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Food Prices Hit Highest Level in a Decade Crushing Ordinary Americans

Gas is at a level not seen since the disastrous Obama years. But not to worry, the Democrat elite are getting richer and richer on the backs of the American worker.

Food Prices Hit Highest Level in a Decade

Food prices across the world have risen to their highest levels in a decade on the back of tightening supply conditions coupled with robust demand, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

By:  The Epoch Times, October 11, 2021:

The FAO’s food price index, which measures world food commodity prices, has surged by 32.8 percent in the 12 months through September, coming in at a reading of 130 points, a level not seen since 2011. On a month-over-month basis, the index rose 1.2 percent.

Accounting for the bulk of the rise in the index were higher prices of most cereals and vegetable oils.

The FAO vegetable oil price index was up 60 percent in September from a year earlier, and 1.7 percent higher than in August. The cereal price measure was up 27.3 percent over the year last month, and 2 percent from August.

Dairy and sugar prices also rose in September by an over-the-year 15.2 percent and 53.5 percent, respectively, while the meat price index was up 26.3 percent above its year-earlier level.

While much of the inflation story has been focused on surging energy costs and products affected by the semiconductor chip shortage such as used cars, rising food cost signals are increasingly flashing red.

As the U.S. economy rebounds, packaged food companies are grappling with inflation, with Conagra Brands Inc. saying on Oct. 7 that it would increase prices again on its frozen meals and snacks.

Conagra said it was facing rising costs of ingredients including edible oils, proteins, and grains, forcing it to increase prices on frozen goods by 3.5 percent and on staple meals by 3.3 percent.

Food-makers General Mills, Campbell Soup, and J.M. Smucker also have raised wholesale prices in response to rising ingredient and freight costs.

Pork and beef prices have surged in the past few months, while the Labor Department’s August inflation report showed that meat, poultry, fish, and eggs were up 8 percent over the past year and 15.7 percent from prices in August 2019, before the pandemic. Beef prices jumped 12.2 percent over the past year, and bacon was up 17 percent during the same period.

Experts say increasing energy costs around the world could exacerbate the problem.

“It’s this combination of things that’s beginning to get very worrying,” Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, told Bloomberg in a recent interview. “It’s not just the isolated food-price numbers, but all of them together. I don’t think anyone two or three months ago was expecting the energy prices to get this strong.”

Food price inflation is also driving up consumer expectations for future price increases.

The New York Fed’s August survey of consumer expectations showed that Americans anticipate food prices to rise by 7.9 percent in a year, higher than the overall inflation expectation of 5.2 percent.

Federal Reserve officials have repeatedly characterized the current bout of inflation as “transitory” though they have increasingly expressed concern about the risk of a de-anchoring of inflationary expectations. That’s where confidence in the “transitory” narrative falls and people start to believe and behave as if inflation will be far stickier than previously believed, impacting wage and price-setting behavior and potentially even sparking the kind of upward wage-price spiral that bedeviled the economy in the 1970s.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Prices Are Continuing to Surge: Here’s What’s Becoming the Most Expensive

Biden White House Warns American Consumers Of Empty Shelves Come Christmastime

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Biden Plan Would Sabotage U.S. Economic Competitiveness in One Huge Way, Analysis Finds

That’s not ‘Building Back Better’—it’s shooting ourselves in the foot.  


President Biden has heralded his $4.5+ trillion spending proposals and accompanying tax hikes as an investment in “leading the world versus letting it pass us by.” Yet, paradoxically, a new analysis exposes one huge way Biden’s plans would make the US less competitive on the global stage.

Key to financing the spending plans is a proposed increase in the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 26.5 percent. When factoring in state corporate taxes, the US’s average corporate tax rate would reach a whopping 30.9 percent. And according to a new Tax Foundation analysis, this punitive level of business taxation would be the third-highest corporate tax rate among developed countries, outstripped only by Colombia and Portugal.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TAX FOUNDATION INFOGRAPHIC

Why is this a problem?

Well, the US would become a less attractive place for business investment, which is bad news for entrepreneurs, workers, and customers alike. Businesses would understandably be less likely to conduct business in the US when they could go to dozens of other developed countries with lower tax rates. As a result, our economic competitiveness would suffer.

“Returning to near the top of the OECD in corporate tax rates would… disincentivize investment and encourage firms to shift profits and locate elsewhere, resulting in fewer job opportunities for Americans and less tax revenue for the U.S. government,” the analysis explains.

Yikes.

Biden claims his tax-and-spend agenda is meant to reassert America’s dominance. But the costly tax hikes the president seeks would set our economic competitiveness back on the global stage. That’s not “Building Back Better”—it’s shooting ourselves in the foot.

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.

WATCHNew Biden Vax Mandate Doesn’t Make ANY Sense (Here’s Why)

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Like this story? Click here to sign up for the FEE Daily and get free-market news and analysis like this from Policy Correspondent Brad Polumbo in your inbox every weekday.

‘A Giant Can of Worms’: Afghans Are Walking Off U.S. Bases, No One Knows Where They Are

My latest in PJ Media:

“It’s a giant can of worms,” said a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official who asked not to be named, and in these days of rapidly increasing Biden administration authoritarianism, it’s easy to see why. Grateful Afghan refugees are, according to Reuters, upsetting the establishment narrative in large numbers by engaging in “independent departures” from the U.S. military bases where the evacuees are being housed. That is, they’re getting up and walking away, and no one knows where they are. At least 700 Afghans have now left various military bases and are somewhere in the United States. Over 300 have vanished from Fort Bliss alone. No one knows where. What could possibly go wrong?

Remember: Biden’s handlers have no idea who most of these people are. Back on September 1, according to Politico, “a State Department official said in a private briefing to reporters that ‘the majority’ of special immigrant visa applicants were left in Afghanistan due in part to the complications of the evacuation, and that he and his team are ‘haunted’ by the evacuees the U.S. could not get out by the Aug. 31 deadline.” That is, the vast majority: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted on September 21, according to The Hill, that “of the 60,000 Afghans who have entered the U.S., nearly 8,000 are either U.S. citizens or residents, while about 1,800 are SIV holders, having obtained visas after assisting the U.S. military.”

That leaves around 50,200 Afghan refugees for whom we have no certain identification and no assurance whatsoever that they aren’t jihad terrorists. Nor is that all: The Hill states without a trace of irony that Biden’s handlers have “boasted” about having brought “more than 124,000 people from Afghanistan.” Who is among the other 74,000 who are apparently on their way here? No one knows.

Daniel Greenfield notes that there are three possibilities as to why these evacuees have disappeared from the military bases and left no forwarding address: “They’re not legally who they say they are and are worried that the authorities will find out”; or “they’re committing a crime such as trafficking young girls as had already been reported at Fort McCoy”; or “they’re terrorists here to infiltrate America.”

That third possibility becomes more likely in light of the unpleasant fact that Business Insider reported on August 15:

Thousands of inmates, including former Islamic State and al-Qaeda fighters, were released from a prison on the outskirts of Kabul as the Taliban called for a “peaceful transition” of power. Afghan government troops surrendered Bagram airbase to the Taliban early on Sunday. The base houses Pul-e-Charki prison, which has around 5,000 prisoners. It is the largest in Afghanistan and notorious for its poor conditions. A maximum-security cellblock held members of al Qaeda and Taliban, said reports. Footage published by an independent Afghan news agency, which supports the Taliban, appears to show militants letting the inmates out.

Did any of these al-Qaeda and Islamic State jihadis get on planes bound for America? No one knows.

There is more. Read the rest here.

RELATED ARTICLES:

‘It was a slap in the face’: Top brass forced Marines to erase taunts of ISIS and the Taliban before leaving Afghanistan

Canada: Muslim information technology specialist became narrator of Islamic State jihad recruitment videos

France: Muslim plotted attack on synagogue with Kalashnikov

Canada: Jihadi Muslima denied parole, would ‘likely kill or injure if released,’ insists she doesn’t need medication

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

TYRANNY: Biden To Create a Vaccine Mandate For Interstate Travel Within United States

To stop freedom of movement between free states (red) and slave states (blue).

Get Ready For Vaccine Mandates If You Want To Drive Across State Lines

By: Net Breaking, October 2, 2021:

The Biden administration is constantly re-inventing ways to force the unvaccinated to take the Covid jab.

First, it was free burgers, donuts, and money.

Then, just three weeks ago, Biden forced vaccine mandates on businesses with over 100 employees.

Now, instead of respecting Americans’ freedom of choice, Biden plans to create a vaccine mandate for interstate travel within the United States.

What happened to Biden’s promise to never require federal vaccine mandates?

I guess it was just another empty promise from the failing Biden administration.

RELATED VIDEO: Jen Psaki Admits Big Vaccine Push Is An Effort to Bring Biden’s Poll Numbers Up.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW when informed decision making and opinion is essential to America’s survival. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Fight the great fight.

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Remember, YOU make the work possible. If you can, please contribute to Geller Report.

Inflation Hits 30-Year High According to This Key Metric

It’s the biggest annual surge recorded since January 1991—roughly three decades ago.


Left-leaning media coverage has in recent weeks pushed the narrative that inflation is fading. But shocking new inflation numbers released today blow that media spin to smithereens.

The Labor Department just released the latest Personal Consumption Expenditures index (PCE), which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred metric for monitoring inflation. It shows a 4.3 percent rise in consumer prices from August 2020 to August 2021, with prices rising 0.4 percent last month alone. That’s the biggest annual surge recorded since January 1991—roughly three decades ago.

Even when factoring out volatile food and energy prices, the PCE still shows a 0.3 percent monthly rise in consumer prices and a 3.6 percent year-over-year increase. That’s the highest on that metric since May 1991!

This all may sound like abstract economic data, but it translates to a real erosion of everyday Americans’ living standards and purchasing power. As economist and FEE fellow Peter Jacobsen has previously explained, rising inflation means “the average consumer making the same salary this year has taken a pay cut when you consider what their paycheck can actually buy.”

Even the Federal Reserve is starting to acknowledge, much belatedly, that these persistent levels of inflation are not just a “temporary” problem.

“It’s also frustrating to see the bottlenecks and supply chain problems not getting better — in fact at the margins apparently getting a little bit worse,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said earlier this week. “We see that continuing into next year probably, and holding up inflation longer than we had thought.”

“It’s very difficult to say how big those effects will be in the meantime or how long they will last,” he added.

Of course, Powell and his colleagues at the Federal Reserve have every incentive to downplay the inflation problem hurting Americans. After all, it is, in part, driven by the Fed’s own policy decisions.

As Jacobsen noted when the concerning inflation metrics first arose in May 2021, the Fed has created trillions of new dollars out of thin air during the pandemic to date. The natural consequence of this money-supply expansion, he explains, is that “If more dollars chase the exact same goods, prices will rise.”

But even the Fed’s preferred inflation metric, the PCE, is now recording the highest levels of consumer price increases measured in 30 years. This problem is becoming impossible for even the most obstinate observers to deny. And until policymakers change course, American families will continue to pay the price.

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.


Like this story? Click here to sign up for the FEE Daily and get free-market news and analysis like this from Policy Correspondent Brad Polumbo in your inbox every weekday.


EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Does Biden’s $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Include a Mileage Tax?

Here’s a dismaying prospect: Paying 6, 8, or 10 cents in new taxes for every mile you drive. It may sound small, but at an 8 cent rate, that would be $1,144 in new annual taxes for the average American, who drives about 14,300 miles a year. Yikes!

Some on social media are claiming that this punitive tax scheme has been slipped into President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending legislation—which, after all, is nearly 3,000 pages and is chock full of unrelated waste and partisan pet projects. But are they right to be concerned about a mileage tax soon becoming reality?

No. At least, not yet.

The infrastructure legislation does not include a mileage tax or another form of driving tax. What it does include is a pilot program to study and test the idea. The legislation authorizes $125 million in taxpayer funding for this test initiative. (A lot of taxpayer money for an experiment, no?)

“People would volunteer to be part of the test,” fact-checkers at local New York news outlet WGRZ-TV report. “The test would require volunteers to record their miles, pay the fees, and then be reimbursed by the government. This pilot program would go through the year 2026 and at that point, if Congress and the president like it, they would have to pass another bill making it into law. This infrastructure bill simply creates the program.”

We can certainly question the wisdom of this endeavor. But rest assured that if the infrastructure legislation ultimately passes—a likely if not certain outcome—you won’t get a new per-mile bill from the IRS. However, this move does represent a shift toward mainstreaming and advancing the idea of a per-mile driving tax.

Such a tax would be highly regressive, meaning that it would disproportionately burden low-income Americans. So, too, the costs would fall harder on rural Americans who drive more than their city-dwelling counterparts. That said, proponents argue it simply funds highway infrastructure by taxing those who use it. They also note that it could replace the gas tax, which currently attempts to do the same yet fails to capture usage by electric vehicles.

Still, the prospect of sizable new taxes levied on working-class Americans solely for the privilege of being allowed to drive your own car isn’t an attractive one. Luckily, we aren’t actually facing this as an immediate reality, even if it is slowly being advanced into the mainstream.

WATCHNew Biden Vax Mandate Doesn’t Make ANY Sense (Here’s Why)

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Like this story? Click here to sign up for the FEE Daily and get free-market news and analysis like this from Policy Correspondent Brad Polumbo in your inbox every weekday.

VIDEO: Biden Isn’t Joe-King with Mandate

Attorneys general in 24 states sent a letter to President Biden yesterday, threatening legal action if he follows through on his threat to mandate private companies with more than 100 employees to require their employees either take the coronavirus vaccine, submit to weekly testing, or be fired. One of those attorneys general, Dave Yost of Ohio, explained further on “Washington Watch.”

“What the president said he wanted to do,” said Yost, “seems clearly beyond his authority.” President Biden plans to define coronavirus as an occupational safety hazard to be enforced by the Department of Labor, a step clearly outside the intended purpose of the law, the letter argued.

“Congress writes the laws, not the president. He doesn’t get to govern by dictate,” said Yost. “The difference between a democracy and a monarchy or a dictatorship is that in a democracy laws have to be written by a representative body, a congress or a parliament. In a monarchy or a dictatorship, one executive decides what the rules are and they enforce them. That is just fundamentally opposite our constitutional order.”

Not only is President Biden circumventing Congress’ authority to write laws, said Yost, but he is interfering with health issues which are properly considered “part of the police power that belongs to the states.” (Thus, to date, the CDC has issued only recommended guidelines, which state health departments have adopted, modified, or rejected. Mask mandates and lockdowns were widely issued by state governors, but the federal government only issued a mask mandate covering areas of federal jurisdiction, like federal property and air travel.)

Everyone, even the Biden administration, understands the president lacks the authority for such a mandate. “They know they don’t have the legal authority,” Yost explained, “but they do it knowing it’ll be in the courts forever.” President Biden’s strategy seems strikingly similar to one he employed only weeks ago, when he unilaterally extended an illegal moratorium on evictions, in direct violation of a Supreme Court ruling. Then, Biden admitted his action was illegal, but he was simply buying time for his policies. He said he sought the “ability to, if we have to appeal, to keep this going for a month at least. I hope longer.”

In striking down Biden’s eviction moratorium, the Supreme Court stated clearly that the Constitution “does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends.” They added, “we expect Congress to speak clearly when authorizing an agency to exercise powers of ‘vast economic and political significance.'” It seems President Biden is simply calculating he can force many businesses to comply with his diktat before the Supreme Court obliterates it.

Yost said the attorneys general would likely ask for a temporary restraining order — when the administration actually produces a regulation. “Right now, it’s not in effect.” (Some private companies have begun requiring vaccination as a condition of employment, but that is their own decision.)

The silver lining of President Biden’s brazen lawlessness is that it serves to highlight the checks and balances of America’s federal system. When you don’t live in a monarchy ruled by King Joseph the First. When 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue overreaches, it triggers a reaction across town at the Supreme Court. But it also triggers a larger wave of resistance from those governments outside the Washington beltway that actually listen to the American people.

COLUMN BY

Joshua Arnold

Media Coordinator. As media coordinator, Joshua serves under the Vice President of Communications in a number of ways, including coordinating interview requests, editing op-eds and press releases, and assisting in various capacities with the Washington Watch radio show.

Joshua hails from Clemson, South Carolina, where he was homeschooled with his five siblings. He graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and a special emphasis in American Politics and Policy. He later attended the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy and graduated as valedictorian with a Master’s in Public Policy, emphasizing Economics and American Policy. Before joining Family Research Council, Joshua also worked for the National Pro-Life Alliance and parentalrights.org, as well as interning in the White House Office of Speechwriting.

Joshua is passionate about policy research and analysis, specifically about developing innovative solutions to the day’s greatest policy challenges from a biblical perspective. He enjoys participating in the life of his local church and exploring a variety of nerdy hobbies ranging from strategy board games to sci-fi television and book series.

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action video and column are republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden’s Blunder Could Lead to Israel’s 9/11

The United States careless incompetence in Afghanistan gifted the Taliban a military airport the size of a large town containing $83 Billion of the finest military equipment that included hundreds of aircraft.

We have already seen the Taliban gruesomely using Black Hawk helicopters dangling hanging men as they flew over Afghan towns as a warning to the citizens below.

So for what other evil purpose can they devise for the use of this American treasure trove?

A C130 US military transport plane packed with explosives crashing into a tightly populated urban city would have the same devastating effect as a nuclear explosion. It would be a world shattering statement by a messianic terror organization akin to 9/11.

It would have to be a crazy terrorist organization on a martyrdom mission. The Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS are all messianic jihadists with a deadly hatred of the West and Israel.

The Taliban now possess four American C130 military transport planes.

But would the Taliban try to crash an explosive transport plane into an American city or its capital?

It would certainly be a tempting target for the most well equipped terror group in the world. Sweeping in over the Atlantic to hit New York in another 9/11 style attack must be tempting. They won’t have to hijack a commercial plane. They have their own, thanks to Biden and his military generals.

There is only one problem. The C130 can fly to America from Bagram without refueling but not with a packed payload of explosive material, and there are not many options for the Taliban for refueling. Apart from Iran, no other country would give them landing rights, and a transport plane or two would remove the element of surprise.

So what other country would present a huge and attractive target for the Taliban, or one of its Afghan-based jihadi allies, to attack?

Israel, the one country in the world the Taliban doesn’t recognize. What better Islamic message would it send if it, and not Iran, obliterated the Jewish State.

Just pack a monster-size aircraft full of explosive material and fly it to its target, or targets.

Coming in undetected and crashing into Tel Aviv with a population of over four million would make 9/11 look like child’s play.

With three planes they succeeded in killing 3,000 Americans. With one or two planes they could kill millions of Jews.

Apart from mass deaths and casualties, an attack on Tel Aviv would knock out sensitive infrastructure including power grids, communication and transport systems. It would destroy Israel’s central military command and control center and vital military defense facilities. Depending on its impact location, it could destroy Israel’s major Ben Gurion Airport.

 Whatever remains of Israel would be dangerously exposed to any enemy wanting to move in for the final kill, and we have them in large numbers on our northern, southern and eastern borders.

Such a 9/11 style attack setting out from Bagram airfield and coordinated with Iran, could be an Israel Doomsday scenario particularly if two planes were employed in the deadly mission.

A second plane targeting Haifa would have a devastating effect.   Although the population of Haifa is far fewer than Tel Aviv, just over a million people, it also houses chemical storage facilities that, for years should have been removed to safer locations. A packed plane exploding a large chemical storage plant would indeed produce a mushroom cloud akin to a nuclear blast making the Beirut port blast looks miniscule in proportion.

Is such a nightmare scenario possible?

If the planes were to fly unrefueled from Kabul to Israel with a maximum payload of 44,000 pounds the distance is within reach.

The distance from Afghanistan and NYC is double. So flying a maximum load without refueling would put America out of reach for a covert suicide mission. The Target has to be Israel.

Flying time is just beyond four hours. Taking the land route over compliant countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, a Taliban or Al Qaeda suicide mission is entirely feasible.

Unless Israel was alerted for such an attack, in advance or on route, it wouldn’t know what was about to hit it until the final seconds.

If Israeli intelligence did not pick up clues that such a mission was in the planning, would its air traffic control be aware of large planes on route to their target flying over countries with which Israel does not have cooperation or open communication? Probably not, until they appeared out of Lebanese and into Israeli air space.

And that would be too late to intercept flying bombs heading to Tel Aviv and Haifa.

The distance from the Lebanon border to the Haifa port is just 45 miles. The C130 has a cruising speed of 335 miles per hour. That is less than six minutes flying time to Haifa.

Would there be time for Israeli air traffic control and the Israeli Command and Control Center to identify these mystery aircraft or scramble a jet especially if the planes had external US Military markings but did not response to radio communication?

Surely more time would be lost as Israel went in search of verification from the US Embassy in Jerusalem? By the time, Israel or the embassy staff made contact with the Pentagon, the explosions would inform them that the planes were our version of 9/11.

A far worse version of 9/11.

Such hesitancy would be understandable, but it would result in the death of a million Israelis or more and the destruction of Haifa and Tel Aviv on a scale unknown since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Such a nightmare scenario is too dreadful to consider, but consider it we must, because the malevolent actors involved in such a mission have the same dedicated goal of all our enemies in the region. To destroy the Jewish State and everyone in it.

Why should Iran continue arduously spinning underground centrifuges to produce the material for a nuclear bomb, then have to fit the bomb onto an aircraft when they can more easily assist a neighboring Islamic regime do the job for them, albeit in a simpler, more straightforward, form? All they have to do is to train pilots to fly the planes, pack them with explosives and send them on their suicide mission.

With Haifa and Tel Aviv gone, Jerusalem and the rest of Israel would be in chaos, exposed to the whims of the combined enemies of Israel, those who have sworn to destroy the Jewish entity and establish a Palestine from the river to the sea.

None of them would shed a tear if the land was burnt to a cinder and the dead included Christians, Druze, and yes, Muslims, slaughtered to achieve the holy mission of Israel’s annihilation.

Does anyone think that Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, even the fanatics of the PLO and PFLP would hesitate before descending on defenseless Jews, to kill them and take their property? Haven’t they done this in the past? Isn’t this what they have been indoctrinated to do by their leaders in Ramallah and Gaza?

If you think this is an unbelievable nightmare scenario, think again and plan for such an Armageddon.  That is the only way to prevent such an outcome in which the mechanics and the intention are there for all to see.

This is a wake up call.

The weak United States was not prepared to attack Bagram to destroy billions of dollars of their equipment. Can Israel do the job? Afghanistan is further than Iran.

This is an existential threat that Israel must solve, and quickly. Before 9/11, Hiroshima and , explodes on Israel.

©Barry Shaw. All rights reserved.

Biden’s Handlers’ Freeing of Guantanamo Detainee Highlights the Confusion and Failure of the ‘War on Terror’

Abdul Latif Nasser spent nineteen years in the Guantanamo prison camp without charge. This was a tremendous injustice, and was born of the confusion about what exactly we were facing after 9/11 in the first place. Bush called it a “war on terror,” and so we put enemy combatants in a prison camp. In past wars, soldiers who became prisoners of war were generally not tried; they were held until the end of hostilities and then released. But Bush’s war became Obama’s war and was then transformed by the latter into a war against “violent extremism,” which opened the door for the identity of the enemy to be shifted from jihadis to “white supremacists,” a label increasingly used of all non-Leftist Americans. Neither the war against “terror” or against “violent extremism” have any definable end point, so there was no end point for the jihadis in Guantanamo.

Meanwhile, many former Guantanamo detainees have returned to the jihad. Will Abdul Latif Nasser do so? Time will tell. But was anything done while he was at Gitmo to disabuse him of his jihadist sensibilities? Of course not. That would have been “Islamophobic.” Instead, he was given a Qur’an, the book that led him to wage jihad in the first place, in a manner that demonstrated that even the infidel U.S. had exaggerated reverence for the book: non-Muslim guards even wore gloves when handling it (because unbelievers are “unclean,” as per Qur’an 9:28). It is entirely possible that Abdul Latif Nasser is an even more hardened and determined jihadi than he was before. Your taxpayer dollars, and Washington’s willful ignorance, at work.

Guantanamo detainee Abdul Latif Nasser speaks out after release

by Guy Davies, ABC News, July 20, 2021:

A Guantanamo Bay detainee who spent nearly two decades at the notorious facility and thought he might not make it out alive spoke out after being released — the first prisoner freed by the Biden administration.

“I was born again on July 19. My birthday is no longer March 4. I was born yesterday on July 19,” Abdul Latif Nasser said in a statement shared with ABC News. “I have no words to describe my overwhelming sense of happiness and joy. It is like a miracle after 20 years to be home and celebrate Eid together with my family.”

On Tuesday, the legal charity Reprieve, which campaigned for his release and provided legal support, confirmed to ABC News that Nasser was reunited with his family in Morocco.

Nasser, whose case was profiled by ABC News in 2019, was first cleared for release from Guantanamo more than five years ago. He had been detained there for 19 years after he was captured in Afghanistan, alleged by the U.S. government to be an active member of the Taliban and then to have trained with al-Qaeda.

During his time at Guantanamo, he was never charged with a crime, and his lawyers stress that none of the U.S. government’s claims have been aired in a court of law. He was cleared for release in 2016 following a Periodic Review Board (PRB) hearing, set up by the Obama administration in 2011, in order to speed up the process recommending individuals for transfer away from the facility.

The PRB consists of officials from six major agencies, and all members of the board must recommend that law of war detention is no longer justified….

In a statement from Nasser’s brother, Mustafa, his family said were delighted Nasser was home in time for the Islamic festival, Eid al-Adha….

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‘It is time for the silence around political Islam to be lifted in Belgium’

Twitter honors pro-jihad Popular Front of India

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Analysts Report Biden’s ‘American Families Plan’ Would Put 21 Million More People On Welfare

“In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.” ― Leon Trotsky


A dependent nation is an enslaved nation. What do you call someone taken care of by the government by the cradle to the grave? A slave.

This is the Democrat plot to destroy this nation. Individual rights and property rights, the basic pillars of our Constitutional republic, will be a thing of the past.

American Families Plan Would Put 21 Million More People On Welfare: Analysts

By: Ben Zeisloft, Daily Wire, July 1, 2021:

Analysts predict that President Biden’s American Families Plan would add 21 million Americans to federal benefit programs.

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Hoover Institution fellows John F. Cogan and Daniel Heil unpacked their recent analysis, which discovered that the Biden administration’s $1.8 trillion omnibus bill would drastically expand the welfare state.

The federal government’s system of entitlements is the largest money-shuffling machine in human history, and President Biden intends to make it a lot bigger… For the first time in U.S. history — except possibly for the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, for which we don’t yet have data — more than half of working-age households would be on the entitlement rolls if the plan were enacted in its current form.

The academics note that families earning six figures would be eligible for generous handouts. Indeed, “most” of President Biden’s spending would benefit middle-income and upper-income households.

Two-parent households with two preschool-age children and incomes up to $130,000 would qualify for federal cash assistance for daycare. Single parents with two preschoolers and incomes up to $113,000 would qualify. And some families with incomes over $200,000 would be eligible for health-insurance subsidies. Other parts of the plan, such as paid leave and free community college, have no income limits at all.

Under the American Families Plan, 57% of all married-couple children would receive handouts, while over 80% of single-parent households would enter the entitlement rolls. Noting that the legislation has a number of “gimmicks” that hide the extent of its revenue proposals, the report forecasts that President Biden’s proposal would add $1 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade.

Other economists have expressed similar concerns with the American Families Plan. Analysts from the Penn Wharton Budget Model — a nonpartisan think tank at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School that examines the impacts of major legislation — concluded that the American Families Plan would slow long-term economic growth.

By increasing income taxes for wealthier Americans, introducing $2.3 trillion in federal expenditures, and spending with borrowed money, the legislation would slash output by 0.4% within the next three decades. The bill would also decrease the capital stock — the total amount of machinery, buildings, and other productive equipment in the American economy — by 1.2% over the same period.

In essence, long-term economic growth would be hindered by greater demand for federal debt financing, which would cause investors to direct money into loans for the government rather than ventures in the private sector. Such a phenomenon would restrict innovation and productivity, inhibiting American economic vitality for decades to come.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Biden’s handlers import oil from Iran for only the second time since 1991, ignoring sanctions

UPDATE: AP has details that make Biden’s handlers not look so bad at least in this case:

US sells off Iranian crude oil seized off coast of UAE

by Jon Gambrell, Associated Press, May 31, 2021:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. has sold some 2 million barrels of Iranian crude oil after seizing an oil tanker off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, court documents and government statistics show.

The Iranian crude oil showed up in new figures released over the weekend by the U.S. Energy Information Agency, raising the eyebrows of commodities traders as Tehran remains targeted by a series of American sanctions. The EIA figures included just over 1 million barrels of Iranian “crude oil imports” in March.

The oil came from the MT Achilleas, a ship seized in February by the U.S. off the coast of the Emirati port city of Fujairah. U.S court documents allege the Achilleas was subject to forfeiture under American anti-terrorism statues as Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard tried to use it to sell crude oil to China. The U.S. has identified the Guard as a terrorist organization since the administration of former President Donald Trump.

Prosecutors say shippers tried to disguise the shipment by labeling it as “Basra light crude” from neighboring Iraq.

The U.S. government brought the Achilleas to Houston, Texas, where it sold the just over 2 million barrels of crude oil within it for $110 million, or at around $55 a barrel, court documents show. The money will be held in escrow amid a court case over it….

Original post:

Biden’s handlers’ stance toward Iran is predicated on the assumption that the mullahs will respond in kind to gestures of good will. This is an erroneous assumption. The mullahs will see Biden’s handlers’ appeasement efforts as signs of weakness, and become increasingly aggressive.

U.S. imports rare Iranian oil in March despite sanctions – EIA data

Reuters, May 30, 2021:

SINGAPORE — The United States imported a rare cargo of 1.033 million barrels of Iranian crude in March despite sanctions on Iran’s energy sector, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed.

The cargo is only the second oil import by the United States from Iran since late 1991, data on EIA’s website showed….

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden’s handlers say visa applicants denied under Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ can now reapply

What could possibly go wrong? Here’s a hint: Somali Muslim migrant Mohammad Barry in February 2016 stabbed multiple patrons at a restaurant owned by an Israeli Arab Christian; Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan Muslim migrant, in September 2016 set off bombs in New York City and New Jersey; Arcan Cetin, a Turkish Muslim migrant, in September 2016 murdered five people in a mall in Burlington, Washington; Dahir Adan, another Somali Muslim migrant, in October 2016 stabbed mall shoppers in St. Cloud while screaming “Allahu akbar”; and Abdul Razak Artan, yet another Somali Muslim migrant, in November 2016 injured nine people with car and knife attacks at Ohio State University.

Seventy-two jihad terrorists had entered the U.S. from the countries listed in Trump’s initial immigration ban before it was instituted. But once the travel bans came into effect, suddenly we didn’t see as much of this as we had before. Yes, this was no coincidence.

There are warning signs from Europe as well. All of the jihadis who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015 had just entered Europe as refugees. Numerous other Muslim migrants since then have committed “lone wolf” jihad attacks on the streets of several European countries.

But to consider such matters is now officially “racist” and “Islamophobic.” The problem with virtue-signaling by our moral superiors in Washington, however, is that they never have to deal with the consequences of their actions; ordinary Americans do.

“U.S. says visa applicants denied due to Trump ‘Muslim ban’ can reapply,” Reuters, March 8, 2021:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most U.S. visa applicants who were denied because of former President Donald Trump’s travel ban on 13 mostly Muslim-majority and African countries can seek new decisions or submit new applications, the State Department said on Monday.

President Joe Biden overturned Trump’s so-called Muslim ban on Jan. 20, his first day in office, calling it “a stain on our national conscience” in his proclamation.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said applicants who were refused visas prior to Jan. 20, 2020, must submit new applications and pay a new application fee. Those who were denied on or after Jan. 20, 2020, may seek reconsideration without re-submitting their applications and do not have to pay additional fees, Price said….

Since December 2017, after a revised version of the original travel ban was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, some 40,000 people have been barred from entering the United States under the ban, according to State Department data.

During the Trump administration some countries were added and others dropped from the list. At the end of Trump’s presidency it comprised Myanmar, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Yemen.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Iran Overplays Its Hand

It is still unclear what the Biden Administration will do about the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Biden has at times expressed a willingness to rejoin the JCPOA, without any change to the agreement, and at other times, he has suggested that he would join the deal only if it were modified to include limits on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and its regional aggression, through a network of proxies and allies — from the Houthis in Yemen, to Kata’ib Hezbollah in Iraq, to the Alawite-led army In Syria, to Hezbollah in Lebanon – to create a “Shi’a crescent” from the Gulf to the Mediterranean. Now Iran, has apparently given Washington a deadline to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal. In so doing, it appears to have overplayed its hand.

The latest report, on the time table that Iran now demands be met by Washington, is here: “Will Iran overplaying its hand force Biden to call its bluff – analysis,” by Yonah Jeremy Bob, Jerusalem Post, January 14, 2021:

Israel and Iran have both been maneuvering to influence the incoming Biden administration regarding the nuclear standoff. But only the Islamic Republic has given a deadline.

Iran has said that if sanctions are not dropped by February 21 it would kick out IAEA inspectors, a most dramatic nuclear violation since it would make it impossible for the world to follow the status of its nuclear program, absent clandestine efforts.

Iran has thus given Biden exactly one month to remove the sanctions that the Trump Administration had placed on it; otherwise, Iran will expel the IAEA nuclear inspectors, leaving it able, without that monitoring, to go for broke on its nuclear program.

Along with Tehran’s recent jump-starting the enrichment of its uranium to the 20% level, this could signal to Israel, moderate Sunni states and even the West that the ayatollahs are moving toward a nuclear weapon. Iran also demanded this week the dropping of the 2015 deal’s snapback sanctions mechanism.

Given that Iran has violated many parts of the 2015 deal, one wonders why the Biden Administration thinks that this time will be different, and if the Americans lift the sanctions, Tehran will now adhere scrupulously to the agreement, which it has never done in the past.

Though the incoming Biden administration has signaled that it wants to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal and roll back sanctions, there is no way sanctions can be removed in the administration’s first month in office.

Even if it wanted to roll back the sanctions in only 30 days, there is a complex sanctions machinery that may take longer to remove. Moreover, Joe Biden has made it clear that his first priority is the coronavirus pandemic, followed by addressing other domestic priorities, including the fallout from the rioters’ attacks on the Capitol, racial justice issues, and the environment.

In foreign policy, his first priorities are dealing with China and Russia. Biden will not want to waste significant political capital in the first stage of his presidency looking too weak on Iran, even if his general goal is to rejoin the deal. Moreover, having a Democratic majority in the US Senate does not mean that he will avoid a vote against a quick rejoining of the Iran deal, given that some Democrats oppose rejoining….

In insisting that sanctions be lifted by one month after Biden’s inauguration, the Iranians have made an error: they assume that the Biden Administration regards its relations with Iran as the most important issue, the very first thing, it needs to address. But the Biden Administration is of a different opinion: there are many other matters that it believes must be deal with first. The Administration has clearly spoken about those other priorities; they’ve been published in the press. One begins to wonder: don’t the Iranians read our papers? If so, they would discover that even those in the administration who might most favor lifting the sanctions know that it can’t possibly happen during that first month .It is going to happen only after a long political fight; Biden will not want to use up capital on Iran relations that he might want to save for other battles. Biden has listed his other, much more important priorities during his first months n office. First, there is the conronavirus pandemic, and his stated determination to “vaccinate 100 million Americans in the first 100 days.” That will be a complicated effort, involving both logistics and psychology – convincing millions of anti-vaxxers that the vaccines are safe — that will require a great deal of his administration’s attention. And assuming that initial goal is met, Biden will need to continue the breakneck pace of the vaccination effort, to have another 210 million Americans (20 million will have been vaccinated before January 20) vaccinated before the end of 2021.

Then there are the other issues Biden and Harris have promised to immediately address, including racial justice (one wonders just what that means, in the current heated environment) and police reform. And for the Administration the most important issue, over the long term, is climate change. Biden has said he wants to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. But there are many related undertakings that will occupy his administration in its first months. These include providing tax credits to encourage people to buy electric vehicles, and allocating the billions necessary to build out a national network of roadside recharging stations. It will also include greatly increasing residential and commercial use of solar energy through tax credits, and halting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). It will no doubt pain Tehran to realize that the Biden administration has many other matters on its To-Do List before reaching “Iran, Sanctions and Paris Deal.”

Another consideration for the Biden administration is that it cannot be seen to yielding to an ultimatum from Iran (“ lift those sanctions by Feb. 21 or we kick out all the IAEA inspectors at once”); it would make Biden look weak. That’s a perception he cannot afford. The Islamic Republic believes it was successful using brinkmanship to corner the Obama administration into dropping certain issues. It appears that the ayatollahs have seized on the multiple statements by incoming Biden administration officials of their desire to rejoin the deal in order to make additional demands. Of course, it is possible that this could work, and Biden could announce in principle his rejoining of the deal by February 21, with actual sanctions relief applied afterward.

While his domestic agenda – his To-Do List – will keep Biden from dealing with Iran’s demands in the first few months of his administration, the Islamic Republic itself will also need time – three to four months – to fullfil its part of a possible bargain, by undoing all of its violations of the Paris deal, including giving up the stocks of uranium it has enriched, to a level of 20%, well beyond what the JCPOA permits. How long will it take Iran to gather that uranium and ship it out of the country to the IAEA headquarters?

The Iranians have badly misplayed their hand. Above all there is: the coronavirus vaccine rollout, which will be the main focus for many months, followed by attempts to “deal with police reform and “racial justice” measures, and — what is likely for the Bidenites to be the most important task of all — passing  environmental legislation. After the country returns to the Paris Agreement on climate, legislative battles will follow, as the Administration tries to meet its commitments under that agreement to lessen its dependence on fossil fuels and to encourage the transition to renewables. The Administration will push for a massive increase, through tax credits, in the use of electric vehicles, and will also push for a government-funded national network of charging stations along our highways. The government can similarly promote – with subsidies or tax credits—a great increase in the use of residential and commercial solar energy. Only then will the Biden administration turn its attention to what deal with Iran it may be willing to consider, and according to its own timetable, rather than to an Iranian ultimatum. I suspect that Iran will be in for a shock; members of Biden’s national security team have been discussing modifications — concerning ballistic missiles and Iran’s regional aggression — they now want to have included in a Paris Deal 2.0.

What should Iran have done? Had it understood Biden’s fear of appearing weak, it would never have issued an ultimatum. Instead, it could have said, striking a conciliatory note, that it “welcomes a more reasonable administration in Washington, has high hopes of collaborating with Washington and other members of the JCPOA, and is prepared, without delay, to immediately renew its full cooperation with the IAEA’s inspectors, just as soon as American sanctions are lifted.”

That’s all lies, of course: Iran will continue to violate its solemn commitments under the Paris Agreement.. It will continue to enrich uranium to a level beyond what was agreed, will continue to work on the nuclear facilities inside a mountain at Fordo, will continue to mislead inspectors about other nuclear sites it still has not revealed. It’s Iran’s modus operandi; it was only thanks to Mosssad’s seizure of Iran’s nuclear archive in 2018 that the world learned of several nuclear sites that Iran had kept secret from inspectors. Why wouldn’t it continue the same kinds of deceptions it had practiced before?

Not only will the new administration not be willing, nor able, to meet Iran’s February 21 deadline, but this display of attempted bullying by Iran will strengthen the hand of those in the Administration who want the sanctions lifted only after Iran has agreed to a more comprehensive treaty, one that includes, as mentioned above, limits on ballistic missiles, and curbs on Iran’s regional aggression, through Shi’a proxies and allies in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Iran will be chagrinned, disabused, angry, when it had been expecting a very different result, but in the end, it will have to give in, if it ever hopes to emerge from its current economic collapse.

COLUMN BY

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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My analyses of what a Biden foreign policy means for Israel, the Middle East, and a wider world, based on Biden’s appointees.

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China Engaged in ‘Mass Surveillance’ on Americans’ Mobile Phones, Report Finds

On a side note, a group founded by far-left tech giants Google and IBM is working with a company that is helping China’s authoritarian government conduct mass surveillance against its citizens, The Intercept can reveal.

China Engaged in ‘Mass Surveillance’ on Americans’ Mobile Phones, Report Finds

The Chinese regime exploited vulnerabilities in the global mobile telecommunications network to conduct “mass surveillance” on Americans, according to a recent report by a cyber research firm.

By Cathy He, The Epoch Times, December 17, 2020:

By analyzing signals data, the report by Washington-based Exigent Media found that Beijing, working through state-owned telecom operator China Unicom, was the leading source of attacks against U.S. mobile users over 3G and 4G networks in 2018.

The regime exploited well-known network vulnerabilities, which allowed it to track, monitor, disrupt, and intercept communications of U.S. phone subscribers while they traveled abroad. The vulnerabilities are centered around the legacy mobile SS7 signaling system, described in the report as “a patchwork system enabling network operators around the world to communicate with each other for international roaming services.”

The Chinese cyberattacks targeted tens of thousands of U.S. mobile users from 2018 to 2020, Gary Miller, the report’s author and a former mobile network security executive, told The Guardian.

“Once you get into the tens of thousands, the attacks qualify as mass surveillance, which is primarily for intelligence collection and not necessarily targeting high-profile targets,” Miller said. “It might be that there are locations of interest, and these occur primarily while people are abroad.”

That the attacks were routed through a state-controlled operator indicates a state-sanctioned espionage campaign, Miller told the outlet.

The analyst also found that in 2018, two Caribbean operators were also involved in a series of attacks on U.S. phone users targeted by China Unicom, suggesting coordination between these networks. The two operators were Cable & Wireless Communications (Flow) in Barbados and the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC).

The report found that from 2019, attacks from China decreased, while those originating from the Caribbean networks shot up—suggesting that Beijing was attempting to mask its activities through foreign operators.

“China reduced its attack volumes, favoring more targeted espionage, likely using proxy networks in the Caribbean and Africa to conduct its attacks, having close ties in both trade and technology investment,” the report stated.

Citing Beijing’s expanded investment in the Caribbean, such as Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s partnership with BTC on the Bahamas’ 4G rollout, the report questioned whether this indicated a “strategic signals intelligence alliance between China and the Caribbean.”

The report added it was likely that Caribbean operators have sold or leased network addresses to Chinese entities, allowing them to conduct espionage, potentially without the operators’ knowledge.

Cable & Wireless, the company that owns Flow and BTC, said in an emailed statement to The Epoch Times that it was “carefully reviewing the information in the media reports.”

The company added that it continuously monitors its networks across all its markets including Barbados and Bahamas and has “robust security policies and protocols in place to protect the data of our customers.”

China Unicom in a statement to The Epoch Times said it “strongly refutes the allegations that China Unicom has engaged in active surveillance attacks against U.S. mobile phone subscribers using access to international telecommunications networks.”

In April, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned that the U.S. operations of China Unicom and two other state-controlled telecoms could be shut down, citing national security risks.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said federal agencies were “deeply concerned” about the companies’ vulnerability to the “exploitation, influence, and control of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Report author Miller found that attacks on U.S. mobile users continued in 2020, originating from Chinese and Hong Kong sources, as well as other countries.

“Unfortunately, these attacks will continue globally between mobile operators until full accountability, reporting of the attacks, penalties, and control of external ‘partners and customers’ who are provided with access to networks are exercised,” Miller told The Epoch Times in an email.

“This needs to happen immediately.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.