"Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all." -- Michael Rivero

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The crisis in Ukraine and escalating tensions in the Middle East have demonstrated that the US’ $886 billion defense budget has not translated into real-world capabilities on the ground. Now, an explosive verbal exchange on Capitol Hill has revealed that North America’s skies are defenseless against not only Russian, but even Iranian missiles.

An otherwise boring and formulaic briefing by senior Pentagon officials to lawmakers from the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces went off the rails on Wednesday after subcommittee Chairman Angus King took the floor and forced Department of Defense officials to reveal that North America is helpless against adversaries it has spent years agitating around the world.

“The truth is we have no defense for hypersonic missiles – yes or no? Mr. Hill, any defense on the hypersonic missile? You’re the commander of an aircraft carrier in the Greenland Gap. If we have a hypersonic missile launched from Murmansk [traveling at] 6,000 miles an hour, what do you do?” King asked, querying Deputy Secretary of Defense for Space and Missile Defense John Hill.

“We have some systems to defend in the terminal stage but we need more, you’re correct, Senator King… that our hypersonic defenses are inadequate and we do need [more]. SM-6 is in the Navy’s terminal range [capability], the Patriot – I’ll let General Gainey speak to the specifics on that. Those are examples but no argument, we need to focus on hypersonic defenses,” Hill responded.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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Authored by Aaron Sobczak via The Mises Institute,

HR 7521, called the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, is a recent development in American politics. TikTok has been in the news for the past few years, after the public became aware of its connections to China. The popular social media mobile app is currently owned by ByteDance Ltd, a Chinese company. China and the United States currently have a rocky relationship, leading to fears that the Chinese government could potentially use this app to spy on American citizens. Several states and counties voted to restrict the usage of the app in some ways, mostly disallowing government employees from using it on government-owned phones. Earlier this month, the United States Congress passed a piece of legislation that would restrict the app’s availability if certain requirements are not met by ByteDance.

Putting aside the idea that politicians rarely have pure motives, this act has the potential to be just as dangerous as the Patriot Act. With a supposed goal of protecting American national security, the Patriot Act granted sweeping permissions to the federal government and the National Security Agency to spy on American citizens, with far less due process. In addition to having the potential to violate privacy rights and the Fourth Amendment, this new act is a blatant attack on property rights. Mobile device manufacturers and owners have every right to install whatever software they would like, as it is their property. Any illusion of a right to national security is immediately contradicted as collective rights are positive in nature and thus not rights at all.

When looking through this act, several parts stick out.

It begins by restricting any entity from distributing, maintaining, or updating any application that is controlled by a foreign adversary. As skeptics of the state would point out, this is already problematic. It should be obvious that one cannot adequately trust the American national security regime to determine which countries or entities are adversarial. A recent egregious example would be when the United States was determined to paint Iraq, and Saddam Hussein, as a uniquely evil power that assisted with the events of 9/11. Additionally, one can point to how the Trump and Biden administrations supported covid lockdowns, thus making Americans who understood the Constitution and property rights look like enemies in the eyes of many. The state has proven itself to be incapable of telling Americans who or what they should fear.

The act then goes on to even ban the hosting of internet services that enable the use of these apps, furthering the state’s control over the internet. In addition to these fears of further government censorship, Senator Rand Paul has pointed out that many Americans own a stake in ByteDance; this restriction would mean that the government is taking away American property without suspicion of a crime. The act does not just restrict companies that are directly controlled by a foreign government but even companies that are owned by private citizens of an adversarial state. When it comes to government censorship, the Chinese government is the gold standard. The American government is following in the steps of the Chinese Communist Party. The Constitution and the natural-law-based rights that the United States was founded upon conflict greatly with this level of state censorship.

Claire's Observations:  Let's get down to the brass tacks of the case, shall we?!? TikTok  has, of late, been showing clips of the atrocities of Israeli  genocide against Palestinian civilians, and that is really what this fuss is about; telling the truth that strays "off the reservation" of Israeli leadership's consistently conflating "self defense" with genocide, should NOT be allowed, in their thinking, and particularly  witnessing to the assassinations of women and children, who comprise the majority of those killed or maimed for life.

Don't like this genocide?!?  Then you are either a filthy anti-Semite, or self-hating Jew, and for  the Israeli Government, it's just that simple, period, end of discussion.     

 Protest against it, as many college and university students are doing,  and you are immediately labeled Pro-Hamas, and Pro-Jihad.  Kids in college (I just turned 75 yesterday, so ANYONE under 40 is a kid) are being punished by being prohibited  from graduating for their protesting, and there are suggestions in Congress about sending all "convicted of so doing" to Israel for "community service."

I am having a double face-palm, at maximum velocity, upon reading this.

And then, we have the wonderful AAA Act, https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/house-bill/6090/text which has passed the House, and been sent to the Senate. This Act, if passed by the Senate, will give educational institutions a broader range of activities its students cannot do in their criticisms of Israel, and will make such criticisms (even when factually  based) a Federal Offense, punishable by fines and jail time.  It will also chill any online criticism of Israel, for fear of the same prosecution, fines, and jail time.

Apparently,with this anti-Tiktok legislation, as well as courtesy of the AAA, should they be passed, it appears that our alleged Representatives in Congress, have decided to retire the First Amendment to the Constitution, particularly as it applies to factual criticisms of what Israel is doing to helpless Palestinians.  

I am very much reminded  of a very potent quote from the Star Wars Franchise:  "So this.... is how democracy dies:  to thunderous applause!!"

This is absolutely the polar opposite of what  the Founding Fathers (and the women who loved and supported them) wanted to see happen, and that unnatural, whirring sound we are hearing across this nation, is that of those founding Fathers, collectively rotating in their graves at  warp speed.

Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET/AI, CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, PROTESTS/ REVOLUTION, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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NATO soldiers are already in Ukraine helping Kiev but the US-led bloc does not want to get directly involved in the conflict with Russia, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said.

Tusk made the comments on Wednesday, answering a question from a ten-year-old girl who was among the accredited reporters at the Polish parliament and asked why the UN or NATO had not intervened in Ukraine yet.

“NATO today is helping as much as it can. Without NATO’s help, Ukraine would not have been able to defend itself for so long,” Tusk replied, according to a translation of his remarks.

“Well, and there are some troops there, I mean soldiers. There are some soldiers there. Observers, engineers. They’re helping them out,” he added.

Tags: NATO, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is a step towards defeating fascism and Nazism once and for all, former president and head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev has said.

In an article marking the 79th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany, he wrote that fascism had been officially defeated in World War II but the West has allowed its ideological descendants to continue wreaking havoc by supporting the Kiev regime.

“For many years, even the demonstration of Nazi symbols, not to mention other symbols and ideas of Hitlerism, was legally prohibited in most countries of the world,” he said.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has stoked fears of a potential Russian invasion in Western Europe when the Ukraine conflict ends. In a major speech in London on Thursday, Cameron claimed that the world is “more dangerous” than ever before, citing the war “in the heart of Europe.” 

He added that Western Europe must be “tougher and more assertive” regarding relations with Russia.

“From Tallinn to Warsaw, Prague to Bucharest, a chill has once more descended across the European continent,” Cameron said, referring to the conflict in Ukraine. “Those nations closest to Russia seeing what is happening in Ukraine and wondering if they will be next,” he added.

The Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – and Poland, all members of NATO and the EU, have increasingly voiced fears that Moscow could attack them. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas predicted in January that Russia might test NATO’s borders within the next three to five years.

Tags: GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Former US Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley explained that the Israelis' mistake is that they are killing civilians too slowly:

"I feel terribly sorry for the innocent people in Gaza who are dying. But we must not forget that we, the United States, have killed many innocent people in Mosul in Iraq, and that we, the United States, killed 12 thousand innocent French civilians. We destroyed 69 Japanese cities, not including Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We killed people in huge numbers, innocent people who had nothing to do with the. government. Men, women and children.

War is a terrible thing, but if it has any meaning, if it has any sense of morality, it must have a political purpose, and it must be achieved quickly and at the least cost. And you must do it quickly."

(Hal Turner Remark:  Sick, sick, Bastard.)

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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A new mass grave has been discovered at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza where Palestinian officials have been investigating allegations of killings of patients and staff by Israeli forces during their occupation of the site.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Some college administrators are increasingly punishing student activists with suspensions, expulsions and arrests…

The actions of the students and the college administrators resemble campus climates during the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War and the apartheid era in South Africa… What has changed is the pressure politicians and donors now exert on college leaders to support a particular viewpoint

Webmaster addition: 

 

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, EDUCATION, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has closed its east al-Quds headquarters after Israeli settlers set fire to the compound's perimeter in the presence of the regime’s forces.

"This evening, Israeli residents set fire twice to the perimeter of the UNRWA headquarters in occupied east Jerusalem [al-Quds]," the UNRWA’s chief, Philippe Lazzarini, said on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday.

He described how "a crowd accompanied by armed men were witnessed outside the compound chanting 'Burn down the United Nations'."

Media reports said Israeli forces were present when settlers burned trees and grass on the building's property, but didn't prevent them.

"While there were no casualties among our staff, the fire caused extensive damage to the outdoor areas," Lazzarini said.

According to UNRWA, the agency’s staff members were present at the headquarters and worked to put out the fire. 

“Our director with the help of other staff had to put out the fire themselves as it took the Israeli fire extinguishers and police a while before they turned up,” said Lazzarini.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, UN, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Developments on university campuses and in Congress this week showed that the U.S. government’s top priority is not protecting students or civilian lives in Gaza, but to protect Israel’s ability to continue its unimpeded slaughter.

Anti-genocide student protestors at Columbia University, demanding Columbia divest from Israel, occupied the campus’s Hamilton Hall on Tuesday and renamed it Hind’s Hall after Hind Rajab, a 6-year-old Palestinian girl killed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza earlier this year. The Columbia protest has inspired more than 40 other anti-genocide university encampments across the country and in other nations.

On the morning the students occupied Hamilton Hall, MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski compared the student protests to Jan. 6, calling for authorities to “just start arresting people.” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti Defamation League, echoed the comparison in the same MSNBC segment. Other supporters of Israel also made the same Jan. 6 anaolgy on social media early Tuesday morning.

Former CNN anchor Don Lemon wrote on X that the Columbia protest “feels January 6th ish to me” because the protesters had occupied a building. Not a federal government building, but a university hall. Has Lemon not heard of a sit-in?

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Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, EDUCATION, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, PROTESTS/ REVOLUTION, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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In the two weeks since the passage of the Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan aid packages, the contours of an emerging split within the Republican Party have become too obvious to ignore.

On one side are the usual suspects like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who have never met a war they were not eager to fund, enflame, and send young Americans to fight in. In a ludicrous (even by his standards) floor speech prior to the April 23rd aid package vote, Graham, flanked by an oversized photo of the Twin Towers engulfed in flames, attempted to portray a vote for billions to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan as the surest way to prevent, yes, another 9/11.  

The Graham-Cotton wing of the GOP can fairly be said to have the wind at its back, racking up recent legislative victories with enthusiastic bipartisan support. And the wing’s newest convert to the cause of perpetual war for perpetual defense contracts is no less a personage than House Speaker Mike Johnson. As a backbencher, Johnson could have reasonably been described as America First–friendly—but no more. Johnson now finds himself only the most recent elected official to be seduced by the siren song of politicized intelligence, remarking after the House vote, 

I really do believe the intel and the briefings that we got…. I think Vladimir Putin would continue to march through Europe if he were allowed.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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The UK government is to give £500,000 ($624,725) to a Jewish university chaplaincy service that requires its chaplains to be proactive advocates for Israel as part of new measures announced on Thursday to tackle antisemitism on campuses.

The announcement by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's office followed a meeting between Sunak and university leaders after students at a growing number of British universities set up encampments to oppose the war in Gaza and support Palestinian rights.

"Universities should be places of rigorous debate but also bastions of tolerance and respect for every member of their community," Sunak said in a statement.

"A vocal minority on our campuses are disrupting the lives and studies of their fellow students and, in some cases, propagating outright harassment and antisemitic abuse. That has to stop."

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, EDUCATION, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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A bill introduced in the Senate by two Republicans seeks to place campus protesters on a no-fly list. Across the country, pro-Palestinian students are gathering on campuses and demanding their universities cut ties with the Israeli government over Tel Aviv’s ruthless onslaught in Gaza. Across the political spectrum, US politicians attempt to smear the protesters’ pro-Palestinian viewpoint as antisemitic.  

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Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, EDUCATION, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, PROTESTS/ REVOLUTION, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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CNN favorite ‘fact checker’ Daniel Dale defended billionaire George Soros from claims that he has helped to fund the campus protests and helped Alvin Bragg and other far-left soft-on crime prosecutors to get elected.

Dale claimed that Soros is a “frequent target of antisemitic conspiracy theories” while ignoring the facts surrounding elite left-wing donors.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, EDUCATION, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, PROTESTS/ REVOLUTION, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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A Ukrainian drone struck a major oil processing plant in Russia's Bashkiria region on Thursday from some 1,500 km (932 miles) away, a Kyiv intelligence source said, its longest-range such attack since the start of the war.

Ukraine also hit two oil depots in southern Russia, as Kyiv tries to undermine Russian forces pressing along front lines on its territory by attacking energy facilities that are crucial to funding the economy and the war.

Russia's emergency service said a drone attack damaged a pumping station building at Gazprom's Neftekhim Salavat oil processing, petrochemical and fertiliser complex in Bashkiria, Russia's largest such plant, state RIA news agency reported.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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