The pontiff repeated his January 25 assertion that 'the criminalization of homosexuality is a problem that cannot be ignored.'
As violence continues rising in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the New York Times is flailing around as it struggles to frame the news. First, Isabel Kershner wrote an astoundingly biased report the other day about Israel’s demolitions of Palestinian homes. But then, today, Patrick Kingsley and Raja Abdulrahim’s front-pager on growing Jewish “settler” violence against Palestinians in the occupied territory, although flawed, did include some truths that the paper has barely reported until now.
First, Kershner. Her article on house demolitions is cunning. As the world’s attention is drawn to what will likely be a Third Intifada, she (and her editors) realized they couldn’t ignore Israel’s long-standing policy of immediately destroying the family homes of Palestinians who carry out deadly attacks. Israel demolishes the homes without offering any evidence that the family was complicit in the attack, and with no due process. She had to report something, but she effectively used “both-sides-ism” to tone down her article. First she reported Israel’s justification for the policy, and then she noted that “critics say” it is “illegal and ineffective.” The uninformed reader is left to wonder; who is right ?
You have to wait until paragraph 21 to stumble across the truth:
. . . the Fourth Geneva Convention states unequivocally that no protected person — in this case meaning residents of an occupied territory — may be punished for offenses they have not personally committed and that collective penalties are prohibited, as are reprisals against their property.
She then quoted William Schabas, an international legal expert, who said, “There is no debate about this internationally.” Schabus went on to call the demolitions a war crime.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is continuing his mission of keeping ‘wokeness’ out of education. In recent, DeSantis has completely defunded all Florida public universities DEI and CRT budgets. The governor is now making waves by challenging universities to eliminate the same equity topics in the classroom.
DeSantis initially rejected the College Board Advanced Placement African American Studies due to incorporating Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter in the curriculum. The College Board made an announcement this week that they have stripped much of the radical subject matter to become more educational. The board also added a new topic “Black Conservatism” as an idea for research projects.
William Jacobson from Legal Insurrection, joined Tony to discuss DeSantis leadership and the current state of CRT within education.
It hasn’t even been three weeks since the World Economic Forum in Davos wrapped up.
Legal Insurrection readers will recall it ended with former secretary of state John Kerry inadvertently admitting that the issue of climate change is all about money while the elites pushed insect-based diets on the rest of the global population in the name of protecting the climate from man-made global warning.
A polar vortex is recently peaked across the North East.
The bitter cold will be caused by a southward plunge of a piece, or lobe, of the polar vortex – a persistent area of low pressure located in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, the FOX Forecast Center said. The polar vortex is surrounded by a band of strong jet stream winds that circulates around the North Pole, which typically keeps the arctic air contained near the polar regions.
The worst of the cold across the Northeast is ongoing as temperatures sit below zero across all of New England and Upstate New York.
Record low temperatures for February 4 may fall in cities like Boston, Worcester, Providence, and Bridgeport, Connecticut. Single digits are being felt across New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The temperatures are so cold, it will give the term “Blue State” new meanings.
The Daily Caller reports:
Schools To Host Black Lives Matter At School Week Which Teaches Kids About ‘Trans Affirmation,’ ‘Restorative Justice’
Schools across the country are celebrating national “Black Lives Matter at School” week which teaches students about “restorative justice,” “globalism” and to be “trans-affirming,” according to the curriculum.
National “Black Lives Matter at School” week, which takes place from Feb. 6 to 10, focuses K-12 curriculums on 13 guiding principles including “restorative justice,” trans-affirmation and “diversity and globalism,” according to the curriculum. Through lesson plans, suggested reading, documentaries and activities, students learn about “structural racism” and how to be activists for the movement.
“Black Lives Matter (BLM), as a political movement and an organization, has been proven to be a corrupted trojan horse that hijacks public education and injects hate and division into our young students,” Wenyuan Wu, executive director of Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, a group that focused on combating racial discrimination, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The College Fix reports:
U. Minnesota anti-racism center says white supremacy to blame for Tyre Nichols killing
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, or CARHE, put out a statement late last week claiming the culprit in Tyre Nichols’ death was … white supremacy.
Nichols, a black man, was beaten by several black police officers in Memphis, Tennessee on January 7. He died three days later.
“The [CARHE] team […] mourns for Tyre and feels fresh grief for victims of anti-Black police violence in our own home,” the statement reads. “The violent death of Tyre and each of the men pictured [below] are not isolated events. They are patterns that repeat over and over and over because of pervasive structural racism.”
“Due to structural racism, law enforcement inflicts disproportionate brutality against Black people in Minnesota and across the United States,” the statement continues. “The killings, terror, and oppression are a direct result of anti-Black racist attitudes, policies, procedures, and leadership that pervade our institutions.”
Just when you thought the FTX travesty couldn't get any more bizarre, the now bankrupt company is trying to claw back political donations and other spending that took place at the direction of former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
A press release made its way out mid-day Sunday that FTX's debtors and the company had sent "confidential messages to political figures, political action funds, and other recipients of contributions or other payments that were made by or at the direction of the FTX Debtors, Samuel Bankman-Fried or other officers or principals of the FTX Debtors" requesting the funds back.
"These recipients are requested to return such funds to the FTX Debtors by February 28, 2023," the release states.
The media sure loved it all.
Clicks, conspiracies, coverups.
And presumably some Americans felt safer knowing a nation that landed a rover on the dark side of the moon and tested encrypted satellite communications using quantum entanglement technology, is no longer floating a helium balloon overhead.
It reminded us that what we fear need not make much sense.
The real risks, of course, are most often off the radar.
One such risk is that the nation with the world’s most important economy and mightiest military is becoming increasingly difficult to responsibly govern.
China’s helium balloon illustrated this disturbing fact for all those tuned in to its faint signal.
But the much larger object floating overhead is the Federal Reserve’s unfathomably bloated balance sheet, which is both impossible to photograph and even more difficult to explain to the nation’s distracted citizenry.
The “official narrative” surrounding the Ukrainian Conflict has flipped in recent weeks from prematurely celebrating Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory to nowadays seriously warning about its likely loss.
It was therefore expected in hindsight that other dimensions of the information warfare campaign waged by the US-led West’s Golden Billion against Russia would also change. As proof of precisely that, the New York Times (NYT) just admitted that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions are a failure.
In Ana Swanson’s article about how “Russia Sidesteps Western Punishments, With Help From Friends”, she cites Western experts who concluded that “Russia’s imports may have already recovered to prewar levels, or will soon do so, depending on their models.” Even more compelling, she references the IMF’s latest assessment from Monday, which “now expected the Russian economy to grow 0.3 percent this year, a sharp improvement from its previous estimate of a 2.3 percent contraction.”
Neither the NYT, the Western experts that Swanson cites, nor the IMF can credibly be accused of being “Russian-friendly”, let alone so-called “Russian propagandists” or even “Russian agents”, which thus confirms the observation that this dimension of the Golden Billion’s infowar has also decisively shifted. The fact of the matter is that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions failed to catalyze the collapse of that targeted multipolar Great Power’s economy, which continues to remain impressively resilient.
The timing at which this narrative changed is also important because it extends credence to the more widely known new narrative that’s nowadays seriously warning about Kiev’s likely loss in NATO’s proxy war on Russia. After all, if the sanctions achieved the goal that they were supposed to and which the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) hitherto lied that they supposedly had, then it naturally follows that Kiev would “inevitably” win exactly as they claimed would happen up until mid-January.
Scott Adams is the creator of the famous cartoon strip, Dilbert. It is a strip whose brilliance derives from close observation and understanding of human behavior. Some time ago, Scott turned those skills to commenting insightfully and with notable intellectual humility on the politics and culture of our country.
Like many other commentators, and based on his own analysis of evidence available to him, he opted to take the Covid “vaccine.”
Recently, however, he posted a video on the topic that has been circulating on social media. It was a mea culpa in which he declared, “The unvaccinated were the winners,” and, to his great credit, “I want to find out how so many of [my viewers] got the right answer about the “vaccine” and I didn’t.”
“Winners” was perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek: he seemingly means that the “unvaccinated” do not have to worry about the long-term consequences of having the “vaccine” in their bodies since enough data concerning the lack of safety of the “vaccines” have now appeared to demonstrate that, on the balance of risks, the choice not to be “vaccinated” has been vindicated for individuals without comorbidities.
What follows is a personal response to Scott, which explains how consideration of the information that was available at the time led one person – me – to decline the “vaccine.” It is not meant to imply that all who accepted the “vaccine” made the wrong decision or, indeed, that everyone who declined it did so for good reasons.
Former President Donald Trump lashed out at a report from an anonymous US Defense Department official who said over the weekend that spy balloons transited over US territory while he was president.
"This never happened. It would have never happened," Trump told Fox News on Sunday, adding that the Chinese regime "respected us greatly" under his watch.
"It never happened with us under the Trump administration and if it did, we would have shot it down immediately," Trump added.
Trump said the Biden administration is spreading this because "they look so bad, as usual."
"They are incompetent," he said. -Fox News
At a time when the United States, the EU, and aligned NATO countries are attempting to eradicate Russia, something extraordinary is happening. Several amazing things are taking place in the world's biggest country. One, a program for citizens of the U.S. to study at every level at Russian universities, is particularly ironic.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently addressed the western world elites at Davos, Switzerland, about the “threat” Russia represents to the world. At the same meetup of the crazy capitalistic cabal, EU President Ursula von der Leyen begged private financiers to fund Ukraine’s Zelensky to defeat Russia, once and for all. Meanwhile, in Moscow, the Russian government is advertising to fill the 2023-2024 academic year quota for a free education process for some foreigners.
According to the announcement, which Americans can only find on Telegram or other back channels, acceptance for applications for free education in Russia is now open. The statement says US Citizens, stateless persons, and Russian compatriots not registered in the territory of the Russian Federation can register. (test website) The scholarship program allows candidates to study in Russia for free at the undergraduate level, postgraduate level, residency, specialty areas, and other categories of study. Free college at some of the world’s top colleges and universities. The New York Times will say, “Putin is weaponizing learning and careers.”
Then the news that Russia took over the chairmanship of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, and the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission on January 1st demands mentioning. At a meeting of the heads of the union on January 23rd, President of Russia Vladimir Putin spoke about the union gaining self-sufficiency and building mutually beneficial and equal cooperation between the union and external partners and international associations. He went on to suggest:
“Expanding the geography of the EAEU’s international links and contacts with countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America would help boost exports of the union’s products and build new logistics chains.”
President Joe Biden dispatched his CIA Director to Kiev with a proposal to end the war in Ukraine last month, according to the Swiss outlet Neue Zürcher Zeitung. The peace plan was offered at the same time the White House was preparing significant escalations in military support for Kiev, including announcing that it will send Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
The report cites high-level sources in Berlin who claim William Burns, the head of America’s spy agency, traveled to Kiev in mid-January to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. On January 19, the Washington Post reported that Burns recently traveled to Ukraine to meet with Zelensky. During that trip, Burns is said to have offered a deal to Zelensky wherein Ukraine would cede about 20% of its territory to Russia in exchange for Moscow ending its war in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s ruling political party, Servant of the People, said Sunday that they will remove Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov from his post and replace him with Kyrylo Budanov, who is currently serving as Ukraine’s military intelligence chief.
David Arakhamia, the head of the Servant of the People’s bloc in parliament, said that Reznikov will remain in the Zelensky government and is going to be transferred to another ministerial position.
Arakhamia said the change was due to the fact that a career military official should head the Defense Ministry, not a career politician like Reznikov. But the move came after a corruption scandal that recently rocked Ukraine and resulted in the firing of several senior officials.
One of the scandals was over the Ukrainian Defense Ministry purchasing food and other goods at an inflated price. Reznikov himself was not implicated in any transactions but has come under scrutiny as he headed the ministry at the time of the scandal.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) promised to cut Pentagon spending during his first meeting as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
“We will closely examine programs to determine if they actually provide the capabilities we need to defeat the threats we face,” Rogers said, noting that wasteful programs would be cut. “I expect we’ll find a lot of savings at the Pentagon.”
In an interview with the Hill, Rogers added more details about which programs could be on the chopping block. “We’re going to cut money that’s being spent on wokeism, we’re going to cut legacy programs, we’re going to cut a lot of waste,” he said.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, announced on January 19 that the company no longer considers Ukraine’s Azov Regiment to be a “dangerous organization.” The far-right paramilitary group grew out of the street gangs that helped topple Ukraine’s president in the US-backed 2014 coup. Originally funded by the same Ukrainian oligarch that backed President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s rise to power, Azov was on the front lines of civil war in Eastern Ukraine, and was later fully integrated into the Ukrainian national guard.
The main outlet to report on this move was the Kyiv Independent (1/19/23), a Ukrainian newsroom closely linked to Western “democracy promotion” initiatives. These ties are reflected in its coverage of Facebook’s move. Take the description of the Azov Regiment:
The group has sparked controversy over its alleged association with far-right groups—a recurring theme used by Russian propaganda.
Scores of the radicals attended the site – the third holiest in Islam – and worshipped there, according to the Islamic Waqf, the body that administers Al-Aqsa, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
It comes despite prayer being reserved for Muslims at the compound under the longstanding status-quo agreement. Non-Muslims may however visit the most-sacred Islamic holy place in Palestine.
Israeli extremists routinely storm the site, with many of them wanting to see a Jewish temple built there.
Navy ships are getting fewer steaming hours because of growing maintenance delays and costs, a troubling trend that comes as at time when the U.S. is struggling to keep pace with China’s growing fleet.
Operating and support costs grew by about $2.5 billion across 10 ship classes while the number of propulsion hours in which ships were operating or training dipped during a 10-year period that ended in 2021, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
The Navy saw increased maintenance delays, breakdowns and cannibalization of parts — moving them from one ship to keep another one going — during the period.
The analysis shows “persistent sustainment challenges that have worsened,” compounded by maintenance delays and deferred maintenance noted in previous reports by the GAO, a congressional agency that audits federal programs.
“Over time this situation has resulted in worsening ship conditions and increased costs to repair and sustain ships,” the GAO said.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s enthusiasm for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia illustrates the worst of U.S. foreign policy. As secretary of state under President Donald Trump, Pompeo acted as if he were a mob consigliere for the KSA’s Mohammed “Slice‘n’Dice” bin Salman. Even the CIA blamed MbS for the murder and dismemberment of U.S. resident and dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. Yet Pompeo continued to visit Riyadh, defending the Saudi royals from criticism of their selfish criminality and ostentatious brutality.
Currently on the road promoting his memoirs, Pompeo, an avowed Christian and human rights advocate, dismissed Khashoggi’s murder. Observed Pompeo of the murder victim: the latter was a journalist “to the extent that I, and many other public figures are journalists. We sometimes get our writing published, but we also do other things.” Khashoggi didn’t deserve to die, allowed Pompeo, but the murder was no biggie in his view. After all, Pompeo argued, the crown prince “will prove to be one of the most important leaders of his time, a truly historic figure on the world stage.” No doubt, MbS has triggered a dramatic social transformation of the Kingdom, which the royals long ruled like the Taliban with cash. Indeed, in the space of just a few years, superficially, Saudi Arabia seems almost like a normal country.
In a new and dangerous development, Zionist groups are moving more aggressively than in the past to ban criticism of Israel on campuses by deeming it antisemitic. One tactic deployed by such groups is to create assessment reports claiming dubiously that Jewish students feel uncomfortable about anti-Zionist activities on campus and that those activities should in turn be prohibited.
In this context, Zionist groups are asking for the application of identity-based protections (echoing existing protections for race, ethnicity, and gender identity) to Zionist political belief. This would enable them to claim that challenging that political belief constitutes “discrimination” — a position that runs contrary to established legal and constitutional interpretations of discrimination. To adopt any such recommendations would not only violate the free speech rights of students and faculty but would also render Jewish concerns unjustifiably exceptional by placing them above those of other racialized and/or marginalized social groups.
San Francisco State University (SFSU), a public university with a long history of attempting to silence Palestinian speech and scholarship, recently released such an assessment report to the public. The SFSU Campus Climate Assessment Report epitomizes the use of flawed methodology to assess the “Jewish Campus Climate” in order to produce “data” to confirm its preconceived assumptions that antisemitism is alive and well on campus and that Jewish students are ever more vulnerable to it. SFSU commissioned two virulent Zionist groups, Hillel International and the Academic Engagement Network (AEN), to conduct the assessment survey, the results of which were published in a memo in October 2022.
Russia and Iran plan to establish a joint drone manufacturing facility inside Russia, according to a weekend Wall Street Journal report, which comes following US and European efforts to target Iranian-made drones going to Russia with sanctions.
The Iranian kamikaze drones which have for many months now been pummeling Ukraine's energy infrastructure, such as the Shahed-136 drones, cost as little as $20,000 to make. According the WSJ a plant established on Russian soil to ramp up Iranian-designed drone production would result in an additional 6,000 of them rolling of the line, for deployment by Russian forces in Ukraine.