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Defense and Private Industry; Chinese Gold and COVID Fungus

Today’s news highlights the Pentagon’s ties to arms manufacturers, China’s gold consumption surge, a rise in black fungus cases linked to COVID-19, disinformation industry controversies, and a societal debate on euthanasia.

user profile picture Ivor May 03, 2024
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DISCLAIMER: The following content does not reflect the opinions of Peak Prosperity, but is rather a summarization of content that has caught the interest of members of the community.

Discussion is welcome in the comments section!

In a revealing examination of the intertwining worlds of defense and private industry, a recent report from the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, shared with The Lever, has shed light on a decades-long practice by the Department of Defense. Since 1995, over 315 elite military officers have been placed in top positions within major weapons manufacturers like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin. This arrangement, funded by taxpayer money, has facilitated a form of corporate lobbying within the highest echelons of the Defense Department, coinciding with a significant increase in spending on private contractors, now valued in the trillions.

Meanwhile, on the global economic stage, China’s appetite for gold has surged, with trading volumes on the Shanghai Futures exchange reaching unprecedented levels. This increase is attributed to a diverse group of investors, including the Central Bank, signaling China’s overtaking of India as the world’s largest gold consumer. The implications of this shift are profound, potentially challenging the United States’ century-long status as the holder of the global reserve currency. Amid escalating geopolitical tensions and the specter of a grand coalition between China, Russia, and Iran, the global balance of power appears increasingly delicate.

The health sector is grappling with its own crisis, as the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated a rise in cases of mucormycosis, a deadly fungal infection also known as black fungus. This infection, which can affect the sinuses, lungs, and brain, has seen a dramatic increase among those with active or recovered COVID-19 cases. The infection’s link to COVID-19, coupled with a high mortality rate if untreated, underscores the critical need for prompt medical intervention. Risk factors such as diabetes, hyperglycemia, and systemic corticosteroid treatment have been identified, highlighting the importance of careful management of COVID-19 patients to prevent further complications.

In the realm of information and ethics, the disinformation industry has come under scrutiny. New Knowledge, a company previously involved in a disinformation campaign during the Alabama Senate race, exemplifies the complexities of combating misinformation while avoiding hypocrisy. The revelation of New Knowledge’s involvement in social media manipulation, despite its purported mission to fight disinformation, raises questions about the integrity of misinformation experts. This situation is further complicated by the company’s connections to political organizations and funding from DARPA, underscoring the tangled web of interests that can influence public discourse.

Amid these discussions of global power shifts, health crises, and ethical quandaries in information dissemination, a debate on societal values emerges. The ‘Suicidal Society’ substack’s invitation to Dr. Breggin for a conversation on euthanasia and the value of life reflects a broader discourse on the direction of societal progress. The proposal for a public conversation between differing viewpoints highlights the potential for dialogue to bridge divides and address complex issues. This call for open-minded engagement and sincere speech suggests a path forward through the challenges posed by propaganda, misinformation, and ethical dilemmas in both public health and political discourse.

Sources

Department of Defense Sends Elite Military Officers to Work for Top Private Contractors, Allowing Corporate Lobbying to Influence Policy

The public-private arrangement has allowed corporate lobbying disguised as policy recommendations to reach the highest branches of the Defense Department.

Source | Submitted by Barbara

Chinese Gold Trading Activity Surges, Shifting Global Dynamics

Chinese gold trading activity explodes. This is just overall trading volume on the Shanghai Futures exchange, and you can see again going back almost 10 years, we have a massive spike happening in early 2024. So this is four times as high, perhaps even five times as high as the long-run average. That is a massive increase.

Source | Submitted by AaronMcKeon

The Alarming Rise of COVID-19-Associated Mucormycosis: A Deadly Fungal Infection Linked to the Pandemic

Our study outlines that COVID-19-associated mucormycosis, although more prevalent in parts of the world that have traditionally higher mucormycosis rates due to higher levels of environmental exposure (e.g., India, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, China), is a worldwide phenomenon.

Source | Submitted by bcoop

The Disinformation Chronicles: New Knowledge and the Hamilton 68 Dashboard

Some of the shine on the disinformation industry has gone dull in recent years, as many misinformation experts having been caught trafficking in misinformation themselves, or exposed for their ties to intelligence agencies. This should not come as a shock.

Source | Submitted by bcoop

Dr. Breggin and Mattias: A Call for Conversation

Dr. Breggin: let’s find out whether speech can unite us across our differences in opinion. I hope you kindly accept my invitation.

Source | Submitted by darob1

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