Uncategorized News Items

If I owned a newspaper, this is what you'd see in it.  These are news item of which you probably haven't heard, if you get all your information from television.  Some of these stories have appeared in the "mainstream media" briefly but they deserve additional publicity.  Special attention is given to stories which show the alarming growth rate of the federal government's size and power, and abuses of that power, as well as especially bad ideas which are being given undue consideration.  The links will be removed when they get stale or when they are no longer valid.  As a general rule, the most recent and the most important items are at the top of the page.

The stories that interest me the most are the ones that show blind over-reliance on technology — especially GPS-related systems and computers in general.  There is no shortage of minimum-wage clerks who believe anything that pops up on a computer screen.  (That's why electronic voting is a very bad idea.)  But there are apparently a lot of politicians and cops who assume that GPS tracking devices are infallible, too.

This page is for stories that the mainstream press seems to have overlooked.  On the other hand, the stories that appear to have been intentionally squelched are on this page.

News items that are more than about two years old are now located on a spin-off page, which you can find here.

More odd/weird news that imply little or no political controversy can be found on this page.

Fully-vaccinated former Secretary of State Colin Powell, 84, dies of COVID complications while battling Parkinson's and blood cancer.  Colin Powell, the first black Secretary of State who formulated foreign policy under several presidents, died Monday morning at the age of 84 of complications from COVID.  The Pentagon powerhouse who served as a soldier in Vietnam and went on to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was fully vaccinated and battling blood cancer and Parkinson's when he passed away at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland, according to his family.  Retired Four-Star General Powell, who was also suffering from Parkinson's, is survived by his wife of 59 years, Alma, and three children, and has a celebrated career that saw him rise up the military ranks after growing up in a Jamaican immigrant family in Harlem.

Colin Powell, military leader and first Black US secretary of state, dies after complications from Covid-19.  A source familiar with the matter said Powell had multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells that suppresses the body's immune response.  Even if fully vaccinated against Covid-19, those who are immunocompromised are at greater risk from the virus.  "We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American," the family said.  Powell was a distinguished and trailblazing professional soldier whose career took him from combat duty in Vietnam to becoming the first Black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan's presidency and the youngest and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush.  His national popularity soared in the aftermath of the US-led coalition victory during the Gulf War, and for a time in the mid-90s, he was considered a leading contender to become the first Black President of the United States.

China Tests New Hypersonic Nuclear-Capable Missile That Circled Entire Globe at Low-Orbit.  China launched a new hypersonic nuclear-capable missile that circled the entire globe at low-orbit in August, the Financial Times reported.  US Intelligence and US Military officials were left stunned.  "We have no idea how they did this," a source told the Financial Times.  According to the report, the missile missed its target by about 24 miles and caught US intel by surprise.

Chinese Military Operation Leaves US Officials Dumbfounded.  The US military, specifically its leadership, has not had a good year.  While the bungled, deadly evacuation from Afghanistan was the clearest sign of incompetence yet, that disaster followed decades of failure and corruption.  Instead of admitting there's a problem and improving, the US military has been busy prosecuting soldiers for speaking out.  By contrast, the Chinese communists are eating our lunch by building the world's largest navy, advancing next-generation technologies, and promoting unity and strength among their rank and file.  The latest example of their advancement has left US officials dumbfounded, after the Chinese military launched a nuclear-capable hypersonic glider that orbited the earth and then descended into its target area.

As Expected Containergeddon is Getting Worse — Biden's Political Solution to Clear The Ships From Los Angeles Ports Only Making Things Worse.  This is a follow-up to the original explanation of the epicenter of the supply chain backlog issue, ie "The Clog".  You need to review the years-long and building background issue to understand the [mess] that Joe Biden has just made worse.  From the White House perspective, the problem at the California ports, specifically the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB), was visible due to hundreds of container ships sitting in a queue off the coast of Los Angeles awaiting their opportunity to offload their cargo.  The media was reporting on the backlog of ships and Joe Biden was under fire.  The team behind Joe Biden wanted the optics removed asap.  Hence, the White House meeting with the heads of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Gene Seroka and Mario Cordero, respectively.  The continuing supply chain crisis of empty store shelves, missing parts and component goods that are backlogged at the California ports may be politically represented by the optic of those floating vessels.  However, that's not the problem.

Australia Is Planning To Pass Law Banning Biker Gangs From Showing Gang Tattoos In Public.  An outlaw bikie gang member has slammed a new Western Australian law which could lead to him and his fellow tattooed associates being forced to wear make-up.  Chris 'Ballistic' Orchard, whose motto is the implied threat that 'I shake hands to negotiate ... I throw hands to renegotiate' compared a tough new law banning the public display of gang insignia to 'Nazi Germany'.  [Video clip]

Keywords: Unnecessary travel, junket, carbon footprint, jet fuel, money down the drain.
Buttigieg and 12 Other Biden Cabinet Officials to Attend U.N. Climate Summit as Supply Chain Crisis Continues.  Thirteen members of President Joe Biden's cabinet are heading to Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nation's climate summit later this month, while the nation remains in the midst of a migrant crisis at the southern border and a supply chain crisis at U.S. ports.  The climate summit attendees will include Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who has been on parental leave for weeks after adopting two infants.

Ethics watchdog files a complaint against Jen Psaki because she 'violated the Hatch Act by endorsing' Democrat Terry McAuliffe for Virginia Gov. at the White House.  A prominent outside government ethics watchdog has filed an ethics complaint claiming White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki violated the Hatch Act when she talked up former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe from the White House podium.  Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, an ethics group that regularly hounded the Trump administration when multiple officials talked politics or promoted merchandise from the White House grounds, announced the complaint a day after Psaki's comments.  She had been asked whether the tight Virginia governor's race, just a few weeks out, would be a bellwether for Biden.

While Joe takes a nap...
Jill Biden out to flex political muscle in governors' races.  First lady Jill Biden is set to campaign Friday for Democrats in governors' races in Virginia and New Jersey, her most overt foray into politics since arriving at the White House nine months ago.  Her involvement is the latest sign that Democrats are pulling out the stops in the upcoming elections, particularly in Virginia, where Democrat Terry McAuliffe appears to be in a tighter race than expected.

The Editor says...
The Associated Press certainly has a way with words.  The phrase, "appears to be in a tighter race than expected," is a polite way of saying Mr. McAuliffe is likely to lose.  Here's some free advice for Mr. McAuliffe:  Don't ask Barack H. Obama for help.  He has the Reverse Midas Touch.

Scheller, Marine who criticized Afghanistan withdrawal, sentenced to reprimand, forfeiture of $5K in pay.  The U.S. Marine who posted videos on social media criticizing military leadership and the Biden administration's withdrawal of military assets from Afghanistan was issued a letter of reprimand and a forfeiture of $5,000 worth of pay for one month, after pleading guilty to all charges during his court-martial hearing this week.  Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. pled guilty to all six misdemeanor-level charges Thursday [10/14/2021], including willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction in the performance of duties and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

Boeing deals with new defect on troubled 787 Dreamliner:  Admits titanium parts on new planes are too weak.  Boeing is dealing with an alarming new defect on its problem-plagued 787 Dreamliner, which involves certain titanium parts that are weaker than they should be, according to a new report.  The defect is on 787s built over the past three years, and is among the Dreamliner issues that has led to $25 billion in jet inventory piling up on Boeing's hands, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.  In a statement to DailyMail.com, a Boeing spokesman confirmed that the company had received a notice from a supplier about 'certain 787 parts that were improperly manufactured.'

Amazon India reportedly copied sellers' products and rigged search results.  Amazon's India division engaged in a systematic campaign of copying items sold by third-party sellers and then manipulated search results to favor its own products, according to a Reuters report Wednesday [10/13/2021] that cites internal documents.  In a 2016 document, titled "India Private Brands Program," Amazon's private label team in India detailed how it would review sales and customer review data to identify "reference brands" to replicate, according to the article.

Marine who criticized military over Afghan withdrawal to plead guilty at court martial, lawyer says.  The Marine officer whose online video criticizing senior military leaders over the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan went viral is expected to plead guilty at his court-martial this week, his lawyer said.  Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller is facing several charges ahead of the court-martial set for Thursday at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.  They include disrespect toward superior commissioned officers, willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.  One of Scheller's attorneys, Timothy Parlatore, confirmed to CBS News that his client would be pleading guilty, but would not say which charges Scheller would plead guilty to, since details are still being finalized.

Marine top brass claims Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller 'incited a revolution' by criticizing Afghanistan withdrawal on Facebook.  Marine top brass has claimed in charges against Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller that he was trying to 'incite a revolution' by repeatedly criticizing the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal and calling for a change in military leadership, leaked documents have revealed.  The viral Marine posted that 'It's time for a new generation to assume American power.  We are ready, and we reject the current system... Follow me, and we will bring the whole [...] system down... in a constitutional manner with one loud voice.'  That September 2 post is referred to in a charge sheet that was first obtained by Task and Purpose, a military news site, and made public on Friday [10/8/2021].

Clint Eastwood Wins $6.1M Lawsuit Against CBD Scammers Using His Name.  Famed actor and director Clint Eastwood has won a $6.1 million lawsuit against a Lithuanian company that used his face and name without permission to sell CBD products.  The 91-year-old Dirty Harry star was thrilled that he came out on top in the lawsuit to stop the "scammers" from illegally using him — and other stars — to sell their products.

No cases of influenza A or RSV detected in Ohio during 2020-21 season - and just two cases of B flu strain.  Cases of influenza and other respiratory viruses plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study suggests.  Researchers from Akron Children's Hospital, in Ohio, looked at data from children treated during the 2018-19, 2019-20 and the 2020-21 flu seasons.  They found that flu infections among kids were reduced by 99 percent and there were no cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) detected in northern Ohio.

New Zealand Central Bank Raises Interest Rates For First Time in Seven Years.  New Zealand's central bank raised interest rates for the first time in more than seven years on Wednesday, removing some of the support it put in place when the coronavirus pandemic began.  The Reserve Bank raised the benchmark rate to 0.5% from a record low 0.25%.

Lt. Col. Scheller [has been] Freed, but Charges Loom.  Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller has been freed from pretrial detention, but could still face charges for criticizing senior military officials over the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan, The Epoch Times has learned.  Scheller was scheduled for a pretrial confinement initial review hearing Tuesday.  Military officials planned to conduct the hearing in secret, sparking anger from some media outlets and members of the public.  But prior to the hearing, the Marine Corps agreed to free Scheller, cancelling the pretrial review as a result, according to a source familiar with the matter.  Meanwhile, Scheller has submitted a request for resignation of his commission in lieu of trial to the Secretary of the Navy, the source said, speaking under the condition of anonymity to avoid backlash from the military.?utm_source=partner&utm_campaign=akdart

Lt Colonel Stuart Scheller is being released from military brig.  Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller Jr. is being released from military brig today after winning a landslide of public support for his condemnation of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.  Scheller Jr. was jailed last Monday at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for repeatedly criticizing the military's chaotic withdrawal from Kabul.  He was three days from retirement when he was stripped of his post and thrown in the grim confinement quarters to await military trial for contempt.  He had said in videos that he was resigning and giving up his $2 million pension because he was so appalled with how the situation in Afghanistan had unfolded.

Natural gas price spikes 25% on soaring demand.  European and UK gas prices surged on Wednesday by more than 25 percent, energised by soaring demand before the northern hemisphere winter.  Europe's reference Dutch TTF gas price jumped to 145.19 euros per megawatt hour and UK prices soared to 347.27 pence per therm.

General Mark Milley's Sketchy October 2020 Intelligence on China Fears Likely Came From Twitter and New York Times, Congressman Mike Turner Will Confirm.  CTH has discovered what we believe will turn out to be the currently classified "intelligence product" that Joint Chief's Chairman Mark Milley has been claiming as justification for his unilateral phone call with the Chinese military to discuss their concerns.  I am 80% certain we have located that intelligence product, and you ain't gonna believe where it was from.  Yesterday [9/29/2021], congressman Mike Turner of Ohio noted that no one in the entire system of intelligence and oversight had any idea what intelligence product Mark Milley was describing in his two days of testimony.  Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Wednesday, in response to the claims of Milley, that no such intelligence product ever existed.  Congressman Turner, who sits on the House Intel Committee (HPSCI) and the House Armed Services Committee, confirmed the same.  Congressman Turner has demanded that General Milley turn over this mysterious, secret, oddly untraceable intelligence product that Milley alone has seen.

Facebook Whistleblower Is Leftist Activist Repped By Lawyer For 'Whistleblower' Behind Trump Impeachment.  The Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, has a record of donations to far-left Democrats and a history of raising issues about purported bias while at previous employers, a Daily Wire review found.  She is working with Democrat operatives to roll out her complaint and has the same lawyers as the anonymous Ukraine "whistleblower" whose allegations led to Donald Trump's impeachment, but who reportedly turned out to be then-Vice President Joe Biden's top advisor on the country.  In a previous role at Pinterest, Frances Haugen was behind a "recent change to give users the option to filter searches to specific skin tones."  At Gigster, she gave a talk on how "if we don't build with an eye towards inclusion, we can end up enshrining bias." [...] According to public records, Haugen co-owns a house with Molly Tombley-McCann, a computer coder who made a "gamification tool to be a better ally."  Haugen has made more than twenty federal campaign contributions since 2016, all of which have gone to Democrats, according to Federal Election Commission data.

A simple guide to the Pandora Papers leak.  The Pandora Papers is a leak of almost 12 million documents that reveals hidden wealth, tax avoidance and, in some cases, money laundering by some of the world's rich and powerful.  More than 600 journalists in 117 countries have been trawling through the files from 14 sources for months, finding stories that are being published this week.  The data was obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington DC, which has been working with more than 140 media organisations on its biggest ever global investigation.  BBC Panorama and the Guardian have led the investigation in the UK.

Maj Gen Ordered 50+ Evacuees off One of Last Flights out of Kabul to Make Room for Taliban Souvenir.  [Scroll down]  During the last hours of the evacuation, according to troops under his command and as documented by photographs and witness statements, [Maj. Gen. Christopher] Donahue ordered all of the passengers aboard a C-17 transport plane to disembark so he could have a souvenir loaded onto the plane.  That souvenir, or "war trophy," was an inoperable Taliban-owned Toyota Hilux with a fully operational Russian ZU-23 anti-aircraft autocannon mounted in the bed.  Once the Hilux was loaded passengers were allowed back on the plane, but, of course, there wasn't room for all of them.  According to troops on the scene, at least 50 people and perhaps as many as 100 people were left at Kabul to make room for the Hilux.

Related story:  Nobody ran a red light for four straight hours.
Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp go down in major internet outage.  Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, three of the most-popular websites and apps in the world, were knocked offline Monday in a major internet outage.  The outage that affected the products, which are all owned and operated by Facebook, occurred around noon EST. Several other products that are owned and run by Facebook were also affected.  On Facebook, a simple error message read "Sorry, something went wrong.  We're working on it and we'll get it fixed as soon as we can."

Kabul faces blackout as Taliban fails to pay the bills.  Afghanistan's capital could be plunged into darkness as the winter sets in because the country's new Taliban rulers haven't paid Central Asian electricity suppliers or resumed collecting money from consumers.  Unless addressed, the situation could cause a humanitarian disaster, warned Daud Noorzai, who resigned as chief executive of the country's state power monopoly, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, nearly two weeks after the Taliban's takeover on Aug. 15.

Louie Gohmert shares reassuring update on jailed Marine after visit.  Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said the Marine who was jailed after criticizing top military officials over the Afghanistan withdrawal "looks" and "sounds good" after the two met on Thursday [9/30/2021].  The congressman traveled to North Carolina's Camp Lejeune, where Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is being held, for a visit and later provided a status update to his parents on Sean Hannity's Fox News program.  "There are people in that brig that like Stu, and so please know that," Gohmert told Scheller's parents, who say they have not talked to their son since he was thrown in the brig on Monday, on Hannity.  Scheller garnered attention in August when he posted a video on social media calling for accountability from military leaders over the United States's pullout from Afghanistan.  He later said he was "relieved from duty" after his comments went viral and that he expected to be jailed over it.  Scheller Jr. is currently in pretrial confinement as he awaits a hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

$2 million raised for Marine in the brig for speaking out against Afghan chaos.  Individuals raised nearly $2 million on behalf of the Marine facing possible charges for his public criticism of military leadership amid the Afghanistan withdrawal.  Supporters have raised more than $1.85 million from over 23,000 donations for Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr., who awaits a hearing for his viral videos in which he called for accountability for the military's top brass.  He is in pretrial confinement in the Regional Brig for Marine Corps Installations East abroad Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.  However, the time, date, and location of the Article 32 proceeding has not been scheduled.

GOP Lawmakers:  Incarceration Of Lt. Col. Scheller Is Political.  Republican lawmakers are coming to the defense of a U.S. Marine who was jailed after criticizing Joe Biden's Afghan pullout.  In a statement on Thursday, Reps.  James Comer (R-Ky.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said Biden officials put a U.S. Marine in solitary confinement for demanding accountability from top brass for the Afghan disaster.  The lawmakers went on to ask why our troops receive punishment for questioning the failures of Biden and his administration.  Back in August, Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller posted a video on Facebook asking why the Afghanistan crisis even happened and blasting military leaders for the exit.  He was placed in pre-trial confinement shortly after.

36 members of Congress sign letter calling for Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller's immediate release from grim military brig.  Dozens of congressmembers have demanded the immediate release of Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller after he was jailed for defying orders to stop publicly criticizing the nation's Afghanistan withdrawal.  Scheller, 40, was arrested and jailed at the Camp Lejeune brig Monday [9/27/2021] for allegedly breaking four military laws by refusing orders to stop posting critical videos on social media.  He was scheduled to make his first court appearance in North Carolina today, but the public — including elected officials and the media — are prohibited from attending.

The Scheller Case is America's Dreyfus Affair.  A US Marine officer, Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller, publicly criticized the Biden Administration's chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan which left 13 servicemen and women dead at Kabul Airport.  He particularly targeted the top brass of the military, a military to which he devoted his energy and his life to serve, for their abysmal performance in the closing days of the Afghan withdrawal.  Scheller was relieved of his command shortly after he posted a video on Facebook demanding senior officers be held to account for their actions.  In the video, Scheller said that he intended to resign his commission. [...] On September 27, Lt. Colonel Sheller was suddenly arrested and placed in solitary confinement in the military jail at Camp Lejeune, N.C., according to Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Sam Stephenson.  He is held incommunicado, under a gag order, unable even to speak with his parents.  Throwing people into solitary confinement has become, it seems, a repeatable tactic to the current Democrat enforcers.

Workers Who Maintain Supply Chains Warn of Worldwide 'System Collapse'.  Several industry groups have warned world leaders of a worldwide supply-chain "system collapse" due to pandemic restrictions, coming as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested that the current period of higher inflation will last until 2022.  The International Chamber of Shipping, a coalition of truck drivers, seafarers, and airline workers, has warned in a letter to heads of state attending the United Nations General Assembly that governments need to restore freedom of movement to transportation workers amid persistent COVID-19 restrictions and quarantines.  If nothing is done, they warned of a "global transport system collapse" and suggested that "global supply chains are beginning to buckle as two years' worth of strain on transport workers take their toll," according to the letter.  It was signed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), which represent some 65 million transport workers around the world.

Coal For Christmas.  In mid-April 2021, I began receiving reports from sources in China and the United States that certain regions in China had begun to experience ongoing power disruptions at their warehouses and manufacturing facilities.  Most notable of these was in south China's Guangdong megaregion, where in June operations at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant had become disrupted by a small number of faulty claddings for the fuel rods, ultimately forcing state-owned General Nuclear Power Group to shut down Unit 1 (there are two units) for maintenance and repair.  Concurrently, available power imported to the Guangdong region from Yunnan province's considerable hydroelectric capacity was reduced due to drier-than-expected weather throughout the spring.  Taken together, some estimates are that total power available to the region fell by as much as 15% by June.  In response, officials began quietly rationing power to factories, cutting business operation days by 1 or 2 days depending on the facilities' power requirements.  In recent weeks, however, officials have begun a much more aggressive rationing program, with factories in much of Guangdong now seeing only 1-2 days per week of power use allowed.

Millions Of Chinese Residents Lose Power After Widespread, "Unexpected" Blackouts; Power Company Warns This Is "New Normal".  Just yesterday [9/26/2021] we warned that a "Power Supply Shock Looms" as the energy crisis gripping Europe — and especially the UK — was set to hammer China, and just a few hours later we see this in practice as residents in three north-east Chinese provinces experienced unannounced power cuts as the electricity shortage which initially hit factories spreads to homes.  People living in Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces complained on social media about the lack of heating, and lifts and traffic lights not working.  Local media in China — which is highly dependent on coal for power — said the cause was a surge in coal prices leading to short supply. [...] Then there is Beijing's pursuit of curbing carbon emissions — Xi Jinping wants to ensure blue skies at the Winter Olympics in Beijing next February, showing the international community that he's serious about de-carbonizing the economy — that has led to artificial bottlenecks in the coal supply chain. [...] Whatever the reason, it's just getting started:  as BBC reported, one power company said it expected the power cuts to last until spring next year, and that unexpected outages would become "the new normal."  Its post, however, was later deleted.

Why are the Chinese eating by flashlight?  Some [Chinese] homeowners and businesses are firing up generators to keep the power going during prime demand hours.  So what's going on?  Have they run out of fuel? [...] Nope.  As it turns out, there's plenty of power to go around but the government simply shut it off for their own policy reasons. [...] China's rapid expansion has more than doubled their power consumption over the past couple of decades.  Because they use a lot of "dirty" energy, that leads to more emissions.  Why would they care?  Because China is hosting a U.N. environmental conference next month where emissions will be a topic of discussion.  They are anxious to show that they are actually curbing emissions when they never actually do that.  To not produce some good numbers to show the UN would be a political embarrassment.

Alternative viewpoint:
Power shortages in China may cause world food and commodities prices to surge.  China is looking at a difficult harvest season as a severe energy crunch hurts the outlook for production — a development that can trigger another surge in food prices.  The autumn harvest in China is underway, but with power shortages in industrial hubs, authorities see slow processing growth.  This is especially true in the northeastern provinces of Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang, where half of the country's corn and soybeans are grown.  This crisis is pushing concerns that China will have a tough time handling crops this year, as some plants were asked to cut their output to conserve electricity.  Over the past year, China already imported record lows of agricultural products due to domestic shortages, which drove prices and global food costs to record highs.  Power shortages in the country have forced soybean processors in northern regions to shut down, affecting operations of larger companies.

Parents of jailed Marine hail his courage calling out generals over Afghan disaster.  A Marine Corps officer jailed after releasing a series of Facebook videos criticizing military leadership for the botched withdrawal of Afghanistan, as well as a series of scathing posts lambasting "hypocrite" former presidents and generals, now sits in a type of solitary confinement with no phone, visitors, books, or even paper, his parents told the Washington Examiner.  "I anticipated it.  I ran the gamut of rage to tears," said Cathy Scheller upon learning that her son Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was arrested Monday.  "I have taken up his cause.  I will do everything I can to make sure this doesn't disappear.  I am very proud of him for standing for the service members and asking for accountability."

The Marine Who Called for Afghanistan Accountability Has Been Thrown in Prison.  Back in August, Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller called for accountability for military leadership on the disastrous and catastrophic exit from Afghanistan.  He did so knowing he was risking his career and would likely face punishment for doing so.  "The reason people are so upset on social media right now is not because the Marine on the battlefield let someone down," Scheller said.  "People are upset because their senior leaders let them down and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, 'We messed this up.'"  "I'm not saying we've got to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying:  Did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, 'Hey, it's a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone.'  Did anyone do that?  And when you didn't think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, 'We completely messed this up.'"

The Wrong Man Is In The Brig — Put Biden On Trial.  U.S. Marine Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Scheller is in the brig — a military jail at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  More specifically, Scheller is in pre-trial confinement.  That means he is being held behind bars pending a military court-martial.  Scheller was up until recently a Marine battalion commander.  He was relieved of his command following a series of public statements he made chastising military leadership for the manifest incompetence shown during the Afghan withdrawal that led directly to the deaths of 13 Marines.  After his relief Scheller announced he would resign from the service and continued to speak out — in apparent violation of direct orders to stop discussing his concerns publicly.  In one video, posted on September 16th, Scheller stated his intention to charge Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., head of U.S. Central Command, with dereliction of duty.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Makes the Case for His Own Resignation.  Joe Biden's generals are up on Capitol Hill today defending their incompetent, politically driven decision-making that led to the collapse of Afghanistan.  That collapse included the deaths of 13 Americans in a suicide bombing attack while we imported tens of thousands of "refugees" who weren't qualified.  In short, the entire thing was a massive catastrophe, led by people like Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley.  In fact, while speaking today, Austin didn't even really hide the fact that the Afghanistan withdrawal and subsequent evacuation were a total cluster.

Save it for the jury.
Mark Milley defends his secret China calls, insists he wasn't trying to undermine Trump.  Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley denied any wrongdoing in making two phone calls to China during Trump's presidency and insisted he spoke with his counterpart there to 'de-escalate' Beijing's fears over an imminent attack.  Speaking before a Senate panel on Tuesday, Milley also denied accusations that he told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he agreed with her Trump is 'crazy,' telling lawmakers today that he instead told her he is 'not qualified to determine the mental health of the president.'  Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are testifying before the Senate Armed Service Committee Tuesday, marking their first public testimony since the U.S. completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Outspoken Marine officer who went viral blasting military leaders over Afghanistan is jailed: report.  Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, the officer who went viral for blasting the military's leadership amid the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, has been sent to the brig, according to a report.  "All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud," Scheller's father, Stu Scheller Sr., told Task & Purpose.  "He was asking for accountability.  In fact, I think he even asked for an apology that we made mistakes, but they couldn't do that, which is mind-blowing."  Scheller first rose to internet stardom by posting a video to Facebook blasting military leaders for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, questioning their command decisions on the events leading up to and during the final evacuation effort.

John Hinckley, Who Shot President Reagan, to Be Granted Unconditional Release.  A federal judge has approved the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan outside a Washington, D.C., hotel in 1981.  Hinckley, now 66, has been living outside a mental health facility for several years under court-imposed restrictions, including the oversight of his medical care and tracking of his computer passwords.  The new agreement will result in his full release from supervision in June 2022.  The Justice Department agreed to a settlement but will monitor Hinckley for nine months to ensure he remains mentally stable, as he will be living on his own for the first time in about 40 years and because one of his primary doctors is set to retire and dissolve Hinckley's therapy group.

The Editor says...
Doctors retire all the time.  That's no reason to let crazy people out of the mental hospitals.

Pentagon loosens access rules to secret programs, raising security leak fears.  Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks issued a memorandum to senior Pentagon officials on Sept. 20 stating that filling out a counterintelligence questionnaire is no longer required to gain access to special access programs.  Known as SAPs, these are the most secret activities and programs within the department.  The eased rules specifically allow Senate-confirmed political appointees, members of the House and Senate, the professional staff of the congressional defense and intelligence oversight committees and senior White House officials access to the programs without filling out a prescreening questionnaire as required for all other officials in the Pentagon's Special Access Security Manual:  Personnel Security.

Headline corrections provided by The Editor.
Biden admin purges Lee Greenwood from [the] [N]ational [A]rts [C]ouncil; [because the] singer's 'God Bless the USA' [is] played at Trump rallies.  The Biden administration's purge of appointees to various government advisory boards by prior presidents — mostly Republicans — is continuing with the dismissal of country music great Lee Greenwood from the National Council on the Arts.  During an interview last week with "Fox & Friends," Greenwood explained that he was initially appointed to the board by President George W. Bush then served throughout President Barack Obama's two terms and President Donald Trump's single term, adding he was shocked to get the letter advising him he was being replaced.  Greenwood, who wrote the country anthem "God Bless the USA," which was a favorite of the late President Ronald Reagan and has become a fixture at Trump's rallies, suspects that politics may be behind the decision to remove him from the arts council.

Democrats in Congress Try to Abolish Space Force.  Some Democrats in Congress are trying to abolish the Space Force at a time when China and Russia have been doubling down on expanding their military capabilities in space.  On Wednesday [9/22/2021], Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) introduced a bill named No Militarization of Space Act, trying to abolish the Space Force, a new military service branch created under former President Donald Trump.  "The long-standing neutrality of space has fostered a competitive, non-militarized age of exploration every nation and generation has valued since the first days of space travel," Huffman said in a statement.  "But since its creation under the former Trump administration, the Space Force has threatened longstanding peace and flagrantly wasted billions of taxpayer dollars."  The Space Force was established in December 2019 and has been deemed by some to be one of Trump's signature achievements.  But its origin can be traced back to the beginning of the Cold War.

The Editor says...
I'm opposed to the creation of a Space Force, simply because NASA already exists, and NASA isn't doing anything useful at the moment.  Create a Space Force if you must, but if you do, what is the purpose of NASA?

Costco Limits Purchases of Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, and Bottled Water amid Inflation, Supply-Chain Issues.  Costco is implementing new consumer limitations on purchases of household essentials including toilet paper, paper towels, and Kirkland bottled water as the company has seen an increase in demand due to a surge in the delta variant and supply-chain complications.  Costco has been dealing with significant issues centered around supply-chain complications and inflation according to the company's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard A. Galanti.

The Editor says...
Mrs. Editor and I were turned away from Costco a couple of weeks ago when we refused to put on face masks before entering the store.  Costco headquarters is in Seattle.  The customers on the west coast may put up with that kind of treatment, but I'm done with Costco.

Pentagon names ISIS-K 'planner' who was killed in successful August drone strike.  The Pentagon has named an ISIS-K planner killed in a drone strike and said he was 'directly connected' to the suicide attack that killed 13 Americans.  The man, Kabir Aidi, was killed in an American drone strike on August 27 one day after the troops were blown up outside Kabul's airport.  It comes a week after the Pentagon admitted the US accidentally killed ten innocent people — including seven children — in a drone strike two days later on August 29 in Kabul.

South Korean President Travels to Hawaii to Repatriate US Servicemembers' Remains — Biden Admin Skips Event, Sends No One.  Biden leaves Americans stranded in Afghanistan.  And on Wednesday [9/22/2021] he didn't bother to send a single representative to honor our Korean war heroes or greet the South Korean leader in Hawaii.  South Korean President Moon Jae-in traveled to Hawaii on Wednesday to repatriate the remains of American service members.  Not a single representative from the Biden Administration showed up.  They hate this country, its heroes, its values and traditions and want it destroyed.

Is This Facebook's 'Big Tobacco' Moment?  Facebook Inc. executives have long boasted that its platforms are safe, even as they invested in ways to keep teenagers hooked and hid what they knew about the side effects.  Sound familiar?  Critics say Big Tobacco once used the same playbook, and it's fueling a whole new level of outrage against the social media giant.  Facebook consistently played down its own research that showed how photo-sharing app Instagram can harm the mental well-being of its youngest users, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.  Almost a third of young teen girls told Facebook they feel worse about their bodies after scrolling through the site, documents reviewed by the newspaper showed.  Despite that knowledge, Facebook is dedicating more resources to reaching even younger consumers, including developing a children's version of Instagram.

S. Korean President Returns U.S. MIA Troop Remains in Person.  Biden Sends No Rep.  Many of us remember the big stink that Joe Biden made last year when he bothered to campaign about how the Democrat would treat America's allies so much better than that loudmouth Donald Trump who was always talking about America First.  The allies seemed excited at the prospect of an American president treating them with the deference, respect, and obedience they've come to expect from American leaders until, well, you-know-who.  Biden can't seem to remember a lot of things these days, including the name of his Secretary of Defense and that five-sided building in Virginia where the military hangs out.

It is Trump's party.  Get over it.  Never Trump Congressman Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio announced he won't seek a third term because of Donald Trump.  Gonzalez won't be missed, He voted to impeach Trump.  I do not get the congressman's problem.  Water is wet, the media is biased, and Trump is the leader of the Republican Party.  It is no contest.  McLaughlin and Associates polled Republicans nationally and asked if Trump won the nomination in 2024, would you vote for him in the general election?  86% of Republicans said they would.  There are your Republican values and principles.  Donald Trump proved his worthiness as a Republican, as a conservative, and as an American in his 4 years as president.  He has nothing to be ashamed of.  Gonzalez, well, that's a different story.

Ohio Republican Who Voted to Impeach President Trump Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election.  Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16) was one of the ten House republicans (pictured above) who voted to impeach President Trump.  As President Trump announced his support for Gonzalez's challenger, Max Miller, former House Speaker John Boehner went to Ohio to support Gonzalez.  Apparently the support of Paul Ryan and John Boehner was not enough to help.  Max Miller was in position to primary Gonzalez.

The DOJ Moves To Block The Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Deal That Shields The Sacklers.  A division of the Justice Department that serves as a watchdog over the federal bankruptcy system filed an appeal late Wednesday seeking to block the controversial Purdue Pharma bankruptcy plan.  William Harrington, who serves as U.S. trustee for the Justice Department, also filed documents requesting an "expedited stay" to prevent implementation of the settlement.  The deal, which Judge Robert Drain approved Sept. 1, granted sweeping immunity from opioid lawsuits to members of the Sackler family who own the drug company.  The Sacklers, who are not bankrupt, were granted releases from liability after agreeing to contribute roughly $4.3 billion of their private wealth to the deal.

Centcom Commander General McKenzie Calls Drone Strike Killing 10 Innocents in Kabul, a Tragic Mistake — The Signals Intelligence Was Wrong.  Earlier today [9/17/2021], General Kenneth Franklin McKenzie Jr. admitted a claimed U.S. drone strike against the ever evolving and mysterious ISIS-K, actually killed 7 children and three innocent adult civilians.  General McKenzie calls it a "tragic mistake."  Four days after the August 29th strike Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the strike "righteous."  General McKenzi says he takes "full responsibility", yet he retains his position.  No one is being held to account.  No one at the Pentagon is facing discipline.  Both McKenzie and Milley claim it was solid intelligence that led them to watch, follow, and eventually target and kill Zemari Ahmadi, an Afghan relief worker who arrived home.  The missile struck his vehicle as his children ran out to welcome daddy home from work, killing all occupants in the car and those in the vicinity.

Oops: Biden's 'Righteous Strike' in Kabul Now a 'Tragic Mistake'.  In August, the Biden administration conducted a drone strike in Kabul that Gen. Mark Milley described as a "righteous strike" against the Islamic State.  On Friday [9/17/2021], CENTCOM commander Frank McKenzie acknowledged the strike was actually a "tragic mistake" that killed 10 civilians, and no ISIS targets were killed.

The Pentagon confesses that it lied about killing ISIS operatives.  For many years, the American military was the most respected institution in America.  In the seven months of the Biden administration, we've learned that the upper reaches of the Pentagon are partisan, corrupt, possibly treasonous, and totally incompetent.  The latest evidence of this is General McKenzie's confession that the military didn't really kill an "ISIS-K fighter" after Islamists slaughtered 13 American troops.  Instead, our military drone attack killed an aide worker, seven children, and two other adults.

Biden Vacations in Delaware as Generals Admit Drone Strike 'Mistake' in Kabul.  President Biden continued his vacation in Delaware Friday [9/17/2021] as the country's top generals confirmed a "tragic mistake" in Afghanistan that left three adults and seven children dead in a drone strike aimed at ISIS terrorists.  "We now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to US forces," McKenzie said of the airstrike at a briefing, following an investigation by the Military.  "This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology," Mckenzie added, claiming that he is "fully responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome."

US military admits drone strike intended to kill ISIS-K fighters in Kabul actually killed civilians, including 7 children.  An investigation by the US military has determined that an airstrike last month in Kabul believed to have eliminated a terrorist threat actually killed civilians, a top US general said Friday [9/17/2021].  "This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology," Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, told reporters at the Pentagon.  "I am now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to 7 children, were tragically killed in that strike," he said.

US military admits it killed 10 civilians and targeted wrong vehicle in Kabul airstrike.  A United States military investigation into a deadly Kabul drone strike on a vehicle in August has found it killed 10 civilians and the driver and that the vehicle targeted was likely not a threat associated with ISIS-K, announced Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top general of US Central Command, at the Pentagon on Friday [9/17/2021].  McKenzie told reporters that the strike — which he said killed seven children — was a "mistake" and offered an apology.  "This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology," he said.  McKenzie added that he is "fully responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome."

Senator Bob Menendez Threatens Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and All Further Pentagon Nominations.  Protecting the interests of the Fourth Branch of Government is not a partisan issue. [...] In this example, Democrat Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez targets the Pentagon Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for not appearing to answer questions about Afghanistan.  Showcasing the out of balance power of the Senate, Menendez threatens to block defense department nominations as a consequence to Austin for defying the Fourth Branch of Government.  [Video clip]

FEC just turned Twitter into all-powerful propaganda machine accountable to no one.  Ah, to be Twitter.  Can control anything it publishes, profit from anything it wants — and not be held responsible for any of it.  Such is a unanimous ruling by the Federal Election Commission, which found Twitter violated no law by censoring The [New York] Post's factual report about the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop.  Stating that, in its view, "Twitter is likely a press entity," the FEC said that the social media network's "activities fall within our press exemption."  That's going to be news to Twitter and Facebook, which enjoy the benefits of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  That law states that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

Blinken Just Told Us How Many Biden Really Left Behind in Afghanistan.  I've been skeptical of the Biden administration's official number of Americans still left in Afghanistan.  They've said about 100-200 Americans were left behind (still a tragedy) but one U.S. official said that over 5,000 Americans were likely to end up stranded in the country by the time U.S. forces left.  As of yesterday, they are saying there are about 100 Americans still there — which likely means nothing has changed since the withdrawal concluded on August 30.

DOJ Allows Three U.S. Intelligence Contractors To Pay Their Way Out of Criminal Charges.  This thread might be well worth pulling for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the DOJ National Security Division allowing three former Intelligence Community Contractors to pay their way out of criminal charges.  It appears that criminal operatives that come from within the Fourth Branch of government are allowed to get a "first-of-its-kind resolution."  Apparently it looks like three men Marc Baier, 49, Ryan Adams, 34, and a former U.S. citizen, Daniel Gericke, 40, all former employees of the U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) or the U.S. military, left the contractor employment of the USIC in 2016 and went to work for the United Arab Emirates.  It appears the three were experts in computer intrusion; meaning they were hackers for the U.S. government working inside the intelligence system.  When they went to work for the UAE, they helped develop hacking tools that were later used to hack into U.S. cell phone networks and operating systems.  They were supposed to register as free-lance hackers, they didn't; and they were not allowed to help foreign governments hack into U.S. systems, which they did.

China Installs Cameras Inside People's Homes, Expanding Its Surveillance Network.  The world depicted in George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm" is often used as an analogy for totalitarian states, such as China.  Recently, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is taking the "big brother" tactic of surveillance and control of citizens to a new level, building internet grids to watch and implicate the "whole clan" by association, sneakily monitoring private cellphones and even installing cameras inside people's homes.  As shown in the internal CCP documents obtained exclusively by The Epoch Times, under the name of COVID-19 containment, the regime has been systematically expanding its already massive surveillance network, spending hundreds of millions of yuan, hiring a large number of personnel, and incorporating more governmental departments.  The measures involved have become increasingly invasive, directly violating China's own constitution.

Pentagon defends drone strike in Kabul that reportedly killed civilians.  The Pentagon defended a deadly August drone strike in Kabul on Monday — despite a report that the attack actually killed an innocent man and his family.  The second of a pair of drone airstrikes in the waning days of the Afghanistan war is now being investigated by Central Command, but details are scarce and there remains a question of how much information will be shared once the probe is completed.  "I would say that the assessment by Central Command is ongoing and I'm not gonna get ahead of that," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said during a news briefing on Monday.  "The strike was taken to prevent an imminent attack on the airport."

'Thousands' of lawful US residents left in Afghanistan, Blinken says in testimony.  President Joe Biden's administration assessed "thousands" of lawful permanent residents of the United States remain in Afghanistan following the tumultuous evacuation of Kabul, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.  "I think the best estimates are that there's several thousand green card holders in Afghanistan," Blinken told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday [9/13/2021].  That figure hints at the scale of the diplomatic and humanitarian challenge confronting State Department officials in the absence of U.S. military personnel.  Blinken's team is developing new plans for securing the departure of the remaining American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies expected to face retaliation from the Taliban for their past work with the U.S. government — but the number of Afghans eligible for Special Immigrant Visas remains unclear.

Media Matters' Electioneering Against Larry Elder Broke IRS Rules, Complaint Says.  The Iowa-based conservative watchdog group Patriots Foundation filed a new complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Monday against Media Matters for America (MMFA) arguing the tax-exempt group has violated its agency agreement with illegal electioneering.  Founded in 2004, the leftist non-profit was given 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status under IRS code which prohibits explicit campaign activity on behalf of any candidate or candidate's party.  In a supplemental complaint added to an existing referral over last year's election, however, the Patriots Foundation argues the group's interference in the California recall race violates IRS terms for tax exemption.  "MMFA has, from inception, operated as a thinly veiled partisan political organization supporting Democratic candidates for office and engaging in other improper activities," the group wrote, outlining four parameters groups must follow in order to maintain their 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. [...] In a Media Matters article headlined, "Larry Elder is running to be California governor.  Here's just some of his toxic record as a radio host and right-wing pundit," the Patriots Foundation explained, "each of these assurances have been abandoned."

House GOP Leader Asks Supreme Court to End Proxy Voting.  House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is taking his fight against what he calls the "patently unconstitutional practice" of proxy voting in the U.S. House of Representatives to the Supreme Court.  In the early days of the pandemic in May 2020, the House approved a resolution allowing members to cast votes on the House floor by proxy on the theory that it was advisable to limit attendance in Congress to combat the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.  Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said at the time the new absentee voting protocol was needed because the virus posed a "mortal danger."  House Democratic leadership said when the policy began that it would be temporary but it is still in effect today.  This "unprecedented" proxy voting resolution permits a single member to vote on behalf of up to 10 absent members, according to the petition for certiorari, or review, from McCarthy.

I&I/TIPP Poll:  The Distrust Of Scientists Is Widespread — Including On COVID Vaccines.  rom coronavirus vaccines and the virus' origin to climate change, a substantial portion of the country distrusts scientists to do their jobs honestly and capably.  The latest data from the September Issues & Insights/TIPP Poll also found significant differences among Americans of different political views, reflecting a growing politicization of science in America.  The I&I/TIPP poll asked Americans "how much trust do you place in scientists" in three areas of science prominent in today's headlines:  "vaccine safety," "climate change," and "coronavirus origin."  Overall, among the three, vaccine safety was tops in scientist trust, at 61%.  Perhaps not surprisingly, that almost perfectly matches the share of the U.S. population currently vaccinated:  63%.

Last Missile Fired By U.S. Military in Afghanistan Killed Only Innocent Family — Not [an] ISIS 'Facilitator' as Gen. Milley Claimed.  The last missile fired by the United States Military in the 20-year war in Afghanistan struck only an innocent Afghan man and his family in Kabul — not ISIS militants, the New York Times reported on Friday [9/10/2021].  [Tweet]  The blast killed ten members of the extended family of a civilian aid worker, Zemari Ahmadi, and three of his children, Zamir, 20, Faisal, 16, and Farzad, 10; Mr. Ahmadi's cousin Naser, 30; three of Romal's children, Arwin, 7, Benyamin, 6, and Hayat, 2; and two 3-year-old girls, Malika and Somaya.  [Tweet]  While the Pentagon initially conceded there was some "collateral damage" in the aftermath of the Aug. 29 drone attack, military leaders called a "righteous strike" that eliminated an imminent threat to troops and civilians at the Kabul airport.

US drone strike that Pentagon said killed a suicide bomber in Kabul actually killed an aid worker and seven children who ran to greet him.  The drone strike that the Pentagon claimed killed an ISIS-K suicide bomber in Kabul actually targeted an aid worker who had filled his car with water jugs, rather than explosives, according to a shocking new report.  Zemari Ahmadi, 43, was driving the 1996 Toyota Corolla that was destroyed in the August 29 drone strike, killing him and nine family members, including seven children, according to a New York Times investigation.  The Pentagon still maintains that only three civilians died, despite the family now detailing in the new report how their 10 relatives were killed in the blast.

Report: Evidence suggests car hit by U.S. drone strike in Kabul wasn't carrying bombs.  The car that U.S. military officials believed was packed with explosives and destined for a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport on Aug. 29 may actually have been driven by an innocent man transporting canisters of water, a new report claims.  A New York Times story published Friday afternoon [9/10/2021] identified the driver of the car as Zemari Ahmadi, 43, who worked as an electrical engineer for an American aid and lobbying group doing business in Afghanistan.  The Times cited numerous interviews with family members, relatives and others with knowledge of the Aug. 29 incident, and the new report seems to cast serious doubt on the official version of events laid out by the Pentagon.

The Editor says...
Ordinarily, when someone dares to "cast serious doubt on the official version of events," he's called a "conspiracy theorist" or a "truther," or tin-foil-hat nut case.  We are supposed to believe whatever the government tells us.  In this case, the New York Times examined the facts and came up with the embarrassing truth.  Hardly anyone has the resources to examine an incident like this, and even fewer people would be able to report a blatant government lie and stay in business.  It may be a thousand years from now, but some day we'll know how many other lies we were told.

About That Drone Strike.  The New York Times has just posted this intensely interesting investigative scoop by Matthieu Aikins based on reporting by him as well as Christoph Koettl, Evan Hill, and Eric Schmitt:  "In U.S. Drone Strike, Evidence Suggests No ISIS Bomb."  Subhead:  "U.S. officials said a Reaper drone followed a car for hours and then fired based on evidence it was carrying explosives.  But in-depth video analysis and interviews at the site cast doubt on that account."

CNN Poll: 2% Think America Is Doing 'Very Well' Under Joe Biden.  Two percent of Americans participating in a CNN poll think the United States is doing "very well" under President Joe Biden, results revealed Friday [9/10/2021].  "How well are things going in the country today?" CNN asked respondents.  Two percent said "very well," 29 percent said "fairly well," 45 percent said "pretty bad," and 24 percent said "very badly."

Where are All the Americans Returning Home from Afghanistan?  President Joe Biden and his team of military, intelligence, and diplomatic advisors oversaw America's most epic surrender, on the world stage, under the lights and cameras of international media recording it for posterity, spinning the news to mitigate American failure.  One of many failures was the abrupt departure of American military and security forces, necessary to evacuate thousands of Americans and Afghan allies who placed themselves and their families at great risk by helping the Great Satan against the Taliban, the latter being the new boss, replacing the old boss.  How many Americans were left behind?  Official government numbers are all over the map.

30 Headless Goats Found In Georgia River, Ties To African Sacrifice Rituals Suspected.  Channel 2 Action News is investigating headless goats found floating in the Chattahoochee River.  Someone has dumped hundreds of decapitated goats over the past few years.  As they approached the Interstate 20 bridge near the Fulton County and Cobb County border, "There's a goat," Ulselth said.  "These goats have to be coming from somewhere, but we haven't been able to determine who's buying the goats, who's providing the goats or actually how they are making their way here in the river," Ulseth said.  It turns out it was part of a religious ceremony for the followers of Santeria, a religion that mixes West African culture with Cuban Catholicism.

State Department obstruction of private rescue flights from Afghanistan revealed in leaked email.  The State Department refused to grant official approval for private evacuation flights from Afghanistan to land in third countries, even though the department conceded that official authorization would likely be needed for planes to land in those nations, an email reviewed by Fox News shows.  Furthermore, the State Department explicitly stated that charter flights, even those containing American citizens, would not be allowed to land at Defense Department (DOD) airbases.  U.S. officials have pointed to possible security threats from landing charter planes at military bases, saying that they lack the resources on the ground to fully verify flight manifests.

The political time bomb for Biden inside the latest jobless numbers.  While the unemployment rate for Americans dropped in August, there is a political time bomb buried in the statistics for President Joe Biden and a Democratic Party increasingly focused on equity: black joblessness shot up significantly.  In other words, the president who fondly boasts of a domestic policy promising to leave nobody behind has an economic recovery that is leaving a key Democratic constituency in worse shape.  "The rise in black unemployment in August is certainly troubling, considering their unemployment rates were already much higher than any other group," Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said on Twitter.  Adding to the complications is the fact that before the pandemic, African-Americans enjoyed historic economic gains under President Trump, including record-low unemployment and falling poverty.

US in talks with Taliban over additional Kabul evacuations.  Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday [9/7/2021] the United States is coordinating with the Taliban to secure additional charter flights from Kabul for people seeking to leave the country.  With the U.S. having concluded all military operations in the country following the Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawal, the State Department has been working closely with Taliban leaders to facilitate additional evacuations for an estimated 100 U.S. citizens who still want to exit Afghanistan.

Report: At Least 500 Americans [are] Stranded in Afghanistan, Contradicting Joe Biden's Estimates.  At least 500 Americans are reportedly stranded in Afghanistan, contradicting President Joe Biden's estimate of between 100 and 200, according to the Associated Press (AP) on Sunday [9/5/2021].  Among those who believe Biden has miscalculated how many Americans remain trapped behind enemy lines includes Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who told the AP, "the number of U.S. citizens still there and wanting to leave is closer to 500."  And if the family members of those trapped Americans are included, Issa believes the overall "number of people could be as high as 1,000."

Pre-trial hearings for five 9/11 suspects delayed for 18 months by COVID resume at Guantanamo Bay.  Five of the suspects accused of being involved in the September 11 attacks will see their cases resume on Tuesday in Guantanamo Bay, after an 18-month hiatus caused by the COVID pandemic.  The five — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash; Ramzi Bin al-Shibh; Ali Abdul Aziz Ali; and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi — were initially arraigned in May 2012.  Since then, there have been more than 40 rounds of pre-trial hearings, with the latest set to begin just four days before the 20th anniversary of the attacks.

Nihilism Is Not a Good Look for the USA.  Biden has given the West's enemies enormous resources that strengthen their geopolitical positions.  Does any sane military strategist believe the vast military resources left behind would be left to rust or merely used as scrap?  Any knowledgeable strategist would know that the military hardware would be confiscated and utilized by powers greater than the Taliban — global powers with a vested interest in undermining America and her allies.  Any strategist would be watching nations such as China and Iran waiting to take advantage of such a treasure trove.  As reports from Asaad Hanna and others surface indicating that much of the weaponry left behind in Afghanistan is being transferred to Iran, observers of recent history will recall that Iran's leaders still proclaim themselves to be the deadly enemies of the "Great Satan," America, and the "Little Satan," Israel.

Cancel Culture Insurance:  Twitter Will Let You Hide Old Tweets.  Social media giant Twitter reportedly plans to introduce a number of new privacy-related features, including one that would allow users to hide their old tweets.  Twitter's privacy changes come on the heels of the increasingly common scenario in which a user of the platform is canceled for posts made up to a decade ago on the platform.  MacRumors reports that Twitter is introducing new privacy-related features to its platform that will give users greater control over their follower lists and who can see their profile.  One option planned for the platform is a feature that allows users to archive old tweets so that other users are unable to see them after a period of time set by the account holder.

Australian Supermarket Shelves Are Empty After Truckers Go On Strike, Protesting COVID Tyranny.  Videos of empty shelves in Australia have gone viral on TikTok and Twitter after truckers went on strike this past week over the country's heavy-handed COVID tactics.  The video shows meat, fruit, and vegetables running out as the fight between the government and citizens heats up.  [Video clip]

Second Thoughts:  Dems Have A Few.  The man who as a candidate promised to repair our international alliances has dealt NATO a significant if not fatal blow.  The rush to bug out of Afghanistan left hundreds, probably thousands of persons who were citizens, green card holders, and allies behind.  And our NATO allies have not been able to extract all their people either.  Worse, for reasons that seem impossible to justify, we gave the Taliban the names of the people we wanted to extract and turned down their offer to guard the airport ourselves instead of turning that task over to them.  Credible reports and videos at the site show how the Taliban refused entry to those entitled to leave. [...] We left behind on estimated $63 billion worth of military equipment, some of which the Taliban is reportedly selling off to Iran to use against us and Israel and to undo the peace in the Middle East which President Trump so adroitly brought about in the Abraham Accords.  China is the likely real victor, having worked out agreements with the Taliban allowing them to mine valuable mineral resources there.  If any of the abandoned military equipment is state of the art, expect it to fall into Chinese hands one way or another to be reverse engineered for their own use.

Taliban Refusing To Allow Planes Of Americans To Leave, Effectively A 'Hostage' Situation, Report Says.  The Taliban is reportedly not allowing flights carrying American citizens and green card holders to leave Afghanistan.  CBS News reported that, according to congressional and NGO sources, "multiple planes that are ready to take American citizens and green card holders out of the country are being denied permission to leave by the Taliban."  A State Department email viewed by CBS News said that the flights out of Afghanistan have permission to land in Qatar "if and when the Taliban agrees to takeoff."  A senior congressional source told CBS News, "The Taliban is basically holding them hostage to get more out of the Americans."

McCaul: Afghanistan Is 'Worse' than Pre-9/11 because Taliban Has U.S. Weapons.  Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said on this week's broadcast of "Fox News Sunday" that the situation in Afghanistan is "worse" than before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks because the Taliban was now in possession of U.S. weapons.  McCaul said, "This over the horizon capability is greatly exaggerated because we don't have anything near Afghanistan.  It's a landlocked country surrounded by our enemies, Russia, China, Iran, who have now been emboldened by this foreign policy, you know, blunder.  So, you know, how do we — how do we go forward?  I think we have to establish that ISR.  You know, somewhere over the horizon capability means flying from a gulf, probably countries like Qatar, which would be, you know, anywhere from six to eight hours, having to fly, you know, around Iran, over Pakistan, get refueling.  This is not — when I talk to anybody in the military, they tell me this is not adequate for us to have ISR capability. [...]"

Private Afghanistan Evacuation Team Criticizes Biden Administration Officials Who 'Did Absolutely Nothing' To Help Girls Escape Taliban.  The Biden administration ignored several pleas for help from an American evacuation team in the waning days of the Afghanistan withdrawal, emails reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation show.  The team had contacted senior officials in the administration to help evacuate people from Afghanistan before the U.S. withdrawal, according to emails obtained by the DCNF.  They were working to get Americans and vulnerable Afghans out of the country, but it was a difficult task to do alone, according to the team.  Robert Stryk, who earlier spoke with the DCNF about his frustrations with the administration before Aug. 31, said Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer failed to act on his team's desperate pleas for help in getting hundreds of girls out of Afghanistan as the U.S. withdrawal deadline approached.

Biden signs executive order demanding the DOJ declassify FBI's 9/11 investigation documents.  President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday [9/3/2021] that ordered a review of the classified documents related to the 9/11 terror attacks — with the promise of releasing more information to the public.  Biden had been told by nearly 1,800 Americans impacted by the terror attacks last month — including victims' family members, first responders and survivors — not to come to any of the 20th anniversary events unless he declassified documents that potentially show Saudi government links to the September 11, 2001 hijackers.  The order makes no mention of Saudi Arabia.

Marine who spoke out about Afghanistan withdrawal says he expects to be jailed.  A Marine who claimed he was "relieved from duty" after going viral for criticizing military leadership over the withdrawal from Afghanistan now speculates he might be court-martialed and "will probably do some jail time."  Stuart Scheller, who claims now to be a former lieutenant colonel, has been posting regular updates about his dissenting stance that led to his alleged removal from the military, saying in a Wednesday update to a video he uploaded to social media on Aug. 27, "The Marine Corps will assign an investigating officer.  Most likely a Colonel."

Afghan Journalist:  Family Blown Up by Joe Biden's Missile Strike Had Special Visas and Were About to Leave Afghanistan.  Afghan reporter Ali Latafi joined Yalda Hakim at the BBC to discuss the recent missile attack by Joe Biden that killed an Afghan family including several children in Kabul.  According to Latafi the family killed on Sunday by a US drone strike had Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) to leave for the US and were about to leave Afghanistan.

DoD had Foreknowledge of Kabul Airport Bomber — Denied Permission to Fire Predator Drone that had Lock on Him — 13 US Heroes Dead.  Roger Pardo-Maurer, the former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs (2001-2006), joined Jorge Ramos on Univision Noticias on Monday to discuss the unfolding disastrous withdrawal of US forces in Afghanistan.  During their conversation, Pardo-Maurer told Ramos the Department of Defense had foreknowledge of the Kabul Airport suicide bomber but denied permission to fire a Predator Drone missile once they had a lock on him. [...] The US Department of Defense allowed the bomber to murder 13 Americans.

Report: US Knew About Kabul Bomber, Had Drone Lock but Didn't Take the Shot.  Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roger Pardo-Maurer dropped some incredible information during an interview and it's huge, if true.  Director of MRC Latino, Jorge Bonilla, posted an interview of Pardo-Maurer.  Pardo-Maurer, who was in the State Department for years, since at least 2001, said he was being told that the Department of Defense already knew who the bomber was ahead of time, before the bombing and when the Kabul attack would occur.

White House announces plan to build 100K affordable homes.  The White House said Wednesday it will use existing federal funds to build and provide 100,000 homes to low- and middle-income buyers and nonprofits over the next three years to bolster supply that is often snapped up by deep-pocketed investors.  President Biden believes Congress can bolster affordable housing by approving his mammoth spending plan for families, but the White House said it "can't wait to take action," as economically battered Americans sought space during the coronavirus pandemic only to find tight supply and runaway home prices and rents.  "The large and long-standing gap between the supply and demand of affordable homes for both renters and homeowners makes it harder for families to buy their first home and drives up the cost of rent," a White House fact sheet said.  "Higher housing costs also crowd out other investments families can and should make to improve their lives, such as investments in education."

The Editor says...
[#1] This is not the proper role of government at any level.  [#2] The story is a red herring, pulled out of a hat to get Afghanistan out of the headlines.  When Joe Biden is impeached, watch for a story the next day about NASA finding life on Mars, or some other sensational click-bait diversion.

In secret texts, U.S. military officials lamented leaving Americans behind in Kabul.  President Biden declared to a puzzled country on Tuesday that the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan was an "extraordinary success," while his Pentagon portrayed a prosaic, workaday process to repatriate Americans still stranded in the war-torn country.  But text messages between U.S. military commanders and private citizens mounting last-minute rescues tell a far different story, one in which pleading American citizens were frantically left behind at the Kabul airport gate this past weekend to face an uncertain fate under Taliban rule while U.S. officials sought to spread the blame between high-ranking generals and the State Department[.]  "We are [...] abandoning American citizens," an Army colonel assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division wrote Sunday in frustration in a series of encrypted messages that detailed the failed effort to extricate a group of American citizens, hours before the last U.S. soldiers departed Afghanistan.

Biden Administration Erased Afghan Weapons Reports From Federal Websites.  The War in Afghanistan has always been a black box, but the Biden administration just made matters worse.  According to an admission obtained from the State Department, Biden officials recently directed federal agencies to scrub their websites of official reports detailing the $82.9 billion in military equipment and training provided to the Afghan security forces since 2001.  The scrubbed audits and reports included detailed accounting of what the U.S. had provided to Afghan forces, down to the number of night vision devices, hand grenades, Black Hawk helicopters, and armored vehicles.  Reports further quantified 208 aircraft and helicopters; 75,000 war vehicles — including 22 Humvees, 50,000 tactical vehicles and nearly 1,000 mine resistant vehicles; and 600,000 weapons — including 350,000 M4 and M16 rifles, 60,000 machine guns, and 25,000 grenade launchers.

Group of 87 retired generals call on Austin and Milley to resign following botched Afghan withdrawal.  Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley have been called upon to resign by a group of 87 retired generals.  In an open letter from the group "Flag Officers 4 America," the retired generals argue Austin and Milley showed "negligence in performing their duties" during the botched exit from Afghanistan.  Members of the group, who describe themselves as "retired U.S. generals and admirals defending the Constitution," also wrote Austin and Milley must be held accountable for their actions that have stranded hundreds of Americans and Afghan allies in hostile territory as "de facto hostages of the Taliban."  The generals also argued Austin and Milley should have counseled President Biden against the swift exit from the region and resigned in protest if he did not abide by their recommendation.

Rapist Evacuated From Kabul to US Reveals Bigger Problem With People the Biden Team Evacuated.  [Scroll down]  Unfortunately, because it's the Biden Administration, lying and incompetence go hand in hand with each other so it raises the real question of whether people on the planes were adequately vetted or just packed onto the planes to bump the numbers.  I put nothing past the Biden team at this point.  This latest story confirms that not everyone was vetted sufficiently[.]  According to the Washington Times, a convicted rapist who had previously been deported from the United States was one of the people who made it on an evacuation flight all the way to the U.S., until he was flagged by border officials when he arrived at Dulles Airport.  He's now being held at a detention facility in Virginia.

Ron Johnson Demands Answers After U.S. Commander Allegedly Turned Away American Citizens In Kabul.  Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken demanding answers on why a U.S. military official allegedly stopped Americans and Afghan allies from evacuating Afghanistan at the Kabul airport.  Johnson said he has heard reports indicating "a group of over 400 individuals including U.S. citizens were turned away from the airport" by "the commander of the 82nd Airborne Brigade ... who told them to get back on their buses and turn around because 'the rescue was over.'"  "It is not clear what happened to the Americans and the other individuals after they left the airport," Johnson wrote.  "It's hard to believe that any U.S. military official would deny Americans the ability to evacuate Afghanistan.  What generalized or specific order was given to the commander that caused him to take this alleged action?  Where did this order originate?"

Biden Officials at Kabul Airport Warned American Rescue Plane To Turn Back or Be Shot Down.  A private airplane that was flying into Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul, Afghanistan to rescue stranded American citizens and Afghan allies allegedly was told to turn back or they would be shot down.  In the past 24 hours, American officials in charge of giving clearance at the airport told fellow Americans they would be fired upon if they didn't leave, Mary Beth Long, a former Department of Defense official, told American Greatness in an exclusive interview.  The plane ended up landing elsewhere in Afghanistan, she said.  Now Americans are reportedly being advised to leave Kabul completely as the Taliban is expected to start rounding people up after the last of the U.S. military leaves.

Fox News' Jen Griffin Shocked at Blinken's Videotaped Afghanistan Withdrawal Speech.  As the last United States planes departed Afghanistan Monday, myriad questions remained.  Many Americans were unable to get to Kabul airport, making Joe Biden the first U.S. president in memory to leave American citizens behind enemy lines, despite saying it would not happen.  Embattled Secretary of State Antony Blinken took the stage for an early evening address and said he could not determine how many Americans remain in Afghanistan.  It was unclear whether the speech was pre-taped, but his mannerisms and eye contact were awkward.  Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin said Blinken appeared to be in a hostage video.  "I thought that the secretary of state's statement, which was videotaped and he was looking slightly off-camera, I mean it looked like a hostage video.  It was not the kind of production values that you would expect for such a moment in time," Griffin said.

Almost 90 Retired Flag Officers Demand Mark Milley, Lloyd Austin Resign After Afghanistan Debacle.  Nearly 90 retired U.S. generals and admirals penned an open letter asking Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley to resign from their positions following their "negligence in performing their duties primarily involving events surrounding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan."  "As principal military advisors to the CINC [Commander-in-Chief]/President, the SECDEF and CJCS should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms," the letter states.  "If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign.  Conversely, if they did do everything within their ability to persuade the CINC/President to not hastily exit the country without ensuring the safety of our citizens and Afghans loyal to America, then they should have resigned in protest as a matter of conscience and public statement."

Taliban seeks pallets of cash in exchange for extending US Aug. 31 evacuation deadline.  In a briefing last week, Joe Biden told inquisitive reporters that every American who wants to get out of Afghanistan would get out of Afghanistan, and he was counting on the Taliban's "self-interest" in letting the Americans leave.  Toss that one into the bin of lies and errors coming from this Biden Afghanistan fiasco.  Turns out the Taliban has its own ideas about what its self-interest is. [...] What we are seeing here is an emerging hostage situation in that country as Biden insists on pulling out by his Aug. 31 deadline, which the Taliban is holding him to, under penalty of "consequences."  The State Department has claimed that 300 Americans are awaiting evacuation and have not made it to the Kabul airport yet.  According to this disturbing collection of reports from AT deputy editor Andrea Widburg, it's likely more.

Afghan TV Show Host Surrounded By Taliban With Guns Tells Public Not To Be Afraid And Cooperate.  The presenter of Afghan TV's Peace Studio appears on video informing the Afghan public to "cooperate with it and should not be afraid" while members of the Taliban stand behind him at gunpoint.  [Tweet]  The host of the Peace Studio TV show which airs on Kabul TV can be seen being held at gunpoint while Taliban members clad in tactical gear appear to be holding rifles and surrounding the host.  The host can be seen telling his audience to "cooperate with it."  This occurs just over one week after the Taliban seized power over Afghanistan before the U.S. was set to complete its withdrawal of troops from the area, according to The Associated Press.

Finally, we have some good news.  The news is so depressing lately that it takes nerves of steel to open the newspaper, turn on the TV, or visit an internet news site.  However, there is good news out there if you know where to look.  First Item:  Taiwan has been jolted awake by the Afghanistan debacle!  For months, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been nervously watching The People's Republic of China (China) amass and marshal its land and naval assets in a continuing threat to try to conquer the island through military force.

Dan Crenshaw, Lara Logan Bring the Most Disturbing Reports Out of the Kabul Airport Yet.  Rep. Dan Crenshaw is a retired Navy SEAL who served and was wounded in Afghanistan's Helmand province during his third deployment, in 2012.  He lost his right eye and his left eye was badly damaged in an IED attack.  Crenshaw is held in extremely high regard in the veteran and active-duty communities.  Lara Logan is a long-time award-winning journalist now working for Fox News who has spent much of her career covering war zones including Iraq and Afghanistan.  Between the two of them, Logan and Crenshaw have spent years in and around Afghanistan.  Due to their experience there, both are likely to have credible sources on the ground at the Kabul airport.  Both Logan and Crenshaw are independently reporting that Americans have been turned away from safety at that airport over the past couple of days.

Lawmakers: State Department No Longer Allowing American Citizens to Enter Kabul Airport.  Members of Congress said Sunday evening that the Biden administration was not allowing Americans to enter the Kabul airport and leave Afghanistan, as the evacuation mission nears its end by August 31.  Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) tweeted Sunday night [8/29/2021] that the State Department was not helping American citizens trying to evacuate.  "I am furious!!  My team has been on the phone all day trying to get AMERICAN CITIZENS out.  They have been just outside the airport numerous times, but the State Department WILL NOT help them," he tweeted.

USMC Take[s a] Troubling Step Against Marine Commander Who Demanded Accountability on Afghanistan.  So what happens when you call out the powers that be and demand accountability, saying that you are going to get it, as Marine LTC Stuart Scheller has done?  Now, after his last video, the leadership is clearly not going to take it and they are moving against him because he's gotten far too much attention.  As we previously reported, they had already relieved him of his command.  Now the USMC is going to paint him as having mental health problems and being a "threat" because he spoke about bringing the "system down."  [Tweet]  There's nothing in his video that indicates that he's a threat to anyone, he's a bringer of truth that explodes the narrative that they want to pitch so they're going to paint him as a nut and try to do him in.

Marine Lt. Col. Who Got Fired From Position For Criticizing Command Resigns, Promises To 'Bring The Whole [...] System Down'.  Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller on Sunday announced in a video that he was resigning his commission as a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps, following being fired as a battalion commander for asking for accountability from his senior leadership on the botched Afghanistan withdrawal.  [Video clip]

Marine Lt. Col. Is Fired For Angry Video Ranting Against Biden And The Military Leadership Over Afghanistan Mess.  Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was relieved for cause after demanding that senior U.S. leaders hold themselves accountable for actions made during the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan that led to the deaths of 13 service members.  Officials confirmed to Fox News on Thursday [8/26/2021] that 11 Marines, an Army soldier and a Navy corpsman were killed in explosions near Kabul's airport Thursday.  Another 169 Afghans were killed, according to two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.  [Video clip]

Marine battalion commander resigns after he was relieved of his duties for slamming his superiors over botched Afghanistan exit.  The Marine battalion commander who was relieved of his duties for blasting his superiors over the Afghanistan exit strategy says he has resigned from the military.  Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller published a new video online on Sunday addressing his resignation just days after he went viral for calling out his superiors for not "raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, 'We messed this up.'"  Scheller's original video criticized Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley for leaving the Bagram Air Base before all Americans and their allies had the chance to be evacuated.

Naval Intel reminds active duty, retired members they cannot 'disrespect' Biden, Harris.  Active duty and retired members of the Office of Naval Intelligence were reminded last week they are barred by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and other Department of Defense regulations from criticizing President Joe Biden and other ranking members of his Cabinet and the Pentagon.  The memo, sent via email and first reported by The Daily Wire, was sent out by the ONI's chief of staff following deadly suicide bombing attacks outside the international airport in Kabul which left 11 Marines, two Army soldiers, a U.S. Navy corpsman, and 169 Afghan civilians dead.  In addition to Biden, members were instructed they also could not publicly criticize or be contemptuous of Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, members of Congress, and others.

CCP's Grand Strategy Is to Displace US: China Expert.  China has had three grand strategies to counter the United States since 1989, culminating in the latest phase, beginning in 2016, of wanting to displace the United States, China expert Rush Doshi said during an Aug. 26 webinar to talk about his new book.  Doshi wrote the book "The Long Game:  China's Grand Strategy to Displace American Order" while working at the Brookings Institution, which hosted the online event.  Now he's the Biden administration's newly appointed director for China on the White House National Security Council.  Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials "seek to restore China to its due place and roll back the historical aberration of the West's overwhelming global influence" with its grand strategy, according to Doshi's book.  The grand strategy is now in its third phase, he said, after he examined years of CCP documents such as memoirs, speeches, and biographies.  Today China sees its competition with the United States as global, regional, and functional in many domains, according to Doshi.

Congressmen and Others Accuse Biden of Blocking US Citizens from Kabul Airport.  Reports trickled in throughout Saturday [8/28/2021] that American citizens in Afghanistan were being blocked by U.S. military and government officials from entering Kabul airport so they could escape the (thanks to Biden) terrorist controlled nation.  Several reports also said Americans are being beaten by Taliban terrorists at the airport.  The reports reached a crescendo Saturday night with two Texas Republican Congressmen and military veterans, Dan Crenshaw and Ronny Jackson angrily calling out Joe Biden.  Crenshaw, "America, you need to know this:  Biden is not letting US citizens through the airport gates.  It has been impossible to get anyone through for the last 24 hours.  This administration has been lying about their intent to save Americans.  Unforgivable."

The Brits somehow seem to be getting their people out of Afghanistan.  While the United States has been warning all of its people to stay away from the airport in Kabul and is basically ready to shut down the evacuation, Great Britain has still been bringing people out of the country.  In fact, they expect to have all of their citizens out today, even though there are only a few flights expected to leave in the next 24 hours.  The troops they airlifted out were part of a group of more than 1,000 who stayed behind to help the United States secure the airport during the initial days of the bugout.  They won't hit 100% of their goals, however, admitting that as many as a thousand Afghans who had been assisting them will wind up being left behind.  But they do seem to have accounted for all of their own citizens in the country, so how did they manage to pull this off?

Afghanistan is not going down well with the U.S. military's ranks.  The perfumed princes of the Pentagon with their wokester focus, operate as if they have little to fear in making a hash of Afghanistan.  After all, Joe Biden has made it clear that nobody's getting fired.  And with all their consulting contracts and revolving board seats, it probably wouldn't matter if they did.  Why does General Mark Milley still have a job?  Biden's actually out gaslighting the public about how great he's doing.  One problem, though, is emerging from that phoniness:  Growing anger in the ranks.  These cossetted leaders no longer have the respect of the troops. [...] It seems so much of this is going down that someone high up in the ranks felt compelled to issue this reminder, recognizing probably quite accurately that the military's decadent leadership is actually losing control.  So not only can they not win wars, but they also are losing the respect of the troops.

Republicans file impeachment articles against Blinken over Afghan disaster.  House Republicans on Friday introduced articles of impeachment against Secretary of State Antony Blinken for "high crimes and misdemeanors" leading up to the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.  Republican Reps.  Ralph Norman of South Carolina and Andy Harris of Maryland co-sponsored the resolution.  They said "inexcusable failures" on behalf of Mr. Blinken led to the lives lost in Thursday's terrorist attack in Kabul and "set a horrible precedent on the international stage."  "Secretary Blinken's complete and utter failure of managing this avoidable catastrophe makes him unfit for leadership, and I hope my colleagues will join me in pushing for his removal," Mr. Harris said.

Taliban kill squad hunting down Afghans — using US biometric data.  The Taliban has mobilized a special unit, called Al Isha, to hunt down Afghans who helped US and allied forces — and it's using US equipment and data to do it.  Nawazuddin Haqqani, one of the brigade commanders over the Al Isha unit, bragged in an interview with Zenger News that his unit is using US-made hand-held scanners to tap into a massive US-built biometric database and positively identify any person who helped the NATO allies or worked with Indian intelligence.  Afghans who try to deny or minimize their role will find themselves contradicted by the detailed computer records that the US left behind in its frenzied withdrawal.  The existence of the Al Isha unit has not been previously confirmed by the Taliban; until now the Haqqani Network, a terror group aligned with the Taliban, has not admitted its role in targeting Afghans or its use of America's vast biometric database.

U.S. Used a Nasty New Hellfire Missile In Retaliatory Drone Strike on ISIS-K.  The United States used a relatively new gruesome, but effective kind of missile for its first retaliatory strike after the suicide bombings at the Kabul airport. [...] The article goes on to say that the military nickname for the missile is the "flying Ginsu."  It's not known exactly how many times the R9X has been used because the Pentagon doesn't exactly hit Instagram for everything it accomplishes.

So we blew up an ISIS-K "planner" with a drone last night.  After an ISIS-K suicide bomber attacked one of the gates at the Kabul airport, President Biden promised that we were going to strike back.  I'm assuming that this was what he was talking about.  NBC News is reporting that we took out an ISIS-K "planner" last night and he was allegedly engaged in plotting additional attacks in Kabul.  We didn't have to deploy any troops to do it, however.  The suspect was driving in a car with another person when he was taken out by one of our drones.  Oh, and he wasn't anywhere near Kabul at the time.

Experts question decision not to name ISIS terrorists killed in Afghanistan drone strike.  The failure of the Biden administration to name the two Islamic State terrorists killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan on Friday [8/27/2021] has led some experts to conclude they were not high-value targets.  In a press conference Saturday, Major Gen. William Taylor only referred to the dead targets as a "planner" and "facilitator," and would not say if they played specific roles in the airport suicide attack Thursday that killed 13 American soldiers and 169 Afghans.  Islamic State Khorasan, or ISIS-K, was behind the attack.  "Normally if they get a high-profile guy they like to name him," retired US Army Lt. Col Brian F. Sullivan told The [New York] Post.  "They keep talking BS about 'eyes over the horizon' but I think a lot of this is the administration blowing more smoke," Sullivan added.  "They're throwing this up as if the US is reacting with strength and power.  So that makes the score something like ISIS 200-US two.  Who are they kidding?"

Biden's Pentagon Won't Tell Anyone Who Was Killed In That Drone Strike They Say Happened.  At this point, the Pentagon is best known for publicly downplaying the threat the Taliban posed for taking over all of Afghanistan, and for greenlighting closing its largest operational base in Central Asia.  It's still purging competent minds but retaining and encouraging its woke drones.  Gen. Mark Milley, the 21st-century version of Gen. Custer, still has a job.  Biden has lied, or remains unaware, about the fact that our allies are livid at him and questioning whether working with the United States is in their interests anymore.  The Biden government hasn't been straight about anything, from the number of stranded Americans to who is on the planes getting out to the inflation it has unleashed on the country.  This regime still thinks white supremacy is a greater threat than the monsters they've unleashed and armed in Afghanistan.

Color Me Extremely Skeptical About Joe Biden's Retaliation Strike Against ISIS.  Yesterday, as RedState reported, the US Military executed a drone strike that reportedly blew up an ISIS "planner" in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan.  This was touted as a retaliation strike for the dual suicide bombings that occurred in Kabul, which tragically took the lives of at least 13 US servicemembers with over a dozen others still hospitalized.  The terrorist attack also killed at least 170 Afghans with countless others wounded.  [Tweet]  I know this is the point where I'm supposed to give a fist-pump and praise Joe Biden for greenlighting a response that never should have been necessary in the first place, but color me extremely skeptical of how this is being framed.  If Jen Psaki herself had written that press release, what would be different about it?  No, I'm not suggesting a strike didn't take place.  I'm sure some terrorist-supporting goat herder in a hut was blown to bits.  But what I am suggesting is that there's some serious gaslighting going on about what the strike actually means and amounts to.

Pentagon Briefing on ISIS-K 'Retaliatory Strike' Prompts More Questions Than Answers.  My colleagues Bonchie and Streiff expressed important concerns about the drone strike retaliation attack on ISIS-K that the Biden Administration is claiming happened last night.  [Tweet]  Unfortunately, because they have told us so many lies at this point of the Afghanistan debacle, it's really hard to accept what they say without proof.  Indeed, assuming this report is true, there's a real question of proportionality of response here, as Streiff noted.  Not to mention, holding the Taliban accountable for this, as well.  The Pentagon briefing this morning didn't help provide any more assurances, although they did try to use Joe Biden's "over the horizon" phrase a lot.  [Tweet]

Pictures Of Where The Drone Strike On ISIS-K Occurred In Afghanistan — No Human Remains Can Be Seen.  The United States launched an airstrike following a suicide bombing at Kabul airport earlier this week.  The target of the drone strike, believed to have been killed with no known civilian causalities, was an ISIS-K fighter believed to be involved in the planning future attacks, according to two U.S. defense officials.  The US military says it has killed an ISIS-K planner in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan.  According to the US officials, the target was planning to attack US officials in Kabul airport.  A UAV took off from an unnamed base in the Middle East and reportedly hit the target while he was in a car with another associate.  It's reportedly the first UAV strike launched by the United States from outside Afghanistan.  "U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner," Captain Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Central Command, confirmed Friday night.  "The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangahar Province of Afghanistan.  Initial indications are that we killed the target.  We know of no civilian casualties."  The statement did not identify the target of the attack, or what role a "planner" has in the group.  It is unclear whether the planner was involved in Thursday's attack.

Joe Biden's Afghanistan Drone Strike Against ISIS-K Is a Joke, and We Are the Punchline.  Two days ago, a suicide bomber attacked a security checkpoint at the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul, Afghanistan.  That airport is the main point of egress for any seeking to leave that sad simulacrum of a country, before US forces comply with the August 31 withdrawal deadline set for them by the Taliban.  Re-read that last sentence a couple of times to grasp the scope of our national shame.  Thirteen Americans were killed: eleven Marines, one Navy corpsman, and one Army special forces soldier.  Twenty more Americans were sufficiently wounded to require medical evacuation.

Rogue Team of Retired US Vets Rescue Afghan Allies During Secret Missions Conducted Behind Biden's Back.  A group of highly trained US military veterans have been conducting secret rescue missions behind the Biden State Department's back, rescuing hundreds of Afghan allies from Afghanistan with their heroic efforts.  Furious over the terrible situation in they had already sacrificed so much to prevent when they served, the team of retired specialists, including Green Berets and Navy SEALS, risked their lives.  They volunteered to travel to Kabul because they were afraid that Joe Biden was abandoning at-risk Afghan elite forces, leaving them to die at the hands of terrorists.  They felt it was necessary for someone to step up and were baffled "that our own government didn't do this," former Navy SEAL Jason Redman told ABC.

Marine LTC Fired After Demanding Accountability On Afghanistan.  Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller announced Friday [8/27/2021] that he had been "relieved for cause" after he posted a video demanding accountability on Afghanistan.  Scheller shared a Facebook post saying that, as of 14:30 on Friday, he had been relieved of duty — and he noted that he would have taken the same action if he were in the position of his superior officers.

Marine Officer Who Questioned Generals over Afghanistan Is Relieved of Duty.  Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller of the United States Marine Corps revealed Friday afternoon that he has been relieved of duty for posting a video criticizing military leaders for failing to take responsibility for the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.  In the video, Scheller, a 17-year Marine Corps officer, said that he knew he was risking his career by speaking out, but that he wanted to explain why so many service members were frustrated, in the wake of the terror attack on U.S. forces in Kabul on Thursday.

A Cry From The Heart.  Addressing "the American leadership," Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller has posted the video below to his Facebook page.  Making a point I have made repeatedly in my comments on our withdrawal from Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel Scheller seeks accountability from senior leaders.  Obviously made at substantial risk to himself, it is a powerful statement that is likely to be suppressed before long.  Perhaps he himself should have resigned from the Corps before he made it.  I don't know.  A reader writes to point out that "Marine leadership is as of yet unaware of it — but they will figure it out shortly."  Watch it while you can.  [Video clip]

This Marine Battalion Commander Probably Burned Down His Career to Demand Accountability for Chain-of-Command Failures in Afghanistan.  If you are a commissioned officer, going public with your concerns about how the military or your particular service is going is an activity nearly guaranteed to provide you all the fun and entertainment you can reasonably handle.  However, where integrity and forthrightness are given a place of honor in lesson plans and speeches, the reality is that at senior levels, you are expected to shut up and toe the command's line.  You deviate from that norm at your peril.

The Report on U.S. Officials Giving Taliban a List of American and Allied Afghans Makes Sense.  There are two puzzle pieces that help to make sense of the Politico report about "U.S. Officials" giving the Taliban a list of American and U.S. Afghan names to allow through the checkpoints.  However, if you don't understand the two dueling power teams, each attempting to position, it doesn't make sense.  Remember, the State Dept (DoS) and CIA are one team.  The White House and Pentagon are another team. [...] Both teams are highly political.  However, the State Dept/CIA team consider themselves above political changes; essentially the deeper Deep State.  With the DoS/CIA aligned with CNN/WaPo, when the Pentagon needs to defend their specific interests in crisis management, they must go elsewhere, hence Politico.

Biden admits admin may have given Taliban 'kill list' of Afghans who aided US.  A potentially deadly blunder by President Biden's administration effectively handed the Taliban a "kill list" to target Afghans who aided the US, according to a report Thursday — and he admitted it may have happened when asked later at a White House briefing.  Following the Taliban takeover of Kabul, US officials there gave the Islamic extremist group the names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies so they could be allowed to enter the Taliban-controlled perimeter around Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to Politico.  The decision reportedly was made despite the Taliban's notorious reputation for brutally executing Afghans who helped the US military and other Western forces during the war and occupation that followed the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

U.S. Officials Handed Taliban a List of Names of Americans and Afghan Allies.  In a move no one can grasp, U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies, believing the Taliban would allow them to enter the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city's airport.  Lawmakers and military officials are outraged.  The insane move was designed to expedite the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from Kabul by the August 31 deadline.  It also came as the Biden administration began relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport.  ISIS-K has since set up forces around the soon-to-be-renamed Hamid Karzai International Airport.

CENTCOM Commander Reveals U.S. Intelligence-Sharing Operation with Taliban.  General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of the United States Central Command, revealed an intelligence-sharing operation between the U.S. and Taliban on Thursday at a Department of Defense briefing, just hours after attacks at Hamid Karzai International Airport killed at least twelve U.S. service members and 60 Afghan civilians.  According to McKenzie, the Taliban and U.S. share a "common purpose" of finishing the ongoing evacuation mission by August 31.

Trump slams Biden over 'Kill List': US officials naively gave Taliban list of Afghan allies and citizens to be evacuated.  Donald Trump has slammed Joe Biden for handing over a list of approved Afghan evacuees to the Taliban amid fears it will now be used by the extremist group to kill those named on it.  Calls for Biden's resignation and impeachment have mounted after at least 103 people, including 13 U.S. service personnel, were killed by ISIS terrorists in a double suicide attack on Kabul airport on Thursday.  In an emotional address to the nation, Biden vowed to 'hunt down' and 'make the terrorists pay' as he mourned the 'selfless heroes' who died helping vulnerable people flee the country.

Adam Schiff leaves classified briefing, says Afghanistan disaster was NOT the fault of intel agencies.  I know, I know.  This is Adam 'Pencil Neck' Schiff, one of the biggest liars on Capitol Hill.  But what he's saying right now, after having left a classified briefing, concurs with much of what we've learned in the media regarding Biden's Afghanistan disaster and it is NOT favorable to Biden.

The Kabul Mission Begins to Unravel and We Can Expect to See Much Worse.  Earlier today, some organization carried out a complex suicide bomb attack on the perimeter of Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul.  The explosions took place at an ingress point called the Abbey Gate and at the Baron Hotel, which is just a short distance from the Abbey Gate. [...] The US government negotiated an agreement with the Taliban to allow the use of HKIA for evacuation until the August 31 deadline laid down by the Taliban for all US forces to be removed from their country.  However, if you have followed the day-in-day-out reporting, it is obvious that the people making the deal don't necessarily have the juice to make the deals work.  For instance, Taliban forces harassed and beat US passport holders on the way to the airport despite everyone agreeing that this would not happen.  Earlier this week, Taliban fighters started turning back Afghans, no matter their US visa status.  This was followed by an "official" announcement by the Taliban government that Afghans would no longer be allowed to leave.

Naturalized Americans could have their citizenship revoked if secret DHS program hosted by Amazon flags their social media or other personal data as a threat.  Naturalized Americans could have their citizenship revoked thanks to a computer program that searches for concerning activity — with broad categories including anything deemed 'derogatory'.  The program, called ATLAS, is used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and is hosted on servers owned by web e-commerce giant Amazon.  DHS stated on their website in a November update that ATLAS was created 'to automate, streamline, and support accurate exchange of data' among immigration authorities and the DHS, and 'to support biometric and biographic-based screening and vetting of immigration requests.'

Canadian Minister for Women and Gender Equality Refers To Taliban Thugs As 'Our Brothers'.  Canada's minister of women and gender equality says her mention of the Taliban as "our brothers" during a press conference Wednesday is a "cultural reference," after receiving criticism for her choice of language.  Maryam Monsef — who was born in Iran and raised in Afghanistan — had a direct message for the terrorist group, which has swiftly taken control of most of Afghanistan since the U.S. began withdrawing its troops following a 20-year mission.  [Video clip]

Taliban Secures World's Largest Lithium Deposits After US Withdrawal From Afghanistan.  It's been more than a decade since we penned "The US "Discovers" Nearly $1 Trillion In Mineral Deposits In Afghanistan" in which we highlighted the colossal untapped mineral deposits that reside in Afghanistan. [...] Readers have known for a while Afghanistan was never about the opium trade or the war on terror but rather the massive deposit of minerals essential for renewable energies.  So in the Economic Hit Man context, why would the Biden administration suddenly pull out of Afghanistan after 20 years if the play all along was about securing rare earth metals?  We don't want to speculate the Biden administration's intentions, nor do we have any idea.  Still, one thing is sure is that the Taliban now control the world's largest lithium deposits is becoming friendly with China.

No Americans Have Been Rescued Outside of Kabul:  Pentagon.  U.S. troops have not rescued any Americans in Afghanistan outside of Kabul, though they have the capability to do so, the Pentagon said Wednesday [8/25/2021].  Only three rescue missions have been conducted by American soldiers since the Taliban took over the country, according to military officials.  But all three took place within Kabul, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington.  "Could it be done outside Kabul, if needed?  We have the capability," he said.  "I'm not suggesting that it would be well outside of Kabul.  I'm not suggesting that it would be throughout the whole countryside," he added later.

No One Will Call It A Coup.  The report doesn't call it an attempted political coup.  But buried in the antiseptic language of an investigative report issued yesterday, it appears several former top employees of Attorney General Ken Paxton were more concerned with furthering their own political career than getting at the truth — and, ironically, at least two were willing to break the law to do it.  Texas' political world was rocked a year ago when seven top employees of the Office of the Attorney General filed a criminal complaint.  They alleged Paxton had received a bribe to aid a campaign donor, Texas businessman Nate Paul.  An internal investigation, however, finds the complaint had no substance and that Paxton himself took actions that were "proper pursuant to his legal obligations."  Meanwhile, "[t]here is no evidence that Nate Paul attempted to bribe [Ken Paxton]."  What emerges from the report is picture of an agency's senior staff who had decided to take out their boss — a statewide elected official — and were unconcerned with whatever facts needed to be ignored or concocted to make it happen.

Leaked Cable Showing Number of Americans Rescued From Afghanistan Produces Shock and Horror.  I'd like to say I have good news to share this morning, but that's not the reality we are living in.  Instead, a leaked State Department cable has finally revealed the number of Americans rescued from Afghanistan over the last 10 days.  Unfortunately, the number is so bad that it's producing shock and horror.  While the Pentagon and White House insisted yesterday that they didn't have this data, in the least shocking development of the week, we now know they were lying.  A running tally of Americans who have gotten out has been kept, and the numbers as of last night are that only 4,407 American citizens have made it onto flights.

Pleading With Terrorists?  CIA Director Meets With Taliban as Evacuation Fears Grow.  It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?  That is if you're the Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS — now resurfacing in Afghanistan — and the rest of the toxic stew of Islmastist [sic] extremism hellbent on forcing — by any barbaric means necessary — the planet back to the 7th-century world of the Kharijites.  However, if you're hapless Joe Biden or a member of his equally hapless administration, you're anywhere from dangerously delusional to afraid to tell "the big guy" he's been catastrophically wrong about the debacle he and he alone created — from his no-plan "plan" to jerk American forces out of Afghanistan, inexplicably abandon Bagram Air Base and its multiple runways (which would have been easily defendable, not to mention come in [very] handy right how as "Evacuation HQ") — to the disaster at the Hamid Karzai airport out the outskirts of Kabul.

Negotiating with Terrorists:  Taliban Gives 'No Extensions' to Evacuation Timeline.  The Taliban gave "no" evacuation deadline extensions on Tuesday to the Biden and Harris administration after the CIA negotiated with a Taliban leader.  Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the terrorists will accept "no extensions" to the August 31 deadline.  Mujahid also suggests he was "not aware" the CIA met with the Taliban, "but he did not deny that such a meeting took place," the Associated Press reported.

Taliban may have biometric data of US military aides.  In 2007, the United States military began using a small, handheld device to collect and match the iris, fingerprint and facial scans of more than 1.5 million Afghans against a database of biometric data.  The device, known as Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment (HIIDE), was initially developed by the US government as a means to locate insurgents and other wanted individuals.  Over time, for the sake of efficiency, the system came to include the data of Afghans assisting the US during the war.  Today, HIIDE provides access to a database of biometric and biographic data, including of those who aided coalition forces.  Military equipment and devices — including the collected data — are speculated to have been captured by the Taliban, who have taken over Afghanistan.

Food And Supply Shortages Hit Retailers, Walmart Shelves Empty.  Grocery-store chains are still battling supply challenges that some executives said are as bad as what they saw in spring 2020, when hoarding left holes in stocks of some staples.  Industry executives say new problems are arising weekly, driven by shortages of labor and raw materials.  Groceries including frozen waffles and beverages remain scarce as some food companies anticipate disruptions lasting into 2022.  A wider range of products is running short and logistical challenges are compounding for many retailers.  Donny Rouse, chief executive of Louisiana-based Rouses Markets, said he is struggling to fill shelves as his company runs low on everything from pet food to canned goods.  [Video clip]

Taliban transformed by haul of advanced U.S.-made weapons; lawmakers demand answers.  The Taliban were transformed from an insurgent rabble armed with cast-off Soviet-era weapons into one of the most well-equipped forces in the region in the space of a few days during their lightning-fast advance across Afghanistan.  Following the complete collapse of the U.S.-equipped Afghan army, the Taliban were able to scoop up a trove of advanced military hardware:  thousands of rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, artillery pieces and night-vision goggles.  The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANSDF) also left behind thousands of military vehicles from U.S. taxpayers, everything from Humvees to heavily armored Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) trucks.

Kamala Harris' flight from Singapore delayed by three hours because of Havana Syndrome.  Vice President Kamala Harris' departure from Singapore on Monday was delayed by more than three hours because of an 'anomalous health incident in Hanoi,' which was the next stop in her Asia trip.  Anomalous health incident is what the U.S. government calls Havana Syndrome, the mysterious condition that causes headaches, brain injury and other issues.  Officials said the decision was made to continue to the trip but did not offer many details.  'Earlier this evening, the Vice President's traveling delegation was delayed from departing Singapore because the Vice President's office was made aware of a report of a recent possible anomalous health incident in Hanoi, Vietnam.  After careful assessment, the decision was made to continue with the Vice President's trip,' the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said in a statement.

The last sane man down under?  Aussie parliamentarian denounces totalitarian lockdown abuses.  I've been watching in sadness and wonder at the abuse that Australia's government elites — many of them purported conservatives — have heaped on their citizens, using military force to keep people imprisoned in their own homes, warning people against private conversations, vaccinating children without their parents' permission.  All over a handful of deaths in a continent-sized nation of 25 million.  There has been savage repression of demonstrations.  Finally, an Aussie Member of Parliament has stood up and denounced the madness.  [Video clip]  George Christensen is what passes for a maverick in Australia, outspoken, nationalist, anti-jihad, pro-life.

CBS Gets Blinken to Admit Biden Is Asking Taliban for 'Permission' to Save Americans.  The Biden administration was having an extremely rough time spinning their Afghanistan failure as they made the rounds on the Sunday shows.  Secretary of State Antony Blinken made things exponentially worse on CBS's Face the Nation after fill-in moderator Major Garrett got him to admit the administration was asking the Taliban for "permission" to get Americans out of the country.  Blinken's fumble began when Garrett asking him about President Biden's comments regarding "an agreement with the Taliban," because "that implies we're negotiating with them." "Does that not confer upon them already legitimacy," Garrett fretted.  In defense of Biden, Blinken suggested that negotiating with the terrorist organization was needed to foster "a working relationship in order to deconflict, in order to work through any problems with people getting to the airport."  Garret cut right to point and asserted that, to some, it sounded like he and the rest of the administration were asking "permission" to save Americans.  Blinken didn't disagree or show any discomfort at the notion:  [Video clip]

Psaki Bristles at Suggestion Americans Are 'Stranded' in Afghanistan: 'Irresponsible'.  White House press secretary Jen Psaki labeled it "irresponsible" to say that Americans currently attempting to leave Afghanistan are "stranded" in the country, in response to a question from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy at a press briefing on Monday [8/23/2021].  "First of all, I think it's irresponsible to say Americans are stranded.  They are not," Psaki said.  "We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home," adding that the U.S. is in touch with Americans in Afghanistan by phone, email, and other communications.  "'There are no Americans stranded' is the White House's official position on what's happening in Afghanistan right now?" Doocy countered.  "I'm just calling you out for saying that we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan when we have been very clear that we are not leaving Americans who want to return home.  We are going to bring them home," Psaki said.

Reporter: British troops say the scene at Kabul airport now is the worst thing they've seen in their careers.  In case the new alert from the embassy didn't make it clear, the situation appears to be getting worse, not better.  Frankly, it's hard to fault the embassy for telling Americans to stay away at this stage.  Behold this scene.  What would be the point of trying to make it to the airport gate?  [Tweets]  One journalist there says he's personally witnessed four women towards the front of the crowd crushed to death.  Some have passed out from the heat and fatigue.  Others have been killed, presumably by the Taliban goons charged with keeping "order":  [Tweet]  The perimeter around the airport has become a refugee camp policed by one of the worst regimes on earth.  Meanwhile, greater Kabul is being policed by, essentially, Al Qaeda.

US considers ordering commercial airlines to help in Afghan evacuation.  The Biden administration is planning a dramatic ramp-up of its airlift from Kabul by making preparations to compel major U.S. airlines to help with the transportation of tens of thousands of evacuees from Afghanistan, while expanding the number of U.S. military bases that could house Afghans.  The White House is expected to consider activating the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, or CRAF, created in 1952 in the wake of the post-World War II Berlin Airlift, to provide nearly 20 commercial jets from up to five airlines to augment U.S. military efforts to transport Afghan evacuees from bases in the region, according to U.S. officials.

Serious Cyberattack on the State Department.  The hits keep on coming under Joe Biden.  Remember when Joe Biden allegedly asked Vladimir Putin and the Chinese not to conduct cyber attacks against us, but then he didn't sanction China and he gave Putin a list of the targets that were important to us?  How'd that work out?  Well, the cyberattacks have continued.  Great job, Joe!  Now, we're hearing about a serious breach, a new attack that hit the State Department.  It's not clear who is behind it yet.

Taliban Seized 75,000 Vehicles, 600,000 Weapons and 200 Aircraft in Afghanistan Leftover by Biden Admin.  Earlier in the week, it was reported the Taliban now controls approximately 174 humvees, 10,000 rockets and 6 light attack aircraft.  But it is much worse than that.  A report from Fox News on Saturday [8/21/2021] highlighted the scope of the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan as the network claims the Taliban now control 75,000 vehicles, 200 aircraft, 600,000 weapons, and $85 billion in funding.

No biggie, but ISIS appears to be in Kabul.  Earlier today [8/21/2021] we described how some British troops are describing the situation around the airport in Kabul as "the worst they've ever seen."  Well, they may need to expand their horizons a bit in terms of extremes.  CNN is reporting that the Pentagon is working on an "alternate route" for Americans, allies and our helpers to get to the airport and it's not just because of the massive crowds blocking the roads or the Taliban checkpoints turning people away. (Which we were assured wasn't happening.) No, this is an entirely new wrinkle in the picture.  There appears to be solid intelligence indicating that ISIS-K (which is just a rebranded ISIS offshoot that's taken root in Afghanistan) is on the prowl and looking to perpetrate attacks in or around the airport.  But that can't be right, can it?  Apparently, it can.

Americans Stopped, Beaten on Way to Kabul Airport as Biden Claims They're Having No Problems.  Joe Biden just gave more remarks on Afghanistan that were just delusional and devoid of reality.  He is now claiming that they've secured the airport and that the U.S. military is "standing guard around the airport" and that there's no problem for Americans or allies to get to the airport.  We have no information that Americans are having difficulty getting to the airport, Biden said.  Where there have been challenges for Americans, we resolved them, he claimed.  Completely ignoring the question about the safety of the allies, where there have been innumerable reports about them not being able to get through to the airport.  But as Sasha Ingber of Newsy explained, it's not even reality as to the Americans.  She explained that the situation was deteriorating rapidly and Americans are being stopped and beaten.

China Admits Taliban Ties Aimed at Getting Afghanistan's $3 Trillion in Rare Earths.  In the course of hectoring the United States for its "bungled and embarrassing withdraw from Afghanistan" on Thursday, China's state-run Global Times admitted Beijing has a rapacious interest in Afghanistan's vast rare-earths mineral resources and snarled it was none of America's business if China makes deals with the Taliban to get what it wants.  The Global Times accused the U.S. of profiteering from Afghanistan for the past twenty years, without offering any theories on where all the plunder might have gone, and claimed America is only worried about China going after those mineral resources because the U.S. is jealous.

Quick — What can we do to get Afghanistan off the front page?
Biden cancels $5.8 billion in student loan debt for the disabled.  President Joe Biden will cancel more than $5.8 billion in federal student loan debt for over 323,000 borrowers with permanent disabilities in the single largest cancellation of debt in his presidency the Department of Education announced on Thursday [8/19/2021].  For a second day in a row, the Biden administration announced an initiative with no connection to the ongoing Afghanistan crisis, where an unknown number of American civilians remain.  On Wednesday, the president pushed for COVID-19 vaccines and rallied against anti-maskers while refusing to answer questions about the situation in Afghanistan.  The debt cancellation is for those with total or permanent disabilities, or TPD.

French and Brits Are Rescuing Their Citizens in Kabul, but Here's What Americans Were Hearing.  Americans were left in the lurch by Joe Biden, stuck behind enemy lines in Afghanistan, despite the fact that the Biden team was warned about the impending collapse of Afghanistan and Kabul.  They were then told that if they were outside of Kabul, there was no plan to get them out.  Even the people in Kabul were told:  Figure out your own way to the airport through the Taliban because we're not going to help get you there.  Now, just in perspective, understand that the French and the British are actually going out and extracting their citizens in Kabul and bringing them back.  The French.  But the Biden folks aren't letting the military do that because of the "deal" with the Taliban about "safe passage" to the airport, according to reports.  Meanwhile, many can't get through despite that claim of "safe passage."  It's madness.  Biden is acceding to the Taliban, yet again.

British Paratroopers Bravely Entering Kabul to Save UK Citizens While Biden Does Nothing.  British paratroopers are risking their lives in Afghanistan to save UK citizens from the deadly Taliban after President Joe Biden's disastrous withdraw from the region.  While the British government is telling its citizens that "help is on the way," Biden is telling American citizens that they are on their own.  The UK is sending paratroopers to Kabul to rescue the 4,000 stranded Brits and Afghan allies in Kabul.  The paratroopers were told to "prepare for face-to-face combat."

Biden Admin Tells Americans Stranded In Afghanistan To Pay For Their Own Flights Home.  President Joe Biden's administration is telling Americans who are stranded in Afghanistan to pay for their own passage back to the U.S. "Repatriation flights are not free, and passengers will be required to sign a promissory loan agreement and may not be eligible to renew their U.S. passports until the loan is repaid," the Overseas Security Advisory Council noted in its security alert for Afghanistan.  "The cost may be $2,000 USD or more per person."  [Tweet]

A few hours later...
Under pressure, State Dept. scraps plan to bill Kabul evacuees $2K for flights.  The State Department was forced to scrap a widely excoriated plan to bill US citizens $2,000 or more for their evacuation flights from Kabul.  The hefty price tag drew social media outrage Thursday [8/19/2021] after it gained public notice.  "In these unique circumstances, we have no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement provided to The [New York] Post.  The cost was publicly posted to a State Department website on Saturday but went largely unnoticed before it was highlighted by Politico's military-focused newsletter Thursday.  An unnamed State Department spokesman initially stood by the charge, telling Politico that "U.S. law requires that evacuation assistance to private U.S. citizens or third country nationals be provided 'on a reimbursable basis to the maximum extent practicable.'"

Teddy Daniels Gives Forceful Speech at Pennsylvania Audit The Vote Rally, The Time is Now.  Teddy Daniels is a Republican congressional candidate for Pennsylvania CD-08, Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Teddy Daniels is challenging Democrat incumbent Matt Cartwright in the 2022 mid-terms.  Daniels [...] recently spoke at the Pennsylvania Audit The Vote rally.  [Video clip]

Teddy Daniels:  Pro-Trump America First Combat Veteran Who Won't Back Down.  Decorated combat veteran.  Retired police officer.  Business entrepreneur.  Teddy Daniels has spent his career serving community and country, and now he's running to be your voice in the halls of Congress.

China Threatens to 'Crush' U.S. Troops in Taiwan.  Exuberant after President Joe Biden's spectacular defeat in Afghanistan, China's state-run Global Times on Tuesday [8/17/2021] warned that if any American troops are present in Taiwan when Beijing decides to invade it by force, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will "crush them by force."  The Global Times was responding indignantly to a tweet from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in which he listed U.S. troop deployments around the world.  Cornyn incorrectly stated in this tweet that 30,000 American soldiers are stationed in Taiwan, roughly the same amount stationed in South Korea.

Exclusive: Space Force Officer, Punished After Denouncing Marxism, to Leave Military.  The Space Force officer who was removed from his command post for condemning Marxism and critical race theory is leaving the military.  Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier told The Epoch Times' "American Thought Leaders" that his last day in the service will be Sept. 1.  "I wrote a letter to then-Acting Secretary of the Air Force explaining certain circumstances, which I don't plan to make public, but also requesting an early retirement, and a separation honorably from the service," he said.  "And they've denied me an early retirement, but agreed that they would separate me.  And so my family and I have decided that that's the best course of action for us right now, given the circumstances."  "I believe I'm able to continue serving my country outside of the service and out of uniform, perhaps in a better way than I was able to, given the circumstances, in uniform at the moment."

Afghan President Surfaces in the United Arab Emirates.  Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan president who fled his country as the Taliban gained the upper hand in the civil war against his government has surfaced in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  "The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation can confirm that the UAE has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds," announced the small Middle Eastern nation in a statement.  In an address on Monday [8/16/2021], President Joe Biden lambasted Afghanistan's political leaders for having given up.  The proximate cause of the Taliban's victory has been the United States' withdrawal and decision to stop providing air support for the Afghan military.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the Afghans had relied upon American air power to "resupply outposts, strike targets, ferry the wounded, and collect reconnaissance and intelligence" among other tasks.  U.S. forces have not been leading the fight against the Taliban for years, instead taking on a support role.

Republican Flips State Senate Seat Where Biden Won By 25%.  A Republican candidate for state senate in Connecticut flipped a seat where then-candidate Joe Biden won by just over 25% during the 2020 presidential election.  Ryan Fazio, a member of Greenwich, Connecticut's Representative Town Meeting, defeated Alexis Gevanter, a gun control advocate who had never before held public office on Tuesday by less than three percentage points in the wealthy, suburban 36th State Senate District.  Republicans are hailing the victory as a preview of the 2022 congressional midterms, and are hoping that it will signal their continued viability with suburban voters.

Taliban Warning:  US Must Fully Withdraw American Troops by Sept. 11.  A spokesman for the Taliban warned that U.S. troops in Afghanistan have to leave by Sept. 11 — the anniversary of the terrorist attacks that launched the United States into the war — after troops were re-deployed to the Kabul airport to oversee an evacuation.  Suhail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban's political office, told Sky News on Tuesday [8/17/2021] that "we are committed not to attack them," but he stressed they have to leave by that date.  It's not clear what will happen if American forces remain in Afghanistan after Sept. 11.  The United States had previously planned to withdraw all its troops by the end of August, but the Pentagon was forced to send thousands of soldiers to the beleaguered country to facilitate evacuations from Kabul, which was quickly captured by the Taliban — considered a terrorist group by many countries — on Sunday.

That Story of Afghans Falling off Fleeing Transport Planes Just Got So Much Worse.  Yesterday, a disturbing video emerged from Kabul airport showing thousands of Afghans storming a C-17 transport aircraft.  AH-64 Apache helicopters were being used to swoop down and clear a path so the plane could take off.  That's how ill-prepared the evacuation was.  Other videos showed the scene after the plane rotated and began climbing, with at least two individuals falling to their deaths. [...] This is an inexplicable situation, not because the pilots did anything wrong, but because they were put in this position in the first place.  They had to make the no-win decision to remain on the ground and possibly be overrun or to take off knowing that people would die as a result.

Report: Taliban Seizing Personal Weapons Because Afghans 'Can Now Feel Safe'.  Taliban jihadists reportedly began seizing personal weapons from Afghans in Kabul on Sunday, claiming civilians "can now feel safe" and no longer need the firearms because the terrorists had taken over the country.  Taliban officials declared victory and the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan after occupying the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday [8/15/2021].

Kabul Has Fallen, Afghan President Ghani Flees, U.S. Embassy Being Evacuated, Airport Under Siege, Biden on Vacation.  Throughout the night and today U.S. personnel were evacuated from the embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.  The U.S. flag has been removed.  The airport in Kabul is no longer safe and flights have been suspended.  Afghanistan President Ghani has fled the country.  The Taliban are on the streets of Kabul as fighting around the airport continues.

Taliban seizes $6,000,000 US Blackhawk helicopters.  All of this was preventable, but the U.S. military was too busy making sure all its troops were woke and reliably Leftist.

Taliban Seizes Presidential Palace, to Soon Declare Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.  The Taliban has entered the presidential palace in the capital city Kabul and is now in control of the entire country, according to a highly placed source.  The group is soon expected to declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.  An anonymous source in a position to know confirmed the high-ranking source's report of the seizure of the presidential palace, which The Times of India has also reported.  President Ashraf Ghani left Kabul after stepping down from power on Sunday [8/15/2021].  Rumors of his resignation had been circulating since Friday, while fears of the Taliban attacking the capital were also high that night.  However, in a video message released on Saturday afternoon, Ghani didn't announce his resignation but said negotiations were ongoing.  The anonymous source told The Epoch Times that Ghani's announcement meant he will not step down until the whole country surrenders or falls to the Taliban.

Jen Psaki [is] Taking Next Week Off Amid Afghanistan Fiasco.  White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is taking the next week off work amid the crisis in Afghanistan.  Joe Biden, who is on vacation, has still not addressed the public about the foreign policy nightmare underway in Kabul.  Questions sent to Psaki are being met with an autoreply saying that she will be out of the office through August 22.

Biden's Saigon:  Videos Reveal Utter Chaos at Kabul Airport as Taliban Conquers Afghanistan.  Videos uploaded from Kabul on Sunday [8/15/2021] showed chaos at the international airport as panicked people rushed to board aircraft ahead of the Taliban's advance.  Gunfire was audible in the distance as refugees packed into transport aircraft.  Operations at the airport were reportedly suspended for a time due to shooting nearby.

Helicopters Rescue U.S. Personnel from Embassy in Afghanistan, After Biden Said 'No Circumstance' That Would Happen.  Helicopters busily rescued personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday, just weeks after President Joe Biden promised that there was "no circumstance" in which that spectacle, remembered from Vietnam, would recur.  Images of the evacuation of the U.S. embassy in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) are seared into the American imagination as a memory of humiliating defeat, as U.S. promises of security for South Vietnam collapsed with the North Vietnamese advance.

This may be the biggest event ever pushed down the Memory Hole:
9/11 museum's decision to scrap special 20th anniversary tribute is a disgrace.  As the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack looms, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is crying poverty for the second year in a row.  This time, it says it can't afford to mount special exhibitions planned to mark the two-decade milestone.  In 2020, the twin-beam "Tribute in Light" was canceled only to win a last-minute reprieve after soon-to-be-ex Gov. Cuomo pitched in state resources.  But no such bailout appears in the offing this time.  In fact, this year, the museum is shamefully restricting the reading-of-the-names ceremony exclusively to the families of 9/11 victims.  No hero firefighters, cops, first responders or emergency workers, who were normally welcome until the pandemic eliminated last year's event, are invited.

Number of white people declines for first time — and other census data takeaways.  Detailed census data released Thursday [8/12/2021] revealed a more diverse country with the first recorded decline in the white population, as well as the slowest population growth in the country overall since the 1930s.  States will use the population information to redraw congressional and state legislative district lines, potentially giving Republicans an edge in House districts that favor them ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.  Democrats, too, hope to use the data to their advantage.

Texas Lawmakers Thwart Chinese Communist's Plan To Connect To State's Electricity Grid.  Lawmakers in Texas have blocked a Chinese billionaire's push to build a 15,000-acre wind farm on a large swath of land he purchased after news of his plans drew the attention of a conservancy group.  It warned first about the environmental impact and then noted Sun Guangxin's ties to the Chinese Communist Party and how the project could give him access to the state's electricity grid.  And the 140,000 acres that Sun snapped up in recent years is near Laughlin Air Force Base[,] raising national security concerns.

Biden Admin Decision to Hide Info About Palestinian Terrorism From Congress Broke Law, Watchdog Says.  Biden administration officials may have broken the law when they erased information about the Palestinian government's terror incitement from a mandatory compliance report submitted to Congress in July, according to a legal watchdog group.  The America First Legal Foundation (AFLF) in a letter sent Wednesday is asking the State Department inspector general to investigate the Biden administration's decision to omit references to the Palestinian government's calls for violence, as well as its support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement — issues that are being closely monitored by Congress as the Biden administration restarts millions of dollars in U.S. aid to the Palestinians.  Information about Palestinian terror incitement and support for the BDS movement were included in the outgoing Trump administration's October 2020 version of the report, but removed by the Biden administration when it came into office, as the [Washington] Free Beacon first reported.

Hospital Bill From 1955 Sparks Outrage Over Childbirth Costs In The US Today.  A 1955 hospital bill that revealed it cost less than $60 for a three-night stay to deliver a baby has shocked Americans who have become accustomed to being charged exorbitant amounts for childbirth.  Last month, a Reddit user who goes by the username @BinaryPeach uploaded a photo of the hospital bill to the platform, where they revealed that the invoice was from the December 1955 birth of their medical school professor in a Kansas hospital.  "My medical school professor showed me this bill from his birth in 1955 (in the United States)," the caption reads.  In the photo, the $59.95 bill, which one Reddit user estimated would be equivalent to $600 today, details the costs for services such as room and board and nursing service, which totalled $27, with the delivery room costing the new parents just $15.

Joe Biden approves Justice Department's move to conduct a 'fresh review' of documents pertaining to Saudi Arabia's role in Sept. 11 attacks.  President Joe Biden approved of a move by the Justice Department Monday to conduct a 'fresh review' of documents pertaining to Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11.  Biden was told Friday by nearly 1,800 Americans impacted by the terror attacks — including victims' family members, first responders and survivors — not to come to any of the 20th anniversary events unless he declassified documents that potentially show Saudi government links to the September 11, 2001 hijackers.

Senate Fails To Wrap Up Infrastructure Bill After Talks To Expedite Process Collapse.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up a critical vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Saturday after talks to expedite the process fell apart late Thursday [8/5/2021].  Both Republicans and Democrats engaged in marathon talks Thursday in a bid to vote on a package of amendments and to advance the sweeping public works package.  Doing so, however, required approval from all 100 senators, and Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty refused to go along even as his Republican colleagues urged him to do so.  In a statement, Hagerty attributed his objection to the Congressional Budget Office's estimation that the bill would add $256 billion to the national debt over 10 years.

Now there are chipmunks in Lake Tahoe with the bubonic plague.  Okay, don't worry everyone.  Just some chipmunks over here in Lake Tahoe which have tested positive for the plague.  [Tweet]

Hagerty Holds Up the Senate — For Good Reason.  An article in the Washington Times this morning [8/6/2021] — "GOP Sen. Hagerty blocks Democrats from expediting $1.2T infrastructure bill in late-night session" — made this bald guy's hair stand on end this morning.  "Sen. Bill Hagerty blocked Democrats from ramming through President Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill late Thursday, only hours after the package was found to be not fully paid for as promised.  "Mr. Hagerty, a first-term Republican from Tennessee, refused to sign off on a deal between Democratic and GOP lawmakers to expedite passage of the legislation.  Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer had worked out an agreement with Republicans to pass a series of amendments to the infrastructure package en masse.  "If successful, the tactic would have all but ended debate on the bill, setting up a final vote for Saturday.  To succeed, however, all 100 members of the Senate had to acquiesce, something Mr. Hagerty refused."

Could pandemic unemployment be extended beyond Labor Day?  Lawmakers, economists and advocates are working to extend a handful of key federal aid programs established at the beginning of the pandemic, many of which are scheduled to end just as the delta variant has caused Covid caseloads to rise across the U.S. yet again.  Already this week, following pressure from House Democrats, the CDC extended the federal eviction moratorium through October 3 after it lapsed over the weekend.  Now, other Congressional Democrats are calling on the White House to extend the pause on federal student loan payments scheduled to expire at the end of September, the Washington Post reports.  Meanwhile, advocacy groups are also dialing up attention to extend pandemic-era unemployment benefits programs that are set to expire on Labor Day, September 6.

Have an older Kindle? It will lose access to the internet soon.  Amazon's Kindle eBook reader has been a huge success since its launch.  No longer having to carry hefty books with you on vacation, you can cram thousands of electronic versions onto a small device.  When they first launched, the Kindle connected to the internet through mobile networks.  This allows you to purchase and download more books from the Kindle repository.  As newer and more technologically advanced mobile networks emerged, so too did the Kindle.  The latest models connect to mobile networks through super-fast 4G and 5G availability.  But that also presents older Kindles with a problem.  Mobile networks in the country are rapidly replacing legacy technology like 2G and 3G with a better standard.

Former Papal Nuncio Brands Pope Francis 'Liquidator of the Catholic Church'.  The former papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, has issued a scathing indictment of Pope Francis, calling him "the head of the most extremist faction of progressivism."  In an hour-long video message posted to YouTube earlier this week, Archbishop Viganò attacks the pope's July 16 letter restricting the use of the Traditional Latin Mass, which Viganò calls the "highest and most sacred expression of prayer." [...] In his strongly-worded condemnation of the pope's decision to roll back accommodations to priests who want to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass, Archbishop Viganò joins a growing list of high-ranking prelates who have expressed their anger and consternation over the "harsh" measure.

Sailor who 'hated the Navy' accused of destroying $1 billion naval assault ship.  The 2020 destruction of the Bonhomme Richard, if you can recall it, was a monster loss for the Navy.  I'm here in San Diego and have relatives who were stationed on that ship, and they said it was bad.  It happened at a particularly vulnerable time, during a holiday where there were few people around.  Once it got started, it was impossible to put out, and the whole ship had to be taken out of service and possibly scrapped, leaving a huge hole in U.S. naval capabilities, which can't be replaced for at least three years.  And it will cost $3 billion to restore the ship.  Two things spring to mind, aside from the fact that they didn't have adequate security over a long holiday:  One, why they weren't able to get rid of this guy, or at least get him off the ship? [...] Who needs the Red Chinese when the Navy harbors people like this?

ASPCA spending may not be what donors expect, investigation finds.  The heartbreaking commercials are almost impossible to ignore:  Sarah McLachlan singing to images of suffering animals and making an urgent appeal for donations to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA.  After those iconic commercials debuted more than a decade ago, the ASPCA's revenues tripled — going from $85 million in 2007 to nearly $280 million in 2019 — making the ASPCA one of the nation's leading animal welfare charities. [...] The ASPCA says the vast majority of donor dollars go directly toward its mission, but a CBS News investigation found there are questions about whether the money is going where donors expect. [...] Since 2008, the ASPCA has raised more than $2 billion for animal welfare.  In that time, it has spent $146 million, or about 7% of the total money raised, in grants to local animal welfare groups.  But during that same time period it spent nearly three times that, at least $421 million, on fundraising.  Over $150 million of that went to Eagle-Com Inc, a Canadian media production company, to produce and place ASPCA's ads.

The Editor says...
There is an old adage about charity organizations, which goes something like this:  If you pay me a million dollars per year to solve a problem, I will guarantee that no solution will ever be found.

Mike Lindell Says He's Losing $1M a Week Because Fox News Refused to Air Voter Fraud Ad.  MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has said that is losing "about a million dollars a week" since he pulled his ads from the Fox News network.  "They're disgusting, what they've done to our country," Lindell said of the network while speaking on War Room, a show on Real America's Voice, a right-leaning media network.  The host is hosted by Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist under Republican President Donald Trump.  "I mean, it's terrible," Lindell continued.  "I can't make this up.  This is about a million dollars a week MyPillow is going to lose again... I want nothing to do with them if they're going to ruin our country and decide on events you have.  'Oh, I don't want it.  You can't advertise that concert because we don't like who's playing.'"  Lindell was referring to his recent decision to pull his company's ads from the network after the network refused to air an advertisement for his upcoming "cyber-symposium."

Coming Soon:  A 'No Buy List' for Conservatives and Other 'Hate Groups'.  Suppose you're doing a little online shopping and see a nice pair of shoes you want to buy.  But when it comes to the payment part of the transaction, you are rejected.  Your PayPal account is frozen.  Your credit cards may be canceled.  And forget to try a crowdfunding site like GoFundMe as an alternative.  You haven't been hacked.  Your personal finances have been de-platformed.  You have become a non-person in the international financial community because somewhere someone determined that you were spouting "hate speech."  Perhaps you're pro-life?  That's an anti-woman point of view and will not be tolerated.  Do you support a traditional view of marriage?  Begone from Amazon, hateful one!

US Marines made rare move to deploy elite security teams to protect two American embassies in two months.  The U.S. Marine Corps deployed its Security Augmentation Unit (MSAU) twice in the past 30 days to help defend embassies in Africa and the Caribbean.  A team was sent to Haiti on July 16 in wake of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, Fox News reported.  This mission was said to be 'out of an abundance of caution'.  Moïse was gunned down in his home in Port-au-Prince before dawn on July 7, setting off a new political crisis in the Caribbean country that has struggled with poverty, lawlessness and instability.

Generac recalls portable generators after 7 finger amputations.  A popular portable generator brand has recalled several models after multiple reports of fingers being injured in the machines.  Generac Power Systems recalled the gas-powered generators this week, advising consumers to stop using them immediately.  An unlocked handle can pinch fingers against the generator's frame when it's moved.  The Waukesha, Wisconsin-based company has received eight reports of injuries related to the generators, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

'Inflation Storm' Looms as Expectations Hit 13-Year High, Consumer Sentiment Sinks.  Americans expect more inflaton this year and remain uneasy about the direction of the economy, the University of Michigan's survey of consumers showed Friday [7/30/2021].  Expected inflation over the next year rose to 4.7 percent from 4.2 percent in June.  That's the highest level in over a decade.  At least for now, however, Americans still believe that inflation will remain tame over the long term.  Expected inflation over the next five years is just 2.8 percent, down from 3 percent in May.

The Editor says...
Forecasts and expectations touted by the news media are meaningless, because when a Democrat occupies the White House, monthly economic reports are always unexpectedly bad. (When a Republican is in the White House, economic news is always unexpectedly good.)

Alcohol-infused ice cream:  Dessert's hottest trend.  Multiple startup companies across the United States have been infusing alcohol into classic frozen desserts, sparking a wave of boozy desserts just in time for summer.  [Video clip]

The Editor says...
Just in time for summer.  Right.  Summer started a month ago.  The announcement of a new product "just in time for summer" would take place in April or May.

The US is rapidly lowering its military profile and backing away from commitments to allies.  Why would the US Department of Justice drop five cases against Chinese researchers including Dr Juan Tang, a cancer researcher who allegedly lied on her visa application after photos of her were found wearing a Chinese military uniform?  Part of the answer is that Tang's case was dropped to facilitate Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman's high-level visit this week to China, where she was treated hostilely by her Chinese hosts.  The five cases are just part of a bigger picture which can best be termed as "The Great Retreat."  In many areas, the US is lowering its profile and backing away from its commitments.  For example, the US has pulled its only aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, from the Pacific ostensibly to cover the retreat from Afghanistan.  But whether the Ronald Reagan carrier will return to Japan in the future isn't altogether clear.

Sailor charged in massive blaze that destroyed U.S. Navy warship.  The Navy has filed criminal charges against a sailor in connection with the July 12, 2020 fire aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard, which raged for several days in San Diego and forced the Navy to scrap the ship.  The sailor, who has not been identified, was a member of the crew at the time and is accused of starting the fire, said Commander Sean Robertson, a spokesman for the Navy's 3rd Fleet.  "Evidence collected during the investigation is sufficient to direct a preliminary hearing in accordance with due process under the military justice system," Commander Robertson said in a statement.

Pitchman and innovator Ron Popeil dead at 86.  Salesman, marketing visionary and inventor Ron Popeil wrapped up a colorful life Wednesday morning [7/28/2021], according to TMZ, which reports the 86-year-old Ronco founder died in a Los Angeles hospital following an unspecified medical emergency.  Known as well for his creative spirit as his ability to sell the items he sometimes made, Popeil is credited for introducing the world to the Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone, Hair in a Can and Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ.  He made famous phrases like "But wait, there's more" and "Set it, and forget it."

Former Matt Drudge deputy starts rival to Drudge Report.  The former editor of the Drudge Report, Joseph Curl, announced Tuesday [7/27/2021] the launch of Off The Press, a conservative-oriented aggregator that he says will have a "fearless attitude" toward covering "everything for those who devour news all day."  Curl says the marketplace is ripe for a premier, 24/7 news aggregator that consumers can trust, with the Drudge Report having become just another echo chamber for the mainstream media.  "Now more than ever, keeping up with the most important stories is a battle," Curl says.  "With social media deluging everyone with endless posts on their news feeds, the internet needs an editor to cull the very best stories and present them on a single site.  That will be the sole mission of Off The Press."  Joining Curl as co-editor is veteran journalist Paul Bedard, "Washington Secrets" columnist for The Washington Examiner.

Goldman Sees Sharp Deceleration In US Economic Growth In 2022.  It was good while it lasted, but the party is finally ending.  One day after we reported that unemployed households which no longer receive emergency benefits are suddenly spending far less, and on the same day we read about an "unprecedented spike" in evictions as foreclosure moratoriums end, the only thing missing was a sellside downgrade to the US economy.  Well, we got just that early this morning, when Goldman — which last year was the first bank to unveil materially above consensus GDP projections — cut its 2021 second half consumption growth forecast, resulting in 1% downgrade to its GDP growth forecasts for Q3 and Q4 to +8.5% and +5.0%, respectively, "as it is becoming apparent that the service sector recovery in the US is unlikely to be as robust as the bank had expected.["]  Which is odd considering the trillions in monetary and fiscal stimulus that have entered into the economy.  One wonder how many more trillions would be needed for Goldman to be happy.

A loony leftist hunts Tucker Carlson down in a bait shop.  In 2008, before he was president, Obama told his followers that, if they were in the company of independents or Republicans, "I want you to argue with them and get in their face." A decade later, Rep. Maxine Waters (D. Stupidity), in defense of keeping an open border, exhorted her supporters that, if they saw someone from the Trump administration, "you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere." This is what leftists do — and it's what some guy in a bait shop did when he caught sight of Tucker Carlson.  Carlson responded with aplomb, but it must have been unnerving.

The man who accosted Tucker Carlson has an interesting background.  It's already old news that an obnoxious leftist verbally assaulted Tucker Carlson, who was in a fly fishing shop in Montana.  Leftists celebrated one of their own throwing mindless insults in Tucker's direction.  Conservatives appreciated how Tucker kept his calm and his sense of humor.  Now, though, some interesting information is emerging about the leftist yahoo, a guy named Dan Bailey, thanks to his having outed himself on his Instagram account.  It turns out that Dan Bailey worked for an organization that was closely associated with the CIA.

Navy warns it's running out of capabilities to cut, budget moves threaten readiness.  The Navy warned Congress today [7/21/2021] that it is quickly reaching the end of the line on divestments before cutting into capabilities needed for deterrence and war fighting.  Lawmakers from the Senate Appropriations Defense subcommittee questioned both the Navy and the Air Force on their divestment decisions at a hearing as Congress continues to parse the proposed budget for 2022.  "The challenge that we're facing now is that the good ideas, the things that we don't think we need to bring to the future fight, we're starting to run out of that," said Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Capabilities and Resources Vice Adm. Randy Crites.

Girl, 10, dies from the plague as cases confirmed in six Colorado counties.  Colorado health authorities are investigating a possible outbreak of the plague after a 10-year-old died from the ancient disease earlier this month for the first time since 2015.  The plague, a disease caused by bacteria most often spread by fleas, has been confirmed in six different counties, according to lab results from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  The deceased child lived in La Plata County in southwestern Colorado.

23-year-old GOP candidate running for Congress [is] a promising antithesis of AOC.  Could 23-year-old college graduate Karoline Leavitt be the Republican version of AOC?  U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was the youngest member of Congress when first elected to Congress in 2018, having defeated a top-ranked Democrat in the primary before winning in the general.  Leavitt is running against two-term U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., and should she prevail, she would be 25 when she takes office — the Constitution requires members to be at least 25.  Her plan to defeat Pappas is to run against President Biden's policies and what she calls the "tyrannical ... corruption" of New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York Post reported.

TikTok's Parent Company is a Strategic Partner of Chinese State Police.  ByteDance, the owner of the explosive social media app TikTok, is in direct collaboration with the Chinese State Police.  According to Chinese media outlet Sohu, on April 25, 2019, the Press and Propaganda Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security and ByteDance signed a strategic cooperation agreement.

'Verified ID': Meghan McCain, Sunny Hostin push rule to strip anonymity from social media.  Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain want new rules for social media that would strip all users of anonymity.  The co-hosts of ABC's "The View" made the comments Wednesday [7/21/2021] after colleague Whoopi Goldberg discussed racist posts directed at Black athletes competing in the Euro Cup.  "I think this is a terrific, terrific idea," Ms. Hostin said of the idea while seconding actor Idris Elba's support.  "I mean, I am subjected daily to racist attacks on social media.  I'm talking daily.  Sometimes in the hundreds, sometimes in the thousands, and it's — it's painful, it's hurtful, and it's always from someone who has a cat icon, a flag icon, a frog icon, you know?  All sorts — an eagle icon, and they are, I believe.  Just Twitter thugs, social media thugs, hiding in their mama's basements."

American language gets new words: 'Zaddy' and 'oof' among 300 words added to Dictionary.com.  Dictionary.com is adding more than 300 words and definitions to its latest lexicon update to reflect changes in the culture, along with what appears to be, in part, a dollop or more of corporate political correctness.  New additions, abbreviations, and expanded explanations include 5G, content warning, cultural appropriation, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), deplatform, JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion), long COVID, side hustle, TW (trigger warning), yeet, and zaddy.

Taco Bell is hit with nationwide ingredient shortages a week after Popeyes announced it's been hoarding chicken.  Taco Bell customers may be left hungry if they visit the chain any time soon amid a nationwide ingredient shortage.  The pandemic, which forced many factories to close, limited temporary visas for workers on farms and slowed transportation, has resulted in food shortages across the US as the food industry struggles to keep up with newly reopened restaurants, sports arenas and food halls.  At Taco Bell, a message posted atop the company's website the company apologized for its slimmed down menu.

Animatronic Biden joining Hall of Presidents at Disney World.  Forget an inauguration ceremony.  The true indicator of having made it as president is being added to the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World in Florida, an honor President Joe Biden will soon receive.  Disney World officials said Monday [7/19/2021] that they were putting the finishing touches on the animatronic Biden replica ahead of its debut next month at the Magic Kingdom attraction that features a tableau of the nation's presidents.

The Editor says...
Please select one of these incisive and witty retorts:
  [#1] How will anyone know it isn't Joe himself?
  [#2] If the robot spontaneously reboots once in a while, that will make it more realistic!
  [#3] In the event of a power failure, nobody will notice.
  [#4] Please don't let your young daughter stand too close to this display.
  [#5] Everything Animatronic Joe will say is being written at this moment by Doctor Jill Biden.
  [#6] Animatronic Joe will automatically call a lid at 11:00 a.m., and won't work at all on weekends.

Dow drops more than 700 points on Monday heads for worst decline of 2021.  U.S. stocks fell aggressively Monday [7/19/2021] on concern a rebound in Covid cases would slow global economic growth.  The selling picked up as the session went on, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst day since last October.  The Dow dropped 725.81 points, or 2.1%, to 33,962.04 in a broad-based rout that sent all 30 members lower.  At one point during the session, the Dow was down 946 points before recovering some ground into the close.  The S&P 500 fell 1.6% to 4,258.49.  Energy, financials and industrials were the worst-performing sectors.  The tech-dominated Nasdaq Composite slid 1.1% to 14,274.98, posting its fifth-straight day of losses and worst losing streak since October.

Aluminum Factor[y] Explosion In Henan Province China Looked Like A Mini Nuke!.  An explosion occurred at an aluminum alloy plant on Tuesday morning in Dengfeng, Central China's Henan Province.  No casualties were reported as of press time, said local authorities.  [Video clip]

US kosher supermarkets to stop stocking Ben & Jerry's in protest.  Some kosher supermarkets in the US won't stock Ben & Jerry's ice cream, after the company announces it will end sales in the "Occupied Palestinian Territories."  Glatt Express Supermarket, a kosher grocery store in Teaneck, New Jersey, announced via Facebook that it would no longer carry Ben & Jerry's products following the company's announcement.  "Due to the recent actions by Ben & Jerry's, Glatt Express will no longer be carrying Ben and Jerry's products.  Am Yisroel Chai," the store wrote in a post.  Aron's Kissena Farms, a kosher market in Queens, made the same decision.  The market "has removed all of the Ben & Jerry's products in the Freezers, and will no longer sell any and all Ben & Jerry products effective immediately," the store writes on Facebook.

EPA squeeze on aftermarket car part sellers hurts classic car industry, Lankford says.  Raids on aftermarket auto part vendors by the Environmental Protection Agency for evidence of emissions violations standards are harming the classic car industry, says Sen. Jim Lankford.  Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican and a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told the Washington Examiner he recently took an interest in bipartisan legislation reintroduced in the House by Rep. Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, and Rep. Raul Ruiz, a California Democrat, known as the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act.  The legislation, which has 61 Republican and 21 Democratic co-sponsors, aims to make clear that converting a street vehicle by emissions-related changes for exclusively competition purposes is legal.  Additionally, it would affirm that manufacturing, selling, and installing racing parts into a vehicle is a legal act.

Wha-a-a-at?  There's a flaw in Microsoft's software?
U.S. says Chinese intelligence behind global cyberattack [is] using [a] Microsoft software flaw.  China's Ministry of State Security (MSS) intelligence service was behind a major international cyberattack earlier this year involving tens of thousands of computers penetrated through security flaws in Microsoft software, the White House charged Monday [7/19/2021] in coordination with a group of major U.S. allies.  Beijing also is employing contract Chinese hackers to carry out ransomware attacks in financial crime schemes, according to a statement kicking off a major publicity campaign targeting what U.S. officials say are extensive Chinese state-linked hacking operations around the globe.  "Today, the United States and our allies and partners are exposing further details of the PRC's pattern of malicious cyber activity and taking further action to counter it, as it poses a major threat to U.S. and allies' economic and national security," the statement said, referring to the People's Republic of China.

Judge hit for ordering Trump supporter to remove [Anti-] Biden sign from yard.  A municipal judge in New Jersey's Roselle Park borough is facing condemnation and scorn for effectively violating a Trump supporter's First Amendment rights because of a complaint reportedly made by the borough's Democrat Party mayor.  That Trump supporter, Andrea Dick, has been displaying a slew of pro-Trump and profanely anti-Biden signs on the fence outside her mother's home.  Or rather, she had been, up until Roselle Park Municipal Court Judge Gary Bundy issued a ruling last Thursday [7/15/2021] ordering her mother, Patricia Dilascio, to remove the signs containing profanity within a week or face a $250/day fine.

Researchers follow trail of sex trafficking to Minnesota massage program.  Something seemed very wrong at the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  There was a locked closet with student files the registrar could not access.  There were students arriving for a Chinese-language-only massage therapy program, siloed off from the rest of the classes at the Roseville campus.  Students who were sent off to "internships" at local massage parlors where some of their supervisors were unlicensed, some had prostitution arrests on their record, and few bothered to fill out all the paperwork the students needed for legitimate degrees, according to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.  When state office investigators took a closer look in 2019, they found that seven of nine recent graduates of the Chinese Tuina Massage program had already had their massage therapist licenses revoked or deactivated for "ties to prostitution/trafficking."

California court strikes down law against "misgendering" speech.  There was a decision rendered on Friday [7/16/2021] in the California Court of Appeal that will impact some portions of the ongoing debates over transgender rights and free speech.  The catch here is that the state law in question, California Health & Safety Code §1439.51, applies only to employees of long-term healthcare facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals.  But even in that limited scope, it provides another bit of precedent that may wind up applying to the large backlog of similar cases currently making their way through the system.  In the case of Taking Offense v.  California, the plaintiffs were challenging the constitutionality of the portion of the law that makes it a criminal offense to repeatedly "misgender" a patient in the facility by referring to them using the pronoun appropriate for their biological gender and not the gender they "identify" as.

Pepper the robot discontinued after being repeatedly fired from jobs.  Good help is hard to find, particularly in the post-pandemic world.  You can add one more job opening to the list this week, though it doesn't appear to be an employment situation directly driven by COVID.  Pepper the artificial intelligence robot produced by Japan's Softbank Group is being discontinued after having been widely distributed around the globe for the past seven years.  And the reason is that Pepper turned out to be almost entirely unemployable.  Despite having been "hired" by multiple businesses and schools to perform a variety of jobs, the employers almost always wound up returning the robots for a variety of job performance-related issues.

Michigan Senate Repeals Emergency Powers Law, Whitmer Unable to Veto.  Michigan's Senate on Thursday [7/15/2021] approved a petition that repeals Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency powers, with another approval expected by the state's lower chamber.  Whitmer, a Democrat, cannot veto the petition.  The Michigan Senate's 20-15 vote came two days after the Board of State Canvassers certified the petition, which was started by a group called Unlock Michigan that gathered over 340,000 signatures.  The board deadlocked 2-2 in April but voted 3-0 this time around.  The petition took aim at the 1945 Emergency Powers Act that enabled Whitmer to impose harsh restrictions on state residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Republicans on the Senate floor before the vote praised the petition and said it was needed to curb Whitmer's power.

Americans facing massive passport processing delays, lawmakers urging State Dept. to act.  A crush of Americans are seeking to travel overseas again as vaccination rates climb in the U.S., and foreign governments loosen their restrictions.  But many of them are running into a critical problem:  Their passport is expired.  That's led to another crush — of passport applications — one that has overwhelmed the State Department's 26 passport agencies across the country and created an enormous backlog of applications.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is straight out of Dr. Strangelove.  In Stanley Kubrick's 1964 black comedy, Dr. Strangelove or:  How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, the engine for the plot is Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper, a United States Air Force general, who goes completely off his rocker and launches a nuclear weapon at the Soviet Union.  We may have our own, real-life General Ripper in the form of General Mark Milley, a product of the Ivy League and now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  However, unlike General Ripper, who had the Russkies in his sights, General Milley is pretty sure that you are the enemy. [...] For many of us, Milley entered our consciousness on June 23, when he insisted that West Pointers should study Critical Race Theory and that he, especially, wanted to understand "White rage."  At that moment, when he openly embraced CRT, complete with its claims about White Supremacy, systemic racism, and White privilege, Milley imposed upon himself an obligation immediately to resign from his position and to insist that someone Black — anyone Black — take his place.  Until Milley walks away from his White privileged position, he's just a very dangerous, virtue-signaling windbag.

Rep. Crenshaw says military leaders 'prioritizing woke training over actual war fighting' after Navy report.  Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, said Thursday that U.S. military leaders are "prioritizing woke training over actual war fighting" following lawmakers' investigation into the Navy's culture.  Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. — along with Crenshaw, a retired Navy SEAL, and fellow Republican Reps.  Jim Banks of Indiana and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin — directed an investigation into Navy culture, following three major incidents between 2016 and 2017 that resulted in the death of 17 sailors.  They found that 94% of the sailors interviewed thought the military branch is facing a leadership and culture crisis.  "Unfortunately, the findings of our report aren't surprising," Crenshaw tweeted.  "We've known military leaders are prioritizing woke training over actual war fighting.  It's what we constantly hear from service members.  It doesn't make this any less concerning.  It's a threat to national security."

New Revelations Show How Absolutely Dangerous Our Military Leadership Has Become.  The descent into leftism of our current military brass has been a much-discussed topic lately.  As RedState reported previously, the woke ad campaigns belittle the mission and make a mockery of the readiness of our military.  While China grows a more capable Navy and prioritizes physical ability, the US Army and other branches are out there plugging for people with anxiety disorder and gay parents.  But just in case you thought our military leadership was delusional enough, a new book reveals just how insane they were and continue to be.  [Tweet]

Trump Responds to Military Coup Accusation.  In remarks reported in a forthcoming book, Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, compared President Donald Trump to the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and his supporters to Nazi brownshirts.  Milley said he feared a military coup from Trump, who had decided to contest the results of the 2020 election.  Trump responded to the accusation in a blistering statement on Thursday [7/15/2021].  "Despite massive Voter Fraud and Irregularities during the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, that we are now seeing play out in very big and important States, I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government.  So ridiculous!" the former president wrote.  Trump insisted that the only way he would want to gain or hold on to power would be through an election.  He also went on the offensive against Milley.

The Left's Fear Is Palpable After Republicans Overperform in a Georgia Election.  Last night, several special elections happened in various legislative districts in the states of Georgia, Alabama, and Wisconsin.  After the results came in, a common theme was apparent:  Republicans had overperformed compared to the 2020 election.  Yet, it was the Georgia election that raised the most eyebrows.  In a suburban Atlanta district that saw its Republican vote share hit an all-time low just under a year ago, voters swung 22 points further toward the GOP yesterday.

Scathing official report finds US Navy is too woke for war because of risk averse, politically correct, control-freak top brass.  A scathing new report commissioned by members of Congress has claimed that the Navy's surface warfare forces have systemic training and leadership issues, including a focus on diversity that overshadows basic readiness skills.  The report prepared by Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, both retired, came in response to recent Naval disasters, including the burning of the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego, two collisions involving Navy ships in the Pacific and the surrender of two small craft to Iran.  The authors conducted hour-long interviews with 77 current and retired Navy officers, offering them anonymity to identify issues they wouldn't feel comfortable raising in the chain of command.

Michigan Legislature Is About to Limit Gretchen Whitmer's Power as Governor.  Michigan might soon have some checks and balances restored to its legislature over a year after the current governor of the state overstepped her authority.  The really awesome part of this is that the law she abused will be taken off the books for good without a veto threat and no governor in the future will be able to use it.  That is a good thing, no matter if it is a Democrat or a Republican in the governor's mansion, and will prevent the people of Michigan from getting abused.

Mural Honoring George Floyd in Toledo, Ohio Destroyed by Lightning Strike.  A George Floyd mural in Toledo, Ohio was destroyed by a lightning strike Tuesday afternoon [7/13/2021], according to witnesses.  WTVG reported their Doppler Radar did show a lightning strike on the same block as the George Floyd mural at 4:30 this afternoon.  The lightning strike, which hit directly on George Floyd's face, reduced the mural to a pile of bricks.

Lightning strikes George Floyd memorial mural, collapses its brick wall; hilarity ensues.  For those who see the Hand of God in extraordinary natural phenomena, a lightning strike in Toledo, Ohio is being seen as divine retribution.  Others call it karma.  Witnesses reported that lightning struck a George Floyd memorial mural, not only burning the artistic expression, but collapsing the brick wall on which it was painted.

Lightning Strike Destroys George Floyd Mural in Toledo.  A lightning strike has completely destroyed a mural of George Floyd that was erected in Toledo.  Oh no, how awful.  After the mural collapsed, people were initially unaware of the cause, with one city inspector commenting it was "just age — it just came away," noting that the mural had been bowing.  [Tweet]  Witnesses later confirmed that it had been destroyed by what the insurance industry used to refer to as an "act of God."

Possible signs of life found on Saturn's moon.  Scientists find possible signs of life on Saturn's moon Enceladus.  In a recent interview Dr. Brad Tucker, said NASA's space probe Cassini found methane, a biproduct of life, emerging from a large sheet of ice.  Dr. Tucker, a cosmologist from Australia National University, said the space probe Cassini was able to collect data from the cracks in the ice that shoot out gases like a geyser.  "When the probes went through these plumes of gas, imagine like geysers shooting out of the cracks," he explained.  "Not only did they detect hydrogen, they detected methane, which is shown to be in the latest study a potential strong by-product of life.  You know, think cows, think methane."

The Editor says...
[#1] How convenient!  This is a shiny object to displace unpleasant headlines; for example, the threat of forced vaccinations, runaway inflation, rapidly rising gas and food prices, the wide-open Mexican border, anti-white racism in schools, riots in South Africa, revolution in Cuba, China is prepping for nuclear war, Chicago is a war zone, San Francisco is an asylum with an open sewer, much of the federal government is openly corrupt, and the 2020 election really was stolen.  Stories from NASA (which nobody else can verify or disprove) sit on the shelf until the government needs a red herring on the front page.  [#2] Escaping methane gas is not proof of life on or near Saturn.  There is no life in a climate that's as cold as liquid nitrogen.  [#3] It's difficult to believe that methane exists as a gas on Enceladus, since methane freezes at 90°K., and no place on Enceladus is that warm.  The news media confidently presume that you don't know that.  [#4] Combine points 1, 2, and 3, and the sum is fake news!

Experts Send Dire Warning About Biden's Economy.  Remember how the Biden regime and the Federal Reserve chair keep telling Americans how "inflation is transitory" and that we shouldn't worry much about it because it'll pass?  Yes, well, so much for that; another lie debunked.  "Americans should brace themselves for several years of higher inflation than they've seen in decades, according to economists who expect the robust post-pandemic economic recovery to fuel brisk price increases for a while," The Wall Street Journal reported.

Is this really our problem?
WH: Multi-agency delegation helping Haiti maintain security, schedule elections.  The White House said Monday [7/12/2021] a delegation from multiple U.S. agencies is helping Haiti maintain security and pave the way to "free and fair" elections in the wake of the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.  Officials from the National Security Council and departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State traveled to Haiti on Sunday at the Haitian government's request.  "The delegation reviewed the security of critical infrastructure with Haitian government officials and met with the Haitian National Police, who are leading the investigation into the assassination," security council spokeswoman Emily Horne said.

The Editor says...
Joe Biden should make a bold step and appoint former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to lead the investigation into President Jovenel Moïse's death.  After all, she knows a lot about Haiti.  More than you might suppose.

Hotel Maid Prevents Potential 'Las Vegas Style' Mass Shooting Ahead of All-Star Game — FBI Says No Link to Terrorism.  A Denver hotel maid prevented a potential 'Vegas style' mass shooting ahead the MLB All-Star game over the weekend.  The maid discovered more than a dozen weapons, a thousand rounds of ammo and body armor in a room at the Maven Hotel near Coors Field.  According to Denver police, authorities confiscated narcotics, 16 firearms, ammo and body armor from two hotel rooms that had balconies overlooking downtown Denver.  Three men and one woman were arrested and being held on suspicion of weapons charges and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, according to Denver police.

More about the still-unexplained Las Vegas shooting in October 2017.

Vatican Insider:  Pope Francis 'Will Never Be the Same' After Colon Operation.  Luis Badilla, editor of the semi-official Vatican news aggregator Il Sismografo, said Wednesday [7/7/2021] that Pope Francis' health situation is "severe" and when he returns from hospital he "will never be the same again."  In his sobering blog post, Badilla declares that journalists and commentators are not doing the pope any favors when they downplay the seriousness of his illness.

The Editor says...
The Pope encourages crowds of ordinary Catholics to worship him.  Read Acts 12:23.

How Much Scientific Research Is Actually Fraudulent?  As I earlier reported, a 2015 editorial in The Lancet observed that "much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue."  A 2015 British Academy of Medical Sciences report suggested that the false discovery rate in some areas of biomedicine could be as high as 69 percent.  In an email exchange with me, [Stanford University biostatistician John] Ioannidis estimated that the nonreplication rates in biomedical observational and preclinical studies could be as high as 90 percent.  The possibility that fraud may well be responsible for a significant proportion of the false positives reported in the scientific literature is suggested by a couple of new Dutch studies.  Both studies are preprints that report the results of surveys of thousands of scientists in the Netherlands aiming to probe the prevalence of questionable research practices and scientific misconduct.

What's in it for us?
Haitian Officials Request U.S. Troops to Protect Infrastructure amid Political Turmoil.  Haitian government officials said they've asked the United States to deploy troops in an auxiliary effort to help shield Haiti's infrastructure from attack amid the political turbulence the country is experiencing after President Jovenel Moïse's sudden assassination Wednesday [7/7/2021].  They requested U.S. forces to help protect Haiti's port, airport, gasoline reserves, and other facilities.  There are concerns that the leader's murder could exacerbate the already fraught situation in the country, which is afflicted by civil unrest, economic instability, gang violence, and a COVID public health crisis, among other woes.

The Editor says...
Assassinations are always sudden, aren't they?

Barry Diller Headed 2 Hollywood Studios.  He Now Says The Movie Business Is Dead.  Barry Diller made his name in the film industry as the chairman and CEO of two Hollywood studios, Paramount Pictures and what was then 20th Century Fox.  Now, he is declaring the industry dead.  "The movie business is over," Diller said in an exclusive interview with NPR on the sidelines of the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, a media and technology conference in Idaho.  "The movie business as before is finished and will never come back."  Yes, that has to do with a substantial decline in ticket sales and the closure of movie theaters during the coronavirus pandemic.  But Diller, the chairman and senior executive of IAC, a company that owns Internet properties, said, "It is much more than that."

FDA seeks probe into communications between its staff and Biogen after controversial approval of Alzheimer's drug.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had asked for a federal investigation into its approval of a controversial Alzheimer's drug.  Dr Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the FDA, announced she sent a letter to the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for a probe into communications between FDA staff and Biogen Inc representatives in the lead up to the approval of Aduhelm, the company's Alzheimer's drug.  'Given the ongoing interest and questions, today I requested that [The Office of the Inspector General] conduct an independent review and assessment of interactions between representatives of Biogen and FDA during the process that led to the approval of Aduhelm,' she wrote on Twitter on Friday [7/9/2021].

Toyota halting contributions to U.S. lawmakers who opposed Biden certification.  Toyota Motor Corp's political action committee will halt donations to U.S. members of Congress who voted against President Joe Biden's election certification in January, the company said on Thursday [7/8/2021].  The largest Japanese automaker has faced harsh criticism for donations to some lawmakers — members of then-President Donald Trump's Republican Party — who voted against certification of Biden's win in some U.S. states.  "We are actively listening to our stakeholders and, at this time, have decided to stop contributing to those members of Congress who contested the certification of certain states in the 2020 election," the company said.

If you'll make it a thousand, I'll think about it.
Tennessee to use taxpayer funds to pay tourists $250 to visit the state.  Tennessee will pay for tourists to travel to its largest cities this year — but some are questioning if the gift is the best use of taxpayer dollars.  Gov. Bill Lee (R) was joined by country music star Brad Paisley in a video promoting the "Tennessee on Me" initiative, although some top lawmakers said they were blindsided by the announcement, a report said.  "The state's buying all these airline tickets and giving 'em away to anybody who books two nights in a hotel room to come to Tennessee, so it's 'Tennessee on Me,'" Lee said in the spot, posted by Paisley to his Twitter on July 4.

Venezuela to Cut Six Zeroes Off Bolivar to Simplify Transactions.  Venezuela is preparing to once again lop off zeroes from the national currency in an attempt to simplify daily transactions which sometimes barely fit on a calculator or require swiping cards multiple times to complete a purchase.  The central bank is planning to slash six zeroes from the bolivar as early as August after previous attempts to issue larger-denomination bills failed to resolve problems created by endemic inflation, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter who aren't authorized to speak publicly about the plans.  That means one dollar would fetch 3.2 bolivars instead of 3,219,000 at present.

Wikipedia has become a one-sided 'thought police' for liberals, cofounder warns.  Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, is warning that the online encyclopedia has become too one-sided and overloaded with liberal sources in a way that harms democracy.  "In short, and with few exceptions, only globalist, progressive mainstream sources — and sources friendly to globalist progressivism — are permitted," Sanger wrote on his website in an article last week headlined "Wikipedia is more one-sided than ever."  "It is not too far to say that Wikipedia, like many other deeply biased institutions of our brave new digital world, has made itself into a kind of thought police that has de facto shackled conservative viewpoints with which they disagree," he added.  "Democracy cannot thrive under such conditions:  I maintain that Wikipedia has become an opponent of vigorous democracy."

Allen West to challenge Greg Abbott in Republican primary for Texas governor.  Republican Allen West, the former Florida congressman and firebrand who rode into office on the tea party wave a decade ago, said Sunday that he will run for governor of Texas in a bid to again seize on restless anger from the right.  His odds are far longer this time around:  Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is up for a third term and may also be eyeing a 2024 presidential bid, has already locked up the endorsement of Donald Trump — whose voters West would need to have any shot at winning a GOP primary in Texas.

The Editor says...
Politically, Allen West is well to the right of Greg Abbott.  That's a good position from which to start a campaign.  If Governor Abbott had made any effort to fight county-level Covid-19 restrictions, and had removed all face mask requirements statewide about three months before he did, he would have no trouble getting re-elected and might have a slight chance at the White House.  But he didn't.  The state of Texas is run by Republicans, but you'd never know it.  The Republican Party platform and the Party's long list of "legislative priorities" were all completely ignored by Governor Abbott.

Vatican Indicts Cardinal And 9 Other Suspects On Embezzlement, Fraud.  A Vatican judge indicted a cardinal and 9 other suspects on charges of money laundering, fraud, and abuse of office Saturday, according to the Independent.  The suspects are accused of withholding millions of euros from the Holy See and investing money that was donated to the pope for charity work, the Independent reported.  Italian broker Gianluigi Torzi is accused of using 15 million euros that he withheld from the Vatican to invest in a London building in 2018.  Former Holy See official Cardinal Angelo Becciu was indicted for helping organize the investment when he was the Secretariat of State's chief of staff, according to Independent.

Stunning Fire in the Gulf of Mexico Burns Anti-Capitalists With Their Own Narrative.  [Tweets blaming the Pemex fire on capitalism]  Except there's a small problem with that argument, kids.  You just got burned with your own narrative.  The company behind this is Pemex, a Mexican-state controlled company that formed by nationalizing private companies in 1938. Literally the opposite of "capitalism." It's the state seizing the means of production.  Pemex also has a long history of "major industrial accidents at its facilities," according to Reuters.  Not to mention it also has a bad record of pollution, being named one of the top polluters in the world.  When the government seizes control, they run things the way government often runs anything — badly.  When there's no incentive to do things better (you know, that whole capitalism thing), you tend to get shoddy work.  So, these folks who wanted to gore capitalism just pointed out a great example of why socialism is bad.

Nine people are taken into custody after heavily-armed Moorish-Americans fled during traffic stop.  Massachusetts police have taken eleven 'armed and dangerous' men into custody after they fled from police during a traffic stop overnight.  A state trooper spotted the group — who claimed to be members of 'Rise of The Moors' — at the side of the Interstate-95 between Wakefield and Reading around 1.30 am Saturday [7/3/2021].  The men, who were dressed in tactical-style gear and armed with both pistols and rifles, refused to comply with orders to drop their weapons and ran into woodland by the side of the road.

Texas Soldier Who Shot BLM Protester Indicted On Murder Charge.  A Travis County grand jury has indicted an active-duty former Fort Hood Army sergeant on charges of murder, deadly conduct and aggravated assault in the 2020 shooting death of an armed Austin protester.  Perry, who was stationed at Fort Hood, was working for a ride-sharing company and just dropped off a customer when he turned onto a street filled with people protesting police brutality.  He stopped his car, honked, and seconds later, police said Perry drove his car into the crowd, The Texas Tribune reported.  But videos show that he was under attack contradictory to the police reports!  The man who defended himself against BLM rioters was indicted today a year after the incident is yet another example of how illegitimate our justice system is.  Army Sgt Daniel Perry was driving Uber when rioters mobbed his car and pointed a gun towards him[.]

Biden's America:  Ransomware Attack Paralyzes Networks of Hundreds of US Companies.  A ransomware attack paralyzed networks of more than 200 US companies on Friday [7/2/2021].  Hackers targeted software supplier Kaseya and penetrated cloud-service providers by going through its network management system.  Surprise, surprise, Russians are being blamed for this latest ransomware attack.

CBO sees supercharged recovery as pandemic dissipates, predicts severe inflation in coming months.  The U.S. economy will roar to life for the rest of this year and remain supercharged through 2022, the Congressional Budget Office said Thursday, though the analysts also warned Americans to expect inflation to rise "sharply" for several months.  The unemployment rate will fall to 4.6% at the end of this year and be back to pre-pandemic levels at some point next year, said CBO, delivering a glowing picture on the most politically important yardstick.  Americans who saved up during the pandemic are looking to spend, creating strong demand for goods and services.  Inventories aren't ready to handle that demand right now, thus the spike in inflation.  The analysts said supply and demand will even out quickly and inflation pressures will dissipate by the end of the year.

The new Air Force fitness test will feature walking instead of running and modified push-ups.  The Air Force raised some eyebrows on Monday when it announced upcoming changes to its physical training test that would allow airmen to choose their own adventure for demonstrating physical prowess.  The new test, which the service will begin to experiment with in January 2022, will allow airmen to choose between running, shuttle run sprints, and walking for the aerobic portion of the test.  Shuttle run sprints involve sprinting back and forth between two markers about 25 meters apart.  They could then choose between planks and sit-ups for the core strength measure.  And for the final portion of the test airmen would be allowed to choose between push-ups and raised-hand push-ups.

Executive Agency Defies [Texas] Legislature, Creates 'Equity' Office.  The Texas Department of State Health Services is using close to $45 million to create the Office of Health Equity Policy and Performance.  Purportedly, the office will work with state and local public health entities to address disparities in health outcomes in various demographics.  If this sounds familiar, it is because Democrat State Rep. Garnet Coleman (Houston) authored a bill during the 87th Legislative Session that would have created the Office of Health Equity within the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, which is an entity of the Texas Department of State Health Services.  The bill was included in the healthcare legislative priorities of Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan as a part of his "Healthy Families, Healthy Texas" legislative package announced in early April.

While Congress Dithers on Confederate Statues, China Builds 119 New ICBM Silos.  While House Democrats consider crucial decisions on such weighty issues as which statues of Southerners get removed from the Capitol, word emerged Thursday that the People's Republic of China has undertaken a massive construction project to dig and fortify more than 100 new silos to house ICBMs. Newly-released photos from the private commercial satellite company Planet appear to show upwards of 120 silos under construction spread over a vast swath of desert in northwestern China.  Experts at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies said the excavations appear capable of housing China's DF-41 ICBM, which can contain multiple warheads and be delivered to targets in excess of 9,000 miles distant.  Not to draw too fine a point here but, hello, a 9,000-plus mile range would cover the United States.

Satellite images show China building what appears to be over 100 new silos for its nuclear missiles, analysts say.  China appears to be building more than 100 new missile silos in the desert, according to an analysis of satellite imagery first reported by the Washington Post Wednesday.  Analyzing satellite images from Planet Labs, Jeffrey Lewis and Decker Eveleth, researchers at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, identified 119 apparent intercontinental ballistic missile silos under construction near Yumen in Gansu province.

Controversial crypto billionaire — dubbed 'the father of bitcoin toxicity' — drowns off Costa Rica aged 41 leaving a $2bn fortune.  The sudden death of 41-year-old Mircea Popescu, an early adopter of Bitcoin, has left cryptocurrency experts speculating on what will happen to the estimated $2 billion worth that he owned.  There has so far been no word on who has access to his digital assets, believed to be some of the largest in the world, fueling unconfirmed rumors that the fortune could be gone.  Popescu drowned Monday morning [6/29/2021] off the coast of Costa Rica near Playa Hermosa, according to local news reports.

Seventeen people injured as 'controlled' detonation of illegal fireworks by police in middle of Los Angeles neighborhood goes horrifically wrong.  Seventeen people have been injured in Los Angeles after a cache of homemade fireworks exploded as it was being destroyed by a bomb squad, damaging cars and smashing windows in homes.  Police called in a bomb squad on Wednesday evening [6/30/2021] after a tip led them to seize some 5,000 pounds of illegal home-made and China-manufactured pyrotechnics at about noon, police said.  LAPD Chief Michel Moore said three box trucks and a 53-foot trailer were brought in to load up the fireworks and move them to a safe location.  However, 'improvised explosives' also were found that were too dangerous to move.

Bomb Squad Truck Carrying Illegal Fireowrks Explodes In Los Angeles, Injuring 17.  A bomb squad truck carrying confiscated illegal fireworks exploded unexpectedly, blowing out windows and destroying nearby cars in a South Los Angeles neighborhood Wednesday night [6/30/2021].  According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the explosion happened in the 700 block of East 27th Street a little after 7:30 p.m.  The explosion left a total of 17 people hurt, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.  Of the 17 people hurt, 16 were taken to the hospital with one declining the option of being transported.  [Video clip]

HK media erase their archives amid rising arrests.  Several online media outlets in Hong Kong took down opinion articles and videos from their websites or said they would move out of the city after one more columnist of the Apple Daily was arrested at the airport on Sunday [6/27/2021].  Stand News, a pro-democracy news outlet, said in a statement that it had temporarily removed commentaries written by its bloggers and readers from May this year and before until it had decided whether it was appropriate to publish them again.  It said it had decided to stop accepting monthly sponsorship from readers and to shelve older commentaries.  It added that it had enough money to run for another nine to 12 months and maintain its current editorial guidelines.

Ed Henry, Former Fox Anchor, Strikes Back at Fox News.  Do you recall the aphorism, "revenge is a dish best-served cold?" Former Fox News show host, Ed Henry, delivered a frosty plate filled with offal today — courtesy of his attorney, Ty Clevenger — to the senior executives running Fox News.  Henry is suing for defamation and the text of the complaint contains some stunning allegations:  [Details omitted for brevity, among other reasons.]  Ed Henry kept his mouth shut since his shameful firing and gathered a mountain of evidence.  The allegations presented in this complaint are, I am told by a source with direct knowledge of the case, just the tip of the iceberg.  There is a lot more damaging dirt that will emerge if this goes to court.  This lawsuit comes on the heels of Fox News shelling out $1 million dollars this week in a settlement with the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

New Yorkers [are being] Asked to Turn Off Electricity to Avoid Power Outages Amid Blistering Heat.  New York City residents were asked on Wednesday to limit their electricity usage to avoid power outages during the blistering heat wave.  "We're now experiencing a heat emergency, and we need people to take immediate action," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.  "Our electric system is dealing with real strains right now because of the severity of heat that we are experiencing today."  De Blasio continued, "We have a real challenge on our hands.  So here's the message to all New Yorkers: immediately reduce the use of electricity in your home or in your business.  This is very serious stuff.["]

The Editor says...
Conservation is not an energy source.  The solution to excessive demand is increased production capacity.

Leftists Outraged After Popular British Influencer Comes Out As 'Transracial' Korean.  A British-born influencer announced this week that he is coming out as "transracial" and is now Korean.  In a series of videos he began sharing on June 26, Oli London, who boasts more than 300,000 followers on Instagram, revealed that he has had more than 18 plastic surgeries in order to become Korean and look like BTS singer, Park Ji-min.  "Hey guys!  I'm finally Korean.  I've transitioned," London said in a video posted Monday [6/28/2021] to Twitter.  "I identify as Korean — that's just my culture, that's my home country, that's exactly how I look now," he added.  London also claimed he's been "trapped in the wrong body for eight years."

The Editor says...
I have a few questions:  Is Korea really his home country?  North or South?  Has he ever lived there?  Was he born there?  Was anything other than his face altered through surgery?  How is this any less offensive than applying black face paint and claiming to be African?

After 18 plastic surgeries this British dude is "coming out as Korean" and we live in a bad sitcom.  This British bloke has had 18 (!!!) plastic surgeries so he can "finally be himself."  He is now a "transracial" "Korean" and if you say otherwise you are a HORRIBLE BIGOT!  [Video clip]

The Editor says...
Free advice for the delusional freak with too much money:  Move to Korea (South or North) and see how well your new look is received.

Jamaal Bowman requested special police protection for his Yonkers home.  Freshman U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman — a champion of defunding cops who claims policing is rife with "white supremacy" — asked for and received a special police detail to guard his Yonkers home in the days following the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill insurrection, The Post has learned.  "About a week after the Jan. 6th incident at the Capitol, we received a request from the Congressman's office for increased police presence at his residence," Yonkers Police Department Detective Lt. Dean Politopoulos told The [New York] Post.  "In response, our Intelligence Unit was notified of the request and the local precinct instituted what is called a directed patrol at the Congressman's home for the next two weeks," Politopoulos said.  Politopoulos said police have not detected anything unusual in Bowman's area for the last several years.

How Putin uses gas to win allies and punish enemies.  The recent US-Russia summit between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin suggests that a controversial Russian natural gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, is a done deal.  If completed as planned by the end of this year, Nord Stream 2 will convey 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea and thence to the rest of Europe.  It is expected to bring US$3.2 billion to Russia annually.  Construction had been halted for over a year by US sanctions passed in 2019 on the pipeline's construction and financing.  Sanctions were later expanded in 2020.

Outgoing US envoy to Syria says he hid true number of troops from Trump team.  Veteran diplomat James Jeffrey, the outgoing US special representative in Syria, reportedly said he and his team were deliberately ambiguous in communications with senior Trump administration officials about the number of American troops in Syria.  President Donald Trump ordered withdrawals of US troops from northeast Syria, where they partnered with Kurdish forces to oppose the Islamic State, in 2018 and in October 2019, saying that the terror group had been defeated.  The withdrawal of the American soldiers was seen as a major shift in US policy, and a betrayal of the Kurds — longtime, close allies to the US whose territory was invaded by Turkey shortly after the US withdrawal.

Israel's High-Powered Laser System A 'Breakthrough'.  Israel has just completed tests of its new high-power laser system that, installed on a civilian aircraft, can shoot down drones.  It promises to be what is called a game-changer. [...] The lasers can cover a much wider area and lock onto, and then destroy, unmanned vehicles passing through that area.  The cost of firing a laser beam for an interception will cost around $2000.  Meanwhile, the price of launching an Iron Dome interception missile is between $40,000 and $60,000.  Consider how may tens of millions of dollars the IDF spent on Iron Dome missiles in the recent war against Hamas; Hamas aimed 4300 not-very-expensive rockets at Israel; about 600 fell short, leaving 3700 that entered Israeli airspace; Iron Dome missiles managed to intercept 90%.

BofA Crashes The "Transitory" Party:  Sees Up To 4 Years Of "Hyperinflation".  BofA chief equity strategist Savita Subramanian summarized the current state of affairs as follows:  "On an absolute basis, [inflation] mentions skyrocketed to near record highs from 2011, pointing to at the very least, "transitory" hyper-inflation ahead."  [Video clip] [...] While the Fed has bet what little credibility it has left on the benign meaning of "transitory" in setting its monetary policy (no rate hikes until 2023 by which point inflation will be in the double digits) and today's UMichigan commentary echoed the Fed's cheerful sentiment, predicting that soaring inflation won't last long, with Consumer Survey economist Richard Curtin writing that "year-ahead inflation expectations fall slightly to 4.2% in June from May's decade peak of 4.6%, [as] consumers believed that the price surges will mostly be temporary", one of the most respected Bank of America strategists just crashed the "transitory" party, and in a note published today, BofA Chief Investment Strategist Michael Hartnett wrote that, far from transitory, soaring US prices may last up to 4 years.

Groundbreaking decision:  Texas Supreme Court rules against Facebook in teen sex trafficking lawsuits.  The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday [6/26/2021] that Facebook can be held liable for sex traffickers who use the social media platform to recruit and prey on children.  The court ruled in favor of three Houston civil actions involving teenage sex trafficking victims.  All three victims said they met their traffickers through Facebook's messaging functions.

Trump-appointed judges obstruct Biden 'pen and phone' policies just months into term.  Judges appointed by former President Trump have stymied President Biden's policies on multiple fronts in the early months of the new administration, taking what experts say is a less "deferential" approach to executive power as judges appointed by past presidents.  "What you're seeing is that 'pen and phone' initiatives are running into legal trouble right off the bat," Ilya Shapiro, the vice president and director of the libertarian Cato Institute's Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, told Fox News.  "Trump appointed a lot of judges — more than anyone in one term than Jimmy Carter, for whom Congress created 152 new judgeships to fill — and these folks aren't as deferential to executive power as past Republican-appointed judges might have been."

Report finds UFOs may be security risk, have no 'single explanation'.  A long-awaited US government report on UFO sightings released Friday was largely inconclusive, describing the more than 140 strange objects seen by military personnel across the nation as a threat to flight safety and possibly national security, but adding that there was no "single explanation" for their appearance.  The nine-page public report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said the lack of "high-quality reporting ... hampers our ability to draw firm conclusions about the nature or intent" of the unidentified objects, but concluded they were likely physical in nature since they were picked up on radar and other sensors.

The Editor says...
The more you hear about UFOs in the news, the closer you need to look for important developments that the news media is covering up.  The UFO stories are just a diversion.

Pentagon: The UFOs are real and they're spectacular.  After six months of anticipation, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its unclassified report on the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force's assessment of UFOs seen in and around restricted airspace and military facilities.  (You can download and read the report here.  It's only nine pages, some of which is just boilerplate.)  A second, classified report which is believed to be much longer and containing far "juicier" material was also delivered to Congress.  The White House has also been briefed on the report. [...] So, assuming you're convinced that the government is telling the truth about all of this (a big assumption, I know), we've learned that the UFOs are real.  They're not ours and they're almost certainly not the property of one of our adversaries.  And some of them do things that they just shouldn't be able to do based on our understanding of the laws of physics.

UFO report:  US 'has no explanation' for sightings.  The US government has said it has no explanation for dozens of unidentified flying objects seen by military pilots.  A Pentagon report released on Friday says of 144 reports made about the phenomena since 2004, all but one remain unexplained.  It does not rule out the possibility that the objects are extra-terrestrial.  Congress demanded the report after the US military reported numerous instance of objects seen moving erratically in the sky.  The Pentagon then established the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force last August to look into the reports.

FAA group urges move to gender-neutral terms, no more 'airman' or 'cockpit'.  A Federal Aviation Administration advisory group is urging the agency to replace words like "airman" and "cockpit" with gender-neutral terms like "aviator" and "flight deck."  The FAA's Drone Advisory Committee put forth the recommendations in a report released Wednesday [6/23/2021], part of a broader push for equity in the agency and aviation industry.  "Research shows that the utilization of gender-neutral language can lead to a more inclusive environment that draws more people to the industry and helps keep them there," the report states.  The committee offered several alternatives for terms commonly used in the industry, such as using "manufactured" or "fabricated" instead of "man-made."

Technocrats Want Us to Pray to Machines.  Last April, as Covid restrictions were being lifted, Robert Jones at PRRI discovered Facebook had quietly rolled out a "prayer posting" feature for its religious users.  As Gizmodo reported on June 3, the platform now provides a "pray" button to click whenever a prayer request is posted to a faith-based group.  It's analogous to the vapid "like" icon, except the "pray" button is supposedly directed heavenward. [...] A Facebook spokesperson explained, "During the COVID-19 pandemic we've seen many faith and spirituality communities using our services to connect, so we're starting to explore new tools to support them."  A more accurate statement would be "We're exploring new tools to probe and manipulate our users."

How the Mormon Church Beat Bill Gates in a Battle Over Farmland.  On Friday [6/18/2021], a showdown between two of the largest agricultural landowners in the United States — the Church of Latter-Day Saints and Bill Gates' wealth management firm — came to a head when the Mormons beat out the mogul on a bid for 12,000 acres of Eastern Washington farmland that was once at the center of a $244 million "ghost cattle" fraud locals have dubbed "Cattlegate."  The land in question lies on the mighty Columbia River, the fourth-largest river in the United States and one central to the region's culture and economy for thousands of years:  fishing, transportation, and power generation are essential uses to this day.  The Columbia also provides agricultural landowners an important and dwindling asset:  water rights, and for those with anxiety over the coming climate crisis, access to a seemingly infinite supply of fresh water is worth fighting for.

New Polling Shows Majority of Americans Know Exactly Why Inflation Is Rising.  Inflation is on the run at rates the United States hasn't seen since 1992, and consumer prices in May 2021 were up five percent over May 2020.  Americans are paying attention as they experience price surges on basic and essential goods.  [Tweets]  Now, new polling from Echelon Insights shows the federal government is being held responsible for the problem as politicians in Washington, D.C., keep printing money for excessive spending.  [More tweets]

Collapsed Florida condo was sinking for decades, researcher says.  The Florida apartment building that partially collapsed on Thursday had been reportedly sinking for decades — and was undergoing a structural inspection, according to officials and a research study.  The 12-story beachfront condo in Miami-Dade County was built in 1981 — and had been sinking into the ground since the 1990s, according to a 2020 study conducted by Shimon Wdowinski, a professor at Florida International University. [...] Wdowinski's research focused on which parts of Miami were sinking, in an effort to determine what areas could be most impacted by sea-level rise and coastal flooding.

New York Supreme Court Suspends Rudy Giuliani's Law License.  [Scroll down]  Giuliani, who was admitted to the New York state bar in 1969, previously had a prominent legal career, having worked in the Department of Justice during the 1980s.  He was named as U.S. Attorney in Manhattan in 1983.  Years later, he was elected mayor of New York and served in that capacity for eight years.  Giuliani rose to national prominence for his leadership during and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks targeting the World Trade Center in Manhattan.  Aside from the state Supreme Court's ruling, Giuliani also could face a potential criminal investigation, after a federal judge appointed a special watchdog to review material that was recently seized from him.  The watchdog, former federal Judge Barbara Jones, will determine what electronic files can be seen by prosecutors and what material should be exempt.

Florida Makes Sure Schools Teach Evils of Communism, Totalitarianism.  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, recently signed legislation prohibiting critical race theory from being taught in the state's schools.  DeSantis followed Tuesday by signing into law three bills that further address education.  One of the new laws will create a survey to provide a look at viewpoint diversity on Florida's college campuses, as well as add protections for students' free speech.  Another requires that applicants pass a civics test to enter Florida's public universities.  The third bill will require public K-12 schools to teach students about communism, totalitarianism, and other political systems that "conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States."  At a press conference Tuesday [6/22/2021] after signing the bills, DeSantis explained why it's so important that citizens not only learn about civics but also the evils of truly oppressive regimes.

Satanists, Planned Parenthood and More: 216 Crazy AmazonSmile Charities.  From Planned Parenthood to Satanism, AmazonSmile encourages shoppers to donate to some extreme charities — at least 216 different groups.  But multiple prominent conservative groups aren't even allowed to participate.  Amazon, which is on track to be America's largest retailer next year, launched its charity program AmazonSmile in 2013.  The company has banned multiple conservative organizations since then, because it relies on the anti-conservative Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to decide what groups qualify for the program.  WORLD News Group reported in 2020 that "Liberty Counsel, Family Research Council (FRC) and the American College of Pediatricians" are not allowed on Amazon Smile.  Alliance Defending Freedom was reportedly removed from the site as well.  Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, and The Satanic Temple are all free to collect donations from the program.

DeSantis Signs Bill Requiring High School Students Learn 'Evils Of Communism And Totalitarian Ideologies'.  Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Tuesday requiring high school students to learn about the evils of communist ideologies.  During a press conference at Three Oaks Middle School in Fort Myers, Florida, DeSantis signed three education bills designed to foster civic literacy in schools.  "It's crucial to ensure that we teach our students how to be responsible citizens," DeSantis said during the press conference.  "They need to have a good working knowledge of American history, American government and the principles that underline our Constitution and Bill of Rights."

Curtis Sliwa cruises to easy win over Mateo in Republican primary for NYC mayor.  Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa cruised to a big victory as the Republican nominee for mayor, handily defeating rival Fernando Mateo following a feisty and entertaining primary fight, according to Board of Election returns released Tuesday night [6/22/2021].  "Curtis won and we want to unite the Republican Party and we hope Fernando Mateo will join us," Sliwa senior campaign adviser Rob Cole told the [New York] Post.  It was a rout.  Sliwa captured 68.8 percent or 34,758 of the Republican votes to 27 percent or 13,655 votes for Mateo, a restaurateur who advocates for bodega owners and taxi drivers.  More than 95 percent of the precincts were reporting.

It's Beginning to Look Like Enemy Action.  Dong Jingwei is a Chinese defector working with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).  He served as Vice Minister of State Security in the Chinese Ministry of Defense.  Before defecting, he was responsible for the counterintelligence efforts in China.  He was in a position to know about all things "espionage" in China and is perhaps the highest-level Chinese defector the U.S. has ever had.  Even though the legacy media is playing it down, this is a big deal.  It speaks volumes that the man who knows the identity of all the Chinese spies in our country chose to defect to the DIA and only the DIA.  Further, it's reported that the DIA is not sharing the information it's receiving with the FBI or CIA.  Now why would that be?

Video Allegedly Shows That There Are Currently No Flags Flying At The Pentagon.  At the beginning of the month, the Pentagon confirmed that they will not allow rainbow pride flags to fly at military facilities in celebration of Pride Month.  That fell in line with the Pentagon's 2020 decision to permit only certain flags at Department of Defense installations.  Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters the DOD chose not to make an exception to the existing flag policy after careful consideration.  Along with the American flag, the current policy implemented under the Trump administration authorizes flags representing states and U.S. territories, military services, prisoners of war and missing in action, national flags of U.S. allies and a handful of others.  But a video that surfaced on Telegram this morning shows that there are no U.S. flags either.

eBay Bans Dr. Seuss, Allows Hezbollah.  Words and images that offend someone are just like violence.  At least that's the modern safetyism argument.  But the symbols of an Islamic terrorist organization are the symbol of someone else's freedom fighter.  eBay is very careful to keep the marketplace safe from things that might offend crybullies. [...] There's no room for And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street on eBay.  Hezbollah though is another matter, [...]

Biden Breaks the Record on Wealth Transfers: $4.9 Trillion.  The Democrats' new favorite term is "human infrastructure," which pretty much means anything they want to spend money on.  That raises the question:  Just how much does the government spend on "human infrastructure" today?  Turns out, it's an eye-popping $4.9 trillion this year alone — a new record.  Buried in President Joe Biden's 2022 budget is a document called Historical Tables, which breaks down annual federal revenues and spending in a variety of ways.  One of the tables in this document tracks what the government calls "direct payments to individuals."  These payments, mind you, don't count salaries paid to federal employees or the cost of buying equipment.  It's just what the name states — direct money transfers.

The Editor says...
This is the kind of information that was once published in the Statistical Abstract of the United States, before Barack H. Obama terminated the collection of this data in 2011, because it was starting to make him look bad.

US Navy Releases INSANE Footage Of The Detonation Of A 40k Pound Bomb That Caused A 3.4 Mag Earthquake In Florida.  The US Navy has released a jaw-dropping video that shows the moment a bomb exploded in the middle of the ocean, triggering an earthquake 100 miles away.  The footage shows the 40,000 lb bomb exploding in "full ship shock trials" where they are testing the effects such a device has on Navy ships.  The explosion caused a 3.9 magnitude earthquake roughly 100 miles away in Daytona Beach, Florida, a phenomenon that is not unusual during such trials.  [Video clip]

Abbott defunds the entire Texas state legislature.  Governor Abbott threatened to defund the Texas Legislature after Texas Democrats walked out of the legislative session rather than take a vote on election reform laws.  When they broke quorum and shut down the session, Abbott said that if legislators weren't going to do their jobs, they shouldn't be paid.  Friday [6/18/2021] Abbott made good on that threat.

A star is born:
Guy does a Perfect impression of a "Trump GPS".  [Video clip]  I would pay to have this impression installed on my GPS or Google/Apple Maps.  At the very least, I need this guy to make more of these vids to save the internet.

Outrage Erupts After Israeli Food Truck Uninvited from Philadelphia Event.  A food truck festival planned for Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood was cancelled Sunday [6/20/2021] after outrage when a Israeli food truck was uninvited to the event.  The Israeli food truck, Moshava Philly, said in an Instagram post that they were asked not to come to Sunday's "The Taste of Home" event after organizers, Eat Up the Borders and Sunflower Philly, heard there could be protests over its inclusion.  "We were really hoping that the organizers ... would step up to the plate and defend local, small and immigrant based businesses, no matter where they are from ... but by the looks of it fear, violence, and intimidation got the best of them," one Instagram post read.

The Editor says...
[#1] If an meeting, a gathering, or a ceremony is planned, certain parties may be invited.  When someone was invited originally, but the invitation is subsequently withdrawn, that person is said to be disinvited.  If they show up anyway, or they were never welcome in the first place, they arrive uninvited.  [#2] The event had to be canceled because the organizers couldn't bear the presence of one particular vendor.  One might easily presume that these organizers are some of the same people who constantly tout diversity and inclusion.

That high level Chinese defector's 'embarrassing and damaging information about our intelligence community'.  The defector's name is Dong Jingwei and he's the vice minister of State Security.  He knows where all the bodies are buried, both in China and, I'm sorry to say, in America.  According to Spy Talk, Dong "was responsible for the Ministry's counterintelligence efforts in China, i.e., spy-catching, since being promoted to vice minister in April 2018."  Spy Talk also reports that China demanded Dong's return, but Blinken said no.  Interestingly, the weak, woke Blinken didn't say "no" as a matter of principle.  Instead, he took a stand only because the DIA hadn't told the administration about Dong's existence.  That tells you about how little the DIA trusts the Biden administration.

8 Million Face Foreclosure or Eviction Beginning July 1 — Economic Recovery Is About to Crash.  This issue has been lurking in the background for months.  Where I live, there are almost no homes on the market for rent.  The inventory of the number of homes for sale is at record lows, and when combined with historically low home mortgage rates, the prices at which homes are selling have gone through the roof.  There are no homes for rent because landlords have been unable to evict tenants for non-payment of rent for a year or more, depending on where you live.  The federal government — based on dubious legal authority — imposed an eviction "moratorium" during the pandemic, allowing renters to stop paying their rent safe in the knowledge that their landlords couldn't do anything about it.

NYC prosecutor working remote from Oklahoma refuses to come back.  A veteran Brooklyn prosecutor has been working remotely in Oklahoma amid the court system's coronavirus closure — and was told to resign because she refuses to return to New York, The [New York] Post has learned.  Senior Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Nasar relocated to the Sooner State after her husband, former Manhattan prosecutor David Nasar, landed a job with the US Attorney's Office in Tulsa last year.  In late October, the couple bought a newly built, $413,000 house in suburban Jenks, official online property records show.

Many Companies Want Remote Workers — Except From Colorado.  Big companies are hiring for remote positions that can be performed in any state across the U.S. except one:  Colorado.  At issue is a new Colorado law that requires companies with even a few employees in the state to disclose the expected salary or pay range for each open role they advertise, including remote positions.  The rule's aim is to narrow gender wage gaps and provide greater pay transparency for employees.  To avoid having to disclose that information, though, some employers seeking remote workers nationwide are saying that those living in Colorado need not apply.

Petition to Remove Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.  No institution in America — from government offices to schoolrooms to corporate boardrooms and beyond — is safe today from the divisive racism of Critical Race Theory and the "1619 Project," both of which posit that United States history is rooted in slavery and white supremacy, and that "whiteness" is an incurable disease.  The institution whose subversion poses the greatest threat to our national security is the U.S. military, whose head is Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.  General Austin is a determined advocate of these repulsive anti-American views.  As Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin has incorporated both Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project as core elements of the Pentagon's military training programs, under the guise of "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion."  He has further ordered a purging of the military ranks of what he calls "extremists," defined as opponents of these noxious views and supporters of former president Donald Trump.  The consequence of dividing our troops by race and gender, and regarding one community of Americans as oppressors and beneficiaries of race and gender-based privileges is a direct threat to unit cohesion and military morale, the core elements of an effective military force.

Most of them weren't going to accomplish anything on Friday anyway.  Might as well pay them to stay home.
Federal workers get surprise Friday off thanks to new Juneteenth holiday.  The White House announced Thursday [6/17/2021] that most federal workers will have Friday off due to the new Juneteenth federal holiday, which President Biden will sign into law Thursday afternoon.  White House chief of staff Ron Klain announced the surprise three-day weekend on Twitter.  "Today [Biden] will sign the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, establishing June 19th as a federal holiday.  As the 19th falls on a Saturday, most federal employees will observe the holiday tomorrow, June 18th," Klain tweeted.

Major Australian Banks, US Airlines Hit by Widespread Internet Outages.  Websites of dozens of financial institutions and airlines in Australia and the United States were briefly hit by an internet outage on Thursday, after a second major blackout in little more than a week.  The Australian outage, which also affected the country's central bank, was caused by glitches on the servers of Akamai, an operator of content delivery network (CDN) services used in speeding up the delivery of data-heavy content, videos and games to web pages.  The impacted platform is now up and running, an Akamai spokesperson said, adding that the company was "continuing to validate services".  Akamai, one of the largest providers of CDN services, competes with Fastly, Cloudera and Amazon's AWS.

"Omission of any rational basis": Federal judge strikes down Biden oil-lease ban.  It's "a blow to climate change activists," CBS News helpfully explains in its headline.  According to federal judge Terry Doughty, it's a blow for the rule of law.  Doughty issued a restraining order blocking Joe Biden's executive order suspending the issuance of gas and oil leases, an order that applies nationwide, ruling that Biden failed to follow the law in imposing this policy.  The problem is not just the rule of law, Doughty ruled, but also the lack of any rational basis for the decision: [...] Twelve states had joined Louisiana in challenging Biden's EO.  Doughty ruled that they had "reliance interests" on federal law that could run into billions of dollars of lost revenue for their economies.  Presidents can't just arbitrarily upend legal access to public lands, regardless of the purpose, especially given the stakes involved, Doughty ruled.

Louisiana federal judge rules that Biden ban on new oil leases must be lifted.  A Louisiana federal judge ruled the ban on new oil leases on U.S. lands and waters put in place by President Joe Biden's administration must be lifted nationwide.  Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District Court of Louisiana on Tuesday sided with 13 conservative states, including Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, in saying the pause on drilling should be lifted.  President Joe Biden halted lease sales on federal lands and waters with an executive order in January.  Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia joined Louisiana in the suit.

Texans Are Getting Blackout Warnings in June.  Why?  Texans have been unpleasantly surprised with blackout and usage warnings from ERCOT this week.  That's the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which was no one's friend during the great freeze back in February.  Its rolling blackouts left Texans alternately freezing and fuming but not quite enough of the latter to keep our homes warm. [...] Now it's June, which we know will be hot, but we also know we're not yet at the peak of a Texas summer.  It's hitting the low 90s now.  It will top 100 in July and August.  This is an immutable fact of life, at least where I am in central Texas.  It's Texas.  It gets hot.  Hopefully, it'll at least burn up the mosquitoes outside.  But we need A/C inside or we'll all be living in saunas.

2 Nevada Counties Go 'Constitutional'.  Elected commissioners in two Nevada counties declared that the Bill of Rights will be upheld in their jurisdictions, even if it means standing against unconstitutional acts by state and federal authorities.  According to a resolution approved in Elko County on June 2, abuse of the constitutionally protected rights of citizens in Elko and Lander counties will be "dealt with as criminal activity."  Officials in Lander County approved a similar effort.  Under the leadership of constitutionally minded sheriffs and elected commissioners, the two rural counties in Nevada decided to become "constitutional counties" where the rights of citizens will be protected from all attacks.  That means local authorities intend to uphold the entire Bill of Rights in those jurisdictions, and that even federal and state officials must comply with the U.S. Constitution there, they said.

Germany and Italy Block G7 Condemnation of Chinese Slave Labour.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, along with EU leaders have reportedly blocked efforts by the G7 to issue a joint statement condemning alleged forced slave labour in the Chinese province of Xinjiang.  EU officials have reportedly expressed the opinion that the West should focus on corporation with China instead of adversarial elements.  Meanwhile, the United States along with Japan, Canada, the UK, and France supported the effort to call out the alleged slave labour.  France was the only EU member-state in the block that did not side with the EU on the issue.  EU leaders Ursula von der Leyen (herself a former German cabinet member) and Charles Michel (of Belgium) led the effort to oppose the measure.  The final version of the G7 communiqué read:  "we are concerned about the use of all forms of forced labour in global supply chains, including state-sponsored forced labor of vulnerable groups and minorities, including in the agricultural, solar, and garment sectors," with no mention of China in particular.

Try This One Weird Trick Russian Hackers Hate.  Possibly feeling the heat from being referenced in President Biden's Executive Order on cybersecurity this past week, the DarkSide group sought to distance itself from their attack against Colonial Pipeline.  In a message posted to its victim shaming blog, DarkSide tried to say it was "apolitical" and that it didn't wish to participate in geopolitics.  "Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society," the DarkSide criminals wrote last week.  "From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future."  But here's the thing:  Digital extortion gangs like DarkSide take great care to make their entire platforms geopolitical, because their malware is engineered to work only in certain parts of the world.  DarkSide, like a great many other malware strains, has a hard-coded do-not-install list of countries which are the principal members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) — former Soviet satellites that mostly have favorable relations with the Kremlin.

Apple, Amazon, Nike, [are] criticized for using Chinese forced labor.  American companies, including Amazon.com, Apple and Nike, came under fire by a U.S. Senator on Thursday [6/10/2021] for disregarding forced labour allegations in China and making American consumers complicit in Beijing's alleged repressive policies.  Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on China's crackdown on Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in its western Xinjiang region, Republican Senator Marco Rubio accused many U.S. companies of "profiting" from the Chinese government's abuses.  "For far too long, companies like Nike and Apple and Amazon and Coca-Cola were using forced labor.  They were benefiting from forced labor or sourcing from suppliers that were suspected of using forced labor," Rubio said.  "These companies, sadly, were making all of us complicit in these crimes."

Arizona Reverting to the Wild West as Cattle Rustling [is] Allowed to Thrive.  Arizona used to have some of the best livestock laws in the nation.  Now, the cattle ranching industry is being torn apart due to a dismantling of the successful laws and regulations that used to prevent cattle theft.  Close to 3,000 head of cattle have been stolen from at least 32 people in the last few years.  Thieves brazenly stole over 100 cows with calves from well-known attorney and judge Tom Kelly in Yavapai County.  Cowboys who once made a good living raising and selling cattle are finding substantial portions of their herds decimated, and when they complain to authorities, no one is ever arrested.  Instead, they get attacked and the investigations go nowhere.  Although Arizona is mostly a red state, it has an extensive history of corruption in government.  Powerful players including RINOs control many elected officials.  Under Governor Doug Ducey, a lot of corruption has been ignored and swept under the rug, making conservatives and honest people furious with him.  Cattle ranchers say there are important people in Phoenix behind the cattle rustling.

Man, 69, who continued to receive food stamps after $2 million lottery win is found dead in Michigan river.  A Michigan man who made headlines after he continued to collect food stamps despite winning the lottery has been found dead in a river.  Police recovered the body of 69-year-old Leroy Fick from the Tittabawassee River on June 5.  While the Midland Police Department has not publicly disclosed Fick's cause of death, they said the circumstances surrounding the 69-year-old's death do not appear to be suspicious, Mlive.com reported.

Organs on Demand:  China's Transplant Industry.  For years, China's organ transplant industry has been matching patients with organs at speeds unimaginable in the West — in some cases, producing four hearts in 10 days, or two livers in just 24 hours.  Damon Noto, spokesman for Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, said:  "So how are they able to have this 'on-demand' transplant system that's capable of extremely short times?  The only way they can be doing this is if they have another source of living donors that are available on demand."  "So they become anonymous prisoners of conscience, and that makes them extremely vulnerable because they can disappear at any time without a trace," said Torsen Trey, executive director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting.

Pentagon whistleblowers:  Troops segregated for 'privilege walks,' critical-race theory reading lists.  Sen. Tom Cotton revealed several whistleblower complaints from service members who objected to critical-race theory indoctrination in the military, including airmen being divide race into groups for "privilege walks."  The service members also spoke out against receiving reading lists of critical race theory books as part of the Pentagon's new anti-extremism and diversity training within the ranks.  Mr. Cotton, Arkansas Republican, received the complaints after launching a whistleblower site in late May in partnership with Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Texas Republican.

Tom Cotton asks Lloyd Austin if military is a 'fundamentally racist organization'.  Sen. Tom Cotton and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had a heated exchange during a hearing this week over the military going "woke" through Defense Department efforts to address "extremism" within its ranks, with the senator asking bluntly if the United States military is a "fundamentally racist organization."  The intense back-and-forth occurred while Austin was testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday [6/10/2021].  The Arkansas Republican, who recently set up a whistleblower campaign for members of the armed forces to expose extremist training programs, began by noting that his office had received "hundreds" of complaints thus far.

GOP Rep. Byron Donalds says Congressional Black Caucus keeping him out.  A black GOP lawmaker in the House of Representatives says the Congressional Black Caucus has declined his efforts to become a member.  In a statement to The [New York] Post on Thursday [6/10/2021], Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) expressed his disappointment about being excluded from the CBC, which inducted other freshman lawmakers into the group six months ago.  "The Congressional Black Caucus has a stated commitment to ensuring Black Americans have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream," the 42-year-old lawmaker, who represents the Naples area, began.  "As a newly elected Black Member of Congress, my political party should not exempt me from a seat at the table dedicated to achieving this goal.  As a young Black man who grew up in the inner city of Brooklyn in a single-parent household, my achieving of the American Dream would be a valued addition to the CBC and one that should transcend politics."

Cotton presses defense secretary on 'anti-American indoctrination' as Austin defends diversity push.  Sen. Tom Cotton told Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin his office has received "hundreds" of whistleblower complaints about the military's new diversity and inclusion training, which he says amounts to "anti-American indoctrination."  Cotton, R-Ark., has aggressively fought back against such training.  In March, he introduced legislation to ban critical race theory training from the military.  He and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, set up a website for whistleblower complaints to be directed to them earlier this month.  Cotton said he'd seen reports of "plummeting morale, growing mistrust between races and sexes where none existed just six months ago and unexpected retirements and separations based on these trainings alone."

Here We Go Again:  JBS "Paid" "Russian" "Hackers" $11 Million In Bitcoin To Resolve "Ransomware" Attack.  There was a moment of sheer hilarity earlier today [6/10/2021] when, during a Congressional Hearing, the CEO of Colonial Pipeline Joseph Blount took the merely farcical episode of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware hack — when, as a reminder, a ragtag band of elite "Russian" hackers somehow managed to penetrate the company's cyberdefenses but was so stupid it left most if not all of the $4.4 million bitcoins it demanded in ransom in an easily traceable address for the FBI to track down and magically confiscate (it is still unclear how the Feds got the private key to access the "hackers" digital wallet) in days if not hours — and elevated it to a level of sheer ridiculous absurdity when he told Congress that he didn't consult the FBI before paying the ransom.  This, pardon the parlance of our times, is [nonsense]:  either the CEO is lying or, worse, he is telling the truth and as some have speculated, he, the FBI and the "hackers" are all in on this so-called ransomware breach...

Suspect Identified After Posting Pic of His Hand Holding Cheese.  In 2019, I told audiences at a few conferences that we would eventually see persons identified via their fingerprints without them having touched anything, or even having been at a specific physical location.  At the time I acknowledged that some would marvel at the ingenuity while others would cringe at the privacy implications.  A man in the U.K. who shared a photo of his hand holding a block of cheese was sentenced to over 13 years in prison when police used the image to link his fingerprints to a criminal investigation.

A rogue killer drone 'hunted down' a human target without being instructed to, UN report says.  A "lethal" weaponized drone "hunted down a human target" without being told to, likely for the first time, according to a UN report seen by the New Scientist.  In the March 2020 incident, a Kargu-2 quadcopter autonomously attacked a person during a conflict between Libyan government forces and a breakaway military faction, led by the Libyan National Army's Khalifa Haftar, the Daily Star reported.  The Turkish-built Kargu-2, a deadly attack drone designed for asymmetric warfare and anti-terrorist operations, targeted one of Haftar's soldiers while he tried to retreat, according to the paper.

Scientists discover potentially dangerous metals in brains of Alzheimer's patients.  Scientists have discovered particles of copper and iron in the brains of deceased Alzheimer's patients, a discovery that could lead to new treatments for the disease.  In an article in the journal Science Advances, researchers from Keele University and the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom found traces of the elemental forms of copper and iron in amyloid plaque, proteins that form in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.  Copper and iron are found naturally in the human body but are usually in an oxidized form.  In an elemental form, the metals can produce unstable atoms, which are harmful to the brain.

U.S. recovers $2.3 million in ransom paid to Colonial Pipeline hackers.  The federal government has recovered millions of dollars in cryptocurrency paid in ransom to cybercriminals whose attack prompted the shutdown of the country's largest fuel pipeline and gas shortages across the southeastern U.S. last month, the Department of Justice announced Monday [6/7/2021].  On May 8, Colonial Pipeline paid a ransom worth roughly $4.3 million in bitcoin to the Russia-based hacking group known as DarkSide, which had used malicious software to hold the company hostage.  Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount told The Wall Street Journal that the company paid the pricey ransom because the company feared a prolonged shutdown and did not know how long it would take to restore operations.

DOJ Says it Seized $2.3 Million in Bitcoin from Colonial Pipeline Hackers.  Sketchy doesn't begin to describe this DOJ narrative.  According to their press release the DOJ seized 63.7 Bitcoin (digital currency) through accessing a server in North Carolina used to enter the Bitcoin wallet password of the original hackers.  However, the DOJ still claims the "hackers" were sophisticated Russian operatives.  Meaning the "Russian Hackers" were so sophisticated they could hack a major gas pipeline, but not sophisticated enough to protect their wallet and hosted it online on a US based server? [...] Doesn't this seem like either the private key wasn't private, or the FBI was the original hacker of the pipeline?

Energy secretary says enemies are capable of shutting down US power grid.  Adversaries to the US are capable of shutting down the nation's electrical grid, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm admitted Sunday, saying that such cybersecurity attacks are "happening all the time."  Granholm warned of the system's vulnerabilities — amid an uptick of ransomware sieges — on CNN's "State of the Union."  "Yeah, they do," Granholm told host Jake Tapper when asked if foreign actors have the ability to make the power grid go dark.  "There are very malign actors who are trying, even as we speak," she explained.  "There are thousands of attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally."

Energy secretary says US adversaries [are] capable of shutting down the nation's power grid.  Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm warned that United States's adversaries have the potential to tamper with the country's power grid.  Granholm confirmed the threat after being asked if adversaries have the capabilities to shut down the power grid, during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday [6/6/2021].  "Yeah, they do.  I think that there are very malign actors who are trying.  Even as we speak, there are thousands of attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally," the secretary said.

The Editor says...
I suspect the issue of hacking threats to the power grid is a red herring, injected into the news media to give the talking heads something to talk about other than inflation, uncontrolled illegal immigration, the stolen 2020 election, Hunter Biden and his laptop, the torrent of lies about Coronavirus, and the murder of Ashli Babbitt by a cop who still hasn't been named five months after her death.  UFO stories are being put out for the same reason.

Bush nonprofit agreed to take $5 million from Chinese Communist Party-connected group: report.  The George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations agreed to accept $5 million from a group with ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China's international propaganda efforts, according to a report Saturday [6/5/2021].  The group, which was founded by Neil Bush, a brother to former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, goes by the name Bush China Foundation for short.  Its goal, according to its website, is to build "a constructive relationship" between the U.S. and China.  But a written agreement published by Axios reveals that the Bush China Foundation agreed in 2019 to accept $5 million over five years from the China-United States Exchange Foundation, an organization that's been criticized as a key part of China's international propaganda efforts.

Government's UFO report cannot explain aerial phenomena.  The US intelligence community has not found evidence that unexplained aerial phenomena seen by Navy pilots are from outer space, but they can't rule out the possibility or explain the mysterious vehicles, said officials who viewed a classified version of a report to Congress detailing everything the government knows about UFOs.  The report said most of the more than 120 UFO incidents examined over the past two decades were not the work of the US military or government, officials said, according to the New York Times.  The explanation means that the military eyewitnesses who encountered UFOs on an almost "daily basis" off the coast of California in 2017, and shot footage that was verified by defense officials, were not seeing programs the US meant to keep secret.

The Editor says...
Suppose the UFO stories are true.  Suppose there are manned spacecraft from some other civilization.  What then?  If the visitors were here to take over, they would have done so already.  If their technology is so far advanced that it's almost unimaginable, resistance is probably futile.  This sounds like a red herring that is being placed in the news media to distract from the socialist coup and imminent upheaval.

SD Gov. Noem Slams Biden Admin Decision To Close Mt. Rushmore For Fourth of July.  Thursday [6/3/2021], Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) spoke about the Biden administration's decision to close Mount Rushmore for the Fourth of July festivities, a contrast to a year earlier when then-President Donald Trump spoke before a fireworks display.  The South Dakota Republican slammed the move, claiming it was part of the "radical left's agenda."  "You know, the decision was really arbitrary," she said.  "That's why we'll be appealing this decision, and the fight isn't over. [...]"

JP Morgan resumes political contributions... except for certain politicians.  After the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, many corporations chose to make grand announcements that they would no longer send political contributions to any politician who supported the attempt to overturn the presidential election results.  The woke virtue-signaling was strong.  Financial organizations joined in.  Some of them chose to limit contributions to politicians who didn't support overturning the election results while others paused all political contributions.  Some organizations are quietly starting up.  For example, Citigroup suspended all political contributions through its PAC for the first quarter of 2021 while Morgan Stanley singled out politicians who opposed the election results.

JBS Moves to Reopen 'Vast Majority' of Plants After Cyberattack.  A cyberattack on JBS SA, the largest meat producer globally, forced the shutdown of all its U.S. beef plants, wiping out output from facilities that supply almost a quarter of American supplies.  All of the company's fed-beef and regional beef plants were forced to shutter, and all other JBS meatpacking facilities in the country experienced some level of disruption to operations, according to an official with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.  JBS didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.  The union represents workers at the company's plants in the U.S.  Slaughter operations across Australia were also down, according to a trade group, and one of Canada's largest beef plants was idled.  That comes after a weekend attack on the Brazilian company's computer networks, according to JBS posts on Facebook, labor unions and employees.

JBS Says "Significant Progress" After Ransomware Attack, Sets To Reopen Meat Plants Wednesday.  JBS SA, the world's largest meat producer, released a statement in the overnight session stating "significant progress" has been made to resolve a ransomware attack that paralyzed its US operations and some plants in other countries.  "Our systems are coming back online, and we are not sparing any resources to fight this threat," JBS USA CEO Andre Nogueira said in a statement.

Report: 20% of America's Beef Production 'Wiped Out' After JBS Cyberattack.  Approximately 20 percent of the United States' beef capacity has been "wiped out" following a cyberattack on JBS SA, the largest meat producer in the world, according to a Tuesday [6/1/2021] report. [...] Meanwhile, the White House said Tuesday that Russia was likely the origin of the cyberattack and has called on Moscow to punish the hackers responsible.  "JBS notified the administration that the ransom demand came from a criminal organization, likely based in Russia," White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, according to The Hill.

When Pressed on Why US Has Seen Two Massive Cyberattacks Under Biden, Psaki Tells Peter Doocy to Track Down Russian Hackers and Ask Them.  White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday [6/2/2021] was pressed on why the US has seen two massive cyberattacks since Biden was installed.  In the last month, ransomware hackers have targeted the Colonial Pipeline and the world's largest meat supplier.  A few weeks ago ransomware hackers shut down the Colonial Pipeline, creating gas lines and shortages in Southeastern states.  JBS, the world's largest beef supplier was hit with a ransomware attack on Sunday, threatening US meat supply.

The Editor says...
Here is the remainder of the Russian hacking schedule for the year:

July:          Milk
August:        Bread
September:     Coca-Cola
October:       Eggs
November:      Coffee
December:      Firewood

Fed's Beige Book Freaks Out Over Unprecedented Nationwide Shortages Of Everything.  With the economy overheating, it will hardly come as a surprise that the latest Fed Beige Book — which found that the economy expanded at what the Fed absurdly called a "moderate pace" from early April to late May, at least clarifying that this was a "somewhat faster" rate than the prior reporting period — one of the top concerns was soaring costs, but nothing spooked the various Fed districts quite as much as what appears to be a shortage of everything, with district after district complaining about broken supply chains, a lack of workers, and critical commodities that just can't be procured, all resulting in sharply higher prices, slower delivery times and all around chaos.

Really?  It's a nice gesture, but is Pepsi any less active politically?
North Carolina county bans Coca-Cola machines over 'left-wing' politics.  Coke is too "woke" for one North Carolina county's government.  Surry County has voted to ban all Coca-Cola vending machines in its office buildings over backlash to the Atlanta-based soft drink maker's criticism of new restrictive Georgia voting laws.  "The left wing in America, they defund, they boycott, they cancel, they tear down statues — all sorts of egregious actions," Eddie Harris, a county commissioner, told WXII in a video interview.  "The expectation from them is the opposing political side will cower in the corner and we're supposed to accept that and it's supposed to be OK.  And it's not OK."

The Senate Parliamentarian Just Ripped the Heart out of the Democrat Agenda.  While the Democrats have high, if not delusional hopes of fundamentally changing every aspect of American life, from federal voting dictates to essentially outlawing sub-contracting, the actual rules of the Senate have stood in their way.  The filibuster, which Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (among others who are laying low) have pledged to not touch, means that Chuck Schumer and his merry band can't force through things on a simple 50-50 vote. [...] Reconciliation is a very narrow process, and the Byrd Rule requires that anything included in a reconciliation bill must deal with taxes and budgetary issues.  You also have stipulations about deficit offsets that must be taken into account.  You can not pass regularly legislative items under the guise of reconciliation.  Given that, this ruling essentially defeats HR1, the ProAct, and much of what is included in the current "infrastructure" bill.  Of course, none of those bills were likely getting support from Manchin anyway, but with reconciliation off the table to get this stuff passed, Schumer is now officially out of options.

Dems Can Only Sidestep GOP on One More Bill This Session, Senate Parliamentarian Rules.  The Senate parliamentarian issued a new ruling that would effectively allow Democrats to use automatic budget reconciliation just one more time this year to bypass Republicans to advance President Biden's progressive agenda.  Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that a revision to the 2021 budget resolution cannot be automatically discharged from the Senate Budget Committee, according to The Hill.  This means that Democrats would need at least one Republican on the 11-11 panel to vote with them if they want to use reconciliation on more than one occasion before the legislative session ends in October.

Amazon's Sidewalk feature will share your internet connection.  Here's how to opt out.  Amazon is planning to automatically enroll owners of its devices in a program that would share a slice of their internet connection with neighbors.  Amazon confirmed in an email to USA TODAY that the program will launch on eligible Echo devices starting June 8.  Amazon Sidewalk is a low-bandwidth shared network the tech giant says will not only allow your devices to work better, but help locate lost items.  The network shares "a small portion of your internet bandwidth which is pooled together to provide these services to you and your neighbors," reads a description on Amazon's website.  "And when more neighbors participate, the network becomes even stronger," it claims.

US Army soldiers mistakenly raid Bulgarian olive oil factory during NATO exercise.  A team of U.S. Army soldiers mistakenly raided a factory in Bulgaria that manufactures equipment used in olive oil production during a NATO training exercise in the region, Fox News has confirmed.  Ken McGraw, the public affairs office for U.S. Special Operations Command, told Fox News on Tuesday [6/1/2021] that an initial report about the raid was incorrect.  "The unit that raided the factory was the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which is stationed in Vicenza, Italy," he said.  "U.S. Special Operations Forces were not involved in this incident in any way."

Employees Are Quitting Instead of Giving Up Working From Home.  A six-minute meeting drove Portia Twidt to quit her job.  She'd taken the position as a research compliance specialist in February, enticed by promises of remote work.  Then came the prodding to go into the office.  Meeting invites piled up.  The final straw came a few weeks ago:  the request for an in-person gathering, scheduled for all of 360 seconds.  Twidt got dressed, dropped her two kids at daycare, drove to the office, had the brief chat and decided she was done.

The Democrat Flint Witch Hunt is a Creepy Totalitarian Star Chamber.  The extreme ways that leftists have weaponized the justice system leading to show trials, star chambers, abuses of the law, and a blatant disregard of the evidence is an evolving totalitarian nightmare.  The federal system is already notorious for these things, but the Flint water case, already highly dubious, is starting to make the Feds look good.  The target is former Governor Rick Snyder and associates so it's already political as hell.  But the prosecution isn't acting like it has a case.  Instead, it's acting like it's operating in a police state and is doing everything it can to avoid any kind of open process. [...] The media has blown up the case, but some of the most basic facts about it are still being kept in a locked cabinet.  We've seen this pattern before with Democrats aggressively targeting Republicans, destroying their reputations, only for it to turn out that there was no actual criminal case here.

GOP Bill Aims to Ban Black Lives Matter, 'Political' Flags From Embassies.  Republican lawmakers have introduced a proposal that would prohibit U.S. embassies and consulates from flying "political" flags, such as those associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, after a number of diplomatic missions displayed the BLM flag on the anniversary of George Floyd's death.  Called the Stars and Stripes Act of 2021 (pdf), the measure was introduced by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) and co-sponsored by a number of GOP members of Congress, including new Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).  "Our beautiful American flag should fly over our U.S. embassies around the world — not the flag of a political organization founded by Marxists," Stefanik said in a statement, referring to the reported links between BLM founders and Marxism.

Why Inflation Matters.  Americans under 40 live with no memory of high or unpredictable inflation.  Thus, the generational divide over the new, rising risk of inflation, with younger Americans more complacent, is no surprise.  I don't remember the high-inflation days, but I still fear the prospect of their return — in part because I study economic history and because most of my research focuses on financing retirement, but mostly because whenever we count out a risk, it seems to come roaring back.  Policymakers and observers may be tempted to let the price level creep up to 4 percent yearly growth and see what happens, but inflation can quickly spiral out of control.  (The Federal Reserve currently targets an average inflation increase of 2 percent; inflation rose in April at a 4.2 percent yearly rate.)  If prices seem poised to increase, then people will demand higher wages.  They will then have more money to spend.  Businesses, paying higher labor costs, will produce fewer goods, pushing inflation higher.  Inflation makes the dollar less attractive as it depreciates; buying important goods becomes more expensive, too.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Sen. Tom Cotton launch new campaign urging military 'whistleblowers' to report 'woke' training programs.  Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Sen. Tom Cotton have launched a new initiative to prevent 'woke ideology' taking hold in the US military.  The Republican politicians announced their joint effort on Saturday [5/29/2021], sharing a 'whistleblower' form for military members to fill out should they encounter any far-left training materials.  Crenshaw wrote on Twitter Saturday:  'Enough is enough.  We won't let our military fall to woke ideology.  We have just launched a whistleblower webpage where you can submit your story.  Your complaint will be legally protected, and go to my office and @SenTomCotton'.

US Mint Delays Silver Shipments Due To "Global Silver Shortage".  Interest in silver is soaring (both for industrial use and financial investment), echoing 2013's crisis, as a recent report from the Silver Institute, silver demand for printed and flexible electronics is forecast to increase 54% over the next 10 years.  Demand for silver in this rapidly developing sector is forecast to come in at 48 million ounces this year.  By 2030, the demand is expected to surge to 615 million ounces.

Republican Lawmakers Demand Immediate Action From Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin After Bombshell Bishop Garrison Report.  A group of thirty Republican Congressmen led by Matt Rosendale of Montana are demanding action from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after Revolver's recent reporting exposed the disturbing depths of woke ideology taking control of the highest echelons of the American military.  "The sole purpose of the United States Military is to protect American citizens, defend American national security interests, and to fight and win wars when necessary," the Congressmen say in a letter exclusively provided to Revolver News.  "We urge you to use your authority to take action to fight back against the creeping left-wing extremism in the U.S. military."

Canadian soldier who spoke at anti-lockdown rally, called COVID-19 vaccine a 'killer' charged with mutiny.  A member of the Canadian Armed Forces has been charged with mutiny for speaking out against the COVID-19 vaccine and urging colleagues not to help with vaccine distribution.  Officer Cadet Ladislas Kenderesi has been charged with one count of persuading another person to join in a mutiny and one count of behaving in a scandalous manner unbecoming of an officer, according to the Ottawa Citizen.  In December, Kenderesi was filmed at an anti-lockdown rally in Toronto, wearing his Canadian Forces uniform and a nametag.

There's more going on in Houston than just oil and traffic jams.  They also have commie spies!
Shuttered Chinese Houston consulate called 'major hub' for science and tech espionage worldwide.  The Chinese consulate in Houston, ordered closed by the Trump administration last year, was a "major hub" for Beijing's global science and technology collection efforts, according to a new study.  Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology examined 642 "international technological cooperation opportunities" between 2015 and 2020 identified by Chinese diplomats and found the Houston post was the key hub for science and technology (S&T) collection globally.  U.S. critics say intellectual property theft and piracy have been key to China's drive to close the technology gap with the U.S. and the West.

Fusion GPS is losing the fight to keep its records secret.  In 2017, the owners of Alfa Bank (we'll call them Alfa Bank for the purposes of this article) sued Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson for their publication of false statements accusing Alfa Bank of "bribery, extortion, and interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election."  Now, the Alfa Bank is on offense.  They have filed a motion to compel, asking the Court to require Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson to produce nearly 500 critically important documents improperly withheld as privileged.  Fusion/Simpson have fought the production of the documents, arguing that they are subject to the "attorney-client privilege" and otherwise privileged and not subject to production.  These are weak legal arguments — and the attorneys for Alfa Bank recognize it.  First, Fusion/Simpson previously admitted the purpose of their work was political, and not for the purposes of any ongoing litigation.

Pennsylvania Rebukes Tom Wolf.  On May 18, Pennsylvania held its customarily scheduled municipal primary elections.  Following the example of previous municipal primary elections, Keystone State voters were faced with several statewide questions and ballot initiatives.  This year, these prompts included a new genre of questions:  those related to Gov. Tom Wolf's emergency powers.  Two questions specifically targeted Wolf's abuse of his emergency powers during the pandemic.  The results show Pennsylvania voters have fatigued from overreaching executive authority and they have chosen to strip Gov. Wolf of his emergency powers.  The first ballot question asked if voters felt that the state constitution should be amended to provide additional checks on the governor's emergency powers.  More specifically, by allowing the General Assembly the authority to terminate an emergency declaration, effectively removing Gov. Wolf as the sole decision-maker when it comes to emergency declarations.  Currently, under the Pennsylvania Constitution, any action by commonwealth agencies to address statewide emergencies requires the governor's approval.

Trump says he has done 'limited media' so America can see how much of a 'disaster' Biden is with inflation, the border and the Middle East.  Former President Donald Trump angrily rejected reports that social media bans had sent him sliding into irrelevance, insisting Monday [5/24/2021] that he was staying out of the headlines so attention would stay on President Joe Biden's troubles with inflation, the border and the Middle East.  His comments come as his lieutenants plan a new social media platform to propel Trump back into the daily conversation.  And a new poll suggests the former president retains his grip on Republicans, with a majority of the party still proclaiming Trump to be the 'true president.'

China, having weakened the West with COVID, threatens Australia.  For anyone doubting whether China has Taiwan in its sights, a warning that the Global Times, a Chinese communist party media outlet, issued to Australia should set those doubts to rest.  Having concluded that Joe Biden is not a threat, China is busy letting other regional powers know that they had better not cross China.  In response to Australia's participation in joint military exercises in the East China Sea, China's propaganda outlet threatened it with intermediate-range ballistic missiles.  Taiwan is a prosperous and free island located off the southeastern coast of China.  The two countries are separated from each other only by the Taiwan Straits.  Taiwan maintains that it is the legitimate government of China, while the Chinese Communist Party claims that it is a pretender nation.  The CCP has long made known its desire to conquer Taiwan and bring it into the mainland fold.

Black Man With A Gun Attempts A Carjack — Receive Instant Karma.  The attempted carjacking went down last year but started trending this morning because the video was released for public use yesterday.  In the video you see a black man trying to stop a car by standing in the middle of the road as he pulls out a gun.  The would-be carjacker receives instant karma as the driver of the car hits the gas and sent him flying down the street.  The moment of impact did some heavy damage to the man, as two people come to his aid immediately, and people allege that they also wanted to aid the robber.

The Editor says...
[#1] Obviously the two bystanders who immediately sprang to the aid of the gunman were his accomplices.  They probably called 9-1-1 for assistance after this occupational injury.  [#2] The biggest problem now faced by the driver is whether his insurance company will pay for his car repairs.

Montana prison dairy herd reduced after losing Darigold deal.  The last load of raw milk left the ranch outside Montana State Prison on Dec. 27, drying up a decades-long run for the prison's work program that was clipped by a shift in a single company's global commerce policy.  Last year Darigold, the product brand for a dairy cooperative headquartered in Seattle, canceled its 30-year contract with the prison, forcing the state's prison work program, Montana Correctional Enterprises, to scale down its dairy operation from 350 head to about 70, enough to produce milk to self-sustain the Department of Correction's facilities around the state.

How Apple, Tim Cook give into China while pushing back against the US.  Over the past 30 years, Western leaders have dreamed they lived in an earthly paradise where they could stand for both.  But the ruling Communist Party of China under paramount leader Xi Jinping is now making it increasingly clear that if you want to do business with his country, you'd best embrace the party line.  Take Apple.  The world's most valuable brand is a powerhouse in Washington, DC, maintaining armies of lawyers and making large donations to the political parties and to lobby organizations like the US-China Business Council.  It has instant entrée to the White House, Congress and any other center of American power.  In 2001, Apple closed its California production lines, dismissed its American workers and moved production to China, where investment subsidies were high, wages low, and labor unions and environmental rules nonexistent.  Apple has since admitted to avoiding $41 billion in US taxes.  Now the tech giant — led by CEO Tim Cook — has truly made out like a bandit, becoming the world's most valuable corporation in the process.

More Than 150 Missing Children [have been] Found in North Carolina.  More than 150 missing children have been found in North Carolina, a few of whom were victims of human trafficking, according to police.  On Wednesday [5/19/2021], Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) announced that detectives and marshals had recovered more than 130 missing and runaway juveniles, prior to an investigation called "Operation Carolina Homecoming" to recover missing and runaway children in the Charlotte area, where earlier efforts to find them had failed.  The operation, which took place April 26 to May 7, was able to find another 27 missing children.

Investigation of ousted Space Force Commander elevated to IG.  The investigation into the ousting of a Space Force commander who spoke out against Marxism and critical race theory in the military has been elevated to the Department of the Air Force's Office of Inspector General (IG).  Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek told Fox News on Thursday [5/20/2021] that the investigation into the removal of Lt. Colonel Matthew Lohmeier from duty was moving up to the IG's office for review, as the case could have an Air Force-wide impact.  Stefanek also said that the IG's investigation would take precedence over the one launched by Lohmeier's superior, Air Force Lt. General Stephen Whiting.

Nearly 1,000 Apple employees sign letter calling on Tim Cook to issue statement supporting Palestinians.  Nearly 1,000 Apple employees have signed an internal letter to CEO Tim Cook urging the company to issue a public statement in support of the Palestinian people, The Verge reported Thursday [5/20/2021].  "We are frustrated and disappointed because once more, many of those in positions of power and influence — who boldly stand for human rights in so many other just causes — either choose to remain silent or release ineffectually neutral 'both sides' statements with regards to the Palestinian situation," wrote the letter's authors, who are members of the Apple Muslim Association, according to The Verge.  Apple taking a "both sides" approach, they wrote, "would feel to us as the equivalent of 'all lives matter' — a minimization of the disproportionately larger pain and suffering of the Palestinian people."

Sex (and Sobs) on the Set:  Actresses Lay Bare Their Thoughts on Baring it All.  Hollywood actresses have been speaking up about how they really feel about performing on-screen sex and nudity.  Spoiler alert:  They hate it.  Actress Salma Hayek recently opened up to Dax Shepard, host of the Armchair Expert Podcast, about her experience filming the iconic sex scene in her first film Desperado:  "I started to sob and kept saying, 'I don't know that I can do it.'"  She remembers holding onto the towel wrapped around her.  "I would take it off for two seconds and start crying again."  And Hayek is not the only one.  Dozens of actresses have gone on record detailing traumatic experiences they had while filming sex scenes.

The Editor says...
[#1]  I've got no sympathy for actresses.  They read the script before the filming starts; probably before accepting the role.  Why are they surprised when they have to take their clothes off?  [#2] Notice that in Hollywood, lewd behavior is permissible in front of the camera, and is completely forbidden behind the camera.

Hollywood Celebrities Plead With Movie Fans:  Please Go Back To Theaters.  At the "Big Screen is Back" initiative on Wednesday, Arnold Schwarzenegger and J.J. Abrams joined fellow filmmakers and Hollywood studio executives in an effort to motivate a return to the theater-going lifestyle.  As reported by The Associated Press, the event was socially distanced and held at AMC Century City 15 theater in Los Angeles.  Before speaking, Schwarzenegger chanted, "We are back!  We are back!"  He described the importance of getting movie theaters back into commission and creating the experience of attending a movie in theaters once again.

The Editor says...
Sitting in a movie theater to watch a movie (and the commercials and trailers that are shown before the show starts) is as archaic and obsolete as waiting until 5:30 p.m. to hear the day's news from Huntley and Brinkley on broadcast TV.  Or waiting until the next morning to read about the same news in the newspaper.  By watching a movie on the internet, the only thing you're missing is about 30 dB of unrealistic dynamic range when the phony sound effects punctuate the computer-generated "action" scenes, i.e., depictions of senseless violence and gunfire that miraculously doesn't hurt anybody.  If you really miss the theater, set up a "home theater" in a spare bedroom.  Buy some badly-worn seats to accurately simulate the big theater experience, be sure there are no lights in the room, so you have to stumble all over the adjacent rows, and then invite a bunch of nasty, smelly strangers over, to sit uncomfortably close to you and chatter on their cell phones while the show is underway.  Be sure to stock up on Milk Duds and stale popcorn, for which you must pay twice the retail value, and pour a bottle of Coca-Cola on the floor about a week before watching your first film, so the floor is disgustingly sticky.  Then be sure the air conditioning is set to about 50 degrees.  Before watching each movie, get in your car and drive about a mile away from your house in a random direction.  On the way home, take a ten-dollar bill and either set fire to it, or mail it to someone you really don't like, who is already a lot wealthier than you'll ever be.  The movie theater experience may have been really enjoyable in 1948, when you had never seen a film in color, but those days are over.

Senate Republicans propose allowing states to redirect federal funds to debt reduction.  Senate Republicans will introduce legislation Thursday [4/20/2021] to allow state and local governments to redirect federal government grants they receive to go toward paying down the growing national debt instead.  In particular, the bill would ensure that Democratic-led blue states don't end up receiving federal funds that red states have rejected.  GOP Sens. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and Rick Scott of Florida are set to introduce the Pay Down the Debt Act of 2021 to give state and local leaders the power to take concrete steps to reduce the federal debt.

The Editor says...
I'm no economist, so tell me how that's supposed to work.  The federal government prints up a bunch of money, borrowed from the national debt.  Then the states take the money, and instead of spending it, they send it back to the federal government to pay down the debt.  That won't affect the debt at all.  The federal government could eliminate the middle-man and just print $20 trillion, and then have a big ceremony at which they drop all that cash into an enormous made-for-TV piggy bank.  The effect is the same.  This kind of shell game is something you'd expect from the Democrats!

Pentagon reportedly running secret army of 60,000 around the world.  The Pentagon is running a 60,000-strong secret army made up of soldiers, civilians and contractors, who travel the world under false identities embedded in consultancies and name-brand companies — without the knowledge of the American people or most of Congress — according to a report.  The top-secret army was created by the Pentagon over the past 10 years as part of a program called "signature reduction," and operates both domestically and internationally using a low-profile force of clandestine warriors who sometimes wear civilian clothes as they carry out their assignments, Newsweek reported.  The force is 10 times the size of the covert elements of the CIA, comes with a cost of more than $900 million, and engages about 130 private companies in operations in locales like the Middle East and Africa, the report said.

Conservative group launches ad campaign against 'woke capitalism,' targeting CEOs by name.  A conservative group is launching an advertising campaign Tuesday designed to push back against what it sees as "woke capitalism," spending more than $1 million on ads targeting the CEOs of Coca-Cola, American Airlines and Nike.  The ads are sharply critical of the CEOs on a range of issues ranging from childhood obesity to allegations of forced labor in China.  Organizers say the campaign, which is being mounted by the conservative group Consumers' Research, is designed to change the thinking in corporate boards around the economic and political costs of getting involved in flashpoint issues such as voting rights.  "Increasingly we're seeing companies taking their eye off the ball," said William Hild, executive director Consumers' Research.  "Our focus is always on the consumer.  And that's what it should be for these companies as well, but increasingly we're seeing them work to curry favor with woke politicians, rather than focusing on serving their consumers."

The Editor says...
I wouldn't wear Nike shoes if you gave them to me.  I've got no use for American Airlines.  Coca Cola would be hard to give up, but I could do it.

Biden will start sending monthly checks of up to $300 to 39 million families with children under the age of 16.  Expanded monthly child tax credits will start going out to 39 million U.S. families starting July 15, the President Joe Biden and the Treasury Department announced Monday [5/17/2021].  'We need to give ordinary families a break — a tax break — to help them with the cost of raising their kids,' Biden said during remarks from the White House on Monday.  'Most people don't know it, but for families with children we put that tax cut into the American Rescue Plan.'  '90% of the families, all middle class and working class families, will get this tax cut.  It's a one-year cut that reduces your taxes... for each child you have under the age of 18,' he added.

980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuations.  A Chinese skyscraper had to be evacuated Tuesday afternoon [5/18/2021] after it began inexplicably swaying on its foundation, prompting scores of bystanders to flee in terror, as seen in a series of viral videos circulating social media.  The shaky incident occurred around 1 p.m. at Shenzhen's SEG Electronics Building, which is one of China's tallest structures in the city at a whopping 980 feet tall.  "The people in the building and downstairs fled for their lives!" read the caption to one of the Twitter clips, which depicts petrified shoppers stampeding across a plaza like scene out of a monster movie.

Goodyear to phase out petroleum-based tires with soybeans by 2040.  For decades engineers have used petroleum to make everyday products.  It's still commonly used in everything from rubbers and plastics to chemicals and asphalt.  But this useful product comes from crude oil, which is often criticized by activists and experts as harmful to the environment, citing oil spills and fracking incidents.  Recent studies from the last decade have shown that petroleum isn't as efficient as some once thought.  Now, companies, engineers and scientists aim to replace it with plant-based oils, specifically soybeans.  The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. recently announced its goal to replace all petroleum-based products with soybean oil by 2040.

The Editor says...
What problem does this solve?  When tires are made from soybeans, and gasoline is made with ethanol (i.e., corn), food prices will increase rapidly.  Apparently a lot of CEO's have never heard, "If it works, don't fix it."

88% of children covered by monthly payments starting in July.  The Treasury Department said Monday that 39 million families are set to receive monthly child payments beginning on July 15.  The payments are part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which expanded the child tax credit for one year and made it possible to pre-pay the benefits on a monthly basis.  Nearly 88% of children are set to receive the benefits without their parents needing to take any additional action.

Governor Abbott Ends Federal Unemployment Insurance in Texas.  Governor Greg Abbott announced Monday afternoon that Texas will discontinue further federal unemployment benefits associated with the COVID-19 pandemic on June 26.  Among the insurance Texas is opting out of is the $300 weekly unemployment supplement from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.  "The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state," Abbott said.  "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment benefits.  That assessment does not include the voluminous jobs that typically are not listed, like construction and restaurant jobs.  In fact, there are nearly 60 percent more jobs open (and listed) in Texas today than there was in February 2020, the month before the Pandemic hit Texas."

Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma to End Federal Unemployment Benefits in June.  Texas, Indiana, and Oklahoma on Monday announced that they will be joining a growing number of GOP-led states in ending the expanded federal unemployment benefits that were implemented during last year's pandemic relief efforts.  In a letter to the Biden administration, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that the $300 weekly extra payments under the president's new $1.9 trillion stimulus plan will end on June 26, ahead of its September expiration date.  He joins at least a dozen other governors, all Republicans, who are opting out of the additional federal unemployment benefits this summer.  Republicans argue that these benefits have discouraged people from returning to the workforce and have become a drag on the recovery.

Space Force Officer's Book on Marxism in the Military Reaches No. 1 on Amazon After He's Relieved.  A U.S. Space Force officer's self-published book positing that Marxist ideology and Critical Race Theory is being spread throughout the military reached the top of Amazon's bestseller list on Sunday after it was learned that he was relieved of his command.  "Irresistible Revolution:  Marxism's Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military" by Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, reached the top of the retail website's bestseller list on Sunday evening.  It came after the Space Force confirmed that Lohmeier was relieved of his command "due to a loss of trust."  "This decision was based on public comments made by Lt. Col. Lohmeier in a recent podcast.  Lt. Gen. Whiting has initiated a Command Directed Investigation on whether these comments constituted prohibited partisan political activity," according to the Space Force's statement, which was sent to a number of news outlets over the past weekend.

Republicans back 'hero' Space Force commander fired for speaking out against 'Marxism' in military.  Republican lawmakers blasted President Biden online after the military removed a Space Force commanding officer for speaking out against critical race theory and Marxism in the military.  Several prominent GOP lawmakers threw their support behind Lt Col. Matthew Lohmeier, the Space Force commanding officer who was relieved of duty Friday for decrying Marxist ideologies and critical race theory, which he said are gaining influence in the military, on a recent podcast.  Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas — himself a former Navy SEAL — said the military needs to prepare service members for combat and told social media users to not let the story "slip away."  "We need to be preparing our warriors to fight and win battles, not how to be SJWs," Crenshaw wrote.  "Far left critical race theory is taught while speaking out against MARXISM is punished??"

Georgia lieutenant governor announces he won't seek reelection after fighting Trump's election fraud claims.  Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, one of the most vocal state-level Republican critics against former President Donald Trump's claims of 2020 election fraud, announced on Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2022.  "It always feels coldest right before the sun rises," Duncan said in a statement posted to Twitter.  "I believe that this is the exact moment in time the Republican Party is caught in right now, and I am committed to being a part of creating those better days ahead for our conservative party all across this country."  Duncan also said that he plans to serve out the rest of his term, which will conclude in January 2023, noting how he has "no intention of slowing down on my policy over politics reform."

Space Force commander is Fired for warning of the spread of 'Critical Race Theory rooted in Marxism' throughout military.  A Space Force commander has been removed from his post after blasting diversity and inclusion training in the military as 'critical race theory rooted in Marxism'.  Lt Col. Matthew Lohmeier appeared on a podcast to promote his new self published book when he made the comments which led to a 'loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead', according to a statement from the Space Force.  Lohmeier said: 'The diversity, inclusion and equity industry and the trainings we are receiving in the military... is rooted in critical race theory, which is rooted in Marxism.'

Israel Levels a Building Shared by Hamas and 'News' Outlets, Whose Freak-out Ignores the Bigger Story.  Israel isn't playing around with Hamas this time around.  While terrorist apologists plead for "proportionality" now that they've messed around and found out, the Jewish state seems determined to do more.  As of last night, rockets were still being launched at Tel Aviv, signaling no end to the conflict in sight.  Part of the IDF's campaign has included destroying buildings that Hamas uses for intelligence-gathering, and command and control.  Once, such building happened to also be an office complex for Al Jazeera, the Qatari-funded, terrorist propaganda outlet.  The Associated Press also had space there.  After multiple warnings and a "knock bomb," the building was evacuated.  Then this happened.  [Video clip]

The sixth borough:  Florida state records quantify defections from NY.  New data from the Sunshine State's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers the latest glimpse of just how many New Yorkers fled south during the COVID-19 pandemic.  At least 33,565 New Yorkers exchanged their NY drivers licenses for Florida credentials between September 2020 and March 2021.  That's a 32% increase from the same period the prior year, when 25,370 New York driver's licenses were traded for Florida ones.  Florida officials said a major cause of migration was parents looking to get their kids back in full-time, in-person school.

Why didn't the USDA do this?
Texas House Approves Bill Banning Plant-Based Foods From Using 'Meat' On Labels.  Plant-based and additional meatless products are accused of misleading buyers under a bill the Texas House approved Monday [5/10/2021].  "Texas is the latest state to debate measures that would prohibit foods that don't contain animal products from using words like 'meat' or 'beef' in their name," the Dallas Morning News reported.  The bill was approved following a debate but needs one additional vote in the House to move on to the Texas Senate.

Hackers Threaten To Release Confidential DC Police Files Unless The City Pays Them $4 Million.  Hackers threatened to release 250 gigabytes of confidential Metropolitan Police Department files unless Washington, D.C., officials pay a $4 million ransom, the DCist reported Tuesday [5/11/2021].  The Russian-speaking hackers are part of a group known as Babuk, which allegedly posted 20 Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers' personnel files after stealing 250 gigabytes of internal data, the DCist reported.  Babuk said negotiations with officials "reached a dead end" and reportedly posted chat logs where officials offered $100,000 to the group.

Rep. Elise Stefanik wins GOP conference chair vote to replace Liz Cheney.  House Republicans approved Rep. Elise Stefanik to their No. 3 leadership position Friday — officially voting her into the post after Rep. Liz Cheney was forced out this week.  The 134-46 tally for Stefanik (R-NY) was nearly guaranteed before the vote took place, given that she went into the meeting with former President Donald Trump's endorsement and without a serious challenger.  "Listen, the Republican Party is a big tent party and my district is the story of the growth of the Republican Party.  My district voted for President Obama by double digits and voted for President Trump and myself by double digits — we have worked to grow the Republican Party," she told reporters following her win.

The Cybersecurity 202: Biden says the Russian government was not involved with Colonial Pipeline hack.  The issue of whether the U.S. government is doing enough to tackle international cybercriminals moved to center stage this week after the high-profile attack on a major East Coast energy supplier.  Even though Colonial Pipeline has restarted operations, there are still lingering questions about the group that executed the attack and how to prevent future assaults on critical infrastructure.  In a news conference yesterday, Biden emphasized the U.S. government's belief that the cybercriminals behind the pipeline company attack are based in Russia  — which has become a safe harbor for such groups — but do not work directly for the Russian government.  U.S. intelligence and researchers have also noted extensive ties between some criminal hacking groups in Russia and Russia's intelligence services.

Prime today, gone tomorrow:  Chinese products get pulled from Amazon.  If you ever bought power banks, water bottles, toys or other daily goods on Amazon, the chances are your suppliers are from China.  Analysts have estimated that the share of Chinese merchants represented 75% of Amazon's new sellers in January, up from 47% the year before, according to Marketplace Pulse, an e-commerce research firm.  Chinese sellers are swarming not just Amazon but also eBay, Wish, Shopee and Alibaba's AliExpress.  The boom is in part a result of intense domestic competition in China's online retail world, which forces merchants to seek new markets.  Traditional exporters are turning to e-commerce, cutting out excessive distributors.  Businesses are enchanted by the tale that a swathe of the priciest property in Shenzhen, an expensive city known for its tech and manufacturing, is now owned by people who made a fortune from e-commerce export.

Biden Blocks Trump Statues to Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Jimmy Stewart.  In his Friday dump, Biden decided to revoke a number of President Trump's executive orders including the one creating the National Garden of American Heroes.  This order was a reaction to BLM's vandalism of American statues with the collaboration of local Democrat authorities.  As executive orders go, this was an odd choice to rescind considering that it called for little more than the creation of a garden of statues and the huge list of potential figures included plenty of lefty favorites like Woody Guthrie and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a whole lot of pop culture figures from a particular era from John Wayne to Jimmy Stewart, some conservative heroes, like Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley, Jr. and Antonin Scalia, and the sort of traditional American figures whom the Left was obsessively tearing down including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Joe Biden Revokes Donald Trump Orders for Garden of Heroes, Protection of Monuments.  President Joe Biden revoked an executive order Friday to create a National Garden of American Heroes, initially planned by former President Donald Trump.  Biden also revoked Trump's order to prevent online censorship, and his order to protect American monuments.  Biden could have modified Trump's initial order but instead revoked it entirely.  The White House did not say why Biden revoked his predecessor's executive orders but sent the text of his order to revoke Trump's priorities to reporters on Friday afternoon.

China and Overfishing.  All told, three billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein, according to the World Wildlife Fund.  Given that this is nearly half of the world's population, the need to carefully manage the world's supply of fish is absolutely crucial for global stability.  A hungry nation is a desperate nation and desperate nations take desperate measures to feed themselves.  China is, far and away, the world's biggest offender when it comes to overfishing.  This isn't just a crime of omission — failing to adequately control its fishermen — but a crime of commission:  China prioritizes subsidies for overfishing above subsidies for conservation.  The powerhouse spent a whopping $7.2 billion in 2018 alone on fishing.

Indian workers held captive and forced to build New Jersey temple, lawsuit claims.  Hundreds of workers from India were allegedly lured to New Jersey and forced to work for just a few dollars a day to help build a massive Hindu temple, according to a lawsuit on Tuesday [5/11/2021].  The federal suit, brought by the laborers, accuses the prominent Hindu sect known as Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, or BAPS, of human trafficking and wage law violations.  The global organization is accused of bringing more than 200 low-caste men from India to the US by claiming they were religious volunteers.

Poll: Orthodox Jews Are Overwhelmingly Republican and Growing in Number.  According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, while the majority of Jews identify as Democrat, three out of four Orthodox Jews identify as Republican.  Overall, three out of four Orthodox Jews experienced at least some form of antisemitism in the past year, more than non-religious Jews.  The Pew poll "surveyed 4,718 U.S. adults who identify as Jewish, including 3,836 Jews by religion and 882 Jews of no religion.  The survey was administered online and by mail by Westat, from Nov. 19, 2019, to June 3, 2020."

Colonial Pipeline Hackers Apologize:  We Are 'Apolitical,' Will 'Avoid Social Consequences in the Future'.  The criminal hacking group that reportedly goes by the name DarkSide and attacked the largest gasoline pipeline in the United States has now put out an apology of sorts.  The Colonial pipeline, which snakes 5,500 miles along the eastern U.S., transports 2.5 million barrels of gasoline a day, and provides 45 percent of the region's fuel consumption, was shut down on Friday in response to the hacking.

The Editor says...
Pardon my perpetual skepticism, but the "Russian hacking" story sounds a little bit phony.  Deep State phony.  If there is physical evidence of the alleged "hacking," it will appear in a congressional hearing soon.  If there was no hacking, the news media is lying, and the Composite President made the decision to turn off the pipeline [1] to save the earth from fossil fuels and global warming, and [2] to mask the rapid inflation of gas prices.  Mostly #2.  Which one is more plausible:  Russian hackers did it for ransom, or the Deep State did it as a distraction?

Golden Globes Organization Implodes amid Accusations of Corruption and Lack of Diversity.  In the latest act of liberal Hollywood cannibalism, NBC has pulled the plug on the 2022 Golden Globes telecast as studios including Netflix, Amazon, and WarnerMedia have cut ties with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) over accusations of corruption and a lack of diversity.  Many of these same studios have spent years showering HFPA members with gifts — including free overseas trips — as a way to help secure votes for their movies and TV shows.  Now, they are casting stones at the beleaguered HFPA, whose promises to reform have failed to impress industry leaders.

Latest on directed-energy attacks: 'It looks, smells and feels like the GRU'.  The attention being given to the directed-energy attacks that cause "Havana syndrome" has been ramping up lately.  Today Politico reports that while no new conclusions have been reached officially, there is a growing consensus behind the scenes that these attacks are being carried out by Russia's GRU. [...] A National Academies of Sciences report issued last year concluded that the attacks were likely being carried out using pulsed-microwaves, a type of energy attack that Russia had experimented with during the Cold War.  The Politico story quoted above claims the GRU's suspected involvement hasn't been reported before but that may be true but it's not the first time Russian intelligence agents have been identified as the likely cause.

Government Grew by 48,000 Employees in April.  Federal, state and local governments in the United States increased their employment by a combined 48,000 workers in April, according to the numbers released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  From March to April, the number of workers employed by government in the United States climbed from 21,543,000 to 21,591,000.  Local government employment increased by 32,000, rising from 13,685,000 to 13,717,000.

Israel Shared Iranian General Soleimani's Cell Phones With US Intelligence Before Drone Strike:  Report.  Israel shared three cell phone numbers used by Qasem Soleimani with U.S. intelligence in the hours before American drones unleashed Hellfire missiles on the Iranian general last year, Yahoo News reported Saturday [5/8/2021].  The revelation sheds new light on the role that Israel played in the killing of Soleimani, who the State Department says was responsible for hundreds of U.S. troop deaths as the head of the Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force.  The drone strike occurred shortly after midnight on Jan. 2, 2020, as Soleimani and his entourage were leaving Baghdad's international airport.

Texas Gov. Abbott Just Showed America What Freedom Looks Like — in One Photo.  The republic of Texas held a premier boxing match Saturday night, and freedom broke out.  At least, that's how it looked in the tweet Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent out to Twitter followers around 12:30 a.m. Central time on Sunday morning [5/9/2021]. [...] [Quoting KTVT] It was also a record-breaking evening with 73,126 people in attendance for the boxing match between Mexico's Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders. [...] AT&T Stadium didn't require masks at the unlimited capacity event but, instead, said they were encouraged.  [End quote]

Gov. DeSantis Tells Unemployed Floridians Collecting Benefits To Start Looking For A Job.  Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis informed unemployed Floridians during a Wednesday [5/5/2021] press conference that May will be the last month they can collect unemployment benefits without proving they are looking for work.  DeSantis, who had lifted the state's policy requiring such proof because of the pandemic, said that reopened Florida now offers ample opportunity for employment, and capable residents need to get off the government dole, according to CBS Miami.

Rats Leaving a Sinking Ship:  More Democratic House Retirements on the Way.  A combination of factors is driving a wave of Democratic retirements in the House as Republicans look to flip the chamber in 2022.  The census is giving deep-red Texas and Florida another congressional district.  And Republican-dominated state legislatures will be able to draw maps that make red districts redder and force two Democrats to vie for the same House seat.

Cryptocurrency investors should be prepared to lose all their money, Bank of England governor says.  Cryptocurrencies "have no intrinsic value" and people who invest in them should be prepared to lose all their money, Bank of England (BOE) Governor Andrew Bailey said Thursday [5/6/2021].  Digital currencies like bitcoin, ether and even dogecoin have been on a tear this year, reminding some investors of the 2017 crypto bubble in which bitcoin blasted toward $20,000, only to sink as low as $3,122 a year later.  Asked at a press conference about the rising value of cryptocurrencies on Thursday, Bailey said:  "They have no intrinsic value.  That doesn't mean to say people don't put value on them, because they can have extrinsic value.  But they have no intrinsic value."

Bank of America: "Transitory Hyperinflation Ahead".  Last week, when discussing the latest earnings call commentary, Bank of America said "Buckle up!  Inflation is here", and showed a chart of the number of mentions of "inflation" during earnings calls which exploded, more than tripling YoY per company so far, the and the biggest jump in history since BofA started keeping records in 2004. [...] While the implications are obvious, we leave it to Bank of America to explain what this means:  ["]On an absolute basis, [inflation] mentions skyrocketed to near record highs from 2011, pointing to at the very least, 'transitory' hyper-inflation ahead.["]

Microwaving the White House: Enemies Are Now Sonic Attacking Americans from American Soil.  Unidentified parties have in recent years been directing sonic attacks on U.S. officials on American soil.  One such attack even occurred on the grounds of the White House.  We should not be surprised.  Failure to impose costs on known sonic attackers — the Cuban and Chinese regimes — almost certainly emboldened the perpetrators to think they could harm Americans in America.  Two attacks, both from American soil, have involved National Security Council officials, one on the White House's south lawn, the Ellipse, last November and another after Thanksgiving in 2019 in Arlington, Virginia.  The earlier attack involved a White House staffer walking her dog.  The pet "started seizing up," and then she too suffered "a high-pitched ringing in her ears, an intense headache, and a tingling on the side of her face."

Montana governor pulls out of COVID federal unemployment programs.  Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte argued Wednesday [5/5/2021] that there has been "a continual stream of initiatives out of Washington that disincent work," explaining that his state decided to get rid of supplemental benefits and is offering a back-to-work bonus in order to incentivize people to get back into the workforce.  Gianforte made the comments on "Cavuto:  Coast to Coast" while explaining what was behind his decision to end Montana's participation in federal COVID-19 unemployment programs.  He also discussed the start of the new state program to give people "Return to Work" bonuses.

A federal judge scrapped a nationwide moratorium on evictions, saying the CDC went beyond its authority.  A US federal judge on Wednesday [5/5/2021] blocked an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent landlords from evicting their tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.  "The CDC order must be set aside," US District Judge Dabney Friedrich said in a 20-page ruling.  The order was initially announced on September 4 to take effect for the rest of 2020.  President Joe Biden on his first day in office extended the order through June 30 to aid struggling tenants through the pandemic's financial fallout.  Friedrich wrote that the ban was among "difficult policy decisions that have had enormous real-world consequences" in the pandemic.

New York bill proposes to ban crypto mining for 3 years over carbon concerns.  Crypto miners in New York may be subject to a forced three-year hiatus if the latest environmentally-focused bill passes in the state senate.  The New York Senate Bill 6486 was proposed by Democrat senator Kevin S. Parker, the Chairman of Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, and co-sponsored by fellow Democrat senator Rachel May, the Chair of Committee on Aging, Chair of Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.  The bill is yet to receive widespread backing from other senators, however the Democrats do control the lower house and senate.  The bill seeks to "establish a moratorium on the operation of cryptocurrency mining centers," to slow the environmental impacts of fossil-fuel-backed crypto mining in particular.  It also aims to enforce stricter regulations for mining centers, such as the requirement to undergo an environmental impact review, which would prevent crypto mining if the facility does not comply with New York's climate change targets.

The Editor says...
Crypto mining produces no byproducts at all, other than heat, simply because the "mining" operation is just a large array of computers looking for magic numbers.  The electricity they use in this process is the same as that which is used for other residential or industrial purposes.  All the politicians are doing is trying to reduce the demand for electricity, because they are the ones opposing nuclear energy, coal, and natural gas, and thanks to these politicians, there's not enough electricity to go around.  Many of the same politicians are now on a campaign against air conditioning, for the same reason.  The solution to a shortage of electricity is not conservation.  The solution is greater supply, which requires building or re-activating coal-fired power plants, to use this country's 200-year supply of coal.

Tucker Carlson:  The woke CIA video may not be what we think.  Tucker at first mocks the wokeness of the video and puts up his new CIA acronym, which now stands for "Cisgender Intersectional Agency".  But then Tucker made the argument that this video may not be what we think, that the CIA is, after all, a hall of mirrors and maybe this is what they want our enemies to see.  Personally, I think Biden's CIA is as woke as it seems and the country is doomed.  But could Tucker be right about this woke facade, that it's just a ruse?

The Special Election in Texas Was All Bad News for the Democrat Hopes to Keep the House in 2022.  Texas 6 is located south of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and has a demographic make-up of approximately 40% black and Hispanic voters.  Pres.  Trump carried the district in 2016 by 12%, but in 2020 he won Texas 6 by a margin of only 51-48%.  The district has a +6 partisan advantage for the GOP in voter registration.  The special election contest held on Saturday to fill the seat left vacant by Wright began with an "open" primary — the seat could be won if any single candidate received more than 50% of the vote.  If no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, Saturday's top 2 vote-getters would meet in a runoff to decide the winner.  Twenty-three candidates ended up on the ballot.  The GOP swept the top two positions, and the district will remain in GOP's hands after the runoff.  But the story is more interesting when you look closely at some of the numbers in the contest.

Failed Texas Democrat Candidate Sounds Alarm: 2022 'Could Be Major Setback' for Democrats.  Failed special election Democrat candidate Jana Lynne Sanchez has sounded the alarm that 2022 "could be a major setback" for Democrats if they lose their slim majority in the House of Representatives.  Sanchez, after not receiving enough votes last Saturday to make the special election runoff, has a very strong message for the Democrats.  Sanchez lost by fewer than 400 votes to come in third place.  Republican candidates did extremely well, edging out the rest of the field.  Sanchez said the Republicans received an overwhelming majority (62 percent) of the total voters.

Corn Prices Rise 30 Percent So Far This Year.  You've likely seen mentions of inflation popping up amid some MSM discussions.  Without a doubt you have seen significant price jumps at your local supermarket.  The reason is simple, JoeBama's economic policies are beneficial to the multinationals, crushing to the domestic U.S. economy and driving massive increases in prices in a variety of sectors.  As a consequence the leftist financial media (almost all financial media) are churning out deflection points, but if you understand the background you can predictably see the cause and effect.

This will have an immediate impact on ethanol.

Basecamp Employees Flee Company After CEO Rejects Woke Capitalism.  About one-third of the employees of software developer Basecamp have quit their jobs after the company's founders asked them to focus on developing software, rather than get involved in politics at work.  Basecamp co-founder and CEO Jason Fried told employees that "every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy, or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant."

Reports say one-third of Basecamp employees exit in the wake of new company etiquette.  Last Monday, Chicago-based software firm Basecamp issued a statement that said it was making a number of changes, including a ban on political discussions on its company Basecamp account.  "Today's social and political waters are especially choppy.  Sensitivities are at 11, and every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy, or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant," the company said.  "You shouldn't have to wonder if staying out of it means you're complicit, or wading into it means you're a target."  The changes were touted as a "new etiquette regarding societal politics" by company co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson.  They did not prevent employees from having such conversations in a personal capacity.  But the internal reception to the more inclusive guidelines was not overly welcome, with reports coming in that a third of the company's employee base had walked out, accepting severance packages.

A software company comes up with a brilliant corporate speech policy.  Basecamp is remote work software that provides a single online environment in which workers on a single project can consolidate everything they do on that project.  No matter where you are, there's a virtual meeting space in cyberspace.  That's pretty cool.  What's really cool about Basecamp, though, is its CEO's new rule: people may not discuss politics at work.  With that single announcement, a third of the workforce quit.  Other American corporations should follow suit. [...] This is the American ethos:  employees are paid to get work done, not to stand on soapboxes, and employers exist to give them a safe environment and a decent salary for their work, not to try to force their lifestyle choices.

One-Third Of Basecamp Employees Quit After Ban On Political Discussions At Work.  Roughly one-third of employees at Basecamp are quitting after the company instituted a 'controversial' ban on wokeness in the workplace, according to TechCrunch.  After CEO Jason Fried announced in a Monday blog post that employees would no longer be able to openly share their "societal and political discussions" at work, around 20 of the company's 60 employees simply couldn't handle minding their own business and focusing on what they were hired to do.  "Every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant," Fried wrote in the blog post.  "You shouldn't have to wonder if staying out of it means you're complicit, or wading into it means you're a target."

The CIA's woke recruitment video gets panned.  A new CIA recruitment video has been widely ridiculed online after the recruit described herself as an 'intersectional cisgender millennial'.  The unnamed CIA officer, 36, tells viewers she is 'unapologetically me', adding that she to suffer from 'imposter syndrome' but now refuses to 'internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be.'  But the clip has sparked a fierce reaction online with users labelling it 'woke'.  Another said:  'The world is laughing at us.'

The CIA Goes Full-Blown WOKE, Release Commerical Targeting 'Cisgender Millennials' Featuring An Agent With A Mental Disorder.  The Central Intelligence Agency's recent advertisement profiling a "cisgender millennial" agent is being criticized and ridiculed by social media, especially on Twitter where the hashtag #CIA is trending.  The ad follows a 36-year-old Latina CIA agent, who identifies herself as a "woman of color" who has been "diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder."  "I am intersectional, but my existence is not a box-checking exercise," the agent says in the video, later adding that she "refuse[s] to internalize misguided, patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be."  [Video clip]

Chinese Leader Xi Jinping Lays out Plan to Control the Global Internet:  Leaked Documents.  Chinese leader Xi Jinping personally directed the communist regime to focus its efforts to control the global internet, displacing the influential role of the United States, according to internal government documents recently obtained by The Epoch Times.  In a January 2017 speech, Xi said the "power to control the internet" had become the "new focal point of [China's] national strategic contest," and singled out the United States as a "rival force" standing in the way of the regime's ambitions.  The ultimate goal was for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to control all content on the global internet, so the regime could wield what Xi described as "discourse power" over communications and discussions on the world stage.

Cop suspended for mocking LeBron James has GoFundMe erupt for over $289,000.  The cop who mocked LeBron James in a viral video got suspended.  Now there's a GoFundMe for him that has over $289,000 at the time of publication.  The police officer was mocking LeBron James soon after his "You're Next" tweet targeted the police officer who shot Ma'Khia Bryant.  LeBron James deleted the tweet and posted again suggesting it was out of anger, despite him having the facts and possibly not even watching the video to see Ma'Khia Bryant had a knife in her hand as she ran at another girl who was in a defensive stance.

Washington DC Is Paying $1.6 Million In Settlements To Rioters At Trump's Inauguration.  The double standard of justice continues.  Washington D.C. is going to pay $1.6 million in settlements to those who were arrested for rioting at Trump's inauguration.  According to lawsuits filed protesters were arrested without cause and excessive force was used. [...] Trump supporters who were at the capitol on January 6th are not getting the same treatment.  While they do nothing about the crimes committed by the deep state and radical left they are targeting every Trump supporter.  The FBI is now focusing in on a Grandmother who just walked through the U.S. Capitol!

UFOs are real, feds' cover-up fueled by fear: ex-Pentagon whistleblower.  UFOs exist — but the government doesn't want you to know it, according to the ex-Pentagon official who says he ran the program investigating "unidentified aerial phenomena" or UAP.  Recalling the revelatory instant when he recognized that UFOs were bona fide, controversial whistleblower Luis "Lue" Elizondo exclusively told The [New York] Post, "... [N]ow we have to do something about it.'"  However, Elizondo has not been able to get the feds to act on what he describes as a serious national security risk due to a litany of roadblocks — including a cover-up of the existence of UFOs because of religious objections, concerns over tarnishing its own reputation and fears of inciting public panic.

Former Sen. Harry Reid thinks Lockheed Martin may have UFO fragments.  Former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid believes US defense contractor Lockheed Martin may have once had fragments of a crashed UFO in its possession, it was revealed Friday.  Reid, 81, told The New Yorker that he had never actually seen proof of the remnants — but tried, unsuccessfully, to get approval from the Pentagon to find them.

Goodbye Humvee, Hello Z-MAG: Meet Israel's New All-Terrain Military Vehicle.  Israel's Ministry of Defense is procuring Z-MAG, a unique all-terrain vehicle for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).  The IDF traditionally has used several types of light armored vehicles and jeeps, including thousands of Humvees.  Now Z-MAG will be one of the IDF's future vehicles as the army continues to modernize and use new technology.  Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), one of Israel's largest defense companies, acquired the manufacturing of Zibar, Z-MAG, and ZD vehicles from off-road vehicle manufacturer Ido Cohen, the company said last year.  At the time IAI said that the all-terrain vehicles would be upgraded for military and homeland defense applications with a range of intelligence, radar, and communication systems manufactured by IAI's ELTA Systems.

US reveals suspected energy weapon attacks near Trump White House in 2020: Report.  Federal agents are reportedly looking into a suspected directed energy weapon attack near the White House in November of last year while President Donald Trump was still in office, as well as another suspected attack on a White House staffer the year prior.  The suspected November attack took place near the Ellipse, the large oval lawn on the south side of the White House, according to sources for CNN.  U.S. Secret Service agents were sickened during the incident, according to multiple current and former officials.  Details about the November attack are still limited, but CNN reported defense officials briefed lawmakers on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees on the matter earlier this month.  Recent reports have detailed defense officials' efforts to brief lawmakers about several different incidents of directed energy attacks, including at least one in Syria in the fall of 2020 that sickened several U.S. troops with flu-like symptoms.

Report: Chinese Investors Seeking Stake in Saudi Oil Company Aramco.  Reuters reported Wednesday that "major Chinese investors" are in talks to buy a stake in Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) mentioned the possibility of selling some Aramco stock in a television interview Tuesday [4/27/2021].  "I don't want to give any promises but there's a discussion for acquisition of one percent of one of the pioneer companies for energy that will be a great deal to enhance the sales of Aramco in the country of this company," he said.

DC agrees to $1.6M settlement in lawsuits over mass arrests of Trump inauguration protesters.  The nation's capital reached a settlement over allegations that city police officers unlawfully arrested and detained more than 200 people protesting or observing protests of former President Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017.  The Washington, D.C., government will pay a combined $1.6 million to settle the two lawsuits over the mass arrests, according to court documents filed Monday which alleged that D.C. police violated the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights of plaintiffs, citing the use of pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, concussion grenades, and stingballs.  The lawsuits also alleged many plaintiffs were arrested without probable cause and that they were detained for 16 hours without access to food, water, or restrooms.

Used pickup prices are skyrocketing amid new vehicle shortage.  A sharp drop in the supply of new vehicles due to the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage coupled with a strong demand for cars as the economy continues its post-lockdown recovery has led to an increase in used car prices with pickups leading the way.  According to used automobile wholesaler Manheim, the average wholesale price for a pickup hit $30,093 in mid-April, which is up from #28,121 a month earlier and $17,201 last April when the industry was oversupplied during the worst part of the coronavirus lockdowns.  Manheim chief economist Jonathan Smoke said the increase should be reflected in retail prices within six to eight weeks.

Apple, Retail Groups Continue Lobbying Congress On Chinese Slave Labor Bill.  Apple and several retail trade groups continued lobbying policymakers in the first quarter of this year on a bill to prohibit American firms from using Chinese forced labor, according to disclosures filed with Congress this week.  Apple paid Fierce Government Relations, a Washington, D.C. firm, $90,000 to lobby the House and Senate on multiple pieces of legislation, including the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, according to Fierce's lobbying disclosure filing.  The tech giant also paid $90,000 to Invariant LLC, another Beltway-based firm, to work on several bills and to monitor "legislative action on workforce and supply chains in China."

Cops found 'cryptic writing and emblems' in Phillip Adams' home.  Former NFL player Phillip Adams may have become involved in a new religion before going on a killing rampage that left six people dead in South Carolina earlier this month.  After searching the ex-athlete's home, detectives said they had learned that Adams 'had been acting differently' and was 'possibly following a new religion or ideology'.  Investigators also discovered numerous notebooks containing 'cryptic writing with different designs and emblems' in Adams' room although they indicated they were not able to determine the meanings of these.

China's Fishing Fleet Is Vacuuming the Oceans.  Communist China seems increasingly to be depleting the world's oceans of marine life.  The country has by far the world's largest fishing fleet of anywhere between 200,000 to 800,000 fishing boats — accounting for nearly half of the world's fishing activity — approximately 17,000 of which belong to its distant-water fishing fleet.  The growth has been made possible by enormous state subsidies.  In 2012, for instance, the Chinese state poured $3.2 billion in subsidies into its fishing sector, most of it for fuel.  However, according to a report from 2012, "government support for the fishing and aquaculture sector could be as much as CNY 500 billion (USD 80.2 billion, EUR 61.7 billion) when regional and national subsidies for rural-based fish farmers are taken into account."  As noted by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), many industrialized countries, having depleted their domestic waters, go distant-water fishing in the territorial waters of low-income countries, but China's distant-water fleet is by far the largest in the world.  The ODI also noted that ownership and operational control of China's fleet is both "complex and opaque".

Apple claims 'no reasonable consumer would believe' hitting 'buy' button means you forever own the digital content they sold you.  Our high-tech overlords are redefining the word "buy" when it comes to online purchases of digital content from them.  They seem to conflate it with "rent."  Class action lawsuits are challenging the two most valuable companies in the world on this point.

Why lawmakers are so interested in Apple's and Google's "rents".  I suspect you, unlike me, had better things to do last Wednesday than watch the Senate antitrust subcommittee hearing on Apple's and Google's mobile app stores.  But if you did tune in, and you're not an economist, you might have been baffled by that exchange.  What is a monopoly rent — a term that was mentioned over and over at the hearing — and why is it bad?  What does it have to do with app stores?  In economics, the concept of rent refers to money that a business makes in excess of what it would get in an efficient, competitive market.  In other words, it's money that isn't earned by actually creating value.  When corporations lobby government to give them a tax break or a special regulatory favor, they are often accused of "rent seeking."  It's a pejorative term, and the precise limits of it are up for debate; it can be hard to draw the line between fair profits and unreasonable rents.  But the basic premise is that businesses should try to get rich by improving their products and services, not by gaming the system.

Elon Musk says 'bunch of people will probably die' during Mars mission.  Elon Musk has admitted that "a bunch of people will probably die" in the race to get to Mars.  The SpaceX pioneer made his blunt prediction as he laughed at how his planned Mars mission was being seen as "some escape hatch for rich people."  "You might die, it's going to be uncomfortable and probably won't have good food," Musk told Peter Diamandis, the founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation for scientific discovery.  Advertisements for the journey should note how it will be an "arduous and dangerous journey where you may not come back alive," Musk said with a chuckle.

A mystery:  Why is the Pentagon sitting on four percent of all internet addresses?  This is just a really odd story that's been bouncing around for a little while now, but the Associated Press is reporting that at least some details have emerged pointing to a possible explanation.  On January 20th (the day Joe Biden was inaugurated as president), a shadowy company in Florida announced that it was now managing a massive chunk of all the available internet addresses in the world and they were doing so on behalf of the United States Department of Defense.  The term "massive" isn't hyperbole in this case.  We're talking about more than 175 million addresses or roughly 4% of the total available domains.  Virtually all of this internet space was unused, too.  The problem was that the Pentagon didn't seem to have anything to say about it and the company making the claim barely existed except on paper, having only been incorporated last September.  Some additional probing by journalists has now produced a few answers, but many questions still remain.

Pentagon quietly transfers 175 million internet addresses worth $4 BILLION to mysterious firm at shared workspace in Florida.  A very strange thing happened on the internet the day President Joe Biden was sworn in.  A shadowy company residing at a shared workspace above a Florida bank announced to the world's computer networks that it was now managing a colossal, previously idle chunk of the internet owned by the U.S. Department of Defense.  That real estate has since more than quadrupled to 175 million addresses — about 4 percent the size of the entire current internet.  It's also more than twice the size of the internet space actually used by the Pentagon.

Atlanta dethroned as world's busiest airport.  [Scroll down]  The second surprise there, the fact that China's airports take 7 of the top ten slots for the busiest airports in the world, is even more significant.  Part of the surge is because the pandemic that originated in China has devastated other countries' business travel, the core of the airline industry's traffic, while China's economy has bounced back much faster.  (Why that is the case ought to be a central political issue of our time.)

Manchin rails against eliminating filibuster, says he's not 'going to be part of blowing up this Senate'.  Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Sunday [4/25/2021] pushed back against progressive Democrats who call him a "roadblock" to their liberal proposals, emphasizing he is "not going to be part of blowing up this Senate."  CNN's "State of the Union" anchor Dana Bash asked Manchin how he would respond to Democrats who say that he is one of the "main roadblocks" to President Biden passing his "ambitious agenda," prompting Manchin to say, "I'm not a roadblock at all."  "I am not going to be part of blowing up this Senate of ours or basically this democracy of ours or the republic that we have," Manchin said, referring to the Democratic push to eliminate the filibuster.  "If we have a 51-vote threshold in the Senate, the same as the House — the House wasn't designed to be partisan."

NYPD Officers Leaving In Droves, 75% Increase In Quitting Or Retirement In 2020.  The members of the NYPD grew so disenchanted with their jobs in 2020 that over 5,300 uniformed officers either retired or quit, an astonishing 75% increase over the year before, amounting to 15% of the total number of officers on the force.  The impetus for the officers quitting seemed to be the death of George Floyd and the unrest that followed; between May 25 and June 24, 2020, a whopping 272 officers left the force in one month.  2,600 officers quit and 2,746 filed for retirement, according to the New York Post.  The 5,346 officers who left the force were nearly 2,300 more than left the force in 2019, when 1,509 officers quit and 1,544 filed for retirement.

Jim Clyburn Fined $5,000 For Bypassing Metal Detectors Outside House Floor.  House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn was fined $5,000 Friday for bypassing the metal detectors before walking on the floor.  The House Ethics committee released a statement, saying Clyburn had been fined and that he has appealed the fine.  The House installed magnetometers in early January and require all members of Congress to walk through them before entering the chamber after rioters supporting Trump stormed the U.S. capitol, committing acts of vandalism and violence.  Clyburn denied breaking House rules to CNN, saying:  "I have no idea," adding:  "It's just somebody on the other side trying to cause mischief."  For a first-time offense, the fine is $5,000, a second-time offense is $10,000.

Former Coca-Cola Employee Convicted of Stealing $120 Million Worth of Trade Secrets to Sell in China.  A Chinese-born American chemist was found guilty on April 22 for her role in a scheme to steal trade secrets worth an estimated $120 million from American companies for the purpose of setting up a Chinese company that would manufacture the product for the global market.  After a 12-day trial, 59-year-old You Xiaorong — also known as Shannon You — of Lansing, Michigan, was convicted of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft, conspiracy to commit economic espionage, possession of stolen trade secrets, economic espionage, and wire fraud, according to the Justice Department.  While working at two U.S. companies — Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia, and Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee — she stole trade secrets related to BPA-free (bisphenol-A) coating technology, which lines the insides of cans and other food and beverage containers to prevent flavor loss, corrosion, and reactions to the food or beverage content.

Coca-Cola GC who pushed law firms on diversity resigns post after less than a year.  Bradley Gayton, who joined the Coca-Cola Co as general counsel in September and made headlines for requiring its law firms to staff its matters with diverse lawyers or lose its business, has resigned, the beverage giant said in a Wednesday [4/21/2021] filing.  Gayton will now serve as an outside consultant to Coca-Cola's chief executive, the Atlanta-based company said in a statement and a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. [...] Gayton's new consulting agreement is non-exclusive and expires at the end of next April.  Under its terms, he is set to receive a lump-sum, $4 million "sign-on make-whole" payment this month and an additional $8 million combined in monthly installments, the filing said.

Cotton singles out Schiff as 'potential source' for hyped Russian bounties reporting.  House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff may have been a source for media reports last year that hyped intelligence about how the Russian government had offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill U.S. troops, according to a Republican lawmaker.  Sen. Tom Cotton told Lisa Boothe on her podcast, The Truth with Lisa Boothe, that the leaks were "probably as likely" to have come from Democrats in Congress as the U.S. intelligence community and specifically name-dropped Schiff, a California Democrat.  The Arkansas Republican was reacting to the White House saying last week the U.S. intelligence community had only "low to moderate confidence" in intelligence that was used by former President Donald Trump's critics to say he was ignoring information out of deference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

From 'Insurrectionists' to 'Interruptionists'.  Well, this is a bummer for the sedition-baiting crowd.  The Biden Justice Department last week announced its first plea deal related to the January 6 protest on Capitol Hill:  Jon Ryan Schaffer pleaded guilty to two charges — obstruction of an official proceeding and entering the Capitol with a dangerous or deadly weapon.  Schaffer, who has no criminal record, faced six counts of various trespassing and disorderly conduct offenses.  (He did not plead guilty to any of the initial charges.)

Florida Sheriff To Incoming Residents Fleeing Blue States; 'Welcome To Florida, But Don't Vote Stupid.".  For any American who values liberty, freedom, patriotism, and 'America First,' if you're currently living in a blue-state or blue-city hell and are seeking to escape, there are a number of 'free states' where you can go to live a better life.  Missouri is good.  Texas is good.  The Dakotas would work.  Oklahoma and Kansas and Tennessee and Kentucky are options.  So, too, is Mississippi, Arkansas, Utah, and Idaho.  But wait — what if you're an American who values liberty, freedom, patriotism, and 'America First,' and who also wants really good weather for the majority of the year?  Yes, there's an option for those folks, too:  Florida.  Thanks to the Republicans who run that state, Florida has become a beacon of industry, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  That didn't come easy and it is a constant battle to keep the state that way.  Which brings me to a particular Florida law enforcement leader who had something to say about that very subject this week.

Executive Order Canceling the Constitution.  On April 15, Preident Biden signed an Executive Order on Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation.  Contrary to its title, this EO is not about Russia.  It is designed to allow the Biden administration to deprive American citizens and organizations of their rights and property by arbitrarily linking those persons to real, imagined, or vaguely defined activities of the Russian government.  The Biden administration unilaterally makes the determination and requires neither criminal acts nor intent.  The punishment is blocking assets and a prohibition on any dealing with the accused person.  Spouses and adult children of individuals found guilty by accusation under this EO are punished, too.  The EO was preceded by some distracting maneuvers, both diplomatic (hostile rhetoric toward Russia) and military (sending naval ships toward the Black Sea and recalling them back, as if dealing with Russian threats).  Thus, many people assumed that the EO was directed at Russia, and completely missed the fact that it is directed at dissent here, at home.

The Catholic Church is Building Mosques Now:  What could possibly go wrong?  Celebrate diversity!.  Gloria.tv reported Saturday [4/17/2021] that in France, "Tours Diocese donated money for the construction of a local mosque," and that "Tours Bishop Vincent Jordy justified his donation on April 15 with the fact that for John Paul II's 1996 visit to the city, the local Muslims made a symbolic donation which the diocese wanted to reciprocate.  Riposte-Catholique.fr adds that in 2015, Auch Diocese — where John Paul II never visited — donated €5000 for a mosque."  Also, the amount of the Muslims' "symbolic donation" was not reported, but it is not likely to have been enough to build a church, much less two churches.  Meanwhile, Bishop Stephen Mamza of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yola in Nigeria is building houses in Yola for people who have lost their homes due to jihad terror activity by the Islamic group Boko Haram, whose official name is People Committed to the Prophet's Teachings for Proselytizing and Jihad.  Since many of those displaced are Muslims whom Boko Haram didn't think were Islamic enough, Bishop Mamza also built them a mosque.

It Was Worse Than We Thought:  NO ONE Met Japanese Prime Minister at the White House Door Except Stationary Army Guard.  In a highly disrespectful and embarrassing move, Kamala Harris welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to the White House on Friday [4/16/2021].  Joe Biden was nowhere to be found as Kamala Harris welcomed Yoshihide Suga, the first foreign leader to visit the Biden White House.  But it was way worse than we originally reported.  No one met Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the door when he arrived.  The only one standing there was a stationary Army guard.

Trump-Supporting Republican Vernon Jones To Primary RINO Brian Kemp In Georgia Governor's Race.  Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) officially has a primary challenger.  Former Democrat Vernon Jones announced he would be running for Georgia Governor — as a Republican! [...] On January 6th Vernon Jones officially announced that he would be joining the Republican Party.

This is what happens when the government prints money and passes it around:
U.S consumer prices surge in March, CPI finds, pushing inflation to 2 1/2-year high.  Consumer prices rose in March for the fourth month in a row and the pace of inflation hit the highest level in two and a half years, underscoring new pressures emerging on the economy as the U.S. recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.  The consumer price index jumped 0.6% last month, the government said Tuesday, spearheaded by the rising cost of oil.  Economists polled by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.5% increase in the CPI.  The rate of inflation over the past year shot up to 2.6% from 1.7% in the prior month, marking the highest level since the fall of 2018.  The yearly rate of inflation is widely expected to surge in the next few months.

Consumer Prices Jump 0.6% in March, Biggest Gain Since 2012.  U.S. consumer prices increased a sharp 0.6% in March, the biggest uptick since 2012, while inflation over the past year jumped 2.6%.  The big gains had been anticipated and are largely expected to be a temporary blip rather than a reawakening of long dormant inflation.

House Democratic margin shrinks to 2 votes with swearing-in of Republican Julia Letlow.  House Democrats are barely holding onto their majority, with Rep.-elect Julia Letlow, R-La., set to be sworn in Wednesday morning.  Letlow will be joining the House in the seat originally won by her husband, Luke Letlow, who died in September from COVID-19 before he was supposed to be sworn in.  Julia Letlow won a special election in March.  This gives Republicans 212 seats in the House, catching up to Democrats' 218.  Since tie votes fail in the House, that means Democrats cannot lose more than two votes from their party to pass legislation if the GOP fully opposes them.  That slim margin of error could prevent Democrats from passing more progressive bills that moderates in their party may not support.

Is the Special Election in Texas 6 a 'Canary in GOP Coal Mine'?  Texas is turning blue.  We know because that's what we're told.  Despite Donald Trump winning the state in 2020 and the 10 Democratic targeted House races all ending up in Republican hands, the state is getting bluer all the time.  We know because... well, if the media tells us Republicans are sinking and Texas is where the "evidence" will appear next, naturally, the race to succeed Rep. Ron Wright, who died of COVID-19 in February, will be the "canary in the coal mine" according to Politico.

Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in prison.  Bernard Madoff, the infamous architect of an epic securities swindle that burned thousands of investors, outfoxed regulators and earned him a 150-year prison term, died in a federal prison early Wednesday [4/14/2021].  He was 82.

U.S. soldiers should be at the Mexican border.
Pentagon will send 500 new troops to Germany in reversal of Trump plan.  The Pentagon on Tuesday [4/13/2021] said it will send an additional 500 U.S. troops to Germany in the coming months, marking a stark reversal of former President Trump's ill-fated push to move thousands of forces out of the country.  Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the shift after meeting with German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbaue, who hailed the plan as a "strong signal" of America's commitment to its European ally.  The 500 troops will join the roughly 35,000 American personnel now in Germany.  They are expected to arrive by the fall.

Due process is no more in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.  [Scroll down]  Due process is the underpinning of the rule of law:  Those in power cannot treat people in an arbitrary and capricious manner.  Instead, there are rules for dealing with problematic situations, whether criminal accusations or workplace wrongdoing, especially in the context of government employment.  Due process is a double-sided shield that, in addition to protecting Americans from those in power, also protects them from the passions of the mob[.]  A man like this, who can stand for the rule of law when the mob is baying for blood, is a treasure and should be cherished.  In a fraught situation, he placed profoundly important principles ahead of any personal feelings he might have had regarding the events that just put his city on the map.  It turned out that the City Council would have liked to cherish him but the members were too frightened to do so.  Immediately after the conference, the Council convened in an emergency session and promptly fired [City Manager Curt] Boganey.  As one council member stated explicitly, the council's decision was made entirely to appease the mob.

Daunte Wright shooting:  Brooklyn Center city manager fired after call for due process for police officer.  Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey was fired on Monday evening, hours after he publicly disagreed with Mayor Mike Elliott's assertion that the police officer who fatally shot a Black man in the Minneapolis suburb should be immediately fired in response to the incident.  "Effective immediately our city manager has been relieved of his duties, and the deputy city manager will be assuming his duties moving forward," Elliott wrote on Twitter.  "I will continue to work my hardest to ensure good leadership at all levels of our city government."

Bitcoin Was Supposed to Be a Way Around Corporate Gatekeepers.  Now Big Companies Are Hopping On Board.  A year ago, Bitcoin was just a curiosity for many companies.  That's starting to change.  More than two dozen public companies now own some cryptocurrencies on their balance sheets.  Many more are starting to offer services to people interested in buying Bitcoin or to companies that want to hold it or accept it for payments. [...] Helping to push Bitcoin further into the mainstream have been traditional Wall Street institutions that are figuring out how to update their current systems to offer the same services for crypto that they do for cash.

If you're making counterfeit money, head to Minneapolis. They'll take it.
Retailers [are being] urged to re-think police calls for low-level crimes after George Floyd's death.  George Floyd died in police custody after a corner store clerk reported he had used a fake $20 bill, a nonviolent offense so low-level that police don't usually take people to jail for it. [...] In response to community outcry following Floyd's death, the owner of the Cup Foods store said they would no longer contact police in cases of nonviolent crime, as they did for Floyd's suspected counterfeit bill.  Raymond Moss, who runs the St.  Paul-based Carl Moss Institute that helps young people who have been incarcerated re-enter society, believes more stores need to forgo calling the police for small crimes and change the loss prevention culture among their security officers and staff.

The Editor says...
[#1] Counterfeiting is a federal crime.  It is not "low-level."  [#2] When the police tried to put George Floyd in the back of a cop car, he went berserk, because he was already about to die from a drug overdose.  [#3] Failing to report petty crime will result in more serious crime.  Who decides where to draw the line?  [#4] There's already too much selective enforcement of the law.  If you're white, no offense is too petty to overlook.

Portland Plans to Combat Crime with Unarmed Park Rangers.  Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler reportedly backed down from his request the police bureau be given $2 million in emergency funds and instead voted with city commissioners to spend $6 million on grants to community groups and also hire 24 park rangers.  "The deal gives police no money but calls for the Portland Police Bureau to assemble a new gun violence team to replace the one eliminated last June, when the city defunded its police by $15 million in the midst of nightly social justice protests," Fox News reported Friday [4/9/2021].

JAMA pulls plug on editor; fired for questioning 'existence of structural racism' on podcast.  An editor at the Journal of the American Medical Association is out of a job after criticizing the concept of structural racism in the healthcare field during a February podcast.  Dr. James L. Madara, CEO and executive vice president of the American Medical Association, announced in a statement that the journal had accepted the resignation of Deputy Editor for Clinical Reviews and Education Dr. Edward H. Livingston, accusing him of hosting a "harmful" podcast that "both minimized the effects of systemic racism in health care and questioned its profound impact on millions of people across our country."  The AMA's CEO declared that "structural racism exists in the U.S. and in medicine" and that it's "not opinion or conjecture" but a fact proven "through the science and in the evidence."

7% of Americans don't use the internet.  Who are they?  For many Americans, going online is an important way to connect with friends and family, shop, get news and search for information.  Yet today, 7% of U.S. adults say they do not use the internet, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 25-Feb. 8, 2021.  Internet non-adoption is linked to a number of demographic variables, but is strongly connected to age — with older Americans continuing to be one of the least likely groups to use the internet.  Today, 25% of adults ages 65 and older report never going online, compared with much smaller shares of adults under the age of 65.  Educational attainment and household income are also indicators of a person's likelihood to be offline.

The Editor says...
The Democrats often say that high-speed internet service should be available in every part of the country, but the poll reported above shows that some people don't care about the internet at all.  The last time I checked, just over one percent of American households do not have a television.  With TV's so cheap and plentiful, that must be voluntary.  (It's voluntary at my house).  Some people just want to isolate themselves from all the noise.

'Is there an actual plan?' New Yorkers rip De Blasio for saying residents 'don't live in fear' amid crime spike.  Mayor de Blasio boldly insisted Wednesday [4/7/2021] New Yorkers are unrattled after 34 of them failed to dodge a fatal bullet last month, after a 5-year-old Brooklyn girl was grazed by a gunshot Monday outside her home, and after a Times Square tourist who'd just taken in a Mets game was hit by a stray shot walking to his hotel.  "I do not believe New Yorkers are living in fear," the mayor declared.  "It's just not who we are.  I believe there are some real issues we have to address .... But New Yorkers don't live in fear.  They keep moving forward.  I really believe that."

The Editor says...
If "New Yorkers don't live in fear," why is everybody wearing face masks?  Because they live in fear!

China warns Biden:  Cave to our demands or forget about your climate agenda.  A critical meeting on climate change, organised by the UK, appears to be the latest victim of an ongoing row with China.  Ministers from around 35 countries are due to participate in today's summit on climate and development.  But while the US, EU, India and others are taking part, China is notable by its absence.  The UK says that China was invited to the event but is not participating.

Rep. Lee Zeldin announces run for NY governor amid Cuomo scandals.  Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin announced his candidacy for governor of New York on Thursday with the message:  "Cuomo's gotta go!"  Zeldin, 41, is the first GOP contender to officially challenge three-term Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2022.  "I'll bring the kind of relentless, fighting spirit towards helping to save our state that Cuomo reserves for multi-million dollar self-congratulatory book deals, cover-ups, abuse & self-dealing," the congressman tweeted. 

Cop-Hating Leftist Tishaura Jones Wins St. Louis Mayoral Race — As Homicides Soar in St. Louis City to 50-Year High.  Former St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones defeated fellow Democrat Cara Spencer to win the St. Louis Mayoral race.  Tishaura Jones is a radical leftist who is very critical of St. Louis City policing. [...] The murder rate in St. Louis City hit a 50-year high in 2020.  Tishaura Jones said the city's brightest days are "ahead of us and not behind us."  That's Doubtful.

Man accused of trying to extort Matt Gaetz admits he asked for cash.  The man accused of trying to extort $25 million from Rep. Matt Gaetz's family admitted Monday that he asked the congressman's dad for cash — but denied that it was a shakedown.  Bob Kent, an ex-Air Force intelligence officer, confirmed to Sirius Radio host Michael Smerconish that he approached the Florida Republican's dad, Don Gaetz, for money last month.  The funds, Kent said, were to pay for an effort to free Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007, and is believed to be dead.  Kent claimed he has video evidence that Levinson is still alive and is being held hostage.

Keep Up The Delta Airlines Boycott — Delta Cancels Over 100 Flights on Sunday, But Cites "Staff Shortages".  Last week President Donald Trump asked for a full and unrelenting boycott of several corporations who are operating as political activists to advance an agenda on behalf of the far-left.  The corporations spoke against election integrity and are opposed to secure election reforms.  Among those corporations cited for immediate boycott was Delta Airlines.  On Sunday Delta cancelled over 100 flights: [...] Delta is claiming "staff shortages" suddenly appeared in multiple states, simultaneously; that had never happened before, immediately after the boycott began.  This story reeks of Delta cancelling the flights because of the boycott, but they don't want to admit the reason for the cancellation so they make up an artificial justification.  You decide what is likely.  A coincidental cancellation across multiple states, affecting multiple flights, in multiple locations, or the boycott is working?

Georgia GOP Legislators to Coca-Cola:  We Want You Out.  Certain Republican Georgia lawmakers want Coca Cola products removed from their offices after the corporation spoke out against the state's new election law, reports the Hill.  In a letter to Kevin Perry, president of the Georgia Beverage Association, eight members of the Georgia House of Representatives — Victor Anderson, Clint Crowe, Matt Barton, Jason Ridley, Lauren McDonald III, Stan Gunter, Dewayne Hill and Marcus Wiedower — complained about Coca-Cola.  "Given Coke's choice to cave to the pressure of an out of control cancel culture, we respectfully request all Coca-Cola Company products be removed from our office suite immediately," they stated.  "Should Coke choose to read the bill, share its true intentions and accept their role in the dissemination of mistruths, we would welcome a conversation to rebuild a working relationship."

The company racing to free US from reliance on China for electric cars, wind turbines, and satellites.  One company sees a business opportunity in the United States's reliance on China for rare earth elements, such as dysprosium, terbium, and yttrium, crucial for the proper functioning of night vision goggles and wind turbines, among scores of other kinds of important hardware.  There are 17 metals called rare earth elements, also referred to as REEs.  China has dominated the rare earth market for years and accounts for about 80% of U.S. imports of rare earth metals and compounds.  Demand for the metals is only growing as clean energy products such as wind turbines and electric cars, which use the metals, become more popular.  UCore aims to rip that hegemony away from China.  "It's a pretty dangerous spot to be in," UCore interim CEO Pat Ryan told the Washington Examiner.  "It's quite an imbalance, and it's got to be corrected, or the technology will continue to evolve with control by China."

The Duty to Dissent:  In our free republic, where the God-given right to free speech is recognized by our federal and state constitutions and guaranteed by our servant governments, a recent poll of our fellow citizens should amaze no one and enrage everyone.  Consider these findings:
  •   64 percent believe there is "a growing cancel culture" threatening their freedom (36 percent disagreed);
  •   36 percent said cancel culture is a "big problem"; 32 percent a "moderate problem"; 20 percent a "small problem"; 13 percent said it's "not a problem";
  •   54 percent are "concerned" that expressing online opinions would get them banned (by Big Tech) or fired by their employer; 46 percent "were not concerned."

New York opens Office of Cannabis Management following legalization.  A state-run website for a new Office of Cannabis Management was launched Friday following the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York.  The website is meant to educate the public "on the OCM's regulatory structure which, with the Cannabis Control Board, will oversee the licensure, cultivation, production, distribution, sale and taxation of medical, adult-use and cannabinoid hemp within New York State," Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said.  The site also provides resources for individuals seeking medical cannabis practitioners and medical cannabis IDs as well as businesses seeking licensure to participate in the adult-use, medical and cannabinoid hemp industries even though legal marijuana cannot be sold by licensed dispensaries until at least next year.

Oil companies defeat New York City appeal over global warming.  A federal appeals court on Thursday [4/1/2021] rejected New York City's effort to hold five major oil companies liable to help pay the costs of addressing harm caused by global warming.  Ruling in favor of BP Plc, Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions should be addressed under federal law and international treaties.  It rejected the city's efforts to sue under state nuisance law for damages caused by the companies' "admittedly legal" production and sale of fossil fuels, and said the city's federal common law claims were displaced by the federal Clean Air Act.

Georgia House passes bill stripping Delta of tax break after airline's CEO slammed new election integrity law.  Georgia lawmakers passed an amendment that would strip Delta Airlines of a tax break on jet fuel after the company publicly excoriated the state's newly enacted election integrity law.  Republicans in the Georgia House of Representatives narrowly passed an amendment that would revoke the tax break, costing the Atlanta-based Delta tens of millions of dollars per year, according to Forbes.  "They like our public policy when we're doing things that benefit them," state House Speaker David Ralston said about the move.  "You don't feed a dog that bites your hand.  You got to keep that in mind sometimes."

Detectives find cause of Tiger Woods crash but won't reveal.  The Los Angeles County sheriff said detectives have determined what caused Tiger Woods to crash his SUV last month in Southern California but declined Wednesday to release details, citing unspecified privacy concerns for the golf star.

Russia Massing Troops on Ukraine Border; US Forces in Europe Raise Watch to Highest Level 'Potential Imminent Crisis'.  Russian forces massing on the border with Ukraine have prompted the U.S. European Command to raise its watch level to its highest point of "potential imminent crisis", according to a New York Times report Tuesday night [3/30/2021].  On Wednesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley spoke to senior Russian Gen. Valery Gerasimov about the buildup, according to Russia.  Four Ukrainian soldiers were killed last week in an extended battle in the contested Donetsk Region against Russia-backed separatists.  Russian forces that were thought to have gathered for training exercises near the border have stayed and grown in numbers, prompting concerns.

Mike Lindell:  New Social Media Platform Will Be Able to Handle Upwards of a Billion People.  The forthcoming social media website from MyPillow's Mike Lindell will be able to handle more than a billion users, Lindell said this week.  "I believe it will handle upwards of a billion.  If it doesn't, we will get to that capacity.  I don't think that's exaggerated, by any means," Lindell told The Epoch Times.  "It's going to be the safest, secure platform.  I built it expecting to be attacked."  The platform, dubbed Frank, has a landing page but isn't operational yet.  Lindell told The Epoch Times' affiliate NTD on March 11 that the website would be up and running within two weeks.

Biden Stimulus Delayed for Many Americans on Social Security.  Americans struggling to survive on federal benefits have waited weeks for word on their share of the $1.9 trillion stimulus.  Some of the country's most vulnerable citizens have been waiting weeks for the next round of promised financial aid from President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion "American Rescue Plan" coronavirus relief package, with no indication of when it would come.  Chief among those are the millions of elderly Americans who depend on federal assistance to survive.

Terrorism Charges Dismissed by Judge Against Three Men Accused of Plotting to Kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.  Jackson County District Judge Michael Klaeren (Michigan 12th District) has removed charges of terrorism against three men accused in a plot to kidnap governor Gretchen Whitmer.  According to the Detroit News, judge Klaeren said:  "There has to be some form of intent here to incite mayhem", and no evidence in that regard has been presented.  The terrorism charges fail for lack of evidence.

Identity Politics and Critical Race Theory Have No Place in US Military.  Sen. Tom Cotton, rightly angered that the Department of Defense is moving to indoctrinate U.S. military personnel in divisive critical race theory, has introduced a bill that would forbid it.  Like colleagues in the House who sent letters to Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations, expressing severe disapproval of the Navy's decision to include books on critical race theory and other aspects of identity politics on professional reading lists, Cotton, R-Ark., and a former soldier, demonstrated he understands the corrosive effect that such teachings would have on the U.S military.

Limbaugh's Brother Addresses Fans Directly, Tells Them What Their 'Profound Love' of Rush Means.  It's been over a month since conservative talk show legend Rush Limbaugh passed away.  And ever since, the many voices of many American conservatives that would've otherwise remained unheard without his golden microphone, now speak in loving remembrance.  Limbaugh's brother David, awed by the immense outpour of love his now-deceased brother's audience continues to show, expressed his overwhelming gratitude in words every Rush fan needs to hear.

How a desert wind blew $10 billion of global trade off course.  The forecast for Tuesday, March 23, showed wind gusts of more than 40 miles per hour and sand storms sweeping through northern Egypt.  Indeed, such weather is common in the Sinai desert at this time of year.  The Suez Canal — one of the most critical, yet precarious waterways on the planet — remained open.  Ships were starting to form the daily convoy as the gusts picked up.  One of the world's biggest container vessels, the Ever Given, joined it.  The decision would reverberate globally within hours.

Suez Canal snafu costs $10 billion a day: report.  A massive container ship remains stuck in the Suez Canal for a sixth day on Sunday — hiking the estimated economic damage from the resulting shipping logjam to $60 billion.  The crisis is causing commercial losses of about $9.6 billion a day as ships that should have been heading between Europe and Asia stay immobilized, according to economic estimates calculated by Bloomberg.  Meanwhile, there is still no timeline for freeing the massive Ever Given container ship, which is about the length of the Empire State Building.  The vessel went aground Tuesday [3/23/2021] after being blown aground inside the canal by heavy winds, investigators said.

Myanmar military kills dozens of anti-coup protesters; baby injured.  Myanmar's military fatally shot dozens of protesters Saturday and a rubber bullet injured a baby amid anti-coup demonstrations, observers said.  The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said dozens of protesters were shot dead in the bloodiest day since the February coup with the latest deaths bringing the total number to about 400, according to the BBC.

US military has gone full woke, waging war on those who disagree with them.  Who exactly is Richard Torres-Estrada?  His Facebook page gives us some indication of who he is.  On it, you'll find an attack on the police, you'll find crude BLM propaganda, you'll find a picture of Donald Trump holding a Bible in front of a church.  Next to Trump is a photograph of Adolf Hitler.  The point is, they're the same.  So, this is the guy who now oversees hiring for the SEALs.  If you're wondering whether our military leadership has gone woke, consider that question settled for good.  The Pentagon is now the Yale faculty lounge, but with cruise missiles.  That should concern you.  Meanwhile, the rest of the world rolls on and gets more menacing by the day.  Tonight, the Suez Canal, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, is blocked by a stranded container ship.  Was it an accident?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  We don't know.  What we do know is the Suez Canal is vital to the world's economy.  That's not an overstatement.  The Suez Canal is one of about a dozen strategic choke points that control virtually all global trade.  Now it's closed.

James Huntsman files lawsuit accusing Latter-day Saint Church of fraud.  A member of one of Utah's most prominent families, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has filed a lawsuit accusing the church of fraud.  James Huntsman says the church spent tithes from members on commercial interests instead of charity, as it was intended.  "This is not a case about faith; it is a case about fraud and corporate greed," the lawsuit reads.  The lawsuit was filed Tuesday [3/23/2021] in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and first reported by the Washington Post.  Huntsman claims the Church lied to members about the use of funds that it said would be used for non-commercial purposes such as "missionary work, member indoctrination, temple work, and other educational and charitable activities."

Parler Just Flipped Big Tech's Jan. 6 Conspiracy Theory on Its Head.  In the days after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, Big Tech moved against a conservative alternative social media platform, Parler, based on the premise that the rioters has used Parler to plan the attack on the Capitol and that Parler had failed in its responsibility to prevent such coordination. [...] On Thursday [3/25/2021], Parler sent a response to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform's request for documents regarding the riot, the company explained in a press release.  In that response, Parler revealed that it had "proactively developed an open line of communication with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the fall of 2020 and referred violent content and incitement from Parler's platform over 50 times before January 6th.  Parler also warned the FBI about specific threats of violence being planned for the events at the Capitol on January 6th."  The letter details Parler's efforts "to flag and remove unlawful speech from its platform that was not protected by the First Amendment."  It also notes that of the 270 charging documents filed by the Department of Justice, 80 percent of social media references involved Big Tech platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  "Only 5% referred to Parler."

North Korea:  Lockdown as a Strategy.  There used to be a saying that any country called the "People's Democratic Republic" was the reverse.  Nothing illustrates the semantic inversion better than the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, also known as North Korea). [...] The Democratic People's Republic's claim to be coronavirus-free cannot be independently confirmed in a country where lockdown is policy.  The secret to the Kims' ability to control the messaging is the principle that less is more.  To achieve this, they deplatformed channels in favor of systems like their unique low bandwidth closed-circuit radio.  DPRK closed-circuit radio works just like a giant apartment intercom system.  "When hundreds of houses and apartments were completed last year, North Korean media showed residents entering their new homes, welcomed with a pile of household goods.  On the wall of each home was something else provided by the state:  a dedicated receiver for the country's secretive third radio network that relays daily news, instruction, and propaganda."  It is obviously impossible to run an economy on the basis of an apartment intercom/loudspeaker.  But the royal Kims are not interested in running an economy, just maintaining control.  For this their infrastructure suffices.

Republican Candidate For Congress In Texas: 'Commies In DC' Are Ruining America.  Dan Rodimer is a former WWE wrestler who is running for Congress in Texas.  In one of his new ads, he takes aim at Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in Washington, DC and refers to them as 'commies' who are ruining America.

China's Myanmar dilemma grows deep and wide.  Soon after 17-year-old medical student Khant Nyar Hein was shot and killed during an anti-coup demonstration in Yangon's Tamwe township on March 14, his mother posted on social media that although her family is ethnically Chinese they do not support the People's Republic of China (PRC).  Ethnicity also came into play in Mandalay when a 19-year-old woman was shot by a Myanmar army sniper on March 3.  Widely circulated pictures of the Sino-Myanmar woman, known as Angel, taken just moments before she was killed showed her in a T-shirt with the slogan "Everything will be OK."

Global Plastic Shortage Triggered By Texas Deep Freeze.  The cold snap that shut down oil fields and refineries across Texas last month has severely impacted several petrochemical plants caused a global shortage of plastics, according to WSJ. Plastics produced on the Gulf Coast are essential for carmaking, medical devices, homebuilding, and consumables.  Prices for polyethylene, polypropylene, and other plastics used to make automobiles, computers, and pipes have reached their highest prices in years due to the shortages produced by the shuttering of petrochemical plants across Texas and other Gulf Coast states due to cold weather in February.  On top of a shortage of almost everything and soaring prices, as we explained days ago, wide-scale supply chain pains are expected throughout 2021.

Kylie Jenner, Billionaire, Asks Fans To Donate To Her Injured Makeup Artist's GoFundMe.  Kylie Jenner, who earned $590 million in 2020 alone, asked her fans to crowdsource $60,000 for her makeup artist's medical bills[.]  According to Forbes, Kylie Jenner made $590 million in 2020, making her the highest paid celebrity of that year.  Not the highest paid female celebrity.  The highest paid celebrity, full stop.  Her estimated net worth is just shy of a billion dollars, and her family's combined net worth?  Estimated to be somewhere around $2 billion.  And over the weekend, Jenner asked her social media fans to contribute to a GoFundMe to help pay for her makeup artist's medical bills.

China's rare earth supplies disrupted by Myanmar tumult.  Fears are growing of a global shortage of rare earth minerals used in the manufacture of high-tech devices as unrest in Myanmar following the February 1 coup disrupts exports to China.  Chinese companies started complaining about delays in shipments of the minerals since mid-March, reportedly due to the deteriorating political and economic situation, which Chinese media reports say have had an impact on logistics.  Rare earth metals are used in aerospace, advanced military equipment, mobile phones and electric vehicles, among other tech products.  Myanmar is a major supplier of rare earth ores, which are exported to China for extraction and processing, and then either used in local production or shipped on to global markets.

Army pulls the pin on 'gender neutral' combat fitness test; creates separate tiers for men, women.  The latest version of the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) will be gender-neutral in how performance is measured but will establish separate ranked tier systems for men and women, military officials said Monday as they rolled out the latest tweak to the Army's physical performance standards.  Army leaders said that both male and female soldiers will be measured on the same numerical scale of 360 to 600, with a 360 score being the minimum threshold.  In other words, a man and woman who run a mile in the same amount of time will have their performance measured equally on that point scale, and they will receive the same score.  But from there, the results will be separated out by gender in what Pentagon officials say is a recognition of reality.  The changes come amid criticism that previous tries at a truly "gender-neutral" test resulted in high failure rates for female soldiers.

Condo Association Says Resident's American Flag Is Too Noisy, Threatens Fines.  A condo association in Fargo, North Dakota, has threatened ongoing fines to a resident for the flapping sounds his flag makes on windy days.  Andrew Almer, like many Americans, hangs an American flag outside his home.  "It's something I've always wanted when I owned a home," Almer told Fox 13 on Friday.  "Having an American flag in the yard is just an American thing — that pride to have."  Now it looks like the patriotic display could cost him.

Wild Footage Shows Protesters In Myanmar Trying To Fight Armed Security Officers With Slingshots.  Protesters in Myanmar fired slingshots and threw Molotov cocktails toward lines of security forces after apparently coming under fire Wednesday in a rare incidence of anti-coup demonstrators fighting back against a relentlessly violent crackdown.

China uses Black Lives Matter to embarrass Biden Administration.  The Biden administration was thoroughly embarrassed and unprepared in their first diplomatic meeting with the Chinese delegation yesterday [3/18/2021].  On U.S. soil, the Chinese mocked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.  "Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States," top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi told the Biden administration, citing the Black Lives Matter movement.  The Chinese brazenly violated protocol for their 2-minute openings, each extending their comments beyond the given time.  Mr. Yang spoke for 16 minutes.

How Covid-19 Supercharged the Advertising 'Triopoly' of Google, Facebook and Amazon.  When the pandemic upended the economy last year, companies took a hard look at their advertising plans.  Oreos maker Mondelez International Inc. shifted money meant for TV commercials during March Madness basketball and the Summer Olympics into digital platforms.  A hefty chunk went to Alphabet Inc.'s Google, which offered data on what locked-down snack lovers were searching for.  Athleisure company Vuori Inc. more than tripled its spending on Facebook Inc., spotting a chance to juice sales of its sweatpants to people stuck at home.  Office-furniture maker Steelcase Inc. built an operation to sell directly to workers and advertised aggressively on Amazon.com Inc.  The Big Three of digital advertising — Google, Facebook and Amazon — already dominated that sector going into 2020.  The pandemic pushed them into command of the entire advertising economy.

Weather Channel will stop using 'racially insensitive' term 'Dixie Alley' for tornado-prone region of the South.  The Weather Channel on Friday [3/19/2021] announced it will no longer use the term "Dixie Alley" on its television network.  The term describes the region of the southern U.S. that's prone to deadly tornado outbreaks.  "Effective immediately, we will discontinue use of the racially-insensitive term 'Dixie Alley' — and I call on others in the industry to do the same," Byron Allen — CEO of Allen Media Group, parent company of The Weather Channel television network — said in a statement.

Myanmar Military Seizes George Soros Organization's Bank Accounts, Announces Arrest Warrants After Coup.  The military government in Myanmar, in place after a coup provoked by widespread accusations of voter fraud plagued the country's recent election, has now seized the bank accounts of George Soros' Open Society Foundations.  After taking control of the country in a military coup provoked by allegations of voter fraud earlier this year, the Myanmar military government has seized several bank accounts belonging or affiliated with George Soros' Open Society Foundations, and has announced arrest warrants for 11 members of the organization in the country "on suspicion of giving financial support to the civil disobedience movement against the military junta."

Former intelligence chief: 'Quite a few more' UFOs detected than public knows.  A former top intelligence official raised expectations on Friday for a forthcoming U.S. government disclosure on what it knows about UFOs.  John Ratcliffe, who served as director of national intelligence under former President Donald Trump, was asked on Fox News by host Maria Bartiromo what he knows about unidentified flying objects that have captured people's imaginations for generations.  "There are a lot more sightings than have been made public," Ratcliffe said.  "Some of those have been declassified.  And when we talk about sightings, we are talking about objects that have seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain.  Movements that are hard to replicate that we don't have the technology for.  Or traveling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom."  After saying that there have been sightings all around the world, Ratcliffe insisted that reports of "unidentified aerial phenomena" already in the public eye are only part of the bigger picture.

January 6 Narrative Collapse:  Assault Charges Spell Problems for DOJ, FBI in Officer Sicknick Case.  A major development broke this week in the Federal investigation into what exactly caused the death of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. [...] Here's what we know:  Two men, Julian Khater and George Tanios, have been charged with nine criminal counts for actions taken on January 6th just outside the steps of the U.S. Capitol building.  The most serious offense appears to be assault on an officer with a dangerous weapon, arising from Khater's alleged use of Tanios's chemical spray to tag Officer Sicknick and two other officers in the face.  It's not fully clear whether "dangerous weapon" or "deadly weapon" is the apt description.  The front page of the criminal complaint describes the assault as only being with a "dangerous weapon": [...] Everyone from Fox News to The Daily Caller to TMZ to World Socialist Website to Baltimore Jewish Life to the January 6th Wikipedia entry reported the charge as assault with a "deadly weapon"[.]

Tide wants you to wash in cold water to save the planet.  Detergent and cleaning brand Tide is urging Americans to do their laundry in cold water; to save the planet, and maybe save some money.  As part of their effort to lower the carbon footprint of doing laundry, Tide's new campaign is aimed at getting people to do an average of three out of four loads of laundry with cold water by 2030.  Currently, about half the loads of laundry in North America are with cold water.  The switch will cut down on the power consumption needed to heat the water.

The Editor says...
[#1] Hot water cleans better, every time.  [#2] Just make the soap, and leave the environmental preaching to someone else.  The detergent market is very competitive.  If I try all the other brands, I might not come back.  [#3]  If there is not enough power available in this country to wash clothes in warm water, the solution is to build more power plants; preferably fueled by America's 500-year supply of coal and 200-year supply of natural gas.

The Root accused of racism after piece by New York Times contributor declares 'Whiteness is a Pandemic'.  The digital magazine The Root was accused of racism Wednesday after publishing an article declaring "Whiteness is a Pandemic" in response to Tuesday's deadly shootings in Georgia.  There was a rush to conclude that the shootings that killed eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlors were hate crimes after officials confirmed that six of the eight victims were Asian-Americans.  Investigators said Wednesday that the suspected gunman, 21-year-old Robert Long, told them he was motivated by a "sexual addiction".  They added that racism "did not appear to be the motive".  Long has since been charged with multiple counts of murder and assault.  In the piece, Root senior editor Damon Young argued that "Whiteness" is a "public health crisis."

Biden Admin Halts Navy Operations, Orders Sailors to Undergo 'Chilling' Stand-Down Training.  [Scroll down]  As one person on our team put it, "Why does the DoD only care about one kind of extremism?  Why do they refuse to talk about antifa?  Why is it extremist to attack a Capitol police officer, but not extremist to attack a Portland police officer?"  We were further lectured that "supremacists" were seeking to join the military to gain skills and proficiency with weapons.  But, of course, we know that inner-city gangs have been trying this for years, and yet there was no discussion of this.  Nor was there any mention of antifa, which explicitly and often openly promotes violent activities.  It seems odd that in 2020, when we saw 1,000 riots with varying levels of violence, our training would be centered on the one riot connected to the right and ignore the 999 connected to the left.

Ohio AG sues Biden administration over pandemic bill.  Ohio's attorney general filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Wednesday [3/17/2021] over a provision of the recently signed pandemic relief bill.  In a complaint filed in federal district court in Ohio, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) challenged a provision in the legislation that forbids state and local government from using pandemic aid to offset tax cuts.  "Ohio seeks to enjoin federal officials from enforcing the unconstitutional Tax Mandate, and seeks declaratory relief establishing that the State of Ohio, under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, retains the freedom to manage its own tax policy," the lawsuit reads.

U.S. has issued 90 million stimulus checks worth $242 billion, Treasury says.  The U.S. has thus far issued 90 million stimulus checks worth a collective $242 billion as part of President Joe Biden's landmark $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, according to a report released Wednesday [3/17/2021] by multiple government agencies.  The first batch of payments were mostly sent by direct deposit, and some recipients started receiving their checks this past weekend, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced.  The Treasury said it also mailed about 150,000 physical checks worth about $442 million as part of the first wave of disbursements.

Convicted Democratic fund-raiser had secret ties to U.S. intelligence.  Imaad Zuberi hobnobbed for two decades among America's political elite, raising millions for Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton, texting with kings, princes, presidents and prime ministers and jet-setting with Republican senators like Lindsey Graham and John McCain. [...] When Zuberi was sentenced last month to 12 years in prison and more than $18 million in fines — one of the harshest penalties ever meted out for a donor fraud case — it seemed like an open-and-shut case of political corruption. [...] But back in the nation's capital, the U.S. government harbored a deep secret about Zuberi, a Pakistani-American who ran a highly successful venture capital firm with reach across the globe.  Just the News has confirmed from multiple current and former U.S. officials that Zuberi enjoyed a long and complex relationship with U.S. intelligence.  His early help to the Drug Enforcement Administration with illegal drug trade and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department in the war on Islamic terrorism in the early 2000s eventually elevated him to becoming a valuable source inside Washington's security and spy establishment for much of the last two decades, the officials said.  They declined to be more specific.

Man Sues Hertz Over Lost Receipt That Was His Murder Alibi.  A Michigan man has sued Hertz, the car rental company, saying it failed to produce a receipt that would have proved his innocence before he was convicted of a 2011 murder.  The man, Herbert Alford, was convicted in 2016 of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Michael Adams, 23, in Lansing, Mich.  Mr. Alford insisted that he was innocent and that a car rental receipt from the Hertz location at the Lansing airport would prove that he was nowhere near the scene of the murder when it occurred in October 2011.  The company produced the receipt in 2018, and the charges against Mr. Alford were dropped last year.

Democrat Introduces Sensible Bill To Eliminate Clock Changes.  Have you recovered from once again having an hour stolen from your day on Saturday night?  This annoying practice has been with us for quite a while now but it's always seemed fairly pointless to me.  Beyond not providing any concrete benefits, it's an annoyance.  Every time I complain about changing the clocks twice per year, somebody always chimes in telling me to move to Arizona, but that's not a practical solution for everyone.  So how would you feel about doing away with it?  That may finally be possible with the latest submission of a bill that would keep the United States permanently on Daylight Savings Time.  Sponsored by Senator Ed Markey and already garnering bipartisan support, it sounds like we may actually be able to put an end to this nonsense.

Lockdowns: Class warfare of the rich and the professional class against the working class.  A year after "15 days to flatten the curve" began our lockdowns, we have enough data to answer the classic question about lockdowns (which still exist a year later in many places, including much of California):  cui bono?  (who benefits?)  The answer is:  as an individual, Jeff Bezos.  His stock in Amazon, the single biggest beneficiary of lockdowns, is worth billions of dollars more than before the lockdown.  As a group:  educated professionals, able to work from home via Zoom and other internet-based services and able to afford home delivery.

A Study Shows Very Few Capitol Hill Rioters Were QAnon Red-Staters With Ties to 'Right Wing' Groups.  A survey by the University of Chicago finds that most Capitol Hill rioters had no ties to any fringe right-wing groups and were engaged people outraged by what they believed was a rigged election.  While colorful weirdos with names such as QAnon Shaman and Baked Alaska stole the headlines, people who were arrested by federal officials during and after the riot were a "broader core of people" with a healthy skepticism about the veracity of the November 2020 election, according to the study.

Journalism Competition and Preservation Act could be a massive blow to small media companies.  The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act of 2019 is currently making its way through Congress and if passed, would be a massive blow to small media companies.  According to govtrack.us, the bill creates a four-year safe harbor from antitrust laws for print or digital news companies to collectively negotiate with online social media companies regarding the terms on which the news companies' content may be distributed by online content distributors.  A report published by Breitbart this week criticizes the bill, saying it would give Big Media companies a special exemption from antitrust law, allowing them to form a cartel, meaning big companies would maintain prices at a high level while restricting the competition.

Poll Finds Most Democrats Still Think Trump Stole The 2016 Election — Why Aren't They Being Canceled?  Pollster Scott Rasmussen recently came up with an interesting finding.  His poll showed that almost the exact same percentage of Americans think Hillary Clinton had the election stolen from her as think Donald Trump suffered the same fate in 2020.  So why is it that Democrats never get attacked for being seditionists?  Rasmussen (who founded but is no longer with the Rasmussen Reports polling firm) surveyed 1,200 registered voters, asking who they believe were the legitimate winners of the 2016 and 2020 elections.  What he found was that 52% of Democrats continue to believe that Clinton was the actual winner in 2016.  Only 34% of Democrats believe Trump was the legitimate winner, and 14% aren't sure.

U.S. Army Considers Reversing 'Gender Neutral Physical Test' After Majority Of Women Fail To Keep Up With Men:  Report.  The United States Army is reportedly considering doing away with its new "gender-neutral physical test" after test results showed that the majority of women failed while approximately 90 percent of men passed.  Officials are reportedly considering having different evaluation categories for men and women due to the physiological differences between the two.  "Research showed that the Army Combat Fitness Test [ACFT], which is the same for male and female soldiers, was leading to lower results for women with a knock-on effect for promotions," The Telegraph reported.  "An early Pentagon study showed that women were failing the ACFT at a rate of 65 percent, while only 10 percent of men did."  A report from last fall found that 54 percent of women failed the test while only 7 percent of men failed it.

Biden Admin Warns NY Sheriff Over Flying of Trump Flag in Boat Parade.  Joe Biden's handlers are not content with the fact that they managed to get rid of Donald Trump, because now they're going after his supporters and pretending as though they have the law on their side.  The Office of the Special Counsel has issued a warning to a New York sheriff that he allegedly violated an 82-year-old law that prevents federal workers from doing political stuff in their official capacity.

Some people read too many sci-fi novels.
Scientists want to send 6.7M sperm samples to the moon.  Scientists have begun to lay plans for repopulation, starting with a sperm bank — on the moon.  In what they're calling a "modern global insurance policy," mechanical engineers have proposed that humans establish a repository of reproductive cells — sperm and ova — from 6.7 million of Earth's species, including humans.  And the proposed bank, or "ark," would be beneath the moon's surface.

The Editor says...
Who's going to pay for this project?  Under what circumstances would it be necessary, feasible, or possible, to go get all that material from the repository?  It would be all but useless on the moon, so one infers that the stuff would be returned to the Earth.  By whom?  For what purpose?

Wall Street elites who fled to Florida amid COVID-19 want to return to NYC.  Wall Street elites who flocked to Florida to ride out the COVID-19 crisis now have regrets — and are eyeing a move back to the Big Apple.  "The main problem with moving to Florida is that you have to live in Florida," Jason Mudrick, the founder of Mudrick Capital Management, told Bloomberg.  Those among the upper crust are being drawn back to New York for its choice selection of private schools, restaurants and cultural institutions — as well as the city's deep pool of young talent when it comes to finance jobs.  "New York has the smartest, most driven people, the best culture, the best restaurants and the best theaters," the Manhattan resident of more than two decades admitted to the outlet.

The Editor says...
Yeah, your life in Florida must be really tough.  I feel so sorry for you.  It probably feels like Kansas, but with more rain.

The Socialist Revolution Expects Venezuela's Elderly to Live Off $0.63 a Month.  Time and time again the "Bolivarian, Socialist, Anti-Imperialist, and Profoundly Chavista" Revolution has stylized itself as a champion of the elderly.  In reality, being an elderly Venezuelan in times of socialist revolution means living a miserable retirement, on a pension so low that it's all but a death sentence.

The Man Who Tried To Stop The Space Shuttle Challenger Launch And Exposed NASA's Cover-Up Dies At 83.  Allan McDonald lived an incredible life dedicated to exploration and the pursuit of truth.  In 1986, McDonald had a very important decision to make:  To let the U.S. space shuttle Challenger fly despite adverse conditions, or to deny launch.  He refused to sign off on a launch that fateful January day, and he refused to remain silent when NASA attempted to cover up what really happened.  As the director of the solid rocket booster project at Morton Thiokol, the NASA contractor that built the rockets, he was the one who had to sign off on a launch.  But the night before the January 28 launch, McDonald had some serious concerns.  Concerns that would prove completely valid in the cold light of day.

No Labor Shortage: 17M Americans Remain Unemployed, All Want Jobs.  Nearly 17 million Americans remain unemployed in the United States economy, though all want full-time jobs, as President Joe Biden's administration looks to pack the labor market with foreign workers.  The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data for February finds that about ten million Americans are unemployed, 6.9 million are out of the labor force entirely and 6.1 million remain underemployed, but all want full-time work with competitive wages and good benefits.

Biden's German Shepherd has aggressive incident and is sent back to Delaware.  The two German Shepherds belonging to President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were returned to the Biden family home in Delaware last week after aggressive behavior at the White House involving Major Biden, two sources with knowledge tell CNN.  Major, who was adopted by Biden in November 2018 from a Delaware animal shelter, had what one of the people described as a "biting incident" with a member of White House security.  The exact condition of the victim is unknown, however, the episode was serious enough that the dogs were subsequently moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where they remain.  CNN reached out to the White House for comment and did not immediately receive a reply.

At Least 30,000 U.S. Organizations Newly Hacked Via Holes in Microsoft's Email Software.  At least 30,000 organizations across the United States — including a significant number of small businesses, towns, cities and local governments — have over the past few days been hacked by an unusually aggressive Chinese cyber espionage unit that's focused on stealing email from victim organizations, multiple sources tell KrebsOnSecurity.  The espionage group is exploiting four newly-discovered flaws in Microsoft Exchange Server email software, and has seeded hundreds of thousands of victim organizations worldwide with tools that give the attackers total, remote control over affected systems.

Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin Starts To Crack On Filibuster, Signals Openness To Change.  Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (WV) appears to have started to shift his views on the filibuster with remarks that he made on two news shows on Sunday morning [3/7/2021].  The shift from Manchin comes after he has repeatedly stated that he would not vote to end the filibuster, despite pressure from the far-Left.  During the interviews on Sunday, Manchin repeatedly claimed that he was not open to ending the filibuster because he did not want to strip the minority party of their power in the Senate, but signaled that he was open to changing it. [...] Left-wing TPM editor Josh Marshall tweeted out a clip of the interview and noted that Manchin is apparently adopting the talking points that leftists are pushing in their attempts to combat the filibuster.

Rep. Lee Zeldin Has an Announcement for Gov. Cuomo.  "Cuomo's Gotta Go," said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) on Twitter on Tuesday.  And he wants to be the guy to kick him out.  Fielding a nursing home scandal had already weakened Gov. Andrew Cuomo politically, but with a new trio of sexual harassment accusations against him, Cuomo finds even his own party starting to turn against him.  Zeldin sees an opening and he is "actively exploring" a run against Gov. Cuomo in 2022.

Contractor serving National Guard at U.S. Capitol defends catering service.  The caterer contracted to feed thousands of National Guard troops providing security at the U.S. Capitol defended its food service Thursday [3/4/2021], claiming that none of the cases of reported gastrointestinal illness among soldiers have been linked to the company.  "No cases of foodborne illness can be directly tied to this vendor," said Maria Stagliano, a spokeswoman for Sardi's Catering in College Park, Maryland.  The response follows a Wednesday announcement by the National Guard that at least 50 service members have been sickened with gastrointestinal issues after complaints that they were served bad food while on duty guarding the Capitol.

Biden Administration Fires Trump-appointed Lawyer Who Refused To Resign.  The White House fired the Trump-appointed General Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Friday evening, following her refusal to step down.  In a definite letter Friday morning [3/5/2021] to President Biden, Sharon Gustafson said she "respectfully" declined the White House's request for her resignation, noting she had only served half of her four-year term.  "I intend to honor that commitment," she wrote in a letter released by the Ethics and Public Policy Center.  "I have confidently given this advice to countless embattled clients over the last 25 years:  hold your head high, do your best work, and do not resign under pressure.  I stand in solidarity with them, I will follow that advice," she added.

Wall Street Made Huge Profits Off Deep Freeze, at Least on Paper.  Traders across Wall Street are poised for significant profits from the freeze that roiled energy markets and left swaths of the U.S. without electricity last month.  That is, if they can collect.  Goldman Sachs Group Inc. could gain more than $200 million from the physical sale of power and natural gas and from financial hedges after spot prices surged across much of the U.S., according to people with knowledge of the matter.  Morgan Stanley's gains could come in under $200 million, according to a person with familiar with the matter, and Bank of America Corp. stands to rake in profits as well.  But those gains in their totality may prove elusive given the crisis's fallout — tipping energy companies into bankruptcy, triggering legal challenges and prompting government intervention.  The uncertainty is such that Goldman executives estimate that the bank may realize less than half of its paper gains, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn't public.

Ebay scraps 'canceled' Dr. Seuss books from site.  Dr. Seuss' "canceled" books are becoming rarer by the minute.  EBay is barring users from reselling the six Dr. Seuss books that will no longer be printed due to their "racist" imagery — a move that comes after the books started going for hundreds of dollars on the auction site.  "EBay is currently sweeping our marketplace to remove these items," an eBay spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal in an email.  The announcement comes after Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which publishes the author's books for Penguin Random House, said it would no longer print six titles — "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," "If I Ran the Zoo," "McElligot's Pool," "On Beyond Zebra!," Scrambled Eggs Super!," and "The Cat's Quizzer."  A scan of eBay on Thursday [3/4/2021] showed a handful of the titles still available for sale on the site, although fewer than the prior day, the Journal said.

Outrage as eBay removes listings for canceled Dr Seuss books 'because they glorify violence' but allows copies of Mein Kampf and Louis Farrakhan's books to be sold.  Outraged Americans are demanding to know why eBay has banned them from reselling the six 'offensive' Dr Seuss books that are being canceled when copies of Hitler's Mein Kampf and Louis Farrakhan — whose anti-Semitic remarks are well known — are still available.  Ebay on Thursday started removing listings for the six Dr Seuss books that are no longer going to be produced.  They emailed people who had listed the books, saying that the post violated their 'offensive materials policy'.  The company has not released any kind of statement about it, nor have they responded to inquiries.

Dr. Seuss Books Hold 42 of Top 50 on Amazon Sales Ranking Chart.  Sales of Dr. Seuss children's books continue booming a day after the left tried to "cancel" the author's works on his birthday.  Dr. Seuss's books were among the leading 42 titles on the top 50 list of Amazon's "movers and shakers" on Wednesday morning [3/3/2021] after the ban was announced.

Phil Haney's warning to America:  Did he know something that got him killed?  A little over a week before government whistleblower Phil Haney was found dead on the side of a road in California, he was heard on a conference call discussing an interfaith initiative that involved Islamic organizations working with the Vatican and the U.S. government.  One of the people on that call with Haney was Elizabeth Yore, a longtime attorney and international activist who focuses on issues involving the Vatican, Islam and global child abuse.  "I was on this conference call with a group that included Phil, talking about the Abrahamic Faiths Initiative and Pope Francis," Yore told me in a phone interview Friday, March 5.  The Abrahamic Faiths Initiative was announced Jan. 14, 2020, a little over a month before Haney's mysterious death.

Marlboro Maker Asks FDA to Convince Americans Nicotine Isn't That Bad.  Marlboro-maker Altria Group Inc. wants to enlist an unlikely partner in convincing Americans that nicotine isn't as bad as they think — its regulator.  The company asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to tackle misperceptions about nicotine as part of a proposed $100 million advertising campaign to reduce the harm caused by tobacco, according to a letter seen by Bloomberg News.  That could be difficult with about three-fourths of U.S. adults incorrectly believing nicotine causes cancer, Altria said in the communication, citing government research.  Clearing up the drug's health risks will be key to the agency reducing smoking because it will help convince cigarette users to switch to non-combustible options for nicotine, the company said.

Canceled: Conservative comic strip 'Mallard Fillmore' dropped in 'unprecedented' move.  The conservative comic strip "Mallard Fillmore" has been plucked.  Bruce Tinsley, creator of the 27-year-old cartoon, said he was told this week by his syndication company that Gannett newspapers across the country simultaneously dropped the comic over two strips critical of President Biden and transgender participation in women's sports.  "It was a big shock," Mr. Tinsley told The Washington Times.  "From what I'm hearing, it was unprecedented.  My syndicate had never seen anything like it."

Capitol Police chief disputes FBI's account of pre-insurrection warnings.  Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said her department received only an email warning of "war" at the Capitol, disputing testimony Tuesday by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who said his agency communicated the intelligence three different ways on the eve of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.  "The FBI only sent the email," Pittman told House appropriators Wednesday [3/3/2021].  Pittman appeared before the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee asking for a fiscal 2022 budget of $619.2 million, a boost of more than $100 million over the past year.  The budget request would add 212 sworn officers to fund a total of 2,112 uniformed and 453 civilian employees.  The force would use the additional officers for a standby quick response force, as threat assessment agents and as dignitary protection agents.

FBI Official Says No Guns Were Recovered During Capitol Riot Arrests.  A top FBI counterterrorism official testified on Wednesday [3/3/2021] that no firearms were recovered during arrests of rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.  "How many firearms were confiscated in the Capitol or on Capitol grounds during that day?" Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson asked Jill Sanborn, the FBI official, during a Senate Homeland Security hearing.  "To my knowledge, we have not recovered any on that day from any other arrests at the scene at this point," replied Sanborn, who serves as FBI assistant director for counterterrorism.  "I don't want to speak on behalf of Metro and Capitol police, but, to my knowledge, none," she added.

Chuck Schumer Used 'Green Eggs and Ham' to Sell Obamacare.  President Joe Biden joined the "cancel culture" this week by dropping Dr. Seuss from "Read Across America Day" after left-wing critics complained about the author's early caricatures and race-neutral beliefs.  But Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who leads the Democratic Party in the Senate, is among the many members of his party who have used Dr. Seuss to make political points.  In 2013, for example, Schumer used Dr. Seuss to argue for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.  Schumer cited the popular Dr. Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham, which Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had read aloud on the Senate floor as he attempted to block the implementation of Obamacare.  Schumer argued that like the central character in Green Eggs and Ham, who resisted the dish until he actually tried it, Americans would enjoy Obamacare once they were forced to enroll in it.

SpaceX Starship rocket prototype nails landing... then blows up.  The latest heavy-duty launch vehicle prototype from SpaceX soared flawlessly into the sky in a high-altitude test blast-off on Wednesday from Boca Chica, Texas, then flew itself back to Earth to achieve the first upright landing for a Starship model.  But the triumph was short-lived.  Listing slightly to one side as an automated fire-suppression system trained a stream of water on flames still burning at the base of the rocket, the spacecraft blew itself to pieces about eight minutes after touchdown.

Mike Pence Speaks Out Against 2020 Election Irregularities.  Former Vice President Mike Pence has been extremely quiet since January 6th, when he presided over an Electoral College objection process that was cut short by his rules decisions.  Amid the Capitol uprising that even spurred him to be ushered out by the Secret Service, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Pence must have been partial to the arguments that there were no major irregularities in the 2020 elections.  Pence put that presumption to rest today [3/3/2021] with an op-ed published at the conservative Daily Signal.  In the opinion piece, the former vice president weighs in on the "election irregularities" that he believes played a role in keeping the 2020 election from being "free and fair."

Biden Gives China Full Access to Control the U.S. National Power Grid.  In his first week in office, President Biden put U.S. security at great risk by giving China autonomous ability to control the national power grid.  Biden issued executive order 13990 in which, buried amid matters purportedly designed to combat climate change, was an anomalous and potentially dangerous provision that suspends a key security measure put in place last May 1 by former President Donald Trump.  Biden's executive order permits China to have full access to the U.S. power grid for 90 days.  Trump's Executive Order 13920 declared an official national emergency with respect to the nation's electric grid and prohibited the acquisition or installation of "any bulk-power electric equipment ... designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied, by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary."  In sum, Trump forbade the use of grid equipment that is made in China, Russia, or other hostile nations.  Trump's order was a common-sense response to real, proven threats.  Just last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States seized a Chinese-built transformer because officials believed "its electronics had been secretly given malicious capabilities, possibly allowing a distant adversary to monitor or even disable it on command."

FBI official:  No shots [were] fired by rioters, [and] no firearms [were] recovered during [the] siege on [the] U.S. Capitol.  No firearms were recovered on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 during the riot, and no shots were fired by the demonstrators, an FBI official on Wednesday [3/3/2021] told Congress.  "To my knowledge we have not recovered any [firearms] on that day from any of the arrests at the scene at this point," said Jill Sanborn, assistant director of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division.  "No one has been charged with a firearms violation."  Sanborn made her comments during a joint oversight hearing in the Senate to examine the breach of the U.S. Capitol.  In addition to Sanborn, witnesses included the commander of the Washington, D.C. National Guard, and civilian officials from the Pentagon.

$1,400 stimulus checks in COVID relief bill would phase out at $80,000 instead of $100,000, according to deal between Biden and Democrats.  Senate Democrats reached a deal with President Joe Biden to limit the eligibility for $1,400 stimulus checks in his $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, phasing the payments out for Americans earning over $80,000, according to two sources familiar with the deliberations not authorized to speak on the record.  The tweak is a key goal of moderates who did not want the checks to go to wealthier Americans[.]  The stimulus checks would phase out entirely at $80,000 of income for individuals, as opposed to about $100,000 in the version of the legislation passed by the House last week.  Joint filers would have their checks phase out entirely at $160,000.

Widely Used Flea Collar Linked to Nearly 1,700 Pet Deaths With No Warning From EPA.  For cat and dog owners, flea and tick collars is a staple for their animal's care.  Sadly, one of the most widely used flea and tick collars in the U.S., Seresto, is linked to hundreds of animal deaths and tens of thousand of animal injuries, not to mention hundreds of humans that have been harmed by the product according to Environmental Protection Agency documents.  However, the EPA has not warned the public of these risks.

Popular flea collar reportedly linked to 1,700 pet deaths.  A popular flea and tick collar is reportedly making thousands of pets sick and even killing some of them — and critics are blaming the Environmental Protection Agency for turning a blind eye to the problem.  The EPA, which is responsible for regulating products that contain pesticides, has received 75,000 incident reports about Seresto pet collars, developed by Bayer and manufactured by Elenco, since they were introduced in 2012, according to public records.  Those include 1,698 pet deaths and nearly 1,000 incidents involving harm to humans, according to an explosive report published Tuesday by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and USA Today.

China appears to warn India:  Push too hard and the lights could go out.  Early last summer, Chinese and Indian troops clashed in a surprise border battle in the remote Galwan Valley, bashing each other to death with rocks and clubs.  Four months later and more than 1,500 miles away in Mumbai, India, trains shut down and the stock market closed as the power went out in a city of 20 million people.  Hospitals had to switch to emergency generators to keep ventilators running amid a coronavirus outbreak that was among India's worst.  Now, a new study lends weight to the idea that those two events may have been connected — as part of a broad Chinese cyber campaign against India's power grid, timed to send a message that if India pressed its claims too hard, the lights could go out across the country.  The study shows that as the battles raged in the Himalayas, taking at least two dozen lives, Chinese malware was flowing into the control systems that manage electric supply across India, along with a high-voltage transmission substation and a coal-fired power plant.

Chinese companies buy up UK private schools, sparking fears of CCP influence.  Chinese companies have bought up 17 U.K. private schools in the United Kingdom in recent years, sparking fears of expanding Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence in the country as the schools struggle financially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, British media reported.  "Hundreds of independent schools left in dire financial straits by the coronavirus pandemic are being targeted by Chinese investors," the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported at the weekend.  Some of the companies are run by high-ranking members of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, and "seek to expand their influence over Britain's education system," the report said.

China Boasts It Is Getting Rich Selling Syringes to America.  China's state-run Global Times bragged Sunday [2/28/2021] that Chinese companies are making a fortune selling syringes and needles to the United States during the coronavirus pandemic, a tidal wave of imports that makes a mockery of "the U.S. government's attempt to get rid of the Chinese supply chain."  The Global Times quoted U.S. officials admitting in congressional testimony that 80 percent of the needles and syringes used in the United States, and about 90 percent of the supplies purchased worldwide, originate from China.  Chinese officials said China's factories produce hundreds of thousands of syringes a day.

Six Dr. Seuss books won't be published due to racist images, publisher.  The publisher of the popular Dr. Seuss children's books said Tuesday [3/2/2021] it will stop publishing six of the books because of their racist and hurtful imagery, according to the publishing company.  Dr. Seuss Enterprises said the books including "And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street" and "If I Ran the Zoo."  "These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong," the company told the Associated Press in a statement.

The Editor says...
Dr. Seuss books are not encyclopedias.  They are books for teaching little kids to read, and they were written with humor and illustrated with harmless caricatures.  Anyone who is not perpetually outraged knows this.  If you don't like Dr. Seuss, don't buy the books, but don't ruin them for everybody!

Trump Confirms He Called For 10,000 National Guard For Jan 6th; Pelosi Refused.  Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday blamed former President Trump and his team for the border crisis that's now engulfed the new Biden administration, saying when he took office he found "quite frankly the entire system was gutted."  "What we are seeing now at the border is the immediate result of the dismantling of the system and the time it takes to rebuild it virtually from scratch," Mr. Mayorkas said at the White House.  He pleaded with migrants not to make the trip right now, telling them to wait until the rebuild is further along when they can try to come and take their chances under a new Biden system.

Oklahoma House votes to enable legislature to block Biden's executive orders.  James Madison once asserted that "in a republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates."  Well, today, only executive power predominates, because federal and state executive agencies seem to be the only ones doing the legislating.  As Joe Biden continues to pass sweeping "laws" unilaterally with no authority from Congress, the red states are the only even potential check on his abuse of power.  It appears that the state of Oklahoma has now taken up the mantle as the second state to move to block these executive orders.  On Thursday [2/25/2021], the Oklahoma House overwhelmingly passed a bill, HB 1236, that would grant the state's attorney general and state legislature the authority to review the president's executive orders to determine constitutionality.  Specifically, the bill would authorize the legislature to recommend that the attorney general review any executive order, federal agency rule, or federal congressional action to determine whether the state should seek an exemption or declare it unconstitutional.  If either the attorney general or the legislature, by concurrent resolution, declares the act unconstitutional, then all state and local officials and any publicly funded organization are prohibited from enforcing it.

Capitol police chief claims militias are plotting to blow up Capitol during SOTU, kill as many as possible.  Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman issued an alarming statement that members of violent militias who were involved in the Jan. 6 riot are allegedly plotting to blow up the Capitol during Biden's State of the Union address.  She made the explosive claim on Thursday during her testimony via teleconference at a House hearing.  She posited that the goal was to kill as many members of Congress as possible.  "We know that members of militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified," Pittman declared.

Arizona's Paul Gosar Proposes Amending Coronavirus Package to Replace Pork with $10,000 Stimulus Checks.  Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona has proposed that the federal government pay stimulus checks of $10,000 to Americans beleaguered by the coronavirus pandemic, adopting an approach that would prioritize direct payments to individuals over payments to state and local governments.  Gosar's Amendment, offered on Friday night, would also replace payments to extend federal unemployment benefits.

Make America Ugly Again:  Biden Axes Trump's 'Beautiful' Federal Architecture Order.  Brutalism was seen as modern, stylish, and even futuristic at the time.  It was also cheap to build because it was mostly concrete.  Hence why you'll also find such buildings on college campuses throughout the country.  It's really, really, really ugly.  Few would argue that brutalism has stood the test of time the way classical Greco-Roman architecture has.  As someone who studied architecture in college, I can tell you that Brutalist architecture, while historically significant, is not studied because of its beauty, but for its failure to create inviting spaces.  One classic example of how terrible the Brutalist movement is can be seen in Boston's City Hall Plaza, which has been deemed one of the worst public spaces in the country, and City Hall itself one of the ugliest in the world.  Yet anti-Trumpism apparently takes precedence over architectural beauty, as Joe Biden axed Trump's executive order earlier this week.  There seems to no other justification for this move.  Brutalism is now widely panned, even in architectural circles, whether they'd like to admit it or not.

Russia and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  [Scroll down]  The debate over Warren's conclusion that Oswald acted alone continues.  However, it is surprising that most Americans have refused to accept that conclusion.  In 2003 three quarters of Americans thought more than one man was involved, and in 2013, the number was still 61%.  It may not be a driving event in American history, but it is important in this era of Russian disinformation to examine allegations of a covert war waged by the Kremlin in the past.

Anything you say on the internet can and will be taken out of context and used against you.
Facebook admits 'mistake' in threat to ban 81-year-old knitter for hate speech.  Facebook has apologized to Rita Rich-Mulcahy, the 81-year-old knitter who was nearly banned from the site for promoting "white pigs."  It all started when Rich-Mulcahy, of Adelaide, Australia, began knitting stuffed animals to pass the time and distract the grieving widow from the death of her husband in 2020.  She also set up a Facebook page through which to share her swine-inspired crafts.  Recently, the self-proclaimed "porcophile" was flagged for "hate speech" by the social-media company — for writing the caption "white pigs" under images of her knitted piglets.  The guiltless woman called it a "frightening" experience for someone without so much as "an overdue library book," she claimed.

One more product to boycott:
Oreo Cookie tweets 'Trans people exist'.  The Twitter feed for Oreo cookies seemed to weigh in on the day's events with a simple statement Thursday [2/25/2021]: "Trans people exist."  The Nabisco cookie brand sent out those three words following a busy day of debate over gender identity rights.  That included a contentious day of testimony over President Biden's transgender Health and Human Services deputy secretary nominee Rachel Levine, where conservative Kentucky senator Rand Paul drilled Levine on topics including hormone treatment for trans teens.

The Editor says...
It may not be possible to boycott every company that connects leftist political messages to its products, but I can try.

Texas was "seconds and minutes" away from catastrophic months-long blackouts, officials say.  Texas' power grid was "seconds and minutes" away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday [2/18/2021].  As millions of customers throughout the state begin to have power restored after days of massive blackouts, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the power grid that covers most of the state, said Texas was dangerously close to a worst-case scenario:  uncontrolled blackouts across the state.  The quick decision that grid operators made in the early hours of Monday morning to begin what was intended to be rolling blackouts — but lasted days for millions of Texans — occurred because operators were seeing warning signs that massive amounts of energy supply was dropping off the grid.

What Happens When Cryptocurrencies Earn Interest?  The premise of DeFi is simple:  Fix the longstanding inefficiency in crypto finance of capital being kept idle at a nonzero opportunity cost.  Now, most investors buy crypto with the hope that the value of the currency itself will rise, as Bitcoin has.  In general, that strategy has worked just fine.  The value of cryptocurrencies has appreciated so rapidly that there just wasn't much incentive to worry about gains of a few percent here and there.  But the recent rise of stablecoins, which are designed keep their value constant, has changed that calculation.  The combined market cap of stablecoins such as Terra and USDC has more than quadrupled in 2020.  Now, vast passive income opportunities are being awakened by DeFi.  The appeal of a lower-risk approach to crypto is obvious and has the potential to expand the pool of investors.  For the first time, it's possible to be compensated for owning cryptos (even in the absence of price appreciation), which brings real, tangible utilities to digital currencies and changes the narrative of an asset class whose sole purpose used to be about being sold at a higher price.

Lee Harvey Oswald [was] ordered to kill JFK by Soviets, ex-CIA chief claims.  Lee Harvey Oswald was a KGB associate who was personally instructed by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to assassinate President Kennedy.  Sometime shortly thereafter, the Soviets changed their minds, and Oswald was told to drop the plan.  But Oswald, harboring a blinding love for all things USSR, refused.  A new book by two former intelligence chiefs — one from the west, one from the east — tosses this tale on the voluminous pile of JFK assassination theories.  "Operation Dragon:  Inside The Kremlin's Secret War on America," (Encounter Books), was written by Ambassador R. James Woolsey, who ran the CIA from 1993-1995 (and who, ironically, resigned abruptly during the scandal over Aldrich Ames, a CIA officer turned Russian double agent), and Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former acting chief of Communist Romania's espionage service and the "highest-ranking intelligence official from an enemy country ever granted political asylum in the United States[.]"  (Pacepa died of COVID earlier this month).

Mother Of Officer Sicknick Says Media Got Her Son's Death Wrong, Rejects NYT Fire Extinguisher Story.  The mother of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died one day after the Capitol riots in January, rejected media assertions weaponized by Democrats in their impeachment trial that her son was killed from head trauma by a fire extinguisher.  "He wasn't hit on the head, no.  We think he had a stroke, but we don't know anything for sure," Gladys Sicknick told the Daily Mail in an interview published Tuesday [2/23/2021].  "We'd love to know what happened."  The false narrative first came from the New York Times, which headlined an article, "Capitol Police Officer Dies From Injuries in Pro-Trump Rampage," published on Jan. 8, two days after the riot. [...] Democrats repeatedly cited the story and even introduced it into evidence at the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

Capitol Police Witnesses Struggle to Explain How Rioters Breached the Capitol on January 6.  On Tuesday, current and former Capitol Police officials testified at a joint hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Rules committees about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.  The law enforcement officers claimed that they had been prepared to face a potentially violent protest, but they said the rioters caught them off guard.  "We properly planned for a mass demonstration with possible violence.  What we got was a military-style coordinated assault on my officers and a violent takeover of the Capitol building," former U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Steven Sund testified.  He pushed back on claims that USCP was not prepared for the riot.

Co-founder says Wikipedia's neutrality 'long gone,' cites leftist bias.  Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger is criticizing the site's left-wing bias, saying the popular online encyclopedia has become an irretrievably broken platform for socialism.  "The days of Wikipedia's robust commitment to neutrality are long gone," Mr. Sanger told Fox News in a new interview.  "Wikipedia's ideological and religious bias is real and troubling, particularly in a resource that continues to be treated by many as an unbiased reference work."  Mr. Sanger, 52, co-founded the site with Jimmy Wales in January 2001.  He said Wikipedia's turn away from neutrality is "disheartening."

Autos need finite rare earth, critical, & precious metals.  There are 17 rare earth elements (REE) that China controls up to 97% of (Klare 2012, Shumsky 2011).  These are essential for transitioning to so-called green energy — not just cars but solar panels, windmills, solar photovoltaic, computers, electronics, the smart grid and more.  While we can import oil from dozens of nations, REE make us dependent on China, and China is also constructing mines all over the world — it's as if Saudi Arabia bought up all the remaining oil fields.  Mining is the second most toxic, environmentally damaging industry on earth.  So whatever the cost may be, no matter how high, let the Chinese destroy their land.  It's a cheaper price to pay rather than destroy our own nation's precious topsoil, which in the long run is the most valuable possession we have.  Already 20% of China's arable land is polluted with toxic heavy metals from mining and industry.

Professor Charged with Stealing $1.75 Million in Research for China.  We are closely watching the growing threat China poses to the United States, not the least of which is its wholesale, systematic theft of scientific and medical research.  A recent criminal indictment, reported in our Corruption Chronicles blog, illustrates how this theft is too often enabled with your tax dollars:  Communist China has long benefitted from American-funded research stolen by Chinese academics who infiltrate colleges throughout the United States.  This month a criminal indictment sheds light on a recent scheme allegedly masterminded by a Chinese professor at one of the nation's top-ranked public universities.  His name is Lin Yang, a 43-year-old member of the Thousand Talents Program (TTP) operated by the Chinese government to transfer original ideas, technology and intellectual property from foreign institutions, especially American colleges.

Court Docs Show Facebook Played Much Bigger Part In Capitol Riot Than Parler, Yet No Consequences.  It's been more than a month since the app stores of Google and Apple joined forces with Amazon Web Services to knee-cap an upstart competitor, Parler.  The stated reasoning was Parler's lack of content moderation policies, which Apple, in particular, claimed led to Parler's use as a forum to "plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington DC on January 6, 2021."  This reasoning was confidently repeated across the corporate press.  "The Capitol mob began organizing ... on platforms like Parler and Gab," Vox asserted.  Planning for the "mob violence that descended on the U.S. Capitol ... took place openly on websites popular with far-right conspiracy theorists," National Public Radio proclaimed.  Facebook shut down Stop the Steal groups, said The New York Times, so planning moved to Parler and Gab. [...] The problem with all of this is that it turned out to be mostly wrong.  Yes, Parler was used, in some form, to promote and discuss the violent aspects of Jan. 6.  But so too were other major social media platforms — and in a much larger way than Parler.  The Department of Justice has now charged 223 people for their participation in the events of Jan. 6.  A comprehensive analysis of those charging documents performed by Forbes demonstrate that Parler's role was minimal, compared to that of Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

At least 800 Ethiopians killed after defending 'Ark of the Covenant'.  At least 800 people were reportedly killed in Ethiopia as worshippers and soldiers risked their lives to protect what Christians there say is the sacred Ark of the Covenant from local militia.  Ethiopian Christians claim the Ark — the wooden chest built to hold the Ten Commandments of Moses — is being kept safe in a chapel in the holy northern city of Axum in the Tigray region.  The battle between Ethiopian soldiers and rebel fighters happened in the fall, The Sunday Times reported, but it is only being reported now.  "When people heard the shooting they ran to the church to give support to the priests and others who were there protecting the ark," Getu Mak, a local university lecturer, told The Times.  "Certainly some of them were killed for doing that."

'How in the world can anyone pay that?': Some seeing electric bills as high as $17K in wake of Texas winter storm.  The Texas power outage has become the Texas power outrage.  Electricity supply and demand in Texas has really stabilized now.  But when it was grossly out of whack over the past several days, the cost of power in the wholesale market went crazy.  It went from about $50 per Megawatt to $9,000.  That didn't affect retail many customers because they were on a fixed-rate plan.

Portland police officers 'guarding' Fred Meyer dumpsters as residents seek discarded food.  Roughly a dozen Portland police officers faced off with a small group at a Northeast Portland Fred Meyer on Tuesday after people tried to take food that had been thrown away.  Workers at the Hollywood West Fred Meyer threw away thousands of perishable items because the store, like many others, had lost power in an outage brought on by the region's winter storm.  Images on social media showed mountains of packaged meat, cheese and juice, as well as whole turkeys and racks of ribs that had been tossed into two large dumpsters near the store.

Rep. Banks Leads Republican Study Committee in Large-Scale Campaign to Counter CCP.  For the first time in its history, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) — the largest conservative caucus on Capitol Hill — will make countering the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a key part of its agenda under the leadership of its newly elected chairman, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.).  As part of this large-scale effort, Banks said that he and others in the House committee will introduce more than 20 bills this week alone dedicated to confronting the China threat and holding the Biden administration accountable for weak policies on China.  The legislative barrage will touch upon a wide range of issues broadly focused on pushing back against the CCP's influence in the United States.  "We've made countering communist China a platform of the RSC for the first time, under my leadership," Banks told The Epoch Times.  "It deserves our attention, and as the largest caucus, our members understand this is the greatest threat that we face and that we have to confront it."

Texas Attorney General Announces Probe Into ERCOT Over Role in Blackouts.  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the organization that operates the state's power grid, alleging "mishandling" amid the brutal cold snap that has left millions of Texans shivering and in the dark.  "ERCOT & other energy cos have slipped & fallen on their faces & it's not the ice's fault.  They have left 3+ million homes w/o power for days, including my own," Paxton wrote in a tweet late Wednesday [2/17/2021].  "What do they do in response?  Jack up prices, go silent, make excuses, & play the blame game.  It's unacceptable!" he added.  Paxton also commended officials, including Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott, on "getting to the bottom" of the power crisis.

Texas Electric Board Members Live WHERE?  Many, probably most, Texans hadn't heard of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas until this week.  Then a historic winter storm froze up the place and "electric reliability" turned into an unfunny joke for far too many.  Their electricity was reliably unavailable.  Well, except in certain well-lit urban downtowns.  If you live outside of those, as most Texans do, you were forced to play a grim version of Russian Roulette with your power and water supply — if you could get either.  Your water pipes may have frozen and burst, rendering your frigid home uninhabitable.  I have friends who are dealing with this and will be dealing with it for a long time after the storm.  Power went out for millions of Texans several days ago and is only now being restored piecemeal.  Freezing temperatures won't even leave central Texas until Friday.

A third of the ERCOT board members live out of state.  A third of the board of directors that operate the state's electrical grid do not appear to live in Texas, and their performance in wake of widespread outages has led to a Dallas-area lawmaker's call for change.  Records show the two top office holders of the 15-member board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), live out-of-state.  Three other ERCOT board members also appear to live thousands of miles from Texas.

Florida GOP congressman beckons New York Stock Exchange to move to Florida.  Florida GOP Rep. Byron Donalds is urging The New York Stock Exchange to leave Lower Manhattan for Florida.  Donalds argued such a move would benefit the exchange because Florida has no tax on stock trades.  "Oh I do," Donalds said in response to a question on whether the NYSE should leave Wall Street for Florida.  "We have a lot of nice land here in southwest Florida we can find a nice place for them right here in the heart of my congressional district."

Chattanooga man charged with impersonating President Obama on gun permit application.  Police are charging a man from Chattanooga after they say he forged former President Barack Obama's name on an application for a handgun permit.  Chattanooga officers arrested Robert Joseph Hallick on February 11th.  He's charged with perjury, forgery and identity theft.  An affidavit obtained by NewsChannel 9 says Hallick had been denied a gun permit request using his own name back in November due to an active warrant for his arrest in the state of Michigan.  The arrest report says Hallick sent another application on January 21st, except this time he used the name "President Barack H. Obama" instead.  Included along with the form was a $50 check.

The Editor says...
Helpful clues for the police: [#1] Barack H. Obama doesn't have a valid Social Security number to put on an application for a gun permit, or any other form.  [#2] Barack H. Obama is the last person in town who needs a gun, since he's surrounded by armed cops 24/7.  [#3] The only time Barack H. Obama has ever held a gun (reluctantly!), as far as I know, was for this photo op.  He's the least likely customer to come in to a gun shop.

Rush Limbaugh, the Human Megaphone Who Hijacked the GOP, Dead at 70.  Rush Limbaugh, whose wife Kathryn confirmed on Wednesday [2/17/2021] that he died at 70 after a yearlong and very public battle against lung cancer, was a college dropout when he began his combustible radio career, repeatedly losing gigs as a deejay and news-talk host; he spent much of 1974 jobless and living in his parents' basement in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. [...] Yet in his final two decades of life, he managed to dominate conservative talk radio even after near-total deafness — somewhat remediated by a cochlear implant — required him to hire a former court reporter to sit in his Palm Beach control room and instantly transcribe listener phone calls so he could converse in real time on the air.  Born Rush Hudson Limbaugh III into a distinguished and rabidly Republican family of judges and lawyers in the nearly all-white southeast Missouri town on the Illinois border, he ultimately commanded an adoring national audience of as many as 20 million listeners — "dittoheads" in Limbaugh-speak — and became by some accounts (especially from his Democratic detractors) the de facto leader of the GOP.

Rush Limbaugh, RIP.  Rush Limbaugh, the monumentally influential media icon who transformed talk radio and politics in his decades behind the microphone, helping shape the modern-day Republican Party, died Wednesday morning at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, his family announced.  Limbaugh's wife, Kathryn, made the announcement on his radio show.  "Losing a loved one is terribly difficult, even more so when that loved one is larger than life," she said.  "Rush will forever be the greatest of all time."  The radio icon learned he had Stage IV lung cancer in January 2020 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump at the State of the Union address days later.  First lady Melania Trump then presented America's highest civilian honor to Limbaugh in an emotional moment on the heels of his devastating cancer diagnosis.

Texas mayor quits after saying residents are 'lazy' amid power outages.  A Texas mayor has resigned over controversial social media posts that called his constituents lazy for complaining about power outages, according to a report.  Colorado City Mayor Tom Boyd announced his resignation Tuesday [2/16/2021] hours after he received backlash for his long Facebook rant, according to KTXS-TV.  "No one owes you or your family anything; nor is it the local governments responsibility to support you during trying times like this!  Sink or swim, it's your choice!" he wrote.  "The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING!"  "If you have no water you deal with out and think outside of the box to survive and supply water to your family," he added.

The Editor says...
How true.  It is not the government's job to buy you a wool blanket and tuck you in on a cold winter night.  It's also not the government's job to mop up your house after a hurricane.

'This didn't look like an armed insurrection.' Trump ultra-loyalist senator Ron Johnson plays down danger of the MAGA riots saying 'How many shots were fired?'  Ron Johnson said Monday [2/15/2021] that the MAGA riot 'didn't seem like an armed insurrection to me' in downplaying the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol last month that left five dead and hundreds injured.  'When you hear the word 'armed,' don't you think of firearms?' Johnson questioned during his conversation with 1130 WISN conservative radio talk show host Jay Weber.  'Here's the questions I would have liked to ask — how many firearms were confiscated?' the Trump loyalist senator continued.  'How many shots were fired?  I'm only aware of one, and I'll defend that law enforcement officer for taking that shot, it was a tragedy, but I think there was only one.

The Editor says...
Yes, let's hear more about that one shot that was fired, and about the name of the "officer," if that's what he was, and the name of the agency for which he works, and about the justification for the shooting.  All that information is a deep dark secret, which means there is a cover-up underway, and the door to the News Media Memory Hole is open now.

Pelosi: 'Next Step' Is 9/11-Type Commission To Investigate January 6.  David Perdue lost re-election to Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) in Georgia's Senate runoff election on January 5, with Ossoff winning by just over 93,000 votes (2%).  It now seems that Perdue is considering a 2022 Senate run against Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), who beat Kelly Loeffler in Georgia's special election.  According to Fox News, Perdue filed Federal Election Commission (FEC) paperwork on Monday evening "to become a candidate to run for Senate in 2022."  The paperwork designated a "principal campaign committee," titled "Perdue for Senate."  Warnock defeated Loeffler — who was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on December 4, 2019, after Johnny Isakson announced his resignation for health reasons — on January 5, also by just over 93,000 votes.

China Is Creating a New Master Race.  Bing Su, a Chinese geneticist at the state-run Kunming Institute of Zoology, recently inserted the human MCPH1 gene, which develops the brain, into a monkey.  The insertion could make that animal's intelligence more human than that of lower primates.  Su's next experiment is inserting into monkeys the SRGAP2C gene, related to human intelligence, and the FOXP2 gene, connected to language skills.  Has nobody in China seen Planet of the Apes?  Or maybe they have.  "Biotechnology development in China is heading in a truly macabre direction," writes Brandon Weichert of The Weichert Report in an article posted on the American Greatness website.  In a communist society with unrestrained ambition, researchers are pursuing weird science.  What happens when you mix pig and monkey DNA?  Chinese experimenters can tell you.  How about growing human-like organs in animals?  Yes, they have done that as well.  Moreover, Beijing may already be engineering "super soldiers."

Biden Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo Threatens Reporter: 'I Will Destroy You'.  Earlier this week there was a treacly story in People magazine about an Axios White House reporter named Alexi McCammond, who turns out to be dating White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo.  A heartwarming workplace romance!  There were a few grumbles about ethics in journalism and whatnot, but then everybody forgot about it because journalists don't really care about ethics.  Besides, at least Biden isn't Trump, right?  The journos got what they wanted and they just want to take a nap for 4-8 years.  But now the story is getting interesting!

Refund the police!
Minneapolis to spend $6.4 million to hire more police.  Minneapolis will hire dozens more police officers after the City Council on Friday [2/12/2021] agreed to release $6.4 million to bring on additional recruits.  The unanimous vote came eight days after Minneapolis police requested the funding, saying they had 200 fewer police officers available to work than in most recent years.  The additional funding comes at a time when some City Council members and activist groups are pushing to replace the Police Department in the wake of George Floyd's death.  Minneapolis police said they began the year with 817 officers on their payroll, 60 fewer than the previous year.  But, only 638 officers are currently available to work, the department said.  Some officers resigned or retired early in the year, while another 155 remain on some form of extended leave.  With the new recruit classes, the city expects it will have 674 officers available to work at the end of the year, and another 28 working their way through the hiring process at that time.

'A hoax from day one': Michigan GOP leader says Capitol riot was 'staged'.  The Republican leader in Michigan's state Senate said last week that the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol was a prearranged hoax and not the work of supporters of then-President Donald Trump.  "That wasn't Trump's people.  That's been a hoax from day one.  That was all prearranged," state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said of the riot.  "It was arranged by somebody who was funding it," the Clarklake Republican continued.  "It was all staged."

What's most interesting about the Florida water system hack?  That we heard about it at all.  Stories about computer security tend to go viral when they bridge the vast divide between geeks and luddites, and this week's news about a hacker who tried to poison a Florida town's water supply was understandably front-page material.  But for security nerds who've been warning about this sort of thing for ages, the most surprising aspect of the incident seems to be that we learned about it at all. [...] In short, a likely inexperienced intruder somehow learned the credentials needed to remotely access Oldsmar[ Florida]'s water system, did little to hide his activity, and then tried to change settings by such a wide margin that the alterations would be hard to overlook.  "The system wasn't capable of doing what the attacker wanted," said Joe Weiss, managing partner at Applied Control Solutions, a consultancy for the control systems industry.  "The system isn't capable of going up by a factor of 100 because there are certain physics problems involved there.  Also, the changes he tried to make wouldn't happen instantaneously.  The operators would have had plenty of time to do something about it."

Today's blacklisted American:  Chase Bank blacklists Pro-Trump Covfefe Coffee.  They're coming for you next:  Chase Bank has suddenly decided that it can't do business with the coffee company, Covfefe Coffee, apparently for the simple reason that the coffee company is unabashedly pro-Trump and supports the standard American values of freedom and liberty that made this nation the haven for the oppressed for more than two centuries. [...] Amazon suspended the company's advertising on that platform in 2019 for using the phrase "Make America Great Again," a phrase that Amazon thinks "incites hate."  What this really tells us is that the people at Amazon and Chase Bank hate America, and want it to fail.  Anyone who thinks different must be blacklisted and preventing from succeeding.

Editor's note:
News items older than this are located here.

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Updated October 19, 2021.

©2021 by Andrew K. Dart