Thought for the day

"When people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is more tyranny. Apologies to Thomas Jefferson!" -- Michael Rivero
"A rocket will never be able to leave Earth's atmosphere." -- New York Times, 1936

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The US Army has a major recruiting problem and can't find enough young people who meet the basic requirements to enlist, according to Army Times

Lt. Gen. Maria Gervais, second in command for Army Training and Doctrine Command, sounded off Thursday about the troubling developments. She highlighted disqualification rates for potential recruits jumped from 30-40% (pre-Covid) to a whopping 70% this year due to obesity, low test scores, and/or drug use.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:26

China’s vulnerability to a heavy private-debt load and the collapsing real-estate market increase the risk that the PBOC allows the yuan to weaken further, or that the fixed exchange-rate system with the dollar is dropped altogether.

The dollar is rallying again today, putting pressure on currencies around the world. Of significance, the yuan has breached the widely-watched level of 7 for the first time since 2020.

China has started to push back more heavily against the weakening, with the official yuan fix moving from about 400 pips lower than USD/CNY at last week to 845 pips today.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:25

Nearly 50 Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), have called on the Department of Defense (DOD) to withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military members, citing concerns over the mandate’s impact on the readiness of the U.S. Armed Forces.

In a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin dated Sept. 15 (pdf), lawmakers, including Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), expressed their “grave concerns” over the impact of the mandate, particularly with regard to the U.S. Army.

“As a result of your mandate, eight percent of the Army’s approximately 1 million soldiers face expulsion, Army recruiters cannot meet their FY22 target, and the Army has cut its projected FY23 end strength by 12,000 soldiers,” they wrote.

Referring to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, lawmakers noted that the U.S. military currently faces “a self-imposed readiness crisis.”

Citing “sparse” data from the Department of Army, they noted that “at least 40,000 National Guardsmen, 20,000 Army Reservists, and at least 15,000 Active Army Soldiers” have not yet received a COVID-19 shot and subsequently face being discharged from service.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:23

Visiting Australian Senator Andrew Hastie says basic struggles with identifying gender are undermining the ability of the United States to lead the developed world in opposing military aggression from Beijing.

These tensions are tearing at the fabric of our democracies, many among us are no longer confident of truth, tradition, and our democratic values,” Hastie, a former Special Air Service operative, told the Hudson Institute on Sept. 15.

U.S. Military Academy cadets attend the 2020 graduation ceremony at West Point, New York, on June 13, 2020. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

The now-opposition defence minister pointed to research by Prof. James Kurth, of Swathmore College, who said the real culture clash was not between the “West and the rest” but within the West itself.

“This is a clash between Western civilisation and a different grand alliance, one composed of the multicultural and the feminist movements. It is, in short, a clash between Western and post-Western civilisations,” Kurth wrote in The National Interest in 1994.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:21

Rights organizations on Thursday responded to a new Biden administration plan to use $3.5 billion in U.S.-held Afghan funds to "help mitigate the economic challenges" facing the people of Afghanistan by saying the proposal was "better than keeping that money locked away in a U.S. vault" but must only be the first step in returning $7 billion in stolen money to Afghanistan.

Following months of outcry from economists, peace groups, and Afghan rights campaigners, the U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday that it is coordinating with international partners, including the Swiss government, to establish what it called the "Afghan Fund."

The fund will include "$3.5 billion of Afghan central bank reserves to be used for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan while keeping them out of the hands of the Taliban and other malign actors," the Treasury Department said, and will make "targeted disbursements of that $3.5 billion to help provide greater stability to the Afghan economy."

Posted on: Sep 17 09:20

Fox News host Tucker Carlson calls out Democrats for not welcoming the illegal migrants on to Martha's Vineyard

Posted on: Sep 17 09:18

In Friday remarks before the Uzbek-hosted Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin was pressed by reporters over Ukraine's reportedly successful counteroffensive going on in northeast Ukraine.

Putin responded by saying Russian's military is in 'no hurry' to finish its campaign in Ukraine, perhaps to the surprise of the audience, stressing "The plan is not subject to adjustment" - while not denying the difficulty the counteroffensive has posed for his forces. "Our offensive operations in Donbas itself do not stop. They are going at a slow pace… the Russian army is occupying newer and newer territories," Putin said, and added, "We are not in a hurry … there are no changes."

Sputnik via Reuters: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Friday.

There's been widespread speculation from Western governments and officials that Russia's armed forces have taken on immense casualties, with the Pentagon last month putting the figure at 80,000 Russian troops injured or killed - including the deaths of senior officers and generals. Other independent monitors have tended to offer far lower figures, but still significant losses. This has served to put pressure on the Kremlin to issue a full declaration of war against Ukraine and thus national military mobilization, something this week an official Kremlin statement said wasn't as yet under consideration.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:16

Now that the mindless lemmings in the mainstream media have finished gushing over the idea that Patagonia's founder, Yvon Chouinard, was giving up all of his company's profits for benefit of fighting climate change, the reality of the situation can finally start to make its way out. 

No doubt you saw a headline somewhere this week praising Yvon Chouinard for forfeiting ownership of his company and giving away its profits to a "charity fighting climate change". There were no shortage of liberal "I told you so's" being passed around on social media, citing Chouinard as some type of living proof that capitalism is evil and that everything will eventually revert to a Marxist utopia where all profits are collectively shared for the greater good.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:15

Joe Biden got lost again after finishing a speech at the 45th annual Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gala in Washington DC.

This is the THIRD time in one week that Biden has finished short remarks on a stage he walked onto just minutes before and then appeared completely lost.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:15

Of all the modern-day miracles, the least appreciated is the incredible abundance of low cost food in the U.S. and other developed countries. The era of cheap food is ending, for a variety of mutually reinforcing reasons.

We've become so dependent on industrial-scale agriculture fueled by diesel that we've forgotten that when it comes to producing food, "every little bit helps"--even small backyards / greenhouses can provide meaningful quantities of food and satisfaction.

Virtually every temperate terroir/micro-climate is suitable for raising some plants, herbs, trees and animals. (Terroir includes everything about a specific place: the soil type, the climate variations, sun exposure, the bacteria in the soil, everything.)

We've forgotten that cities once raised much of the food consumed by residents within the city limits. Small plots of land, rooftop gardens, backyard chicken coops, etc. can add up when they are encouraged rather than discouraged.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:14

While some 'soft' survey data provided opportunities for the narrative-writers to suggest hope remains, 'hard data' this week was not pretty at all (and prompted The Atlanta Fed to slash its Q3 GDP outlook). Bloomberg's macro surprise index (ex-survey data) tumbled to its weakest since July 2019...

Source: Bloomberg

Additionally, CPI wrecked the 'Fed Pivot' narrative, and given Powell's reiterated position that inflation is the priority - even if a recession is enabled - that sent inflation-fighting rate-hike expectations soaring this week (and notably sent subsequent recession-fighting rate-cut expectations soaring too)...

Source: Bloomberg

Posted on: Sep 17 09:14

The weather phenomenon known as La Nina has a 91% chance in September through November, dropping to about a 54% chance in January to March. This would make it the third consecutive northern hemisphere winter La Nina has occurred, setting off meteorological patterns like drought and flooding worldwide that could wreak even more havoc across the world economy. 

"It is exceptional to have three consecutive years with a la Nina event," World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. 

La Nina is expected to bring droughts to the US, South America, and eastern parts of Africa, while heavy rainfall in Australia, Indonesia, and other parts of Asia. 

Posted on: Sep 17 09:13

Trump-Endorsed Arizona Gubernatorial Nominee Kari Lake recently joined Tucker Carlson Tonight to talk about our right to speak about the Rigged and Stolen 2020 election that the Fake News Media attempts to hide from the American people.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 17 09:10

New York City’s shelter system is close to being overwhelmed by the continued influx of illegal immigrants from Texas, the city’s mayor said on Sept. 14.

“In this new and unforeseen reality, where we expect thousands more to arrive every week going forward, the city’s system is nearing its breaking point,” Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Illegal immigrants arrive in New York City from Texas on Aug. 25, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York has recorded over 11,000 illegal immigrants entering its shelter system in the past several months, with others going into the homes of family members or friends. A number have come from Texas, which started bussing asylum seekers who were released by federal authorities to Democrat-run “sanctuary cities” earlier this year.

U.S. authorities tell the illegal immigrants to go to court at a later date for the asylum claims to be adjudicated. Most claims are denied and many immigrants don’t show up at court. Authorities rarely deport illegal immigrants, especially under Biden.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:10

Twice-failed presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton slammed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for flying illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 17 09:10

Following U.S. President Biden’s executive order, the White House published a framework for CBDC development and strict regulation of the ecosystem.


The White House has published a legal framework for engaging with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the U.S. following a “whole of government” executive order (E.O.) from President Joe Biden earlier this year, per an official press releaseThe framework consists of seven sections:

(1) Protecting Consumers, Investors, and Businesses;

(2) Promoting Access to Safe, Affordable Financial Services;

(3) Fostering Financial Stability;

(4) Advancing Responsible Innovation;

(5) Reinforcing Our Global Financial Leadership and Competitiveness;

(6) Fighting Illicit Finance;

(7) Exploring a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Webmaster addition: The whole point of the cryptocurrency revolution was a monetary system independent of the government and central bank. This is Biden's plan to commandeer the cryptos and use them against the people.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:08

Border clashes have erupted Friday between the two Central Asian nations and longtime rivals Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, following three days of sporadic exchanges of fire between military border posts. Despite a short-lived attempt at ceasefire, the armed confrontation over disputed border areas continues among the neighboring countries which are both former Soviet republics and enjoy close ties with Moscow.

"The border guard said Kyrgyz forces were returning fire on Friday morning, as clashes took place along the length of the border, adding that Tajik forces were using tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and mortars," Al Jazeera reports. "More than one-third of the 1,000km (600-mile) frontier remains disputed."

Posted on: Sep 17 09:07

China has slapped new sanctions on American defense firm CEOs as retaliation for the US State Department approving a massive $1.1 billion sale of arms and military equipment to Taiwan earlier this month.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning unveiled that the sanctions target Boeing Defense, Space, and Security CEO Ted Colbert and Raytheon Technologies Corp boss Gregory Hayes. Colbert and Hayes are being sanctioned "in order to protect China’s sovereignty and security interests," and on the basis "their involvement in these arms sales," Mao said in a press briefing.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:06

The Biden administration has just announced yet another new weapons package for Ukraine worth $600 million, which now brings to total US military aid pledged since the start of the conflict to $15.1 billion.

Crucially, in this case the arms are being sent under the presidential drawdown authority, which allows the White House to take arms directly from US military stockpiles for use by foreign allied forces. The administration confirmed it was the 21st time it drew from Pentagon stockpiles.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:02

The European Parliament voted on Thursday to declare Hungary „no longer a full democracy“ – particularly ironic since the EU is ruled by an unelected Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen, whose husband is a Big Pharma lobbyist, and the EU supported actual neo-Nazis in the recent, and very democratic, Hungarian elections.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 17 09:02

Israeli forces detained three Palestinian children in the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, occupied East Jerusalem, on Thursday evening, according to the Palestinian Authority's news agency Wafa.

The arrests came as Israeli forces detained at least 15 civilians in an ongoing arrest campaign across the occupied West Bank on Thursday and rounded up five more Palestinians during overnight raids that followed on Friday.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam while the Dome of the Rock is revered by Muslims worldwide as the location from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. 

Posted on: Sep 17 09:02

A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill to dramatically boost American military support for Taiwan, a move that prompted warnings from both China and anti-war voices in the United States that such a policy increases the likelihood of armed conflict.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 17-5 in favor of the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, which according to its text “promotes the security of Taiwan, ensures regional stability, and deters People’s Republic of China (PRC) aggression against Taiwan. It also threatens severe sanctions against the PRC for hostile action against Taiwan.”

The bill comes during a period of heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing and follows US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) provocative trip to Taiwan last month, a visit the Chinese government answered by suspending climate and military cooperation with the United States and forging closer ties with Russia.

Posted on: Sep 17 09:00

The delegation from China has been barred from attending Queen Elizabeth II’s lying-in-state.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 17 09:00

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday said Republicans busing illegal aliens to other states is much different than Biden doing the exact same thing.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 17 09:00

The New York Times reported this week that 97 members of Congress “bought or sold stocks, bonds, or other financial assets that intersected with their congressional work or reported similar transactions by their spouse or a dependent child” between 2019 and 2021. With more than 3,700 such trades in those three years alone, the investigation reveals potential conflicts of interest in nearly every area of policymaking. 

Defense policy is no different. At least 25 members sat on committees that shape national security policy while simultaneously trading financial assets in companies that could create competing interests with their work, such as defense stock. With a near-even party split, Democrats and Republicans may have found a rare instance of common ground. 

The majority of these members sat on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees — the committees responsible for the budget and oversight of the Department of Defense. 

Posted on: Sep 17 08:59

At least eight banks were held up by depositors seeking access to their own money frozen in the banking system in Lebanon on Friday, in an escalating spate of such incidents this week.

Local media reported that over a span of a few hours on Friday morning, at least eight bank branches across Beirut and other towns were stormed by people looking to withdraw their own money.

Posted on: Sep 17 08:57

Germany’s public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, has revised its code of conduct to require support for Israel’s right to exist, and employees who fail to do so may now be fired.

The move announced Sept. 1 preceded a court order last week that DW reinstate a former employee who was fired after the company determined she had made comments about Israel that could be construed as antisemitic. In all, seven employees from the broadcaster’s Arabic service were let go last year on similar grounds, and so far two have successfully sued DW for reinstatement.

Posted on: Sep 17 08:56

Kyrgyzstan has reported "intense battles" with Tajikistan and says its central Asian neighbour is moving forces and equipment to the border.

The latest outbreak of violence to hit countries in the former Soviet Union has so far left 24 people dead, Kyrgyzstan said on Friday.

The small, impoverished landlocked countries have accused each other of restarting fighting in a disputed area, despite a ceasefire deal.

In a statement, the Kyrgyz border service said its forces were continuing to repel Tajik attacks.

Posted on: Sep 17 08:54

From May 1 to May 12, I traveled to both Russia and the Lugansk People’s Republic, an independent republic in the Donbas region, formerly part of eastern Ukraine. The purpose of this fact-finding mission initiated by the Socialist Unity Party and was to report the suppressed information challenging the narrative of NATO and its member states, led by the U.S., in this proxy war in Ukraine against Russia.

My visit to Lugansk was made possible with the assistance of Borotba (Struggle), a socialist political organization in Ukraine and Donbas that we have worked with for many years. Alexey Albu, one of the leaders of Borotba, also provided translation for me during interviews. This is the third part of my report.

On May 8, two days after we visited the Rubizhne shelter, we made our way from Lugansk city to the villages of Sokilnyky and Krymske. Both had recently been taken over by the joint forces of the Lugansk People’s Militia (LPM) and the Russian military.

After the 2014 U.S.-sponsored coup in Ukraine that brought to power a pro-Washington, anti-Moscow regime partnering with fascist forces, the majority Russian-speaking people of the Donbas region decided they did not want any part of this backsliding of history.

Posted on: Sep 17 08:54

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested the classified documents found in the Mar-A-Lago raid be withheld from the special master's review ahead of the preliminary meeting. 

The DOJ requested the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals to allow its own criminal investigators to review the classified information and to exclude it from Special Master Judge Raymond Dearie's review. 

The Department sought the intervention after US District Judge Aileen Cannon - a Trump appointee - declined the DOJ's request to lift the temporary prohibition of the usage of the 100 classified documents found in the raid. The DOJ's investigation is being stalled due to the special master's review.

Webmaster addition: This suggests that someone at the White House and DOJ played fast and loose with the facts and now they are trying to cover it all up!

Posted on: Sep 17 08:39