"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
On the first full day of his visit wherein he was lavishly greeted and given full red-carpet treatment after arrival in the kingdom (clearly more so that Biden's summer trip to Jeddah), Chinese President Xi Jinping met with King Salman and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday, and wide-ranging economic and tech trade agreements were signed to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, along with pledges to expand military cooperation.
Among the commercial deals made, one name that featured prominently is sure to raise eyebrows in Washington, given the blanket ban and years-long controversy in the states: Huawei. Among the over $29 billion in agreements signed, The Wall Street Journal reports the Saudis are "setting up a Huawei cloud-computing region, building an electric-vehicle manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia and supplying green hydrogen batteries for a futuristic smart city the prince wants to build."
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has launched another criminal case on charges of high treason after its raid on churches and monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, SBU said on its official Telegram channel on Thursday.
"The security service has completed its counter-intelligence measures at facilities belonging to the UOC-MP [the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate] in the regions of Kherson [joined Russia after a referendum], Cherkassy, Zhitomir and Volyn," the statement says.
The service claimed that a search in one of UOC-MP cathedrals revealed that some of its priests had Russian passports, issued earlier this year.
"Criminal proceedings have been launched in accordance with Part 2 Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine [state treason, committed during the period of martial law]," SBU said.
Frau Merkel revealed in her interview with the Zeit newspaper that the Minsk agreements were not an attempt to establish peace in war-torn Ukraine but they were aimed to give the Kiev regime more time to strengthen their military and prepare for a large-scale war.
The lady confirmed that all the Western authors of the current war in Ukraine, including herself, did nothing for peace in Europe, but tried their best to inflame the war against Russia as mush as possible on the territory of Ukraine and paying with the lives of the Ukrainian people:
I thought that the introduction of NATO accession of Ukraine and Georgia, discussed in 2008, was wrong. The countries did not have the necessary prerequisites for this, nor was it fully understood what the consequences of such a decision would have been, both with regard to Russia’s actions against Georgia and Ukraine, as well as NATO and its rules of assistance. And the Minsk Agreement of 2014 was an attempt to give Ukraine time.
Ukraine used this time to become stronger, as you can see today. The Ukraine of 2014/15 is not the Ukraine of today. An illustrative example was the battle for Debaltseve. At the beginning of 2015, Putin could easily have overrun them at that time. And I very much doubt that the NATO countries could have done as much then as they do today to help Ukraine.
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, together with 17 other state attorneys general, has demanded that shipping companies UPS and FedEx explain their newly implemented policies to track and record Americans’ firearms purchases, and disclose whether these policies have been coordinated with the Biden administration.
In letters sent on Nov. 29 to FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam and UPS CEO Carol B. Tomé, Knudsen and co-signers wrote that the shipping companies’ policies “allow your company to track firearm sales with unprecedented specificity and bypass warrant requirements to share that information with federal agencies.”
“What both of these companies are saying is that they’re doing this so they can better cooperate with law enforcement,” Knudsen told The Epoch Times. “That’s all fine and well, until you find out that that’s a violation of federal law.”
Does Putin realize that by needlessly prolonging the conflict he is not only causing unnecessary Russian casualties, but also he could be putting his leadership in danger? Many Russians believe that Putin is making Russia look foolish by inability to bring the conflict to a victorious close. This might also affect recruitment. There is no pride for youth to be in a military force that does not defeat a third world country like Ukraine. Considerations of this sort together with the ability a prolonged conflict gives Washington to expand Western participation in the Ukraine conflict, while building up NATO forces on Russia’s borders, raise serious questions about the wisdom, if any, of Putin’s go-slow limited military intervention. Playing a goody two-shoes role at the expense of your own country doesn’t make sense. Does Putin understand that he cannot simultaneous be at war with Ukraine and protect Ukraine?
Hill announced an increase in support for Russia among both parties of the US Congress. The number of US residents who advocate reducing support for Ukraine is increasing dramatically. This was stated by columnist Douglas Shawn in a material for Hill.
Shoen was concerned about the growth of pro-Russian sentiment and stressed that there are more and more supporters of this position among both parties of the US Congress.
"Republicans in Congress label their position as "realism", arguing that Washington cannot continue to help Ukraine because of inflation, which affects the lives of American families, and should not risk a nuclear war with Russia for the sake of a country thousands of miles away," he stressed.
The author of the material added that pro-Russian views and refusal to allocate aid to Kiev were previously noticeable only among Republicans. But gradually, the left wing supporters "loudly spoke out against the continued support of Ukraine in their letter to the Biden administration." The Democrats in a letter to American President Joe Biden stated that the conflict in Ukraine was the result of Washington's policy, but later they withdrew the document.
The board voted unanimously on Dec. 6 to fire Ziegler without cause, the Virginia school district’s spokesman, Wayde Byard, told The Epoch Times.
The move came after a special grand jury in Loudoun County released a 91-page report on Dec. 5 condemning Ziegler and other school officials for displaying a “stunning lack of openness” about the incidents.
The grand jury, made up of randomly selected Loudoun County residents, said Ziegler lied when he said there were no records of assault occurring in school bathrooms.
China’s steady easing of covid-19 restrictions finally allowed the beleaguered economy to begin reopening. Many experts expect a renewed demand for steel, which means an increased appetite for steel-making raw materials such as iron ore. Both analysts and traders believe the lifting the restrictions was a step in the right direction. This current positivity is clear in the price of iron ore futures, which have started climbing once again.
Ore futures rose this Monday after more cities in China eased their covid restrictions. According to one report, Citi Group believes that the gradual reopening of the economy could propel iron ore prices as high as $150 a ton by June 2023.
In the past month, iron ore prices have enjoyed a significant rise and fresh advancements. According to the report, this prompted Citi to upgrade its forecast for Australia’s top export. The organization also projects that iron ore will reach $120 on a three-month horizon, from its previous price of $110. However, if China initiates even more credit easing up measures, Citi claims ore prices could rally towards $150 a ton in the next three to six months.
Arizona Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA is changing her party affiliation to independent, delivering a jolt to Democrats’ narrow majority and Washington along with it.
“In a 45-minute interview, the first-term senator told POLITICO that she will not caucus with Republicans and suggested that she intends to vote the same way she has for four years in the Senate. ‘Nothing will change about my values or my behavior,’ she said.
“Provided that Sinema sticks to that vow, Democrats will still have a workable Senate majority in the next Congress, though it will not exactly be the neat and tidy 51 seats they assumed. They’re expected to also have the votes to control Senate committees. And Sinema’s move means Sen. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) — a pivotal swing vote in the 50-50 chamber the past two years — will hold onto some but not all of his outsized influence in the Democratic caucus.”
On July 22, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law California Senate bill 1327. The bill applied fee-shifting in cases where civil rights litigants filed lawsuits challenging California firearms law. In essence, if the plaintiffs filing the lawsuit did not win every part of a case against the state, the plaintiffs would be required to pay all the State’s costs. In the unlikely case where the plaintiffs won every part of their suit, they are not awarded any costs they have incurred.
On September 26, 2022, a number of plaintiffs filed suit against the state, claiming the bill violates the Supremacy Clause, the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. From the complaint:
1. Plaintiffs bring this suit to challenge the constitutionality of a recently enacted California law that seeks to suppress firearms-related litigation by putting civil rights litigants and their attorneys on the hook for the government’s attorney’s fees and costs if a case results in anything short of total victory for plaintiffs on every claim alleged in a complaint.
2. On July 22, 2022, Governor Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 1327, which includes a one-way fee-shifting penalty in the government’s favor that applies solely to litigation challenging state and local firearm regulations. 2022 Cal. Stat. ch. 146, § 2 (adding Code Civ. Proc. § 1021.11(a)). In simple terms, Section 1021.11enables government defendants to recover fees if a firearms plaintiff loses on any claim in the case, while the plaintiff can only avoid liability for fees if it prevails on every claim in the case. Firearms plaintiffs, moreover,cannot be “prevailing parties” under Section 1021.11, meaning they are never entitled to fees.
Many of the ongoing challenges to California firearms law in federal court are directly implicated and endangered. As the law is worded, challenges that have been in the legal system for many years, which have already been all the way to the Supreme Court, and now remanded to the Ninth Circuit, could be rendered moot by the fear of plaintiffs of financial ruin under the new law.
Germany saw what is perhaps its largest police raid in history, involving 3,000 officers targeting 130 properties across nearly the entire country. With 25 “Reichsbürger” suspects arrested, that amounts to 120 police officers per suspect. It was quite the show of force, and in a sign that the media knew well in advance about the coming arrests, a number of suspects, including German aristocrat Heinrich XIII and former AfD MP Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, were photographed and filmed as they were perp walked out of their homes.
It is worth noting that nobody has been found guilty yet, but of course, even with the notoriously left-wing German media using the incident to whip up fear of the German right, the past may indicate the case could end up being more PR than reality.
The notorious “Nordkreuz” terror group, which was trumpeted by the media in 2017 as a far-right extremist network preparing for “Day X” — or the day when the group would carry out assassinations of left-wing opponents following the collapse of the German government — mostly fizzled out. At the time, politicians, journalists, and various anti-racist organizations jumped on the case, which involved up to 50 people, as an example of Germany’s growing far-right scene.
In the 1870s, the term “robber baron” was first used to describe an exploitative class of industrialists who utilized their wealth to create monopolies of resources and amass control in the fledgling United States. The name describes an illegitimate aristocracy of unelected plutocrats. John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie; all American industrial royalty whose names line the streets of America and the pages of our history books. One hundred fifty years later, we face a new global class of robber barons.
Once a year, the world’s richest and most influential people meet behind closed doors in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss the future direction of the globe. Known as the World Economic Forum, they were originally founded in 1971 by German engineer Klaus Schwab. Look at any major global policy push in recent history, and you’ll likely find the fingerprints of the World Economic Forum. From climate alarmism to ESG investing to our obsession with sustainability and population control or a push for centralized and authoritarian government, we find the handiwork of the World Economic Forum.
Speaking to the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Thursday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov hit out at the West’s hypocritical claims that there are restrictions to the list of weapons supplied to Kiev, emphasizing that Russia sees nothing of the sort.
"The Western [establishment] is rapidly moving towards expanding the range of supplies of increasingly heavy, long-range weapons. They cunningly, and eventually deceptively, characterize things as if there is a kind of a limit, some kind of self-restraint in this respect. We see nothing of the kind," the diplomat stressed.
NATO was aware of the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s preparations for drone attacks on Russian airfields, head of Russia’s delegation to the Vienna talks on military security and arms control Konstantin Gavrilov said.
"Provocations against Russia’s Dyagilevo and Engels strategic airfields, which involved Tu-141 Strizh jet combat drones, could have created serious nuclear security threats," the diplomat pointed out at a plenary session of the OSCE Forum on Security Cooperation. "NATO was aware of the preparations for the recent Ukrainian attacks on Russian military airfields. We immediately responded to them by conducting a massive strike on Ukraine’s military command system, defense industry facilities and related energy sites. No one should have any doubts that this is what will happen every time if Ukraine continues to carry out terrorist attacks," Gavrilov added.
He noted that work had been done in 2022 to restore and upgrade the Soviet-made drones that Ukraine had used in the attacks. The activities involved experts from the Kiev-based Luch Design Bureau and the United States’ Raytheon Technologies. "The drone was turned into a combat weapon with a range of action of up to 1,000 kilometers, capable of carrying out a high-explosive warhead weighing up to 80 kilograms and using the US Global Positioning System (GPS) for targeting," Gavrilov explained.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday announced that the Florida Disaster Fund has raised $59.2 million for Hurricane Ian emergency relief, after claiming that the Biden administration denied funding assistance.
$25 million came from the state of Florida, while donors provided $35.2 million, DeSantis' office said in a press release. The state funds will be used to acquire building materials, while donations will enable "verified nonprofit organizations to conduct critical temporary repairs on homes damaged by Hurricane Ian," according to the press release, and reported by the Daily Caller.
Webmaster addition: So Biden allowed his personal dislike for DeSantis to override helping the victims of the Hurricane. Not exactly wise rulership, is it?
Russia would like the EU to be an equal part of a multipolar world, but in this case it must not be 100% dependent on the US, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Primakov Readings forum on Wednesday.
"Of course, we would like the EU to be one of the poles of the new multipolar world, it still has all the opportunities for it. <...> The European Union will be able to participate equally in these processes when it realizes that it does not have to say 'I agree' to the United States 100% of the time," he said.
"But India, Brazil, Persian Gulf countries, regional associations in Africa and Latin America have more reasons to be part of the multipolar world, an equal part, than the EU," the top diplomat added.
The Texas legislature has subpoenaed investment firm BlackRock, together with its subsidiaries and affiliate entities in the state, for documents related to the institution’s promotion of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies.
The subpoena was issued by the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs last month and asks the sergeant-at-arms for the committee or any peace officer of the state to summon BlackRock and associated entities to appear before the committee on Dec. 15. The summoned entities are expected to produce for committee inspection “books, papers, documents, or other tangible things in the said corporation’s possession, custody, or control” which are related to “ESG factors” or “ESG integration practices,” the subpoena stated.
“The reason the committee is requesting the production of documents is to evaluate the investment practices of a financial services firm with a presence in Texas and how those practices affect the state’s public pensions,” it said.
In a statement to Fox, Texas Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes, chairman of the committee on state affairs, said that the subpoenaed documents are necessary to “uncover” the extent to which investment entities like BlackRock have been “playing politics using Texans’ hard-earned money.”
Back in August, the committee sent letters to BlackRock, as well as other investment firms like State Street, Vanguard, and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), to provide documents related to their ESG decision-making.
President Biden on Wednesday renewed a push to ban so-called 'assault weapons' during remarks at the 10th Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence.
While discussing his meetings with the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims, Biden said he was able to get "the most significant gun law passed in 30 years," but that it was not enough.
"...Our work continues to limit the number of bullets that can be in a cartridge, the type of weapon that can be purchased and sold, the attempt to ban assault weapons, a whole range of things that are just common sense, just simple common sense," he said. "But you know, we did it before, you may remember, in the nineties we did it…And guess what, it worked. The number of violent mass murders reduced were significant, a lot of people’s lives were saved. You know, we can do it again."
A New York City judge has once again refused to put an anti-Semitic thug accused of plotting violent attacks on synagogues back in jail.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Neil Ross ruled on Wednesday Matthew Mahrer, 22, can continue to walk free around the city after his family posted a $150,000 bail last month — despite the District Attorney's office arguing disturbing new facts about his plans were enough of a reason to keep him behind bars.
Mahrer was arrested last month with Christopher Brown, 21, after authorities found they made a sting of 'credible threats' at synagogues across the Big Apple.
Scientists have a new understanding about supermassive black holes thanks to data gathered by the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.
Supermassive black holes are located deep within the center of galaxies in areas where temperatures run up to 50 million degrees Celsius. The black hole will sometimes reheat the gas surrounding it in violent bursts - 'burps' - from its center.
These gas jets carve out immense cavities within the hot cluster, which then pushes hot gas farther from the center and replaces it with radio-emitting bubbles. If they can learn more about what’s left behind filling in these cavities, scientists can begin to understand what made them in the first place.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) predicted on Thursday that leftist President Joe Biden’s decision to trade imprisoned basketball player Brittney Griner for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as the “merchant of death,” would result in people dying as rogue states interpreted the move as open season to arrest Americans.
The far-left Hollywood Reporter thinks it’s doing journalism with this hilarious story about how all the major entertainment multinationals are freaking out over the fact that cord-cutting is accelerating, and streaming revenue is failing to make up for that shortfall.
Here’s what’s happening…
About 3.5 million people are canceling their cable/satellite packages per year. That is a massive loss of revenue for entertainment outlets. Why? Well, as I have been explaining for 15 years now, merit has nothing to do with cable TV profits.
Whether you watch the Disney Grooming Channel, MTV, CNNLOL, TBS, TCM, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, or all those other well-known networks, the providers/studios that own those networks all get a piece of your monthly bill. For example, just because you (like the rest of America) do not watch CNN, because it is still part of your cable package, you are subsidizing CNN. Every month, something like a dollar of your cable bill goes to CNN’s parent company. Same with all the other networks you don’t watch. Now do the math. Twelve dollars a month times 100 million households equals $1.2 billion for CNN per year, even though no one watches CNN.
The whole cable game is rigged.
Webmaster addition: Get ready for a rant! I am very unhappy with streaming. Months ago our local provider canceled their cable TV offering, and now all we use them for is internet access. We switched to streaming and it has been a very unsatisfying experience. I am sick and tired of watching dancing dots and spinning circles all the time while waiting for a program to start. One of the channels supported by commercials fails to come back from the commercials and the program has to be re-started from the beginning. Prime is decent and so is Paramount and so is Discovery. HBO is a total train wreck in terms of being able to watch a program and the user interface, reportedly purchased from another system and hastily modified, has more problems than I care to list here. And as this article mentions, the content is still dominated by wokist programming I do not care to watch.
A new felony arrest warrant has just been issued for Sam Brinton, the senior Department of Energy official who just weeks ago confessed to stealing luggage at the Minneapolis airport on Sept 16.
Now, the ostentatiously "non-binary"deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition stands accused of perpetrating the same crime at the Las Vegas airport, according to KLAS. The date of the alleged Vegas theft has not yet been publicized.
Brinton's January 2022 appointment to a sensitive nuclear post was hailed as a shining example of the Biden administration's "inclusivity," with Brinton claiming the crown tiara as the barrier-breaking first openly "gender fluid" person to have a federal leadership role.
Brinton's no gender studies grad -- he has dual masters degrees in nuclear science and engineering from MIT. His appointment raised eyebrows, however -- and not only because of his fabulous cross-dressing, which includes wearing stiletto heels to work.
Webmaster addition: Who vetted this clown before he was hired?!?
Elon Musk, the freshly anointed owner of Twitter, took to Twitter Spaces over the past weekend to discuss, among other things, the “Twitter Files.” This is an inquiry into Twitter’s suppression of the alleged contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop in the lead up to the presidential election in 2020. The investigation has been met with mixed reception.
Musk has promised several installments to the files, and the first one dropped on Friday. However, episode two has been delayed.. During his Spaces appearance, the Chief Twit claimed that the release of the probe may put his life in jeopardy, despite the fact that many outsiders had described it as lacking, considering the media already widely publicized in 2020 that posts related to this very thing were being suppressed.
“At the end of the day, we just want to have a future where we’re not oppressed, [where] our speech is not suppressed,”telling his audience why he decided to make the Files public, he added, “and we can say what we want to say without fear of reprisals.”
“Frankly the risk of something bad happening to me, or even literally being shot, is quite significant,” he continued.
He added that he’s “definitely not going to be doing any open-air car parades, let me put it that way.”
It’s true that famous individuals often become the targets of stalker, so Musk has a point there. Musk is the wealthiest person in the world, but his turbulent, outspoken presence on the social media network he now controls makes him an unusually prominent — and contentious — figure. As a general rule, he has good reason to fear for his safety, and such worries are to be expected.
Webmaster addition: The government, feeling cornered, might assassinate Musk and then purchase Twitter from his estate to bring it back under the dictatorship.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday said she was "open" to visit China as she seeks to deepen economic engagement with Beijing after the leaders of the world's two largest economies met last month, signaling a possible easing of tensions.
"I have no definite plan to visit China, but I am certainly open to it and look forward to more intense interactions than we've had over the last year or two," Yellen said.
Yellen told reporters after a visit to a Bureau of Printing and Engraving currency plant in Texas that a potential topic for future meetings with Chinese officials was the need for China to participate more fully in debt restructurings of distressed poor and developing countries that had borrowed heavily from Chinese state lenders.
Argentina's Foreign Ministry has summoned the UK ambassador to the country, Kirsty Hayes, on Thursday to protest against a series of military exercises carried out near the Falkland Islands.
In a statement, the Argentine Foreign Minister, Santiago Cafiero, expressed his "categorical rejection" of the idea of "introducing new military actors" in the Malvinas, a statement which also alluded to the possible presence of soldiers from Kosovo.