Thought for the day

"I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians." -- Charles de Gaulle, French general & president

 The craziest, most radical people in society are now teaching your kids.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 15 10:49

 On the eve of the anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan’s former president on Sunday defended what he said was a split-second decision to flee, saying he wanted to avoid the humiliation of surrender to the insurgents.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 15 10:48

Former President Donald Trump has taken full stock of what the FBI confiscated from him after raiding his Mar-a-Lago home a week ago.

After discovering that agents confiscated a lot of materials he believes the government should not have, the 45th president is now demanding that those items be returned.

Fox News reported exclusively on Saturday that records covered by attorney-client privilege and/or executive privilege were among other covered materials seized by agents last Monday. Since then, Trump has taken to his Truth Social platform to demand they be returned.

“Oh great! It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged ‘attorney-client’ material, and also ‘executive’ privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken,” he wrote. “By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!”

Posted on: Aug 15 10:45

Alleged Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney is set to lose her primary by double-digits after adopting the strategy of rebranding herself as Donald Trump's greatest enemy while representing a state where he defeated Biden 70%-26.5%. 

According to the Washington Times:

Rep. Liz Cheney is trailing her Republican challenger in Wyoming’s upcoming GOP primary by nearly 30 points, according to a new University of Wyoming survey.

Among Wyoming residents likely to vote in the state’s Republican primary on Tuesday, 57% support Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman versus just 28% who back Ms. Cheney, with 10% undecided and the rest backing several other Roughly half the state’s population of registered Democrats likely to vote in the primary season say they will vote in the Republican primary. Of them, 98% support Ms. Cheney. However, just 8% of the likely voters in the GOP primary identify as Democrats

Of the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after January 6, Cheney is the last to face primary voters. Four of them retired instead of running for re-election, three lost their primaries to Trump-backed challengers, and two won their primaries. There isn't much optimism for Cheney to be found anywhere - and the action on the political betting website PredictIt currently gives Cheney an implied 4% chance of winning her primary tomorrow. 

Posted on: Aug 15 10:37

Throughout this pandemic, I have led the effort to uncover the origins of this virus that has killed over 6 million people worldwide.  

Shockingly, with over 1 million Americans killed and trillions of dollars spent, last Wednesday was the first congressional hearing on the dangerous, virus-enhancing research known as gain-of-function and its relation to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of this hearing by the Senate Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight was to discuss, as our name implies, the emerging threat posed by gain-of-function research.  

Posted on: Aug 15 10:35

Top House Republicans marked one year since the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan by vowing to hold the Biden administration accountable. In an op-ed published Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and four committee ranking members said the administration has denied Congress as well as the American public adequate answers about the withdrawal.

The lawmakers contended officials need to provide answers on why they misled Congress and the public for months about the situation in Afghanistan leading up to and during the withdrawal. They said if Republicans take the majority next Congress, they will hold open hearings and provided transparency about the administration’s actions.

Posted on: Aug 15 10:30

A Florida school district is taking steps to avoid a situation like the severe police failings during the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 15 10:25

 Former President Donald Trump sent a message to Attorney General Merrick Garland shortly before Garland’s Thursday comments about the raid on Trump’s estate in the Mar-a-Lago community in South Florida, according to a new report.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 15 10:24

America’s New Energy Crisis is Unfolding…

Posted on: Aug 15 10:18

Judicial Watch announced today that Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart has ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to file a response to Judicial Watch’s Motion to Unseal the warrant and supporting materials behind the FBI raid of President Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago by 5 p.m. on August 15, 2022.

The order notes that, “The response may be filed ex parte and under seal as necessary to avoid disclosing matters already under seal. In that event, the Government shall file a redacted Response in the public record.”

On August 9, Judicial Watch filed its motion asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to unseal as soon as possible the search warrant materials used by the FBI to raid President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida (U.S. v. Sealed Search Warrant (Case No. 9:22-mj-08332)).

The Albany Times Union and the New York Times have joined Judicial Watch in filing for the unsealing of the warrant by filing an amicus letter and motion respectively.

Posted on: Aug 15 10:13

Boston Children’s Hospital is facing backlash over a video they created that appears to be promoting “gender affirming hysterectomies” for “transgender” children.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 15 10:11

 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.

By: orraz
Posted on: Aug 15 10:10

 A delegation of US lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday (Aug 14) for a two-day trip during which they will meet President Tsai Ing-wen, the second high-level group to visit while there are military tensions between the self-ruled island and China.

Beijing has conducted military drills around the island to express its anger over US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in early August. 

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province awaiting reunification with the mainland, by force if necessary. Taiwan says it will defend its freedoms and democracy. 

The de facto US embassy in Taipei said the delegation is being led by Senator Ed Markey, who is being accompanied by four House lawmakers on what it described as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region. 

Taiwan’s presidential office said the group will meet Tsai on Monday morning. 

“Especially at a time when China is raising tensions in the Taiwan Strait and the region with military exercises, Markey leading a delegation to visit Taiwan once again demonstrates the United States Congress’ firm support for Taiwan,” it said in a statement. 

Posted on: Aug 15 09:54

The Seventh Circuit on Monday left it in the hands of the Illinois Supreme Court to determine whether an employee’s biometric rights are violated each time they use their fingerprint to clock in at work, or only the first time the print is collected.

The underlying 2019 class action involves the limits on the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, or BIPA, a 2008 law protecting the privacy rights of individuals as the use of their intimate, personalized and unchangeable biometric data for security screening and financial transaction purposes becomes more and more commonplace.

The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, Latrina Cothron, claims her employer, White Castle, began making her scan her fingerprint to clock into work and access the restaurant’s computer system not long after she started work there in 2004. She says, however, that the restaurant did not inform her about its biometric data retention policies—which involve sending the data to a third party for authentication—or get her written consent to use her fingerprint data until 2018, a decade after BIPA took effect.

Posted on: Aug 15 09:53

Copper thieves have an easy new target... electric vehicle charging stations that are filled with copper wiring.

Brazen thieves were caught on camera cutting the wires from a charging station in Van Nuys

"Out of the 40 stations that we have, 38 of them were stolen and the other two were damaged," said CEO of the nonprofit One Generation Jenna Hauss. 

She says the estimated cost in damages is over $18,000.

"It’s frustrating. I get that anybody that experiences theft or loss you can take it personal but for it to happen to a non-profit, where we serve over 8,000 individuals a year; the most frail older adults homebound isolated, caregivers just stings that much more." 

Posted on: Aug 15 09:48

So many empire apologist arguments depend on pretending the US empire doesn't exist; pretending the US is just a normal country sitting there minding its own business. If you do that, it really does look like Russia and China are picking on Ukraine and Taiwan completely unprovoked. 

If you act like the US isn't the hub of an empire that is projecting power all over the globe, then the fact that it has a hand in every major international conflict becomes obscured and it just looks like evil barbaric foreigners doing evil things for no good reason. Take the empire out of the equation and Assad wasn't reacting to a western-backed regime change proxy war, he was just killing his own people because he likes killing people. China isn't responding to US encirclement, it's just being aggressive to its neighbors because it is evil.

Because the globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the United States is an unacknowledged, unofficial empire that doesn't look like the empires of old, its apologists can just insist that it doesn't exist, like mob lawyers used to do with the mafia. By doing that, they can assign others responsibility for the empire's crimes.

Posted on: Aug 15 09:47

Britain's main opposition Labour Party will call for the energy price cap to be frozen this autumn, a party source said, to help the public deal with another expected surge in energy bills during the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades.

The Labour leader Keir Starmer is expected to set out details of the plans on Monday and call for a block on the expected price cap rising above 3,000 pounds per year in October from 1,971 pounds currently, according to the source.

The announcement will increase the pressure on foreign minister Liz Truss and former finance minister Rishi Sunak, the two Conservative Party politicians aiming to be Britain's next prime minister after Boris Johnson resigned last month, who have so far only promised more limited help.

Charities in Britain are warning that millions of people could be forced into poverty if the government does not soften the blow with a fresh support package worth billions of pounds.

Posted on: Aug 15 09:43

What are the 48 Laws of Power? Here are all 48 laws, with explanations:

Law 1: Never Outshine the Master: Ensure that those above you always feel superior. Go out of your way to make your bosses look better and feel smarter than anyone else. Everyone is insecure, but an insecure boss can retaliate more strongly than others can.

Law 2: Never Put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How to Use Enemies: Keep a close eye on your friends — they get envious and will undermine you. If you co-opt an enemy, he’ll be more loyal than a friend because he’ll try harder to prove himself worthy of your trust.

Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions: Always hide your true intentions. Create a smokescreen. If you keep people off-balance and in the dark, they can’t counter your efforts.

Law 4: Always Say Less than Necessary: Say little and be ambiguous, leaving the meaning to others to interpret. The less you say, the more intimidating and powerful you are.

Law 5: So Much Depends on Reputation — Guard It with Your Life: Nurture and guard your reputation because reputation is integral to power. With a strong reputation, you can influence and intimidate others.

Posted on: Aug 15 09:41

Border Wall: Arizona Continues What Trump Started

The state of Arizona is taking action to fill in unfinished gaps in the border wall.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) signed an Executive Order Friday afternoon authorizing the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to start emergency construction to fill in a 1,000-foot-long gap in the border wall in the Yuma sector. The spur-of-the-moment order was abruptly declared after construction had already started, and the governor’s office announced construction would be concluded over the weekend. The order comes only days following the Biden administration raised the “Remain in Mexico” policy earlier this week.

Posted on: Aug 15 09:40

A former director of national intelligence said Aug. 12 that it is “virtually impossible” to prosecute people for mishandling classified documents, and asserted that former President Donald Trump has the “ultimately declassification authority” in terms of such documents.

The president does have ultimate declassification authority. He can literally declassify—and President Trump had that authority, and could declassify anything you want while he was president,” John Ratcliffe, a Republican congressman before Trump appointed him to be director of national intelligence, said on Fox News.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe looks on as President Donald Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former football coach Lou Holtz, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Dec. 3, 2020. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

According to documents unsealed earlier Friday, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was raided by FBI agents on Aug. 8 because of potential violations of several laws, including the Espionage Act, which some legal experts say relates to possessing classified defense information.

An inventory showed that agents seized what they listed as classified, secret, and top secret documents.

Posted on: Aug 15 09:39

Monday August 15 marks the one year anniversary since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan - which kicked off weeks of a botched US scramble to evacuate the remaining military, State Department, and US civilians from the Afghan capital. Tens of thousands of translators and other Afghans arrived at the airport in waves, desperate to get out amid the Taliban onslaught. 

As the US-propped up president Ashraf Ghani was among the first officials to flee the country, reportedly with some $169 million raided from state coffers, local Afghan troops also melted away, allowing the Taliban to march into Kabul with ease. From there a chain of events saw what was then known as Hamid Karzai International Airport descend into chaos as a poorly prepared US and international coalition security perimeter struggled to prevent the flood of people desperate to escape the war-torn country from overwhelming the runways. 

Scene of the aftermath of the ISIS-K suicide attack, via AFP/Getty Images

On August 26, 2021, a suicide bomber attacked a crowded airport entry checkpoint, killing scores of Afghan civilians and 13 American troops, mostly Marines. An estimated 45 additional US troops had been wounded in the blast, considered among the greatest US military disasters in over two decades of occupation since 2001. 

Posted on: Aug 15 09:39

Has Beijing finally realized it will need to step in aggressively if it wants to avoid an economic collapse?

Moments ago, and just days after the release of China's dismal woeful new credit data, the National Bureau of Statistics reported the July data dump which was just awful. Among the latest monthly data:

  • Industrial production rose 3.8% from a year ago, lower than June’s 3.9% and missing economists’ forecast of a 4.3% increase
  • Retail sales grew at a 2.7% annual pace, also lower than June's 3.1%, and badly missing the consensus estimate of 5.0%
  • Fixed-asset investment gained 5.7% in the first seven months of the year, which however was also below the June YTD number of 6.1%, and also missed the 6.2% projected by economists
  • The silver lining is that just as in the US, the worse the economy founders, the lower the jobless rate which in July fell to 5.4% from 5.5%
Posted on: Aug 15 09:38

Let me introduce you to Barbara Baarsma. Barbara is the CEO of Rabo Carbon Bank. Yes, you read that right. Not Rabo Bank but Rabo Carbon Bank. In this 53 second video interview below she is advocating for a "Personal Carbon Wallet". That may not seem like a big deal but when you hear what she has to say you should be concerned, very concerned in fact.

I’ve transcribed the interview as it is in Dutch. It contains critical information. If you prefer to watch the video with subtitles by all means please do so.

“Let’s ensure that every household or every citizen of the Netherlands receives a certain amount of carbon emission rights. This way we can ensure that we do not emit more than our yearly limit. Your emission rights will be stored in a carbon wallet. So if I wanted to fly, I would buy some carbon emission rights from someone who can’t afford to fly. For example this way this poor person can earn some extra money.

Or if someone lives in a small house, he can sell his emission rights to someone who lives in a big house, this way poor people can benefit from the green economy”

Posted on: Aug 15 09:38

Iraq’s top judicial body says it does not have the authority to dissolve the country’s parliament, days after influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr escalated a political standoff by giving it one week to dismiss the legislature so new elections can be held.

The decision is likely to increase tensions between Iran-backed groups in the Coordination Framework and al-Sadr’s followers, who repeatedly stormed the parliament and suspended a session to nominate a new prime minister.

Tags: IRAQ
Posted on: Aug 15 09:37

On Tuesday, a federal jury in San Francisco found former Twitter employee Ahmad Abouammo guilty for spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia. 

While overseeing media partnerships in the Middle East and North Africa for Twitter between 2013 and 2015, a Saudi official — referred to in the criminal complaint simply as “Foreign Official-1” — recruited Abouammo to covertly divulge personal information of Saudi dissidents. Now, Abouammo is facing 10 to 20 years in prison for wire fraud, money laundering, falsifying records, and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.

Two other Saudi citizens — Ali Alzabarah and Ahmed Almutairi — allegedly contributed to the scheme, but fled the country after being charged with acting as unregistered agents for Saudi Arabia. Alzabarah, also a former Twitter employee, accessed the personal information of an estimated 6,000 Twitter accounts across six months in 2015, according to the FBI.

Posted on: Aug 15 09:37