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Sun, 29 Jan 2023
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TikTok: A Chinese superweapon of mass distraction

For thousands of years, humans sought to subjugate their enemies by inflicting pain, misery, and terror. They did this because these were the most paralyzing emotions they could consistently evoke; all it took was the slash of a sword or pull of a trigger.

But as our understanding of psychology has developed, so it has become easier to evoke other emotions in complete strangers. Advances in the understanding of positive reinforcement, driven mostly by people trying to get us to click on links, have now made it possible to consistently give people on the other side of the world dopamine hits at scale.

As such, pleasure is now a weapon; a way to incapacitate an enemy as surely as does pain. And the first pleasure-weapon of mass destruction may just be a little app on your phone called TikTok.

Bizarro Earth

Power outage in Pakistan plunges 220 million people into darkness

Pakistan blackout
© Aamir QURESHI / AAMIR QURESHI/ AFP / Contributor via Getty Images
Millions of Pakistanis were left without electricity for the second time in three months after a grid failure on Monday, affecting nearly all parts of the country - from the capital Islamabad in the north to Karachi in the south.

Here's a look at what happened, and the immediate prospects for Pakistan's power grid.


Pakistan's energy ministry said on Monday the system frequency of its National Grid went down at 0734 hours local time, causing a "widespread breakdown" in the power system.

Comment: See also:

Eye 1

France protests: Photographer has testicle amputated after police club him during rally, 1 million people marched across country

france protest 2023
© Christophe Petit-Tesson/EPAGuardian staff and agencies
A man lost a testicle after clashes with police at protests in Paris, France, against the raising of the retirement age, his lawyer said.
Doctors had to amputate the testicle of a young man who got clubbed in the groin by a police officer during demonstrations in Paris last week, according the man's lawyer.

Images and footage from Thursday's demonstrations circulating online show a policeman hitting a man on the ground between the legs, and then leaving. The man is seen holding a camera.

The incident occurred during a surge of violence at a mostly peaceful march attended by tens of thousands of people opposed to the government's plan to raise the age of retirement. About 1 million people marched in cities across France on Thursday.

Comment: These protests are about much more than just the attempts to raise the retirement age, and they're igniting across Europe, and, in turn, governments are rushing through new laws that will allow them to outlaw strikes and protests:


Hundreds of bodies of fallen Ukrainian soldiers being stored in refrigerated wagons in Transcarpathia, yards from Hungarian border

ukraine war dead
Metropol has come into possession of shocking information. Just a few hundred meters from the Hungarian border, in a carefully guarded and isolated part of a railway junction, the bodies of hundreds of soldiers are kept by the Ukrainian authorities in a refrigerated wagon specially designed for this purpose.

The soldiers lost their lives several weeks ago, and in some cases more than a month ago, but their relatives have not yet been able to bury them.

The issue of funerals is treated as the most serious political issue by President Zelenskyi's war propaganda team. They even regulate when and at what rate relatives are informed of the news of a death, but they also carefully allocate the number of funerals allowed per day.

Obviously, they are afraid of the panic due to the increasingly massive loss of life, the despair of the relatives, and the even more dramatic deterioration of the civil and military atmosphere.

That is why the special refrigerated wagons are needed, one of which is now standing just a few hundred meters from the Hungarian border, under the strictest military custody. These special vehicles were received by Ukraine a few months ago as part of foreign military aid, and they also have self-developed refrigerated trucks for transporting dead bodies.


Hungary military purge? 170 generals and officers 'relieved of their duties'

hungarian army

Comment: The following article is a translation, you can find the original article here.

"According to information, a hundred, but I understand that 170 generals and officers already received the... had the conversation with him that he should leave" - said Ágnes Vadai from DK, the former Secretary of State for National Defense in ATV's Egyenes beszéd program on Thursday evening. He also said that it is not yet known where this will end, but "I heard about the order of thousands from around the Ministry of National Defense".

According to the politician, "this means that a NATO exemption is currently underway at the Hungarian Armed Forces", since "the 45-year-old officers and generals are soldiers with international experience, who speak languages ​​and have socialized in NATO". Vadai also spoke about the fact that the purpose of the measures is to ensure that political loyalty is the guiding principle in the Hungarian Armed Forces from now on.

Comment: Daily News Hungary reports:
The people concerned have two months to leave and will get 70 percent of their current salaries as a pension-like allowance even if they continue to work. The minister says the move served the rejuvenation and modernisation of the army. The opposition believes the government fired pro-NATO officers.
If true, then Orban is apparently getting his ducks in a row for some sort of upcoming showdown with NATO. Will they oust him in a coup like they tried to do with Erdogan in 2016? Is Orban concerned with 'foreign loyalties' countermanding any future military orders related to Ukraine?

People 2

Police say female Indiana Walmart employee's heroic actions saved lives

shooting walmart indiana
© Maria Fuchs Hart via Storyful
Police gather at the scene of a shooting at a Walmart store in Evansville, Indiana.
The 25-year-old suspect in Indiana Walmart shooting was shot and killed by Evansville Police

Evansville Police said at least one person was shot at a Walmart store. They said the suspected shooter was shot and killed by police. (Maria Fuchs Hart via Storyful)

Indiana police said Friday that heroic actions taken by a Walmart employee and law enforcement officers kept a gunman who shot and injured a female employee from continuing to do harm.

Ronald Ray Mosley II, a 25-year-old former employee of the store, walked into a store break room where employees were meeting late Thursday night and shot the woman in the face with a 9mm handgun.

She was the only person injured, according to the Evansville Police Department.

Comment: The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports on the shooter's motive:
The mother of a Walmart employee who was shot and wounded by a former co-worker inside a Walmart store in Indiana says the gunman had repeatedly threatened to kill her daughter.

Jenny Couch told WFIE-TV that her daughter, 28-year-old Amber Cook, was targeted by Ronald Ray Mosley II because he was in love with her boyfriend. When the boyfriend told Mosley that he wasn't interested in him romantically, Mosley became angry with Cook and threatened to kill her, she said.

"He kept sending my daughter messages, anonymous, everything. He kept calling her, telling her that he was going to kill her, that he watched her walk her dog," Couch told the Evansville station Friday.

According to the Evansville Police Department, 25-year-old Mosley walked into a store break room where employees were meeting Thursday night and shot Cook in the face with a 9mm handgun. Another employee escaped the room and called 911. Law enforcement officers responded within minutes and fatally shot Mosley. There were about 40 employees and 40 shoppers in the store at the time, but no one else was injured.

On Friday, Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin praised as a hero a female employee who came to the victim's aid after Mosley left the break room in pursuit of a male employee who had fled. Bolin said she called 911, moved the victim to another room, locked the door and turned out the lights before Mosley returned looking for the wounded woman.

Mosley had worked at the southwestern Indiana store until he was fired last year after being charged with four misdemeanor counts of battery in May 2022 for attacking four co-workers, Evansville police said Friday.


Couch said her daughter has life-threatening injuries after being shot in the head but described her daughter as "very strong. Strong-willed, strong-headed." She said Cook is surrounded by loved ones at an Indianapolis hospital but is frightened.

"My little girl, laying up here, wondering if she's even going to wake up. She's scared to go to sleep because she's scared that she's not going to wake up," Couch said.


Ukraine, the territory of madness

Ulraine territory of madness

Comment: The following article has been translated from the original Russian and is therefore grammatically imperfect.

Many Russians are surprised by the behavior of the residents of Ukraine. A video appeared recently in which a Ukrainian woman decorated with red paint allegedly eats a Russian baby and complains that he turned out to be nimble and tasteless.

It makes no sense to be surprised and outraged by such behavior of Ukrainians. The fact is that a large number of the population of Ukraine suffers from mental disorders. Back in 2017, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine reported that "in Ukraine, 1.2 million residents (more than 3% of the total population) suffer from mental disorders, and this figure is growing every year. For many years in a row, Ukraine ranks first in the number of mental disorders in Europe: almost 2 million Ukrainians annually become patients of psychiatric hospitals."

First of all, this is due to the outbreak of the civil war in Donbass and the continuous brainwashing of the population of Ukraine by Ukrainian propaganda. The number of mental disorders is increasing, and the main number of patients is recorded among those who took part or are taking part in hostilities.

In the same 2017, the chief psychiatrist of the Ministry of Defense, the head of the psychiatry clinic of the main military clinical hospital, Colonel Oleg Druz, stated that "98% of them need qualified support and assistance as a result of combat stress factors. Disorders are characterized by a high level of conflict, increased aggression, low working capacity, exacerbation and development of chronic diseases, alcoholism, antisocial behavior, increased suicide rate ...".


Antifa riots in Atlanta: Police arrest 6 in night of chaos after violent protesters lit cop car ablaze, smashed windows

antifa riot atlanda
© Billy Heath/Fox 5
Burning Atlanta Police Department SUV, January 21, 2023.
The fiery chaos comes after an activist, Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, 26, was killed by police

Atlanta police arrested at least six people after a peaceful protest Saturday erupted into a night of chaos and violence that included protesters smashing windows and setting a police vehicle on fire, the mayor said.

"Atlanta is safe and our police officers have resolved the disruptions downtown from earlier in the evening," City of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said Saturday evening.

"The City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Police Department will continue to protect the right to peaceful protest. We will not tolerate violence or property destruction," the mayor added.

Rioters in Atlanta also set off fireworks and threw rocks at the Atlanta Police Foundation Saturday evening, according FOX 5 Atlanta.

Comment: Trending Politics collected on the spot social media reports:


Suspect in Monterey Park mass shooting found dead, motive remains unknown

Monterey Park shooting
© AP / Damian Dovarganes
Members of a SWAT team enter a van and look through its contents in Torrance California, January 22, 2023
The manhunt for the lone suspect in a deadly shooting in Monterey Park and another attempted attack in Alhambra, California ended on Sunday after members of a SWAT team raided the suspect's van only to find him dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.

The gunman was identified as Huu Can Tran, 72. The authorities are still unsure about what led him to massacre ten people and injure at least ten others during Chinese New Year celebrations.

"I still have questions in my mind, which is: What was the motive for this shooter? Did he have a mental illness? Was he a domestic violence abuser?" Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna told reporters on Sunday.

The tragedy took place on Saturday night, as tens of thousands of people gathered for California's largest two-day festival in the predominantly Asian American community of Monterey Park.

Around 10:20pm, the suspect opened fire inside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, killing five women and five men, and injuring another 10 people, all reported to be in their 50s or older.

Eggs Fried

US cracking down on egg-smuggling

eggs, grocery store eggs
© Getty Images / Fatih Aktas
US Customs and Border Protection officials have warned Americans against trying to smuggle raw eggs or poultry over the border from Mexico, citing disease risk, as skyrocketing supermarket prices drive normally law-abiding citizens to take extreme measures.

Raw egg seizures along the Mexican border jumped 108% for the last quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, CBP Supervisory Agriculture Specialist Charles Payne told El Paso NBC affiliate KTSM on Wednesday.

During that same three-month period in 2022, the average cost of a dozen eggs in the US soared from $3.50 to $5.30. Across the border in Juarez, a customer can get 30 eggs for $3.40, the NBC affiliate reports - a bargain, as long as one isn't caught.