RRND Email Full Text (Scheduled)

  • White House Whines at Bezos for accurately assigning blame for inflation

    Source: The Hill

    “The White House on Monday fired back at criticism from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos over its economic policies in the latest back-and-forth between the administration and the tech and retail magnate. ‘It doesn’t require a huge leap to figure out why one of the wealthiest individuals on Earth opposes an economic agenda for the middle class …’ deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement. … Bezos responded a short time later on Twitter, accusing the White House of trying to “muddy the topic” and shift the focus away from soaring inflation. ‘They know inflation hurts the neediest the most. But unions aren’t causing inflation and neither are wealthy people. Remember the Administration tried their best to add another $3.5 TRILLION to federal spending,’ Bezos tweeted. ‘They failed, but if they had succeeded, inflation would be even higher than it is today, and inflation today is at a 40 year high.'” (05/16/22)


  • Georgia: Regime makes political prisoner of pro-opposition journalist

    Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar state media]

    “A Georgia court has sentenced a prominent journalist to three-and-a-half years in prison. Nika Gvaramia, an anchor and owner of the pro-opposition Mtavari TV, was found guilty of abusing his position and harming the financial interests of a television station he ran earlier, a judge of the Tbilisi City Court said on Monday. Mtavari TV is the country’s most popular television station and is critical of the Black Sea nation’s government. … Rights groups have expressed concern over media freedom in Georgia, saying managers and owners of nearly all independent TV stations critical of the Georgian government are under investigation. Georgia’s rights ombudsperson, Nino Lomjaria, and legal aid centre Transparency International said on Sunday they had found no proof of wrongdoing after looking into Gvaramia’s case.” (05/16/22)


  • McDonald’s to Sell Its Russian Business

    Source: Time

    “McDonald’s said Monday that it has started the process of selling its Russian business, which includes 850 restaurants that employ 62,000 people, making it the latest major Western corporation to exit Russia since it invaded Ukraine in February. The fast food giant pointed to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war, saying holding on to its business in Russia ‘is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values.’ The Chicago-based company announced in early March that it was temporarily closing its stores in Russia but would continue to pay employees. On Monday, it said it would seek to have a Russian buyer hire those workers and pay them until the sale closes. It did not identify a prospective buyer.” (05/16/22)


  • Jury selection underway in Russiagate probe of Clinton lawyer

    Source: SFGate

    “Jury selection got underway Monday in the trial of a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign who is accused of lying to the FBI as it investigated potential ties between Donald Trump and Russia in 2016. The case against Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity attorney who represented the Clinton campaign in 2016, is the first trial arising from the ongoing investigation by special counsel John Durham and will test the strength of evidence he and his team have gathered while scrutinizing the early days of the Trump-Russia probe for potential misconduct. Sussmann appeared in court with his lawyers Monday as both sides worked to select jurors to hear the case, which is expected to last about two weeks.” (05/16/22)


  • CA: Uber Eats launches autonomous deliver pilots in Los Angeles

    Source: Engadget

    “Uber Eats is launching not just one but two autonomous delivery pilots today in Los Angeles, TechCrunch has reported. The first is via an autonomous vehicle partnership with Motional, originally announced in December, and the second is with sidewalk delivery firm Serve Robotics, a company that spun out of Uber itself. The trials will be limited, with deliveries from just a few merchants including the Kreation juicery and organic cafe. … Customers within specific test zones will have an option to have their food delivered by an autonomous vehicle and can track it as with a regular delivery. When the food arrives, they’ll be able to unlock the vehicle with a passcode to obtain their meals, either from a Serve cooler or the backseat of a Motional car.” (05/16/22)


  • Honduras: Matriarch accused of leading drug clan captured

    Source: BBC News [UK state media]

    “Police in Honduras have captured a woman accused of leading a drug trafficking clan with four of her sons. Herlinda Bobadilla, 61, was arrested in the mountains of Honduras after a shoot-out in which her 32-year-old son, Tito Montes, was killed. US authorities had requested that she and her sons Tito and Juan Carlos Montes be extradited to the US and had offered a $5m-reward (£4.1m) for each. Thirty-five-year-old Juan Carlos Montes remains on the run. Police in Honduras say they received many tip-offs after the US State Department offered the multi-million dollar reward for the three two weeks ago. They say they tracked down Herlinda Bobadilla and her sons Tito and Juan Carlos in the mountains of Colon province using aerial surveillance. Special forces were deployed to the area and following an ‘intense confrontation,’ they arrested Herlinda Bobadilla.” (05/16/22)


  • Yemen: First commercial flight in six years leaves Sanaa amid fragile truce

    Source: France 24 [French state media]

    “The first commercial flight in six years took off from Yemen’s rebel-held capital on Monday, officials said, part of a fragile truce in the county’s grinding civil war. The Yemen Airways flight, with 151 passengers on board, was bound for Jordan’s capital of Amman, according to media outlets run by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels [sic]. … The flight is part of the U.N.-brokered, 60-day truce agreement that the [Saudi invaders’ puppet regime] and the Houthi rebels [sic] struck last month. The truce, which went into effect on April 2, is the first nationwide cease-fire in Yemen in six years.” (05/16/22)


  • UK: Greenpeace Activists Block Tanker Carrying Russian Diesel

    Source: Common Dreams

    “Greenpeace activists have forced a Greek tanker carrying 33,000 tonnes of Russian diesel to the United Kingdom to turn around in the River Thames near London, part of a campaign to pressure British lawmakers and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stop buying the fossil fuels funding Moscow’s war on Ukraine and start focusing on a rapid clean energy transition. Skirting security, a dozen volunteers ‘reached the Andromeda tanker’s intended berth at Navigator Terminals by boat late [Sunday] night and climbed onto it,’ according to Greenpeace. ‘Images from a vessel-tracking website show the tanker being turned around in the Thames shortly after the activists were in position.’ Although police started making arrests in the early hours of Monday morning, ‘several protesters remain in place,’ the organization said, ‘with one activist on the offloading pipes, another hanging off the jetty, and others occupying the jetty preventing the tanker from docking.'” (05/16/22)


  • JetBlue launches hostile takeover bid for Spirit Airlines

    Source: CNBC

    “JetBlue Airways on Monday commenced a hostile all-cash takeover bid for Spirit Airlines, days after the discount carrier rejected an offer from the larger rival. JetBlue, which had earlier offered $33 per share, is locked in a takeover battle for Spirit with Frontier Group Holdings and has argued a deal will help better compete with the “Big Four” U.S. airlines that control nearly 80% of the passenger market. In a letter to Spirit shareholders on Monday, JetBlue offered $30 per share and said it was ready to ‘negotiate in good faith a consensual transaction at $33, subject to receiving necessary diligence.’ Spirit rejected the earlier offer, saying it had a low likelihood of winning approval from regulators.” (05/16/22)


  • India: Couple longing for grandchild sue son & his wife

    Source: SFGate

    “A retired Indian couple is suing their son and daughter-in-law, demanding that they produce a grandchild within a year or pay them 50 million rupees ($675,000). Sanjeev Ranjan Prasad, a 61-year-old retired government officer, said it was an emotional and sensitive issue for him and his wife, Sadhana Prasad, and they cannot wait any longer. His son, a pilot, was married six years ago. ‘We want a grandson or a granddaughter within a year or compensation, because I have spent my life’s earnings on my son’s education,’ Prasad told reporters on Thursday. Prasad said he spent 3.5 million rupees ($47,300) for his son’s pilot training in the United States.” (05/16/22)


  • Recession is the real danger for Democrats

    Source: The Hill
    by Bill Schneider

    “Everyone acknowledges that inflation is the biggest political threat to Democrats this year. But the bigger threat to Democrats would be a recession — if not this year, then in the next two years. The two economic problems are connected. In order to curb inflation, the federal government has to slow down the economy and keep it from overheating. That is usually not done with fiscal policy (taxing and spending, which are controlled by the president and Congress). It’s usually done with monetary policy, which is primarily the responsibility of the Federal Reserve. Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chairman, acknowledges that responsibility. Powell said last week, ‘Inflation is much too high. … We have both the tools we need and the resolve it will take to restore price stability on behalf of American families and businesses.'” (05/16/22)


  • MSNBC Claims Homeschooling Is Driven By “Insidious Racism,” But the Facts Show Otherwise

    Source: Foundation for Economic Education
    by Kerry McDonald

    “On Friday, MSNBC shared a tweet claiming that homeschooling is being driven by ‘the insidious racism of the American religious right.’ While Anthea Butler, the opinion columnist who wrote the article referenced by the tweet, never used that specific phrase, her piece implies that homeschooling is a strategy used by white, evangelical parents to destroy public schooling and uphold racial segregation. The facts, including those which Butler acknowledges in her article, simply do not reflect her theory.” (05/16/22)


  • Freedom and Sound Money: Two Sides of a Coin

    Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
    by Thorsten Polleit

    “It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of right.” (05/16/22)


  • The Putin and the Pea

    Source: Bet On It
    by Bryan Caplan

    “Putin’s government keeps accusing the Ukrainians of being ‘Nazis.’ Indeed, one of Putin’s top stated invasion goals is to ‘denazify’ Ukraine. The standard Western response to this rhetoric has been to call it absurd. … Normally, we picture a ‘Nazi country’ as one where self-conscious Nazis run the government. But why not redefine a ‘Nazi country’ as one where the government fails to make stamping out any hint of Nazism its top priority? If you’re a fanatic, you could even start lecturing Ukrainians about their ‘implicit’ and ‘structural’ Nazism. Then you’re ready to tar anyone who opposes reparations for Israel a ‘Nazi.’ It’s like The Princess and the Pea: If you take Nazism seriously enough, even the smallest dose will keep you up at night.” (05/16/22)


  • Bloated House $40 billion Ukraine aid package puts Americans last

    Source: Fox News Forum
    by James Jay Carafano

    “When it comes to foreign policy, our elected officials should be focused on one thing above all else: keeping America free, safe, and prosperous. The standard for American leadership is 3 for 3. Sadly, President Biden is on track to go 0 for 3. The president’s proposed supplemental appropriation for supporting Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s invasion fails to meet these criteria — and Congress has willingly gone along with the ruse. All reasonable Americans agree that the federal government has a moral and constitutional responsibility to put Americans and our interests first in both domestic and foreign policy. The package is too large, too bloated, and completely lacking in strategy. By proposing such a package, Biden, Pelosi and Schumer are forcing Americans to choose between advancing our interests abroad and governing responsibly here at home. Talk about a false dilemma.” (05/16/22)


  • Getting Paid in Bitcoin

    Source: Reason
    by Mike Riggs

    “Why trust a crypto exchange to make your purchase on a schedule when you could time the market yourself? The boring answer comes from investor and author Ken Fisher, who once wrote, ‘Time in the market beats timing the market — almost always.’ Think about it this way: Bitcoin as of this writing is trading at $41,000 per coin. While some people likely have made a lot of money by accurately predicting the bottom of a price dip, everyone who bought bitcoin in 2018 — whether they bought at $17,089 on January 5 or $3,183 the following December 14 — is richer today, especially if he made regular purchases over the course of that year. This is the beauty of dollar-cost averaging.” (for publication 06/22)


  • People Aren’t Losing Trust in the Supreme Court

    Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
    by Jacob G Hornberger

    “At a conference sponsored by three conservative organizations, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas claimed that people are losing trust in the Supreme Court. That’s not exactly true. That ship sailed a long time ago. The truth is that people lost trust in the Supreme Court when the Court decided to defer to the omnipotent power of the national-security branch of the federal government. When the Court did that, it abrogated its sworn duty to defend the Constitution and, in the process, forever disgraced itself.” (05/16/22)


  • A Musk Inspired Anti-ESG Takeover Wave?

    Source: American Institute for Economic Research
    by Robert E Wright

    “It’s fun to see memes suggesting that Elon Musk should buy Alphabet, Amazon, Coca Cola, Disney, Meta, Netflix, YouTube, and so forth, but of course he cannot afford all that. But we can. By we, I mean value investors. Musk’s purchase of Twitter has validated my critiques (see here, here, here, and here) of ESG-based investment (environment, social, governance), which despite its weak financial record currently constitutes about $2.7 trillion globally. And it has demonstrated the potential power of anti-ESG funds, which I have called Friedman Funds, after Milton.” (05/16/22)


  • How Roe v. Wade’s Fall Could Spur Online Policing

    Source: Common Dreams
    by Nora McDonald

    “When the draft of a Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked to the press, many of us who have been studying privacy for vulnerable individuals came to a troubling realization: The marginalized and vulnerable populations whose online risks have been the subject of our attention are likely to grow exponentially. These groups are poised to encompass all women of child-bearing age, regardless of how secure and how privileged they may have imagined themselves to be. In overturning Roe, the anticipated decision would not merely deprive women of reproductive control and physical agency as a matter of constitutional law, but it would also change their relationship with the online world. Anyone in a state where abortion becomes illegal who relies on the internet for information, products and services related to reproductive health would be subject to online policing.” (05/16/22)


  • Biden Escalates in Somalia

    Source: Eunomia
    by Daniel Larison

    “The earlier withdrawal from Somalia did not mean that the U.S. was no longer involved in the conflict, but pulling troops out of there was one of the few things that Trump got right. Reversing that withdrawal is a mistake, and launching more strikes in Somalia practically guarantees that more Somali civilians will be killed by U.S. attacks. U.S. military involvement in Somalia is relatively limited, but it is still unnecessary and ill-advised. Limited U.S. involvement is how it has been possible for the last three presidents and now Biden to wage a war there that most Americans know nothing about. That has happened because there has been scant oversight and no pressure on any administration to justify the continuation of the war.” (05/16/22)


  • Trade Restrictions Are Depriving Our Infants of Formula

    Source: Libertarian Institute
    by Ryan McMaken

    “Covid lockdowns, combined with a product recall by formula manufacturer Abbott Nutrition has created a very real shortage in a product that is key for proper nutrition in many children. With the shortage has come the usual half-baked bromides about ‘evil corporations’ and how baby formula companies are supposedly not regulated enough. Throw in a few references to ‘late-stage capitalism’ and you’ll get a good taste of the usual ‘blame capitalism’ narrative that accompanies every bout of shortages or rising prices. In reality, federal government intervention in the formula market is rampant.” (05/16/22)


  • The News Is Designed To Break Your Will

    Source: Freeman’s Perspective
    by Paul Rosenberg

    “More or less every adult knows there are serious problems with ‘the news,’ by which I refer to the alphabet soup of news organizations plus fact-checked social media. Most of them, however, are smallish things; legitimately bad, but not the central issue. What matters most about the news is that it’s designed … structured … to soften and break human will. All else pales compared to this.” (05/16/22)


  • How I Made 750% on Virtual Real Estate

    Source: American Consequences
    by Kim Iskyan

    “I made $73,200 in 26 hours. And I’m still not entirely sure how it happened. I bought an asset for $9,800. A day later, I sold it for about $83,000. But this near-750% return didn’t come from a stock, an option, or a highly levered derivative instrument. I made about $2,800 per hour with a piece of blockchain-verified ‘original’ art (Otherdeed for Otherside #86400. It’s a non-fungible token (NFT) that represents a plot of virtual land in ‘Otherside’) a soon-to-be-released metaverse game in which users can turn their NFTs into playable characters. I was ridiculously fortunate. However, I also had some ‘expert’ help, which created part of that luck. Along the way, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about dabbling in NFTs — and other high-risk assets. With the right guidance and time commitment, I’ll explain how investors can profit from NFTs despite the market volatility.” (05/16/22)


  • Quantum Vibe, 05/16/22

    Source: Big Head Press
    by Scott Bieser

    Cartoon. (05/16/22)


  • $40 Billion More for the Ukraine War: A Wakeup Call for Those Who Still Believe in Lesser-Evilism

    Source: Antiwar.com
    by Ryan Costello

    “The time has come to cast aside illusions about our so-called representatives in Washington, to stop believing in the lie of the Democratic Party as the supposed lesser of two evils, and to redouble our efforts to build up a renewed antiwar movement. Likewise, while a few dozen Republicans voted against the $40 billion, this is no reason for optimism that the Republican Party can be a vehicle for real change. During the Iraq War, once the protests swelled in size, many Democrats made court theater by feigning opposition to the war when Bush was president, only to support continued escalations and drone strikes once Obama was elected. As Howard Zinn notes over and over again in A People’s History of the United States, the two parties are part of one unified system of corporate monopoly rule.” (05/16/22)


  • London and Washington are Being Propelled by Hubris — Just as Putin was

    Source: CounterPunch
    by Patrick Cockburn

    “In 1941 the US froze Japanese economic assets and squeezed its oil supplies in an effort to prevent it from undertaking further territorial expansion. In the event, these acts of deterrence were spectacularly counter-productive and led to Japan launching its surprise attack on Pearl Harbour. Forty years later the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein faced a somewhat similar choice: either to give up his territorial ambitions in Kuwait or launch a surprise invasion, which was to have predictably disastrous results for himself and Iraq. These two gigantic gambles have a common feature in that by any rational calculation they were probably going to fail, but they still happened, propelled by hubris, misinformation and the perpetrators’ belief that they could not retreat. Much the same cataclysmic misjudgment took place on 24 February when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine …” (05/16/22)


  • The Age of Rationing

    Source: The American Prospect
    by David Dayen

    “Inflation will continue as the number one issue facing the country until it subsides, because it offends American myth. We’ve been told since time immemorial that capitalism has perfectly calibrated the economy so that anyone can get anything, anytime, however they want it. And that the wonders of globalization and other efficiencies will grind down the cost of this massive undertaking to a nib, continuously improving U.S. living standards. As long as you ignore the deprivation and poverty that makes this narrative presumably possible (and actually implausible), you can celebrate the greatest of all possible worlds. John Kenneth Galbraith had a name for this: the affluent society, where we only need concern ourselves with equitably splitting the proceeds of our productive spirit. Whenever this equilibrium is threatened, politics spin out of control.” (05/16/22)


  • A “Lone-Wolf” Shooter Has an Online Pack

    Source: The Atlantic
    by Juliette Kayyem

    “The wolf pack’s defining feared feature is that it does not work alone. The lone wolf, in the animal kingdom, is not powerful; it is weak. The wolf, acting alone, is not something to fear. Lone wolves do not massacre because they can’t. Eighteen-year-old Payton S. Gendron allegedly went hunting yesterday …. When we write about, think about, and prosecute such hate crimes in this nation, we tend to focus on whether the assailant acted alone. In this case, Gendron appears to have had no accomplices. He is an alleged solo shooter, or, in the parlance of our time, a lone wolf …. Gendron wasn’t alone. His mission was effective because he was supported by an apparatus that provided the ideology and means for the hunt.” (05/15/22)