"In history wars were about control of land. Today it is control of economies. Lines on maps don't matter." -- Michael Rivero

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The EU, NATO, and a number of European capitals are watching France's political turmoil with growing alarm, as President Emmanuel Macron is clearly on the ropes, having called early elections, leaving a path open for the French 'far-right' to triumph. 

The foreign policy establishment in both Europe and Washington fears that large-scale joint initiatives like ramped-up military spending and the new push to fund Ukraine's defense for years to come could also be in question, given Macron had long become among Kiev's top cheerleaders.

He had even recently unveiled a controversial plan to send French and NATO military trainers to Ukraine"Paris has been working for a while now with the Ukrainians on this," a person familiar with France's initiative had told The Financial Times. But given the plan wasn't launched formally by NATO leadership, Macron is seen as the prime mover on the European continent behind all of this.

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To make peace it is better to gather in a five-star resort equipped with all comforts. Western diplomacy loves luxury and the pleasures of life. To discuss peace between Russia and Ukraine, it was decided to hold the summit in increasingly less neutral Switzerland. 

The summit took place at the legendary Burgenstock Resort in Lucerne. A little corner of paradise for the delegations present at the summit: stuff for billionaires. Room stays cost between $1,500 and $2,000 per night per person. The Lucerne resort covers an area of 10,000 m², features 3 private spa rooms, 15 treatment rooms, a fully equipped fitness area, an indoor swimming pool and 2 outdoor swimming pools, one of which is an infinity one with breathtaking views of the lake of the Four Cantons. The catering service is also enchanting: the rates to take advantage of international cuisine vary between 200 and 400 dollars per meal. In short, if you have to play at making peace, it’s better to do it with a full belly and maximum comfort.

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Hezbollah released video footage on June 18 from one of its reconnaissance drones flying over the northern Israeli city of Haifa, in what appeared to be a direct threat to the country.

The ten-minute video, dubbed “What The Hoopoe Brought Back,” included shots of strategic military sites in the outskirts of Haifa, including the Iron Dome and David’s Sling air defense systems, as well as footage of a residential neighborhoods in the nearby area of Kiryat Yam

Shots of the Israeli Navy base, as well as several warships and infrastructure said to belong to the Navy’s submarine unit, Shayetet 7, were also included in the footage.

Hezbollah claimed that the drone returned to Lebanon unimpeded, without revealing when the reconnaissance mission was conducted. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has not yet commented on the video.

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 Tyler Durden


A nationwide power blackout hit Ecuador on Wednesday afternoon, plunging 17 million people into darkness. Authorities are working to repair a faulty transmission line that was responsible for the outage.

"The immediate report that we received from the CENACE (National Center of Energy Control) is that there is a failure in the transmission line that caused a cascade disconnection, so there is no energy service on a national scale," Public Works Minister Roberto Luque wrote on X.

Luque added, "We are concentrating all our efforts on resolving the problem as quickly as possible."

Claire's Observations:  Aging systems problems, sabotage, or a little bit of both?!? It's hard to say, but we in the West have been told innumerable times,  that the US power grid is very vulnerable to problems, because of old systems which have not been repaired or replaced in a timely manner.

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In a move that has sparked outrage among Trump supporters, a New York court recently decided to uphold a gag order that restricts Trump from speaking publicly about his ongoing legal battles.

This gag order is part of the broader efforts to keep Trump’s comments in check as he navigates multiple legal challenges. But for many, this feels like a direct attack on Trump’s right to free speech.

Alan Dershowitz, a heavyweight in legal circles, isn’t having any of it. He’s blasting the court’s decision, arguing that it’s not just an overreach but a dangerous precedent that could impact all Americans.

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Hold on to your hats because former President Donald Trump has just dropped another bombshell. In his usual no-nonsense style, Trump has sent a clear and direct message to business executives across the nation: What Biden will do to you is unthinkable. The former president is making it crystal clear that the upcoming election is a high-stakes game for America’s business leaders.

He laid out his case against President Joe Biden’s tax policies, which he argues are strangling American businesses and driving the economy into a ditch.

According to Trump, Biden’s tax hikes are a disaster waiting to happen, and it’s up to the country’s business leaders to take a stand. And if any executives refuse to rally to his banner, well there’s just one thing to be done.

From Just the News:
Former President Donald Trump said business leaders and anyone paid to create shareholder value should vote for him or get fired because President Joe Biden wants to hike the corporate tax rate to 28%.

Webmaster addition:

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Out of all the unhinged hosts of The View, Joy Behar might be the worst. The outspoken Democrat is flipping over Trump once again, as she and her cohorts have long spewed anti-Republican rhetoric. But with the news that Trump is leading in most polls, it looks like Behar can’t handle it.

Some folks in the media appear to be getting desperate. Now they’re making wild claims about what Trump might do to them should he win the election.

During a recent episode, Behar didn’t hold back. She warned the audience that Trump has it out for The View and would waste no time seeking revenge. Ironically, though, if Trump did do this—millions of Americans would thank him.

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From The Daily Mail:
The Secret Service destroyed a video that captured President Joe Biden’s dog Commander chomping down on one of its agents – in an attack that forced the White House to shut down tours so blood could be wiped off the floor.

DailyMail.com filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Secret Service in March after a video was mentioned as part of an email that detailed a June 15, 2023 biting incident with the since-banished first dog.

The video purportedly showed Commander running at a high rate of speed and jumping toward the agent in the East Wing’s Kennedy Garden, leaving a ‘deep bite’ on the individual’s left arm ‘that reportedly needed stitches,’ the email said.

It turns out that the Secret Service has destroyed a video of President Joe Biden’s dog, Commander, attacking an agent. Yes, you read that right. The very agency tasked with protecting our nation’s leaders is now under scrutiny for what could be a cover-up.

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mmigration policies. His administration’s decisions to reverse many of Trump’s immigration policies have sparked a firestorm of debate.

Since Biden entered office, reports show that over 8 million illegal aliens have entered the country. This is one of the larger factors of America’s ailing economy—as Americans are forced to compete with aliens for jobs, resources, and housing.

Despite a recent order to “fix” the border, it’s clear Biden has no intention to follow federal law. He’s even making it much worse, inviting millions more outsiders to flood the country. Now, Joe has just issued an order that will only worsen a crisis that is putting countless lives at risk.

From The Daily Wire:
President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he was rewarding hundreds of thousands of migrants who violated federal immigration laws, which comes as he claims that he is cracking down on illegal immigration.

Biden’s new policy will provide legal status and a streamlined path to U.S. residency and citizenship to more than 500,000 illegal aliens who married American citizens and have lived in the country for 10 years…

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I don’t have to tell you that many Americans look back on Obama’s presidency with scorn. He promised big things for Americans, but did he deliver? His biggest “achievement” was Obamacare. Many say that failed so terribly it motivated many voters to elect Donald Trump.

But there was another achievement that Barry and his allies bragged about back in 2015. Despite all their hot air, it was never ratified by Congress.

Now, leaders around the world are commenting on this major accomplishment from Obama’s White House. Although it was supposed to protect the world and avert disaster, “nobody” followed it. And this one leader is giving it a huge, failing grade.

From Breitbart:
Rafael Grossi, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on Monday that former President Barack Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran “exists only on paper and means nothing.”

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Blue cities across the country are in a mess, and right-wingers think they know why. Picture this: high taxes, lots of crime, and streets full of drug addicts. Instead of fixing these problems, Democrats seem more interested in pushing costly, woke programs.

This means that important things like police, schools, and trash pickup often get left behind. Residents are stuck dealing with broken systems that can’t keep up with basic needs.

In most of these cities, far-left prosecutors have neglected crime, and rampant criminal activity is driving residents to other states. An online company, WalletHub, decided to rank major U.S. cities. They looked at how each of these places is run. And they just announced which city is the worst.

From Fox News:
San Francisco, California, was declared to be the “worst run” city in the U.S. according to a report by WalletHub.

The annual study measured the “effectiveness of local leadership” by comparing the quality of city services matched against the city’s total budget to determine its operating efficiency.

Despite ranking 24th in quality of services, San Francisco placed dead last at 148 in its total budget per-capita rank, along with having the highest amount of long-term debt outstanding.

Webmaster addition:

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Plastic doesn’t break down in nature. If you turned all of what’s been made into cling wrap, it would cover every inch of the globe. It’s piling up, leaching into our water and poisoning our bodies.

Scientists say the key to fixing this is to make less of it; the world churns out 430 million metric tons each year.

But businesses that rely on plastic production, like fossil fuel and chemical companies, have worked since the 1980s to spin the pollution as a failure of waste management — one that can be solved with recycling.

Industry leaders knew then what we know now: Traditional recycling would barely put a dent in the trash heap. It’s hard to transform flimsy candy wrappers into sandwich bags, or to make containers that once held motor oil clean enough for milk.

Now, the industry is heralding nothing short of a miracle: an “advanced”type of recycling known as pyrolysis — “pyro” means fire and “lysis” means separation. It uses heat to break plastic all the way down to its molecular building blocks.

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By Teeuwe Mevissen, Senior Macro Strategist at Rabobank

Yesterday, news came out that Trump’s last national security advisor Robert O’Brien has written an article that will be published in the next edition of the renowned foreign policy magazine Foreign Affairs. While it is of course not sure that Trump will win the upcoming election – although we still see this as our base case scenario – O’Brien could very well become part of Trump’s administration again.

Indeed, only recently Robert O’Brien said he remains in regular contact with the former president. So what does O’Brien propose according to the news that leaked out yesterday? Perhaps this could be summarized best by quoting O’Brien himself who apparently writes that: “As China seeks to undermine American economic and military strength, Washington should return the favour,”.

Claire's Observations:  Before we get all MAGA about this possibility, how please, does O'Brien propose to actually do this in a way that makes  practical sense, and does not lead to World War III?!?  This is a war for which China is absolutely ready, while the US is absolutely not. We don't have the troop strength; the weaponry; the money; or the manufacturing  to persist and win a war with China and/or Russia right now; 

O'Brien has to know this. 

 So what, please, are the "flesh and bones" of such a proposal?!?

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Eco-extremists have doused Stonehenge, the 5,000-year-old Neolithic monument in England with Orange paint on the eve of the Summer Solstice, an important date in the celestial year associated with the stones.

Stonehenge was daubed bright orange on Wednesday, as radical environmental activists used their now-familiar tactic of reloading fire extinguishers with paint to attack buildings and places. Footage provided by the Just Stop Oil extremist group shows two people running towards the ancient stones with fire extinguishers and marking the monument.

Shockingly, despite the large number of bystanders, at first only one member of the public stepped up to prevent the vandalism. After a physically diminutive but undoubtably courageous woman tousles with one of the attackers, another member of the public then joins in and helps wrestle away a paint-projecting fire extinguisher.

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Why has the US covertly moved thousands of troops to Jordan? What is the target? Intrepid reporter Ken Klippenstein posits the answers

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The office of Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is reportedly investigating a whistleblower’s allegations of Medicaid fraud on the part of a “transgender” clinic that subjected children to illicit procedures.

Scholar Christopher Rufo on Wednesday wrote that he has “confirmed with a spokesman for [Paxton] that the alleged Medicaid fraud is ‘currently being investigated by the Texas Attorney General.’”

Rufo has extensively reported on the “massive scandal” involving Texas Children’s Hospital’s (TCH) clinic.

On his Substack, Rufo noted that there are “two possible avenues for” Paxton’s investigation into TCH: “civil and criminal.”

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CatholicVote signed onto a pair of letters opposing a bill in the Democratic-controlled Senate that would require some American women to register for the Selective Service System – commonly known as “the draft.”

“Last Friday, the Senate Armed Services Committee, once again, passed a National Defense Authorization Act that would require women to register for the draft,” began a Wednesday letter penned by Advancing American Freedom (AAF) Executive Director Paul Teller.

Teller addressed his letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-LA, and outgoing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY.

“The notion of the United States of America requiring women to register to fight our wars is simply untenable and must be opposed at all costs,” he continued:

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Authored by Paul Everingham via RealClearEnergy,

The U.S Government could do far worse than to look to Australia’s natural gas policy as it considers the future of LNG exports.

Gas production from the U.S.  and Australia is essential to global energy markets. Australia was the world’s leading LNG exporter in 2020 and 2021, a mantle the U.S. assumed in 2023.

But the LNG industry in both countries has faced great policy uncertainty in recent times. In the U.S., this arrived with the unexpected January announcement of a halt to pending LNG export approvals, while Australia’s policy environment has been clouded for several years by cumbersome regulatory processes that stifled project development.

The Future Gas Strategy released by the Australian Government in May addresses many of these concerns and establishes a roadmap future gas production investment. It outlines a clear role for gas in Australia’s energy transition, ensuring reliable power generation as major renewable energy projects are rolled out.

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Israel is on the brink of a 'full-scale war with Hezbollah', an ex-IDF intelligence officer has chillingly warned.

Avi Melamed, who used to work for Israeli intelligence, claimed the Iran-backed terror group is running out of Israeli targets to hit without provoking a significant counterstrike by Jerusalem.

He told MailOnline: 'Since October 8, Hezbollah has harassed Israel's northern communities, turning them into ghost towns through its aerial strikes both of missiles and attack drones,' Melamed added.

'It has also managed to ignite forest fires in northern Israel, all in service of its partners in Gaza, part of Iran's network of "resistance". But, its success has also left it with very few viable targets left that won't result in a significant Israeli strike.'

'On Israel's northern border, the ever-growing exchange of fire between the IDF and Hezbollah is bringing the conflict to the brink of crossing over to a full-scale war,' Melamed added.  

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Mount St. Helens has begun rumbling again recently - more than four decades after the worst eruption in US history.

Since February 1, 2024, approximately 350 earthquakes have been recorded at the 8,300-foot Washington state volcano by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. 

Most of these - more than 95 percent - have been less than magnitude 1.0 and are too small to be felt at the surface. 

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If Donald Trump wins reelection he should restart nuclear testing after a 30-year-pause, decouple the economy entirely from China and deploy the entire U.S. Marine Corps to the Pacific to counter the threat from Beijing.

That is the advice of his last national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, who lays out a possible blueprint for a second Trump term in a 5000-word essay.

If you want peace, prepare for war, is the theme of his message, particularly when it comes to heading off China, which has doubled the size of its nuclear stockpile since 2020.

'The United States has to maintain technical and numerical superiority to the combined Chinese and Russian nuclear stockpiles,' he writes for Foreign Affairs.

'To do so, Washington must test new nuclear weapons for reliability and safety in the real world for the first time since 1992—not just by using computer models.' 

Webmaster addition: No matter who gets elected, the War Party always wins!

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Authored by Maggie Miller via RealClearPolicy,

“What if it were your child?”

You’ve heard it before. What if it were your kid who got chosen last on the playground or who was bullied? But when asked in the context of human trafficking, this question takes on a far deeper and more harrowing meaning. What if it were your child?

This simple yet poignant question leads to heartbreaking reflection for any parent.

“That’s something I can’t even answer, I can’t imagine,” said Aneudy Vargas.

Aneudy Vargas was one of the Good Greek Moving and Storage team members who participated in an inaugural class aimed at combatting human trafficking. Good Greek, in partnership with the leading anti-trafficking organization Place of Hope, is taking a bold step to address this issue. Good Greek’s over 600 truckers and movers are becoming a force to fight human trafficking by learning how to spot the hidden epidemic that often occurs in plain sight. 

Through their Superhero Movers Academy in West Palm Beach, these movers are learning not just to uphold high standards on the job, but also to become real-life heroes for those in need.

Claire's Observations:  Because the needs in this area are so enormous, it is a tiny fraction of good news right now, that people are being trained to spot the signs, and call for help, if it is needed.  Place of Hope should be absolutely commended for this, and bravo to the teams at Good Greek for taking part!!

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Most people don’t realize this, but all of our lives are about to change. We are moving into a time of global war, and the death and destruction that we will witness will be off the charts. World War I was supposed to be “the war to end all wars”, and it resulted in approximately 20 million deaths. It was a truly nightmarish conflict, and those living at the time thought that we would never see anything like it again. But then World War II erupted, and it resulted in approximately 75 million deaths. Sadly, global leaders seem to have forgotten the lessons of World War II, because now the stage is being set for the biggest war in human history so far. During World War III, billions of people could die. Unfortunately, it appears that there will be no turning back now.
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A government watchdog has slammed energy chiefs for spending $1.4 billion of taxpayers' money studying ill-fated carbon capture schemes that were not likely to help tackle climate change.

The Department of Energy (DOE) between 2018 and 2023 poured cash into 654 carbon capture projects without properly checking they were worthwhile, says the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The audit is especially alarming as many more taxpayer dollars are headed for carbon capture research — President Joe Biden has set aside $12 billion for such studies under his signature Inflation Reduction Act.

Some experts say capturing and storing carbon pollution can limit the heat-trapping gases from burned fossil fuels, but critics say it's hugely expensive and nigh impossible to carry out at scale.

Webmaster addition: There is a very inexpensive carbon capture device available.


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Boeing's Starliner spacecraft will be stuck at the International Space Station with two astronauts onboard for even longer than expected, as the company and NASA scrambles to fix issues with its thrusters and plug helium leaks.

Officials from the aerospace company and NASA announced on Tuesday that the spacecraft is now not expected to return until at least June 26. It had originally been scheduled to return on June 14, and was last week delayed through June 22.

The officials say they are spending the extra time to investigate five helium leaks in the propeller system as well as issues with several thrusters that are used to maneuver the spaceship.

Webmaster addition: 


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Authored by Ross Pomeroy via RealClearScience,

A Google search for "Frio Cave" makes the Uvalde County, Texas destination look like a tourists' dream. One quickly learns that the cave is home to tens of millions of Mexican free-tailed bats, and that you can sometimes witness the flapping horde streaming out of their dark, dank home just before sunset, clouding the sky in a "once in a lifetime experience."

But Frio Cave has a darker history that visitors websites don't mention. More than fifty years ago, two humans contracted rabies while spelunking there.

That humans would get infected with rabies while visiting a bat-infested cave isn't altogether surprising. Bats are a reservoir for the terrifying disease – 99% fatal to humans once symptoms – like hyperactivity, hallucinations, seizures, and fear of water – develop. A simple bite from one of the millions of bats could have transmitted a lyssavirus that triggers rabies. However, in this instance, the spelunkers apparently weren't bitten. Rather, it seems they caught the virus from the air itself.

A team of scientists subsequently investigated. They found that rabies virus could be transmitted to animals housed in empty cages within the cave, apparently just via the atmosphere itself. Moreover, the virus was isolated from samples collected via air condensation techniques.

The episode raised a disturbing prospect. Had rabies, the deadliest virus for humankind, gone airborne?

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Israel is on the brink of a 'full-scale war with Hezbollah', an ex-IDF intelligence officer has chillingly warned.

Avi Melamed, who used to work for Israeli intelligence, claimed the Iran-backed terror group is running out of Israeli targets to hit without provoking a significant counterstrike by Jerusalem.

He told MailOnline: 'Since October 8, Hezbollah has harassed Israel's northern communities, turning them into ghost towns through its aerial strikes both of missiles and attack drones,' Melamed added.

'It has also managed to ignite forest fires in northern Israel, all in service of its partners in Gaza, part of Iran's network of "resistance". But, its success has also left it with very few viable targets left that won't result in a significant Israeli strike.'

'On Israel's northern border, the ever-growing exchange of fire between the IDF and Hezbollah is bringing the conflict to the brink of crossing over to a full-scale war,' Melamed added.  

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