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Weaponizing space & dreams of new tech: US missile defense review in a nutshell

Fort Greely, Alaska
© Reuters / Mark Meyer
Ground-based defense (GMD) interceptor missile silos at Fort Greely, Alaska
A bombastic speech by President Donald Trump marked the publication of a new missile defense strategy for the US, which seeks to eliminate all constraints, weaponize space, and conjure an impunity shield through new technology.

"We will ensure that enemy missiles find no sanctuary on Earth or in the skies above," Trump declared, speaking at the Pentagon on Thursday. How, exactly, the US intends to do that is unclear, however. Neither the 100-page Missile Defense Review (MDR), nor the 24-page executive summary offer much in the way of details, only hand-waving and talk of new, better technology.

Oh, and weaponizing space.

"We will recognize that space is a new war-fighting domain with the Space Force leading the way," Trump said. "My upcoming budget will invest in a space-based missile defense layer technology. It's ultimately going to be a very, very big part of our defense and obviously of our offense."


Comment: It's all very well claiming to be weaponizing space, but the US struggles to compete with the tech on Earth.


Comment: The US always talks a good talk, but the systemic corruption that plagues the organizations responsible for armaments means it is lagging way behind Russia and China - which is really who it considers a threat, not Iran and North Korea: And check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Putin The World To Rights: Russia's New Nuclear Weapons And The End of 'Unipolarity'


Star of David

How Israel's anti-BDS agenda became a US priority

Netanyahu AIPAC
© Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the 2018 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, at Washington Convention Center, March 6, 2018, in Washington.
The Israeli-US war declared on the Palestinian boycott movement is coming to a head, culminating in a well-orchestrated effort aimed at suffocating any form of tangible protest of the ongoing Israeli colonization of Palestine.

But an Israeli 'victory', even with blind US government support, is still too elusive if at all guaranteed. Killing unarmed protesters at the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel is often whitewashed as Israel 'defending itself'. However, legislating unconstitutional laws against the rights of ordinary people to boycott a state that practices war crimes might not be an easy endeavor.

The fact that 26 US states have already passed legislation or some form of condemnation of the civil act of boycott, as championed in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) should, in fact, raise more awareness of the iniquitous Israeli influence on the United States, rather than actually thwarting BDS.

Binoculars

Putin's visit to Belgrade: NATO, church and brotherhood of arms

Putin in Belgrade
© Reuters / Stoyan Nenov
Russian President Vladimir Putin got a hero's welcome in Belgrade. The one-day visit to the last holdout against NATO's ambitions in the Balkans may have been somewhat short on substance, but was certainly loaded with symbolism.

Even before he landed, the Russian leader was given an honor guard by Serbian air force MiGs, a 2017 gift from Moscow to replace those destroyed by NATO during the 1999 air campaign that ended with the occupation of Serbia's province of Kosovo. Russia has refused to recognize Kosovo's US-backed declaration of independence, while the US and EU have insisted on it.

Upon landing, Putin began his first official trip of 2019 by paying respects to the Soviet soldiers who died liberating Belgrade from Nazi occupation in 1944. While most Serbians haven't forgotten their historical brotherhood in arms with Russia, it did not hurt to remind the West just who did the bulk of the fighting against Nazi Germany back in World War II.

Comment: There's a good reason why the people of Serbia have sided with Russia over NATO:


NPC

Ocasio-Cortez, show us how it's done & donate 70 percent of your income to the government

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez relies on a lot of economic ignorance to get you to believe what's not true could be true.

The reason she prefers to use a marginal tax rate as a talking point is because she believes it wouldn't affect the overwhelming majority of Americans and that she can get public support for it. She assumes that most Americans will say, "Hey, it's not gonna affect me -- it's just going to screw people who make $10 million or more."

The problem is, (and I'll give you some numbers in just a moment) her entire basis - the economic basis - for this is nonsense is based on garbage talking points.

Comment: Also see:


Bad Guys

Psychologist Epstein details how Google manipulations may have shifted up to 4.6 million votes in 2018 election

Tucker Carlson Epstein big tech google US elections
In a previous appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight Epstein revealed that Google can take a 50-50 split among undecided voters and change it into a 90-10 split with no one knowing they had been manipulated and without leaving a paper trail... It has to do with their search suggestions.

On Thursday Dr. Epstein revealed that just one Google shift in search results on Election Day 2018 shifted from 800,000 to 4.6 million votes to Democratic candidates. This follows the shocking Breitbart exposé by Allum Bokhari published Thursday that proves Google has been manipulating search results.

Of course the Big Tech companies have only been targeting only conservative websites and publications since the 2016 election.

Comment: Also see: Leaks reveal Google regularly manipulates YouTube search results


Chess

Steny Hoyer walks back remarks, claims State of the Union 'not officially canceled'

Sten Hoyer Nancy Pelosi
© AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) walked back his remarks in which he stated President Donald Trump's State of the Union address was effectively canceled, telling the Fox News Channel Wednesday evening that the planned speech was, in fact, "not officially off."


Comment: Pelosi suggested in her letter that, due to the lack of funding for the Secret Service and Deptartment of Homeland Security, Trump faces increased security threats during the State of the Union. But, as Brett Baier alluded to above, the security services have declared that these concerns are totally unfounded. Fox News reports:
"The U.S. Secret Service was designated as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating, planning, exercising, and implementing security for National Special Security Events..." Pelosi wrote. "However, both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now-with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs."

But one senior Homeland Security official told Fox News that they have been preparing for months for the State of the Union event.

"We are ready," the official said. "Despite the fact members of the Secret Service are not being paid, the protective mission has not changed."

The official added: "it is a 'no fail' mission."

The official also noted that no one from Democratic congressional leadership reached out to the Secret Service to ask if the agency was able to secure the State of the Union address.

Another senior DHS official told Fox News that "there are no security concerns with the State of the Union."

Later, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that DHS and the Secret Service "are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union."
Also see: Pelosi: Requests Trump postpone State of the Union address due to shutdown, or deliver it in writing - huh?


Chess

Tulsi Gabbard and the pendulum of war and peace

Tulsi Gabbard
© AP / Scott Applewhite
Tulsi Gabbard
"There's one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace." Those were the words of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat of Hawaii, appearing on CNN on January 12, as she threw her hat into the presidential ring.

Gabbard is one of the few Democrats in the 2020 mix who has experience as a combatant in war. Back in 2004, at the peak of fighting in Iraq, she volunteered for duty with the Hawaii National Guard as it was deployed to that country. So for her, as well as for all the other veterans of our recent wars of choice, America's Middle East policy is more than an object for armchair strategizing.

Thus did Gabbard smile in agreement when CNN host Van Jones summarized her views as "hawk on terror, dove on regime change." And most Americans would agree: that is, everybody wants an anti-terrorism policy, but few want more foreign wars and regime changes.

Gold Bar

Pure GOLD: Trump cancels Pelosi's use of US Air Force military plane for world trip... as she prepares to board!

pelosi air force plane
President Trump on Thursday abruptly denied military aircraft to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a foreign trip just minutes before the congressional delegation was set to depart, in a stunning decision that followed her call to delay the State of the Union address amid the government shutdown.

In a curt letter, Trump said her trip has been "postponed."

"Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over. In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate," Trump wrote.


Comment: This alone is reason enough to re-elect The Donald in 2020.


Red Flag

Interesting timing: Four American soldiers killed in explosion in Kurdish-held Manbij, Syria - UPDATE

ISIS suicide attack Manbij Jan 16 2019

The scene of the suicide attack in the northern Syrian town of Manbij on Wednesday.
U.S. service members were among those killed by an explosion in Syria on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the coalition fighting the Islamic State group said.

The official said the Americans were killed while "conducting a routine patrol," but did not say how many.

Earlier, a senior Kurdish security official told NBC News that members of the U.S.-led coalition were caught up in a blast at a market in the northern city of Manbij. The official said that Americans were among the casualties but could not confirm the number of injured or dead.

Forces were on foot in the city when they were approached at around 1 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) by a man wearing civilian clothing with explosives hidden underneath, the Kurdish official added.

The blast happened in a market area of small alleys that is crowded with shops and street vendors.

Comment: RT has posted video footage and tweets showing the explosion and aftermath:



ZeroHedge adds that there may also have been casualties among a delegation of Syrian Kurdish leaders, as the bombing took place the moment a US military patrol passed by. The restaurant may have been a meeting place for a delegation of US and French soldiers and local Kurdish leaders. Al-Jazeera reported that six civilians were killed and 19 others wounded as a result of the explosion.

Obviously, the timing of the 'ISIS attack' is highly suspect given the deep state's ire over Trump's plans to depart from Syria: UPDATE 1/17:

CENTCOM has said in a statement that US servicemembers were "conducting a local engagement" when a suspected Daesh suicide bomber attack occured, as reported by Sputnik:
United States Central Command has confirmed that four Americans died as a result of a suspected Daesh suicide attack in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday.

Another three US servicemembers sustained wounds, Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a Wednesday statement.

The detachment was "conducting a local engagement" when the attack occurred, CENTCOM said, noting that "initial reports indicate an explosion caused the casualties."

CENTCOM refrained from assigning responsibility for the attack, saying "the incident is under investigation."

Daesh initially claimed responsibility for the attack, a common strategy for the terror group. It's uncertain whether Daesh is in fact culpable at this stage.



Light Sabers

Cohen says Trump directed him to rig online polls

former Trump attorney Michael Cohen

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen
Before the 2016 US presidential campaign, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen agreed to pay small IT firm to rig online polls in his boss's favor, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And instead of the $50,000 he was promised, Cohen gave the man, John Gauger, a blue Walmart bag with between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash and a boxing glove that Cohen said had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter.

Cohen has disputed the account - but not the relationship with Gauger's firm, RedFinch - saying "All monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check."
In January 2014, Mr. Cohen asked Mr. Gauger to help Mr. Trump score well in a CNBC online poll to identify the country's top business leaders by writing a computer script to repeatedly vote for him. Mr. Gauger was unable to get Mr. Trump into the top 100 candidates. In February 2015, as Mr. Trump prepared to enter the presidential race, Mr. Cohen asked him to do the same for a Drudge Report poll of potential Republican candidates, Mr. Gauger said. Mr. Trump ranked fifth, with about 24,000 votes, or 5% of the total.

After making the cash payment at Trump Tower, Mr. Cohen kept saying he would pay the balance of the $50,000 but never did, Mr. Gauger said. Mr. Cohen also promised to get RedFinch work for Mr. Trump's campaign. He set up two phone calls for Mr. Gauger with campaign officials, who didn't hire him, he said. -WSJ
In addition to owning RedFinch, Gauger is chief information officer at Liberty University in Virginia, where evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. - an ardent Trump supporter, is president. Cohen met Gauger in 2012 when Falwell invited Trump to give a speech. Gauger helped Cohen set up an Instagram account and gave him his cellphone number.