Scientists on top of a Swiss mountain shot laser pulses into a stormy sky to guide lightning for the first time. This might pave the way for laser-based lightning protection systems for rocket launchpads, military bases, airports, and supertall buildings. There hasn't been an advance like this in lightning technology since Benjamin Franklin installed the first lightning rod in the 1750s, following an experiment flying a kite with a large metal key during a thunderstorm.
Webmaster addition: Interestingly enough, lightning rods are mentioned in the bible!
Federal bureaucrats use proxies to stifle all kinds of activities they don’t like. The “Twitter Files” are revealing this tactic to a new wave of Americans, but it has been around a long time.
The bureaucratic assault on the First Amendment is part of a larger movement to end personal liberty. The ultimate goal may be to assume financial control over the populace through implementation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
If officials can replace the existing currencies with digital, programmable money, they will claim the power to dictate if, when, and where individuals can spend money as well as what they can spend it on.
Those who question whether forces inside the federal government are actually pursuing such power may wish to review recent history around the Federal Reserve note "dollar."
The effort to control people by targeting their money escalated in 1970 with the Bank Secrecy Act. It targeted cash specifically by requiring banks to report transactions involving more than $10,000.
Nearly a year in, the war in Ukraine has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and brought the world to the brink of, in President Joe Biden’s own words, “Armageddon.” Alongside the literal battlefield has been a similarly bitter intellectual battle over the war’s causes.
Commentators have rushed to declare the long-criticized policy of NATO expansion as irrelevant to the war’s outbreak, or as a mere fig leaf used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to mask what Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates recently called “his messianic mission” to “reestablish the Russian Empire.” Fiona Hill, a presidential advisor to two Republican administrations, has deemed these views merely the product of a “Russian information war and psychological operation,” resulting in “masses of the US public … blaming NATO, or blaming the US for this outcome.”
Yet a review of the public record and many dozens of diplomatic cables made publicly available via WikiLeaks shows that US officials were aware, or were directly told over the span of years, that expanding NATO was viewed by Russian officials well beyond Putin as a major threat and provocation, that expanding it to Ukraine was a particularly bright red line for Moscow, that it would inflame and empower hawkish, nationalist parts of the Russian political spectrum, and that it could ultimately lead to war.
Aryeh Deri, Israel's interior and health minister, has been disqualified from holding his office by the High Court in a bombshell judgement that has implications for the future of Benjamin Netanyahu's government and the judiciary itself.
Deri is one of Netanyahu's most experienced allies and head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party.
Ahead of the judgement, his Shas ally Yaakov Margi, who is welfare minister, told an Israeli radio station if Deri is disqualified then "there will be no government".
"If the court disqualifies him, the prime minister will have to decide what to do," Margi said. "We have said all along that there is no reason for Aryeh Deri not to serve as a senior minister in Israel."
Police fired tear gas at demonstrators in eastern Congo on Wednesday after dozens of people took part in an unauthorized protest in Goma against the presence of foreign troops to help quell violence from armed groups.
Authorities later detained some participants, as well as some journalists covering the protest.
Leaders of the seven-nation East African Community resolved last year to create and deploy a regional force to eastern Congo, where the M23 rebel group has been blamed for growing violence.
Kenyan troops arrived late last year, and another contingent from South Sudan was expected in the coming days. However, the troops have faced opposition from some Congolese.
Among the lesser-known holes in the Constitution cut by the Patriot Act of 2001 was the destruction of the "wall" between federal law enforcement and federal spies. The wall was erected in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which statutorily limited all federal domestic spying to that which was authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The wall was intended to prevent law enforcement from accessing and using data gathered by America’s domestic spying agencies.
Those of us who monitor the government’s destruction of personal liberties have been warning for a generation that government spying is rampant in the U.S., and the feds regularly engage in it as part of law enforcement’s well-known antipathy to the Fourth Amendment. Last week, the FBI admitted as much.
Here is the backstory.
On Monday morning, January 16, Ahmad Kahla, 41, from the village of Ramoun 12 km east of Ramallah, was killed in cold blood by Israeli soldiers.
At approximately 8:00 a.m., Kahla and his 20-year-old son, Qusai, were on their way to work in their car when they were stopped by Israeli soldiers at a flying military checkpoint near the neighboring town of Yabrud.
Ahmad was the eighth son out of ten children. His older brother, 45-year-old Zayed, looks at his newly orphaned nephew as the gathering space is congested with men and boys joining to grieve the loss of 41-year-old Ahmad.
Pacific Island nations have urged Japan to delay the release of wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant over fears it could contaminate fishing grounds.
The appeal on Wednesday came days after Japan announced that treated wastewater from the Fukushima plant — which was destroyed in an earthquake and a tsunami in 2011 — could be released into the sea “around this spring or summer”.
More than 1 million tonnes of water are being stored in about 1,000 tanks at the destroyed plant, hampering its decommissioning and in danger of leaking in the event of a major earthquake or tsunami.
The Pacific Island Forum (PIF), a regional bloc of 17 island nations, many of whom are still grappling with the legacy of nuclear testing decades ago, say the release of the water could have a significant effect on fishing grounds that their economies rely on, and where up to half of the world’s tuna is sourced.
Before Covid, four types of pneumonia added together were the highest cause of death in the UK. In a newly implemented Medical Examiner System to certify deaths, the Medical Examiner was certifying all types of pneumonia deaths as covid-19 deaths, a former Director of End-of-Life Care has said.
On Saturday, Sai, a former NHS Director of End-of-Life Care, wrote a Twitter thread which, amongst other things, gave a personal account of the changes to the system of reporting deaths implemented in the NHS:
“When four different diseases [are] grouped and now being called covid-19, you will inevitably see covid-19 with a huge death rate. The mainstream media was reporting on this huge increase in covid-19 deaths due to the Medical Examiner System being in place.
“Patients being admitted and dying with very common conditions such as old age, myocardial infarctions, end-stage kidney failure, haemorrhages, strokes, COPD and cancer etc. were all now being certified as covid-19 via the Medical Examiner System.
You know that happy feeling when things are going your way? Everything is turning up roses? You got a nice buzz going? Well, if you feel that way then you certainly are not a member of Ukraine’s ruling elite. Some genuine chaos unfolding in Kiev in the wake of Russia’s victory in Soledar.
Let us commence with the news that someone (or a group of someones) assassinated Ukraine’s top three intelligence officials — the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Denis Monastyrsky, his first deputy Yevgeny Enin and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yuriy Lubkovich. Wait a minute (some will say) we do not know if this was a mechanical failure or pilot error. True, no final conclusions, yet. But an eyewitness interviewed by one of the Kiev media claimed:
that the helicopter with the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine on board was spinning and burning in the air before the collision.
If that witness is giving an accurate account then it is highly unlikely that the mid-air fireball was caused by pilot error or a mechanical malfunction. This sure sounds like a surface-to-air missile, like a U.S. supplied Stinger that popped up on the black market. Here is one of the rumors floating around Ukraine. It emerged shortly after the chopper crashed into a kindergarten courtesy of someone with the nom de plume, Hacker DPR Joker:
Webmaster addition: Another report is that the helicopter was accidentally shot down by Ukrainian air defense.
Protesters ended blockades Wednesday that had largely isolated the rich Santa Cruz region from the rest of Bolivia for more than 15 days, but leaders said the roadblocks could resume to press demands that the goverment free the region’s governor.
Gov. Luis Fernando Camacho, who is widely considered leader of opposition to Bolivia’s left-leaning national government, was detained late last year on “terrorism” charges related to previous demonstrations.
“It has been decided to lift the blockades,” said José Ernesto Serrate, head of rural areas for the Civic Committee for Santa Cruz. “We don’t discard that we will return with our measures” in the future.
-Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday dismissed 13 more military officers who were assigned to the National Security Advisor's office that is responsible for the president's security.
The decision follows the removal of 40 military officers on Tuesday from the Alvorada presidential residence, as Lula expressed his distrust in the military for failing to act against supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro who stormed government buildings on Jan. 8.
The leftist president questioned how he could trust the military personnel with his personal security after what had happened.
Government officials said Lula's security would now be placed in the hands of the Federal Police force.
Two years ago, the outgoing U.S. administration of Donald Trump did some bureaucratic realigning of what countries fall under which military command groups. Israel, which had been part of the EUCOM (European Command) group was transferred to CENTCOM (Central Command), which encompasses the Middle East and some of South Asia.
It was the sort of boring detail that doesn’t generate headlines, and many who do hear about it yawn and move on quickly. But when it was announced on January 15, 2021, it was celebrated by pro-Israel groups in the United States and by Israeli officials.
At the time, I noted that this was part of capitalizing on the Abraham Accords and pushing forward with the idea of forming a “Mideast NATO.” I tweeted, “This bears close watching. The burgeoning #Israel – Arab States military alliance, built by the #Trump administration for a military confrontation with #Iran, is not something @JoeBiden is going to reverse. The question will be how he manages it and what he decides to use it for.” We’re starting to see what this Biden policy looks like.
The self-appointed Davos “elites” are afraid. So afraid. At this week’s World Economic Forum meetings, mastermind Klaus Schwab – displaying his trademark Bond villain act – carped over and over again about a categorical imperative: we need “Cooperation in a Fragmented World”.
While his diagnosis of “the most critical fragmentation” the world is now mired in is predictably somber, Herr Schwab maintains that “the spirit of Davos is positive” and in the end we may all live happily in a “green sustainable economy.”
What Davos has been good at this week is showering public opinion with new mantras. There’s “The New System” which, considering the abject failure of the much ballyhooed Great Reset, now looks like a matter of hastily updating the current – rattled – operating system.
Davos needs new hardware, new programming skills, even a new virus. Yet for the moment all that’s available is a “polycrisis”: or, in Davos speak, a “cluster of related global risks with compounding effects.”
In plain English: a perfect storm.
Why are so many people worried about the World Economic Forum?
These forebodings from ordinary people are signalling danger for our world.
Little wonder. The WEF, while failing to address the major problems facing humanity, is normalizing our minds to the Brave New World of centralized financial control and a transhuman makeover.
This quest to redesign humanity and its future is being carried out through a directed influence on our very perception of what is right, real, and true.
Today Judge Gerard J. Neri ruled the covid vaccine mandate for New York healthcare workers implemented by Governor Kathy Hochul is arbitrary, capricious, null & void, and cannot be enforced.
This means the Healthcare workers should be reinstated to their jobs!
However we can be pretty sure that Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Tish James will be appealing this decision which may pause the ruling from taking effect until the appeal was decided.
Judge Neri repeatedly states that the covid vaccine does not prevent transmission and therefore does not serve the purpose put forth by the state. Attorney Sujata Gibson is also my attorney, and the lead attorney in Kane v. de Blasio as well as New Yorkers for Religious Liberty (NYFRL) v. NYC. All of these cases are backed by Children’s Health Defense.
US Rep. George Santos reportedly dressed as a drag queen named “Kitara” while living in Brazil more than a decade ago as more details of the congressman’s convoluted identity continue to emerge.
Santos (R-NY), who’s reportedly gone by a number of aliases in his truth-challenged past, appears to be depicted in a photo in a drag costume from 2008, according to an article from the Substack site “The Handbasket” by reporter Marisa Kabas.
The latest look into Santos’ younger years was revealed to Kabas by Eula Rochard, a drag queen in Brazil and former friend of Santos.
Santos and Rochard met when Rochard was already an established drag queen in a Brazilian city next to Rio de Janeiro, according to the report.