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Sat, 19 Sep 2020
The World for People who Think

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My wife died fighting ISIS under Trump's orders. His reaction won my respect.

Joe Shannon Kent children Trump
© Courtesy Joe Kent
Joe and Shannon Kent with their children
"Hey, Joe," a quiet but familiar voice said to me from the doorway of a small room with plush furniture. The room was meant to provide as much comfort as possible for the families of military members on the worst day of their life: the day the remains of their loved ones are returned to them at Dover Air Force Base.

I had been alone in the room for only a few minutes and was exhausted but restless; the previous three days felt like three years and three minutes all at once, because so much had been taken from my family so quickly and irrevocably that I felt like I was back at war and had just gotten attacked, but unlike in war, I couldn't fight back.

That voice from the doorway, though, was familiar because it belonged to a man I had seen on television countless times: President Donald Trump. As he approached me, he extended his right hand to shake mine, placed his left hand on my shoulder, looked me in my eyes and said, "I'm so sorry for your loss. Shannon was an amazing woman and warrior."

Bizarro Earth

Target fires employee who made poisonous 'Blue Lives Matter' Starbucks drink: 'More dead cops'

blue lives matter starbucks
A Target employee is under fire after reportedly filming the creation of a fake Starbucks beverage with extremely toxic ingredients — all in the name of police.

What are the details?

In a since-deleted TikTok video, a Target Starbucks barista demanded "more dead cops" as he crafted a toxic "Blue Lives Matter" drink, complete with an entire cup of bleach.

The video — which is captioned "All I want for Christmas is more dead cops" — begins with an empty Starbucks cup with the words "Blue Lives Matter" scrawled on its side.

Che Guevara

BLM mob violently attacks Trump supporters in Dallas

walk away protester

A “Walk Away Rescue America” rally was violently disrupted on Saturday after leftist counter-protestors attacked event security and attendees, prompting Dallas to police to detain a security guard who grappled with a Black Lives Matter activist.
A "Walk Away Rescue America" rally in Dallas, TX to highlight the "violence and hypocrisy" of the left was violently disrupted on Saturday after leftist counter-protestors attacked event security and attendees, prompting Dallas to police to detain a security guard who grappled with a Black Lives Matter activist.

The BLM also chased down attendees and threw bottles at them and smashed the phone of a #WalkAway Campaign employee. Brandon Straka, founder of #WalkAway Campaign, reported that after going to the police station to find out what was going on, he and his group were chased and threatened by BLM activists, who were also there.

Speaking to The Post Millennial, Straka said, "When I got there, Next Generation Action Network were doing a press conference but there were 30 or 40 of them. Eric Alvarez with WFAA, ABC 8, asked if we wanted to go live. And I said yes, I do, and at that moment, they all crowded around us and someone got between me and the camera.

"And I told my group not to talk to them. And then I said let's just go and they started chasing us. They started throwing bottles at us. I'm not exaggerating when I say we thought we were going to be killed and they told us they were going to kill us."

Eric Alzarez posted footage to Twitter that he obtained from Next Generation Action Network.


Male suicide is at a 20-year high. Given that the world hates us, is anyone surprised?

male suicide
© Getty Images / Bill Varie
New official records reveal men in the UK are killing themselves at record levels and at a rate three times higher than women. Waging a war against straight, white males and calling masculinity "toxic" isn't helping.

Increasingly, men would rather die than live in the modern world.

That's not melodrama, overstatement or embellishment on my part - it's a cold, hard, depressing fact.

New data published on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics found that male suicide has soared to a 20-year record high.

Specifically, there were 5,691 suicides registered in England and Wales during 2019, with a rate of 11 deaths per 100,000 people.

Men accounted for three quarters of these - 4,303, compared with 1,388 women. And this is all before coronavirus had us locked down with our torments - and sometimes, our tormentors.

Comment: There are, actually socially harmful programs for women, just as they are for men. Modern feminism is clearly effecting both, just in very different ways. The effect for men however is resulting in men 'checking out' both in their involvement in life and in living itself.


Suspect in French horse mutilations arrested

french horses
© Reuters
Horses in an enclosure in Plailly, France.
French police have arrested a man on suspicion of mutilating horses after a string of attacks.

The man was detained after a computer-generated image was circulated of one of two people suspected of inflicting cuts on horses in the Yonne department of central France, according to a police source who asked not to be named.

Authorities have been at a loss to explain the attacks. Twenty horses across the country have lost ears, and there have also been genital mutilations and other cuts.

Security forces believe several people are involved, and there has been speculation that they could be motivated by a satanic rite or an internet cult.

The Yonne authorities were helped in constructing the suspect's likeness by the testimony of Nicolas Demajean, a stable manager whose premises were attacked in August. Demajean was injured after seeking to confront the two attackers, who cut two ponies with knives and mutilated another horse.

The suspect was arrested in the Haut-Rhin department of eastern France.

Comment: See also:

Bizarro Earth

The Lockdown: A definitive presentation on the damage to South Africa

panda pandemic covid lockdown
PANDA (Pandemic~Data & Analysis) considers explanations that allow us to count the human costs of COVID-19 in South Africa.

PANDA is a collective of leading actuaries, economists, data scientists, statisticians, medical professionals, lawyers, engineers and business people, working as a collective to replace bad science with good science.

The video contains a detailed and compelling presentation by three PANDA members.

Comment: The 'human costs' are not part of the the Great Reset calculus, except as cudgel to compel populations to bend to tyranny.


Assange's show trial begins in London, extradition to US a near certainty


Julian Assange
Judging by the first week of hearings in February, it doesn't seem to be important whatever the prosecution says or does, or how the defense responds. The decision already appears to have been made.

There can surely be a surprise when the next three to four weeks of hearings in the extradition case of Julian Assange at Old Bailey are completed. There is still every possibility that when the last word is said in court, Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser will decide that the United States has not made its case and that Assange will not be sent to stand trial in Alexandria, Virginia.

But judging from the first week of hearings in February at Woolwich Crown Court, all signs point to a decision already having been made to extradite Assange, and that the next three to four weeks will be simply justice going through the motions to make it appear that the WikiLeaks publisher is getting a fair trial. There is a name for such a thing:
"A show trial is a public trial in which the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt, and/or innocence, of the defendant. The actual trial has as its only goal the presentation of both the accusation and the verdict to the public so they will serve as both an impressive example and a warning to other would-be dissidents or transgressors." (Wikipedia)
Is there any better way to describe what has been happening to Assange than the above definition?

Comment: What kind of court case prohibits the accused from having access to one's lawyers?! And yet, that's exactly what's happening:
His lawyers say they have been given insufficient time to examine a new US indictment. They argue that the prosecution is politically motivated and that Assange is being pursued because WikiLeaks published US government documents that revealed evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses.


Among the lawyers representing Assange are Edward Fitzgerald QC and Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers as well as Gareth Peirce of the law firm Birnberg Peirce.

Fitzgerald raised concerns at a preliminary hearing about problems communicating with his client. At one hearing, he said: "We've had great difficulties in getting into Belmarsh to take instructions from Mr Assange and to discuss the evidence with him ... We simply cannot get in as we require to see Mr Assange and to take his instruction."
Assange's US lawyer goes into some detail about how the case is being handled in this interview:
In the interview, Pollack outlines why the U.S. government's position in the case is a "very dangerous one." He describes several aspects that would likely lead one to believe Assange would be denied justice if extradited to the U.S. for a trial and what makes this hearing September so crucial for Assange's legal team.


The following is a transcript of the interview with Barry Pollack, who is WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's lawyer in the United States. It was edited for clarity in a few sections.

GOSZTOLA: What aspects of defending Julian Assange do you focus upon as his U.S. lawyer, and where does your work fit into the larger defense?

POLLACK: I represent him with respect to the charges here. So if the United States were ever successful in getting him extradited to the United States, I would be the one who would represent in court against those charges. Right now, obviously, what is happening is the extradition in the U.K. That extradition, whether or not he's going to be extradited, will be determined by U.K. law, not by U.S. law. He has a team of British lawyers representing him in that proceeding.

I am coordinating with them, advising them on U.S. law, U.S. procedures, what Julian would face if he were brought here because some of that is quite relevant to the extradition proceedings. But they are very much his lawyers in the U.K. for purposes of the extradition hearing. I am his lawyer here in the United States to defend him if and when he is required to face those charges.

GOSZTOLA: And you've, to some degree, represented him before the extradition request?

POLLACK: Yes, I've been part of his legal team for a number of years. He was already in the [Ecuador] embassy when I first started representing him. But I represented him for a number of years prior to the criminal charges or the extradition request having been made.

GOSZTOLA: One of the issues that has become pronounced is we see the U.S. government making this argument that Julian should be denied First Amendment rights while at the same time suggesting they can bring a prosecution under the Espionage Act. But many defense attorneys have defended alleged leakers by claiming the Espionage Act is too broad when it comes to the First Amendment, making First Amendment defenses to try to see how far those might go.

How do you view this dynamic that is part of the U.S. prosecution?

POLLACK: The position that the U.S. is taking is a very dangerous one. The position the U.S. is taking is that they have jurisdiction all over the world and can pursue criminal charges against any journalist anywhere on the planet, whether they're a U.S. citizen or not. But if they're not a U.S. citizen, not only can the U.S. pursue charges against them but that person has no defense under the First Amendment. It remains to be seen whether a U.S. court would accept that position, but that certainly is the position that the government is taking.

In the cases that have been brought under the Espionage Act to date, efforts to build defenses around the First Amendment have been quite unsuccessful. The courts have not [generally allowed or supported defenses] based on the First Amendment. But those are cases where the defendant was a leaker, not a publisher.

This case is unique. The U.S. government has never tried to charge a journalist or a publisher under the Espionage Act.

GOSZTOLA: That raises an important question in my mind, which is, how can someone who is not from the U.S. be expected to submit to these U.S. secrecy laws and regulations, especially when he never signed a non-disclosure agreement?

A key part of these Espionage Act prosecutions are that they are brought forward as strict liability offenses, that he signed something. It seems that there is no evidence whatsoever in favor of the U.S. government that he signed anything to agree to not disclose information.

POLLACK: That's correct. In the cases that have been brought to date, the charges have been against an employee of the government, a government contractor, a former employee of the government, all people who entered into an agreement with the government that they would not disclose classified information.

Journalists don't enter into that type of agreement, and every day the New York Times and the Washington Post publish classified information. The Department of Justice has never charged a domestic reporter under the Espionage Act. Up until the current administration, I think it was widely understood that doing so would be inconsistent with the First Amendment.

Publishers do not have those kinds of non-disclosure agreements. They report what is newsworthy, and that includes classified information that comes into their possession.

What the government is doing here is not only charging a publisher who has no non-disclosure obligation but charging a publisher who is not in the United States. They're charging an Australian citizen, who is publishing from the U.K. So it is an unprecedented prosecution.

GOSZTOLA: What concerns do you have about the U.S. criminal justice system? One aspect is that there are such things as coercive pleas. Are you concerned about what would happen if he was put on trial and the way in which he could be pressured to not go to trial in the United States?

POLLACK: The pressure on defendants in the federal criminal justice system in the United States generally is extraordinary. In a case like this, it would be even greater. There is frequently in the United States a tremendous disparity between the penalty somebody receives if they plead guilty versus the penalty that they would receive if they go to trial and are ultimately unsuccessful.

So there is a tremendous disincentive to go to trial. Approximately 97 percent of all federal criminal cases end in the plea, not going to trial, for that reason.

Here one would expect Julian would be kept in an isolated administrative detention. In other words, he would be in jail effectively under solitary confinement, even awaiting trial, awaiting appeals. Once sentenced and put into the Bureau of Prisons system, he would likely be sent to a maximum security system.

And the potential sentences if he is convicted after trial are extraordinary. He's facing a maximum of 175 years. Under those conditions, it would be very, very difficult for somebody to say I want to go trial, and if I'm unsuccessful, I want to appeal and be heard in the Supreme Court. Even if you were ultimately successful, you would spend years in draconian prison conditions fighting the charges.

Yes, there would be tremendous on him to accept some sort of a deal that mitigated some of those consequences.

GOSZTOLA: If you're the prosecutors, you bring 18 charges. You only have to convince a court that he committed three offenses, and then you've essentially put him behind bars for what amounts to a life sentence because you just consider his age.

Have you gained any greater awareness through being able to work with U.K. attorneys on how out-of-line this is by comparison to European countries in the way that they wouldn't stack sentences that add up to 175 years?

POLLACK: There are all kinds of differences between the way the U.K. would treat this situation and how the United States would treat the situation. Not only is it charged much more aggressively in the United States, but in the U.K., there clearly are public interest exceptions to the publication of state secrets.

In the U.K., it is pretty clear that this would not be a crime, and that certainly will be an issue in the extradition proceeding.

Also, the conditions of confinement in the U.K. are different. In the U.K., if you are convicted of a crime, in this case a nonviolent crime, you would not be held in isolation, essentially solitary confinement indefinitely, potentially for years, potentially for the rest of your life. That would not happen in the U.K.

In the U.K., there is better access to medical care in the prison system. There is better access to mental health treatment in the prison system. So, there are all kinds of differences between the U.S. system of justice and U.S. conditions of confinement and those in the U.K. And I think all of those are likely to come up in the extradition hearing as reasons why the U.K. should not be willing to extradite him.

GOSZTOLA: How would you describe the Eastern District of Virginia? And how do you see the makeup of a possible jury pool as bolstering this argument that justice would be denied to Assange? Can the demographics of a judicial district work in favor of arguing against extradition?

POLLACK: You would have to ask the U.K. lawyers where that fits in terms of extradition law, but there is no question in the United States there are different demographics in different districts. And the Eastern District of Virginia is a district that has a disproportionately high number of Defense Department employees, intelligence community employees, family members of those employees, people who hold a security clearance, etc.

It is certainly not a representative district. If the case were being tried in Iowa, you would have a very different jury pool then you do in Alexandria, Virginia. I don't think the U.S. government is blind to the fact. The U.S. government could have chosen to charge him in any district in the country because the law is when an alleged crime is committed abroad there is venue in whatever district is the first district that you arrive in the United States.

Since Mr. Assange would be brought in custody, the U.S. government could take him to any district they wanted to and have venue in that district. It has chosen the Eastern District of Virginia, and that's not a coincidence. The U.S. government thinks it will get a favorable jury pool in the Eastern District of Virginia.

GOSZTOLA: I could be off in my analogy, but to take an issue that has captivated the country for the last six-to-seven months, it's almost to me like if you had jury made up almost entirely of police officers, and they were hearing a case involving involving an officer who shot and killed somebody. It doesn't seem like we would think it was fair for them to be the only people on that jury.

POLLACK: We would not think it was fair to give somebody in a police shooting case a jury pool that was disproportionately made up of police officers. I think we would also not think it was fair that one side gets to pick which district and which jury pool it wants to have. But that's exactly what the law allows.

GOSZTOLA: Finally, I understand this upcoming hearing that will span three weeks is a very crucial hearing for the legal team. Clarify for me what this hearing means and how essential it is for certain evidence to be brought in order to undermine what the U.S. government is doing.

POLLACK: This is the main taking of evidence regarding the extradition request. So this is essentially the equivalent of the trial for purposes of developing the facts on which the decision will be made whether or not to extradite.

The various legal issues that come into play in extradition: Is this is a political offense? Has there been some sort of abuse of process? Has the government accurately represented the nature of the charges and the allegations to the court? Are the conditions of confinement in the United States comparable to what they are in the U.K.? Is this even a crime in the U.K.?

All of those things that will go into deciding whether or not extradition is appropriate — What's going to unfold over the next three weeks is we're going to hear from witnesses who are going to speak to those issues to inform the court as to whether or not each of those things are in fact true.

Obviously, from our perspective, we hope and believe that the witnesses are going to be very compelling on each of those issues and that each one of those issues militates against extraditing.

People 2

Australia's unemployment benefits will be among worst in developed world once lockdown supplement cut

australia unemployed
© William West/AFP via Getty Images
The government plans to push ahead with a $300 cut to the supplement on 25 September, reducing the base rate of benefits to about $1,115 a fortnight.
A low-paid Australian worker laid off during the pandemic will receive the third lowest unemployment benefit in the OECD when the coronavirus supplement is reduced, according to expert analysis.

Despite mass unemployment and an extended stage-four lockdown in Melbourne, the federal government plans to push ahead with a $300 cut to the supplement on 25 September, reducing the base rate of benefits to about $815 a fortnight.

ANU social security expert Prof Peter Whiteford said that by one key measure Australia's jobseeker payment and commonwealth rent assistance would drop below all OECD nations except Greece and New Zealand.

Comment: Notably New Zealand's leadership have threatened particularly tyrannical measures on their citizens since the lockdowns began.

Comment: And it just so happens that Australia's authorities have recently been trialing out some of the most tyrannical control measures we've seen since the lockdowns began:


The 1% blunder: How a simple but fatal math mistake by US Covid-19 experts caused the world to panic and order lockdowns

medical lab
© Getty Images / Octavio Jones
In February, US Covid guru Anthony Fauci predicted the virus was 'akin to a severe flu' and would therefore kill around 0.1 percent of people. Then fatality rate predictions were somehow mixed up to make it look ten times WORSE.

When you strip everything else out, the reason for lockdown comes from a single figure: one percent. This was the prediction that Covid, if left unchecked, would kill around one percent of us.

You may not think that percentage is enormous, but one percent of the population of the world is 70 million people - and that's a lot. It would mean 3.2 million Americans dead, and 670,000 Britons.

But where did this one percent figure come from? You may find this hard to believe, but this figure emerged by mistake. A pretty major thing to make a mistake about, but that's what happened.


Journalists' social-media snark about urban safety is grotesque gaslighting

NYC times square
© Christopher Sadowski
American cities are in trouble. In the wake of the COVID-19 lockdowns and rising crime and disorder, residents are fleeing urban areas, particularly New York City. The continuing looting and riots, especially, have sown feelings of deep insecurity. But some journalistic elites refuse to see reality — and are happy to mock those of us worried about recent trends.

"I went for a belated NYC run this morning and am sorry to report that I saw very few black-clad anarchists," New York Times columnist Paul Krugman sarcastically wrote in a multi-part tweet thread. He added: "Also, the city is not yet in flames." Because you see, Krugman's anecdotal claims trump what you see on the news every night.

Crime is out of control in Gotham. A two-week window this summer saw 205 percent more gunfire incidents than the same period last year. With four months left to go, the city has already surpassed last year's shootings total.

But fact is, the troubles are contained in only certain areas. Of course, Krugman isn't threatened. The blood isn't staining sidewalks in the kind of hood the Nobelist calls home. Look at any Monday morning story about weekend violence. This weekend, it happened in The Bronx, Greenpoint, Rockaway.