i AM GOING INTO THE HOSPITAL TOMORROW (TUESDAY) FOR MY FIRST CATARACT SURGERY AND WILL NOT BE WORKING TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. IF ALL GOES WELL I…
Thought for the day
"When people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is more tyranny. Apologies to Thomas Jefferson!" -- Michael Rivero
"A rocket will never be able to leave Earth's atmosphere." -- New York Times, 1936
Since President Biden assumed office nearly two years ago, his 'open border' policies have allowed 4.9 million illegal aliens, or about the entire population of Ireland, to cross into the US.
America is facing a historic crisis at its southern border. White House officials could care less and have welcomed illegals (though not welcomed in white liberal elite towns, such as Martha's Vineyard).
US Border Czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, has yet to visit the border while Democrats downplay the invasion of illegals.
The endless flow of illegal aliens has concerned the Department of Homeland Security detailed in an intelligence report received by the Border Patrol (obtained by Breitbart), which specifies the Venezuelan government, under the leadership of Nicolas Maduro, is releasing violent criminals from jail and embedding them within migrant caravans headed to the US-Mexico border.
When I was 10, I had a 12-year-old sister, Denise, and two brothers. Lenny was 14 and Danny was 5. We boys slept in the same room in a small, single-story house in a modest, riverside neighborhood known as Pleasureland.
The neighborhood’s name derived from a nearby park with two swimming pools and many picnic tables. On weekends, people from all over North Jersey and even New York City went there and to the adjacent, similar Muller’s Park, where I got my first job, at 15, as a garbageman. Both parks closed in 1985 after two were killed and nine more were wounded in an assault rifle shootout during a late Sunday afternoon, late summer Brooklyn/Jamaican gang picnic. I had swum and dived off the high board there at twilight on Friday, two days prior.
In the week before our last Pleasureland Christmas, in 1967, my Mom expressed to me her concern that Danny no longer believed in Santa Claus. She thought that one of the neighborhood kids had told Danny that Santa wasn’t real. The prospect of having no more Santa-believing kids saddened her. She made me swear not to tell Danny what I knew. I kept my word.
Our bedroom on the back side of the house had only one longish, narrow window near the top of the wall. A streetlight cast faint light into our otherwise darkened room. I slept in the bed next to Danny’s bed. At bedtime on that snowy Christmas Eve, just as we were trying to sleep, and at my mother’s prompting, our Dad ran from the far side of the backyard toward, and then past, our bedroom window, yelling “Ho, Ho, Ho!” As he passed beneath the window, my hidden father held aloft a Santa hat on a stick. The bouncing hat was all we could see from our beds.
In June we reported that consumer credit - particular revolving credit - was through the roof, as tapped-out consumers relied on credit cards to make ends meet. This has only gotten worse..
Acccording to an Aug. 30 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, credit card balances increased by $46 billion from last year, becoming the second-biggest source of overall debt last quarter.
While both student and car loans hit all time new highs at the end of the 1st quarter.
The EU's patience with Viktor Orban's Hungary is running extremely thin after years of wrangling and threats from Brussels of triggering the "rule of law" mechanism, despite recently announced efforts of Budapest to establish an anti-graft agency.
It seems Russia's war in Ukraine is hastening a confrontational and fractured ending to the standoff, with the EU on Sunday threatening to freeze 7.5 billion euros which had been earmarked for Hungary, citing persisting corruption and fraud.
It's been no secret that Orban has been a thorn in the side of European efforts to punish and isolate Putin's Russia. While Hungary has demanded exemptions from EU energy sanctions on Russia, and has meanwhile enjoyed cheap gasoline and other energy at a moment prices in the rest of Europe have gone steadily up over the course of the war - and into what's sure to be a tough winter - the belief among leading EU states is that joint bloc anti-Russia actions have been largely blunted. The timing of the fresh EU threats is not going unnoticed.
Bloomberg in a fresh report has put the dilemma as follows: "But while most member states have been engaged in a desperate scramble to secure alternative gas supplies ahead of the winter, Orban has deepened his country’s ties to the Kremlin, exploiting the exemptions he demanded from EU sanctions to secure increased imports of gas from Russia."
Poland has remained a powerful impediment thus far to Brussels triggering any significant rule of law penalties, despite Warsaw remaining at the forefront of denunciations of Russia's invasion.
While some locals have claimed that the illegal immigrants who arrived on this wealthy island should go elsewhere since there wouldn’t be work for them with the summer rush gone, the local newspaper has listed 50 help wanted ads in a recent issue, and the local supermarket chain has been known to need help all year long.
The classified section of the Vineyard Gazette listed more than 50 jobs in the same issue that ran a story about the illegal aliens, referring to them as “stranded migrants.” The job ads included positions for laborers, custodians, landscapers, bakers, cooks, dishwashers, technicians, library assistant, and several retail positions.
The local YMCA also listed several job openings, including housekeepers, ice arena workers, and a front desk administrator. The spacious Y, located near where the illegal immigrants spent the night at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, shares a complex with Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS), which also ran a help wanted ad in the paper, including a job for administrative assistant, “bilingual preferred.”
MVCS didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time. The outreach center and the island’s homeless shelter told the media that they didn’t have room for the illegal aliens.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz was busy this week, releasing three separate reports on Monday alone. Each detailed misconduct by a different assistant United States attorney: One finds a federal lawyer trying to use his position to avoid a drunk driving charge; another finds a government attorney getting drunk and physically belligerent at a meeting with foreign officials; the third, and most disturbing, finds an assistant U.S. attorney exposing his genitals “in a public place,” and sexually assaulting a “civilian” on a date.
Who were these federal prosecutors? The summary reports don’t say. A spokesperson for the Office of the Inspector General told RealClearPolitics that it could not release their names. RCP has filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking for their identities.
The Justice Department doesn’t hesitate to publicize the names of those it accuses of wrongdoing. At least when those accused do not work for Justice. Last Friday, for example, the DOJ office of Public Affairs issued a press release announcing that the department had filed a discrimination lawsuit against the owner and managers of a Milwaukee rental property. Though a court has yet to rule against those accused of harassing a gay, disabled tenant, the DOJ press release named them.
Compare that with “Investigative Summary” number 22-104, in which the inspector general determined that an assistant United States attorney was driving under the influence when he (or she) was pulled over by police. The investigation found that the prosecutor had tried to pull rank on the local cops, “referring to the AUSA’s title in an attempt to influence local police officers.” When that didn’t work, the drunk federal lawyer shouted obscenities and kicked the door of the police car.
As many Americans are well aware, the narrative surrounding what constitutes "extremism" or "terrorism" is ever evolving. The focus of the DHS used to be foreign threats including Islamic extremism. If you are old enough to remember the early 2000s, many people were warning back then that the constitutional trespasses being developed in the name of fighting Al-Qaeda would one day be flipped around on the American people.
And here we are...
Today, the DHS is far more interested in "domestic extremism," and their definition is particularly focused on anyone that expresses conservative ideals and constitutional principles. Almost no attention is paid to the political left, despite the fact that it was leftists that caused billions of dollars in property damage across the US during the BLM riots.
By extension, leftists have taken an obsessive interest in controlling entertainment media and using these platforms to spread their propaganda. In 2014-2015 the gaming community dared to point out and criticize the politicization of their hobby as well as the ongoing attacks against their community by gaming journalists. This led to the "Gamergate" controversy. You're not allowed to reveal the man behind the curtain when it comes to leftist agendas in popular entertainment, and when you do, the standard operating procedure is for the propagandists to go on the attack.
And so they did, claiming rampant racism, sexism and widespread harassment perpetrated by gamers. According to the media, the gaming world was a breeding ground for monsters, though they were rarely able to provide any proof to back up these claims.
A top Chinese official has expressed support for Russia’s war in Ukraine during his visit to Moscow, apparently believing it was a closed-door meeting. But the Kremlin released the footage to make his remarks known to the entire world.
Li Zhanshu, the third most important Chinese Communist Party (CCP) figure and a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, visited Russia from Sept. 7 to 10 before Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan on Sept. 15.
Li met with Putin in Vladivostok and later with Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the State Duma, and Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of the Federation Council, in Moscow, along with leaders of the five political parties of the State Duma.
His low-profile visit to Russia did not attract much attention until a video went viral on social media platforms such as Twitter, causing public outcry.
“With the United States and NATO now at Russia’s doorstep, it has become an issue concerning Russia’s national security and the lives of its people,” Li claimed.
“Under such circumstances, Russia takes some measures that it deems appropriate, and China fully understands the necessity of all the measures taken by Russia aimed at protecting its key interests. We are providing our assistance.”
A previous essay highlighted the serious threats posed by the World Economic Forum's "Great Reset" to individual liberty, human innovation, and general prosperity. It is important to expand discussion of these threats by examining the inherent dangers to free nations when so much wealth is concentrated in the hands of so few.
No matter how noble its stated intentions, the "Great Reset" is at its heart a program for driving political power away from individual citizens and toward the controlling interests of a small international class of financial elites. This shift in society's balance of power has fundamentally changed the relationship between Western citizens and their national governments.
For citizens to reclaim power, they must not only embrace the basics of free markets once again but also rekindle a fondness for questioning the motivations of political authorities.
Of all Lord Acton's persuasive defenses of individual liberty as the highest end of human civilization, one observation remains most memorable: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." As well-known as these words are, the universality of their meaning is often ignored.
It is not just kings, generals, and popes who possess great power. Wherever a person, group, or institution is capable — through enticement, coercion, or brute force — of bending an individual's free will, the structures and instruments of power exist. A local school board, after all, may well have more immediate and intimate influences over a person's family than the United Nations Human Rights Council and its revolving door of despots who tend to promulgate international resolutions shielding their own crimes. A wealthy landowner who exerts hefty influence over agricultural or cattle markets influences the pocketbook fortunes of more modest farmers, too. The small number of multinational corporations that control most television and print news sources around the globe also control the sociological levers capable of manufacturing or shifting public opinion. Power in any form — political, economic, cultural, spiritual — is an abiding challenge to human liberty, and in this way, must always be guarded against as a potential foe.
Do you feel safe in Chicago?
The great city by the lake was once famed for its toughness and unbreakable will. But now it curls up into the fetal position as uncontrolled violent crime and legitimate concerns over the Democrat Safe-T Act–which will do away with cash bail on Jan. 1–bleed the city dry.
Democratic political leaders are on the defensive before the mid-term elections. Some like Gov. J.B. Pritzker have been reduced to babbling. Others like Mayor Lori Lightfoot go into hiding. More than a dozen city council members have resigned. They look to the chaos from the mayor’s office and begin turning away.
The bleeding continued Thursday with news that seven children had been shot in the street gang wars in separate incidents, including a 3-year-old shot at home while sleeping. Oh, and anti-violence activists were listed among the wounded at yet another Chicago mass shooting.
CWB Chicago reported that police warned about yet a third armed robbery crew working the city from the West Loop to Edgewater.
But don’t fret, Lightfoot has made sure that no repeat criminals—including violent muggers, robbers, shooters or murderers–will have to risk being hurt in a police chase.
And there had been no arrests in that infamous Sunday afternoon street mugging in the leafy Lakeview neighborhood, where a woman walking alone was attacked, pulled to the ground by thugs and robbed. The poor woman’s piercing screams were caught on a doorbell security camera. And those screams have cut deeply into Illinois politics and focused the people on the Democrat criminal justice centerpiece—the Safe-T Act signed and applauded by Gov. Pritzker.
Satellite images show that Russia’s military moved old anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine as it faced a shortage of advanced weapons this summer, inflicting heavy damage on civilians as a result, Finland’s Yle broadcaster reported Sunday.
At least four out of 14 anti-aircraft missile bases surrounding St. Petersburg were “emptied of equipment” in August and September, Finnish military expert Marko Eklund was quoted as saying.
"It is most likely that the equipment that has been removed is primarily from the old S-300 system," Eklund, who has monitored the Russian armed forces for over 20 years, added.
The remaining missiles that protect the airspace over Russia’s second-largest city near the Finnish border appear to be S-400 systems, which have twice the range of their Soviet-era predecessors, the S-300.
The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee said Monday a whistleblower has come forward detailing how the FBI is manipulating cases related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to create "the illusion" that domestic violent extremism is a widespread problem in the United States.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray that the "manipulative case-file practice" was being conducted by the bureau's Washington field office, which was instructing local FBI offices to open up cases on their books that were in fact simply related to the Capitol breach.
"The FBI's case categorization creates the illusion that threats from DVE are present in jurisdictions across the nation, when in reality they all stem from the same related investigation concerning the actions at the Capitol on January 6," Jordan wrote.
"Such an artificial case categorization scheme allows FBI leadership to misleadingly point to 'significant' increases in DVE threats nationwide," he added.
The number of encounters with illegal immigrants at the border has passed 2 million in a single fiscal year for the first time in U.S. history, according to new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics released on Monday.
Southwest land border encounters jumped to 203,598 in the month of August from 200,195 the prior month. Of those encountered in August, 22% "had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months." The total number of encounters so far in the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30, is now 2,150,639, according to CBP.
For comparison, last fiscal year's total of Southwest land encounters was 1,734,686. In 2020, the last full fiscal year of former President Trump's tenure in office, the total number of border encounters was 458,088.
"The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a higher-than-usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts, which means that total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border," read the CBP monthly operational update.
News that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew a small group of illegal border crossers to the rich island of Martha’s Vineyard escalated last week when several Democrats in Florida, Massachusetts, and California asked the Department of Justice to investigate red states such as Florida and Texas for “trafficking” migrants against their wills.
As DeSantis noted, “these are voluntary transportation” to a location that once boasted of being a “haven” for migrants, but that didn’t stop blue state politicians from turning the latest border crisis news cycle into an opportunity to sic the feds on their political opponents.
It’s a “rules for thee but not for me” kind of move. After all, President Joe Biden transported illegal border crossers across the country under the cover of night without much corporate media coverage or consequence for more than a year. But Democrat politicians who once touted sanctuary protections for illegal border crossers and, more importantly, the DOJ apparently only draw the line when these migrant flights and bus trips by day are sponsored by Republican politicians.
ATexas law prohibiting social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, from discriminating against users based on their speech does not violate the First Amendment, a federal appellate court held on Friday. Conservatives, whose speech represents the overwhelming target of censorship, are cheering the Fifth Circuit’s decision in NetChoice v. Paxton. A different federal court, however, struck down Florida’s law prohibiting Big Tech from censoring political speech, setting up a Supreme Court review in the near future.
NetChoice v. Paxton
In September of 2021, Texas passed House Bill 20, a state statute that regulates Big Tech companies — i.e., social media websites with more than 50 million monthly users. Before HB 20 went into effect, NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, trade associations representing social media sites, sued Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, arguing Section 7 and Section 2 of the law violated the First Amendment.
Section 7 of HB 20 regulates the platforms’ ability to censor users’ posts, prohibiting censorship — defined broadly to include blocking, de-boosting, reducing visibility, and other mechanisms of discrimination — based on the viewpoint of the post. This provision applies to censorship of users who reside in, do business in, or share or receive expression in Texas.
Kinzinger, a frequent critic of former President Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill, compared previous efforts by congressional Republicans to what he predicts “crazies” will attempt to do under a GOP majority.
“Back before we had all the crazies here — just some crazies — you know, every vote we took, we had to somehow defund ObamaCare. … You’ll remember, right when we took over it was we need to do the omnibus bill, but we’re not going to vote for it because it doesn’t defund ObamaCare,” Kinzinger said on CNN’s “The Axe Files with David Axelrod,” released Monday.
China is entirely capable of imposing a naval blockade on Taiwan, commander of the US Seventh Fleet, Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, acknowledged in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published on Monday.
“They have a very large navy, and if they want to bully and put ships around Taiwan, they very much can do that,” the admiral said.
China has already created a large and modern navy, Thomas stated, with the number of military vessels at Beijing’s disposal continuing to grow rapidly. The admiral said that he did not, however, know whether China is seeking to take any actual action against Taiwan, which Beijing regards as an integral part of its territory, whether through an all-out invasion or a naval blockade.
“Clearly, if they do something that’s non-kinetic, which, you know, a blockade is less kinetic, then that allows the international community to weigh in and to work together on how we’re going to solve that challenge,” he explained.
The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) must “immediately” hold a “referendum” on joining Russia, its civic chamber said on Monday. The call came shortly after a similar move was made by the equivalent body of the neighboring Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).
Addressing the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, the chamber said the time for “decisive actions” has come, urging him to hold the vote as soon as possible.
“All of us feel and know for a long time that Donbass is Russia, we have been fighting for this for eight long years. For this, we daily suffer strikes on our homes, streets, hospitals, schools and kindergartens,” the head of the chamber, Aleksander Kofman, said in a statement.
The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) is the world’s largest silver exchange. For the last nine consecutive months, the quantity of silver held in LBMA vaults have declined. The August 2022 report states that the vaults now hold only 916.5 million ounces of silver, the lowest total since July 2016.
In November 2021, the LBMA vaults held 1.170.6 billion ounces of silver. Since then, inventories have fallen 21.7 percent. As dramatic a drop as that is, it becomes even more extreme when you consider only the LBMA inventories not owned by 13 silver exchange traded funds (ETFs) and the private client investors who are customers of Bullion Vault and GoldMoney.
As of Sept. 8, a total of 592.8 million ounces of silver in LBMA vaults were owned by these 15 entities. That means that around 320-325 million ounces of LBMA silver were available to other parties. That is an even larger percentage drop from the approximate 470 million ounces that were available to other parties in November 2021.
The Kremlin has expressed skepticism over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Armenia and her condemnation of Azerbaijan over the latest border clashes.
Pelosi visited the Armenian capital Yerevan on Sunday and accused Azerbaijan of launching an “illegal and deadly” cross-border attack against Armenia earlier in the week. Baku claimed it retaliated after provocations from Yerevan.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that while Russia welcomed any genuine effort to defuse tensions between the two sides, the US official’s comments were not very diplomatic.
Beijing has issued a protest in response to US President Joe Biden’s latest remark that Washington could use its military to defend Taiwan. China considers the self-governing island to be a part of its inalienable territory that is temporarily controlled by separatists.
On Monday, China’s foreign ministry said it “deplores and firmly opposes” Biden’s comment, adding that it has lodged “stern representations” with Washington.
Taipei, in turn, welcomed the US president’s remark, which it took as confirming Washington’s “rock-solid security commitment to Taiwan.”
The polar opposite reactions came after Biden replied in the affirmative when asked by a journalist whether Washington would deploy its military to defend Taiwan.
Steve Bannon on Sunday labeled Democrat gubernatorial candidate John Fetterman a satanist for urging the release of hundreds of hardened criminals from prison to prey on the defenseless.
Any potential war over Taiwan would be a protracted conflict and require both the United States and Taiwan have a large number of munitions prepositioned to win it, Rep. Mike Gallagher said on Monday.
"We have to assume that any war over Taiwan would be a protracted conflict which not only means American forces will go Winchester rapidly but Taiwan itself will need large stores of munitions pre-positioned and ready to replace losses ahead of time," Gallagher said during a Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments event.
"And, in my opinion, that only magnifies the need for a massive pre-war expansion in munitions productions [in the United States]."
A Honduran illegal immigrant who has been deported three times from the United States has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing women and girls on a hiking trail in the Fairfax, Virginia area, Northern Virginia authorities said.
Kiev troops subjected the Donbass republics to almost daily shelling long before the start of the Russian special military operation at the end of February of this year. Civilians are frequently the victims of attacks carried out by Kiev's military and its national battalions, as the shelling often targets residential areas.
Alejandro Kirk, a special correspondent for teleSUR and HispanTV news channels in Donbass, has told Sputnik in an interview that people living in the republics are aware of the fact that "a Ukrainian projectile can fall at any time and anywhere," as he was wounded during a Ukrainian attack on Donetsk this weekend.
Kirk expressed his belief that such shellings are "punitive attacks," since "they punish ordinary people just for living here."
“On Saturday, September 17, around noon, we heard explosions in the city center. As in many other cases, with other colleagues, we ran to report. When we arrived at Lenin Square, the central square of the city, there was another explosion nearby, a van caught fire," the journalist recounted the events. "I went to the van to find a more accurate, more informative shot. There were two people in the car. Based on experience, I did not think that another projectile would hit the same place, but I was wrong."
The seismometer on InSight has picked up more over 1,300 marsquakes. The sensor, supplied by the Centre National d'Études Spatiales of France's space agency, is so sensitive that it can pick up seismic waves thousands of kilometers away. But on September 5, 2021, the cause of the waves was definitively identified as an impact for the first time.
NASA has for the first time recorded the peculiar sound of a meteoroid slicing through the atmosphere of another planet and smashing to the surface of Mars, the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced on Monday.
According to a news release, the audio clip combines "seismic and acoustic waves" that were discovered after a space rock struck Mars on September 5, 2021.
The sound, which lasts for only about three seconds, starts with a hiss as the rock soars into the air and concludes with "bloops."
With his country beset by a growing energy crisis, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has elected to return home instead of staying in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly meetings later this week.
"The president will no longer be attending the UNGA due to the unfolding energy crisis at home," Vincent Magwenya, a spokesperson for the South African president, told Sputnik on Monday. "The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation will now lead the South African delegation and deliver the South African statement."
Ramaphosa traveled to Washington, DC, last week to meet with US President Joe Biden to discuss a range of issues, including the country’s energy crisis. Ramaphosa used the occasion to speak out against attempts by Washington to change his government’s neutral position on the Ukraine crisis and condemn Russia’s special operation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attempted the same last month in Pretoria and was trounced by his South African counterpart, who told him to be “equally concerned” with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian authorities.
The new discovery revealed that the tuatara, the prehistoric reptile which has almost entirely been replaced by lizards, would have been about 16 centimeters from nose to tail, fitting curled up in the palm of an adult human hand. It likely survived on a diet of insects and other invertebrates.
A new discovery of an extinct species of lizard-like reptile that belonged to the same ancient lineage as New Zealand’s living tuatara reptile has left researchers stunned.
Smithsonian researchers published their findings in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology and revealed that the new species, called Opisthiamimus Gregori, once inhabited Jurassic North America about 150 million years ago alongside dinosaurs like Stegosaurus and Allosaurus.
A number of US lawmakers expressed their outrage following the US Army's suggestion for soldiers to take advantage of food stamps amid high food prices, Fox News reported.
The US Army has recently released new guidance for soldiers who experience financial problems and suggested they apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, which provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income households.
With inflation affecting everything from gas prices to groceries to rent, some soldiers and their families are finding it harder to get by on the budgets they have set and used before, the report cited Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston as saying in the guidance on Monday.
Soldiers of all ranks can seek guidance, assistance, and advice through the Army’s Financial Readiness Program, the report said.
SNAP is one of the assistance types provided by the Army’s Financial Readiness Program with income eligibility ranging from a gross monthly income of $1,396 for a household of one to $4,839 for a household of eight, the report said.