"But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence . . . only illusion is sacred, truth has become profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness." -- Ludwig Feuerbach, (1804-1872), Preface to the second edition of The Essence of Christianity"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." -- Plato
China’s top official in charge of Covid-19 controls has signalled a new chapter in the country’s pandemic response with small, progressive refinements to restrictive measures, in a sign the zero-Covid policy may be gradually phased out.
In a meeting with experts from the National Health Commission on Wednesday, Sun Chunlan – the vice-premier who has led the battle against Covid-19 for the past three years – also acknowledged that the Omicron variant is more transmissible but less deadly, according to state news agency Xinhua.
Sun said the country is “facing a new situation and new tasks as the pathogenicity of the Omicron virus diminishes, vaccination becomes more widespread and experience [grows] in prevention and controls”.
According to the San Francisco Police Department’s draft policy, “Robots will only be used as a deadly force option when risk of loss of life to members of the public or officers is imminent and outweighs any other force option available to SFPD.”
Yet as investigative journalist Sam Biddle points out, this is “what nearly every security agency says when it asks the public to trust it with an alarming new power: We’ll only use it in emergencies—but we get to decide what’s an emergency.”
A last-minute amendment to the SFPD policy limits the decision-making authority for deploying robots as a deadly force option to high-ranking officers, and only after using alternative force or de-escalation tactics, or concluding they would not be able to subdue the suspect through those alternative means.
The United Nations said Thursday that it is asking member states for a record $51.5 billion in aid funding for next year, as disasters and the ongoing war in Ukraine drive up humanitarian needs worldwide.
The global body's humanitarian office said the funds are needed to help 339 million people in 69 countries, an increase of 65 million people compared with the same time last year. The appeal is a 25% increase on that made for 2022, it said.
“Humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year’s extreme events are spilling into 2023,” said the U.N.'s emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths.
In September, twenty-seven Democrat and Republican lawmakers called on the Biden administration to use the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to sanction Algeria's purchase of Russian military equipment.
Algeria is considering signing a new 10-year-long arms deal with Russia worth US$17 billion. [Getty]
The Algerian-Russian Desert Shield 2022 military exercise was cancelled last month, announced Algiers' Ministry of Defence Monday night.
In a statement to the state's television, the ministry denied that any military exercises with Russia had taken place in the region of Bechar, in the southwest of the country, near the Moroccan borders.
Both Moscow and Algiers have confirmed previously the exercises' schedule.
The abrupt announcement came as a surprise when the alleged exercises were supposed to have occurred from November 16 to 28. Russia has yet to address the alleged cancellation.
“It seems probable that Russia will impose a solution. If, as expected, it becomes clear that the West can’t or won’t negotiate, it will behoove Russia to implement a maximalist solution. Or alternatively, Russia “bargains” by showing that it can create a dead zone in Western Ukraine as big as it likes. If Ukraine and its US minders don’t come to their senses, that dead zone will be awfully big.” —Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism
How does this end?
How does Russia create a “neutral” Ukraine that isn’t armed-to-the-teeth by Moscow’s enemies?
How do they prevent Kiev from conducting joint-military drills with NATO or placing missile sites on Russia’s border?
How do they stop the Ukrainian Army from shelling ethnic Russians in the east or training far-right paramilitaries to kill as many Russians as possible? How does Putin change Ukraine into a good neighbor that doesn’t pose a security threat and that doesn’t fuel anti-Russian hatred and bigotry?
Actor Bob Odenkirk, an otherwise seemingly healthy 58-year-old Hollywood star, promoted the shot in March 2021 in a choreographed publicity stunt, probably at the behest of the show’s producers, while shooting the last season of Better Call Saul.
Over the past weeks a coordinated all-out assault on our agriculture—the ability to produce food for human existence—has begun. The recent G20 governmental meeting in Bali, the UN Agenda 2030 Cop27 meeting in Egypt, the Davos World Economic Forum and Bill Gates are all complicit. Typically, they are using dystopian linguistic framing to give the illusion they are up to good when they are actually advancing an agenda that will lead to famine and death for hundreds of millions not billions if allowed to proceed. It’s driven by a coalition of money.
From G20 to Cop27 to WEF
On November 13 the G20–representatives of the 20 most influential nations including the USA, the UK, the European Union (though it’s no nation), Germany, Italy, France, Japan, South Korea, and several developing countries including China, India, Indonesia and Brazil,– agreed on a final declaration.
The first major item is a “call for an accelerated transformation towards sustainable and resilient agriculture and food systems and supply chains.” Further, “working together to sustainably produce and distribute food, ensure that food systems better contribute to adaptation and mitigation to climate change, and halting and reversing biodiversity loss, diversify food sources…” In addition they called for “inclusive, predictable, and non-discriminatory, rules-based agricultural trade based on WTO rules.” As well, “We are committed to supporting the adoption of innovative practices and technologies, including digital innovation in agriculture and food systems to enhance productivity and sustainability in harmony with nature…” Then comes the revealing statement: “We reiterate our commitment to achieve global net zero greenhouse gas emissions/carbon neutrality by or around mid-century.”
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted the first state dinner of their administration at the White House on Thursday, welcoming not only French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, but more than 350 others including fashion icons, celebrities, Republicans, and Hunter Biden.
The swanky black-tie event was to include a lavish dining selection of desserts and seafood on the menu, including butter-poached Maine lobster, beef with shallot marmalade, numerous types of American cheeses, orange chiffon cake, roasted, creme fraiche ice cream, and caviar.
When I step back from the day-to-day minutia and trivialities flooding my senses from all directions and media devices, it almost appears as if I’m living in a highly scripted reality TV program where the characters and plots are designed to create passions and reactions to support whatever narrative is being weaved by those directing the show. Huxley really did foresee the future as clearly and concisely as anyone could, decades before his dystopian vision came to fruition.
Orwell’s boot on the face vision is only now being initiated because a few too many critical thinkers have awoken from their pharmaceutically induced stupor and begun to question the plotline of this spectacle masquerading as our reality. The mass formation psychosis infecting the weak-minded masses; relentless mass propaganda designed to mislead, misinform, and brainwash a dumbed down and government indoctrinated populace; and complete control of the story line through media manipulation, regulation, and censorship of the truth; has run its course. As Charles Mackay stated 180 years ago, the masses go mad as a herd, but only regain their senses slowly, and one by one.
My recognition that the world seems to be scripted and directed by Machiavellian managers, working behind a dark shroud, representing an invisible governing authority, molding our minds, suggesting our ideas, dictating our tastes, and creating fear, triggered a recollection of the 1998 Jim Carrey movie – The Truman Show. The movie, directed by Peter Weir (Gallipoli, Witness, Dead Poet’s Society), had the surreal feel of Forest Gump, while beckoning the horrendous introduction of reality TV (Big Brother, Survivor), which poisons our shallow unserious society to this day. The plot of the movie focuses on individuality versus conformity, consumerism, voyeurism, reality versus manipulation, false narratives, the truth about the American Dream, and the dangers of surveillance in a technologically advanced society.
Joe Biden’s reckless open borders are creating a humanitarian crisis; we are discovering new details of state-sponsored child prostitution and sex slavery, which should sicken the Democrats who have caused this problem by allowing Mexican drug cartels to surge in power and authority and with political/ legal cover- in the United States of America.
According to a press release from Project Veritas, the details are horrifying:
“U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Whistleblower Reveals ‘Tax Dollars’ Spent to ‘Put Children in the Hands of Criminals’; Says Gov’t Complicit Because ‘We Don’t Get Sued by Traffickers’ … Migrant Child: My Female Sponsor ‘Would Pimp Me to Men’
Tara Lee Rodas, Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity & Efficiency: “The tax dollars of people who are listening [to my testimony to Project Veritas] are paying to put children in the hands of criminals.”
Rodas: “Our sponsors typically are not citizens. They’re not permanent residents. They don’t have a legal presence.”
Rodas: “The sponsor can hold up an ‘Order of Deportation’ to a [migrant] child and say, ‘This is your Order of Deportation. If you do not do what I say, when I say, I’m going to call ICE on you myself.’ We are paying to put children in the hands of criminals.”
In Spain, attacks are taking place with explosives placed in postal service’s packages. On December 1st, the Spanish Ministry of Defense reported an incident of this type at its facilities. The Prime Minister of Spain also received a package containing a bomb, as did an air force base and some other locations. Previously, the same situation had already happened at the Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid. On the internet, pro-Kiev netizens baselessly accuse Russia of being behind the acts. However, it seems more likely that the cases are just another false flag operation against Moscow.
The office of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, the headquarters of the country’s Ministry of Defense and the Torrejón de Ardoz air base in Madrid received via postal service packages with bombs on the first day of December. All bombs were detected before they were opened, and there were no injuries or damage, according to spokespersons for the Spanish government. But the Spanish national police activated the anti-terrorist protocol across the country in light of the attacks. This alert authorizes police and bomb squads to carry out special operations to block roads and airports in order to search explosives and arrest suspicious people.
Another place of strategic importance that was targeted with an explosive envelope on December 1st was the headquarters of an arms company in Zaragoza, in the west of the country. Instalaza is a Spanish military company involved in the manufacture of equipment for the Spanish armed forces and NATO allied countries. The company is therefore currently involved in the process of sending weapons to Ukraine.
Russia appears to be preparing for another large-scale air attack on Ukraine with dozens of bombers spotted massing at a key airbase.
Two dozen Tu-95 and Tu-160 long-range bombers have gathered at Engels-2 air base, near the city of Saratov, alongside fuel tanks, support vehicles, and repair supplies.
Analysts say crates – likely ammunition boxes containing Kh-55 and Kh-101 cruise missiles – are also visible near the aircraft, suggesting a large-scale attack on Ukraine is ‘imminent.’
The attack will almost certainly focus on destroying Ukraine’s already-battered power and water network which has been pounded by cruise missiles and Iranian-made kamikaze drones in recent weeks, leaving people freezing in their homes.
Images of the airfield were captured on November 28 and first published by Germany’s Der Spiegel.
Russia’s foreign minister on Thursday accused the West of becoming directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine by supplying it with weapons and training its soldiers.
Sergey Lavrov also said that Russia’s strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities and other key infrastructure that have left millions without power, heating, and water were intended to weaken Ukraine’s military potential and derail the shipments of Western weapons.
“You shouldn’t say that the US and NATO aren’t taking part in this war, you are directly participating in it,” Lavrov said in a video call with reporters. “And not just by providing weapons but also by training personnel. You are training their military on your territory, on the territories of Britain, Germany, Italy, and other countries.”
He said that the barrage of Russian missile strikes was intended to “knock out energy facilities that allow you to keep pumping deadly weapons into Ukraine in order to kill the Russians.”
This is the incredible moment employees at an Apple store in the heart of California's iconic Silicon Valley allow a pair of thieves to brazenly ransack the store, and even tell employees not to interfere.
The startling footage was filmed at the Apple store in Palo Alto on Black Friday and showed the masked thieves storming about the store and ripping iPhones, iPads, and laptops from their displays.
As the ransacking played out startled customers asked employees if they should do anything to stop it, but the employees told them not to intervene, and even guided some customers out of the way.
Webmaster addition: I think the Apple employees did the right thing. People are more important than appliances.
Pakistan on Thursday demanded neighboring Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers prevent terrorist attacks coming from their soil, a day after a suicide bombing in Pakistan’s southwest sent a wave of shock and anger across the country.
The bombing killed four people and appeared to target police protecting polio workers in the area. Islamabad blamed the attack on the Pakistani Taliban fighters who are hiding across the border in Afghanistan.
At a news conference, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said the latest claim by the Pakistani Taliban underlined the threat of Afghanistan turning into a haven for militants, despite its Taliban rulers saying they would prevent such attacks from their soil, after they seized control of Afghanistan last year.
Khan said if the claim by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, known as TTP, is correct that they were behind the previous day’s attack in in the city of Quetta, “then it should be a matter of concern for the Taliban.”
A unanimous federal appeals court on Thursday ended an independent review of documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate, removing a hurdle the Justice Department said had delayed its criminal investigation into the retention of top-secret government information.
The decision by the three-judge panel represents a significant win for federal prosecutors, clearing the way for them to use as part of their investigation the entire tranche of documents seized during an Aug. 8 FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. It also amounts to a sharp repudiation of arguments by Trump’s lawyers, who for months had said that the former president was entitled to have a so-called “special master” conduct a neutral review of the thousands of documents taken from the property.
A Connecticut-area mother is distraught after learning about a gender-identity book creeping into the classroom of her second-grade student.
This is something that she says she never expected to have to deal with in her hometown, but she is dismayed to learn that the gender ideology book was sitting on the shelves where her second-grader can have access to it.
Megan Watros is her name, and the school where she sends her child is Darien Public Schools. She joined Fox & Friends to discuss how parents need to push back on the various pieces of literature that are landing on elementary school shelves throughout the country.
She states that much of this material is highly inappropriate, and she doesn't like that so much has found its way to those shelves. She is particularly frustrated that she has to deal with this for a child as young as her second grader.
The three masked bandits descended upon the armored vehicle, overpowered the two soldiers on guard duty, seized 200 kilograms of gold bars worth U.S.$12 million and rode off into the North Korean countryside, sources inside the country said.
Authorities declared a state of emergency in Sinuiju, Hyesan, and other border cities as they searched desperately for the robbers and their loot, sources living near the cities told Radio Free Asia’s Korean Service on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
The border cities are on high alert because there is no market for gold in North Korea. The 200-kilogram jackpot is essentially worthless unless it can be smuggled to buyers in China.