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31

      

By Matt Agorist


In the days following the tragic shootings in Dayton and El Paso, politicians have been working over time to use these tragedies to take away your right to self-defense. Democrats and Republicans alike have joined forces to pass sweeping regulations that could serve as a death blow to the Second Amendment. Despite his rhetoric claiming he protects the gun rights of Americans, president Donald Trump has become a cheerleader for these rights-violating red flag laws. This week, he proved just how dangerous such laws would be—and, in typical Trump fashion, he did it with just one tweet.


During a speech in April, Trump claimed that the “left is coming for your guns,” and he’s correct. But so is the right, and so is Trump.


What Trump’s speech to the NRA in April proved is the incredibly short memory of his support base. Have they all forgotten that Trump made one of the most damning attacks on the Second Amendment of any president yet?


In case you are one of those folks, in February of 2018, after the tragic shooting in Parkland, FL, President Donald Trump took to national television to betray his oath to the Constitution and his supporters and famously said, “take the guns first, go through due process second.”


         



      

Showing that he has no problem sticking to his flip flopping nature on gun rights, not only has Trump ramped up federal gun control enforcement, but he has unilaterally implemented federal gun control in the form of a bump stock ban. And now he’s doing the same with red flag laws.


But it’s not just bump stocks and due process that Trump wants. Last year, The Washington Post published a piece alluding to the fact that Trump will likely go further than bump stocks.


“In private, he has indicated that he might do more, telling advisers and friends in recent days that he is determined to push for some sort of gun-control legislation, according to people familiar with the conversations,” the Post reported.


And now he is.


In just the first six months after the shooting in Parkland and the president’s statement on removing due process, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence recorded a whopping 55 new gun control measures in 26 states. That number is now far greater as states pass “red flag” gun laws to literally do what Trump advocated for in Feb. 2018. They are taking the guns first and seeking due process second.


In fact, there are now 18 states who have implemented these laws and the federal government is pushing to do it on a national scale.


Here’s why that is a terrifying idea.


Before we get into the unconstitutional nature of such gun laws, let’s look at the incredible lack of logic applied by those who advocate disarming society.


“The same government that couldn’t protect the one inmate who was most at risk for being murdered or committing suicide—Jeffrey Epstein—wants you to believe that you don’t need guns because the state will protect you,” the Free Thought Project’s Johnny Liberty said. “Take a moment to think about that.”


Indeed, one does not need to go into the myriad of examples of citizens with guns saving countless lives to understand this premise. While these laws admittedly lack any logic, it’s also a terrible assault on your rights.




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Citizens who are targeted by these laws will be deemed guilty first and only after their guns are taken, will they have a chance to defend themselves in court. This is de facto removal of due process.


As Reuters reports, under the legislation, a family member or law enforcement officer could petition a judge to seize firearms from a person they think is a threat to themselves or others. The judge could then hold a hearing without the targeted person being present and grant a temporary order for 14 days.


Under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, due process clauses are in place to act as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the government outside the sanction of law.


In spite of what officials and the media claim, when a person is stripped of their constitutional rights, albeit temporarily, without being given the chance to make their own case based on what can be entirely arbitrary accusations, this is the removal of due process. It doesn’t work, and it is rife for abuse as there is no way to stop an estranged spouse from calling police repeatedly and telling them their ex is threatening to cause harm to others.


Anyone, any time, now has the ability to claim someone else is a threat and have police take their guns. One does not need to delve into the multiple ‘what if’ scenarios to see what sort of ominous implications arise from such a practice. And because of Trump, we don’t need a “what if,” as he’s already done it.


On Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to show just how rife for abuse these red flags laws are by calling for Chris Cuomo to be stripped of his Second Amendment rights using “Red Flag” laws.


“Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?” Trump wrote. “Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!”




32

      

By Tyler Durden


As the public carries on with the great debate about what really happened (or didn’t happen) to Jeffrey Epstein early Saturday morning in the hours before he was found dead in his cell at MCC in an apparent suicide, The Washington Post has unleashed a bombshell.


First, remember how some witnesses claimed they had heard horrifying shrieking coming from Epstein’s cell in the hours before his death? Well, here’s one explanation for that: An autopsy report found that Epstein had endured multiple breaks in his neck bones, deepening the mystery surrounding his death last week.


Among the bones broken in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple. These breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject.


But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation.


         



      

Even Jonathan L. Arden, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, admitted that a hyoid break is more commonly associated with homicidal strangulation than suicidal hanging.


The hyoid bone played a pivotal role in another critical New York City case: The death of Eric Garner.


The hyoid bone played a central role in a heated dispute last year over another high-profile death in New York, that of Eric Garner. A New York police officer was accused of using an improper chokehold while trying to arrest Garner and of causing his death. A police officers’ association claimed that an autopsy from Sampson’s office found there was no break of Garner’s hyoid bone, and that this proved that the officer could not have strangled Garner and caused his death.


These details, according to WaPo, are the first to emerge from Epstein’s autopsy, something that will undoubtedly be closely watched by the legions of Epstein conspiracists who have emerged since his death.




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While AG William Barr has described Epstein’s death as “an apparent suicide,” but DoJ officials have refused to comment on the latest findings from Epstein’s autopsy.


The office of New York City’s chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, completed an autopsy of Epstein’s body Sunday. But Sampson listed the cause of his death as pending. Asked about the neck injuries Sampson said in a statement that no single factor in an autopsy can alone provide a conclusive answer about what happened.


In all forensic investigations, all information must be synthesized to determine the cause and manner of death. Everything must be consistent; no single finding can be evaluated in a vacuum.


The reports about Epstein’s neck injuries followed revelations that the two guards responsible for guarding him had fallen asleep during the hours before his death, then falsified paper work to try and cover their tracks. And dozens of veteran prosecutors and prison officials were shocked that one of the most high-profile inmates in the country wasn’t more closely watched.




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Sure, plenty of details remain to be revealed from Epstein’s autopsy, but his jailhouse death is beginning to sound like something out of The Wire.



This article was sourced from ZeroHedge.


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33

      

By Michael Snyder


You had better buckle up, because it looks like we are in for a bumpy ride.  On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down a whopping 800 points.  Not only was that the worst day of 2019, but as you will see below, there have only been three days in U.S. history that have been worse.


An inversion of the yield curve sent investors into panic mode, and the selling was fast and furious.  And of course back on August 5th we witnessed a 767 point decline.  So this is now the second historic decline that we have seen so far this month, and the month is only about half over.  Could it be possible that we are on the verge of a major stock market meltdown?


An 800 point drop is definitely rare.  According to CNN, the following were the 10 largest single day point declines for the Dow Jones Industrial Average prior to Wednesday…


         



      

02/05/2018 … -1,175.21


02/08/2018 … -1,032.89


10/10/2018 … -831.83


12/04/2018 … -799.36


09/29/2008 … -777.68


08/05/2019 … -767.27


10/15/2008 … -733.08


03/22/2018 … -724.42


09/17/2001 … -684.81


12/01/2008 … -679.95


So that means that Wednesday’s plunge was officially the 4th largest single day plunge that we have ever seen.


The “too big to fail” banks were on the cutting edge of the decline, and some of the biggest names in banking got absolutely monkeyhammered…


Bank stocks led the declines as it gets tougher for the group to make a profit lending money in such an environment. Bank of America and Citigroup fell 4.7% and 5.2%, respectively, while J.P. Morgan also dropped 4.15%. The S&P 500 Financials Sector dipped into correction territory on an intraday basis.


If you will remember, bank stocks also led the way down in 2008.


Is history about to repeat itself?


The primary thing that set off this fresh wave of panic on Wall Street was a yield curve inversion…





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The U.S. government bond market sounded alarms Wednesday as investors fleeing riskier assets drove the 30-year bond’s yield to a record low and the 10-year yield fell below the rate on the two-year for the first time since 2007.


The 10-year Treasury yield dipped as much as 1.9 basis points below the two-year yield in what’s considered a harbinger of a U.S. economic recession beginning in the next 18 months.



When longer-duration bonds are yielding less than shorter-duration bonds, that is a sign that investors are anticipating that economic conditions will be deteriorating.  And as history has shown us, recessions are almost always preceded by yield curve inversions, and so many are taking this as an extremely troubling sign.


So now all eyes are on the Federal Reserve and other global central banks, and many analysts are strongly urging them to do something…


“The bond market is saying central banks are behind the curve,” said Marc Ostwald, global strategist at ADM Investor Services in London. “It’s all doom and gloom on the global economy.”


Personally, I don’t really like to use the term “gloom and doom”, but it is definitely an appropriate phrase for what we are witnessing at the moment.  On Wednesday, we got some more really bad economic news from Germany and from China…



Economic output in Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy, contracted in the second quarter, according to a report Wednesday, while a report on factory output in China, the second-largest economy, came in lower than expected.


“It’s almost like we’re starting to see a textbook version of a pre-recessionary period,” Nicholas Akins, chief executive of Ohio-based American Electric Power  Co. , said in an interview Wednesday. The company provides electricity to industrial, commercial and residential customers in 11 states.



Of course the more everyone on Wall Street talks about a “recession”, the more everyone is going to start acting like one is coming, and that is actually going to make one more likely.


And it isn’t just Wall Street that is buzzing about the potential for an economic slowdown.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the odds of a recession happening during the next 12 months are now the highest they have been since the last financial crisis…





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The curve isn’t the only thing flashing high alert. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s index showing the probability of a U.S. recession over the next 12 months is close to its highest level since the global financial crisis, at around 31%.


Over and over again, we are seeing things happen that have not happened since the last recession.  At first the mainstream media was slow to catch on, but now just about everybody is acknowledging the warning signs that are all around us.


Unfortunately, the financial bubble that we are facing today is far, far larger than the one that burst in 2008.  And so when this one also bursts, the pain will be much greater than we experienced the last time around.


Many are fearing the worst.  For example, just check out what Martin Armstrong is saying…


I am overseas as a crisis is brewing which many might rename the “Lehman Moment” to something more up to date. Clearly, the stakes are far higher to the world economy than anyone may truly appreciate. We are cascading toward a perfect financial storm.


Hmm – there is yet another prominent name that is using the words “perfect” and “storm” together.


Very interesting.


We’ll see where things go from here.  Since the Dow is already so ridiculously high, an 800 point drop is definitely not the end of the world.  But without a doubt, the market’s downward momentum is beginning to pick up speed, and it isn’t going to take much to turn this into a full-blown crash.


As I have stated numerous times, our financial markets are more primed for a crash right now than they were in 2008.  And when this “everything bubble” finally completely bursts, the financial carnage is going to be off the charts.  I very much encourage you to get your financial house in order, because it looks like the chaos could start escalating quite rapidly.


Every major stock market bubble in U.S. history has ended badly, and this one will too.  We have been waiting for this twisted game to start unraveling for quite some time now, and it may be starting to happen.


About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.


   
            


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34

      

By Laraine C. Abbey-Katzev, RN (emeritus), MS, CNS


I am a retired nurse-nutritionist and I live in the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire a good part of the year. Dengue fever is not uncommon on Bonaire and one of my friends developed a severe case and had to be taken to the hospital–unable even to walk. At best they anticipated an extended hospital stay.


I learned of his hospitalization late in the evening and in my visit to him the following morning I took ascorbic acid powder (Vitamin C 5000 mg per teaspoon) to his bedside and gave him one teaspoon in water during my visit with instructions to take additional teaspoons every 3-4 hours unless or until  he developed diarrhea at which time he should reduce the dose while maintaining the frequency.


By the next day he had recovered sufficiently to be discharged and then recovered fully without any after-effects.


         



      

Vitamin C is a miracle substance and should be used in massive doses for any health emergency that does not require narcotic pain relief as it renders narcotics ineffective. For the latter reason, massive dose buffered intravenous or even intramuscular use should be standard protocol for narcotic overdoses.


See the power of vitamin C in these two articles:


Inexpensive Treatments Recover Dying Hospital Patients https://www.activistpost.com/2019/06/inexpensive-treatments-recover-dying-hospital-patients.html


The Gift of Vitamin C https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A23ec59b8-0541-4c2f-95ce-775d3db01280


Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.



Laraine C. Abbey-Katzev, is a Registered Nurse (emeritus) and Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) with a Master’s-Degree in Biology/Clinical Nutrition who maintained a private practice, developed health and weight control programs, nutritional products, and was a featured newspaper columnist for health and nutrition articles. Laraine earned the Huxley Institute Certificate in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice and her successful Orthomolecular treatment of Agoraphobia/Panic Disorder through diet and nutrient supplements, was featured in many magazine articles and books. Laraine is a health activist and a member of the American College of Nutrition.


Image credit: Pixabay


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35

      

By The Last American Vagabond


Another whistleblower, Zachary Vorhies, has gone on record as having grave reservations about the path Google is taking in burying search results and demonstrating political bias in their artificial intelligence algorithms.


TLAV breaks it all down, as well as other key stories in the Daily Wrap Up.



         



      

Also see the original reporting from Project Veritas with the leaked documents: Google “Machine Learning Fairness” Whistleblower Goes Public, says: “burden lifted off of my soul”


Report: Google Insider Gives 950 Pages of Documents to DOJ https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/08/1…


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36

      

By Jason Bermas


Bill Gates has been funding these projects for a very long time, also reported in the 2013 Jason Bermas film SHADE. But a new report rolls it out to the public like it’s a novel idea. Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation is just the latest term in the lexicon of weather modification.


Jason looks at the economic incentives Bill Gates and others might have for wanting to control the weather, as well as the implications for humanity.


         



      


https://www.gofundme.com/f/bermasbrig…


Bitcoin – 1HHdgXD5e1DJrDqbEGWbnvzj2eb739eVVo


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37

      

By Tyler Durden


In the latest blockbuster report about how the chronic understaffing and mandatory overtime at MCC helped contribute to Jeffrey Epstein’s “suicide” (or at least that’s the official narrative that certain parties are trying to push), the New York Times reported on Wednesday that the two guards tasked with monitoring Epstein’s unit were asleep when the pedophile-financier tied a bedsheet around his neck and the other end to a top bunk, before pitching himself forward.


When the guards awakened after not checking on Epstein for three hours to discover, to their horror, that Epstein had apparently committed suicide, they decided to falsify records to cover their tracks, something that could draw criminal charges, per the NYT.


Ladies and gentlemen, have we found our patsies?



The two staff members in the special housing unit where Mr. Epstein was held – 9 South – falsely recorded in a log that they had checked on the financier, who was facing sex trafficking charges, every 30 minutes, as was required, the officials said. Such false entries in an official log could constitute a federal crime.


In fact, the two people guarding Mr. Epstein had been asleep for some or all of the three hours, three of the officials said.



         



      

The two employees were placed on administrative leave on Tuesday, while Warden of the jail was temporarily reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation, while the Warden of the federal prison in Otisville has been named acting warden of the Manhattan jail.


Those disclosures came on Tuesday as the two employees were placed on administrative leave and the warden of the jail, the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, was temporarily reassigned, pending the outcome of the investigation into Mr. Epstein’s death, the Justice Department announced.






One of the staff members who was working to guard Epstein that night was a former corrections officer who had recently taken a desk job inside the prison. But he had recently volunteered to cover some shifts as a corrections officer once again for the extra overtime pay. The second officer, a woman who was assigned to that wing, had been forced to work overtime because of staffing shortages.


Prison staff found Epstein, 66, dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, officials said. Earlier reports said staff heard shrieking coming from his cell around the time of his death. He was awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls. Just days before, thousands of pages of documents were released by the US Attorney of the Southern District of New York’s office revealing at least half a dozen new names who had never been associated with Epstein and his sex ring before, including former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Marvin Minsky, to name a few.


It’s this particularly curious timing that has prompted some to speculate that conspiracy theories that Epstein was murdered or switched with a body double might be real, since, without Epstein, there won’t be a trial (though AG William Barr has vowed to bring his co-conspirators to justice, his most prominent associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, is nowhere to be found).




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Update: Ghislaine Maxwell has indeed been found.


This article was sourced from SHTFPlan.com


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38

      

By Jessica Corbett


Privacy advocates are responding with alarm to Amazon’s claim this week that the controversial cloud-based facial recognition system the company markets to law enforcement agencies can now detect “fear” in the people it targets.


“Amazon is going to get someone killed by recklessly marketing this dangerous and invasive surveillance technology to governments,” warned Evan Greer, deputy director of the digital rights group Fight for the Future, in a statement Wednesday.


Amazon Web Services detailed new updates to its system—called Rekognition—in an announcement Monday:


With this release, we have further improved the accuracy of gender identification. In addition, we have improved accuracy for emotion detection (for all 7 emotions: ‘Happy’, ‘Sad’, ‘Angry’, ‘Surprised’, ‘Disgusted’, ‘Calm’, and ‘Confused’) and added a new emotion: ‘Fear’. Lastly, we have improved age range estimation accuracy; you also get narrower age ranges across most age groups.


         



      

Pointing to research on the technology conducted by the ACLU and others, Fight for the Future’s Greer said that “facial recognition already automates and exacerbates police abuse, profiling, and discrimination.”


“Now Amazon is setting us on a path where armed government agents could make split second judgements based on a flawed algorithm’s cold testimony. Innocent people could be detained, deported, or falsely imprisoned because a computer decided they looked afraid when being questioned by authorities,” she warned. “The dystopian surveillance state of our nightmares is being built in plain sight—by a profit-hungry corporation eager to cozy up to governments around the world.”


VICE reported that “despite Amazon’s bold claims, the efficacy of emotion recognition is in dispute. A recent study reviewing over 1,000 academic papers on emotion recognition found that the technique is deeply flawed—there just isn’t a strong enough correlation between facial expressions and actual human emotions, and common methods for training algorithms to spot emotions present a host of other problems.”


Amid mounting concerns over how police and other agencies may use and abuse facial recognition tools, Fight for the Future launched a national #BanFacialRecognitioncampaign last month. Highlighting that there are currently no nationwide standards for how agencies and officials can use the emerging technology, the group calls on federal lawmakers to ban the government from using it at all.




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Fight for the Future reiterated their demand Wednesday, in response to Amazon’s latest claims. Although there are not yet any federal regulations for the technology, city councils—from San Francisco to Somerville, Massachusetts—have recently taken steps to outlaw government use such systems.


Activists are especially concerned about the technology in that hands of federal agencies such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), whose implementation of the Trump administration’s immigration policies has spurred condemnation from human rights advocates the world over.


Read From Activist Post: U.S. Customs Continues to “Modernize” Its System to Include Biometrics For All Passengers


Civil and human rights advocates have strongly urged Amazon—as well as other developers including Google and Microsoft—to refuse to sell facial recognition technology to governments in the United States and around the world, emphasizing concerns about safety, civil liberties, and public trust.


However, documents obtained last year by the Project on Government Oversight revealed that in the summer of 2018, Amazon pitched its Rekognition system to the Department of Homeland Security—which oversees ICE and CBP—over the objection of Amazon employees. More recently, the corporation has been targeted by protesters of the Trump administration’s immigration agenda for Amazon Web Service’s cloud contracts with ICE.


In a July report on Amazon’s role in the administration’s immigration policies, Al Jazeera explained that “U.S. authorities manage their immigration caseload with Palantir software that facilitates tracking down would-be deportees. Amazon Web Services hosts these databases, while Palantir provides the computer program to organize the data.”




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“Amazon provides the technological backbone for the brutal deportation and detention machine that is already terrorizing immigrant communities,” Audrey Sasson, executive director of Jews For Racial and Economic Justice, told VICE Tuesday. “[A]nd now Amazon is giving ICE tools to use the terror the agency already inflicts to help agents round people up and put them in concentration camps.”


“Just as IBM collaborated with the Nazis, Amazon and Palantir are collaborating with ICE today,” added Sasson. “They’ve chosen which side of history they want to be on.”



39

      

By Steven Maxwell


As regular readers of this site are probably well aware, it often feels like we are living in parallel worlds when it comes to media coverage of just about anything. This is extremely evident in the economy.


In a game of numbers, one would think that there would be much more obvious agreement about the conclusions we can draw from economic data. Nothing could be further from the truth, as on one end we are given persistently buoyant optimism from the Wall Street stock-market crowd; and signs of imminent economic end-times on the other extreme side of the spectrum.


However, for anyone who spends even a small amount of time on Main Street, the realities tend to be much more obvious — consumer debt is at an all-time high, bankruptcies are surging, and more than half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.


Let’s look at which areas of the U.S. economy have achieved some consensus in the determination that all might not be well. Get your silver, get your gold, get your cryptocurrency, get your term insurance, get your prepping gear and get your critical thinking caps on to at least hedge yourself against these areas of the economy that are experiencing turbulence.


         



      

Retail — Speaking of life on Main Street, perhaps this one is the most obvious to each of us. It seems like a “Retail Apocalypse” has been accepted as an apt catch phrase that reflects empty malls and disappearing mom-and-pops.  It even has its own Wikipedia entry. Some pundits have argued that “retail apocalypse” is a misnomer and is instead just a reflection of our modern shift away from brick-and-mortar establishments and over to an online economy. Nevertheless, there is a lot of physical space now left behind. Washington Post recently reported that 75,000 more stores could soon be added to the many thousands of those that already have shuttered — and they are some of the biggest names in retail.


Banking — Even beyond Main Street, the upper echelons of the finance world do not seem to be immune … at least when currency wars, trade wars, political instability and outright corruption become part of the operating expenses.  Just last week it was announced that big banks are having big troubles — HSBC, Deutsche, Societe, and Citi will account for tens of thousands of new layoffs worldwide, including some high-paid executives. Since the world at large doesn’t appear to be stabilizing anytime soon, it is probably safe to surmise that “restructuring” efforts by major banks might not offer their advertised solutions.


Agriculture — This might be the one area that will affect everyone, regardless of where you live or the level of your income bracket. The food supply itself is coming under extreme pressure from a combination of natural and political assaults.  The American farmer, in particular, is suffering under the weight of a trade war with China that CNBC says only “piles on to a devastating year.”


“It’s really, really getting bad out here,” Bob Kuylen, a farmer of 35 years in North Dakota, told CNBC. “There’s no incentive to keep farming, except that I’ve invested everything I have in farming, and it’s hard to walk away.”


Farms are also suffering from historic flooding and heat waves.  This has become the perfect storm to drive up food prices and even threaten the food supply, as many large stores like Kroger’s have begun posting signs like this one:



Manufacturing


It’s always a political talking point, and it appears no one has yet found an answer to restoring American supremacy in manufacturing. In fact, things have only gotten worse lately, and most believe it’s yet another result of the trade war. MarketWatch reports that manufacturing is now in a technical recession.


The U.S. factory sector declined in the three months ended in June, the second straight quarterly decline, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday.




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But the overall trend in the sector looks a bit more dramatic, regardless of any political messaging:




Restaurants


Another key symbol of Main Street economic health is the restaurant sector.  It highlights how much discretionary income is available, as well as being a solid marker for employment and even policy changes that might have unintended consequences.  The National Restaurant Association released their July report and things aren’t trending well:





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Restaurant Performance Index Declined in June


As a result of softer customer traffic and a somewhat dampened outlook for sales growth in the coming months, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined in June.  The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.2 in June, down 0.4 percent from a level of 101.6 in May.


One controversial area to keep an eye on is the widespread call for minimum wage increases. There is quite a lot of debate about the impact that a rise in minimum wage will have, especially in the sensitive restaurant sector. Read for yourself what is happening in the early going for New York where the $15 minimum wage has gone into effect, while surrounding areas are still at $11.10.


Compared to the first half of last year when there was an average of about 318,000 restaurant jobs in the city, there were only slightly more than 314,000 restaurant employees during the same period this year, representing a loss of nearly 4,000 food jobs over the last year at a rate of 11 jobs lost on average every day.


Is it true that the living wage ultimately makes it harder to make a living? Decide for yourself:



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40

      

By Lee Friday


On July 28, in London, Ontario, a police pursuit of two bank robbers resulted in  three collisions. The suspects’ car hit another car, and police cars hit two other cars, the second of which was a taxicab, which appears to have  had the right-of-way  in an intersection. The taxi driver has been released from the hospital, but his passengers, 27-year-old Porsche Clark and her 9-year-old daughter Skyla,  as of August 1st,  remained in hospital in critical condition.


The London Free Press reports:  “Under Ontario law, police may pursue a fleeing vehicle if a crime has been committed or is about to be committed. Police must determine whether the need to protect public safety by stopping the vehicle outweighs any possible public risks from the pursuit.” Indeed, that is the law,  under the Police Services Act  (PSA).


Simply put, this gives the police an immense amount of leeway. Essentially, the police will determine whether the need to keep the public safe requires them to put the public at risk. This contradicts  the first of six principles  of the PSA under which “police services shall be provided throughout Ontario,” namely “The need to ensure the safety and security of all persons and property in Ontario [emphasis added].” This principle should preclude police pursuits which might put anyone in danger. That is, the police ought not be allowed to trade your safety for my safety, regardless of whether the danger arises from the reckless driving of the police, or the reckless driving of the criminal as a result of the police pursuit.


Unfortunately, these conflicting rules are typical of government policy. This is how bureaucrats, and especially courts, are given wide latitude to interpret the law, often protecting those who are supposed to protect us.


         



      

Responsibility of Police Officers


The PSA principle stated above, “The need to ensure the safety and security of all persons and property in Ontario” is again emphasized in PSA  Section 43 “Criteria for hiring”: “No person shall be appointed as a police officer unless he or she … is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position, having regard to his or her own safety and the safety of members of the public.”


Taken together, that principle and Section 43 are not ambiguous. And if the crazy police pursuit policy did not exist, this should be enough to hold police accountable for actions which endanger the public, right? Unfortunately, no, because they protect themselves with  Section 50 “Liability for torts.”


Section 50 stipulates that a municipal police services board — not police officers themselves — “is liable in respect of torts committed by members of the police force in the course of their employment.”


Additionally, “The board may … indemnify a member of the police force for reasonable legal costs incurred … in respect of any other proceeding in which the member’s manner of execution of the duties of his or her employment was an issue, if the member is found to have acted in good faith.” However, “acting in good faith” is a broad concept which, in Canada,  as in the US, usually produces immunity for police officers.


As it turns out, the board is not actually liable for any of this because Section 50 further stipulates that “The council is responsible for the liabilities incurred by the board. …” Council means City Council, and we know what that means. Taxpayers are ultimately liable, and the reality is that taxpayers pay a lot of money to settle lawsuits resulting from the indiscretions of police officers.


Even if most officers consistently exercise what rational civilians would consider to be “good judgment,” the law nevertheless punishes taxpayers in order to protect officers who make bad decisions. And nine-year-old Skyla Clark is old enough to understand how this can create perverse incentives.


Government’s Rationale






The coercive nature of government fosters a culture where little incentive exists to control the behavior of individuals operating within government bureaucracies, whose budgets are renewed, and often increased, in spite of taxpayers’ dissatisfaction.


At the same time, we are supposed to accept at face value the assertion that society can grow and prosper only if government agents are granted legal immunity for actions they undertake in the performance of their public duties. For if they fear the personal consequences of their own mistakes, they may hesitate to take actions which they sincerely believe to be in the public interest. With this fear running through their minds, they would be frozen in a state of inaction, and citizens would suffer the effects of a rapidly decaying society. However, when granted the privilege of externalizing the costs of their actions on to the backs of taxpayers, then, and only then, are the government’s angels able to function. This is the gospel according to government.


The truth is that those who are tasked with serving the public interest, while protected by legal immunity, are well positioned to  serve whatever interests they choose. The doctrine of immunity is a ruse, a license to abuse, and a not too subtle confirmation that some of us will always be above the law. It encourages people to do bad things. It promotes a sense of invincibility, superiority, entitlement, and outrage toward others who forget to bow in the presence of their masters.


In 2008, young Garett Rollins  learned this the hard way  as he celebrated his 19thbirthday. He and his friends were complying with a police request to leave the party, and Rollins questioned the rough treatment of a girl by Constable Benjamin Tomiuck, who responded “We can do whatever the f_ _ _ we want.” “You don’t have to be such dicks about it,” Rollins replied. Upon hearing those words, Constable Matt Pouli viciously assaulted the unaggressive Rollins. Nine years later, Rollins was awarded $28,500 in damages. It is unclear whether any of this money was paid by Pouli, but it is clear that he  remained on active duty, with a salary of  $134,031.98  last year.


Conclusion


In 2016,  Ombudsman Ontario arrogantly claimed that  “The government has demonstrated that it is willing and able to respond to urgent public concerns about policing and police culture, and to set provincewide rules in the public interest. It did so in 1992 with its original guideline for the use of force. It did so in 1999 to end dangerous high-speed police pursuits.”


However, as Porsche Clark, Skyla Clark, Garett Rollins, and many others like them know, those new rules were just another example of the government paying lip service to the concerns of the public.




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Police officers — and other government agents — are routinely excused for actions for which ordinary civilians are prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned. It is mystifying and frightening that we support politicians and bureaucrats who constantly moralize about the virtues of equality, while they shamelessly use their power to avoid equality before the law.



Following a 23-year career in the Canadian financial industry, Lee Friday has spent many years studying economics, politics, and social issues. He operates a news site at www.LondonNews1.com


This article was sourced from Mises.org


Image credit: Pixabay


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41

      

By Tyler Durden


Jeffrey Epstein’s former “best friend” and alleged procurer of underage girls, Ghislaine Maxwell, has been found after three years of speculation.


The 57-year-old British heiress was discovered laying low in a $3 million “secluded oceanfront property at the end of a long private road” in New England with her boyfriend, 43-year-old tech CEO Scott Borgerson, according to the Daily Mail.



The socialite’s New England hideaway is an imposing three-story colonial property with five-bedrooms, wraparound terraces and sweeping grounds which reach to the ocean. The property is owned by tech CEO and maritime academic Dr Scott Borgerson.


Borgerson was seen by DailyMail.com in July running errands in the affluent community of Manchester-by-the-Sea, a half-hour drive from Boston.



The former Coast Guard officer, is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was married and is believed to have two children. –Daily Mail



         



      

She’s become a real homebody, rarely ventures out” of the house in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, said the Mail‘s source, adding “She’s the antithesis of the woman who traveled extensively and partied constantly with Epstein.”



Little was known of Maxwell’s whereabouts since she was last seen publicly three years ago as a multitude of reports claimed she had been living abroad, perhaps in London.


Her former townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan was sold for $15 million in 2016, by a company with the same address as Epstein’s New York office.


The spotlight has now swung to Maxwell, and other alleged co-conspirators of Epstein, following the convicted pedophile’s apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail cell on Saturday. –Daily Mail



Maxwell has been accused by at least three women of procuring and training young girls to perform massage and sexual acts on the Epstein and his associates. Maxwell was said to have hired, supervised and fired household staff, while directing the visits of dozens of “massage therapists” to Epstein’s residence, according to the Wall Street Journal.






Her father was publisher Robert Maxwell – who himself faced accusations of being a Mossad double (and possibly triple) agent and a “bad character” who was “almost certainly financed by Russia,” according to the British Foreign Office. Robert Maxwell died in 1991 when he fell from his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine – however the circumstances surrounding his demise have been rife with speculation (including that it was a Mossad assassination).


Epstein and Maxwell reportedly met and began dating around 1992 shortly after her father’s death. In 1995, Epstein renamed a now-defunct Palm Beach company “Ghislaine Corp,” which was dissolved in 1998 per the Wall Street Journal. In 2003, Epstein described Maxwell as his “best friend,” who was not on his payroll – yet “seems to organize much of his life.”


Maxwell also attended Chelsea Clinton’s wedding – and has been linked to other prominent people such as Prince Andrew, Donald Trump and Alan Dershowitz.





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While Maxwell hasn’t been charged in any of Epstein’s crimes, speculation has swirled that she is an unnamed co-conspirator in the case against him. 


And according to Attorney General Bill Barr, “…this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy,” adding “The victims deserve justice and they will get it.”



By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge.com


This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed.


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42

      

Op-Ed by Jeffrey A. Tucker


Some years back, a friend came to me, a bit sheepishly, and suggested that he suspected the existence of a plot at his workplace. Some people he had previously trusted seemed to be up to no good. Because I was familiar with the situation, he asked what my opinion was. I looked into it and concluded, provisionally, that his conspiracy theory didn’t seem to be true. He rested easy — until a few weeks later when his theory was not only confirmed; the reality was revealed to be much worse than he imagined.


The nest of vipers was finally cleaned out, but the situation did confirm what most people suspect. The world is full of bad guys. Bad guys can be sneaky. They hatch plots. They hide those plots. You have to connect the dots. Once you do, you look for evidence either confirming or denying. Once you put it together, you see a pattern, and then you look for mistakes that the conspirators make. And they always make them. When they do, you act. Then, like in Scooby-Doo, you expose the bad guys.


This is a small-scale conspiracy, which is easier to confirm or deny than a big theory, such as “the US is the hidden hand destabilizing Hong Kong” or “Trump serves at the pleasure of Putin” or anything involving Jeffrey Epstein.


         



      

Sometimes you can get a theory in your head and then make up connections that don’t exist. What seems like evidence might just be static. Your explanations can be too elaborate: of course there’s no evidence; they would know to cover it all up!


Confirming the existence of a conspiracy requires an attitude of humility, a sense of proportionality, and a scientific frame of mind, always looking for evidence that might refute as well as confirm your theory.


Of course in today’s wild west of information, ain’t nobody got time for that.


Times Change


Nancy Rosenblum and Russell Muirhead argue that there is a big difference between traditional conspiracy theory, moored by the demands of evidence, and the “new conspiracism,” which has no interest in the demands of authentication.


“The new conspiracism obliterates nuance and judgment and replaces it with a distorted unreality in which some things are wholly good and others (say, Hillary Clinton [or Donald Trump]) wholly evil,” they say. “This is its appeal. And something with such political force will be taken up everywhere by those who seek to abandon regular processes and disrupt established institutions, and especially by those who reject the idea of a ‘loyal opposition.’”


To elaborate, the nature of modern politics is drawing everyone into a battle of friends and enemies, consistent with the Schmittian dream. The political stories we tell ourselves scapegoat and demonize the other, who is given a Manichean rendering. Once that happens, rational thought goes out the window. Every horrible accusation is considered true, or at least true enough to achieve the preset political aim. As the friend/enemy dichotomy intensifies, conspiracy theory advances, and not without evidence: the more politicized society becomes, the more conspiracies really do exist.


Big Government Fuels Paranoia


A certain amount of public paranoia is going to be a feature of any society with an overweening state. There are trillions of dollars swirling around Washington. The money is never fully accounted for. There are a hundred thousand lobbyists. Donors, takers, taxers, spenders, and a new scandal emerges every few days.


Meanwhile, the apologists for the system never stop telling us that the system is good, that society would fall apart without it, that our masters are serving us well and we should be grateful. Just in case we are not super happy about it, there is a vast machinery of compulsion and coercion to shore it all up.


Given all this, finding a conspiracy in the political system is as easy as money for old rope.




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That said, there are three common errors that conspiracy theories commit.


First, conspiracy theory imagines the existence of planned order where none exists. It posits centralized intentionality behind all events. This error has ancient origins — surely it is the Pharaoh to whom we owe our blessings, and for our misfortune we blame an evil force — but it gets worse in a networked global society in which a spontaneous order extends unto infinity via institutions that no one is in a position to control.


Hayek explained that the order around us “arose from unintentionally conforming to certain traditional and largely moral practices, many of which men tend to dislike, whose significance they usually fail to understand, whose validity they cannot prove, and which have nonetheless fairly rapidly spread by means of an evolutionary selection — the comparative increase of population and wealth — of those groups that happened to follow them.”


The incredulous refuse to accept the reality of spontaneous order, mainly because our unevolved brains find it easier to posit simple cause and effect: a great or evil man did this – planned and executed from above with perfect foresight.


Second, conspiracy theory often exaggerates the efficiency of power. Governments are notoriously incompetent, owing to the knowledge problem of making any plans and also owing to the lack of a price system to signal rational behavior. Day to day, they flounder just to keep up with accounting, pay off the beneficiaries, deliver the mail, keep the subsidies flowing; think about the Veterans Administration, and there you have it. Or think of any experience you have had in dealing with government. A successful conspiracy is far more likely to occur in the private sector (as Adam Smith said), simply because government is so bumbling.


This reality creates something paradoxical: no one overestimates the competence of a powerful elite more than an obsessed conspiracy theorist.




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Third, conspiracy tends to attribute to the existence of evil what is more plausibly explained by incompetence, ignorance, or simple error. Occam’s Razor is a good tool; it doesn’t prove that plots never exist but it serves a check on wild imaginings.


I do get the attraction to weaving tales of grand plots. It has a Gnostic appeal. We love to flatter ourselves that we know some inside information that explains the world, whereas the hoi polloi are hopelessly blind. Believing this creates an adrenaline rush, one so powerful that the desire for it fuels the sales of millions of books a year and countless internet forums.


Part of all us should delight in the modern reality that hardly anyone believes the civic orthodoxy anymore. This creates as many opportunities as it does dangers. If we really want to shore up a culture of trust, the best way is to expose obviously true conspiracies — such as the political system and the state it administers — and rally around institutions that are better at ferreting out bad actors and rewarding good ones, such as adaptive markets.



Jeffrey A. Tucker is Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and eight books in 5 languages, most recently The Market Loves You. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. He is available for speaking and interviews via his email.  Tw | FB | LinkedIn 


This article was sourced from AIER.org


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43

      

By B.N. Frank


Activist Post recently reported about the dangers associated with babies wearing P&G’s “Smart” Diapers.  Many health experts including The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warn kids are more vulnerable to exposure to all sources of wireless radiation.


No safe level of exposure has even been determined for children or pregnant women.  Earlier this year 250 scientists signed a petition warning against numerous products that emit Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation.  This now includes “Smart” diapers which are also being manufactured and marketed by Huggies.


Still aren’t convinced this isn’t risky?  For many years now telecom companies have been warning shareholders may eventually be held liable for lawsuits with their devices.


Thanks to Families Advocating for Chemical & Toxics Safety (FACTS): www.familyacts.org for starting this petition.  The poop has officially hit the fan.





Activist Post reports regularly about biological and environmental risks from all sources of wireless radiation exposure.  For more information visit our archives and the following links.



Americans for Responsible Technology
Center For Safer Wireless
ElectromagneticHealth
Environmental Health Trust
Generation Zapped
Physicians for Safe Technology
SaferEMR
Wireless Information Network

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44

      

By David Smith


The World Silver Survey 2019 Review, the institute’s annual World Silver Survey said that global silver demand hit a three-year high in 2018, surpassing more than one billion ounces, an increase of 4% from 2017.


At the same time, global silver mine production fell for the third straight year, dropping 2% in 2018 to 855.7 million ounces.


The top 10 silver producing countries are: Peru, Bolivia, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Poland, China, Russia and Guatemala.


And get this… in every one of these countries, silver production has been falling for the last 4 consecutive years!


         



      

Top Silver Producing Countries Forecasted Change in Mine Supply 2017 vs 2018f



Supply from scrap sources is at a 20-year low.
Silver fabrication (manufacturing) demand is just below record levels.
Silver demand for solar panels has risen for six consecutive years – and is expected to set a new record in 2019


In comparison to the roughly 6 billion ounces of gold mined over history, roughly 54 billion ounces of silver are estimated to have been mined over time. In direct contrast to gold, however, roughly half of the mined silver (27.2 billion ounces) is estimated to have been consumed, destroyed or discarded. (Incrementum AG)


Subtracting from the remaining mined-total roughly 24 billion ounces of silver estimated to exist in the form of jewelry, silverware, statues and decorative objects, this leaves only 2.8 billion ounces in the existing, investable above-ground stock of silver, valued at only $46.2 billion.


Therefore, the investable stock of silver measures less than 2% of the (size of the) investable stock of gold. It is easy to appreciate why silver performance during precious metal advances can prove comparatively explosive! [emphasis added] (Maria Smirnova, Sprott Asset Management.)




SGE Silver Delivery Volume (May 16, 2019)


Silver consumption by China (and India) shows no signs of abating.



The movement of gold from West to East (with over 60% transiting through Swiss refineries as it is turned into the most-in-demand form, .9999 fine) is like a virtual golden river.


While demand is picking up in some European countries, North America appears to be asleep, with many people actually selling their gold and silver into the most recent upside breakout. How much sense does that make?


Eight years of declining prices have caused many investors to develop a case of “continuation bias.”


They understandably assume that this downward trend – which at its low point had shaved off fully 60% of silver’s 2011 price point highs – will continue.


But…we emphatically believe they are incorrect!


About the evolving situation, David Morgan at The Morgan Report says the following:


Silver will shine, then soar, and finally skyrocket, while stupefying the masses! Remember, only two-tenths of a percent of the world’s wealth is actually in silver. If that were to become just a measly one percent, it would require a 50-fold increase. So when all other assets are failing miserably do you really think that only one percent of the world’s population would want to own this timeless monetary metal?


Gold: December Contrast



Silver: September Contrast


Charts courtesy Graceland Updates



The above gold and silver charts have formed the most unusual technical patterns I have ever run across.




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Counter Markets Newsletter - Trends & Strategies for Maximum Freedom




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The gold chart shows an upward-sloping flag pattern, which is usually bearish – yet prices broke to the upside and then began forming another bull flag.


Silver is even more interesting.


Over the last few weeks prices have formed three stair-stepping bull flags. Whether this is a precursor to higher prices right now or we see a “correction” that contradicts them, it tells me that this is no ordinary rally. Not just a few months of upside action and then giving it all back like in 2016. Something much more significant is going on…


I fully believe that what we’re seeing in gold, silver and the mining shares is the beginning of what may evolve into the greatest metals’ bull market in which you and I have ever participated.


In the early 2000s, I stated my belief that, before the public-mania phase had been completed a number of years hence, we would see silver prices at between $175 and $250 the ounce.


This may sound hard to believe.


However, we now have a gold metric figure to which this kind of prediction can be attached. A number of analysts have stated their belief that gold will reach as high as $40,000 or more an ounce.




Avoiding The Eye - Ships Free Today!



Anything is possible, but I tend to be quite a bit more conservative. Using Jim Rickards projection of $10,000 an ounce – who I believe was the first one to state it, I then suggest a gold/silver ratio which might help define several price points under such a scenario.


Just a few weeks ago, the gold/silver ratio was 94:1, At this writing it’s still in the upper 80’s.


In 1980, the ratio got down to about 15:1. But I am going to be much more “conservative.” I suggest three ratio points that, assuming $10,000 gold, could helps us assign a silver price expectation when these two metals start topping out.



At 60:1, silver would trade at about $165 the ounce.
At 50:1, silver would trade at about $200 the ounce.
At 40:1, silver would trade at about $250 the ounce.
Below that – whip out your calculator and have some fun!

If the metals get anywhere near these levels, I will be implementing the plan David Morgan and I discuss in great detail in our book, Second Chance: How to Make – and Keep – Big Money from the Coming Gold and Silver Shock-Wave.


A lot of books talk about how to make a lot of money from such a big move, but our text may be the only one devoting serious thought – and devising a method according with, not against human nature – to a plan for how you should be able to actually hold onto most of it!


If our thinking resonates with you even a little bit, you owe it to yourself (and your family?) to get to work on a plan that makes sense for your situation and temperament and then execute it.


Start laying in some physical gold and silver. There is compelling evidence that as the price reaches about $26, a major resistance point from years’ past, “the public” – your friends and neighbors – will finally decide to join the crowd.


With such a relatively small market you can be certain, assuming availability, both the price and the premiums will be much higher than they are today. So what’s the point of waiting?



David H. Smith is Senior Analyst for TheMorganReport.com, a regular contributor to MoneyMetals.com as well as the LODE Cryptographic Silver Monetary System Project. He has investigated precious metals’ mines and exploration sites in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, China, Canada and the U.S. He shares resource sector observations with readers, the media, and North American investment conference attendees.


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Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.


   
            


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45

      

By corbettreport


In this in-depth exploration of the death (?) of Jeffrey Epstein (?), James and The Corbett Report community members tackle 3 questions:



What do we know about this incident?
What do we not know?
And what does it all mean?

         



      


JOIN THE INVESTIGATION: https://www.corbettreport.com/epstein…


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