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Grant Ellman – Sing and Pray – Music for these times (3 min) – https://youtu.be/ZjTksb0O0Hg
Is Vivek Ramaswamy A BioTech Ponzi Schemer & Deep State Asset? – by The 2nd Smartest Guy in the World – https://www.2ndsmartestguyintheworld.com/p/is-vivek-ramaswamy-a-biotech-ponzi – “Biotech entrepreneur and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has made all of the right promises to his conservative base. With a seemingly solid grasp of the Constitution, a deft ability to articulate current nationalistic grievances, and as author of the book ‘Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,’ Ramaswamy represents the future of America’s right-wing political movement… Admitting that the last presidential election was clearly stolen, that J6 was a government entrapment operation as run by FBI assets on the ground, that the Democrats are Marxists that want to destroy America via open borders, welfare, and identity politics must surely sound like the most mellifluous music to the average conservative voter’s ears… End affirmative action … close down the Education Department, limit the power of the Federal Reserve, send U.S. armed forces to the Mexican border… As a staunch critic of the environmental, social and corporate governance (E.S.G.) grift, he has been slamming firms like BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street. He considers these corporate entities and their “socially conscious investing” the single greatest threat to America’s existence. He is not wrong, given how this pernicious partnership between the private sector and an illegitimate Federal government serves to, ‘do through the back door what our government couldn’t directly get done through the front door.’.. After working in Silicon Valley and Wall Street, Ramaswamy founded biotech company Roivant Sciences in 2014. The following year he raised $360 million for the Roivant subsidiary Axovant Sciences in order to market an Alzheimer’s drug that had previously failed four separate clinical trials. He then raised another $315 million in the IPO. Shortly thereafter, the company’s market value reached almost $3 billion. Two years later, their drug failed its fifth clinical trial. The company cratered, losing over 70% of its value in a single day. Ramaswamy’s investors would be the quintessential bag-holders, while he made out with windfall profits at their expense… And yet in 2017, Roivant partnered with the private equity arm of the CCP’s CITIC Group to form yet another fraudulent company called Sinovant. Shortly thereafter, SoftBank invested $1.1 billion in Roivant. In 2019, Roivant sold its stake in five subsidiaries, and Ramaswamy pocketed $175 million from the deal… Roivant has never produced a single viable product, and has never turned a profit; in other words, Roivant was always nothing more than a Ponzi Scheme, and an egregious one at that… Despite never having created anything in his life other than a series of companies engaged in various blatant scams, Forbes recently estimated Ramaswamy’s net worth to be more than $950 million… But it gets worse, because as it turns out the very corporations such as BlackRock and Vanguard that Ramaswamy has been vehemently denouncing were doing business with him all along… Popular podcaster Matt Kim does an excellent job of exposing Ramaswamy in (part of) this short clip (from a debunking video by Elevator Charles (1 minute): https://youtu.be/1PncKp7iXEQ… But it gets even worse, because in 2017 Roivant invested $116 million in nanoparticle delivery systems. When the PSYOP-19 “pandemic” was foisted on the world three years later, Ramaswamy would stand to earn profits from each and every serving of the slow kill bioweapon “vaccines.”.. From the Forbes article entitled, Roivant Makes $116 Million Investment In Arbutus, Backing Battle With Moderna: ‘Roivant Sciences and Moderna Therapeutics, two of the most highly-funded and controversial companies in the biotechnology world, are headed for a collision course over medical technology.’.. On Monday, Roivant said it had agreed to invest $116 million in Arbutus Biopharma, a small biotech company focusing on hepatitis B that is locked in a proxy war with Moderna over a liquid nanoparticle delivery system… […] Led by Stephane Bancel, Moderna has raised $1.9 billion from deals it has made with big companies like Merck, Alexion an AstraZeneca and investor cash raised at valuations as high as $5 billion. Moderna is trying to develop a new class of mRNA drugs that would turn the body into a drug factory by directing cells to produce therapeutic proteins. But creating these so-called mRNA drugs is highly complicated and many scientists are skeptical Moderna’s effort will ever work… Basically, the intellectual property of the LNP delivery system used in Moderna’s DEATHVAX™ belongs to Arbutus. As part owner of Arbutus, Ramaswamy extracts a cut from these poisonous Modified mRNA experimental drugs… The great irony of ironies is that none of the COVID “vaccines” actually prevents viral infection, or attenuates symptoms, which means that Ramaswamy has an absolutely perfect track record of being involved in dangerous drugs that do not work as advertised. To date, not a single drug that Ramaswamy has been associated with has ever legitimately passed a single human trial… According to Dr. David Martin, ‘he (Ramaswamy) has a not-so-publicly-disclosed interest in every shot that was delivered.’.. Would president Ramaswamy run America any differently than he did his various biotech companies?.. They want you dead.”A Tale of a Journalist and a Spy: Unveiling the Stark Contrasts in the Fates of Whelan and Lira – A Reflection of Geopolitical Hypocrisy – The Paradox of Persecution: How Lira’s Tragic End Exposes the West’s Double Standards – by Gerry Nolan – https://islanderreports.substack.com/p/a-tale-of-a-journalist-and-a-spy – “In a world where truth often wears the mask of political agendas, the stories of two men, Gonzalo Lira and Paul Whelan, stand as a stark testament to the duplicity of international justice. Lira, an outspoken critic of the Ukrainian regime, met a tragic end in a Kharkov jail, a victim not of overt villainy, but of the more insidious crime of telling inconvenient truths. A US-Chilean journalist, Lira was ensnared by the Ukrainian government for merely daring to report the reality as he saw it, unfiltered and unaligned with the Western narrative… His ‘crime’ was his courage to voice the unspeakable – the grim reality of a conflict that has torn Ukraine apart, a narrative unpalatable to the Kiev authorities and their Western backers. Lira, branded a pariah for refusing to toe the line, suffered inhumane treatment, with allegations of torture and medical neglect leading to his untimely death. His demise is not just a personal tragedy but a glaring symbol of the West’s selective blindness towards the abuses perpetrated by its vassals… Lira’s journey, from a Hollywood filmmaker to a vilified truth-teller in a Ukrainian prison, exposes the hypocrisy at the heart of the West’s complicity in Ukraine. His observations on the conflict, insightful yet uncomfortable for some, highlighted rampant corruption in Kiev and the suppression of dissent. This portrayal painted him as a target for those intent on maintaining a sanitized, West-centric image of the conflict. Contradicting the Western narrative of Ukraine heroically fighting against an aggressor – Russia – and purportedly ‘winning,’ Lira illuminated a more complex reality. He bravely spoke of the war’s brutal inception in 2014, initiated by Ukraine under Washington’s influence, which led to tragic ethnic cleansing against its own citizens, especially ethnic Russians fighting to preserve their culture and identity. His candid reports, challenging the West’s narrative and unmasking the true aggressors, became a thorn in the side of the Zelensky administration, ultimately costing him his freedom and, tragically, his life… Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, in Russia’s Mordovia region, sits Paul Whelan, a former US Marine entangled in a web of espionage. Unlike Lira, Whelan’s guilt is not in question – even by Western standards. Arrested in Moscow for receiving classified documents, Whelan’s case is clear-cut espionage. Yet, in a revealing contrast, Whelan’s treatment in Russian custody paints a different picture – one of due process and human rights. Despite being a convicted spy, Whelan received medical attention promptly after an altercation with another inmate, showcasing a standard of care and adherence to legal norms starkly missing in Lira’s case… This juxtaposition is jarring. Lira, an independent journalist, was essentially condemned for his audacity to challenge the dominant narrative, while Whelan, an admitted spy, is accorded the rights and protections befitting a prisoner. The disparity in their treatment raises uncomfortable questions about the so-called democratic values espoused by the West. In Ukraine, a country hailed as a beacon of freedom and democracy by its Western patrons, a journalist can be imprisoned and allegedly tortured for merely speaking out against the government. Yet in Russia, often painted as the epitome of authoritarianism, a convicted spy receives fair treatment… These contrasting narratives unravel a broader geopolitical truth – the selective outrage and moral posturing of the West. While the US government and its allies vociferously advocate for Whelan’s release, their silence on Lira’s plight is deafening. It’s a tale of two American citizens, both entangled in the complexities of international politics, but receiving vastly different treatments based on their alignment with the authorized Western narrative… The stark difference in how these two cases are handled speaks volumes about the realpolitik driving international relations. It’s a world where the rules are malleable, bent and twisted to suit the interests of Western nations. The West’s selective advocacy for human rights, choosing to champion the cause of one while turning a blind eye to the suffering of another, exposes a deep-seated hypocrisy. It’s a narrative of convenience, where human values are subordinated to geopolitical objectives… Lira’s death is more than just a personal tragedy; it’s a scathing indictment of the Western rhetoric on democracy and human rights. Here lies a man who, despite his US citizenship, was forsaken by his own country, left to languish in a foreign jail for the ‘crime’ of seeking truth in a war-torn land. His story is a sombre reminder that in the geopolitical chess game, individuals like Lira are mere pawns, sacrificed on the altar of diplomatic expediency… In stark contrast, Whelan’s case, with its prompt medical attention and diplomatic lobbying, underscores the double standards in international diplomacy. It vividly illustrates that justice and human rights are not universal constants but variables dependent on one’s utility to the prevailing power narratives. This scenario reveals the irony of the U.S., which frequently projects human rights abuses onto Russia and brands Putin a dictator, yet ironically overlooks the fact that Whelan, in the heart of Russia, receives fair treatment with his rights upheld. Meanwhile, the U.S., in its portrayal as a bastion of human rights, stands exposed, devoid of the moral fabric it claims to wear – a classic case of the emperor having no clothes. This stark disparity not only highlights the inherent biases in international relations but also challenges the credibility of the narratives spun by the West and its client media… As we reflect on the tales of Lira and Whelan, we are compelled to question the narratives fed to us. In a world where the truth is often the first casualty of war, their stories urge us to look beyond the smokescreen of diplomatic rhetoric. They challenge us to see the world not as it is portrayed in neatly packaged media soundbites, but as it truly is – complex, multifaceted, and often unjust… In this tale of a journalist and a bonafide spy, we find not just a story of individuals caught in the crossfire of international intrigue, but a mirror reflecting the flawed and fractured nature of our global order. It’s a poignant reminder of the need for a multipolar world where diverse narratives coexist, where truth is not monopolized by the powerful, and where justice is not a privilege but a right for all.”Twenty-six Things About the Islamic State (ISIS-ISIL-Daesh) that the U.S. Government Does Not Want You to Know About – “In 2014 President Obama launched a “counter-terrorism campaign” allegedly directed against The Islamic State (ISIS-Daesh). The operation consisted in providing a justification for the extensive bombing of Iraq and Syria, largely targeting residential areas and civilians… In turn, ISIS-Daesh was covertly supported and funded by the U.S. and its allies including Israel… Israel was directly involved in President Obama’s “counter-terrorism” bombing raids directed against Syria, while also supporting Al Qaeda and ISIS mercenaries out of the Golan Heights. (See 13 below)”. – by Michel Chossudovsky, January 14, 2023 – https://www.globalresearch.ca/twenty-six-things-about-the-islamic-state-isil-that-obama-does-not-want-you-to-know-about/5414735 – “(Originally published November 2014) – Going after ” Islamic terrorists”, carrying out a worldwide pre-emptive war to “Protect the American Homeland” are used to justify a military agenda.The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a creation of US intelligence. Washington’s “Counter-terrorism Agenda” in Iraq and Syria consists in Supporting the Terrorists… The incursion of the Islamic State (IS) brigades into Iraq starting in June 2014 was part of a carefully planned military-intelligence operation supported covertly by the US, NATO and Israel… The counter-terrorism mandate is a fiction. America is the Number One “State Sponsor of Terrorism.”.. The Islamic State is protected by the US and its allies. If they had wanted to eliminate the Islamic State brigades, they could have “carpet” bombed their convoys of Toyota pickup trucks when they crossed the desert from Syria into Iraq in June… The Syro-Arabian Desert is open territory (see map below). With state of the art jet fighter aircraft (F15, F22 Raptor, CF-18) it would have been -from a military standpoint- a rapid and expedient surgical operation… It could not have been undertaken without the unbending support of the Western media which has upheld Obama’s initiative as a counter-terrorism operation.
Twenty Six Things
THE HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF AL QAEDA
1. The US has supported Al Qaeda and its affiliated organizations for almost half a century since the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war. 2. CIA training camps were set up in Pakistan. In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 jihadists from 43 Islamic countries were recruited by the CIA to fight in the Afghan jihad… ‘Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.’.. 3. Since the Reagan Administration, Washington has supported the Islamic terror network – Ronald Reagan called the terrorists “freedom fighters”. The US supplied weapons to the Islamic brigades. It was all for “a good cause”: fighting the Soviet Union and regime change, leading to the demise of a secular government in Afghanistan… 4. Jihadist textbooks were published by the University of Nebraska.- “. “The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings.”.. 5. Osama bin Laden, America’s bogyman and founder of Al Qaeda was recruited by the CIA in 1979 at the very outset of the US sponsored jihadist war against Afghanistan . He was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerilla training camp… Al Qaeda was not behind the 9/11 Attacks. – September 11, 2001 provided a justification for waging a war against Afghanistan on the grounds that Afghanistan was a state sponsor of terrorism, supportive of Al Qaeda. The 9/11 attacks were instrumental in the formulation of the “Global War on Terrorism”… THE ISLAMIC STATE (ISIL) – 6. The Islamic State (ISIL) was originally an Al Qaeda affiliated entity created by US intelligence with the support of Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-’Āmah ( رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة)… 7. The ISIL brigades were involved in the US-NATO supported insurgency in Syria directed against the government of Bashar al Assad… 8. NATO and the Turkish High Command were responsible for the recruitment of ISIL and Al Nusrah mercenaries from the outset of the Syrian insurgency in March 2011. According to Israeli intelligence sources, this initiative consisted in: ‘a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria.‘ (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011.).. 9.There are Western Special Forces and Western intelligence operatives within the ranks of the ISIL. British Special Forces and MI6 have been involved in training jihadist rebels in Syria… 10. Western military specialists on contract to the Pentagon have trained the terrorists in the use of chemical weapons. – ‘The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday.’ ( CNN Report, December 9, 2012)…11. The ISIL’s practice of beheadings is part of the US sponsored terrorist training programs implemented in Saudi Arabia and Qatar… 12. Recruited by America’s ally, a large number of ISIL mercenaries are convicted criminals released from Saudi prisons on condition they join the ISIL. Saudi death row inmates were recruited to join the terror brigades... 13. Israel has supported the ISIL and Al Nusrah brigades out of the Golan Heights. – Jihadist fighters have met Israeli IDF officers as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu. The IDF top brass tacitly acknowledges that “global jihad elements inside Syria” [ISIL and Al Nusrah] are supported by Israel. See image below: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon next to a wounded mercenary, Israeli military field hospital at the occupied Golan Heights’ border with Syria, 18 February 2014… SYRIA AND IRAQ – 14. The ISIL are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance. Their unspoken mandate is to wreck havoc and destruction in Syria and Iraq, acting on behalf of their US sponsors… 15. US Senator John McCain has met up with jihadist terrorist leaders in Syria… 16. The Islamic State (IS) militia, which is currently the alleged target of a US-NATO bombing campaign under a “counter-terrorism” mandate, continues to be supported covertly by the US. Washington and its allies continue to provide military aid to the Islamic State… 17. US and allied bombings are not targeting the ISIL, they are bombing the economic infrastructure of Iraq and Syria including factories and oil refineries… 18. The IS caliphate project is part of a longstanding US foreign policy agenda to carve up Iraq and Syria into separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, a Republic of Kurdistan… THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM (GWOT) – 19. “The Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) is presented as a “Clash of Civilizations”, a war between competing values and religions, when in reality it is an outright war of conquest, guided by strategic and economic objectives… 20. U.S. sponsored Al Qaeda terror brigades (covertly supported by Western intelligence) have been deployed in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen… These various affiliated Al Qaeda entities in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are CIA sponsored “intelligence assets”. They are used by Washington to wreck havoc, create internal conflicts and destabilize sovereign countries… 21. Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shabab in Somalia, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) (supported by NATO in 2011), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Jemaah Islamiah (JI) in Indonesia, among other Al Qaeda affiliated groups are supported covertly by Western intelligence… 22. The US is also supporting Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region of China. The underlying objective is to trigger political instability in Western China… Chinese jihadists are reported to have received “terrorist training” from the Islamic State ‘in order to conduct attacks in China’. The declared objective of these Chinese-based jihadist entities (which serves the interests of the US) is to establish a Islamic caliphate extending into Western China. (Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005, Chapter 2)… HOMEGROWN TERRORISTS – 23. The Terrorists R Us: While the US is the unspoken architect of the Islamic State, Obama’s holy mandate is to protect America against ISIL attacks… 24. The homegrown terrorist threat is a fabrication. It is promoted by Western governments and the media with a view to repealing civil liberties and installing a police state. The terror attacks by alleged jihadists and terror warnings are invariably staged events. They are used to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. In turn, the arrests, trials and sentences of “Islamic terrorists” sustain the legitimacy of America’s Homeland Security State and law enforcement apparatus, which has become increasingly militarized. The ultimate objective is to instill in the minds of millions of Americans that the enemy is real and the U.S. Administration will protect the lives of its citizens… 25. The “counter-terrorism” campaign against the Islamic State has contributed to the demonization of Muslims, who in the eyes of Western public opinion are increasingly associated with the jihadists… 26. Anybody who dares to question the validity of the “Global War on Terrorism” is branded a terrorist and subjected to the anti-terrorist laws… The ultimate objective of the “Global War on Terrorism” is to subdue the citizens, totally depoliticize social life in America, prevent people from thinking and conceptualizing, from analyzing facts and challenging the legitimacy of the inquisitorial social order which rules America… The Obama Administration has imposed a diabolical consensus with the support of its allies, not to mention the complicit role of the United Nations Security Council. The Western media has embraced the consensus; it has described the Islamic State as an independent entity, an outside enemy which threatens the Western World. The Big Lie has become the Truth. ● Say no to the “Big Lie”. ● Spread the message. ● The truth is ultimately a powerful weapon… Please help us continue. We rely on the support of our readers… Consider donating to Global Research. For Peace and Truth in Media, Michel ChossudovskyWorld Economic Forum Declares “Disinformation” to be the World’s Greatest Threat – by Jonathan Turley – https://jonathanturley.org/2024/01/12/world-economic-forum-declares-disinformation-to-be-the-worlds-greatest-threat/ – “The World Economic Forum has surveyed the world’s experts and issued its 2024 “Global Risks Report.” The international elite of experts have declared that the number one threat to humanity is not terrorism or pandemic or even climate change (which is second), but “misinformation and disinformation.” Of course, that means that the only hope for humanity is censorship and speech controls. The report shows just how engrained this anti-free speech movement has become among the world elite from media to business to politics… The absurd finding is consistent with the warning of other international figures and groups. We previously discussed how WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has supported censorship to combat what he calls the “infodemic.”.. So “1,490 experts across academia, business, government, the international community and civil society” looked at all of the world’s military, economic, and environmental threats and concluded that the greatest threat to humanity is too much free speech. A “global risk” is defined as “the possibility of the occurrence of an event or condition which, if it occurs, would negatively impact a significant proportion of global GDP, population or natural resources.”.. We have seen how during the Covid crisis “experts” supported censorship and blacklisting when their views were challenged by colleagues and the public. Earlier positions treated as gospel in the press have been discredited. For example, a recent scientific review by 12 researchers from leading universities found little support for the claims that masks reduced Covid exposures… The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) initially rejected the use of a mask mandate. However, the issue became a political weapon as politicians and the press claimed that questioning masks was anti-science and even unhinged. In April 2020, the CDC reversed its position and called for the masking of the entire population, including children as young as 2 years old. The mask mandate and other pandemic measures like the closing of schools are now cited as fueling emotional and developmental problems in children… The closing of schools and businesses was also challenged by some critics as unnecessary. Many of those critics were also censored. It now appears that they may have been right. Many countries did not close schools and did not experience increases in Covid. However, we are now facing alarming drops in testing scores and alarming rises in medical illness among the young… Masks became a major social and political dividing line in politics and the media. Maskless people were chased from stores and denounced in Congress. Then-CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during a Senate hearing that ‘face masks are the most important powerful health tool we have.’.. For years, scientists faced censorship for even raising the lab theory as a possible explanation for the virus. Their reputations and careers were shredded by a media flash mob. The Washington Post declared this a “debunked” coronavirus “conspiracy theory.” The New York Times’ Science and Health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli was calling any mention of the lab theory “racist.”.. When a Chinese researcher told Fox News that this was man-made, the network was attacked and the left-leaning PolitiFact slammed her with a “pants on fire rating.”.. The extensive censorship and blacklisting that has occurred over the last four years protected such experts from scrutiny and criticism. Many of those same experts are now listing what they deem disinformation to be the world’s greatest threat. The obvious solution to this existential threat is, of course, to allow “experts” to control or regulate what people read or hear to eliminate harmful disinformation. The question is whether the public can be, again, spooked into surrendering this core human right by world elite.”Bill Gates Set Up 20 Shell Companies to Hide Purchase of $113 Million of Nebraska Farmland – The limited liability companies, buried under layers of business names, overlapping employees and addresses in at least three states, form a network more tangled and opaque than the one created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is buying a giant amount of Nebraska ranch land. – by Destiny Herbers, Flatwater Free Press –https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/bill-gates-hide-purchase-nebraska-farmland/ – A glance at federal records shows the series of Nebraska farms listed as foreign-owned, though there’s no country attached and no hint that these farms with unassuming names might be related… Willowdale Farms, Merrick County Farms, Dove Haven Ranch, Champion Valley Farm, Schroder Family Farms and many more are concentrated in northeast Nebraska but spread to the southeast corner and west nearly to Wyoming… In Nebraska’s business records, they have one similarity: Each farm’s office address leads to a single-story brick building in the St. Louis suburbs, an office park housing a dentist, lawyers and, until recently, a farmland investment startup called AgCoA… For years, AgCoA was owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, a government-owned group managing the retirement funds of 21 million Canadians… But in 2017, the Canadian board decided to offload a half-billion dollar chunk of its American farmland portfolio — including all 22,830 acres of its Nebraska land… The buyer of those unassuming-sounding Nebraska farms wasn’t publicly listed. Until now, the financial details of the transaction and the gargantuan loan he’s taken out against it have remained publicly unknown… The buyer’s name: Bill Gates… Tangled web of Gates – The billionaire who co-founded Microsoft has, in the past six years, spent more than $113 million buying Nebraska farmland… The Flatwater Free Press analyzed five years of land sales data, between 2018 and 2022, originally gathered by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications data journalism class… If that data had included the year 2017 — when Mt. Edna Farms, the Gates-owned company that made that massive purchase from the Canadian pension board — then Gates would have been the top buyer of Nebraska ag land by money spent. Since 2017, he has spent more than double the second-place buyer… Gates’ farmland is held by more than 20 shell companies spread across the country… Some lead back to a P.O. Box in Kirkland, Washington, the city where Cascade Asset Management, which manages all Gates’ investments, is headquartered… Others are linked to Lenexa, Kansas and Monterey, Louisiana, population 371, where reporters have previously traced Gates’ operations… These limited liability companies, buried under layers of business names, overlapping employees and addresses in at least three states, form a network more tangled and opaque than the one created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is buying a giant amount of Nebraska ranch land… Because it’s hidden, Nebraskans living and farming in communities where Gates is among the largest landowners are often unaware that one of the world’s richest men owns the cornfield down the road… Gates now owns around 20,000 acres of farmland across 19 counties in Nebraska after selling some land in recent years. He owns the largest chunk of land, about 8,500 acres, in Holt County… ‘I think if you ask on the street, who owns Mt. Edna Farms, nobody’d even know what it was,’ said Bill Tielke, chair of the Holt County board. ‘So it’s not like people realize that he does own that much land in Holt County.’.. Mt. Edna has a farm manager in Holt County, Tielke said, and local people work for the farm and rent the ground. Tielke has worked as a crop adjuster for local farmers who rented Mt. Edna’s land, and said that if they hadn’t told Tielke that Gates bought the land, he wouldn’t have known… ‘I don’t remember it throwing up any bells or whistles or anybody even saying anything about it,’ Tielke said… The Nebraska Farm Bureau, through spokesperson Cassie Hoebelheinrich, declined to comment on Gates’ farmland ownership… ‘This is an issue we really don’t follow and isn’t a priority for us,’ Hoebelheinrich said in an email… Gates’ land ownership has been the source of much rumor, and some concern, in Nebraska, partly because of his connections to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which runs programs addressing issues of global public health, sustainability and climate change… If Gates’ land was given to a nonprofit — potentially making it exempt from property taxes — it would “decimate” the counties involved, state Sen. Tom Brewer, a Republican whose district covers 11 rural counties in central and northern Nebraska, said in an email… ‘It would force action from the Legislature to protect the counties,’ Brewer wrote… But the farmland is one of Bill Gates’ financial investments, said the company that manages those investments, not part of the Gates Foundation’s portfolio… ‘The investments that Cascade makes in Nebraska farmland are not connected with the agricultural or climate initiatives of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,’ a Cascade spokesperson said in an email… Cascade Asset Management declined to answer further questions about its Nebraska farmland purchases and the structure of the affiliated limited liability companies (LLCs)… Gates himself recently publicly reinforced the idea that his farmland purchases are investments… ‘The decision to buy this land was made by people who help manage my money so that we get a good return so that the Foundation can buy more vaccines,’ Gates said on a November episode of Trevor Noah’s podcast. ‘And they saw that if we could invest in land and (improve) the productivity of that land, that it would have a good return.’.. Buy, borrow, die – Gates doesn’t simply receive rent checks from his Nebraska farmland. He’s also using it to borrow staggering sums of money… Three days before Christmas 2021, Mt. Edna Farms filed paperwork with Dawson County, clearing the path to use a part of Gates’ land as collateral. Gates’ LLC then took out two loans against his Nebraska farmland… The total of those loans: $700 million… The obvious question: Why is Gates, who Forbes deemed the world’s richest man 18 different times between 1995 and 2017, using Nebraska farmland to take out a $700 million loan?.. Using IRS data, the news outlet ProPublica estimated Gates’ total average annual income between 2013 and 2018 was $2.85 billion, with an average federal income tax rate of 18.4%. That income primarily came from sales of Microsoft stock, which is taxable…But extremely high net-worth individuals like Gates often use a strategy of borrowing against their assets — like land — if they want spendable money… Selling those same assets would generate taxable income, said Adam Thimmesch, a University of Nebraska College of Law professor specializing in business and tax law… ‘If you can hold those assets until you die, all of that taxable gain goes away, so the ideal tax planning technique, if you’re wealthy enough to be able to do it, is to invest in those appreciating assets,’ Thimmesch said… If certain conditions are met, tax law allows someone to inherit the land and avoid paying taxes on the long-term appreciated value if they sell it, Thimmesch said… In the meantime, ultra-rich Americans can borrow against their assets to fund their lifestyles or make other investments. Banks are happy to lend money for something like farmland, the law professor said, because there’s security in the value… ‘Then on your death, your heirs can sell the property if they need to, to pay back the debt, and there’s just no tax liability anymore,’ Thimmesch said. ‘So you can eliminate that entire layer of tax, while still kind of enjoying the benefits of being wealthy while you’re alive.’.. To use this so-called “buy-borrow-die” method, Gates would need to place his Nebraska farmland in his own name before he dies or be the sole owner of Mt. Edna Farms LLC… The corporate structure and official ownership of Gates’ various shell companies have never been publicly explained. It’s impossible to know now if his land would be eligible for the tax provision, Thimmesch said… Cascade Investment declined to answer questions about the loan, and the management of Gates’ investments beyond confirming that they are not connected to the activities of the Gates Foundation… Below the surface – Gates’ land ownership in Nebraska includes the valuable water beneath that land… He has access through 191 existing wells, which add to the value of the land for farmers and investors alike by providing crop irrigation… Gaining access to groundwater is often a priority for potential farmland buyers. If you own land in Nebraska, you have the possibility of accessing the underlying groundwater, but natural resource districts regulate how water is used… ‘I’m sure that the NRD [Natural Resources District] is well aware (of Gates), and that every one of those wells is no doubt permitted and has associated certified acres and probably does some annual reporting to the NRD as well,’ said Don Blankenau, a lawyer who provides water-related legal counsel to Nebraska NRDs… Gates’ existing wells were transferred to Mt. Edna with the lump sum purchase of land in 2017, public records from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources show… ‘We don’t treat Bill Gates any different than Dean Edson or anybody else. They can have that land, but they don’t own the water,’ said Dean Edson, director of the Nebraska Association of Resource Districts. ‘If they want to use the water, Bill Gates is gonna have to come get a permit.’.. If you buy land in Nebraska without a well, there’s no guarantee your local NRD will grant a permit to dig one. But if the land already has a well, the NRD has likely already certified its use. The landowner, be it Bill Gates or Bill Jones, can continue to use that water so long as the use follows existing rules, Blankenau said… ‘I’ve heard over the decades I’ve done this, people are always concerned that somebody’s gonna go out and buy a big tract of land in the Sandhills, and then transport that water away,’ Blankenau said… That’s nearly impossible, he said, because Nebraska has tight limitations on the transportation of groundwater, especially outside of state borders or as a commodity… An investor like Gates moving large quantities of groundwater via pipeline or trucking operation would attract the attention of neighbors and the local NRD… ‘If you extract groundwater out of the ground, carbonate it and add sugar to it, you’ve got soda pop, and you can move that all over the place. Same thing with beer, one of my law partners started brewing, and I always tease him that he’s exporting groundwater in the form of beer,’ Blankenau said… In Holt County, Gates’ operation has gone mostly unnoticed by neighbors and county officials. And the actual farming of that land has barely changed… But Gates’ land buys still matter, said Tielke, chair of the Holt County board. The purchases of any large outside investor limit the opportunities for small farmers to break into the industry… ‘I think it’s going to cause a lot of problems for future generations to get young people started,’ Tielke said. ‘It’s getting pretty hard to compete with these guys that are coming here buying this land now’.” – Originally published by Investigate Midwest.World Economic Forum Declares “Disinformation” to be the World’s Greatest Threat – by Jonathan Turley – https://jonathanturley.org/