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Thu, 09 Feb 2023
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Poll reveals Republican attitudes to Ukraine ceding territory

Ukrainian soldiers
© Ben Birchall / POOL / AFP
Ukrainian soldiers take part in a training session during a visit by Britain's Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
Four out of 10 Republicans would like Washington to do whatever it can to resolve the conflict in Ukraine quickly, even if that entails making concessions to Russia, according to a poll released on Monday.

In a survey conducted by Gallup, respondents were asked what they would "prefer the US to do in the Russia-Ukraine conflict." Overall, 31% of respondents said they want Washington "to end the conflict quickly, even if Russia keeps territory." Meanwhile, 65% believe that the US should "support Ukraine reclaiming territory," even if it prolongs the hostilities. The results are almost identical to those from a similar poll conducted in August 2022.

The territories in question are the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, as well as Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, which overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in autumn 2022. Ukraine still claims the areas as its own, as it does with Crimea, which chose to rejoin Russia in 2014 following the Western-backed coup in Kiev.

Arrow Down

Dell to dismiss 5% of workforce as tech layoff bloodbath continues

© Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Dell announced intentions to reduce headcount by 5% as a result of economic tumult, marking the latest of several companies in the technology sector to dismiss a significant portion of its workforce.

Dell Vice Chairman Jeff Clarke wrote in a memo to staff members on Monday that the company, which previously paused external hiring and limited travel expenditures, would downsize to improve cost structures and reduce organizational complexity.

"Unfortunately, with changes like this, some members of our team will be leaving the company. There is no tougher decision, but one we had to make for our long-term health and success," the executive wrote. "Remember, we've navigated economic downturns before and we've emerged stronger. We'll prevail as we always do, for our customers, partners and each other. We'll be more competitive, more focused and find a new level of operational performance."

The 5% reduction will correspond to approximately 6,700 employees losing their jobs, according to an annual report and current report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


The data that show lockdowns are deadly

stay home advert
Three years down the line from when Covid first hit our consciousness and with the release of more time series data in digestible form some lessons can be learned from the Government's capitulation to the 'blob's' panicked measures in early 2020.

Undoubtedly the 'one size fits all' approach of Government at the start of the pandemic led to unnecessary deaths. I suspect the extent of these unnecessary excess deaths skewed the perception of many people about the risk they faced from Covid and also skewed the data which led, in turn, to bad decisions.

Back in March 2020, in anticipation of a wave of ill people it was decided to empty the hospitals. Go walk around a hospital, it's full of ill people, they're there for a reason. In England we expect about 225,000 people to die in hospital in any given year. The data in Table 1 come from my new favourite website produced by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (its staff have got their work cut out!). They show deaths in English hospitals over the past three years.

Deaths in hospitals in England

Table 1. Deaths in hospitals in England


New bill in Congress may finally eliminate Covid "vaccine" requirement for US visitors

us vaccination requirement
I know that I generally stay away from getting too much into the weeds about politics.

But there's a very important piece of legislation moving through Congress right now that can be very impactful for those who want to travel to the United States and did not take the mRNA experimental gene injections.

Rep. Thomas Massie's — who has been terrific on the Covid issue — bill, HR 185, "To terminate the requirement imposed by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for proof of COVID-19 vaccination for foreign travelers, and for other purposes," is scheduled to get a vote in the House of Representatives next week.

Comment: See also:

Bad Guys

Huge fire at farm kills 50,000 hens, exacerbating New Zealand's egg shortage


There are concerns the blaze at the Zeagold facility will exacerbate a dearth of eggs caused by a ban on battery farming
The fire at a Zeagold farm broke out on Monday morning and had "taken better part of the day to contain", a spokesperson for the company said. Twelve workers who were on site were "unharmed but very distressed", the spokesperson said. Work was under way to assess how many hens had died, but Zeagold estimated it to be about 75,000. The company later revised that number down to 50,000.

The fire may have ripple effects beyond the immediate demise of the hens, with concerns it may worsen a national scarcity of eggs.

Zeagold's spokesperson said it was still too early to say how much of an effect the fire would have on the overall supply chain, saying: "There will be some impact obviously - it's not a great thing to happen in the middle of a shortage."

Comment: As governments make concerted efforts to force farmers out of business and try to convince people to eat parasite-ridden bugs, it's surely no coincidence that major farms and food processing facilities across the West are 'mysteriously' bursting into flames.

The following food plant fires happened today, and just over a week ago: See also:


Fire breaks out at US-owned drone factory in Latvia

latvia drone factory

Large plumes of black smoke were seen at the "Edge Autonomy" drone production plant on the outskirts of Riga. The cause of the fire is unknown
A US-owned drone factory near Riga airport in the Baltic nation of Latvia was ablaze Tuesday, according to emergency services in the small Baltic nation.

The Edge Autonomy unmanned aerial vehicle production plant was partially engulfed in flames, with large plumes of dark smoke reaching towards the sky.

The AFP news agency reported more than 20 police cars, nine fire engines and five ambulances were at the scene of the blaze. Latvian broadcaster LTV shared video taken from the road showing black smoke belowing out of the burning factory.


The majority of the unusual fires reported recently have been on Russian territory - and it's reasonable to suppose some of those were sabotage - and one wonders if this one, being in Latvia, was just an accident, or whether there's another explanation: ANOTHER large-scale fire in Russia, this time at an oil and gas field


Florida lawmakers to finalize plans to strip Disney of its special self-governing powers

disneyland orlando florida
© Associated Press
Since 1967, Disney has been responsible for the governance of an area known as Reedy Creek, which is partly within Orange and Osceola counties. The new bill would put a state-run board in charge of governance
Florida lawmakers will hold a special session to debate a proposal regarding Walt Disney World's special taxing district next week

Florida lawmakers are to meet next week as they decide on whether Disney World's self-governing power should be replaced with a state-run board under radical plans backed by Governor Ron DeSantis.

The session will focus on whether to reverse the previous decision to dissolve the district and Disney's special governing privileges, which it has held for 55 years.

The overhaul - part of an ongoing row between Disney and state officials which began over the 'Don't Say Gay' bill - would also force the company to pay $700 million dollars in unsecured debt that might otherwise have been paid by taxpayers.

It is not clear how a state-directed oversight board might work and what kind of financial control it would have over the Disney-run operation.

Comment: Randy Fine has a point: More background:


Seafood processing plant goes up in violent blaze - it's a total loss

fire seafood plant
© atlantic.ctvnews jpg
Destruction of seafood plant
A food processing plant in the Canadian province of New Brunswick went up in flames Friday.

Jim LeBlanc, owner of W.E. Acres Crabmeal Ltd., said the structure was a "total loss," according to the Canadian Television Network.

The fire erupted at about 2 p.m.

LeBlanc told CTV News the fire was started by an explosion in an oil drum. However, Ronald Cormier, fire chief of the village of Cap-Pelé, said the cause of the fire is still unknown, but that it did not appear to have been arson, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Comment: Sabotaging the food chain has become a priority:

See also:

Stock Down

Retailers try to curb theft while not angering shoppers

© AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
Leo Pichardo, left, a store associate at Gristedes supermarket, retrieves a container of Tide laundry soap from a locked cabinet, Tuesday Jan. 31, 2023, at the store in New York. Increasingly, retailers are locking up more products or increasing the number of security guards at their stores to curtail theft.
When the pandemic threat eased, Maureen Holohan was eager to scale back her online shopping and return to physical stores so she could more easily compare prices and scour ingredients on beauty and health care products for herself and her three children.

But that experience was short lived. In the past six months or so, CVS, Target and other retailers where Holohan shops have been locking up more everyday items like deodorant and laundry detergent as a way to reduce theft. And the 56-year-old Chevy Chase, Maryland resident is now back to shopping online or visiting stores where she doesn't have to wait for someone to retrieve products.

"I know they've got to do something, but locking the stuff up definitely just has me walking by that aisle," said Holohan, a business consultant.

Bizarro Earth

'I feel like I am leaving a cult': Mother regrets transitioning her 4-year-old son

mother and baby
© globalmoments via Getty Images
A mother of two young boys realized she made a terrible mistake after allowing her 4-year-old son to socially transition into a girl identity and described the epiphany she had as "leaving a cult."

The mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote two essays and recently appeared on a popular podcast to discuss her journey from a social justice organizer and "true believer" in transgender ideology to a skeptic who is deeply regretful for allowing her son to believe he was a little girl trapped in a boy's body.

"I'm texting a friend, and I'm like 'we've realized that our older son is not actually transgender and we're going to be rolling back the social transition and I feel like I am leaving a cult,' because that's what it felt like to me," she said on the podcast Triggernometry with her identity disguised by a blur filter.

The mother's first essay in August 2022, "True Believer," went viral on social media. In the Parents With Inconvenient Truths About Trans (PITT) Substack newsletter, she described how she and her wife raised their two young boys as "gender neutral" because they believed they were following the righteous path of "social justice."