GOV/MIL Main "Great Reset" Thread


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11:19 min

Liberal Confesses To MURDERING Teenager For Being Republican Extremist​


Timcast IRL

(Discussion of tribalism.)


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Watch Live: Fed Chair Powell Press Conference

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 11:25 AM

After today's hike, The Fed Funds rate has now increased by the largest amount since the six months ending March 1981, but all eyes will now be on Fed Chair Powell's rhetoric during the press conference - will he be as hawkish as Jackson Hole or dovishly temper the aggression with some data-dependent malarkey.

As BofA's rates strategy head Marc Cabana confirms: “Fed dot plot is hawkish. Fed is signaling a terminal rate of 4.6%, which the market has quickly repriced to. Importantly, the Fed is also signaling another 125bps of rate hikes this year, which the market expects to be 75bp in November and 50pb in December.

“We expect similar hawkish tone from the Powell press conference. Fed is set on lowering inflation and getting overnight rates into restrictive territory.”

Given that The Fed was clearly unhappy with the market's reaction to the July hike, the last thing The Fed wants here is to spark any financial conditions-easing hope, just as they have re-tightened from the summer 'Fed Pivot' surge...

Finally, will Powell address QT?

The dotplot today combined with what Powell will say confirms that Fed Funds rates are heading above 4% and will stay there for some time...

Sarah Hunt, chief market strategist at Alpine Saxon Woods, says that “the downgrade of economic projections is probably the ugliest part of this, especially when combined with a dot plot that says rates higher faster and longer.”

Watch the Fed press conference here (due to start at 1430ET):

1:44:20 min (starts at 100:40:00 min)


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Fed Rate-Hikes Will Add Trillions To National Debt

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 12:30 PM
Authored by Michael Maharrey via,

Federal Reserve rate hikes will add trillions to the national debt, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

The Fed delivered another 75-basis point rate-hike during its September FOMC meeting this afternoon and made it clear that rates will be 'higher for longer' to fight persistently high inflation. According to the Committee for a Responsible Budget (CFRB), rate hikes will add another $2.1 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.

The debt current stands at $30.9 trillion.

Every increase in interest rate raises the federal government’s interest expense. So far in fiscal 2022, the US Treasury has forked out $471 billion just to fund the government’s interest payments.

To put that number into context, at this point in fiscal 2021 the Treasury’s interest expense stood at $356 billion. That represents a 30% year-on-year increase. Interest expense ranks as the sixth largest budget expense category, about $250 billion below Medicare. If interest rates remain elevated or continue rising, interest expenses could climb rapidly into the top three federal expenses. (You can read a more in-depth analysis of the national debt HERE.)

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this is exactly what will happen. It projects interest payments will triple from nearly $400 billion in fiscal 2022 to $1.2 trillion in 2032. And it’s worse than that. The CBO made this estimate in May. Interest rates are already higher than those used in its analysis.

In a statement to Fox Business, the CFRB concedes that rate hikes are necessary in this inflationary environment. It places the onus on the federal government to get its spending under control.

Policymakers can help the Fed by limiting the need for rate hikes with fiscal policy that pushes inflation in the right direction. That means not enacting legislation and executive orders like student loan forgiveness that have ballooned deficits and only made demand pressures worse.”

Even with pandemic-era spending programs expiring, the federal government continues to spend about half-a-trillion dollars every single month. In August alone, the Biden administration blew through another $523.3 billion. This brought total spending for fiscal 2022 to just over $5.35 trillion.

There is no indication spending will slow anytime soon. While federal outlays have fallen compared to last year as pandemic programs wound down, the US government is still handing out COVID stimulus and it wants more. Congress recently pushed through another massive spending bill. Meanwhile, the US continues to shower money on Ukraine and other countries around the world. And we haven’t begun to see the impact of student loan forgiveness.

A paper published by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank acknowledged that the central bank can’t slay inflation unless the US government gets its spending under control. In a nutshell, the authors argue that the Fed can’t control inflation alone. US government fiscal policy contributes to inflationary pressure and makes it impossible for the Fed to do its job.

Trend inflation is fully controlled by the monetary authority only when public debt can be successfully stabilized by credible future fiscal plans. When the fiscal authority is not perceived as fully responsible for covering the existing fiscal imbalances, the private sector expects that inflation will rise to ensure sustainability of national debt. As a result, a large fiscal imbalance combined with a weakening fiscal credibility may lead trend inflation to drift away from the long-run target chosen by the monetary authority.”

This clearly isn’t in the cards.

“As interest rates rise and the nation’s debt grows, it will become even more expensive to borrow in the future. Congresses and presidents of both parties, over many years, have avoided making hard choices about our budget and failed to put it on a sustainable path. It is vital for lawmakers to take action on the growing debt to ensure a stable economic future,” the Peter Peterson Foundation said.

Interest expense isn’t the only problem the Fed’s inflation fight creates for the US government. Along with raising rates, the Fed is shrinking its balance sheet. That means it’s not buying Treasury bonds. The federal government needs the central bank to continue buying Treasuries in order to prop up the market and enable its borrowing. Without the Fed’s intervention in the bond market, prices will tank, driving interest rates on US debt even higher.

Something has to give.

The Fed can’t simultaneously fight inflation and prop up Uncle Sam’s spending spree. Either the government will have to cut spending or the Fed will have to keep creating money out of thin air in order to monetize the debt.

You can decide for yourself which scenario you find more likely.


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Fed Hikes Rates Another 75bps, Sends Hawkish 'Higher For Longer' Signal With DotPlot​

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 12:44 PM

Tl;dr: For the 3rd meeting in a row, The Fed hiked 75bps as expected but signaled a much more hawkish than expected future trajectory of rates (higher for longer).

The Fed also slashed its economic growth expectations and increased its unemployment rate expectations.

As Bloomberg noted, "The higher median dot is a signal to us that the Fed is committed to its inflation-fighting mandate."
* * *
A lot has happened since the last FOMC meeting on July 27th. Fed Pivot narratives have imploded along with risk-asset prices as 'peak inflation' guesses failed to appear and at the same time growth fears were resurrected prompting growing fears of stagflation and a post-Jackson-Hole uber-hawkish Fed.

The dollar has been on a one-way trip higher since the last Fed meeting while pretty much everything else has tumbled - stocks and gold are almost exactly down the same while bonds have been a bloodbath... (red dashed line is Jackson Hole)

Source: Bloomberg

Focusing on bonds, 2Y yields are up over 100bps since the last Fed meeting (notably underperforming the long-end and flattening the yield curve dramatically). The two inflection points are Powell's Jackson Hole speech and last week's CPI print...

Source: Bloomberg

And thus, Financial Conditions have dramatically tightened since the last FOMC (helped by J-Hole of course) to new cycle tights...

Source: Bloomberg

The market's expectation for The Fed's Terminal Rate has soared a stunning 125bps from 3.25% to over 4.50% (and at the same time, subsequent, recession-inspired, rate-cuts expectations have risen too)...

Source: Bloomberg

Most (94/96) economists expected a 75bps hike today, but the market left the option open for 100bps, pricing in a 20% chance of that mega hike...

Source: Bloomberg

Today we also get new DotPlots and inflation/growth estimates... and as Goldman noted, "the dot plot probably matters more" than the rate-hike size. Ahead of today's shift, the market is dramatically more hawkish than The Fed's "dots"...

Source: Bloomberg

So which will it be today: 75bps & Hawkish presser? or 100bps & Dovish presser? (or a blend of both)?


Here's what happened...​

The Committee reiterates its previous language that it is “highly attentive to inflation risks.”

The new DotPlot is very hawkish:

  • MEDIAN FORECAST SHOWS RATES 4.4% AT END-2022, AT 4.6% IN 2023, 3.9% IN 2024
The most hawkish dots (and there are six of them) now see the fed funds rate reaching nearly 5% in 2023.

It's been quite a shift in The Fed's own projections over the past four quarters...

While Wednesday’s decision was unanimous, the dot plot shows 10-9 majority in favor of hiking above 4.25% this year, suggesting a fourth straight 75 basis-point increase in November is possible, which comes about a week before the midterm elections.

Ira Jersey notes that some FOMC members see about 100 bps of cuts in 2024, with more in 2025.

Remember, until Powell's Jackson Hole speech, the Fed had been talking about a soft landing (and the economic projections at the June meeting reflected that thinking).

Today's updated projections suggest the "pain" that Powell hinted at is coming...

  • The Fed substantially revised down GDP forecasts, with the median estimate for growth this year at just 0.2%, down from 1.7% forecast in June.
  • Unemployment rate forecasts are up, with the median now at 4.4% for both 2023 and 2024. The long-run rate is unchanged at 4%.
  • Both headline and core PCE forecasts are up for this year and next. The Fed doesn’t see inflation returning to its 2% target until 2025.

Despite the hawkish dot-plot, a record number of policy makers still see the risk to their inflation forecast is on the upside.

Even after raising rates fast and furiously, the Fed may be still playing catch-up. Not a good sign for risk markets.

After today’s hike, The Fed Funds rate will have increased by the most amount since the six months ending March 1981.
* * *
Read the full redline below - Almost zero change in the policy statement. Really no indication there that we are heading towards any sort of pivot.



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If It's Over, Why The Continued Emergency?

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 01:20 PM
Authored by Paul Elias Alexander via The Brownstone Institute,

An 11th renewal of the federal government’s emergency declaration is ludicrous.

Is this about midterm elections?

Is this about Presidential elections in 2024?

Is this purely politics now and the drive to hold onto accrued power amassed with the lockdown lunacy?

Omicron as the current dominant variant and its subvariants (clades) is very mild for most people, even many high-risk people. They can adequately handle the infection and cope with it. The reality is that while Omicron can still present a challenge (as does seasonal influenza and common cold and a range of respiratory illnesses) to elderly persons and especially those with comorbidities (as well as obese persons, immune-compromised persons), it is revealing itself to be no more severe than seasonal flu, and generally less so.

Moreover, we have used repurposed therapeutics (as prophylactics and treatment) effectively and we have availability. We also know who is the at-risk group and how to effectively manage, and hospitals were given hundreds of billions of dollars in PPE, PPP, and COVID relief money to prepare. They are prepared.

The data clearly showed very early on after the COVID vaccine rollout that there was no difference in terms of viral load between a vaccinated and an unvaccinated person. Thus the policy was punitive and nonsensical, and not just for nurses, but for all employees subjected to it without any scientific basis. Hospitals and workplaces should take these employees back and pay them all lost wages. Do all they could to make them whole.

Moreover, a large portion of the vulnerable population in the developed world is already protected against severe disease. Importantly, we have learned much about the utility of inexpensive supplements like Vitamin D to reduce disease risk, and as mentioned, there is a host of good therapeutics available to prevent hospitalization and death should a vulnerable patient e.g. elderly in a nursing home or similar congregated setting or private residence, become infected. And for younger people, the risk of severe disease – already low before Omicron – is minuscule. This is the data. This is the evidence across global nations.

Even in places with strict lockdown measures, there are hundreds of thousands of newly registered Omicron cases daily and countless unregistered positives from home testing. Measures like mandatory masking and distancing have had negligible or at most small effects on transmission.

Large-scale population quarantines only delay the inevitable. Vaccination and boosters have not halted Omicron disease spread; heavily vaccinated nations like Israel and Australia have more daily cases per capita than any place on earth at the moment. This wave will run its course despite all of the emergency measures.

There is simply no justification for maintaining emergency status. So why would HHS move to renew it an 11th time? The lockdowns, the school closures, the shielding-in-place, the business closures, the personnel firings and shortages and school university disruptions have done at least as much damage (and certainly more) to the population’s health and welfare as the virus.

The American population and most global nations that engaged in lockdown lunacy etc. have been crushed, devastated; economies and their peoples. We harmed and caused deaths of our populations by the lockdown lunatic policies and especially our poorer minority populations and women, who could not afford to shield.

We catastrophically shifted the burden of infection and illness from the café latte, laptop, ‘Zoom class’ to the poorer in society who could not shield as they had to maintain front-facing employment to survive. They could not ‘remote work.’ Many business owners, laid off employees, and children in America committed suicide due to the lockdown restrictive lunacy.

The state of emergency is clearly not justified now, and it cannot be justified by fears of a hypothetical recurrence of some more severe infection at some unknown hypothetical point in the future. We just cannot operate public health policy this way. If a novel severe strain or variant were to occur and it seems unlikely from Omicron (though we are placing the spike antigen under relentless selection pressure with suboptimal vaccinal antibodies, mounting suboptimal immune pressure, and in the midst of massive infectious pressure) then that would be the time we discuss a declaration of emergency.

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley has weighed in on POTUS Biden’s declaration that the pandemic is over, indicating that it is most certainly going to be cited

“in a variety of briefs in cases challenging emergency powers and policies used by the Administration. It was just a year ago, in September 2021, that the President imposed such rules to “ensur[e] the health and safety of the Federal workforce and the efficiency of the civil service.” President Biden announced a similar requirement for federal civilian employees. Exec. Order No. 14,043, 86 Fed. Reg. 50,989 (Sept. 14, 2021). One such example could be the appeal now being considered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The issue of the sweeping pandemic authority being claimed by the Biden Administration is now going before the full court in an en banc rehearing.”

Turley went on to argue that since POTUS Biden is declarative that the pandemic is now at an end just as the Justice Department is defending pandemic policies in various courts, then this will pose tremendous challenges to the Justice Department in terms of defending the policies and mandates.

“Even if one were to argue that the policy should be reviewed as supported at the time, the continued viability of the policy can now be questioned in light of the President’s own statements.”

Turley further notes “if the pandemic “is over,” some may question the continued uncertain status of military personnel and federal employees on vaccine status as well as lingering mask mandates being used in some states and by certain businesses.”

Americans have sacrificed enough of their human rights, their dignity, liberties, and of their livelihoods for two and a half years in the service of protecting the general public health. They have been attacked, demeaned, ostracized, castigated, and ruined financially in many instances given they were prevented from earning a living. Americans lost people to the virus, vulnerable people and no one can deny that. COVID was punishing, especially the earlier strain (variants) on the vulnerable elderly and this happened largely because the government, the medical establishment, and medical doctors refused to recognize the value of early treatment and their actions ended up costing thousands of lives.

But America lost most lives due to the lockdowns and school closures, and we lost above all, our freedoms. It is time to allow America to be unshackled from these COVID policies. Completely. Living life freely once again, taking reasonable precautions, unfettered by government’s failed COVID lockdown policies whereby not one has worked!

The current emergency declaration must be canceled. It is time. It is time to bring this COVID pandemic to a full closure and to move on to proper public legal inquiries as to the decision-making that went into the COVID response, particularly the rollout of the ineffective and safety untested COVID shots.


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Polls: Americans Oppose Increasing Ukraine Aid, Defending Global Democracy​

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 03:20 PM
Authored by Kyle Anzalone & Connor Freeman via The Libertarian Institute,

Two new polls from Morning Consult and Concerned Veterans for America show at least a plurality of Americans are tired of interventionism. The results show twice as many Americans want to send less aid to Ukraine than those who would support sending more. Meanwhile, only 17% of Americans are concerned about defending democracy around the globe.

The Joe Biden White House built its foreign policy around the idea it would move away from fighting wars against terrorists in the Middle East, and refocus the Department of Defense on “Great Power Competition.” The administration marketed the policy as “autocracy versus democracy” with the White House leading the Western countries against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and other ostensibly bad countries.

Morning Consulting Polling

The White House has faced some criticism for claiming to promote democracy and selling weapons to brutal tyrants in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and apartheid Israel. Though Morning Consult’s polling released last week shows the White House’s idea of promoting democracy is not resonating with the American people.

The poll asked Americans about their views on the country’s most pressing foreign policy challenges. Only 17% of respondents told the pollsters that “upholding global democracy” was a top five concern, ranking 11th behind drugs, climate, immigration, terrorism and the economic crisis.

The poll was backed by another by Concerned Veterans for America that found US citizens do not want increased involvement in Ukraine:

“Only 15% of the American public support sending more military and financial aid to Ukraine than wealthy European countries, with almost twice as many people (34%) wanting to send less assistance,” CVA wrote.

Chart via Morning Consult...

Additionally, a majority of Americans only want the assistance to continue if Europeans match the American commitment.

The poll shows Americans are firmly opposed to military intervention in Ukraine. Over 55% of respondents oppose direct American military intervention while only 14% percent support fighting a war for Kiev. The results for Ukraine were similar to Americans wanting a scaled-back role in the world, with 42% of respondents saying they want a smaller role and only 7% supported more intervention.


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"Powell Would Throw Millions Of Americans Out Of Work": Liz Warren Slams Powell, As Dems Launch Scapegoat Campaign

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 12:15 PM

Exactly two months ago we predicted that with the economy in shambles as a result of two years of MMT idiocy, inflation soaring, unemployment about to explode, markets crashing, Biden clueless what year it is, and so on, that "Democrats Prepare To Unleash Hell On Fed Chair Powell For The Coming Recession".

And moments ago the most outspoken Indian among the Democrats proved us right, when Lizzie Warren threw the first tomahawk at the Marriner Eccles building: "Chair Powell just announced another extreme interest rate hike while forecasting higher unemployment. I’ve been warning that Chair Powell’s Fed would throw millions of Americans out of work — and I fear he’s already on the path to doing so."


We won't dwell on the specifics - readers can go back to our original article from July for the details - suffice to say that the moment, the instant, the BLS reports a negative jobs print, which will likely happen right after the midterms, the Democrats will scream bloody murder, blame the Fed for starting a massive recession and order Powell to start cutting and even Biden's puppet masters will have no choice but to change the script on the teleprompter.


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US Existing Home Sales Sink For 7th Straight Month​

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 07:06 AM

Today we get our first glimpse of the carnage in the housing market from August. With mortgage rates having soared and homebuilder sentiment tumbling (and permits plunging), it should be no surprise that existing home sales were expected to fall for the 7th straight month (-2.3% MoM vs -5.9% MoM in July).

Somewhat surprisingly, existing home sales 'only' fell 0.4% MoM in August (from a revised 5.7% MoM drop in July), but that is still 7 consecutive drops. This left existing home sales down 19.87% YoY...

Source: Bloomberg

That is the longest streak of MoM sales declines since Oct 2007.
The Existing Home Sales SAAR fell to 4.80mm - the lowest since

These are based on closings that likely occurred in June/July.

Despite declining sales, “we are seeing no increase in inventory on net,” Yun said.

“Inventory will remain tight in the coming months and even for the next couple of years,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement.

“Some homeowners are unwilling to trade up or trade down after locking in historically-low mortgage rates in recent years, increasing the need for more new-home construction to boost supply.”

The median selling price rose 7.7% from a year earlier to $389,500. The annual increase was the smallest since June 2020.

After hitting a record $413,800 in June, prices have fallen on a monthly basis. The August decline was broad across price points and regions.

First-time buyers accounted for 29% of all transactions in August, matching the July share.


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Biden Rebukes Russia's "Outrageous" Ukraine Escalation, Says US "Not Seeking A New Cold War"​

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 08:59 AM

Update(1159ET): As expected President Biden in his speech blasted Putin's "outrageous" invasion of Ukraine and latest escalation by ordering a 'partial' mobilization. He stressed before the UN General Assembly the war is "about extinguishing Ukraine's right to exist as a state — plain and simple." On Ukraine, the president said further, "The world should see these outrageous acts for what they are. Putin claims he had to act because Russia was threatened. But no one threatened Russia, and no one other than Russia sought conflict."

"Ukraine has the same rights that belong to every sovereign nation. We will stand in solidarity with Ukraine. We will stand in solidarity against Russian aggression," Biden continued. He highlighted Putin's mention of nuclear weapons in his early Wednesday speech, and responded "we are not seeking a new Cold War." Biden made mention of alleged atrocities by Russian forces in places like Izium, and even charged the Kremlin with "torture" of Ukrainian civilians.

Overall, there was little unexpected in the somewhat lengthy speech, nor were there any specific new US courses of action or sanctions in response to the Ukraine conflict or Putin's fresh declarations. Below is Biden's UN address, which lasted a little over 30-minutes, in full...

34:09 min

* * *
President Joe Biden is set to address the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday morning at UN headquarters in New York City. Crucially it will come hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin in his own major speech addressing the Ukraine conflict announced a 'partial mobilization' of national forces - or rather of reserve units, as the Kremlin is now clarifying. Calling the moves “urgent, necessary steps to defend the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Russia,” Putin said that Russia is fighting the full might of NATO. The US and its allies, he said, are seeking to “destroy” Russia.

Putin also accused the west of using "nuclear blackmail" against Russia noting that "if its territorial integrity is threatened Russia will definitely use all the means at its disposal" to defend Russian territory. "This is not a bluff," he had stressed. US officials were quick to condemn what they said is a severe "escalation" of the "war of aggression" against Ukraine. Putin's speech additionally included an order for fresh mobilization of 300,000 "reservists".

The White House issued an initial statement saying it takes Putin's words about nuclear weapons "seriously" - but that it still doesn't see the need to increase America's nuclear readiness and strategic deterrents.

President Biden's UNGA speech is scheduled for 10:35 a.m.(eastern). Watch Live:

1:21:20 min (Starts at 48:33)

Given that Biden's UN remarks are coming the same day as Putin's significant new declaration - being widely viewed as a new strategy of using the fuller might of the Russian military's blunt forces amid the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the east - which has seen some success, all eyes will be on Biden and his potentially outlining a specific response, including the likelihood of more sanctions.

He's also expected to announce $2.9 billion for a fund aimed at mitigating global food insecurity, in part driven by the seven-month Ukraine conflict.


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Dollar Is Running Out Of Currencies To Rally Against​

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 09:00 AM
By Simon White, Bloomberg Markets Analyst and Reporter

Real-rate differentials are a headwind for the dollar, with the DXY continuing to look like it is in the process of topping.

Putin’s remarks on Ukraine this morning gave another bid to the dollar, inching the DXY to new cycle highs. But the gains are becoming more marginal, and the yen is no longer participating as the market expects the authorities in Japan to soon intervene, which has the potential to trigger a significant yen rally (keep an eye out for any yen comments at tomorrow’s BoJ meeting).

The majority of countries continue to have higher real rates than the US, including all the currencies in the DXY basket except the SEK. Adjusting for volatility gives an idea of how attractive currencies are for carry traders. As the chart below shows, about two-thirds of major ones offer relatively high vol-adjusted real carry rates, i.e. these are currencies that carry traders would cause to appreciate against the dollar.

The dollar-long is becoming very consensus, but longer-run leading indicators have been saying for weeks the dollar is in the process of topping. Today’s Fed meeting has all the hallmarks of a set up for a disappointment, given speculation over a 100 bps hike, but the unlikelihood the Fed will deliver.

Putin’s announcement is depressing the euro, but the fact is it changes little to the bigger picture of a protracted war with energy-supply constraints and a latent nuclear threat – and a lot of that is already in the euro’s price. The yen is struggling to go any lower, and sterling bears are coming thick and fast, with even ex-BoE MPC member Danny Blanchflower calling the pound a short.
As Bob Farrell, former head of research at Merrill Lynch, put it, “When all the experts and forecasts agree, something else is going to happen.”


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Ethanol Production Plunges​

Ethanol Plant(sourced)
By PRO FARMER EDITORS September 21, 2022

Ethanol production fell 62,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the week ended Sept. 16 to 901,000 bpd. That was 2.7% below the corresponding week last year and the lowest weekly average since the week ended Feb. 26, 2021. Ethanol plants continued to slow operations amid downtime for maintenance ahead of new-crop supplies, but falling gasoline demand is also an issue. Gasoline demand was the lowest since February and 5% below last year, despite the sharp drop in pump prices from the peak earlier this year.

Ethanol stocks dropped 342,000 barrels to 22.501 million barrels, the lowest level since late 2021.


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5 Conservation Needs to be Met in Farm Bill 2023

By JENNA HOFFMAN September 21, 2022

More than 140 million acres of farmland in the U.S. are currently receiving conservation-related financial and technical assistance from the federal government, according to an analysis from the Farm Bureau.

In preparation for farm bill 2023, the House Ag Committee met on Tuesday to “hear how our conservation programs are currently working for producers, how investments in conservation programs are addressing our resource needs, and how these programs can be utilized to help address the climate crisis,” according to Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), subcommittee chair.

Of all the testimony heard on Tuesday, five farm bill conservation needs echoed throughout the room more than once:

1. Simplified application processes
2. Technical assistance
3. Effective planning and implementation
4. Review of conservation cost share rates
5. Expand opportunities for early adopters

Michael Crowder, National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) president, opened the testimony floor to outline that “voluntary, locally led, incentive-based conservation works,” but needs more effort.

“To be successful, producers need a comprehensive suite of conservation systems and practices,” he says. “[There’s] a desire for Congress to examine conservation practice payment rates. With rising costs of labor and inputs, we need to ensure that producers are compensated fairly.”

National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President Nicole Berg echoed Crowder, saying conservation programs are vastly oversubscribed and underfunded.

After a review of wheat growers NRCS programs between 2018 and 2021, Berg says her team found that wheat growers entered over 7,500 contracts, but, over the same period, there were 5,000 applications that were not funded by NRCS.

Conservation Limited by USDA
Shayne Wiese, Iowa cattleman, says he’s experienced this cost-share funding application and denial firsthand, and he wasn’t impressed.

“Recently, I applied to receive EQIP cost-share funding but after months of waiting, I gave up and completed a water infrastructure project without assistance from USDA,” says Wiese.

Wiese says his ranch has many opportunities to improve the land and environment, but USDA’s additional hurdles limit upgrades while, simultaneously, stopping USDA from recording producer’s environmental improvements.

“Noticing that a significant number of producers on the ground want to participate and can’t is a good call to action for us in the future,” Spanberger says.

Will there be Meaningful Changes in Conservation?
While these testimonies plead for change and inclusivity, House Ag’s Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), fears the farm bill conservation title will not meet producer needs unless it’s penned in red ink.

“I hope in the next Congress we can truly evaluate the funding needs for these programs paired with an evaluation of the ability to effectively and judiciously deliver these funds to farmers,” Thompson says. “I don’t feel bound by the amount of funding or the specific program allocation passed in the partisan IRA bill,” Thompson says.

Committee members agree they would like to support staffing for NRCS in addition to a simpler application process for producers.

1:32:15 min (starts at 4:10 min)

“A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Stakeholder Perspectives on Title II Conservation Programs”​

Streamed live on Sep 20, 2022


House Ag GOP


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(Comment: Typical)

Conservation Nightmare as Landowner Fights Feds Over Property Regulations and Phantom Snake​

By CHRIS BENNETT September 21, 2022

Conservation is a twisted liability for Gray Skipper and the Alabama landowner feels betrayed by his own government. Despite Skipper’s family allowing decades of public access to private property for conservation, scientific research, and recreation, a federal agency has dropped a critical habitat designation on 10,000 of the family acres in the name of a threatened snake that doesn’t live on the ground. “No good deed goes unpunished,” Skipper exclaims. “Where has reason gone in this country?”

In February 2020, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) :devilish::poop: tagged 324,679 acres in Alabama and Mississippi as critical habitat for the black pinesnake, including 93,208 acres of private land. Even with only a single black pinesnake sighting on Skipper’s property across almost 30 years, and 60 years of family effort toward habitat preservation, he now is under the regulatory weight of a federal decree that permanently alters the value of his ground and silviculture business. FWS insists economic loss to private landowners, including Skipper, will be minimal. “Who believes that?” he asks. “This is the very definition of overreach.”

Represented by Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), :applaud:Skipper is in a legal battle as the lead plaintiff in a suit against FWS and the Department of the Interior (DOI). “Office bureaucrats that preach about saving species and taking care of the land are hypocrites because they do nothing but hurt their own cause by breaking trust with private citizens,” Skipper contends. “What landowner wants FWS to show up at their gate? Really, who in the hell actually trusts FWS anymore?”

Map Games
Since 1902, when Skipper’s great-grandfather, W.D. Harrigan Sr., and a business partner, bought Scotch Lumber Company in Fulton, Ala., the Skippers have owned and managed forested land in southwestern Alabama’s Clarke County. In 1956, the family and Scotch Lumber Company began participating in the state’s Wildlife Management Area (WMA) program, opening the acreage for public hunting and wildlife conservation efforts. The Skippers manage a timber operation producing high-quality pine and hardwood, following 40-60-year rotations, thinning, prescribed burns, and other silviculture practices to maintain a balance between forest environment, wildlife habitat, and sustainable business model.

“We once had a strong relationship with the conservation folks because we believed in what they were doing…What’s happened over the last several years is a betrayal of good faith,” says Gray Skipper. (Photo courtesy of Scotch Lumber Co.)

Ironically, the Skippers commitment to conservation contributed to the critical habitat designation, i.e., the more pristine the environment, the more attractive to FWS, contends Charles Yates, PLF attorney. “By opening their land, maintaining original habitat and a complex forest system, encouraging wildlife, and permitting research, the Skipper’s land was identified by FWS.

Critical habitat and the Endangered Species Act treat species as liabilities—not assets. This means families that maintain habitat are punished, and FWS’ policy is self-defeating.”

(FWS was contacted by Farm Journal, and declined all questions related to the black pinesnake critical habitat designation, citing “ongoing litigation.” Likewise, DOI declined comment.)

Prior to the black pinesnake critical habitat designation, Skipper was a model environmental ally, evidenced by the proliferation of wildlife species within the family timber operation. In short, the WMA-Skipper collaboration was a showpiece of success. “Our family had a direct hand in bringing whitetail deer populations back in this country,” Skipper explains. “Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and other states got part of their herds of today from the Scotch Wildlife Management Area of which our land lies within the boundaries. Same thing with eastern wild turkey populations in a lot of states. We once had a strong relationship with the conservation folks because we believed in what they were doing, and we even granted public access for hunting. What’s happened over the last several years is a betrayal of good faith.”

“I want people to find out how power-hungry FWS is in our case,” he continues. “A landowner already doing the right thing to save a species is not the right person to clamp down on, and it’s crazy because we were already doing everything they wanted based on our own concerns for the environment, including prescribed burns and leaving stumps alone, encouraging habitat. All the generations of my family have been proud to be involved in conservation and didn’t ask or expect anything back. I still believe somewhere down the line, common sense is going to kick in, but that may be naïve on my part.”

FWS actions regarding the black pinesnake will have a long-term, detrimental effect on conservation, contends Scott Jones, CEO of the Forest Landowners Association (FLA), a nonprofit representing approximately 5,000 family forest landowners and 50 million acres of woodland in 45 states, and a co-plaintiff alongside the Skippers. “You’d be hard-pressed to find better land stewards than the Skippers, who use long rotations and a light touch,” Jones says. “Our Association works to foster trust with FWS and landowners to avoid these kind of instances, but now who in their right mind would allow FWS on their private land considering the broken trust and lack of confidence? It couldn’t be more ironic because FWS is the one hampering its own long-term goals.”

On Oct. 6, 2015, the black pinesnake was listed by FWS as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Five years later (February 2020), following a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD):devilish::poop:, FWS designated critical habitat for the pinesnake on 324,679 acres split across 8 land units in Alabama and Mississippi, creating a paper haven for the pinesnake on Skipper’s land (part of Unit 7), even though there is little to no evidence the snake resides on his 10,000 acres, and FWS has no authority to reintroduce the reptile. The land—pinesnake presence or not—now is restricted to development and subject to rigorous regulation.

Black Pinesnake ESA

By FWS’ admission, a 2008-2009 survey (conducted for the express purpose of locating black pinesnakes) came up empty—as in zero black pinesnakes recorded. (Photo by Jim Lee, FWS)

Noah Greenwald, environmental species director for CBD, claims critical habitat plays “absolutely no role” in how the Skippers conduct their operation. “A landowner can easily develop land with a critical habitat designation. As long as the landowner doesn’t break WOTUS regulations, they can do anything. There is no legal consideration of the species in question until a federal permit is requested. For the most part, critical habitat has no effect on landowners.”
Skipper puts no stock in Greenwald’s assertions. “How did this happen? I believe these FWS office bureaucrats looked on a map, saw the WMA, and sucked our land right in like it belonged to the state,” Skipper explains. “These are people that have the power to play games with maps.”

Where are the Pinesnakes?
Most adult black pinesnakes (non-venomous) range from 4’-6’ in length, are typically dark brown to black in color, and prefer “sandy, well-drained soils with an open-canopied forest of longleaf pine, a reduced shrub layer, and a dense, vegetative ground cover,” according to FWS. The Skipper’s land is deemed by FWS as “occupied” by the black pinesnake, but if the land is indeed “occupied,” where are the pinesnakes? By FWS’ own admission, a 2008-2009 survey (conducted for the express purpose of locating black pinesnakes) came up empty—as in zero pinesnakes recorded.

According to the complaint, pinesnake presence on Skipper land is isolated to five sightings stretched over 25 years (1990-2015). However, four of the sightings occurred over 20 years prior to the listing, and are suspect, according to Yates and Skipper. “Four isolated observations of black pinesnakes from almost 30 years ago, and one black pinesnake caught in a turkey trap in 2015. That’s it, yet somehow that meets the definition of occupied,” Yates says.

“Thousands of acres for one recent sighting is unbelievable,” Skipper echoes. “It’s crazy that FWS themselves don’t have any clue whether the snake was even seen 30 years ago—just a bunch of ‘could be and who knows’ guesswork. Use common sense: If this land is so ideal and already occupied, where are all the pinesnakes?”

FWS, Scott details, made the critical habitat designation based on soil type and tree species, and not the snake’s presence. “What kind of science is that? Encumber thousands of acres of private acreage based on old sightings? Even scarier, a FWS official told me, ‘Just because we can’t find the pinesnake on that land doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.’”

“Think of the logic,” Scott adds. “FWS says the Skipper’s private land is critical habitat—as in the land is so critical in order for the species to survive—yet, how can the species survive on the Skipper’s land if there are no pinesnakes to begin with?”

The Ghost Frog
The FWS imposition of a critical habitat designation on Skipper’s private acreage, based on a species with no residence on the land, mirrors the surreal, eight-year legal war over an endangered frog in Louisiana.

On May 21, 2011, Edward Poitevent (St. Tammany Parish, located on Louisiana’s northern boot tip) got a call from FWS, declaring approximately 1,500 acres of his timberland (leased to Weyerhaeuser) as prime ground for the Mississippi gopher frog. At the time, the last 100 gopher frogs in existence were in Mississippi, the final remnant of a population that once spread across several Southern states. However, the reclusive, 3” frog hadn’t been seen in Louisiana since 1967, according to the Department of Interior (DOI). Not on Poitevent’s land; not in St. Tammany Parish; and not within Louisiana borders.

After an 8-0 SCOTUS decision in his favor, Edward Poitevent won a benchmark critical habitat designation case against FWS involving a frog possibly seen on his land 50 years in the past. (Photo by Emily Kask, PLF)

Poitevent was stunned. FWS placed his acreage in the crosshairs of critical habitat—even while admitting the land was unsuitable for the frog’s survival.

Facing a restriction on land development, and an estimated $34 million long-term loss in value potential, Poitevent took FWS to court, and emerged eight years later as the victor. After a jolting 8-0 Supreme Court decision (and presumably millions of taxpayer dollars spent in pursuit of Poitevent’s acreage) dismantled the actions of FWS, the agency signed a consent decree on July 3, 2019, removing the critical habitat designation.

FWS’ stance throughout the gopher frog case was striking: Since the frog may have been seen on Poitevent’s land more than 50 years in the past, the acreage would become a center of gopher frog restoration—even though FWS had no legal ability to reintroduce the amphibian. Boiled down, FWS attempted to create a frog haven with no frogs.

Significantly, the gopher frog case was generated by a CBD lawsuit. Noah Greenwald, CBD environmental species director, claims Poitevent was not “enlightened” and cites Poitevent’s lifespan as a trigger for change.
“The dusky gopher frog would go extinct without a critical habitat designation,” Greenwald says, “and it was important to get a designation on his land, even if he was opposed, because Poitevent won’t live forever and the next landowner may be more enlightened regarding one of God’s creatures.”

Jones warns critical habitat designations on private land will continue. “A landowner, Edward Poitevent, just faced what we’re facing now, and this is going to happen again in the future to someone else,” Jones describes. “And in backwards logic, FWS goes after land held in private hands because those same private owners are the ones who conserved the ecosystems to begin with. Our Association insists that FWS use reason, sound science, and properly manage economic impacts—all of which are sorely lacking with the black pinesnake. We’ve voiced our concerns from the beginning and FWS has ignored us, so now we’re forced to take this to the courts.”

Bull’s-eye on Devaluation
For illustration, picture a potential buyer or investor eyeballing two adjacent properties. Each property is identical in acreage, soil type, topography, and water access. One property, however, has a critical habit designation—the other does not. Which property will the prospective buyer purchase? The question answers itself, because only on paper are both properties of equal value.

By law, FWS is required to conduct an economic analysis of any proposed critical habitat. In October 2014, Screening Analysis of the Likely Economic Impacts of Critical Habitat Designation for the Black Pinesnake was released, and the results are a generalized haze—concluding that an undetermined decrease in land value would be in the cards. “There has been no real appraisal,” Yates says. “FWS doesn’t take the value loss seriously, and just acknowledges some fraction of an estimated $100 million of private property across Alabama and Mississippi will be reduced in value.”

“Regardless of what FWS claims, landowners know critical habitat puts a bull’s-eye on the devaluation of property,” says Scott Jones, president of the Forest Landowners Association, pictured planting trees on his family land in Georgia. (Photo courtesy of FLA)

In reality, Yates argues, the Skipper’s land value will be diminished from multiple critical habitat angles. “It’s pretty plain: One, the FWS designation immediately reduces the value of the ground due to public perception of regulatory burdens. Two, any future development will be severely restricted because any action requiring a federal permit or funding would be subject to FWS consultations, which could limit or prevent herbicide applications, road building, and much, much more. Third, because the land is “occupied” by the pinesnake, any prudent land manager has to act and harvest timber as if the snake is actually there in order to avoid potential civil and even criminal liability.”

A balanced assessment of value loss related to critical habitat designations must account for a heavy regulatory burden, Jones says. “Regardless of what FWS claims, landowners know critical habitat puts a bull’s-eye on the devaluation of property. You lose your rights because you have to consult with the government on any changes. Try taking forestland to farmland after a designation. For FWS to pretend there won’t be major value loss shows a deep lack of understanding of basic land ownership and private property.”

In public meetings prior to the designation, FWS repeatedly assured Skipper and other landowners that restrictions on land use would not be implemented. “I can read the critical habitat rules for myself,” Skipper notes, “and it is chockful of restrictions. We’re at a point in this country where bureaucrats can lie to the public and nobody can do a thing about it. Here’s a restriction: If I alter the habitat or kill a pinesnake, I’m subject to a $50,000 fine and up to one year in prison. Does that sound kinda restrictive?”

Poisoned Well
The Skippers have withdrawn all acreage from the WMA, and have no plans to rejoin. “How can we stay in the WMA and partner with government officials? I have to guess that if we let them stay on our land, they’ll declare protection for other animals that aren’t there either,” Skipper says. “The more they do it—the less useful our land is, and this is a working forest. FWS has put a noose around our production and won’t even admit it.”

(The WMA was overseen by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). Skipper contends ADCNR “did everything within their power” to mitigate the critical habitat designation on Unit 7 and Unit 8, but FWS officials out of Jackson, Miss., refused to remove any acres.)

The logical outcome of questionable critical habitat designations, Jones asserts, is public loss of confidence in FWS. Translation: Jones believes FWS has poisoned the public well. “Maybe the greatest shame is that private forest landowners are not only good stewards, but they’re willing participants in accomplishing conservation goals. Now, what happens when FWS needs legitimate data on a turtle or salamander, and they’re looking to find out if any of these creatures have been seen on private property? What landowner is going to come rushing forward with the info or provide access?”

Following the Skipper/FLA complaint filing, PLF asked the court to set aside the habitat designation and remand the designation back to FWS. A hearing was held April 20, 2022, in Mobile, Ala. The case has been submitted and awaits a court decision. “We want them to go through the process again,” Yates details, “and this time follow the law.”

Specifically, PLF has presented a three-tier legal argument. First, whether a single isolated sighting of a species justifies “occupied” status. Second, whether FWS performed a deficient economic analysis. (According to statue, if the costs of a critical habitat designation outweigh the benefits, FWS must consider removing the designation.) Third, whether FWS has breached the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which requires additional cost analysis to ensure agency decisions don’t injure small businesses.

Helluva Beating
The black pinesnake impasse is a front-and-center example of what can develop when communication between a government agency and private citizens breaks down or is never established. “The Skippers opened their gate to preservation, conservation, and public hunting, and the gate swung back and hit the family,” Jones concludes. “This is rulemaking in a vacuum with no mind to unintended consequences. Regulation without reason, good science, and recognition of property rights is a danger, and people need to recognize that what has happened to the Skippers can happen to any landowner.”

“If you want to train a bird dog to a good habit, you don’t beat the hell out of him,” Skipper adds. “On our land, my family’s attitude has always been, ‘Do the right thing and everything will be fine.’ Didn’t work with FWS.”


On TB every waking moment

While America Slept, China Stole the Farm​

In 2020, the FBI acknowledged a new China-related counterintelligence case opens every 10 hours; over half of all active FBI counterintelligence cases involve China; and across the last 10 years, economic espionage with links to China jumped by almost 1,300 percent.(DOD)

By CHRIS BENNETT June 8, 2021

American farmers are asleep as a thief strips machinery, barn, bins, and fields of all valuables—and then returns for more. China has breached the inner walls of the U.S. agriculture industry in what has arguably been the most expansive heist in farming history, and is currently attempting to steal or hack every conceivable facet of U.S. agriculture technology.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) openly has declared its intent to dominate high-tech industries across the world, including agriculture, by 2025.

Undergirding its technological superiority effort, China has unabashed plans for a solo climb to the top rung of the global power ladder by 2049—international dominion. In order to fuel its ascendance, the CCP is engaged in widespread theft, cyber-hacking, and espionage, with the U.S. as the honey hole of illicit gain.

A 2017 report by the U.S. Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property speaks volumes, and estimates a cost of $255 billion to $600 billion to the U.S. economy each year, and fingers China as the “principle IP infringer.”

In 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) acknowledged multiple espionage benchmarks: a new China-related counterintelligence case opens every 10 hours; over half of all active FBI counterintelligence cases involve China; and across the last 10 years, economic espionage with links to China jumped by almost 1,300 percent.

Over the past decade, China has appropriated trillions of dollars in sophisticated U.S. technology, with a keen interest in the latest advances in the agriculture industry. In 2013 and 2015, Chinese nationals were nabbed in flagrante delicto by federal authorities, attempting to transport pilfered corn and rice seed to China. However, as the arrests and prosecutions made national headlines, the hard evidence remained ignored. Based on a cursory examination of the CCP’s espionage footprint, the seed thefts are merely emblematic and represent the tip of the iceberg: Beijing is looting the American farm.

“Happening Right Now”​

* In 2011, when Mo Hailong, the U.S. director of international business for Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group, was spotted crawling through Iowa corn rows in two separate incidents, pocketing Pioneer and Monsanto seed corn, the curiosity spurred a multi-year FBI investigation, and revealed Hailong was mailing high-value seed to a relative in China.

Hailong and several Chinese cohorts were arrested in 2013, attempting to board a plane for China, and their luggage contained the purloined proof of old-school crime. Hidden beneath a façade of microwave popcorn bags and Subway napkins, authorities found hundreds of seed samples.

Hailong received 36 months in prison. (At least five years prior to the arrests, documents revealed high-quality praise from China regarding Hailong’s stolen seeds, suggesting the total haul was massive.)

* Weiqiang Zhang studied biotech crop production at Kansas State University, obtained a doctoral degree in rice genetics at Louisiana State University, and gained employment at Ventria (Kansas-based private biopharmaceutical corporation using GMO rice in production of recombinant proteins) as a seed breeder.

Zhang gained access to a climate-controlled seed room and stole samples representing $75 million in research. He then used USDA letterhead to send counterfeit letters to six crop research colleagues in China, inviting them on a tour of Ventria and several more U.S. agriculture stops. The delegation brazenly showed in 2013 and made the rounds (including Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Stuttgart, Ark., where Zhang’s main accomplice, Wengui Yan, worked as a research geneticist), but were seized by U.S. Customs agents during a routine luggage inspection that found hundreds of seeds, including corn, rice, soybeans, and wheat. Zhang was sentenced to roughly 10 years in prison.

“It is the CCP’s goal to steal, glean, obtain, transcribe, and photograph anything of value from the U.S., and the agriculture sector is right at the top,” says retired Col. John Mills. (Photo by Chris Bennett)

* In 2008, Haitao Xiang began working for Monsanto as an imaging scientist at The Climate Corporation. A key digital part of The Climate Corporation’s big data platform was a proprietary algorithm tagged the Nutrient Optimizer.

Xiang was nabbed (with a one-way ticket to China) at the airport, allegedly with a micro SD card copy of the algorithm in 2017.

The corn, rice, and algorithm cases grabbed headlines, but their significance is suggestive of what lies beneath, i.e., they showcased a fraction of theft incidents. “It’s fair to label these cases as tip of the iceberg or tip of the dinner fork,” says Col. (Ret.) John Mills, a national security professional and former Director of Cybersecurity Policy, Strategy, and International Affairs at the Department of Defense. “I mean they are a drop in the bucket. For so long, U.S. counterintelligence has been focused on Russia, yet China presents a threat many orders of magnitude greater. China is intent on cataloguing seed and DNA on a vast scale, and they’ve spent at least 10 years vacuuming up every piece of tech from every sector in the U.S. You can be absolutely certain: Agriculture is right up there at the top and this is happening right now.”

Playing for Keeps​

With 1.4 billion mainland citizens at the supper table, China is desperate for more farmland. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping rarely wastes a speech opportunity without mentioning food security, China is the No. 1 ag commodity importer worldwide. (Significantly, soybeans rate as the No. 2 import annually, bookended by commercial aircraft and automobiles.)

China’s agriculture minister recently announced the country will expand its farmland, explains journalist and documentary filmmaker Lance Crayon, adding that “China’s plan is to have farmland the size of Ireland by the end of 2021, and because the goal was announced, it will be achieved.”

However, revamping 16.5 million acres into farmland in 2021 (indeed, roughly equivalent in size to the Republic of Ireland), pales in comparison to the overall plan. A decade back, the CCP announced a new farmland projection for 132 million acres in roughly 10 years. Turning acreage outsizing the entire state of California into “high standard farmland” is plain testament to China’s intention to achieve unprecedented levels of food security.

Further, in 2017, ChemChina dropped $46 billion on Syngenta, gaining access to transgenic seeds and crop protection products. The acquisition represents a single plank in China’s platform to keep its base fed as it pursues an all-costs drive toward the acquisition of ag technology.

Far beyond ensuring grain and meat for the most populous nation in world history, the CCP pegs a reliable food supply as a vital component of its move toward the No. 1 global power spot. China is playing for keeps: In 2013, Xi kicked off the Belt and Road Intiative (BRI), an infrastructure project that aims to give China unparalleled access to global trade by 2049—the 100-year anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Complementing BRI, Made in China 2025 looms as another alarming CCP program. Announced in 2015, the 10-year initiative projects domination of 10 high-tech sectors by 2025—including information technology, artificial intelligence, telecommunications, electric vehicles, aerospace engineering, advanced electronics, biomedicine, high-speed rail, maritime engineering—and agricultural tecnology.

The CCP adheres to a Military-Civil Fusion program: All private sector innovation must be transferred to the military. (Photo by DOD)

Additionally, Xi plans to modernize China’s armed forces by 2035—on pace to rival the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific. (Chinese military spending reached $252 billion in 2020, outpacing the military expenditure of any nation except the U.S.) Significantly, Xi has an entire army command dedicated to cyber warfare, the Strategic Support Force, part of his military reform effort. Xi also included a Military-Civil Fusion program written into China’s constitution: Any private sector innovation must be transferred to the military. (Expressed in the People’s Liberation Army Daily, civil-military industrial espionage in countries such as the U.S. is euphemistically described as “picking flowers in foreign lands to make honey in China.”)

Xi and the CCP face a simple calculus: Any move on the international catbird seat requires top-drawer agricultural production technology, and if it can’t be bought or developed—it can be stolen.

Softest Target​

China’s ruling authority consists of 90 million CCP members. They remain committed to a sworn oath of allegiance, promising to “carry out the Party's decisions, strictly observe Party discipline, guard Party secrets, be loyal to the Party, work hard, fight for communism throughout my life, be ready at all times to sacrifice my all for the Party and the people, and never betray the Party.”

According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, "The Chinese intelligence services strategically use every tool at their disposal, including state-owned businesses, students, researchers and ostensibly private companies, to systematically steal information and intellectual property.”

A third of all international students in the U.S. are from China, roughly 360,000 Chinese nationals, who pay upwards of three times normal tuition rates, representing at least a $14 billion influx for American universities and local economies.

In 2019, Joe Augustyn, a 28-year veteran of the CIA, said, "We know without a doubt that anytime a graduate student from China comes to the US, they are briefed when they go, and briefed when they come back.”

“They don't just come here to spy ... they come here to study and a lot of it is legitimate," Augustyn said. "But there is no question in my mind, depending on where they are and what they are doing, that they have a role to play for their government."

Considering 360,000 Chinese nationals enrolled in U.S. universities (many of those land grant universities with heavy agriculture research concentrations), if the CCP taps merely 1% of its student exports as direct intelligence sources—the math translates to 3,600 information sources on U.S. soil. And if the CCP taps far greater numbers of students in U.S. universities, as many analysts believe, the level of CCP surveillance jumps exponentially.

John Mills estimates a high percentage of China’s foreign students in the U.S. funnel information to the CCP. “It’s my opinion that many are either working for the Ministry of State Security (China’s CIA-FBI hybrid organization), and 100% are fully aware of their obligation to the CCP. That is the price to be here. Part of their presence here, granted with CCP permission, is a promise, often a quid pro quo, to assist the CCP in getting whatever is needed.”

“The FBI woke up to this threat far too late, and now we are in very deep,” Mills continues. “It is the CCP’s goal to steal, glean, obtain, transcribe, and photograph anything of value from the U.S., and the agriculture sector is right at the top. China is a net food importer and that is a strategic vulnerability of the CCP.”

U.S. agricultural technology, Mills stresses, is directly in CCP crosshairs. “China is a net importer of food. They cannot feed their population without American farmers. The spike in bacon prices over the last few years is related to China’s demand for pork and is an exemplar of the strategic food situation. Ag is absolutely one of the CCP’s top targets of intelligence collection, and unfortunately for American farmers, ag is one of the softest targets through the theft of intellectual property, privileged company research, or the physical theft of seeds. Rest assured, even if China can’t produce a crop with the stolen info, they are passing it to other breadbasket nations that are kindred, or at least beholden, to assist in growing food.”

Unsettling Implications​

The CCP’s reach into U.S. academic and research institutions extends beyond tapping students for intelligence gathering. Generally, the CCP uses a two-pronged approach to gain university access: Confucius Institutes and Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSAs). Confucius Institutes operate at roughly 50 U.S. universities as ideological marketing machines. They are funded through partnership agreements between the CCP and U.S. universities (instructors are CCP-selected), and presented as education centers, yet are consistently tied to CCP espionage and surveillance. “They are nests of influence, reconnaissance,” said Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) (Over 75 universities have closed their Confucius Institutes.)

Roughly 140 Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSAs) function in the U.S., ostensibly to provide cultural support to students, yet most CSSAs are directly overseen by Chinese embassy personnel. Despite the significance of Confucius Institutes and CSAs, the deeper threat comes from CCP-tapped researchers within the academic and corporate sphere. During his testimony before a Senate committee, Michael Lauer, deputy director of extramural research at the National Institutes for Health (NIH), admitted the agency has found 500 “scientists of concern” at federally funded institutions. Further, as of April 2021, NIH has contacted “more than 90 awardee institutions” regarding specific issues with 200 scientists.

Lisa Aguirre, acting director of HHS’s Office of National Security, also testified before the committee, echoing Lauer’s concerns: “…nontraditional collectors can include foreign researchers who have been recruited by foreign talent recruitment programs, cyber hackers, and foreign students who have been co-opted or coerced into spying for foreign governments and their intelligence services.”

Part 1 of 2


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Part 2 of 2​

The Treasure Trove​

The CCP relies on multiple recruitment programs designed to glean foreign technology. At the top of their technology recruiting effort is the Thousand Talents Plan, utilized over the past 20 years to steal tech and data from research laboratories of all stripes. In 2019, a bipartisan congressional report offered a scathing review of the program.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), offered sobering remarks and a damning conclusion: “China uses more than 200 talent recruitment programs to lure foreign-trained scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs into providing China with technical know-how, expertise, and foreign technology…Our investigation focused on China’s most prominent program called the Thousand Talents Plan.
Launched in 2008, China designed the Thousand Talents Plan to recruit 2,000 high-quality overseas experts. By 2017, China dramatically exceeds its recruitment goal, recruiting more than 7,000 ‘high-end professionals.’”
“…Thousand Talents Plan members typically receive a salary and funding for their research from Chinese institutions, such as Chinese universities or research institutions. In exchange for the salary and research funding, which sometimes include what’s called a shadow lab in China, members sign legally binding contracts with the Chinese institutions that typically contain provisions that prevent the members from disclosing their participation in the program.

This requirement, of course, runs counter to U.S. regulations that require grant recipients to disclose foreign funding sources. In effect, it incentivizes program members to lie on grant applications to U.S. grant-making agencies and to avoid disclosing their funding from Chinese institutions. China now wants to keep this quiet.”

Portman’s assessment was clear: The “talent recruitment programs” are a double-header win for the CCP. First, the research bill is footed by U.S. taxpayers. Second, the CCP funnels the research directly into its own economy and military.

Case in point. After Texas A&M University (land-grant) began pulling back the curtain, attempting to find out how many professors and researchers were involved with Chinese recruitment, the answer was jarring. From the Wall Street Journal, Jan. 30, 2020: “When officials at the Texas A&M University System sought to determine how much Chinese government funding its faculty members were receiving, they were astounded at the results—more than 100 were involved with a Chinese talent-recruitment program, even though only five had disclosed their participation. A plant pathologist at the Texas system, where the median annual salary for such scientists employed by the state is around $130,000, told officials that the researcher had been offered $250,000 in compensation and more than $1 million in seed money to start a lab in China through one of the talent programs.”

(For a partial list of recent Chinese espionage incidents targeting the U.S., see CSIS. Note, the list does not include over 1,200 instances of IP litigation by U.S. companies against Chinese entities.)

According to the FBI, China has earmarked 15% of total domestic gross product (2008-2020) on boosting human resources, equating to almost $2 trillion. Of its own accord, China trumpets a shocking statistic: From 2008 to 2016, CCP talent-recruitment programs bagged 60,000 foreign professionals. The complete picture of the talent haul remains a blur, but a reasonable assumption is possible: A significant portion of the 60,000 worked in an agriculture-related industry.

“Believe Them”​

In March 2021, Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) introduced the Agricultural Intelligence Measures (AIM) Act (H.R. 1625) intended to create an intelligence-gathering office within USDA, "to leverage the capabilities of the intelligence community to ensure the Secretary of Agriculture is fully informed of all imminent threats and American agriculture is safe from all threats both foreign and domestic. This highly specialized office would work to understand any efforts to steal U.S. agriculture knowledge and technology...."

In April 2021, pushed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), the AIM Act was introduced in the Senate: “The Chinese Communist Party wants to undermine vital American industries through sabotage and intellectual property theft—U.S. agriculture is no exception,” Cotton said. “Our bill will help safeguard the food and technology that our country depends on for its prosperity and freedom.”

However, the AIM legislation arrives late in the game. The CCP, for at least the past 20 years, seemingly has treated U.S. agriculture as a veritable grocery store, shoplifting food staple technology with almost no penalty.

Similarly, the Endless Frontier Act (now tagged the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act), introduced by senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), seeks to bolster and safeguard U.S. technology by pumping in funds to research institutions, but at over 1,500 pages of text and at least $200 billion in spending, it includes a train of unrelated projects. Beyond questions over spending, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), contends the act is misguided and may present China with more opportunity for theft: “But imagine if you’re trying to say, ‘Ok so America is now going to spend $150 billion on research through universities that we (China) already have our claws in. That’s great.

We’ll just steal it. Go ahead and spend your money, and we’ll steal your research. We get it for free,’” Rubio said. “It’s crazy.”

As Crayon sees the CCP-related horizon theft, “The only solution that makes sense, if you wanted to protect U.S. advanced technology, would be to implement the same immigration and visa restrictions as China. If the U.S. doesn’t hurry up and level the playing field, the American farmer will continue to suffer at the expense of an ambitious China.”

“Has U.S. agriculture been asleep? I’d say most all U.S. industries have been asleep, certainly including agriculture,” Mills adds. “The CCP gave us a blueprint and announced they were going to take over certain high-tech industries, and agriculture was right there on the list. They literally told the world what they were going to do. If a gang of thieves tells you they are going to steal your farm, you should believe them.”


On TB every waking moment

A misguided push for organics triggers a food crisis

September 20, 2022
By Amrith Gunasekara

Many in the California farming community may have read about impacts of a detrimental food security policy of banning synthetic fertilizers to go “all organic.” It happened on the island nation of Sri Lanka in what could be a cautionary tale for other regions, including California.

The impacts of a forced government policy in Sri Lanka are real—and disastrous. Sources in Sri Lanka say rice harvest has plummeted 50% since the government ordered the country’s 2 million farmers to go organic. There has been complete destruction of the corn and maize crops, and a 50% drop in tea production. Rice is the staple carbohydrate in the country, while Ceylon tea is world renowned and an important export.

Food prices increased with the drastic declines in yield. Vegetable prices have risen three-fold or higher, and rice prices doubled nearly overnight. Most importantly, the overall quality of meals has declined for families. In June, the nation implemented a four-day workweek—not in the vein of transitioning workforce needs, but just so average citizens can grow food for themselves.

Sri Lanka will be memorialized in history for what happens when national policies don’t support realistic food security objectives—namely, to ensure a safe, affordable, nutritious and diverse food supply. It will also be remembered for extreme policies based on philosophical beliefs that organic agriculture is better than conventional and that synthetic fertilizers are bad, even if science and practicality say otherwise.

Agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, regardless of source, are essential to feed our growing population, locally and globally. This does not mean that organic agriculture does not have a place in food security discussions. It certainly does. Organic produce, which uses organic fertilizer inputs, may be inherently more expensive, and yield losses are greater at times compared to conventional agriculture using synthetic inputs. But it provides higher returns for farmers and ranchers where there is a market.

People can afford organic agriculture products in countries with higher standards of living. In California and developed nations, organic is an important option for consumers. Yet the threshold for supporting organic production in a global, competitive marketplace is a big unknown.

What is troubling is when, instead of market forces and consumer choices dictating organic agriculture’s market share, policies are drafted to establish a mandated threshold for organic acreage. Now new polices in California, where currently only about 10% of irrigated agricultural acreage is under organic production, may be doing exactly that.

California appears to be ignoring the lessons in places such as Sri Lanka in an effort to establish philosophical goals without the pragmatism this issue requires. Organic acreage targets have been established for the first time in the California Air Resources Board Scoping Plan, which is updated every five years and often drives policy initiatives.

More scientific and economic research is needed to understand different agriculture systems from a multitude of factors. Those include plant food inputs, greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water resources use, crop protection material availability, production costs, yields, market trends and ability to feed a growing population.

Evaluating the effect of agricultural policies on food security must be priority No. 1, 2 and 3. But unfortunately, that can take a back seat to environmental initiatives in California.

I recently visited Sri Lanka, where life goes on, despite the hardships. Sri Lankans, from drivers of three-wheeled tuk-tuk taxis to university scientists and corporate executives, express frustrations with their government’s lack of common-sense understanding of agricultural food production.

The people have been through a lot in this young democracy, including civil wars, economic difficulties and corrupt leadership. They are hard-working and generous—and care deeply about the land on which they live. With plummeting food yields, fuel shortages and an economy in disarray, they carry on, smiling and appreciating what they have as many hope better leadership decisions and policies in the future may still lead their country to greater prosperity.

Sri Lanka’s disastrous organic agriculture policy has raised awareness of the importance of synthetic inputs for producing affordable, safe food products and averting a farming crisis. Can the same thing happen in California and in other parts of the world? Let us hope that what the 22 million Sri Lankans have endured in lessons for agricultural food security won’t be ignored by leadership here in California and elsewhere in a philosophical embrace of a false sense of environmentalism.

Agricultural inputs and food production go hand in hand with ensuring food security. Our leaders in California should recognize the vital importance of agriculture and protect what should be the state’s more important assets—farms, ranches and the families that run them.

(Amrith Gunasekara, Ph.D., is director of science and research for the California Bountiful Foundation, an affiliate 501(c)(3) of the California Farm Bureau. He may be reached at


On TB every waking moment
Michael Yon @MichaelYon
Sep 21, 2022 at 11:32am
Fuel — keep it topped
21 September 2022

Highly suggest fill all gas and diesel tanks today including all gerry cans. Could literally run out any day. That refinery fire in Ohio is a big deal at least regionally. And there seems to be a pattern…

Separately, just drove by the wood lot in Southern Germany. This photo represents less than 5 percent of what I saw there.
Michael Yon @MichaelYon
Sep 21, 2022 at 11:32am
Fuel — keep it topped
21 September 2022

Highly suggest fill all gas and diesel tanks today including all gerry cans. Could literally run out any day. That refinery fire in Ohio is a big deal at least regionally. And there seems to be a pattern…

Separately, just drove by the wood lot in Southern Germany. This photo represents less than 5 percent of what I saw there.


Michael Yon @MichaelYon
Sep 21, 2022 at 12:09pm
Germany Now
21 September 2022
Some Gas Station, Germany

Look at this bullshit. Am in Germany. Says the biggest financial risk in Ukraine is not to invest there immediately. Lol.

We on edge of nuclear Holocaust and global famines.


Michael Yon @MichaelYon
Sep 21, 2022 at 7:27pm
Germany — Dead Man Walking
22 September 2022
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

These are the last two good months for Germany. After this, the party is over.

Last edited:


On TB every waking moment
Michael Yon @MichaelYon
Sep 21, 2022 at 6:38pm
Traitor Joe Biden Facilitating United States Invasion
22 September 2022
Frankfurt, Germany

Biden and his traitors are trafficking in children while facilitating invasion of our borders — while gifting untold tens of billions in weapons to Taliban, Ukrainians, and nobody knows who else.

America is being invaded. A Border Patrol friend just sent this link and note:

“A number establishes name, date of birth, PLACE of birth. It is legal proof they are NOT US citizens!! By not assigning a number at apprehension then releasing the alien, the alien can claim United States Citizenship and not be required to prove it later.”


Border Patrol ordered agents not to assign migrants registration numbers to clear over-crowded facilities

Alien registration numbers, or 'A-numbers,' help Border Patrol keep track of migrants encountered at the border

By Bradford Betz , Bill Melugin | Fox News

Dems are afraid to talk about border security, Democratic senator admits
Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff says the border security issue is 'systemic' and discusses his response to inflation on 'Special Report.'

In the fiscal year 2021, Border Patrol did not always assign migrants an "alien registration number" before they were released into the U.S. in an effort to speed up processing and move migrants out of overcrowded facilities, according to a new report.

The report, from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General, found that U.S. Border Patrol within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) followed screening procedures to prevent migrants with "serious criminal backgrounds" or individuals on the terrorist watch list from entering the U.S.

However, the OIG report also determined that Border Patrol did not always assign alien registration numbers, or "A-numbers," which are necessary to create files on illegal immigrants.

A-numbers allow immigration officials and law enforcement to track and locate a migrant’s file for a complete history of their immigration encounters. It also contains critical documents such as immigration forms, agent narratives of apprehension, and records checks.


According to the DHS OIG, Border Patrol did not issue A-numbers for 107 of 384 migrants in its statistical sample size. Most of them were paroled into the country or issued "Notices to Report."

DHS OIG said Border Patrol agents did not always assign A-numbers because they were trying to expedite processing and move migrants out of Border Patrol facilities that were exceeding capacity.

During these periods, Border Patrol headquarters directed agents not to assign A-numbers in an effort to reduce processing times. These decisions were communicated through informal emails or orally during daily musters, the OIG report said.

The report further concluded that Border Patrol and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could not provide 80 migrant files that DHS requested because the files were "either lost, disposed of, or in transit."

Of those 80 files, the report said, DHS OIG identified 58 instances in which Border Patrol agents disposed of temporary files where migrants were not assigned A-numbers. According to Border Patrol officials, they disposed of the files because they did not have record retention requirements for files without assigned A-numbers.

The report concluded that Border Patrol’s informal and expedited practices for processing migrants "could jeopardize the Government’s ability to track migrants released into the United States and ensure migrants appear for immigration proceedings."

Fox News has reached out to DHS and Border Patrol for additional comment.

The DHS OIG report determined that Border Patrol encountered more than 1.6 million illegal immigrants at the U.S. border in the fiscal year 2021. This fiscal year, the number of migrant encounters at the southern border has exceeded 2 million.


On TB every waking moment

September 21, 2022

The Senate on Wednesday ratified an international treaty that mandates nations to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to protect the earth’s ozone layer, which will impose new standards that will raise the costs of air conditioning and refrigeration.

A group of 50 Senate Democrats and 19 Republicans voted to pass the Kigali Amendment to the 1987 United Nations (UN) Montreal Protocol. The amendment, which 27 Republicans voted to oppose, will limit the production and use of HFCs, man-made chemicals that are primarily used for cooling and refrigeration, by 85% over 15 years, which could substantially increase consumer and business costs in related industries. (RELATED: Senate Poised To Ratify Climate Treaty That Could Make Home Appliances Even More Expensive)

“The last thing the American people need right now is another household necessity rising in price, but the Senate’s ratification of the Kigali Amendment does just that,” Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Lieberman also said that the treaty would limit the supply of HFCs that are needed to run most air conditioners and refrigeration systems.

“Not only will repairs of existing equipment go up, but the cost of new systems designed to use one of the pricey new replacement refrigerants will also rise,” he continued.

HFCs threaten Earth’s ozone layer and contribute to climate change, according to the UN. The chemicals have a planet-warming effect that is hundreds to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide, according to the EPA.

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana voted in favor of the treaty after previously arguing that the act would be both good for the planet and the domestic economy, according to a press release. Louisiana is home to a Honeywell plant that makes chemicals that can be used instead of HFCs, according to a November 2021 Honeywell press release.

Kennedy’s office did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

The UN treaty classifies China as a developing nation and gives the nation an extra ten years to limit the production of HFCs, according to a fact sheet. However, the Senate voted to accept Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan’s amendment to the bill that classifies China as a developed nation to prevent its industry from gaining an unfair over the U.S.

“We are encouraged that the Senate took action to rescind China’s status as a developing nation under the Kigali Amendment, and hope that this commonsense step is replicated in all other agreements involving China, ” Lieberman said.

The Biden administration submitted the treaty for ratification in 2021 and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved it in May 2022 with both Democratic and Republican support. Nearly 200 governments, including the Obama administration, originally agreed in 2016 to phase out HFCs.


On TB every waking moment

‘Very Important Step’: Newt Gingrich Unveils Plan To Support Small Businesses

September 21, 2022

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, alongside Job Creators Network (JCN) president Alfredo Ortiz, announced the eight-point “Small Business Prosperity Plan” at a JCN event Wednesday, aiming to provide Congress a roadmap for supporting small businesses.

The plan recommends that Congress take action to make the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act permanent before it expires in 2025, tie work requirements to government assistance and increase energy production in the U.S., according to the JCN, who partnered with Gingrich to develop the plan. The announcement comes as small business optimism languishes near record lows, according to a JCN poll conducted by pollsters John McLaughlin & Scott Rasmussen.

“Never before has Mainstreet been under such an assault as policymakers levy a growing number of regulations and taxes on small businesses,” Gingrich and Ortiz said in a joint statement given to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “That’s why we’ve partnered on this plan to help strengthen the small business community, which is the backbone of the U.S. economy.”


The plan also calls for reduced red tape for small business, and would exempt them from new federal regulations by default, putting the onus on Congress to prove their necessity, according to Ortiz. Speakers at the event also touted the plan’s commitment to providing more capital for small businesses, which Ortiz characterized as being crucial for empowering minority-owned small businesses in an interview with the DCNF.

Speakers discussed the impact of the Federal Reserve’s ongoing battle with inflation, and argued that the interest rate hikes announced Wednesday would put further strain on employers.

“When you’re trying to get a piece of equipment that’s a million dollars, those [increases] really do mean a lot,” said Nicole Wolter, small business owner of the H M Manufacturing, speaking at the event. “It’s clear that the climate for small business has soured.”

Inflation persisted in August at 8.3% annually; more than four times the Fed’s goal of 2% annual inflation. President Joe Biden has repeatedly downplayed the impacts of inflation, going so far as to claim the Inflation Reduction Act has helped reduce costs “at the kitchen table,” despite historically high grocery prices.

Ortiz noted that he hoped the plan would be embraced by politicians regardless of political affiliation, and that Republicans would find it complimented House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s “Commitment to America” plan, to be announced later this week. Gingrich characterized the Small Business Prosperity Plan as “a very important step” to an American economic recovery.

“This is something that has to get done,” said Ortiz.

2:24:35 min (starts at 15:40 min)

LIVE Roundtable: Just Good Business​

Streamed live 8 hours ago


Economic Disparity & Fairness in Growth Committee

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at 1:00pm ET, the U.S. House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, chaired by Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04), will host a roundtable, “Just Good Business: Private Sector Strategies that Promote Shared Economic Prosperity,” focusing on the results of and motivations behind strategies employed by the private sector to invest in their workforce and communities that also address economic disparity. Members will hear directly from private sector representatives on how companies have run successful programs and partnerships with government and community stakeholders to create economic opportunity and strengthen their businesses. Members will also learn about the challenges the private sector faces in addressing economic disparity and discuss successful initiatives like workforce training, paid internships, and generous workplace benefits that support their employees’ economic security. WHAT: U.S. House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Growth roundtable, "Just Good Business: Private Sector Strategies that Promote Shared Economic Prosperity" WHERE: 2359 Rayburn House Office Building WHEN: Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at 1:00pm ET WHO: Chairman Jim Himes (CT-04) Ranking Member Bryan Steil (WI-01) Select Committee Members Mr. Dane Linn, Senior Vice President of Corporate Initiatives, Business Roundtable (BRT) Dr. Svenja Gudell, Chief Economist, Indeed Ms. Holly Ensign-Barstow, Senior Director of Policy and Programs, B-Lab US & Canada Ms. Portia Wu, Managing Director of Public Policy, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft


On TB every waking moment

SHEFFIELD: Biden Is Playing Politics With America’s Strategic Reserves

September 21, 2022

President Joe Biden is abusing America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to win partisan elections while simultaneously harming America’s domestic oil and gas industry, which could lower prices for the long haul.

The best things in life involve real work, not cheap gimmicks like Biden’s reactive move he announced on March 31 — that his administration would release one million barrels of oil per day from the reserve for the next 180 days. Instead of reducing regulation, improving the leasing process for oil and gas and drilling, and controlling inflation-inducing spending, Biden chose the easy route.

In his recent 60 Minutes interview and elsewhere, Biden beat his chest about releasing oil from the SPR — now at its lowest level since 1984. But releasing the reserves should only happen for national security emergencies, not for a Democrat who wants to help his buddies win elections. Biden is setting America up for a huge catastrophe. We are near the peak of hurricane season with these record low reserves.

Per Forbes’ Robert Rapier, “Biden has announced steps to replenish the SPR, ‘likely after FY2023’, and in my opinion most likely after the 2024 elections. President Biden’s gamble to deplete the SPR in order to fight high oil prices may not hurt him at all. Of course, if for some reason we had a true supply emergency and found ourselves needing that oil, it would be looked upon as a terrible decision.”

This is a craven attempt to win votes. Ironically, then-President Donald Trump wanted to replenish the SPR when oil was just $24 per barrel, but hypocritical Democrats blocked him and it looks like Biden will have to pay in the neighborhood of $80 per barrel to replenish. Nothing like putting America last.

Trump rightly called out Biden’s recklessness with SPR during a rally to support J.D. Vance and other GOP candidates in Ohio Saturday night.

“He’s using that to keep prices down as much as he can, just before the election,” Trump said. “And it’s not supposed to be used for that. The strategic reserves are meant for military purposes, for war, not to keep prices down for an election.”

Biden’s White House is crowing about how fuel prices have moderately declined this summer, right now at $4.09 per retail gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The only problem is retail gas was $2.39 per gallon the week Biden was inaugurated, which ended Jan. 25, 2021, according to EIA. Biden wants us to lock us into Stockholm Syndrome, to thank our captors for giving us just a little morsel of bread under the door.

And even though gas prices have dropped somewhat, The Wall Street Journal reports we’ve seen the largest 12-month increase in at least 41 years for a U.S. electricity-cost index. This means consumers’ home energy bills continue to spiral upward.

It’s time for voters to shake off this defeatist Stockholm mentality, to embrace leaders who will unleash the power of energy independence and the animal spirits flagging in our energy economy.

Carrie Sheffield is a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Voice.


On TB every waking moment

New Branding: global ruling class bands together for the next big power grab

The legacy elites are pressing forward to the next crisis, under the banner of ESG and climate change.

Jordan Schachtel
4 hr ago

This week, the forces of technocratic tyranny gathered in New York City and held separate, but ideologically aligned events under the banner of “Climate Week.”

These conferences were held on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) meetings, in which heads of state and other top foreign officials were conveniently scheduled to be present in the city.

Virtually every cantillionaire cleanup hitter within the legacy financial and political systems was present in NYC this week, and they all regurgitated similar talking points.

Twitter avatar for @MartyBent

The world’s governments, the IMF and the World Bank are some of the most insidious and destructive forces on the planet and Larry Fink is begging to give them more power.

There is a massive power grab at play. Time to wake up, freaks. 2:19 min

For the World Economic Forum, this week featured their Sustainable Development Impact Meetings. The World Economic Forum confab hosted 8 panels, all of which were related to the “climate crisis.”



The Clinton Foundation reopened the family laundromat that is the Clinton Global Initiative, launching the first gathering under its umbrella since 2016. The Clinton events also focused on the importance of “climate change,” along with the implementation (by way of force, if necessary) of ESG finance.


For The Gates Foundation, it was “Goalkeepers 2022.” Bill Gates and the gang discussed “an ambitious blueprint for reimagining a better future for all by 2030,” demanding both governmental and private implementation of the climate agenda. EU President Ursula von der Leyen received the foundation’s “Global Goalkeeper award.”

Twitter avatar for @vonderleyen
Ursula von der Leyen
Honoured to have received the @gatesfoundation #Goalkeepers2030 award.

I dedicate it to the millions of Europeans who showed solidarity during the pandemic.

Together we are now building stronger health systems worldwide, for the future. 3:27 min

It doesn’t seem much of a coincidence that all of the events highlighted the so-called climate emergency as the top policy item on the agenda. The global ruling class clearly believes there is not much juice to squeeze out of COVID Mania, which, as The Dossier readers know all too well, brought in the fastest roll up of power in human history.

Perhaps this is what Joe Biden meant to convey when he said on 60 Minutes that “the pandemic is over.” The polling is pretty clear in demonstrating that nobody is particularly alarmed about COVID-19 anymore. So it’s time for the power grabbers to move on to the next manufactured crisis

Twitter avatar for @60Minutes
60 Minutes
“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over,” President Biden tells 60 Minutes in an interview in Detroit. .23 min

The technocratic tyranny movement is moving forward, and it has decided on its new branding.


On TB every waking moment

On Bad Writing and Banality and Klaus Schwab

Diffuse remarks by a day job-avoidant eugyppius on why it is that the World Economic Forum is so unreadable

6 hr ago

Friend-of-the blog Igor Chudov disagrees with my suggestion that Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset amounts to “a lot of jargon and vacuity, signifying nothing.” Instead, he proposes that

… the WEF purposely makes their proposals to be difficult for ordinary people to comprehend. To a person reading without paying close attention, their writings appear to be feel-good generalities written without a purpose — and yet when understood fully, they contain radical proposals that would upend the most basic foundations of our Western societies.

Chudov is right to emphasise that no few paeans to sustainability, diversity and equity harbour worrying plans. He’s also right that the rhetoric surrounding climate change policies in particular is absurdly euphemistic; terms like “sustainability,” “renewables,” “energy transition” and “degrowth” are sad attempts to put a happy face on mass unemployment and poverty, in the dark and the cold. But I also think that using euphemisms to talk over the heads of hostile readers is a rather different strategy from producing such boring unreadable material that nobody can get through any of it. I also wonder why the World Economic Forum would bother to circulate their sinister tracts in the first place, however many euphemisms they bear. Wouldn’t it be better to keep evil plans under wraps, limited to internal memos and closed meetings?

Chudov rejoins:

Is the most powerful supranational organization, whose Young Leaders lead governments of many important countries, states, or territories, or collectively own and manage trillions of dollars, simply a nonsense production factory? Are their messages “signifying nothing”? Why does the WEF exist, then? To blather nonsense? Do people gather in Davos for nothing but vacuous press releases?

As I am fond of typing, the WEF is a conference circuit, where elite attendees and young leaders and scientists and thinkers and journalists and who knows who else can network with each other and coordinate policy and messaging.

For providing these services, the WEF collects dues. I think we should regard Schwab’s books as the equivalent of advertising or promotional material, of the kind that many organisations put out. If you look at his footnotes, you’ll find support for this view: He cites a lot of WEF-affiliated thinkers and scientists and he likes to quote WEF-affiliated politicians and WEF-affiliated journalists. Schwab’s customers read Schwab’s book and are happy to see their own ideas repeated and to imagine themselves as constructive participants in the intellectual world that they pay Schwab to curate for them.

That helps a little to explain the problems of Schwab’s rhetoric. His books for long stretches devolve into elaborate exercises in name-dropping, which is never good for clarity or argument. He also writes a lot of books, lately more than one a year. As a guru to the political and economic elite, he probably thinks that constant commentary on current events is demanded of him, but it leaves him no time to think his thoughts through to the end. This is why everything he writes seems so superficial and half-baked, and why he has this persistent research assistant co-author.

But, Schwab has other problems too, and I agree that Chudov’s thesis of deliberate obfuscation has its attractions. To further plumb the problems of Schwab’s words and mind, I propose to take a brief tour of bad writing, to get a better feel for the phenomenon in general. Here I don’t mean the bad writing that comes from semi-literate school children, or from instruction manuals written in India. I mean the bad writing you get from the heavily educated, the over-networked, and the intellectually benighted.

For my first example, I turn to the Bad Writing Contest, an amusing feature carried by the journal Philosophy and Literature in the late 1990s. The purpose was to mock the unreadable prose of critical theorists, and the essay announcing the “winners” of the 1998 contest is a minor classic. The victor that year was notorious gender theorist Judith Butler, for this offence against truth and beauty:

The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

Welcome to critical theory as it was practised through the end of the twentieth century. Whole journals are filled with incomprehensible verbiage like this.

Butler can actually write reasonable prose when she wants to, so we know she’s not suffering from some exotic aphasia. The problems are rather intellectual. The least important, is what I would call “profundity via abstraction,” which is pervasive in much academic writing and especially common in the theory crowd. If I say that I’m often tired after work, that doesn’t sound very interesting, but if I write of the experience of human exhaustion upon completion of the enactment of labour, I have a faint hope that some dim person might mistake me for a philosopher. Beyond that, there’s a real undercurrent of brittleness and anxiety running through theorists like Butler, whose arguments are often indefensible, and also (as here) dedicated to moving the emphasis of leftist thought away from matters of economics and capital, towards cultural issues. In this way, upper middle-class professors could be leftists and avoid overt hypocrisy at the same time.

Our second example comes from professional brown person Mary Rambaran-Olm, who appeared in the plague chronicle back in May. Like Butler, Rambaran-Olm hails from the academic left, but she’s much stupider. When the LA Review of Books refused to publish her absurd review of some book on medieval history that she thought centred white people too much, she had a big sad on the internet and put the rejected text on her medium page instead, for us to laugh about:

Books that begin with the words ‘our story’ demand that we ask who is included among ‘us’? In my own pedagogy as a medievalist and public-facing scholar, I often ask myself and others to interrogate who ‘we’ and ‘our’ refer to in written discourse and conversations. This is often a good way to identify a core audience. The Bright Ages, written by historians of the European Middle Ages, Matthew Gabriele and David Perry takes readers on a journey through most of what is considered the medieval period over a span of a millennium, starting with the 5th-century fall of Rome and ending with the 14th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri. …

However, the language and core themes of the book don’t reveal brightness so much as ‘whiteness.’ What unfolded as I read through each chapter was not necessarily a revelation of a more complex European history but an understanding of who was at the heart of “our” story. Gabriele and Perry describe how “scholars in medieval studies themselves [historically] sought a history for their new world order to justify and explain why whiteness [my emphasis here]— a modern idea, albeit with medieval roots — justified their domination of the world” (xiv). In The Bright Ages’ attempt to help undo the ‘whiteness’ of European history, it repackages ‘whiteness’ with new terms and slightly different re-tellings of conventional historical narratives and traditional canonical works. I was struck by many of the terms used in this book geared towards a specific type of reader. The writing style and packaging seems to be at odds with the reader. What is ‘whiteness’ to them?

If Butler sought profundity via abstraction, we could say Rambaran-Olm is after relevance via grievance. The constant questioning and hostile distancing and undermining of conventional terminology cost her a lot of words and make her a tiresome author. Good writing requires a deftness, a light touch.

Beneath all the anger and passive aggression, though, I can’t detect the anxiety you find in the theorists. It’s been replaced, instead, by a terrible verbose striving. Rambaran-Olm’s complaint here is simple enough – the book she loathes so much is about “white” people and not about her. But she carries this styrofoam thesis through 3,300 totally unbearable words. The critical theorists, however insubstantial their thought, had genuine political and (pseudo-)intellectual commitments. Rambaran-Olm is what happens when you drain all of the theory out of a critical theorist and make her a petty striving careerist instead.

For our third and final example, we return to the Bad Writing contest linked above. This gem hails from the pen of a philosopher of no note named D.G. Leahy, and his book, Foundation: Matter the Body Itself, published in 1996 by the State University of New York Press:

Total presence breaks on the univocal predication of the exterior absolute the absolute existent (of that of which it is not possible to univocally predicate an outside, while the equivocal predication of the outside of the absolute exterior is possible of that of which the reality so predicated is not the reality, viz., of the dark/of the self, the identity of which is not outside the absolute identity of the outside, which is to say that the equivocal predication of identity is possible of the self-identity which is not identity, while identity is univocally predicated of the limit to the darkness, of the limit of the reality of the self).

This is the real exteriority of the absolute outside: the reality of the absolutely unconditioned absolute outside univocally predicated of the dark: the light univocally predicated of the darkness: the shining of the light univocally predicated of the limit of the darkness: actuality univocally predicated of the other of self-identity: existence univocally predicated of the absolutely unconditioned other of the self. The precision of the shining of the light breaking the dark is the other-identity of the light. The precision of the absolutely minimum transcendence of the dark is the light itself/the absolutely unconditioned exteriority of existence for the first time/the absolutely facial identity of existence/the proportion of the new creation sans depth/the light itself ex nihilo: the dark itself univocally identified, i.e., not self-identity identity itself equivocally, not the dark itself equivocally, in “self-alienation,” not “self-identity, itself in self-alienation” “released” in and by “otherness,” and “actual other,” “itself,” not the abysmal inversion of the light, the reality of the darkness equivocally, absolute identity equivocally predicated of the self/selfhood equivocally predicated of the dark (the reality of this darkness the other-self-covering of identity which is the identification person-self).

When I first encountered this quotation as a student, I thought it was likely fake, so I betook myself the university library, where indeed the book was to be found, wholly unstudied. This passage must have been chosen at random, because the whole thing, literally the whole thing, is like this. Leahy is simply crazy. There’s nothing else to say.

We must rehearse a tired Tolstoy proverb: “All happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Much the same applies to writing. I cannot claim to have assembled a representative typology of all bad writing that exists, but we have at least been able to think some of the major avenues of failure: intellectual obfuscation and scammery, dimwitted careerism and lunacy.

With that in mind, let us return to our good friend, Klaus Schwab, and The Great Reset:

A pandemic is a complex adaptive system comprising many different components or pieces of information (as diverse as biology or psychology), whose behaviour is influenced by such variables as the role of companies, economic policies, government intervention, healthcare politics or national governance. For this reason, it can and should be viewed as a “living network” that adapts to changing conditions – not something set in stone, but a system of interactions that is both complex and adaptive. It is complex because it represents a “cat’s cradle” of interdependence and interconnections from which it stems, and adaptive in the sense that its “behaviour” is driven by interactions between nodes (the organizations, the people – us!) that can become confused and “unruly” in times of stress (Will we adjust to the norms of confinement? Will a majority of us – or not – abide by the rules? etc.). The management (the containment, in this particular case) of a complex adaptive system requires continuous real-time but ever-changing collaboration between a vast array of disciplines, and between different fields within these disciplines.

I don’t think he’s crazy. We can rule that out.

There is definitely some profundity-via-abstraction here, but more than that, the sin is one of relentless generalisation and the total lack of any ****ing specific thing at all. It’s like a man trying to write seat-belt laws, who composes a great deal of verbiage demanding the use of bodily safety restrains upon breathing hominids when carried in fast-moving objects operated on public transit infrastructure. This is what you get when you try to speak to young leaders and politicians and tycoons and journalists in 100 different countries all at once.

Interestingly, Schwab totally avoids social justice terminology; even when he argues on behalf of equity, he tries to find pragmatic reasons and arguments.

There is no relevance via grievance here. There are, however, hints here of a foul strivery, and one that is rather cleverer and more strategic than Rambaran-Olm’s colouring book adventures. Schwab is a man who writes for strivers, and hopes to make these strivers feel like they are engaging in a world of intellectual depth. This also I think explains his predilection for banality and abstraction. Complexity, information, networks, adaptivity: These sound cool, they sound very mathematical and intellectual. It is an aesthetic and appearance of learning that pervades Schwab’s work, that you see in his graphs and illustrations as well.

A final point, not illustrated by this passage, but present in much WEF material: Their words express the political ideology of our elites, and for this reason alone they are unreadably banal. Their whole worldview, their whole philosophy, is everything that everyone has been told since they were five.

Why they have to repeat it I’m not so sure, but there’s nothing so certain as the fact that they’ll never say anything interesting, because they’re the elites and we’ve heard it all before.


On TB every waking moment

Are you ready for digital euro currency?​

Amazon is working with the Eropean Central Bank to develop a prototype digital euro

Peter Imanuelsen
10 hr ago

Get ready everyone because the days of cash are over. The next big thing they are going to push for is digital currency.

You might have heard of Bitcoin, which is a digital currency, but it is not controlled by any government. So the next step of course is for the central banks to invent their own digital currency which they can control, which is exactly what they are doing.


The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced they are working with five companies to develop prototypes for a DIGITAL EURO. One of these companies is none other than Amazon.

The other companies involved is the Spanish CaixaBank, the French Worldline SA, the Italian Nexi S.p.A. and EPI.
”The aim of this prototyping exercise is to test how well the technology behind a digital euro integrates with prototypes developed by companies. Simulated transactions will be initiated using the front-end prototypes developed by the five companies and processed through the Eurosystem’s interface and back-end infrastructure. ”
Bloomberg reports that the European Central Bank will likely be among the first advanced economy central banks to issue a digital currency.

The digital Euro project is currently in a two year investigation phase and officials say it could arrive as early as in a few years.

It would not surprise me if we will see digital currencies being tied to your digital ID. Perhaps in order to access your digital wallet, you would need to login with your digital ID using facial recognition. This is not far fetched.


In fact, Norway is already working on a new system for digital ID which can use facial recognition to login.​


We are being pushed into a cashless society and it is deliberate. Because with a digital currency you get total control.

If someone is deemed a dissident, it would be the easiest thing in the world to shut them off from buying or selling. In fact, that is already happening with PayPal for example, with conservatives being banned. Now imagine central banks doing the same thing.

”And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Rev 13:16-17

Or perhaps you exceeded your personal C02 limit? You could then be shut off from buying stuff in order to reduce your carbon emissions. Or they could just program the digital currency so that you can only use it for whatever the state deems best. The possibilities are endless.

In Sweden, people have already gotten microchip implants in their hands to use for cashless payments, you can read all about that in my previous article here:
The Freedom Corner with PeterSweden
People are now paying with microchips in their hand.
You find yourself at the self scan checkout, just finishing up your run to the grocery store. As you scan the last piece of fake soy meat, you proceed to pay. Instead of grabbing your wallet, you simply hold your hand over the machine and with a ”beep” you are done…

Read more People are now paying with microchips in their hand.
5 months ago · 10 likes · Peter Imanuelsen

Now imagine this.

A microchip implant in your hand to pay with a digital currency all tied to your digital ID.

Because this is the future we are heading towards now.


On TB every waking moment

Man Reportedly Admits To Running Down, Killing Teen He Believed Was ‘Republican Extremist’

September 21, 2022

A man killed an 18-year-old North Dakota teen in a hit-and-run Sunday after believing he was a “republican extremist,” according to multiple reports.

Foster County Deputies were called to an alleyway in the town of McHenry around 2:35 a.m. by 41-year-old Shannon Brandt, according to Valley News Live and Inforum. Brandt told authorities that 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson was part of a Republican extremist group and he was afraid they were “coming to get him,” according to the reports.

Just before the alleged hit-and-run, Ellingson reportedly called his mother to ask if she knew who Brandt was. His mother said “yes” and immediately went on her way to pick her son up, according to Valley News Live and Inforum. Ellingson later called his mother a second time to say that “he” or “they” were chasing him, according to the same reports.


Brandt told authorities that he was under the influence of alcohol and confessed to hitting Ellingson with his car because a political argument ensued between the two of them, Valley News Live reported. Brandt also reportedly said he left the site of the crash, but then returned and called 911 before leaving again.

Ellingson was pronounced dead at Carrington Hospital. Brandt is being charged with criminal vehicular homicide and DUI with a $50,000 bail, according to the report.

President Joe Biden attacked Trump supporters during a recent Philadelphia speech, saying, “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundation of our republic.”


On TB every waking moment
Dr. Peter Navarro: The Federal Reserve is One Trick Pony, FED Can't Handle Stagflation 14:17 min

Dr. Peter Navarro: The Federal Reserve is One Trick Pony, FED Can't Handle Stagflation​

Bannons War Room Published September 21, 2022

(No summary given. Have not watched.)

Philip Patrick Gives Preview of Upcoming FOMC Meeting: American Economy Must Take 'Tough Medicine' 15:27 min

Philip Patrick (Gold) Gives Preview of Upcoming FOMC Meeting: American Economy Must Take 'Tough Medicine'​

Bannons War Room Published September 21, 2022

(No summary given. Have not watched.)


On TB every waking moment
Dr. Robert Malone: Politico Article Used as 'Modified Limited Hangout' by Global Elite 8:45 min

Dr. Robert Malone: Politico Article Used as 'Modified Limited Hangout' by Global Elite​

Bannons War Room Published September 21, 2022


Dr. Naomi Wolf: Politico Article Admits Bill Gates Was Behind Global Conspiracy to Push Covid Vax 8:58 min

Dr. Naomi Wolf: Politico Article Admits Bill Gates Was Behind Global Conspiracy to Push Covid Vax​

Bannons War Room Published September 21, 2022

(No summary given. Have not watched)

Peter McCollugh On Gates Foundation Controlling COVID Response To Push Vaccines For Financial Gain 14:01 min

Peter McCollugh On Gates Foundation Controlling COVID Response To Push Vaccines For Financial Gain

Bannons War Room Published September 21, 2022
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TB Fanatic
Dr. Robert Malone: Politico Article Used as 'Modified Limited Hangout' by Global Elite 8:45 min

Dr. Robert Malone: Politico Article Used as 'Modified Limited Hangout' by Global Elite​

Bannons War Room Published September 21, 2022

View attachment 365466

Dr. Naomi Wolf: Politico Article Admits Bill Gates Was Behind Global Conspiracy to Push Covid Vax 8:58 min

Dr. Naomi Wolf: Politico Article Admits Bill Gates Was Behind Global Conspiracy to Push Covid Vax​

Bannons War Room Published September 21, 2022

(No summary given. Have not watched)
Its like what do people need to know to figure out Gates is evil?


On TB every waking moment
(This is a very long article. See website for the rest)

How Bill Gates and partners used their clout to control the global Covid response — with little oversight​

Four health organizations, working closely together, spent almost $10 billion on responding to Covid across the world. But they lacked the scrutiny of governments, and fell short of their own goals, a POLITICO and WELT investigation found.

09/14/2022 10:00 PM EDT

When Covid-19 struck, the governments of the world weren’t prepared.

From America to Europe to Asia, they veered from minimizing the threat to closing their borders in ill-fated attempts to quell a viral spread that soon enveloped the world. While the most powerful nations looked inward, four non-governmental global health organizations began making plans for a life-or-death struggle against a virus that would know no boundaries.

What followed was a steady, almost inexorable shift in power from the overwhelmed governments to a group of non-governmental organizations, according to a seven-month investigation by POLITICO journalists based in the U.S. and Europe and the German newspaper WELT. Armed with expertise, bolstered by contacts at the highest levels of Western nations and empowered by well-grooved relationships with drug makers, the four organizations took on roles often played by governments — but without the accountability of governments.

While nations were still debating the seriousness of the pandemic, the groups identified potential vaccine makers and targeted investments in the development of tests, treatments and shots. And they used their clout with the World Health Organization to help create an ambitious worldwide distribution plan for the dissemination of those Covid tools to needy nations, though it would ultimately fail to live up to its original promises.

The four organizations had worked together in the past, and three of them shared a common history. The largest and most powerful was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropies in the world. Then there was Gavi, the global vaccine organization that Gates helped to found to inoculate people in low-income nations, and the Wellcome Trust, a British research foundation with a multibillion dollar endowment that had worked with the Gates Foundation in previous years. Finally, there was the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, the international vaccine research and development group that Gates and Wellcome both helped to create in 2017.

A photo collage of Seth Berkley, Angela Merkel, Bill Gates and Donald Trump.
(Left to right) Gavi CEO Seth Berkley, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Gates Foundation Co-founder Bill Gates, and former President Donald Trump. | Getty Images and AP Photos

1 The four organizations have spent almost $10 billion on Covid since 2020 – the same amount as the leading U.S. agency tasked with fighting Covid abroad.

2 The organizations collectively gave $1.4 billion to the World Health Organization, where they helped create a critical initiative to distribute Covid-19 tools. That program failed to achieve its original benchmarks.

3 The organizations’ leaders had unprecedented access to the highest levels of governments, spending at least $8.3 million to lobby lawmakers and officials in the U.S. and Europe.

4 Officials from the U.S., EU and representatives from the WHO rotated through these four organizations as employees, helping them solidify their political and financial connections in Washington and Brussels.

5 The leaders of the four organizations pledged to bridge the equity gap. However, during the worst waves of the pandemic, low-income countries were left without life-saving vaccines.

6 Leaders of three of the four organizations maintained that lifting intellectual property protections was not needed to increase vaccine supplies – which activists believed would have helped save lives.

Civil society organizations active in poorer nations, including Doctors Without Borders, expressed discomfort with the notion that Western-dominated groups, staffed by elite teams of experts, would be helping guide life-and-death decisions affecting people in poorer nations. Those tensions only increased when the Gates Foundation opposed efforts to waive intellectual property rights, a move that critics saw as protecting the interests of pharmaceutical giants over people living poorer nations.

“What makes Bill Gates qualified to be giving advice and advising the U.S. government on where they should be putting the tremendous resources?” asked Kate Elder, senior vaccines policy adviser for the Doctors Without Borders’ Access Campaign.

Soon, however, governments in the United States and Europe were offering their own crucial support to the four groups. The organizations spent at least $8.3 million lobbying the U.S. and E.U., according to an analysis of lobbying disclosures. When, this past spring, the leaders of CEPI sought to replenish the group’s coffers, it spent $50,000 in part to advocate for $200 million in yearly funding from the U.S. government, according to filings and interviews with Capitol Hill staff.

The overtures worked. While President Joe Biden’s efforts to obtain an additional $5 billion in funding for the administration’s international work combatting the virus were floundering in Congress, he still managed to slip $500 million for CEPI into his budget proposal — $100 million a year for five years.

The money, which has yet to be approved, would help what most global health experts agree is an important cause, not only in humanitarian terms but in helping prevent poorer nations from becoming breeding grounds for new variants. And most believe that the Gates Foundation and the other groups deserve credit not only for their work to help save lives but for being almost the only game in town with sufficient scope to fight a pandemic.

But the groups’ extensive politicking and financial might in the U.S. and Europe helped to enable them to direct the international response to the most important health event of the past century at a time when governments were caught flat-footed, according to the investigation.

The investigation, which relied on more than four dozen interviews with U.S. and European officials and global health specialists, charted the step-by-step journey through which much of the international response to the Covid pandemic passed from governments to a privately overseen global constituency of non-governmental experts. It also detailed the significant financial and political connections that enabled them to achieve such clout at the highest levels of the U.S. government, the European Commission and the WHO.

The officials who spoke to POLITICO and WELT hail from the top tiers of the governments in the U.S. and in Europe, including in the health agencies. They were granted anonymity to speak candidly about how their respective administrations approached the international response to Covid and what missteps occurred during the course of their tenure. Many of them dealt directly with representatives of the four global health agencies, some on a daily basis.

POLITICO and WELT examined meeting minutes as well as thousands of pages of financial disclosures and tax documents, which revealed that the groups have spent nearly $10 billion since 2020 — the same amount as the leading U.S. agency charged with fighting Covid abroad. It is one of the first comprehensive accountings of expenditures by global health organizations on the global fight against the pandemic.


Now, critics are raising significant questions about the equity and effectiveness of the group’s response to the pandemic — and the serious limitations of outsourcing the pandemic response to unelected, privately-funded groups.

“I think we should be deeply concerned,” said Lawrence Gostin, a Georgetown University professor who specializes in public-health law. “Putting it in a very crass way, money buys influence. And this is the worst kind of influence. Not just because it’s money — although that’s important, because money shouldn’t dictate policy — but also, because it’s preferential access, behind closed doors.”

Gostin said that such power, even if propelled by good intentions and expertise, is “anti-democratic, because it’s extraordinarily non-transparent, and opaque” and “leaves behind ordinary people, communities and civil society.”


While dozens of global health organizations participated in the world’s response to Covid, the POLITICO and WELT investigation focused on these four organizations because of their connections to one another — both Gavi and CEPI received seed funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — and because they together played a critical role in advising governments and the WHO.

The WHO was crucial to the groups’ rise to power. All had longstanding ties to the global health body. The boards of both CEPI and Gavi have a specially designated WHO representative. There is also a revolving door between employment in the groups and work for the WHO: Former WHO employees now work at the Gates Foundation and CEPI; some, such as Chris Wolff, the deputy director of country partnerships at the Gates Foundation, occupy important positions.

Much of the groups’ clout with the WHO stems simply from money. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the Gates Foundation, Gavi, and the Wellcome Trust have donated collectively more than $1.4 billion to the WHO — a significantly greater amount than most other official member states, including the United States and the European Commission, according to data provided by the WHO.

“You have to remember that when you’re dealing with the Gates Foundation, it’s almost like you’re dealing with another major country in terms of their donations to these global health organizations,” a former senior U.S. health official said.

Working closely with the WHO, the four groups played a central role in creating an initiative known as the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, or ACT-A, that focused on securing and delivering tests, treatments and vaccine doses to low- and middle-income countries across the world. COVAX — a special consortium operated by Gavi, CEPI and UNICEF — is the vaccine pillar of the ACT-A initiative.

But ACT-A missed its delivery goals for 2021 on all three fronts — for testing, vaccine distribution and treatments, according to an independent review by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, a policy advisory firm based in New York.

The ACT-A diagnostics team set a target of making 500 million tests accessible to low-and middle-income countries by the middle of 2021. It procured just 84 million tests by June 2021, only 16 percent of its target, according to the report. The therapeutics team originally set a goal of delivering 245 million treatments to low- and middle-income countries by 2021 but later changed the target to 100 million new treatments by the end of 2021. As of June of that year, the therapeutics team had allocated only about 1.8 million treatments.

COVAX set the aim of delivering 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021. By September of that year, it had only delivered 319 million doses.

Although COVAX significantly accelerated the delivery of doses later in 2021 and in 2022, governments have struggled to get shots into arms. As of August 2022, only about 20 percent of Africans were vaccinated — a dangerously low percentage — according to the Africa CDC.

The leaders of the groups say that they were unable to meet their goals largely because wealthy, Western governments were slow to step up and make available the huge tranches of vaccine and therapeutics that were needed to protect the world. The groups say they provided a crucial voice for the suffering and needs of poorer nations, without which the progress may have been far slower.

“Putting it in a very crass way, money buys influence. And this is the worst kind of influence. Not just because it’s money […] but also, because it’s preferential access, behind closed doors.”
Lawrence Gostin, Georgetown University professor who specializes in public-health law
“The Gates Foundation focused on supporting a global response that would ensure low- and middle-income countries had affordable, equitable access to the best data and tools available to tackle the crisis,” Mark Suzman, CEO of the Gates Foundation, said in a statement. “In some areas we saw successes. On the most critical issue of equitable vaccine access, the world as a whole failed as high-income countries initially monopolized available supply.” The foundation declined to make Gates available for comment.

On the struggle to deliver vaccine doses to low- and middle-income countries on time, Seth Berkley, the CEO of Gavi, said in an interview that the organization actually met one of its original targets of distributing 950 million doses by the end of 2021 to low-income countries, even though it failed to deliver on one of its original promises to distribute 2 billion doses. (COVAX delivered the 950 million doses by January 2022.)

“It’s very easy to sit there outside and to criticize what we’re doing. What we need to do is to be evaluated fairly based upon the actions we took at the time with the knowledge we had at the time,” Berkley said.

A spokesperson for CEPI put it this way: “While there is much that we can improve upon, it would be inaccurate to apportion all the blame for the failures of the global response to the very organizations that did more than anyone else to try and solve the problems of vaccine supply and inequity.”

”The challenge we faced was the need to bake in access to vaccines for poor countries right at the point when companies were able to sell promising product to the highest bidder,” the spokesperson said.

Jeremy Farrar, the Wellcome Trust director, struck a similar note.

“Comprehensive pandemic preparedness and response requires the sort of funding and international cooperation that only governments can muster,” he said.

Farrar, however, defended the ACT-A partnership as “the best mechanism we have for delivering lifesaving Covid-19 tools across the world.”

“Before ACT-A was set up, there was no formal mechanism in place to coordinate and accelerate the development, production and equitable access to Covid-19 interventions globally,” he said. “While ACT-A may not be perfect … the global response would have been poorer and far more fragmented without it.”

The POLITICO and WELT investigation found, however, that ACT-A’s structure diminished accountability. ACT-A representatives set funding priorities and campaigned for donations. But the money — $23 billion in total — went directly to the entities involved in the initiative, such as Gavi and CEPI.

Although ACT-A’s website keeps track of how much money was raised, it is nearly impossible to tell exactly where all of it went.

Based on each organization’s individual Covid database, it is not possible to delineate exactly how the groups spent the money raised through ACT-A. It is also difficult to determine in the organization’s grants and investment data how much they donated specifically for ACT-A programming. For example, the organizations do not use “ACT-A” or similar terminology in their descriptions of their grants and investments.

“In theory, I think that was a great idea,” said Gayle Smith, who led the U.S. State Department’s global Covid-19 response last year, referring to ACT-A. But she questioned its accountability.

“In practice … there was no single director,” Smith said. “Who’s the big boss of this whole enterprise? In a global emergency like this, we need to be able to get the countermeasures to everyone everywhere as quickly as possible.”

Bruce Aylward, who coordinates the work of the ACT-Accelerator at the WHO, said ACT-A was purposely set up with a decentralized structure in order to cut down on bureaucracy. He said that each agency was in charge of their own accounting and solidifying agreements directly with donors.

Smith and others closely involved in the global Covid fight say there should have been a stronger hand at the tiller.

When vaccine doses started flowing into COVAX, many poor countries and provinces were ill-equipped to handle them. And during the long delays, many potential beneficiaries lost faith in the global health system.

“I think that if we had had the vaccine earlier the coverage would have been much, much, much better,” said Stephen Bordotsiah, the municipal director of health services in the Bolgatanga region of Ghana, which received significant doses from COVAX.

(This is a very long article. Access the rest here: How Bill Gates and partners used their clout to control the global Covid response — with little oversight )

von Koehler

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Fed Rate-Hikes Will Add Trillions To National Debt

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 12:30 PM
Authored by Michael Maharrey via,

Federal Reserve rate hikes will add trillions to the national debt, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

The Fed delivered another 75-basis point rate-hike during its September FOMC meeting this afternoon and made it clear that rates will be 'higher for longer' to fight persistently high inflation. According to the Committee for a Responsible Budget (CFRB), rate hikes will add another $2.1 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.

The debt current stands at $30.9 trillion.

Every increase in interest rate raises the federal government’s interest expense. So far in fiscal 2022, the US Treasury has forked out $471 billion just to fund the government’s interest payments.

To put that number into context, at this point in fiscal 2021 the Treasury’s interest expense stood at $356 billion. That represents a 30% year-on-year increase. Interest expense ranks as the sixth largest budget expense category, about $250 billion below Medicare. If interest rates remain elevated or continue rising, interest expenses could climb rapidly into the top three federal expenses. (You can read a more in-depth analysis of the national debt HERE.)

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this is exactly what will happen. It projects interest payments will triple from nearly $400 billion in fiscal 2022 to $1.2 trillion in 2032. And it’s worse than that. The CBO made this estimate in May. Interest rates are already higher than those used in its analysis.

In a statement to Fox Business, the CFRB concedes that rate hikes are necessary in this inflationary environment. It places the onus on the federal government to get its spending under control.

Policymakers can help the Fed by limiting the need for rate hikes with fiscal policy that pushes inflation in the right direction. That means not enacting legislation and executive orders like student loan forgiveness that have ballooned deficits and only made demand pressures worse.”

Even with pandemic-era spending programs expiring, the federal government continues to spend about half-a-trillion dollars every single month. In August alone, the Biden administration blew through another $523.3 billion. This brought total spending for fiscal 2022 to just over $5.35 trillion.

There is no indication spending will slow anytime soon. While federal outlays have fallen compared to last year as pandemic programs wound down, the US government is still handing out COVID stimulus and it wants more. Congress recently pushed through another massive spending bill. Meanwhile, the US continues to shower money on Ukraine and other countries around the world. And we haven’t begun to see the impact of student loan forgiveness.

A paper published by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank acknowledged that the central bank can’t slay inflation unless the US government gets its spending under control. In a nutshell, the authors argue that the Fed can’t control inflation alone. US government fiscal policy contributes to inflationary pressure and makes it impossible for the Fed to do its job.

Trend inflation is fully controlled by the monetary authority only when public debt can be successfully stabilized by credible future fiscal plans. When the fiscal authority is not perceived as fully responsible for covering the existing fiscal imbalances, the private sector expects that inflation will rise to ensure sustainability of national debt. As a result, a large fiscal imbalance combined with a weakening fiscal credibility may lead trend inflation to drift away from the long-run target chosen by the monetary authority.”

This clearly isn’t in the cards.

“As interest rates rise and the nation’s debt grows, it will become even more expensive to borrow in the future. Congresses and presidents of both parties, over many years, have avoided making hard choices about our budget and failed to put it on a sustainable path. It is vital for lawmakers to take action on the growing debt to ensure a stable economic future,” the Peter Peterson Foundation said.

Interest expense isn’t the only problem the Fed’s inflation fight creates for the US government. Along with raising rates, the Fed is shrinking its balance sheet. That means it’s not buying Treasury bonds. The federal government needs the central bank to continue buying Treasuries in order to prop up the market and enable its borrowing. Without the Fed’s intervention in the bond market, prices will tank, driving interest rates on US debt even higher.

Something has to give.

The Fed can’t simultaneously fight inflation and prop up Uncle Sam’s spending spree. Either the government will have to cut spending or the Fed will have to keep creating money out of thin air in order to monetize the debt.

You can decide for yourself which scenario you find more likely.

Third option is the Great Default.


On TB every waking moment



Thousands of people gathered in the Belgian capital Brussels for ‘a national day of action’ to protest against skyrocketing electricity, natural gas and food prices, and to draw attention to the sharp hike in the cost of living.

Naples rises up and besieges the headquarters of the National Hydrocarbons Authority and burn bills! .44 min


The people in Naples rise up and besiege the headquarters of the National Hydrocarbons Authority and burn the bills: "Today the campaign is born we don't pay, from Naples to Genoa, from Milan to Palermo, nobody in Italy has to pay the bills!" In Naples they don't joke.

The Hague, Netherlands, The Royals are greeted by thunderous boos...Resentment and anger is building .56 min


Protesters in The Netherlands holding the flag upside down, booing and shouting at the King today .34 min


Seeing protesters in The Netherlands holding the flag upside down, booing and shouting at the King today as he went to deliver his yearly speech from the throne, really shows how fed up the people are with our royals and the 2030 agenda they represent.
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Dusty Lady

Veteran Member


On TB every waking moment

The "Stunning Success" Of The Green Revolution Is Yet Another Progressive Myth

WEDNESDAY, SEP 21, 2022 - 06:40 PM
Authored by Kristoffer Mousten Hansen via The Mises Institute,

One of the key myths of the twentieth century is the benign role played by international, American-led institutions after the Second World War. American liberals/progressives, fresh from imposing the New Deal in the thirties and planning and directing a world war, turned their eyes to international affairs: the United States had a world historic mission of messianic proportions: lifting developing countries into modernity by remaking them (and all other countries, for that matter) in America’s own image.

The Cold War era was rife with projects and organizations to carry out this vision, from Bretton Woods and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the area of international finance to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in military affairs to the CIA-funded Congress for Cultural Freedom used to spread progressive, US-friendly propaganda. These organizations all had mainly deleterious influences—I have previously indicated how Bretton Woods and the modern international financial system can best be described as financial imperialism—but in one area American interventionism is to this day universally acclaimed as benign: the Green Revolution.

The Official History of the Green Revolution
Population growth was considered a major problem in the sixties. Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University in his 1968 Population Bomb predicted widespread hunger as soon as the 1970s and advocated immediate action to limit population growth. The world simply could not feed a larger human population. Although mainly focused on environmental damage from pesticide use, Rachel Carson’s famous 1962 book, Silent Spring, made similar points. Human population was bound to continue to grow, and this would result in untold suffering and environmental damage.

A key and imminent danger in the 1960s was India: always on the verge on starvation, only massive imports of American wheat kept the specter of mass death away. Then, in 1965, catastrophe struck: drought across most of the subcontinent caused the Indian harvest to fail. As the drought continued into the two following years, it appeared that Ehrlich’s and the other Neo-Malthusians’ predictions had come true.

Then, a miracle happened: in stepped a man, a veritable demigod, to judge by the worship lavished on him by contemporary normies. Norman E. Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, had since the forties been researching and breeding new wheat varieties in Mexico, initially funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and after 1964 as leader of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo, CIMMYT, initially funded by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations and the Mexican government).

Borlaug bred high-yielding dwarf wheat varieties that were widely adapted to different ecological environments. Since the early sixties, he had been working with M.S. Swaminathan of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and together they planted Borlaug’s new dwarf wheat varieties in northern India. Success was immediate: 1968 returned a bumper crop, as the new wheat yields were the highest ever recorded in India.

It appeared that the population doomers had been wrong. So said Borlaug himself when he in 1970 received the Nobel Peace Prize: in his acceptance speech, he proclaimed victory in the perpetual war between “two opposing forces, the scientific power of food production and the biologic power of human reproduction.” But the war was not over, he warned, and only continuous funding for technological research into food production and limits on reproduction could avert disaster.

Governments and philanthropists rose to the challenge, and capital poured into agricultural research of the Borlaugian variety as new international institutes were set up to continue the work Borlaug had begun in Mexico and in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines (founded in 1960). The Green Revolution eradicated the scourge of famine, and since agriculture with Borlaugian technology had much higher yields, masses of land were liberated from agricultural use and returned to nature. A 2021 study in the Journal of Political Economy estimates that gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in the developing world would have been up to 50 percent lower had it not been for Borlaug, Swaminathan and the other international Brahmins ready and willing to guide the unwashed masses of ignorant peasants.

There is a twofold problem with this account of agricultural history: it is based on bad economics, and its connection to the actual history of Indian agriculture is tangential at best.

The Green Revolutionaries’ Bad Economics
Celebrating the Green Revolution rests on two fundamental errors in economic reasoning: Malthusianism and misunderstanding agricultural economics.

Malthusianism is the mistaken belief that human population will grow faster than the food supply; in Thomas Malthus’s formulation, population growth follows a geometric progression (2, 4, 8, 16 …) and food supply an arithmetic progression (2, 3, 4, 5 …). As a result, mankind is destined, apart from brief periods, to live at the margin of subsistence: only disease, war, and famine will limit population growth.

The problem with Malthusianism is that it’s completely wrong, both as a matter of theory and of historical record. For one, food production and population growth are clearly not independent variables, since human labor is a key input in food production, a point made by Joseph A. Schumpeter. More fundamentally, as Ludwig von Mises explained, the Malthusian law of population is only a biological law—it is true for all animal species, but men are not simply animals. With the use of reason, they can refrain from mindless procreative activity, and they will do so if they themselves must support the result of said activity. Malthus himself clearly saw this and amended his theory in the second and later editions of his famous Essay on the Principle of Population (Frédéric Bastiat, as is his wont, has a much better and more optimistic explanation of the population principle).

Neither do the technophiliacs understand the economics of agriculture and food production. Ester Boserup, who is a key inspiration for the following brief explanation, developed the correct understanding of this issue in the 1960s, after studying Indian farming. The ignorance of Borlaug and company and their cheerleaders today and in the past is thus hardly excusable: the exact same historical conditions that they saw as “Malthusian,” after all, inspired Boserup to lay out the correct understanding of the matter.

As population grows, the labor supply expands, and more labor is applied to agricultural plots. The land’s yield therefore increases, although the returns on additional labor input diminish—as per the law of returns. Once the return on additional labor input is insufficient to justify it, new land is instead brought into cultivation, and once the land has been cleared, the physical productivity of labor increases. Since clearing new land requires some additional effort, farmers always have to weigh the potential returns from new lands versus the returns from more intensive cultivation of already cleared lands.

We can see this clearly in monetary terms: as more labor is applied to working the land, wages fall and land rents rise. As land rents and land values rise, the potential value of unsettled lands increases, and as wages fall, the expenditure needed to clear the land falls. Once the expected return on new lands outweighs the estimated cost of bringing it into cultivation, labor will be applied to clearing new lands. Then land rents will fall and wages rise until bringing more land into agricultural use is no longer deemed profitable.

Thus, population and food production expand in unison, sometimes due to more intensive cultivation, sometimes due to an increase in the area cultivated. The same analysis holds under more capitalistic conditions (i.e., when farmers have more tools and other capital inputs available): the return on applying more capital goods to present land is compared to potential returns from applying capital goods to expanding the cultivated land area. Even the most primitive form of agriculture is, of course, capitalistic, as agriculture is a roundabout production process, in which productive effort is widely separated in time from valuable output.

Indian agriculture in the 1960s functioned well, except when it was impeded by government meddling and institutional barriers. Such meddling can be extremely destructive, as Mao Zedong had shown in China just a few years previously during the Great Leap Forward. However, there was nothing Malthusian about that episode nor, as we shall see, about the alleged famine in India in the 1960s.

The 1960s Indian Famine: Bad History
The 1960s famine in India launched the Green Revolution and the international fame of its main protagonist, Norman Borlaug. From the outset, however, the narrative was skewed by political considerations.

American agriculture was heavily subsidized in the sixties, resulting in huge surplus production. This surplus could not be sold at the market price, at least not without bankrupting American farmers. Under typical interventionist logic, the American government intervened to subsidize the export of American farm products to maintain an artificially high price in the domestic market.

India was thereby inundated by cheap American wheat in the early sixties, but as G.D. Stone writes, this did not alleviate India’s food shortages—it caused them. In a simple case of farmers adjusting to their comparative advantage, Indians shifted their production to cash crops (such as sugarcane and jute) for export and thereby financed their imports of cheap American grain.

The drought of 1965 and the following years was real enough, but its impact was not simply a failure of food crops. The jute and sugarcane crops suffered, leading to real hardship for agricultural laborers. But this hardship never amounted to widespread famine. This did not matter for the narrative, however: in 1965, the American president, Lyndon B. Johnson, was trying to get Congress to approve a new farm bill with increased subsidies for agricultural exports and foreign aid in the shape of the Food for Peace plan. Reports of Indian drought were a godsend: faced with a recalcitrant Congress, Johnson played up the specter of drought and mass starvation. His legislation duly passed, and even more American grain was shipped to India, which doubtlessly did help alleviate some hardship in the short term.

Playing up the dire situation in India naturally also fed the agenda of Borlaug and company. The special wheat varieties bred in Mexico were widely introduced across northern India, and as the drought conveniently ended, the first harvest yielded a massive crop. Borlaug took credit, quite undisturbed by the coincidence that nearly all crop yields were at record levels in India and in neighboring China. The alleged success of American technocracy also played into the wider political narrative of American progressive leadership of the “free world”: in 1968, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), William Gaud, addressed the Society for International Development in Washington, DC, claiming that foreign aid and wise agricultural policies had fostered “a new revolution. Not a violent Red Revolution like that of the Soviets, nor is it a White Revolution like that of the Shah of Iran. I call it the Green Revolution.”

The Green Revolution, led by government and NGO technocrats and financed mainly by Western development agencies, was off to the races. The breeding of hybrid rice and wheat varieties by the International Rice Research Institute and CIMMYT, respectively, was the flagship of modernity in farming. But even on its own terms, this is misleading at best. What happened was that agriculture in the developed world as well as in the West shifted to a very intensive cultivation that required a lot of capital inputs. Borlaug’s wheat varieties are a case in point, as Stone points out: only when large amounts of fertilizer were applied did these varieties outyield native Indian tall wheats.

Technologies, it turns out, are not exogenous forces that are simply imposed and reshape the environment. The local people had developed crops and techniques suited to their situation, and it’s unlikely that Borlaug’s wheat would have been widely used had the Indian government (and foreign aid agencies) not at the same time massively subsidized the use of fertilizer and the construction of new irrigation systems.

The Reality of the Green Revolution
A last line of defense for the proponents of the Green Revolution’s benefits is that it has resulted in efficient food production, liberated labor for nonagricultural work, and that we can now go on to use modern genetic technologies to increase the quality of food and avoid malnutrition. Thus, for example, otherwise sensible people like Bjørn Lomborg have long championed the introduction of “golden rice”—a rice variety genetically engineered to be high in vitamin A—as a solution to malnutrition in rice-growing countries.

But the technocrats and their cheerleaders forget to mention or ignore the fact that the Green Revolution has itself been a cause of malnutrition. As wheat yields increased in India according to Stone, for instance, the relative price of wheat declined, and wheat thereby outcompeted alternative food sources rich in protein and micronutrients. Malnutrition rates in India thereby rose as a direct result of the Green Revolution. A similar development occurred in developed countries, for different but analogous reasons.

When it comes to technology freeing up labor, what has really happened is that overinvestment of capital in agriculture has reduced the demand for agricultural labor, but this has not increased the demand for labor elsewhere.

On the contrary, since less capital is available for investment in nonagricultural sectors, the demand for labor and wages elsewhere has not risen. Thus, the Green Revolution has been an important contributing factor in the growth of third-world slums where people subsist on low-paying jobs and government handouts.

All in all, as we should expect when dealing with technocrats driven by progressive hubris to intervene in the economy’s natural development, the Green Revolution was not a blessing, the victory of wise scientists over the propensity of stupid peasants to breed uncontrollably. Rather, it has been an ecological, nutritional, and social disaster.