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Thought for the day
"If you want a true measure of the stupidity of a people, look to the leaders they follow." -- Voltaire
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt wants answers from the IRS commissioner on why the IRS needs an army of potentially armed new agents.
State Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks at an election-night gathering after winning the Republican primary for U.S. Senate at the Sheraton in Westport Plaza in St Louis, Mo., on Aug. 2, 2022. (Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
Schmitt, who is a Republican Senatorial Candidate, sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig on Aug. 11,questioning the agency’s massive expansion plans that include hiring 87,000 more IRS employees over the next 10 years.
The IRS has stockpiled 5 million rounds of ammunition and spent $750,000 this year to buy more, according to Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who introduced a bill to block future purchases by the agency.
Concurrently, social media was set ablaze this week by an IRS job post for Criminal Investigation Special Agents that would require them to “carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force.” https://www.jobs.irs.gov/resources/job-descriptions/irs-criminal-investigation-special-agent
“This arsenal makes a recent IRS job advertisement downright frightening,” Schmitt wrote.
Russia has called for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to send inspectors to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), a facility that Russia has controlled since March.
“We believe that the IAEA should not delay the visit. It would be good if it is held in late August or early September, but not all things depend on us,” Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s envoy in Vienna, said on Saturday, according to the Russian news agency Tass.
In recent weeks, the ZNPP has come under frequent shelling, and Ukraine is blaming Russia for the attack even though the facility is under Russian control. Moscow denies the accusation and says Ukraine is attacking the plant. Ulyanov said that an IAEA inspection will show who is responsible for the shelling.
So far, IAEA officials haven’t blamed either Ukraine or Russia for the attacks on the plant. “The agency refrains from naming those responsible, partially due to the fact that none of its representatives is present at the station,” Ulyanov said. He added that a visit to the plant would give IAEA inspectors “a chance to see what is really happening there with their own eyes.”
Members of the UN are blocking a visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) so they can avoid confirming Kiev shelled the Russian-controlled facility, local official Vladimir Rogov told RT in an interview on Monday.
Rogov, a member of the Zaporozhye military-civil administration, insisted that the ZNPP is always prepared to welcome the atomic energy watchdog, which has repeatedly expressed a desire to visit the facility, but noted that the UN has “directly started to block the possibility of an IAEA inspection.”
The official suggested that if the agency does visit the plant, it would be forced to conclude that it had been shelled by Kiev’s forces. “It is obvious, it’s all been documented, and not only that, it’s also well known who is being supplied with American guided missiles. Obviously, not Russia, but the Zelensky regime.”
The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant – the largest in Europe – has repeatedly come under attack over the past few weeks. While none of the reactors have so far been struck, the shelling has partially damaged a nearby thermal power plant as well as equipment used to cool the nuclear reactors.
Moscow has accused Ukraine of using rockets, artillery and drones to attack the ZNPP and has described Kiev’s actions as “nuclear terrorism” and holding the whole of Europe hostage.
The Chinese air force is sending fighter jets and bombers to Thailand for a joint exercise with the Thai military on Sunday.
The training will include air support, strikes on ground targets and small- and large-scale troop deployment, the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
China's expanding military activities in the Asia-Pacific region have alarmed the United States and its allies and form part of a growing strategic and economic competition that has inflamed tensions between the world's two largest economies.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Thailand in June as part of an effort to strengthen what he called America’s “unparalleled network of alliances and partnerships” in the region.
Speaking at a press conference, Wang Wenbin, deputy Director of the Foreign Ministry Information Department of China, said the US government’s decision to seize Afghanistan’s $7 billion of foreign exchange reserves “contributed mightily to Afghanistan’s economic collapse."
The US government’s “decision to divide these funds in two is arbitrary and unjustified” and “undermines the recovery” of the Afghan economy, Wenbin said at the press conference.
“Nearly 20 years of 'forced transformation' imposed by the US on Afghanistan have not only failed to lift the Afghan people out of poverty and turbulence, but also worsened the crisis of human survival and national development,” Wenbin told reporters.
Meanwhile, officials of the Islamic Emirate said that negotiations are underway to release the Afghan assets of the Central Bank.
“The freezing of Afghan assets by the US is in contrast to international law. Diplomatic efforts are underway to unfreeze the assets of the Afghans,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy Minister of Economy.
Analysts said that Afghanistan’s Central Bank assets can help the stability of the Afghan economy.
A virtually unregulated investment firm today exercises more political and financial influence than the Federal Reserve and most governments on this planet.
The firm, BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, invests a staggering $9 trillion in client funds worldwide, a sum more than double the annual GDP of the Federal Republic of Germany.
This colossus sits atop the pyramid of world corporate ownership, including in China most recently. Since 1988 the company has put itself in a position to de facto control the Federal Reserve, most Wall Street mega-banks, including Goldman Sachs, the Davos World Economic Forum Great Reset, the Biden Administration and, if left unchecked, the economic future of our world. BlackRock is the epitome of what Mussolini called Corporatism, where an unelected corporate elite dictates top down to the population.
The Ukrainian crisis has nothing to do with Ukraine. It’s about Germany and, in particular, a pipeline that connects Germany to Russia called Nord Stream 2. Washington sees the pipeline as a threat to its primacy in Europe and has tried to sabotage the project at every turn. Even so, Nord Stream has pushed ahead and is now fully-operational and ready-to-go. Once German regulators provide the final certification, the gas deliveries will begin. German homeowners and businesses will have a reliable source of clean and inexpensive energy while Russia will see a significant boost to their gas revenues. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.
The US Foreign Policy establishment is not happy about these developments. They don’t want Germany to become more dependent on Russian gas because commerce builds trust and trust leads to the expansion of trade. As relations grow warmer, more trade barriers are lifted, regulations are eased, travel and tourism increase, and a new security architecture evolves. In a world where Germany and Russia are friends and trading partners, there is no need for US military bases, no need for expensive US-made weapons and missile systems, and no need for NATO.
There’s also no need to transact energy deals in US Dollars or to stockpile US Treasuries to balance accounts. Transactions between business partners can be conducted in their own currencies which is bound to precipitate a sharp decline in the value of the dollar and a dramatic shift in economic power. This is why the Biden administration opposes Nord Stream. It’s not just a pipeline, it’s a window into the future; a future in which Europe and Asia are drawn closer together into a massive free trade zone that increases their mutual power and prosperity while leaving the US on the outside looking in.
From the persecution and torture of journalist Julian Assange to mass censorship of independent media outlets by US government contractors in Silicon Valley, Washington’s attacks on freedom of the press hurt every country and person on Earth.
The US government employs many strategies to try to justify its intervention in the internal affairs and violation of the sovereignty of foreign nations. Chief among these deceptive tactics is Washington’s weaponization of accusations that its adversaries violate the freedom of expression.
This is quite ironic, given that the United States is the world’s leading violator of press freedoms, according to any consistent definition of the term.
And unlike the countries that Washington claims supposedly repress the freedom of expression within their borders, US government censorship of independent media outlets and suppression of alternative voices is global, hurting people across the planet.
The Joe Biden administration has in particular gone to great lengths to depict itself as a defender of civil liberties.
In May, the White House published a statement commemorating World Press Freedom Day. The purpose of the declaration was to portray Russia as a leading violator of free speech and the United States as its noble protector.
But the reality is Washington is guilty of exponentially more persecution of journalists than anything Moscow is even accused of.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released new data showing a total of 1,379,438 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines were submitted between Dec. 14, 2020, and Aug. 5, 2022, to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). That’s an increase of 7,964 adverse events over the previous week.
VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S.
The data included a total of 30,162 reports of deaths — an increase of 181 over the previous week — and 251,075 serious injuries, including deaths, during the same time period — up 1,959 compared with the previous week.
Foreign reports are reports foreign subsidiaries send to U.S. vaccine manufacturers. Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, if a manufacturer is notified of a foreign case report that describes an event that is both serious and does not appear on the product’s labeling, the manufacturer is required to submit the report to VAERS.
On May 13th, 2022 for the first time, Russia used its S-300 air defense system against Israel, firing at Israeli jets after an air strike in northwestern Syria. In 2015 Putin had come to the defense of Syrian ally President Assad, requesting Russian military assistance against US-Turkey-Saudi backed ISIS terrorists, successfully securing Assad from yet another illegal US coup insurgency. Recall that
Syria was among the targeted nations per the infamous Bush-Cheney-neocon takedown list of 7 nations in 5 years, disclosed by General Wesley Clark. But with Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia all now arguably left failed states, compliments of US unipolar aggression and imperialistic wars clearly fought for Israel’s Yinon plan, only Iran still stands intact militarily unattacked. But unhappy over the latest developments and concessions after a Russian brokered new US-Iran deal in March, in response Israel has acquired new capabilities ramped up for launching a potential attack against Iran.
Fox News anchor Eric Shawn floated the possibility that former President Donald Trump may have tried to "sell" classified documents to Russia or Saudi Arabia.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort residence on Monday in search of top secret and sensitive compartmentalized information, as well as other classified documents. The Washington Post reported Thursday that information regarding nuclear weapons was believed to be among the documents sought by federal agents, and a Russian-state television host said officials in Moscow have already studied the records. Trump described the report regarding nuclear weapons documents as a "hoax."
In a Sunday Fox News broadcast, Shawn interviewed former intelligence officer and Russian expert Rebekah Koffler. At the start of the segment, the Fox News anchor raised questions about what Trump may have done with the classified materials.
The US government holds many political prisoners, including journalists; national security state whistleblowers; Black, Indigenous, and Latino revolutionaries; foreign diplomats; Muslims detained without trial; women who defended themselves from attacks; and environmental activists.
The United States constantly accuses its adversaries of holding political prisoners, while insisting it has none of its own. But for its entire history, the US government has used incarceration of its political opponents as a tool to crush dissent and advance the interests of economic elites.
Well-known cases are those entrapped or framed in US national security state sting operations, or imprisoned with extreme sentences for a minor offense because of their political activism, such as Black revolutionary George Jackson.
Each period of struggle by the working class and oppressed peoples against ruling-class control results in some activists locked up for their revolutionary work. “Political prisoner” has often meant those revolutionaries jailed for fighting their national oppression, as is the case with a great number of Black Panthers.
In contrast, a century ago, most political prisoners in the United States were Marxists, labor organizers, and anti-war activists, such as Joe Hill, Eugene Debs, and Big Bill Haywood.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) — the guy who is, unfortunately for the country, the head of the House Intelligence Committee — appeared on “Face the Nation” on Sunday with Margaret Brennan.
Brennan asked Schiff about the FBI raid on President Donald Trump and she asked a terrific question, the same question that so many of us have been asking — if this was truly the “national security” issue they are trying to portray it as now, why did they wait 18 months? I’d even add another point to that — why did they wait three days after they got the warrant on August 5 to execute it?
There’s no evidence in the warrant that there were any “nuclear” documents, there’s only a “sources” report from the Washington Post. ”What was the change that made this immediate?” Brennan asked.
Russian state media outlets have been offering words of support for Former President Donald Trump amid the FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida in an attempt to sow discord in the U.S.
"The Russians understand that Donald Trump is a hot button in America and they use their narratives to foment discord and amplify tensions in our country," Rebekah Koffler, a former DIA intelligence officer and the author of "Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America," told Fox News.
The comments come after multiple Russian media outlets have expressed support for Trump in the days since the FBI raid on his home, with both Izvestia and RenTV arguing over the weekend that the raid was designed to prevent Trump from running for president in 2024.
The House Democrats’ top investigators on Saturday asked the director of National Intelligence to conduct a review and damage assessment of the boxes of highly classified information seized by the FBI this week from former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
© Susan Walsh/APTop lawmakers seek intelligence assessment of documents from Mar-a-Lago
The letter was sent to National Intelligence Director Avril Haines by House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and cites the search warrant cataloguing the classified documents of various levels of sensitivity found at Mar-a-Lago.
Webmaster addition: The documents had been declassified.
Rick LaBrode has worked at NASA for 37 years, but he says the American quest to return to the Moon is by far the crowning moment of his career.
LaBrode is the lead flight director for Artemis 1, set to take off later this month -- the first time a capsule that can carry humans will be sent to the Moon since the last Apollo mission in 1972.
"This is more exciting than really anything I've ever been a part of," LaBrode told journalists at the US space agency's Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas.
The 60-year-old confided to AFP that the eve of the launch is likely to be a long night of anticipation -- and little rest.
"I'm going to be so excited. I won't be able to sleep too much, I'm sure of that," he said, in front of Mission Control's iconic giant bank of screens.
Artemis 1, an uncrewed test flight, will feature the first blastoff of the massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which will be the most powerful in the world when it goes into operation.
Several major Wall Street banks have begun offering to facilitate trades in Russian debt in recent days, according to bank documents seen by Reuters, giving investors another chance to dispose of assets widely seen in the West as toxic.
Most U.S. and European banks had pulled back from the market in June after the Treasury Department banned U.S. investors from purchasing any Russian security as part of economic sanctions to punish Moscow for invading Ukraine, according to an investor who holds Russian securities and two banking sources.
Following subsequent guidelines from the Treasury in July that allowed U.S. holders to wind down their positions, the largest Wall Street firms have cautiously returned to the market for Russian government and corporate bonds, according to emails, client notes and other communications from six banks as well as interviews with the sources.
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa appeared on Fox News with Neil Cavuto on Saturday. During the interview, Cavuto asked the ranking GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his thoughts regarding the release of the search warrant and the affidavit of probable cause that led to the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago.
During an appearance on FNC’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” former Attorney General Michael Mukasey argued the real motivation of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home last week was to find evidence tying Trump to the January 6 Capitol Hill riot.
Mukasey suggested the raid and the timing of the seizure of Rep. Scott Perry’s (R-PA) cell phone suggested ties to January 6.
“I think my view of this is rather more closely tied to more current events than the Russia collusion episode,” he said. “And I think it’s a view that I share with Andy McCarthy, who has also been on your air. And that is that this has more to do with gathering documents relating to the January 6 investigation than it does with — really with anything else. That, I think, ties more closely to the — what was going on at the time. You recall that there was — there were grand jury subpoenas served on White House counsel Pat Cipollone, that there was a search of Eastman and another colleague … who — which also related to January — Clark — which also related to January 6, although we were told that it related to an inspector general’s investigation, which it could not have related to because the inspector general is not a law enforcement officer and could not have gotten a search warrant. The day afterwards, they seized Congressman Perry’s telephone.”
Within the course of a few short hours, nearly 700 migrants waded across the Rio Grande hoping to surrender to authorities and gain release into the United States. Breitbart Texas posted at several major migrant crossings and observed several large and small migrant groups surrendering to Texas Army National Guard soldiers, Highway Patrol troopers, and Border Patrol agents in and around the small Texas border town of Eagle Pass on Sunday.
The first large migrant group crossed the Rio Grande near Normandy, Texas, 20 miles north of Eagle Pass. The group of nearly 300 migrants, mostly single adults, surrendered to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol troopers and Border Patrol agents. Some members of the migrant group waited for nearly four hours to be transported to a nearby processing center. The delay in transporting the migrants from the immediate border area was the result of the sudden, overwhelming influx of migrants surrendering to law enforcement authorities in a short span of time.
During this week’s broadcast of FNC’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who recently had his phone seized by the FBI, argued the FBI and Department of Justice were working to intimidate those who were unwilling to “bend the knee” to the Democratic Party narrative.
“Last week, the day after the raid on the president’s home, FBI agents showed up when I was traveling with my family, my wife and our two small children, my in-laws, extended family, showed up and demanded my cell phone,” Perry said. They said they were going to image it, they were not going to search it, and then they eventually did return it But, Maria, what I think this is about is intimidating anyone who refuses to bend the knee to the narrative. And I don’t know exactly what your questions are going to be, but there’s been no accountability.”
“James Comey, the director of the FBI, used classified information improperly to get a second special counsel,” he continued. “No accountability for that. The chairman of the Intel Committee changed the president’s speech and entered it into the record, created an impeachment trial. Again, no accountability. You name it across the board, whether it’s John Eastman, whether it’s Scott Perry, whether it’s President Trump, and with passing a bill that will pay for hiring of 87,000 IRS agents, tyranny is going to come right into everyone’s living room very, very shortly.
When the Taliban jihadist organization returned to power in Afghanistan a year ago on Monday, its spokesmen promised one thing above all: the new and improved Taliban regime would be “inclusive.”
Taliban representatives who would go on to powerful offices in what is now the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” could not stop using the word. Their ministerial cabinet would be “inclusive.” Their institutions would be “inclusive.” Their diplomatic stances on the larger world stage would reflect the alleged newfound “inclusivity” the Taliban learned from warring with America for 20 years.
Taliban jihadists never specified exactly how they defined the word, but much of the world — from the Chinese Foreign Ministry to the United Nations to Secretary of State Antony Blinken — publicly expressed hope that the new language expressed optimism and hope that two decades of war had somehow softened one of the world’s most extreme terrorist groups.
Republicans stepped up calls on Sunday for the release of an FBI affidavit showing the justification for its seizure of documents at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home amid reports of heightened threats against federal law enforcement personnel.
A search warrant released last week after the unprecedented search showed that Trump had 11 sets of classified documents at his home, and that the Justice Department had probable cause to conduct the search based on possible Espionage Act violations.
Republicans are calling for the disclosure of more detailed information that persuaded a federal judge to issue the search warrant, which may show sources of information and details about the nature of the documents and other classified information.
An Italian member of parliament from populist Matteo Salvini’s League party was hospitalised this week after a migrant threw missiles at moving vehicles along a major Italian motorway.
League MP Claudia Gobbato was injured and taken to hospital after the migrant, a 22-year-old Egyptian national, allegedly threw an object at her vehicle, smashing the windscreen and causing glass to hit her in the eye as she was travelling with her family for their summer holidays.
The incident took place on Friday morning at around 9:30 a.m. on Italy’s important and busy A1 motorway, known as the Autostrada del Sole, between Lodi and Casalpusterlengo. Two men aged 22 and 65 were also injured as a result of the Egyptian throwing objects at vehicles, Il Giornale reports.
The Egyptian migrant is said to have been taking a high-speed train when he pulled the emergency brake and got off, then made his way to the busy motorway where he started throwing various projectiles, including throwing a stone at a train, forcing it to stop and causing delays on the Milan-Bologna line.
An eight year old girl had her lemonade stand shutdown by police after a nearby food festival filed a complaint about her.
The first fatal shooting occurred at 10:40 p.m. Friday, when a 38-year-old driver was shot was traveling “in the 500 block of West 95th Street in Washington Heights.” The driver was taken to a hospital where he died, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The second fatal shooting occurred at 11:10 p.m. Friday, when a 62-year-old man was shot in the head while sitting at “a stop sign in the 800 block of West 71st Street.” He was transported to a hospital where they pronounced him dead.
The third fatal shooting was discovered at 5:17 a.m. Saturday, when a 19-year-old was found “in the 3900 block of West Fillmore Street” with a gunshot wound to his chest.
A 28-year-old man was shot and killed Saturday morning at 6 a.m. while standing outside, talking to another individual “in the 9400 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue.”
NBC 5 noted that two additional shooting injuries occurred by Saturday night, bringing the total number of non-fatal shooting victims to 12 by 8:32 p.m.
The Sun-Times observed that 412 people were killed in Chicago January 1, 2022, through August 13, 2022.
When I was a student, school principles and university administrations were very supportive of teachers. It was understood that once teachers could be accused by students, learning discipline would break down, and control would be lost over grading, standards, and course content.
This is what has happened. A teacher’s life has changed from imparting information and challenging ideas to students into dodging accusations from leftists, feminists, blacks, homosexuals, and transgendered. Today even use of a gender pronoun can be cause for termination.
The slippery slope began with the sexual revolution. Female students began seducing professors for better grades. Feminists turned this into sexual harassment by teachers and soon the presence of novels such as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary on reading lists became sexual harassment. Next blacks found that they could be offended by almost everything and “I am offended” became a way to control the teacher and the course content. Facts had to be made to fit with black suppositions. Homosexuals found that they could find evidence of homophobia in some assignments. Today gender pronouns are taboo and males have to be permitted to use female facilities and to compete in female sports. This process has gone so far that mathematics departments in universities are faced with the charge that mathematics is racist and a tool of white oppression. Areas of science, such as the genetic basis of intelligence, have been closed down. Histories of the Age of Exploration, of the US “Civil War,” and slavery have been rewritten to fit the desired narratives. Schools and universities teach white students that they are racists. It has become impossible to acquire a university degree and emerge with a positive attitude toward Western civilization. Indeed, students cannot emerge with a positive attitude toward white people.
Just about every group in this country has convinced itself it has great excuses to hate the white man. There’s slavery, white supremacy, homophobia, the holocaust, white privilege, sexism, and racism, and just showing up in the New World. Hating us is so much fun that even groups we can’t possibly have ever wronged have learned how to do it.
Moments before novelist Salman Rushdie was to deliver a lecture on Friday at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, a man rushed the stage and stabbed him repeatedly before being subdued.