Thought for the day

"I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance." -- Carl Sagan, 1995, apparently having invented a time machine

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There are some still holding out hope that Elon Musk will implement freedom of speech on Twitter. However, I am not among them. To me, his first few days have shown that he is going to back down completely, and at this point, it’s possible Donald Trump won’t even be allowed back on.

The fact is, if he was going to do freedom of speech, he would have come in like a whirlwind and just done it. He could have very easily fired every employee at Twitter and brought in his own people. Twitter is not a complicated website. A team of skilled programmers could take over from the old staff and no one would really notice. Instead, like Donald Trump when he became president, Musk has decided to keep much of the staff.

Posted on: Nov 02 08:01
Posted on: Nov 02 07:58

As the astute author Hunter S. Thompson noted, “When the going gets weirdthe weird turn pro.” Weird is indisputably the condition in Great Britain, where Liz Truss, an arguably empty and talentless prime minister, is out—and was, it seemed for a moment, very nearly replaced by her vacuous predecessor, Boris Johnson.  

Weirdness, however, is not foreign to American politics. An indicator of just how weird Washington is becoming is the apparent interest in General (ret.) David Petraeus’s recent suggestion that Washington and its allies may want to intervene in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. 

According to Petraeus, the military action he advocates would not be a NATO intervention, but “a multinational force led by the US and not as a NATO force.” In other words, a U.S.-led Multi-National Force on the Iraq model composed of conventional ground, air, and naval forces. 

Petraeus does not explain why U.S. military action is needed. But it’s not hard to guess. The intervention is designed to rescue Ukrainian forces from defeat and presumably compel Moscow to negotiate on Washington’s terms, whatever those terms might be. 

Posted on: Nov 02 07:57

Vice President Kamala Harris and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will reportedly join New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James in Manhattan on Thursday in a last-ditch effort to save the governor from defeat in the midterms next week.

The New York Times’ Nicholas Fandos reported Tuesday that Harris, who has not been a popular surrogate for candidates this cycle, and Clinton, would campaign with Hochul and James in Manhattan Thursday in an effort to try and move the needle in the governor’s reelection campaign.

This comes as national Democrats are starting to worry about Hochul’s election chances as her Republican opponent, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, has been riding a late surge. Late Monday night, a Trafalgar Group poll showed Zeldin slightly leading in the polls, 48.4 percent to 47.6 percent, after closing the gap over the last few weeks.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:57

After over eight months of pouring tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons into Ukraine, the Biden administration has announced some steps it will take toward oversight of the military aid.

The State Department announced the plan on October 27. It focuses on keeping powerful portable weapons like Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles off the black market. Responsible Statecraft reported that experts are warning the plan has gaps and doesn’t address the issue of smaller arms.

The State Department said in order to achieve its oversight goals, the US will bolster the ability of Ukraine and other regional countries “to account for and safeguard their arms and ammunition,” strengthen borders, and bolster security agencies to “deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking of certain advanced conventional weapons.”

Another aspect of the effort is in-person inspections of US weapons inside Ukraine that are being conducted by the US military. The Pentagon revealed on Monday that its personnel has begun conducting these inspections inside the country, marking the first official confirmation of a US military presence on the ground in Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:56

A group of Venezuelan migrants have attacked Border Patrol agents with rocks during an ugly riot in El Paso after they crossed the US-Mexico border, as the crisis on America's border deepens.

Video shows Border Patrol agents firing pepper balls at the group of migrants after they threw rocks at them as they crossed the Rio Grande river and tried to enter the US illegally.

Footage shows the group, which included a man holding a very large Venezuelan flag, standing in front of the border patrol agents after they crossed the river at around 12.20pm local time on Monday. 

Posted on: Nov 02 07:56

Late last month, 25-year-old Indigenous leader Yermy Chocue was found dead near her home in Morales, in the Colombian department of Cauca. The young woman, a prominent human rights defender, had reportedly been approached and shot by armed men.

“Yermy’s dreams and hopes were thwarted by the violence that is consuming the country,” the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca said in a statement.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:53

With elections a few days away, crime statistics are finally being widely discussed in the press. So…I’m not going to pass up one last chance to deluge you with new graphs based on the CDC’s WONDER database of causes of death.

Democratic politicians have been flailing about looking for a way to get off the hook for the historic increase in murder and car crash mayhem ever since our respectable class’ leaders declared “the racial reckoning” was at hand following the unfortunate expiration of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

For example, New York’s Democratic governor, Kathy Hochul, suddenly finding herself in a tight race with Lee Zeldin largely over the crime surge, kvetched to Zeldin in a debate about crime, “I don’t know why that’s so important to you.”

She then declared on Rev. Al Sharpton’s show this week that Republican complaints about rising crime are a conspiracy theory:

These are master manipulators. They have this conspiracy going all across America trying to convince people in Democratic states that they’re not as safe. Well, guess what: They’re also not only election deniers, they’re data deniers.

Webmaster addition: Desperation on the cusp of madness!

Posted on: Nov 02 07:49

“One royal commissioner will not be enough for the litany of legal and regulatory abuse, medical practice, financial malfeasance, conflict of interest, child abuse, human rights abuse and the shredding of international agreements Australia has endured for 2½ years...the public has lost confidence in the medical profession, health administration and politicians.…

This week a survey in the Daily Telegraph found that, based on the 50,000 respondents, 37 per cent of Australians who took the vaccine regret it. Only 43 per cent said they would do it again. The damage to the reputation of our once-trusted medical institutions can only be repaired with a royal commission to unravel the lies and get to the truth, and, in so doing, ensure this tyranny, this suffering and this loss of life never happens again.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:48

The Capitol Police first installed cameras around Pelosi’s home more than eight years ago; she has an around-the-clock security detail; and for many months after the attacks of Jan. 6, 2021, a San Francisco police cruiser sat outside her home day and night. But hours after Pelosi left San Francisco last week and returned to D.C., much of the security left with her, and officers in Washington stopped continuously monitoring video feeds outside her house.

The targeted security and lack of full-time, active surveillance — even at the home of the member of Congress with the most death threats — reflect the competing demands facing local and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as the balances that lawmakers, their families and security officials have tried to strike in the nearly two years since the attack on the Capitol.

Webmaster addition: This is an obvious cover-their-ass moment after so many people started asking about the security at the Pelosi home.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:47

One of the most bizarre details about the Paul Pelosi attack is that there is no security footage being released to the general public, and the left is trying to pretend that it is no big deal and that everyone should just move along.

Initial reports from several media outlets that covered the first moments after the weird attack claimed that Pelosi had no security camera systems working, which is of public concern, considering Pelosi is third in line to be President of the United States, especially in these troubling times.

One independent journalist discovered proof that Pelosi does, indeed, have security cams in her San Franciso home in 2021, where the alleged attack happened on her husband, Paul Pelosi.

Jack Posobiec from Human Events did some investigating from open source materials and found that he could debunk the corporate media storyline that Pelosi didn’t have any security in place to capture the most bizarre ‘attack’ that the American public has heard of this close to midterm elections:

Posted on: Nov 02 07:42

In Pennsylvania, the Department of State has allowed at least 249,000 unverified voters to receive mail-in ballots for the 2022 general election, owing to an odd process for verifying the identity of those requesting mail-in ballots, where people vote first and verify their identification later.

The Department of State also recently changed directives for county election boards, creating procedural confusion and drawing fire from 15 Pennsylvania House members in the form of a letter (pdf) demanding that the department immediately correct its guidance and tell counties they may not count the ballots of unverified voters until proof of ID is received.

There are two things to know about voter registration. First, the state must follow the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), a law that requires anyone registering to vote in federal elections to provide identification in the form of a driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number. And second, HAVA requires that states verify the accuracy of the information provided by the applicant by matching their ID information to the state motor vehicle database or the federal Social Security number verification system.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:38

Not more than a year ago it was generally thought impossible among mainstream economists and retail investors that the Federal Reserve would commit to raising interest rates and ending stimulus.  After 14 years of predictable QE and near zero rates, it's not surprising that they would refuse to acknowledge the possibility that the Fed would abandon them.  Well, as with the seasons, all things must change.

At first they refused to admit that inflation was a problem, now mainstream outlets are openly discussing the idea that the Fed will have to “blow up the economy” in order to stop rising prices, with another 75 bps rate hike expected this week.  As CNN noted recently in an article titled The Fed May Have To Blow Up The Economy To Get Inflation under Control:

“It’s unclear what all this tightening will do to the economy. The housing market is already starting to show some signs of strain. Bond yields have spiked due to the Fed. And mortgage rates, which tend to move in tandem with the benchmark 10-year Treasury, have skyrocketed this year as a result.

There is also a growing chorus of lawmakers on Capitol Hill who are warning Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other Fed members to slow down the rate hikes because they fear even tighter monetary policy will lead to a recession.”

Posted on: Nov 02 07:37

North Korea launched at least 23 missiles off its east and west coasts on Wednesday, one of which flew near South Korean waters and triggered an air-raid alert on a populated island, where people took cover. It was the first time the North had fired that many missiles in a single day.

South Korea responded by firing missiles from fighter jets into waters near the North’s territory. The exchange marked the first time missiles had been launched across the Koreas’ maritime border, the South’s Defense Ministry said, though all of them fell into international waters.

One of the North’s missiles landed 103 miles northwest of Ulleung, an island off South Korea’s east coast with a population of about 9,000, prompting the military to issue an air-raid alert there. Lt. Gen. Kang Shin Chul, the South Korean military’s chief director of operations, called the launch “a highly unusual and intolerable act.”

Posted on: Nov 02 07:37

The Atlantic has come under fire for suggesting that all the terrible pandemic-era decisions over lockdowns, school closures, masking, and punishing an entire class of people who questioned the efficacy and wisdom of taking a rushed, experimental vaccine - for a virus with a 99% survival rate in most, should all be water under the bridge.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:36

Why do we never believe them? For centuries, the global elite have broadcast their intentions to depopulate the world - even to the point of carving them into stone. And yet…we never seem to believe them. In this Stew Peters Network EXCLUSIVE, the award winning filmmakers behind WATCH THE WATER and THESE LITTLE ONES present the truth about the greatest ongoing mass genocide in human history.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:35

Is Austria in store for a political earthquake?

As Europe faces the twin challenges of an economic and immigration crisis, parties across Europe known for their strong stance against mass migration are seeing a massive boost in popularity, and Austria is no different. Now, a new poll shows the conservative Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) tying for the top spot for the first time since 2017.

This summer, the left-wing SPÖ was still leading in all the polls by up to 8 percentage points, but the party is currently suffering a substantial drop in support, according to a wave of new polls, including one from the Lazarsfeld Society which shows the FPÖ party, led by Herbert Kickl, is now tied for first place with the SPÖ at 26 percent. In second is the conservative ÖVP at 21 percent, which currently rules the country in a coalition with the Green Party, which is at 11 percent.

Herbert Kickl, the leader of FPÖ, is enjoying a surge in support over his twin stances against migration and sanctions on Russia.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:34

The Department of Homeland Security has been working to influence big tech platforms. This became originally evident when the Biden administration launched the ill-fated Disinformation Governance Board early in 2022, but has been a focus of their efforts even beyond that now-defunct unit, and before.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit that revealed via appended meeting minutes that former Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, who was formerly an official with DHS, told a DHS director in February 2022 that "Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov't. It's really interesteding how hesitant they remain." This according to The Intercept.

Prior to 2020, it was reported that DHS met with Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, and other platforms in order to coordinate "content moderation" operations. These meetings were part of an ongoing initiative which saw collusion and collaboration between DHS and big tech to determine how "misinformation" would be dealt with on those platforms.

Areas that came under this purview included the withdrawal from Afghanistan, undertaken disastrously by President Joe Biden in August 2021 as well as the origins of the Covid-19 virus, which became controversial enough that users were kicked off social media platforms for expressing the hypothesis that the virus originated in a Wuhan, China lab. A Senate report found last week that this was the most likely scenario. Information that could undermine trust in financial institutions was also targeted.

Webmaster addition:

Posted on: Nov 02 07:27

In a new threat, the rogue military commander, Khalifa Haftar, says that he is "close to taking a decisive decision to determine the path towards restoring the state."

In a speech delivered during a visit to the Al-Jufra region, Haftar, who is approaching his eighties, said he is ready to wage another war "to liberate the country" if peaceful efforts to expel foreign forces fail.

"We will move in line with the will of the Libyan people after all previous tracks brought us to a dead end and disappointing results."

He urged the Libyan people to uphold the right to self-determination and not to pin their hopes on foreign agendas, hinting that specific parties want to prolong the crisis with "flimsy pretexts and suspicious initiatives."

Ironically, Haftar, who -according to UN reports- sought help from Chadian, Sudanese, Syrian, and Russian mercenaries to take over the western region in April 2019, is demanding the removal of all foreign forces from Libyan territory, warning that if peaceful efforts fail, he will lead a decisive battle to liberate the country.

As he put it, the current landscape in Libya has changed and calls for a radical change are growing louder.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:25

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov said his government is willing to talk with Pope Francis, the United States, and France to find a solution to the war in Ukraine.

“We are willing to discuss all this (the situation in Ukraine) with the Americans, with the French, and with the pontiff,” Peskov said during a daily telephone news conference Oct. 25.

The Russian official was referring to the proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron, who on Monday asked the Roman Pontiff to call Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Joe Biden, and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to “promote the peace process” in Ukraine. 

In a statement to Le Point magazine, Macron said he encouraged “Pope Francis to call Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill, but also Joe Biden. We need the United States to come to the table to promote the peace process in Ukraine.”

Posted on: Nov 02 07:25

The long-awaited unclassified U.S. 2022 National Defense Strategy has finally appeared. As expected, much of it is devoted to describing how to counter the dire threats to U.S. interests posed by China’s military (the People’s Liberation Army).

While avoiding the kind of shrill, inflated rhetoric so common in Trump-era security documents, the 2022 NDS unsurprisingly continues past broad-brush characterizations of China as an aggressive nation working hard on all fronts to weaken the U.S. and refashion both the Indo-Pacific and the (undefined) international system to suit its authoritarian interests.  

There is arguably a greater emphasis in this NDS on the threats to homeland defense, thus reinforcing the existing narrative of China as a comprehensive security challenge to the United States. And this, of course, is seen to require a comprehensive, heightened effort not only to prevent Chinese aggression but to counter Chinese influence virtually everywhere.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:24


Tu-160 Bomber. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

We should be deeply concerned that, in the midst of what US President Joe Biden has described as the greatest risk of Armageddon since the Cuban missile crisis, Russia and NATO are this week conducting virtually simultaneous exercises of their nuclear forces, including live (conventional) missile launches. Both Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin no doubt believe the risks involved in signalling their resolve this way are manageable, but experience during the Cold War suggests otherwise.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:22

An “experienced” analyst working at the National Security Agency developed a surveillance project about a decade ago that resulted in the unauthorized targeting and collection of private communications of people or organizations in the US, newly unearthed documents show.

An investigation into the matter, which hasn’t been previously reported, found that the analyst “acted with reckless disregard” and violated numerous rules and possibly the law, according to a 2016 report by the NSA’s Office of Inspector General. The agency released the report in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. 

The inspector general’s report sheds new light on unauthorized surveillance and lax oversight at a secretive agency whose global eavesdropping methods have faced intense scrutiny for vacuuming up massive amounts of data — including on Americans, who are protected by US law from being surveilled without authorization. The IG’s investigation unfolded as the first news stories were being published based on leaked classified documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:20

Saudi Arabia has claimed to the US that Iran is preparing “imminent” attacks on the kingdom and northern Iraq, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The report said that Saudi officials have shared intelligence with Washington and in response to the warning, the US, Saudi Arabia, and several other countries in the region have put their militaries on higher alert.

At this point, there’s been no indication that Iran is planning to attack Saudi Arabia besides the Saudi claim. Riyadh often blames Tehran for Houthi attacks on the kingdom, but those operations are a response to the US-backed war the Saudis have been waging on Yemen since 2015.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:19

Washington insists on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and will never accept Pyongyang as a nuclear weapons state, the State Department said. The US also repeated warnings that North Korea would soon test a nuclear weapon. 

Asked if the United States would “eventually recognize North Korea as a nuclear state” during a Monday presser, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters “That is not our policy. I do not foresee that ever becoming our policy.”

“The complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula has been our objective since the conclusion of our DPRK policy review last year,” Price continued. “That has not changed. I don’t foresee that changing going forward.”

Posted on: Nov 02 07:19

The U.S. is aiming to send Ukraine the “Vampire” counter-drone system by mid-2023, with a contract award expected within months, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.

The Pentagon on Aug. 24 announced it would send the system, a laser-guided-missile launcher that can quickly be installed in a civilian truck bed, as part of a larger arms package. But despite Russia’s expanded use of Iranian-made kamikaze drones to target Ukraine’s power stations and other key infrastructure, the Pentagon hasn’t yet approved a contract to deliver the system.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:18

The Ukrainian government has ordered counter-drone systems with funds received through the sale of bracelets made of pre-war Azovstal steel, Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov revealed.

Fedorov didn’t reveal the number of systems — called the “Shahed Catcher” — ordered from the 200 million Ukrainian hryvnia ($5.4 million) sale. 

Ukrainian blogger and volunteer Igor Lachenkov, 23, earlier told Forbes Ukraine that the NATO system costs around 50 million Ukrainian hryvnia ($1.35 million). 

He added that the system “blinds” its target, making it vulnerable to air defense.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:18
A Palestinian woman holds an olive tree in the West Bank village of Qalandiya. (Photo: Anne Paq, ActiveStills)

Jewish settlers on Tuesday attacked Palestinian women harvesting their olive crops in the village of Qaryout, near Nablus, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Ghassan Daghlas, a local official,  said that settlers attempted to steal the olive crops the women harvested as Israeli soldiers detained village residents who wanted to help the women ward off the settlers.

Over 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:17

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

President Joe Biden railed off two false statements in two sentences during a speech in Florida on Tuesday.

The 79-year-old President first claimed that there’s a war ongoing in Iraq, confusing the nation with Ukraine as he outlined his excuse for crippling inflation and sky-high gas prices gutting Americans at the pump.

After correcting himself, followed up the misstatement by falsely taking on the mantle of a Gold Star father for himself.

Posted on: Nov 02 07:16