Thought for the day

"If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military." -- Harry S. Truman

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Problem - Reaction - Solution.  British Prime Minister and billionaire associate of the World Economic Forum Rishi Sunak is calling for draconian police powers to deal with "illegal protests," using the disruptive glue-happy traffic activism of groups like Just Stop Oil as a rationale. 

To be sure, no one likes the fanaticism of Extinction Rebellion protesters, primarily because their movement is based on fear mongering over non-existent man-made global warming.  People are not going to be inspired by activists gluing themselves to roads and blocking traffic over a temperature increase of less than 1 degree Celsius in a century.  The problem is that the actions of these protesters are being exploited by government officials in order to con the public into supporting police powers that could be used against more legitimate freedom movements tomorrow.

The prime minister states: "My view is that those who break the law should feel the full force of it."

Posted on: Dec 07 08:05

The suspected organizers of a coup in Germany contacted Russian representatives but failed to find support, the German federal prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

According to the prosecution, the suspects considered a coup as a necessary step towards "changing the system at all levels."

"To achieve their goal, the organization planned to form a (military) interim government, which, according to the organization’s members, was to agree on a new state order in Germany with the victorious powers of World War II," the prosecution noted, adding that "the organization currently views Russia as the main contact point for related talks."

"Defendant Heinrich XIII PR contacted Russian representatives in Germany but there are no signs showing that the contact persons positively responded to his request," the office noted.

Posted on: Dec 07 08:02

Russia has inflamed regional tensions with Japan by deploying new missile defense systems in the disputed Kuril Islands, specifically a mobile coastal defense missiles system on a northernmost island in the chain.

"Coastal servicemen of the Pacific Fleet will keep a round-the-clock watch to control the adjacent water area and strait zones," the Russian defense ministry said in announcing the new missile placement on Tuesday.

Posted on: Dec 07 08:02

Gold To Soar, Crush Western Banks When Putin Unveils Petrogold "Russia's decision to link gold to oil could bring gold back as a settlement medium and increase its intrinsic value sharply. Banks active in the paper gold market would face a liquidity shortfall

Posted on: Dec 07 08:01

If you accept that the Covid “pandemic” was in fact a global psy-op, carried out by most of the governments of the world working in concert at the behest of supra-national financial, corporate and political interests, then it de facto follows that any apparent differences in approach or attitude between those co-operating governments serve a role in the narrative.

In short, someone has to play “the bad guy”.

In this case, China’s brutal “zero-Covid” approach allows the Western governments to claim the “moderate” label simply by virtue of not being so cartoonishly “evil” as China.

Of course, this works in both directions.

“The West” can say to their citizens, “look how brutal China’s lockdown was, we would never go that far, because we care about your rights”.
Meanwhile, China can say “look how lax and disorganized the West’s Covid response was, we would never be that careless, because we care about your health”.

It is – and here’s that phrase again – a fake binary.

Posted on: Dec 07 08:00

US allies are steaming mad at Biden for his climate change war. Let's discuss who fired the first shot and who is escalating the war.

The Wall Street Journal comments Biden Starts a Climate Trade War

Wasn’t President Biden going to end Donald Trump’s destructive trade wars against allies? Apparently not. His “super aggressive” climate protectionism—to quote French President Emmanuel Macron—is infuriating U.S. friends and may set off a subsidy and tariff war.

U.S. allies are upset about the Inflation Reduction Act’s generous subsidies for domestically manufactured green technologies. In his trip to Washington last week, Mr. Macron said the U.S. subsidies may “perhaps fix your issue but you will increase my problem.” They’re really a problem for everybody.

The dispute involves tax credits for electric-vehicle and battery production. The IRA’s $7,500 consumer tax credit are restricted to EVs assembled in North America. Most foreign auto makers make EVs abroad and export them because the global and U.S. markets are still small.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:59

Father of FTX CEO, Stanford Professor Joseph Bankman, oversaw intertwined philanthropic and regulatory efforts...

In the spring of 2022, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, made Chicago its U.S. headquarters, drawing the applause of the city’s mayor.

“This is a mechanism and a tool to bring traditionally underrepresented and ignored populations into the world of crypto so they can take ownership and control of their own financial destiny,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opulent, 9,000 square foot FTX headquarters in May.

“I think the sky is the limit.”

The reason FTX.US chose Chicago was, in part, to use the city to pilot a cash giveaway program aimed at poor African American residents.

FTX was essentially contributing to two ”guaranteed basic income” programs, one run by a nonprofit called Equity And Transformation (EAT), and the other by the city.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:57

We've come across what could be another automotive company intentionally detuning engines so it can offer performance packages to customers via an over-the-air update. 

Swedish EV car company Polestar, a subsidiary of Volvo and Geely, is charging customers $17.50 per horsepower in an over-the-air software update for the long-range, dual-motor variant of the 2, reported Autoblog

The upgrade adds 68 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque that boosts the 2's dual-motor powertrain from 408hp and 487 lb-ft of torque to 476hp and 502 lb-ft. It will cost a one-time fee of $1,195.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:56

Desperate to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), media lobbyists are attempting to attach it to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill to fund the military.

The JCPA would allow Big Media to form negotiating cartels to gain even more favors with Big Tech. The bill has been criticized by both Democrats and Republicans. Conservatives feel the bill would deepen ties between Big Tech and Big Media for more censorship of conservative views.

On December 2, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned against passing the JCPA.

The JCPA has nothing to do with national defense. It is only being attached to the NDAA because media lobbyists know that lawmakers across the political spectrum will vote to pass a bill on funding the military, Breitbart reported. The bill has failed to get to a floor vote for two years.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:55

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told The Intercept on Monday that he could bring a Yemen War Powers Resolution to the floor of the Senate for a vote “hopefully next week.”

The resolution would end US support for the brutal Saudi-led war and blockade on Yemen. According to the UN, the war and blockade have killed at least 377,000 people, more than half of which are children under the age of five.

A version of the resolution has been introduced in the House and Senate, and both have received strong bipartisan support, with over 100 co-sponsors in the House. When asked by The Intercept if he will have enough votes to pass the resolution, Sanders said, “I think we do, yes.” A similar resolution made it through Congress in 2019, but the measure was vetoed by President Trump.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:54

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Tuesday sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the Biden administration to prioritize arming Taiwan over Ukraine.

Hawley is a China hawk and wants the US to start giving Taiwan billions in military aid each year. He has voted against Ukraine aid packages and NATO expansion because he thinks the US should be focusing more on building up in the Asia Pacific to confront China instead of Russia.

The senator said in his letter to Blinken that he believes “Taiwan is more important for US national interests than Ukraine.” The senator claimed that the US needs to start sending more arms to Taiwan to prevent a Chinese invasion, although Beijing’s recent rhetoric and actions have made clear they are more likely to attack if the US keeps ramping up support for Taipei.

Posted on: Dec 07 07:54

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