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Tue, 24 Sep 2019
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New Wall Street report suggests the US is in debt to the tune of $400 trillion

Wall Street
© Reuters / Carlo Allegri
A new report suggests that the real US debt level may be $400 trillion, or 20 times higher than the country's gross domestic product. The calculation includes government, state, local, financial and so-called entitlement debt.

AB Bernstein, a global asset management firm based on Wall Street, came up with these figures by including in its analysis not only traditional levels of public debt, such as bonds, but also financial debt as well as future obligations for entitlement programs. These include social security, Medicare and public pensions.

In its report, AB Bernstein took debt from a number of sources and compared it to GDP. Using this methodology, federal, state and local government debt combined amounted to 100 percent of GDP. Households and firms accounted for 150 percent, while debt held by financial firms came to 450 percent. Another 27 percent came from trusts for social insurance programs, 484 percent from promises under current social insurance programs, and 633 percent from obligations for social programs. The total debt therefore amounted to 1,832 percent.


The hysterical panic over vaping 'epidemic' must end

"There is clearly an epidemic that begs for an urgent response," wrote Harvard's Dr. David Christiani in the New England Journal of Medicine. The epidemic to which he refers is vaping, which is on the verge of being seen as a public health crisis. At the time of that writing, officials were investigating 450 possible cases of severe lung disease linked to vaping with five reported deaths around the country. A sixth potentially vaping-related death was reported on Tuesday in Kansas.

"If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop," said Kansas State Health Officer Lee Norman. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are conducting a nationwide investigation into the health effects of vaping products but have not yet established a link between respiratory illnesses and any specific product. Nevertheless, in this official's estimation, it's time for drastic action. "I think that I'd like to see our federal officials and law enforcement step up and say we need to pull these things off the shelves until we know what's going on," Norman averred.


Mexican gas stations that refused to serve police following death threats from drug cartel get shut down by the government

Mexican police officers.
© Henry Romero / Reuters
Mexican police officers.
A powerful Mexican criminal syndicate has pressured gas stations not to fill the tanks of police and military vehicles. The authorities have responded by shutting them down for discrimination.

The national consumer protection agency, Profeco, closed nine gas stations in the city of Nuevo Laredo near the US border for "discrimination" on Tuesday, after attendants there refused to serve the army and the federal police.

Three more stations were due to be shut down but they were found to be already out of service when the agents arrived.

Bizarro Earth

Social hysteria: Parents shocked as UK school asks kids to write 'SUICIDE LETTER' as part of English exercise

Cheney School, Headington, Oxford

Cheney School, Headington, Oxford
A school in the UK gave their teenage English students the task of writing a suicide note in the context of an exercise to explore suicidal feelings, prompting one "genuinely shocked" parent to complain.

Pupils aged 15 and 16 studying for their GCSE qualifications at Cheney School in Headington, Oxford, were set the assignment as part of studying the classic English play 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B. Priestley. The writing exercise was delivered on 'World Suicide Day.'

One mother, who asked not to be named, told BBC News that the project was a "massive fail," revealing that she had been left feeling "genuinely shocked," after her child informed her about the distressing task.
The actual assignment was 'Imagine you are a young woman in 1912 writing a suicide letter to those who care about you.'


'We are used to it,' say journos after Syria coverage called 'Goebbels s**t' by regime change crowd

khalek parampil blumenthal
© Rania Khalek's Facebook page
Max Blumenthal (left), Rania Khalek (center) and Anya Parampil (right) in Syria
Journalists Rania Khalek and Max Blumenthal caused a Twitter meltdown among some advocates of regime change in Syria by simply going to parts of the country controlled by Damascus and reporting on life there.

The two journalists traveled to the Syrian capital Damascus and some of its suburbs earlier this month and reported on what they saw and heard. Their reporting clashed with the narrative favored by some of their corporate-embedded colleagues, who jumped to called them propagandists on a trip paid by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad meant to whitewash war crimes.

Khalek said she and Blumenthal expected being subject to what appears to be a coordinated attack from people rooting for the downfall of the Syrian government. Going against the narratives that align with US foreign policy goals, as failed and destructive as they may be, comes with a price of ostracism, it seems.


Tens of thousands rally in Barcelona to back independence on Catalan holiday

catalan protest
© Reuters / Albert Gea
Massive crowds gathered in Barcelona to mark the Catalan national holiday and to demand independence from Spain, in a vocal message from the separatist movement, whose leadership has mostly been jailed by Madrid for "rebellion."

Tens of thousands rallied in the Catalan capital on Wednesday for "Diada," Catalonia's national day, in a colorful pro-independence demonstration replete with banners, flags and patriotic chants.

Following 2017's ill-fated independence vote -which Madrid declared illegal and invalid- dozens of Catalan separatist leaders were arrested, on charges ranging from misuse of state funds to "rebellion," over their involvement in the referendum. A verdict in one high-profile case involving 12 leaders is expected in the coming weeks.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


'We live in hell': New sexual fetish; couples getting pregnant and having multiple abortions

pregnant woman belly

"My girlfriend enjoys her pregnancies and she enjoys the abortion."

A new sexual fetish has emerged where couples repeatedly get pregnant then have multiple abortions.

Every day we stray further from God's light.

In a Reddit post entitled 'Question regarding abortion and breeding fetish', one user reveals how she has "a female friend who has a really powerful fetish for breeding" and never used birth control.

Comment: When society has reached a level this depraved, there's really no choice but a hard reset. Bring on the comets.

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California and Alabama are the only two states that aren't participating in the giant antitrust investigation of Google, and neither is saying why

Xavier Becerra
© Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
California’s Xavier Becerra is one of two state attorney’s general who isn’t a part of a multi-state antitrust investigation of Google and Facebook.
Only two state attorneys general aren't taking part in the multi-state antitrust investigation of Google and one of them just happens to be the head of law enforcement in the company's home state.

Xavier Becerra and Steve Marshall, the attorneys general of California and Alabama, respectively, are the only two holdouts in the joint state investigation of the two tech companies. It's unclear why neither is taking part in the investigation, and neither offered much of an explanation.

"California remains deeply concerned and committed to fighting anticompetitive behaviour," a representative of the California Attorney General's Office said in an emailed statement. "Regarding this investigation or any other, to protect the integrity of potential and ongoing investigations, we cannot provide comment."

Press representatives for Marshall, meanwhile, did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

The attorneys general of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 48 states announced Monday they are investigating Google's advertising practices and whether the search giant has harmed competitors. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the joint inquiry.

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9/11: You weren't stupid, Mr. Brown!

aaron brown 9/11
Aaron Brown, news anchor during most of CNN's coverage on September 11, 2001, was interviewed on the 15th anniversary of the event. He said in that interview that he had felt "profoundly stupid" when he was reporting the destruction of the first Tower (the South Tower) on that morning.
I...I will tell you...that a million things had been running through my mind about what might happen. About the effect of a jet plane hitting people above where the impact was, what might be going on in those buildings. And it just never occurred to me that they'd come down. And I thought...it's the only time I thought, maybe you just don't have what it takes to do a story like this. Because it just had never occurred to me." (CNN, Sept. 11, 2016, interviewer Brian Stelter)
Is it not remarkable that Brown was made to feel stupid, and to feel inadequate as a news anchor, during the precise moments of his coverage of that day when his senses and his mind were fully engaged and on the right track?

Comment: See also:

Alarm Clock

9/11, Identity Politics And The Coming Storm

chaos usa trump division
© Christina Animashaun/Vox
The events of 9/11, and the wars they unleashed, were the work of a ruthless cabal seeking to 'shape reality' in US society and beyond. Serving as a catalyst, 9/11 artificially introduced an 'us versus them' mentality upon everyone, ultimately affecting every fracture line - every social, ethnic and religious division - in society. Quite how much of what has followed since that fateful day was intended by the perpetrators is difficult to gauge, but they certainly had their reasons, and those reasons were informed by megalomaniac visions of world domination and mass social engineering.

Those of us who lived through 9/11 watched in horror as it triggered the 'Clash of Civilizations', embroiling the Western world in a 'clash' of values with the Muslim world, 'justifying' torture, terrorism, wars of aggression, the pillaging of government treasuries, and massive state surveillance. Some of us thought, if we just expose the hand behind 9/11 and the subsequent 'war on terror', we can stave off calamity.

But this endeavor, it turns out, is beyond us. The full horror of 9/11 has since 'progressed' to cause profound economic malaise in the West, and most recently encompass (and devour) the broader 'Culture Wars'. Those who reacted to 9/11 by taking refuge in 'our Western values' believed that at least from here, we can defend the West from the Rest. But those values - reflected in what was once 'common sense' - have been hijacked and corrupted from within, then turned against everyone and everything.