Sunday 24th of January 2021

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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2021-01-24 09:19

There’s nothing entrepreneurial about Rentier Capitalism, as it sucks up more of the wealth pie


‘Rentier Capitalism’ is a cracking thesis on a cruel economic order. Read it and you’ll start seeing rentiers everywhere, hearing them in every news bulletin, all involved in massive anti-competitive behaviour and impoverishing the rest of society.

Originally a French term, rentier carries a vampiric odour, redolent of the Ancien Régime or the British landowning aristocracy: tapping gargantuan nourishment from the rent and toil of peasants on its vast estates.

The Irish Ascendancy were similarly perfumed by Maria Edgeworth’s novel, Castle Rackrent (1800), its crumbling pile mismanaged by the effete, dissolute family heirs. Decades before the Famine, “rackrent” became the catchphrase for brutally excessive rents extracted on pain of dispossession, perhaps even death on the roads.

Rentiership is now deeply embedded in business, as forensically elaborated in this tome by Brett Christophers, an Englishman by accent and an economic geographer at Sweden’s Uppsala University. Christophers historicises “rent” from its introduction into Western economic thought by Adam Smith and David Ricardo (with whom Edgeworth corresponded) and later Marx; thence through the alliance of land and financial rentierisms in the late 19th century; its abeyance in the mid-20th century; and now its resurgence across every aspect of the British economy since Margaret Thatcher.

Christophers incubated this idea in his last book, The New Enclosure (2018), which took issue with author James Meek’s assertion that Britain’s largest privatisation was the sale of council houses after Thatcher’s Right to Buy scheme for social tenants, worth “£40 billion in its first 25 years”.

But Christophers tunneled deeper. Since Thatcher’s premiership, the state had actually sold two million hectares, about 10 per cent of the entire British landmass – some, certainly under council houses, but mostly through countless land sales by cash-strapped local councils, the NHS, universities estates, school playing fields and the disastrous dumping of the ministry of defence housing stock. It all totted up to about £400 billion. The scale of it had never been publicly recognised.


This vast, ongoing privatisation is in keeping with Christophers’s Rentier thesis. He economically defines “rent” as income derived from the exclusive ownership and/or control of a scarce asset under conditions of limited or no competition, for example, monopoly. A rentier – an individual or, more often, a corporation that controls the asset – engulfs this income.

Rentier capitalism is thus an economic order based on wealth and income-generating assets, which are “sweated” to absorb “unearned” rents and indeed profits from the inflation in value of land assets. The British economy, Christophers maintains, is dominated by rentiers. Orientated around “owning” rather than “doing”, there is nothing innovative or entrepreneurial about rentiership. It produces nothing; just suctions in more of the wealth pie, impoverishing the rest of society.

Heated arguments about rentierism have exploded across academia and financial journalism since Thomas Piketty’s first big book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013). In Piketty’s “society of petits rentiers”, if we own property or stocks, we’re all part of it. If not, we’re suckers.

So Christophers sets out to clarify the field in a Herculean exercise of creative taxonomy, dividing up rents into seven main categories. The centrality of government is key; setting the “rules” and often “creating” assets by issuing exclusive oil exploration licences (to generate “natural resource rents” for the holders); or granting exclusive outsourcing contracts (contract rents) – both purely legal, rather than physical, constructs.

Another asset-class is physical infrastructure, particularly that delivering water, energy or telecommunications – such utilities generally regarded as “natural monopolies”. Then there’s intellectual property (IP) rentierism in patents, brands and copyright – so tasty to the pharmaceutical, consumer products and creative industries.

Meanwhile, platforms – and especially digital platforms – profit from hosting and powerfully controlling where and how trade happens, whether on Amazon, eBay, Moneysupermarket or the London Stock Exchange, which also owns and operates the Borsa Italiana.

And there are financial assets, such as shares, securities and other exotic instruments and their “rents” received by the financial rentier: John Maynard Keynes’ “functionless investor” whom, in the midst of the Great Depression, he wished to see “euthanised”.

Although finance increasingly overlooms all economies, Christophers does not rate the gathering literature on “financialisation”. He sees finance as maybe the “leading edge of rentier capitalism” but it’s “not the totality of our economic moment”.


Lastly, there is his rich chapter on land: the root of all rentierism, some might say. The land-holding companies Christophers examines are all “almost comically profitable”.

The more technical passages will prove arduous for some but it’s all crackling, shimmering stuff – even if every eye-watering anecdote, trillion-pound outrage or historical sweetmeat is but an ornament to the sustained, bludgeoning monofocus of his thesis.

After days wading through it, you’ll start seeing rentiers everywhere, hearing them in every news bulletin, or envisioning how they all interlock like a lattice of money-pipes, situated at almost every choke point in supply, and all involved in massive anti-competitive behaviour.

But it’s impossible to encapsulate here the complexity, sleuthery and scope of Christophers’ inquiry. He’s a prolific writer of sprawling, argumentative prose and a furiously earnest grafter: laboriously plotting graphs from multiple data-sets; compiling tables such as the dizzying one of all major Thatcherite privatisations, from port and docks to ship building, telecoms, British Steel, oil, gas, coal, electricity, rail, air traffic control, defence technology, nuclear power, even the Royal Mail.

In another, he categorises the major infrastructure rentiers and the entities that co-control them: shadowy holding companies; global investment consortia, pension funds; even the Kuwait Investment Authority – which, although Christophers doesn’t mention it, is classified as a rentier state.

The book is entirely UK-specific, but highly instructive in the Irish context of growing privatisation of health and social care; rampant landbanking; the mushrooming of tax-sheltered REITs; or the latest long-lease social housing scheme, where the state pays the mortgage for 25 years, then the property reverts to the developer.

Christophers is rightly encouraged by more than 500 successful examples since 2000 of “remunicipalisations” across continental Europe – where disastrously privatised public services have been taken back into public or community ownership: from energy and water supply to waste collection, social care and local transport.

Unthinkable here? Last year, the pandemic saw mass changes in social activity that astonished even behavioural “scientists”. Now, as we blink in the uncertain dawn of Brexit, facing a second economic devastation this century, it might not beyond the bounds of possibility.

Rentier Capitalism: Who Owns the Economy, and Who Pays for It? by Brett Christophers, published by Verso.

This is a repost from The Irish Times. See the original article here.


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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2021-01-23 17:29

In 2021, COVID-19 will be worse than a nuclear war

Igor Korotchenko, military expert, editor-in-chief of National Defense Magazine, and Inna Novikova, Pravda.Ru editor-in-chief, reflected on the prospects and risks in the new year 2021. The biggest problem of 2020 - the coronavirus pandemic - is not going away in 2021, bringing the same and new problems along. What is the pandemic going to be like in 2021? What is going to happen in the world as a result of mass vaccination? Are borders going to reopen or are we all going to live in our countries under the conditions of high security without being able to travel abroad?

What do you think the new year 2021 is going to bring to all of us in the first place?" How do you see 2021?"

"The main challenge remains the same - the COVID pandemic. This is a global disaster that has affected each and everyone of us. Of course, this global and all-pertaining challenge is not going anywhere in 2021.

Covid is real, therefore, it is worse than a possible nuclear war

"Some perceives the risk of a nuclear war as a real threat, while others do not think so. Some people  see NATO as an aggressor, and some others do not. Yet, when the coronavirus comes to you, you are left to deal with it alone. 

"The healthcare system is working with its last bit of strength. God help us vaccination goes successfully. Many people believe the situation in the world will improve only because of vaccination.


COVID-19 remains the main threat to our health, safety and economy.

"COVID has turned our life upside down. A new countdown has started since last spring. Now not only vaccination has begun, but we can also witness the war of the vaccines. Many lethal cases have been reported because of the Pfizer vaccine, while the West continues criticizing the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, although everyone in Russia says that Sputnik V is the safest and most effective vaccine. It was then reported that people would be allowed to travel to Europe only if they have European vaccination certificates. Of course, such certificates won't be issued to Russian citizens, who take the Russian vaccine. Therefore, a new war begins between the vaccines."

"I heard about it too. I do not think that Spain, Italy and Finland, for example, will be happy to lose Russian tourists for good. It is only elite groups of Russian citizens who will be able to have Western vaccines - the rest will be injected with the Russian-made Sputnik V, before two other Russian vaccines are released after the completion of clinical trials. 

"Of course, this information is extremely unpleasant, but I still believe that it will not come to the point that one will not be able to get the Schengen visa without the European certificate of vaccination.


Countries of the world have turned into COVID camps

At the same time, under certain circumstances, at least during the third or fourth wave of COVID, Europe may indeed implement a number of certain restrictions that would prohibit Russian citizens from traveling Europe just because they have Russia, rather than European certificate of vaccination. 

On the one hand, all this sounds like total nonsense. On the other hand, given how the world is changing before our eyes, one does not have to exclude such a possibility. However, this will strike a colossal blow to the European tourist industry, including catering, entertainment, hotel sectors. 

In the next year or two,  COVID restrictions will affect citizens of not only Russia, but of many other countries.

In any case, I personally have confidence that our vaccine is a good one. I have already taken the first shot of Sputnik V, and a few weeks later I am having my second shot. I believe that Russia is among the leaders in the segment of the production of vaccines against coronavirus. I had no side effects from this vaccination, except I was very lazy for a few days.

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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2021-01-23 17:05

There are concerns about Katie Couric as a guest host of “Jeopardy!” after her “condescending, elitist” remarks that GOP and Trump supporters should be “deprogrammed.”

Days after “Jeopardy!” producers announced Couric would be a guest presenter of the ABC show following the death of beloved host Alex Trebek, she went on Bill Maher’s show and backed Trump’s impeachment and Twitter ban.

The former “Today” host told Maher on January 15 of GOP congressmen, “It’s really bizarre, isn’t it, when you think about how AWOL so many of these members of Congress have gotten.

“But I also think some of them are believing the garbage that they are being fed 24/7 on the internet, by their constituents, and they bought into this big lie.

“And the question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump.” 

A “Jeopardy!” source told Page Six the remarks immediately worried the producers of the Sony Pictures-created show, which attracts an audience with a median age of 64.2 years old.

The source said, “The ‘Jeopardy!’ audience is very conservative. And the show has always steered clear of politics.

“Katie’s comments so soon after she was announced as a host are very concerning to the producers. They are worried there will be a backlash against her. There has already been some complaints.

“Jeopardy viewers are quite a traditional bunch, and there’s fears she might be too polarizing after this. At the very least, she already appears to have ruled herself out of becoming the permanent host of the show.”

Veteran journalist Couric, 64, — who now runs her own company called Katie Couric Media — will soon host the iconic game show for a week, becoming its first-ever female host. Other guest hosts will include actress Mayim Bialik and NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Meanwhile, Couric has been weathering criticism for her partisan comments. The Hill columnist and Fox News contributor Joe Concha said, “This sort of rhetoric from Couric — which comes across as so condescending and elitist — underscores the divide between our media, which primarily resides in New York and Washington, and the rest of the country, which is moderate to center-right per multiple polls. And it’s why the industry is so mistrusted and frowned upon.”



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Yes, we know that the Republicans have been really bad and Trump was an idiot... But we're waiting for the Democrats to become angelic. Good is not good enough. We want Assange out of prison, free, and we want all the US little wars, especially in Yemen to be stopped...


But we cannot forget all the shit that Biden has done, even if he was god reincarnated, himself...



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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2021-01-23 16:35

From the Spectator — a right wing magazine that does not believe in global warming and other stuff...




How cults crumble

We all believe in some eccentric things: transubstantiation for me, homeopathy for others



Written by: Mary Wakefield


There’s something creepy about the way we call Donald Trump fans a cult, then watch them hungrily, hoping they’ll do something colorful, though not actually threatening — like self-immolate, perhaps. Lockdown is boring and we’ve watched everything on Netflix. So, MSNBC and chill.

But not all MAGA fans are cultish, and not all political cults are on the right. 2020 acted like a cult accelerator, and now there are half-brainwashed people everywhere, on every part of the political spectrum, in your family, among your friends. How can you tell? It’s all in the eyes.

It’s famously hard to define a cult. However obviously nutty a group may seem — aliens, polygamists, lizards — some sociologist will rise like a carp and insist it’s a valid new religious movement, and that Christianity is the real cult. So I’d approach it from a different angle. The way to tell if a pal is brainwashed is to examine not their beliefs, but their face. We all believe some eccentric things. I believe in transubstantiation; others swear by homeopathy. But the truly indoctrinated have the distinctive light of revelation in their eyes. They believe there’s a set of secret truths about the universe that only they and their gang are privy to, and that dark forces are working against them.

For MAGA fanatics, that secret truth is the QAnon conspiracy — the theory that an anonymous whistleblower, ‘Q’, has revealed that Trump is on mission to expose an influential cabal of Satanic pedophiles. For devoted anti-vaxxers, it’s the idea that the coronavirus is a ruse to implant trackable microchips in us all, presided over by poor Bill Gates. For the dafter wing of the anti-West gang, the conspiracy goes back to Bronze Age man, who invented the nuclear family as a way of suppressing women.

Being part of an elect, fighting evil, is intoxicating; but because of this, cult-followers find it almost painful to listen to dissent. And so here’s another tell: the twitch of angry impatience if you try to disagree. I spent 1998 drifting around Texas and Louisiana visiting cults, making notes for a book. I never wrote the book, but I did learn the look, and I’m spotting it everywhere now. I saw it in my favorite café just the other day.

‘How are you? How’s it all been? I asked the owner as she passed a cappuccino across the COVID-secure takeaway table. ‘Yeah, you know these are crazy times,’ she replied. ‘But at least everything makes sense now.’ What did she mean? ‘It was all explained to me over the summer, and it’s just mad how much sense it makes! Capitalism, democracy… I just can’t understand how I ever fell for it. The patriarchy have deceived us all. But change will come!’ She laughed, and there it was: the knowing, elated look of the chosen. ‘I’m not sure communism did many people any favors,’ I said. She gave a tight smile, said ‘Yeah. You need to have your eyes opened’, and turned away. When I looked over the road at the estate opposite, the racing clouds made it appear as if the tower blocks were toppling.

If there’s more cult thinking about, the usual explanation for it is the internet. We live in information bubbles, it’s said, constantly reinforcing our own beliefs, each group member egging the others on to more extreme views. But I’m not sure the internet is the real villain here. In fact, it is often the way out of a cult. Steven Hassan, author of The Cult of Trump, is doing the talk show rounds right now, comparing Trump with Sun Myung Moon and David Koresh. Hassan was himself a Moonie for many years, and only escaped, he says, after Google gave him the means to question Mr Moon’s True Way.

The best cult recruiting tool, I think, is simply the terrible global sense of unease. Thanks to the virus, all our carefully constructed ideas of the future are crumbling. We crave certainty, and certainty is what cults do best. If there’s a distinction between a cult and a religion, it’s that certainty is not the same thing as faith. Faith acknowledges doubt and struggles on nonetheless. Certainty is madness.

For the gold-standard crazy cultic certainty, go to YouTube and search for a video made by the Scientologists starring Tom Cruise, in which Tom explains his religion to new recruits, with the Mission: Impossible music in the background. Towards the end of the nine-minute clip, Cruise begins to talk about Scientology’s critics, or Suppressive Persons. ‘SPs?’ Cruise laughs maniacally. ‘Wow. SPs, one day they’ll just read about them in the history books.’ The contempt in which he holds non-believers is astonishing.

And that’s why you can never crack a cultist with argument. The more you argue, the more you try to show them that their thinking might be awry, the more obvious it is to them that you’re part of the diabolical opposition — and that they’re being tested. Persecution only proves the point.

I once spent a few weeks with a Taiwanese UFO cult, Chen Tao, who had moved to Dallas, Texas, in the belief that God was due to arrive there in a spaceship. I was there the evening God was due — March 31, 1998 — and I was there when it became clear God was a no-show. I looked around, expecting to see people weeping, or leaving, or berating their leader. There was none of that. The leader, Chen, even offered to be stoned or crucified, but no one took him up on it. Some members simply stayed. Others left quietly in the following weeks and returned to their lives in Taiwan. And that, I think, is what will happen to the Cult of Trump.

It won’t end with the inauguration. There’s rarely an ‘aha’ moment for cult members — a blinding flash of understanding that they’ve lived a lie. That’s too damaging for the psyche. Trump true believers will be seeing pedos in high places for years to come. Hardcore anti-vaxxers will always look at Bill Gates askance. But slowly, if we resist the temptation to sneer too much and gloat, with any luck, the madness will fade.

This article was originally published in The Spectators UK magazine. 



I had to look up the word "Transubstantiation"... Not fully versed in English, it sounded like returning to dust under a carpet, but no. 


Transubstantiation, in Christianity, the change by which the substance (though not the appearance) of the bread and wine in the Eucharist becomes Christ’s real presence—that is, his body and blood. In Roman Catholicism and some other Christian churches, the doctrine, which was first called transubstantiation in the 12th century, aims at safeguarding the literal truth of Christ’s presence while emphasizing the fact that there is no change in the empirical appearances of the bread and wine. See also consubstantiation.


So, is Mary Wakefield a Christian — one of the religious nutcases or a religious loony?...

Either way, her article was loony enough to be amusing and nutcasey enough to be side-splitting...



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Read from top... See also: good things to those who don’t deserve them... in of water...

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2021-01-23 14:04


The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Is the covid ‘pandemic’ merely economic theatre?

by Maribel Tuff


Bringing together the US emergency bank lending crisis and the now massive Covid response, I’ve concluded that one of the main reasons it is happening, apart from the corporate looting, is because of a historic event, the USA’s economic collapse and the dollar’s demise, which started just weeks before this Covid operation kicked off, and has been put on hold by a world wide manufactured economic ‘freeze’.


A few months before Covid appeared, the Fed were busy pouring literally trillions of dollars into the US banks, to prevent inter-lending bank-runs which were starting to develop. These were the same tectonic fissures that developed prior to the 2008 crisis, where the banks became so distrustful of each other’s solvency, that they massively increased interest rates to each other to factor in the risk. If unsuppressed the lending rates would continue to rise, laying a path to bank failures and a contagion which would eventually derail the economy and undermine the dollar itself.

In September 2019 the Fed intervened in the repo. markets for four consecutive days, pumping $75 billion per day into the banks, as the inter-banking interest rate – the repo rate – peaked at a terrifying 10% [1]. If this level were allowed to contaminate regular highstreet lending, it would cause widespread debt defaults & insolvencies.

The dangers are far greater today because, unlike in 2008, Quantitive Easing (QE) has pushed the Fed to the limits of its credibility, and are forcing them into causing some serious currency debasement. If they continue with the forms of QE they are shackled to, then dollar debasement becomes a certainty in a US economy that is far more fragile & indebted generally and less able to cope.

The Fed must have known for a few years that QE was not returning the economy to economic normality, and that they were still trapped in the solvency crisis of 2008. Knowing this, the Fed were prepared for the latest crisis. They had made it possible to inject hundreds of billions of dollars into the banking system discreetly, unlike in 2008, without any additional Congressional fanfare, via the Financial Stability Oversight Council, formed in 2010.

They had given themselves almost unlimited funds and the resources of the entire government if necessary, to reassure the banks that collapse was impossible. This ‘rescue operation’ was being played out, relatively unreported except in the financial press, only weeks prior to the Covid flu appearing on the world stage. Issuing…

….. cumulative repo loans totalling more than $9 trillion to the trading houses on Wall Street that the Fed had been making from September 17 of 2019 – months before the onset of COVID-19 anywhere in the world…[2]

Unlike in 2008, this second use or continued use of mass Fed stimulus is not a new untested idea and, by using it again or continuing to use it more intensely to stabilise the banks, it would eventually lead the markets to conclude that we are locked in a never ending cycle of stimulus, which will inevitably end in hyperinflation and dollar collapse. 



That is an uncontroversial economic fact, and will be the conclusion of the Fed’s current policy. In that context, an external ‘event’ could be critical in taking the spotlight off US finance and its woes.

The Fed will not want to exit repo operations until they are absolutely certain the market can stand on its own two feet. [3], [4]

United States Overnight Repo Rate was at 0.11 on Friday January 15

But, as they well know given their experience over the past 10 years, the markets will never be able to stand on their own feet in the current economic model. Now not only companies are being kept afloat by low interests rates, the US itself is dependent and kept solvent by low interest rates.

The fed has injected or made available over 9 trillion dollars to the banks in only 6 months leading up to March 2020, that is over 40% of the USA’s GDP, prior to Covid and represents nearly a 40% increase in the USA’s national debt!

So it is becoming very obvious that we are at the end of this particular monetary road, the ‘extend and pretend’ policy is finished and there is nothing in the economic tool box that can stall the inevitable. Only an external ‘divine’ intervention could, even temporarily delay the dollar’s collapse. As an aside, I should add, although they may be affected later, this is not happening in European or Asian banks, only in US banks.


In my opinion, the US security agencies picked a scenario off the shelf, something they have been justifiably rehearsing for years, the response to a deadly virus, which would produce the required financial shutdown, suppress bank activity, and create a world crisis big enough to eclipse the US economic crisis and produce a ‘flight to safety’ into the dollar, facilitating an economic induced coma, allowing time, a breathing space and justifying massive emergency QE injections into the US and world economy.

It could be sold as a period during which a restructuring of the world banking system could take place and perhaps reschedule debt as well as redefine the mechanisms of a new reserve currency.

This is what I think ‘The Great Reset’ really is about. It is being painted as something intricate and nefarious on every level, but it’s possibly more utilitarian than that, a necessary dialog, where the subject of that dialog is sealed from the public, justified by protecting our worried and panicky ears, and which concerns almost all western world leaders.

I’m sure a major false flag terror attack would have been discussed as an alternative to Covid, but the US is in no fit position economically to respond militarily, and without a military response to a terror attack the US would fear looking weak. Although Wars have been thought to resolve many an economic crisis, it is just as likely, in this instance, that a proxy war with Russia or a direct war with Iran would precipitate a dollar collapse, rather than create growth and a flight to ‘safety’. China would no doubt gleefully humiliate the US during such a conflict. So I speculate that major wars, as an economic solution, are off the table, at least until this crisis is resolved.

Creating a virus out of thin air is a cruel and vicious deceit, but the Fed will no doubt have claimed to its allies that it is far less painful than the total economic implosion we will face in the brewing economic collapse, where financial contagion from the US would cause most western financial institutions to become insolvent, debt would remain unpaid, trade would cease, asset values would crumble, bank machines stop, riots start, martial law be declared, and in many ill-prepared, import-dependent countries like the UK, rationing and eventually hunger would begin.

This is the threat the fed would have made to their allies, as we know for a fact they did in 2008, when asking for a united world central bank stimulus, making it appear vital to world economic survival.

They would have claimed that this time around the economic dangers are of such a magnitude that they even persuaded their foes, Russia and China, to partake in the hoax, because they are also reliant on continued banking & economic stability, and would not be willing to risk political instability at home caused by a second world economic depression.

By creating this suspension of an economic collapse, the US has cleverly turned the dominance of the dollar into a matter of international survival, effectively holding the world to ransom and blocking the baton of world reserve currency being dually transferred over to the next economic ascendant, China, and where the US has effectively engineered themselves a seat amongst the judges at their own bankruptcy hearing.

Believing this to be the case, I am less confused as to why most of the USA’s allies were so helpful and so consistent in making this Covid operation happen, and I have concluded it is their belief in the integrated nature of the financial & currency markets and the threat of economic collapse posited, as in 2008 by the Fed, that is causing their complicity.


As each irrational, destructive lockdown measure is implemented I am quite sure that our politicians, the very few that are in the know, say to each other: ‘we are lucky because “lockdowns” are as nothing, compared to the calamity that would overtake us in the event of a dollar-induced economic collapse!’ This, for me, explains their apparent insanity, lies and the internationally co-ordinated nature of their response. They too are acting out of fear, not for a virus, but for fear of anarchy and, by extension, the very real threat to their own lives that would result.

The secrecy surrounding this operation is wholly consistent, because it is in nobody’s interests to break ranks. If anyone exposes what is really happening to the US economy then it would precipitate the run on the banks, and then the dollar, that they are being told would lead to a world economic catastrophe.

To explore this hypothesis, we can look at the varying responses of the world players, and measure their reluctance or complicity in the scam, because at this turning point in history, during these shifts of power, loyalty is not guaranteed.

Japan has been strangely reluctant to take part, indicating to me their brooding irritation with US hegemony, which has been growing amongst their population for some years and expressed through the Osprey protests. It looked at one point like they were flirting with the idea of ignoring Covid altogether. Prompting the US to ‘invite’ Japan to join 5-eyes, perhaps to exert more direct control over them, via their security services?

Russia and China are reluctantly playing along for obvious economic reasons, but again we see reluctance to go full hog, despite the attraction of introducing authoritarian measures at home under the cover of Covid. Russia has even invented a non-existent vaccine for the non-existent virus, giving themselves an instant opt-out when required. Whereas China is preferring to just stop testing, and ignore the ‘crisis’ altogether, except for the odd statement about how dangerous it all is.

Non-western Africa, is not taking part at all, in Nigeria there are very few cases, probably because they are out of the loop on what is really happening, and see little evidence of a virus in their population.

Germany although physically occupied by the US, like Japan, have a confidence and independence that marks them apart from other vassal states. Having ‘found’ far fewer cases of Covid, they have tried to preserve their precious economy from any serious harm for as long as possible, demonstrating a cheekiness, consistent with their building of the Nord-stream pipeline project to Russia, ignoring the US’s repeated demands for them to stop.

In contrast, the USA’s closest, most supine of allies, & the 5 eyes states, are enthusiastically taking part, hyping the virus story to the nth degree of absurdity. Notably the UK, France and Australia, each week pushing yet another absurdly fascist response to a non-existent problem to scare their population stiff. In my view each allies’ response is calibrated to their financial dependency on the US and how ‘captured’ their leaders are to US interests.

On the political and media front, alternative media, doubtless spurred on by seeded stories and certain controlled opposition, unwittingly fans these flames by speculating on various kingpins and ideologues central to the plot, like Bill & Malinda Gates, and playing up fear stories of Marxist tyrannies, Communist takeovers, compulsory vaccines, tracking chips and various accusations against the dangers of 5G – targeted for being predominately European and Chinese technology.

The end result is a population left either paralysed by fear of the flu, or in terror of a rising ‘Marxist Fascist tyranny’ run by ‘jewish globalists’ and oligarchs. Either way, everyone is in too fearful a state to logically assess what is really going on around them.

I’m sure, in the dark bowels of Langley, Virginia, this scenario has been pre-rehearsed and stress-tested for years, and pieced together from a huge portfolio of coups and psychological terror operations from around the world.

Perhaps with lessons learned from Climate Change where, as with the weather, the common flu can easily be weaponised. In the case of Covid via a swiftly implemented ‘testing’ regime, simply testing for the common cold and producing millions of false positives, and a hysterical, totally unquestioning mainstream media.


International Covid panic created some short term, but worryingly for the USA, short-lived ‘flight to safety’. ‘International crisis’ is the USA’s traditional and most effective tool to protect the dollar: normally US/UK media-manufactured. It was used to bolster a flagging dollar via the media-created ’Euro crisis’ or ‘Greek debt crisis’. A series of hysterical panics made ‘real’ by US and UK financial press, quickly making the USA’s economic woes old news, and reducing the world reserve holdings of the Euro in only a matter of months.

Along with the ‘flight to (dollar) safety’, Covid has offered the opportunity to freeze the USA’s banking collapse with massive injections of cash. $9 trillions was available to US banks up until March 2020, but in addition to this the Fed produced $5 trillion in economic stimulus to the wider economy and a further 5 trillions recently.

Without this ‘external threat’ – a ‘killer virus’ – this amount of stimulus would have immediately caused panic and threatened dollar credibility. However, with the virus narrative and the world-unified stimulus response to the ‘Covid pandemic’, this modest flight to (dollar) safety, along with the massive cash injections, looked justified and sensible.

It also looks to me like those in the ‘dollar economic zone’ – if there is such a thing – have gone along with their own impoverishment and have wrecked their own economies under the cover of Covid, to save themselves from a perceived greater economic catastrophe, bank contagion, on the basis of what I believe is being secretly told them by the USA, and based on what they have been witnessing in the US banking system prior to March.

It could easily be argued that we are being unwittingly drawn into a conspiracy to protect the dollar and US hegemony, under the cover of Covid, that is not in our own best long-term interests at all (currently being called the ‘great reset’).

Like Brexit and like the War on Carbon, I believe that if an operation or manufactured event seems to offer multifaceted advantages to the USA and their Corporate & military elite, then that operation has revealed its origins.

As it is the case with Covid, not only is there a freeze on the US economic collapse, but US Corporations and Internet services are benefiting massively from the ‘Covid illusion’. Something that must be getting more obvious by the day, and must be giving honest foreign leaders concerns as they see their retail sectors ravaged by Amazon and their cultural institutions replaced by Netflix, Apple TV and Amazon TV. 

And the proposed ‘salvation’ involves paying billions to US Pharma, for, at best, a very doubtful vaccine. The least-honest politicians can no doubt engineer their ‘shutdowns’ to preference US corporations, whilst acting as the viceroys of Empire.

This looting could just be a side-show to the main event of dollar ‘transition’ or collapse, or it could be amongst the main aims of ‘Operation Covid’, it is difficult to tell, but it looks like the rest of the world is being looted by US Corporations and their home grown small-to-medium-size businesses bankrupted, with vast additional profits flowing to the USA’s richest, where we see the stella rise in the wealth of America’s robber barons.

From renting taxis with Uber to replacing hotels with AirBNB flats, holding meetings on zoom, spending ‘cash free’ via Visa, MasterCard et al and the Paypal cartel, ordering food on-line with Uber eats and destroying local culture, all are being forced on a gullible world public during the Covid selective collapse. It should be dawning on everyone by now that Covid is a very, very Neoliberal Corporate virus, strangely working in the interests of a continued US Corporate neoliberal rollout against our own national geopolitical interests.

It is not only the Corporates that benefit from US ‘operations’ like Covid, the security state also demands their share of the spoils for assisting in and facilitating much of the operation. US tracking apps, social media and communication platforms are being forced, as a parasitical middle man, into every walk of our lives, taking a thin slice off everyday activities, like an America tax.

The details of the implementation of the Covid operation aside, it is possible that many inside the system regard the ‘Great Reset’ as not a conspiracy to oppress us, to exploit us and destroy our lives in a Marxist tyranny as many believe, but rather regard it as a necessary adjustment to an unbalanced economic system.

To see it like that we must believe that the current system is fundamentally flawed and that good faith solutions are being sought. I think ‘The Reset’ is seen by many honest brokers around the world as a genuine platform to resolve flaws in the current world economy, and to manage a transition from the dollar, in a controlled fashion. We should not always think the worst motives of everyone involved.

Having said that, I have no doubt that the US is busy trying to hijack the agenda to preserve its own supremacy, even during its climactic demise. The US Military industrial complex will be suspicious of any direction not determined by them, and I’m sure in Washington, Brussels and Beijing there is a battle over the measures and direction we need to take.

Like it or not, there may be very good reasons for these discussions to be held in secret, and we are left with only secondhand hints of the battles being fought over our current economic future; like Universal income, a shared international reserve currency, digital currencies or a cashless society, perhaps required through exchange controls or price fixing, to fight coming hyper-inflation?

Many US shills will be telling the world, that this is a ‘crisis of capitalism’, a crisis of western civilisation, and that we all need to preserve the US economy & dollar supremacy to save the world.

I personally believe the US has set us up during this crisis, like they did in the last in 2008, where they dumped all their bad debt on European banks to ‘share’ the crisis out. Working on the principle that: a problem shared is a problem halved, perhaps. Even if we are in this crisis because of a US collapse, and the rest of us could survive relatively unscathed. A ‘Reset’ does appear to be one route that enables a slow deflating of the economic bomb sitting under the US and which may affect the rest of us badly, if it goes off.


I reference the nursery rhyme as a cautionary tail, because this all started with the relatively normal economic recession of 2007, which if the USA had allowed to burn through its economy, would have been resolved in only a few years, and we would be living in normal times now. But they didn’t. The world’s central banks were persuaded to take measures that caused greater long-term harm, which in turn has led, in my view, to the ‘Covid solution’, a provocation intended to temporarily justify even more of the poisonous QE and low interest rates that didn’t work before.

Whilst perhaps sold as a ‘fire-break for a more long term solution to be found, I don’t see much evidence that the ‘fire-break’ is being used well. It seems more like a pause for the always shortsighted American elites to loot as much as is possible from our states’ coffers before an economic tsunami hits.


I also believe the US never needed to be in this grave position it is today. Its problems are very much self inflicted. Simply taxing its wealthy and cutting its outrageous military spending would have averted a dollar crisis, leading instead to a slow drift from the dollar over a few decades as China took up the strain. But that is another story related to America’s ideological, political and philosophical bankruptcy and scleroses, that has increasingly driven them into an economic ditch over the past 45 years.

The Covid operation itself is a beautiful metaphor for the original banking crisis, which triggered the Fed to use quantitive easing (QE) – a far, far more damaging response than the original crisis itself, just as the lockdowns are far, far more damaging than this strain of flu, naturally occurring or released deliberately as a marker.

If a consensus resolution is not found quickly for the transfer or sharing of the world reserve currency, as the dollar is about to collapse, I have no doubt we will be required to ‘swallow’ a more drastic intervention than Covid to save the US economy and the dollar, each solution proving more damaging than the last …And of course, as the rhyme goes, we will eventually swallow a ‘horse’… and be ‘dead of course’.

If I am right guys, in one respect you can breathe a sigh of relief: world tyranny, forced vaccinations with harmful DNA changes, sterilisations, and mass genocide are not the main aims of this ‘operation’. They may be the end result of it, if we are not careful, but I don’t think they are the main aims.

The US is trying to stall dollar relegation using the Covid operation, and make it a major event, when previously the transition from old to new world reserve currency would have gone almost unnoticed by most of us. The British ceded the Pound’s world reserve currency status relatively quietly after WWII, under US pressure to float the pound.

It is perhaps a measure of the utility that is now offered by the world’s reserve currency, to facilitate the uncontrolled looting of the rest of the world’s economies, that it is now such a prize and so hard to surrender. Without the dollar and its world reserve status, enabling the US to print pieces of green paper in exchange for real goods, the US would certainly be bankrupt.

But that is not our fault and it is not for us in the rest of the world to save them, especially since it is their ideology that has inflicted so much harm on their own people and the rest of world.

What we are witnessing is an attempt, through foul means, by another once great Empire to postpone the inevitable. To fight off being consigned to obscurity.

So we exist in that mad time, that time of collapse and chaos before a new order asserts itself, which could last a month or 100 years.

You can view Maribel Tuff’s original comment here. The author wished to remain anonymous.



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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2021-01-23 13:33


Alexei Navalny & Russia Baiting: Biden Brings Back Business as Usual

Only 48 hours in power, and already the team behind The Maidan is looking to start a colour revolution in Moscow.


Kit Knightly

Joe Biden enters the White House with an entourage of faces very familiar to OffGuardian, and many of those readers who have been with us since the beginning.

Glassy-eyed Jen Psaki is once again taking the White House press briefings. Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland is going to be secretary of state, and Samantha Power is hoisted back onto a platform from which she can berate the rest of the world for not following America’s “moral example” by bombing Syria back to the stone age.

It was the machinations of these people – along with Biden as VP, John Kerry as Secretary of State and of course Barack Obama leading the charge – that lead to the coup in Ukraine, the war in Donbass and – indirectly – the creation of this website. For it was our comments on the Guardian telling this truth that got everyone here banned, multiple times.

So, for us, pointing out cold-war style propaganda is like slipping back into a comfy pair of shoes.

A good thing too, because with this coterie of neocon-style warmongers comes another familiar friend: the propaganda war on Putin’s Russia. Throughout the media and on every front, all within hours of Biden’s inauguration.

Now, anti-Russia nonsense didn’t go away while Trump was President – if anything it became deranged to the point of literal insanity in many quarters – but it definitely quietened down in the last 12 months, with the outbreak of the “pandemic”.

No more! Now we’re back to good old-fashioned cold-war craziness. The media tell us that Russia was a “spectre that loomed over Trump’s presidency”, that one of the Capitol Hill rioters intended to “sell Nancy Pelosi’s laptop to Russia” and other such brazen hysteria.

Of course underneath the standard pot-stirring propaganda to keep the “new cold war” on the boil, there is the Navalny narrative. An incredibly contrived piece of political theatre that may even evolve into a full-on attempt at regime change in Moscow.

For starters, three days before Biden’s inauguration, Alexei Navalny (having supposedly only just survived the poison the FSB placed “in his underpants”), returned to Russia. Where he was promptly arrested for violating the terms of his bail

He knew he would be arrested if he returned to Russia, so his doing so was pure theatre. That fact is only underlined by the media’s reaction to his 30 day jail sentence. 

Yes, that’s thirty DAYS, not years. He’ll be out before spring. Even if he’s convicted of the numerous charges of embezzlement and fraud, he faces only 3 years in prison.

Nevertheless, already the familiar Russia-baiters in the media are comparing him to Nelson Mandela.

On the same day as Biden’s inauguration, the European Parliament announced that Russia should be punished for arresting Navalny, by having the Nordstream 2 pipeline project closed down. (Closing this pipeline down would open up the European market to buy US gas, instead of Russia. This is a complete coincidence).

And then, the day after Biden’s inauguration, the European Court of Human Rights announced they had found Russia guilty of war crimes during the 5-day war in South Ossetia in 2008. The report was subject to a gleeful (and terrible) write-up by (who else?) Luke Harding. (Why they waited 13 years to make this announcement remains a mystery)

It doesn’t stop there, already Western pundits and Russian “celebrities” are trying to encourage street protests in support of Alexei Navalny. An anonymous Guardian editorial states Navalny’s “bravery needs backing”, whatever that means.

All of this could mean Biden is “forced” to “change his mind” and pull out of the re-signing of the anti-nuclear weapons treaty. Ooops. 

But are there bigger aims behind this as well? Do they hope they can create another Maidan…but this time in Moscow? That would be insane, but you can’t rule it out.

One thing is for sure, though; they work fast. Less than two days in office, and we’ve already got a new colour revolution kicking off. Speedy work.


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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2021-01-23 11:11

Coronavirus drives down German traffic deaths, bicycle deaths up

With more people working from home and shops and restaurants closed, traffic fatalities plummeted in 2020. Still, lack of adequate bicycle infrastructure led to an increase in cyclist injuries and fatalities.

Germany's Federal Statistical Office announced on Friday that traffic fatalities in the country in 2020 were considerably lower than the year prior due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on traveling. Police recorded a total of 2.1 million traffic accidents in the period between January and November 2020, down 15.5% from the previous year. 

The Statistical Office says the decrease can be traced directly to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on daily life. With more people working from home, as well as the closing of shops and restaurants, far fewer people were on the roads. 

A total of 2,523 traffic deaths were registered during the period, down 10.4% from 2019, which tallied 3,046. Some 305,900 traffic injuries were also recorded during that same time, down 14% from 2019. Numbers from November showed a 5% drop in fatalities (190) over 2019, injuries fell by 22% (23,900). 

Cyclists less fortunate

One group, however, saw a dramatic spike in traffic accidents, namely cyclists. Though statistics only covered the period from January to October, insurance investigators say the number of accidents (11,228) was significantly higher than during that same period in the year prior (9,102).

Analysts say the trend can be traced to more people, especially those who would normally use public transportation, traveling by bicycle. Increased bicycle traffic also exacerbated a systemic traffic problem — a lack of adequate infrastructure, such as bike lanes and extra traffic lights for cyclists. 

Accident researcher Siegfried Brockman told the German news agency DPA, "Local governments have begun to signal their willingness to address the problem but have been slow to implement improvements." Brockman says that as the pandemic drags on, overall traffic fatalities may remain low again in 2021, but he warns "the opposite could happen as soon as people regain their freedom of movement and start heading out in greater numbers."

Coronavirus hampering counterfeiters, too

In a separate announcement related to the coronavirus' effect on German society, the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, announced that although more counterfeit euro banknotes were in circulation in 2020 than in 2019, the economic damage was far less. 



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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2021-01-23 09:39

Joe Biden is now the president of the USA. His day-one executive orders should have prioritized ending the single worst crisis in the world in Yemen, a war in which he campaigned on ending US involvement, but they did not.

Ending US participation in the Yemen genocide could and should have begun on day one. In These Times reported the following back in November (emphasis added):

“One thing Biden can do, starting on day one, is end U.S. involvement in the Yemen war – involvement that he helped initiate. ​By executive order, Biden could get the Pentagon to end intelligence sharing for the Saudi coalition airstrikes, end logistical support, and end spare parts transfers that keep Saudi warplanes in the air,” Hassan El-Tayyab, lead Middle East policy lobbyist for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a progressive organization, tells In These Times. ​“He could restore humanitarian assistance to northern Yemen. He could use his power as president to put pressure on other nations that are supporting the Saudi coalition – like France, the United Kingdom and Canada – and get them to follow suit. He could have the State Department put a stop on all arms sales to Saudi Arabia unless they meet certain benchmarks.”


Biden did none of these things, which, while unsurprising, is still inexcusable. This isn’t some 10-year infrastructure plan we’re talking about. This is the worst mass atrocity on our entire planet, and it should be treated with proportionate urgency. This administration consciously chose not to end US participation in that atrocity as swiftly as possible, which will remain an inexcusable decision, even if the Yemen war is eventually ended later.

Instead of grilling Biden about his decision not to prioritize his promise to end the Yemen war, which is what any real journalist would do, the press are asking him stupid-nonsense questions about whether he can “unite the country.”


In the lead-up to Biden’s inauguration, we were treated to some Senate hearings on his cabinet picks, in which we learnt that this administration will continue Trump’s murderous coup-mongering in Venezuela, that it will maintain Trump’s incendiary decision to have the US embassy in Jerusalem, that reviving the Iran nuclear deal is a long way off from happening and will first require consultation with Israel, and that it will be continuing Trump’s cold-war escalations against China.

In one of the more bizarre displays in the Senate hearings, Biden’s nominee to lead the State Department, Tony Blinken, defended his support for the disastrous Libya intervention during his time in the Obama administration by blaming its aftermath on Muammar Gaddafi, the leader who was mutilated to death in the streets after a US-led intervention to oust him.

“Here’s what I think we misjudged,” Blinken said. “We didn’t fully appreciate the fact that one of the things Gaddafi had done over the years was to make sure that there was no possible rival to his power, and as a result there was no effective bureaucracy, no effective administration in Libya with which to work when he was gone.”

By “when he was gone,” Blinken means when he was dead, because the United States helped kill him after staging an intervention based on lies. He is defending his push for an intervention that led to a failed state in which people are sold as slaves by saying that, if Gaddafi had run his country better, it would not have collapsed into violence and chaos when the Obama administration murdered him.

This is like an axe murderer blaming his actions on his victim’s bad housekeeping. The brazenness with which imperialist goons can shrug off all responsibility for their actions will never cease to astonish.


The next two years will be the Democratic Party at its most transparent. After two years, they are statistically likely to lose control of the House and/or Senate, after which time they’ll be able to pawn off all imperialist bloodshed and lack of progress on an ‘obstructionist Congress’, like they did for the last six years of the Obama administration. But until then, the Democrats are going to have to own all their reactionary depravity and mass murder on their own.

This will set a sharp contrast from the past four years, during which every mundane part of the US empire’s institutionalized abuse was portrayed as an anomaly unique to the Trump administration. Unable to blame their refusal to advance progressive policies and basic human decency on Trump and Vladimir Putin these next two years, they’ll be forced to kill any leftward movement all on their own. Which is why we are now already seeing mass-media articles with headlines such as “Under Biden, it’s time for Democrats to let go of Medicare for All.”

And this period will provide ample opportunities to highlight the fact that’s exactly what the Democratic Party exists to do: kill all leftward movement in the most powerful government on earth. As the US continues its soul-crushing neoliberal policies at home and its murderous neoconservative policies abroad with the same degree of psychopathy it displayed in previous administrations, we must draw attention to the fact that it is the Democratic Party that bears the responsibility for these matters.

The sooner Americans can discredit the Democratic Party as a legitimate vehicle for progressive change, the sooner they can start looking for other tools. The first step to escape is to stop pushing against the fake door falsely labeled ‘exit’.


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free assange today, mr biden...



and do not forget: 

"eat my shorts" — joe biden wrote the "patriot act"...

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2021-01-23 09:28
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have done more damage to women’s rights in one day than Donald Trump managed in four years with their misguided Executive Order on Gender Identity Discrimination.

Back in January 2017, just one day after the inauguration of President Trump, millions of women in countries all around the world took to the streets to protest against the incoming administration. Although Trump had not yet passed a single piece of legislation, the pink pussy-hat marchers were adamant his regime would harm women’s rights.

Fast forward to this weekend. The knitted hats will remain boxed up and the feminists will stay at home. With Joe Biden in the White House and – even better – Kamala Harris as the first elected black/South Asian woman vice president, the sisters no longer feel any need to protest. They got their wish.

And yet, within hours of taking up the post, Biden has done more to set back women’s rights in the US than Trump did in his entire four years in office. One of his first acts was to sign an Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.

The pink pussy-hat brigade purr at the order’s mention of “respect” and “dignity.” They swoon at talk of the right for all people to “be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.” This is a far cry from Trump’s crude and offensive locker room remarks. But make no mistake. Combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity is disastrous for women and girls.

Unlike sex, gender identity is a made-up concept. It’s the bizarre notion that regardless of the biological reality of our bodies, we all have a feeling, deep down inside, about whether we are really male or female. This feeling, the gender identity champions tell us, overrides our hormones, chromosomes, and genitalia. How we feel about our gender is more important than whether or not we have a beard, breasts, penis, or ovaries, when it comes to defining us as men or women. Anyone can now be a man or a woman, and the onus is on the world to accept us for who we say we are.

The language of Biden’s executive order is warm and inclusive. It is hard to argue against statements like: “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.” But when gender identity overrides sex, what’s being said here is that children should be able to use changing rooms and join sports teams depending upon whether they feel like a boy or a girl. For young children this is unlikely to make any difference whatsoever. But for adolescents it matters enormously.

You don’t need to assume the worst of teenage boys to acknowledge that teenage girls might want privacy when using the toilets or getting dressed after sport. Puberty changes both male and female bodies. Boys become, on average, taller, heavier, stronger, and faster than girls. Biology never claimed to be fair. But what’s really unfair is to allow these stronger, faster boys to compete alongside and against girls on the running track and on the football pitch. Biden’s executive order might sound nice, but it signals the end of girls’ participation in sports.



When it comes to adults, outlawing discrimination on the basis of gender identity is just as dangerous. There are good reasons why prisons, domestic violence refuges, certain health services and even some beauty salons are exclusively for females. This is not to discriminate irrationally against transgender people but to protect women who, in these specific circumstances, are particularly vulnerable.

Biden’s executive order opens the door for men to access women’s private spaces. It makes it more difficult for medical professionals to direct advice about cervical smear tests, contraception and abortion provision, or breast cancer checks, at the women they are intended to help. It puts low-paid women who offer intimate beauty services at risk. And it makes it far more difficult to measure accurately whether there are sex-based differences in rates of pay or access to employment.

That the new president has moved so quickly to place the rights of transgender people above women should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone. Today it has been announced that visitors to the White House website will be allowed to specify their pronouns. Kamala Harris and other progressives within the Democratic Party have long since taken to declaring their pronouns at every available opportunity.

The obsession with pronouns shows that modern feminism is so caught up in virtue signalling inclusivity, it fails completely to defend women’s rights – which should surely be its primary objective. And, tragically, far too many campaigners were so single-minded in their desire to see the back of Trump, they turned a blind eye to the problems with Team Biden.

We are now being bombarded with gushing news stories swooning over the new vice president’s fashion choices and women, apparently, wearing pearls and Converse sneakers in honour of Queen Kamala. Meanwhile, stories of the girl who pulls out of the athletics team, or refuses to use the school toilets, or the woman who misses a medical appointment because she didn’t realise she was a ‘cervix-haver’, or the woman attacked while incarcerated, go untold.

I did not join in with the women’s march against Trump four years ago. But with the Biden regime there is already something to protest against. Just forgive me if I don’t wear a pink pussy hat.



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