Dec 182023
 
 December 18, 2023  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Edward Hopper Morning sun 1952

 

The Death of Israel (Chris Hedges)
Pentagon Mulls Strikes Against Houthis Amid Red Sea Chaos (Sp.)
‘Lower-Intensity Phase’ Of Gaza War Must Begin Within Weeks – US (Cradle)
Russia Wants To Improve Ties With NATO, Not Fight – Putin (RT)
Russia Is No Threat To NATO – Hungary FM (RT)
I Was Naive About The West – Putin (RT)
German Customs Threatens To Seize Russian Christmas Gifts (RT)
Fico Exposes Dark Reality of Western Plan for Kiev (Sp.)
EU Policies Threaten ‘Destruction’ – Fico (RT)
US Entering 2024 With Tiniest Military Since 1941 (Sp.)
Last of the Caucasians (Jeffries)
‘No One Off the Table’ for Deportation If Trump Re-Elected – Ex-ICE Chief (Sp.)
The Time to Replace Kamala Harris Is Now (Saperstein)
Eric Swalwell and The Politics of Contempt (Turley)
Musk’s Starlink Breaks Through Bureaucracy and Corruption in Africa (ET)

 

 

 

 

Priest

 

 


Free Palestine.

 

 


In Belgium, the green traffic lights become #Free_Gaza while the red lights say #Stop_Israel

 

 


Israel killed 92 journalists so far

 

 

Dore/Tucker

 

 

Larry Johnson

 

 

Nap Scott Ritter Resolution 377

 

 

 

 

Libya

 

 

Vivek AI
https://twitter.com/i/status/1736453257587822834

 

 

Klausi

 

 

 

 

“The vaunted fight against anti-Semitism is a thinly disguised celebration of White Power..”

The Death of Israel (Chris Hedges)

Israel will appear triumphant after it finishes its genocidal campaign in Gaza and the West Bank. Backed by the United States, it will achieve its demented goal. Its murderous rampages and genocidal violence will exterminate or ethnically cleanse Palestinians. Its dream of a state exclusively for Jews, with any Palestinians who remain stripped of basic rights, will be realized. It will revel in its blood-soaked victory. It will celebrate its war criminals. Its genocide will be erased from public consciousness and tossed into Israel’s huge black hole of historical amnesia. Those with a conscience in Israel will be silenced and persecuted. But by the time Israel achieves its decimation of Gaza — Israel is talking about months of warfare — it will have signed its own death sentence.

Its facade of civility, its supposed vaunted respect for the rule of law and democracy, its mythical story of the courageous Israeli military and miraculous birth of the Jewish nation, will lie in ash heaps. Israel’s social capital will be spent. It will be revealed as an ugly, repressive, hate-filled apartheid regime, alienating younger generations of American Jews. Its patron, the United States, as new generations come into power, will distance itself from Israel the way it is distancing itself from Ukraine. Its popular support, already eroded in the U.S., will come from America’s Christianized fascists who see Israel’s domination of ancient Biblical land as a harbinger of the Second Coming and in its subjugation of Arabs a kindred racism and white supremacy.

Palestinian blood and suffering — 10 times the number of children have been killed in Gaza as in two years of war in Ukraine — will pave the road to Israel’s oblivion. The tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of ghosts will have their revenge. Israel will become synonymous with its victims the way Turks are synonymous with the Armenians, Germans are with the Namibians and later the Jews, and Serbs are with the Bosniaks. Israel’s cultural, artistic, journalistic and intellectual life will be exterminated. Israel will be a stagnant nation where the religious fanatics, bigots and Jewish extremists who have seized power will dominate public discourse. It will find its allies among other despotic regimes. Israel’s repugnant racial and religious supremacy will be its defining attribute, which is why the most retrograde white supremists in the U.S. and Europe, including philo-semites such as John Hagee, Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene, fervently back Israel. The vaunted fight against anti-Semitism is a thinly disguised celebration of White Power.

Despotisms can exist long after their past due date. But they are terminal. You don’t have to be a Biblical scholar to see that Israel’s lust for rivers of blood is antithetical to the core values of Judaism. The cynical weaponization of the Holocaust, including branding Palestinians as Nazis, has little efficacy when you carry out a live streamed genocide against 2.3 million people trapped in a concentration camp. Nations need more than force to survive. They need a mystique. This mystique provides purpose, civility and even nobility to inspire citizens to sacrifice for the nation. The mystique offers hope for the future. It provides meaning. It provides national identity. When mystiques implode, when they are exposed as lies, a central foundation of state power collapses.

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Houthis means Iran. Really, US?

Pentagon Mulls Strikes Against Houthis Amid Red Sea Chaos (Sp.)

At least four major global shipping companies have suspended operations through the Red Sea in the past 72 hours, citing the threat of attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militiamen. The Houthis began their campaign of ship hijackings, missile and drone attacks in response to Israel’s military operation in Gaza, and Western powers’ support for Tel Aviv. The United States military is considering strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. That’s according to a report by a US news outlet citing Biden administration officials. The anonymous officials indicated that they have been growing “increasingly concerned” by the Houthis purported efforts to “undermine global trade,” “both to undercut trade to Israel and raise the costs to the US and its allies” for supporting the IDF’s Gaza rampage. Officials further said that Washington is holding back, for now, out of “fears of potentially fueling a broader war against Iran and its proxies,” citing (unsubstantiated) claims that the Yemeni militia group is one such proxy.

A Pentagon spokesman stated publicly this week that the DoD “will not hesitate to take action” where “necessary and appropriate, including to protect against actions in the maritime domain that could threaten our troops,” but this has yet to include attacks on Houthi forces. US and British warships operating in the Red Sea targeted over a dozen suspected Houthi drones over the body of water on Saturday alone. Four major shipping companies, including Danish giant Maersk, Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, Swiss-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MCS) and France’s CMA CGM halted operations through the Red Sea Friday and Saturday, citing the Houthi threat. With their proximity to the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait (lit. ‘Gate of Tears’) linking the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, the Houthis have the ability to restrict access to a key global strategic bottleneck accounting for up to 10 percent of the world’s oil trade, and up to 20 percent of global shipping.

The Strait, which along with Egypt’s Suez Canal serves as a key gateway for maritime trade between Europe and Asia, threatens to turn into a genuine Gate of Tears for companies, businessmen and consumers worldwide amid the Houthis’ missile, drone and hijacking campaign. Oman stepped in to mediate talks between the Yemeni militia group and “international parties” over the weekend to try to put a halt to its Red Sea attacks.Houthi representative Mohammed Abdul-Salam confirmed that the Oman-mediated talks were taking place, but reiterated that the militia’s position was that “we cannot stand idly by in the face of attacks on the Gaza Strip, the crippling siege, and the complete ban on the entry of foodstuffs, medicine and even drinking water into the territory.” The Houthis’ stance on the Palestinian issue was “non-negotiable,” the spokesman said.

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Yeah, just carry on.

‘Lower-Intensity Phase’ Of Gaza War Must Begin Within Weeks – US (Cradle)

During a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the Israeli war cabinet on 14 December, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan renewed Washington’s call that the “lower-intensity phase” of Israel’s assault on Gaza must begin within weeks. Israel has to “transition to the next lower intensity phase in a matter of weeks, not months,” Sullivan said, according to two US and Israeli officials who spoke with Axios. “[This is not] a deadline, and we understand the campaign must and will continue, but in a lower intensity manner,” the US official said. “Sullivan pressed Netanyahu and the members of the war cabinet on the timetable and details on planning for when the low-intensity phase of the war is going to start and what it will look like,” the White House official added.

An Israeli official said there was “no pressure” from Sullivan but instead “concern” over civilian casualties and the displacement of Palestinians. During the meeting, Sullivan also told Netanyahu and the war cabinet that the US “wants to move toward talking more seriously about what happens after the war, stressing that it will make it easier for the US to maintain support for the military operation.” The US recently said Israel has been more open to discussions about what post-war Gaza will look like. However, Netanyahu remains staunchly opposed to a US-proposed plan that would see the Palestinian Authority (PA) assume control over the enclave after the war.

During his visit to Israel, Sullivan also met with the Mossad chief, David Barnea. According to a report by Hebrew outlet Channel 12, the two discussed possibilities for a new prisoner-exchange deal between Hamas and Israel. “The American administration is currently discussing several initiatives with the two parties, Hamas and Israel, to renew the agreement to release hostages and prisoners between them,” Channel 12 said. The talks come just days after Saudi media reported that a European capital is hosting secret negotiations between Israeli and Qatari delegations for a new prisoner exchange deal.

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“We had the most open-hearted, cordial relations… We had no problems, but now are going to, because we are going to create the Leningrad military district and deploy certain military units there. Why did they need that?”

Russia Wants To Improve Ties With NATO, Not Fight – Putin (RT)

Russia does not have the slightest reason to attack NATO, President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that the US-led military bloc is well aware that Moscow has no plans to do so. In an interview with Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin aired on Sunday, Putin was asked to comment on remarks by US President Joe Biden, who said earlier this month that Moscow might attack the alliance if it prevails in the Ukraine conflict. The Russian leader dismissed his American counterpart’s speculation as “nonsense.” “I think that President Biden understands that this is just a figure of speech to justify his misguided Russian policy,” he said, explaining that he does not believe Moscow’s “strategic defeat” would be in the interests of the US. Putin went on to say that the president of the United States – which he called the “master” of NATO – surely knows that “Russia has no interest… geopolitically, economically or militarily… in waging war against NATO.”

Moscow, he added, has no claims on the territory of the bloc’s member states and only seeks to improve ties with them. However, the West’s political course is making this increasingly difficult, Putin noted, citing the example of Finland, which applied to join NATO after the start of the Ukraine conflict and became a full-fledged member in April. Russia has no disputes with its Nordic neighbor, Putin said, noting that the last territorial claims were settled after the end of WWII. “We had the most open-hearted, cordial relations… We had no problems, but now are going to, because we are going to create the Leningrad military district and deploy certain military units there. Why did they need that?” The president added that Russia has no quarrel with other NATO states either. “It is they who are artificially creating problems with us because they don’t want Russia as a rival.”

Russian officials have repeatedly described relations between Moscow and Washington as being at an all-time low, blaming the situation on the US’ support for Ukraine, as well as the country’s stance on arms control. Earlier this month, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the two powers are balancing on the brink of a hot war, with the last similar stand-off dating back to the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s.

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“I don’t think that Russia would attack any NATO member state..”

Russia Is No Threat To NATO – Hungary FM (RT)

Russia poses no immediate threat to NATO, including to those members of the bloc located close to its borders, because any attack would trigger an overwhelming response, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has suggested. Speaking in an interview with French broadcaster LCI, part of which was uploaded on Szijjarto’s Facebook page on Sunday, the minister was asked to comment on the warning of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who suggested that after the end of the Ukraine conflict, Russia would threaten NATO countries. “I don’t think that Russia would attack any NATO member state,” he replied, explaining that most EU members are also part of the alliance. According to Szijjarto, the US-led military bloc is “the strongest security and defense alliance in the world.”

He cited Article 5 of the bloc’s treaty, which stipulates that if any NATO nation comes under attack, it will be interpreted as an attack all members. “I don’t think that anyone, not only Russia, would risk any attack against any NATO member state,” he stressed. When pressed on why the Baltic states and Poland disagree, the minister explained that some countries have “different histories and different geographic locations.” “I don’t know what would be my position if I was in the geographic location of the Baltics [or Poland],” he said, noting that Hungary has always respected their position and never tried to challenge it. “This kind of respect should be given to every position of every member state. My problem is that this respect is very rarely given to the Hungarian position. This is unfair and weakens the European Union,” he added.

Szijjarto’s remarks come on the heels of comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has said that his country does not have any intention of attacking NATO. Putin told Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin in an interview aired on Sunday, that the US-led bloc itself is well aware that the Kremlin harbors no such plans. “Russia has no interest… geopolitically, economically or militarily… in waging war against NATO,” Putin stated, dismissing the recent claims by US President Joe Biden that Moscow might attack if it wins the Ukraine conflict as “nonsense.” “I think that President Biden understands that this is just a figure of speech to justify his misguided Russian policy,” the Russian President suggested.

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“After the collapse of the Soviet Union they thought they just had to wait a little longer, and then they would break Russia apart as well.”

I Was Naive About The West – Putin (RT)

The West was determined to break Russia apart after the collapse of the Soviet Union, believing that multiple states based on the country’s ruins would be too weak to resist outside influence, President Vladimir Putin has said. In an interview with Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin aired on Sunday, Putin admitted that he was a “naive” leader early in his political career even though he had a solid background in Soviet intelligence. The Russian president said that he had believed that the West understood that Russia had become a completely different country after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and that there were no further ideological differences warranting a serious stand-off. According to Putin, even when he saw Western efforts to support terrorism and separatism in Russia two decades ago, he thought that it was the “inertia of thinking” that was to blame.

“They had just got used to fighting the Soviet Union,” he believed. In reality, however, the West was deliberately trying to undercut Russia, the president said. “After the collapse of the Soviet Union they thought they just had to wait a little longer, and then they would break Russia apart as well.” According to Putin, the West saw no need for the existence of the world’s largest country, with its large population. “It would be better, as suggested by… [former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew] Brzezinski, to divide it into five parts, and subjugate them one by one.” This alleged Western plan, he explained, hinged on the premise that several smaller states “would have no weight or voice of their own, and would have no chance to defend their national interests in the way that the united Russian state has.”

The Russian leader was apparently referring to a 1997 article penned by Brzezinski, an ardent supporter of Soviet containment who died in 2017, which suggested at the time that Moscow should abandon “a futile effort to regain its status as a global power.” The former White House adviser also opined that “a loosely confederated Russia, composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic” would have an easier time fostering economic relations with its neighbors. Putin has repeatedly said that the West was planning to split Russia into several states, warning that the Russian people could cease to exist if this happens, and naming its continued unity as the key condition for the country’s success.

Shaman
https://twitter.com/i/status/1736083270205378605

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“..even such innocent items such as books, toys and perfume sent from Russia will likely not make it to their German recipients..”

German Customs Threatens To Seize Russian Christmas Gifts (RT)

Germany may confiscate gift parcels sent from Russia ahead of this year’s festive season, the country’s Federal Customs Service announced in statement on its website this week. According to the statement, gift parcels are regulated by the same sanctions legislation as any imports, as they may contain sanctioned goods such as paper, pulp, precious stones and metals, cigarettes, chemical and plastic products, cosmetics, etc. “There is no exception to the prohibitions covered by an Annex XXI to the Sanctions Regulation for gift consignments sent from a private individual in Russia to another private individual in the customs territory of the European Union,” the statement read, signaling that even such innocent items such as books, toys and perfume sent from Russia will likely not make it to their German recipients.

Gifts are not the first personal items belonging to Russians that have not been allowed in Germany. Previously, the country’s customs officials warned that any personal belongings of Russians falling under sanctions could be confiscated at the border, including smartphones, laptops, suitcases, portables, clothing and even toiletries. Cars have also been subject to the embargo: there have been several incidents this year when German customs officers seized cars bearing a Russian license plate, which travelers brought across the German border. Several other EU member states have also been confiscating Russians’ personal items at border crossings. Most began doing so after the European Commission issued a sanctions clarification in September that condoned such measures.

Last month, the European Parliament urged EU nations to stop the practice and called on the executive body to “review its interpretation of sanctions leading to the seizure and confiscation of items and vehicles for personal use only.” In a joint motion, lawmakers warned that “such over compliance discredits the goal and instrument of sanctions.” However, the recommendation was not legally binding and has not yet been taken up by the European Commission. Moscow has repeatedly slammed the practice of taking away the belongings of ordinary Russians as illegal, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova calling it outright “racist.”

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“When major EU members calculate the hundreds of billions of euros that Ukraine’s EU membership would cost, the decision made in Brussels will remain a political gesture for many years..”

Fico Exposes Dark Reality of Western Plan for Kiev (Sp.)

Ukraine and its citizens have simply become a bargaining chip in the geopolitical squabble, says Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. “In fact, most of the member states of the European Union are obsessed with Ukraine and hatred towards Russia, which leads to peculiar views that are undoubtedly propagated in the European media — that the war in Ukraine should continue to weaken Russia,” Fico said in his video address published on social media. The Slovak leader said that obsession was linked to unfounded scaremongering claims that Russia might attack a NATO member “In reality, Ukraine is only being used for geopolitical purposes to weaken Russia both economically and internationally,” Fico added. The Slovak prime minister also viewed Ukraine’s possible accession to the EU as nothing more than a political gesture to cover up inconvenient realities on the battlefield.

He emphasized that it will take years before Ukraine can realistically join the EU as the country is not ready both in terms of democratic functioning and the fight against corruption — putting the European Union in a hopeless situation. “When major EU members calculate the hundreds of billions of euros that Ukraine’s EU membership would cost, the decision made in Brussels will remain a political gesture for many years,” Fico added. He believes that Ukraine is simply a ‘golden goose’ for Western companies involved in the arms trade — regardless of the human cost. “I fear that, in the name of these geopolitical goals, the West will continue to fight with Russia until the last Ukrainian soldier, and we are not far from that,” Fico said. On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed as “complete nonsense” recent comments by US President Joe Biden about a possible Russian attack on NATO.

Putin stressed that Russia has no interest in waging war against NATO countries, saying there was no political, economic or military reasons to do so. Moscow has previously argued that Kiev intends to continue fighting “to the last Ukrainian” in the interests of Western powers. Russia earlier warned NATO countries against further arms shipments to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said any cargo containing weapons for Ukraine would be a legitimate target for Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has previously accused NATO countries of “playing with fire” by supplying weapons to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that arming Ukraine with Western weapons would not contribute to the success of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations and would only have a negative impact. Lavrov charged that the US and NATO are directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine, “not only through arms supplies, but also by training personnel… on the territory of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and other countries.”

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“if our exclusion from the international party is to be a price for pursuing a genuine left-wing agenda in Slovakia and voicing sovereign opinions, we are prepared to pay such a price.”

EU Policies Threaten ‘Destruction’ – Fico (RT)

The EU’s backing of Ukraine, sanctions on Russia, and “fanatic” environmental policies are “destructive for Europe,” yet Brussels does not tolerate discussion of these issues, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Saturday. “If we can’t tell the truth at the Brussels table that, for example, anti-Russian sanctions didn’t work, that further destruction of Ukraine and killing Ukrainians is going nowhere, that the fanatic implementation of the Green Deal is killing our economies, that 20 thousand casualties in the Gaza Strip cannot be overlooked just because Israel causes them, we are on a slippery slope that can be not only politically, but also economically destructive for Europe,” Fico wrote in a post on Facebook. The Slovak PM has cut off his own country’s military aid to Kiev and vowed to block Brussels’ next sanctions package if it includes an embargo on Russian nuclear fuel.

While Fico did not veto the European Council’s decision on Thursday to open accession talks with Ukraine, he has dismissed the vote as “a political decision that has nothing to do with reality,” and asserted that Kiev “is absolutely unprepared to open the negotiations.” Fico’s position on Ukraine’s membership bid is at odds with that of most EU leaders, who hailed Thursday’s decision as “a breakthrough” and “a clear signal of support” for Kiev, in the words of Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Apart from Fico, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been the EU’s staunchest critic of the bloc’s sanctions policy and its push to admit Ukraine. Orban has referred to Ukraine as “one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” and called the bloc’s leaders “senseless and irrational” for opening membership talks with a country involved in an active conflict, with an economy entirely dependent on foreign aid to function.

Before the conflict in Ukraine began, Orban regularly clashed with the EU over his hardline immigration policies. Earlier this year he accused Brussels of “raping” Hungary and Poland by introducing legislation that he said would “relocate migrants to Hungary by force.” “I respect every politician who can sovereignly stand up for the interests of his own nation, because today in Europe discussion is more of an exception than a rule,” Fico wrote on Facebook. “And Viktor Orban is the exception.” The Slovak leader said that he would take a similar approach when negotiating with the bloc’s officials, and would not seek to “collect personal praise from the West.” Fico’s position on the fighting in Ukraine was a key factor behind his party’s suspension from its European parliamentary faction, the Party of European Socialists, in October. Responding to the suspension, Fico declared that “if our exclusion from the international party is to be a price for pursuing a genuine left-wing agenda in Slovakia and voicing sovereign opinions, we are prepared to pay such a price.”

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Just blame TikTok.

US Entering 2024 With Tiniest Military Since 1941 (Sp.)

The United States will ring in the new year with its smallest active duty footprint since 1941 – the year Washington abandoned its non-interventionist foreign policy and joined the Second World War. That’s according to military strength levels outlined by the NDAA, which showed a drop in active duty personnel to 1,284,500 service members, from 1.39 million in the previous year, as recruiters face growing difficulty enticing young people to join. Observers blame a variety of factors for falling recruitment numbers, from declining confidence in the US military (from 70 percent in 2018 to about 46 percent now), to growing incidence of health problems among young people, to concerns among conservatives about the military’s increasingly “woke” culture, to falling morale in the wake of decades of illegal wars abroad.

DoD acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness Ashish Vazirani told lawmakers this week that the military had recruited about 41,000 troops less than planned over the course of 2023. “That number understates [sic] the challenge before us as the services lowered end-strength goals in recent years, in part because of the difficult recruiting environment,” Vazirani said. Citing “low trust in institutions” being a key problem among young people – specifically people from Generation Z born between 1997 and 2012, Vazirani stressed that America’s all-volunteer armed forces are presently facing “one of the greatest challenges since inception” in 1973 and the end of the draft. Some officials have proposed novel solutions for resolving the drought in recruits, with Democratic Senator Dick Durban telling his Senate colleagues earlier this month that illegal immigrants flooding into the country could be conscripted to fight in the wars Americans don’t want to.

“Yes, we need order at the border. Yes, we need to have changes in the laws that reflect the reality of the overwhelming numbers from all over the world who are coming to our shores and our border. But there’s also an incredible demand for legal immigration into this country even now. The presiding officer, my colleague from the state of Illinois has legislation which addresses one aspect of that. Her bill…says that if you are an undocumented person in this country, and you can pass the physical and the required background tests, you can serve in our military and if you do it honorably, we will make you citizens of the United States,” Durban said on the Senate floor during a debate on immigration and border security. “Do we need that? Do you know what the recruiting numbers are in the Army, and the Navy, and the Air Force?” Durban asked. “They can’t reach their quotas each month. They can’t find enough people to join our military forces, and there are those who are undocumented who want the chance to serve and risk their lives for this country. Should we give them the chance? I think we should.”

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“Nonwhites, especially Hispanics, just as often consider pregnancy great news. They think of the baby as a blessing. The ultimate blessing.”

Last of the Caucasians (Jeffries)

How does a “Great Replacement” work exactly? Well, it would be impossible without the cooperation of those who are being replaced. White females, especially, were conditioned into thinking that motherhood, particularly when combined with household drudgery, was something to be avoided. The tremendous increase in casual sex, and the availability of abortions. The channeling of the maternal instinct towards animals. Feminism created the “career woman” whose job, not family, was her top priority. Males enjoyed being the first generation to have the opportunity to have multiple sex partners. I knew very few males from my generation who didn’t pay for at least one, if not more abortions. With great relief. At the same time, the White nuclear family was belittled and demonized in films and on television. Actors playing adult children were shown as being ostracized from their parents, and dreading the occasional interaction with them.

We went from Ward Cleaver to Al Bundy in a very short period of time. Dysfunction was the norm in these productions, and it should be no surprise that those raised on this propaganda began living it out in real life. Life imitates art. Literally every family I know now is riddled with dysfunction. If you lose respect for the nuclear family, there is little reason for you to want children, which are the foundation of the family unit. I fell prey to this a bit myself. I love children, and ideally wanted a huge family. But I limited myself to the then “new norm” of two kids. As a White boomer, I’d been conditioned to think “responsibly.” Children cost a lot. Can we really afford them? How many White couples have not asked themselves this question? When a White woman becomes pregnant by a White man, it’s often considered bad news, especially if they aren’t married. They mull over the options, and often choose abortion.

Nonwhites, especially Hispanics, just as often consider pregnancy great news. They think of the baby as a blessing. The ultimate blessing. Their religious faith, which is usually Catholic, is stronger than mass media messaging. My very large family is full of middle-aged White females with no children. I’ve heard any number of White relatives proclaim that they didn’t want children. Remember, almost all of them were raised Catholics, where huge families were common. I don’t understand this mindset, but my libertarian impulse is to say, fine- that’s your decision. But the problem is this decision didn’t happen naturally, at least in the vast majority of cases. They were brainwashed, propagandized, into thinking this way. It’s an unnatural way to think. And no other race thinks this way. Of course, because so many Whites accepted the programming, White birth rates began to plummet. Which was the foundation for the Great Replacement.

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“..the cartels are “making more money than they have in their entire existence..”

‘No One Off the Table’ for Deportation If Trump Re-Elected – Ex-ICE Chief (Sp.)

Former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tom Homan has lambasted the Biden administration’s border policies for generating the ongoing migrant crisis. Homan led ICE during the Trump administration between 2017 and 2018. He speculated in a US media interview that if the ex-President were to return after the 2024 elections for another stint at the White House, he could help launch a “historic” deportation program. No illegal immigrant would be “off the table,” Homan stressed. Homan quoted official data showing that under the Biden administration, deportations had dropped from a high of 267,258 in 2019 to 72,177 in 2022. According to the former agency chief, the Biden administrations border polices have in effect “enriched and emboldened” the people-trafficking cartels. The ex-ICE chief weighed in on the recent news that US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) had issued a memo last week warning agents to “exercise extreme caution and should report any possible armed subjects approaching the border with possible explosive devices”.

The internal officer safety alert followed discovery of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by agents stationed at a Tucson border post. 10 more IEDs were seized by the Mexican military after a gunfight between rival cartels close to a border fence gap, over control of the area increasingly being used for weapons, drugs and people smuggling. Cartels in Mexico have been using IEDs since 2010 against both rival groups and the Mexican military, Homan noted. He lamented that the cartels are “making more money than they have in their entire existence,” smuggling illegal immigrants and drugs. The gangs are well-trained, possess sophisticated weaponry and “meet all the definitions of terrorist organizations,” he warned, adding that “US special intelligence and special ops are the only means of taking them out.” “We have to take action, this is a serious threat to the security of the United States,” Homan said.

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No, let her run against Trump. Much more fun.

The Time to Replace Kamala Harris Is Now (Saperstein)

2024 is going to consist of an attack on Biden for being too old and frail, combined with an attack on his VP, who would become president if Biden died. The attack on Biden will be simple: endless, repeated videos of him slurring words, misstating facts, stumbling, looking lost, forgetting names — all the classic signs of dementia. The Republicans ignored Kamala in 2020, but they won’t in 2024 because of Biden’s age. They will be shouting from the rooftops, “Hey, people, this person could become your President!” Remember that the person we are talking about entered the 2020 primaries polling 18% and, after four debates, fell to 6% and dropped out. I can’t remember any presidential aspirant falling so far, so fast, so there should be no argument Kamala is a truly terrible candidate. But there is more, much more.

My career was as a trial lawyer in the SF Bay Area. The mayor and later Speaker of the California Assembly, Willie Brown, was a personal friend and political supporter of trial lawyers. I loved Willie. He was smart, politically gifted — he supported everything I ever asked him for — and funny. Willie defined the word “dapper.” We’d go shopping at the same store, Wilkes Bashford, where he was the King. He would always tell the staff, “Now, you take care of my white buddy Guy. Whites are not blessed with my good taste, so help the poor boy.” Willie had more charm than ten white boys. Willie was married and estranged from his wife. It was well-known he had a young — 30 years younger — black girlfriend. He didn’t even try to hide it. The girlfriend was Kamala Harris, then a nondescript assistant city attorney.

Next thing I knew, Kamala was running for District Attorney, supported by Willie’s powerful political machine against the then DA, Terence Hallinan, a progressive. Willie’s machine won and Kamala became San Francisco DA. Next next thing I knew, assistant San Francisco DAs were calling me and asking, “Where is Kamala?” They knew I was a friend of Willie’s. Apparently, she wasn’t showing up for work. A few months later, I read that Kamala had been read the riot act by a solid Democratic judge for not maintaining good chain of custody for evidence. “Chain of custody” is a legal term which means that the evidence you submit to the court is that same uncontaminated evidence you seized at the crime scene. Before I became a civil rights class action lawyer, I did 50 criminal jury trials, and chain of custody was never an issue because the DA would do his/her job competently and insure that the correct evidence was presented to the court. But that was before Kamala’s laziness set new standards.

Kamala was hauled before three liberal judges who were outraged by her sloppiness. In response, Kamala lied under oath to all of them, trying to blame it on the police department crime lab, but that was total bullshit. When an attorney presents evidence to a court, she or he vouches for it. Kamala should have been disbarred as a result, but San Francisco is a liberal “old boys” network, and liberals protect even lying, unethical DAs. When the dust cleared, 1,100 FELONIES had to be dismissed — and by Democratic judges. In the history of American jurisprudence, I don’t think this has ever happened. Just think of what it means to have 1,100 felonies dismissed for defective chain-of-custody. Harris was willing to allow 1,100 people to go to prison for years because she wouldn’t admit her errors.

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“..the House wants it this way. Witnesses, even a president’s son, do not get to choose how or when they appear..”

Eric Swalwell and The Politics of Contempt (Turley)

This week, millions of people were glued to their televisions as Hunter Biden defied a House subpoena in a press conference with the Capitol building in the background. It was an act of legal self-immolation as the president’s son engaged in flagrant contempt of Congress, a federal crime. Stranger still was that behind Hunter was standing his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, who watched as his client effectively begged to be criminally charged. But it was a familiar figure behind Lowell that was the most incongruous: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). At first, one had to wonder whether Swalwell had simply wandered by the presser on the way to his office. But the Biden team set up the conference on the Senate side — out of the reach of the House sergeant at arms, who might not have reacted well to an act of open contempt of Congress on his side of the Capitol. We later learned that Swalwell was not there simply as a pedestrian, but as a participant.

It was Swalwell who helped orchestrate the defiance of his own House and facilitated an alleged federal crime. As first reported by the Washington Examiner, Swalwell used his official position to reserve the space for the press conference and lent his assistance to Hunter in refusing to appear before the House committees investigating his father, President Biden. It was a curious role for a former House impeachment manager to play in assisting in the obstruction of an impeachment inquiry of three House committees. Of course, Swalwell has argued for the rounding up of anyone who aided and abetted the unlawful conduct during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Indeed, in 2021 Swalwell sponsored a resolution exploring whether dozens of Republican colleagues could be expelled under the 14th Amendment for aiding and abetting an insurrection by “making unsubstantiated claims of systematic election and voter fraud.”

Now, Swalwell was standing in front of the same building aiding and abetting both a potential crime and the obstruction of congressional proceedings. Hunter was not just committing contempt of Congress; he was parading his contempt with Swalwell as the drum major. What followed him was contempt on steroids. All Hunter had to do was walk into the building behind him to appear in the deposition and plead the 5th Amendment to refuse to testify, as others have done. The only option he did not have was to refuse to appear. Swalwell insisted that it was the fault of the House for insisting on a closed-door deposition, which he portrayed as outrageous. It was another hypocritical moment since the Democrats insisted on the same process for witnesses, including those who appeared before the Jan. 6th committee.

It was also how Swalwell and his colleagues handled the investigation of the Ukrainian telephone call by Trump. Indeed, Swalwell participated in closed depositions and then gave interviews after they were held in private. There are various reasons for closed deposition preceding public hearings. First, these depositions allow professional staff to conduct questioning in a methodical and professional manner. In a public hearing, questioning is conducted by members who are often ill-equipped for substantive inquiries. Second, Hunter must be asked about an array of financial documents and communications involving names and privacy protected information. In a public hearing, the use of such documents would trigger redactions and interruptions in their use. Third, these depositions allow for in-depth questioning on transactions and communications. In a public hearing, members are confined to a five-minute rule that guarantees questioning cannot achieve much, if any, depth.

Both Hunter and Swalwell likely knew that, and that is precisely why they wanted a public hearing. Notably, after saying that he wanted to answer all questions in public, Hunter then refused to answer any questions in public put forward by the press. The fourth and most important reason for the deposition is that the House wants it this way. Witnesses, even a president’s son, do not get to choose how or when they appear. Two Trump associates – Steven Bannon and Peter Navarro – refused to appear in the House and were quickly held in contempt by a majority of the House, including Swalwell. Indeed, President Biden himself has maintained that defying subpoenas cannot be tolerated. When subpoenas were issued to Republicans during the House’s Jan. 6 investigation, Biden declared: “I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them accountable criminally.”

[..] The issue is whether the House has a right to demand answers in this investigation. One member was particularly passionate in 2018 in calling for contempt sanctions against Steve Bannon: “If they don’t force him to answer legitimate questions, they will be ceding Congress’ authority, and we’ll be setting a very, very dangerous precedent that people can just tell Congress what they will and will not answer, and will show no resolve to use our subpoena power to get to the bottom of what’s going on.” That was Eric Swalwell.

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Nice project.

Musk’s Starlink Breaks Through Bureaucracy and Corruption in Africa (ET)

Elon Musk’s revolutionary satellite internet service, Starlink, is spreading across Africa, flying in the face of repressive and corrupt regimes that are trying to block it. In some cases, African companies are “illegally” importing and selling the equipment to allow users to bypass expensive and often state-controlled internet service providers (ISPs), and to use the cheaper and faster connectivity provided by the world’s richest man. Many Africans living in countries where authorities haven’t yet granted regulatory licenses to Starlink, which is a division of SpaceX, are also accessing its services using signal-boosting equipment. The signal boosters enable users to link to a SpaceX “ground station” in Nigeria, which in January became the first African country to grant regulatory approval to Starlink services. “The tech revolution is happening at a pace that most African governments just cannot keep up with,” said Arthur Goldstuck, founder and CEO of World Wide Worx, one of Africa’s leading tech firms.

“The genie is out the bottle. The sooner they realize that they can’t control the uncontrollable, the better for them and the better for their people,” he said. Mr. Goldstuck said Africa is the world’s fastest-growing, but most “technologically-starved,” continent. “Data is expensive in Africa, and you can’t progress in the modern world when data is expensive. So demand for well-priced and speedy connectivity has exploded. Musk is feeding this demand,” he told The Epoch Times. “Some governments don’t like this, because they want to control everything, and mostly they want to control money and information flows.” Starlink, operated by Mr. Musk’s SpaceX spacecraft manufacturer and satellite operator, has a constellation of thousands of satellites in low orbit, delivering the world’s “most advanced broadband internet system” to 60 countries, according to its website.

Mr. Goldstuck said “progressive” African governments that encourage private enterprise and respect its ability to help develop their countries have “no problem” with Starlink and recognize its value. “It offers high-speed streaming, video calls, and remote working, all of which contribute a lot to economic efficiency,” he said. Officially, Starlink is available in only seven of Africa’s 54 countries: Benin, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Zambia. Another 25 are scheduled to go online in 2024. “Look at where [the] powers-that-be are trying to prevent the entrance of Starlink: It’s war-torn countries like Sudan, Libya, and Somalia. It’s repressive regimes like Congo and Equatorial Guinea, that restrict access to information,” Mr. Goldstuck said. “And it’s governments that have vested interests in keeping data expensive, and that have unreasonable rules designed to benefit political elites, like South Africa.”

Some African governments slap heavy taxes on private telecom services and infrastructure. For decades, the data needed to access the internet in Africa has been controlled by just a few multinational mobile telecommunications corporations, including South Africa’s MTN Group and Vodacom, and Kenya’s Safaricom. Their data packages are prohibitively expensive. In July 2022, research by British technology company Cable, published in Mobile Magazine, showed that six of the 10 countries with the most expensive data are in sub-Saharan Africa.In the tiny, mineral-rich kleptocracy of Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa, one gigabyte (GB) costs almost $50, the highest price for data in the world. In Chad, 1 GB costs $24. Until Starlink’s recent arrival, 1 GB was priced at $26 in Malawi.

An August 2022 report by global statistics service Statista calculated the average cost of 1 GB of mobile data in sub-Saharan Africa at $4.47. A one-time hardware and installation cost of Starlink kits, which contain a motorized satellite dish, assorted cables, a metal tripod stand, a power adapter, and a Wi-Fi router, is about the same everywhere: $550. But basic monthly subscription prices in the developed world, compared with those in Africa, are very different. In the United States, for example, Starlink’s monthly service fee is $110. In the African countries that officially have Starlink, the average price is about $45. This $45 package allows users to download 1,000 GB of data, meaning 1GB costs Africans less than $0.50—nine times cheaper than the average in sub-Saharan Africa.

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