René Magritte Architecture au clair de lune 1956
One theme only today, really. The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. Will Ukraine/US/NATO bomb it? If so, hold your loves ones near and dear.
Trump 4th of July NOTE: No Notes. None
FLASHBACK: The greatest Fourth of July Speech in history
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) July 4, 2023
US Pacific Fleet puts out an Independence Day tweet (since deleted), with Russian aircraft, a Russian ship, and a soldier saluting with his left hand.
OH NO HE DIDN’T 😂☠️https://t.co/Wmp4n9GTWQ
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) July 4, 2023
JFK Election financing
Today, on independence day, we’re celebrating independent media with a free-thinking activist & presidential candidate. Whether it’s fighting YouTube censorship or going viral with pictures of his pecs, he’s back for a completely uncensored conversation… @RobertKennedyJr TODAY… pic.twitter.com/c4Lhqb8Exv
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) July 4, 2023
Intimate & uncensored. A documentary about people, not politics.
— Jan Jekielek (@JanJekielek) May 12, 2023
Just last month Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced a draft resolution warning that Russia's use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine or the bombing of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant would be viewed as an attack on NATO
Why would Russia risk direct… pic.twitter.com/fimMpN0SD0
— Going Underground (@GUnderground_TV) July 4, 2023
Ukraine is expected to launch a large-scale attack on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) overnight, a senior Russian atomic energy industry official warned late on Tuesday. Kiev may also strike the plant with a missile stuffed with radioactive waste, he added. The warning was voiced by Renat Karchaa, a senior aide to the head of Rosenergoatom, a subsidiary to Russia’s state-owned atomic energy giant Rosatom. The official cited intelligence data received by the industry. “On July 5, literally overnight, while it’s still dark, Ukrainian forces will attempt an attack on the Zaporozhye plant with long-range high-precision munitions, as well as suicide drones,” he told Rossiya 24 TV channel. Kiev is also expected to attempt a strike on the plant with a heavy, Soviet-made Tochka-U tactical ballistic missile, Karchaa went on.
The munition has been filled with radioactive waste collected from the South-Ukrainian nuclear power plant, the official claimed. While Karchaa did not elaborate, the apparent goal of the secondary attack is to cause an uptick in radioactivity readings in the region should the main launch fail to damage the facility enough to cause the release of hazardous materials into the air. The ZNPP was seized by Moscow from Ukraine early into the ongoing conflict, getting formally transferred under Rosatom management as the Zaporozhye region became incorporated into Russia after a referendum. Both Moscow and Kiev have repeatedly accused each other of subjecting the Russian-controlled facility to artillery fire and drone strikes. The rhetoric around the plant escalated in recent weeks, with the top Ukrainian official repeatedly claiming Moscow had been preparing a nuclear incident at the ZNPP.
President Vladimir Zelensky, for instance, said Moscow wanted to cause a “radiation leakage” at the plant, while his aide Mikhail Podoliak accused Russia of placing mines in the plant’s cooling pond. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called the claims by Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials “yet another lie” coming from Kiev, stressing that Moscow remains in close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The UN watchdog’s boss, Rafael Mariano Grossi, visited the facility recently and disputed Ukraine’s allegations, stating in his report that “no mines were observed at the site during the director general’s visit, including the cooling pond.” The danger to the ZNPP has also been questioned by the White House, with National Security Council spokesman John Kirby saying last week that Washington has not “seen any indication that that threat is imminent.”
BREAKING NOW: RT reporting Kiev to strike Zaporozhye NUCLEAR POWER PLANT with DIRTY NUCLEAR BOMB overnight on July 5th creating a catastrophic event..pic.twitter.com/QDV2HeafoP
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) July 5, 2023
July 4th message: “The US is smirched with dishonor..”
The US is smirched with dishonour as it blatantly supports the Ukrainian Nazis, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday when commenting on the visit to the United States of representatives of the Azov nationalist battalion (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) and their meetings at the Capitol. “One cannot look indifferently at how the heirs of Hitler and Bandera are honored in the country that contributed to the defeat of the fascist Germany. This is a betrayal of the memory of the Americans who gave their lives during World War II. The blatant support for the Ukrainian Nazis will leave an indelible mark in the American history,” he said.
The Ukrainian terrorists that have committed countless atrocities against the Russian population in Donbas, “make speeches within the walls of the once trustworthy Stanford University” now, the diplomat noted. “The question arises: what vision of the world do they want to instill into young Americans and foreign students, studying here? The duty of humanity is to oppose the glorification of Nazism with all its might. We tirelessly urge Washington to solve this problem. However, in response, we encounter absurd prohibitions even in the run-up to memorable events, such as laying wreaths at the Spirit of the Elbe memorial,” Antonov emphasized.
What would @RealScottRitter do if he was president instead of Joe Biden?
"I would stop this war instantly. There’s no more weaponry going to Ukraine. It’s over. I would call Putin and say we’re going to stop the fighting."
Full interview: https://t.co/b7h1Wnlwh5 pic.twitter.com/NaOH80BET7
— Useful Idiots (@UsefulIdiotpod) July 4, 2023
Spring 2024 at the earliest. There’ll be no young Ukrainians left by then.
Ukraine was told that its pilots would start training in F-16 fighter jets in June, but the program has not yet been launched, the Ukrainian foreign minister has claimed. “One of the countries,” which is part of the so-called “fighter jet coalition,” promised that the scheme would start last month, Dmitry Kuleba said during a TV appearance on Monday. “The training did not start in June. This means that the schedule is starting to shift… We’re now working with all the parties involved… to speed this process up as much as possible,” he said. According to the minister, the unnamed country “miscalculated” when it made its pledge to Kiev, but is continuing to make preparations for Ukrainian airmen to be trained with the American aircraft.
Kuleba said he was previously expecting to get the F-16s in the first few months of 2024, but the delay in training now means the wait will be longer. Last month, Igor Zhovkva, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, said nine countries – the US, UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal and France – had formed a coalition to help Ukraine obtain the warplanes. The chairman of NATO’s military committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, told the British radio station LBC on Monday that the issue of providing F-16s to Ukraine “will not be solved in the short term for this counteroffensive.”
Kiev has intensified its attacks along the frontline with the use Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles since early June, but according to Moscow, the much-hyped counteroffensive has failed to achieve significant gains so far. Zelensky has been pressing his Western backers for fourth-generation F-16 warplanes for months, arguing that they are crucial in providing air cover for Ukraine’s troops and defending its airspace, amid a massive Russian missile campaign targeting military facilities and energy infrastructure. In late May, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley warned that “the F-16 will not act as a magic weapon” in Ukraine, but will “cost a dollar” to Kiev’s backers.
The history of ukraine, from the Big Bang to modern times.
I said yesterday: “Why try to rewrite history? It was the Vikings. No, the Romans…”
This hilarious video takes it a step or two further.
Behold, the history of ukraine, from the Big Bang to modern times. pic.twitter.com/aRtrKE03E2
— Olga Bazova (@OlgaBazova) July 4, 2023
“..F-16s would not be a game changer since they have inferior capabilities compared to many of Russia’s modern military aircraft..”
F-16 fighter jets promised to Ukraine by its Western backers are not the only military aircraft that Kiev wants, Ukrainian Air Force Command spokesman Yury Ignat said on Tuesday. “Ukraine considers and will consider other aircraft types that could enhance combat capabilities,” Ignat told national broadcasters when asked about Kiev potentially acquiring American-made F/A-18 Hornets from Australia. However, Ukraine cannot exert too much pressure on the US and its allies as it depends on Western aid, he admitted. Ignat said the US-made F/A-18 and F-15, as well as the Eurofighter Typhoon, have a greater range and can carry more weapons. Nonetheless, he stated that Kiev would still focus on acquiring F-16s first, adding that Ukrainian pilots could learn to fly them sooner.
Ukrainian pilots have still not started their F-16 training, the spokesman said, adding that officials in Kiev are “working on the issue every day” by examining bases that are due to serve as training hubs. “The process has been launched,” he told broadcasters, but noted that it has thus far only amounted to “planning.” Kiev will not receive F-16s until the training of pilots and maintenance crews is completed and the relevant infrastructure is prepared, Ignat said, adding that “handing over [the jets] is impossible for now, it will require time.” “We cannot put pressure on our partners, because we depend on their aid,” Ignat stated. None of Ukraine’s foreign backers have spoken about supplying Kiev with Western-made fighter jets other than the F-16 so far.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has criticized Kiev’s backers for what he described as a failure to launch the F-16 training program in time. He did not name the specific nations that had promised to start the training in June, but argued that the pledge itself had been “miscalculated.” “We’re now working with all the parties involved… to speed this process up as much as possible,” Kuleba said. Russia has repeatedly warned that deliveries of increasingly more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies only prolongs the conflict and could lead to a major escalation. In late May, Bloomberg reported that F-16s would not be a game changer since they have inferior capabilities compared to many of Russia’s modern military aircraft.
“..it boosts the point of view that the US are the good guys who can end this war, who can bring peace if they only just pour enough weapons in..”
It’s no coincidence that American media is unanimously calling to send more military supplies to Kiev and fight to the last Ukrainian, since the debate has been artificially narrowed by the US defense contractors, as per the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft’s recent study. The DC-based think tank has found that of the 15 think tanks most often mentioned by the mainstream press, just one – Human Rights Watch – does not receive funding from the US war industry. Quincy’s analysis particularly demonstrated that the US media were seven times more likely to cite think tanks with ties to defense contractors than those without such affiliations. “There isn’t really an alternative voice in the media when it comes to these issues of war and peace,” Bryce Greene told Sputnik.
“The Beltway is usually on board with the drumbeat of the coverage. And this just shows how much the media relies upon these voices to shape the opinions, to shape the views of their audience. And it’s especially dangerous when you consider that most of these think tanks don’t even tell you how much they’re getting from these corporations. One finding from this study was that these think tanks (…) are not required to report where exactly they get their money from. Anything they give us is really by their goodwill. But very often they don’t tell you which companies are funding exactly how much. They might list some donors, but they don’t give exact figures. So it’s incredibly difficult to track the influence of this.”
Even though the US media is ostensibly independent they still push the government’s line by relying on and uncritically quoting those sources whose paychecks come from the US military-industrial complex, according to Greene. What’s more, the US media never gives a hint that those views come from experts funded by Lockheed Martin, or Boeing or some other defense contractor benefitting from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the journalist continued. Greene lamented the fact that it makes it very hard for a viewer to understand whether or not the information they’re getting is unbiased and untainted by special interests. “Most people know an institution functions on behalf of the people who fund it,” Greene continued. “And the think tanks are working on behalf of the military-industrial complex and therefore the media are laundering the point of view of the military industrial complex in order to present them as independent outside analysis.
The net result of this is that you have almost consistent drumbeat coverage in the US press calling for more weapons, for more intervention, and the US public is foaming at the mouth, waiting for just how many more weapons will it take to defeat Vladimir Putin. (…) We’ve been taught about this war that Vladimir Putin is a new Hitler hell-bent on conquering all of Eastern Europe. Again, this is all just propaganda on top of more propaganda. And it boosts the point of view that the US are the good guys who can end this war, who can bring peace if they only just pour enough weapons in. We only send another few billion dollars. We only send some tanks, some jets, and some high fliers. Everything will be alright in the fight against autocracy.”
Maidan – Road to War (Part 1 of 5, 52 min. Who has the time?)
I suspect the best doc on the origin of what we see today.
Maidan – Road to War
"Many people in Ukraine were proud that we've had no wars…"
Part 1 of a 5-part series with English subtitles. pic.twitter.com/u4LYZmy9wQ
— DD Geopolitics (@DD_Geopolitics) July 4, 2023
“The minister blasted Ukraine over putting Hungary’s OTP bank on what he called a “list of shame”..”
Hungary will not agree to any further EU financing of arms shipments to Ukraine until Kiev removes the nation’s largest lender from its list of “sponsors of war,” Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a press conference on Tuesday. The minister blasted Ukraine over putting Hungary’s OTP bank on what he called a “list of shame” by calling the reasons for such a move “outrageous” and “unacceptable.” “Our position is clear: until the OTP [bank] is removed from this list, Hungary will not greenlight any additional EU funding for weapon shipments to Ukraine,” the minister said. The decision will cover not just the €500 million ($546 million) tranche of arms Budapest vetoed earlier but any further military assistance as well, he added. “It will be better if they [the EU] do not come up with any proposals to finance further arms deliveries,” Szijjarto said.
Budapest is “doing everything to help the Ukrainian people,” and Hungarians “are paying the price of a war they have nothing to do with,” Szijjarto said following a meeting of the Hungarian-Jordanian joint economic committee. The official also called Kiev’s attitude toward Hungary puzzling. “We really sometimes have a feeling that they [the Ukrainians] are making fun of us,” he said. The minister also blasted the reasons, for which Ukraine put OTP on its blacklist by saying that “we would like to laugh [at them] because these are ridiculous things that are brought up.” At the same time, he called the situation around the Hungarian bank “serious,” adding that Budapest is “rather horrified” over the development. Hungary blocked the EU military aid tranche for Ukraine back in May, citing Kiev’s increasingly hostile” attitude towards the country.
The money blocked by Budapest was part of the so-called European Peace Facility (EPF). The fund is a €5.6 billion ($6.08 billion) purse that the bloc uses to finance foreign militaries and reimburse its own members who send arms to foreign conflicts. Before the conflict in Ukraine, the ‘Peace Facility’ had been used to supply non-lethal equipment to Georgia, Mali, Moldova, Mozambique, and Ukraine, for a total of less than $125 million. Budapest has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace deal in Ukraine and criticized the EU for sending arms to Kiev. Hungary also insisted that anti-Russian sanctions hurt Europe more than they hurt Russia. In June, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the German tabloid Bild that a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield was “impossible.”
EU, NATO, it’s all the same. No knowledge required.
Joe Biden is pushing for Ursula von der Leyen to be installed as the next Nato secretary general after Ben Wallace’s candidacy was blocked, Report informs, citing The Telegraph. The president of the European Commission was said to be the United States’ preferred candidate after the White House rejected the Defence Secretary for the role. A Nato source said that the US president was attempting to convince Mrs von der Leyen, a former German defense minister, to succeed Mr Stoltenberg amid fears a suitable candidate will not emerge in the next 12 months. “We’re going to have a problem next year when it becomes clear that the field is no stronger than this year,” a second source said. Mr Biden and Mrs von der Leyen have built “a strong bond” in recent years, fostering close transatlantic ties over China, Ukraine and the climate, another source said.
Stuck in Napoleon days.
The French authorities can shut down social networks if the situation in the country deteriorates, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday. “We need to think about the issue of social media and applicable bans. And if the situation worsens, we perhaps need to be able to regulate and turn them off,” Macron was quoted as saying by French broadcaster BFMTV. However, the president added that this discussion should not be held “rashly.”On Friday, Macron said that the French authorities would identify those who called for protests through social media in light of the ongoing unrest triggered by the killing of a teenager.
Later that day, French media reported that the government had met with representatives of social media due to unrest in the country. In particular, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Minister Delegate for the Digital Transition and Telecommunications Jean-Noel Barrot reportedly warned platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter of their responsibility and asked for support identifying users involved in committing offenses. France has been gripped by unrest since June 27, when a 17-year-old boy was shot dead by a police officer for failing to stop his car when ordered to do so in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris. The officer who pulled the trigger on Nahel M. has been taken into custody for voluntary manslaughter, but that has not deterred the protesters.
What’s really happening in France has many layers but one of them is certainly French colonial policies in Africa coming back to bite them in the ar*e via immigration, as well as outside interference & failed leadership. pic.twitter.com/WBct8Vy7cp
— Mats Nilsson (@mazzenilsson) July 3, 2023
“Wagner became the best-known example of Russian stormtroopers. This was largely due to its independent media resources and success..”
The events instigated by the Wagner private military company (PMC) on June 23-24 were influenced by several military and political factors. Russia’s leadership managed to deal with the mutiny in less than 24 hours. However, the reasons behind the incident still weigh the Russian army down and need to be addressed. In fact, the future of the military campaign in Ukraine depends on how promptly Moscow learns from this experience. To better understand the conflict between Wagner PMC and the Russian Ministry of Defense, we must go back to the events of last year. At that time, the group, which had earlier been involved in combat in both Africa and in the Middle East, was hired to help capture the fortified area of Popasnaya and then Artemovsk (Bakhmut), in the Donbass. The scale of this operation was so large that Wagner essentially became an army corps – a rather autonomous unit with its own infrastructure, command, and tactical direction.
At the same time, the group was considered light infantry. Making use of small assault units like Wagner which were directly backed by artillery, the Russian command wanted to escape dead-end positional warfare. Such tactics were used not only by Wagner but by units like the 1st Donetsk Army Corps. Moreover, the unique experience of assault operations gained in the year of combat resulted in the formation of “Storm Z” assault units that operate with Wagner-like tactics and have a similar structure. However, Wagner became the best-known example of Russian stormtroopers. This was largely due to its independent media resources and success. By the time the battles for Artemovsk ended, Wagner had hopes of acquiring the status of an independent structure within the armed forces, autonomous from the Russian Ministry of Defense and subordinate directly to the President of the Russian Federation.
Internal rivalry became one of the main reasons for the clash between Wagner and the Ministry of Defense. Earlier this year, Wagner was restricted in recruiting volunteers from prisons, who were instead assigned to regular units, including Storm Z. Accordingly, in recent months, Wagner could only rely on normal recruitment offices and was forced to compete for each candidate. Considering the severe fighting in the Artemovsk area, each recruit became priceless. In order to win people over to his side, the company’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin developed the Wagner brandand boosted his media presence. The group was presented as an ideologically like-minded community, a military caste, a corporation with its own values and code of honor.
When he exhausted regular marketing methods, Prigozhin made use of dark PR to win over recruits from his competitor, the Ministry of Defense. Prigozhin’s media outlets presented the regular units of the Russian army as incompetent, bureaucratic structures capable only of retreat. The peak of this dark PR campaign coincided with the last days of the battle for Artemovsk.
Wait: “Beijing had not confirmed the visit..” In other words, he invited himself.
China has cancelled a planned visit by the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, a spokesperson for the bloc announced on Tuesday. The diplomat’s trip was reportedly scheduled for next week. “Unfortunately, we were informed by the Chinese counterparts that the envisaged dates next week are no longer possible and we must now look for alternatives,” spokesperson Nabila Massrali told Reuters in a written statement. Beijing had not confirmed the visit and has provided no comment on its apparent cancellation, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning stating at a regular press briefing on Tuesday that she did not have any information to share on Borrell’s potential trip.
The visit was announced by the EU’s envoy to China, Jorge Toledo, on the sidelines of the 11th World Peace Forum in Beijing on Sunday. Borrell was to travel to China next Monday, Toledo said, seeking to address all outstanding issues with Beijing, including “partnership,” “competition” and “systemic rivalry.” “This will be the place to raise all these issues, especially the strategic issues that we have with China,” Toledo stated, adding that Borrell was scheduled to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. Borrell had been due to visit Beijing in April this year, shortly after EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron toured the country. However, the top diplomat tested positive for coronavirus and the trip was rescheduled.
The top EU diplomat has previously given mixed signals on ties with China, calling it a “rival” but also a partner. He has pointed to two major “strategic security issues” with China – namely its growing alliance with Russia and neutral stance on the Ukraine conflict – and the issue of Taiwan, regarded by Beijing as an integral part of its territory.
More multipolarity: SCO, BRICS, INSTC etc
The twenty-third summit of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO was held on Tuesday in a virtual format in New Delhi. The leaders of all SCO member states – [India], China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – welcomed Iran as a new full-fledged member of the organization. India’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Vinay Kvatra announced that Belarus will be admitted to the SCO as a full member at the summit in 2024. This year, Belarus and Mongolia took part in the meeting as observer states, while Turkmenistan was invited as a guest of the chairman. “In general, today, even without the inclusion of new players in the SCO, [the organization] has already become the most important structure of the world order, of a multifaceted multipolar world,” Dr. Stanislav Pritchin told Sputnik.
“In my opinion, there is a huge potential for creating financial infrastructure, because we all see how the dependence on Western international financial organizations, infrastructure, and the exchange of banking information affects the cooperation of states even within the SCO. (…) We need to create our own infrastructure, our own reserve currencies, regional ones, and create opportunities for trade, regardless of external players. And in this regard, the potential of the SCO, of course, is huge, taking into account the economic potential of China, India, and Russia’s other partners.” Pritchin has drawn attention to the fact that initially, the SCO was formed as a regional security organization being the successor to the Shanghai Five, which was set up in the early 2000s.
Over time, however, the scope of the SCO’s agenda has expanded. Even though the organization includes geopolitical opponents such as India and Pakistan, this did not create any serious problems for the SCO’s activities due to its inclusiveness and flexibility. Pritchin placed special emphasis on an obvious difference between the SCO and NATO whose agenda is formed and dictated by the US. In contrast, the Eurasian club operates on the principles of equality and collegiality, as per the scholar. “When it comes to Iran’s accession to the SCO, the crux of the matter is that Iran has long wanted to join the organization, and only now it has happened,” continued Pritchin. “This is a direct consequence of both Russia’s special military operation [in Ukraine] and the serious deterioration of US-Chinese relations.
Now the countries of the region, the SCO member states, in principle, make decisions without regard for the position and opinion of Western countries. And this shows the subjectivity and independence of this organization. From the point of view of the SCO’s potential, the involvement of Iran is a very important development, because a major power of 80 million people is a serious player in the field of security, our partner in [the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC)], in the security system in the Caspian Sea, an important economic partner. In this vein, of course, Iran’s accession is a very important stage in the expansion and strengthening of the SCO, its military and economic potential.”
“Codifying the most basic rights – like a free press – is a pretty good indication that someone wants to mess with them..”
EU officials are on the verge of approving a new “European Media Freedom Act,” promoted as a new law to protect journalists, their freedom, and press pluralism. However, any thinking person might start by asking how exactly that squares with the bloc’s top-down censorship of voices published on platforms that counter their establishment narratives, like RT for instance. They cite the Ukraine conflict as justification, but they were looking for an excuse long beforehand. Rather than leave it to individual national media regulators to do their job, and cite any specific offenses or evidence, these big fans of free press and democracy at the EU just blocked them unilaterally. So, these same folks are now in the process of fine-tuning a law designed to “promote internal safeguards on editorial independence and media ownership transparency” – which the EU has never been too interested in fostering when it comes to the NGOs and press outlets it supports.
They also plan to introduce measures that include the protection of journalists from spyware. But in even bringing spyware up, there’s now a risk of official codification of its use by governments against journalists in some instances – something which has, until now, been frowned upon. Once again, as with “anti-Russian” sanctions and cutting off its own cheap Russian energy supply, the EU has found a way to really stick it to itself and is on the verge of achieving precisely the opposite of its stated intentions. Governments like France are now reportedly requesting specific, codified exemptions to the state use of surveillance software targeting journalists in cases where they might be dealing with sources or evidence involving “national security” offenses or other heavy crimes that risk bringing down governments like… music piracy.
Right – because “national security” has never been abused as a pretext for Western authorities to protect their own interests from dissent. And we’re talking here about suspected crimes, so is a mere hunch enough to tap a journalist’s phone? The exemption request should also raise eyebrows about what these governments are already doing under the guise of national security to the point where clearly they believe they’re on the verge of losing something. Various French journalists, for example, have taken issue in the past with being spied on by French intelligence or police. And to make it even easier, a French parliamentary commission even voted recently to allow remote activation and geolocation of a target’s tech devices. Revelations about the use of Israeli Pegasus spyware by governments like Morocco to target French journalists raises other potential problems.
For example, what power would the EU even have over foreign countries if, say, an EU member state decided to outsource surveillance to a non-bloc country – let alone ever know which state gave the order to do so? Including any exemptions whatsoever to spyware use by EU member states not only defeats the whole stated purpose of the legislation, but also greatly reduces the chances that sources will talk to or trust the press. It effectively turns every journalist into an inadvertent direct pipeline of information to the authorities – which they may have been before, but now this new law confirms it, serving as a Vegas-style billboard for that fact. Who in their right mind is going to call out wrongdoing by powerful state actors when a murky pretext can theoretically be evoked by the same state to neutralize the whistleblower and their story before it can do any damage to the establishment?
“It will shrink and desiccate into a fragile little nugget of residual malevolence that can be put down like a small, rabid animal.”
By happenstance lately, out and about, I met up with several old friends and attempted to check-in with where they stood on these matters — how are things going in our country? The phrase our country seemed to make their heads snap back a little and their eyes goggle. Their answer, uniformly, was “Trump, Trump, Trump,” issued as a sort of barking. Trump’s criminal insults to democracy must be stopped, was the drift. My next question was: How’s “Joe Biden” doing? (They didn’t see the quote marks, and I didn’t use my fingers to signify.) “He’s doing pretty well… accomplished a lot,” they said. What’d they make of the developing bribery scandal? “Huh… the what?” Raking in all that money from foreign governments when Joe was Veep, and then after. “Oh… right-wing talking points… baseless….”
This is what my old friends think. Quite a few of them are aware that I write this blog. They don’t actually read it; they seem to just hear about it. The old community of Boomer friends thinks I’ve “gone off the deep end.” One thing these encounters taught me is how successful the censorship and propaganda campaign of the Blob has been. These were people, you understand, who came of age believing in free speech, freedom of the press, respecting civil rights, decrying political persecutions, and, most of all, being against hegemonic wars — which, back in the sixties, was called imperialism. These days they’re all for a righteous defense against misinformation that threatens our democracy, meaning: censorship. They wouldn’t call it that, exactly. They consider it a battle against right-wing extremism, white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, the usual bugbears. It never occurs to them that the Blob lies to them continually, remorselessly, promiscuously about everything.
They apparently believe what comes out of CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, et cetera. They were told to go get vaxxed. They went and got vaxxed. Some are not looking too good. They don’t seem to know that the vast machinery of public health in our country has been marshalled to do them harm, that the people running that machinery were well-aware that their vaccines did not get properly tested, and the little testing that was done did not turn out very well. Those agencies lied about it and worked strenuously to prevent the duped and vaxxed-up public from learning what had been done to them. What we’ve got, then, this Fourth of July holiday, 2023, is basically the pro-Blob Americans against the anti-Blob Americans. It’s a vicious conflict with no sign of resolution. No amount of factual disclosure — no Durham report, no fruitless Mueller report, not any number of whistleblowers, no alt news — can persuade the pro-Blobbers that their beloved Blob lies and deceives.
And no degree of coercion or punishment will convince the anti-Blobbers to fall into line and just do what they’re told. I think my old friends are insane, and they think the same about me. Everybody knows that the tension building is unendurable, that eventually things will break, and we all worry what kind of country we will have when the breaking ends. I’ll tell you what it will be: it will be a country without a Blob. The Blob thrives on money, and one of the first things to break will be our money and all the operations that generate, multiply, and move it. For years, we anti-Blobbers have been on the receiving end of punishments doled out so liberally by the Blob and its followers. Soon, all the lying, including the lying about our money, will bring on events that’ll deprive the Blob of its nourishment. It will shrink and desiccate into a fragile little nugget of residual malevolence that can be put down like a small, rabid animal.
Sound of Freedom
— Karli Bonne’ (@KarliBonnita) July 3, 2023
giant cow pic.twitter.com/3LSvJAoTju
— Enezator (@Enezator) July 3, 2023
Tiny octopus swims up to this woman to gives her little handshakes — then waits for her every day to bring him gifts 😍 pic.twitter.com/z3hUcNq9aV
— The Dodo (@dodo) July 4, 2023
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