Thought for the day
"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin." -- Mark Twain
"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - You may know that your society is doomed." -- Ayn Rand, 'Atlas Shrugged', 1957
It is a busy week for Kari Lake and for Republicans who harbor White House ambitions. Several are more than eager to share the stump with the Arizona gubernatorial candidate, a fact that Democrats believe underscores their arguments about the “ultra MAGA” right and the rise of GOP extremism.
Tuesday morning in Scottsdale, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem will have coffee with Lake and her supporters. The next afternoon in the Phoenix suburbs, Lake will share the stage with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Former President Donald Trump arrives Sunday to host a rally in the town of Prescott Valley.
Some have already stumped for Lake, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in August. Others have promised they will, like Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, but haven’t yet put a date on the calendar.
“Why is it a surprise that Republicans are helping Republicans?” a Noem spokesman asked RealClearPolitics before getting a plug in for the candidate: “South Dakota is proving that freedom gets results, and Kari Lake will bring the same principles to Arizona.”
Webmaster addition: 'Extremist' seems to be the new Democratic pejorative; this from the party that puts porn ion public schools, wants to abort babies right up to the moment of birth, encourages children to undergo permanent and life-altering transgender surgery, and erase the borders of the nation!
Bitcoin miners are the next level of power projection as they reinforce an incorruptible network that cannot be usurped by a single entity...
The military, today, is not considered an important element of society by the public. Why should it? It represents bloodshed and fights that seem pointless and have caused society a lot of pain. Similarly, studying Bitcoin as a property defense system is a misunderstood part of this asset and one that is biased by our own beliefs. How are they connected? Because both use brute force and physical power to defend property.
As a Mexican-born citizen, I have always wondered why, given the abundance of natural resources like oil and lithium available in our country, Mexico hasn’t become a world economic leader. You might also have a similar point of view in your country of residence. Especially if you are in a developing nation in Latin America or Africa or if you live in a small country that has a lot of influence from superpowers like Russia, the U.S. or China.
Throughout history, one of the reasons a country or empire has become a hegemonic power has been through what Jason Lowery calls the power projection game, which means the kinetic brute physical force of the military. This is important because if a nation doesn’t project power properly, how can it defend its natural resources and its sovereignty from another nation? And more importantly, as individuals, how can we defend our property from being stolen or confiscated by a corrupt agent? Here is where the role of The State arises.
After falling out with his partner at a limousine company in the St. Louis suburbs, Martin Zlatev recently sought a lucrative new business opportunity: selling $30 million worth of rockets, grenade launchers and ammunition to the Ukrainian military.
Mr. Zlatev and his new business partner, a local osteopath, took their first crack at international arms dealing. Contract documents and other records obtained by The New York Times show that the deal relied on layers of middlemen and transit across seven countries. And it exists in a legal gray area, designed to skirt the arms-export rules of other countries.
“Time is of the essence,” the pair recently wrote to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense. They outlined a plan to sell American, Bulgarian and Bosnian arms to Ukraine.
The American Medical Association (AMA) sent Attorney General Merrick Garland a letter Monday calling on him to “investigate the organizations, individuals, and entities coordinating, provoking, and carrying out bomb threats and threats of personal violence against children’s hospitals and physicians across the U.S.”
“The attacks are rooted in an intentional campaign of disinformation, where a few high-profile users on social media share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals, resulting in a rapid escalation of threats, harassment, and disruption of care across multiple jurisdictions,” the AMA, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) said in the letter. “Our organizations have called on technology companies to do more to prevent this practice on digital platforms, and we now urge your office to take swift action to investigate and prosecute all organizations, individuals, and entities responsible.”
With the sole possible exception of the great Sun Tzu and his “Art of War”, no military theorist has had such an enduring philosophical impact as the Prussian General Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz. A participant in the Napoleonic Wars, Clausewitz in his later years dedicated himself to the work that would become his iconic achievement - a dense tome titled simply “Vom Kriege” - On War. The book is a meditation on both military strategy and the socio-political phenomenon of war, which is heavily laced with philosophical rumination. Though On War has had an enduring and indelible impact on the study of military arts, the book itself is at times a rather difficult thing to read - a fact that stems from the great tragedy that Clausewitz was never actually able to finish it. He died in 1831 at the age of only 51 with his manuscript in an unedited disorder; and it fell upon his wife to attempt to organize and publish his papers.
Clausewitz, more than anything, is famous for his aphorisms - “Everything is very simple in war, but the simplest thing is difficult” - and his vocabulary of war, which includes terms such as “friction” and “culmination.” Among all his eminently quotable passages, however, one is perhaps the most famous: his claim that “War is a mere continuation of politics by other means.”
According to a new survey of Americans, a growing majority desire negotiations with Washington’s enemies. For example, nearly 80% of people polled said they want the White House to continue nuclear talks with Iran.
The Eurasia Group Foundation released a new survey asking Americans if our government should negotiate with adversaries. Nearly twice as many Americans said they want more talks compared to those calling for less diplomacy.
Since Joe Biden became president, Washington’s relationship with Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang and Tehran has become more contentious. However, the increasingly hostile White House is not reflective of the American public. Year-over-year the poll shows an increase in Americans favoring diplomacy over isolation.
It seems OPEC’s major snub to the Biden Administration has done what the war in Yemen and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi could not: get members of Congress mad enough to call for the dissolution of the entire relationship with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The OPEC+ decision to cut oil production by two million barrels yesterday has been described as “a blow against (President) Biden”, and members on both sides of the congressional aisle have been fuming. But a trio of House members are taking it one step further, introducing a bill that would take all U.S. troops, weapons, and missile defense systems out of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. From a statement by Reps. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), Sean Casten (D-Ill.) and Susan Ellis Wild (D-Penn.):
“Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s drastic cut in oil production, despite President Biden’s overtures to both countries in recent months, is a hostile act against the United States and a clear signal that they have chosen to side with Russia in its war against Ukraine. Both countries have long relied on an American military presence in the Gulf to protect their security and oil fields. We see no reason why American troops and contractors should continue to provide this service to countries that are actively working against us. If Saudi Arabia and the UAE want to help Putin, they should look to him for their defense.
The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of the National Advanced Surface-To-Air Missile System and Medium Range Air Defense System to Kuwait in a deal valued at an estimated $3 billion, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
"The proposed sale will improve Kuwait’s capability to meet current and future threats by enhancing the ability to defend itself against regional malign actors and improve interoperability with systems operated by U.S. forces and other Gulf countries," it said.
The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense, the Pentagon said.
Proponents of a negotiated diplomatic solution to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this week decried the Biden administration’s latest military assistance package for the embattled country, warning that the longer the fight continues, the greater the chance of a catastrophic nuclear war.
The Pentagon announced Tuesday that the U.S. will deliver up to $625 million worth of additional armaments and ammunition to Ukraine following Russia’s illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions last week, a move that prompted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to formally apply for NATO membership.
File: Israeli soldiers are seen in Metula, on the border between Israel and Lebanon, northern Israel, on May 15, 2021. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered Israeli troops on alert in the country’s north on Thursday amid setbacks in the effort to reach a maritime border deal with Lebanon.
Gantz held a situational assessment with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and other security officials after Israel said it would not accept Lebanon’s proposed amendments to a US-brokered deal.
The families of three young Palestinian men whose vehicle was fired on by the Israeli army on Monday have become increasingly worried as accurate information on their relatives' fates has not been forthcoming.
Salaamah Sharayah, Khaled Anbar Al-Dabbas and Basel Basbous were in the Jalazone refugee camp in the occupied West Bank when the incident took place.
Al-Dabbas and Basbous were declared dead. But then, the Palestinian Authority's Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees' Affairs on Tuesday said Basbous was found alive at an Israeli hospital, where he was being treated.
FILE - Mourners carry the body of 7-year-old Palestinian boy Rayan Suleiman during his funeral in the West Bank village of Tequa near Bethlehem Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. The Israeli military on Thursday, Oct. 6, cleared itself of wrongdoing in the death of a 7-year-old Palestinian boy whose family says he “died of fear” after an interaction with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military on Thursday cleared itself of wrongdoing in the death of a 7-year-old Palestinian boy whose family says he “died of fear” after an encounter with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.
The United States, European Union and United Nations had demanded an investigation into the death of second-grader Rayan Suleiman, which became the latest lightning rod in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as outraged Palestinians blamed Israel for his death last week.
Rayan’s parents allege he was chased by Israeli soldiers on his way home from school and that he collapsed when troops appeared at his home in the Palestinian town of Tequa. They say he fell unconscious after troops interrogated his father and threatened Rayan and his brothers with arrest.
The U.S. Department of Defense is on track to award its pivotal Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract by the end of the year, after missing a previous deadline, a Pentagon official said.
“December 2022 is still the date we’re aiming for, for awards,” Lily Zeleke, an acting deputy chief information officer, said at an Oct. 5 event hosted by Federal News Network. “I can tell you we’re progressing well, and we anticipate to meet that date.”
Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder sent a letter to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink explaining that Louisiana is withdrawing its funds from Blackrock.
In July 2021, Judge Andrew Hanenn of the Southern District of Texas ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful, blocking the government from approving new applications.
Yes you heard that right. In Chicago, where guns are now legal and law abiding citizens can get a concealed carry license after days of classroom testing and exorbitant fees, a resident was able to save his own life during a burglary in his home.
Speaking on the sidelines of the second Caspian Economic Forum in Moscow on 6 October, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said that he thinks Iran is on its way to becoming a “regional hub” for Russian fuel.
“The transit and exchange of Russian oil and gas through Iran will make Iran the center of the region in terms of energy, and the country will receive a lot of foreign exchange income,” Owji told reporters.
The Iranian official also highlighted that “there is a joint project for the production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and technologies related to gas facilities with the Russian company Gazprom.”
Similarly, Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Assadzadeh revealed that the Islamic Republic expects to conclude several gas and oil cooperation agreements with Russia within the next six months.
“During the recent talks with Russia, we made good progress in implementing the memorandum with Gazprom. Therefore, I hope that several agreements will be concluded in the next 6 months,” Asadzadeh told Russian news agency Sputnik.
Webmaster addition: I'll bet Biden didn't see that one coming!
Gas prices have soared under Joe Bide to all-time record highs. The price of a gallon of gasoline cost more than $5 earlier this year – nearly a full dollar more than at any other time in US history.
Comments by the Palestinian Authority’s Governor of Nablus describing mothers of dead Palestinian fighters as “deviant” have sparked fury in the West Bank, with a Palestinian resistance group calling for his resignation, The New Arab reported.
Nablus Governor Major-General Ibrahim Ramadan blamed the mothers of Palestinians killed by Israel for their children’s death, in comments to the local Najah radio station.
“A mother is someone who shows affection and tenderness, but there are some deviant mothers who send their sons to commit suicide and then show themselves to be ‘resistance’. This is not a mother,” Ramadan said.
The US-Taiwan military training exchange is expecting an unprecedented expansion next year, president of the US-Taiwan Business Council Rupert Hammond-Chambers revealed this week.
Hammond-Chambers said the military cooperation would include army and naval training programs, a substantial expansion over the current F-16 fighter pilot training program.
“I’m talking about with the US Navy, I’m talking about with the US Army, and I’m also talking interoperability. And that’s all going to roll out,” Focus Taiwan quoted him as saying, adding that the US administration is on board with the move.
The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday voted against a western-led motion to hold a debate on alleged widespread abuses against Uyghurs and other Muslims in China's Xinjiang region after intense lobbying by Beijing.
The United States and allies last month presented the first draft decision targeting China to the UN's top rights body, seeking as a bare minimum a discussion on Xinjiang.
The move came after former UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet released her long-delayed Xinjiang report, citing possible crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the far-western region.
Western countries thought that by going no further than simply seeking to talk about the findings, they would be able to muster up enough support against blocking it from the agenda.
Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement fired back at claims made by Washington’s envoy to the country Tim Lenderking on 5 October, as well as by the UN Security Council, after they accused the group of “hijacking” the negotiations, making last-minute “extremist demands,” and obstructing an extension to the UN-brokered truce.
According to the US Special Envoy, Ansarallah allegedly demanded that their military and security personnel receive their salaries before Yemen’s civil servants.
Over the past few years, Yemeni government officials and employees have been prevented from receiving their salaries by the Saudi-led coalition, a clear violation of the terms of the ceasefire agreement.
Contrary to the US envoy’s claim, however, Ansarallah had criticized a proposed mechanism for the payment of public sector salaries over its exclusion of police, security, and military employees.
As the Biden administration looks at relaxing sanctions to allow Chevron Corp. to pump oil in Venezuela again, the company is preparing to navigate myriad challenges in the country that could limit its ability to increase production quickly.
Chevron will have to manage everything from fuel shortages to accident-prone oil infrastructure to security and corruption risks that could hamper its efforts to revitalize the country’s gutted oil industry.
Some analysts said Venezuela’s oil production could increase by about 400,000 barrels a day in a matter of months to a year. That isn’t nearly enough to offset up to 2 million barrels of daily production the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russia-led allies said they would cut Wednesday.
Venezuela is likely to hit a ceiling eventually of about 1 million barrels a day in the medium term, still well below production levels before the U.S. sanctions, said Fernando Ferreira, an analyst at Rapidan Energy.
While the media has fixated on Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott's controversial one-way bus ticket program for migrants to sanctuary cities like New York City and Chicago, there has been little press about one Democrat-led border city doing the same.
El Paso, Texas, Mayor Oscar Leeser, a Democrat, uses Abbott's bus strategy as the surge of migrants crossing the southern border has sent the region into crisis. The federal government's failure, i.e., the Biden administration, left Leeser with no other option as an influx of illegals stained his city's finances.
At least 7,000 migrants have been bussed from El Paso to New York City since late August and 1,800 to Chicago, Reuters reported. However, Leeser's bussing has garnered less media attention than Abbott's, who is seeking reelection in the Nov. 8 midterm elections. Perhaps the bias in the liberal mainstream press is very obvious.
The U.N. rights body on Thursday renewed the mandate of a U.N. office to collect and preserve evidence of alleged wartime human rights crimes in Sri Lanka, despite opposition from the government and allies including China.
The resolution brought by Britain, Canada, the United States and others passed with 20 votes in favour and seven against at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. China and several other countries supported Sri Lanka's view that the monitoring amounted to meddling.
"Sri Lanka categorically rejects the resolution presented without our consent, despite our efforts to engage with the main sponsors," foreign minister Ali Sabry said, rejecting it as "rambling" and a "drain on resources".
China, a close ally of Sri Lanka, voted against the resolution, which it called an example of "politicisation" of human rights issues. Pakistan called the resolution "intrusive".
In early September, United States Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, told Reuters that President Joe Biden was considering extending the release of oil from America’s emergency stockpiles, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), through October, and thus beyond the date when the program had been set to end. But then, a few hours later, an official with the Department of Energy called Reuters and contradicted Granholm, saying that the White House was not, in fact, considering more SPR releases. Five days later, the White House said it was considering refilling the SPR, thereby proposing to do the exact opposite of what Granholm had proposed.
The hand of Russia's President Vladimir Putin (right) is now strengthened within the OPEC+ cartel controlled by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (left), which today decided to cut production by 2 million barrels.
The confusion around the Biden administration’s petroleum policy was cleared up yesterday after a senior official revealed that the White House had made a secret offer to buy up to 200 million barrels of OPEC+ oil to replenish the SPR in exchange for OPEC+ not cutting oil production. The official said the White House wanted to reassure OPEC+ that the US “won’t leave them hanging dry.” The fact that this offer was made through the White House, not the Department of Energy, may explain why a representative of the Department called Reuters to take back the remarks of Granholm, who has shown herself to be out-of-the-loop, and at a loss for words, relating to key administration decisions relating to oil and gas production.
The revelation poses political risks for Democrats who, in the spring of 2020, killed a proposal by President Donald Trump to replenish the SPR with oil from American producers, not OPEC+ ones, and at a price of $24 a barrel, not the $80 a barrel that the Biden White House promised to OPEC+. At the time, Trump was seeking to stabilize the American oil industry after the Covid-19 pandemic massively reduced oil demand. Trump and Congressional Republicans proposed spending $3 billion to fill the SPR. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer successfully defeated the proposal, and later bragged that his party had blocked a “bailout for big oil.”
The trial of Igor Danchenko is scheduled for October 11, 2022. While it is only a false statement case, we can’t help but ask whether the trial will reveal any Danchenko contacts with the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign while he was acting as Christopher Steele’s primary subsource.
The reason for that question? More on that below.
First we start with the background. As you might recall, Danchenko was used by Steele as he conducted opposition research on Trump and his associates. Steele’s dossier (also called “Company Reports”) eventually made it into the hands of federal officials and the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who used it to prepare and submit applications for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on Carter Page (and to collect the communications of the Trump campaign).
Judge James C. Ho announced that he will no longer be hiring law clerks from Yale.
The Midterms aren't a battle between good and evil...
Reading the mainstream media, one would be forgiven for believing that the upcoming midterms are part of a Manichaean struggle for the soul of democracy, pitting righteous progressives against the authoritarian “ultra-MAGA” hordes. The truth is nothing of the sort. Even today, the vast majority of Americans are moderate and pragmatic, with fewer than 20% combined for those identifying as either “very conservative” or “very liberal”. The apocalyptic ideological struggle envisioned by the country’s elites has little to do with how most Americans actually live and think. For most people, it is not ideology but the powerful forces of class, race, and geography that determine their political allegiances — and how they will vote come November.
Of course, it is the business of both party elites — and their media allies — to make the country seem more divided than it is. To avoid talking about the lousy economy, Democrats have sought to make the election about abortion and the alleged “threat to democracy” posed by “extremist” Republicans. But recent polls suggest that voters are still more concerned with economic issues than abortion. The warnings about extremism, meanwhile, are tough to take seriously, given that Democrats spent some $53 million to boost far-Right candidates in Republican primaries.
On Wednesday, Steve Bannon had a sit-down interview with OANN New York correspondent Caitlin Sinclair.