, they are going for broke and seeking to erase all conservatives from their platforms instead. The “hate speech” excuse is merely a false rationale.  Social justice warriors stand on top of a dung heap and pretend it’s the moral high ground.

Solon: “No one who understands Constitutional law can argue that these corporate decisions violate the First Amendment which only protects speech from government repression. Professor Rick Hasen at the University of California, Irvine Law School told Salon by email that “private companies running websites are not subject to being sued for violating the First Amendment. The companies are private actors who can include whatever content they want unless there is a law preventing them from doing so.”

My Response

Again, this is not entirely true. Corporations are constructs of government and receive special privileges from government. If corporations form a monopoly over a certain form of communication and they attempt to censor all opposing views from that platform then they can be broken up by government to prevent destruction of the marketplace. Also, government can rescind the limited liability and corporate personhood of these companies as punishment for violating the public trust. And finally, any company that relies on taxpayer dollars or special tax break incentives to survive can and should have those dollars taken away when attempting to assert a monopoly.

Yes, there are alternative platforms for people to go to, but what is to stop leftist/globalist monopolies from buying up every other social media and standard media platform (as they have been doing for the past decade)? What is to stop leftist/globalist interests from using the “hate speech” argument to put pressure on ALL other web platforms including service and domain providers to cancel conservatives?

Finally, just because something is technically legal does not necessarily make it right. Corporations exploit government protection, yet claim they are not subject to government regulation? The left hates corporate America, yet they happily defend corporations when they are censoring conservatives? This is insane.

The Salon author then goes on a blathering diatribe about how he was once a victim of racism (all SJWs measure personal value according to how much more victimized someone is compared to others). His claims are irrelevant to the argument at hand, then he continues…

Salon: “Trump threatening to use the government power to retaliate against those companies, on the other hand, is a threat to both the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment. He and his supporters are not being stopped from disseminating their views on other platforms…”

My Response

Here is the only area where I partially agree with Salon. All of my readers know I do not put any faith in Donald Trump to do the right thing, mostly because of the elitists he surrounds himself with in his cabinet. When it comes down to it, Trump will act in THIER best interests, not in the public’s best interests. Giving him (or the FCC) the power to dictate speech rules on the internet is a bad idea. Also, for those that think the election process still matters, what if we gift such powers to the government today and then the political left enters the White House tomorrow? Yikes! Then we’ll have no room to complain as they will most certainly flip-flop and use government power to silence their opposition.

Of course, if the roles were reversed and corporations were deplatforming thousands of social justice forums and videos, the leftists would be screaming bloody murder about “corporate censorship” and “discrimination”. For now, in their minds, racial discrimination = bad. Politicial discrimination = good.

The monopoly issue still stands, though, and an ideological monopoly coupled with a unified corporate monopoly is a monstrosity that cannot be tolerated.  Government can and should break up such monopolies without going down the rabbit hole of nationalization.

Yes, we can go to small startup platforms and leave Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, etc. behind. I have been saying for years that conservatives with the capital should start their own alternative social media. In fact, that is exactly what is fianlly happening. There has been a mass exodus of users from mainstream websites lately. I say, let the SJWs have their echo chambers and maybe these companies will collapse. Get Woke Go Broke still applies. But, government can no longer protect these corporations, either.  With the government raining down bailout cash and corporate welfare on media companies, voting with your feet does not have the same affect or send the same message.

The future of this situation is bleak. I have no doubt that leftists and globalists will attempt to purge ALL conservative discussion from the internet, to the point of attempting to shut down private conservative websites through service providers.  The final outcome of the purge is predictable:  Civil war; an issue I will be discussing in my next article.

Leftists accuse conservatives of hate, but social justice adherents seem to hate almost everything. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a group of people more obsessed with visiting misery on others, and they will never be satisfied or satiated. That which is normal speech today will be labeled as hate speech tomorrow.  The cult must continue to justify its own existence.  

I for one am not going to live my life walking on eggshells around a clique of narcissistic sociopaths. Cancel culture is mob rule, and mob rule is at its core the true evil here; far more evil than any mere words spoken by any “white supremacist” on any forum or video ever.

*  *  *

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Cocoa Futures Hit One Year Low As Pandemic Wrecks Global Consumption  

Cocoa Futures Hit One Year Low As Pandemic Wrecks Global Consumption   Tyler Durden Tue, 06/30/2020 – 23:45

ICE Europe cocoa futures plunged to one year low on Monday following demand concerns and oversupplied conditions amid mounting global economic headwinds that suggest no V-shaped recovery in the back half of 2020.

September London cocoa futures ended the session down 6 pounds to 1,682 pounds per tonne, now in bear market territory, plunging -20% since mid-February. In 15 quarters, from 3Q16, cocoa futures have tumbled 34%. 

Reuters explains the bearish fundamental backdrop for the cocoa market will likely pressure prices ahead: 

Above-average rains last week in most of top producer Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions bode well for the start of the next main crop in October but could hurt the current mid-crop, as indicated by falling port arrivals.

“An expected rise in production in the upcoming 2020/21 season combined with increased signs demand is flailing amid the economic downturn is weighing on cocoa.” – Reuters 

Cocoa futures are a proxy of economic activity among consumers. Chocolate companies suffered steep declines in sales as lockdowns closed restaurants, resorts, movie theaters, concerts, and other forms of entertainment. Consumers across the world have been crushed by lockdowns, unlikely to spend money at 2019 levels. 

Days ago, we outlined similar bearish fundamentals playing out in coffee markets, sending spot prices to 15-year lows. 

What this all suggests is that consumption is lagging – hopes for a V-shaped recovery are set to fade as economic reality should rear its ugly head this summer. 

Falling spot cocoa prices could suggest the next move for global stocks is down. 


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US Interest In Coronavirus Waning

US Interest In Coronavirus Waning Tyler Durden Tue, 06/30/2020 – 23:05

COVID-19 cases are reaching record levels yet again in the U.S., despite most developed countries around the world successfully flattening their curve and reopening without another major wave of infections. One of the big problems in the U.S., Statista’s Willem Roper suggests based on recent data, may be a growing indifference amid a weariness of misinformation and a news cycle dominated by the virus.

In a new survey from the Pew Research Center, nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults in June say the outbreak has been exaggerated – an almost 10 percent increase since April. In terms of political party, respondents who identified as Republican or leaning Republican had the largest increase between April and June, going from 47 percent to 63 percent believing the outbreak has been exaggerated.

Infographic: U.S. Interest in Coronavirus Waning | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

In March and April, Pew recorded that a majority of Americans were closely following updated news on COVID-19 and how it was spreading locally, nationally and globally. Since then, new surveys show Americans’ interest has quickly dissipated, going from 46 percent in May to just 39 percent of U.S. adults saying they’re closely following COVID-19 news in June.

Other data from this Pew survey show how misinformation is coursing through the country, with nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults saying they’re finding it hard to identify truth from fiction regarding COVID-19. A growing percentage of Americans are also paying more attention to the conspiracy that the coronavirus outbreak was planned by “powerful people.”


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Meijer Stops Accepting Cash As Nationwide Coin Shortage Erupts

Meijer Stops Accepting Cash As Nationwide Coin Shortage Erupts Tyler Durden Tue, 06/30/2020 – 22:25

We recently penned a piece on a developing nationwide coin shortage sparked by the virus pandemic. As a result of the shortage, at least one major supermarket chain has removed the ability to pay in cash at self-scan checkout machines. 

Meijer Inc., a supermarket chain based in the Midwest, with corporate headquarters in Walker, Michigan, announced last Friday, that self-scan checkout machines at 250 supercenters would only accept credit or debit cards, SNAP and EBT cards, and gift cards.

“While we understand this effort may be frustrating to some customers,” spokesman Frank Guglielmi told ABC12 News Team. “It’s necessary to manage the impact of the coin shortage on our stores.”

Fed Chair Powell admitted to lawmakers last week that The Fed has been rationing coins as the circulation of coins across the US economy ground to a halt due to the pandemic.

“What’s happened is that with the partial closure of the economy, the flow of coins through the economy … it’s kind of stopped,” Powell told lawmakers.

He said the shortage was due to the mass business closures that prevented people from spending their coins, as well as a lack of places that are open where people can trade coins for paper bills. 

“We’ve been aware of it, we’re working with the Mint to increase supply, we’re working with the reserve banks to get the supply to where it needs to be,” Powell said, adding he expected the problem to be temporary.

Americans Googling “coin shortage” started to erupt in the back half of June and has since hit a record high. Mainly people in Midwest states are searching for the search term. 

Google search “coin shortage” shows the issue isn’t limited to Meijer stores but is widespread. 

Social media users report the shortage is happening at many big-box retailers. 

🙏♥️✌

Meijer not accepting cash at self check out due to coin shortagehttps://t.co/eHL0nUqAqc

— Long Haired Hippie Rebel 🕉 (@lbox327) June 30, 2020

Is this a sly move to ban cash transactions in favor of credit cards under the guise of a coronavirus-related issue? 


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China Caught Smuggling 10,800 Assault Weapons Parts Into Louisville By US Customs

China Caught Smuggling 10,800 Assault Weapons Parts Into Louisville By US Customs Tyler Durden Tue, 06/30/2020 – 22:05

Via GreatGameIndia.com,

China has been caught smuggling 10,800 Assault Weapons parts into Louisville by US Customs and Border Protection officers. The shipment arriving from Shenzhen, China, and destined for a residence in Melbourne, Florida was seized on May 22. The parcel was manifested as containing 100 Steel Pin Samples – a common practice used by smugglers for contraband trafficking.

China Caught Smuggling 10,800 Assault Weapons Parts Into Louisville By US Customs

At the Express Consignment Operations hubs in Louisville U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized a shipment from China that contained over 10,000 Assault Weapons parts being smuggled into the country. As per the CBP press release:

The shipment was seized on May 22. Officers inspected the item, which was arriving from Shenzhen, China, destined for a residence in Melbourne, Florida. The parcel was manifested as containing 100 Steel Pin Samples. This is a common practice of smugglers manifesting the contraband as a harmless or a legitimate commodity in hopes of eluding further examination.

Thomas Mahn, the Port Director at Louisville said that the Chinese smugglers were knowingly trying to avoid detection and smuggle in Assault Weapons parts into US.

“The importing of any type of munitions is regulated by the ATF,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director, Louisville.

“This smuggler was knowingly trying to avoid detection, however, our officers remain vigilant, ensuring our community is safe.”

The CBP Center of Excellence and Expertise, Machinery team estimate the domestic value of the shipment to be $ 129,600.

Earlier, in February, Indian intelligence caught  China secretly shipping nuclear arms to Pakistan. The ship belonged to a Chinese shipping company COSCO blacklisted by the Americans last year. Sources in Coastal intelligence told GreatGameIndia the intercept was based on a tip-off from the Americans who were monitoring the entire fleet of the shipping line believed to be a front of Chinese intelligence.

The weapons shipment from Chinese smugglers has been caught at a time when the United States of America has been caught in the grip of a civil-war. The issue is complicated by the fact that the group leading the civil-unrest movement, the Black Lives Matter has direct ties to known terrorists.

Numerous Black Lives Matter organizers have ties to extremist movements of the past, and are not some brand new movement simply fighting for marginalized people today. Black Lives Matter has declared war on the police and has released a blueprint for Black Panther style armed ‘patrols’ monitoring police officers on the streets. BLM’s leader revealed in an exclusive interview that they are mobilizing a highly-trained military arm.


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Where New College Grads Want To Work During The COVID-19 Crisis

Where New College Grads Want To Work During The COVID-19 Crisis Tyler Durden Tue, 06/30/2020 – 21:25

Authored by Amanda Stansell of Glassdoor

Key Findings

  • During the COVID-19 crisis, new grad-related job openings have dropped 68 percent from this time last year, but new grads are still aspiring to work in tech. Seven of the top 10 employers attracting the most new grad applications are tech companies.
  • Amazon and Microsoft attracted the most job applications from new grads on Glassdoor in May 2020. TikTok also received significant interest from new grads, receiving the fifth highest number of job applications from recent graduates.
  • New grads are still gravitating towards technical roles. Software engineer, data analyst, and business analyst are the roles seeing the most job applications during the COVID-19 crisis, accounting for 18 percent of all new grad applications during this time.

With tens of millions of people newly unemployed, the class of 2020 has stepped into one of the worst job markets in history. As of May 2020, the number of open jobs on Glassdoor that contain “entry level” or “new grad” in the job title has dropped 68 percent from this time last year. Now, confronting this significant drop in the number of open jobs, new grads are commencing their job searches in a profoundly different economic environment than could have been imagined a few months ago. 

Where do new grads want to work? Using U.S.-based Glassdoor jobs and salary data, we show where new college grads in the United States are applying in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and economic crisis.

What We Did

For this analysis, we used a large sample of real-world job applications started on Glassdoor between May 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, by users likely to be recent college graduates. We define new graduates as those with a bachelor’s degree born in 1994 or later (aged 26 or younger). We then used these data to show which employers, metros, and occupations new graduate job seekers are applying to most frequently in the U.S. during the COVID-19 crisis. Similarly, to estimate pay for new grads, we examined anonymous Glassdoor salary reports left between May 1, 2019, and April 30, 2020, by U.S.-based employees aged 26 or younger with a bachelor’s degree. 

Where are New Grads Applying to Work?  

The table below shows the top jobs that new grads are applying to during the COVID-19 crisis and the estimated salary for each. Software engineer applications accounted for 8 percent of all job applications from new grads in May, making it the most popular role to apply to for new grads. This is not surprising given its high salary of over $ 94,000 for workers fresh out of college. Additionally, there are several other high paying roles attracting new grads in May, including data scientist and software developer. 

However, money is not the only factor driving applications. New college grads are also applying to some lower paying jobs that have shown resilience during the COVID-19 crisis and often allow remote work options. Administrative assistant and sales representative were two of the jobs in the top ten roles new grads were applying to in May. 

Top 10 Jobs Attracting New Grad Job Seekers

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (Glassdoor.com/research)

 The table below shows the top 10 companies that new grads applied to in May 2020. High-profile employers including Amazon, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs stood out to new grads during these uncertain times. 

With seven of the top 10 companies on this list in the tech industry, it’s clear that tech employers haven’t lost their appeal among new graduates amid a shaky job market. Interestingly, a relatively new social media company, TikTok, is already gathering strong interest from new grads. New grad job seekers also aspire to work at non-tech companies like Goldman Sachs, EY, and Randstad. 

Even within industries that have seen job declines in recent months, there are some bright spots of employers still hiring. For example, Amazon has been hiring intensively for warehouse and delivery roles in response to booming e-commerce during the pandemic, and is hiring for many corporate roles as well. Several of these employers are having hiring surges right now, as highlighted on Glassdoor, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google.  

Top 10 Employers Attracting New Grads During COVID-19

Next, we look at the major metros where new grad job seekers are seeking work. The table below highlights the top 10 cities where new grads are applying to jobs. New York City accounts for 15 percent of all new grad applications, followed by Los Angeles with eight percent. While these job openings are listed in specific metro areas, many of these jobs may begin remotely as many companies continue to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis.  

Top 10 Metros for New Grad Job Applications

Conclusion  

New grads are being forced to search for jobs in the midst of a pandemic. However, like previous grads, they are still applying to tech giants like Amazon (that are boosting hiring in response to COVID-19), and others,  like Microsoft and Apple, known for their strong company cultures. New grads are also applying to jobs at trendy companies like TikTok. Even though the backdrop of their job hunt has changed dramatically over the past few months,  leveraging Glassdoor data and insights provides a deeper understanding of the career interests of this newly graduated class of job seekers during a particularly challenging time.


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“Red Flags Galore”: Companies Sold A Mindblowing $113 Billion In Stock In Q2

“Red Flags Galore”: Companies Sold A Mindblowing $ 113 Billion In Stock In Q2 Tyler Durden Tue, 06/30/2020 – 21:05

When it comes to bearish market flow red flags, aggressive selling of stock by corporate insiders is traditionally viewed as the biggest red flag – after all nobody knows the prospects for their companies better than the people who run them – followed closely by companies selling stock. The logic is simple: why sell today if you believe you may get a better price tomorrow.The answer is simple: you don’t, and instead you rush to lock in gains afforded by the market today.

In which case, it’s “red flags galore” because as the following chart from Goldman’s head of European Equity Sales, Mark Wilson, shows companies haven’t sold this much stock in a single quarter in… well, forever.

According to Bloomberg data, secondary offerings in the U.S. raised $ 113 billion in the second quarter, the most on record. The nearly 400 deals that priced this quarter is also the most ever.

As Goldman adds, “we’re about to close out another record month of global equity issuance, with June set to eclipse the recent record set in May; the numbers (>$ 230b of supply in 7 weeks), and the market’s ability to absorb this sizeable supply, have been impressive (the quantum of global supply vs prior peak periods shown in the 1st chart; US supply vs recent years trend shown in 2nd chart)”

Following up on this staggering pace of equity sales, Bloomberg writes that “the record-high pace of secondary offerings that took hold in the second quarter is poised to continue into the summer” as share sales by U.S.-listed firms and their top holders raised the most money and happened the most frequently of any other quarter on record.

With coronavirus shutdowns creating a sudden need for cash, issuers found an opportunity in a stock market that came roaring back from depths of the selloff in March. The paradox, of course, is that companies dumped stocks – with buybacks largely dormant – to a market dominated by (mostly young) daytraders who were so eager to lap anything up they almost bought an equity offering of worthless stock by bankrupt Hertz, another unprecedented event.

And in recent weeks activity has continued apace, with Bloomberg predicting that this promises big things for the third quarter as Covid-19 continues to rattle the economy. Convertible bond issuance also surged this quarter. Those deals amounted to more than triple the cash raised in the second quarter of 2019 as some companies needing money looked to minimize the impact of dilution while capitalizing on lower rates.

It’s not just companies that have benefited from the unprecedented demand for equities: for bankers, these deals have been a helpful avenue to recoup business lost to the slowdown in initial public offerings and M&A activity.

And all of this was, of course, started by the Fed which unleashed trillions in liquidity, including buying corporate bonds and ETFs – the Fed is now a Top 5 shareholder in some of the biggest bond ETFs…

… all under the convenient lie that it is laboring on behalf of the US middle class.


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