The scissors of slump

Last week, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the US Congress that “We now are entering a period of transition from one of historic recovery to one that can be marked by stable and steady growth. Making this shift is a central piece of the President’s plan to get inflation under control without sacrificing the economic gains we’ve made.”

It’s true that the US economy since the depths of the pandemic slump, (which remember in terms of national output, incomes and investment was the worst since the 1930s – even worse that the Great Recession of 2008-9) has made a recovery. But it could hardly be described as ‘historic’. And as for the claim that the US economy, the best performing of the major economies in the last year, is heading towards ‘stable and steady growth’, that is not supported by reality.

The scissors of slump

America, Meet Your New Dictator-in-Chief: The President’s Secret, Unchecked Powers

by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead | June 01, 2022

America, meet your new dictator-in-chief.

As the New York Times reports, “Newly disclosed documents have shed a crack of light on secret executive branch plans for apocalyptic scenarios—like the aftermath of a nuclear attack—when the president may activate wartime powers for national security emergencies.”< The problem, of course, is that we have become a nation in a permanent state of emergency. Power-hungry and lawless, the government has weaponized one national crisis after another in order to expand its powers and justify all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security. The seeds of this present madness were sown almost two decades ago when George W. Bush stealthily issued two presidential directives that granted the president the power to unilaterally declare a national emergency, which is loosely defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.

America, Meet Your New Dictator-in-Chief: The President’s Secret, Unchecked Powers

Missing Links/Links Behind Paywalls:

Secret Emergency Orders May Include Focus on Internet, New Files Show

Report: Military may have to quell domestic violence from economic collapse

Known Unknowns: Unconventional “Strategic Shocks” in Defense Strategy Development (PDF)

End the Imperial Presidency Before It’s Too Late

Too Much Presidential Power — We’ve Got to Address the ‘Unitary Executive’ Question

The New New Right Was Forged in Greed and White Backlash

The New New Right Was Forged in Greed and White Backlash

The matter of money should not be understated. Radical left movements, unlike the New Right, are not popular among billionaire funders; that’s what happens when you challenge the actual “regime” of capital. To highlight the path not chosen by the New Right, then, is to show their active desire not for liberation but for domination — which is nothing new on the right at all.

Related:

Two Religious Conservatives and a Marxist Walk Into a Journal

Neoreactionaries

Bill Gates says “real invention” is needed to stop online election and medical “misinformation”

Gates was quizzed on the Musk acquisition.

By Christina Maas Posted 1:12 pm

In an appearance on NBC’s Today show, Bill Gates was asked about online “misinformation” and what he thought about Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in relation to that.

Reclaim the Net ~> Bill Gates says “real invention” is needed to stop online election and medical “misinformation”

CDC Tracked Millions of Phones to See If Americans Followed COVID Lockdown Orders

CDC Tracked Millions of Phones to See If Americans Followed COVID Lockdown Orders

The documents reveal the expansive plan the CDC had last year to use location data from a highly controversial data broker. SafeGraph, the company the CDC paid $420,000 for access to one year of data, includes Peter Thiel and the former head of Saudi intelligence [Turki bin Faisal Al Saud] among its investors. Google banned the company from the Play Store in June.

The CDC used the data for monitoring curfews, with the documents saying that SafeGraph’s data “has been critical for ongoing response efforts, such as hourly monitoring of activity in curfew zones or detailed counts of visits to participating pharmacies for vaccine monitoring.” The documents date from 2021.

Zach Edwards, a cybersecurity researcher who closely follows the data marketplace, told Motherboard in an online chat after reviewing the documents: “The CDC seems to have purposefully created an open-ended list of use cases, which included monitoring curfews, neighbor-to-neighbor visits, visits to churches, schools and pharmacies, and also a variety of analysis with this data specifically focused on ‘violence.’” (The document doesn’t stop at churches; it mentions “places of worship.”)

Related:

Data Broker Is Selling Location Data of People Who Visit Abortion Clinics

Location data broker SafeGraph stops selling information on visits to abortion providers

SafeGraph Provides CDC and 1000+ Organizations With Data to Fight the COVID-19 Crisis

Google Bans Location Data Firm Funded by Former Saudi Intelligence Head:

On its website SafeGraph says “We believe places data should be open for all.” In April 2017, Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, the former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, invested in SafeGraph as part of a $16 million Series A funding round. SafeGraph said it had “assembled the deepest policy thinkers.” Beyond Faisal Al Saud, SafeGraph said it had enlisted the help of former U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, author Sam Harris, Meghan O’Sullivan who ran Iraq and Afghanistan policy under President George Bush, former Deputy Chief of Staff to President Obama Mona Sutphen, and former German Minister of Defense Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, among others. Peter Thiel is also an investor in the company.

More investors: SafeGraph Raises $16 Million Series A

The Ouster Of Imran Khan: How Much Involvement Did the US Have in Pakistan’s Coup?

The Ouster Of Imran Khan: How Much Involvement Did the US Have in Pakista’s Coup?

On a regional level, the Khan administration has also taken steps that have angered the world’s sole superpower. Khan has attempted to increase close bilateral collaboration to improve trade and transport links with Iran, describing their 517-mile border as a frontier of “peace and friendship” and expressing his happiness at the “positive momentum in brotherly relations between the two countries.” In 2019, he also tried to broker peace negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, an agreement that could have brought considerably more peace to the Middle East. The Trump administration vehemently opposed these negotiations, scuppering them weeks later by assassinating Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

While he has supported Iran, he has also publically opposed many of the policies of key U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Israel. Khan successfully campaigned against Pakistani involvement in the Saudi-led war on Yemen, while he has consistently championed Palestinian rights and demanded the Muslim world do more to help them. “A day will come when Palestinians will get their own country, a just settlement, and they will be able to live as equal citizens,” he said last year, comparing their struggle to that of the worldwide campaign against Apartheid South Africa. Meanwhile, he has also publicly supported imprisoned publisher Julian Assange.

The Pakistani military is thought to possess around 165 nuclear warheads. The country’s nuclear status came into sharp relief just as the campaign to oust Khan was heating up. While the world was concentrating on Ukraine, a potentially far more deadly incident occurred when India mistakenly fired a BrahMos cruise missile – the sort it uses to deliver its nuclear warheads – into Pakistan. In the course of routine maintenance, the rocket was accidentally launched. India did not immediately inform its neighbor of its mistake.