Paul Cézanne Young Italian Woman at a Table c1900
Children of Gaza
The Children of Gaza
— Johann Spischak (@SDGMasterglass) November 21, 2023
“Interest on the federal debt is now so immense that it’s consuming 40% of all personal income taxes… If federal finances continue on their current path, we are only a few years from the entirety of income taxes being needed to finance the debt…”
Morning Joe admits Ukraine has lost the war against Russia.
Public humiliation is here now.
Public surrender is getting close. pic.twitter.com/HvEnPhUsjl
— Shadow of Ezra (@ShadowofEzra) November 20, 2023
Scott Ritter: “Israel been defeated on the battlefield! We will not SAVE THEM this time..”
Prof. Jeffrey Sachs on how the U.N. Security Council can quickly end four wars.
"The Security Council is in a position to take decisive actions to end the wars precisely because it is clear that the interests of all U.N. Security members, Security Council members, and notably… pic.twitter.com/sWPNvXqD8V
— Consortium News (@Consortiumnews) November 22, 2023
Truth Social files defamation suit vs 20 media companies
The head of the aid organization that runs the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza, now under sustained assault by Israeli forces, wrote a letter to Pres. Biden: “You have destroyed the international rules of the game, insulted the authority of the UN, torn apart the sense of justice, and hurt human values, and tarnished the face of human civilization.”
Nobody believes in Israel’s good intentions.
The Israeli cabinet has accepted a deal with Palestinian movement Hamas for a temporary ceasefire and the release of hostages in a vote on Wednesday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. The newspaper cited a senior Israeli official as saying that the deal would see Hamas release 30 children and eight mothers, as well as 12 more women, during a four-day ceasefire. The official also said that all the branches of the Israeli security services supported the deal, the newspaper reported. The deal includes only Israelis, but Hamas may release foreign nationals under deals with other countries, the report said. Implementing an agreement between Israel and Palestinian movement Hamas on the release of hostages will start a day after the deal is reached and the US anticipates the freeing of additional hostages, a senior Biden administration official said during a press briefing.
“Even if we get an agreement tonight or tomorrow morning, the implementation would not start until 24 hours after that,” the official said on Tuesday evening. “If we had an agreement tonight, the implementation would probably be Thursday morning Israel time.” Palestinian movement Hamas will release 50 of some 240 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip, women and children first, over a four-day ceasefire that was approved by Israel’s cabinet, the Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing the Israeli government. Israel would publish a list of names of prisoners to be released under a deal with Palestinian movement Hamas within the next 24 hours so that Israelis can appeal the release in court, Axios reported Tuesday, citing an Israeli official. The report added that Israel would extend the truce by an additional day for every ten hostages released.
Palestinian movement Hamas said in a statement on Wednesday that it has agreed with Israel on a four-day truce in the Gaza Strip with the cessation of all hostilities and the release of 50 Israeli hostages in return for 150 Palestinian prisoners. “Following difficult and complex negotiations that lasted for many days, we announce that … we, thanks to the persistent efforts of Qatar and Egypt, have reached an agreement on a humanitarian truce (temporary ceasefire) for four days, according to which a ceasefire on both sides comes, as well as the cessation of all military activities of the occupation army in all areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the cessation of the movement of its military equipment into the Gaza Strip,” Hamas said on Telegram.
“..In short, the ground battle in northern Gaza has only just begun, and is gearing up to get even hotter in the weeks ahead.”
The Israeli military has announced the expansion of its ground operations in the northern Gaza Strip. After seizing territories on Gaza’s coastline, in the western part of the northern strip, Tel Aviv’s actual ground operation is now beginning. For more than three weeks of its ground offensive, the occupation army has been operating in areas close to the shoreline, in places where tunnels cannot be dug, and, therefore, areas where the Palestinian resistance does not have significant defensive capabilities. But now, the occupation army is moving eastward from the Gaza coast, allowing the armed resistance to maneuver far more easily and inflict greater losses on the invading soldiers and their armored vehicles – as has become quite evident in recent days. In short, the ground battle in northern Gaza has only just begun, and is gearing up to get even hotter in the weeks ahead.
In support of the resistance in Gaza, the Yemeni army and Ansarallah fighters seized an Israeli-owned vessel in the Red Sea on 19 November after threatening to target all Israeli ships crossing the Bab al-Mandab Strait. Over the past week, on Lebanon’s border with Israel, the Lebanese resistance Hezbollah has increased the frequency of its military operations. On 20 November, the occupation army monitored more than 40 attacks on its positions, one of which was carried out with four rockets, each with an explosive warhead weighing around 500 kilograms. The salvo destroyed the Israeli ‘Branit’ military barracks near the border with Lebanon. In just the past three days, Hezbollah has carried out an average of 12 military operations against Israeli targets each day. Simultaneously, Iraqi resistance attacks are continuing against US military bases in Iraq and Syria – over sixty operations to date.
The increased pace of clashes across West Asia is, however, being widely ignored by many of Tel Aviv’s western allies, whose attention has been diverted by ongoing prisoner exchange talks between Israel and the Palestinian resistance, mediated by Qatar and the US. These weeks-long negotiations are being treated as evidence that the next phase will necessarily be a de-escalation in Palestine. Those expectations have been fanned by a leak that Israel’s cabinet has discussed the imminent demobilization of a number of army reservists. While the Israeli military may indeed demobilize part of the reserve forces it called up after 7 October, this decision is not based on de-escalatory considerations. The more than 300,000 Israeli reservists initially mobilized was far too great for the capacity of the occupation army, which was unable to absorb these personnel into its fronts in Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank.
Despite this, many still optimistically cling to the de-escalation narrative. They are further encouraged by official US statements criticizing – albeit in a watered-down manner – Israel’s targeting of Palestinian civilians, and point to the occasional US-Israel divergences over what they call the “post-Hamas phase” in Gaza as further proof that Tel Aviv will have to scale down its war. But at the current stage of the conflict, these discrepancies and observations are considered totally irrelevant by officials in the region’s Axis of Resistance. They note instead that Washington continues to maintain its pace of arms support for Israel, as it has done since the war’s onset, while sticking to its refusal to entertain any permanent ceasefire.
“..he manoeuvres to alleviate criticism and to stay in power as long as he can. More importantly, he hopes this will enable him to spread the blame, shedding all and any responsibility and accountability from himself..”
The allegory is one in which a scorpion depends on the frog for its passage across a flooded river, by hitching a lift on the frog’s back. The frog distrusts the scorpion; but reluctantly agrees. During the crossing the scorpion fatally stings the frog swimming the river, under the scorpion. They both die. It is a tale from antiquity intended to illustrate the nature of tragedy. A Greek tragedy is one in which the crisis at the heart of any ‘tragedy’ does not arise by sheer mischance. The Greek sense is that tragedy is where something happens because it has to happen; because of the nature of the participants; because the actors involved make it happen. And they have no choice but to make it happen, because that is their nature.
It is a story that was deployed by a former senior Israeli diplomat, well versed in U.S. politics. His telling of the frog fable has Israel’s leaders desperately fending off responsibility for the 7 October débacle, with a cabinet furiously trying to turn the crisis (psychologically) from culpable disaster – to present the Israeli public instead with an image of epic opportunity. The chimaera being presented is one that by reaching back to earliest Zionist ideology, Israel can turn the catastrophe in Gaza – as Finance Minister Smotrich has long argued – into a solution that once and for all ‘unilaterally resolves the inherent contradiction between Jewish and Palestinian aspirations – by ending the illusion that any kind of compromise, reconciliation or partition is possible. This is the potential scorpion sting: the Israeli cabinet betting all on a hugely risky strategy – a new Nakba – that could draw Israel into major conflict, but in so doing also sink what remains of western prestige.
Of course, as the former Israeli diplomat underlines, this ploy is essentially constructed around Netanyahu’s personal ambition – he manoeuvres to alleviate criticism and to stay in power as long as he can. More importantly, he hopes this will enable him to spread the blame, shedding all and any responsibility and accountability from himself. [Better still], “it can place Gaza in an historic and epic context as an event that might render the PM as a formative wartime leader of grandeur and glory”. Far-fetched? Not necessarily. Netanyahu may be writhing politically for survival, but he is a true ‘believer’ too. In his book, Going to the Wars, historian Max Hastings writes that Netanyahu told him in the 1970s that, “In the next war, if we do it right, we’ll have the chance to get all the Arabs out … We can clear the West Bank, sort out Jerusalem.” And what is the Israeli cabinet thinking about the ‘next war’? It thinks ‘Hizbullah. As one minister noted recently, ‘after Hamas, we will turn to deal with Hizbullah’.
It is precisely the confluence of a lengthy war in Gaza (along lines established in 2006), and an Israeli leadership seemingly intent to provoke Hizbullah on to, and up, the escalatory ladder, which is causing red lights to flash inside the White House, according to the former Israeli diplomat. In the 2006 war with Hizbullah, the entire urban populated suburb of Beirut – Dahiya – was levelled. General Eizenkot (who commanded Israeli forces during that war and is now a member in Netanyahu’s ‘War Cabinet’) said in 2008: “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on … From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases … This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.”
Putin first wants more countries to step up to the plate. He won’t be isolated.
The international community should join forces to find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Russia’s position is consistent and does not change with the situation. We urge the international community to join forces in order to ease tensions, ensure a ceasefire and find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he noted, addressing an extraordinary summit of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). According to Putin, “BRICS nations and the countries of the region could play a key role in this work.” “This is why the participation of our colleagues from the Middle East in today’s meeting, who were invited to join BRICS as full members earlier in the year, is particularly important,” the Russian leader noted.
“I would like to use this opportunity to respectfully commend their efforts to improve the situation, particularly by holding the Peace Summit in Egypt and the extraordinary Arab-Islamic Summit in Saudi Arabia,” Putin said. The Russian president highlighted the fact that “all BRICS countries share similar positions on the need to make joint efforts to find a long-term and sustainable solution to the prolonged Israeli-Palestinian issue.” In his view, “this became evident in the UN General Assembly’s vote on a draft resolution on a humanitarian ceasefire, as well as in discussions of a UN Security Council resolution on the Middle East settlement, which was adopted for the first time in seven years.” “Even though the resolution only calls for humanitarian pauses and not for a ceasefire, we see its adoption as a step in the right direction,” the Russian president pointed out. He stressed that “while a full ceasefire would be better, such humanitarian pauses are required for efforts to release hostages and evacuate civilians and foreign nationals from the Gaza Strip.”
The UN Security Council earlier passed a Malta-drafted humanitarian resolution aimed at assisting children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone. The seven-point document particularly calls for long humanitarian pauses and the immediate release of all hostages, especially children. Putin also thanked his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for facilitating the evacuation of Russian nationals from Gaza. The Russian leader emphasized the need to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East and prevent the conflict from expanding. “By and large, ensuring a long-term and sustainable ceasefire is certainly the most pressing goal,” Putin noted. “It is important to stop other countries from being dragged into the war in the Middle East and prevent the conflict from expanding, as well as to preserve the fragile interfaith peace,” he added.
“..that’s actually BRICS 10, because after the election of pro-Hegemon Zionist Javier “Chainsaw Massacre” Milei for President, Argentina is now out of the picture, and possibly discarded by January 1st, 2024..”
Everyone familiar with West Asia – from US generals to grocers in the Arab Street – knows that Israel is a landed aircraft carrier whose mission is to keep West Asia in check on behalf of the Hegemon. Of course in a dog eats dog geopolitical environment it’s easy to misunderstand all wag the dog shenanigans. What’s certain is that for hegemonic circles of the US Deep State, and certainly for the White House and the Pentagon, what matters in the current incandescent juncture is the uber-extreme/genocidal Likud-led Netanyahu government in Israel, not “Israel” per se. That projects Netanyahu as the exact mirror image of the beleaguered sweaty sweatshirt actor in Kiev. Quite the geopolitical gift – in terms of deflecting blame away from the Hegemon for a genocide deployed live on every smartphone on the planet.
And all that conducted under a veneer of legality – as in the White House and the State Department “advising” Tel Aviv to act with moderation; yes, you can bomb hospitals, schools, medical workers, journalists, thousands of women, thousands of children, but please be gentle. Meanwhile, the Hegemon has deployed an Armada to the Eastern Mediterranean, complete with two very expensive iron bathtubs, sorry aircraft carrier groups plus a nuclear submarine close to the Persian Gulf. That’s not exactly to survey guerrillas in underground tunnels and to “protect” Israel. The ultimate – neocon and Zio-con – targets are of course Hezbollah, Syria, Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq and Iran: the whole Axis of Resistance.Iran-Russia-China, the new neocon-defined “axis of evil”, which happen to be the Top Three Actors of Eurasia integration, for all practical purposes have interpreted the genocide in Gaza as an Israeli-American operation. And they have clearly identified the key vector: energy.
The inestimable Michael Hudson has noted how “we’re really seeing something very much like the Crusades here. It’s a real fight for who is going to control energy, because, again, the key, if you can control the world’s flow of energy, you can do to the whole world what the United States did to Germany last year by blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines.” And that brings us to the fascinating case of the OIC/Arab World delegation of Foreign Ministers now on tour of selected capitals promoting their plan for a complete ceasefire in Gaza plus negotiations for an independent Palestinian state. The delegation, called the Gaza Contact Group, includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria and Palestine.
Their first stop was Beijing, meeting Wang Yi, and the second stop Moscow, meeting Sergei Lavrov. That tells us all we need to know about BRICS 11 in action – even before the fact. Well, that’s actually BRICS 10, because after the election of pro-Hegemon Zionist Javier “Chainsaw Massacre” Milei for President, Argentina is now out of the picture, and possibly discarded by January 1st, 2024, when BRICS previously 11 starts under the Russian presidency. The OIC/Arab League special conference on Palestine in Saudi Arabia had yielded a meek final declaration that disappointed virtually the whole Global South/Global Majority. But then something started to move. Foreign Ministers started to coordinate closely. At first Egypt with China, after previous coordination with Iran and Turkey. That may sound counter-intuitive – but it’s all due to the gravity of the situation. That explains why the Iranian Foreign Minister is not part of the current traveling delegation – which is led, in practice, by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The meeting with Lavrov coincided with an extraordinary online BRICS meeting on Palestine, called by the current South African presidency. Crucial point: the flags of new members Iran, Egypt and Ethiopia could be identified behind the speakers. Iran’s President Raisi went no holds barred, calling for BRICS member states to use every political and economic tool available to pressure Israel. Xi Jinping called once again for a two-state solution and positioned China as the mediator of choice. For the first time Xi in his own words laid it all out: “There can be no security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine. I have emphasized on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in a two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent state of Palestine.” And it should all start via an international conference.
“The story is that Joe Biden, the president of the United States is lacking in such mental capacity that the presidency is being managed by people who weren’t elected to do that job. That’s what people should be worried about.”
US President Joe Biden lacks the mental ability to draw parallels between Russia and Hamas, says a former US Marine. The Washington Post ran an op-ed under Biden’s byline at the weekend, likening the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement Hamas’ breakout from the besieged Gaza Strip on October 7 to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in defence of the Russian-speaking Donbass region — following eight years of Ukrainian shelling of civilians. Biden “didn’t write this” as he “doesn’t have the mental capacity,” Ritter told Sputnik. “I’m not picking on him, I’m just being honest,” he said. “This was written by his national security staff. It was edited by Jake Sullivan. I believe [US Secretary of State] Tony Blinken came in with a lot of stuff that this was a collaborative effort by the people who are managing Joe Biden.” “This is the story, not the content of the op-ed,” Ritter stressed. “The story is that Joe Biden, the president of the United States is lacking in such mental capacity that the presidency is being managed by people who weren’t elected to do that job. That’s what people should be worried about.”
But he said the words attributed to Biden no longer carry the same weight as comments by previous presidents, thanks to the proliferation of alternatives to the mainstream media. “So when Joe Biden or his managers publish an op-ed of this nature, it no longer has the same cachet, the same impact that it would have ten years ago,” Ritter argued. “Today, it’s immediately cancelled out as ridiculous as absurd.” Ritter wrote for Consortium News last week that Biden and Blinken were being disingenuous in their call for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, given that no Israeli leader in decades has been serious about implementing it. “Even if such a governing coalition could be crafted together to politically sustain the idea of a two-state solution that fails to resonate with Israelis and Palestinians alike, there remains the ultimate hurdle that needs to be cleared before any notion of a lasting peace between Israeli and Palestinian states premised on the notion of equality — Israel’s nuclear weapons program,” Ritter wrote.
The former weapons inspector said Israel’s nuclear program had been “shrouded in ambiguity from the moment it was born, back in the 1960s when they actually produced a weapon.” “The United States has been the principal reason why this has happened,” Ritter pointed out. “The Nixon administration was confronted with the fact that Israel had nuclear weapons. We knew it. And they were in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, because even if they didn’t sign the treaty, we signed the treaty. And the treaty only allows five declared nuclear powers. So we would have to sanction Israel.” He underscored the aggressive nature of Israel’s military doctrine known as the “Samson option” after the biblical hero who collapsed the temple of the Philistines, killing them and himself. That doctrine mandates first use of nuclear weapons against neighboring Middle Eastern states if Israel faces military defeat and a return to Palestinian majority rule.
“That’s Israel’s nuclear policy, that if Israel goes, everybody goes,” Ritter explained. “And we went along with it because we believed that we could secure Israel enough so they would never have to use this weapon.” But Biden’s ostensible resurrection of the two-state solution calls that doctrine into question, he said. “A Palestinian state implies that Israel has normalized relations with their Palestinian neighbors and by extension, their regional neighbors.Therefore, there could be no justification for the continuation of this policy,” Ritter said. “Moreover, Palestine could never be considered free and independent so long as it was living next door to a nuclear power, an undeclared nuclear power.”
“European leaders want to understand whether they will have their say in the process of replacing Zelensky, or whether this political transformation in Kiev will be carried out, as usual, by two powers – London and Washington..”
European Council President Charles Michel arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday as well as Maia Sandu, president of Moldova. Separately, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius took the train to Kiev to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on an unannounced visit. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin landed in Ukraine on Monday to unveil a new US military aid package worth $100 million for the Ukrainian military. Prior to that, new Foreign Secretary David Cameron made his first trip to the Eastern European country last week. “Firstly, we must not forget that today all ‘progressive’ humanity is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Maidan,” Dmitry Evstafiev, political scientist and HSE University professor, told Sputnik with a touch of irony referring to the 2014 February coup in Kiev.
“Therefore, all the main European leaders, in Kiev, in fact, defend the policy that they began 10 years ago to finally turn Ukraine against Russia. This was a very important strategic choice. And this was, first of all, a European choice, not an American one. The Americans simply hijacked the processes that the Europeans launched, hijacked it successfully and effectively in such a way that today’s Europe, while still representing something geopolitically, no longer represents anything in terms of geoeconomics.” Secondly, it has become obvious that the Zelensky regime is becoming “catastrophically toxic” not only for the United States, but also for Europe, Evstafiev continued. “For the United States, the Zelensky regime has become toxic for quite a while, and it was a very difficult story for the Americans, which turned the issue of supporting, in fact, a radical nationalist, almost dictatorial at that time, and now an overtly dictatorial regime, into one of the most important topics of internal political struggle in the United States,” the professor remarked.
Per Evstafiev, Washington is no longer concealing the fact that it wants to turn a Ukraine conflict into a big European war using the desire of the Zelensky regime to somehow survive amid the deteriorating military situation and dwindling US support. The high-profile visits came at a time when the West has shifted focus on the Palestinian-Israeli standoff, which reportedly frustrated Zelensky. The Western mainstream press has also recently changed its coverage of the conflict from lauding Ukraine to admitting Kiev’s failure to proceed with its counteroffensive. Against this backdrop, European leaders are apparently trying to find out to what extent the Kiev regime is viable and whether it is worth continuing to support Volodymyr Zelensky, the expert said.
“And here there is a second layer to this issue: European leaders want to understand whether they will have their say in the process of replacing Zelensky, or whether this political transformation in Kiev will be carried out, as usual, by two powers – London and Washington. In this sense, of course, the outright incapacity of the German government and the virtual absence of political leadership in Germany becomes a huge problem for Europeans. Nevertheless, Europeans may try to seize on some opportunities in Kiev and try to defend their positions and their interests in the process of changing power in Kiev.”
“U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war..”
The official X account of the US Mission to NATO wrote Monday, “In this tough and dynamic battle, Ukraine’s soldiers are fighting bravely every single day, and they continue to inspire the world with their bravery and courage.” “We will continue to support them to be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table when the time comes,” the statement said. This marks a drastic shift in public messaging. Up to a short while ago, the Biden administration had essentially banished the words “negotiating table” from its public discourse. Journalist Glenn Greenwald has commented of this narrative shift: “The West is now telling Zelensky, more or less explicitly and right out in the open: time to wrap this up.” This significant difference in public rhetoric has also begun to appear more and more in mainstream media, which has also very belatedly reflected the American public’s ‘war fatigue’ – which was already setting in even before Ukraine’s much-vaunted early summer attempt at a counteroffensive…
It’s widely believed that talks could already quietly be happening, and that Washington is finally pressuring the Zelensky government to find compromise. “U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war, according to one current senior U.S. official and one former senior U.S. official familiar with the discussions,” an early November report in NBC said. “The conversations have included very broad outlines of what Ukraine might need to give up to reach a deal, the officials said.” Certainly, at the very least this will include Kiev permanently giving up any future claims on Crimea. But the question of the four annexed territories is what will determine whether a peace deal is reached or not.
“He claims, as have other Democratic members, that “you can’t use hate speech.” That is demonstrably and completely wrong. Hate speech is protected under the First Amendment. You cannot commit hate crimes.”
Even in his freshman year, Democratic New York Rep. Dan Goldman has proven one of the most controversial members in Congress from attacking witnesses to inadvertently undermining the Biden defenses. The latest controversy involves a call to “eliminate” Donald Trump after accusing him of using “inflammatory rhetoric.” He has since apologized for his own language. Despite being one of the many past targets of Goldman’s wrath, I do not believe that Goldman was calling for violence. It was what I call “rage rhetoric” in my book The Indispensable Right. However, the incident shows the perils of criminalizing political speech. Goldman remains a favorite on MSNBC where he rarely fails to disappoint viewers with his brand of smash-mouth politics and rhetoric. It was, therefore, somewhat ironic for Jen Psaki to interview him on the inflammatory rhetoric in this election on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki.”
Goldman responded: “rhetoric is really getting dangerous, more and more dangerous, and we saw what happened on Jan. 6, when he uses inflammatory rhetoric. It is just unquestionable at this point that that man cannot see public office again. He is not only unfit, he is destructive to our democracy and he has to be eliminated.” Some have called for Goldman to be investigated by the Secret Service. Others have called for a censure resolution. I do not agree. It was clearly reckless rhetoric and not a true threat. Yet, the incident shows how inflammatory terms are often used in politics. In the very same sentence in which Goldman denounced “dangerous” rhetoric, he proceeded to use dangerous rhetoric. Rep. Goldman has been one of the most vocal voices for prosecuting incitement based on such language.
In an interview with NPR, Goldman (who was counsel in the Trump impeachment) defended the use of such rhetoric as the basis for impeachment or prosecution: “there’s all sorts of speech that is criminalized. You can’t – you know, you can’t use hate speech. You – people – in all sorts of crimes. You can’t send death threats across, you know, the Internet. There are so many criminal laws that do criminalize speech, and so the notion that the president of the United States somehow has a First Amendment right to be protected by the government for his speech doesn’t make any sense. It’s a backwards argument, and it’s a loser.” As a threshold observation, the interview shows how dangerously ill-informed Goldman is on the First Amendment. He claims, as have other Democratic members, that “you can’t use hate speech.” That is demonstrably and completely wrong. Hate speech is protected under the First Amendment. You cannot commit hate crimes.
“I have endorsed him wholeheartedly,” Johnson said. “He had a phenomenal first term. His first two years, as you all know, we brought about the greatest economic numbers in the history of the world, not just the country, because his policies work.”
On Monday, US House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) made the pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago, the estate of former US President Donald Trump, who is leading the polls among Republicans in the 2024 race for the presidency. According to US media reports, Johnson attended a fundraiser hosted by Trump for US Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) who, like Johnson, is a close supporter of Trump. It was reportedly the first time Johnson and Trump have spoken since the Louisiana lawmaker became House Speaker a month ago. The previous Speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), had a troubled relationship with the former president, and it was ultimately a strongly pro-Trump faction of the House GOP Caucus that caused McCarthy’s eviction from the Speaker’s seat in early October.
In the fracas of selecting a new Speaker, Trump endorsed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) instead of Johnson and even floated the idea of him becoming Speaker himself for a time, since the Constitution doesn’t require that the Speaker be a sitting member of Congress. However, Trump did eventually urge Republican lawmakers to rally behind Johnson because he was the leading candidate and the lower Congressional chamber had been without leadership for three weeks. After Johnson was elected Speaker, Trump praised him for being an underdog. “At this time yesterday, nobody was thinking of Mike,” Trump said. “And then we put out the word, and now he’s the Speaker of the House. So I want to just thank all of the supporters that I have, and I want to thank all the supporters that Mike has, and again, he’ll be a great Speaker. I think you’re going to be very proud.”
Johnson has remained loyal to Trump, too. Johnson and Bilirakis were both signatories of an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in late 2020 that supported Trump’s claim that the November 2020 election had been marred by fraud, invalidating his loss to Joe Biden. While those claims have been widely discredited in the years since, including by many who were part of Trump’s cabinet at the time, Johnson is one figure who has maintained that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump. Last week, Johnson told reporters he was “all in” on Trump’s 2024 election bid. “I have endorsed him wholeheartedly,” Johnson said. “He had a phenomenal first term. His first two years, as you all know, we brought about the greatest economic numbers in the history of the world, not just the country, because his policies work. And I’m all in for President Trump.”
Trump has not yet won the Republican National Committee’s endorsement as their presidential candidate, but has led the pack of candidates since announcing his intention to run. The latest poll by Morning Consult found two-thirds of GOP voters ready to pull the lever for Trump in November 2024; however another poll by Harvard CAPS-Harris found that 60% of likely Trump voters said there is “at least some chance” they would support a different candidate. Behind Trump, the Morning Consult poll found just 13% of GOP voters support Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and 9% support former UN ambassador Nikki Haley. However, Trump is also facing down several criminal cases that have levied a wide array of federal offense accusations at him, including related to the January 6, 2021, insurrection by his supporters at the US Capitol and the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago during an FBI raid in August 2022. Some of the charges could bar him from running for public office if he is found guilty.
There are so many of these, it’s hard to keep track.
An appeals court is weighing a bid by Donald Trump to halt the limited gag order he faces in his federal trial on election subversion charges. The order keeps Mr Trump from speaking out against court personnel, potential witnesses or the special counsel’s office. It is currently on hold. Lawyers for the former president and current Republican frontrunner called for the order to be revoked. But a three-judge panel appeared sceptical over lifting the restriction. The trio of Democratic appointees grilled both sides over the most appropriate way to balance free speech considerations with the integrity and safety of those involved in a criminal trial that begins next March. After an initial hearing that was scheduled for 40 minutes but lasted more than two hours, the judges did not issue an immediate ruling.
Attorneys for Mr Trump had challenged what they called an effort to censor his speech in the midst of a hotly contested presidential campaign. But prosecutors with the US justice department argued he has a “well-established practice of using his public platform to target his adversaries”. Mr Trump’s criticism of those involved in the federal case over the 2020 election had occurred most recently this weekend, they noted. At a Saturday campaign rally in Iowa, Mr Trump called Special Counsel Jack Smith, the key prosecutor involved in the case, “deranged” and a “Trump-hating prosecutor”. He also said that Mr Smith’s “wife and family despise me much more than he does”, at “about a 15 on a scale of 10”.
They were the types of remarks that Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the election subversion case, has sought to limit since she issued a “narrowly tailored” gag order last month. Her intention, she said, was to prevent “a pre-trial smear campaign”. “The order is unprecedented and it sets a terrible precedent for future restrictions on core political speech,” John Sauer, Mr Trump’s attorney, told the Washington DC appeals court on Monday. Mr Sauer claimed there was no evidence that anybody involved in the case was facing an “imminent, pending threat” because of Mr Trump.
“Yes, there was an insurrection of sorts. Those in power hated Donald Trump so much that they were willing to torture and even murder their fellow Americans to keep him from the presidency. Unless these people are brought to justice, we will have no Republic left to defend.”
New US House Speaker Mike Johnson struck a blow for liberty and justice last week when he finally authorized the release of all the tapes from the January 6, 2021 “insurrection.” We were told by no less than President Biden himself that this was the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” The FBI was unleashed by the Biden Administration to hunt down hundreds of participants in this “insurrection” and lock them up in the gulag where they awaited trial in torturous conditions – many in solitary confinement. A Congressional Committee was set up under then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “get to the bottom” of the “Trump-led insurrection.” It did not include a single Representative nominated by the opposition Republican Party, but rather two “Republicans” – Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – who could be relied on by Pelosi and the Democrats to toe the line.
In short, the whole thing was an old-fashioned Soviet show trial, where the evidence was kept secret and the pre-determined verdict – guilty – was to be used to tighten the grip of the ruling regime and intimidate any further dissenters into silence. The message was clear: “speak out against the ‘perfection’ of the 2020 election and you may find yourself in the gulag along with the insurrectionists.” It was terrifying and profoundly anti-American. And, as we finally can see for ourselves thanks to Speaker Johnson, it was a huge lie. The new video shows demonstrators shaking hands with police officers once they entered the Capitol Building. They were welcomed into the building by officers who even held the doors for them to enter! They had no way of knowing that they would soon be rounded up and locked away.
Does that mean no crimes were committed on January 6th? Not at all. The tapes already released were carefully chosen to single out examples of violence and other possible criminality. But the full release of the tapes demonstrates beyond a doubt that the endless propaganda that this was a coordinated attempt to overthrow the government was false. And as for that violence and mayhem on January 6th? How much of it was instigated by undercover FBI agents? New footage clearly shows officers outside the building firing on protestors with no warning. That must be why, in hearing after hearing, Biden Administration officials like Attorney General Merrick Garland have refused to tell Congress the number of federal agents present and their roles in instigating violence.
The release of this evidence should immediately result in the release of all non-violent protestors awaiting trial or serving their sentences. Those in power responsible for promoting this lie should take their places in the jail cells. This delayed justice will not help protesters like Matthew Perna, however. Though the new video release clearly shows him calmly walking inside the Capitol in the presence of unconcerned police officers, when Merrick Garland’s Department of “Justice” announced they would seek terrorism charges against him, Perna, in despair, decided to hang himself in his garage. Yes, there was an insurrection of sorts. Those in power hated Donald Trump so much that they were willing to torture and even murder their fellow Americans to keep him from the presidency. Unless these people are brought to justice, we will have no Republic left to defend.
Texas AG Ken Paxton is busy. He has officially opened an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity, and sued Pfizer at the same time.. Both of whom are dealing with the same judge.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued Pfizer and Tris Pharma “for defrauding the Texas Medicaid program by providing adulterated pharmaceutical drugs to Texas children.” Specifically, Pfizer’s ADHD drug “Quillivant XR” was “knowingly distributed” to children on Medicaid despite the drugmaker’s “pattern of failing quality control tests” due to a flawed manufacturing process by Tris, which Pfizer contracted with to produce the drug, according to the complaint. “I am horrified by the dishonesty we uncovered in this investigation,” said Texas AG Ken Paxton. “Pfizer and Tris intentionally concealed and failed to disclose the issues with Quillivant to receive taxpayer funded benefits through Texas Medicaid, defrauding the state and endangering children.
Our Civil Medicaid Fraud Division has done an outstanding job holding these pharmaceutical companies accountable.” According to the filing, “At no point did Defendants warn Texas Medicaid providers or decision-makers that Quillivant had known manufacturing issues affecting its efficacy, thereby depriving the Medicaid program of the crucial information it relies on.… As a result, thousands of Texas children received an adulterated Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance.”The lawsuit, initially filed under seal, was unsealed at the AG’s request.
“Barnea, who represents the CIA and Pompeo, contended that the Fourth Amendment right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution did not apply at the Ecuador embassy in London..”
United States court held an extraordinary hearing on November 16, where a judge carefully considered a lawsuit against the CIA and former CIA director Mike Pompeo for their alleged role in spying on American attorneys and journalists who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Judge John Koeltl of the Southern District of New York pushed back when Assistant U.S. Attorney Jean-David Barnea refused to confirm or deny that the CIA had targeted Americans without obtaining a warrant. He also invited attorneys for the Americans to update the lawsuit so that claims of privacy violations explicitly dealt with the government’s lack of a warrant. In August 2022, four Americans sued the CIA and Pompeo: Margaret Ratner Kunstler, a civil rights activist and human rights attorney; Deborah Hrbek, a media lawyer who represented Assange or WikiLeaks; journalist John Goetz, who worked for Der Spiegel when the German media organization first partnered with WikiLeaks; and journalist Charles Glass, who wrote articles on Assange for The Intercept.
The lawsuit alleged that as visitors Glass, Goetz, Hrbek, and Kunstler were required to “surrender” their electronic devices to employees of a Spanish company called UC Global, which was contracted to provide security for the Ecuador embassy. UC Global and the company’s director David Morales “copied the information stored on the devices” and shared the information with the CIA. The agency even had access to live video and audio feeds from cameras in the embassy. On June 4, 2023, the Spanish newspaper El País reported that UC Global director David Morales had a folder on his laptop marked “CIA.” Spanish police initially withheld 213 gigabytes of files in a criminal case against Morales that has unfolded as the U.S. government pursues Assange’s extradition on Espionage Act charges. (Morales and UC Global were sued as well.)
Often a lawsuit—especially one involving allegations of illegal and unchecked surveillance—would end swiftly. A judge would accept all of the “national security” arguments made by the CIA and dismiss the case. However, Koeltl has chosen to be more fair and measured when assessing the stunning allegations. Barnea, who represents the CIA and Pompeo, contended that the Fourth Amendment right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution did not apply at the Ecuador embassy in London. The CIA did not play a “sufficient role in controlling or directing” the actions of Morales and UC Global contractors. When Barnea maintained that CIA access to live video feeds would not necessarily mean that the agency was in control or directing UC Global, Koeltl seemed baffled.
“So U.S. agents were monitoring the feed in the United States, and that’s not sufficient involvement by the government?” “You don’t seem to dispute in your papers that a warrant would be necessary to seize the contents of the electronic devices,” Koeltl said, as Barnea outlined the government’s argument that Americans who visited Assange had no “reasonable expectation of privacy” when they entered the embassy. “You don’t seem to dispute in your papers that a warrant would be necessary to seize the contents of the electronic devices,” Koeltl said, as Barnea outlined the government’s argument that Americans who visited Assange had no “reasonable expectation of privacy” when they entered the embassy. Barnea replied, “I don’t believe that a warrant is ever required outside the United States. The Second Circuit [Court of Appeals] has held that the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment only applies within the United States.”
Australian broadcaster, Alan Jones, utterly schools a panel of climate zealots on the reality of the Net Zero scam.
"CO2 is 0.04% of the atmosphere, and human beings are responsible for 3% of that 0.04%… It's like saying: 'There's a granule of sugar on the Harbour Bridge.… pic.twitter.com/r8KlSFulX3
— Wide Awake Media (@wideawake_media) November 21, 2023
Lee Fang: Moderna is SPYING On Your Vaccine Discussions Online
Independent reporter Lee Fang breaks down his new reporting on pharmaceutical Moderna and how it is breaching personal privacy.
Source: The Hillhttps://t.co/xtU78lvgep pic.twitter.com/vYaRoH0DI8
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) November 22, 2023
Just in case your wondering why they are trying to ban red meat.. pic.twitter.com/NAJ8brW2mj
— AG 🔥 (@Yolo304741) November 21, 2023
There is a bike trail in Belgium where you can go “Cycling Through Water,” through a large lake in the De Wijers nature reserve.
This bridge is below the water line and in parts it is low enough to put riders at eye level with the lake
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) November 21, 2023
Do animals like music?
Studies found they actually enjoy specially designed sounds using pitches, tones and tempos that are familiar to a particular animal's species.
This bard, for example, has found a way to gather raccoons.
[📹 Eddie Lawrence]pic.twitter.com/S7X5eppEOB
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) November 21, 2023
Argentinosaurus lived on the then-island continent of South America somewhere between 97 and 93.5 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period. It is among the largest known dinosaurs and this is the size of its leg (human for scale).
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