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Mon, 27 Sep 2021
The World for People who Think


UK bank Lloyds aiming to become largest 'landlord' in the country

Lloyds bank
© Getty
Lloyds is planning to become one of the UK's biggest landlords as it aims to buy 50,000 homes in the next decade.

Comment: It may be that Lloyds achieves its objectives sooner than it predicts, because, as we've seen with the financial crash of 2008 and the last 17 months of lockdowns, the situation can change dramatically, very quickly, and it will likely be met with little resistance; and worse, the British government will do its utmost to facilitate the Lloyds takeover.

The banking giant is to charge tenants rent as a private landlord under its recently launched Citra Living brand.

The Financial Times, which first reported the story, said the bank was aiming to buy 10,000 homes by the end of 2025.

Lloyds is currently the largest mortgage lender in the UK, providing nearly one in four home loans.

Comment: Isn't it rather suspect that over in the US similar predatory moves are being made by investment giant Blackrock? As with Lloyds in the UK, it was also recently predicted that they will become America's largest private landlords. And this all seems to be fulfilling the Build Back Better brigade's declaration that the masses will "own nothing and be happy": US investment giants buying up neighborhoods, MSM telling us we should rent - this 'new normal' spells the death of the American Dream

Meanwhile, over in China, there are also concerns about the housing market, debt and the economy overall. And, in a rare move, regulators called in the country's largest construction company to warn them about their unmanageable debts and to implore them to promote "stability" in the market. This stands in contrast to governments in the West that are actually colluding with mega-corporations against the best interests of the majority. It's also telling that in China, up to 70% of millennials (ages 19 to 36) already own their own homes, whilst in the US, 52% of 18 to 29 year olds live with their parents: The American Dream is Alive And Well... in China

Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal #26: Globalization vs Nationalism - The Hidden Causes of The Yellow Vest Protests in France

Bad Guys

Living in the Age of Covid: 'The Power of the Powerless'

covid vaxxxx
A specter is haunting the world: the increasing prospect of a new totalitarianism under the extended covid response. Unlike the specter of communism, or the specter of "dissent" to communist dictatorship that Václav Havel ironically identified in his groundbreaking essay "The Power of the Powerless,"1 this specter originates from those in power and not from the revolutionary or the powerless.2 And rather than haunting only Europe or Eastern Europe, this specter casts its long shadow across the future of all humanity, such that one wonders how one might plan, if at all, for this future.

Mixed into this spectral fear are grave doubts promoted by some about the intentions of world leaders and a medical and technocratic elite apparently bent on new lockdowns, masking, and mandatory mass vaccinations.

Heterodoxies burgeon in the shadows. The mere mention of these heterodoxies will rank one among the heterodox. Nevertheless, I venture to name them. They include the belief that a mass eugenics program is underway and that the vaccination regime amounts to the greatest crime against humanity in world history. They include the belief that the entirety of the covid response has been nothing if not a means for increasing the power and control of the elite over the world population. And they include the more modest claim that "the science" being peddled by "the experts" has been hastily and erroneously construed and represents a grave series of errors, yet merely errors after all. Another claim is that the covid crisis, while real, has been opportunistically used by the ruling elite to further a preexisting agenda for resetting the world economic system and forever changing the shape of the social order (the Great Reset). These claims are not necessarily mutually exclusive and two or three may either be held simultaneously or all four juggled. That these and other heterodoxies are being rigorously suppressed, and that their messengers are either cancelled or vilified, or both, only lends them subterraneous force and adds to the overall anxiety, whether spoken or not. While I will not adjudicate all these claims, it is enough to say that their existence is part of the terror campaign that is the covid regime itself. It is as if the mendacity of the regime spontaneously generated them.


The BBC are a disgrace

BBC sign
Recently the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 received a call from John in Manchester who Vine and the BBC labelled as an "antivaxxer." John's conversation with Vine was revealing.

Not necessarily for the content, although John made some good points, but because it exposed the BBC for what they are: an agenda driven propaganda organisation.

Similar calls from Bristol based Nigel Jones to BBC Sounds' Any Answers and a caller from Sussex to Sarah Gorrel's BBC Radio Sussex phone in, exposed exactly the same bias from the BBC. This isn't one or two talking heads going off script. It is corporate policy.

In all three cases, any questioning of the COVID 19 vaccines by the callers was met with the same response. Belligerent denial, logical fallacies, a refusal to rationally debate the evidence and, relatively swiftly, cutting them off.

The BBC aren't alone of course. The MSM, as a whole, is a cohesive propaganda organisation. When Dr Zoe Williams started talking about vaccine induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia on Good Morning Britain she too was shut down. The ITV presenters hastily instructed to announce another weather report, as if this were a scheduling necessity

Comment: See also:

Better Earth

Pepe Escobar: How Russia-China are stage-managing the Taliban

taliban china

The Taliban delegation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin on July 28th
The first Taliban press conference after this weekend's Saigon moment geopolitical earthquake, conducted by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, was in itself a game-changer.

The contrast could not be starker with those rambling pressers at the Taliban embassy in Islamabad after 9/11 and before the start of the American bombing - proving this is an entirely new political animal.

Yet some things never change. English translations remain atrocious.

Here is a good summary of the key Taliban statements, and here (in Russian) is a very detailed roundup.

Comment: For more, check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: The Great (End)Game - Closing the Afghan War, Opening the 'Covid War'?

Cell Phone

Did America just lose Afghanistan because of WhatsApp?

taliban social media whatsapp

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan and sought to use the messaging service to help it govern.
In the middle of a conflict, good analysis is hard to come by. Because adversaries do not telegraph their plans to one another, plans depend greatly on the fact patterns surrounding their execution, and no human mind can possibly observe, much less comprehend, the movements of all players on the battlefield, the course of a war, no matter how meticulously planned and no matter how eminently credentialed the planners, frequently defies the plan.

This phenomenon is known as the "Fog of War," a phrase which originated with Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz in his magnum opus, On War:
War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty. A sensitive and discriminating judgment is called for; a skilled intelligence to scent out the truth.

Eye 1

Like the Berlin Wall or the Twin Towers: footage of fleeing Afghans abandoned by US marks the end of an era for American supremacy

Afghanistan plane
© Twitter
US President Joe Biden's speech on his country's withdrawal from Afghanistan is a turning point in American foreign policy. As the last troops pull out, leaving a shattered nation behind, Washington seems to have few regrets.

"I know my decision will be criticized. But I would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to another president of the United States," Biden explained. In essence, he was arguing that his three predecessors didn't have the guts to make the right decision, taking a swipe not only at Donald Trump, whom he mentioned my name, but also at George W. Bush and even his former boss, Barack Obama.

According to the president, the US was never in the business of nation-building in Afghanistan. Its objectives, he claims, were more immediate: to boost security and eliminate those who were responsible for the terrorist attacks on America. Apparently, these objectives have been reached. Questionable as that might be, the claim Washington had no nation-building ambitions is simply not true. However, the fact Biden is now fiercely denying the premise on which his country entered Afghanistan 20 years ago says a lot.

America's 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was an operation that sent a clear message: the US was prepared to transform the world by force. That attitude didn't start with George W. Bush or even Bill Clinton. This idea was first voiced by the American president who claimed victory in the Cold War: George H.W. Bush. Operation Desert Storm, in 1991, became the first sign of the "new world order," but the Soviet Union was still in existence at the time, and the intervention resulted in pushing Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, not in a regime change in Iraq.

Comment: See also:


A hell of our own making - reflections on the road to Kabul

Person falling
© Unknown
Person falling from jet plane taking off from airport in Kabul, Afghanistan
The last week has been hard for me, and yet I can only imagine what this week has felt like, and what the future will bring, for the people — the peoples — of Afghanistan.

Nearly 20 years after it was launched in the wake of 9/11, the long war in Afghanistan, one of the great cruelties of my generation, has unexpectedly reached its expectedly tragic conclusion.

NYT headline
© New York Times
I am certainly not sad to see it go, but it's difficult to avoid a profound sense of regret at the error of it all. When I recently spoke with Daniel Ellsberg, he pointed out that neither of us is entirely a pacifist. Dan and I agree, and are on-record agreeing, that certain wars are wrong, but if one can conceive of a "just" war — or at least a less-injust war — there are wrong ways to fight it, and particularly wrong ways to finish it. There are also, come to think of it, wrong ways to begin wars too — namely refusing to declare them.

The war in Afghanistan was not one of those wars — it was not justifiable. It was, is, and forever will be wrong, which means leaving is the right decision.

Comment: Unmasking delusions offers a hard but necessary road to awareness and understanding. To bring a nation to this juncture requires leadership with this goal foremost in importance. Few there are who comprehend this challenge and even fewer who will choose to embark.


Stephen Colbert likening Capitol Hill protesters to Taliban is not just a dumb joke, but demonization of fellow Americans

© REUTERS/Stringer; REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Taliban fighters in Kabul (left) and January 6 riot at the US Capitol (right)
Comedian Stephen Colbert comparing the Taliban to January 6 Capitol rioters may seem silly and dumb, but when he's joined by a chorus of Democrat activists, it becomes clear they're really saying the quiet part out loud.

"Why should our soldiers be fighting radicals in a civil war in Afghanistan? We've got our own on Capitol Hill," Colbert said during his show on Monday night, showing the photos of the January riot that Democrats like him insist was an "insurrection" against Our Democracy.

While the line got a laugh from the studio audience in New York, it was not really a joke - but a way to amplify the talking points put forth by Washington. After a weekend of watching in stunned silence as the US-backed Afghan government collapsed even before Western troops, diplomats and NGO staff could leave the country - resulting in harrowing images of stampedes at the Kabul airport - President Joe Biden returned to DC on Monday and tried to change the narrative.

Instead of addressing the downfall and the way it caught the US unprepared, Biden talked about the merits of leaving - a straw man issue, since the overwhelming majority of Americans actually agree. The ones that don't are the neocon hawks like Bill Kristol, the Cheney-Kinzinger 'Republicans' and the Lincoln Project types, all of whom backed Biden in 2020.

Taking credit for ending the war and arguing US troops shouldn't be fighting a civil war in Afghanistan, Biden left without taking questions from the media. His mission was accomplished: he had served up a new narrative to fill the void created by the Taliban's reality bomb.

That certainly appears to be the context for the first half of Colbert's "joke." As for the second, it caught the attention of journalist Glenn Greenwald, who warned back in January that Washington was itching to turn the powers of the national security state against domestic political opponents.

Comment: Fanatical ideological group that wants to control all aspects of personal life according to said ideology. Sounds like a certain group of people in the U.S., but it sure ain't the the Jan. 6 "insurrectionists." Colbert would do better to look towards the "austere scholars" of social justice.


As America's attempt to Westernise Afghanistan by force fails, Kabul may now find its place in Russian & Chinese-dominated Eurasia

US Army soldiers
© Joe Raedle/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: US Army soldiers from the 10th Mountain and the 101st Airborne units disembark from a Chinook helicopter March 11, 2002.
Even the Taliban must be surprised at the immense speed of its victory in Afghanistan. The collapse of the US-backed government affects more than just daily life in Kabul, however, causing political echoes across the continent.

One of the last bastions of Euro-Atlantic influence in the Eurasian heartland has collapsed. As the US and its allies absorb the consequences of their defeat in Afghanistan, the major powers on the continent, such as Russia, China and Iran, will attempt to reorient the country towards a solution consistent with the Greater Eurasian Partnership.

A long way from Washington

Comment: Far from Afghanistan 'scrambling for solutions' over the US' withdrawal, Russia's Embassy, and apparently an overwhelming number of Afghans, who welcomed the Taliban over the increasingly corrupt Kabul government, see the country, as it is now, as being 'safer than before': And for more of the real story on the Afghan withdrawal, check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: The Great (End)Game - Closing the Afghan War, Opening the 'Covid War'?

Stock Down

"Major food shortages in the UK": Business owner warns of 'profound supply disruption' as 50 Nando's restaurants close


Nando's was founded in South Africa and now runs more than 400 sites across the UK
NANDO'S restaurants across the UK have been forced to close amid a lack of food and a shortage of deliveries.

The chicken chain, known for its Portuguese-inspired Peri-Peri flavours despite having been founded in South Africa, said the problems were a result of "disruption" across the UK supply chain.

On social media, the company described the supply issues as a "bit of a 'mare" and asked customers to remain patient.

It also said that it would be sending 70 of its staff to help to sort the supply issues more rapidly.

Comment: Last year brutal, rolling, lockdowns caused vast amounts of produce of all kinds to be dumped and left to rot because it couldn't be harvested, processed, delivered, and it couldn't be sold because various food outlets were locked down. This man-made and totally avoidable food supply catastrophe also meant that preserved foods were not processed and stored, and farmers were left with huge losses, causing many to go out of business, or at least to drastically cut back this year. In addition, there's years worth of crop failures and animal culls, and more recently port closures and various other transport issues due to continued lockdowns, but also cyberattack and extreme weather phenomena.