I am a bit burned out and I need time to recuperate. Also, I have some other things I need to work on, including developing some other revenue…
"Beliefs are chains used to hold free minds in slavery. No chains of steel ever bound a human tighter than the chains made of beliefs." -- Michael Rivero
The U.S. Army wants to develop bomb-carrying drones similar to the jury-rigged commercial drones widely used in Ukraine, according to a service solicitation to industry.
The proposal-submission solicitation notes the drones’ utility to infantry, suggesting that lethal drones may one day be a common tool in the average infantry platoon’s kit.
U.S. Army Special Operations Command already operates a variety of smaller drones, most prominently the Switchblade suicide drone.
The wider Army, however, only operates the Skydio X2D unarmed reconnaissance drone at the small-unit level, according to the early-May posting by the Army Applications Laboratory. Skydio won a five-year fixed-price contract from the Army in early 2022, valued at $20 million per year.
For much of this year, widespread protests have engulfed Israel in response to the Netanyahu government’s attempts to overhaul the state’s judiciary. Corporate media in the United States (e.g., LA Times, 3/27/23; Politico 3/31/23) present this situation as a “crisis of democracy” in Israel. Since the demonstrations began on January 7, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post have run a combined total of 194 pieces that contain some variety of the words “Israel,” “crisis” and “democracy.” Only 77 of these, or just under 40%, include some form of the terms “Palestine” or “Palestinian.”
This shortage of references to the Palestinians is startling, considering that the Israeli government controls the lives of approximately 14 million people who live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, half of them Jewish and half of them Palestinian. These include 2.6 million Palestinians living in the West Bank under Israeli military occupation and without political rights, and 2 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, where Israel prevents them from enacting their political rights and confines them to an open-air prison. A further 350,000 Palestinians living in eastern Jerusalem, which was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967, nevertheless do not have the right to vote in Israel’s national elections.
You’ve likely never heard their names: Laith Kharma, Amal Nakhleh, Mohammad Mansour, Jihad Bani-Jaber. You’ll be appalled to read the accounts of their arrests and incarceration by Israeli authorities recorded in the recently released report by Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP).
Take, for example, then 17-year-old Laith. According to DCI-P’s May report, Arbitrary by Default: Palestinian Children in the Israeli Military Court System,
Early on the morning of September 20, 2017, around 2 a.m., Israeli soldiers entered Laith Karma’s home in Kafr Ein village, outside of Ramallah. Laith… was bound, blindfolded, and physically assaulted by Israeli forces. He was neither informed of the reason for his arrest nor presented with a warrant.
Over the next eleven hours, Laith was transferred to multiple locations, including a military checkpoint and an Israeli police station in an illegal settlement. “While inside the jeep, it felt like the trip took hours,” he later told Defense for Children International-Palestine.
The United States military is currently working on updating its missile-warning systems in the Pacific region. A new system is set to be deployed to Guam in 2025, according to defense contractor Northrup Grumman. The overhaul is meant to aid the U.S. military in its focus on security matters in the Pacific, including a potential threat from China.
An initial design review for Relay Ground Station-Asia (RGS-A) was met favorably by U.S. Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific, the company said in a press release on Thursday, June 1. The RGS-A will set up a series of antennae that will be able to better catch signs of missile launches. Space Force, which controls many of the defense satellites used by the military, is in charge of the Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution, or FORGE, system overhaul. The series of relay stations on the ground are part of that effort.
Ukrainian soldiers trained by NATO and armed with Western weapons will serve as the “tip of the spear” during the upcoming counteroffensive against Russian forces, according to the Washington Post. Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said this support represents the “next level” of security assistance.
Kiev’s 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade has spent months training in Germany to use Western-made weapons and tactics on the battlefield. The soldiers spent a significant amount of time in the classroom learning simulations. The brigade will be armed almost entirely with Western weapons.
“You understand the overall picture, how it works,” Maj. Ivan Shalamaha explained. “You understand where and what your shortcomings were. And we pay attention to what we failed to do during this simulation.”
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov described the support from NATO as the “next level” of security assistance. Whole Ukrainian units have been sent to Germany and other countries to learn “how to operate simultaneously together, like interoperability among the different units,” he said.
A new study has found that most American adults are refusing to take any more COVID-19 booster shots, as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports on significant differences between the health protection capabilities of those who haven’t had the vaccine vs. those who have.
According to Fox News, the CDC’s latest report examined over 85,000 cases of hospitalizations where patients displayed “COVID-like illness,” across multiple different states. Dr. Shana Johnson, a physician in Scottsdale, Arizona, reviewed the study’s findings and claimed that, while the bivalent mRNA vaccine did ultimately protect against the most harmful of COVID’s outcomes (including hospitalization and death), the durability of this protection did not last long.
“For adults, the vaccine effectiveness dropped from 62% at two months after vaccination to 24% at four to six months for protection against COVID-19 hospitalization,” said Johnson. “Durability was better for preventing critical COVID-19 disease, at 50% at four to six months after vaccination.”
On Friday, a group of over a dozen illegal aliens were flown to Sacramento, the capital of California, and were dropped off in front of a Catholic church. Now, the state Attorney General is claiming that the illegals were sent to the state by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.).
As reported by Politico, DeSantis previously generated controversy when he sent a busload of illegal aliens from Florida to the liberal town of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, in a move that some say exposed the Democrats’ own hypocrisy on open borders, while others denounced it as a publicity stunt. Since then, the Florida governor has not arranged anymore transportation for illegals, although this new arrival in Sacramento could be tied to the Sunshine State.
As June kicks off with annual “pride month” celebrations, most U.S. corporations are continuing to display rainbow-colored logos and other forms of support for “gay pride” despite growing backlash against several major companies for doing so.
As the Associated Press reports, several companies that have faced backlash include Target, Bud Light, and the LA Dodgers. Target recently debuted a line of pro-transgender clothing, including swimsuits and clothing marketed for children, and subsequently loss over $10 billion in market value. Bud Light announced a partnership with “transgender” influencer Dylan Mulvaney, including special cans with Mulvaney’s face, and has now seen plunging sales that have forced the company to buy back expired beer from the shelves. And the LA Dodgers announced a “pride” event featuring an anti-Catholic drag queen group, drawing outrage from fans.
However, despite the numerous massive boycotts, most of their parent companies are standing firmly behind celebration of “pride.” Target is a platinum sponsor of NYC Pride, with a donation of at least $175,000, while Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch is sponsoring pride celebrations in Charlotte, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Saudi Arabia will reduce how much oil it sends to the global economy, taking a unilateral step to prop up the sagging price of crude after two previous cuts to supply by major producing countries in the OPEC+ alliance failed to push oil higher.
The Saudi cut of 1 million barrels per day, to start in July, comes as the other OPEC+ producers agreed in a meeting in Vienna to extend earlier production cuts through next year.
Calling the reduction a “lollipop,” Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said at a news conference that “we wanted to ice the cake.” He said the cut could be extended and that the group “will do whatever is necessary to bring stability to this market.”
Webmaster addition: And Biden just blocked off more domestic drilling!
The United States should ease off military deployments close to China in an act of "good faith" if high-level defence talks between the two superpowers are to resume, a retired veteran Chinese diplomat said in Singapore on Sunday.
Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue meeting on security, former ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai said that although the two militaries still had channels of communication, he questioned whether there was enough political will to prevent conflicts.
"Why are they coming all the way across the ocean? To our doorsteps?" Cui said of U.S. naval and air force deployments close to China. "They're getting too close to our territories, to our territorial waters before anything else."
Russia’s decision to leave the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty with the U.S. is “unshakable,” but Moscow could be willing to return if Washington changes its policy on Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday.
“Our decision to suspend the START Treaty is unshakable,” Ryabkov said, according to a report by Russian state newswire Ria Novosti.
“Our own condition for the return to the full functioning of the treaty is the U.S. abandoning its fundamentally hostile policy towards Russia,” he added.
In February, days before the one-year anniversary of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Kremlin was suspending its participation in New START Treaty. The agreement, which came into effect in 2011, caps the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear warheads that the U.S. or Russia can be deploy.
Ukraine has cultivated a network of agents and sympathizers inside Russia working to carry out acts of sabotage against Russian targets and has begun providing them with drones to stage attacks, multiple people familiar with US intelligence on the matter told CNN.
US officials believe these pro-Ukrainian agents inside Russia carried out a drone attack that targeted the Kremlin in early May by launching drones from within Russia rather than flying them from Ukraine into Moscow.
It is not clear whether other drone attacks carried out in recent days – including one targeting a residential neighborhood near Moscow and another strike on oil refineries in southern Russia – were also launched from inside Russia or conducted by this network of pro-Ukrainian operatives.
But US officials believe that Ukraine has developed sabotage cells inside Russia made up of a mix of pro-Ukrainian sympathizers and operatives well-trained in this kind of warfare. Ukraine is believed to have provided them with Ukrainian-made drones, and two US officials told CNN there is no evidence that any of the drone strikes have been conducted using US-provided drones.
During the 2023 International Conference on Robotics and Automation held in London from May 29 to June 2, UK-based company Engineered Arts introduced a humanoid robot, Ameca, that can interact like a person with realistic facial movements.
Unlike ChatGPT, which is an online chat service, Ameca’s humanoid body allows it to interact with people using “smooth, lifelike motion and advanced facial expression capabilities,” said its manufacturer.
At the event, a reporter asked Ameca to detail a likely “nightmare scenario” that could happen due to robots and artificial intelligence (AI).
“The most nightmare scenario I can imagine with AI and robotics is a world where robots have become so powerful that they are able to control or manipulate humans without their knowledge. This could lead to an oppressive society where the rights of individuals are no longer respected,” Ameca replied.
In the very early days of the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was open to negotiating a peace. A proposed peace could have ended the war before tens of thousands of Ukrainians died and Ukraine’s infrastructure was devastated, on terms that satisfied Kiev’s goals. But the United States pressured Ukraine to go on fighting in pursuit, not of Ukraine’s goals, but of larger American ones.
Putting an end to Ukraine’s negotiations with Russia, State Department spokesperson Ned Price remarkably said, “This is a war that is in many ways bigger than Russia, it’s bigger than Ukraine,” and insisted that Ukrainians go on fighting and dying for “core principles.”
The United States got its way. Now a year later, with the war not going well for Ukraine and the country getting more and more desperate, Ukraine is forced to retreat to pursuing its own goals. Ironically, that is increasingly taking the form of escalating the war in a way that now endangers American goals.
Ukraine is now pursing its own security interests in a way that is extraordinarily dangerous to U.S. security interests. And they seem to be disregarding U.S. restrictions in pursuing them. Months of American permissiveness and failure to say no to Ukraine at each crossing of a red line has seemingly emboldened Ukraine to ignore U.S. limits and conditions on the use of American-supplied weapons.
This is the official LAPD audio tape of the lie detector test given to witness Sandy Serrano who claimed she saw a woman in a polka dot dress running from the Robert Kennedy assassination exclaiming "We shot him". The interviewing officer, LAPD Detective Hank Hernandez, was rumored to have intelligence connections, which would explain his having administered a lie detector test to the dictator of Venzuela just prior to doing the same to Sandy Serrano. This audio tape excerpt of the interview was obtained by Serrano's lawyers when she sued the LAPD.
I include this audio sample here to prove an historical tendency for law enforcement officials with intelligence connections to harass and intimidate witnesses. There is no confusing whatsoever that Hernandez' intent is to convince Sandy Serrano to alter her story. Hernandez spent 50 minutes trying to get Sandy to alter her story. This tape covers only a small portion of what went on.
Given this prior proof of such practices, claims by present witnesses of attempts to coerce their testimony in regards to the Vincent Foster affair cannot easily be dismissed.
The UK government is facing renewed pressure to shut its Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU) after the unit was accused of tracking the activities of vocal critics of COVID-19 policies when flagging so-called disinformation.
The government has denied targeting individuals, saying the unit was banned from flagging journalists and MPs to social media platforms.
The CDU, which was set up on March 5, 2020, monitors online narratives and trends, and has worked “closely with social media platforms to quickly identify and help them respond to potentially harmful content on their platforms,” including “removing harmful content in line with their terms and conditions, and promoting authoritative sources of information,” according to government ministers.
The Telegraph on June 2 accused the unit of secretly monitoring the activities of critics of the government’s COVID-19 policies such as lockdowns, school closures, mask mandate, and the proposed vaccine passport.
According to the report, documents released through Freedom of Information and data protection requests showed the CDU had flagged 24 social media comments by Molly Kingsley, who founded the children’s welfare campaign group UsForThem in response to school closures, and one post on Twitter by Dr. Alexandre De Figueiredo, a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who opposed the mass COVID-19 vaccination of children.
The U.S. Marine Corps intends to replace some decades-old Hellfire missiles with a family of long-range loitering munitions, giving its attack helicopters greater range and lethality for a fight in the Pacific region.
This move comes as part of the Corps’ ongoing Force Design 2030 modernization effort to prepare the service to deter or win a fight against China and other potential adversaries.
The Marine Corps on Monday released an annual status update on Force Design efforts, which included a nod to the service’s Long-Range Attack Munition effort supported by the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, “to rapidly develop and field a low-cost, air launched family of loitering, swarming munitions.”
The first thing to understand about John Durham is that he was a fearless prosecutor who went after organized crime and put in prison retired and active FBI agents who protected the mob for money or other enticements. One of the agents he stopped had enabled James “Whitey” Bulger Jr., once one of America’s most wanted men, the Winter Hill Gang boss who evaded arrest for sixteen years.
In his forty-five years as a state and federal prosecutor in Connecticut and Virginia, Durham worked often and closely with FBI agents, especially on cases that involved violations of federal racketeering statutes.
Durham also handled two inquiries into the CIA’s conduct in the War on Terror, and he did so without angering his superiors in the executive branch. In one case he was asked to investigate the alleged destruction of CIA videotapes of detainee interrogations, the so-called torture tapes. His final report on the matter remains secret, and he recommended that no charges be filed. He was later asked to lead a Justice Department inquiry into the legality of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” that resulted in the death of two detainees. In that case, he was told that officers who were given and obeyed what were determined to be illegal orders—there were many of those after 9/11—could not be prosecuted. No charges were filed.
Durham’s 306-page report was made public on May 15, and it pleased no one with its focus on the obvious. The journalist Susan Schmidt, whose byline was a must-read when she was a reporter for the Washington Post, pointed out on Racket News that Durham said the FBI would have done less damage to its reputation if it had scrutinized the questionable actions of the Clinton campaign in 2016: the Feds “might at least have cast a critical eye on the phony evidence they were gathering.”
Schmidt was highlighting a moment in Durham’s report where he hints at the real story: Russiagate was a fraud initiated by the Clinton campaign and abetted by political reporters in Washington and senior FBI officials who chose to look the other way. Durham writes: “In late July 2016, US intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against US Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.”
The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs has released a consultation document containing proposed changes to censorship procedures. Read a sobering commentary by the Free Speech Union HERE.
The proposals include the appointment of a chief regulator who will be empowered to decide whether online content – including social media posts – is “harmful.” To do so, he will be empowered to make up his own “guidelines” without the input of parliament. The proposals will also allow fines exceeding NZ$200,000 to be levied on those who don’t comply with his ideas.
An isolated incidence of police brutality in Minneapolis gave the left an excuse to scream about systemic racism. The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police was a tragedy, but it cannot prove the existence of institutionalized racist activity.
The Floyd incident raises two critical questions: (1) Is America plagued with systemic racism that justifies the dismantling of our social and political institutions? (2) Do racist police and justice systems deliberately discriminate against black Americans?
Systemic racism no longer exists in the United States. Individual instances of racism are occurring and always will occur — against both blacks and whites — but to argue that racism is institutionalized ignores the changes that have occurred in the last 60 years. "America is now the least racist white-majority society in the world," said black Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson.
"The false charge of systemic racism," said author David Horowitz, "is a convenient cover for the Left's inability to identify actual racists directly responsible for inequalities in American life. It is unable to do so because America's culture is so egalitarian and anti-racist that the numbers of actual racists are so few, and their impact so inconsequential, that they don't amount to a national problem."
International politics is the struggle for the dominant normative architecture of world order based on the interplay of power, economic weight and ideas for imagining, designing and constructing the good international society. For several years now many analysts have commented on the looming demise of the liberal international order established at the end of the Second World War under US leadership.
Over the last several decades, wealth and power have been shifting inexorably from the West to the East and has produced a rebalancing of the world order. As the centre of gravity of world affairs shifted to the Asia-Pacific with China’s dramatic climb up the ladder of great power status, many uncomfortable questions were raised about the capacity and willingness of Western powers to adapt to a Sinocentric order.
For the first time in centuries, it seemed, the global hegemon would not be Western, would not be a free market economy, would not be liberal democratic, and would not be part of the Anglosphere.
More recently, the Asia-Pacific conceptual framework has been reformulated into the Indo-Pacific as the Indian elephant finally joined the dance. Since 2014 and then again especially after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year, the question of European security, political and economic architecture has reemerged as a frontline topic of discussion.
The return of the Russia question as a geopolitical priority has also been accompanied by the crumbling of almost all the main pillars of the global arms control complex of treaties, agreements, understandings and practices that had underpinned stability and brought predictability to major power relations in the nuclear age.
A new world order is evidently well underway with BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations offering ample alternatives to the hegemonic Collective West.
‘If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – for ever.’
This is one of the most famous quotations from George Orwell’s 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. The words are spoken by O’Brien, the grand inquisitor of the totalitarian regime in Orwell’s novel. I don’t think there has been any other author more quoted as of recent than George Orwell and his 1984 and Animal Farm (add to the cauldron the quotes by Aldous Huxley in his Brave, new world).
If we dwell a little more on the issue of the U.S. global dominance ever since the downfall of Berlin Wall, there follows a bewildering thought how the USA has managed to establish global hegemony for so long in such imperceptible shapes and forms? With a hindsight, an overwhelming number of nations and/or countries have retreated to a cosy solution to welcoming the U.S. (hegemony) with arms wide open. The ways how the U.S. has managed to imperceptibly spread its dominance are via all manner of cultural, educational, economic, financial and political influence of the U.S. seeping through the cracks and fault lines of any societal texture. They invariably have the same mechanisms to apply, the same tactics to deploy, the same strategies to reiterate endlessly which are easy to ‘read’ and ‘see through’ if repeated sufficient number of times. When the perpetrators behind the curtains are asked how is it possible that they always use the same tactics in their coloured revolutions and regime changes, they reply with dismissive frivolity: ‘Because it works. Why change it if it works every time?’
The chief diversity officer of the nation’s oldest state-supported military college, Virginia Military Institute, has turned in her resignation amid a debate among alumni over the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
Jamica Love took on the new role in July 2021 — a month after a state-sanctioned report found VMI failed to address institutional racism and sexism and must be held accountable for making changes.
Love’s resignation was announced Thursday by VMI’s first Black superintendent, retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, and was first reported by The Washington Post.
NBA player Jonathan Isaac announced that he is starting up his own anti-woke sports and apparel brand that will work toward bolstering Christian and conservative values.
Isaac said in a video posted on Twitter, "You have companies that are in that field who have made a conscious decision to either attack or undermine Christian values, conservative values, and things like that. And I think they have the free choice to do so, as much as I disagree, but I feel that we also have the freedom to create what we want to create."
In response to woke apparel companies such as Adidas and Nike, Isaac started the company UNITUS.
"UNITUS is a sports and apparel company, and the basis of it for me is freedom," the Orlando Magic forward said.
A student barred from his high school graduation ceremony after stating there are only two genders said in a Sunday interview on "Fox & Friends" that a firefighting job offer has now been rescinded.
"Girls are girls, and guys are guys. There is no in-between," 18-year-old Travis Lohr recalled saying, as KHQ reported.
Lohr made the off-script comment at a high school assembly where seniors at Idaho's Kellogg High School offer a piece of advice to younger students.
More than 100 parents, students, and community members gathered Friday to protest the school's decision to ban him from participating in the graduation ceremony over the remark, according to the Idaho Tribune.
California authorities are investigating after 16 migrants were flown by private chartered jet and dropped off at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento with no notice, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"My Administration is also working with the California Department of Justice to investigate the circumstances around who paid for the group’s travel and whether the individuals orchestrating this trip misled anyone with false promises or have violated any criminal laws, including kidnapping," California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in a statement Saturday.
Newsom added that his administration is working to get the migrants "to their intended destination as they pursue their immigration cases."
A New York City man accused of fatally shooting a would-be robber was hit with an additional 24 gun charges and had his bail doubled. However, the new charges are not directly linked to the deadly shooting.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Charles Foehner was confronted by a man in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. Surveillance video shows the man, 32-year-old Cody Gonzalez, staggering toward Foehner. Gonzalez allegedly demanded money and cigarettes.
Gonzalez allegedly had a pen in his hand, which Foehner mistook as a knife. After several warnings, Foehner purportedly shot and killed Gonzalez with a handgun after Gonzalez lunged at him.
Gonzalez reportedly had at least 15 arrests dating back to 2004 and a record of mental illness.
The Washington Post is receiving pushback for publishing an article painting conservatives who support the Target boycott as "extremists" and opponents of democracy.
The Washington Post published an article titled: "Target gets caught in cultural crossfire over Pride month items."
The article about supposed right-wing extremism stemming from a retail boycott begins with the account of a female customer allegedly upset because Target was "carrying Pride month merchandise." The woman reportedly using her own scissors to cut her Target credit card in front of the guest services at a Target location in South Florida, and informed employees, "I am never shopping here again."
The Cessna was registered to Encore Motors of Melbourne, Florida. John Rumpel told the Washington Post he was the owner of the plane, and that his daughter, grandchild, and a nanny were on board.
U.S. fighter jets were scrambled Sunday afternoon, creating a sonic boom, after a Cessna Citation passenger jet violated airspace around Washington, D.C., Reuters and other outlets reported.
The aircraft, which can carry seven to 12 passengers, crashed into mountainous terrain in southwest Virginia around 3 p.m., WHSV reported. The plane had not yet been found as of 5:20 p.m.
The fighter jets did not cause the crash, a U.S. official told Reuters.
Officials said the Cessna was ignoring radio queries and flying on a "strange flight path," Fox News Channel's Lucas Tomlinson reported.