"The supreme trick of mass insanity is that it persuades you that the only abnormal person is the one who refuses to join in the madness of others, the one who tries vainly to resist. We will never understand totalitarianism if we do not understand that people rarely have the strength to be uncommon." -- Eugene Ionesco
A Pentagon official told reporters on Monday that US military personnel have recently begun onsite inspections of US-provided weapons inside Ukraine, confirming a small US military presence on the ground.
The official said that the return of a “defense attaché and Office of Defense Cooperation personnel” to Ukraine has enabled the inspections. Both the defense attaché and Office of Defense Cooperation personnel are based at the US embassy in Kyiv.
Webmaster addition: This sounds suspiciously like the 'advisers' in Vietnam!
Negotiations between the US and Iran on the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, have been stalled since early September. The Biden administration hasn’t officially said it’s done with the talks, but Malley’s comments are the surest sign that diplomacy between Washington and Tehran is dead.
Malley echoed other administration officials and said that the JCPOA is “not our focus right now” and that the US is going to focus on other issues, including supporting protesters inside Iran.
“It is not on our agenda. We are not going to focus on something which is inert when other things are happening… and we are not going to waste our time on it… if Iran has taken the position it has taken,” Malley said at a Carnegie Endowment event, according to Axios.
The digital Covid vaccination certification, or “passport,” is a mobile app that instantaneously affirms the vaccinated status, Covid test results, birth date, gender, and/or other identifiers of its holder. The information is usually mosaicked in a QR code, read by a proprietary scanner, and linked to a government registry. Led by New York, California, and Louisiana, as many as 30 states are rolling them out. The Biden administration announced last spring that it would wrangle them under national standards but so far it hasn’t. Internationally, the EU and a growing number of countries are adopting them, from repressive regimes like Bahrain to democracies like Denmark.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern heralded her country’s My Vaccine Pass as the keycard to the kingdom. “It’s actually really straightforward. If you’ve got a vaccine pass, you can do everything,” she announced, flashing a friendly shark grin. “Basically, that’s it.”
This past June, Senator Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy adviser Matt Duss (an alumnus of the Saudi- and UAE- funded Center for American Progress) published a widely discussed essay in The New Republic in which he declared that American liberals and progressives need to prioritize expressions of “solidarity” with Ukraine over policies that might put an end to the bloodshed.
In this Duss, a reliable weathervane of liberal opinion, is hardly alone among liberal commentators and policy practitioners, after all, Democrats on the Hill unanimously voted for each of President Biden’s billion dollar aid packages to Ukraine.
What accounts for the enthusiasm for war in Eastern Europe against Russia among American liberals?
Webmaster addition: That is a good question! I am old enough to remember a time when Republicans were seen as the war hawks and Democrats as anti-war.
Ukrainian president Zelensky has warned US Republicans that if they win next week Ukraine needs more than just weapons. Ukraine also needs cold, hard cash to pay its bills. Ukraine’s endless demands even irritated President Biden, according to a new article on CNBC. Also: 60 years ago we almost saw nuclear war. Cooler heads prevailed. Today we are back…without cooler heads.
In a stunning example of corporate filth, Elon Musk, who bought Twitter for about $44 Billion, is now finding evidence the previous Executives may have engaged in literal fraud; not only against Musk to boost the purchase price, but also against the Court wherein they filed suit to force him to buy the company!
This morning, Musk tweeted the following, apparently containing excerpts from internal Twitter Executive email/direct messages:
At first glance, casual observers are saying this certainly explains why twitter’s senior counsel and CEO were fired — with cause.
They get No stock options, no bonuses, no golden parachutes.
If what Musk Tweeted holds true, he can go after billions from the board and executive committee; and perhaps the advertisers have some roll in the deception as well.
Following months of pressure from arms control groups, the State Department released its first detailed plan on how it intends to stop U.S. weapons from being diverted away from their intended use in Ukraine.
The new policy focuses on one major area: stopping the illegal trade of powerful yet portable weapons like Javelin and Stinger missile systems, which could be used by non-state groups to destroy large vehicles or even shoot down commercial planes. The multi-year plan sets out to train Ukrainians on how to keep track of such weapons, bolster border security to stop smuggling, and work with Ukraine’s neighbors on how to identify and stop illicit weapons sales.
Rachel Stohl of the Stimson Center welcomed the policy as a first step, noting that “these are things that should be written into all weapons transfer agreements.” But she lamented that the plan does nothing to address small arms, which can have a major impact in war.
Ukrainian officials say they’re not worried they will lose military aid if the GOP takes over after the midterms, but they fear the economic aid may dry up. Kyiv is expecting the US to hand over at least $18 billion to cover its budget deficit for 2023.
Daniel Vajdich, a lobbyist for the Ukrainian government, told POLITICO that Ukraine expects even “more robust” weapons packages from Republicans but is worried about the budgetary aid.
Webmaster addition: Vajdich has made Ukraine an even more important factor in the midterm elections.
Three and a half years. Five parliamentary elections. Four months of campaigning. Around 12.5bn shekels ($3.5bn) spent.
After all this, Israelis still have no idea whether a new government will be formed after the election on Tuesday, and certainly have no clue who their next prime minister will be.
The infamous deadlock between the opposition “Bibi bloc” - the unholy alliance between far-right and ultra-Orthodox led by Benajmin Netanyahu - and the strangest ever anti-Netanyahu coalition is still there.
Even the last-minute small adjustments are transitions of voters within the blocs, with no transfer of votes between the opponents. According to the latest polls Netanyahu’s bloc will win 60 seats and his opponents sit on 56 to 60, if you add the Palestinian Hadash-Taal list. Governments need a majority of at least 61 to govern.
Speaking on Oct. 27 at the Valdai International Discussion Club, Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned the sanity of those who would "spoil relations with China at the same time they are supplying billions-worth of weapons to Ukraine in a fight against Russia."
In answer to a question on "the growing tensions between China and the United States over Taiwan," Putin labeled visits by top U.S. officials to Taiwan a "provocation." Putin added:
"Frankly, I do not know why they are doing this. … Are they sane? It seems that this runs completely counter to common sense and logic … This is simply crazy.
"It may seem that there is a subtle, profound plot behind this. But I think there is nothing there, no subtle thought. It is just nonsense and arrogance, nothing else. … Such irrational actions are rooted in arrogance and a sense of impunity."
Ron Unz [Harvard ’83] has posted a 5900 word article about 21st century racial discrimination in the Ivy League, and concludes that in spite of the ”Asians. Asians. And Asians” focus of legal action and Conservatism, In fact, it’s actually non-Jewish white Americans who are ”hardest hit.”
Twitter is playing more tricks ahead of next Tuesday’s General Election. Today, it was reported that Trump-Endorsed Arizona Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem’s Twitter account was suspended without cause.
Less than a day before polls open, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu said that far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir is a viable candidate for police minister if Netanyahu’s bid to reclaim the premiership is successful.
“I don’t disqualify him” for the post of public security minister, but “there are a lot of candidates,” Netanyahu told Army Radio on Monday, in his first interview with the state-sponsored outlet since losing the premiership last year.
“Likud has to be the biggest party, and only then I can appoint ministers like Ben Gvir and [Bezalel] Smotrich,” Ben Gvir’s running mate in the Religious Zionism-Otzma Yehudit alliance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday he hopes for "normalisation" of ties between rivals Armenia and Azerbaijan who pledged not to resort to force in their territorial dispute after tripartite talks, reasserting Moscow's role as Caucasus powerbroker.
The summit was held as Western engagement grows in the volatile Caucasus region, where Russia – distracted by its war in Ukraine – is palpably losing influence after decades of domination.
The initiative comes a month after the worst clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan since their war in 2020.
"It was a very useful meeting that created a very good atmosphere for possible future agreements," the Russian president told journalists.
"Russia will do everything to find a definitive and comprehensive settlement" of the conflict, he said. "It is in everyone's interest to normalise relations.
Prussian Major General Carl von Clausewitz famously drew on his own experience in the Napoleonic Wars to examine war as a political phenomenon. In his 1832 book “On War” he provided a frequently quoted pithy summary of war versus peace, writing in terms of politico-military strategy that “War is a mere continuation of politics by other means.” In other words, war-making is a tool provided to statesmen to achieve a nation’s political objectives when all else fails.
One can reject the ultimate amorality of Clausewitz’s thinking about war while also recognizing that some nations have historically speaking exploited war-making as a tool for physical expansion and the appropriation of foreigners’ resources. As far back as the Roman Republic, the country’s elected leaders doubled as heads of its consular armies, which were expected to go out each spring to expand the imperium. More recently, Britain notably engaged in almost constant colonial wars over the course of centuries to establish what was to become history’s largest empire.
With the Supreme Court considering whether it’s Constitution for Harvard and UNC to discriminate against Asians to benefit blacks, the Washington Post is trying to keep the Democrats’ Coalition of the Fringes united for one more week
The Air Force is allowing unvaccinated instructor pilots to return to the air after barring them from flight this summer, the service confirmed Oct. 28.
Maj. Gen. Phillip Stewart, the head of 19th Air Force, said Oct. 25 that it is “in the best interest of the Air Force” for instructors to resume their regular in-flight duties until further notice, according to a memo obtained by Air Force Times.
It sounds like the authors are next going to reveal the Big Secret: that Harvard can’t get rid of affirmative action because African-Americans are ever increasingly being buried by Asians, who are growing both in quantity and quality of test scores and grades. Without society continuing to give blacks a big fat thumb on the scale forever, blacks would more or less vanish from elite academia and be replaced by countless Asians.
The chance that an individual Asian will score 1400 to the maximum of 1600 on the SAT appears to be about two dozen times greater than an individual black will score that high. The white to black gap, in contrast, is only about 7 to 1.
You could make the argument that in 2003 when Sandra Day O’Connor put a 25 year time limit on affirmative action being allowed to violate “equal protection of the laws,” she was being naive, both about the genetics of racial differences in performance but most of all about the Asian Crush that was much less noticeable 19 years ago.
But then Bollinger and Stone chicken out and revert to the usual Blame Whitey rhetoric.
“The Biden administration’s Nuclear Posture Review is, at heart, a terrifying document. It not only keeps the world on a path of increasing nuclear risk, in many ways it increases that risk. Citing rising threats from Russia and China, it argues that the only viable U.S. response is to rebuild the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal, maintain an array of dangerous Cold War-era nuclear policies, and threaten the first use of nuclear weapons in a variety of scenarios.” Stephen Young, Union of Concerned Scientists
Maybe you’re one of the millions of people who think the US would never use its nuclear weapons unless the threat of a nuclear attack was imminent.
Well, you’d be wrong, because according to the recently-released Nuclear Posture Review, the bar for using nukes has been significantly lowered. The new standard reads like this: (nukes can be used) “in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.”
“Defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies”??
That’s a pretty broad net, isn’t it? That could include anything from a serious threat to national security to an ordinary economic competitor. And that loosy-goosy definition appears to be just what the authors were looking for.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Monday said the Kiev regime's ongoing attacks on the critical infrastructure of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant threaten Europe with a man-made disaster and casualties.
"The Kiev regime does not give up its plans to regain control of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and carries out attacks against its critical infrastructure, threatening Europe with a man-made disaster and the deaths of thousands of civilians," the diplomat said in a statement.
"We are calling on the regime of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky and its Western sponsors to stop reckless provocations against the Zaporozhye NPP that could cause a disaster and the most serious consequences," the diplomat said.
Residents of the Moldovan town of Ocnita have reported a series of powerful explosions coming from a Ukrainian pumped-storage hydroelectric plant on the Dniester River, located 25 kilometers from the town.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda in Moldova newspaper published photos and videos provided by witnesses from border settlements, which show a large plume of smoke rising from the area.
Border crossings in Otaci, Larga, Ungur and Briceni, located along the northern part of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, suspended operations after air raid sirens had gone off in Ukraine.
Russia started to carry out strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure facilities on October 10, two days after a terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge, which, according to the Russian authorities, had been masterminded by Ukrainian intelligence agencies. Since then, air raid sirens continue to sound in Ukraine every day. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said on October 18 that 30% of the country’s power plants had been destroyed, which had led to large-scale power outages.
The problem of refugees from the Ukraine, which Kiev is trying to keep quiet, is makes itself more and more evident. Not only the Russian, but even the foreign media are reporting it. According to the UN, from the beginning and Euromaidan which had as its sequel, the so-called "Anti-terrorist” operations carried out by Ukrainian security forces in the territory of east Ukraine more than 10,000 people have already left (1).
Kiev earlier told horror stories about refugees from the Crimea, fleeing the Russian "aggression", but no refugees have appeared. Even though, following orders from the top, pickets took up positions in Ukrainian cities to protect future victims from Russian tyranny, The only tangible case relating to the mass flow of people from the Crimea to the mainland territory of Ukraine, was the arrival of several Crimean Tatar families to Lviv, from where they were later moved on to Poland.
However, according to the representatives of the Crimean Tatar community, many of the refugees leaving the peninsula did so under the guise of members of the extremist organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir" together with their wives and children (2). The activities of this organization in Ukraine were completely legal, but with the transition of the Crimea to Russian jurisdiction, freedom of these Islamist outlaws came to an end.
No other refugees wishing to take refuge under the wing of Kiev in the face of the "Russian occupation" were found. However, there were plenty enough people fleeing from the new Kiev authorities and their nationalist right-wing organizations.
European Union and NATO countries have taken in millions of Ukrainian refugees since the start of the Russian military operation there in February. But recent reports suggest the guests have outstayed their welcome in countries unready to host so many.
Europeans are increasingly tiring of their Ukrainian refugee guests — many in their own homes — as the conflict enters its ninth month.
Now Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's government has told them not to come back soon, for fear of overloading the electrical network crippled by Russian missile and drone strikes.
Nearly eight million Ukrainians have fled the country since February 24, most of them to European Union (EU) and NATO member states that support the Kiev regime's attacks on the people of the eastern Donbass region, which recently voted to join the Russian Federation.
But why is "the Europe of solidarity" turning its back on the nation that leaders wanted to welcome into its economic and military blocs?