"People do not expect to find chastity in a whorehouse. Why, then, do they expect to find honesty and humanity in government, a congeries of institutions whose modus operandi consists of lying, cheating, stealing, and if need be, murdering those who resist?" -- H. L. Mencken
In a joint statement, the LA County District Attorney's Office (which regularly refuses to charge drug dealers) and the health department announced the creation of a working group to address the situation "through prevention, education and enforcement."
The 'enforcement' part will of course mark a radical departure from DA George Gascón's 'catch-and-release' policy when it comes to criminals.
According to the health department, there were 104 deaths in 2016 attributed to fentanyl, which ballooned to 1,662 in 2001.
The CEO of US weapons giant Raytheon Technologies, Gregory Hayes, revealed on Thursday that Washington is working with partner nations in West Asia to transfer a handful of their air defense systems to Ukraine.
"The [Pentagon] is going to attempt to do some trading for us where we’ll take some from the [West Asian] countries that are our friends and some from our NATO allies, and try and get those into Ukraine early next year," Hayes said, before adding that the weapons will be "[backfilled] with new production over the next two years."
Webmaster addition: This seems to suggest the stockpiles are running out!
Six of 11 alleged assailants connected with Antifa, a far-left extremist group, have taken plea deals and pled guilty to charges related to violent attacks on supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump at a “Patriot March” in San Diego shortly after the 2020 election.
Five defendants pled guilty on Nov. 18, just over a week after Erich “Nikki” Louis Yach was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for his role in the violence near Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach on Jan. 9, 2021. Yach was the first of the 11 to be sentenced.
Yach earlier pled guilty to charges of conspiracy, assault, and the unlawful use of tear gas.
At his sentencing hearing, GG Hubbard, Yach’s spouse, urged the court to send Yach—a biological male who identifies as female—to a women’s prison. Yach has spent nearly the last two years in a men’s prison and will be credited for time already served.
“I want to make sure she gets put in the correct facility according to her gender,” Hubbard told the court.
Hubbard claimed Yach is “not violent” and said incarceration in anything but a women’s facility was “violating the law” and “political and fascist nonsense.”
Investors already concerned about the state of commercial real estate -- as interest rates climb and the economy seems poised to slow -- got another worrying signal with a massive Blackstone real estate fund hitting its redemption limit.
MLIV recently flagged the frozen commercial-property market. Transactions have fallen off a cliff, making it hard for investors to determine how deep any looming price crash, if there is one coming, may be. Development is down too. Bloomberg’s REIT index is underperforming the broader S&P 500 significantly this year.
The business activity index, a measurement of conditions facing energy companies in the region, fell to 46.0 in the July-to-September period from the second quarter’s record of 57.7.
Executives at exploration and production (E&P) firms noted that crude oil and natural gas production increased at a solid rate of 31.7 and 35.6, respectively.
Costs continue to remain elevated for the seventh consecutive quarter as the index for input costs clocked in at 83.9. None of the 58 oilfield services firms that participated in the regional central bank’s quarterly survey recorded a drop in input costs. In addition, the indexes for finding and development costs and lease operating expenses for E&P entities eased slightly to 64.7 and 70.2, respectively.
Earlier this week CNN reported that the Biden administration is considering "dramatically" increasing its training of Ukrainian forces. The proposal would involve US advisers training "much larger groups of Ukrainian soldiers in more sophisticated battlefield tactics" at American installations in Germany, and possibly other locations in Europe. This could involve as many as 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers trained by US advisers a month, which over a half-year period would total 15,000 going through the proposed ramped-up US program.
This report and others, which have also detailed expanding military training programs for Ukrainians in Europe overseen by UK and other NATO-member militaries, has prompted a Friday response from the Kremlin. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov alleged Thursday that the US and NATO are now directly participating in the Ukraine war.
A Palestinian man was shot and killed by an Israeli border police officer at point blank range on Friday evening in the northern occupied West Bank town of Huwwara in what is being described as an “execution” on social media.
The execution was captured on video and has circulated widely on social media. The incident occurred shortly before 5pm on Huwwara’s main road — a major throughway that connects dozens of villages with the city of Nablus to the north, and is used by both Palestinians and Israeli settlers.
The Democrats' early-primary schedule is poised for a major shakeup that will break with tradition and further decouple the party's nomination process from that of the Republicans.
At a private dinner on Thursday, Democratic Party officials announced that President Biden has urged them to jettison Iowa from the 2024 slate of early nominating contests, while vaulting South Carolina to "first-in-the-nation" status and moving the battleground states of Georgia and Michigan into coveted early slots as well.
Race is clearly a factor, as Democrats have increasingly bristled at giving so much influence to the predominantly white populations of Iowa and New Hampshire.
New Zealand’s government has officially admitted that it has partner access to Facebook’s controversial content takedown portal.
This portal is designed specifically for government agencies to flag content to Facebook for censorship. According to The Intercept, which reported on the portal in October, government partners can also use the portal to “report disinformation directly” to Facebook.
And in a recent response to a New Zealand Official Information Act (OIA) request, which asked whether the government has partner access to Facebook’s takedown portal, the New Zealand government confirmed that the Department of Internal Affairs has access. While this was the only government department that was confirmed to have access to the portal, the OIA response also said “we cannot advise if any other government agency has access to the takedown portal.”
Google has presented its project dubbed “Info Interventions” based on what it says is a behavioral science that, if these “interventions” are used as directed, could “teach” users to the degree they will become resilient to online harms.
Another promise is that by “pre-bunking misinformation” users can be “immunized.”
How is this supposed to work? Google has put up a site that states the goal is to provide accuracy prompts that would refocus users’ attention toward whatever Google decides qualifies as accurate information.
Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Dominion Energy Virginia disconnected electricity to, threatened to or forced a “smart” meter on more than half a dozen households across Virginia.
According to Virginians for Safe Technology, based in Fredericksburg, households are in Petersburg, Fauquier, Prince William, Fluvanna, Albemarle, Henrico and Spotsylvania counties. Customers swapped out their “smart” meters for analog meters, and now are left without electricity.
“Dominion has crossed a line,” Jenny DeMarco, Communications Director of Virginians for Safe Technology, said in a press release. “When families taking reasonable steps to protect themselves and their children have their power cut-off in the middle of November, local police and sheriff’s departments are escorting the corporation doing so, and the government and regulatory agencies stand idly by, that’s a pretty strong signal that our system is broken.”
Milton Williams posted a video on YouTube on Nov. 8, 2022 about letters from Dominion threatening to shut off electricity of he did not install the “smart” meter in his home. Electricity was shut off November 10, and remains off.
Elon Musk has vowed to release additional internal documents later today illuminating Twitter's suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.
Musk, the billionaire owner of Twitter, gave journalist Matt Taibbi access to the explosive documents, which he first began to publish excerpts of on the social media site on Friday evening.
The first installment of what Musk has dubbed the 'Twitter Files' included internal Twitter emails appearing to show staffers censoring tweets at the behest of the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk called their bluff and released the Twitter suppression files. It is not good for the Democrats, at all. Musk handed the big reveal to journalist and a one-time liberal favorite Matt Taibbi who said:
“The Twitter Files, Part One: How and Why Twitter Blocked the Hunter Biden Laptop Story On October 14, 2020, the New York Post published BIDEN SECRET EMAILS, an expose based on the contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop:
“Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story, removing links and posting warnings that it may be “unsafe.” They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography.
White House spokeswoman Kaleigh McEnany was locked out of her account for tweeting about the story, prompting a furious letter from Trump campaign staffer Mike Hahn, who seethed: “At least pretend to care for the next 20 days.”
More than 1,000 union employees at the New York Times have pledged to walk out if the news publisher does not agree to a complete and fair contract by Thursday, according to a tweet by the union on Friday.
The NYT NewsGuild has sought wages that “keep up with inflation” as well as to preserve and enhance health insurance and retirement benefits that were promised during hiring, according to a letter signed by 1,036 members.
“We will walk out and stop work for 24 hours, on Thursday, Dec. 8, if we do not have a deal for a complete and equitable contract by then,” the letter read.
The members of the union are also asking for remote work flexibility among other demands.
Supporters of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), desperate to secure a Silicon Valley gravy train for the world’s largest and wealthiest media companies while allowing them to censor conservative media, are now playing games with U.S. national security, with a last-ditch attempt to attach the JCPA to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a “must-pass” bill to fund the U.S. armed forces.
Having repeatedly failed to get the bill to a floor vote over the past two years, JCPA supporters are desperately trying to tie the bill to the NDAA.
Supporters of the media bailout bill have secured the backing of Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee which oversees defense spending.
A new version of the bill proposed by Sen. Reed and seen by Breitbart News attached the bill to military appropriations.
The preamble of the bill now reads:
To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2022 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.
This brazen last-minute ploy by supporters of the media cartel bill follows what Politico predicted earlier this week: having failed to secure a floor vote to the bill, the JCPA’s supporters now want to attach it to an entirely unrelated bill.
Should the NDAA route fail, the bill’s supporters may also try to attach it to an omnibus spending bill, another type of bill that is seen as a “must-pass.” In doing so, JCPA supporters would move on from jeopardizing U.S. defense spending and instead jeopardize funding for the whole government, in addition to creating further precedent to use must-pass bills to promote narrow special interests.
A guest on Fox Business Network said Tuesday that the left hated Elon Musk because his acquisition of Twitter made censoring conservatives “difficult.”
“I think it is. [It u]sed to be when we were growing up, free speech was something on which the right and left agreed,” Deroy Murdock said when asked by “Kudlow” guest host Sean Duffy if it was a big deal. “At some point, the left got off of that highway, went down a very dark path. These are people who are very happy to take people like conservatives to come to college campuses we don’t want to hear you speak, we’re gonna shut down your speech, sometimes physically attack people like that.”
“These are the same folks with Merrick Garland, DoJ if parents want to complain at school boards they’re domestic terrorists and must be investigated, and you see this over and over,” Murdock continued. “The Hunter Biden laptop story, rather than debate it, true or false, just shut it down, don’t let anybody hear about it two or three weeks before a national election. So, the Left has become a very much I think they’ve got a crypto-totalitarian nature to them. They hate Elon Musk because he is trying to make censorship difficult in America.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Friday that documents released by Elon Musk and journalist Matt Taibbi detail a massive “systemic violation” of the First Amendment.
“One of the most extraordinary moments in the history of social media is unfolding right now as we speak. It began when Elon Musk took control of Twitter. When he bought the company, he promised to reveal its corruption, the extent to which Twitter engaged in politically motivated censorship, including the unlawful illegal censorship of American citizens at the direction of the U.S. government.”
Internal Twitter deliberations surrounding the censorship of the New York Post‘s reporting on Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” reveal the company’s management engaging in willful ignorance of the facts of the story in order to justify censoring it on the platform.
Matt Taibbi, the journalist tasked by Elon Musk to reveal the internal communications, explains that Twitter management at the time used the company’s hacked materials policy “as an excuse” to squelch the Post’s reporting, but knew it “wasn’t going to hold.” The reason it “wasn’t going to hold” was because the Post explained that the reporting was based on a hard drive abandoned at a computer repair shop, not “hacked material,” and produced a federal subpoena given to the repair-shop owner to bolster the claim.
Former Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth messaged colleague Vijaya Gadde, “The policy basis is hacked materials — though, as discussed, this is an emerging situation where the facts remain unclear. Given the SEVERE risks here and lessons of 2016, we’re erring on the side of including a warning and preventing this content from being amplified.”
Another member of management, Brandon Borrman, then asks, “Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?”
Jim Baker, Twitter’s then-Deputy Legal Counsel and former senior member of the FBI, adds, “[We] need more facts to assess whether the materials were hacked. At this stage, however, it is reasonable for us to assume that they may have been and that conclusion is warranted.”
Baker then admits, per the Post‘s reporting in the story in question, that there is evidence “indicating that the computer was either abandoned and/or the owner consented to allow the repair shop to access it for at least some purposes.”
But during the time this communication was underway, Twitter did not contact the New York Post to inquire about whether the reporting was based on hacked material, and the story in question explained exactly how the Post obtained the material it was reporting on.
Appearing at a rally in Atlanta for Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock on Thursday, former President Barack Obama seemed to let loose a Freudian slip in which he admitted that President Joe Biden is not someone we should trust with “serious responsibilities.”
Warnock is in an extremely tight race against GOP candidate Herschel Walker that has gone into a run-off in the Peach State. The race is a very important one that will affect the balance of power in the upper chamber. It is a must-win for both sides.
In their efforts to get Warnock re-elected, the Democrats are bringing in the big guns — and Obama is still the biggest gun the Democrats have.
This story will be updated as “The Twitter Files” continue to release.
Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that he would soon be publishing “The Twitter Files.” These files would be related to the suppression of free speech on the platform.
Musk’s initial teaser tweet read, “The Twitter Files on free speech suppression soon to be published on Twitter itself. The public deserves to know what really happened …”
Musk later clarified that the files would reveal “what really happened with the Hunter Biden story suppression by Twitter.”
As promised, he released the files on Friday via a tweet thread by American journalist Matt Taibbi.
The Twitter Files
According to Taibbi, early on at Twitter, the platform slowly added tools designed to combat spam and “financial fraudsters.”
Before too long, these tools were weaponized to manipulate speech that Twitter staff and executives subjectively viewed as harmful and/or misinformation.
Eventually, this censorship grew to the point where Twitter was getting “requests from connected actors” to censor certain speech. One of those actors, according to an internal email shared by Taibbi, was “the Biden team.”
“Federal laws also bar certain people from buying and possessing guns, including people who use drugs illegally. The lawsuit, filed in April, alleged the federal prohibitions ‘forbid Floridians from possessing or purchasing a firearm on the sole basis that they are state-law-abiding medical marijuana patients,’” the Tampa Free Press reports.
Winsor, appointed by President Donald Trump, disagreed, ruling the federal government’s prohibition on marijuana use or possession trumps state law, and those with legally-recognized medical marijuana prescriptions are considered prohibited felons under federal gun law.
Kari Lake responded today to Obama-Judge John Tuchi’s decision to sanction her and Mark Finchem at the request of Maricopa County for daring to bring a lawsuit against the unreliable and corrupt voting machines.