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Futures Jump Above 3,200 On Vaccine Optimism, Merger Monday

Futures Jump Above 3,200 On Vaccine Optimism, Merger Monday



Futures Jump Above 3,200 On Vaccine Optimism, Merger Monday Tyler Durden Mon, 07/13/2020 - 08:01

With futures flat for much of the overnight session, markets needed that extra oomph to start the week and push them above a key psychological level, and they got that after news that Pfizer and German biotech BioNTech SE were granted fast track designation by the FDA for two of the companies’ four vaccine candidates against the coronavirus. The news, which is purely procedural and was expected all along, was misinterpreted by the market as if the two companies have a promising virus vaccine, and sent Pfizer shares 2%, while BioNTech jumped 5%. More importantly, the news was enough to push Eminis up more than 21 point and above 3,200 which will surely help the market's mood ahead of tomorrow's official start of Q2 earnings which are expected to be the worst since the financial crisis.

In corporate news, Pepsi kicked off the second-quarter earnings season on a bright note, gaining over 2% as it benefited from a surge in at-home consumption of salty snacks such as Fritos and Cheetos during lockdowns, while a multi-billion dollar semiconductor deal also lifting the mood. Analog Devices rose 0.9% in premarket trading after it confirmed a Sunday report from the WSJ, offering to buy peer Maxim Integrated Products Inc for $20.91 billion in an all-stock deal. Maxim shares jumped 17%.

The renewed covid optimism and strong results offered some cheer as investors are bracing for what could be the sharpest drop in quarterly earnings for S&P 500 firms since the financial crisis, with Goldman expected a 60% drop in Q2 EPS.

Results from big banks will be in focus this week. The April-June reports will reveal the extent of the damage wreaked by the coronavirus-induced lockdowns on corporate profits. With a record jump in cases in the United States and some other hotspots around the world, analysts have predicted a return to S&P 500 earning s growth only by 2022. Recent economic data, however, has pointed to a revival in business activity, helping the Nasdaq clinch its sixth record close in seven weeks on Friday as broader markets rose on positive data from Gilead’s potential COVID-19 treatment.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks gained, led by materials and industrials, after falling in the last session. Markets in the region were mixed, with Japan's Topix Index rising, and Singapore's Straits Times Index and Thailand's SET falling. Amusingly, Beijing appears to be losing control of its stock market bubble, as the Shanghai Composite brushes off another mainland media call for ‘rational’ behavior to gain 1.8%, Shenzhen 2.7% higher.

Trading volume for MSCI Asia Pacific Index members was 42% above the monthly average. The Topix gained 2.5%, with AIT and Nomura System Corp rising the most. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.8%, with Xinhu Zhongbao and Flying Technology posting the biggest advances

European markets initially failed to echo Asia’s optimism, with the majority of indexes trading well off opening levels. FTSE MIB underperformed, trading flat after opening ~1.5% higher. Banks, autos and travel names gave back ~1% of gains, having outperformed in early trading. However, as US traders walked in, European share rose alongside US bond yields.

And so, with global stocks trading near their highest since February, focus now turns to whether the profit outlook will back up bullishness fueled by central bank and fiscal policy support. Traders have largely shrugged off new coronavirus outbreaks in some parts of the world, with Florida on Sunday posting the biggest one-day rise in cases since the pandemic began in the U.S., reporting 15,300 new infections. As Bloomberg notes, "there’s reason for optimism even though earnings are estimated to have contracted by more than 40% in the worst quarter since the financial crisis, as analysts upgrade their forecasts for the rest of the year."

“We think earnings are likely to recover in the second half of the year and excess liquidity will continue to support risk assets,” said Julie Fox at UBS Private Wealth Management. “We see further potential in global equities and think there’s some upside in segments of the market that have underperformed during the crisis.”

In rates, Treasuries were unchanged after trading in a narrow range, the 10Y moving from 0.625% to 0.655% during the European session and within 2bps of Friday’s closing levels, having pared declines as U.S. equity index futures tracked European stocks higher, TSYs outperformed other developed market bonds which were pressured by supply; there’s no Treasury coupon supply this week. Yields so far remain inside Friday’s ranges, which featured multi-month lows for all tenors and a record low for the 5-year. The 10-year yield was little changed at 0.646%, traded at 0.5678% Friday, lowest yield since April 22. German and U.K. 10-year yields were 2bp-3bp cheaper vs U.S., while Japan’s and Australia’s bond markets were pressured by supply. Peripheral spreads traded off session wides as BTPs and PGBs put in a firm bounce off the lows.

In FX, the dollar traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers and hovered around 1.13 per euro; most currencies were confined to narrow moves as they consolidated recent trading ranges. The Bloomberg dollar index faded Asia’s losses to trade flat. Cable traded near 1.2600, having printed highs of 1.2666. The Australian dollar was on the top of the table while the New Zealand dollar slipped; asset managers last week increased Aussie long positions to the most since September 2017 and decreased kiwi longs for the first time in a month, Commitments of Traders (COT) reports showed. Norway’s krone fell versus all Group-of-10 peers as oil edged lower ahead of an OPEC+ meeting this week at which the group may announce plans to start tapering historic production cuts even as the coronavirus surges unabated in many parts of the world.

In commodities, crude futures drifted lower, front-month WTI dips below $40 ahead of an OPEC+ meeting at which the group may announce plans to start tapering historic production cuts.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 3,183.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.3% to 367.88
  • MXAP up 1.1% to 166.56
  • MXAPJ up 0.7% to 551.10
  • Nikkei up 2.2% to 22,784.74
  • Topix up 2.5% to 1,573.02
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 25,772.12
  • Shanghai Composite up 1.8% to 3,443.29
  • Sensex down 0.04% to 36,578.49
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1% to 5,977.52
  • Kospi up 1.7% to 2,186.06
  • German 10Y yield rose 0.4 bps to -0.461%
  • Euro up 0.06% to $1.1307
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 0.2 bps to 1.099%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 1.1 bps to 0.424%
  • Brent futures down 1.4% to $42.65/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,808.06
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 96.61

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • When the ECB meets this week to review its radical suite of measures to revive the economy, there’s one tool it insists it’ll stay away from: yield curve control
  • Faced with the prospect of restricted access to U.S. dollars, China’s answer is to get more people to use its own currency instead
  • The dollar rallied during the March market turmoil due to its haven status, yet ongoing repricing in options may be challenging the idea that a second wave of the pandemic or another black swan event could see similar results
  • China announced sanctions against U.S. officials including Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, in a largely symbolic retaliation over legislation intended to punish Beijing for its treatment of ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region
  • Boris Johnson’s government will launch a campaign Monday to urge businesses to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period on Dec. 31, as a survey showed only a quarter of directors said their companies were fully ready
  • France will unveil “massive” support for youth employment this week and a new broad stimulus plan including tax cuts for companies at the end of August, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said

Asian equity markets began the week mostly positive as the region benefitted from the recent tailwinds from Wall St. where encouraging Remdesivir data and outperformance in financials last Friday ahead of upcoming earnings, helped markets shrug off the rising COVID infection numbers to lift all major US indices and helped the Nasdaq to a fresh all-time high. ASX 200 (+1.0%) was led higher by outperformance in utilities and the top-weighted financials sector, as the latter took its cue from its counterpart stateside and as big 4 bank Westpac was buoyed by reports it is mulling divesting over AUD 4bln in non-core wealth assets, while Nikkei 225 (+2.2%) outperformed on a break above the 22,500 level with participants unfazed by the increasing risks associated with the outbreak flare-up in Tokyo. Hang Seng (+0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+1.8%) were also positive after the PBoC provided its first liquidity injection following a 2-week hiatus and amid recent better than expected lending data from China. This helped domestic markets shake off the initial tentativeness after local press continued to urge rationality regarding stocks and amid the continued US-China tensions with US President Trump suggesting a Phase 2 trade deal was unlikely at this point and the US State Department warned US citizens in China of increased arbitrary detention, while China had also threatened to impose reciprocal measures if the US insists on moving forward with sanctions. Finally, 10yr JGBs were weaker amid gains in stocks and spillover selling following Friday’s pullback in USTs, while the lack of BoJ presence in the market ahead of its 2-day policy meeting tomorrow, also contributed to the tame demand for bonds.

Top Asian News

  • Tokyo Virus Numbers Fuel Concern of Spread Beyond Nightclubs
  • After 133% Rally, SoftBank Investors Bet There’s More Ahead
  • Netanyahu Ally Calls for Immediate Lockdown to Halt Virus Spread

European equities have kicked the week off on the front-foot (Eurostoxx 50 +0.8%) in an extension of the gains seen last week as markets thus far continue to shrug off the rising global COVID-19 case count whereby the WHO reported a record daily increase of over 230k cases in a 24 hour period over the weekend. From a European perspective, it is worth noting that the WHO stated that the largest increases in cases were seen in the US, Brazil, India and South Africa and therefore a bulk of the focus currently resides outside the continent. Furthermore, some desks have attributed the positive sentiment thus far to mounting hopes ahead of the upcoming EU summit as the bloc continues to negotiate its recovery fund. That said, work is still be done on appeasing the so-called “frugal four” and as such, some have cautioned that a deal might not come until later in the month. Gains in Europe are currently favouring cyclical names with autos, basic resources and travel & leisure names outperforming peers. However, as European indices pullback from earlier session highs, the composition of sector-wide performance could stage a rotation if sentiment deteriorates further. In terms of stock specifics, Akzo Nobel (+4.1%) trade higher after posting a Q2 update, whilst the same can also be said for the likes of DNB (+10.8%) and G4S (+8.7%). To the downside, the main outlier is Atlantia (-15.5%) after Italian PM Conte warned that proposals from the Co. are unsatisfactory thus far and the government will not sacrifice public interest over the Co. Additionally, Ubisoft (-9.0%) also trade lower on the session after undertaking multiple personal changes in response to allegations/accusations of misconduct.

Top European News

  • EU Carbon Permits Climb to 14-Year High as Bloc Goes Green
  • G4S Jumps Most Since May; Panmure Notes Security Unit Resilience
  • Ubisoft Drops After Harassment Reports, Analysts Cut Stock
  • Sweden’s Alfa Laval Agrees to Buy Neles in $2 Billion Deal

In FX, although the US Dollar has pared some losses and the DXY is holding above 96.500 within 96.387-685 parameters, the Aussie is still outpacing G10 counterparts in wake of a 2nd consecutive Usd/CNY midpoint fixing below the psychological 7.0000 level and a broad upturn in risk sentiment. Aud/Usd is hovering within a 0.6984-41 range ahead of NAB business conditions and confidence overnight, while the Aud/Nzd cross has rebounded through 1.0600 as the Kiwi lags vs its US peer around 0.6560 in advance of NZ CPI data on Wednesday. Note also, a dovish note from ANZ may be weighing on the Nzd as the bank believes that the RBNZ should carefully consider policies to weaken the exchange rate and is keeping all options on the agenda (ie NIRP).

  • CAD/EUR - The Loonie is also benefiting from the positive risk tone with Usd/Cad meandering from 1.3602 to 1.3556 even though crude prices are softer, while the Euro is just keeping afloat of 1.1300 after topping out ahead of 1.1340 and decent option expiry interest extending to 1.1350 (1 bn).
  • GBP/CHF/JPY - Sterling ran in to supply at 1.2660+ levels again and faded a fraction shy of Friday’s circa 1.2667 high to form a 2nd consecutive marginally lower peak having hit 1.2670 on July 9, and Cable is now striving to retain the 1.2600 handle as Eur/Gbp bounces from just under 0.8950 towards 0.8975 in the run up to the next round of Brexit talks. Also ahead and a potential Pound mover, 2 separate speeches by BoE Governor Bailey. Elsewhere, the Franc is pivoting 0.9400 against the Greenback and 1.0640 vs the Euro following another sizeable increase in Swiss domestic bank sight deposits on the eve of a speech by SNB chair Jordan. Similarly, the Yen is straddling 107.00 and 121.00 vs the single currency after a loss of safe haven premium, and now eyeing Japanese ip tomorrow for some independent impetus.
  • SCANDI/EM - Some loss of bullish momentum for the Norwegian Krona as risk appetite wanes and oil drifts, while the Swedish Crown is also apprehensive awaiting CPI on Tuesday. However, the Turkish Lira has pared some declines in wake of better than expected, albeit still bleak ip and a narrower than forecast current account deficit.

In commodities, WTI and Brent have had a downbeat start to the week with both benchmarks posting losses in excess of 1% and WTI Aug’20 future having dropped back below the USD 40/bbl handle. The most recent declines have arisen as sentiment more broadly takes a slight leg lower; albeit, with European and US equity futures still very much in positive territory. Over the weekend there were a number of updates on the crude front firstly, and one of the likely drivers of the morning’s downside, Saudi Arabia and other producers are seen as likely to increase output in August. In light of the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions but the ongoing spread of cases is weighing on these plans. Additionally, desks note that OPEC+ are to begin easing production cuts from August, a measure which would be in-fitting with the current deal. Further clarity on the plans for OPEC+ ahead will arise from Wednesday’s JMMC meeting; although, it is worth bearing in mind the JMMC do not have the power to set policy themselves, they can only make recommendations to the broader OPEC+ members. Elsewhere, a resumption of woes for Libya’s NOC as the force majeure on all oil exports has been reimplemented, after cargoes docked and loaded late last week at Es Sider, due to LNA saying the blockade is to continue. Turning to metals, spot gold is firmer by some USD 10/oz thus far for the session and resides towards the top end of a relatively confined range which has notable seen the lower end drop beneath USD 1800/oz. Price action for the metal has largely been dictated by the mild pullback in general sentiment and broader USD moves.

US Event Calendar

  • 11:30am: Fed’s Williams Discusses Libor
  • 1pm: Fed’s Kaplan Speaks in Webinar Hosted by National Press Club
  • 2pm: Monthly Budget Statement, est. $863.0b deficit, prior $398.8b deficit

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

I hope you all had a good weekend. At the start of lockdown we decided to buy a swing, slide and climbing frame set for the garden. We thought the kids could make use of it after we’d had a go ourselves. Three and a half months later, and one week after playgrounds reopened here in the U.K., it arrived at the weekend. I’ve never seen the kids so excited. It made me feel less guilty about playing golf where I am pleased to announce that my comeback from the most dreadful run known to man (or woman) continued. In a field of 144 I was just inside the top 10 shooting my handicap and banishing the previous weekend’s third last (ahead of only two octogenarians) to the dustbin. Readers on Friday will now know I shout “back” and “hit” during my swing to maintain rhythm. Apart from confusing my playing partners it seems to be working for now.

In a week ahead as packed as my golf club is at the moment, the main highlight is the EU summit on Friday where leaders will gather to discuss the recovery fund. In addition to this, we’ll also see the ECB, the Bank of Japan and others make their latest monetary policy decisions. Meanwhile, earnings season kicks off, including a number of US financials reporting. Economic data includes China’s Q2 GDP reading along with a number of June releases out from the US.

More on this below but first the weekend news and Asian market developments. Risk has started the week on the front foot with the Nikkei (+1.89%), Hang Seng (+0.92%), Shanghai Comp (+1.27%) and Kospi (+1.52%) all up. Futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.46% and yields on 10y USTs are down -1.4bps. Spot gold and silver prices are up +0.25% and +0.86% respectively.

Coronavirus cases continued to accelerate over the weekend with the US registering average case growth of +1.95% on Saturday and Sunday combined. This is higher than the last 5 weekends average of +1.38%. In terms of states, Texas registered new case growth of +3.66% vs. the last 5 weekend average of 2.71% and in Florida this stood at +5.13% (vs. 4.45%) and California (+2.11%) in line with previous 5 weekends average. The growth rate of new deaths actually declined slightly for the US overall (+0.35% this weekend vs. +0.39% in the previous 5 weekends) but at state level, Texas (+2.16% vs. 0.80%), Florida (+1.69% vs. +0.80%) and Arizona (+3.66% vs. 1.39%) all saw higher death rates even if the pace of fatalities vs cases is still significantly behind that of the first wave.

Meanwhile, New York City, once the epicenter of the US coronavirus outbreak, reported its first day with zero confirmed or probable virus deaths on Sunday since the pandemic began. Elsewhere, Japan’s economy minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, said that the country needs to remain on high alert for further coronavirus outbreaks as the number of cases with unclear contagion routes increases and added that testing should be strategically and greatly increased. Japan reported 681 new cases on Sunday with Tokyo reporting more than 200 cases for four straight days.

In terms of other weekend news, here in the UK, the Telegraph reported that Chancellor Sunak is planning sweeping Brexit tax cuts to protect the economy. The report added that the Chancellor is also considering an overhaul of planning laws in up to 10 new ‘freeports’ within a year of the UK becoming fully independent from the EU in December. Meanwhile, the FT has reported overnight that the UK is proposing to withhold power to control state aid from its devolved nations when the Brexit transition ends. This could lead to friction with Scotland and Wales. The report added that the proposal, which would give Westminster statutory powers to control policies for the entire UK, is expected to appear in a bill this autumn laying the legal foundations of a new internal market.

In other news, the New York Times reported that OPEC, Russia and other producers are expected to modestly ease the record production cuts in August as coronavirus lockdowns end and demand begins to rise again. A committee of key officials from OPEC and Russia will meet on Wednesday by video conference to discuss their approach to the market. Oil prices are trading c. -1% this morning.

More on this week now. The EU leaders summit in Brussels on Friday and into Saturday will discuss the recovery fund in response to the pandemic, as well as the EU’s new long-term budget. The baseline expectations from our economists (link here ) is that there will be a deal on the recovery fund at this meeting, but it remains a close call. If an agreement weren’t to be reached there, then they still expect one within weeks. It’s worth remembering that there are number of complex issues to be worked out, including the ratio of grants to loans, with the so-called “frugal four” of the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark looking for there to be loans rather than grants. Their support for the fund will be necessary as it requires the unanimous approval of the member states.

The ECB a day earlier should be a non event (see DB’s preview here) with maybe some focus on any comments from President Lagarde on the German Constitutional Court, now that the German Bundestag has passed a motion on proportionality. The BoJ meeting on Wednesday should also be a relatively tame affair (see DB’s preview here ). Also in the world of central banks the Canadian, Korean and Indonesian policy makers meet and the Fed release their Beige Book on Wednesday.

Moving on to data releases, the main highlight is likely to be China’s Q2 GDP release on Thursday. Our economists are expecting a notable rebound in GDP growth to +3% year-on-year in Q2, following the -6.8% contraction in Q1. At the same time, there’ll also be the release of retail sales and industrial production for June, with our economists expecting an expansion in retail sales of +0.7% yoy in June (vs. -2.8% in May), and IP growth of +4.5% (vs. +4.4% in May).

Turning elsewhere, the US also has a number of data releases out next week, including an increasing amount of hard data for June. The highlights include the June CPI reading on Tuesday, before the industrial production number on Wednesday, retail sales on Thursday, and housing starts and building permits data on Friday, which should give us a clearer indication of how the economy has performed into the end of the quarter. Meanwhile the U.K. sees a number of data releases, including GDP for May, CPI for June, and unemployment in the three months to May. Another thing to look out for in the UK will be the release of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Fiscal sustainability Report tomorrow, which will present alternative scenarios for the economy and public finances.

Earnings season kicks slowly into gear as 32 S&P 500 companies report along with a further 57 from the STOXX 600. The highlights include PepsiCo today, JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo tomorrow, UnitedHealth Group, ASML, Goldman Sachs, US Bancorp, BNY Mellon on Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson, Netflix, Bank of America, Abbott Laboratories and Morgan Stanley on Thursday and on Friday, there’s Danaher, Honeywell International and BlackRock.

Back to last week, where markets were generally constructive even as the outlook for the virus has continued to worsen in recent weeks, especially in the US and Emerging Markets. The S&P 500 gained +1.76% (+1.05% Friday) on the week, and now sits just under 1.5% away from being flat on the year just as earning season is about to begin. The tech-focused Nasdaq greatly outperformed last week, rallying +4.01% (+0.66% Friday) led primarily by the index’s most heavily weighted stocks. European equities generally underperformed the S&P with the Stoxx 600 gaining a lesser +0.38% (+0.88% Friday) over the five days. Overall European bourses were mixed with the DAX (+0.84%), and FTSE MIB (+0.21%) up on the week, while indices such as the IBEX (-1.11%) and CAC (-0.73%) pulled back. Asian indices were even more disparate as Chinese stocks saw a large rise with the CSI 300 gaining +7.55% but with the Nikkei (-0.07%) and Kospi (-0.10%) largely unchanged over the week.

Core sovereign bonds rose as US 10yr Treasury yields fell -2.5bps (+3.1bps Friday) to finish at 0.645%, while 10yr Bund yields fell -3.3bps (-0.2bps Friday) to -0.47%. In other fixed income, HY cash spreads tightened on both sides of the Atlantic as US HY spreads tightened -4bps (-1bps Friday) and Europe HY tightened -1bps (+2bps Friday).

The dollar fell -0.54% on the week to its lowest weekly close since the first week of March. Against this backdrop and with global yields continuing to fall, gold gained +1.28% (-0.27% Friday). It was the 5th straight weekly gain for the yellow metal and took it to its highest weekly close since 2011. In other metals, copper rose +5.62% on the week to levels last seen in April of last year, while silver gained +3.88% to its highest value since September 2019.

Ahead of this Friday’s summit of EU leaders on the bloc’s long-term budget and the recovery fund, European Council President Michel issued new proposals on Friday that sought to achieve agreement between the member states. These maintained the existing plan to distribute €500bn in grants and €250bn in loans to member states. However, budget rebates would continue for fiscally conservative states such as the Netherlands, and repayments would be brought forward. He also proposed a Brexit reserve of €5bn that would support against “unforeseen consequences” in the member states and sectors most affected.

On the data front, we got French and Italian industrial production for May, both came ahead of forecasts. Italian industrial output rose +42.1% (vs. +24.0% expected) after falling by -20.5% in April. France saw a similar rebound, jumping up +19.6% (vs. +15.4% expected) after falling a nearly identical -20.6% the month prior. We also saw the June PPI reading from the US, where prices fell unexpectedly. PPI fell -0.2% (vs. +0.4% expected) after the month prior saw them rise +0.4%. It was the fourth monthly decline out of the last five.

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Escobar: Russia-China Partnership Defangs US Empire

Escobar: Russia-China Partnership Defangs US Empire

Authored by Pepe Escobar,

China’s State Council has released a crucial policy paper…



Escobar: Russia-China Partnership Defangs US Empire

Authored by Pepe Escobar,

China’s State Council has released a crucial policy paper titled 'A Global Community of Shared Future: China’s Proposals and Actions' that should be read as a detailed, comprehensive road map for a peaceful, multipolar future.

That is if the hegemon - of course faithful to its configuration as War Inc. - does not drag the world into the abyss of a hybrid-turned-hot war with incandescent consequences.

In sync with the ever-evolving Russia-China strategic partnership, the white paper notes how “President Xi Jinping first raised the vision of a global community of shared future when addressing the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 2013.”

That was ten years ago, when the New Silk Roads – or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - was launched: that became the overarching foreign policy concept of the Xi era. The Belt and Road Forum next month in Beijing will celebrate the 10th anniversary of BRI, and relaunch a series of BRI projects.

“Community of Shared Future” is a concept virtually ignored across the collective West – and in several cases lost in translation across the East. The white paper’s ambition is to introduce “the theoretical base, practice and development of a global community of shared future.”

The five key points include building partnerships “in which countries treat each other as equals”; a fair and just security environment; “inclusive development”; inter-civilization exchanges; and “an ecosystem that puts Mother Nature and green development first," as Xi detailed at the 2015 UN General Assembly.

The white paper forcefully debunks the “Thucydides Trap” fallacy: “There is no iron law that dictates that a rising power will inevitably seek hegemony. This assumption represents typical hegemonic thinking and is grounded in memories of catastrophic wars between hegemonic powers in the past.”

While criticizing the “zero-sum game” to which “certain countries” still cling to, China completely aligns with the Global South/global majority, as in “the common interests of all peoples around the world. When the world thrives, China thrives, and vice versa.”

Well, that’s not exactly the “rules-based international order” in play.

It’s All About Harmony

When it comes to building a new system of international relations, China prioritizes “extensive consultation” among equals and “the principle of sovereign equality” that “runs through the UN Charter.” History and realpolitik, though, dictate that some countries are more equal than others.

This white paper comes from the political leadership of a civilization-state. Thus it naturally promotes the “increase of inter-civilization exchanges to promote harmony” while elegantly remarking how a “fine traditional culture epitomizes the essence of the Chinese civilization.”

Here we see a delicate blend of Taoism and Confucianism, where harmony – praised as “the core concept of Chinese culture” - is extrapolated to the concept of “harmony within diversity”: and that is exactly the basis for embracing cultural diversity.

In terms of promoting a dialogue of civilizations, these paragraphs are particularly relevant:

“The concept of a global community of shared future reflects the common interests of all civilizations – peace, development, unity, coexistence, and win-win cooperation. A Russian proverb holds, 'Together we can weather the storm.'

"The Swiss-German writer Hermann Hesse proposed, 'Serve not war and destruction, but peace and reconciliation.' A German proverb reads, 'An individual’s effort is addition; a team’s effort is multiplication.' An African proverb states, 'One single pillar is not sufficient to build a house.' An Arabian proverb asserts, 'If you want to walk fast, walk alone; if you want to walk far, walk together.'

"Mexican poet Alfonso Reyes wrote, 'The only way to be profitably national is to be generously universal.' An Indonesian proverb says, 'Sugarcane and lemongrass grow in dense clumps.' A Mongolian proverb concludes, 'Neighbors are connected at heart and share a common destiny.' All the above narratives manifest the profound cultural and intellectual essence of the world.”

BRI Caravan Rolls On

Chinese diplomacy has been very vocal on the need to develop a “new type of economic globalization” and engage in “peaceful development” and true multilateralism.

And that brings us inevitably to the BRI, which the white paper defines as “a vivid example of building a global community of shared future, and a global public good and cooperation platform provided by China to the world.”

Of course, for the hegemon and its collective West vassals, BRI is nothing but a massive debt trap mechanism unleashed by “autocrat China”.

The white paper notes, factually, how “more than three-quarters of countries in the world and over 30 international organizations” had joined the BRI, and refers to the sprawling, ever-expanding connectivity framework of six corridors, six routes, an array of ports, pipelines and cyberspace connectivity, among others via the New Eurasian Land Bridge, the China-Europe Railway Express (a “steel camel fleet”) and the New Land-Sea Trade Corridor crisscrossing Eurasia.

A serious problem may involve China’s Global Development Initiative, whose fundamental aim, according to Beijing, is “to accelerate the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Well, this agenda has been designed by the self-described Davos elites and conceptualized way back in 1992 by Rockefeller protégé Maurice Strong. Its inbuilt wet dream is to enforce the Great Reset – complete with a nonsensical zero-carbon green agenda.

Better Listen to Medvedev’s Warning

The hegemon is already preparing the next stages of its hybrid war against China – even as it remains buried deep down into a de facto proxy hot war against Russia in Ukraine.

Russian strategic policy, in essence, completely aligns with the Chinese white paper, proposing a Greater Eurasian Partnership, a concerted drive towards multipolarity, and the primacy of the Global South/global majority in forging a new system of international relations.

But the Straussian neocon psychos in charge of the hegemon’s foreign policy keep raising the stakes. So it’s no wonder that after the recent attack on the HQ of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, a new National Security Council report leads to an ominous warning by Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev:

“NATO has turned into an openly fascist bloc similar to Hitler’s Axis, only bigger (...) It looks like Russia is being left with little choice other than a direct conflict with NATO (...) The result would be much heavier losses for humanity than in 1945."

The Russian Ministry of Defense, meanwhile, has revealed that Ukraine has suffered a staggering 83,000 battlefield deaths since the start of the - failed - counteroffensive four months ago.

And Defense Minister Shoigu all but gave away the game in terms of the long-term strategy, when he said, “the consistent implementation of measures and activity plans until 2025 will allow us to achieve our goals."

So the SMO will not be rounded up before 2025 – incidentally, much later than the next US presidential election. After all, Moscow’s ultimate aim is de-NATOization.

Faced with a cosmic NATO humiliation on the battlefield, the Biden combo has no way out: even if it declared a unilateral ceasefire to re-weaponize Kiev’s forces for a new counteroffensive in the spring/summer of 2024, the war would keep rumbling on all the way to the presidential election.

There’s absolutely no way some sharp intellect in the Beltway would read the Chinese white paper and be “infected” by the concept of harmony. Under the yoke of Straussian neocon psychos, there are zero prospects for a détente with Russia – not to mention Russia-China.

Both the Chinese and Russian leaderships know quite well how the Ray McGovern-defined MICIMATT (military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex) works.

The kinetic aspect of MICIMATT is all about protection of the global interests of big US banks, investment/hedge funds and multinational corporations. It’s not a coincidence that MICIMATT monster Lockheed-Martin is mostly owned by Vanguard, BlackRock and State Street. NATO is essentially a mafia protection racket controlled by the US and the UK that has nothing to do with “defending” Europe from the “Russian threat."

The actual MICIMATT and its NATO extension’s wet dream is to weaken and dismember Russia to control its immense natural resources.

War Against the New 'Axis of Evil'

NATO’s incoming graphic humiliation in Ukraine is now compounded with the inexorable rise of BRICS 11 – which embodies a lethal threat to the hegemon’s geoeconomics. There’s next to nothing the MICIMATT can do about that short of nuclear war – except turbo-charging multiple instances of Hybrid War, color revolutions and assorted divide-and-rule schemes. What’s at stake is no less than a complete implosion of neoliberalism.

The Russia-China strategic partnership of true sovereigns has been coordinating full-time.

Strategic patience is the norm. The white paper reveals the magnanimous facet of the number one economy in the world by PPP: that’s China’s response to the infantile notion of “de-risking”.

China is “de-risking” geopolitically when it comes to not falling for serial provocations by the Hegemon, while Russia exercises Taoist-style control to not risk a kinetic war.

Still, what Medvedev just said carries the implication that the hegemon on desperation row could even be tempted to launch WWIII against, in fact, a new “axis of evil” of three BRICS nations – Russia, China and Iran.

Secretary of the [Russian] National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev could not have been more crystal clear:

“In its attempts to maintain its dominance, the West itself destroyed the tools that worked better for it than the military machine. These are freedom of movement of goods and services, transport and logistics corridors, a unified system of payments, global division of labor and value chains. As a result, Westerners are shutting themselves off from the rest of the world at a rapid pace.”

If only they could join the community of shared future – hopefully on a later, non-nuclear, date.

Tyler Durden Sat, 09/30/2023 - 23:30

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“More Deceit”: Gaetz Rages Over McCarthy-Ukraine Side Deal To Pass Stopgap

"More Deceit": Gaetz Rages Over McCarthy-Ukraine Side Deal To Pass Stopgap

Update (2155ET): Following the Senate’s passage of the Continuing…



"More Deceit": Gaetz Rages Over McCarthy-Ukraine Side Deal To Pass Stopgap

Update (2155ET): Following the Senate's passage of the Continuing Resolution, Rep. Matt Gaetz took to Twitter, where he was enraged over a side deal made between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the Democrats for Ukraine funding, which Gaetz says he "didn't tell House Republicans" about until after the vote. 

Gaetz was responding to Punchbowl News' Jake Sherman, who related a message from House Democratic leadership.

"When the House returns, we expect Speaker McCarthy to advance a bill to the House Floor for an up-or-down vote that supports Ukraine, consistent with his commitment to making sure that Vladimir Putin, Russia and authoritarianism are defeated. We must stand with the Ukrainian people until victory is won."

Nine Senate Republicans voted against the bill; Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) and J.D Vance (R-Ohio).

*  *  *

Update (2109ET):  The Senate has voted 88-9 to pass the House's Continuing Resolution stopgap funding bill, which stripped out funds for Ukraine, includes $16 billion for disaster relief, and will keep the US government running for another 45 days.

Among the Senate "Yea" votes was Michael Bennet (D-CO), who was absolutely flipping his lid over the lack of Ukraine funding earlier in the day.

The bill, which passed the House earlier in the day by a bipartisan vote of 335-91, was passed with just three hours to go before a shutdown.

Just before the vote, Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed to keep fighting for more US taxpayer dollars for Ukraine, saying that he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have "agreed to continue fighting for more economic and security aid for Ukraine."

"We support Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereignty against Putin’s aggression," said Schumer - to which McConnell said he's "confident" that the Senate can pass more "urgent assistance to Ukraine later this year. But let's be clear," that the "alternative," a shutdown, "would not just pause our progress on these important priorities, it would actually set them back."

*  *  *

Update (1755ET): After an afternoon of theatrics from Rep. Jamal Bowman (D-NY), it appears that the stopgap legislation to keep the government running through November 17 will now pass at the 11th hour.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the bill to keep the government funded past 12:01 Sunday includes $16 billion in disaster relief, but does not include Ukraine funds.

The House voted 335-91 for the funding measure, which includes $16 billion in disaster relief but omits aid for Ukraine. It also excludes border-security measures sought by Republicans. The margin exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to clear the bill through the House, which considered the legislation under special procedures requiring a supermajority of votes. All but one Democrat voted in favor of the measure, while nearly half of Republicans voted against it. -WSJ

While White House officials say President Biden supports the measure, the Senate has reportedly been lax in quickly taking up the measure late Saturday, raising the possibility of further malarkey.


*  *  *

(Update 1655ET): So let's get this straight. In the home stretch of negotiations over the House's GOP stopgap bill - while Democrats were actively trying to stall the vote so they could actually read it - a widely reported phenomenon, Rep. Jamal Bowman (D-NY) pulls the fire extinguisher.

His excuse is that he wasn't actually trying to stall the the vote, and that he's essentially an idiot...

"Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote. The Congressman regrets any confusion," said a spokesperson.

Yes. Because this happens all the time.

MSNBC breathlessly repeats the Simple Jack defense.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy capitalized on the incident, comparing Bowman to a January 6th insurrectionist.

As we noted below... Bowman used to be a public school principal before he was elected to Congress, who rallied against standardized testing, at a private school he founded that has a 27% literacy rate, so... maybe?

Then again, he would be no stranger to fire drills, no?

*  *  *

House before the House finally approved a 'clean' stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown (which has since been sent to the Senate for consideration before the midnight funding deadline), Socialist Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) was caught pulling the fire alarm in a House office building Saturday in order to try and delay a vote on ta House GOP stopgap spending bill.

The incident in the Cannon Building was caught on camera and confirmed by several witnesses, Politico reports.

"This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school. To pull the fire alarm to disrupt proceedings when we are trying to draft legislation to AVERT A SHUTDOWN is pathetic…even for members of the socialist squad," Staten Island GOP Rep. Nicole Malliotakis wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

"Rep Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm in Cannon this morning," House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil wrote on X. "An investigation into why it was pulled is underway."

According to Bowman spox Emma Simon, "Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote. The Congressman regrets any confusion."

In other words, he's claiming to be too stupid to have known what he did - and don't believe your lying eyes!

Granted, Bowman used to be a public school principal before he was elected to Congress, who rallied against standardized testing, at a private school he founded that has a 27% literacy rate, so...

Needless to say, the memes are already flying.


Meanwhile, the House cleared the 'clean' stopgap bill without funding for Ukraine or the border, by a vote of 335-91. One Democrat and 90 Republicans voted against the measure.

*  *  *

Update: (1335ET): With a government shutdown just hours away, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has turned to Democrats for help passing a temporary bill, after House Freedom Caucus members dug their heels in over no funds for Ukraine.

"What I am asking, Republicans and Democrats alike, put your partisanship away," said McCarthy. "Focus on the American public."

McCarthy needs a two-thirds majority to pass their Continuing Resolution (CR), which would require a significant number of Democrats - who have strongly supported more Ukraine aid - to cross the aisle.

The House GOP bill would be a 'clean' Continuing Resolution, which won't include Ukraine funding or border assistance.

"We will put a clean funding stopgap on the floor to keep government open for 45 days for the House and Senate to get their work done," said McCarthy following a meeting. "We will also, knowing what had transpired through the summer, the disasters in Florida, the horrendous fire in Hawaii, and also the disasters in California and Vermont. We will put the supplemental portion that the president asked for in disaster there too."

"Keeping the government open while we continue to do our work to end the wasteful spending and the wokeism and most important, secure our border," McCarthy said.

If the bill does not pass, Republicans plan to bring up several measures to mitigate the effects of a government shutdown, multiple members said. 

Those include bills to continue paying service members and extending authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Flood Insurance Program, both of which are also set to expire at midnight unless Congress takes action. Republicans are also examining measures to continue pay for border patrol agents. -The Hill

The Democrats, meanwhile, have been using parliamentary tactics to slow down the vote so they can more carefully read the GOP proposal.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of the key holdouts in the House, called McCarthy's bipartisan appeal "disappointing," and said that McCarthy's speakership is "on tenuous ground."

When asked what his next move will be, Gaetz said "I guess we'll have to see how the vote goes."

What's next?

According to Goldman, there's a 90% probability of a shutdown before the Oct. 1 deadline.

That said, there will be three upcoming catalysts in the next few weeks that may result in passage.

1) All members of the US military are due to be paid on Oct. 13, and a missed pay date would have serious political ramifications; there is a good chance the House will vote to reopen before or shortly after that date; 

2) A few House Republicans have said they might bring a “motion to vacate” that would remove McCarthy as Speaker unless a majority of the House supports him. Whatever the outcome of such a vote, getting past it could set the stage for a reopening; 

3) There are procedural moves (a “discharge petition” is the most frequently discussed) that Democrats can make to pass an extension of spending authority in the House over Speaker McCarthy’s objections. However, this would require support from at least 5 House Republicans (assuming that all Democrats sign on). This will not help avoid a shutdown, but could come into play over the next two weeks, as political pressure to reopen grows (particularly when combined with the first point on military pay). 

In light of the above, Goldman doesn't expect this to last more than 2-3 weeks, and that the Oct. 13 military pay date will become a focal point in the timeline.

*  *  *

Update (2157ET): It looks like the Senate isn't willing to strip Ukraine funds from the continuing resolution. In a Friday night tweet, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that the "misguided Senate bill has no path forward and is dead on arrival."

Meanwhile, according to Punchbowl News' Jake Sherman and Josh Bresnahan, McCarthy is floating a CR that would last until Nov. 17 at FY2023 funding levels, which would not include border funds or Ukraine funding.

*  *  *

In an 11th hour Hail Mary in the hopes of averting a government shutdown, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that the only way the House will pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through October is to drop Ukraine funding.

"I think if we had a clean one without Ukraine on it, we could probably be able to move that through," McCarthy told CNN's Manu Raju.

The comment comes hours after McCarthy lost a game of chicken with the House Freedom Caucus, failing to pass a CR which left McCarthy will few options to try and avert a shutdown in less than 36 hours. McCarthy was hoping that the House bill's border security provisions would win over enough holdouts to pass.

Meanwhile, the White House slammed the failed bill over the 'elimination of 12,000 FBI agents,' and 'almost 1,000 ATF agents.'

Of note, House Republicans on Thursday narrowly passed the annual defense spending bill, but only after they removed $300 million in Ukraine aid from the legislation (which then cleared in a separate vote because a bunch of Democrats then voted).

Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who failed twice last week to advance the bill to the floor, finally locked down enough Republican votes to pass the bill after the House stripped $300 million to arm Ukraine from the text.

The separate bill carved out to allocate those funds for Kyiv passed Thursday in a 311-117 blowout bipartisan vote. Republicans had won a close procedural vote earlier in the day to separate the Ukraine money from the Pentagon bill, a move meant to flip a handful of GOP holdouts. -Politico

Democrats framed the optics as Kremlin-friendly, with House Armed Services ranking Democrat Adam Smith saying "The Russians are good at propaganda... It will be played as America backing off of its commitment for Ukraine."

Republicans responded that by carving Ukraine out of the defense bill, it allows opponents of either measure (Ukraine aid or the defense bill) to voice their opinions on each independently.

"Why don’t we make sure this gets through? I mean, I’m just mystified that this is somehow a problem," said House Rules Chair Tom Cole (R-OK), according to Politico. "We guarantee you something you want is going to pass the House and you’re upset about it."

And now, McCarthy says there's no way to avert a government shutdown unless the House, and the Senate, agree to nix Ukraine aid from the 30-day stopgap.

Fire and Brimstone...

On Friday, White House top economic adviser Lael Brainard said that a shutdown would pose an "unnecessary risk" to what he described as a resilient economy with moderating inflation.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen then chimed in, warning that all of Bidenomics could be negatively impacted.

"The failure of House Republicans to act responsibly would hurt American families and cause economic headwinds that could undermine the progress we’re making," Yellen said from Port of Savannah, Georgia, adding "A shutdown would impact many key government functions from loans to farmers and small businesses, to food and workplace safety inspections, to Head Start programs for children.

"And it could delay major infrastructure improvements."

Goldman has predicted that a shutdown will last 2-3 weeks, and that a 'quick reopening looks unlikely as political positions become more deeply entrenched.' Instead, as political pressure to reopen the government builds, pay dates for active-duty military (Oct. 13 and Nov. 1) will become key dates to pay attention to.

In addition, they think a shutdown could subtract 0.2pp from Q4 GDP growth for each week it lasts (adding the same to 1Q2024, assuming it's over by then).

What's more, all data releases from federal agencies would be postponed until after the government reopens.

More via Goldman:

What are the odds the government shuts down?

A shutdown this year has looked likely for several months, and we now think the odds have risen to 90%. The most likely scenario in our view is that funding will lapse after Sep. 30, leading to a shutdown starting Oct. 1. That said, a short-term extension cannot be entirely ruled out. In the event that Congress avoids a shutdown starting Oct. 1, we would still expect a shutdown at some point later in Q4.

While there is likely sufficient support in both chambers of Congress to pass a short-term extension of funding—this is known as a “continuing resolution” (CR)—that is “clean” with no other provisions attached, the majority of that support would come from Democrats. The Senate is considering a CR that includes aid for disaster relief and Ukraine. House Republican leaders are under political pressure to pass a CR that includes Republican policy priorities that can pass with mainly or exclusively Republican support. At the moment, neither chamber looks likely to pass the other chamber's CR.

The outlook seemed bleak ahead of the debt limit deadline earlier this year, but Congress resolved it in time; why shouldn’t we expect a last-minute deal once again?

The smaller economic hit from a shutdown puts less pressure on Republican leaders to override the objections of some in their party to reach a deal. Ahead of the debt limit deadline earlier this year, Republican leaders reached a deal over the objections of some in their party because the potential hit to the economy from an impasse would have been unpredictable and severe, and even lawmakers most strongly opposed to a compromise agreed that the debt limit must be raised. By contrast, the economic hit from a shutdown would be smaller and more predictable, as there have already been two protracted shutdowns over the last decade. While most lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would prefer to avoid a shutdown, both sides appear more willing to take the chance it occurs.

*  *  *

Stay tuned...

Tyler Durden Sat, 09/30/2023 - 17:57

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A Climate Of Fear

A Climate Of Fear

Authored by James Gorrie via The Epoch Times,

The medical, media, and political elites’ focus has shifted from facts…



A Climate Of Fear

Authored by James Gorrie via The Epoch Times,

The medical, media, and political elites’ focus has shifted from facts to fomenting and magnifying fear.

In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address in 1933, the new president told a nation in the depths of the Great Depression that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Those words were true and rightfully spoken at that time. Roosevelt knew that fear is a powerful emotion that limits our ability to reason, act wisely, and work together. It’s also an emotion that’s contagious and not easily diminished or dissipated.

The Power of Fear to Fragment Society

Unfortunately, Roosevelt’s words are even more applicable today.

On a personal level, decisions made under the emotional duress of fear are rarely the best ones and often the worst. Fear can bring out the best in us, but can often bring out the worst. That’s more likely to occur the more fragmented a society becomes. Fear among different groups of people creates an us-versus-them context in the minds of individuals, or even an “every-man-for-himself” attitude, which pits one group against another or even each of us against each other.

Now elevate that sense of fear to the level of the national electorate. A people or a nation that's paralyzed with fear makes rash decisions based on their fears of what could happen, not necessarily what the current situation truly is. When that happens, a society can quickly degenerate, where our base instincts determine our behavior in a law-of-the-jungle social environment.

Roosevelt knew this, as do our leaders today. The difference is that today, rather than seeking to dispel fear, our political and media elites create it, expand it, and revel in it. Rather than promote hope and strength of character in us, in a Roosevelt- or even a Reagan-like fashion, they traffic in fear and its fellow traveler social division in order to fragment our society.

It’s the old but effective divide-and-conquer strategy, and sadly, it works far too well. The mechanism for divide and conquer is the constant drumbeat of the Big Lie, which is also a tried and true method for controlling society. It was first practiced and perfected by Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany using the mass media, but has been successfully used by the USSR and every other communist and dictatorial regime in the world since the 1930s.

Social Media Is Magnitudes More Powerful Than Legacy Media

The difference today is the massive and pervasive presence of social media. Its reach and social saturation throughout society are magnitudes greater than have ever been possible before. What’s more, our political and media elites create and exaggerate fear without even mentioning the word. “Fear” is driven into our collective psyches under the guise of our government keeping us “safe,” while demonizing anyone who challenges that narrative.

The repetition by the media and the pharmaceutical industry of how to stay safe from COVID-19 always involves more drugs and less freedom. That’s by design. The elites that run society know that once enough of our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and others with whom we interact become more fearful than rational, they’re easily manipulated and divided into confrontational groups.

Does that sound like a conspiracy theory?

Yes, it probably does, but it’s also how the Stasi, the East German security agency, turned virtually every neighbor into an informant. The result was that people were fearful of doing anything that could be construed as being against the communist East German government. In light of what we’ve been through the last three years—and what looks to be on the horizon—the conspiracy theory accusation has lost its sting.

From Conspiracy Theory to Fact

Recall, for example, how those who received the COVID-19 vaccine turned against those who remained unvaccinated. The contrast and social division couldn’t have been clearer or more deliberate. Vaccinated people were characterized by the media and government agency spokespeople as selfless, smarter, and better human beings than those who refused the vaccine.

On the flip side, the “anti-vaxxers,” as they came to be called, were publicly derided by the medical, pharmaceutical, media, and government elites. They were accused of being low-intelligence conspiracy theory nuts who wouldn’t or couldn’t “follow the science,” even when they followed the science from experts such as Robert Malone, one of the inventors of the mRNA technology, and other medical doctors in Europe and Asia, including former Pfizer Vice President Dr. Michael Yeadon, all of whom were de-platformed from mainstream media and social media.

In fact, any “alternative” remedy to the experimental and highly dangerous mRNA vaccines, such as ivermectin, was summarily dismissed, even though nations that used ivermectin had the lowest mortality rates. As noted above, many media personalities and even medical experts with contrary opinions were silenced, shamed, and shunted into professional oblivion, being substituted by compliant replacements. That practice continues to this day, with Russell Brand being the latest example of being de-monetized by YouTube.

In light of vaccine injuries and deaths, and the staggering profits that vaccines have delivered to the pharmaceutical industry, the number of people who believe the mainstream media, the government, and in the vaccines, is much smaller today than three years ago.

Conspiracy theory narratives have become conspiracy facts.

The Endgame of Fear

So, what’s the endgame of promoting and enforcing a climate of fear throughout society?

It’s simple. Fearful people are far more compliant and, therefore, are easily controlled, pacified, monitored, and dehumanized. Next thing you know, we’ll all be eating bugs and liking it.

The antidote to fear, of course, is freedom and access to real and contrary information so that each person can make up his or her own mind. The encouragement, enablement, and empowerment of private individuals to exercise informed judgment about their health and their livelihoods are also part of the solution. A vibrant, thinking, and active society of informed individuals isn't nearly as vulnerable to the polarizing climate of fear our elites are foisting upon us.

In short, to live in fear is to live in bondage.

Tyler Durden Sat, 09/30/2023 - 20:50

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