Back live Wednesday!
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has alleged that up to “hundreds” of American servicemen are deployed to Ukraine. Lavrov claimed that US soldiers, military advisers, and intelligence officers have long been direct participants in the conflict.
Sitting down with Russia’s Channel One for an interview on Wednesday, Lavrov spoke at length about Washington’s deep involvement in the hostilities in Ukraine, which has steadily grown despite repeated assurances from American leaders that US personnel would have no role in the fighting.
“Dozens, maybe even hundreds of American troops are in Ukraine, they were there even before the coup,” the FM said, referring to the 2014 ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich by nationalist groups and pro-Western activists. “CIA officers occupied at least one floor in the Security Service of Ukraine.”
The criminal actions of Ukrainian troops during the battle for Mariupol resulted in thousands of civilian deaths, Russian investigators have claimed. Local authorities have reportedly recovered over 3,000 bodies of people who were allegedly forced by Kiev's troops to remain in the city while the conflict raged.
The figure was revealed in a statement by Russia’s Investigative Committee on Friday, after committee chief Aleksandr Bastrykin held a meeting in Mariupol with officials investigating alleged Ukrainian crimes.
The port city, located in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), saw intense fighting between February and May, as Ukrainian troops were pushed back and encircled by Russian and DPR forces. Russia created humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to leave the city, but the Ukrainian side would not allow them to use the escape routes, Russian officials claimed.
Texas ranchers on the border told Tulsi Gabbard, who filled in on Tucker Carlson Tonight, that they live in constant fear after another attempted break-in.
The border crisis has forced them to keep guns on themselves all the time. They do not feel safe at all:
Debbie Douglas, her son Scott Douglas and her young granddaughter joined “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to discuss the impact of the ongoing border crisis on their livelihoods and called for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to “step in” to help.
“It is very sad that we cannot come up here and enjoy the life that we did several years ago without fearing for our lives,” Debbie said. “We have constantly got to be armed. We’ve constantly got to be watching the little one so that she doesn’t get out of our sight… the solution is to close the borders. Our governor has got to do something.”
Scott said he feels that “nothing is being done” by the federal government at the U.S.-Mexico border to the point that police from all over the state have come in to assist Border Patrol.
Wallowa County residents could see the choice presented to them in ballots this coming May as part of the Greater Idaho movement, which seeks to shift Republican-leaning counties in Oregon into the neighboring state.
Eleven eastern Oregon counties have voted in favor of this so far, with four other counties, including Wallowa, included in the proposal to move state lines.
An Australian family doctor who got death threats from anti-vaxxers during the pandemic after two children experienced adverse reactions to the Covid shot has died suddenly.
Hong Kong-born Doctor Wilson Chin, who studied medicine in Britain for 14 years and ran an under-12 Covid vaccination clinic on the Gold Coast, died just days before Christmas, Daily Mail reported.
The death of Dr. Chin was confirmed by Pacific Pines MedCentres Director Deon Raju.
In an interview with the Gold Coast Bulletin, he stated that medical issues and ‘not mental health related’ was the cause of death.
Arizona voters expect their local elections and any legal proceedings to be handled locally. That is not what happened in the 2022 midterms.
The Kari Lake lawsuit was against the Maricopa Board of Supervisors and the County Recorder. Both are Republican-controlled bodies with 5 of the 6 people registered as Republicans. The Kari Lake legal team had 2 exceptional attorneys, a 3rd behind the scenes, and a few researchers. Maricopa had a cabal of 20 lawyers and their support staff. This included teams from Perkins Coie and the Elias Law Group, both out of D.C. These Republican elected officials solicited legal help from the most notorious DNC hit squads. It’s their best chance to hide the election malfeasance. There’s no longer any doubt which team these officials are on. They hired the DNC’s den of thieves?
The Lake Team stayed in a Phoenix hotel, using a conference room as central command. They noticed the many attorneys helping Maricopa because Perkins Coie had also taken a conference room, in the same hotel. The Lake Team monitored MCTEC tabulation center cameras to keep an eye on ballots. They noticed one feed which showed a 3 hour nighttime meeting between Election Director Scott Jarrett and lawyers. GP reported on this. Jarrett was obviously coached because his testimony changed the next day at trial. Let’s review other chicanery by the judge and this legal scum representing Maricopa.
The Quadrantids meteor shower, visible between December 28 and January 12, will peak during the early hours of January 4, a spokesperson for the Moscow Planetarium told TASS.
The number of meteors burning up in the atmosphere in an hour may reach 110 during the first starfall of 2023, the spokesperson added.
According to the International Meteor Organization, skywatchers will be able to see up to two shooting stars in a minute in clear weather, astronomers forecasted.
“The Quadrantids meteor shower, visible between December 28 and January 12, will peak on the night of January 3 to 4. <...> The conditions for observing the Quadrantids will be unfavorable in 2023. The moon will be on its way to a full moon (January 7) and will significantly affect meteor observations,” the Moscow Planetarium reported.
The Quadrantids meteor shower is named after the Quadrans Muralis constellation. The radiant, or the point from where meteors originate, is located under the handle of the Big Dipper in the Bootes constellation.
Most meteor showers radiate from a recognizable constellation like Leo’s Leonids, Gemini’s Geminids and Orion’s Orionids. What’s up with the January Quadrantids? Where do you find their constellation? In Quadrans Muralis, a demoted constellation.
The first 60+ Roman constellations didn’t cover the sky south of the equator, so over the years, astronomers took up the task and filled in the empty spaces with new constellations, including some in the northern sky.
The International Astronomical Union divided up the sky into official constellations in 1930. 88 constellations remained, but over 30 constellations didn’t make the cut. Among those demoted was Quadrans Muralis, the location of January’s brilliant, but brief Quadrantid meteor shower. Apis, the bee, Felis, the cat, and Solarium the sundial were other constellations demoted into obsoleteness. One ancient constellation, Argo Navis, didn’t survive, either. It’s the only one of the 48 constellations listed by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy no longer officially recognized as a constellation. Like other pieces of large real estate, it was subdivided into smaller segments in the 17th century, and those constellations — Carina the Keel, Vela the Sails, and Puppis the Poop Deck — survived demotion.
There were good reasons to define and standardize the constellation list, even if it meant losing some historic or whimsical constellations. One reason, according to the IAU was “to aid in the naming of new variable stars, which brighten and fade rather than shine steadily. Such stars are named for the constellation in which they reside, so it is important to agree where one constellation ends and the next begins.”
Webmaster addition: I'm still pissed off about Pluto's 'demotion'!
The Ukrainian military and their NATO instructors continue to demonstrate their ingenuity and imagination on the front lines. On December 31, Polish meteorological sonde adapted for reconnaissance purposes was reportedly intercepted in the Brest region in Belarus.
The aircraft fell in the Kamenetsky district. A special analyzer of radioactivity was attached to the sonde. It was used in a reconnaissance mission aimed at collecting data on the military facilities on the Belarussian territory, including the air defence systems that hav recently intercepted the Ukrainian S-300 missile.
Stargazers have been capturing some spectacular images of a rare astronomical event that means every planet in the solar system is visible in the night sky at the same time.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can all be seen with the naked eye, while Uranus and Neptune are possible to spot with binoculars or a telescope.
Astronomer Dr Gianluca Masi shared a picture he took of the five planets that could be seen with the naked eye, while other skywatchers across the world also captured images of the 'planet parade'. He took it from the roof of a building in Rome, Italy last night, using a camera with special lenses.
To go from fossil fuels to renewables might be possible if we had better technology, but go from what we have now to the so-called green energy in seven years is impossible.
Silicon Valley tech companies have benefited from over a decade of low-interest rates and easy money. But since the Federal Reserve turned off the liquidity taps to combat inflation -- at least for now -- tech firms have been forced into aggressive cost-cutting measures, such as reducing headcount.
This brings us to the workers who were fired this year. Financial Times reported, "employees of embattled tech groups are flooding secondary markets — where stakeholders in a private company sell shares to third parties." And as they unload shares on the private market, the valuations of these startups are collapsing.
The latest data from Crunchbase shows more than 91,000 workers in the U.S. tech sector have been laid off this year.
"We are seeing an inflow of people being laid off trying to sell their shares," Greg Martin, managing director of Rainmaker Securities, which facilitates private stock transactions. "These companies have built their headcounts up so much, so there are a lot of people highly motivated to get a sale done," he said.
Martin added while there's an increasing number of laid-off workers trying to cash out, many of these sales are happening during valuation declines of "30-80% from a year ago."
A New Year message issued by the Russian defense ministry declared that it sees victory in Ukraine as "inevitable" - even after the Russian ground forces' advance in the east in south has appeared stalled for months, and as aerial forces take aim at the national power grid across Ukrainian cities.
"In the coming year, I want to wish everyone good health, fortitude, reliable and devoted comrades... Our victory, like the New Year, is inevitable," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a Saturday video address soon before Russia rings in the new year.
Elon Musk has criticized mainstream media outlets over their coverage of the so-called “Twitter Files.”
“Why is corporate journalism rushing to defend the state instead of the people?” Musk wrote on Twitter on Dec. 27, in response to a tweet from journalist and documentary filmmaker Leighton Woodhouse. The latter was sharing his new Substack post about how corporate media rushed to defend the FBI and the state instead of exposing them.
“The Hunter Biden laptop story shows the extent to which the corporate media has become the propaganda arm of the state,” Woodhouse wrote in his Substack, pointing to the recent release of the seventh installment of Twitter’s internal documents.
When the Democrats finally passed the "Inflation Reduction Act" in 2022 (how's that going?), they included several tax hikes set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
Americans for Tax reform's Mike Palicz has conveniently compiled a list of them, along with his take on their intended effects:
Modern doomsayers have been predicting climate and environmental disaster since the 1960s. They continue to do so today.
None of the apocalyptic predictions with due dates as of today have come true.
What follows is a collection of notably wild predictions from notable people in government and science.
More than merely spotlighting the failed predictions, this collection shows that the makers of failed apocalyptic predictions often are individuals holding respected positions in government and science.
While such predictions have been and continue to be enthusiastically reported by a media eager for sensational headlines, the failures are typically not revisited.
1967: ‘Dire famine by 1975.’
Webmaster addition: Longer than that!
On Friday, Russia’s Finance minister announced their National Wealth Fund (NWF) is now permitted to allocate up to 60% of its holdings in Chinese Yuan and up to 40% of its holdings in Gold Bullion. This is a doubling in permitted allocation percentages up from 30% and 20%.
Simultaneously the fund reduced its holdings of the British Pound and the Japanese Yen to zero.
Reuters reports from Moscow:
Russia's finance ministry on Friday said the maximum possible share of Chinese yuan in its National Wealth Fund (NWF) had been doubled to 60% as it restructures its rainy-day fund to reduce dependency on currencies from so-called "unfriendly" nations. Source
The NWF had been recently used to finance the widening budget deficit in 2022 due in no small part to sanctions by the G7. The Fund stands at $186.5 billion according to Reuters.
The official statement out of the ministry read in part like this:
"The Russian finance ministry is continuing its consistent reduction of the share of currencies of 'unfriendly' states in the structure of the National Wealth Fund's assets."
The news agency notes these measures are in no small part a counter to the sanctions by western nations.
President Biden doesn't trust members of his Secret Service detail, and thinks they lied about details of the dog biting incident involving his dog Major, according to a new book which covers the administration.
According to author Chris Whipple in his book "The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden's White House," Biden's distrust stems from the fact that some agents are strong supporters of former President Trump.
"A bigger problem was Biden’s discomfort with his Secret Service detail; some of them were MAGA sympathizers. He didn’t trust them," Whipple wrote, according to The Hill.
Biden’s detail as president is much larger than it was when he was vice president, and now many agents are “MAGA sympathizers” and “the Secret Service is full of white ex-cops from the South who tend to be deeply conservative,” Whipple wrote.
The Secret Service response to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol after Trump tried to politicize the agency and made Tony Ornato deputy White House chief of staff for operations added to the president’s concerns. -The Hill
To best ground oneself at the end of the year, it is always wise to ask ourselves questions that may lead us to better understand the issues, people and events that will define the next twelve months.
What is your understanding of:
The sacred pledge of the oath of office?
The Commander in Chief?
The national debt?
The nation's energy crisis?
China's 21st Century vision?
The list is as endless as the daily headlines that define the global news cycle.
In Part 1 it looks at how prospects for gold should be viewed from a monetary and economic perspective, pointing out that it is gold whose purchasing power is stable, and that of fiat currencies which is not. Consequently, analysts who see gold as an investment producing a return in national currencies have made a fundamental error which will not be repeated in this article.
Part 2 covers geopolitical issues, including the failure of US policies to contain Russia and China, and the consequences for the dollar. By analysing recent developments, including how Russia has secured its own currency, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s political migration from a fossil fuel denying western alliance to a rapidly industrialising Asia, and China’s plans to replace the petrodollar with a petro-yuan crystalising, we can see that the dollar’s hegemonic role will rapidly become redundant. With about $30 trillion tied up in dollars and dollar-denominated financial assets, foreigners are bound to become substantial sellers - even panicking at times.
The implications are very far reaching. This article limits its scope to big picture developments in prospect for 2023 but can be regarded as a basis for further debate.
Forecasters warn a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event could collapse a Polar vortex by mid-January across Britain and unleash ice, snow, and freezing temperatures.
Webmaster addition: Yet another attempt to sell the idea that the record cold weather is caused by human-caused global warming.