Thought for the day

"Rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away. They’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. Sooner or later, the people in this country are gonna realize the government … doesn’t care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety… It’s interested in its own power. That’s the only thing. Keeping it and expanding it wherever possible." -- George Carlin

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2

At least ten people have been killed and four others are missing after 16 inches of rain hit the central Italian region of Marche in just two hours, causing catastrophic floods. 

Local authorities said they did not expect such a sudden 'water bomb', as around 16 inches of rain fell within two hours on Thursday night, inundating the streets of several towns in the Ancona and Pesaro-Urbino provinces.

'It was like an earthquake,' Ludovico Caverni, the mayor of the town of Serra Sant'Abbondio, told RAI state radio.

Webmaster addition: Drought? What drought?!?

Posted on: Sep 16 11:41

Today I will keep it very short using my favorite bullet-style points:

  • By most credible accounts, the recent Ukronazi+NATO attack in the Kharkov area was even more costly in KIA/MIA, wounded and lost hardware than the attack towards Kherson.  The combined losses from these attacks are staggering.
  • Yet there are all the signs that the Ukronazi+NATO forces are preparing for even more such attacks.
  • The Ukronazi+NATO seem happy to trade human lives for territorial gains, no matter how small or how irrelevant that territory is.
  • The Russians seem happy to trade space and time to protect the lives of their soldiers and equipment.
  • We could say that the Ukronazi+NATO are trading bodies for shells.

Let’s remember the two goals set by Putin for the SMO: denazify and demilitarize.  Both of these goals are human-focused, not terrain-focused.  In other words, if a tactical-level withdrawal allows the Russian to kill scores of Ukronazi+NATO personnel and destroy their equipment, they will gladly accept the trade.

The other goal was to protect the LDNR.  Kherson is not part of the LDNR.

Territory can be reconquered, equipment is hard to replace, especially complex weapon-systems.

And soldiers cannot be resurrected.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:40

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he was not surprised by the Kiev government’s plans to introduce criminal responsibility for Ukrainian citizens applying for Russian passports.

"I have already grown tired of being baffled by their moves," the minister said during Thursday’s broadcast of Channel One, when asked to comment on the initiative.

The press service of the Ukrainian ministry of reintegration of uncontrolled territories announced on Wednesday that it was designing a bill to make application for Russian citizenship a criminal offense. According to the document, obtaining a Russian passport can only be justified when its holder is planning to return to Ukraine via Russia and third countries.

Alexey Arestovich, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said earlier that Ukrainians who had obtained Russian citizenship will be tried for high treason.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:39

 Prosecutors have scrutinized a former top official in the FBI who played a pivotal role in the bureau’s investigation of former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign over his alleged ties to Russia and other foreign governments.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 16 11:38

 “Saturday Night Live” has added its first “non-binary” cast member, and no, it’s not just a return of Pat.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 16 11:36

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday refuted media reports about an alleged assassination attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Claims of an earlier attack on the head of state’s car convoy en route to the presidential residence were first published by a Telegram channel on September 14, and were later reproduced by a UK tabloid, The Sun.

When asked whether those reports had any factual basis, Putin’s press secretary replied to TASS: ‘No.’.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:36

A top medical journal at the heart of several pandemic-related controversies published a major COVID-19 Commission report Wednesday that concluded the deadly pathogen might possibly have leaked from a United States laboratory.

The eyebrow-raising suggestion—which was just a part of a 58-page analysis of the COVID pandemic and its origins—in The Lancet stated that it was “feasible” that the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged either as a natural spillover event or as a leak from a lab. While the report mentions facilities in Wuhan, China, it also says that “independent researchers have not yet investigated” U.S. laboratories, adding that the National Institutes of Health has “resisted disclosing details” of its research on SARS-CoV-related viruses.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:35

The White House on Wednesday announced it would send over $1 billion in security assistance to Egypt. The Joe Biden administration approved the aid as several top Democratic lawmakers pushed to reduce security assistance for Egypt by $300 million. While Egyptian military dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government is creditably accused of severe human rights abuses, Cairo is the third-largest recipient of US aid. 

Washington sends military aid to Egypt to bribe the government in Cairo to adopt policies favorable towards Tel Aviv. Egypt’s tight control over a key border crossing in the heavily blockaded Gaza Strip – one of few exits from the area not passing through Israeli territory – has been crucial in maintaining Tel Aviv’s dominance over 2 million Palestinians living in the crowded enclave, sandwiched between Israel and Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea. 

Sisi swept to power in Egypt by killing hundreds of protesters and persecuting his political rivals. While he claims to hold elections, opposition candidates are frequently subject to imprisonment. Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s only democratically elected leader, died imprisoned by Sisi. 

Posted on: Sep 16 11:34

The US and its allies are in talks over whether to send Ukraine more advanced weapons in the future, including fighter jets, US defense sources have said, according to the Financial Times. The Kharkiv counteroffensive has apparently emboldened Ukrainian officials to press Washington harder for more advanced and longer-range weapons, now that some degree of success in rolling back Russian forces can be demonstrated. 

The idea is that if Ukraine's forces can prove they've taken back significant territory with what defense systems the US has provided so far, they can ultimately make the case that the whole of the east and south is within their reach - and even the potential to liberate Crimea while they're at it - if longer range and more advanced arms are made available. 

Posted on: Sep 16 11:33

 Remarks from Lisa Belcastro, the coordinator for Martha’s Vineyard homeless shelter Harbor Homes, went viral Thursday after she was asked about 50 illegal immigrants arriving on the island.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 16 11:33

Despite many complaints, appeals and critiques, the infamous Ukrainian website “Myrotvorets” remains active on the internet. The site exposes the personal data of thousands of people considered enemies by the Ukrainian neo-Nazi regime, making it the largest public kill-list ever witnessed. The most terrible point of this situation is that hundreds of ethnic Russian children are included in this list. Russian diplomats demand a position on the part of UNICEF on the matter, but international organizations remain silent.

Although Myrotvorets is officially an NGO, in practice it operates in a fully integrated manner with the Ukrainian government. The very purpose of the site is to provide a database of alleged “enemies” of the Ukrainian state, thus being much more of a Kiev intelligence department than an NGO. The website project started precisely in 2014, as well as the beginning of the ethnic and political persecution against Russian citizens and Maidan’s opponents. Also, it must be noted that many of the people included in the list were actually murdered, such as Russian journalist Daria Dugina, which shows that Ukrainian intelligence forces really use the data provided by Myrotvorets and try to “fulfill” the kill-list proposed by the website.

However, what is most shocking in this issue is the presence of children on this list. The Ukrainian government and its allied neo-Nazi organizations do not seem to distinguish who actually poses a threat to the Maidan’s political regime and who does not. For them, everyone who opposes the government and publicly expresses their critical opinions must be exterminated, even innocent civilians and children. According to a recent data survey by journalist Mira Terada, at least 327 children would have had their personal data exposed by Myrotvorets. Considering that Ukrainian forces really try to kill those on this list, the lives of these children are in danger.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:33

 Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) exploded at a Republican member during a House Oversight Committee hearing after he questioned a witness who repeatedly shouted while being questioned.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 16 11:31

Phil Washington, Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Federal Aviation Administration, was just served with a warrant in a criminal case.

View From The Wing reported:

President Biden’s nominee to head the FAA, Phil Washington, had a warrant served this morning in the criminal case involving his previous role at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Washington is the current head of Denver International Airport. The Denver City Council approved hiring him despite a criminal investigation covering his prior role in Los Angeles where a whistleblower – that Washington calls a disgruntled employee – claims there was a corrupt contracting process. In particular several no-bid contracts for LA Metro’s sexual harassment hotline were awarded at a cost of over $8,000 per call to a charity led to a friend and donor of Metro board member and L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. She says the contract decision was Washington’s. 

Whether there was actual, prosecutable corruption, or mere incompetence – and whether Washington was involved in any corruption or simply a hands-off manager – the scenarios and optics here do not look good for his nomination or for the Biden administration.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:29

Is this what a party does when it can’t keep voting on articles of impeachment?

It’s been almost two years since former President Donald Trump’s defeat, yet House Democrats have managed to build an entire legislative agenda around Trump Derangements Syndrome.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee alone has been firing away Trump-obsessed legislation, as Democratic sponsors for bills on the Census, civil service, and whistleblower protections all cite Trump as a key part of the justification for the proposals. The common line connecting all the bills is to curb executive power that should be in the hands of an elected president and enhance the power of unelected and largely unaccountable bureaucrats.

Three of the bills that began in the oversight panel cleared the House Rules Committee this week to move to the House floor.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is clearly real. To be clear, it’s not necessarily better or worse than Trump sycophancy. Americans–whether serving in public office or everyday working stiffs–should never base their life around idolatry of or seething hatred for one prominent leader. But, of course, that has happened with Trump. I suppose polarizing is a shorter way to put it, but that term seems so trite.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:28

A new survey has found that almost four out of five refugees living in Sweden have vacationed in the countries that they originally fled from.

Yes, really.

The survey was conducted by polling firm Novus on behalf of the Swedish online newspaper Bulletin.

It found that 79 per cent of people who arrived in Sweden as refugees, supposedly fleeing war or persecution, have returned to their home country since arriving in Sweden.

“According to the survey, they do not wish, however, to return home permanently,” reports Remix News. “When asked whether they plan to permanently return to their country of birth in the future, just 2 percent say they do, while 16 percent say maybe — 81 percent of those who arrived in Sweden from non-European countries say they do not, primarily because they believe Sweden to be a better country to raise their children.”

Posted on: Sep 16 11:28

Russia’s largest oil producer, state-owned Rosneft, reported on Thursday a 13% increase in its first-half net income compared to the same period last year, boasting increased efficiency despite the Western sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

Rosneft’s net profit increased to $7.2 billion (432 billion Russian rubles) in the first half of 2022.

The company’s oil and gas production rose by 1.5% to 4.85 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) as compared to the same assets it held last year, excluding assets disposed of in 2021.  

“In 1H 2022, Rosneft was under an unprecedented pressure of adverse external factors and unlawful sanctions. However, thanks to high operational efficiency and appropriate management decisions, we were able to ensure business continuity and demonstrate stable results,” Rosneft’s Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin – a long-time ally of Putin – said in a statement.

“1H 2022 financial results form a solid basis for interim dividends payment and a further growth of total payments for 2022,” Sechin added.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:27

Russia is said to be angered Thursday after European Commision president Ursula von der Leyen went to Kiev to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time since Ukraine was given EU candidate status in June  - something which she hailed during remarks.

"So much has changed. Ukraine is now an EU candidate," she said in a social media post. It was her third trip overall to the war-ravaged country since the invasion began in February. "I'll discuss with (President Volodymyr) Zelensky and (Prime Minister) Denys Shmygal how to continue getting our economies and people closer while Ukraine progresses towards accession," she had described headed into talks.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:23

The threat of power rationing across Europe persists even after EU officials held an emergency meeting last week to starve off the impending winter energy crisis. EU countries have increasingly relied on US energy imports, though shale bosses warned the ability to boost oil and gas supplies would be challenging. 

"It's not like the US can pump a bunch more. Our production is what it is," Wil VanLoh, head of private equity group Quantum Energy Partners, one of the shale's most prominent investors, told Financial Times

"There's no bailout coming," VanLoh added. 

"Not on the oil side, not on the gas side.

Europe can thank the Democrats and the Biden administration for their war against crushing the US energy industry that led to massive divestments across the sector, which crippled oil production growth and refining capacity, and pressured/shamed the world into withdrawing any capital allocations to fossil fuels.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:23

A special master has been appointed to act as a firewall between the Justice Department and materials seized during an Aug. 8 raid on former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

In a pair of Thursday orders from federal district Judge Aileen Cannon, the DOJ's motion to access a subset of classified records stored on the Trump property was denied, and a recently retired judge that both the DOJ and Trump's team agreed on - recently retired Judge Raymond Dearie - will serve as special master.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:23

Tiny folded diamonds that fell to Earth from an ancient dwarf star may sound like something from an intergalactic feature film, but researchers from Australia and the United Kingdom have proven the existence of the rare gems after examining a stony meteorite.

Scientists from Australia and the UK have established the existence of lonsdaleite, a rare hexagonal diamond, no bigger than a human hair, that researchers note is layered into a distinctive folded pattern, unlike the earth-formed diamonds that have a cubic structure.

The existence of Lonsdaleite—named after the pioneering British crystallographer Dame Kathleen Lonsdale—has previously been the subject of debate because its very existence could not be proven.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:22

Money supply took off during covid lockdowns. It is now about to take off again to pay everyone’s energy bills. But that is not all.

Demands for currency and credit to be conjured out of thin air to pay for everything will be coming thick and fast. Expectations that energy prices, including European electricity, have peaked are naïve. Putin has yet to put the winter and spring screws on Europe and the world fully. It will be surprising if global oil and natural gas prices in Europe are not significantly higher on a twelve-month view. And Europe has messed up its electricity supplies — that is where the energy costs will rise most.

Bankers are trying to reduce their loan exposure to rising interest rates, undermining GDP. Besides paying for everyone’s energy bills, rescuing troubled banks, collapsing tax revenues, and difficulties in selling government debt on rising yields, governments are expected to apply economic stimulus to support both their economies and financial markets.

Furthermore, this article points to evidence as to why the expansion of central bank credit has a far greater impact on prices than contracting bank credit. The replacement of commercial bank credit by central bank credit will have a far greater inflationary impact than the deflation from bank credit alone.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:20

Adderal supplies in the US are dwindling as pharmacies and patients report shortages. The crux of the problem appears to be a major supplier of the drug for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder has run into supply chain issues. Patients who find themselves without their medication might experience "withdraw" or even a "crash" that could impact productivity at work. 

The supply crunch first hit our radar last month when the National Community Pharmacists Association found hundreds of pharmacies across the US had trouble purchasing Adderall and generic versions of the brand in late July. 

Bloomberg spoke with a dozen patients in California, Indiana, and Michigan who were told by their local pharmacists at CVS Health Corp. or Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. about a worsening drug shortage. 

"In some cases, patients were told they might have to wait more than a week to get their medication, which is supposed to be taken every day," Bloomberg noted. 

Walgreens spokesperson Rebekah Pajak acknowledged that "supply chain challenges" persist with the drug. She said instant-release and extended-release Adderall are the ones in the shortest supply. Meanwhile, CVS spokesperson Matthew Blanchette said Adderall prescriptions at the company's pharmacies can be filled "in most cases." 

Posted on: Sep 16 11:19

 White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre struggled to answer questions Thursday about whether the U.S. southern border is secure after Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis sent 50 illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 16 11:15

On Thursday morning two busloads of over 100 illegal aliens were dropped off at Border Czar Kamala Harris’s residence in Washington DC.

By: orraz
Posted on: Sep 16 11:14

It appears we are rapidly approaching or have reached the place where we must remain silent or be branded an extremist. There is a growing trend of intolerance. In such an environment it is little wonder that many people have become less vocal and afraid to speak their mind. The source of this is rooted in a blatant disregard for the opinions of others by both those on the left and the right. Democracy as a form of government is far from perfect. Its greatest weakness is rooted in the ability of a small vocal group to force its opinions on others. Sadly, this is not something that is going to rapidly go away.

In a recent speech akin to something you might have witnessed in Germany or Italy before World War II President Biden demonized what he called MAGA Republicans. Biden labeled this group of Americans as dangerous extremists. The message was clear, anyone that expressed the views bantered about by former President Trump could be marked as an extremist. Those that do speak out under such a political framework are now part of a group that law enforcement officials target and might be inclined to place under tighter scrutiny or surveillance. 

This growing fear of speaking out is not limited to America, we are seeing it in countries that claim to be free across the world. The tech giants and governments have been throwing fuel on the fire by adding to the feeling retaliation is a fair response to those we disagree with speaking their mind. The tech giants' effort to closely watch, silence, and censor those not marching in line with their desired narrative is a dagger in the heart of free speech. This effort is apparent when we hear about small fringe groups outside mainstream society threatening to block highways, shut down ports, and occupy state capitols if things fail to go their way. It even extends to harassing elected officials, we are hearing more threats from groups vowing to hound and badger members of Congress or the judicial system at their homes.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:12

In a move we're absolutely sure has nothing to do with rising tensions between the West and China and/or perpetual Covid lockdowns, Tesla is reportedly mulling a "reset" for its retail strategy in the country. 

Tesla is "reevaluating the way it sells electric cars in China" and even considering closing some of its showrooms in malls in major cities like Beijing, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing Reuters. 

Tesla appears to be looking for ways to cut its costs while, at the same time, addressing its years-long issue of not being able to provide adequate customer service. The idea for moving its retail locations is reportedly to put more emphasis on stores in less costly areas where it is easier to provide support.

For now it appears that Tesla isn't removing any of their footprint from China, just relocating it. The report says that the company is looking to add staff, with its China recruitment website showing more than 300 openings for service jobs this week. 

Posted on: Sep 16 11:12

One by one, residents opposed to a corn mill investment by a Chinese company with reputed ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through its chairman, got up to chastise the mayor and city council of Grand Forks, North Dakota.

You guys are the scariest people I know. You are willing to endanger this city, the people, the country, and this nation,” said Dennis Kadlec, an outspoken critic of the project.

A sign opposing a corn mill in Grand Forks, N.D., stands near 370 acres recently annexed by the city for the project. Many residents don't want the project in the city because the owner, Fufeng Group, has reputed ties to the Chinese Communist Party through its company chairman. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times)

He believes city officials have ignored residents’ concerns over the project and the flag they serve.

This is a republic. Please treat it as such,” Kadlec said.

Posted on: Sep 16 11:11