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Mon, 03 Oct 2022
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Bad Guys

The bad news about good hybrids

Control
© EricPetersAuto
I'm more than a little bit concerned the latest generation of plug-in hybrids (and all-electric cars) might actually work out. Because if they do, you can bet your bippie the government won't let them get away with it.

Paranoid?

Internet commerce provides an ominous parallel. People were free to conduct business without tithing to the state. So-called e-commerce blossomed - the two obvious examples being Amazon and eBay. This could not be tolerated, of course - and the state is on the verge of passing new legislation that will force online retailers to collect taxes (see here) and even force users to file 1099s (in the case of eBay; see here) just like any "storefront" business, but without even the greasy pretext used to shakedown the "storefront" business - i.e., the fact that a physical business can be said to use the "resources" of the state/municipality and thus must compelled to "contribute" its "fair share" to the state/municipality.

Now, they just want the fucking money.

Or else.

And more than just the money, actually. They want to know what you bought - and sold - and to whom.

They want control. Absolute, total control. Of everything.

Arrow Down

TSA now offering cancer screening - Cancer patient asked to lift bandages at airport

Great news. The TSA is expanding their services. I think it is on page 2,132 of the Obamacare law. They now test for:
Cancer Screening_1
© The Burning Platform
Prostate cancer.
Cancer Screening_2
© The Burning Platform
Breast cancer.
Cancer Screening_3
© The Burning Platform
Even Anus Cancer!
A leukemia patient making what she calls an "end-of-life" trip to Hawaii says she was embarrassed by security agents at the Seattle airport who refused her request for a private pat-down and made her lift her shirt and pull back her bandages.

Chess

Turkey's double duplicity on Syria

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
© AFP
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
With the blessing of the US and its other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners, as well as its own national legislature if not the entire Turkish population, some of whom have been holding mass rallies in opposition to Ankara's war policy vis-a-vis Syria, the Turkish government has resorted to a double hypocrisy.

On the one hand, it has exploited the mortar attack on a Turkish border town, which may have well originated from the well-armed opposition groups trying to weaken Damascus by instigating Turkish-Syrian skirmishes, without even a pause to inquire whether the Syrian army had anything to do with that attack. Even The Wall Street Journal admitted: "While Turkey blamed Wednesday's attack on the Syrian regime, it remained unclear whether it was a deliberate attack or an errant bombing. Most analysts in Turkey concluded that President [Bashar al-] Assad had little to gain from targeting Turkish civilians."

Instead of a measured, level-headed response, the government of Recip Erdogan has rushed lawmakers into giving him carte blanche for Turkish incursions inside Syria, most likely as part and parcel of a concerted effort to secure a "safe haven" for Syrian rebels along the border, where the (French-led) efforts to set up a Syrian provisional government would gain a foothold on Syrian territory.

Bizarro Earth

The Lost War: How thousands of U.S. deaths, amputations and brain traumas from IEDs in Afghanistan are quietly ignored

Shawn Williams
© DoD photo
U.S. Army Pfc. Shawn Williams is evacuated after being injured by a roadside bomb in Kandahar Province on Jun. 17, 2011.
Although the surge of "insider attacks" on U.S.-NATO forces has dominated coverage of the war in Afghanistan in 2012, an even more important story has been quietly unfolding: the U.S. loss of the pivotal war of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to the Taliban.

Some news outlets have published stories this year suggesting that the U.S. military was making "progress" against the Taliban IED war, but those stories failed to provide the broader context for seasonal trends or had a narrow focus on U.S. fatalities. The bigger reality is that the U.S. troop surge could not reverse the very steep increase in IED attacks and attendant casualties that the Taliban began in 2009 and which continued through 2011.

Over the 2009-11 period, the U.S. military suffered a total of 14,627 casualties, according to the Pentagon's Defense Casualty Analysis System and iCasualties, a non-governmental organisation tracking Iraq and Afghanistan war casualties from published sources.

Of that total, 8,680, or 59 percent, were from IED explosions, based on data provided by the Pentagon's Joint IED Defeat Organisation (JIEDDO). And the proportion of all U.S. casualties caused by IEDs continued to increase from 56 percent in 2009 to 63 percent in 2011.

Handcuffs

Thought Crime: Academics fight for freedom as critical thinkers eliminated from Israeli universities

Ben Gurion University Israel
© Jillian Kestler-D’Amours/IPS.
Academic freedom stands threatened at the Ben Gurion University in Israel.
As the political science department at a major Israeli university has been threatened with closure in the 2013 school year, professors and students say the move reflects the politicisation of Israeli academia, and threatens basic freedoms.

"These are very dark days for academic freedom in Israel and freedom of speech generally," Tamar Zandberg, a PhD student at the politics and government department of Ben Gurion University told IPS. The university is located in Be'er Sheva in Israel's Negev desert.

"Even if the department ends up not being closed, I think that a lot of damage has already been done. I feel that the government is threatening us, just to deliver a message saying, 'Beware. Don't be critical. Be careful of what you say, with your research, (and) with your political opinions.' Since when is it a crime to be a scholar or an academic and to be left-wing?" Zandberg said.

Airplane

U.S. AWACS planes shooed away from Iran's airspace

Image
© Unknown
A senior Iranian air defense commander stressed Iran's capability to confront US spy planes and drones, and said his forces have so far warned tens of US spy planes, including the advanced Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, to keep away from Iranian airspace.

"In the last ten years, we have issued countless warnings even to those US AWACS airplanes which were flying over Iraq's airspace or along the free airspace of the Persian Gulf," Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli told FNA, and noted that the spy planes received immediate warnings when they tried to approach Iran's airspace in violation of the international regulations.

He further reiterated Iran's high capabilities for combating enemies' electronic warfare, saying the country has electronic jamming devices which can destroy the GPS systems of hostile aircraft.

Esmayeeli also hailed the successful performance of the Iranian air defense units in pushing back enemy spying operations and shielding the country's airspace against penetration of enemy spy planes.

Black Magic

Have You Heard the News? The REAL reason Obama was nearly devoured by Carnivorous Plesiosaurs on Mars

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Webre and Basiago think the Loch Ness Monster is a plesiosaur, and that carnivorous martian plesiosaurs devour humans who teleport to Mars in CIA “jump rooms”
Have you heard the news? A self-proclaimed CIA time traveler named Andrew Basiago says he teleported to Mars with Barack Obama, and was once nearly devoured by a carnivorous Martian plesiosaur. And if that isn't enough for you, Basagio adds that he once traveled back in time to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania just minutes after Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, and was photographed there - the proof is a blurry picture from some Civil War archive.

Basiago's unhinged tales have been taken seriously by Alfred Webre, a Yale-educated (Scroll and Key) lawyer and self-proclaimed expert on not only international law, but extraterrestrial law and "exopolitics."

Webre has managed to spread Basiago's bizarre anecdotes all over the internet. The question is, why? Who invented these fantasies, and to what end?

The answer emerged last week, as Webre attempted to wreck the Vancouver 9/11 Hearings, and sabotage Italian Supreme Court Justice Ferdinando Imposimato's attempt to prosecute 9/11 in the International Criminal Court, by skunking up both proceedings with the odor of Andrew Basiago.

Bad Guys

Unmanned aerial vehicle incident over Israel

On October 6, Haaretz headlined "IDF shoots down drone that penetrated Israeli airspace," saying:

An "unidentified aerial vehicle" entered Israeli airspace Saturday. Israel shot it down over the Negev, south of Mount Hebron.

"The IDF said Saturday that the drone arrived in Israel from the west after flying over the Mediterranean and the Gaza Strip. It said the incident is under investigation.

IDF spokesman Yoav Mordechair said Israel tracked it "throughout the course of its flight." Fighter jets were dispatched. After getting approval, they downed it over Yatir forest. It's in Negev's northeast. Wreckage was recovered for further examination.

Hezbollah operates drones. Is it responsible or should fingers point elsewhere? It's hard imagining why Hezbollah, Iran or Syria would be provocative any time. Now seems extremely unlikely. Doing so would achieve nothing. It would also beg for retaliation.

Nonetheless, Israel's YNet News said Lebanon-based "Hezbollah-affiliated" Al-Mayadeen television reported that the drone was its UAV. A senior Hezbollah official denied involvement.

No information suggests Hamas had anything to do with it. It doesn't likely have access to drones or ability to operate them. Israeli officials claim it originated from Lebanon.

On October 6, Haaretz headlined, "The immediate suspect behind the drone that penetrated Israel: Hezbollah," saying:

The UAV "that was shot down by the IDF on Saturday came from the direction of Gaza - but it does not appear that Palestinian groups are behind it."

Israel revealed few details. All that's known is the drone "penetrated Israeli airspace from the direction of the Mediterranean, around the Gaza Strip."

During the 2006 Lebanon war, it's believed Hezbollah launched several Ababil drones capable of carrying explosives. Reportedly they were intercepted and downed.

In 2004, another drone penetrated Israeli airspace. Hezbollah was named responsible. Whether or not it's true, who knows. In 2010, Israel claimed it downed an unmanned balloon near Dimona.

All that's known is what Israel said each time. Best to take its reports with a grain of salt. They rarely have credibility.

Beaker

Health risks persist from Cold War toxic spraying of St. Louis neighborhood by U.S. Army

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St. Louis, Missouri - Doris Spates was a baby when her father died inexplicably in 1955. She has watched four siblings die of cancer, and she survived cervical cancer.

After learning that the Army conducted secret chemical testing in her impoverished St. Louis neighborhood at the height of the Cold War, she wonders if her own government is to blame.

In the mid-1950s, and again a decade later, the Army used motorized blowers atop a low-income housing high-rise, at schools and from the backs of station wagons to send a potentially dangerous compound into the already-hazy air in predominantly black areas of St. Louis.

Local officials were told at the time that the government was testing a smoke screen that could shield St. Louis from aerial observation in case the Russians attacked.

But in 1994, the government said the tests were part of a biological weapons program and St. Louis was chosen because it bore some resemblance to Russian cities that the U.S. might attack. The material being sprayed was zinc cadmium sulfide, a fine fluorescent powder.

Comment: Let this one sink in. The United States government, which makes all kinds of noise when it wants to attack another country such as Iraq about "using chemical weapons on its own people," did just that as an experiment. To see what would happen.


Che Guevara

You say you want a revolution... it's staring you right in the face

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1848 Revolution in Berlin
The continued slide in median earning power, rather than public obfuscation or even lack of jobs, is America's real problem. It is the wood as distinct from the trees. It tends to loom larger when the television is off. Edward Luce - Financial Times

What we are witnessing in Europe - and what may loom for the United States - is the exhaustion of the modern social order. Since the early 1800s, industrial societies rested on a marriage of economic growth and political stability. Economic progress improved people's lives and anchored their loyalty to the state. Wars, depressions, revolutions and class conflicts interrupted the cycle. But over time, prosperity fostered stable democracies in the United States, Europe and parts of Asia. The present economic crisis might reverse this virtuous process. Slower economic expansion would feed political instability and vice versa. This would be a historic and ominous break from the past. Robert J. Samuelson - Washington Post

For almost two centuries, today's high-income countries enjoyed waves of innovation that made them both far more prosperous than before and far more powerful than everybody else. This was the world of the American dream and American exceptionalism. Now innovation is slow and economic catch-up fast. The elites of the high-income countries quite like this new world. The rest of their population like it vastly less. Get used to this. It will not change. Martin Wolf - Financial Times