Thought for the day

"If justice requires the consent of the governed, then our [U.S.] whole past record of expansion is a crime." -- Henry Cabot Lodge,1850-1924, US senator

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UAE meddling in U.S. politics is now a national security concern, according to a classified report compiled by U.S. intelligence officials and briefed to policymakers in Congress and the executive branch.

While the report remains classified to the public, the UAE’s attempts to illegally meddle in U.S. politics and elections, however, have made front page headlines for years — including a scheme to illegally funnel millions of dollars into the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election and a multi-million dollar covert campaign to vilify the UAE’s rival Qatar in Washington.

A new Quincy Institute brief that I authored, “The Emirati Lobby in America,” lifts the veil on the UAE’s legal lobbying and influence operations in America. The brief shows how this extraordinarily well funded collection of some of the most influential lobbying and public relations firms in America has worked to influence members of Congress, the executive branch, the media, think tanks, and others to shape critical U.S. foreign policy decisions in the Middle East.

Webmaster addition: How about Israel meddling in US politics? Isn't that a national security issue as well?

Posted on: Dec 07 07:53

Al Jazeera has submitted a formal request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute the Israeli soldiers responsible for killing Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the network announced on Tuesday.

Abu Akleh, 51, a veteran reporter for Al Jazeera Arabic and a household name across the Arab world, was shot dead on 11 May while covering an Israeli military raid in the Palestinian city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

Her death, which was widely condemned, sparked multiple investigations, including one by the UN, which concluded that Israeli forces likely killed her.

On Tuesday, the same day the request was filed, Israel's National Security Minister-designate, far-right leader Itamar Ben-Gvir, called for the expulsion of Al Jazeera from Israel.

Webmaster addition: The US has, of course, objected!

Posted on: Dec 07 07:52

Ned Ryun — the CEO of American Majority, one of the leading conservative activist groups — told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday over the weekend that Republicans must embrace “ballot chasing” if they hope to be competitive in 2024.

At the top of the segment, Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle asked Ryun what went wrong for the GOP in the November 8 elections, in which they took a very slim majority in the House of Representatives and squandered a prime opportunity to secure a Senate majority.

“I think Republicans have forgotten how to execute certain fundamentals of elections that they used to do very well decades ago,” said Ryun. “In fact … the Florida Republican Party still does this one thing very well, which is an absentee ballot chase program.”

“Obviously, people can request absentee ballots,” Ryan said, expanding on the ballot chase strategy. “They are then mailed to households, depending on the state call it four to six weeks before the actual election, and it’s public knowledge. These people have requested absentee ballots; they are now in possession of these absentee ballots, and then an absentee ballot chase program is how do you get as many of those people to actually return the ballots.”

Posted on: Dec 07 07:47

Israeli Channel 13 News on 5 December reported the details of a conversation that took place behind closed doors about the Israeli army’s criticism of the incoming government, and how it will break the security establishment’s chain of command.

Despite that he will be leaving his post by the end of the year, Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, has been highly vocal about his condemnation of Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s intentions to impose civilian rulers with extremist plans on the Israeli army and the West Bank, granting them power over both.

Netanyahu intends to assign Bezalel Smotrich, the Ministry of Finance, and Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Ministry of National Security to these positions as civilian rulers.

Kochavi described the splitting of power within the Ministry of Defense – through the creation of posts of influence inside the ministry in favor of Ben-Gvir and Smotrich – as the “end of the traditional chain of command.”

The army chief added that he would do his best to ensure that the Ultra-orthodox representatives fail at appointing any loyal general to the army’s command, stressing that “there is no possibility of this happening.”

Posted on: Dec 07 07:43

Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the IDF to prepare for the possibility of an escalation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in light of ongoing security tensions and the entry of the new government, the defense minister revealed in an interview with Ynet on Tuesday.

"I instructed the army to be prepared for the possibility that an event would happen that would ultimately lead to some type of escalation within the West Bank and could connect with Gaza. This thing can and may happen," said Gantz to Ynet. "In this complex situation, we must add the Iranian challenge, which in my opinion will increase in the next year or two. And instead of having an orderly, complete unity of command - they are taking those who fight terrorism and uphold the law in the West Bank and breaking them up. They are building an office within an office with its own powers, with its own legal advice, with its own forces."

Posted on: Dec 07 07:43

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Tuesday that no one would question Israeli soldiers, after Al Jazeera filed a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court over the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

"No one will interrogate IDF soldiers and no one will preach to us about morals of combat, certainly not the Al Jazeera network," Lapid said.

Abu Akleh was shot during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank in May.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:42

 Ukraine's health ministry said on Tuesday it was asking regional officials to consider suspending non-essential surgeries until the energy situation inside the country stabilizes.

Eight waves of Russian air strikes on critical infrastructure in recent weeks have seriously damaged Ukraine's power grid and led to emergency and planned outages across the country.

In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry said hospitals were continuing to provide emergency care but that planned surgeries should be temporarily suspended to ease the load on the medical system amid potential future blackouts.

"They will be carried out when the situation around the supply of electricity stabilizes," it said.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:41

Authorities allege that they have busted a school administrator who they say had a sexual relationship with a student and provided alcohol to underage students at a Halloween party.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Rachelle Louise Terry, 43, was arrested on multiple charges from the party. There is now an open probe into all of the allegations against Terry.

This particular individual has been in the Murray County school district for more than 20 years and is now getting busted for her alleged criminal activity.

The Dalton Daily Citizen reported that the school system's superintendent reached out to the Sheriff's office to report the rash of potentially illegal activity that they believed might have happened at the Halloween party.

The GBI issued a press release stating that Terry faced the following charges: one count of statutory rape, two of child molestation, and 10 of furnishing alcohol to minors.

As of Sunday afternoon, Terry remained in the custody of the police.

She has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing. According to the New York Post, a school district spokesperson said they were shocked and devastated by this news.

Webmaster addition: There seems to be a bit of a double standard at work here. Daily we hear of schools normalizing pedophilia and the sexualization of children. I don't agree with what Rachelle did, of course, but given current trends in eduucation, she might have come to believe such behavior was acceptible!

Posted on: Dec 07 07:37

The Johnny Depp Amber Heard defamation trial was one of the more celebrated and watched celebrity events of 2022.

Depp won his case that Heard had defamed him by claiming he had subjected her to domestic abuse. The court awarded the Pirates of the Caribbean actor $10.5 million because it found that a Washington Post op-ed in which Heard claimed domestic abuse was defamatory.

The New York Post reports that Heard has filed an appeal to the case, seeking a new trial.

“The 36-year-old “Aquaman” actress filed her appeal earlier this month, arguing the exclusion of therapy notes in which she reported being abused resulted in an unfair trial. The evidence had been ruled out as hearsay by Fairfax County, Virginia, Judge Penney Azcarate.

“’The trial court improperly prevented the jury from considering several separate instances in which Heard reported Depp’s abuse to a medical professional,’ Heard’s lawyers wrote in the 68-page document dated Nov. 23.

“’If not reversed, the trial court’s exclusion of contemporaneous reports of domestic abuse to medical professionals will make it more difficult for other abuse victims to prove allegations of abuse, and likely deter them from coming forward,’ they wrote.”

Posted on: Dec 07 07:36

Officers in the White Hat community have been receiving letters authored by the criminal regime’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, which hold an ominous ultimatum: relinquish command in exchange for possible amnesty, or prepare to face the music, according to documents reviewed by Real Raw News and sources familiar with the issue.

At least 65 officers across all branches of the armed forces have received letters accusing them of “treason,” and demanding they “voluntarily terminate command and surrender to proper authority.” The proper authority is Lloyd Austin.

A source in Gen. David H. Berger’s office said that Austin sent Gen. Berger a personalized note with instructions to publicly condemn President Donald J. Trump, to overtly recognize Joseph R. Biden as the lawfully elected president of the United States, to order his forces to at once “cease and desist all unconstitutional paramilitary action against elected and appointed officials,” and to surrender no later than December 22, 2022.

Webmaster addition: Apparently the government has been shaken by what happened in Brazil and is clearly worried that our military might decide to intervene in the obviously stolen 2020 and 2022 elections. Lloyd would not be doing this unless there was a large portion of the military unhappy with the imposed regime!

Posted on: Dec 07 07:32

Iraq's ministry of education allegedly plans to shut down all its schools for the Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) north of the country, upsetting pupils and their families as most of the Arab families cannot return to their original places due to security reasons.

Thousands of Iraqi families, mostly Sunnis, were displaced to the Kurdistan region provinces after the Islamic State(IS) took over nearly a third of Iraq's territories in 2014.  Although Iraq announced the defeat of IS in 2017, the IDPs are unwilling to return to their original places due mainly to the lack of basic public services and concerns over being targeted by the Iran-backed Shia militias.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:28

Turkey’s foreign minister on Tuesday again threatened to “take action” against Greece if it continues to arm its Aegean islands which Ankara says should remain demilitarized in line with international treaties.

Mevlut Cavusoglu’s comments follow reports of military exercises by Greece on the Aegean islands of Rhodes and Lesbos. Turkish officials insist the deployment of soldiers or weapons on some islands close to its coast are in violation of their nonmilitary status according to international law.

Athens says it needs to defend the islands against a potential attack from Turkey. It notes that Turkey has a sizeable military force on the western Turkish coast just across form the islands.

Speaking during a joint news conference with his Romanian counterpart, Cavusoglu said continued violation of the treaties would open their sovereignty up to debate and force Turkey to defends its rights.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:26

Jordanian authorities arrested at least 30 teachers and activists on Monday, in addition to Sufyan Tell, a member of the country's political opposition.

The activists were arrested by security forces on their way to a protest in front of the Ministry of Education. Most of those detainees were released a few hours after their arrest, Jamal Jeet, a Jordanian lawyer familiar with the file, told The New Arab.

Teachers and activists were attempting to protest the forced retirement of teachers and call for their reinstatement, as well as for the re-opening of the Jordanian teacher's syndicate.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:26

Afghan girls will be allowed to take their high school graduation exams this week, an official and documents from the Taliban government indicated Tuesday — even though they have been banned from classrooms since the former insurgents took over the country last year.

According to two documents from the Taliban ministry of education, obtained by The Associated Press, the decision applies to 31 out of Afghanistan's 34 provinces where the winter school break starts in late December.

Ehsanullah Kitab, head of the Kabul education department, said the exams would take place on Wednesday. He provided no other details and it was not clear how many teenage girls would be able to take the exam.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:25

On Monday, the U.S. Navy announced that it will lower its entrance test standards, the latest in a series of quiet changes intended to address hiring challenges. 

About 80 percent of Americans of prime recruiting age are ineligible for military service due to obesity, criminal records and other obstacles, and the remainder have many non-military options to choose from in a robust job market. This year, the Navy needs to convince about 38,000 eligible Americans to enlist, and it is making some headline-grabbing changes in order to do it. 

In November, the service raised the maximum enlistment age from 39 to 41, the statutory limit. Effective Monday, it has also told recruiters that it will accept candidates who score well below average on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), the standard test administered in all U.S. military recruiting. 

For candidates with a high school diploma, the Navy's minimum allowable performance on the AFQT is now set at the 10th percentile, lower than 90 percent of all test results. This is the statutory minimum, and it is below historical standards for the armed forces. Previously, the Navy drew the line at the 30th percentile.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:24

Congress is poised to use the annual defense policy bill to eliminate the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate — a major concession by President Biden’s Democratic allies that helps clear the way to passing the sweeping package before year’s end. 

In a compromise with Republicans, House Democrats are allowing language into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that repeals the coronavirus vaccine mandate for U.S. service members a year after it was enacted, House Armed Services Committee ranking member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) confirmed to The Hill Tuesday.  

Posted on: Dec 07 07:22

An airfield in the Russian city of Kursk was targeted by a drone strike on Tuesday, a day after two air bases deep inside Russian territory were hit by Ukrainian drones.

Tuesday’s attack targeted an airfield that is about 80 miles from the Ukrainian border, causing a nearby oil tank to catch fire. The region’s governor said there were no casualties in the incident.

The attacks on Monday hit targets hundreds of miles inside Russia, the deepest Ukrainian drone strikes in Russian territory since the February 24 invasion. Later on Monday, Russia launched another massive missile barrage across Ukraine, targeting energy infrastructure.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:22

What can I say? I dipped in and out of various sessions this year at the Davos event with much interest.

Unfortunately, Davos 2023 will be held in less than 44 days. Can you believe it?

This year’s event was titled “History at a Turning Point” and we all remember when the Swiss Military were ordered to protect Schwab and the Global Elites with 5,000 troops.

Schwab also warned those who trivialized or hijacked the event’s key messages, like the often-mentioned Great Reset, that they would be treated with contempt.

At the key note address Klaus Schwab said:

“This war is really a turning point in history, and it will ‘reshape’ our political and economic landscape in the coming years.” – Klaus Schwab.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:21

An international vaccine passport, digital identity, a social credit system and a central bank digital currency (CBDC) form a digital control system that will lock down the population in perpetuity

Facial recognition is an essential part of the control structure, as it’s the “password” to your digital identity.

By the end of 2022, there will be 1 billion data collecting surveillance cameras in the world, all connected to the internet and artificial intelligence (AI). Cameras and audio recording devices in cell phones, automobiles and smart appliances also collect and share data.

All these data are then used to give each person an individual score, based on their behavior, expression and interaction with the world. Ultimately, your social credit score, will dictate what you can and cannot do, what you can buy and where you can go.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an absolutely crucial component, without which the control system cannot work. The easiest way to push against this system is to starve AI of data by refusing to use technologies that collect and share your personal data.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:18

Here’s the mainstream narrative: The status of the war in Ukraine is best understood as a competition between the narrative and reality.

The narrative consists of what you hear from mainstream media, the White House, the Pentagon and official sources in the U.K., France, Germany and both EU and NATO headquarters in Brussels.

The reality consists of what’s actually going on based on the best available sources. Let’s consider the narrative first.

According to the White House, EU and NATO, things are going relatively well for Ukraine. The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have advanced in eastern Ukraine along a line that runs parallel to the Russian fortified lines between Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukraine has also reoccupied the regional capital of Kherson, which lies strategically on the Dnieper River, and is Kyiv’s main access to the Black Sea and international trade.

Based on these advances, the narrative says that Russia is in retreat, Russian troops are demoralized, Putin is in jeopardy of being replaced and complete victory for Ukraine is just a matter of time.

The narrative is then used as a basis for increased financial aid from the United States (over $60 billion and growing) and increased weapons shipments from NATO members. President Zelenskyy touts these accomplishments in his customary green T-shirt on video presentations to the U.N., G20 and other international audiences.

Here’s the reality…

The actual situation on the battlefield is almost completely at odds with the narrative. Ukraine did make advances in the east, but they were against lightly defended Russian positions on or near open terrain.

The Russians organized an orderly retreat to fortified lines and let the Ukrainians have the open land. Russia withdrew from Kherson because they regarded it as a nonstrategic salient.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:18

President Joe Biden is threatening the returns of 401(k) savings accounts, risking millions of workers’ comfortable retirements.

If you put money into a 401(k), beware. Until now, the law always required fund managers entrusted with your savings to invest the money where it’s expected to get the top profit for you. Period. But late last month, Biden’s Labor Department announced a rule change that goes into effect at the end of January. It will allow fund managers to invest your money in the stocks of companies that favor left-wing policies, even if they earn a lower return.

It’s legalized theft. The future earnings on your retirement nest egg are being sacrificed to advance a woke agenda.

A lower return means you’ll have to work more years before retiring or start putting more into your 401(k) — or settle for a lesser standard of living in the final years of your life.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:17

The secretary of the United Kingdom’s Home Office, which regulates immigration, recently caused a scandal by referring to the nonstop immigration of mostly Muslim migrants as an “invasion.”  On Oct. 30, 2022, Suella Braverman said:

The British people deserve to know which party is serious about stopping the invasion on our southern coast and which party is not…  Some 40,000 people have arrived on the south coast this year alone, many of them facilitated by criminal gangs, some of them actual members of criminal gangs. So let’s stop pretending that they are all refugees in distress: the whole country knows that that is not true….  I’m utterly serious about ending the scourge of illegal migration and I am determined to do whatever it takes to break the criminal gangs and fix our hopelessly lax asylum system…

Needless to say, such frank assertions “sparked an instant backlash from all sectors of the globalist establishment in Britain, from the legacy media to politicians in both the Labour Party and the Conservatives.”

Posted on: Dec 07 07:16

The Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman is projecting that U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., will hold on to defeat Republican Herschel Walker in today’s runoff election.

Webmaster addition: Imagine my shock. I mean just imagine it!

Posted on: Dec 07 07:15

“Goblin mode” has been chosen by the public as the 2022 Oxford word of the year. The term, which refers to “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations”, has become the first word of the year to have been decided by public vote.

Given a choice of three words (or phrases/hashtags – “word” is defined fairly loosely), narrowed down by lexicographers from Oxford University Press (OUP), more than 340,000 English speakers around the world cast their vote.

“Metaverse” was the second choice, followed by “#IStandWith”. Goblin mode was a landslide victory: it was selected by 318,956 people, making up 93%of the overall vote.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:12

The campaign of Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has issued a blistering response after being rebuked by a federal judge appointed by then-President Barack Obama, who also imposed a fine after filing an election-related lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge John Tuchi of the District of Arizona rejected a Lake lawsuit earlier this year and then moved to fine her attorneys and those of Republican Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem last week.

“Imposing sanctions, in this case, is not to ignore the importance of putting in place procedures to ensure that our elections are secure and reliable,” Tuchi wrote in his order. “It is to make clear that the Court will not condone litigants ignoring the steps that Arizona has already taken toward this end and furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process.

“It is to send a message to those who might file similarly baseless suits in the future,” Tuchi’s order noted further.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:10

FTX founder and former chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried and Caroline Ellison, head of its now-defunct trading affiliate, have tapped defense attorneys as U.S. authorities probe the crypto exchange's collapse, according to a spokesperson for Bankman-Fried and a source familiar with Ellison's selection.

Bankman-Fried has retained Mark S. Cohen, of Cohen & Gresser, Bankman-Fried's spokesperson Mark Botnick said in an emailed statement. Cohen could not be reached for comment.

Ellison, who ran trading firm Alameda Research, has hired Washington-based law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to represent her, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. Neither Ellison nor spokespeople for the firm responded to requests for comment.

Regulators around the globe, including in the Bahamas where FTX is based and in the United States, are investigating the role of FTX's top executives including Bankman-Fried in the firm's stunning collapse, Reuters has previously reported. The crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy last month after a liquidity crisis that saw at least $1 billion of customer funds vanish.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:07

The popular American Girl doll brand is facing backlash for pushing kids into changing their gender in a recent book marketed to young girls.

The recently released book, titled A Smart Girl's Guide: Body Image, contains lines that give advice to prepubescents on how to change their gender - seemingly without their guardians' blessing.

Parents have since based the book's contents as 'deceptive and dangerous,' citing the messages it looks to sending to its impressionable demographic.

The 96-page handbook - billed as a 'guide' - is marketed to girls aged 3 to 12, and instructs them on how to make permanent changes to their bodies, and to embrace that they may be unhappy in the bodies they were born with.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:06

Police have today raided an alleged far-right German terror group led by a man claiming descent from an ancient royal line accused of plotting to overthrow the government and install him as monarch. 

Prince Heinrich XIII, 71 and thought to belong to the House of Reuss, was named among 25 people arrested after police raided 130 locations including a palace in the state of Thuringia - the ancestral seat of the family. 

Prince Heinrich XIV Reuss of Greiz, current head of the House of Reuss-Greiz, denounced his relative after the raids - branding him a 'confused old man' who left the family 14 years ago and has not been in contact since. 

Posted on: Dec 07 07:05

San Francisco supervisors voted Tuesday to put the brakes on a controversial policy that would have let police use robots for deadly force.

It's a stunning U-Turn just days after their approval of the plan generated fierce pushback and warnings about the militarization and automation of policing.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to explicitly ban the use of robots in such a fashion for now. But they sent the issue back to a committee for further discussion and could vote in the future to let police use robots in a lethal manner in limited cases.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:04

Winston Churchill famously reassured the U.S. that its long northern border was 'guarded only by neighbourly respect and honourable obligations'.

And generations of US leaders have tended to agree – there's nothing to worry about from solid and reliably uncontroversial Canada.

Until now, that is.

Anyone who ever thought that the compassionate response to extreme human suffering is a society that helps people find permanent release from their pain may want to look at some of the horror stories coming out of Canada recently.

To be clear, euthanasia laws in the US are nothing like those of its neighbor to the north. But American acceptance of the practice has been growing for decades despite warnings that legalized suicide is a slippery slope toward a calamitous debasement of human life.

Canada, a country that prides itself on its open-mindedness and tolerance, has the most permissive rules on euthanasia in the world – and the results have been frankly terrifying.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:04