COMING UP SHORT THIS MONTH.
Thought for the day
"The tendency has always been strong to believe that whatever received a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. And if no real entity answering to the name could be found, men did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but imagined that." -- John Stuart Mill
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declined to directly endorse President Joe Biden’s statement that the U.S. military would defend Taiwan if China invaded, saying that America’s priority is helping Taiwan prepare to protect itself.
Speaking on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” in an interview that aired Sunday, Austin said: “In accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, we’re committed to helping Taiwan develop the capability to defend itself. And that work has gone on over time and will continue into the future.”
Italian voters elected a nationalist coalition led by the Brothers of Italy party on Monday, September 26. Leftists everywhere denounced the party’s leader, Giorgia Meloni, as a “fascist.” Her election win, they said paradoxically, is a grave threat to “democracy.” Even Joe Biden warned of how dangerous it was for the Italian people to vote the wrong way. But Meloni does have some fervent supporters outside of Italy: American Establishment conservatives are thrilled with her and her nationalist message. That’s a big change from just a few years ago when they would have denounced the same rhetoric as “fascist.” The love for Meloni might signal a profound change with the American Right—a change that will make it more nationalist.
Leftist rhetoric about Meloni was hysterical to say the least [NYT calls anti-immigrant politician “Fascist” 28 times., by Ann Coulter, Substack, September 25, 2022] The Brothers of Italy is a descendant of the Italian Social Movement and ultimately Mussolini’s Fascist Party. The modern party is hardly fascist and is actually no different from other mainstream right-wing parties in Europe. Meloni’s party is in fact more in tune with American foreign policy priorities than groups like National Rally in France. But that stance didn’t deter any of the over-the-top condemnations.
The World Bank has said it will provide an additional $530 million in support to Ukraine, bringing the total aid by the bank to $13 billion, as Russia's invasion of the country continues.
The aid is supported by the United Kingdom ($500 million) and the Kingdom of Denmark ($30 million), the World Bank said in a statement.
Of the total aid of $13 billion to Ukraine to date, $11 billion has been fully disbursed, the bank added.
The World Bank's most recent analysis puts the total long-term cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine over the next three years at well over $100 billion, said Arup Banerji, World Bank Regional Country Director for Eastern Europe.
Iraqis gather to mark the third anniversary of the anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq on Saturday [Khalid al-Mousily/Reuters]
Dozens of Iraqis were injured after violence erupted when thousands of Iraqis gathered in Baghdad to mark the third anniversary of nationwide protests against corruption.
Protesters waved the Iraqi flag and chanted “we want to overthrow the regime” as they met on Saturday in Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square.
According to a report by Israel’s State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman, the Israeli army is “logistically unprepared” for its regular operations inside the West Bank, and for taking on the growing Palestinian resistance.
The State Comptroller’s Office released an “urgent” report on Sunday, 2 October, to highlight growing concerns about the IDF conducting operations inside the West Bank, citing missing equipment and the poor living conditions of conscripts.
Over the last few months, the IDF has doubled its forces from 13 to 26 battalions, which are often supported by armored vehicles and military drones during their military incursions.
If anything, the Israeli Operation Break the Wave is a response to growing concerns over the military situation in the West Bank and the failures of the Israeli forces against a seemingly more united Palestinian resistance.
Turkey announced on Sunday the launch of a new military operation targeting members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in its countryside, state media reported.
The "Eren Blockade" autumn winter operation was launched by around 1,600 personnel and is supported by Turkey's advanced arsenal of drones in an effort to remove PKK forces from rural areas of Turkey, state-owned Anadolu Agency said, citing Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.
The PKK is a Kurdish armed group struggling for the increased cultural and political rights of Kurds in Turkey.
Ankara considers it a terrorist organization and has launched repeated operations targeting the group both at home and southwards in Iraq and Syria.
Italy's next government will direct its efforts to trying to tame soaring energy prices, Giorgia Meloni, who is widely expected to be named prime minister, said on Saturday.
Meloni's Brothers of Italy party and allies Forza Italia and the League face a daunting list of challenges, including the spike in energy prices largely caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"I still think this is a primary responsibility of the new government, and we are obviously committed to working on this," said Meloni, who was speaking in Milan at an event held by Italy's biggest agriculture lobby Coldiretti in her first public appearance since the election night.
Welcomed by rapturous applause, Meloni took the stage and blamed the ballooning cost of energy on speculation.
French President Emmanuel Macron had a phone call with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky Sunday, BFM reported Sunday citing the Elysee Palace. According to the report, the French leader called the accession of the four new regions to Russia illegitimate, and vowed that Paris will help Ukraine to restore its sovereignty.
"The President reaffirmed his firm condemnation of the illegitimate annexation of four Ukrainian regions by Russia," the Elysee Palace said, adding that "France is committed to helping Ukraine to restore its full sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Macron also told Zelensky that he will work with EU partners on new anti-Russian sanctions.
The French leader also advocated a withdrawal of Russian forces from the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant during the phone call.
The leaders of nine NATO nations from Central and Eastern Europe issued a joint statement on Sunday in support of Ukraine's path to membership in the alliance.
"We firmly stand behind the 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit decision concerning Ukraine’s future membership," the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Czechia, Romania, North Macedonia, and Slovakia said on Sunday.
At that 2008 summit, NATO allies said they "welcomed" Ukraine and Georgia's aspirations to the join the alliance, though no clear timetable has ever been announced.
When the pound slumped as Kwasi Kwarteng presented his mini-budget, some Britons rushed to the safety of a haven that's recently lost its luster: gold.
As the UK currency slid to an all-time low early Monday, bullion priced in pounds climbed close to a record. That would typically encourage selling and deter buyers, but this time round the turmoil in British bond and currency markets increased the allure of the precious metal.
"Buying has increased exponentially," said Ash Kundra, who runs coin dealer J Blundell & Sons in London's historic Hatton Garden jewelry quarter. "I keep running out of coins, I keep running out of bars."
The rush for gold in the UK contrasts with the bearish sentiment that's seen dollar prices for the precious metal slump by more than 20% from a March peak, as the Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary tightening makes the non-interest-bearing asset less attractive. Still, bullion's status as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement is keeping demand from retail investors strong.
The US and the UK may be behind the explosions at Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, former advisor to US Defense Secretary in the administration of ex-president of the United States Donald Trump, Douglas Macgregor, said in a conversation with Andrew Napolitano, the presenter of the Judging Freedom podcast.
"You have to look at who are the state actors that have the capability to do this. And that means the [UK’s] Royal Navy and the United States’ Navy <…> I think that’s pretty clear," Macgregor said. He also noted the publication by Poland’s former foreign minister (2007-2014), European parliament member Radoslaw Sikorski, who thanked the United States for damaging the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines on his Twitter page.
Ex-advisor to the Pentagon chief called the notion that Moscow was behind the incident at the pipelines absurd. "The Russians did not do this," he said, adding that Germany’s involvement in the incident was "extremely unlikely" either.
The US is willing to support Ukraine’s finances with $1.5 billion a month in aid throughout the war against Russia and is pushing its European allies to commit to similar amounts, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Biden administration, which signed off last week on $4.5 billion in grants to cover the rest of the year, has held conversations with European Union officials -– including in recent days -- and has pressed Europe to do more, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.
With the EU haggling internally over the delivery of previous pledges, allies have been discussing a more regular mechanism to help keep Ukraine’s economy afloat as the war drags on, one of the people said. Officials have been warned that there would be growing demands in Congress, whose approval is required for longer-term support, for more burden sharing among allies, another person said.
Webmaster addition: That's your money they are spending!
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ER Editor: A two-fer on German difficulties from RT and P. Gosselin of No Tricks Zone, all engineered. A perfect confection of rising energy costs, declining temperatures, deep state sabotage of Nord Stream and government incompetence.
The small German businesses left standing after Covid, despite the government’s best efforts, won’t be after this.
A former political adviser to former President Bill Clinton said Sunday that Hillary Clinton is positioning herself to run for president in 2024.
“I see more and more signs that Hillary’s going to run,” Morris said.
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He said comments from the Clintons show they are trying to tap into moderates, particularly on immigration.
“Bill said yesterday there was a limit to the number of people the U.S. can absorb,” he said, referring to a Bill Clinton interview on a CNN podcast.
“And Hillary a week ago, the week before, said Americans do not believe in open borders,” Morris said.
Webmaster addition: Told ya!
The gay romantic comedy “Bros” debuted in movie theaters this weekend with most movie-goers preferring to watch something else.
In its first two nights, beginning Thursday, the movie took in $1.84 million, according to Showbiz411.
With an estimated $2.5 million from Saturday and Sunday, the movie would make less than $5 million for its opening weekend.
Webmaster addition: Get woke, go broke. Most people don't care about how gays live their lives; they just get tired of having it crammed in their faces non-stop day after day after day!
Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano has received the endorsement of former President Barack Obama’s half-brother.
Malik Obama expressed his endorsement for Mastriano in a Sunday tweet.
The Army fell 25% short of its recruiting goal this year despite the Biden regime offering free sex change operations to all servicemembers and training in "white rage."
From Fox News, "US Army falls 25% short of recruiting goal":
The Army fell about 15,000 soldiers — or 25% — short of its recruitment goal this year, officials confirmed Friday, despite a frantic effort to make up the widely expected gap in a year when all the military services struggled in a tight jobs market to find young people willing and fit to enlist.
[...] According to officials, the Marine Corps, which usually goes into each fiscal year with as much as 50% of its recruiting goal already locked in, has only a bit more than 30%. And the Air Force and the Navy will only have about 10% of their goals as they start the new fiscal year. The Air Force usually has about 25%. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details on the recruiting totals that have not yet been released.
A United Nations official told the World Economic Forum on Thursday that they "own the science" on "climate change" and have partnered together with Google to suppress opposing viewpoints in search results.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Ruth Fleming made the comments while speaking at a WEF event on "Tackling Disinformation."
"You know, we partnered with Google, for example, if you Google climate change, you will, at the top of your search, get all kinds of UN resources," Fleming said. "We started this partnership when we were shocked to see that when we Googled climate change, we were getting incredibly distorted information right at the top."
"So we're becoming much more proactive," she continued. "You know, we own the science and we think that the world should know it and the platforms themselves also do. But again, it's a huge, huge challenge that I think all sectors of society need to be very active in."
Just when speculation and an avalanche of theories have inundated the web on an array of international outlets, the Biden administration has bluntly (and apparently lacking self-awareness) boasted that the pipeline bombings present an "opportunity".
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a Friday joint press briefing with Canada's top diplomat that the damage and disruption to the pipelines are being seen in Washington as a "tremendous opportunity" to greatly reduce European energy imports on Russia.
Energy prices for millions of households across the UK rose on Saturday. Soaring power bills amid the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation led to a continuation of growing discontent ahead of the dark winter.
Thousands of Brits marched in London and other metro areas this weekend in protest of being thrown into energy poverty while inflation is at forty-year highs.
There were countless videos on social media showing Brits holding signs about their dire financial situation. "Can't afford to live," "Freeze profit, not people," and "Eat the Tories," read some of the signs people held.
As law enforcement agencies across the country suffer from record waves of resignations and retirements in the wake of the left's 'defund' movement, police departments have resorted to showering new hires in cash - doling out tens of thousands of dollars in signing bonuses to attract recruits.
Redding, CA police chief Bill Schueller was having trouble attracting new cops last year after raising signing bonuses from $5,000 to $7,500 - so this year he raised the offer to $40,000 - more than half of a year's starting salary at the agency, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Domestic oil production remains nearly a million barrels per day (BPD) below the monthly record level set just before the Covid-19 pandemic caused production to plunge. The all-time monthly high for oil production took place in November 2019 at 13.0 million BPD (Source). The all-time annual high was also in 2019, when U.S. production averaged 12.3 million BPD.
Current U.S. oil production is 12.1 million BPD, while the average for the year so far is 11.9 million BPD. That is on pace to be the second-highest ever annual U.S. oil production.
Natural gas production experienced a similar plunge due to Covid, but production has bounced all the way back.
Monthly natural gas production hit an all-time high of 3.008 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in December 2019 (Source). Monthly production subsequently fell below 2.7 Tcf as the pandemic began to impact the markets, but production has steadily climbed back.
The Biden administration awarded millions of federal dollars to members of four private groups that worked with the departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and State during the 2020 election to censor social media posts they deemed 'misinformation' - according to an in-depth analysis of documents obtained by Just the News.
The four groups in question - Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington's Center for an Informed Public, the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, and social media analytics firm Graphika - comprise the "Election Integrity Partnership," which exists as a 'concierge-like' service for federal agencies such as Homeland's Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and State's Global Engagement Center to flag online content for censorship or monitoring by Big Tech using a "ticket" system.
Texas school boards are being pressured to adopt policies giving transgender students the right to use preferred pronouns, school bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers, according to conservatives who feel schools are stepping on parental rights.
The Texas American Civil Liberties Union presented a “best practices” program on transgender student legal issues based on Biden’s Department of Education interpretation during a convention on Sept. 24 in San Antonio.
The Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Association of School Boards 2022 convention included speakers and training for Texas school officials. The ACLU, a liberal civil rights group, titled their program: “Transgender Students in Texas Schools: What You Need to Know.”
US military helicopters habitually and on numerous occasions circled for hours over the site of the Nord Stream pipelines incident near Bornholm Island earlier in September, Flightradar24 data showed.
Earlier this month, a US Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopter spent hours loitering over the location of the damaged natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea near Bornholm for several days in a row, September 1, 2, and 3, in particular.
Denmark’s maritime traffic agency and Sweden’s Maritime Authority on Monday reported a “dangerous” gas leak in the Baltic Sea close to the route of the inactive Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which experienced an unexplained drop in pressure.
The leak, southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, “is dangerous for maritime traffic” and “navigation is prohibited within a five nautical mile radius of the reported position,” the agency warned in a notice to ships.
Following the incident, German newspaper Tagesspiegel claimed Monday that Berlin is convinced that the loss of pressure in the three natural gas pipelines between Russia and Germany was not a coincidence and suspects a “targeted attack“.