Taliban Thanks American Taxpayers for all the Presents

How much U.S. military equipment does the Taliban now control?

We’ve made the Taliban into a major U.S. arms dealer for the next decade,” said Andrzejewski. “They now control 75,000 military vehicles. This is about 50,000 tactical vehicles, 20,000 Humvees they control about 1,000 mine-resistant vehicles, and even about 150 armored personnel carriers…”

“We found a Federal Audit that detailed up to $200 million worth of drones that had disappeared,” said Andrzejewski. “We don’t know where 600,000 weapons are within the country.”

The military-industrial corporations have all been paid-off. We picked up the tab for that plus shipping. Maybe we could get UPS to pickup every Congress-critter who voted to spend all this money and deliver them to Kabul. Leave them to wander around and try to find an honest job.

Congress thinks “broadband” is a new style of cummerbund

The Federal Communications Commission broadband standard that was implemented under then-Chairman Tom Wheeler in 2015 and never updated by Ajit Pai is now “likely too slow,” according to a government report issued last week.

The Wheeler-led FCC in January 2015 updated the agency’s broadband standard from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream to 25Mbps downloads/3Mbps uploads. The increase was opposed by broadband-industry lobbyists and Republicans, including Ajit Pai, who was then a commissioner and later served as FCC chairman throughout the Trump administration…

Consumer advocates have frequently called the 25Mbps/3Mbps outdated, and the nonpartisan US Government Accountability Office (GAO) agreed in a report based on a review of research and interviews with small businesses.

So much of this political incompetence and malingering is old hat. I’ve been online since 1983…simply because I took on a sales position that required uploading orders and info from my day’s travel and sales-work – direct to the computer system in the company’s main sales office. This so-called broadband standard was next to useless, then. It’s even worse, now.

Add together all the work and private needs in the article and, then – include what’s happening minute by minute throughout North America with the conversion of domestic television to include many more sources and channels. All being streamed over systems regulated by your hot dog Republican or Democrat in Congress.

Is Alzheimers drug Aducanumab a breakthrough or a boondoggle?

Patients and their families may see hope in the news that the Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug to slow the pace of Alzheimer’s disease. Aducanumab is the first medicine authorized to treat what might be an underlying cause of the disease: amyloid beta clumps that accumulate in the brain. Yet the evidence from clinical trials that this drug reduces Alzheimer’s is incomplete; it may be only minimally effective, if it works at all. The FDA’s own expert panel strongly objected to the drug’s approval.

All of which makes the FDA’s announcement both perplexing and wrong. It threatens to mislead millions of Alzheimer’s patients. At the same time, because Biogen plans to price the drug at $56,000 a year for the average patient, it also stands to cost Medicare and other insurers a bundle. This underlines the need for two kinds of reform. First, the FDA needs to rethink its processes for approving drugs. Second, the rules controlling how Medicare chooses and pays for medicines need a thorough overhaul.

The FDA has failed to fully explain why it overruled the almost unanimous advice of its advisory panel on aducanumab. The agency didn’t deny that the clinical-trial evidence was poor. It simply ignored that problem and used different reasoning to grant the drug “accelerated approval.”…In fact, it’s a more limited endorsement than ordinary approval, indicating that the drug has not proven a “real effect on how a patient survives, feels or functions,” in the FDA’s words, but nevertheless acts on an underlying disease process in a way that might predict such a benefit…

Despite that, Biogen will sell aducanumab — under the brand name Aduhelm — at an exorbitant cost…The nonprofit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review has said that even if the drug works as well as Biogen suggests it can, it would be cost-effective at a price of $2,600 to $8,300 a year…

But, hey…Congress apparently thinks Biogen should get every penny they can squeeze from us, our tax dollars and anything else they lay their greedy hands on.

More UFO “information” from the Feds

For months, the public has been awaiting the release of a legally mandated intelligence report laying out what the U.S. government knows about these mysterious craft, which appear to do things outside the reach of known technology. And for days, the public has been disappointed after it was widely reported last week that the unclassified portion of this document will offer neither evidence that UFOs are the product of alien civilizations or credible theories as to what they actually are—though it will, apparently, insist that they are not part of secret U.S. programs…

If the phenomena were Chinese or Russian aircraft, officials said, that would suggest the two powers’ hypersonic research had far outpaced American military development…

One problem with this is that there is, technically, no such thing as a hypersonic weapon. The phrase is a marketing term describing different unproven technologies, including boost-glide vehicles and cruise missiles…

A more salient problem is that hypersonic weapons not only do not but cannot behave in the ways the UFOs that have gripped the imaginations of the public and the Pentagon do. If the idea that these craft are piloted by grey aliens intent on treating humanity as livestock seems magical, it’s more realistic than them actually being revolutionary, physics-defying variants of known weapons systems.

Read through the article. Unsurprising – to me – it looks more like a ploy calculated by our military, Biden, the corporations which will profit from more money thrown down the rathole of creating more unnecessary weapons systems.

US cannabis industry’s big problem: Too much cash


Matthew Hatcher/Reuters

Marijuana can be sold legally in 36 US states and the District of Columbia (DC) for medical use and in 15 of them and in DC for recreational purposes. But it is still illegal on a federal level, meaning most banks refuse to service the industry in case they fall afoul of money laundering laws…

With the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing legalisation driving a surge in cannabis use, the sector’s producers, manufacturers and retailers are awash in cash, adding risk and costs to the most basic business transactions from paying employees and filing taxes to finding somewhere to store their income…

Legal US cannabis sales grew 30 percent to $22bn last year, more than the $17.5bn Americans spent on wine, according to data from Euromonitor. Sales are expected to jump more than 20 percent this year…

The House of Representatives passed a bill in April that would allow cannabis firms to have bank accounts, get loans and accept credit card payments but it may not make it to the Senate because Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to work instead towards lifting the federal ban on cannabis.

A full federal green light is the industry’s ultimate goal but it is not counting on Schumer’s pledge to make it happen by next year.

Ah, yes. Several solutions are at hand. All that is needed is decision, a vote, and implementation by Congress. And our politicians are so good at getting that part done, eh?

Rediscovering American pollution hidden for decades

Marine scientists say they have found what they believe to be more than 25,000 barrels that possibly contain DDT dumped off the Southern California coast near Catalina Island, where a massive underwater toxic waste site dating back to World War II has long been suspected…

Historical shipping logs show that industrial companies in Southern California used the basin as a dumping ground until 1972, when the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, also known as the Ocean Dumping Act, was enacted…

Disposing of industrial, military, nuclear and other hazardous waste was a pervasive global practice in the 20th century, according to researchers.

Resting deep in the ocean, the exact location and extent of the dumping was not known until now.

Just a suggestion … Reflect upon all the governments in power in Washington over all these decades. A certain number of politicians in charge knew about this. Probably gave their permission. Another number knew … said something like “Shucks. I don’t like this!” And did nothing.

I have to wonder, once again, if there is a more useless job description than “elected official”