"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." -- John Adams

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Former President Donald Trump's youngest son Barron Trump will not serve as a Florida delegate to the Republican National Convention in Wisconsin later this year, the office of Melania Trump noted in a statement, according to reports.

"While Barron is honored to have been chosen as a delegate by the Florida Republican Party, he regretfully declines to participate due to prior commitments," the statement notes.

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The entire COVID and vaccine narrative that the left tried to shove down our throats and into our bloodstreams is collapsing like a flim-flam house of cards. The real truth, which many of us knew from the very start, is finally emerging, leaving our so-called “experts” scrambling in the dust. After enduring endless lies, relentless mockery, and non-stop political agendas, the American public is growing weary of these supposed untouchable know-it-alls. It turns out they’re not perfect after all. They’re just easily-bought mouthpieces willing to say and do anything for a buck. Oh, and once they’re called out for their lies and manipulation, they’ll do everything they can to cover up and hide what they did. Let freedom ring!

Meanwhile, Dr. Scott Atlas hit the nail on the head when he said that the plummeting support for so-called “science” and “experts” can be laid right at the feet of the disgraced elitist, Anthony Fauci.

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Via Middle East Eye

In a grand procession last week, Sinai militia leader Ibrahim al-Organi arrived at a ceremony to inaugurate the Arab Tribes Union, a new paramilitary entity that brings together five tribal groups from across Egypt. The celebration named President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as the union’s "honorary president", while also announcing plans to build Sisi City on the site of al-Arjaa, a village in Rafah near the Egypt-Israel border.

The formation of this alliance comes at a critical time and place, as Israel this week launched a long-threatened ground offensive against the Palestinian city of Rafah, just a short distance from where the Egyptian ceremony was held. Around 1.4 million displaced Palestinians have been sheltering in Rafah since Israel launched its war on Gaza last October.

Soldier at the Rafah-Gaza border, AFP

Israel’s assault on Rafah is likely to cause further mass displacement of Palestinians in Gaza, potentially pushing them towards Egyptian territory. At least 80,000 have already fled Rafah, according to UNRWA, the UN Palestinian refugee agency.

It was thus no coincidence that the union’s founding statement noted its aim to "adopt national issues and connect with all Arab tribes to find common ground within the framework of the state, to serve its objectives, and to support the Egyptian president who seeks to protect Egypt’s national security and its Arab nation against the displacement plans aimed at resolving the Palestinian issue at Egypt’s expense."

Since the outbreak of the Gaza war on October 7, Egyptian officials have repeatedly expressed concerns over the potential displacement of Palestinians to the Sinai. They have even threatened to freeze the country’s peace treaty with Israel.

The historical experiences of Palestinian displacement, along with Israel’s goal to empty historic Palestine of its people, prevent their return and seize their lands, are well known to the Egyptian state.

At the same time, the Palestinian people’s attachment to their land and insistence on their right of return, no matter how long it takes, has made each area of Palestinian displacement - whether in LebanonSyria or Jordan - a focal point for resisting the occupation, something Egypt does not want.

All options for dealing with this matter, it seems, are bitter, from the emergence of pockets of Palestinian resistance in the Sinai akin to what happened in Lebanon in the 1970s, to a confrontation of the kind that occurred in Jordan during Black September.

Yet Egypt cannot stop the Israeli military operation, nor halt its tanks from invading the tents of displaced Palestinians in Rafah. The Egyptian regime will not deviate from the US perspective in dealing with the recklessness of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which means it will have to deal directly with the massive crowds of displaced people likely headed towards Egyptian territory.

Early on, Egypt started taking precautions for this scenario, overlooking many humanitarian details. It reinforced the fences and barriers along its border with the Gaza Strip, tightened border security, and mobilised support and funding for alternative camps within Gaza itself.

In the event of a mass displacement into its territory, Egypt appears to be planning to confine displaced Palestinians in a high-security, isolated area along the border, allowing the state to maintain tight control and apply pressure to hasten their return to Gaza.

But there are a couple of issues with this plan. For one, many displaced Palestinians have family and tribal ties in the northern Sinai. The Egyptian and Palestinian cities of Rafah were once united as a single city, until Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai and the demarcation of borders in 1982. Many tribes are still divided, with some members in Palestinian Rafah and others in Egyptian Rafah.

Claire's Observations:  This ultimately cannot end well.

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This isn’t believable.

We saw Bibi setting up his population for this. It’s part of a narrative they are weaving to allow Biden to attempt to change the climate in America.

It’s just theater.

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Jeremy Carl’s new book The Unprotected Class: How Anti-White Racism Is Tearing America Apart is important because it is one of the first works devoted to a central problem of the 21st century, the long-gestating rise of racist animus against white people.

Yet, in an era of protected classes, whites have been averse to noticing that hatred against themselves has become highly respectable.

Carl provides 77 pages of endnotes documenting the current obsession with despising whites. Still, whites have been weirdly averse to calling out all the loathing directed toward them. Few dare call it racism, instead preferring some more charitable explanation, such as attributing it to Marxism.

Mentioning all the bigotry targeted at whites is so unpopular that we don’t even have any agreed-upon terms for it. For example, Carl uses “anti-white racism” in his subtitle to denote racism against whites, but that can easily be confused with being against “white racism,” which is something highly different (or perhaps not). So I prefer the explicit term “racist anti-white hate,” but others might find that too on the nose.

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It is a truism bordering on a cliche that the Israeli state and Palestinian resistance organizations have inflicted violence upon each other, claiming the lives of thousands of innocent people on both sides. Media coverage of the carnage has been anything but evenhanded, however.

Since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, Western media have noted and covered and analyzed attacks against Israelis by groups like the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas in painstaking detail, while almost completely ignoring Israeli attacks against Palestinians — and the oppressive high-tech apartheid system Israel created to oppress millions of Palestinians under military occupation — this despite the fact that the death and trauma toll on the Palestinian side has consistently been many times higher.

For the last seven months, for the first time since the Nakba, Palestinian suffering has finally appeared on the radar of the Western press. As usual, this latest spasm of violence has cost many more Palestinian lives — 35,000 in Gaza — than Israeli — 1,200 on Oct. 7. (Because the official Gaza death count does not count bodies trapped under the rubble, it is an underestimate.)

That’s basically a 30-to-1 ratio. Now establishment journalists are demanding that everyone, including college student demonstrators, devote equal mention and opprobrium — good dead people on both sides, to coin a phrase.

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Alan Dershowitz, the epitome of a Harvard law school left-winger back in the days before the left-wing went Woke, endorsed two of my books dealing with Washington’s dangerous assaults on American Civil Liberty.

Dershowitz’s failing is that as a defender of Zionist Israel he silences even Jews, such as Norman Finkelstein, who are critical of Zionist Israel. But when it comes to US civil liberty, he stands on the Constitution if Israel is not in the picture.

This is unusual for the left-wing today, which opposes the Constitution as a racist document intended to suppress black people.

In former periods of our history the American left was a countervailing power that protected civil rights. Those days are gone, and Dershowitz is the last.

I doubt that Dershowitz is a Trump supporter. But to Dershowitz, it is the the law, the Constitution, that is important. In a recent article, Dershowitz says, “Every American should be appalled at this selective prosecution. Today the target is former President Donald Trump. Tomorrow it may be a Democrat.”

In other words, Dershowitz is concerned that the US is becoming a Latin American country in which every outgoing president is prosecuted by his successor. Instead of law as a protector, law becomes a weapon.

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Not in my lifetime,” I used to think when contemplating America’s decline and fall—a decline and fall I eagerly anticipate as a prelude to remaking our crumbly republic such that it stands for the ideals it professes to uphold but unreservedly ignores. Blind justice, disinterested leaders and institutions, tolerance of others, freedom of thought and speech, a Jeffersonian respect for reason and knowledge: Those who come after me will see the imperium’s collapse and will begin the work of restoration, but not I.

So I long assumed. And so does the pace of events suggest I may well be wrong. Things I used to think would take, maybe, 20 years now occur in five or six or seven. If I reckoned some turn of history’s wheel was a decade out, what do you know but that it now seems hard upon us.

Decline and fall. It is not pleasant to live in such a time as ours, but it is, as the Chinese are credited with saying (or was it the Arabs?) interesting. Let us not, as we accept our fate, lose sight of the optimism within the apparent pessimism.

On May 2 the House passed a bill that, broadly speaking, defines as “antisemitic” any criticism of Israel, or—heaven forbid!—disapproval of Israel as a “Jewish state.” The kookier House members have been trying to get this rationally disconnected piece of legislation to the floor for eight years. The House now sends the Antisemitism Awareness Act to the Senate on a 320–to–19 vote.

As if to second the House’s intent, President Biden announced, a May 7 event marking the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s annual remembrance day, a series of new legal and administrative measures to counter the nonexistent crisis of antisemitism that now overtakes the U.S. the way a Communist takeover did in the 1950s. Will someone explain why we hear daily about all this antisemitism but cannot see anything of it more than the odd, unalarming case—the everyday here-and-there variety? Someone, anyone?

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It must be their Vandal blood—the Tunisians have decided to not let their nation become part of black Africa. Instead of submitting to diversity, this nation descended, in part, from barbarian hordes of warriors, is going door-to-door to root out their illegal alien problem. They are taking the same aggressive action that the Dominican Republic has taken with their black invasion, mass deportations.

The usual suspects, the professional refugee workers, are angry.

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May 2nd, a week ago yesterday, there were municipal elections all over the U.K. For a sign of things to come, it was the Muslim vote that everyone was talking about.

A little background here. As in the USA, British politics is dominated by two big old parties that millions of voters adhere to either from dumb loyalty or from conviction that none of the smaller parties is likely to win enough seats to form a government, so best pick the lesser of two evils.

The Conservative Party, aka the Tories, have held power, although sometimes in coalition, for most of the past fourteen years. They have accomplished basically nothing and their voter base is seriously fed up with them. Under Britain’s constitution there has to be a general election in the next few months; the Tories look set fair for a major defeat.

The other big party, the Labour Party, is looking good by default, although they ran out of constructive ideas a generation ago. They have always taken an easier line than the Tories on immigration: the great immigration surge from 1997 to 2007 was supervised by Tony Blair’s Labour government. Because of that Labour has been getting a disproportionate share of the immigrant vote.

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In September 2022, Joe Hoft at The Gateway Pundit reported that Chris Wray’s FBI created a fake crime scene at Trump’s home by adding their own documents to the scene and doctoring at least one photo. (more here).

The FBI created the crime scene, inserted their own documents, and then photoshopped the document.  At the bottom of the photo provided to the court there is the number 2A, indicating that this was a crime scene photo as well as a type of tape measure across the bottom of the photo. The corrupt FBI threw the photos on the floor themselves. They staged this.

We know this because the containers were right next door. Had the FBI wanted to take a picture of the documents, they would have been placed on a table. Showing them as scattered across the floor is to indicate they were found this way, a lie we explain below. Also, the cabinets are right next to the documents, which is likely where they were stored. They weren’t stored on the floor.

As The Gateway Pundit previously reported, Biden’s corrupt FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago was all a set-up. We reported this when it happened. Now we have more evidence.

It was all another set up from our totally corrupt DOJ and FBI.

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President Trump was in court once again on Friday for Alvin Bragg’s Soviet-style Stormy Daniels ‘hush money’ lawfare trial.

Trump was accused of paying porn star Stormy Daniels, AKA, Stephanie Clifford, ‘hush payments’ through his then-attorney Michael Cohen in a scheme to silence her and stop the story about their alleged affair from being published in the National Enquirer.

The payments made to Stormy Daniels did NOT come from Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The payments were made through internal business records – there was no tax deduction taken and there was no obligation to file it with the FEC, according to Trump attorney Joe Tacopina.

Bragg alleged Trump committed fraud because the payment was labeled “legal fees.”

Bragg’s biased prosecutors called in the final witnesses to testify on Friday after Stormy blew it on the witness stand this week.

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Gaza's health ministry has warned of a proliferation of disease amid extensive damage to water and sewage infrastructure [Getty]

More than half of Gaza's water facilities have been damaged or destroyed by Israel since 7 October, new satellite analysis has revealed.

According to the BBC, 53 percent of the 603 water facilities in the Gaza Strip have either been damaged or destroyed during Israel's war on Gaza.

Most of the sites that are affected are in northern Gaza and Khan Younis, which have been heavily targeted by Israel in its indiscriminate attack on the Gaza Strip.

Additionally, four of the six wastewater treatment plants in the Palestinian territory have been damaged or destroyed, with the remaining two being shut down because of lack of supplies entering Gaza, according to an aid agency quoted by the BBC.

The BBC also noted that some damage to sites may not be visible from satellites, and that other sites may not be fully operational due to lack of fuel supplies.


This includes the UNICEF desalination plant in Deir al-Balah which is at 30 percent capacity due to fuel shortages, according to UNICEF.

The BBC also said that a maintenance warehouse in the al-Mawasi neighbourhood used to repair Gaza's water facilities had been severely damaged.

The extensive damage to Gaza's water infrastructure has resulted in a proliferation of disease in the enclave

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The 2024 Democrat National Convention in Chicago may end up being a chaotic freak show. Dem officials and the Biden campaign know that they may end up dealing with mobs of angry leftist protesters and they’re already taking steps to deal with it.

What they really fear is a repeat of the 1968 convention, which was a disaster.

One approach they are considering is a hybrid convention that is partially virtual so that they can hide the ugliness from the TV audience.

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Democrat Rep. Collin Allred (TX) handed out cards with instructions to help illegal aliens evade law enforcement and deportation.

Allred is currently running for US Senate in Texas against Republican Ted Cruz.

According to Fox News, Allred handed out “Know Your Rights Cards” during one of his campaign stops in Dallas earlier this month.

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As summer and the DNC approaches, the Democrat hellhole of Chicago is facing a crisis with a major shortage of police officers.

At a public forum with the Commission for Public Safety and Accountability last week, Chicago Police Supt. Larry Snelling said, “What we’re doing right now is making the best with the number of officers that we have.”

Snelling added, “We are down. We’re down close to 2,000 officers.”

Webmaster addition: Will we see a repeat of 1968?

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By Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News

Developments on university campuses and in Congress this week showed that the U.S. government’s top priority is not protecting students or civilian lives in Gaza, but to protect Israel’s ability to continue its unimpeded slaughter.

Anti-genocide student protestors at Columbia University, demanding Columbia divest from Israel, occupied the campus’s Hamilton Hall on Tuesday and renamed it Hind’s Hall after Hind Rajab, a 6-year-old Palestinian girl killed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza earlier this year. The Columbia protest has inspired more than 40 other anti-genocide university encampments across the country and in other nations.

On the morning the students occupied Hamilton Hall, MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski compared the student protests to Jan. 6, calling for authorities to “just start arresting people.” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti Defamation League, echoed the comparison in the same MSNBC segment. Other supporters of Israel also made the same Jan. 6 anaolgy on social media early Tuesday morning.

Former CNN anchor Don Lemon wrote on X that the Columbia protest “feels January 6th ish to me” because the protesters had occupied a building. Not a federal government building, but a university hall. Has Lemon not heard of a sit-in?

Missing was the most apt and obvious comparison: the occupation of the same Columbia hall took place 56 years to the day since it was the site of a police crackdown on an historic student occupation against the Vietnam War.

Columbia University itself commemorates the anti-Vietnam War occupation of the same building by student protesters in 1968 on their own website. Nonetheless, the NYPD descended on the Hall on Tuesday night at the direct request of Columbia University President Minouche Shafik.

Claire's Observations:        It appears that so called "free speech" in this country has become country-specific,  and country-conditional depending upon the US government's geopolitical alliances at the moment.

Criticism of Russia and China is tolerated, because those countries have been deemed as "bad countries" by the US government; countries like Israel, one CANNOT criticize, as Israel is a  "good country" as deemed by the US government, even when it is conducting a massive genocide against the Palestinian people.   

Therefore, Israel's genocide is good, because  it defined by Israel as "self defense" and other countries' genocide is "bad"

Folks, we are "past the point of no return here", logically.   Either we condemn Israel's genocide in Gaza as thoroughly morally wrong, or we have to say that ALL genocides can be rationally explained away, like the Holocaust; the Cambodian massacres under Pol Pot,  and the Turkish genocide of the Armenians.  And who, please, in their right minds, could possibly do this?!?  I sure as hell can't, nor will I.  

The coming of the AAA (Anti-Semitism Awareness Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/house-bill/6090/text passed by the House and sent on the Senate, will be a final nail in the coffin for free speech in this country.  Criticizing Israel (even when it is logical and fact based) will become illegal in this country, under Federal Law.  Those who do so, will be at risk of fines, or jail, or both, under US Federal Law.  

My hope is that a test case will be immediately heard by the Supreme Court, and struck down, as the enemy to free speech that it is;  I do have to wonder, however, if this will ultimately be the case.

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By Mish Shedlock of MishTalk

If you are in the hospital emergency room, and that’s where most people without insurance go, then you get treated. Otherwise, many hospitals are turning to pay in advance for services.

Please Pay in Advance

The Wall Street Journal reports Hospitals Are Refusing to Do Surgeries Unless You Pay in Full First

For years, hospitals and surgery centers waited to perform procedures before sending bills to patients. That often left them chasing after patients for payment, repeatedly sending invoices and enlisting debt collectors.

Now, more hospitals and surgery centers are demanding patients pay in advance.

Advance billing helps the facilities avoid hounding patients to settle up. Yet it is distressing patients who must come up with thousands of dollars while struggling with serious conditions.

Those who can’t come up with the sums have been forced to put off procedures. Some who paid up discovered later they were overcharged, then had to fight for refunds.

Among the procedures that hospitals and surgery centers are seeking prepayments for are knee replacements, CT scans and births.

Federal law requires hospitals to take care of people in an emergency. Hospitals say they don’t turn away patients who need medical care urgently for lack of prepayment.

They are seeking advance payment for nonemergencies, they say, because chasing unpaid bills is challenging and costly. Roughly half the debt hospitals wrote off last year was owed by patients with insurance, the Kodiak analysis found.

Finding money for treatment is a challenge for many American households. Half of adults say they can’t afford to spend more than $500 on medical care should they be suddenly sick or injured, a survey by health policy nonprofit KFF found. They would need to borrow.

No Skin in the Game

It’s interesting to note that hospitals want payment in advance for births. Most illegals just walk in and never pay for anything.

Nonpayment is one of the reasons costs are soaring for everyone who does pay. Medicare for all is not the answer. When consumers have no skin in the game, no one is interested in reducing costs.

Pets Treated Better Than Humans

Much money is wasted on keeping people alive who have less than a year to live.

We treat our pets in pain better than we treat humans. I just went through that myself. Our 15-year-old dog lost his eyesight due to ruptured eyes and was running into walls. He was in pain and could not see.

The total bill for that crying experience was only $232.

Right to Die

If what happened to our dog happened to me, I would want to go. Someone else might not.

But for those who cannot pay for services and don’t have insurance, I suggest they should be given painkillers only, or select a right to die.

We need to prioritize. And the only way for that to happen is for people to have some skin in the game.

Something Wrong Somewhere

Something is wrong somewhere when half of adults do not have $500 dollars to any emergency (auto repairs, medical, and home repairs).

Inflation is certainly a problem. Thank Biden, the Fed, and Congress (both parties) for that.

Ridiculous regulations are part of the cost. Medical malpractice insurance and lawsuits are a problem.

The minute someone tries to discuss these things, the Right starts screaming about “death squads”.

With millions of aging boomers, this problem is only going to get worse.

Claire's Observations:  This is one of the key reasons why we need to understand how best to take care of ourselves, through nutrition and some kind of daily movement, even if it is slow and gentle.  Knowledge is power; the right use of the power of knowledge, is wisdom.  I think that generally, Mike and I are eating far more intelligently than we ever did when we were younger, and I think that makes a real difference.  We are using supplements, but reading everything we can get our eyes on (on line) to understand the pros and cons of any nutritional intervention we might make in our diet.


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Authored by Vijay Jayaraj via RealClear Wire,

Vietnam and other Asian countries are on a coal spree! Given the dynamics of energy use in the rapidly developing industrial sector there, it is no surprise that these nations have backpedaled on big promises made at international climate conferences to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. 

Vietnam's projected 2024 growth rate for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at 5.8%, the sixth highest in Asia. Among the biggest contributors to GDP is the industrial sector (38 percent), especially manufacturing. S&P Global has noted a considerable improvement in Vietnam’s manufacturing sector in the fourth quarter of 2023 and is expecting Vietnam to perform well this year

Electricity is a cornerstone of manufacturing operations in Vietnam. In 2023, coal produced more than 40% of all electricity in the country, while the country’s abundant hydro reserves contributed around 30%. Natural gas accounted for about 10%. 

However, 2024 is expected to see a shortfall in hydroelectric generation because of less rainfall. Simultaneously, electricity production with natural gas is being complicated by forecasts of higher gas prices. Bloomberg reports that state-run PetroVietnam Gas “recently decided not to purchase a cargo for June due to high offer prices.”

So, the heavy lifting to meet power demand must now come from coal. The country is urging coal miners to maximize production before demand reaches peak in the summer months. The country’s prime minister has asked for an increase in coal exploration as well, signaling a sustained interest in the medium to long-time reliance on coal. 

Vietnam’s move to increase coal use was inevitable. It cannot continually risk a huge demand-supply gap whenever dams go dry or gas prices skyrocket. The growth rate of power demand from expanding industries is increasing at a fair pace, and energy security is critical in ensuring manufacturing’s positive trend. 

Similar patterns across Asia

Across Asia, a similar phenomenon is unfolding. The regional coal resurgence can be attributed to the rapid economic growth in these countries. China, the world's largest coal consumer, witnessed a rise in consumption in 2024. Earlier this year, reports showed the construction of dozens of new coal plants in China. In 2023, the country accounted for 95% of the construction of the world's new coal power plants. There are a total of 1,142 operating coal-fired plants in China, which is five times more than in the U.S.

India, another major player in the Asian energy market, also saw an increase in coal imports and production. India has increased its spending on infrastructure, with an expected rebound in demand for coal-based steel and raw material manufacturing. Indonesia has 254 operational coal-fired power plants and 40 new plants under construction. Japan, too, is a big consumer of coal, being the top importer of Australian coal in recent years.

Like Australia, the U.S. has been a top source of coal imports for these Asian countries. S&P Global says, “U.S. metallurgical coal exports have seen growth fueled by Asian demand over the past few years. The potential for seaborne volumes to grow hinge on expansions in blast furnace steelmaking and met coke production in India, China, and Southeast Asia.” New mines such as Arch Resource's Leer South and the AMCI, POSCO, and Itochu-led Allegheny Met's Longview mine will play a role in meeting this demand from Asia.

Ironically, U.S. miners can meet Asian needs while their government rejects them as a fuel source for cheap electricity!

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by Tyler Durden

Since the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus was first identified in humans in 2003, approximately 600 cases have been reported worldwide, with a laboratory-confirmed case-fatality rate (CFR) of 60%.

Image removed.

The recent death of a woman in southwest China who had no contact with poultry signals a potentially alarming shift in the virus's transmission dynamics, raising the specter of human-to-human transmission, according to a report by the Federation of American Scientists.

Health authorities in Guiyang, Guizhou province concluded that two patients, including the woman who died, did not have contact with poultry before showing symptoms of the illness. Currently, the public health community remains cautious as H5N1 influenza viruses continue to evolve and potentially gain the ability to be transmitted efficiently to humans.

The evolution of H5N1 over two decades necessitates an urgent and strategic response from the global health community. Scientific efforts are primarily focused on understanding the genetic shifts that facilitate the virus’s leap among species, aiming to forestall a possible pandemic. This has led to the controversial practice of gain-of-function (GoF) research, wherein viruses are deliberately engineered to be more potent or transmissible.

And of course, as we all know - a bunch of over-educated idiots cobbling together chimeric viruses that can better-infect humans may have led to the COVID-19 pandemic - as GoF research is fraught with ethical, biosafety, and biosecurity dilemmas.

The dual-use nature of this research—where scientific advances could potentially be misused to cause harm—places it under intense scrutiny. The debate is not just about managing the risks of accidental release but also about the moral implications of potentially providing a blueprint for bioterrorism. This precarious balance between advancing human knowledge and safeguarding public health was thrown into relief in 2012 when a moratorium was placed on H5N1 GoF studies following experiments that showed increased transmissibility in ferrets, an established model for human influenza transmission.

Claire's Observations:  Gain of Function research, can be a very slippery slope, both scientifically and ethically, which is why it must be constrained intelligently, and with a universal protocol adopted by all nations on this planet.

But what about countries who are pursuing this gain of function research which have no compunctions about using this as a "mass kill/weapon of war"  opportunity, which doesn't involve the dropping of one bomb or the shooting of one bullet?!?   Aye, there's the rub, as William Shakespeare said.

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by Tyler Durden

With the 2024 election season heating up, which should translate translate to our elected officials paying close attention to voter preferences, Americans have mixed feelings about various parts of the government.

To that end, Visual Capitalist's Pallavi Rao and Sam Parker have taken the results of a recent opinion poll conducted by the Pew Research Center between March 13-19, in which 10,701 adults were asked whether they felt favorably or unfavorably towards 16 different federal agencies?

More via Visual Capitalist:

Americans Love the Park Service, Are Divided Over the IRS

Broadly speaking, 14 of the 16 federal government agencies garnered more favorable responses than unfavorable ones.

Of them, the Parks Service, Postal Service, and NASA all had the approval of more than 70% of the respondents.

Only the Department of Education and the IRS earned more unfavorable responses, and between them, only the IRS had a majority (51%) of unfavorable responses.

There are some caveats to remember with this data. Firstly, tax collection is a less-friendly activity than say, maintaining picturesque parks. Secondly, the survey was conducted a month before taxes were typically due, a peak time for experiencing filing woes.

Nevertheless, the IRS has come under fire in recent years. As per a New York Times article in 2019, eight years of budget cuts have stymied the agency’s ability to scrutinize tax filings from wealthier and more sophisticated filers.

At the same time poorer Americans are facing increasing audits on wage subsidies available to low income workers. According to a Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse report, this subset of filers was audited five-and-a-half more times the average American

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By Linda Schadler of PhysOrg

The income of many people around the world has considerably increased due to the economic globalization of the last 50 years. However, these income gains are unevenly distributed. A study by Dr. Valentin Lang, junior professor of political economy at the University of Mannheim, and his co-author Marina M. Tavares of the International Monetary Fund shows that the top 10% of the national income distributions, in particular, have benefited from this development.

In their study, published in The Journal of Economic Inequality, the researchers tried to answer the questions if and how the globalization of the last 50 years has affected inequalities between people worldwide.

Their research found that globalization has led to greater income inequalities within many countries. The gap between rich and poor has widened particularly in countries that have become more integrated into the global economy, such as China, Russia and some Eastern European countries. At the same time, globalization has reduced inequality between countries. The differences between countries therefore play an increasingly minor role in the global inequality rate.

"The influence of globalization on income inequalities worldwide was greater than we had expected," summarizes Valentin Lang, junior professor of International Political Economy at the University of Mannheim and author of the study. "We were particularly surprised that these differences were mainly due to the gains of the richest and that the lower income groups benefited little or not at all."

Increasing skepticism towards globalization

The study also shows that globalization in its early and middle stages led to considerable income increases in the individual countries but that the growth effects diminish as the degree of globalization increases. "The benefits of globalization become smaller during the integration process, while the costs of distribution become higher. This matches the increasing skepticism towards globalization which can be observed in countries with a high level of economic integration," Lang concludes.

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by Tyler Durden 


The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, has revealed more details about President Biden's big announcement regarding China tariffs scheduled for next Tuesday. 

Officials are particularly focused on electric vehicles, and they are expected to raise the tariff rate to roughly 100% from 25%, according to the people. 

An additional 2.5% duty applies to all automobiles imported into the US. The existing tariff has so far effectively barred Chinese electric vehicles, often cheaper than Western-made cars, from the US market. Biden administration officials, automakers and some lawmakers worried that 25% wouldn't be enough given the scale of Chinese manufacturing.

Bloomberg first reported that the Biden administration was planning to announce China tariffs on semiconductors, solar power, and electric vehicles. 

We suspect Beijing is actively planning a tit-for-tat move later next week as the administration has made their next move very clear in news stories published in US corporate media outlets through anonymous sourcing. 

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The Biden administration is expected to make a major announcement on China tariffs as soon as next week that will impact semiconductors, solar power, and electric vehicles, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. While the possibility of additional tariffs has been widely known, the specific industries to be targeted have now been identified. Moreover, Beijing will likely release angry comments after Biden's speech next week, followed by a tit-for-tat response. 

Two of the people said the decision to hit China's "new three" green goods comes after a review of Section 301 tariffs, which were first implemented under former President Trump in 2018. The tariffs primarily target electric vehicles, batteries, and solar cells, with existing tariffs being maintained. They said the announcement is planned for Tuesday. 

The Biden administration is making a bold move against Beijing in an election year as polling data spirals lower as Bidenomics has become a complete failure. It's not us just saying this. Billionaire investor and Duquesne Family Office Chairman & CEO Stan Druckenmiller told CNBC's Joe Kernen earlier this week that Bidenomics is a disaster

Last month, the president said he would impose  25% tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum. Earlier this week, the administration said it would revoke Intel and Qualcomm's export license to supply semiconductors to Chinese firm Huawei. 

If China were to retaliate, in a tit-for-tat effort, they could hit Elon Musk's Tesla or continue reducing US agricultural exports of corn and soybean. 

"Instead of correcting its wrong practices, the United States continued to politicize economic and trade issues," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said Friday, adding, "To further increase tariffs is to add insult to injury." 

Meanwhile, if reelected, Trump has promised to hit China with a tsunami of tariffs, vowing a 60% tax on all Chinese imports

Claire's Observations: To President Biden and former President Trump:  Gentlemen, a word, please.

Talking tariffs against Chinese imports may "sound great" in an election year; but what will you be doing, please, to encourage US EV makers to create EVs that Americans will want to buy, because the current "bugs" in their design will be fixed, like freezing in cold weather, and battery replacements which come at prohibitively high prices?!?

The plain truth right now, is that EVs are not yet "driver ready", and that has been the proverbial "fly in the ointment"  in attempting to force Americans to get US cars off of gas power and into electric power. And please, don't get me started on alleged "self drive" mode, or exploding batteries that catch fire!!! 

 Intelligent, thoughtful engineering can resolve these issues, but they are not resolved at this point in the evolution of these vehicles.

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