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Mon, 09 Dec 2019
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Merry Christmas And Season's Greetings to All Our Readers! Get Your 2020 SOTT Calendar Here!

SOTT Xmas
© Sott.net
As the holiday season approaches and 2019 comes to a close, we'd like to take a moment to thank you, our readers, for your continued support of Sott.net. When we started out all those years ago, we settled on the name 'Signs of the Times' (SOTT) because the media just didn't seem to notice that momentous changes were happening, that those momentous changes were connected, and that if they were observed together in 'big picture' mode, one could literally observe the world transform. Little did we know then just how reality-changing things would become.

What a year 2019 has been. Open rebellion has erupted in many countries, terrorism and 'random atrocities' continue unabated, the weather has become more extreme than ever, government has become more corrupt and feckless than ever, anti-human social engineering madness has migrated from the universities to the workplace and into schools, and asteroids are whizzing by our little lost planet at an alarming rate.

Although it's been in the works for several years - particularly since the 'double surprise' of Trump's election and the Brexit referendum result - mass censorship took a big leap in 2019. Thanks to certain governments leaning on Big Tech companies, the very nature of the internet changed this year. Purges of dissenting voices like ours from search results and social media has substantially bleached the internet of truth and replaced it with the bullhorns of mainstream propaganda and extremist 'black or white' rhetoric.

As a result, our readership, which grew for most of the 18 year history of Sott.net, is way down again this year - by 37% over 2018. Since 2016, our unique visits have dropped by 55%! We could scream and shout about it, but we don't think that would do any good. In fact, there's too much screaming and shouting going on these days - about anything and everything - that is obviously not doing anyone any good. That's why we at Sott.net have been refocusing our efforts from 'waking people up' to deepening our connections with 'those who already see'.

In these times of monumental mendacity, surround-sound distraction, and full-on socio-political lunacy, the refuge of community is more important than ever. There is only so much 'community' you can partake in via your computer screen, of course, but no matter where you are or what predicament you find yourself in, remember always that what is important is WHO you are and what you SEE.

Pistol

No warning, cop shoots 15yo boy in the back killing him

Dead 15YO
© TheFreeThoughtProject.com
Victim Carmen Mendez
Heart wrenching body camera footage was just released this week showing a Ceres police officer opening fire on a 15-year-old boy as he ran away. The officer dumped his entire magazine while aiming at the boy's back, killing him for fleeing.

Carmen "Spencer" Mendez was shot and killed in August 2018, however police have only just released the body camera footage publicly. The incident began during a car chase in a vehicle in which Mendez was a passenger. The chase ended with Mendez jumping out of the vehicle and fleeing on foot. Although the police were pursuing the vehicle over an alleged brandishing of a handgun, they were looking for a young man wearing a black shirt and jeans, according to records from Ceres. Mendez was wearing a white top and red pants.


Heart

Tulsi Gabbard commemorates John Lennon's passing by singing 'Imagine'

tulsi
© Greg Nash
2020 presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) commemorated the death of Beatles member John Lennon on Sunday with a video of her singing the music legend's hit "Imagine," co-written by Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono.

A three-minute video posted to Twitter Sunday afternoon shows Gabbard in the back of her campaign bus alongside her husband, who sings the song with Gabbard while playing a ukulele.

Sunday marks 39 years since Lennon's murder in New York City by Mark David Chapman. Many Twitter users took to the platform on Sunday to post Lennon's song lyrics in honor of the musician's memory, with "Imagine" being a top choice for many fans.

Gabbard appeared at Democratic primary debates throughout the summer and fall but has yet to qualify for the upcoming debate, set for Dec. 19 in Los Angeles.

She previously feuded with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, who suggested in an interview that the Hawaii Democrat was the favorite candidate for the Russian government in 2020.

Bad Guys

WADA has the power to cancel entire countries from sports, despite its flawed methods and arbitrary rules

wada testing
© AFP / TONY KARUMBA
The World Anti-Doping Agency is regarded as the top sports authority when it comes to rooting out doping. But experts have pointed out glaring holes in WADA's modus operandi, which cast doubt on its judgement.

Established 20 years ago under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, WADA has grown capable of imposing its own will on the world of sports through rulings and recommendations almost universally observed by international sporting bodies. Most recently, it once again turned its attention to Russia, accusing it of manipulating doping test data.

It sounds like a serious accusation, but there have been arguments against taking WADA's word for it - in this case and in others. Irrespective of their views on the Russian "systemic doping" scandal, experts have been pointing out the agency's flaws.

Eiffel Tower

French mayor forbids citizens to die on weekends

heart attack
Laws can be surprising, not to say downright strange. Not convinced? The mayor of a French village has outlawed death on weekends - for a very good reason.

The mayor of the French village of Gresle in the Loire region has issued a decree forbidding her citizens to die on weekends and holidays. The unusual move, however, is a symbolic one: the mayor criticises the acute shortage of doctors.

"A recent death on a Sunday has proved the absurdity of a system, to which the mayor responds with an absurd order," mayor Isabelle Dugelet said in a statement.

On 1 December, it took two and a half hours to find a doctor when a senior resident of a care home for elderly people passed away. Dugelet argued this represented "a lack of respect for the deceased and their families."

The city council added that the decree was meant to draw attention to the "catastrophic health situation" in Gresle and the neighbouring villages. The area suffers from an acute lack of doctors.

Comment: The sadder thing is that there are bureaucrats who would do this un-ironically.


NPC

Critics must protect high art from cancel culture

Igor Stravinsky's Petrushka
© robbie jack/Corbis via Getty Images
Irek Mukhamedov, Gary Avis and Lesley Collier in the Royal Ballet production of Igor Stravinsky's Petrushka
As cancel culture and the PC police creep closer to high art, where are the critics prepared to stand up to the Twitter mobs to save everything we have loved for generations from a fire of political purity?

Recently, The Guardian published an article entitled "Blackface and Fu Manchu moustaches: Does Ballet Have a Race Problem?" The article included comments from creative figures in the ballet field, with mixed opinions, including indications that political correctness is already restricting creative freedom.

Problems of racial casting and creative interpretation are particularly important in plays, ballet and opera, which are not fixed as literature and art are. Interpretation in ballet can come in many forms: from casting, costumes and sets to removing scenes and characters. Lots of classic ballets feature foreign settings and non-white, non-European characters. If a production is to create an authentic atmosphere - however incomplete - then it is justifiable to use props, costumes and make-up to achieve that.

Network

Bulgaria is prepared to ensure transit of Russian gas to southern Europe

TurkStream gas pipeline
© Gazprom.com
TurkStream gas pipeline
Bulgaria has said that it will guarantee gas transit supplies to Greece and North Macedonia from the TurkStream pipeline, starting January 1, 2020.

The chief executive of the country's state gas firm Bulgartransgaz, Vladimir Malinov, told the 24 Chasa (24 Hours) newspaper that "Even if Russia's gas transit via Ukraine to Bulgaria through the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline is suspended in the beginning of next year, we are prepared."

He also remarked that, on November 30, Turkey had made a 'golden' weld joint connecting TurkStream to the Balkan Stream line.

Attention

630km-traffic jams & storming buses: Transport workers' strike propels Paris into logistics hell

Traffic jam
© Global Look Press / imago-images.de / Vincent Isore
Angry commuters stood in "endless" queues at bus terminals and flooded crowded Metro stations, as the transport workers' strike caused severe disruptions of traffic in and around Paris.

The gloomy Monday morning kicked off with traffic jams spanning more than 630km down major highways in the busy Ile-de-France region, which encompasses Paris and its suburbs.

Torrential rain exacerbated the transport collapse, sparked by the strikes carried out by workers at state-run railway company, the SNCF, and the RATP Group, which provides bus and tram service, along with operating the Paris Metro.

The workers began striking on Thursday, in protest against the controversial pension reform. The media, meanwhile, reported about "endless" queues at train stations and people desperately "storming" the few buses which were not cancelled due to the strike.

X

This is the reason why LGBT acceptance is declining

scary drag queen
There appears to be some turbulence ahead for the LGBT community. According to a national survey by GLAAD, LGBT acceptance appears to be declining in America. Interestingly, it's declining among a group that is often touted as the most accepting and socially "woke" — millennials.

The survey reports that the percentage of young people who reported being "somewhat" or "very" comfortable with LGBT people dropped from 53% to 45%. This is the second year in a row that the number has fallen. While many gay publications have shared this survey and rang the alarm, I've yet to see anyone online offer a measured opinion of why this is occurring beyond "ORANGE MAN BAD."

Comment: See also:


Bomb

Swedish bomb squad robot defuses explosive device left outside pizzeria

Bomb squad robot
© REUTERS/Lars Helsinghof/Scanpix
Police in Eksjo, Sweden received reports of a suspicious object outside a pizzeria, shortly after 3am local time Monday. A bomb squad robot was immediately deployed to investigate the threat.

"It's some kind of explosive object," a police spokesman said as officers established a one-block security cordon around the area. A nearby residential building was also evacuated as a precautionary measure.