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Tue, 02 Mar 2021
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What "normal" are we returning to? The depression nobody dares acknowledge

Perhaps we need an honest national dialog about declining expectations, rising inequality, social depression and the failure of the status quo.

Even as the chirpy happy-talk of a return to normal floods the airwaves, what nobody dares acknowledge is that "normal" for a rising number of Americans is the social depression of downward mobility and social defeat.

Downward mobility is not a new trend -- it's simply accelerating. As this RAND Corporation report documents, (Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018) $50 trillion in earnings has been transferred to the Financial Aristocracy from the bottom 90% of American households over the past 45 years.

Time magazine's article on the report is remarkably direct: The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90% -- And That's Made the U.S. Less Secure.


Nancy Pelosi calls sexual harassment claims against Cuomo 'credible'

cuomo and pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said the sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are "credible."

The California representative joined a chorus of Democrats calling for a truly independent probe into the accusations of misconduct lodged against Cuomo by two of his former staffers.

"The women who have come forward with serious and credible charges against Governor Cuomo deserve to be heard and to be treated with dignity," Pelosi said in a statement.

"The independent investigation must have due process and respect for everyone involved."

The statement came as Cuomo, 63, agreed to let state Attorney General Letitia James appoint an outside investigator into the growing scandal.

Comment: Cuomo has offered up a half-hearted apology for his insensitive jokes towards females that he has worked with. Not that he really is sorry for anything, other than for getting caught being a creepy politician which seems to be a requirement for the job. Unsurprisingly, his apology backfired on him. Instead of just saying, "I shouldn't have done that," Cuomo said that "some of the things" he said "have been misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation." We can always rely on politicians to blame others for their "incorrect interpretation" than to take any real ownership for their behavior. It remains to be seen if anything substantial will come from the investigation, which has just been greenlit by the NY AG.


Beijing accused of using Covid pandemic to control journalists - foreign media group report

health workers
© Reuters / Tyrone Siu TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) has accused Beijing of using Covid-19 as "yet another way to control journalists," curbing visas and surveilling reporters. China says it's protecting its citizens from the virus.

The FCCC, which is the professional association of Beijing-based journalists reporting on China, has argued that 2020 had seen a "rapid decline in media freedom," implemented under the cover of measures that were used to combat the spread of coronavirus.

In its annual report released on Monday the press group claimed these restrictions were placed on journalists to prevent them from providing an accurate picture of ongoing events in the country, as well as in other areas that are politically sensitive for Beijing, such as Tibet.
As China's propaganda machine struggled to regain control of the narrative around this public health disaster, foreign press outlets were repeatedly obstructed.


Normally, Hollywood would have used Golden Globes to slam Syrian airstrikes & keeping kids in cages. But not with Biden in charge

golden globes
After four years of star meltdowns over Donald Trump, Hollywood's A-list turned a blind eye to America's egregious misdeeds at the US television awards on Sunday night. Wonder what the difference was this year?

Hollywood once again proved itself to be the moral authority of our time when a bevy of stars took to the stage on Sunday night at the 78th annual Golden Globes Awards to rail against President Joe Biden's unconstitutional, murderous airstrikes in Syria, his caging of illegal immigrant kids, and his failure to fight for a $15 minimum wage, Medicare-for-All and a $2,000 stimulus check during this calamitous coronavirus lockdown.

Just kidding.

With the bad orange man gone from the White House, it was back to Hollywood business as usual at the painfully lackluster, socially distanced Golden Globes, where there was a lot of performative virtue signaling about diversity, but no actual political courage on display.

Eye 1

Czechs send 30,000 police, soldiers to enforce lockdown travel restrictions

Czech Republic lockdown
© Vaclav Pancer/CTK via AP
Police officers check cars on a road between the towns, Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov, near Kosov, Czech Republic, Monday, March 1, 2021. Limits for free movement of people are set in place in the Czech Republic. Travelling to other counties unless they go to work or have to take care about relatives is prohibited.
Police and military forces in the Czech Republic set up 500 checkpoints across the country as one of the European Union's hardest-hit nations marked the first anniversary of its coronavirus outbreak on Monday by significantly limiting free movement.

Some 30,000 officers were involved in an unprecedented operation to enforce a tight new restriction that bans people from traveling to other counties unless they go to work or have to take care of relatives.

It's part of a series of measures that took effect Monday as the Central European nation seeks to slow down the spread of a highly contagious virus variant first found in Britain.

Comment: See also:


Iraqi militia says it reserves right to attack US objects in country after airstrike in Syria

iraqi soldiers
© AP Photo / Nasser Nasser
The US claims its jets raided the facility belonging to Iraqi militants, purportedly responsible for the February rocket attacks against American objects in Iraq, which claimed one life and left several US citizens injured. Washington insists that the attacks were sponsored by Iran.

One of the Iraqi militant groups, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, has said it reserves the right to attack the US installations in the country as a response to Washington's bombing of the group's positions in Syria, Nasr al-Shammari, deputy secretary-general of al-Nujaba, told Al-Mayadin TV channel.

Al-Shammari noted that his group al-Nujaba had had an agreement with the Iraqi government not to target American facilities, but stressed it was no longer the case.

"All previous agreements [with the government] have been annulled and the resistance now reserves the right to set its own goals. The resistance, despite considering the US embassy in Baghdad as a den of spies, had agreed not to target it. From now on, it holds the right to attack US targets in this country," al-Shammari said.

The militant group representative also demanded that Baghdad reveal the names of those who supposedly passed the information to the US, which helped Washington to carry out its raid in Syria. Al-Shammari warned that otherwise if that information were not provided, the group would take matters into its own hands and punish those it believes to be responsible.


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem: 'Fauci is wrong a lot'

Kristi Noem
© Joe Raedle/Getty Images
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the CPAC 2021 gathering in Orlando, Florida
Contrast South Dakota's response to COVID-19 pandemic to New York's

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem says her state did a good job dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and said the nation's lead immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, "is wrong a lot."

"In South Dakota, I provided all of the information that we had to our people, and then I trusted them to make the best decisions for themselves [on how to prevent the spread of the virus] for their families and in turn their communities," she said.

"We never focused on case numbers. Instead, we kept our eye on hospital capacity. Dr. Fauci told me that I would have 10,000 COVID patients in the hospital on our worst day. On our worst day, we had a little over 600. I don't know if you agree but, Fauci is wrong a lot," Noem said.



An AG probe is now a must for Andrew Cuomo: Goodwin

Andrew Cuomo
© Matthew McDermott
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo holds a press conference at his NYC office.
It was a freewheeling conversation in a Manhattan restaurant about how to change Albany. Andrew Cuomo, then New York's attorney general, was a lock to be elected governor in 2010 and was gaming the hurdles and opportunities.

His conclusion would prove prophetic in ways he couldn't imagine. "The answer is to do it in two terms," he told a companion. "Third terms are always a mistake."

The irony is beyond rich, now that ­Cuomo is hitting major turbulence midway through his third term. Months after he was hailed as a model governor and touted as presidential timber, the sudden question is whether he will survive a federal investigation into the nursing-home disaster and accusations by two former aides that Cuomo sexually harassed them.

Power corrupts, third terms corrupt absolutely.

Calls for impeachment are growing louder over the horrific 15,000 nursing-home deaths and Cuomo's effort to hide them from the public and the FBI. Even louder are the calls from both Democrats and Republicans for him either to resign or face an independent probe into the harassment claims.

The calls took on a new urgency after the second woman's claim became public Saturday night.

The crises share common roots: ­Cuomo centralized power like no governor in modern times and came to see himself as untouchable. When the Legislature granted him emergency power early in the pandemic, he used it to fight critics as well as the virus.

The clamor against him has been slow to build largely because New York is run exclusively by Dems, most of whom would have instantly called for Cuomo's head if he were a Republican. Their hesitancy is also owing to the governor's reputation for taking retribution on even the mildest critics.

Comment: See also:

Stock Up

Texas wholesale electric prices spiked more than 10,000% amid deep freeze outages

High Voltage
© Image by djedj from Pixabay
The spot price of wholesale electricity on the Texas power grid spiked more than 10,000% on Monday amid a deep freeze across the state and rolling outages among power producers, according to data on the grid operator's website.

Real-time wholesale market prices on the power grid operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) were more than $9,000 per megawatt hour late Monday morning, compared with pre-storm prices of less than $50 per megawatt hour, according to ERCOT data.

Comment: What will happen to our global power grid if a freezing storm like this one in Texas hits and last much longer?

Our "green" power plants are not capable of generating enough electricity to heat up our homes and will quite probably stop working in such harsh weather conditions as they did in Texas.

What good is green energy production if it doesn't work when we need it most? Will we have to get back to burning wood, gas, or coal in order to survive?

See also:


Citing Wikipedia's capture by the left, site's co-founder launching free-speech-friendly competitor

Larry Sanger
Larry Sanger blasts increasingly woke Wikipedia's whitewashing of socialist and communist human rights atrocities as "propaganda."

A co-founder of Wikipedia is launching a competing website as a free-speech-friendly alternative to what he views as the increasingly monolithic left-wing bias of his former organization.

Last May, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger wrote an op-ed on his personal website titled "Wikipedia is Badly Biased" claiming that Wikipedia's neutrality policy — known as "NPOV," or neutral point of view — "is dead."

Comment: See also: