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'Programmable Digital Currency': The Next Stage of the New Normal?

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Building on the bitcoin model, central banks are planning to produce their own “digital currencies”. Removing any and all remaining privacy, granting total control over every transaction, even limiting what ordinary people are allowed to spend their money on.

From the moment bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies first emerged, sold as an independent and alternative medium of exchange outside the financial status quo, it was only a matter of time before the new alternative would be absorbed, modified and redeployed in service of the state.

Enter “Central Bank Digital Currencies”: the mainstream answer to bitcoin.

For those who have never heard of them, “Central Bank Digital Currencies” (CBDCs) are exactly what they sound like, digitized versions of the pound/dollar/euro etc. issued by central banks.
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The New 9/11 Isn’t 1/6. It’s Covid.

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It is important to stop every once in a while and take stock of things, to lay down some breadcrumbs to refer back to when someone asks, “How did we end up 

In many ways, the story is the same story. The message of 9/11 was: give up freedom for safety, trust the government, and treat your neighbors as potential threats. Now, 20 years later, you realize you went along with it because you were scared, even though the real threat was minimal. The message of Covid is to give up more freedom for safety, trust the government, and treat your neighbors as potential threats. Fear is infectious and now we’re here.

As a young David Petraeus said early in the Iraq War: Tell me how this ends. What is the Covid endgame? Victory was once defined as making testing available to all. Then lockdowns to free up ventilators. Then vaccinations. No one knows anymore what the goal is, but some sort of return to zero infections has about as much a chance as a democratic Afghanistan.
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It’s time for NATO to leave Kosovo before it does any more damage

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Just as it all ended badly for the West’s military interventions in Vietnam and Afghanistan, so it will in Kosovo. NATO has overstepped its mandate, overplayed its hand, and overstayed its welcome.

As the last US military helicopters were leaving Kabul, Afghanistan, many, including myself, emphasized the similarities with America’s embarrassment in Saigon, South Vietnam – but one parallel that few dared to draw was with Kosovo.

When I merely asked “Is Kosovo next?” on Twitter, it sent Albanian media outlets into a frenzy. Kosovo’s Albanian majority celebrates NATO troops as saviors – NATO bombed Serbia to take away control of its Southern province of Kosovo in 1999. Since then, NATO has been sponsoring a nation-building project that seemed to have culminated in 2008, when Kosovo’s provisional authorities declared independence from Serbia.
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Parents Should Control Education

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During last week’s Virginia gubernatorial debate, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe promised that as governor he would prevent parents from removing sexually explicit books from school libraries, because he doesn't think “parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
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Corporate media stirred global terror hysteria to push postwar hostility toward new Afghan govt

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Following the Taliban’s victory over the U.S. military, U.S. corporate media has churned out a new narrative about the imminent threat of terrorism from Afghanistan that sets the stage for future military interventions. Blasted out in a stunningly disciplined fashion, the media has demonstrated as clearly as ever its coordination with the national security state and advancements of its interests.

The corporate media coverage in the the weeks following the Taliban entry into Kabul conveyed two overriding political messages: first, that the Taliban victory had brought to power the Haqqani network, which is said to be even more violent than the Taliban and even closer to al Qaeda; and second, that the the danger of terrorism had now become much more serious, because the Taliban had could not be counted on to prevent al Qaeda from planning terrorist attack. 

Those two messages are firmly rooted in the U.S. military’s determined opposition to ending the U.S. military presence in the country, which shaped the media echo chamber that launched its assault in mid-August on the Biden administration withdrawal, as The Grayzone reported. They also reflect the interest of the U.S. counter-terrorism bureaucracy in maintaining the fiction that al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan poses an imminent threat to the U.S.
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General Milley Strikes Out Demonstrating What Is Wrong With the American Military

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Most Americans do not know that in the United States currently there are approximately 900 Active-duty generals and flag officers to lead 1.3 million troops in the combined armed forces. During World War II, an admittedly different era, there were roughly twice as many flag and general officers for a little more than 12 million active duty troops a ratio of one to 6,000. In the Navy there are 32 flag officers for each ship currently in commission. In 1944, there was one flag officer for every 24 ships.
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Apartheid Australia: Hell On Earth

Although the Australian government has reluctantly abandoned it's "zero-Covid" policy, which they admit did not work, the same authoritarian mindset dominates its new strategy. If you don't take the health policy steps demanded by the government, you will be essentially under house arrest "indefinitely." If police brutality we have seen in Australia recently were taking place in any country on the US "enemies" list, there would be sanctions and even threats of a "liberation." Watch today's Liberty Report...
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What Did the FBI Know?

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The New York Times recently reported that the FBI had an undercover informant amid the protestors that entered the US Capitol on Jan. 6 who had related to them his knowledge of the demonstrators’ plans beforehand and his observations of events in the building in real time. The informant was a genuine member of the Proud Boys, one of the groups the feds are trying to charge with conspiracy to overthrow the government.

According to the Times, the informant told the FBI in advance that there was no plan by his colleagues to disrupt the government. He also reported violence and destruction in the Capitol to his FBI handler as it was happening, and the FBI did nothing timely to stop it.

The presence of the informant as a de facto federal agent at the scene before, during and after the commission of what the government considers to be serious felonies raises serious constitutional questions about the FBI’s behavior. The feds have not revealed the existence or identity of this informant; rather, the Times’ reporters found out about him and found another person to corroborate what they learned that he did.

Can the government insert a person into a group under criminal investigation — or “flip” a person who is already in the group — and use him for surveillance without a search warrant? And, when they do this, must prosecutors tell defense attorneys about their informant, particularly if his knowledge and observations are inconsistent with the government’s version of events?
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US Officials Free Meng Wanzhou

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After three years seeking the extradition from Canada of Chinese business executive Meng Wanzhou, the Justice Department has thrown in the towel by agreeing to a deal that enabled Meng to return freely to China. Meng had been under three years of house arrest in Canada, as the Justice Department ferociously sought her extradition.
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Pompeo: 'No Apologies' For Alleged Plan To Kill Assange

Former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo has responded to a recent Yahoo News investigation detailing Trump Administration plans to kidnap or kill Wikileaks founder Julian Assange that he makes "no apologies" for whatever measure his agency planned to take to safeguard "sensitive information." Also today: new public opinion data carries some bad news for President Biden. Watch today's Liberty Report...
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