NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Tuesday (31 January 2023) for talks on shared security challenges and NATO’s deepening partnership with Japan. “No NATO partner is closer or more capable than Japan,” said the Secretary General.
Acknowledging that transatlantic and Indo-Pacific security are deeply interconnected, the two leaders agreed a joint statement setting out a shared ambition to strengthen NATO-Japan cooperation even further.
The Secretary General and Prime Minister Kishida…agreed that Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine is not just a European crisis, but a challenge to the international order. Mr Stoltenberg warned that: “Beijing is watching closely, and learning lessons that may influence its future decisions.” He underlined the importance of remaining united and firm to protect freedom and democracy from authoritarian regimes’ pushback against the international rules-based order.
I will have to say I am truly grateful that California’s politicians voted for a Reparations Panel.
The organization is proving critics who insist there is no appeasing racial justice activists right in every move. In fact, I would suggest that its theme song be The Cure’s “Never Enough.”
Granted, the band may be too white for the group, but the reparations panel hasn’t hesitated to step up its grasping demands for more, more, and more money. First, the panel demanded over $200K for each black in California. Then, it was a cool $1 million. Next, it insisted that $5 million was fair.
All this was in a state that never had legalized slavery.
Now California’s controversial reparations panel is upping the ante yet again. It wants the state’s legislature to close ten prisons…and that current inmates also receive fair wages and are eligible to vote.
No one saw this coming. Except just about everyone.
While Florida’s Stop Woke Act has been enjoined by a federal judge, DeSantis had a back up plan. I noted that plan on January 15, 2023, DeSantis Permitted To Gather Data On “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” in Public Universities, Judge Rules (emphasis added):
The State has filed with the 11th Circuit for a stay of the injunction pending appeal, to which the ACLU has responded and the State replied several days ago. So we may hear soon from the 11th Circuit if Judge Walker’s injunction continues pending appeal.
But in the meantime, as we previously reported, DeSantis has required Florida public higher education institutions to provide data on the funds and programming supporting DEI.
So, the ACLU filed a motion claiming the state request for data violated the court’s prior injunction….
The Court in a short form order quickly found there was no violation of the injunction…
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN in an interview he was ready to consider the role of a mediator in the Ukrainian crisis if all stakeholders ask him to do so.
"If asked by all relevant parties, I’ll certainly consider it, but I’m not pushing myself in," he said, adding that his country’s close ally, the United States, will also need to ask.
Netanyahu told CNN he had been asked to act as a mediator between Moscow and Kiev in the very beginning of the Ukrainian crisis.
The premier said he was an opposition leader at this point, but did not answer the question of who asked him. He also said the request was unofficial.
In his interview published by The Washington Post on January 30, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kirill Budanov, admitted the responsibility of the Kiev regime for the terrorist attacks on the Russian territory.
The “young and brave Ukrainian” who is serving as the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine tried his best to assure the interviewer that Ukrainian intelligence keeps Russia in awe; but in fact, he confirmed the terrorist nature of the Kiev regime.
In his interview, he assured that Kiev has its agents in Russia involved in preparation of various attacks.
“There are people who plant explosives. There are drones. Until the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored, there will be problems inside Russia.” he said.
The head of Ukrainian military intelligence also claimed that Kiev is trying to recruit Russians “who understand that Russia should be different.”
So far, the Kiev regime attempted to deny its links to any attacks in Russia.
Gonzalo Lira did a video recently on the race riots he sees coming to America this Spring. I want to go a bit deeper. True, we can expect the usual suspects at ANTIFA and BLM (Black Lives Matter) funded by billionaires. He mentioned the recent murder of a Black motorist by 5 Black police officers in Memphis. I would add that quota cops can be just as dangerous as quota engineers, lawyers and professors.
Gonzalo sees World War III as the collapse of the American Empire. I recently wrote that Putin said Nyet to WW III when he announced the creation of an Army that the whole of NATO could not touch. He is upgrading to the S-500 air defense system. By comparison the US Patriot system is highly inferior to the Soviet S-300 of the late 1970s.
Putin will be adding 5 divisions of artillery. Russia, unlike America, never passed legislation to close 80,000 manufacturing plants so they could become a post-industrial nation. Russia will be able to fire up to 90,000 artillery shells and rockets a day. When they get their 1,000th Tornado MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) , they will be able to fire volleys of 12,000 rockets that are as accurate as HIMARS but with a 50% greater range and twice the payload. They are upgrading their naval cruise missiles to the Mach 9 Zircon. Meanwhile, the US Navy is sporting subsonic cruise missiles. Did I mention the Mach 12 Kinzhal missile which digs a 98 foot (30 meters deep) hole in the ground where its target used to be?
No military man will go to war against Russia even if the Neocons insist.
The number of the repair crew workers that were killed in a Ukrainian strike on a railway bridge in the Zaporozhye Region has increased to five, Vladimir Rogov, chairman of the We Are Together with Russia civil society group, told TASS on Tuesday.
Yevgeny Balitsky, the interim governor of the Zaporozhye Region, earlier said four people were killed and five were wounded in the Ukrainian strike on the bridge in the village of Svetlodolinskoye. According to preliminary data, Ukrainian forces had fired three projectiles at the bridge using a HIMARS multiple launch rocket system.
"Five people have been killed and four wounded. Ordinary workers, and not servicemen, or law enforcement personnel," he specified.
"Ukrainian forces are taking out anything that’s related to the organization of normal, sustainable logistics in the liberated territories. That strike is due to systemic terrorist activity to incapacitate the Zaporozhye Region’s transportation infrastructure."
South Africa’s energy crisis is teetering on the edge of a major political and economic crisis.
Bogged down by inefficiency, ineptitude, and severe levels of corruption, the country’s power utility Eskom has proven incapable of providing sufficient and reliable energy to the nation's grid, despite the domestic abundance of coal. Once one of the most reliable utilities in Africa, Eksom now exists in a state of constant emergency which is currently threatening to push the country into civil disarray and economic catastrophe.
Eksom desperately needs to service its poorly maintained power plants. On any given day, Eksom operates at about 50% capacity. Rolling blackouts, known locally as ‘load shedding’ have become a normal and expected part in day-to-day life in South Africa. “It even has predictable stages,” Forbes reported in a recent excoriation of Eksom operations, “ranging from Stage 1 (reducing power for two hours at a time over a four-day period) through Stage 8 (reducing power for 12 hours out of every 24).”
In the last 12 months, however, these blackouts have gone into overdrive, with the power going out several times a day and up to 12 hours at a time. Adding insult to injury, Eksom has added a steep energy tariff to help bolster their own failing finances. The issue has transformed to a semi-accepted nuisance to a barrier to local livelihoods and the functioning of the national economy. Supply chains that rely on refrigeration to keep the shelves stocked, such as the dairy industry, have had to throw out their products. As a result, South Africans are angry. Civil unrest is on the rise, and protesters are not only targeting Eksom but also the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.
Cash is now king in Lebanon, where a three-year economic meltdown has led the country's once-lauded financial sector to atrophy and turned the country into a Venezuelan-esque hyperinflationary hell. The country has been hit hard by events over the past few years, starting with COVID.
In August 2020, the city of Beiruit was practically destroyed by a massive blast which killed at least 200 people and triggered as much as $15 billion in damage...
Did the prominent monk, writer, social critic, and opponent of the American role in the Vietnam War, Thomas Merton, strangely succumb to a faulty fan while attending a monastic conference in Bangkok, Thailand? That’s what Associated Press reporter, John T. Wheeler, reported with a dateline of Bangkok on the day of the death, December 10, 1968. One can read that same characterization of the event even today on the web site of Merton’s home Abbey of Gethsemani, near Bardstown, Kentucky.
Thailand was in the thick of the Vietnam War theater of operations at the time. Some 80% of the air attacks on North Vietnam and virtually all of those on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos originated there. America’s war wounded were treated there and many who succumbed from their wounds were flown back to the States from Thailand. On one such flight, they were accompanied, ironically, by the dead Merton, who had been one of the war’s most influential opponents. Along with Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, he was the third major Vietnam War opponent to die under suspicious circumstances in 1968. Although Richard Nixon was the president-elect at the time, we might be reminded that Lyndon Johnson was still the president.
Had the public information situation then been what it is today, very likely lots of people would have been weighing in with the question in that lead sentence. Who’s ever heard of anyone being killed from being shocked to death by a household appliance, much less a fan? The only time this writer has ever heard of it was when a radio fell into a bathtub, but I suppose something like a hair dryer might also produce the same fatal result. (In fact, in the actual 1997 keynote address to the biennial meeting of the International Thomas Merton Society [ITMS], not in the formal transcription here, James W. Douglass reported that his friend Andrew Young had told him that Merton had died when a hair dryer had fallen into his bathtub, and Douglass joked about it because Merton was bald.)
The very first question that any skeptics of the day would have wanted to ask would have been, “What did the autopsy show?” After all, that’s what autopsies are for, to determine the cause of death. How do we know that the faulty fan that was found lying across his supine body that was clad only in boxer shorts or the bottom half of summer pajamas actually killed Merton? Without an autopsy, all speculation about cause of death is nothing more than that. It’s just so much blowing of smoke. An early such smoke blower, currently cited on Merton’s Wikipedia page, was the French Benedictine monk, Jean Leclercq, who was one of the conference’s organizers, writing on February 26, 1969:
How exactly did [Merton’s] death come about? We will never know exactly and with certitude. There are already a number ofscenarios circulating—the sort of thing you expect when an extraordinary person dies. Some have begun spreading the rumor that the last moments of his life were in the presence of a statue of the Buddha. Others have suggested that he was assassinated like Martin Luther King had been. On the evening of his death two different versions were already being put forth by the media of Thailand and the United States. Papers in the United States only made mention of electrocution; those in Thailand spoke only of a heart attack. On both sides there was a desire to explain his death in such a way as to forestall certain hypotheses, none of which are all that significant. In all probability the death of Thomas Merton was due in part to heart failure, in part to an electric shock. Neither one nor the other alone would normally be fatal. (Emphasis added)
Russia says it has obtained documents that reveal US-funded laboratories in Ukraine have been creating biological weapons components and testing them on the population of the country.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that a few months into Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, Russian troops began compiling data related to the role and functions of US biolabs in the country.
“Russian troops have secured over 20,000 documents, reference and analytical materials, and interviewed eyewitnesses and participants in American military-biological programs” since the start of the war in February last year, said the commander of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov.
The general said that the documents “confirm… the focus of the Pentagon on creating biological weapons components and testing them on the population of Ukraine and other states along [Russia’s] borders.”
Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates again responded to questions about his relationship with sex offender financier Jeffrey Epstein, saying that “there was never any relationship.”
“I had dinner with him and that’s all,” Gates said in response to a question from an Australia Broadcasting Corporation reporter. When pressed further, Gates said that “there never was any relationship of any kind” after being asked if there is a connection between Epstein and the Gates Foundation.
The reporter, Sarah Ferguson, asked if he regretted the relationship, saying that it went against the wishes of his ex-wife, Melinda. “You’re going way back in time. But yeah, I will say for the, you know, over [the] hundredth time that I shouldn’t have had dinners with him,” Gates said in the interview, published Jan. 30.
Ferguson noted that Epstein was involved in “sexually compromising people” and asked whether his ex-wife warned him about that. “No,” Gates said.
President Biden's 70-person social media team tweeted a photo of the president in the new Hummer EV. They celebrated the president's push to 'electrify and greenify' America.
The president has signed an Executive Order that sets a new target to make about half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles. The main idea behind the EV push is to "cut emissions," according to the Executive Order.
Though there's a dirty side to clean energy, one of these inconvenient truths is the very EV the president is sitting in pollutes more than a typical gasoline-powered sedan, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
ACEEE revealed the inconvenient truth about the Hummer EV in a report last year:
Emissions per mile driven are lower for EVs than for similarly sized gasoline-powered cars, but they are not zero. The Chevy Bolt EV is responsible for about 92 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per mile when accounting for emissions from the electric grid. (The CO2 calculations are based on the national average, but electric grid emissions vary considerably across the country.) The gasoline-powered Chevy Malibu causes over 320 grams per mile. Comparing larger vehicles, the original Hummer H1 emits 889 grams of CO2 per mile and the new Hummer EV causes 341 grams, demonstrating that behemoth EVs can still be worse for the environment than smaller, conventional vehicles.
Despite the world-beating rally in Chinese assets, positioning data show a clear dichotomy among investors’ views on the nation.
While hedge funds have boosted their exposure to Chinese stocks to near an all-time high again, mutual funds – which tend to have a longer-term investment horizon — remain significantly underweight, according to Goldman Sachs. Such a divergence shows that Chinese assets are viewed only as a three-month “trade,” rather than a three-year “investment.”
China’s manufacturing and services survey data Tuesday confirmed that the economy is bouncing back. The International Monetary Fund also raised China’s growth forecast this year by 0.8 percentage point to 5.2%, making it one of few major economies that may see growth accelerate this year.
With the economy healing, it’s not surprising that foreign investors are scooping up Chinese stocks hand over fist. The inflow into equities via the stock connect in January reached a record $21 billion, already exceeding the influx for the whole year of 2022.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday said that his Egyptian counterpart delivered a message from Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on Russia to “stop” its war in Ukraine.
Lavrov met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Moscow and told reporters that Shoukry “conveyed a message” from Blinken, who was in Cairo on Monday. “Russia is ready to listen to any serious proposal that is aimed at resolving the current situation in its comprehensive context,” Lavrov said, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
Lavrov said that the message was that Russia should “should stop, that Russia should quit, and then everything will be fine.” He said Blinken “omitted” something from the message, pointing to recent comments from NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who called for Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.
Webmaster addition: I get a sense the US is looking for a clean exit strategy; one in which the US doesn't look like it lost another war.
The world is a mess, but Washington is determined to fix it. The secretary of state flies around the globe issuing instructions to friends and foes alike. When foreign officials refuse to listen, Uncle Sam dons his mailed fist.
First come sanctions to back his commands. Washington’s ability and willingness to conduct economic warfare is nonpareil. The U.S. and its allies understandably fret over Chinese economic coercion, such as trade restrictions, bans on tourism, and restrictions of investment. However, the Treasury Department issues new economic sanctions almost daily. Thousands of governments, businesses, officials, and others are presently on its naughty list.
With nary a thought, let alone serious debate, Congress also penalizes other nations—friends as well as foes—that flout its will. Worst is imposing economic sanctions on already impoverished populations in an attempt to oust or influence their governments. Americans pay for such controls, which greatly complicate international investment, trade, and services, but foreign peoples suffer far more.
Armenia on Tuesday asked President Vladimir Putin to take a tougher line on Nagorno-Karabakh and for Russian peacekeepers to end what it calls Azerbaijan's blockade of the only road leading to the enclave.
Armenia said Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had spoken to Putin about the resulting humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh and had "highlighted" the importance of Russia taking the necessary steps to overcome it.
"In this context, reference was made to the activities of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh," the Armenian government said in a statement.
Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but its 120,000 inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Armenians and it broke away from Baku in a first war in the early 1990s.
Azeri civilians identifying themselves as environmental activists have been facing off since Dec. 12 with Russian peacekeepers on the Lachin corridor, the only road across Azerbaijan that links Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh.
Activist group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for all records and communications between the Surgeon General’s office and social media companies about COVID-19 vaccines.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the HHS refused to adequately respond to a FOIA request filed in March 2022.
We obtained a copy of the complaint for you here.
The request was for: “All records, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, texts, memoranda, and handwritten notes, of, regarding, referring, or relating to any efforts of Alexandria Phillips, Communications Director, Office of the Surgeon General, to contact any employee of Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Pinterest concerning COVID-19 vaccines.”
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has previously called for censorship of Covid misinformation. In 2021, he published a report titled “Confronting Health Misinformation,” which aimed to “slow the spread of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”
The report encouraged platforms to censor vaccine misinformation and other misinformation related to the pandemic.
In March 2022, Murthy ordered social media platforms to hand over information about accounts spreading Covid misinformation.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said, “Biden’s Surgeon General is abusing his office to pressure Big Tech companies to censor Americans. This lawsuit aims to uncover the details of this government attack on the First Amendment.”
A group of 57 leading scientists, doctors and policy experts has released a report calling in to question the safety and efficacy of the current COVID-19 vaccines and are now calling for an immediate end to all vaccine programs. We urge you to read and share this damning report.
There are two certainties regarding the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. The first is that governments and the vast majority of the mainstream media are pushing with all their might to get these experimental drugs into as many people as possible. The second is that those who are willing to face the scorn that comes with asking serious questions about vaccines are critical players in our ongoing effort to spread the truth.
You can read an advanced copy of this manuscript in preprint below. It has been prepared by nearly five dozen highly respected doctors, scientists, and public policy experts from across the globe to be urgently sent to world leaders as well as all who are associated with the production and distribution of the various Covid-19 vaccines in circulation today.
Alec Baldwin was formally charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter for shooting dead Halyna Hutchins on the set of their movie Rust in October 2021.
Prosecutors in Santa Fe, New Mexico, stated he was 'distracted' during firearm training and shortly after the incident admitted to officers he had fired the weapon - something he would later vehemently deny.
Mary Carmack-Altwies, the Santa Fe district attorney, reported that the Oscar-nominated actor and producer of the film was not present for firearms training prior to the start of filming - and when an hour-long training session was scheduled, he appeared uninterested and was on his cell phone.
Webmaster addition: If there was a formal firearms training program, that gets the production off of the hook and lands the guilt squarely on Baldwin.
Ambitious media frauds Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair crippled the reputations of the New Republic and New York Times, respectively, by slipping years of invented news stories into their pages. Thanks to the Twitter Files, we can welcome a new member to their infamous club: Hamilton 68.
If one goes by volume alone, this oft-cited neoliberal think-tank that spawned hundreds of fraudulent headlines and TV news segments may go down as the single greatest case of media fabulism in American history. Virtually every major news organization in America is implicated, including NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and the Washington Post. Mother Jones alone did at least 14 stories pegged to the group’s “research.” Even fact-checking sites like Politifact and Snopes cited Hamilton 68 as a source.
Hamilton 68 was and is a computerized “dashboard” designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure “Russian disinformation.” It was the brainchild of former FBI agent (and current MSNBC “disinformation expert”) Clint Watts, and backed by the German Marshall Fund and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan think-tank. The latter’s advisory panel includes former acting CIA chief Michael Morell, former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, former Hillary for America chair John Podesta, and onetime Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.
Taiwan has scrambled fighter jets, put its navy on alert and activated missile systems in response to large-scale manoeuvres of 34 Chinese military aircraft and nine warships in the Taiwan Strait.
Beijing yesterday instructed its air force and navy to perform a major operation which saw 20 Chinese aircraft cross the central line of the Strait, long seen as a buffer zone between the island nation and mainland China, according to Taiwanese defence officials.
It is the latest escalation of tensions between the two states and comes after weeks of Chinese military drills close to Taiwanese air space, leading Taipei and its US allies to be wary of a potential blockade or outright attack.