Thought for the day

"Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent." -- Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Posted on: Aug 09 09:53

Cruz shared the comments throughout a Senate floor speech this weekend that noted Americans are not looking for more IRS agents as an answer to the nation’s problems.

“There are a lot of bad things in this bill, but few are worse than the proposal by Democrats in this bill to double the size of the IRS and create 87,000 new IRS agents,” Cruz announced throughout his Senate floor speech.

Webmaster addition: Looting the people is now the major priority of the government!

Posted on: Aug 09 09:50

The European Union is in the throes of an unprecedented energy crisis after taking steps to reduce dependence on Russian oil, natural gas, and coal to “punish” Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine. Skyrocketing energy prices and falling availability have sparked growing concerns about bloc countries’ fate come winter.

European countries are resolving the energy shortfall at home by outbidding developing nations for gas contracts, “increasing the misery of millions of people,” and threatening to plunge entire countries into chaos, Handelsblatt reports.

“While Europe fears supply shortages in winter, the energy crisis has already hit other parts of the world with full force. In Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, power supply is not guaranteed even in hospitals. Young mothers report on how they torment themselves with their newborns during hot summer nights because even fans cannot be switched on,” Handelsblatt contributor Mathias Peer wrote.

A similar situation is seen in Pakistan, which has experienced “one power blackout after another,” and “also as a consequence of Europe’s failed energy policy,” Peer indicated.

The observer explained that the EU’s headlong rush to reduce dependence on Russian gas has triggered “massive turbulence on global energy markets,” with fleets of liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers which ordinarily carry cargoes to Asia diverted to Europe instead.

Posted on: Aug 09 09:50

If the longest recession since the financial crisis and deepest fall in living standards since the 1960s were not bad enough, Britain is also facing economic humiliation on the international stage – if you believe Government critics.

Keir Starmer last month accused former chancellor Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of leaving the UK with an “appalling joint economic legacy of the highest inflation and the lowest growth in the G7”.

The G7 comparison paints Britain’s painful 9.4pc annual price rise in June as a remarkable outlier, but that does not depict the full picture.

Firstly, much of the G7 is in a very similar position: US inflation is at 9.1pc and Germany at 8.2pc.

Secondly, the UK is suffering less inflation than the average EU nation – price rises averaged 9.6pc in June across the bloc.

Posted on: Aug 09 09:49

Western countries should close their borders to all Russians, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told The Washington Post newspaper.

According to him, "the most important sanctions are to close the borders — because the Russians are taking away someone else’s land." He said that Russians should "live in their own world until they change their philosophy." In his opinion, this should also involve those Russians who left the country protesting the government’s actions. "Whichever kind of Russian <… > make them go to Russia," he said.

In his opinion, the entire Russian population should be held responsible. "The population picked this government and they’re not fighting it, not arguing with it, not shouting at it," he noted. Zelensky also criticized the current sanctions as weak and ineffective.

Posted on: Aug 09 09:49

You may recall Jose Alba, the Manhattan bodega worker charged with murder after grabbing a knife and killing the violent ex-con who attacked him.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 09 09:47

In China, 35 people have been reported as infected by the new henipavirus which appears to be potentially deadly. The virus which spreads from animals to humans has set off the alarm in the Chinese region of Taiwan.

Webmaster addition: Biological warfare???

Posted on: Aug 09 09:46

While the United States and Europe flood Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars of weapons, using it as an anti-Russian proxy and pouring fuel on the fire of a brutal war that is devastating the country, they are also making plans to essentially plunder its post-war economy.

Representatives of Western governments and corporations met in Switzerland this July to plan a series of harsh neoliberal policies to impose on post-war Ukraine, calling to cut labor laws, “open markets,” drop tariffs, deregulate industries, and “sell state-owned enterprises to private investors.”

Posted on: Aug 09 09:46

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Monday said the Kiev regime ‘effectively takes all of Europe hostage’ by shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

"Murders from around the corner and under the cover of night are a distinctive modus operandi, if not to say the essence, of adherents of Bandera's ideology, which has been known since the Great Patriotic War. But now they have chosen as a target not only the peoples of Russia and Ukraine. They are effectively taking all of Europe hostage and, apparently, are not averse to ‘setting it on fire’ in favor of their Nazi idols," the diplomat said in a statement commenting on the shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP by Ukraine.

She said Ukrainian armed forces are making the situation around the power plant "more and more dangerous" by the day. Maria Zakharova said by directing artillery fire toward active reactors and spent nuclear fuel storage facilities, "the Ukrainians are taking aim at themselves."

"We regularly send the IAEA updated information ‘from the scene,’ which is reflected in the information circulars of the agency, which clearly expose the criminal actions of the Ukrainian armed forces, the command of which has completely lost the ability to think straight," the statement said.

Posted on: Aug 09 09:45

How many Americans have known someone who died from heroin or fentanyl overdose in the last 15 years?

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 09 09:45

France began its military operations in the Sahel in 2013 to crush a rebellion in the North of Mali, a former French colony. The rebel and terrorist groups then reorganized to attack the center of the country which initiated a full blown rebellion. After nearly a decade, the rebels were still not contained and the numbers of terrorist attacks in the country rose steadily and the violence spread to neighboring countries.

The rising tensions eventually led to the complete deterioration of the relations between the two countries.

Mali expelled the French ambassador last January and on 31 July 2022, on National Television, the government of Mali demanded that the French President Macron abandon his “neocolonial, paternalistic and patronizing posture” towards Mali.

During this time, Mali accused France of violating its airspace several times, of spying, subversion and of trying to divide the country.

Eventually, Mali called for the help of Russian private security contractors to fill the vacuum that France left behind while France retreated to Niger and Burkina Faso after being expelled from the country.

Posted on: Aug 09 09:44

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi provocation, tensions have escalated, with China firing missiles near the island in drills on August 4 and, for the first time, five Chinese missiles landed in Japanese waters. Washington’s new pro-secessionist instance on this issue violates its own “One China” foreign policy and brings the world closer to further conflict. These developments are unfolding while the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war threatens global food security. For a number of reasons, the US-led West is largely to blame for the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and this is still the case regarding the current proxy war between Washington and Moscow in Ukraine. According to University of Chicago political science Professor John Mearsheimer, NATO enlargement was and is the tap root of the trouble. Now, many concerned observers fear that recent history could somehow repeat itself in Asia over Taipei. Could this double crisis crystallize the current new Cold War into a new bipolarity, thus bringing the world closer to global war?

Washington has broadened its engagement in South Asia as part of its wider Indo-Pacific vision to counter Beijing. Tensions have also been on the rise on the Korean peninsula amid concerns over a “new Asian NATO”. Moreover, in May, US President Joe Biden pledged to militarily defend Taiwan against China. In addition, Washington has been selling arms to Taipei (as it has been doing with Kiev).

Posted on: Aug 09 09:44

Regional alliances should, for the most part, remain regional.  Areas of the globe can count on a number of such bodies and associations with varying degrees of heft: the Organization of American States; the Organisation of African Unity; and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.  Only one has decided to move beyond its natural, subscribed limits, citing security and a militant basis, for its actions.

On April 27, the UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, prime ministerial contender, made her claim that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization needed to be globalised.  Her Mansion House speech at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet was one of those unusually frank disclosures that abandons pretence revealing, in its place, a disturbing reality.

After making it clear that NATO’s “open door policy” was “sacrosanct”, Truss also saw security in global terms, another way of promoting a broader commitment to international mischief.  She rejected “the false choice between Euro-Atlantic security and Indo-Pacific security.  In the modern world we need both.”  A “global NATO” was needed.  “By that I don’t mean extending the membership to those from other regions.  I mean that NATO must have a global outlook, ready to tackle global threats.”

Posted on: Aug 09 09:43

“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,” President Trump said in a statement. “After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 09 09:42

Before and during Donald Trump’s time in the White House, powerful federal agencies aligned to sabotage his candidacy and then his presidency. Once-trusted entities such as the FBI, the intelligence community, and even parts of the U.S. military have burned their credibility by abandoning their missions to instead try to end Trump’s political career.

Does this include the Secret Service?

Unfortunately, the scandal over deleted texts related to January 6 demands the question. 

Last month, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that houses the Secret Service, officially informed Congress that text messages the office sought as part of its investigation into the Capitol protest were gone. 

Posted on: Aug 09 09:39

Farmers around the globe are feeling unfairly targeted and unfortunately, they are right. From the Netherlands to Ireland to Canada, nations are increasingly targeting their respective agriculture sectors under the banner of climate change. Going after farmers could not come at a worse time as the war in Ukraine has triggered an international food shortage, which one United Nations official recently stated is “threatening global hunger on an unprecedented scale.” 

For example, the Netherlands, while a relatively small country, is the second-largest agricultural exporter in the world, the largest exporter of meat among all EU nations, and the third largest dairy exporter in the world. The Dutch climate proposal up for consideration would close up to 30% of their farms and force farmers to kill off livestock in order to comply with European Union (EU) environmental rules. When the newly created Dutch Minister for Nature and Nitrogen Policy announced the plan, local farmers were given three options—(1) Comply; (2) Relocate; or (3) Shutdown. There was no sleight of hand, the government made it clear “there is not a future for all [Dutch] farmers within [this] approach.” 

Posted on: Aug 09 09:38

For 42 years American school children have been subject to a barrage of misinformation about our American history. This has helped cause many of them to hate America. And virtually every day we read about the results.

For example, there’s a curriculum clash in one of our nation’s most conservative states. On Friday, Gary Bauer reported that the Oklahoma Board of Education decided to downgrade the Tulsa Public School District’s accreditation. This is because in Tulsa, they’re still teaching Marxist critical race theory---which is now against the law in the Sooner State.

Oklahoma’s Secretary of Education is Ryan Walters, who told Fox News: "What we've got to do is go back to teaching our history and ensuring that every young person has the ability to be successful and be inspired by our history."

Posted on: Aug 09 09:38
Historians have long debated the moral legitimacy of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the Second World War. But Ward Wilson, Author of "Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons," Senior Fellow at BASIC, and Director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project, argues the Bomb didn't force Japan to surrender, and that almost 70 years of nuclear weapons policy has been based on a myth.
Posted on: Aug 09 09:37

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will lead the Russian delegation to the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for the end of September in New York, the Kremlin announced on Monday.

The Kremlin confirmed on Monday that President Vladimir Putin neither intends to travel to the UNGA nor address the event online. Instead, the Russian president signed a directive designating Lavrov as the head of the Russian delegation. 

Due to sanctions, it's unclear whether the US will allow Lavrov to enter the country, even for the global event.

He will be accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin and Russian permanent representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia, as well as Senator Grigory Karasin and Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky, who chair the foreign affairs committees of their respective parliamentary chambers. 

The US government sanctioned Slutsky in March 2014, over his support for Crimea rejoining Russia. Lavrov was added to the sanctions list on February 25, as Washington accused him of being “directly responsible for Russia’s unprovoked and unlawful further invasion” of Ukraine. Russia has dismissed the embargo by the US and its allies as unilateral and illegitimate. 

Posted on: Aug 09 09:36

According to a new report from The Federalist, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney’s husband is a partner at the same law firm representing “scandal-ridden” Hunter Biden.

This news about Cheney’s husband, Philip Perry, first broke last week when the Daily Mail “reached out to Hunter Biden’s attorney for comment on a story.” The outlet later received a response from an attorney named Christopher Clark.

As you can see in the tweet thread above, Clark called reporter Josh Boswell a “parasite” in his email response. Then the partner at the firm Latham & Watkins accused Boswell of living off other people’s difficulties.

Notably, this is the same law firm Perry is a partner at per the company website.

Posted on: Aug 09 09:36

“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.” Trump said in a statement.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 09 09:31

Update (2053ET): Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) came out with a blistering response to the Monday FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, reportedly in connection with materials Trump brought with him after leaving office.

"The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," said DeSantis. "Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS agents to wield against its adversaries? Banana Republic."

Posted on: Aug 09 09:30

Are 55 and older workers propping up the U.S. economy? The data is rather persuasive that the answer is yes.

The chart of U.S. employment ages 25 to 54 years of age and 55 and older reveals a startling change.

There are now 20 million more 55+ employed than there were in 2000, an equivalent of the entire workforce of Spain. This unprecedented demographic / employment transition is worth a closer look.

As the second chart shows, some of this increase is due to the rising population of Americans over 55 years of age--an increase of 42 million. In 2000, 30% of those 55 and older were employed. Today, over 37% are employed--a significant increase in the percentage of 55+ people who are working.

Posted on: Aug 09 09:30

Apple has notified suppliers that anything shipped from Taiwan needs to have a "Made in China" label in order to strictly comply with Chinese customs regulations, following a controversial visit to the island, Nikkei Asia reports.

The regulation, which has been in effect for a while, has not been enforced. It requires shipments from Taiwan to reflect its status as part of the People's Republic of China.

According to the report, Apple urged suppliers to take the matter seriously to avoid any delays due to goods being withheld by customs.

As Insider Paper notes, Apple's decision has already been criticized for the company's failure to allow suppliers who view Taiwan as an independent country to "opt out" of putting a 'Made in China' label on their goods.

Posted on: Aug 09 09:29

President Joe Biden on Monday reacted to China's military announcing it is extending drills surrounding Taiwan. The four days of live fire exercises, which Taiwan sees as a direct threat and has described as effectively a "blockade", were scheduled to end Sunday, but the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command announced Monday that it is "continuing joint training under real war conditions, focused on organizing joint anti-submarine warfare and naval strikes."

In the fresh remarks, Biden said in what was a surprise to many that he's "not worried" about Chinese aggression toward Taiwan at this moment. "I’m not worried, but I’m concerned that they’re moving as much as they are. But I don’t think they’re going to do anything more," Biden told a group of reporters before traveling to Kentucky.

Posted on: Aug 09 09:28

Republican challenger Joe Kent defeated Trump-hating Rep. Jaime Herrera Butler in the Washington primary.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 09 09:26

Ray Dalio’s take on US-China tensions over Taiwan contains some alarming warnings.

While the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund wrote that an all-out war is still considered “improbable,” a gauge he uses to track the conflict between the two countries has surged to a record and is comparable to previous major wars. He warned that the tit-for-tat escalation could easily get out of control, as has often happened in history.

As far as markets are concerned, the fallout from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan appears to be more noise than signal. But for Bridgewater Associates’s Dalio, the “fourth Taiwan Straits crisis” is not something to be taken lightly, and the situation is “very similar” to the environment immediately prior to the two world wars.

That’s the message from his gauge of US-China conflict, which is composed of indicators such as changes in military spending and the views of people in each country toward the other, according to an essay published Monday. The current reading is nearly 1.2 standard deviations above average, in the high end of the range of major conflicts.

Posted on: Aug 09 09:26