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Thought for the day
"One-third of teens and young adults reported worsening mental health during the pandemic. According to an Ohio State University study, suicide rates among children rose 50 percent. A study in August 11, 2021 by Brown University found that infants born during the quarantine were short, on average, 22 IQ points as measured by Baylor scale tests. Some 93,000 Americans died of overdoses in 2020—a 30 percent rise over 2019." -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
With just days remaining until new federal rules will effectively ban so-called ghost guns on Aug. 24, many companies are scrambling to sell parts needed to make the largely untraceable firearms — and gun enthusiasts continue to build them.
In April, President Joe Biden announced new regulations that will treat ghost guns — which can be made from parts bought online or with 3D printers — like any other firearms sold in the U.S.
Typical firearms must include a serial number that lets law enforcement trace them if they're used in a crime, but ghost guns don't have serial numbers. Also, anyone can buy ghost gun parts online without a background check, allowing criminals to bypass restrictions designed to prevent them from purchasing a traditional firearm from a licensed dealer.
Online, many websites that sell ghost gun parts have posted countdowns to the date the rule takes effect and have posted information for enthusiasts who want to continue building firearms at home.
Webmaster addition: I JUST DECIDED WHAT I WILL GIVE MYSELF FOR MY 70TH BIRTHDAY!
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) was projected to advance from her primary in the race for Alaska’s at-large congressional district.
The Associated Press called the race at 1:42 a.m. ET.
Vladimir Putin has said Russia and North Korea will expand bilateral relations. Putin told the North Korean ruler, Kim Jong-un, that the two countries would "expand the comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations with common efforts", the Pyongyang's state news agency KCNA reported on Monday. Separately, the Russian ambassador in Kabul, Dmitry Zhirnov, has said working with the Taliban is necessary where it "suits our interests", the Guardian reported.
Dodge is known for its powerful muscle cars and massive engines. But the company is abandoning those roots with the next models of the Dodge Charger and Challenger, which will give up the gas engine and become EVs.
Dodge emailed Motor1 to confirm that the EVs are coming. The publication wrote a story claiming that the next models of Dodge muscle cars will still include a Hemi V8 option. But that is no longer the case.
In the email from the Dodge spokesperson, they confirmed that the internal combustion engine is a thing of the past in the Charger and Challenger.’
China called on the U.S. to refrain from sailing naval vessels through the Taiwan Strait, saying Beijing would take further action in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.
China’s ambassador to Washington, Qin Gang, said Tuesday that China viewed such Taiwan transits as an escalation by the U.S. and an effort to support the “separatist” government in Taipei. He delivered the warning after Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, wrapped up the second trip to the island in less than two weeks by a U.S. congressional delegation.
“The US side has done too much and going too far in this region,” Qin said in response to a question about potential naval patrols. “I do call on our American colleagues to refrain, to exercise restraint, not to do anything to escalate the tension. So if there’s any moves damaging China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, so China will respond. China will respond.”
A former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblower has said that the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will see the government target middle-income Americans with increased scrutiny and audits.
William Henck previously worked as a lawyer for the IRS for 20 years until 2017, when he was terminated for allegedly revealing sensitive information to the media about how the IRS had reportedly failed to identify a multi-billion-dollar corporate tax credit scheme involving a source of energy known as burning pulp byproducts, or black liquor.
Speaking to Fox Business, Henck disputed claims by the IRS and other officials who have said that increased funding for the agency under the IRA, which is set to be signed into law by President Joe Biden this week, would only lead to more audits for wealthy millionaires and billionaires and large corporations.
“The idea that they’re going to open things up and go after these big billionaires and large corporations is quite frankly [expletive],” Henck said in the interview on Aug. 15. “It’s not going to happen. They’re going to give themselves bonuses and promotions and really nice conferences.”
“The big corporations and the billionaires are probably sitting back laughing right now,” he said, adding that it was “insane” to double the IRS budget.
President Joe Biden said Monday that the U.S. would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan, saying the burden to protect Taiwan is “even stronger” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It was one of the most forceful presidential statements in support of Taiwan in decades.
Biden, at a news conference in Tokyo, said “yes” when asked if he was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if China invaded. “That’s the commitment we made,” he added.
The U.S. traditionally has avoided making such an explicit security guarantee to Taiwan, with which it no longer has a mutual defense treaty, instead maintaining a policy of “strategic ambiguity” about how far it would be willing to go if China invaded. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which has governed U.S. relations with the island, does not require the U.S. to step in militarily to defend Taiwan if China invades, but makes it American policy to ensure Taiwan has the resources to defend itself and to prevent any unilateral change of status in Taiwan by Beijing.
Webmaster addition: Here's your rifle, Joe!
The Ukrainian military has fired multiple rockets directly at coolant systems and nuclear waste storage site inside the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Energodar, local government administration member Vladimir Rogov told Russian media on Tuesday. He warned that a successful strike may result in a radiation release equivalent to a “dirty bomb.”
“One of the guided missiles hit just ten meters” from the barrels with spent nuclear fuel,” Rogov told Soloviev Live. “Others hit a bit farther away, 50 to 200 meters.”
Since the storage site is out in the open, any hit will result in the release of nuclear waste ranging from dozens to hundreds of kilograms and contamination of the area, the official explained. “In plain language, that would be like a dirty bomb,” said Rogov.
While the reactor itself can only be destroyed with a tactical nuclear weapon, the coolant systems and waste storage are far more vulnerable and damage to them could easily cause a disaster, the official said. Ukrainian troops have already fired “several dozen” heavy projectiles at the cooling systems, Rogov added. If they succeed in disabling such a system, it could produce a meltdown bigger than the 1986 catastrophe at Chernobyl.
On Monday, O'Donnell tweeted that a 'DOJ official' told her that the FBI was 'not in possession' of Trump's three passports, contradicting the former president's claims that three of his passports were taken during the raid at Mar-a-Lago.
Angry CBS sources told the New York Post that the anchor allegedly broke the outlet's strict 'two-source' protocol when she tweeted the claim.
'She's desperate,' one staffer said of O'Donnell, whose show is falling further behind ABC's David Muir and NBC's Lester Holt.
'It doesn't look good. If you're going to attack the POTUS and call him a liar you shouldn't tweet the thing.'
I often complain that Washington’s heavily lopsided relationship with Israel is an arrangement that brings absolutely no benefit to the American people, and even less to our national security as it has involved the US in an endless series of completely avoidable conflicts. But there is one exception to that generalization, though one hesitates to call it a benefit, consisting of the White House’s adoption of the Israel practice of referring to opponents as “terrorists.” Israel uses it as a generic cover designation to denigrate and humiliate the Palestinians while also delegitimizing their resistance, permitting them to torture and kill Arabs at will, destroy their homes, and bomb them mercilessly. Washington, which claims to be the font of a “rules based international order” as well as the defender of global “democracy” and “freedom,” has developed since 9/11 an unfortunate tendency to do the same thing as the Israelis to justify its attacks on civilians and its brutal assassination policies.
In fact, the US and Israel are generally speaking the only two countries that openly use “targeted assassination” as a political tool without even bothering to fall back on “plausible denial” to conceal their actions. Israel only last week, initiated a politically motivated bombing attack on Gaza, which killed 45 civilians, including seventeen children and destroyed numerous homes. No Israelis were killed or even injured when the Gazans struck back with their home-made rockets. Both the White House and leaders in the US Congress congratulated the Israelis for “exercising their right to defend themselves.”
It appears that Oberlin has another major controversy on its hand. For the last couple years, Oberlin has been embroiled in a fight with a small family-owned grocery that it defamed over a shoplifting case involving black students. Oberlin lost $25 million in a record verdict but Oberlin President Carmen Twillie Ambar continued to refuse to apologize. In the meantime, the school seems intent on running the 137-year-old grocery into insolvency as it delays paying on the judgment. Now the school is under fire over a faculty member, Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, who supported the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. The author of Satanic Verses is recovering from a savage knife attack. Hadi Matar, 24, is accused of carrying out the stabbing attack and has expressed support for Iran in the past. The campaign to have Mahallati fired could present some difficult free speech and academic freedom questions.
Consumer price inflation in the US slowed to 8.7% in July 2022 from a 41-year high in June 2022 when the inflation rate accelerated to 9.1%, the highest rate since November 1981.
According to The Federal Reserve’s economic projection published on June 15th, 2022, the personal consumption expenditures inflation rate is expected to come in at 5.2% in 2022, up from the 4.3% estimate made in March.
In light of the price increase of all consumer goods and services, Tradingpedia’s editorial team decided to compare the prices of some of the most popular grocery items in July 2022 with the pre-pandemic prices in July 2019.
Comparing Walmart Grocery Prices
In order to do that we analysed 34 grocery items available in Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) by using the web archive tool that allowed us to see what the prices were in July 2019. Then we calculated the percentage of price increase of these 34 products and compared it with the increase in the average weekly earnings of all employees in the US between July 2019 and July 2022. The idea is to understand how the consumer purchasing power in terms of buying grocery items has changed during this period.
GOP Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry warned Sunday that everyday Americans should now plan for “tyranny” to enter their homes in the form of federal agents if they refuse to play nice with the authorities.
Perry, the House Freedom Caucus chair, revealed how the FBI recently seized his phone, just hours after the feds raided President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago complex.
“A day after the raid on the president’s home FBI agents showed up when I was traveling with my family, my wife and our two small children, my in-laws, extended family,” Perry stated in an appearance on Fox News.
The Congressman related how the feds “showed up and demanded my cell phone they said they were going to image it they were not going to search it and and then they eventually did return it.”
Perry, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, further declared to “have always supported law enforcement. I always have, we have revered the FBI, but this is an abuse of power.”
“There’s been no accountability,” Perry continued, explaining that “James Comey, the director of the FBI used classified information improperly to get a second special counsel, no, no, no accountability for that.”
As new inventory is finally starting to hit the market and demand has temporarily slowed down thanks to rising rates, the housing expansion between March 2020 and now is still very likely to go down in history as blowing unprecedented amounts of air into an unprecedented bubble.
And now we have the data to show it. A new online survey commissioned by Anytime Estimate and Clever Real Estate has shed light on how much millennials paid for homes during this period, and the answer likely isn't going to surprise you: more than any other generation, ever.
This is why it is no surprise to hear that more than 70% of millennials have regrets about their purchases.
1,001 total people who reported having bought a home in 2021 or 2022 were surveyed between July 6th and 9th this year, answering up to 21 questions about their buying experience.
I am standing atop a 100-foot-high temple mound, the largest known earthwork in the Americas built by prehistoric peoples. The temperatures, in the high 80s, along with the oppressive humidity, have emptied the park of all but a handful of visitors. My shirt is matted with sweat.
I look out from the structure—-known as Monks Mound — at the flatlands below, with smaller mounds dotting the distance. These earthen mounds, built at a confluence of the Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri rivers, are all that remain of one of the largest pre-Columbian settlements north of Mexico, occupied from around 800 to 1,400 AD by perhaps as many as 20,000 people.
This great city, perhaps the greatest in North America, rose, flourished, fell into decline and was ultimately abandoned. Civilizations die in familiar patterns. They exhaust natural resources. They spawn parasitic elites who plunder and loot the institutions and systems that make a complex society possible. They engage in futile and self-defeating wars. And then the rot sets in. The great urban centers die first, falling into irreversible decay. Central authority unravels. Artistic expression and intellectual inquiry are replaced by a new dark age, the triumph of tawdry spectacle and the celebration of crowd-pleasing imbecility.
A Florida GOP congressman and former Army Green Beret kicked off a six-figure ad buy highlighting the anniversary of the fall of Afghanistan.
Fox News Digital first got the new digital ads from Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., which will be running in Florida as he and different Republicans re-elect.
The ads denounce President Biden over the botched and deadly pullout from Afghanistan that saw 13 American service members murdered and the Taliban take over the Middle Eastern nation.
A recent study shows that a same-sex male couple could have given monkeypox to their four-year-old greyhound, as questions over the virus' human-to-animal transmission further loom.
The Lancet reported the discovery in a medical journal entry published on Wednesday, which observed that the couple's greyhound began contracting the virus almost two weeks into their cases. The first symptoms were anal lesions and spotting on the stomach.
Then, using PCR testing protocol, the researchers confirmed the dog had monkeypox. According to the report, the two men announced that they let their dog sleep in their bed yet consciously attempted to avoid public interactions with different pets and owners.
There were 199,976 migrant encounters at the border in July. That's lower than the 213,593 encountered in July 2021, a slight decrease from the 207,416 encountered in June 2022, and the lowest number encountered since February.
It isn't just the streets of New York that are turning into violent hellscapes...it's also the prisons.
This week at Rikers Island, a man awaiting sentencing marked the 12th death of a person in the care of the city’s Department of Correction this year, according to Bloomberg.
He was found dead of a "suspected suicide", the report says.
One month ago, in July, he was found guilty of 12 counts of rape, sexual assault and other crimes by a jury. He was also convicted of abuse and manipulation of 6 patients in his care.
Department of Correction Commissioner Louis Molina said in a statement on Monday: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of this person in custody. We will conduct a preliminary internal review to determine the circumstances surrounding his death.”
10 other people in the custody of the DOC have died this year and 1 person died "just after release".
The DOC is working with the city on a five month plan to try and address what are being called "deadly conditions" at Rikers Island. Since a judge signed off on the plan in June, "at least four people" have died.
Some activists are even calling for the shut down of the facility, or for it to be placed into federal receivership.
Anisah Sabur, a campaign organizer with HALTsolitary and a former detainee on Rikers, concluded: “This is beyond devastating and outrageous. The Mayor, Governor, judges, district attorneys, and state and local lawmakers must do everything within their respective powers to release people and stop sending people to these deadly jails.”
A person who threatened author JK Rowling with the words “you’re next” following the brutal stabbing attack on Salman Rushdie has finally been suspended from Twitter after the Harry Potter creator appealed to police for help.
Upon hearing of the attack on the Satanic Verses author by a muslim extremist, Rowling tweeted “Horrifying news. Feeling very sick right now. Let him be ok.”
An account under the name Meer Asif Aziz, who identifies in his Twitter bio as a “student, social activist, political activist and research activist” from Pakistan, responded “Don’t worry you are next.”
The same Twitter account also posted messages praising Rushdie’s attacker as a “revolutionary Shia fighter”.
Rowling then appealed to Twitter for support, and quoted their own guidelines on threats of violence.
Washington State Coach Nick Rolvich, its highest-paid employee, and four of his assistants were fired last year for not getting the Covid-19 jab. Radical leaders at Washington State University sided with Governor Inslee and fired their head football coach.
Washington state employees who have failed to comply with COVID-19 vaccination mandates in the workplace won’t be able to get unemployment benefits.
Empire Strikes Back
Just when the market was starting to resign itself to the deeply uncomfortable reality that central banks are serious about hiking rates further, rather than pivoting to bail out stocks, along came a flurry of data to change their minds again.
First we saw Chinese data, which stank across the board. Everything was weaker than the weakness already expected, from investment to industrial production to retail sales; and yet supply still grew faster than final demand – showing why China keeps producing huge export surpluses (i.e., these are a sign of weakness, not strength, but some analysts are unable to do simple maths, it seems). On top of that, youth unemployment remained firmly around the 20% level, which is what you expect from a struggling Eurozone periphery economy and not China – although it has the fiscal deficit and government debt to match, which the same analysts as above keep failing to notice too.
The data were so bad, in fact, that we also got a surprising 10bps rate cut from the PBOC taking the medium-term loan rate down to 2.75%. Of course, this is utterly irrelevant economically and financially, just as any further mooted 25bps cut in banks’ Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR) would be. Neither step does anything to address the real problems of too much supply and too much debt. Lower bond yields only encourage both. If they could help reverse that trend, all the cuts and RRR reductions so far would have produced faster, not slower growth. (As the same set of analysts keep failing to understand, as they salivate each time such policies are rolled out.)
Then we got the US Empire PMI. To be fair, this is usually a third-tier data release. However, the staggering fall that it saw --a collapse from 11.1 to -31.3 vs. a consensus of 5-- was first tier stuff. Especially when the NAHB housing index also dropped from 55 to 49, with 19% of builders saying they are now reducing prices, and 69% that higher mortgage rates are crimping demand.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has finally taken a page out of Trump-Endorsed Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake’s border policy, starting with finishing President Trump’s beautiful wall.
Ducey hasn’t gone as far as Lake, who has vowed to declare an invasion starting on day one in office, but he did issue an Executive Order to barricade the border in Yuma, where there is no wall. There was not even a fence in this area.
The Biden Regime has effectively abolished Trump-era illegal immigration policies, and the floodgates are open.
Biden recently ended President Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, and over 6 million illegals are expected to cross the wide-open border yearly.
Israeli military officials have admitted that an Israeli airstrike was responsible for killing five Palestinean children at a cemetery in Gaza during Israel’s recent three-day bombing campaign against the besieged enclave.
The Israeli airstrike hit the Al-Faluja Cemetery next to the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza on August 7. After the incident, Israeli officials claimed the children could have been killed by a misfired rocket launched by the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad.
But Israeli military officials told Haaretz that an Israeli Army inquiry into the incident found that Israel was to blame. The victims’ ages ranged from four to 17 and most were from the same family. They were killed as they sat next to their grandfather’s grave in the cemetery.
There are times when I wonder whether I still understand French. Israel launched an air offensive “as a preventive measure” against Gaza, causing 46 deaths, including 16 children. Preventive? Really? For weeks there had not been any attacks in Israel, nor had any rockets been fired against its territory. Meanwhile, Israel has multiplied its incursions in the occupied Palestinian territory; the latest, in Jenin refugee camp, resulting in the death of a 16-year old adolescent and the arrest of Bassam al-Saadi, a Palestinian activist. The official communiqué of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not condemn the aerial bombardment of the civilian population, but rather the “rocket fire against Israeli territory” that were fired in retaliation, and recalled its “unconditional commitment to the security of Israel.” The security of Israel? Really? For the last 15 years, with the complicity of Egypt and the western powers, Israel has maintained over two million people under a strict blockade, going so far as to measure the food rations to which they are entitled. Gaza is an open-air prison, Israeli snipers fire without warning on anyone who approaches the bars of their cage, and Israeli drones fly over Gaza at all times. The Israeli army has entered the cage five times, sowing death and destruction, and it’s the security of Israel that is threatened?
Israeli leaders are now working out their takeaways for the recent Gaza onslaught titled “Breaking Dawn” – which killed 49 Palestinians (including 17 children) and wounded 460 others, with hardly a scratch on the Israeli side.
The Nashville Predators Foundation and the state’s Police Department are partnering up to host an event in which respondents can turn in their firearms in exchange for goodies such as gift cards, preseason coupons, and giveaways.
“We’re partnering with [Metro Nashville Police Department] and Greater Revelations Missionary Baptist Church to host a Gift Card for Guns event on Saturday, Aug. 20,” Preds Foundation announced on Twitter.
Webmaster addition: These never work. The only people who get suckered into turning in their guns are law-abiding citizens. The criminals would never surrender their "tools of the trade" for $50!
The U.S and its allies wasted billions of dollars building the wrong type of military in Afghanistan, fought against the wrong enemy, and gave the wrong, over-optimistic, assessment of progress, according to a former NATO official who was tasked last year with writing a 'lessons learned' report.
John Manza's assessment remains classified.
But in a public essay he offers a devastating assessment about how the West got things so badly wrong that American forces had to evacuate civilians from Kabul in chaotic scenes last year.