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A woman pregnant with her first child paid a visit to her obstetrician’s office.

After the exam, she shyly said, ’’My husband wants me to ask you...,’’ to which the doctor replies, ’’I know, I know,’’ placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder. ’’I get asked that all the time. Sex is fine until late in the pregnancy.’’

’’No, that’s not it,’’ the woman confessed. ’’He wants to know if I can still mow the lawn.’’


Motorcyclist Who Identifies As Bicyclist Sets Cycling World Record

NEW YORK, NY—In an inspiring story from the world of professional cycling, a motorcyclist who identifies as a bicyclist has crushed all the regular bicyclists, setting an unbelievable world record.

In a local qualifying race for the World Road Cycling League, the motorcyclist crushed the previous 100-mile record of 3 hours, 13 minutes with his amazing new score of well under an hour.

Professional motorcycle racer Judd E. Banner, the brave trans-vehicle rider, was allowed to race after he told league organizers he's always felt like a bicyclist in a motorcyclist's body.

"Look, my ride has handlebars, two wheels, and a seat," he told reporters as he accepted a trophy for his incredible time trial. "Just because I've got a little extra hardware, such as an 1170-cc flat-twin engine with 110 horsepower, doesn't mean I have any kind of inherent advantage here."

Banner also said he painted the word "HUFFY" on the side of his bike, ensuring he has no advantage over the bikes that came out of the factory as bicycles.

Some critics say he needs to cut off his motor in order to make the competition fairer, but he quickly called these people bigots, and they were immediately banned from professional cycle racing.


In The News:

The Nissan Rogue is under investigation for an emergency brake that turns on for no reason. In other words, your Rogue may go rogue on you.

Maine will receive $2-million to study lobsters, not including the cost of melted butter.

A study says air quality in Beijing has improved over the past five years and most days, the skies are usually a healthier lighter shade of brown.

A $4.99 app called Streaks helps people form good habits. That is, unless, you have a habit of buying apps you never use.

A Missouri woman is fighting to keep her three emotional support monkeys. To think, she's just 997 more monkeys and a thousand typewriters away from creating Shakespeare.

Monday was National Guacamole Day. Looking at my calendar, I can see Monday has already turned brown... .

The CDC is telling people not to kiss their chickens. I suppose the key is to only buy ugly ones.

Las Vegas has been ranked as the most fun city in the U.S.. To be clear, it was not "The most fun you can talk about city... "

First, there was Jefferson Airplane. Then they changed their name to Jefferson Starship. I would think that today, they should probably change it to Jefferson e-scooter, just to keep up with the times.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says voting is more important than sex. I’m guessing I must be doing one of them wrong.

Now Justin Trudeau has to decide between doing a remake of the Al Jolson story or running for governor of Virginia.

This is the time he wishes there was only egg on his face.

You know, I’m actually old enough to remember when I didn’t know everyone’s politics. Yes, there was a time…

A study says the average American family spends $7,000 more than they budget for every year. One question: what’s this ‘budget’ thing they speak of?


There are these two guys named John and Cliff. They were best friends and were so obsessed with baseball that they would go to 60 games a year and analyze every scoreboard.

They even promised each other that when one of them goes to heaven, the deceased one would come back and tell the other whether there was baseball in heaven or not. One night Cliff dies in his sleep after watching a Chicago White Sox game - Chicago won, so at least he died a happy man.

The next day Cliff returns to earth to see his friend.

"Hi, John."

"Cliff, is it really you?"

"Hey, I told you I’d be back to tell you what’s up. And, you know John, there’s good news and bad news."

"Okay. What’s the good news?"

"There is baseball in heaven."

"The bad news?"

"You’re pitching tomorrow night."


There’s a senior citizen driving on the highway.

His wife calls him on his cell phone and in a worried voice says, ’’Herman, be careful! I just heard on the radio that there was a madman driving the wrong way on Route 280!’’

Herman says, ’”I know, I know, but there isn’t just one, there are hundreds!”

Quote of the Times;
“The point of disinformation is not just to get people to accept a lie. It is to annihilate truth and to exhaust people’s defense of the truth.” - Kasparov, chess grandmaster and Russian political activist.

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
China's Long Con: A Paper Tiger In A Fragile Economy by Andrew Moran

We typically imagine the Chinese entrepreneur crunching numbers, working around the clock to boost the economy, and repeating Communist propaganda about the West being the supreme devil. But we might have it wrong. Considering that the major source of funding for tens of thousands of companies in China originates from the central bank’s printing press, the reality could be businessmen and employees getting plastered on baijiu and beating each other to death with Pokémon cards during office hours. Think of it as the Eastern version of The Wolf of Wall Street.

The Three Rs

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) recently announced that it would inject $126.35 billion into the financial system by cutting the reserve requirement ratio – the number of reserves that financial institutions are mandated to hold. This represents the seventh reduction to the RRR in the last 18 months, totaling $510 billion in net liquidity.

According to the central bank, the RRR will be lowered by 50 basis points for all commercial banks, effective September 16. Smaller institutions will be given one additional percentage point. The RRR for larger organizations will be dropped to 13%. PBOC officials are attempting to spur lending, economic activity, and financial support as the world’s second-largest economy continues to slump amid its trade war with the US.

In a statement, the bank assured markets that it will maintain a conservative monetary policy and will not flood the economy with stimulus. However, officials did say that they will increase counter-cyclical adjustments and extend immense volumes of liquidity when necessary.

Even prior to the trade war, the Chinese government had employed a series of measures to reverse the slump. Thanks to the dispute with the Americans, Beijing’s growth prospects are bearish, projected to fall to a 30-year low of 6.2% in the second quarter of 2019. Because of this, analysts anticipate the PBOC will impose another 50-basis-point RRR decrease. In addition, observers prognosticate that the central bank could cut at least one of its key policy interest rates later this month. This would be the first time since 2015.

The routine intervention and stimulus have ostensibly metastasized the economy into an addict, reliant on its next fix. So, can the Chinese economy survive without the state?

Every Yuan Needs Debt

In the last five years, China’s M2 money supply – a measurement of the money supply that includes cash, checking deposits, and liquid assets – has ballooned 120%. Since the country is being paralyzed by the trade spat and other negative trends that threaten its foundation, China is not showing any signs that it is ready to hit the pause button on money-printing. In fact, judging by previous remarks by PBOC heads, Beijing might rev it up even more, especially if the downturn intensifies.

But can China print to infinity? It may have to because seemingly every area of the economy counts on being propped up by the Communists through cash injections, stimulus projects, and bailouts.

This past summer, several interesting reports shone a negative light on the Asian juggernaut.

Fitch Ratings warned that Chinese banks might not have enough capital to lend out in the event of a steep slowdown. Analysts noted that banks’ earnings have only been enough to sustain mandated capital levels. It then makes sense as to why the PBOC is approving many RRR cuts: Beijing is depending on the quasi-private sector to resuscitate the economy through lending.

When it was discovered that the nation’s smaller banking outfits were running into trouble, China absorbed a handful of these entities and merged many of these weaker banks. But the problem may be much worse than the local media and the government are letting on. Nearly two dozen major organizations have not published up-to-date financial reports, causing consternation in the finance industry – at home and abroad.

There are nearly 200,000 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) within China, all receiving some sort of support from the government. Many cheered when it was reported that these government-sponsored businesses posted record profits, despite the trade war and economic hiccups. But they should hold the applause because this process is comparable to passing money from your left hand and giving it to your right and declaring you’re rich.

President Xi Jinping has promised that China is seeking free-market reforms and will open its economy to the rest of the world. But many skeptics say that it would be impossible for several reasons: There are too many SOEs, there has been too much debt incurred, and a significant portion of the money printed and given to state-run banks are earmarked to keep these indebted SOEs open – they are in a coma and running on life support.

Consider this February 2019 Bloomberg report:

“In 2018, private enterprises missed payments on more than 7 percent of bonds issued, HSBC estimates. As early as 2015, even state-owned companies counted themselves among the list of defaulters. And yet not a single local government-affiliated issuer has defaulted, ever.”

Liberty Nation recently reported a new study that found if borrowing were eliminated most of the developed economies in the world would see a negative gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. The analysis concluded that China would be one of the few states to see a gain in a borrowing-free universe, mainly because of its immense currency and gold reserves. But if the market is running mostly on debt, then wouldn’t the economy be wiped out, too?

This could explain why China has been on a gold-buying spree in the last few years, acquiring billions of dollars worth of the yellow metal as a hedge against volatility and perhaps its own inevitable demise.

The Long Con

Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese billionaire who is the Asian version of Peter Schiff and considered a man of mystery by the Western press, sat down with US hedge fund manager Kyle Bass. Wengui explained that the Chinese economy is fake and that the Communists cheated the world, citing a litany of data and problems to support his claims.

Put simply, the Chinese economy is one giant Ponzi scheme that depends on new investors to cover the bad debt, mask its weakness, and con the rest of the world. The revenues derived from the Ponzi are used to launder money for the nation’s leaders and well-connected elite. This is what modern-day communism looks like; forget the proletariat, Karl Marx, and Stalin-esque facial hair. It is about utilizing the power of the state, with a modicum of the enterprise system, to generate enormous wealth.

Yet, no matter how interconnected everything is, the rules of basic economics and finance will always intervene to blow down the house. Are we witnessing the fall of the international finance order? It was only a matter of time before the fiat hegemonic experiment blew up in everyone’s face.

News of the Times;
Michael Moore said he'd go on a hunger strike until Trump is impeached.

Doctors have given him 25 years to live.



A new study says that marriage helps prevent dementia. That was my last hope.

Kim Kardashian says her life is too busy for any more kids. This, according to her nanny.

Tattoo sleeves used to mean you rode with a motorcycle gang and would kill someone. Now, it means you're a chef that makes a lovely pork belly with balsamic drizzle.

A group of scientists who searched Loch Ness in Scotland for their mythical monster now theorize that it could have just been a giant eel. Of course, they haven’t seen the eel. Then again, maybe the monster ate it.

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says he is NOT running for president. He considered it an omen when he asked some of his baristas to make up campaign signs for him and none of them got his name right.

A 74-year-old woman in India has given birth to twins after a round of in vitro fertilization using donor eggs. Of course, the big question - where were the parents?

Republican Dan Bishop defeated Democrat Dan McCready for a North Carolina Congressional seat. Yes, for voters, once again it was Dan if you do and Dan if you don't.

28 counterfeit NBA Championship rings were seized at LAX. Security became suspicious because NBA championship rings in Los Angeles are very rare these days.


With no warning and clear out of the blue, a husband said to his wife, "Honey, I have invited a friend home for supper tonight."

His wife replied, "What? Are you crazy? The house is a mess, I didn't have time to go shopping, all the dishes are dirty, and I don't feel like cooking a fancy meal tonight!"

The husband said, "I know all that."

"Then why in the world did you invite your friend for supper tonight?" asked the wife.

The guy answered, "Because the poor fool is thinking about getting married."


A woman's husband dies. He had left $30,000 to be used for an elaborate funeral.

After everything is done at the funeral home and cemetery, she tells her closest friend that "there is absolutely
nothing left from the $30,000."

The friend asks, "How can that be?"

The widow says, "Well, the funeral cost was $6,500. And of course I made a donation to the church -- that was $500,
and I spent another $500 for the wake, food and drinks -- you know. The rest went for the memorial stone".

The friend says, "$22,500 for ... My God, how big is it?"

The widow says, "Four and a half carats."


You pick a phrase, you pick a rhyme,
Repeat the sound another time,
Five lambs, then an extra beat will do ya.
Another rhyme, a rising note,
Congratulations, you just wrote
Another stupid verse to Hallelujah.

Quote of the Times;
If the news media will run interference for a serial child rapist in the middle of an election, all because he's connected to a left-wing politician they adore, is there any thing they won't cover up?

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Al-Baghdadi and Trump's Syrian chess board by Caroline Glick

U.S. President Donald Trump's many critics insist he has no idea what he’s doing in Syria. The assassination of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last weekend by U.S. special forces showed this criticism is misplaced. Trump has a very good idea of what he’s doing in Syria, not only regarding ISIS, but regarding the diverse competing actors on the ground.

Regarding ISIS, the obvious lesson of the al-Baghdadi raid is that Trump's critics' claim that his withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria's border with Turkey meant that he was going to allow ISIS to regenerate was utterly baseless.

The raid did more than that. Al-Baghdadi's assassination, and Trump's discussion of the mass murderer's death, showed that Trump has not merely maintained faith with the fight against ISIS and its allied jihadist groups. He has fundamentally changed the U.S.'s terror-fighting doctrine, particularly as it relates to psychological warfare against jihadists.

Following the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration initiated a public diplomacy campaign in the Arab-Islamic world. Rather than attack and undermine the jihadist doctrine that insists that it is the religious duty of Muslims to conquer the non-Muslim world and establish a global Islamic empire or caliphate, the Bush strategy was to ignore the jihad in the hopes of appeasing its adherents. The basic line of the Bush administration's public diplomacy campaign was to embrace the mantra that Islam is peace, and assert that the United States loves Islam because the United States seeks peace.

Along these lines, in 2005, then secretary of state Condoleezza Rice prohibited the State Department, FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies from using "controversial" terms like "radical Islam" and "jihad" in official documents.

The Obama administration took the Bush administration's obsequious approach to strategic communications several steps further. President Barack Obama and his advisers went out of their way to express sympathy for the "Islamic world."

The Obama administration supported the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood against Egypt's long-serving president and U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak and backed Mubarak's overthrow with the full knowledge that the only force powerful enough to replace him was the Muslim Brotherhood.

As for the Shi’ite jihadists, Obama's refusal to support the pro-democracy protesters in Iran's attempted Green Revolution in 2009 placed the United States firmly on the side of the jihadist, imperialist regime of the ayatollahs and against the Iranian people.

In short, Obama took Bush's rhetoric of appeasement and turned it into America's actual policy.

The Bush-Obama sycophancy won the United States no goodwill. Al Qaeda, which led the insurgency against U.S. forces in Iraq with Iranian and Syrian support, was not moved to diminish its aggression and hatred of the United States due to the administration's efforts.

It was during the Obama years that ISIS built its caliphate on a third of the Iraqi-Syrian landmass, opened slave markets and launched a mass campaign of filmed beheadings in the name of Islam.

In his announcement of al-Baghdadi's death on Sunday, Trump unceremoniously abandoned his predecessors' strategy of sucking up to jihadists. Unlike Obama, who went to great lengths to talk about the respect U.S. forces who killed Osama bin Laden accorded the terrorist mass-murderer's body, "in accordance with Islamic practice," Trump mocked al-Baghdadi, the murdering, raping, slaving "caliph."

Al-Baghdadi, Trump said, died "like a dog, like a coward."

Al-Baghdadi died, Trump said, "whimpering and crying."

Trump posted a picture on his Twitter page of the Delta Force combat dog who brought about al-Baghdadi's death by chasing him into a tunnel under his compound and provoking him to set off the explosive belt he was wearing, and kill himself and the two children who were with him.

Trump later described the animal who killed Allah's self-appointed representative on earth as “our K-9”, as they call it. I call it a dog. A beautiful dog — a talented dog."

Obama administration officials angrily condemned Trump's remarks. For instance, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell said he was "bothered" by Trump's "locker room talk," which he said, "inspire[s] other people" to conduct revenge attacks.

His colleague, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired Admiral James Winnefeld said that Trump's "piling on" describing al-Baghdadi as a "dog" sent a signal to his followers "that could cause them to lash out possibly more harshly in the wake."

These criticisms are ridiculous. ISIS terrorists have richly proven they require no provocation to commit mass murder. They only need the opportunity.

Moreover, Trump's constant use of the term "dog" and employment of canine imagery is highly significant. Dogs are considered "unclean" in Islam. In Islamic societies, "dog" is the worst name you can call a person.

It is hard to imagine that al-Baghdadi's death at the paws of a dog is likely to rally many Muslims to his side. To the contrary, it is likely instead to demoralize his followers. What's the point of joining a group of losers who believe in a fake prophet who died like a coward while chased by "a beautiful dog — a talented dog?"

Then there is Russia.

Trump's critics insist that his decision to abandon the U.S. position along the Syrian border with Turkey effectively surrendered total control over Syria to Russia. But that is far from the case. The American presence along the border didn't harm Russia. It helped Russia. It freed Russian President Vladimir Putin from having to deal with Turkey. Now that the Americans have left the border zone, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is Putin's problem.

And he is not the main problem that Trump has made for Putin in Syria.

Putin's biggest problem in Syria is financial. The Russian economy is sunk in a deep recession due to the drop in global oil prices. Putin had planned to finance his Syrian operation with Syrian oil revenues. To this end, in January 2018 he signed an agreement with Syrian President Bashar Assad that effectively transferred the rights to the Syrian oil to Russia.

But Putin hadn't taken Trump into consideration.

U.S. forces did not withdraw from all of their positions in Syria last month. They maintained their control over al-Tanf airbase, which controls the Syrian border with Jordan and Iraq.

More importantly from Russia's perspective, the United States has not relinquished its military presence adjacent to Syria's oil facilities in the Deir ez-Zor province on the eastern side of the Euphrates River. Indeed, according to media reports, the United States is reinforcing its troop strength in Deir ez-Zor to ensure continued U.S.-Kurdish control over Syria's oil fields.

To understand how high a priority control over Syria's oil installations is for Putin, it is worth recalling what happened in February 2018.

On Feb. 7, 2018, a month after Putin and Assad signed their oil agreement, a massive joint force comprising Russian mercenaries, Syrian commandos and Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards forces crossed the Euphrates River with the aim of seizing the town of Khusham adjacent to the Conoco oil fields. Facing them were 40 U.S. Special Forces deployed with Kurdish and Arab Syrian Democratic Forces troops. The U.S. forces directed a massive air assault against the attacking forces which killed some 500 soldiers and ended the assault. Accounts regarding the number of Russian mercenaries killed start at 80 and rise to several hundred.

The American counterattack caused grievous harm to the Russian force in Syria. Putin has kept the number of Russian military forces in Syria low by outsourcing much of the fighting to Russian military contractors. The aim of the failed operation was to enable those mercenary forces to seize the means to finance their own operations, and get them off the Kremlin payroll.

Since then, Putin has tried to dislodge the U.S. forces from Khusham at least one more time, only to be met with a massive demonstration of force.

The continued U.S.-Kurdish control over Syria's oil fields and installations requires Putin to continue directly funding his war in Syria. So long as this remains the case, given Russia's financial constraints Putin is likely to go to great lengths to restrain his Iranian, Syrian and Hezbollah partners and their aggressive designs against Israel in order to prevent a costly war.

In other words, by preventing Russia from seizing Syria's oil fields, Trump is forcing Russia to behave in a manner that protects American interests in Syria.

The focus of most of the criticism against Trump's Syria policies has been his alleged abandonment of the Syrian Kurds to the mercies of their Turkish enemies. But over the past week we learned that this is not the case. As Trump explained, continued U.S.-Kurdish control over Syria's oil fields provides the Kurdish-controlled SDF with the financial and military wherewithal to support and defend its people and their operations.

Moreover, details of al-Baghdadi's assassination point to continued close cooperation between U.S. and Kurdish forces. According to accounts of the raid, the Kurds provided the Americans with key intelligence that enabled U.S. forces to pinpoint al-Baghdadi's location.

As to Turkey, both al-Baghdadi and ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Mujahir, who was killed by U.S. forces on Tuesday, were located in areas of eastern Syria controlled by Turkey. The Americans didn't try to hide this fact.

The Turkish operation in eastern Syria is reportedly raising Erdogan's popularity at home. But it is far from clear that the benefit he receives from his actions will be long-lasting. Turkey's Syrian operation is exposing the NATO member's close ties to ISIS and its allied terror groups. This exposure in and of itself is making the case for downgrading U.S. strategic ties with its erstwhile ally.

Even worse for Turkey, due to Trump's public embrace of Erdogan, the Democrats are targeting the Turkish autocrat as Enemy Number 1. On Tuesday, with the support of Republican lawmakers who have long recognized Erdogan's animosity to U.S. interests and allies, the Democratic-led House overwhelmingly passed a comprehensive sanctions resolution against Turkey.

The al-Baghdadi assassination and related events demonstrate that Trump is not flying blind in Syria. He is implementing a multifaceted set of policies that are based on the strengths, weaknesses and priorities of the various actors on the ground in ways that advance U.S. interests at the expense of its foes and to the benefit of its allies.
Always keep several get well cards on the mantel.

If unexpected guests arrive, they'll think you've been sick and unable to clean.


An 80-year-old man went to his doctor for his annual checkup.

The doctor asks him how he's feeling.

The 80-year-old says, "I've never felt better.

I have an 18-year-old bride who is pregnant with my child. What do you think about that?"

The doctor considers his question for a minute and says, "I have a friend who is an avid hunter and never misses a season. One day when he was going out in a bit of a hurry, he accidentally picked up his umbrella rather than his gun. When he got to the creek, he saw a prime beaver sitting beside the stream of water.

He raised his umbrella and went, "Bang, bang", and the beaver fell over dead. What do you think of that?"

The 80-year-old said, "I'd say somebody else shot that beaver."

The doctor replied, "My point exactly."


VATICAN CITY — The Pope has apologized for the Catholic Church's past activates burning heretics at the stake centuries ago, admitting that the practice was a carbon-emission-heavy activity that did not reflect good stewardship of the earth.

"It's clear now that the Catholic Church made missteps centuries ago, by not finding a carbon-neutral way to dispose of heretics," he said in a special address. "I am filled with regret when I think of the large carbon footprint left behind by the Reformers and other heretics previous Popes tortured and incinerated."

The Pope confirmed that going forward, the Catholic Church will be purchasing carbon credits to offset the footprint of any heretics they decide to burn at the stake, as well as any documents they decide to torch before investigators get too close.


Thanks to dating apps, many people will first lay eyes on the love of their lives while evacuating their bowels.

As a kid, I got lectured for only doing the bare minimum to complete a task. As an engineer, I get paid to do just that.

DNA is like the menu at Taco Bell, an endless recombining of 4 ingredients to achieve a new result.

Using energy from a wind farm to power a fan is like shipping wind long distance.

Math teachers help the world by creating problems.

The exhaustion after completing a difficult math problem should be known as the aftermath.

The world’s best masseuse will never get the world’s best massage.


When someone says "kiss my a$$" during an argument, there's probably no benefit to actually going along and doing it.

Sure, cooperation and affection are positive traits, but I think they might still be mad at you.

Quote of the Times;
To the extent the NBA has taken a stance, it has stood for China. Frankly, none of us should be surprised an organization that routinely opposes religious liberty in the United States would stand with a totalitarian communist regime that routinely exterminates religious minorities. – Erickson

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Journalists Are Prostitutes by Paul Craig Roberts

In a recent interview with USA Watchdog — I described Western journalists as prostitutes who whore for a living. One of them who did so—Udo Ulfkotte—describes what it is like. For the naive and insouciant Western people who need to hear the truth from the horse’s mouth, here is a translation of one of Udo Ulfkotte’s lectures on the subject.

In 2014, the German journalist and writer Udo Ulfkotte published a book that created a big stir, describing how the journalistic profession is thoroughly corrupt and infiltrated by intelligence services.
Although eagerly anticipated by many, the English translation of the book, Bought Journalists, does not seem to be forthcoming anytime soon.
So I have made English subtitles and transcribed this still very relevant 2015-lecture for those that are curious about Ulfkotte’s work. It covers many of the subjects described in the book.
Udo Ulfkotte died of a heart attack in January 2017, in all likelihood part of the severe medical complications he got from his exposure to German-made chemical weapons supplied to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.
[Only the first 49 minutes are translated; the second half of the lecture deals mostly with more local issues]
Introducer Oliver: I am very proud to have such a brave man amongst us: Udo Ulfkotte
Udo Ulfkotte: Thanks…Thanks for the invitation…Thanks to Oliver. I heard to my great surprise from Oliver that he didn’t know someone from the intelligence services (VVS) would be present. I wish him a warm welcome. I don’t mean that as a joke, I heard this in advance, and got to know that Oliver didn’t know. If he wants – if it is a man – he can wave. If not?… no?…[laughter from the audience]
I’m fine with that. You can write down everything, or record it; no problem.
To the lecture. We are talking about media. we are talking about truth. I don’t want to sell you books or such things. Each one of us asks himself: Why do things develop like they do, even though the majority, or a lot of people shake their heads.
The majority of people in Germany don’t want nuclear weapons on our territory. But we have nuclear weapons here. The majority don’t want foreign interventions by German soldiers. But we do.
What media narrates and the politicians say, and what the majority of the population believes – seems often obviously to be two different things.
I can tell you this myself, from many years experience. I will start with very personal judgments, to tell you what my experiences with ‘The Lying Media’ were – I mean exactly that with the word ‘lying’.
I was born in a fairly poor family. I am a single child. I grew up on the eastern edge of the Ruhr-area. I studied Law, Political Science and Islamic Studies. Already in my student years, I had contact with the German Foreign Intelligence, BND. We will get back to that later.
From 1986 to 2003, I worked for a major German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), amongst other things as a war reporter. I spent a lot of time in Eastern and African countries.
Now to the subject of lying media. When I was sent to the Iran-Iraq war for the first time, the first time was from 1980 to July 1986, I was sent to this war to report for FAZ. The Iraqis were then ‘the good guys’.
I was bit afraid. I didn’t have any experience as a war reporter. Then I arrived in Baghdad. I was fairly quickly sent along in a bus by the Iraqi army, the bus was full of loud, experienced war reporters, from such prestigious media as the BBC, several foreign TV-stations and newspapers, and me, poor newbie, who was sent to the front for the first time without any kind of preparation. The first thing I saw was that they all carried along cans of petrol. And I at once got bad consciousness, because I thought: «oops, if the bus gets stuck far from a petrol station, then everyone chips in with a bit of diesel’. I decided to in the future also carry a can before I went anywhere, because it obviously was part of it.
We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras.
It was my first experience with media, truth in reporting.
While I was wondering what the hell I was going to report for my newspaper, they all lined up and started: Behind them were flames and plumes of smoke, and all the time the Iraqis were running in front of camera with their machine guns, casually, but with war in their gaze. And the reporters were ducking all the time while talking.
So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: ‘I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? ‘
‘Quite simply because there are machine guns on the audio track, and it looks very good at home.’
That was several decades ago. It was in the beginning of my contact with war. I was thinking, the whole way back:’Young man, you didn’t see a war. You were in a place with a campfire. What are you going to tell?’
I returned to Baghdad. There weren’t any mobile phones then. We waited in Hotel Rashid and other hotels where foreigners stayed, sometimes for hours for an international telephone line. I first contacted my mother, not my newspaper. I was in despair, didn’t know what to do, and wanted to get advice from an elder person.
Then my mother shouted over the phone:’My boy, you are alive!’
I thought: ‘How so? Is everything OK?’
‘My boy, we thought…’
‘What’s the matter, mother?’
‘We saw on TV what happened around you’
TV had already sent lurid stories, and I tried to calm my mother down, it didn’t happen like that. She thought I had lost my mind from all the things that had happened in the war – she saw it with her own eyes!
I’ll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting.
That is, I was very shocked by the first contact, it was entirely different from what I had experienced. But it wasn’t an exceptional case.
In the beginning, I mentioned that I am from a fairly poor family. I had to work hard for everything. I was a single child, my father died when I was young. It didn’t matter further on. But, I had a job, I had a degree, a goal in life.
I now had the choice: Should I declare that the whole thing was nonsense, these reports? I was nothing, a newbie straight out of uni, in my first job. Or if I wanted to make money, to continue, look further. I chose the second option. I continued, and that for many years.
Over these years, I gained lots of experience. When one comes from university to a big German newspaper – everything I say doesn’t only apply to FAZ, you can take other German or European media. I had contact with other European journalists, from reputable media outlets. I later worked in other media. I can tell you: What I am about to tell you, I really discovered everywhere.
What did I experience? If you, as a reporter, work either in state media financed by forced license fees, or in the big private media companies, then you can’t write what you want yourself, what you feel like. There are certain guidelines.
Roughly speaking: everyone knows that you won’t, for example in the Springer-newspapers – Bild, die Welt – get published articles extremely critical of Israel. They stand no chance there, because one has to sign a statement that one is pro-Israel, that one won’t question the existence of the state of Israel or Israeli points of view, etc.
There are some sort of guidelines in all the big media companies. But that isn’t all: I learned very fast that if one doesn’t – I don’t mean this negatively – want to be stuck in the lower rungs of editors, if one wants to rise; for me this rise was that I was allowed to travel with the Chancellor, ministers, the president and politicians, in planes owned by the state; then one has to keep to certain subjects. I learned that fast.
That is, if one gets to follow a politician – and this hasn’t changed to this day – I soon realized that when I followed the president or Chancellor Helmut Kohl etc, one of course isn’t invited because your name is Udo Ulfkotte, but because you belong to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine.
Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician’s press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported.
All the time you…no one tells you to write it this or that way…but you know quite exactly that if you DON’T write it this or that way,then you won’t get invited next time. Your media outlet will be invited, but they say ‘we don’t want him along’. Then you are out.
Naturally you want to be invited. Of course it is wonderful to travel abroad and you can behave like a pig, no one cares. You can buy what you want, because you know that when you return, you won’t be checked. You can bring what you want. I had colleagues who went along on a trip to the US.
They brought with them – it was an air force plane – a Harley Davidson, in parts. They sold it when they were back in Germany, and of course earned on it. Anyway, just like the carpet-affair with that development minister, this is of course not a single instance. No one talks about it.
You get invited if you have a certain way of seeing things. Which way to see things? Where and how is this view of the world formed? I very often get asked: ‘Where are these people behind the curtain who pulls the wires, so that everything gets told in a fairly similar way?’
In the big media in Germany – just look yourself – who sit in the large transatlantic think-tanks and foundations,the foundation The Atlantic Bridge, all these organizations, and how is one influenced there? I can tell from my own experience.
We mustn’t talk only theoretically. I was invited by the think-tank The German Marshall Fund of the United States as a fellow. I was to visit the United States for six weeks. It was fully paid. During these six weeks I could…this think-tank has very close connections to the CIA to this day, they acquired contacts in the CIA for me and they got me access to American politicians, to everyone I wanted. Above all, they showered me with gifts.
Already before the journey with German Marshall Fund, I experienced plenty of bought journalism. This hasn’t to do with a particular media outlet. You see, I was invited and didn’t particularly reflect over it, by billionaires, for example sultan Quabboos of Oman on the Arabian peninsula.
When sultan Qabboos invited, and a poor boy like me could travel to a country with few inhabitants but immense wealth, where the head of state had the largest yachts in the world, his own symphony orchestra which plays for him when he wants – by the way he bought a pub close to Garmisch-Patenkirchen, because he is a Muslim believer, and someone might see him if he drank in his own country, so he rather travels there. The place he bought every day fly in fresh lamb from Ireland and Scotland with his private jet. He is also the head of an environmental foundation.
But this is a digression. If such a person, who is so incredibly rich, invites someone like me, then I arrive first class. I had never traveled first class before. We arrive, and a driver is waiting for me. He carries your suitcase or backpack. You have a suite in the hotel. And from the very start, you are showered with gifts. You get a platinum or gold coin. A hand-weaved carpet or whatever.
I interviewed the sultan, several times. He asked me what I wanted. I answered among other things a diving course. I wanted to learn how to dive. He flew in a PADI-approved instructor from Greece. I was there for two weeks and got my first diving certificate. On later occasions, the sultan flew me in several times, and the diving instructor. I got a certificate as rescue diver, all paid for by the sultan. You see, when one is attended to in such a way, then you know that you are bought. For a certain type of journalism. In the sultan’s country, there is no freedom of the press.
There are no human rights. It is illegal to import many writings, because the sultan does not wish so. There are reports about human rights violations, but my eyes are blind. I reported, like all German media when they report about the Sultanate of Oman, to this day, only positive things. The great sultan, who is wonderful. The fantastic country of the fairy tale prince, overshadowing everything else – because I was bought.
Apart from Oman, many others have bought me. They also bought colleagues. I got many invitations through the travel section in my big newspaper. 5-star. The reportage never mentioned that I was bought, by country A or B or C. Yemenia, the Yemeni state airline, invited me to such a trip.
I didn’t report about the dirt and dilapidation in the country, because I was influenced by this treatment,I only reported positively, because I wanted to come back. The Yemenis asked me when I had returned to Frankfurt what I wished…In jest, I said «your large prawns, from the Red Sea, from the Indian Ocean, they were spectacular.», from the seaport of Mocha (Mocha-coffee is named after it). Two days later, Yemenia flew in a buffet for the editorial office, with prawns and more.
Of course we were bought. We were bought in several ways. In your situation: when you buy a car or something else, you trust consumer tests. Look closer. How well is the car tested? I know of no colleagues, no journalists, who do testing of cars, that aren’t bribed – maybe they do exist.
They get unlimited access to a car from the big car manufacturers, with free petrol and everything else. I had a work car in my newspaper, if not, I might have exploited this. I had a BMW or Mercedes in the newspaper. But there are, outside the paper, many colleagues who only have this kind of vehicle all year round. They are invited to South Africa, Malaysia, USA, to the grandest travels, when a new car is presented.
Why? So that they will write positively about the car. But it doesn’t say in these reports «Advertisement from bought journalists».
But that is the reality. You should also know – since we are on the subjects of tests – who owns which test magazines? Who owns the magazine Eco-test? It is owned by the Social Democrats. More than a hundred magazines belong to the Social Democrats. It isn’t about only one party, but many editorial rooms have political allegiance. Behind them are party political interests.
I mentioned the sultan of Oman and the diving course, and I have mentioned German Marshall Fund. Back to the US and the German Marshall Fund. There one told me, they knew exactly, ‘hello, you were on a diving course in Oman…’ The CIA knew very precisely. And the CIA also gave me something: The diving gear. I received the diving gear in the United States, and I received in the US, during my 6-week stay there, an invitation from the state of Oklahoma, from the governor. I went there. It was a small ceremony, and I received an honorary citizenship.
I am now honorary citizen of an American state. And in this certificate, it is written that I will only cover the US positively. I accepted this honorary citizenship and was quite proud of it. I proudly told about it to a colleague who worked in the US. He said ‘ha, I already have 31 of these honorary citizenships!’
I don’t tell about this to be witty, today I am ashamed, really.
I was greedy. I accepted many advantages that a regular citizen at my age in my occupation doesn’t have, and shouldn’t have. But I perceived it – and that is no excuse – as entirely normal, because my colleagues around me all did the same. But this isn’t normal. When journalists are invited to think-tanks in the US, like German Marshall Fund, Atlantic Bridge, it is to ‘bring them in line’, for in a friendly way to make them complicit, naturally to buy them, to grease them with money.
This has quite a few aspects that one normally doesn’t talk about. When I for the first time was in Southern Africa, in the 80s, Apartheid still existed in South Africa, segregated areas for blacks and whites. We didn’t have any problems with this in my newspaper, we received fully paid journeys from the Apartheid regime to do propaganda work.
I was invited by the South-African gold industry, coal industry, tourist board. In the first invitation, this trip was to Namibia – I arrived tired to the hotel room in Windhoek and a dark woman lay in my bed. I at once left the room, went down to the reception and said ‘excuse me, but the room is already occupied’ [laughter from the audience]
Without any fuss I got another room.
Next day at the breakfast table, this was a journalist trip, my colleagues asked me ‘how was yours?’ Only then I understood what had happened. Until then, I had believed it was a silly coincidence.
With this I want to describe which methods are used, maybe to film journalists in such situations, buy, make dependent. Quite simply to win them over to your side with the most brutal methods, so that they are ‘brought in line’.
This doesn’t happen to every journalist. It would be a conspiracy theory if I said that behind every journalist, someone pulls the wires.
No. Not everyone has influence over the masses. When you – I don’t mean this negatively – write about folk costume societies or if you work with agriculture or politics, why should anyone from the upper political spheres have an interest in controlling the reporting? As far as I know, this doesn’t happen at all.
But if you work in one of the big media, and want up in this world, if you want to travel with politicians, heads of state, with CEOs, who also travel on these planes, then it happens. Then you are regularly bought, you are regularly observed.
I said earlier that I already during my study days had contact with the intelligence services.
I will quickly explain this to you, because it is very important for this lecture.
I studied law, Political Science and Islamology, among other places in Freiburg. At the very beginning of my study, just before end of the term, a professor approached me. Professors were then still authority figures.
He came with a brochure, and asked me: ‘Mr. Ulfkotte, what are your plans for this vacation?’
I couldn’t very well say that I first planned to work a bit at a building site, for then to grab my backpack and see the ocean for the first time in my life, to Italy, ‘la dolce vita’, flirting with girls, lie on the beach and be a young person.
I wondered how I would break it to him. He then came with a brochure [Ulfkotte imitating professor]:‘I have something for you…a seminar, Introduction to Conflict Studies, two weeks in Bonn…I am sure you would want to participate!’
I wondered how I would tell this elderly gentleman that I wanted to flirt with girls on the beach. Then he said ‘you will get 20 Marks per day as support, paid train journey, money for books 150 Marks…You will naturally get board and lodging.’ He didn’t stop telling me what I would receive.
It buzzed around in my head that I had to achieve everything myself, work hard. I thought ‘You have always wanted to participate in a seminar on Introduction to Conflict Studies!’
So I went to Bonn from Freiburg, and I saw other students who had this urge to participate in this seminar. There were also girls one could flirt with, about twenty people. The whole thing was very strange, because we sat in a room like this one, there were desks and a lectern, and there sat some older men and a woman, they always wrote something down. They asked us about things; What we thought of East Germany, we had to do role play.
The whole thing was a bit strange, but it was well paid. We didn’t reflect any further. It was very strange that in this house, in Ubierstraße 88 in Bonn, we weren’t allowed to go to the second floor. There was a chain over the stairs, it was taboo.
We were allowed to go to the basement, there were constantly replenished supplies of new books that we were allowed to get for free. Ebay didn’t exist then, but we could still sell them used. Anyway, it was curious, but at the end of the fortnight, we were allowed to go up these stairs, where we got an invitation to a continuation course in Conflict Studies.
After four such seminars, that is, after two years, someone asked me ‘you have probably wondered what we are doing here’.
He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation.
They gave me a lot of money. My mother has always taught me to be polite. So I said ‘please do’, and they came to me. I was then working in the newspaper FAZ from 1986, straight after my studies.
Then the intelligence services came fairly soon to me. Why am I telling you this?
The newspaper knew very soon. It is also written in my reference, therefore I can say it loud and clear.
I had very close contact with the intelligence service BND.
Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline.
I highlight certain things to explain them. But if I had said here: ‘There are media that are influenced by BND’, you could rightly say that ‘these are conspiracy theories, can you document it?’
I CAN document it. I can say, this and that article, with my byline in the paper, is written by the intelligence services, because what is written there, I couldn’t have known. I couldn’t have known what existed in some cave or other in Libya, what secret thing were there, what was being built there. This was all things that BND wanted published. It wasn’t like this only in FAZ.
It was like this also in other media. I told about it. If we had rule of law, there would now be an investigation commission. Because the political parties would stand up, regardless of if they are on the left, in the center or right, and say: What this Ulfkotte fella says and claims he can document, this should be investigated. Did this occur in other places? Or is it still ongoing?’
I can tell you: Yes it still exists. I know colleagues who still have this close contact. One can probably show this fairly well until a few years ago. But I would find it wonderful if this investigation commission existed.
But it will obviously not happen, because no one has an interest in doing so. Because then the public would realize how closely integrated politics, media, and the secret services are in this country.
That is, one often sees in reporting, whether it is from the local paper, regional papers, TV-channels, national tabloids and so-called serious papers.
Put them side by side, and you will discover that more than 90% looks almost identical. A lot of subjects and news, that are not being reported at all, or they are – I claim reported very one-sided. One can only explain this if one knows the structures in the background, how media is surrounded, bought and ‘brought onboard’ by politics and the intelligence services; Where politics and intelligence services form a single unity. There is an intelligence coordinator by the Chancellor.
I can tell you, that under the former coordinator Bernd Schmidbauer, under Kohl, I walked in and out of the Chancellery and received stacks of secret and confidential documents, which I shouldn’t have received.
They were so many that we in the newspaper had own archive cabinets for them. Not only did I receive these documents, but Schmidbauer should have been in jail if we had rule of law. Or there should have been a parliamentary commission or an investigation, because he wasn’t allowed…
For example if I couldn’t bring along the documents if the case was too hot, there was another trick. They locked me in a room. In this room were the documents, which I could look through. I could record it all on tape, photograph them or write them down. When I was done, I could call on the intercom, so they could lock me out. There were thousands of these tricks. Anonymous documents that I and my colleagues needed could be placed in my mail box.
These are of course illegal things. BUT, you ONLY get them if you ‘toe the line’ with politics.
If I had written that Chancellor Helmut Kohl is stupid, a big idiot, or about what Schmidbauer did, I would of course not have received more. That is, if you today, in newspapers, read about ‘soon to be revealed exposures, we will publish a big story based on material based on intelligence’, then none of these media have dug a tunnel under the security services and somehow got hold of something secret. It is rather that they work so well with intelligence services, with the military counterespionage, the foreign intelligence, police intelligence etc, that if they have got hold of internal documents, it is because they cooperate so well that they received them as a reward for well performed service.
You see, in this way one is in the end bought. One is bought to such a degree that at one point one can’t exit this system anymore.
If I describe how you are supplied with prostitutes, bribed with cars, money; I tried to write down everything I received in gifts, everything I was bribed with. I stopped doing so several years ago, more than a decade ago.
It doesn’t make it any better, but today I regret everything. But I know that it goes this way with many journalists.
It would make me very happy if journalists stood up and said they won’t participate in this any longer, and that they think this is wrong.
But I see no possibility, because media corporations in any case are doing badly. Where should a journalist find work the next day? It isn’t so that tens of thousands of employers are waiting for you. It is the other way round. Tens of thousands of journalists are looking for work or commissions.
That is, from pure desperation one is happy to be bribed. If a newsroom stands behind or not an article that in reality is advertising, doesn’t matter, one goes along. I know some, even respected journalists, who want to leave this system.
But imagine if you are working in one of the state channels, that you stand up and tell what you have received. How will that be received by your colleagues? That you have political ulterior motives etc.
September 30 [2015], a few days ago, Chancellor Merkel invited all the directors in the state channels to her in the Chancellery. I will claim that she talked with them about how one should report the Chancellors politics. Who of you [in the audience] heard about this incident? 3-4-5? So a small minority. But this is reality. Merkel started already 6 years ago, at the beginning of the financial crisis, to invite chief editors…..she invited chief editors in the large media corporations, with the express wish that media should embellish reality, in a political way. This could have been only claims, one could believe me or not.
But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn’t want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there.
For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine.
In such a way it should be reported. Ladies and gentlemen, what I just said can be documented. These are facts, not a conspiracy theory.
I formulated it a bit satirically, but I ask myself when I see how things are in this country: Is this the democracy described in the Constitution? Freedom of speech? Freedom of the press?
Where one has to be afraid if one doesn’t agree with the ruling political correctness, if one doesn’t want to get in trouble. Is this the republic our parents and grandparents fought for, that they built?
I claim that we more and more – as citizens – are cowards ‘toeing the line’, who don’t open our mouths.
It is so nice to have plurality and diversity of opinions.
But it is at once clamped down on, today fairly openly.
Of my experiences with journalism, I can in general say that I have quit all media I have to pay for, for the reasons mentioned. Then the question arises, ‘but which pay-media can I trust?’
Naturally there are ones I support. They are definitely political, I’ll add. But they are all fairly small. And they won’t be big anytime soon. But I have quit all big media that I used to subscribe to, Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine, etc. I would like to not having to pay the TV-license fee, without being arrested because I won’t pay fines. But maybe someone here in the audience can tell me how to do so without all these problems?
Either way, I don’t want to financially support this kind of journalism. I can only give you the advice to get information from alternative, independent media and all the forums that exist.
I’m not advertising for any of them. Some of you probably know that I write for the publishing house Kopp. But there are so many portals. Every person is different in political viewpoint, culturally etc. The only thing uniting us, whether we are black or white, religious or non-religious, right or left, or whatever; we all want to know the truth. We want to know what really happens out there, and exactly in the burning political questions: asylum seekers, refugees, the financial crisis, bad infrastructure, one doesn’t know how it will continue. Precisely with this background, is it even more important that people get to know the truth.
And it is to my great surprise that I conclude that we in media, as well as in politics, have a guiding line.
To throw more and more dust in the citizens’ eyes to calm them down. What is the sense in this? One can have totally different opinions on the subject of refugees with good reasoning.
But facts are important for you as citizens to decide the future. That is, how many people will arrive? How will it affect my personal affluence? Or will it affect my affluence at all? Will the pensions shrink? etc. Then you can talk with people about this, quite openly. But to say that we should open all borders, and that this won’t have any negative consequences, is very strange. What I now say isn’t a plug for my books. I know that some of them are on the table in front.
I’m not saying this so that you will buy books. I am saying this for another reason that soon will be clear. I started to write books on certain subjects 18 years ago. They have sold millions. It is no longer about you buying my books. It is important that you hear the titles, then you will see a certain line throughout the last ten years. One can have different opinions about this line, but I have always tried to describe, based on my subjective experiences, formed over many years in the Middle East and Africa.
That there will be migration flows, from people from culture areas that are like; if one could compare a cultural area with an engine, that one fills petrol in a diesel engine then everyone knows what will happen, the engine is great, diesel is great, but if there too much petrol, then the engine starts to splutter and stop.
I have tried to make you aware of this, with drastic and less drastic words. What we can expect, and ever faster. The book titles are SOS Occident; Warning Civil War; No Black,Red, Yellow [the colors in the German flag], Holy War in Europe; Mecca Germany.
I just want to say, when politicians and media today claim no one could have predicted it, everything is a complete surprise; Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not at all surprising. The migration flows, for years warnings have been coming from international organizations, politicians, experts, exactly about what happened and it is predictable, if we had a map over North Africa and the Middle East..
If the West continues to destabilize countries like Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, country by country, Iraq when we toppled Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan. We as Europeans and Germans have spent tens of billions on a war where we allegedly defend peace and liberty, at the mountain range Hindu Kush [in Afghanistan]. And here, in front of our own door, we soon have Hindu Kush.
We have no stabilization in Afghanistan. Dozens of German soldiers have lost their lives for nothing. We have a more unstable situation than ever.
You can have your own opinions. I am only saying that these refugee flows didn’t fall from the sky. It is predicable, that if I bomb and destabilize a country, that people – it is always so in history – it hasn’t anything to do with the Middle East or North Africa. I have seen enough wars in Africa. Naturally they created refugee flows.
But all of us didn’t want to see this. We haven’t prepared. And now one is reacting in full panic, and what is most disconcerting with this, is when media and politicians, allegedly from deepest inner conviction, say: ‘this was all a complete surprise!’
Are they drunk? What are they smoking? What sort of pills are they eating? That they behave this way?
Q: How does a man know when his wife is losing interest?

A: When her favorite sexual position is next door.


Scientists have developed a blood test that can tell who will die in the next ten years. They've also gone on record as telling Charlie Sheen, "Oh, don't bother."

Walmart is suing Tesla after their solar panels broke out into flames. In Tesla's defense, they did break out in flames more efficiently than regular solar panels.

How many syllables are in the word "Gloria"? CATHOLICS: 18

I've always wondered why some people jump off the tops of buildings to see if they can fly. Wouldn't it be safer and make a lot more sense to try to fly UP to the top?

Boise, Idaho is ranked as the best city in which to buy a house. Unless, of course, you're commuting from Savannah.


A man picks up a young woman in a bar and convinces her to come
back to his hotel. When they are relaxing afterwards, he asks,
"Am I the first man you ever made love to?" She looks at him
thoughtfully for a second before replying. "You might be," she
says. "Your face looks familiar."


Millennials flock to join military’s new ‘Safe Space’ Force

BERKELEY, Calif. — Military recruiting offices have been overwhelmed with millennials seeking to join the Pentagon’s upcoming “Safe Space” Force, sources confirmed today.

The proposed force came at the suggestion of President Donald Trump while speaking to a group of young Marines stationed in Miramar, California. The speech was later shared on social media by a number of millennials currently lacking the requisite fitness to join the current military, but who were enthusiastic about reduced physical standards of the Safe Space Force.

“Since there is no gravity in space — and therefore no weight — they can’t discriminate against fit-but-fat people like me,” said Suzanne Paunchy, a gender-studies major that stands 5’4” and is now down to 195 pounds after her recent juice cleanse.

In interviews outside the Marine Corps recruiting office in Berkeley, a number of prospective enlistees spoke of the benefits of their service in the Safe Space Force, which senior defense officials say would likely fall under the Department of the Air Force.

“I haven’t been able to find a job that I am passionate about since I graduated with my poetry degree, so I moved back in with my dad and stepmom,” said Ezra Bard, who graduated from UC-Berkeley in 2013. “Outer space seems like a great way to escape the greed of the corporate world. I just hope the cafeteria serves avocado toast, and that they pay enough for me to afford my Spotify premium subscription.”

“This is the first good idea Trump has had,” said Hillary Stein, a liberal arts major whose father recently purchased her a Mercedes with his rebate from the new tax plan. “I heard that Elon Musk is going to be the Commanding General of the Safe Space Force, and he invented electricity so that means he’s really smart.”

Still, some were more enthusiastic about escaping Earth rather than the prospect of public service .

“I heard climate change will cause the earth to become uninhabitable next year, so humans will need to move to another galaxy to survive. I am excited to be a bona-fide Space Cadet, and I hope to fight the Buggers just like that kid from Ender’s Game,” said Dwight Dorkus, a gluten free vegan and serves as president of the U.C. Berkeley Comic-Con Club.


I'm glad "feta" isn't the plural of "fetus."

If it were, I might have to cut back on eating Greek salads.

Quote of the Times;
The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has. - Confucius

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Why Liberals and Progressives Lie to Blacks by Roger L. Simon
In a Slate article -- "Democratic Candidates Are Misrepresenting Michael Brown's Death"-- the reliably-liberal William Saletan wrote:
Last week, in a Democratic presidential debate, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro read a list of black Americans killed by police violence. Alongside Laquan McDonald, Walter Scott, and Eric Garner, Castro named Michael Brown, who was shot dead five years ago in Ferguson, Missouri. Several of the current Democratic candidates have accused the officer who shot Brown of murder. Brown’s death was a tragedy, but it wasn’t a murder.
Besides Castro, the candidates who have joined in this calumny were Kamala Harris, Tom Steyer, and quasi-frontrunner Elizabeth Warren. Saletan continued:
But at the core of the story, there was a problem: The original account of Brown’s death, that he had been shot in the back or while raising his hands in surrender, was false. The shooting was thoroughly investigated, first by a grand jury and then by the Obama Justice Department. The investigations found that Brown assaulted Wilson, tried to grab his gun, and was shot dead while advancing toward Wilson again.
Saletan, I suppose to protect his liberal bonafides, also notes: "Brown became an icon of the Black Lives Matter movement for understandable reasons." (Oh, really?) But let's leave that aside and examine why the candidates are promulgating such a well-proven lie (Saletan does a good job demonstrating its extent), not even correcting it when confronted by the press, in Warren's case most egregiously so.
The obvious is that they are fishing for votes. Warren has a putative weakness with African American voters. Tom Steyer is unknown to them (as he is to a lot of people). Harris is sinking fast and needs to shore up her rep and Julián Castro's campaign has barely been registering enough to keep him on the debate stage.
But beneath this are more disturbing beliefs, one of which is on the edge of disgusting and actually racist: that African Americans prefer to be lied to than told the truth. The corollary to this is that they are easily lied to if you stir them up. The level of disrespect in this is off the charts.
Also at play here, as it is everywhere in Democratic precincts, is Fear of Trump. African Americans are doing better under Trump than they ever have been in this country with unemployment at record lows and salaries up.
Further, Trump really did something never done before -- spearheaded and signed criminal justice reform legislation. Better not remind black people of that. Distract them or lie to them instead. Call Trump a racist, though why would a racist do such a thing? (At the end of the first paragraph of his article, Saletan cites such reform as necessary with, unsurprisingly, nary a mention of Trump's achievement.)
This is all of a piece with the exploitation of African Americans by the Democratic Party that has been going on since the Age of Johnson, Lyndon. This only got worse under Obama when numerous prevarications and exaggerations encouraged a new separatism in a society that had made immense strides in racial equality. (A new documentary on the Trayvon Martin case explores the dishonesty behind this particular episode.)
This dishonesty to black people practiced by Warren and the others -- fomenting anger toward the police -- makes the lives of African Americans worse, frequently endangering them and resulting in their deaths, as Heather Mac Donald details so well in her The War on Cops. I often wonder how many liberals have read this book. I imagine very few because it so undermines their virtue-signaling narrative with uncomfortable and overwhelming facts. For someone like Warren to fan the flames of cop-hatred is despicable and immoral, but not surprising for someone so willing to lie about her Indian ethnicity. If black lives truly did matter to her, she would never say such a thing.
Just the other day, legendary power forward Charles Barkley, put it this way in his usually pungent manner: "Democrats only talk to black people every four years." He could have added: "And when they do, they lie."
If you ask my son why he joined the Army he will proudly tell you he joined to military to kill people.

He's a terrible doctor.


Two elderly ladies meet at the launderette after not seeing one another for some time. After inquiring about each other's health, one asked how the other's husband was doing.

"Oh! Ted died last week. He went out to the garden to dig up a cabbage for dinner, had a heart attack and dropped down dead right there in the middle of the vegetable patch!"

"Oh dear! I'm very sorry," replied her friend, "What did you do?"

"Opened a can of peas."


Nobel Peace Prize Committee Informs Trump He Has Not Launched Enough Drone Strikes To Qualify

OSLO, NORWAY—The Norwegian Nobel Committee was reportedly considering President Trump as a recipient of its prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, as the president had submitted his name for consideration to them over 67 times. But after reviewing his credentials, the committee concluded that he had not launched enough drone strikes against foreigners to qualify.

"Yeah, you've dabbled in attacks, but what we're really looking for is someone who's really committed to a secret drone war," said a spokesperson for the committee. "Look at previous winners like Barack Obama: now there's a shining example of someone who achieved world peace not through lame diplomacy but by blowing up foreigners with impunity."

Obama also criticized Trump's drone strike count, saying they were "rookie numbers" and he needs to "pump those numbers up."

"My fellow Americans, it represents a danger to democracy when we have a president who's either unwilling or unable to bomb as many foreigners as I did," Obama said, reading off a teleprompter. "During my scandal-free presidency, I was able to drop over 26,000 bombs some years."

"Those were the days," he added, going off-script as his eyes glazed over and he recalled the feeling of dark, evil power that coursed through his veins when he ordered drone strikes on foreign nations we were not at war with, innocent civilians, and the occasional American citizen.

The Nobel Prize committee said they would consider Trump again next year, provided he starts a war with Iran.


There are at least 331 foreign words for positive emotional states and concepts that we don't have in English

One criticism levelled at positive psychology is that it takes an overly Western-centric view of the lighter side of
human experience. Addressing that problem, Tim Lomas at the University of East London has begun a deep investigation
into all the non-English words for positive emotions and concepts that don't have a direct translation in English.

Publishing his initial findings in the The Journal of Positive Psychology, Lomas' hope is not only that we might
learn more about the positive psychology of other cultures, but that hearing of these words might enrich our own
emotional lives. Of course there is a long-running debate about how much words influence our thoughts and emotions.

Few people these days would advocate the idea that you can't feel an emotion if you don't have a word for it. But
Lomas argues that at a minimum, if you don't have a way of identifying a specific emotion or feeling, it "becomes
just another unconceptualised ripple in the ongoing flux of subjective experience."

Lomas' method was to trawl websites devoted to "untranslatable words" (i.e. words that don't have a single
corresponding word in English), then to do some googling and finally to consult colleagues and students. This way he
ended up with a list of 331 untranslatable words for positive emotional states and concepts. To find approximate
English definitions of the words he used online dictionaries and academic references. Here are some examples of the
untranslatable positive words that Lomas has organized into three main categories:

Words relating to feelings, including the subcategories of positive and complex feelings:

Gula – Spanish for the desire to eat simply for the taste
Sobremesa – Spanish for when the food has finished but the conversation is still flowing
Mbukimvuki – Bantu for "to shuck of one's clothes in order to dance"
Schnapsidee – German for coming up with an ingenious plan when drunk
Volta – Greek for leisurely strolling the streets
Gokotta – Swedish for waking up early to listen to bird song
Suaimhneas croi – Gaelic for the happiness that comes from finishing a task
Iktsuarpok – Inuit for the anticipation felt when waiting for someone
Vacilando – Greek for the idea of wandering, where the act of travelling is more important than the destination
Gumusservi – Turkish for the glimmer that moonlight makes on water

Words relating to relationships, including the subcategories of intimacy and more general prosociality:

Nakama – Japanese for friends who one considers like family
Kanyininpa – Aboriginal Pintupi for a relationship between holder and held, akin to the deep nurturing feelings

Experienced by a parent for their child

Gigil – Philippine Tagalog for the irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze someone because you love them so much
Kilig – Tagalog for the butterflies in the stomach you get when interacting with someone you find attractive
Sarang – Korean for when you wish to be with someone until death
Myotahapea – Finnish for vicarious embarrassment
Mudita – Sanskrit for revelling in someone else's joy
Karma – the well known Buddhist term for when ethical actions lead to future positive states
Firgun – Hebrew for saying nice things to someone simply to make them feel good
Asabiyyah – Arabic for a sense of community spirit

Words relating to character, including the subcategories of resources and spirituality:

Sitzfleisch – German for the ability to persevere through hard or boring tasks (literally "sit meat")
Baraka – Arabic for a gift of spiritual energy that can be passed from one person to another
Jugaad – Hindi for the ability to get by or make do
Desenrascanco – Portuguese for the ability to artfully disentangle oneself from a troublesome situation
Sprezzatura – Italian for when all art and effort are concealed beneath a "studied carelessness"
Pihentagyu – Hungarian for quick witted people who come up with sophisticated jokes and solutions (literally "with a relaxed brain")
Kao pu – Chinese for someone who is reliable and responsible and gets things done without causing problems for others
Prajna – Sanskrit for intellectual wisdom and experiential insight
Wu Wei – Chinese for "do nothing" (literally) but meaning that one's actions are entirely natural and effortless
Bodhi – Sanskrit for when one has gained complete insight into nature


Q: How many Californians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Surprisingly just one but it may not do them much good during wildfire season.

Quote of the Times;
Take some personal accountability for yourself and your actions and watch your life improve immediately.

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Ex-Google and Facebook employee says silicon valley’s use of H1B visa is “institutional slavery” by Didi Rankovic

The H1B visa scheme that the Unites States introduced in 1990 to allow companies to bring in highly skilled foreign workers who were otherwise unavailable in the domestic labor market, has become a very controversial political topic.

Originally, companies could bring in up to 65,000 workers from abroad – most of them computer and engineering talent, but in 2013, this limit was raised to 300,000.

The stated goal was to allow the US to attract the best and the brightest – but the way the program has since been implemented has drawn criticism on multiple grounds. Companies hiring in this way were not required to prove that they tried to fill the position with American workers, and they don't have to pay foreigners the same salary for comparable jobs, as Mother Jones noted back in 2013.

In addition, experienced highly skilled domestic workers are being hired less and less, as the more expensive option compared to the H1B workforce. And a Computerworld report from 2017 said that Apple was able to pay H1B visa holders as low as just over $50,000 a year – in an industry where the average was $93,000. The scheme has not only introduced questionable ethics and hindered job creation in the US, but has also motivated massive layoffs, carried out by vocal proponents of allowing more H1B workers into the country.

With this in mind, the current US administration led by Donald Trump made it one of its policy points to do something about the visa program, seeing it as harmful to the country's economy as cheap imported labor undermines the ability of Americans to find work in these industries. And true to that stance, in 2017 Trump signed an executive order introducing tighter rules around the granting of H1B visas.

The result has been a dramatic increase in rejections of H1B visa applications – from 13 percent in 2017 to 32 percent in 2019, Silicon Republic reports.

On the other hand, critics of the H1B visas also come from inside the tech industry, and from a different angle, that focuses on what seem to be unethical internal policies and poor treatment of foreign workers.

“Institutionalized slavery”

One of them is former Google and Facebook employee and programmer Patrick Shyu, who has made it something of a cause to continue to spill the beans on the inside workings of these giants on his YouTube channel TechLead.

In a new video – tellingly entitled, “Are Facebook employees depressed? (H1B slavery visa & abuse)” – Shyu explores the human cost of the H1B program, in the context of the overall poor treatment of tech employees that often results in mental issues such as depression, and sometimes even workplace suicide.

Shyu sheds light on why tech companies have such a strong preference for bringing in foreign workers over hiring equally qualified American counterparts, and his conclusion is damning: it comes down to a form of modern-day, institutionalized slavery.

According to him, the real reason for US companies to hire foreigners is not their difficulty in filling these jobs at home, but their desire to underpay and control workers in extreme ways. The fact that foreign workers depend on continued employment to avoid deportation means that they will accept working conditions and treatment by managers that US workers, with incomparably greater job options, never would.

Shyu gives the example of Facebook's relentless performance-based stack ranking, that encourages back-stabbing between colleagues, as making others appear less efficient elevates your own status. One of the things encouraged and implicitly expected of employees is to work long hours and weekends; and due to their vulnerable status in the US, H1B workers are more susceptible to accepting these conditions, which can eventually all too easily lead to burnout and harm their well-being.

Shyu goes so far as to say that the tech industry's biggest “innovation” has not been a technical invention, but this “modern slavery” that is beneficial to the companies' bottom line in the way any cheap labor, or indeed, slavery must be.

According to Shyu, the way companies fight to make the most of the H1B program is not merely by using it to its full potential, but also by abusing it – for example by creating job interview techniques that filter out American workers “to get cheap labor that they absolutely control.”

The H1B program has entered the public sphere once again as, last week, a Facebook employee who was reportedly on the H1B visa program took their own life – leading staff to start to speak out on “stressful” workloads at the company.
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Several animals were savagely beaten in the making of this page, including but not limited to; kittens, rabbits, zebu, skunks, puppies, and platypus. Also several monkeys where force fed crack to improve their typing skills.

And someone shot a duck.

An Images & Ideas, Inc. Service.

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