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Fri, 09 Dec 2022
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Former liberal darling Michael Avenatti sentenced to 14 years prison in California fraud case

Michael Avenatti
Michael Avenatti, the already imprisoned lawyer who represented porn actress Stormy Daniels in litigation against Donald Trump, was sentenced on Monday to another 14 years in prison after he admitted to cheating four other clients, including a paraplegic, out of millions of dollars.

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge James Selna in Santa Ana, California is in addition to the five years in prison that Avenatti, 51, was already serving for two unrelated convictions in Manhattan federal court.

Selna also ordered Avenatti to pay $10.8 million in restitution to the clients and the Internal Revenue Service. The agency said he obstructed it from collecting more than $3 million in payroll taxes from a coffee business he owned.

"Michael Avenatti was a corrupt lawyer who claimed he was fighting for the little guy. In fact, he only cared about his own selfish interests," U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada in Los Angeles said. "Now he will serve a richly deserved prison sentence."

Bizarro Earth

'Extraordinary new phase' of renewable energy as Ukraine war accelerates shift from fossil fuels, energy leader says

renewable energy
The global energy crisis is turbocharging an "extraordinary" boom in renewable energy so vast it could yet "keep alive the possibility of limiting global warming to 1.5C".

That verdict from the world-leading International Energy Agency (IEA) comes today in a new report, which also predicts the world will build as much wind, solar and other renewable power in the next five years as it did in the last 20.

The massive expected increase is some 30% higher than the amount of growth forecast just one year ago.

That fact highlights "how quickly governments have thrown additional policy weight behind renewables," amid energy security concerns following Russia's latest invasion of Ukraine, the IEA said.

"Renewables were already expanding quickly, but the global energy crisis has kicked them into an extraordinary new phase of even faster growth as countries seek to capitalise on their energy security benefits," said the think tank's chief, Fatih Birol.

Comment: And so we see how war is being manufactured as a means of pushing the 'leap forward' toward the Green Revolution. Surely, Mao would be proud. Never mind that renewable energy cannot save the plant or that it isn't MEANT to work. Just eat your bugs in the cold, and be contented that you are doing right because the elite technocrats certainly have your best interests at heart.


Pistol

Kids' drag show cancelled amid right-wing protests

proud boys
© AP / Allison Dinner
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, pictured at a rally in Portland, Oregon, September 26, 2020
A 'Drag Storytime' event in Columbus, Ohio was canceled on Saturday as dozens of conservative protesters marched outside. Organizers of the controversial show say that internal arguments, and not the presence of armed demonstrators, led to the cancelation.

Held by Red Oak Community School, an elementary school that incorporates "social justice learning" into its curriculum, the 'Holi-Drag Storytime' event was billed as an "all ages" performance in which local drag queens would read stories and "normalize and celebrate the beautiful diversity of the gender spectrum," the Associated Press reported.

Protests had been planned since the show was first announced last month, and on Saturday, several dozen members of the Proud Boys, Patriot Front, and other conservative organizations marched to the Unitarian church where it was due to take place.

Shopping Bag

Bank of America finds increasing number of wealthier Americans now shop at value supermarkets

supermarket shopping food
US consumers, the biggest economic force in the world, are rapidly altering their spending habits and where they get groceries due to persistently high inflation, 19 months of negative real wage growth, and threats of recession.

Bank of America's report on consumer trends titled "Supermarket Swap" found consumers are "trading down" (i.e., shifting spending from more to less expensive items within the same category), with yearly growth spending at value grocery stores up more than a third versus premium stores.

According to the findings of the report:
So who is "trading down" the most? Middle - and higher-income consumers have more scope to trade down and shift spending to less expensive versions of items, since lower-income consumers are more likely to be shopping at less expensive grocery stores already. For the higher-income consumers, spending at value-tier grocery stores in October 2022 was up 22% relative to January 2019, according to Bank of America data, likely due to persistent negative real wage growth this year.

Comment: See also:


V

Protesters storm government palace in Mongolia (VIDEOS)

Citizens protest against the the allegations about government corruption in the capital Ulaanbaatar
© Getty Images / Erdenechimeg Batbold / Anadolu Agency
Citizens protest against the the allegations about government corruption in the capital Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on December 05, 2022.
The unrest was triggered by an alleged corruption scheme that involves supplying stolen coal to China.

Mass riots hit Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar on Monday, when protesters broke into the government palace and attacked law enforcement officials. Protests have been going on in the city for three days now, as the authorities investigate an alleged massive theft of exported coal, but they hadn't turned violent until now.

Footage circulating online shows scores of people demonstrating in front of the government palace in central Ulaanbaatar, demanding transparency in the coal scandal investigation and publicly naming the suspects. The protesters were seen carrying placards reading "Don't steal our future" and "Let's live a fair and beautiful life in Mongolia."

Comment: See also:


Attention

Health New Zealand seeks guardianship of baby whose parents are refusing vaccinated blood

protesters high court NZ
© Stuff
Some of the protesters outside the High Court in Auckland on Wednesday morning.
Health authorities are seeking temporary guardianship of a baby whose parents won't allow him to receive blood from those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The matter was heard at the High Court in Auckland on Wednesday, where Justice Layne Harvey set a hearing date of December 6.

Discussions between the parents and Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand will continue in the meantime.

Comment: The assurances that come from those within the system, which has continually downplayed significant risks from vaccination, is going to do little good for concerned parents. Threatening to take away a child is also not going to help build trust. One has to wonder why allowing the parents to provide their own blood donors is seen as such a threat.

See also:


NPC

Med school 'stigmatized white people' during all-day DEI 'retreat': report

tulane med school
Some doctors were 'subjected to seven hours of stereotyping and shaming,' professor.

A veteran psychiatrist and professor at Tulane University School of Medicine condemned racially divisive and harmful diversity, equity and inclusion programming at his medical center.

Dean Robinson, a visiting fellow at Do No Harm, described an "outbreak of mass irrationality" at the prestigious medical school and hospital where he works and teaches in a December 3 op-ed for National Review.

Comment: See also:


MIB

US funded Chinese lab for intelligence op - whistleblower

Wuhan Institute of Virology
© Hector RETAMAL / AFP
A World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus arrives at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
US-funded bioresearch on foreign soil appears to be a "giant intelligence operation" for assessing biowarfare capabilities, according to a whistleblower. Collecting and tinkering with bat coronaviruses in China ultimately resulted in the accidental release of SARS-CoV-2, the infection that causes Covid-19, he believes.

Dr. Andrew Huff once worked as the vice president of EcoHealth Alliance, an NGO involved in funneling US taxpayer dollars to bioresearch projects around the world. One of them, which was conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), was the origin of Covid-19 pandemic, and both Beijing and Washington were involved in a massive cover-up, he claimed. On Saturday, British tabloid The Sun reported on the allegations, which Huff has detailed in an upcoming book.

According to his revelations, in 2009, EcoHealth Alliance launched a program called PREDICT. Funded by foreign aid agency USAID, it was aimed at collecting samples of potentially harmful diseases throughout the world, ostensibly to prepare humanity for potential outbreaks. The Wuhan lab was one of the foreign partners of the program, studying coronaviruses in bats, Huff said.

According to the whistleblower, who has a background in bioweapons threat assessment for the US military, the PREDICT program was not collecting the data that it should have, but appeared to be an intelligence operation for assessing foreign biolab capabilities.

Comment: See also: US military scientist who worked at Wuhan lab says COVID was man-made


Yoda

Harvard business professor to CEOs: Don't let '3%' of your employees turn company woke'

Arthur Brooks, Harvard woke campus against
© CNBC/YouTube
Arthur Brooks, Harvard business professor (right)
'3% of your employees are activists instead of working,' Arthur Brooks said recently

About three percent of employees at big corporations are pushing the company to take liberal positions on cultural issues, but CEOs should not let them dictate policy, according to a Harvard University business professor.

Professor Arthur Brooks, formerly the president of the center-right American Enterprise Institute, encouraged business leaders not to let a small minority ruin a company during an appearance on CNBC last week, discussing Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter and the resulting backlash.

Syringe

Top general blames jab mandate for US recruiting woes

Commandant of the Marine Corps General David Berger
© Getty Images / Alex Brandon
Commandant of the Marine Corps General David Berger
The highest-ranking general in the US Marine Corps has argued that "misbeliefs" about Covid-19 vaccines are contributing to the military's manpower shortfalls, because many would-be recruits are balking at being forced to take the jabs.

"You talk to me in the cafeteria, and one of my first questions is, 'Do I have to get that vaccine?' And you go, 'Yeah, you do.' 'Ok, I'll talk to you later.' It's that fast," said Commandant of the Marine Corps General David Berger. He added that the Pentagon's vaccine mandate is a "big factor" in deterring enlistment of new troops in southern states, where there are "still myths and misbeliefs" about the inoculations.


Comment: There is no myth about not just the ineffectiveness of the vaccine, but that it can actually be dangerous. The general doesn't seem to understand that while people in the south are not wealthy, they weren't born yesterday either.


Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday in Simi Valley, California, Berger said many opinions were formed during the politicized rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines. "People make decisions, and they still have those same beliefs. That's hard to work your way past, really hard to work."