Thought for the day

"In whatever arena of life one may meet the challenge of Courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follows his conscience – the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow men – each man must decide for himself the course he will follow. The stories of past courage can define that ingredient – they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul." -- Profiles in Courage

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Scientists have used controversial gain-of-function research to resurrect the deadly Spanish Flu that killed millions of people around the world in the early 20th century.

The team of gain-of-function researchers in Canada and the US reports that they successfully re-created the 1918 influenza virus and used it to infect macaques.

Shortly after World War I, Spanish Flu infected over one-third of the global population and killed an estimated 17 to 100 million people worldwide.

Epidemiologists regard it as the worst plague since the Black Death in the 14th century.

Five hundred million people caught it.

Webmaster addition: WHY?!?

Posted on: Aug 22 09:37

Update1050ET: Ukraine is bracing for a likely escalation in Russian attacks following last night's killing of the daughter of Alexander Dugin - Darya Dugina - by what looked to be a car bomb as she as driving his car home from an event. Based on the details that emerged, many believe it was an assassination attempt on the prominent but deeply controversial Russian political commentator and philosopher himself.

Contrary to current exaggerated Western mainstream headlines referring to him as "Putin's brain" - there's no clear evidence that Dugin and Putin have ever even met (much less a photograph of the two together or in the same room, which we've yet to find), though the influence of Dugin's thought on certain Russian political circles is clear. He's long been central to developing the so-called 'Russian world' ideology, but his influence on actual Kremlin policy circles has been marginal at best especially since 2014, given he's been much more hawkish and maximalist when it comes to the Ukraine crisis, at times uncomfortably so for Russia's political leadership. 

On Sunday, Russia's Investigative Committee said in an official statement that it has opened a murder investigation following a car bomb being detonated under Alexander Dugin's vehicle, which only his daughter Darya was driving at the time (eyewitnesses say he switched cars at the last minute when returning from an event). 

Via Sky News

According to Russia’s Investigative Committee, the Toyota Land Cruiser she was driving was ripped apart by a car bomb in the Moscow region, near the village of Bolshie Vyazemy, in a targeted killing by unknown entities:

"The investigation believes that the crime was planned in advance and is of a contract nature," the statement said, adding that investigators had "established that the explosive device was placed under the bottom of the car on the driver’s side."

Posted on: Aug 22 09:37

Extreme droughts across Europe are revealing thousands of years of lost history.

In some regions, centuries-old warning messages etched into boulders have been exposed. As reports, these rocks - known as "Hungersteine" or "Hunger Stones"


One stone, embedded in the Elbe River, which runs from the mountains of Czechia through Germany to the North Sea, dates back to a drought in 1616, is once again visible in the dry riverbed.

The warning reads, "Wenn du mich seehst, dann weine" – "If you see me, weep."


"Hunger stones” like this one were used as “hydrological landmarks” across central Europe, NPR reported when the stones last surfaced during a 2018 drought.

These stones are “chiselled with the years of hardship and the initials of authors lost to history,” a team of Czech researchers wrote in a 2013 study.

“The basic inscriptions warn of the consequences of drought. It expressed that drought had brought a bad harvest, lack of food, high prices and hunger for poor people.”

Webmaster addition: The message here is that droughts are a repeating natural phenomenon!

Posted on: Aug 22 09:36

With demand for electric vehicles on the rise, and production bans for petrol and diesel cars in some key markets on the horizon, one of the key metals required to fuel this mobility boom, has been surging in price lately.

As Statista's Martin Armstrong shows in the chart below, based on price-tracking from Trading Economics, Lithium carbonate, essential for the production of the batteries used in EVs, has experienced a meteoric rise in cost over the last few months - being traded consistently above the 450,000 Chinese yuan/tonne mark since February.

Posted on: Aug 22 09:35

The car bombing outside Moscow on Saturday night, which took the life of journalist Darya Dugina, was orchestrated and carried out by Ukrainian secret services, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has said.

Dugina was killed while returning from a conservative family festival held in Moscow Region. She was the daughter of anti-Western author and political commentator Aleksandr Dugin. Like her father, she was known for her vocal support of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

In a statement on Monday, the FSB said that Ukrainian national Natalya Vovk, born in 1979, carried out the bombing.

According to the FSB, Vovk arrived in Russia with her teenage daughter on July 23 and rented an apartment in the building in Moscow where the victim also lived.

Vovk and her daughter attended the ‘Tradition’ festival on Saturday, where Dugin was giving a lecture and his daughter was present, the FSB said.

Posted on: Aug 22 09:33

The royal family's perceived botched response to Diana's death sparked a gradual and largely successful shift in its image management, but recent crises have renewed questions about that modernisation effort.

The death of the princess of Wales on August 31, 1997, prompted an outpouring of national grief that senior royals, including Queen Elizabeth II and her son Prince Charles, initially seemed out of step with.

There was eventually an acknowledgement missteps were made and that the family needed to turn the page on a damaging decade of divorces, family infighting and scandals that had dented their public standing.

A quarter-century on, the monarchy now has a far more nimble PR operation, adept at social media and rapid-response while still able to stage grand events like June's Platinum Jubilee celebrations with aplomb.

However, recent controversies -- notably Prince Andrew's links to billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle quitting frontline royal duties -- have cast doubts on the monarchy's remoulding.

Posted on: Aug 22 09:33

Lincolnshire Police officers have come under fire after footage posted to the 'woke' force's social media account showed them dancing the Macarena at the city's Pride festival.

Locals have reacted with fury after multiple posts were made showing on-duty officers having fun on the force's social media accounts from the festival, including the video of officers dancing. 

Residents have criticised the force's coverage, asking why officers were spending time at the festival instead of fighting crime on the streets.

Posted on: Aug 22 09:03

Fears are growing that the huge strikes which militant unions have unleashed at Felixstowe - Britain's biggest container port and gateway to global trade - will trigger widespread disruption to the UK supply chain, interrupt £700million worth of trade and lead to shortages until Christmas.

Around 1,900 members of Unite have begun eight days of industrial action at the port in Suffolk as hardline union bosses play chicken with the UK economy and potentially the living standards of millions of households in a dispute over pay.

The unprecedented strike at Felixstowe, which handles nearly half of the containerised freight entering the country, is estimated to disrupt hundreds of millions of pounds in trade and trigger goods shortages, including at supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco and Marks & Spencer.

Posted on: Aug 22 09:01

Pakistan's police have charged the country's former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, under anti-terror laws.

Their investigation comes after he accused the police and judiciary of detaining and torturing a close aide.

Mr Khan's supporters gathered outside his house vowing to "take over" if he was arrested. However, he has now been granted pre-arrest bail until Thursday.

Since being ousted from power in April, Mr Khan has been a vocal critic of the government and the country's army.

Police announced the charges after the cricketer-turned-politician accused authorities of torturing his close aide, who is himself being detained under sedition charges.

Posted on: Aug 22 09:00

The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that its ambassador to Iran, Saif Mohammed Al Zaabi, would return to Tehran "in coming days", more than six years after the Gulf Arab state downgraded ties with the Islamic Republic.

The move is in line with UAE efforts to strengthen relations with Iran "to achieve the common interests of the two countries and the wider region", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The UAE downgraded its ties with Iran after Saudi Arabia severed its own relations with Tehran in January 2016. The move followed the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran by Iranian protesters after Riyadh executed a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

After years of animosity on different sides of geo-political rivalries, the UAE started re-engaging with Tehran in 2019 following attacks in Gulf waters and on Saudi energy sites amid heightened tensions after Washington quit global powers' nuclear pact with Iran.

Last year Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia moved to improve ties with foe Shi'ite Muslim Iran with five rounds of direct talks so far. This has come at a time when Gulf Arab states are closely eyeing efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear pact, which they deem flawed for not addressing Iran's missiles programme and behaviour.

Posted on: Aug 22 09:00

Colombia's new president said Saturday he was suspending arrest warrants and extradition requests for members of the left-wing guerrilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN) in an effort to restart peace talks to end nearly 60 years of war.

    The announcement is part of a principal campaign promise by newly elected Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 insurgency, who took office on Aug. 7 on pledges to bring "total peace" to the Andean country.

    "I have authorized the reinstatement of the protocols, allowing negotiators to again reconnect with their organization, suspending arrest warrants for those negotiators, suspending extradition orders for those negotiators in order to start a dialogue with the National Liberation Army," Petro said.

"This resolution initiates a new possibility of a peace process in Colombia," Petro said after attending a security council meeting in the province of Bolivar.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:59

After the Manitoba, Canada, public health agency reported data showing those fully vaccinated (not boosted) for COVID-19 are at higher risk of dying from the virus compared to unvaccinated individuals, health officials stopped reporting on the data — a trend seen in other countries, including Scotland, the U.K. and the U.S.

Manitoba, population 1.4 million, was the first Canadian province whose public health agency reported data showing those who are fully vaccinated (not boosted) for COVID-19 are at higher risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to unvaccinated individuals.

The age-standardized data are from May 2022, but last appeared in Manitoba’s August 3 report:

chart 1 figure 6 age standardized data may 2022

Credit: Manitoba Public Health

As the figure above indicates, for the month of May, Manitoba Public Health reported a 40% increased risk of death associated with COVID-19 in “fully vaccinated” individuals compared to unvaccinated.

The risk of death for those who were boosted was the same as for unvaccinated individuals.

Though three months old, the May data are, as of this writing, the last reported by the Canadian province.

Manitoba’s trending risk of severe outcomes by vaccination status

The May data on severe outcomes by vaccination status are part of a monthly trend suggesting reduced vaccine effectiveness over time.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:46

As thousands of civilian contractors and hundreds of soldiers hustled to get out of Afghanistan by August 31 of this year, and as the formerly defeated Taliban began to re-establish their toe hold in the locations they once inhabited, there is one inescapable conclusion one could come to. And I can assure you that after nearly two decades of the U.S. occupation there, over a trillion dollars in military spending, and over 100,000 civilians killed or injured, the first word out of a sane individual’s mouth will not be victory! [2]

Afghanistan would only be the latest in a series of military accomplishments that have proved expensive both in terms of money and in terms of bloodshed. Iraq has proven to be a disaster where President George W Bush early on declared it victory. They are still at it in Syria ten years after the beginning of the civil war there was initiated with U.S. help. U.S. – led NATO is still failing to set up a neo-colonial government in Libya, an advanced African country turned into a calamity of economic devastation, human rights abuses and gangster rivalry. In Latin America, Maduro is enduring in spite of years of sanctions and a failed attempt to sink the government with one of their sock puppets Juan Guaido.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:45

In March 2022, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of a “hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the global food system” in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine. 

Guterres said food, fuel and fertiliser prices were skyrocketing with supply chains being disrupted and added this is hitting the poorest the hardest and planting the seeds for political instability and unrest around the globe.

According to the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, there is currently sufficient food and no risk of global food supply shortages.

We see an abundance of food but skyrocketing prices. The issue is not food shortage but speculation on food commodities and the manipulation of an inherently flawed global food system that serves the interests of corporate agribusiness traders and suppliers of inputs at the expense of people’s needs and genuine food security.

The war in Ukraine is a geopolitical trade and energy conflict. It is largely about the US engaging in a proxy war against Russia and Europe by attempting to separate Europe from Russia and imposing sanctions on Russia to harm Europe and make it further dependent on the US.

Economist Professor Michael Hudson recently stated that ultimately the war is against Europe and Germany. The purpose of the sanctions is to prevent Europe and other allies from increasing their trade and investment with Russia and China.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:42

Joe Biden looked Vladimir Putin in the eye last June and threatened him with massive sanctions should he act on Ukraine. Sanctions like you’ve never seen before! … He had months to sit down with his inner circle and say, “how do we prepare for this?” Nothing the U.S. and its allies are doing has taken the Russians by surprise. NOTHING! They anticipated EVERYTHING! And they have a plan in response.”

– Scott Ritter (from this week’s interview)

Today, the dangers of military escalation are beyond description.

What is now happening in Ukraine has serious geopolitical implications. It could lead us into a World War III scenario.

It is important that a peace process be initiated with a view to preventing escalation. 

It is absolutely essential that Freedom of Speech prevail as a means to resolving this crisis which potentially threatens the future of humanity.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:41

Meta, the corporate parent of Facebook, has announced its plans to control the flow of information on the site where most voters get their news. You see, the public has to be protected from “misinformation” and the omniscient sages of Meta are just the folks to decude what is and isn’t worthy of being shared with the public. Nick Clegg, Meta’s “President, Global Affairs, offers these takeaways from a longer essay:


  • Our approach to the 2022 US midterm elections is consistent with the policies and safeguards we had in place during the 2020 US presidential election.
  • We have hundreds of people across more than 40 teams working on the midterms, and we spent approximately $5 billion globally on safety and security last year alone. 
  • We’re focused on preventing voter interference, connecting people with reliable information and providing industry-leading transparency for ads about social issues, elections and politics.

Never forget that Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, provided more than $400 million in 2020 to pay election officials and hype get out the vote measures in heavily Democrat areas.

Writing in the Western Journal via The Federalist Papers,  Jack Davis notes:

[Clegg’s] post cites one side of the forces allegedly trying to disrupt an election by noting that Meta has “banned more than 270 white supremacist organizations, and removed 2.5 million pieces of content tied to organized hate globally on Facebook in the first quarter of 2022.”

No specific mention was made about Facebook banning content from left-wing groups or their activities.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:40

VORU, ESTONIA - MAY 26: Soldiers from Royal Welsh Battlegroup take part in maneuvers during NATO exercise Hedgehog on the Estonian Latvian border on May 26, 2022 in Voru, Estonia. Military personnel from fourteen countries sees fifteen thousand troops take part in one of the largest exercises to take part in the Baltics. Among them are British units from the Royal Tank regiment and Royal Welsh Battlegroup, UK military presence has doubled in Estonia in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The military is ‘shaping itself’ to respond to Russian threats (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The British Army needs to ‘raise its game’ in case it is forced to tackle Russia threat ‘head-on.’

Soldiers have been encouraged to speak with loved ones about the fact they could be deployed to support Ukraine.

Warrant Officer Paul Carney said the British Army is ‘shaping itself to meet the threat from Russia and was ready to counter any aggression’.

WO1 Carney wrote in Soldier magazine: ‘I want us all to check we are physically fit for operations. And it is also important we prepare loved ones and families, who often have the hardest role in our absence.’

Posted on: Aug 22 08:35

British soldiers have been urged to prepare their relatives for possible deployment to "war with Russia". The corresponding warning was published in the official magazine of the British Army Soldier.

Warrant Officer of the British Army Paul Carney on the pages of the magazine gave some advice to military personnel regarding the possible involvement of the armed forces of the United Kingdom in the conflict with Russia. According to him, the British military needs to warn their relatives in advance about this, also find the telephone numbers of social security departments and discuss their will with the priests.

I want us all to check that we are physically ready for combat. It is also important that we prepare loved ones and families, who often have the most difficult role in our absence. I ask that you discuss the potential deployment with them now.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:34

Liz Cheney has launched a new political action committee dedicated to defeating members of Congress who backed Donald Trump's claim of a rigged election.

The 56-year-old Republican, who on Tuesday lost her seat in the House due to her condemnation of the former president, filed with the Federal Election Commission to transfer the remaining cash from her federal campaign account to her new PAC.

As of the end of July, she had a $7million war chest, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

'I'm going to be very focused on working to ensure that we do everything we can not to elect election deniers,' Cheney said on ABC on Sunday morning. 

'We've got election deniers that have been nominated for really important positions all across the country. 

'And I'm going to work against those people. I'm going to work to support their opponents.' 

Posted on: Aug 22 08:33

In a rare interview with the Washington Post last week AIPAC’s CEO Howard Kohr was asked about the group’s support for Republicans who deny the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. “We’re about addition,” responded Kohr. “We’re not trying to constrict the community. We’re trying to enlarge the community that’s both on the left and on the right.”

Kohr was then asked if there was anything a pro-Israel candidate could do that would rule them out for AIPAC support. Here’s what he said: “I’d have to think about that. Again, because we’re a single issue organization and we’re bipartisan, that’s the reason that the majority of Republicans and the majority of Democrats have been recipients of our PAC support. The good news about American politics is that there are many organizations that deal with a whole range of issues that are in the American political system.”

So, no.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:32

The pound just can’t catch a break as the UK’s bleak economic outlook eclipses any benefit the currency stands to receive from rapidly rising interest rates.

Another record inflation readout this week spurred money-market traders to bet the Bank of England will more than double its key rate to 3.75% by March from 1.75% currently. 

Rather than buy sterling though, investors sold it, while options traders stayed resolutely bearish on the currency versus the US dollar. They also piled into hedges against higher consumer prices, betting the worst is still to come.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:31

To understand gender ideology and its motivations, one must first recognize that this cultural battle is only happening because trans activists have successfully waged a war on our language, hijacking basic concepts and definitions to normalize an ideology that is anything but. This includes things like preferred pronouns but can also be traced to the very words used to describe the movement, such as “transgender” and “gender identity,” both of which presuppose that it is possible to be a gender different than one’s sex.

The future of pediatric medicine: Chemical castration and surgical mutilation

© Provided by Washington ExaminerThe future of pediatric medicine: Chemical castration and surgical mutilation

The problem for gender ideologues, of course, is that it is not possible for a man to become a woman and vice versa. But the point of the new terms and euphemisms they have created and mainstreamed is to confuse everyone so much that we all eventually accept as fact something that is not true.

Such is the case with a particularly egregious euphemism: “gender-affirming care.” This is the phrase gender activists have coined to describe irreversible sex-change treatments and procedures, such as puberty blockers and hormonal injections and double mastectomies and vaginoplasties. In fact, it’s the exact phrase being used by a major U.S. children’s hospital to defend administering these experimental treatments to minors.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:30

Four Chinese aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday, Taiwan's defence ministry said, hours after Indiana's governor met the island's president in another show of defiance against Beijing.

The jets crossed the median line - which serves as an unofficial barrier - as China continues to escalate its military activities near the self-ruled island.

Eric Holcomb, the Republican governor of Indiana, landed in Taiwan on Sunday for an 'economic development trip' - marking the third visit from a US official or delegation so far this month.

Webmaster addition: Holcomb is grandstanding. Maybe he aspires to follow Mike Pence into higher office.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:28

The attorneys for two men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 plan to blame the FBI in their closing remarks Monday.

Throughout the criminal trial, the government has portrayed Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr as leaders of a wild plan to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home in Elk Rapids.

Prosecutors claim Fox, Croft and their allies were furious about COVID-19 restrictions and generally disgusted by government, prosecutors say, and wanted to send a message.

But defense attorneys for Fox and Croft say they were a bumbling, foul-mouthed, marijuana-smoking pair exercising free speech who were incapable of leading anything as extraordinary as an abduction of a public official.

Instead, the defense attorneys say, FBI agents and informants fed their outrage and pulled them into their web.

'It has FBI fingerprints all over it,' Christopher Gibbons said. 

Webmaster addition: With the Mar A-Lago raid, the jury will likely be more inclined to accept this argument!

Posted on: Aug 22 08:25

The mayors of New York City and Washington, D.C., are sounding the alarm about a “migrant” a.k.a. illegal alien invasion into their cities. Eric Adams [Email him] and Muriel Bowser [Email her] want the federal government to help them with a crisis largely of Joe Biden’s making. Both accuse rogue states of fueling a nightmare. But Texas refuses to stop sending the buses and other states might follow suit. The goal: Punish America’s Leftists for their treasonous Open Border policies. The controversial stunt might turn out to be the only way for Red States to force Democrats to address this issue.

New York’s and D.C.’s leaders say they love immigrants. Both proudly boast that their cities are Sanctuaries for illegal aliens. “We celebrate our diversity and respect all DC residents no matter their immigration status. We are a sanctuary city because we know that our neighborhoods are safer and stronger when no one is afraid to call on our government for help, and when our police can focus on protecting and serving,” D.C.’s Mayor Bowser said after President Donald Trump was elected in 2016. Mayor Adams went the extra step of supporting a municipal bill that gave non-citizens the right to vote in city elections. “This is a great opportunity—to be a member of this great country,” he said earlier this year [Eric Adams Defends Law Allowing Noncitizens to Vote as It Takes Effect in New York, by Andrew Stanton, Newsweek, January 9, 2022].

Posted on: Aug 22 08:20

In a recent item about NPR not liking Americans calling an invasion an invasion, NPR claimed that it was a myth that immigrants use welfare. NPR did the modern thing of calling wrongthink a ”false statement” with no regard for the actual facts:




Mickey Kaus was linking to a September 2021 paper by CIS expert Steven A. Camarota (he could have linked to many such papers over the last 20-40 years) but Camarota has provided an update, throwing NPR’s ”falsely” back in their face:

NPR Falsely Claims High Immigrant Welfare Use is a Myth

By Steven A. Camarota, August 20, 2022 

A new NPR opinion poll (by Ipos) and accompanying article argues that many Americans wrongly believe immigrants use “public benefits” at higher rates than the U.S.-born. NPR should have done its homework, as it is certainly not “false and misleading” to think that immigrant households make heavy use of welfare programs. In fact, it is well established that immigrant-headed households access most public benefit programs at higher rates than native-headed households.

NPR cites no data to support its position. Instead, it simply states that many immigrants are barred from welfare programs. However, most legal immigrants have lived in the country long enough to access welfare or have become citizens. Moreover, all legal immigrants and even illegal immigrants can receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born childrenAn analysis of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) by the Center published last year, based on data collected before Covid-19, shows that immigrant households use nearly every type of welfare program at higher rates than U.S.-born households.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:19

What The CDC Is Doing With Monkeypox Shows How Government Should NOT Cater To 'Woke Rules'

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new directions on how to have "safe sex" and bypass contracting monkeypox, despite not categorizing the disease as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Yes, its not a sexually transmitted disease, but that is how people are getting it is the message.

In an effort to bend to the will of a woke generation that is insulted by any sleight or stigma, the CDC is straining to accommodate the gay community by not stigmatizing them, even though it is that community that should be concerned about Monkeypox. The CDC'c handling of the emergency has been to tip-toe around the elephant in the room for fear of insulting a segment of the vocal LGBTQ community, when smacking the elephant on the head is what is needed.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:18


Aleksandr Dugin. Credit: Fars Media Corporation/Wikimedia Commons

A translated version of an article by Aleksandr Dugin has appeared on KATEHON, an anti-globalist, pro-Russian website. (When I tried to post a link to the article on Twitter, they said that “the link has been identified by Twitter and its partners as harmful” and they blocked it.) Dugin’s article indicates that he has a solid grasp of politics in the U.S., and for the first time that I am aware of, he points to Jewish influence. Since Dugin is reputedly close to Vladimir Putin (“Putin’s brain” and of course, a “fascist,” as the neoliberal Washington Post phrased it) and because he has supported the Ukrainian war, it indicates that the Russian political establishment understands the upheaval going on in the United States.

Webmaster addition: The assassination of Dugin's daughter makes this relevant.

Posted on: Aug 22 08:15