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Thought for the day
"We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." -- Aesop, Greek slave & fable author
President Joe Biden said Monday that the U.S. would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan, saying the burden to protect Taiwan is “even stronger” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It was one of the most forceful presidential statements in support of Taiwan in decades.
Biden, at a news conference in Tokyo, said “yes” when asked if he was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if China invaded. “That’s the commitment we made,” he added.
The U.S. traditionally has avoided making such an explicit security guarantee to Taiwan, with which it no longer has a mutual defense treaty, instead maintaining a policy of “strategic ambiguity” about how far it would be willing to go if China invaded. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which has governed U.S. relations with the island, does not require the U.S. to step in militarily to defend Taiwan if China invades, but makes it American policy to ensure Taiwan has the resources to defend itself and to prevent any unilateral change of status in Taiwan by Beijing.
Webmaster addition: Here's your rifle, Joe!
The Ukrainian military has fired multiple rockets directly at coolant systems and nuclear waste storage site inside the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Energodar, local government administration member Vladimir Rogov told Russian media on Tuesday. He warned that a successful strike may result in a radiation release equivalent to a “dirty bomb.”
“One of the guided missiles hit just ten meters” from the barrels with spent nuclear fuel,” Rogov told Soloviev Live. “Others hit a bit farther away, 50 to 200 meters.”
Since the storage site is out in the open, any hit will result in the release of nuclear waste ranging from dozens to hundreds of kilograms and contamination of the area, the official explained. “In plain language, that would be like a dirty bomb,” said Rogov.
While the reactor itself can only be destroyed with a tactical nuclear weapon, the coolant systems and waste storage are far more vulnerable and damage to them could easily cause a disaster, the official said. Ukrainian troops have already fired “several dozen” heavy projectiles at the cooling systems, Rogov added. If they succeed in disabling such a system, it could produce a meltdown bigger than the 1986 catastrophe at Chernobyl.
On Monday, O'Donnell tweeted that a 'DOJ official' told her that the FBI was 'not in possession' of Trump's three passports, contradicting the former president's claims that three of his passports were taken during the raid at Mar-a-Lago.
Angry CBS sources told the New York Post that the anchor allegedly broke the outlet's strict 'two-source' protocol when she tweeted the claim.
'She's desperate,' one staffer said of O'Donnell, whose show is falling further behind ABC's David Muir and NBC's Lester Holt.
'It doesn't look good. If you're going to attack the POTUS and call him a liar you shouldn't tweet the thing.'
I often complain that Washington’s heavily lopsided relationship with Israel is an arrangement that brings absolutely no benefit to the American people, and even less to our national security as it has involved the US in an endless series of completely avoidable conflicts. But there is one exception to that generalization, though one hesitates to call it a benefit, consisting of the White House’s adoption of the Israel practice of referring to opponents as “terrorists.” Israel uses it as a generic cover designation to denigrate and humiliate the Palestinians while also delegitimizing their resistance, permitting them to torture and kill Arabs at will, destroy their homes, and bomb them mercilessly. Washington, which claims to be the font of a “rules based international order” as well as the defender of global “democracy” and “freedom,” has developed since 9/11 an unfortunate tendency to do the same thing as the Israelis to justify its attacks on civilians and its brutal assassination policies.
In fact, the US and Israel are generally speaking the only two countries that openly use “targeted assassination” as a political tool without even bothering to fall back on “plausible denial” to conceal their actions. Israel only last week, initiated a politically motivated bombing attack on Gaza, which killed 45 civilians, including seventeen children and destroyed numerous homes. No Israelis were killed or even injured when the Gazans struck back with their home-made rockets. Both the White House and leaders in the US Congress congratulated the Israelis for “exercising their right to defend themselves.”
It appears that Oberlin has another major controversy on its hand. For the last couple years, Oberlin has been embroiled in a fight with a small family-owned grocery that it defamed over a shoplifting case involving black students. Oberlin lost $25 million in a record verdict but Oberlin President Carmen Twillie Ambar continued to refuse to apologize. In the meantime, the school seems intent on running the 137-year-old grocery into insolvency as it delays paying on the judgment. Now the school is under fire over a faculty member, Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, who supported the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. The author of Satanic Verses is recovering from a savage knife attack. Hadi Matar, 24, is accused of carrying out the stabbing attack and has expressed support for Iran in the past. The campaign to have Mahallati fired could present some difficult free speech and academic freedom questions.
Consumer price inflation in the US slowed to 8.7% in July 2022 from a 41-year high in June 2022 when the inflation rate accelerated to 9.1%, the highest rate since November 1981.
According to The Federal Reserve’s economic projection published on June 15th, 2022, the personal consumption expenditures inflation rate is expected to come in at 5.2% in 2022, up from the 4.3% estimate made in March.
In light of the price increase of all consumer goods and services, Tradingpedia’s editorial team decided to compare the prices of some of the most popular grocery items in July 2022 with the pre-pandemic prices in July 2019.
Comparing Walmart Grocery Prices
In order to do that we analysed 34 grocery items available in Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) by using the web archive tool that allowed us to see what the prices were in July 2019. Then we calculated the percentage of price increase of these 34 products and compared it with the increase in the average weekly earnings of all employees in the US between July 2019 and July 2022. The idea is to understand how the consumer purchasing power in terms of buying grocery items has changed during this period.
GOP Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry warned Sunday that everyday Americans should now plan for “tyranny” to enter their homes in the form of federal agents if they refuse to play nice with the authorities.
Perry, the House Freedom Caucus chair, revealed how the FBI recently seized his phone, just hours after the feds raided President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago complex.
“A day after the raid on the president’s home FBI agents showed up when I was traveling with my family, my wife and our two small children, my in-laws, extended family,” Perry stated in an appearance on Fox News.
The Congressman related how the feds “showed up and demanded my cell phone they said they were going to image it they were not going to search it and and then they eventually did return it.”
Perry, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, further declared to “have always supported law enforcement. I always have, we have revered the FBI, but this is an abuse of power.”
“There’s been no accountability,” Perry continued, explaining that “James Comey, the director of the FBI used classified information improperly to get a second special counsel, no, no, no accountability for that.”
As new inventory is finally starting to hit the market and demand has temporarily slowed down thanks to rising rates, the housing expansion between March 2020 and now is still very likely to go down in history as blowing unprecedented amounts of air into an unprecedented bubble.
And now we have the data to show it. A new online survey commissioned by Anytime Estimate and Clever Real Estate has shed light on how much millennials paid for homes during this period, and the answer likely isn't going to surprise you: more than any other generation, ever.
This is why it is no surprise to hear that more than 70% of millennials have regrets about their purchases.
1,001 total people who reported having bought a home in 2021 or 2022 were surveyed between July 6th and 9th this year, answering up to 21 questions about their buying experience.
I am standing atop a 100-foot-high temple mound, the largest known earthwork in the Americas built by prehistoric peoples. The temperatures, in the high 80s, along with the oppressive humidity, have emptied the park of all but a handful of visitors. My shirt is matted with sweat.
I look out from the structure—-known as Monks Mound — at the flatlands below, with smaller mounds dotting the distance. These earthen mounds, built at a confluence of the Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri rivers, are all that remain of one of the largest pre-Columbian settlements north of Mexico, occupied from around 800 to 1,400 AD by perhaps as many as 20,000 people.
This great city, perhaps the greatest in North America, rose, flourished, fell into decline and was ultimately abandoned. Civilizations die in familiar patterns. They exhaust natural resources. They spawn parasitic elites who plunder and loot the institutions and systems that make a complex society possible. They engage in futile and self-defeating wars. And then the rot sets in. The great urban centers die first, falling into irreversible decay. Central authority unravels. Artistic expression and intellectual inquiry are replaced by a new dark age, the triumph of tawdry spectacle and the celebration of crowd-pleasing imbecility.
A Florida GOP congressman and former Army Green Beret kicked off a six-figure ad buy highlighting the anniversary of the fall of Afghanistan.
Fox News Digital first got the new digital ads from Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., which will be running in Florida as he and different Republicans re-elect.
The ads denounce President Biden over the botched and deadly pullout from Afghanistan that saw 13 American service members murdered and the Taliban take over the Middle Eastern nation.
A recent study shows that a same-sex male couple could have given monkeypox to their four-year-old greyhound, as questions over the virus' human-to-animal transmission further loom.
The Lancet reported the discovery in a medical journal entry published on Wednesday, which observed that the couple's greyhound began contracting the virus almost two weeks into their cases. The first symptoms were anal lesions and spotting on the stomach.
Then, using PCR testing protocol, the researchers confirmed the dog had monkeypox. According to the report, the two men announced that they let their dog sleep in their bed yet consciously attempted to avoid public interactions with different pets and owners.
There were 199,976 migrant encounters at the border in July. That's lower than the 213,593 encountered in July 2021, a slight decrease from the 207,416 encountered in June 2022, and the lowest number encountered since February.
It isn't just the streets of New York that are turning into violent hellscapes...it's also the prisons.
This week at Rikers Island, a man awaiting sentencing marked the 12th death of a person in the care of the city’s Department of Correction this year, according to Bloomberg.
He was found dead of a "suspected suicide", the report says.
One month ago, in July, he was found guilty of 12 counts of rape, sexual assault and other crimes by a jury. He was also convicted of abuse and manipulation of 6 patients in his care.
Department of Correction Commissioner Louis Molina said in a statement on Monday: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of this person in custody. We will conduct a preliminary internal review to determine the circumstances surrounding his death.”
10 other people in the custody of the DOC have died this year and 1 person died "just after release".
The DOC is working with the city on a five month plan to try and address what are being called "deadly conditions" at Rikers Island. Since a judge signed off on the plan in June, "at least four people" have died.
Some activists are even calling for the shut down of the facility, or for it to be placed into federal receivership.
Anisah Sabur, a campaign organizer with HALTsolitary and a former detainee on Rikers, concluded: “This is beyond devastating and outrageous. The Mayor, Governor, judges, district attorneys, and state and local lawmakers must do everything within their respective powers to release people and stop sending people to these deadly jails.”
A person who threatened author JK Rowling with the words “you’re next” following the brutal stabbing attack on Salman Rushdie has finally been suspended from Twitter after the Harry Potter creator appealed to police for help.
Upon hearing of the attack on the Satanic Verses author by a muslim extremist, Rowling tweeted “Horrifying news. Feeling very sick right now. Let him be ok.”
An account under the name Meer Asif Aziz, who identifies in his Twitter bio as a “student, social activist, political activist and research activist” from Pakistan, responded “Don’t worry you are next.”
The same Twitter account also posted messages praising Rushdie’s attacker as a “revolutionary Shia fighter”.
Rowling then appealed to Twitter for support, and quoted their own guidelines on threats of violence.
Washington State Coach Nick Rolvich, its highest-paid employee, and four of his assistants were fired last year for not getting the Covid-19 jab. Radical leaders at Washington State University sided with Governor Inslee and fired their head football coach.
Washington state employees who have failed to comply with COVID-19 vaccination mandates in the workplace won’t be able to get unemployment benefits.
Empire Strikes Back
Just when the market was starting to resign itself to the deeply uncomfortable reality that central banks are serious about hiking rates further, rather than pivoting to bail out stocks, along came a flurry of data to change their minds again.
First we saw Chinese data, which stank across the board. Everything was weaker than the weakness already expected, from investment to industrial production to retail sales; and yet supply still grew faster than final demand – showing why China keeps producing huge export surpluses (i.e., these are a sign of weakness, not strength, but some analysts are unable to do simple maths, it seems). On top of that, youth unemployment remained firmly around the 20% level, which is what you expect from a struggling Eurozone periphery economy and not China – although it has the fiscal deficit and government debt to match, which the same analysts as above keep failing to notice too.
The data were so bad, in fact, that we also got a surprising 10bps rate cut from the PBOC taking the medium-term loan rate down to 2.75%. Of course, this is utterly irrelevant economically and financially, just as any further mooted 25bps cut in banks’ Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR) would be. Neither step does anything to address the real problems of too much supply and too much debt. Lower bond yields only encourage both. If they could help reverse that trend, all the cuts and RRR reductions so far would have produced faster, not slower growth. (As the same set of analysts keep failing to understand, as they salivate each time such policies are rolled out.)
Then we got the US Empire PMI. To be fair, this is usually a third-tier data release. However, the staggering fall that it saw --a collapse from 11.1 to -31.3 vs. a consensus of 5-- was first tier stuff. Especially when the NAHB housing index also dropped from 55 to 49, with 19% of builders saying they are now reducing prices, and 69% that higher mortgage rates are crimping demand.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has finally taken a page out of Trump-Endorsed Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake’s border policy, starting with finishing President Trump’s beautiful wall.
Ducey hasn’t gone as far as Lake, who has vowed to declare an invasion starting on day one in office, but he did issue an Executive Order to barricade the border in Yuma, where there is no wall. There was not even a fence in this area.
The Biden Regime has effectively abolished Trump-era illegal immigration policies, and the floodgates are open.
Biden recently ended President Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, and over 6 million illegals are expected to cross the wide-open border yearly.
Israeli military officials have admitted that an Israeli airstrike was responsible for killing five Palestinean children at a cemetery in Gaza during Israel’s recent three-day bombing campaign against the besieged enclave.
The Israeli airstrike hit the Al-Faluja Cemetery next to the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza on August 7. After the incident, Israeli officials claimed the children could have been killed by a misfired rocket launched by the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad.
But Israeli military officials told Haaretz that an Israeli Army inquiry into the incident found that Israel was to blame. The victims’ ages ranged from four to 17 and most were from the same family. They were killed as they sat next to their grandfather’s grave in the cemetery.
There are times when I wonder whether I still understand French. Israel launched an air offensive “as a preventive measure” against Gaza, causing 46 deaths, including 16 children. Preventive? Really? For weeks there had not been any attacks in Israel, nor had any rockets been fired against its territory. Meanwhile, Israel has multiplied its incursions in the occupied Palestinian territory; the latest, in Jenin refugee camp, resulting in the death of a 16-year old adolescent and the arrest of Bassam al-Saadi, a Palestinian activist. The official communiqué of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not condemn the aerial bombardment of the civilian population, but rather the “rocket fire against Israeli territory” that were fired in retaliation, and recalled its “unconditional commitment to the security of Israel.” The security of Israel? Really? For the last 15 years, with the complicity of Egypt and the western powers, Israel has maintained over two million people under a strict blockade, going so far as to measure the food rations to which they are entitled. Gaza is an open-air prison, Israeli snipers fire without warning on anyone who approaches the bars of their cage, and Israeli drones fly over Gaza at all times. The Israeli army has entered the cage five times, sowing death and destruction, and it’s the security of Israel that is threatened?
Israeli leaders are now working out their takeaways for the recent Gaza onslaught titled “Breaking Dawn” – which killed 49 Palestinians (including 17 children) and wounded 460 others, with hardly a scratch on the Israeli side.
The Nashville Predators Foundation and the state’s Police Department are partnering up to host an event in which respondents can turn in their firearms in exchange for goodies such as gift cards, preseason coupons, and giveaways.
“We’re partnering with [Metro Nashville Police Department] and Greater Revelations Missionary Baptist Church to host a Gift Card for Guns event on Saturday, Aug. 20,” Preds Foundation announced on Twitter.
Webmaster addition: These never work. The only people who get suckered into turning in their guns are law-abiding citizens. The criminals would never surrender their "tools of the trade" for $50!
The U.S and its allies wasted billions of dollars building the wrong type of military in Afghanistan, fought against the wrong enemy, and gave the wrong, over-optimistic, assessment of progress, according to a former NATO official who was tasked last year with writing a 'lessons learned' report.
John Manza's assessment remains classified.
But in a public essay he offers a devastating assessment about how the West got things so badly wrong that American forces had to evacuate civilians from Kabul in chaotic scenes last year.
For Donald Trump these days it seems like his greatest enemies are the gift that just keeps on giving.
As President Joe Biden's Department of Justice flounders around trying to explain why, exactly, it decided to raid the home of a past and possibly future president, Trump's lead over presumed primary challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has plumped up by a full 10 points.
It took just a week.
Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in New York City on August 10, two days after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida
During that week Trump's greatest foes -- the American liberal news media -- went back into freakout mode, fancifully predicting the end is near, the walls are closing in . . . or something like that.
As the FBI raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence on August 8, there were alleged nuclear secrets to be found and passports to be confiscated – which Trump was said to initially be lying about, until his critics were later forced to admit, 'Oh yeah, maybe the FBI did seize a few passports.'
The whole shambolic show, as a nation rolled its eyes again, couldn't have helped Trump more politically if he scripted it himself.
The January 6th Committee, which we were told would absolutely prove the former president had committed grave and unpardonable crimes, not only has failed to do so, it has failed to change public opinion one iota in their direction.
This, despite all of its slick TV production quality.
My vote is for “Farcical Bureau of Investigation” or “Federal Bureau of Intimidation.” Poll to contain the good suggestions.
No disrespect intended for the rank-and-file, but certain actors in upper management have some issues.
Fucking Big Indians
Forever Bothering Individuals
Female Body Inspector
Kyle Kopec gets a kick out of leading tours through the run-down hospitals his boss is buying, pointing out what he calls relics of poor management left by a revolving door of operators.
For instance, at a hospital in this town of 1,700 about a 90-minute drive northwest from Nashville, the X-ray machine is beyond repair.
"This system is so old, it's been using a floppy disk," said Kopec, 23, marveling at the bendy black square that hardly has enough memory to hold a single digital photo. "I've never actually seen a floppy disk in use. I've seen them in the Smithsonian."
There's a point to exposing these rural hospitals' state of disrepair — the company Kopec works for, Braden Health, is buying buildings worth millions of dollars for next to nothing with a promise to keep running them as health centers serving their communities. Braden for its part, thinks it can run them more effectively than the previous owners and turn a profit.
A NATO counterterrorism official from a European country said the stabbing had all the hallmarks of a “guided” attack, where an intelligence service talks a supporter into action, without direct support or involvement in the attack itself.
“Close scrutiny needs to be paid to his communications,” said the NATO official, who was not authorised to speak on the record. “More investigation will reveal more information on the exact nature of the links.”
Is there any update about the recent FBI of Mar-a-Lago that doesn’t make it seem like the Justice Department’s ransacking was a political hit job on a former president? Like their previous work on trying to keep the Russian collusion investigation, which was a hoax, alive—the FBI’s reasoning is beset by contradictions, hypocrisy, or outright incompetence. These setbacks usually happen when an investigation isn’t based on fact but rather on political animus. You do stupid things when you’re angry or emotionally blinded. That’s the entire political class that infests DC, terrified of another Trump presidency. The most recent development about this federally stamped plundering of Trump’s home is that Attorney General Merrick Garland dithered on signing off on the search warrant (via WSJ):
Attorney General Merrick Garland deliberated for weeks over whether to approve the application for a warrant to search former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, people familiar with the matter said, a sign of his cautious approach that will be tested over the coming months.
The decision had been the subject of weeks of meetings between senior Justice Department and FBI officials, the people said. The warrant allowed agents last Monday to seize classified information and other presidential material from Mar-a-Lago.
Mr. Garland now faces a more momentous decision that will further sharpen an already unprecedented and politically fraught situation: whether to pursue charges against Mr. Trump or any of his allies over their handling of the records at issue and their interactions with Justice Department officials seeking to retrieve them.
A decision to bring charges in the matter against Mr. Trump or any of his allies would thrust the Justice Department deeper into a political environment in which the former president’s supporters and Republican lawmakers are already accusing Mr. Garland and the department of overreach.
When federal agents raided the home of former President Donald Trump, a first in our history, the Department of Justice had to have been aware of the fallout. There can't be a single official there who doesn't know how the Justice Department looks to roughly half the country. The Russian collusion hoax, the fake kidnapping plot against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the fabrication of evidence to secure spy warrants on Trump campaign officials, and the actual spy operation, Crossfire Hurricane, on the Trump campaign itself has degraded the DOJ's credibility with conservatives for years.