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Thought for the day
"But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence . . . only illusion is sacred, truth has become profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness." -- Ludwig Feuerbach, (1804-1872), Preface to the second edition of The Essence of Christianity"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." -- Plato
The leading transgender health association suggested at a conference last week that “chemical castration” and “gender-affirming” care can be synonymous in the context of eunuchs.
President Joe Biden (D) finally reached out to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) Tuesday night after facing backlash throughout the day for not being in touch with the governor ahead of Hurricane Ian’s landfall on the state.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) slammed a reporter Tuesday afternoon for apparently trying to politicize the hurricane that is anticipated to hit the state.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, explaining the reasons behind his country’s refusal to negotiate with Moscow, compared Russia to an insatiable “cachalot” who would not understand the language of diplomacy.
In a Friday interview with the Wall Street Journal, Zelensky responded to the recent remarks of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, who said earlier this week that Russia and Ukraine could have ended their conflict in March if Kiev had not withdrawn from negotiations.
Calling this statement “total delirium,” the Ukrainian leader said that, prior to Moscow’s offensive, he had been trying to talk to Putin for a long time but he couldn’t be bothered to take a phone call.
It’s been two and a half years since the onset of the COVID pandemic forced millions of American workers out of the office, and white-collar workers at Michigan-based automaker General Motors remain unconvinced they should return to in-person work.
A Polish politician, who is married to American leftist writer Anne Applebaum, ignited a firestorm on social media this week by suggesting that the United States was behind the damage to Russia’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea this week.
Among more than a dozen abortion and so-called reproductive health bills California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Tuesday, one piece of legislation has pro-life advocates sick to their stomachs.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk suggested this week that he was potentially interested in working with an alternative platform to YouTube after the left-wing tech company reportedly censored actor Russell Brand this week.
Sixty-three additional documents or photographs without classification markings were taken from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort than previously listed by the FBI, according to an updated inventory list.
The revised inventory was submitted to the federal court in southern Florida on orders from U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, a Reagan appointee who was inserted into the case as a special master, or an independent third party to handle disputes and other matters.
Dearie ordered a government official “with sufficient knowledge of the matter” to submit a declaration or affidavit stating whether the detailed property inventory released on Sept. 2 “represents the full and accurate extent of the property seized from” Trump’s home in August when FBI agents executed a search warrant there.
Webmaster addition: Let me guess; one of those "new" documents proves Trump molested an entire orphanage full of children while high on polydichloric euthimal or somesuch.
The coalition includes 30 different groups and institutions merged to investigate how to leverage Web3 tech like cryptocurrencies and blockchain to help the world become carbon neutral.
“An important and unique aspect of Web3 is that it uses technology to support and reward direct community engagement and action,” said WEF head of digital assets Brynly Llyr.
The coalition will examine how to add “carbon credits” to the blockchain. Partners include Accenture, the Crypto Council for Innovation, Rainforest Partnership, the Sustainable Bitcoin Standard, Zero Labs and others.
The WEF has been scrutinized for promoting the COVID-19 pandemic to achieve a “great reset” where global economies use private and public organizations to fight climate change.
During this year’s forum, WEF speaker and Norwegian Finance CEO Kjerstin Braathen said people should expect “pain” and “energy shortages” as the world pursues the WEF’s climate change agenda.
“We need to accept that there will be some pain in the process,” Braathen said.
“The pace that we need [to end climate change] will open up for missteps. It will open up for shortages of energy. It will create inflationary pressures, and maybe we need to start talking about that — that pain is actually worth it.”
“Because if we don’t, there’s no business case; there’s no economy; there’s no welfare. But so far, I think we have been a little bit careful actually talking about the pain in the short term that is likely to come from this very important change.”
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen confirmed the Nord Stream pipeline system leaks were caused by "sabotage," and warned of the "strongest possible response" should active European energy infrastructure be attacked.
Earlier, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen described the three separate leaks on NS1 and NS2 as "deliberate acts," adding: "It’s hard to imagine that it’s accidental."
On Monday, Swedish seismologists reported the detection of underwater explosions - shortly after which large patches of roiling gas could be seen on the surface in the same area.
As rumors swirl over who is responsible for the incident, one message it sent was clear - vital systems are vulnerable to attack.
"The most important message that somebody wants to send, is what one is capable of doing with an offline pipeline can also be done with active pipelines, or undersea cables, or other infrastructure," said Julian Pawlak, a researcher at the German Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies, in a statement to the NY Times.
In response, Denmark and Norway announced increased security around their energy infrastructure, and Norway, now Europe’s most important producer of gas and oil, called for “increased vigilance by all operators and vessel owners.” In a statement, Norway’s energy minister, Terje Aasland, cited “reports of increased drone activity” around its coast, and said that much of what he had learned of the Nord Stream incidents “indicates acts of sabotage.” -NY Times
Heavily armed protestors with differing opinions on transgenderism fought with one another via megaphone in front of First Christian Church in Katy, Texas, where a drag queen bingo fundraiser was being held.
The event was held to fund a thrift store for transgender teens, and young adults called Transparent Closet. Guests of all ages were welcome to attend.
The tension on the streets of Katy, Texas, was so thick it couldn’t have been cut with grandma’s trusty butcher knife. On one side of the street, people held signs like the one that read, “No adult entertainers for children. It’s inappropriate for children.”
People held signs supporting the event on the opposite side of the street. One person compared dressing in drag to wearing Halloween costumes and did not feel the event was harmful to children.
The mother of a 13-year-old LAUSD student says she’s now suing the district for vaccinating her student without her consent, claiming the school also bribed him with pizza.
"He said, 'yeah, they offered me pizza,'" Maribel Duarte said.
Duarte first spoke to NBCLA about her son Moises back in December 2021 in front of Barack Obama Global Prep Academy in South Los Angeles, where she says he told her he was given pizza in exchange for getting a COVID-19 vaccination shot, and told to forge his mother’s name on a consent form.
"If I already know all the problems he has, why am going to let him allow him to get that shot?" Duarte said.
Duarte claims the shot re-awakened her son’s childhood asthma and bleeding condition. While next to her lawyer Wednesday, Duarte said she’s now suing the LAUSD, saying that even though she got the vaccine, she didn’t want it for her son.
"This is not a conspiracy theory. This is not an anti-vax case. This is about parental rights about having the ability to protect your children," attorney Nicole Pearson said.
CNN’s Don Lemon repeatedly tried to get the National Hurricane Center’s new acting director on Tuesday night to link Hurricane Ian to climate change, and he was not expecting the response that he received.
Vice President Kamala Harris, the Biden administration’s southern border czar, will be visiting a contentious border spot this week — on the other side of the world.
The race for a U.S. Senate seat in Washington State is tightening and Republican Tiffany Smiley is making serious gains on Democrat Patty Murray.
An illegal alien who was serving life in prison for the deadly Las Vegas bombing in 2007 has escaped from the Southern Desert Correctional Center.
After releasing a first-of-its-kind report earlier this year that examined slavery in the U.S. and the lingering effects on African Americans, the California Reparations Task Force is holding a two-day public hearing this weekend to discuss reparations.
Assembly Bill 3121 (AB 3121) was enacted in September 2020 and allows the task force to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans.
The task force would create a proposal if the State Legislature ultimately creates a law that would provide reparations.
"We're looking at not only what caused slavery but more important, the impact slavery has had on African Americans," said State Assemblyman and member of the task force Reginald Jones-Sawyer during Friday's meeting.
He says the two days of hearings allows the public to farther weigh in on the different aspects of reparations.
Dozens of members of The Elmer ‘Geronimo’ Pratt Pistol & Rifle Gun Club marched in Austin, Texas on Sunday chanting anti-immigrant slogans and demanding reparations.
The black activists chanted, “Take your a$$ home!” and “Guns up, Shoot back!”
The gun club members want Joe Biden to close the border.
Democrats are going to have a problem with that one.
Here are a few videos from the rally this weekend.
Americans oppose President Joe Biden’s lawless and wage-cutting mass migration because they are racist, not because of their economic worries, according to former President Barack Obama.
“Right now, the biggest fuel behind the Republican agenda is related to immigration and the fear that somehow America’s character is going to be changed if, people of darker shades, there are too many of them here,” Obama told a meeting of Hispanic realtors on September 25 in San Diego, California.
Obama used his divide-and-rule claims of racism to hide the public opposition to migration’s economic impact, according to his comments posted in a September 25 report by the San Diego Union-Tribune:
I wish I could be more euphemistic about it except [they’re] not that subtle about it — they’re just kind of saying it,” Obama said. “You hear it on hard-right media, you hear it from candidates and politicians, you hear things like ‘great replacement theory’ — I mean, this is not subtle. Unless we’re able to return to a more inclusive vision inside the Republican Party, it’s going to be hard to get a bill done.
Webmaster addition: 'Illegal' is not a race, Barack!
The Democrats’ massive climate spending and tax bill gave the Department of Agriculture (USDA) $2.2 billion in loans to pay farmers, many of whom are black, who have previously been denied USDA loans due to discrimination.
The provision, which was backed by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, is intended to provide financial assistance to farmers, ranchers or forest landowners that the department determines to have experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs before Jan. 1. 2021, according to the bill’s text. Although the funding could go to any farmer that the government has discriminated against, such as white women or members of the LGBTQ community, the money is primarily intended to rectify the historic denial of loans to black farmers, accordingto The Wall Street Journal.
Another of the bill’s provisions will allocate $3.1 to help farmers of any race who are facing financial hardship and also have a direct or guaranteed loan with the USDA. Democrats quietly abandoned their original plan in August to give $4 billion to black farmers as part of the March 2021 Covid relief bill after white farmers filed a lawsuit against the funding, saying it was unconstitutional to exclude white farmers based on race, according to Bloomberg Law.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ran out of his house and jumped into a truck driven by his wife, a state senator, to avoid being served a subpoena to testify Tuesday in an abortion access case, according to court documents.
A process server wrote in an affidavit that he was attempting to deliver the federal court subpoena Monday at Paxton's home and ultimately had to leave the document on the ground. He said the Republican avoided him for more than an hour from inside his house, then dashed toward the truck and the couple drove off.
Paxton, who is facing a variety of legal troubles as he seeks to win a third term in November, said he avoided the server out of safety concerns and said the news media should be ashamed for reporting on what happened.
But Gates is still worried about domestic polarization in the U.S., which he sees little hope for in the short-term. “I admit that political polarization may bring it all to an end, we’re going to have a hung election and a civil war,” he said. “I have no expertise in that, I’m not going to divert my money to that because I wouldn’t know how to spend it.”
Notice that’s a declarative statement, not “I think or it might be.” He’s saying it as if it’s a fait accompli. He doesn’t say what he bases that on. He obviously thinks it’s pretty serious because he says, “it may bring it all to an end.” But instead of saying he would do something to try to alleviate that polarization which he thinks might bring everything to an end, he says he’s not going to put his money into “that,” like it’s an investment opportunity that he doesn’t want to get involved in. If you thought that everything was about to end, would that be the way you would respond? Gates will, however, put his money into trying to eliminate “the diseases that make the world inequitable, to bring those largely to an end.” Assuming the polarization doesn’t end it all. He’s also become the largest farmland owner in the United States, which doesn’t sit well with real farmers like Will Harris.
For around 60 years, the United States published an annual study called the World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (WMEAT) report. The document provided detailed information on global arms transfers, defense spending, and a range of other military-related topics.
For reasons that remain unclear, last year’s defense spending bill put an end to the report. The State Department published its final edition last month, quietly marking the end of an era in military disclosures.
“At one point in history, the WMEAT report was the model for transparency around the world,” Jeff Abramson of the Arms Control Association said, noting the importance of its Cold War-era origins.
Of course, the report wasn’t perfect. Experts say WMEAT tended to overcount military sales in misleading ways, among other things. But its demise is part of a larger shift away from transparency in military affairs, according to experts who spoke with Responsible Statecraft. In recent years, civil society has lost access to some of the most detailed information about which American weapons are being exported, where they’re going, and how they’re being used — crucial gaps given that U.S. companies account for almost 40 percent of global arms exports.
On September 28th, the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, as well as the authorities of the territories of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions controlled by the Russian military, summed up the results of referenda on joining Russia.
As a result of the voting that took place in the regions on September 23-27, 98.42% citizens of the LPR voted for joining Russia: in the DPR, 99.23% of the population supported the decision to join Russia; in the Kherson region, 87.05% voted ‘Yes’ for independence from Ukraine joining Russia; in the Zaporozhye region, 93.11% voted for creation of independent state and joining Russia.
The Kherson and Zaporozhie region intend to declare their independence within the administrative borders, i.e. including the territories that are currently under control of the Ukrainian military.
The total turnout in the LPR, was 92.6%; in the DPR, 97.51%; in the Kherson region, 76.86%, and in Zaporozhye, in was 85.4%.
Polling stations were opened on the territories of the voting regions and abroad. In 84 Russian regions, there were about 600 polling stations, most of them were located in the south of Russia, as most of the refugees were located there. In total, more than 4 million people have arrived in Russia from Ukraine since February, said Ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova.
On the night of September 26, a sharp drop in pressure was recorded in line A of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline due to a hole in the pipe. In the evening of the same day, the Nord Stream control center recorded a pressure drop in both lines of the gas pipeline, the press service of the Nord Stream operator company reported.
Ulrich Lissek, a representative of the Nord Stream 2 AG pipeline operator, clarified that the pressure dropped from 105 to 7 bar due to a hole in the pipe.
The Nord Stream and Nord Stream-2 gas pipelines pass through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Judging by the map published on the website of Gazprom, both branches of the Nord Stream pass near the southeastern side of Bornholm Island, while the leak is recorded to the northeast. The gas leaks occurred near the Nord Stream gas pipeline northeast of Bornholm Island, the Danish Maritime Administration said.
It is just a coincidence. The Baltic Sea is bubbling with gas escaping from the pipelines of the two Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines but it is only a coincidence that US President Joe Biden, on 7 February, in a joint conference with German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz, threatened to block those lines.
Talking with the German colleague, U.S. President Joe Biden warned that if Russia invades Ukraine, there would be no Nord Stream 2, but did not specify how he would go about ensuring the controversial pipeline would not be used. Speaking at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Biden said, “If Russia invades… again, then there will be longer Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.” When asked how he would do that, he responded, “I promise you we will be able to do it.”
Biden’s prophecy has come true. According to the reconstructions of the Danish government, the two lines of the Nord Stream, 1 and 2, suffered “unprecedented” damage in three places in the stretch of the Baltic Sea between Denmark and Sweden. The Ukrainian and Polish governments and the US administration speak of sabotage by the Kremlin. But they have no proof.
According to the US government, gas leaks from Nord Stream are under investigation, as early reports indicate that they were caused by an attack. With this statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on the sidelines of a press conference held in Washington, hinted that the Russian government was involved in the damage. NATO is also closely monitoring the situation in the Baltic Sea. The allies are examining the circumstances of the gas leaks and exchanging information, including with Finland and Sweden, “an Atlantic Alliance official explained, referring to the gas leaks from the Nord Stream pipeline.
The submarine explosions would have hit three lines of the pipeline and according to the German operator that manages the network “it is impossible at this moment to estimate the timing for the resumption of the restoration operations” of the infrastructure. Gas leaks from Nord Stream pipelines are expected to last “at least a week” according to the Danish government. For Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, the damage was caused by “deliberate acts”.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue their offensive in the Kharkiv region and in the north of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic. After the announcement of partial mobilization in Russia, as well as amid worsening weather conditions, the Ukrainian military are rushing to get to the Russian military communication lines and cut them in order to threaten Russian forces in the whole region.
Ukrainian units recently managed to break through Russian defenses north of Krasny Estuary and establish control over several villages in the area. Russian military positions in Krasny Liman remain the main Russian stronghold in the region. Russian units in Krasny Liman and Yampol have been repelling attacks by superior enemy forces for more than a week. The AFU are attacking from the western direction, from their positions in Shurovo, as well as from the south, from the positions in Ozernoe.
The villages of Novoselovka, Drobishevo and Shandrigolovo also remain under Russian control. The AFU are attacked in small groups of up to 10-15 soldiers on armored vehicles, which are shelled by Russian artillery.
The road between the settlements is under Ukrainian fire control. The supply of the Russian grouping in Krasny Liman is carried out from the north-eastern direction, along the Svatovo-Makeyevka-Terny road, which is also in danger of being cut off amid the ongoing Ukrainian offensive.