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Testifying before Congress yesterday, Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer informed the committee that the FBI is investigating the possibility of a criminal enterprise being involved in the death of Jeffrey Epstein.

No major news outlet is running this story on the front page.

With Epstein memes overtaking social media, one would think that the BoP director admitting a criminal investigation was underway would be front-page news.

A federal judge has ruled that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) must have probable cause before searching a person's devices. This may seem like a Pyrrhic victory because it only requires cause (we know inventing 'cause' is not a stretch) and not a warrant, but it nullifies a concept asserted and enforced by the CBP for some time: that a customs zone is not yet "America" and therefore the Constitution does not apply.

Massachusetts District Judge Denise Casper's ruling on Fourth Amendment grounds establishes that the Constitution does apply to federal agents and American citizens / legal residents regardless of where the stormtroopers think they are.

Reuters report

The Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944 tied currencies from forty-four countries to the dollar and set the value of the dollar at 1/35 of an ounce of gold ($35/ounce). The Federal Reserve Bank, a private organization not bound by U.S. treaties, proceeded to print paper notes ad infinitum, exceeding fourteen billion dollars by 1966 – more than four times the amount of gold held by the U.S. Treasury (not a bad arrangement I must say, a private bank printing notes that must be redeemed by gold held by the United States government).

When Nixon suspended the gold standard in 1971, he was simply acknowledging reality; the gold standard was meaningless. If countries could not redeem their FRS notes (dollars) for gold, then the U.S. dollar would crash, and by extension, the entire global economy (which had already started to drift from the Bretton Woods agreement because of the excessive number of FRS notes in circulation).

Having nothing to backstop the billions of pictures of dead presidents floating around the world, the United States could only hope to preserve the dollar as a reserve currency through oil trading. All OPEC oil is traded in dollars. OPEC nations’ only impetus for trading in dollars is the implicit protection of the global oil industry by the United States. President Trump has learned this the hard way, having been forced to retain troops in Syria – against his preferred judgment – to protect oil production.

The system is as despicable as it gets and there are other better ways of doing things, but until then we are the world’s police force.

*Except the Afghan War, that protects the opium trade.

While the self-styled foreign policy experts have decried the withdrawal of American forces from Syria, I have been looking for the Congressional resolution that authorized the invasion of Syria, without much luck.

Oh, didn't you know? Occupying a foreign country without invitation or consent is an act of war and violates about 6,000 treaties and international laws to which the U.S. is a signatory.

(And this "we can't abandon our allies" gibberish – which we do all the time – is the same trope used to justify nonsense wars since 1951).

“Fake” News: A story that is embellished or even fabricated to draw headlines (at best) or drive the publisher’s agenda (at worst). This is the definition many people think of when asked about fake news.

Fake “News”: A story that is reported accurately, but it is not newsworthy; it is presented to draw headlines or drive the publisher’s agenda (are you seeing a pattern here?). This is the lesser known and consequently more insidious form of Fake News. It is a simple distractive or inflammatory device and has no meaningful public interest.

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in Madison, Wisconsin today that “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out. … I don’t think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability.”

More government or more government money is seldom the answer to any problem and in this case, one would propose less government: perhaps removing some of the obstacles (paperwork, onerous regulations, etc.) to allow small farms and businesses to flourish should be considered.

(Should I read anything into the fact that the SecAg's name is "Perdue"?)

A new study by Dalhousie University in Halifax has concluded that consuming red meat does not correlate to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, or heat disease. The World Health Organization (part of the UN) lists red meat as a carcinogen.

Experts agree that the studies concluding the dangers of red meat have been weak and unconvincing, but rather than follow the science, they are merely dismissing the new findings as "irresponsible".

“I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” – Richard Feynman

 

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