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The New York Times is Orwell's Ministry of Truth

NYTimes
© Off-Guardian
"Ingsoc. The sacred principles of ingsoc. Newspeak, double-speak, the mutability of the past." - George Orwell, 1984
As today dawned, I was looking out the window into the cold grayness with small patches of snow littering the frozen ground. As light snow began to fall, I felt a deep mourning in my soul as a memory came to me of another snowy day in 1972 when I awoke to news of Richard Nixon's savage Christmas bombing of North Vietnam with more than a hundred B-52 bombers, in wave after wave, dropping death and destruction on Hanoi and other parts of North Vietnam.

I thought of the war the United States is now waging against Russia via Ukraine and how, as during the U.S. war against Vietnam, few Americans seem to care until it becomes too late. It depressed me.

Soon after I was greeted by an editorial from The New York Times' Editorial Board, "A Brutal New Phase of the War in Ukraine." It is a piece of propaganda so obvious that only those desperate to believe blatant lies would not fall down laughing. Yet it is no laughing matter, for The N.Y. Times is advocating for a wider war, more lethal weapons for Ukraine, and escalation of the fighting that risks nuclear war. So their title is apt because they are promoting the brutality. This angered me.

The Times' Editorial Board tells us that President Putin, like Hitler, is mad. "Like the last European war, this one is mostly one man's madness." Russia and Putin are "cruel"; are conducting a "regular horror" with missile strikes against civilian targets; are "desperate"; are pursuing Putin's "delusions"; are waging a "terrible and useless war"; are "committing atrocities"; are responsible for "murder, rape and pillaging," etc.

Yoda

Viktor Orban: West is 'in a War With Russia'

viktor orban

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R)
Notes from a candid session with the antiwar Hungarian prime minister, who warns this conflict could easily get much worse

It happened again. This evening was the third time I've been in a small group session with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. I told the visiting journalists and publishers that they were going to be blown away by this guy, because they're not going to believe how different he is from the way he is portrayed in the Western media. He's sharp, funny, brilliant, and completely confident. He's not hovered over by press aides, and he doesn't guard his words to the point where he says nothing but mush. He's really interesting. As I told the folks I talked to before hand, at the conference, who were invited to meet later with the PM, "You're not going to believe that a world leader is actually like this."

As usual, after the event, there were stunned. Orban spent two hours with us, answering every question -- even particularly tough ones from a Polish journalist -- and was clearly loving it. I was never around Bill Clinton personally, but the things I read about how he was a natural politician -- it's at least as true of Viktor Orban. Last year, I was talking to a Fidesz politician about the PM, and he said there's not another politician in this country who can go from strategizing at the top level, to talking to country people at a farmer's market, and be utterly genuine in both places. I believe it. If he were on TV more in the United States, the view people have of Hungary would be totally different.

Comment: Rod Dreher is blown away by a two-hour candid interview. He should head further east and check out the 6-hour marathons with Putin!


Gem

Belgium won't back EU ban on Russian diamonds, PM says the sanction is 'pointless unless it's global'

largest diamonds exceptionally transparent
© Alamy
FILE PHOTO:
Belgium will never support a ban on Russian diamond imports to the European Union, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Friday, adding that measures of this kind would only be effective if they were introduced globally.

The EU is working on its tenth round of sanctions on Russia over Moscow's military operation in Ukraine. Poland and the Baltic nations are pushing to ban Russian diamonds from the bloc's market, as well as other measures like cutting off more banks from the SWIFT payments system and restrictions on nuclear energy cooperation.

"We do not support the ban on supply of diamonds," De Croo told journalists when asked about the proposed embargo.

Arrow Down

New Czech president is a former NATO commander

Petr Pavel
© Martin Divíšek/EPA
Petr Pavel, a retired general and former senior Nato commander
Petr Pavel, a retired general and former senior Nato commander, has swept to the Czech presidency after a landslide victory over the former prime minister Andrej Babiš in an election overshadowed by rows over the war between Russia and Ukraine.

With nearly all the votes counted, returns showed Pavel prevailing by the emphatic margin of 58.3% to 41.68%, the largest ever recorded in a Czech presidential poll and reflecting an advantage of more than 958,000 votes nationwide.

Pavel's supporters immediately hailed the result as a victory for liberal democracy over oligarchic populism, which they believe Babiš represents.

As the scale of his triumph became clear, Pavel, 61, a former army chief of staff and Nato second-in-command, was greeted by ecstatic chants of "president, president" from champagne-drinking supporters as he mounted the podium at his campaign headquarters in Prague's Karlín district.

Comment: Just going off The Guardian's adulation of the new President, one can expect the Czech Republic to join the coterie of Western vassals whose people suffer, ever more, in order to further the establishment agenda.


Bullseye

Radoslaw Sikorsk, ex-Polish FM names two major Ukrainian problems

Former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.
© AFP/Attila Kisbenedek
Former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.
The country's elites have been mired in corruption while harboring geopolitical delusions, Radoslaw Sikorski has claimed

Ukraine was never able to achieve economic prosperity despite having a head start due to widespread graft among officials and delusions of being a significant global player, former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has suggested.

In an interview with the magazine Krytyka Polityczna on Friday, Sikorski, who has represented Poland in the EU Parliament since 2019, stated that Ukrainian elites "were simply wasting their time." In his view, they were "hiding their corruption and delusions of grandeur behind a story" that they were playing some big game with the US, Russia, Europe, and China.

Comment: Indeed, Zelensky's allegedly cocaine-fueled demands include Russia withdrawing from ALL the territories that have united with it since 2014, including Crimea. There's not a hope in hell of that. There was a small chance in March 2022 that Ukraine could retain most of its territory with the exception of Donetsk and Luhansk, which have voted to rejoin Russia. But newly-turfed British PM Boris Johnson, doing the bidding of his elite masters, scurried off to Kiev to put an end to that idea.


Attention

Pentagon think tank warns against 'long war' in Ukraine

soldier
© Celestino Arce/NurPhoto/Getty images
Costs of continued conflict outweigh further benefits to the US, a RAND Corporation study says...

While both Moscow and Kiev think they will benefit from continued fighting, such a turn of events does not serve Washington's best interests, the Pentagon's think tank RAND Corporation argues in a new report published on Friday.

Authored by Samuel Charap and Miranda Priebe, "Avoiding a Long War" accepts the prevailing premises about the conflict, but notes that US interests "often align with but are not synonymous with Ukrainian interests."

According to the authors, the conflict has already inflicted significant economic, military and reputational damage on Russia, so its "further incremental weakening is arguably no longer as significant a benefit for US interests."

Whistle

Watchdog accuses Democrat Adam Schiff of violating federal law, House ethics rules

Schiff
© Scott Applewhite/AP
Rep. Adam Schiff
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a non-partisan ethics watchdog, sent a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) asking for an investigation into Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for allegedly violating federal law and House ethics rules by using taxpayer-funded resources for campaign purposes.

The ethics watchdog said in the complaint that the congressman was "clearly using official government video for campaign purposes," violating federal law and the House ethics rules, since "House Members are prohibited from using House and Senate floor video for campaign purposes."

FACT explained the Federal laws and House ethics rules that require there to be a strict divide between campaign and official acts:
Federal law states that "appropriations shall be applied only to the objects for which the appropriations were made except as otherwise provided by law." To enforce this law, the ethics rules prohibit Members from using any official resource for campaign or political purposes. "Official resources" includes anything funded by taxpayers, such as a Member's official website, social media accounts, and photographs and video from the House or Senate floor. To make it abundantly clear, both the House ethics rules and Senate rules specifically identify Congressional video of floor proceedings as official resources that Members are prohibited from using for political purposes.

Light Saber

Judge to Biden DHS: Release files on agents who allegedly helped censor election 'misinformation'

Fake news cell phone graphic
© Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images
A Louisiana judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release files that could reveal five agents' alleged involvement in government efforts to suppress social media content deemed to contain "misinformation" about elections, court documents show.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry moved to release testimony from Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) employees Chad Josiah, Rob Schaul, Alex Zaheer, John Stafford and Pierce Lowary, after learning of their participation in the Biden administration's counter-"disinformation" efforts, court documents dated Jan. 19 show. The judge's motion Wednesday could shed light on a "switchboarding" tactic employed during the 2020 election, according to the order.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, which include the named individuals as well as President Joe Biden and top officials from a variety of federal agencies, "colluded and/or coerced social media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social media platforms by labeling the content "dis-information," "mis-information," and "mal-formation."

Comment:


Books

FBI seizes Biden's notebooks - NBC

Joe Biden
© AFP / Alex Wong
US President Joe Biden
Notebooks that US President Joe Biden kept during his time as vice president were among the items seized by the FBI during a search of his home last week, as part of a probe into his mishandling of classified documents, a person familiar with the investigation told NBC.

Despite not being marked as classified, the notebooks were taken because they contain writing related to Biden's official business within the Obama administration, including details of diplomatic contacts, the broadcaster reported on Saturday.

The notebooks were a mix of records on personal and official topics, the source said, adding that pages with no sensitive data could also be considered state property under the Presidential Records Act, as they relate to the activities of the government.

Biden had a "large" number of these notebooks, the person said, but could not provide the exact figure.

When addressed about the notebooks, a spokesperson for Biden's personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, said that "consistent with our view of the requirements of our cooperation with Department of Justice in this matter, we will not comment on the accuracy of reports of this nature."

Comment: If the FBI went through his house and all they found was some notebooks, then they must not have looked too hard. See also:


Footprints

Moscow expels Latvian ambassador

Maris Riekstins
© Embassy of Latvia to the Russian Federation. Facebook.
Maris Riekstins in 2021.
Latvia's ambassador to Moscow, Maris Riekstins, has been ordered by Russia's Foreign Ministry to leave the country within two weeks. The Latvian charge d'affaires in Moscow, Dacija Rutka, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Friday, where she was served with a "strong protest" and informed of the decision.

Riga said on Monday it was downgrading the level of diplomatic ties, citing Russia's military operation in Ukraine and "solidarity" with neighboring Estonia. Moscow and Tallinn are also mutually expelling ambassadors.

"We have stressed that the justification of this move by some kind of 'solidarity' with other Baltic countries is unacceptable," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"They have 'solidarity' only in one thing: total Russophobia and the willingness to initiate hostile steps towards Russia that are being encouraged by the US and other unfriendly countries."

Comment: See also: Russia orders Estonia's ambassador to leave