"Nobody gets up one day and decides to be a terrorist for no reason. They don't hate us for our freedoms. They hate us and commit acts of terror because one day, as they are going about their normal lives, there is a horrendous blast and people they have known all their lives are lying in bloody shreds at their feet, mixed in with shrapnel stamped 'Made in the USA.'" -- Michael Rivero

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Israel’s Smotrich Threatens To Turn West Bank Into ‘Ruins’ Like Gaza

Smotrich holds a minister position in the Defense Ministry that gives him power to expand settlements in the West Bank by Dave DeCamp June 2, 2024 at 2:24 pm ET Categories NewsTags Israel, Palestine

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has threatened Palestinians in the West Bank that Israel could turn their cities “into ruins like the Gaza Strip.”

Smotrich’s threat comes as violence from Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank against Palestinians continues to escalate. Since October 7, over 500 Palestinians have been killed in the territory.

In a video posted on May 30, Smotrich addressed his “neighbors beyond the fence” in the West Bank cities of Tulkarem, Nur al-Shams, Shuweika, and Qalqilya.

“We will turn you into ruins like in the Gaza Strip if the terror you are inflicting on the settlements continues. Terrorism against the citizens of Israel must stop,” Smotrich said, according to HuffPost.

Smotrich, leader of the Religious Zionism party, is a settler himself and holds another minister position in the Defense Ministry that gives him the power to expand settlements in the West Bank, essentially making him the occupation governor of the territory.

Smotrich and other members of the Netanyahu government are not shy about their desire to annex the West Bank and push Palestinians out. When the government was first formed in December 2022, the coalition released a statement that said it would prioritize the expansion of West Bank settlements, with annexation being the ultimate goal

Claire's Observations  Minister Smotrich, we do, very completely, understand your quasi-religious zeal about getting Palestinians "out of the West Bank and Gaza."  and this scares the stuffing out of thinking people, including many of your brother and sister Israelis. 

But short of assassinating them all,  the mandate for which we understand is being feverishly implemented courtesy of the Assassination Nation's Murder Machine,  (the ANMM, FKA the IDF),  to where, please, are they supposed to migrate, when neighboring countries cannot take them in, like Egypt, which is struggling with a baby boom in the poorest of its communities, and can barely handle that right now?!?  Jordan is up to its ears in Palestinian migrants, and cannot accept any more.  

Your regime consistently talks about "voluntary migration", but to where?!?

Before the genocide in Gaza, you could have potentially had a conversation with the leadership of the House of Saud, or the leadership in the Emirates; unfortunately, right now, the collective response is going to be  one big, fat "Fugettaboutit"! 

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The armed forces of North Korea, the Korean People’s Army, on May 30 launched a large salvo using over a dozen new KN-25 600mm rocket artillery systems, deploying both wheeled and tracked variants of the system in a significant show of force. State media outlets highlighted that the demonstration showed that the country was ready to carry out pre-emptive strikes on its adversaries, with 18 long range rockets fired. The KN-25 is by far the worlds longest ranged rocket artillery system in service anywhere in the world outside China, and has an engagement range of approximately 400km - longer than those of many ballistic missile types. Introduced from 2019, there have been multiple indications that the system has been produced on a very large scale, and has been deployed in both nuclear armed and conventionally armed variants. There has also been considerable speculation along Western sources that some variants could carry chemical weapons. The U.S. Congressional Research Service has reported that the system  “blurs the line between rocket and missile,” sporting “advanced avionics, inertial and satellite guidance systems, and aerodynamic structures.” 

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Mexico has elected Claudia Sheinbaum, a former mayor of the capital, as the country’s first female president after a heated election on Sunday, with the nation’s top election authority projecting a comfortable win for the 61-year-old physicist-turned-politician.

Sheinbaum, a protege of Mexico’s outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is expected to win more than 58 percent of the national vote, the National Electoral Institute of Mexico (INE) said, in what is known as a “quick count” of the vote.

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  • More than one million people forcefully displaced from Rafah, as Israeli forces kill 40 people in last 24 hours in attacks across Gaza.
  • Doubts grow over the latest truce proposal after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who are facing potential arrest warrants from the ICC, cast doubt on the US-backed proposal.
  • Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan has welcomed the truce plan but told Al Jazeera on Sunday that the group is yet to receive any written documents.
  • Jabalia and Beit Hanoon have been declared “disaster areas” shortly after an Israeli military operation in the northern Gaza cities.
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It was a case where the president’s words — and his administration’s actions — did not seem to match.

On Tuesday, the International Court of Justice announced that Mexico had requested to join South Africa’s case accusing the Israeli government of committing genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

But the very next day, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, refused to define Israel’s actions as genocide.

“We don’t want to put ourselves into a definition of this type that, instead of resolving a conflict, aggravates it,” he said in his morning news conference.

It was the latest evidence of Lopez Obrador’s ambiguous, somewhat contradictory stance towards Israel and its war in Gaza, which is nearing its eighth month.

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When a book titled Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction, written by the British professor and historian Charles Townshend, was found by police near the pro-Palestine student encampment at Columbia University, it was held up by New York Police Department (NYPD) Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry as evidence of some kind of foreign, radicalising influence on student activism.

Apparently, for Daughtry, reading a book on terrorism is evidence of radicalisation. Knowing about terrorism makes you at risk of committing terrorism. Finding a book near a student encampment confirms that pro-Palestine solidarity is linked to terrorism.

What Daughtry was arguably trying to do was darken Palestine activism on college campuses across the United States with the association of terrorism.

But doing so did not require much ideological work. After all, Daughtry had the media establishment on his side, an industry that had been furiously working well before October 7 to ensure that Palestinian resistance was entrenched in the public imaginary as a “conflict” between so-called moderates and extremists and to set Palestinian violence as “terrorism” in opposition to Israeli violence as “self-defence”.

However, the cracks emerging in the dominant narrative – exemplified by the student-led sit-in at Columbia University – required Daughtry to pose with a college textbook in a cringe-inducing photo spectacle.

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Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine in 2014, there has been repeated talk of NATO’s expansion to the east and the advance of Western strategic missile systems.

At that time, the head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Research, General Leonid Reshetnikov, also mentioned this when he gave an interview for Austrian media.He spoke of the possibility that one day there could be American missiles in Kharkov. He also mentioned Ukraine’s possible accession to NATO.

We are currently seeing how Ukraine is successfully attacking several targets in Russia, which are located far behind the front, using Western weapon systems. This increases the radius of the zone that can be assessed as a conflict area. More and more new weapons with longer ranges are now being used. This development is very dangerous because Russia must respond to this situation. Russia cannot possibly accept this.

The deployment of long-range weapons in Ukraine reminds us of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis in the Cold War. At that time, the USA also could not accept the stationing of soviet nuclear weapons on Cuba. There are red lines in matters of national security interests and these must be observed by all participants in a conflict.

At that time, the crisis was resolved through the clear and deliberate actions of statesmen from the United States and the Soviet Union. Today, with the Biden administration, we have a completely different prerequisite. Since Obama and the Maidan coup, the flag has been pointing to escalation and President Biden is continuing this course.

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A retired Vice Chief of Naval Operations was arrested Friday on charges of bribery stemming from an alleged government contract scheme between 2020 and 2022.

Robert Burke, a retired four-star admiral, allegedly worked with two chief executive officers to arrange a contract with their company to provide training for the Navy in exchange for a position with the company.

Burke is charged with bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery, performing acts to affect a personal financial interest and concealing material facts. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, according to the Department of Justice. Burke denies the charges, his lawyer Timothy Parlatore told USNI News on Friday.

Yongchul “Charlie” Kim and Meghan Messenger, the co-CEOs of the company, which was not named in the Department of Justice release, were also arrested.

The two face charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery and each face up to 20 years in prison. The two are listed as the co-chief executives of a training company called Next Jump based out of New York City.

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The Speaker of the Georgian parliament has signed into law a controversial bill on foreign agent transparency. The US has threatened sanctions against officials in the post-Soviet nation over the piece of legislation.

Shalva Papuashvili signed the bill on Monday, after MPs voted last week to override a veto by President Salome Zourabichvili. It requires NGOs and media organizations that receive a significant amount of foreign funding to disclose this fact to the public.

The speaker reiterated to journalists that the law’s aim is to “increase the resilience of political, economic and social systems in Georgia to foreign influence.” The Justice Ministry now has 60 days to launch a registrar of organizations that get over 20% of their money from outside Georgia.

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French genius Emmanuel Macron keeps pushing the button for World War Three, on this occasion while in Berlin this week to cajole Germany into self-destruct mode.

Macron has joined the chorus of other NATO figures who are calling for Ukraine to be permitted to use long-range weapons to strike deep into Russian territory.

It looks like Macron succeeded in seducing the Germans with his maniacal mission. Following their meeting, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has flipped from objecting to such strikes to now approving them.

Scholz said at their joint press conference: “Ukraine has every possibility to do this, under international law. It must be said clearly, if Ukraine is attacked, it can defend itself.”

Only last week, the German “leader” (a term advisably used with artistic license) was opposed to such a move. So predictable is this pinhead-dancing. Remember past fleeting opposition to Leopard tanks, and so on.

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Over 350,000 migrants who entered the U.S. illegally have had their immigration court cases dismissed, allowing them to go free without a verdict on the merits of their entry, a bombshell new report indicates. 

A top Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) adviser, Kerry Doyle, circulated a memo in 2022 instructing prosecutors to dismiss cases for migrants who are not found to be national security threats, the New York Post first reported

As a result, that year nearly 103,000 migrants had their cases dismissed - allowing them to walk free into the U.S. without an immigration court judge's verdict on the merits of their asylum claim. 

Later in 2023, that number of dismissed cases skyrocketed to 149,000. 

So far in fiscal year 2024, 114,00 cases have been terminated without a verdict, according to the report. 

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Donald Trump warned "it would be tough for the public to take" if he was imprisoned after becoming the first former US president to be criminally convicted.

The former president was found unanimously guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up "hush money" payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels on Thursday.

He has maintained he is innocent and said he will appeal the verdict.

Speaking to Fox & Friends Weekend on Sunday, Trump has now hinted imprisonment or house arrest would be "a breaking point" for Americans.

While saying he is "OK with" possibly going to prison, the former president said: " I don't know that the public would stand it.

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Recently, Foreign Affairs published Hal Brands’ “An “America First” World: What Trump’s Return Might Mean for Global Order.” In the essay, Prof. Brands hypothesizes that a Trump presidency, led by an “America First” foreign policy, would be based on the outlook that the United States has “no obligation to pursue anything larger than its own self-interest, narrowly construed,” and that this “would be an epic departure from 80 years of American strategy.” Brands also falsely asserts that an “America First” world could be fatal for Ukraine and other states vulnerable to autocratic aggression. It would release the disorder that U.S. hegemony has long contained.

To the contrary, the reality of what transpired during President Trump’s four years in office compared to what the Biden administration has brought about during the past three and a half years is vastly different from the partisan revisionism that Brands advances.

For instance, the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC), which is on the march, is dangerously escalating tensions over Taiwan. The preparations for an attack on Taiwan were made obvious this past week with its Joint Sword 2024A exercise, the third such exercise since August 2022. This exercise is significant because the pace of exercises is quickening, thus unmasking Beijing’s intentions and preparations for war. Likewise, in the South China Sea, the PRC’s pressure on the free and open Indo-Pacific, especially against our treaty allies, the Republic of the Philippines, at locations like Second Thomas Shoal and elsewhere, is unrelenting. These actions by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) are a daily reminder of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) hyper-aggression in global politics, especially under the weak foreign policy of this administration.

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Naturally, the cataract of commentary on Thursday’s Stalinist guilty, guilty, guilty verdict against Donald Trump has divided itself into two distinct pools. One is gleeful. The other is alarmed. Rather than anatomize the differences between the two, I’d like to start by simply noting the size and fervor of the response.  There are, I believe, two essential points to bear in mind.

The first is that the outpouring is only incidentally about Trump.  You might find this a surprising statement since the news has been full of little besides Trump.

What I mean is that, although Trump is clearly the protagonist in this long-running drama, in the end, this story is about something other or more than the real-estate developer turned hyper-reality-show President.  Trump himself has often put his finger on the key point when he insists that “they’re not after me, they’re after you.  I’m just in the way.”

The astonished reaction to the cynically biased trial and the extraordinary verdict bear witness to this somber observation. “In Memory of Justice,”  the title of Andrew McCarthy’s long column on the process and the verdict, encapsulates the point.  McCarthy is no fan of Donald Trump—quite the contrary.  But he understands that what just happened far transcends the fate of a single individual. Once upon a time, he writes, “Our system embodied the rule of law, the sturdy undercarriage of a free, prosperous, pluralistic society. Now, on its good days, it’s a clown show. On the bad days—there are far too many of those—it’s a political weapon.”

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Many Americans rightly worry that Big Tech platforms exert a corrosive effect upon free speech in America. These platforms often “put their thumb on the scale” by determining which content get boosted or suppressed. Through these hidden methods, they effectively control dialogue in the digital public square.

At times, this dialogue descends into vicious lies, creating a toxic online culture that causes real, tangible harm to individuals and also proves destructive for society as a whole. Centuries ago, satirist writer Jonathon Swift coined the phrase that is now widely attributed to Mark Twain: “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can put its shoes on.”

That observation about human nature has long been accurate, but even more so in an internet age where a few dominant oligopoly online behemoths shape speech and content in powerful and pernicious ways.

Specifically, the Facebook groups known as “Are We Dating the Same Guy?” have become, in part, forums to spread defamatory lies about men. No one denies that women (and men) have every First Amendment right to voice strong opinions about dates and romantic partners. In fact, their right to express harsh opinions is totally protected and necessary in a society that values free speech.

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The biggest lie told by a Democrat, to defend—to deny—the lies told by another Democrat, is a slander against Republicans. The lie that Republicans “want to win too badly” comes from the late Dale Bumpers, Democrat of Arkansas, during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. The lie applies most aptly to Democrats, for they are the ones who want to win at all costs; they are the ones who want to destroy the legal system to save themselves from Donald Trump.

In their zeal to replace the ballot box with a jury box, overruling 6.2 million dozen votes with a simple dozen, Democrats seek to criminalize politics.

In their zeal to cancel Trump, Democrats seek to brand him a criminal.

In their zeal to imprison Trump, Democrats seek to treat him as a dangerous criminal.

Such is the political system under Democrats.

Such is the legal system under Democrat politicians.

Such is the criminal justice system under Democrat prosecutors.

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Truckers used to make $110K per year on average. Now many are homeless. So what happened? We dug into it as part of our new Class Room series, which looks at how jobs that used to provide a solid, middle class life now barely provide a living. With trucking, that story starts with deregulation. Big Box stores like Walmart were allowed to crush worker power and wages across an entire industry. Now there's a perpetual trucker shortage as drivers get sick of low wages, long hours, and constant surveillance.
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