“Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.” -- I.F. Stone

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The continued embrace of diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM combined with a broad decline in academic standards is producing a generation of scientists who are less capable than their predecessors, warned some scientists in recent interviews with The College Fix.

From easier math classes in high school to the elimination of standardized tests to extreme grade-inflation to DEI tropes that elevate lived experiences and ways of knowing over facts and data, the trend represents a pressing problem for science professors working to protect STEM and preserve its standards and meritocracy.

Alex Small, chair of the physics and astronomy department at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, said it starts early in a student’s education.

“The K-12 system is walking away from standards at all levels,” he told The College Fix in a recent phone interview.

For example, he said while most of his students took some sort of calculus class their senior year of high school, “at least a third of them test into a class that’s lower than calculus because what happens is the schools will push people through the pipeline.”

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Antony Blinken is making a fifth trip to the Middle East in a bid to secure a new truce in the Israel-Hamas war as the US revealed it intends to unleash further strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen.

The US Secretary of State is expected to visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and Israel in the coming days on his fifth trip to the region since Hamas's October 7 attack that triggered the war.

Blinken departed for the Middle East from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Sunday after stressing the need for 'urgently addressing humanitarian needs in Gaza'. His trip will focus on advancing talks on the return of hostages taken from Israel by Hamas in exchange for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza. 

He will also make a push on a US-brokered mega deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel to normalize ties, which hinges on bringing an end to other Gaza conflict and steps toward a future Palestinian state.

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As the U.S. Navy continues to wend its way toward acquiring its first batch of Constellation class frigates, a major question remains: is 32 vertical launch system cells enough for these ships?

Debates about the Constellation's vertical launch capacity reflects broader concerns, including how these cells might be reloaded at sea in a major conflict, across the Navy as a whole. The underlying issues here have come into sharp relief recently as the service's vessels have been shooting down dozens of Houthi anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles and drones and launching strikes on the group in Yemen.

The Connies

The Constellations are set to be the Navy's next class of small surface combatants and the service has said in the past that it wants to buy at least 20 of them in the future. These will be multi-mission ships, with a mixture of anti-air, anti-ship, and anti-submarine capabilities, designed to supplement larger surface action groups or operate independently.

The Navy's decision to acquire new frigates was a firm rebuke of the two perpetually under-performing classes of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). The service has acquired some 30 LCSs, in total, since the late 2000s and is still in line to receive more of them, even as it has been sending relatively young ones into mothballs.

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In a startling turn of events, China’s stock market faces unprecedented turmoil as nearly 30% of all stocks come to a grinding halt, with small caps limited down in an alarming 8% freefall within a matter of hours. This financial upheaval sparks concerns, hinting at an impending storm in the Chinese market.

The tumultuous scene unfolds with Chinese stock market indices experiencing significant disruptions:

CSI 1000: -8%
Star 50: -5%
Beijing 50: -4%
Shenzhen: -4%
Shanghai Composite: -3%
However, amidst the chaos, the CSI 100 and Hong Kong 50 indices, representing Chinese large caps, oddly remain in positive territory. The paradoxical situation raises eyebrows as Chinese small cap stocks crumble while their larger counterparts appear unfazed.

China, in a bid to counter the decline in small caps, has implemented various stimulus measures, including short selling bans and promises to stabilize markets. Yet, the CSI 1000 index continues to face relentless pressure.

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Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, a Chinese newspaper warned on Sunday that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) could expand the conflict into a "world war."

The high tensions between Russia and NATO have seemingly escalated in recent weeks after the military alliance's announcement last month of its largest military exercise in more than 35 years. Dubbed "Steadfast Defender 2024," the operation launched in late January and will run through May. It ultimately will include participation of around 90,000 military personnel from 31 NATO allies and Sweden.

NATO officials have said the exercise will test the allies' ability to quickly deploy forces and test new defense plans. Military analysts have speculated Steadfast Defender is meant to prepare alliance members for the potential of a future Russian invasion on NATO territory.

The military alliance's announcement about the operation did not mention Russia by name, though based on documents from the military alliance obtained by Reuters, Russia is viewed as the biggest security threat to its member nations. One of the primary goals of the exercise will be to "demonstrate NATO's ability to rapidly deploy forces from North America and other parts of the alliance to reinforce the defense of Europe."

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A 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit Oklahoma on Friday night, the U.S. Geological Survey says.

The earthquake which hit at 11:24 p.m. was reportedly centered 4.9 miles northwest of Oklahoma’s Prague, which is about 57 miles east of Oklahoma City.

While the USGS said that the earthquake was shallow, hitting at just 1.8 miles deep, KFOR-TV said that residents of Prague as well as those in Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Stillwater and Tecumseh said they felt the earthquake shake their cities. People as far as Arkansas also reported feeling the shake caused by the earthquake.

Webmaster addition: Since the introduction of fracking, the number of quakes in Oklahoma has increased!

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House Speaker Mike Johnson just handed out some serious ammunition to those who have been saying — for years, in some cases — that Joe Biden isn’t actually running the country as president.

“I’m not sure Joe Biden is actually making these decisions,” the Louisiana Republican said of Biden’s immigration policies during an interview Friday on Fox Business.

Johnson told Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria” that he felt Biden’s staff was preventing him from taking executive action to secure the U.S. border with Mexico.

Johnson said he’d been trying for weeks to convince the president to re-institute the “Remain in Mexico” policy first put in place by former President Donald Trump during his administration and to start building more of the border wall again.

Biden has insisted that he lacks the authority to take those actions — even though Trump took them and Johnson himself has explained to the president that he already has everything he needs to start securing the border.

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While the House has gone full 'Israel or Bust', the Senate has come up with a $118 billion bipartisan agreement which would allow 1.5 million illegals to enter the US every year, allocates $2.3 billion towards NGOs and other organizations which traffic them, gives $14.1 billion in security assistance to Israel, and a whopping $60 billion in support to Ukraine.

The bill also locks in green card giveaways until 2030.

The agreement was reached by Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), whose own state legislature censured him last week for striking such a crappy border deal, along with Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).

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The Senate Appropriations Committee on Sunday unveiled a massive $118 billion spending bill that includes military aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as well as spending for President Biden’s new war with Yemen’s Houthis.

The bill is the result of months of negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans on border policies and includes $20 billion in border spending. But some Republicans are unhappy with the agreement and seek more stringent border policies.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) rejected the deal and said he would bring a stand-alone bill for Israel to the House floor for a vote this week. The House bill would provide $17.6 billion to support the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza, while the Senate bill includes $14.1 billion for Israel.

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Reversing an earlier denial, Israeli military officials have admitted that the Telegram channel 72 Virgins – Uncensored was operated by members of a department of the Israel Defense Forces' Operations Directorate.

The admission comes after a Haaretz published an exposé on the channel last month, which led to an internal investigation into the matter.

The probe, conducted by Maj. Gen. Oded Basyuk, head of the Operations Directorate, found that the information that led to the original denial that the channel was operated by or on behalf of the army was incorrect, and relied on misinformation relayed by members of the Influencing Department. In the wake of these findings, the unit's wartime commander is to end his military service.

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President Biden's team reportedly is fearing that photos included in Special Counsel Robert Hur's imminent report on the handling of classified documents could impact his 2024 reelection bid. 

Axios reported that Biden's aides do not expect criminal charges as a result of the investigation, but they are concerned about potentially embarrassing photos included in Hur's expected report that could be released as soon as this week. The images could show how Biden stored classified materials, which were discovered in late 2022 in the garage of Biden's Delaware home as well as in a private office. The classified documents were carried over from Biden's time as former President Obama's vice president.

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A watchdog group is escalating its battle with the Justice Department over the FBI’s refusal to turn over files on Ashli Babbitt, the United States Air Force veteran shot and killed during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot over the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump.

Judicial Watch, claiming a “cover-up,” on Friday filed a suit in federal court claiming that the FBI has twice refused to comply with Freedom of Information Act demands for any files it has on Babbitt and her husband Aaron.

The FOIA lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Judicial Watch is working with Aaron Babbitt, who is the executor of his wife’s estate, to get all the information the government has on the duo and its reports of her shooting death by then-U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd as she attempted to enter the House Speaker’s Lobby unarmed.

They recently joined in filing a $30 million wrongful death suit against the government in the death of the 35-year-old, the only one associated with the riots who died on Jan. 6.

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National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that it was the Biden administration’s belief long-term peace in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict can only be accomplished by a two-state solution.

Partial transcript as follows:

STEPHANOPOULOS: What is the end game here? Do you see any prospect at all – he seems to have been ruling it out, Prime Minister Netanyahu, of some kind of a long-term deal that leads to a Palestinian state?

SULLIVAN: Well, the U.S. position on this is very straightforward. The only long-term answer to peace in the region, to Israel’s security in the region, is a two-state solution, with Israel’s security guaranteed. A Palestinian state that also has security guarantees for Israel. That’s what we’re going to keep working for.

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A former Green Beret who saved hundreds of U.S. allies from Afghanistan following Biden's deadly withdrawal in 2021 unleashed a scathing rebuke of the president's nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, saying the promotion would be a 'slap in the face' to veterans. 

The Biden administration nominated Tracey Jacobson, 59, to be the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq last week. She has previously served as U.S. Ambassador on three occasions – to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kosovo.

Jacobson was in charge of the Special Immigration Visa (SIV) program to provide the U.S.' Afghan allies, such as translators and military personnel, paperwork so they could escape Taliban persecution. 

But as many as 150,000 U.S. allies were left behind and are still waiting to escape, according to the 1208 Foundation, which works to help get the abandoned Afghans  visas. 

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I have been struck by the plethora of papers that disclose horrific, serious adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination, including hospitalization and death, yet somewhere in the paper, the authors insert a gratuitous promotion such as “vaccination has saved millions of lives” or “the benefits of vaccination still outweigh the risks.”

These phrases come without evidence or support, seem out of place, and I wonder if they are inserted to gain institutional approval for submission or by design are used to get past biased editorial boards and reviewers who want to keep the false “safe and effective” narrative flowing in the medical literature.

I sat down with lead author and epidemiologist M. Nathaniel Mead, MSc, to discuss his recent publication titled COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines: Lessons Learned from the Registrational Trials and Global Vaccination Campaign, published in the PUBMED-listed journal CUREUS.

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In 2022, Congress changed the electoral count act, moving up the deadline by which one of the final steps in the election process must be completed – the transmission of the certificate of ascertainment of who won a state’s presidential electors to Congress.

Early that year, then-Senator Ugenti-Rita introduced a bill to expand the threshold to trigger a 100% machine recount to from one tenth of one percent to half a percent, a bill that would have applied to the 2020 presidential election had it then been the law.

Though legal experts say that it is questionable whether Congress itself is bound to follow the electoral count act since its power to accept and reject presidential electors comes from the U.S. Constitution, the confluence of these two bills, one state, one federal, opened up the very real possibility that, in the 2024 presidential election, the recount will not be completed by the federal deadline.

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Why, just this week, I logged on to the trusty Drudge Report, as I’ve done for the last three decades. Not because Matt Drudge occasionally links to our humble little site, but because he selflessly brings The Apocalypse to me on a daily basis so I don’t have to waste time looking for it. Instead, I can dedicate the bulk of my hours to worthier pursuits like procuring weaponry, hoarding survival food kits off of paranoid Patriot sites (I can’t wait to dig in to “Ma’s Homestyle Chili Mac” – which allegedly won’t spoil for the next 25 years), and training my fists of fury to become maiming machines. Which I will likely employ on behalf of whichever side I choose to sign on with in the coming civil war — most likely, the winning one. (Everybody loves a winner.) 

But back to us having gone collectively insane………I learned this week, in my readings, that some demented maniac beheaded his own father in their mutual home while still having the presence of mind to perform an anti-Biden rant on YouTube. (If he hadn’t been taken into custody, he’d probably already have a primetime Newsmax show.)  Meanwhile, online world is presently arguing  — as is their 24/7 custom —whether he was a Trump supporter. (There’s some evidence he wasn’t  — fingers crossed, RFK Jr. stalwarts!) But even ISIS-like domestic snuff films might not be as troubling as MAGA rap battles, broader crimes against both music and humanity.  A country that makes Ben Shapiro’s hip-hop single the number one song on iTunes can no longer claim sanity with a straight face.

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Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko on Sunday set a world record for total time spent in space, surpassing his compatriot Gennady Padalka who logged more than 878 days in orbit, Russia's space corporation said.

At 0830 GMT Kononenko broke the record, Roscosmos said. Kononenko is expected to reach a total of 1,000 days in space on June 5 and by late September he will have clocked 1,110 days.

"I fly into space to do my favourite thing, not to set records," Kononenko told TASS in an interview from the International Space Station (ISS) where he is orbiting about 263 miles (423 km) from the earth.

"I am proud of all my achievements, but I am more proud that the record for the total duration of human stay in space is still held by a Russian cosmonaut."

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A Michigan suburb with the largest Muslim population in the US has upped its security in fear of hate attacks after it was branded America's 'jihad capital.' 

The headline of a Wall Street Journal opinion piece published on Friday read 'Welcome to Dearborn, America's Jihad Capital' - a title given to the city by the publication because of its residents' pro-Palestine stances.

The contentious article was written by Steven Stalinsky, who is a commentator on terrorism and has served as executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, based in Washington DC, since 1999. 

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CNN is facing a backlash from its own staff over editorial policies they say have led to a regurgitation of Israeli propaganda and the censoring of Palestinian perspectives in the network’s coverage of the war in Gaza.

Journalists in CNN newsrooms in the US and overseas say broadcasts have been skewed by management edicts and a story-approval process that has resulted in highly partial coverage of the Hamas massacre on 7 October and Israel’s retaliatory attack on Gaza.

“The majority of news since the war began, regardless of how accurate the initial reporting, has been skewed by a systemic and institutional bias within the network toward Israel,” said one CNN staffer. “Ultimately, CNN’s coverage of the Israel-Gaza war amounts to journalistic malpractice.”

According to accounts from six CNN staffers in multiple newsrooms, and more than a dozen internal memos and emails obtained by the Guardian, daily news decisions are shaped by a flow of directives from the CNN headquarters in Atlanta that have set strict guidelines on coverage.

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Dementia is likely a 'modern disease' because there are so few mentions of severe memory loss in ancient Greek and Roman medical texts, researchers have claimed regarding a thought-provoking new study.

Experts scoured writings from 2,000-2,500 years ago – the times of Aristotle, Galen and Cicero.

Ancient Greeks recognised ageing commonly brought memory issues, which would today be diagnosed as 'mild cognitive impairment'.

But there was no evidence of anything approaching a major loss of memory, speech and reasoning as caused by Alzheimer's or other types of dementia suffered by millions worldwide today.

Gerontologist Professor Caleb Finch, from the University of Southern California, said his findings bolster the idea that dementia is a disease of modern environments and lifestyles.

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A new piece of legislation, named the "Defend Our Borders from Armed Invaders Act," was presented to Congress on Thursday by a group of Republican lawmakers.

The bill, if passed, would empower the National Guard to use lethal force against armed individuals attempting to cross the southern border into the United States.

The bill was introduced by freshman Representative Morgan Luttrell, a Republican from Texas, and has since been forwarded to the Committee on Armed Services for further review. The full text of the legislation has not yet been made public, but a brief description of the bill indicates that it would authorize the National Guard to take "such actions as may be necessary to repel persons attempting to enter the United States from Mexico who are carrying weapons, and for other purposes."

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The House will vote on a bill this week to provide $17.6 billion in new military aid to Israel to support the mass killing of Palestinians in Gaza.

The House previously passed a $14.3 billion resolution for Israel but cut funds to the Internal Revenue Service, so it didn’t receive support from Democrats and was never brought to the Senate floor for a vote.

The new bill adds over $3 billion for Israel and does not include spending cuts. Over in the Senate, negotiators reached a deal on border policy to advance a behemoth $110 spending bill that includes military aid for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. However, many Republicans are unhappy with the deal, and Johnson criticized Senate leadership for not including the House in negotiations.

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So it turns out the IDF has been running a Telegram channel featuring homemade snuff films in which Gazans are brutally murdered by Israeli forces, captioned with celebrations of the gore and pain therein like “Burning their mother… You won’t believe the video we got! You can hear their bones crunch.” The IDF had previously denied any association with the channel, but Haaretz now reports that it was directly run by an IDF psychological warfare unit.

This is one of those many, many times where Israel is so awful that at first you’re not sure what you’re looking at. You think you must be misreading the report. Then you read it again and go “Oh wow, that’s SO much worse than I would have guessed.” 

However bad you think Israel is, you can always be sure that information will come out later that proves it’s even worse.

Tucker Carlson has been spotted in Moscow, generating speculation that he’s there to interview President Vladimir Putin, and the liberal commentariat are losing their minds about it. 

There’s no valid basis for westerners to object to Putin being interviewed by a western pundit. There’s no moral basis because Israeli officials have had unfettered access to a wildly sympathetic western press throughout four months of administering an active genocide. There’s no basis on the grounds that it hurts US information interests, because that would be admitting that US information interests depend on hiding information from the public about matters as basic as what a foreign leader thinks about his own actions, and essentially acknowledging that the western media are supposed to function as propaganda services for US military and intelligence agencies.

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