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Mainstream poll finds majority of Americans shifting from optimistic to pessimistic about direction of country

© Getty Images
US President Joe Biden: The halo darkens
According to a new poll, the majority of Americans are pessimistic about the direction of the country at the sixth month mark of the Biden administration, a dramatic shift from the last time that the survey polled respondents on the matter.

"A majority — 55% — of the public say they are pessimistic about the direction of the country, a marked change from the roughly one-third (36%) that said the same in an ABC News/Ipsos poll published May 2," ABC News reported. "In the early May survey, Americans were more optimistic than pessimistic by a 28-percentage point margin. Optimism is now under water by 10 points. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, fewer than half — 45% — now report feeling optimistic about the way things are going, a significant drop from about two-thirds (64%) in the May poll."

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Coronavirus: Malaysia tops 1M; Australia faces longer lockdowns after protests; reports from Indonesia, Thailand, S. Korea, Vietnam

funeral victim
Health workers in protective gear carry victim during a funeral in Klang, near Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia on Sunday reported its highest ever daily rise in Covid-19 cases, with the cumulative number of infections topping 1 million for the first time. Health authorities recorded 17,045 new infections, bringing the total to 1.01 million with 7,994 deaths.

On June 28, the government extended its lockdown for an indefinite period, but the spread of infections has not stopped, especially in the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area. It has said lockdown rules will only be eased when daily Covid-19 cases fall below a weekly average of 4,000 and hospitals have more space to treat patients.

The parliament is expected to resume for the first time in about seven months on Monday, but the administration of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been criticised for failing to control the pandemic.
Barbed wire lockdown
© Xinhua
Barbed wire lockdown in Kuala Lumpur


Multiple murder cases dropped after St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office fails to appear in court

Attorney Garner
© Screenshot/Law Enforcement Today
St. Louis Attorney Kim Garner
Murder charges against an accused killer were dropped by a St. Louis judge on July 14 after a prosecutor from St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office failed to show.

That prosecutor never showed up to court hearings in May, June, and again on July 14 because she was on maternity leave, according to Fox 2. Two other murder cases were dismissed last week because of unprepared or absent St. Louis City prosecutors from the office of discredited Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.

Fox 2's legal expert Attorney Chet Pleban said that using an attorney away on maternity leave may have been a tactic to postpone having to try that case:
"Clearly there is a problem with her internal management system that needs a quick fix, someway, somehow. But it is inexcusable that you would have three continuances, three times that she doesn't show up for a murder case."
More than 90 prosecutors have left the circuit attorney's office since Gardner took over in 2017, according to Fox 2.

Comment: It seems Attorney Kim has quite a track record of missteps, dereliction of duty and disservice to the police force and the public. Why is she still holding this position? She belongs to Soros.

See below:


Police storm, shut down Al Jazeera's Tunis office in warrantless raid as president shuts down parliament

al jazeera office raid tunisia
© Fethi Belaid/AFP
Tunisian military forces guard the area around the parliament building in the capital Tunis on July 26, 2021, following protests in reaction to a move by the president last night to suspend the north African country's parliament and dismiss the Prime Minister.
Security forces involved in the raid said they were carrying out instructions and asked all journalists to leave.

Tunisian police has stormed Al Jazeera's bureau in the capital Tunis, expelling all the staff, after President Kais Saied late on Sunday ousted the government in a move his foes called a coup.

At least 20 plain-clothed police officers entered the office on Monday, Al Jazeera journalists in Tunis reported, saying the officers did not have warrants for the raid.


US Army general mocked after accusing critic of being 'shill for Putin' in 'embarrassing' outburst as the Twitter wars rage on

General Patrick J Donahoe
© Columbus Ledger
US Army Major General Patrick J Donahoe
A US Army major general is facing backlash after accusing one of his fellow countrymen of being a "shill" for Russian President Vladimir Putin upon being asked on social media how many wars he had won.

Major General Patrick Donahoe found himself embroiled in a Twitter argument on Friday after warning young people that their "youth" would not protect them from Covid-19 in an attempt to convince young people to get vaccinated "right now."

Conservative writer Josiah Lippincott pointed out to Donahoe that there have only been 26 Covid-19 deaths in the US Department of Defense overall - far less than the number of DoD suicides in just the fourth quarter of 2020 - and suggested lockdown and "liberty restrictions" were doing more damage than the virus.

Comment: This was not Dohahoe's only social media gaffe. OpIndia reports:
[S]ocial media users did not take the US Army General's tweet kindly, accusing him of attempting to crush their free speech rights. Scores of Twitter users slammed Donahoe for calling upon people to block and report users who did not hew to his worldview.

The US Army General's unseemly tweet, asking people to block dissenting voices came after he drew a sharp backlash from social media users for intimidating a social media user who questioned him on one of his tweets.

The matter pertains to a tweet posted by Major General Patrick Donahoe, wherein he urged the US army trainees to get vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines after a spike was reported in young trainees in ICU and a spike in trainees testing positive for the coronavirus.

To this, one social media user, Josiah Lippincott, who is also a PhD student at Hillsdale College, according to his Twitter bio, shared the stark facts about the menace of suicide that afflicts the US Department of Defense. Josiah said in Q4 of 2020 alone, there were 26 more suicides reported as compared to that in Q4 of 2019. He further highlighted that there have been 26 total deaths in the Department of Defense.

Sharing the suicide statistics from the Department of Defense website, the PhD student contended that lockdowns, liberty restrictions, quarantines, and general disruption of service members' lives were bigger factors in driving people to kill themselves than the fatalities reported from the virus.

However, Donahoe dismissed Josiah's contention as false equivalence and suggested that he compare the stats of auto accidents for the same period.
military donahoe general tweet covid
© Twitter
But Josiah responded back, highlighting the key difference between deaths from suicide and deaths from accidents. He said suicide is an intentional act while car accidents are not. "When policy treats healthy soldiers as biological hazards, we should not be surprised by an increase in suicide and psychological problems," Josiah retorted.

Donahoe seemed rattled by this acerbic remark by the Twitter user and proceeded towards tagging the University where he is pursuing his PhD, presumably to scare the student from making any further argument.

However, this attempt to crush the free speech of a Twitter user did not sit well with netizens, who called out the Army General for attempting to trample upon the democratic right of a fellow citizen and intimidating him into submission. An overwhelming number of social media users came in the support of Josiah and slammed the US Army General for indulging in an act that did not behove an Army officer.

A Twitter user wondered if this is the way an army officer should be interacting with members of the public.

Yet another Twitter user said the Major General is an embarrassment and should be subjected to UCMJ proceeding for unbecoming conduct.

Journalist Elijah Schaffer was also among those who were not pleased with the way the US Army General responded to the Twitter user. Schaffer tweeted: "The US Army isn't what you think it is."

Even though the Army General did not acknowledge the menace of suicide among the defence forces, it, nevertheless, remains one of the major causes of fatalities among the US Armed Forces. The suicide rate among active-duty troops jumped to a six-year high in 2020, a report released by Pentagon said. In 2019, the rate of suicide among active-duty troops was 25.9 per 100,000 troops. The rate was 24.9 per 100,000 in 2018, and 21.9 per 100,000 in 2017. The rate has shown a steady increase from 2014 when the rate was 18.5 per 100,000 service members.


Woman wearing Charlie Hebdo t-shirt stabbed at Speakers' Corner in London

woman stabbed speakers' corner
Speakers' Corner, best known as the northeast corner of Hyde Park in London and emblematic of free expression in England, was the shocking site of a brutal daytime stabbing attack Sunday by an unidentified black-clad assailant.

A woman wearing a Charlie Hebdo T-shirt suffered multiple stab wounds, according to Daily Mail. Eyewitness footage of the incident uploaded to Twitter by user @JamieRightly, documented the horrific scene. The victim was later seen with blood running down her face. The masked male assailant fled the scene as responding officers and members of the general public gave chase.

Comment: See also:


Racist antiracism at the University of California is back

university of california berkley
When I taught at UC Berkeley in the 1990s, it was an open secret that there was a two-tier undergraduate student body. Namely, black and Latino students tended to be considerably less prepared for the workload than white and Asian students.

No one talked about it openly, but plenty attested to it when they were sure the wall didn't have ears, and to notice it was not racist - it was simple fact. Of course there were weak white and Asian students; of course there were excellent black and Latino students. But a tendency was unmistakable. It was painfully obvious that brown students were admitted according to very different standards than white and Asian ones.

Proposition 209 barred racial preferences of that kind in the UC system as of 1998, and of course, fewer brown students were admitted to the flagship schools Berkeley and UCLA after that. There were still plenty of brown students - the "resegregation" so many furiously predicted never happened. But not as many as before. And there has remained, for almost a quarter century now, a contingent who have never gotten over thinking UC would be better by going back to the way it was.

Comment: No racial group is benefited by lowering performance standards to make life easier for them. It simply delays failure until they join a world that will not tip the scales for them and it will make them woefully poorer performers compared to other racial groups. In no way is this "helping". Not to mention, believing that minorities require lower standards than their fellow students to be able to get by is the antithesis of 'antiracist'.

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Fauci can't get his own facts straight, yet the government wants to decide what's 'misinformation' on social media

fauci and friend
© Noel St. John
Misinformation is much more destructive when it emanates from a monopolistic "Ministry of Truth."

This week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Anthony Fauci squared off in the public arena yet again.

The two have frequently sparred over pandemic policy in Congressional committee hearings over the past year and a half, and their debates have often been contentious. But this interaction involved a particularly frazzled Fauci. In the brief exchange, Fauci looked around for assistance in the room, called Paul a liar, and shouted "you don't know what you're talking about!" as Paul proceeded to question him.

Comment: See also:


'Draghi Like Hitler': Protesters slam Italian PM for introducing Covid health pass, call it discriminatory

protests italy
Protests against the Italian government's plan to introduce health passes were held in more than 80 locations on Saturday, where people denounced the measure as discriminatory.

Around 3,000 rallied in Rome and 5,000 in Turin, the capital of the northwestern Piedmont region, while smaller protests were held elsewhere across the country, Italian media said. Overall, demonstrations were reported in more than 80 cities and towns.

People took to the streets to denounce the plan of the government led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi to introduce a health pass, known as the 'Green Pass'. The document serves as proof that a person has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, has tested negative for Covid-19 in the last 48 hours, or has recovered from the virus.

Starting from August 6, only Green Pass holders will be allowed into cafes, restaurants, gyms, and open-air shows.

Comment: See also:


Russia's exclusive schools are taking on the world's most elite institutions

© Wikipedia
'Letovo' School Wikipedia; (inset) Eton College
While schools around the world have struggled with how to give their kids a good education despite the disruption of the pandemic, one state-of-the-art private institution on the outskirts of Moscow had a bumper year for grades.

Letovo is no ordinary school. It is one of the very few in Russia that offers both a national diploma as well as a certificate from the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB DP), opening doors to its students for overseas work and study. Elite schools such as this began to spring up following the 2013 -2015 Ukraine and Syria crises, which alienated Moscow from its former partners in the West. With a collapse in oil prices compounded by sanctions, the ruble crashed. In response, Russia's wealthiest began to search for homegrown alternatives to the likes of Eton and Harrow, which had educated many of a generation of rich Russian children.

Comment: Clearly Russia has a long way to go, because a few schools for elite students is unlikely to do much for the country, but, as it is, Russia seems to be on a more promising trajectory than much of the West: Also check out SOTT radio's: The Health & Wellness Show: Public schools: Where creativity, freedom and critical thinking go to die