"The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" -- George Orwell, 1984
Explosions hit two Russian air bases deep inside Russian territory early Monday morning, killing three Russian soldiers and damaging two aircraft, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Blasts were reported at the Dyagilevo airfield in the Ryazan Oblast and Engels airfield in the Saratov Oblast, two locations that are over 250 miles from the Ukrainian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said the attacks were carried out by Ukraine using a number of drones.
Kyiv hasn’t taken official credit for the attack, but an anonymous senior Ukrainian official speaking to The New York Times said Ukrainian forces were responsible. The official said the drones were launched from Ukrainian territory and claimed one strike was made with the help of Ukrainian special forces inside Russia. The Times report said that the Engels airfield houses some Russian long-range nuclear-capable bombers.
Former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton said Monday on NBC’s steaming show “Meet the Press Now” that he is prepared to run for president as a Republican to stop his former boss from winning the presidency.
Bolton said, “Donald Trump, if he were to take the oath of office again, God forbid, would either be lying about preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution or maybe he wouldn’t say it at all. You can’t have this kind of approach. It’s not something one can disagree with. This is foundational to the republic.”
He continued, “There’s one thing that would get me to get into the presidential race, which I looked at in prior elections. It would be to make it clear to the people of this country that Donald Trump is unacceptable as the Republican nominee.”
Host Kristen Welker said, “You are essentially telling us you would consider getting into the 2024 race for president.”
The Biden Administration’s Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine called on doctors to serve as “ambassadors” in the attempt to normalize transgenderism.
Levine, a man who identifies as a woman, remarked “I encourage all of you to think of yourself as ambassadors to your communities, ambassadors for science,” as well as for “compassion” and for “care.”
“These conversations don’t need to be limited or restricted to a medical setting,” Levine added.
“Offer yourselves as informational resources not just for youth but for school teachers, principals, school boards, professional organizations, recreation centers, county commissioners, and others who would benefit from this information and your perspective,” Levine noted. He added, “Please proactively seek out opportunities to speak about what you know.”
Levine went on to say, “We need to have these conversations that question the assumptions that are underlying today’s attacks on trans people. Pushing back the veil of ignorance demands this extra effort.”
Global arms sales rose by nearly two percent in 2021 ahead of the Ukraine conflict, an international arms sales watchdog noted Monday. The 12-month jump represents the seventh consecutive year of increases.
In dollar terms, arms sales in 2021 reached $592 billion, up 1.9 percent overall which was higher than the previous period but lagged behind for the four years leading up to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the war in Ukraine has increased demand, supply chain restrictions driven by the same conflict have impacted supply, not least because Russia is a major supplier of raw materials used in arms production, AP reports.
This confluence of supply and demand could hamper efforts in the U.S. and Europe to strengthen their armed forces and replenish their stockpiles after sending billions of dollars’ worth of ammunition and other equipment to Ukraine, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) outlined.
There was a time when the disclosure of a back channel for politically motivated censorship would have generated widespread acclaim and called for awards. This is not that time. Just ask Matt Taibbi.
No one is suggesting that the New York Post should receive a Pulitzer Prize for its long fight to prove the truth about the Hunter Biden laptop. Despite an alliance of most of the media and political establishment arrayed against it, the New York Post fought censorship and unrelenting attacks to bring this massive influence peddling operation to light. (Of course, the New York Times and Washington Post can keep Pulitzer Prizes for reporting on debunked Russian collusion claims created and pushed by the Clinton campaign).
In the case of journalist Matt Taibbi, his analysis of thousands of documents has met with the standard scorched earth campaign from liberal reporters and pundits.
As discussed in today’s Hill column, the document dump confirmed what had long been suspected: Biden and Democratic party officials succeeded in getting Twitter to block the New York Post story and suspend those who even tried to retweet or link to the story before the election.
I will not repeat the content of those emails on how Twitter “handled” demands from the Biden campaign and the DNC for censorship. Musk gave the material to Taibbi to synthesize the voluminous record. That is when the familiar media flash mob formed.
A new survey indicates that Americans’ support for Kiev is slipping. According to polling conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the number of citizens who want the White House to pursue a diplomatic path is nearly equal to those who advocate indefinite military aid to Ukraine.
The survey shows a declining number of Republicans who want to give military assistance to Kiev, carrying on a six-month trend. Global Affairs polling in March found that 80% of GOP-leaning respondents wanted the White House to arm Ukraine. That number declined to 64% in July, and was down to 55% in the latest poll released on Sunday. Democratic Party support has also dropped, though at a slower pace.
Additionally, the results show waning approval for the Joe Biden administration’s policy regarding the war in Ukraine. The US and its NATO partners have committed to providing the country with military aid for as long as it needs to win the war, all the while urging Kiev not to negotiate with Moscow.
The US Army is planning a “dramatic” increase in the production of 155mm artillery rounds as the US has sent a staggering amount of ammunition to Ukraine over the past eight months.
According to a Pentagon fact sheet released at the end of November, the US has sent Ukraine 924,000 155mm artillery rounds to Ukraine since February 24. The US currently makes 14,000 155mm rounds each month, but the Army is set to ramp that up.
“Funding is already in place, contracts are underway to basically triple 155mm production,” Doug Bush, the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, told Defense News. “There’s funding on the Hill, in the supplemental, to more than double that again. That would take a period of years.”
Prime Minister James Marape was invited to Washington in September for a summit with other Pacific nations as the US is looking to gain influence in the region to counter China. Marape said that he told President Biden that the US seems very “far away” from Papua New Guinea and that the country couldn’t afford to alter its current trade relationships.
“So keep your debates to yourselves and your fights to yourselves. Your enemy is not my enemy, that’s a line that is emerging in the Pacific,” Marape told The Guardian. He said because the country is still an “emerging economy” it “cannot afford the standoff between our trading partners.”
Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signed a coalition agreement with Religious Zionism party leader Bezalel Smotrich that will give the far-right politician unprecedented authority over the policy on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and relations with the Palestinians.
Why it matters: Smotrich, a radical right-wing settler known for his Jewish supremacist rhetoric, supports the annexation of the West Bank and the expansion of settlements. He has also called for increasing the number of evictions and demolitions of Palestinian houses in the area of the West Bank that is not controlled by the Palestinian Authority, known as Area C.
Smotrich's expected appointment comes as the West Bank experiences some of the highest tensions and worst violence since the second intifada two decades ago. U.S. diplomats and Israeli security officials are concerned that further deterioration in the security situation in the West Bank could lead to a third Intifada.
The Ronald Reagan Institute has released its annual poll on Americans’ trust in its military, and not surprisingly, it’s still in the dumps. While the organization says the free fall from 70 percent just five years ago is “stabilizing,” the fact is that only 48 percent of respondents expressed “a great deal of trust and confidence” in the institution — just three points up from 2021.
I wrote about the possible reasons for this last year. The organization’s head, Richard Zakheim, had acknowledged that the 2021 poll did not drill down on the reasons why respondents had lost faith in the one institution that up until then had still been held in high esteem by most Americans. He speculated that it was due to over-politicization, like the National Guard being used to crack down on protesters during the George Floyd protests in 2020. I thought that was ignoring the role our 20-years of failed wars had played in the perception of the military’s honesty and competence.
Well this year, the institute did ask the question, and the results are more mixed than either of us had anticipated.
Russia has agreed to supply crude oil, diesel, and gasoline to Pakistan at discounts, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Musadik Malik, said on Monday.
Monday saw the beginning of the EU embargo and the associated price cap of $60 per barrel on Russian crude oil, which the EU and the G7 imposed in order to reduce Putin’s oil revenues but keep Russian oil flowing.
Many large customers in Asia haven’t joined the price cap mechanism, but China and India, for example – Russia’s top crude oil buyers now – are demanding steep discounts for the Russian grades.
Pakistan, for its part, has struggled a lot with procuring energy this year after the surge in prices for oil, natural gas, and coal.
Malik led a visit to Russia last month, and now, he told local media, “Our visit to Russia turned out to be more productive than planned.”
The minister, however, didn’t go into details whether Pakistan’s crude oil imports from Russia would comply with the $60 price cap, or how much the discount was.
Israel’s Elbit Systems was among the world’s top arms manufacturers last year, leading a Middle Eastern region that saw weapons sales grow more than anywhere else in the world, according to research published Monday.
Globally, sales of arms and military services among the world’s top 100 arms companies grew to $592 billion in 2021, according to the latest report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The 1.9 percent rise came even as the industry was limited by worldwide supply issues related to the pandemic, with the war in Ukraine increasing demand while worsening supply difficulties.
The war in Ukraine has put the European Union’s expansion at the top of the agenda as officials from the Western Balkans and EU leaders gather Tuesday for a summit intended to reinvigorate the whole enlargement process.
The EU’s executive commission has repeatedly promised Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia that they have futures within the bloc. But the progress of the six nations toward getting there stalled in recent years.
As the war in nearby Ukraine rages, Albanian Prime Minister and summit host Edi Rama called for the EU to turns its words into action.
“You need the Balkans - Western Balkans - as much as the Western Balkans need the EU,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We have to face the future more and more together.”
The EU last admitted a new member — Croatia, which is also part of the Balkans — in 2013. Before that, Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007. With the withdrawal of the United Kingdom in 2021, the EU now has 27 member nations.
Thousands of people have braved freezing temperatures in Mongolia’s capital to protest against alleged corruption in the country’s coal industry and soaring inflation, with some later attempting to storm government house.
Protesters, many of them young people, rallied in Ulaanbaatar’s central Sukhbaatar Square in -21C (-6F) temperatures on Monday, demanding “justice” against corrupt officials and calling for the country’s parliament to be dismissed.
“Help us our country is collapsing,” read one placard. Some herders also travelled to the city to take part in the rallies.
Protesters are frustrated with the country’s ailing economy, with inflation soaring to 15.2 percent in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and closed borders affecting trade with neighbouring China.
Taiwanese tech giant and key Apple supplier Foxconn said Monday it was hiring new workers and moving towards "restoring production capacity to normal" following violent clashes at its central China plant last month.
Foxconn, also known by its official name Hon Hai Precision Industry, is the world's biggest contract electronics manufacturer and assembles gadgets for many international brands.
Most of its factories are in China including the eastern city of Zhengzhou, where lockdowns were imposed last month as part of Beijing's zero-Covid policy after a spike in infections.
A former Miami congressman who signed a $50 million consulting contract with Venezuela’s socialist government has been arrested in connection to an ongoing federal criminal investigation, law enforcement officials said.
David Rivera, a Republican who served from 2011 to 2013, was arrested Monday at Atlanta’s airport, said Marlene Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami. She said Rivera was indicted by a Miami grand jury last month, but that document remains sealed and she could not discuss the charges.
She said Rivera had an initial appearance Monday in Atlanta federal court. The U.S. Marshal’s Service said he bailed out of jail Monday afternoon.
Many may ask, “just what does the term ‘civil rights’ mean?”
In Webster’s Dictionary, you will find it means: the nonpolitical rights of citizens; especially the rights of personal liberty under the U.S. Constitution.
In other words, the right of Freedom to exercise all rights guaranteed under the Constitution and specifically the Bill of Rights. More specifically, equal protection, regardless of race, religion or other personal traits, characteristics of a person.
NRA fights to protect freedom and the only way to protect freedom is for the people to be armed. That’s why the Second Amendment is so important.
Clearly, the only reason the Right to keep and bear arms is the Second Amendment is because the Founders realized (after they created the First Amendment: freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and the right to petition government) that the only way to protect those rights and any right, is for the people to be armed.
Former President Donald Trump did not attack the Constitution of the United States of America — despite what the establishment media is saying.
In the wake of the release of the “Twitter Files” that show that Big Tech conspired with leftists to sway to 2020 election and discredit the Hunter laptop story, critics accused Donald Trump of saying that the U.S. Constitution should be “terminated.”
While Trump’s post was ham-handed and poorly written, in fact he did not come straight out and suggest that the law of the land be thrown in the circular file and forgotten as his critics have charged.
On Friday, Elon Musk released files that prove that the FBI, the Democratic Party and members of the Biden campaign met with members of Facebook, Twitter and other big tech companies to squash the Hunter Biden laptop story because it might hurt Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign for president. And immediately after the release of the first batch of insider files, former President Trump jumped to his Truth Social account to blast the media for this outrage.
On Saturday, he wrote, “So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”
The public is becoming increasingly disturbed with reports of death among the vaccinated. It is natural to ask “was the death caused by vaccination?” The most definitive way of answering that question is with autopsy. Schwab et al reported on deaths after vaccination with detailed autopsies in Heidelberg, Germany.[i]
Of 35 fatalities within 20 days of injection, 10 were ruled out as clearly not due to the vaccine (e.g. drug overdose). The remaining 25 (71%) had final diagnoses consistent with a vaccine injury syndrome including myocardial infarction, worsening heart failure, vascular aneurysm, pulmonary embolism, fatal stroke, and vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia. Interestingly, 5 cases had acute myocarditis as the c