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Fri, 14 Aug 2020
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The Belarusian protests are not a 'color revolution' - they're the result of Lukashenko repeating Soviet mistakes

Lukashenko
© REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
Placard depicting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko outside the Belarusian in Moscow, Russia August 12, 2020
Protests following Sunday's presidential election in Belarus have entered the fourth day. Videos of police brutality spread online and foreign ministries across the world are condemning the actions of the Belarusian police.

While temping to default to the knee-jerk reaction that what's going on in the country is a 'color revolution', claims by President Alexander Lukashenko that the protests are foreign-organized are bunk and should not be taken seriously. The political actions of Belarusians now are legitimate and deserve our attention.

Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians - including what I would categorize as an entire generation of young talent - who are IT workers, engineers, data analysts and others in in-demand fields are regrettably fleeing the country not due to war or conflict, but because of an endemic lack of opportunity that is plaguing the country. No matter where you are in the world, no matter what political system a state has, no matter the level of democratic freedoms, this translates to general frustration and is the source of much of the animosity surrounding this election and its aftershock.

Comment: RT reports on the continued unrest:
Tensions soar in post-election Belarus amid reports of police firing at apartment windows & officers being run over

Four days after its presidential election, Belarus continues to be plagued by clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement, with the latter facing a mounting backlash over the crackdown.

The unrest showed little sign of abating on Wednesday, amid days of protests following incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko's landslide victory in Sunday's election, which the opposition insists was rigged.

In the capital of Minsk and other cities, demonstrators formed so-called 'human solidarity chains' to voice support for the opposition and those who have fallen victim to hamfisted police tactics. Many of those lining up were women.




Protesters in Minsk also attempted to block roads and lit flares.



Despite peaceful protests highlighting the fourth day of post-election turmoil, violence has hardly subsided. A video has emerged purporting to show riot police in Minsk opening fire on an apartment block as they chased protesters on the ground. Witnesses report that officers aimed their weapons at the building's windows after residents sought to help the demonstrators to dodge arrest.


As night approached, clashes erupted with sounds of loud bangs, reportedly from concussion grenades, roaring through the city.


As tensions across the country soared, the authorities said on Wednesday that two traffic police officers were run over in Minsk and Baranovichy, a city of some 180,000 people in western Belarus.

A video of the Minsk incident has been released by the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs. It shows a traffic officer hopping on one foot due his limp before being led away by his companion to receive first aid on the spot. The perpetrator, whose motives are unclear, fled the scene and was arrested later in the day. The officer was taken to hospital.


In a similar incident in Baranovichy, a driver attempted to flee, sparking a frantic car chase after he ran over an officer. Police shot one of the fleeing car's tires after the driver refused to pull over. However, when the traffic police arrived, the suspect had already fled on foot, leaving his vehicle behind. The hunt for the man is currently ongoing.


Two protesters have died and 6,000 have been detained since angry crowds took to the streets across Belarus after the results of Sunday's election showed Lukashenko, who has led the country since 1994, winning 80 percent of the vote. Demonstrators have cried foul play, believing that his main rival and united opposition candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was robbed of victory.
For more analysis on the situation in Belarus, see:


Mail

Half a million incorrect absentee ballot applications sent out in Virginia, including to dead people

absentee ballot
"Approximately half a million applications sent to eligible voters in Virginia included incorrect information, and we are working diligently to address the issues," says the Center for Voter Information.

A non-profit group says more than a half-million inaccurate applications for absentee ballots were mistakenly sent across Virginia this week — including to dead voters, errant relatives and even a pet — in an unprecedented mailing flub that has heightened concerns about the integrity of expanding mail-in voting efforts.

The mistakes raised alarms with recipients as diverse as election monitors, members of the League of Women Voters and a retired FBI agent. The Center for Voter Information, the nonprofit group that sent the mailers with pre-filled absentee ballots, is now apologizing.

Comment: See also:


Brick Wall

Chicago residents confront BLM protesters in tense standoff

BLM defund police chicago
© Reuters / Shannon Stapleton
An activist holds a sign during a demonstration against police violence in Chicago, Illinois, July 24, 2020.
Residents of Chicago's Englewood community angrily accosted a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who showed up to demonstrate at a police station, where hostilities between locals and activists nearly boiled over into a brawl.

A BLM protest march from Englewood to Chicago's 7th District police station on Tuesday ended in a showdown with community members, at times devolving into shouting matches as locals insisted the demonstrators were giving their neighborhood a bad name.

"If you ain't from Englewood, get the f**k out of here!" longtime south side resident Darryl Smith was heard shouting at the protesters, who he said were not from the community.

Comment: See also:


Attention

Alabama just passed a law to castrate child sex offenders

child black eye
Alabama has made a decision to stand strong against convicted child molesters. Because most Americans agree that criminals who steal the innocence of children are among the worst of the worst, Alabama has decided to pass a chemical castration bill that would forever change any person convicted of an abhorrent sex crime against a child under the age of thirteen, which is a measure approved by most people across the state.

State Representative Steve Hurst, a Republican, introduced the bill. It was passed by the state legislature and was recently signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey. Because the state wants to make it abundantly clear that child molesters are not welcome, the law now requires that any child sex offenders over the age of 21 will be chemically castrated before they leave prison and entered society again.

"They have marked this child for life, and the punishment should fit the crime," Hurst said.

Comment: See also:


Shoe

Council revokes business license of NJ gym that defied COVID-19 order

atilis gym new jersey
The gym opened its doors in May, starting a legal battle over whether New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's order for non-essential businesses to remain closed was constitutional.

Councilmembers voted to revoke the business license of a defiant gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, that ignored multiple orders to close amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The vote took place Tuesday at the Bellmawr council meeting. Atilis Gym co-owner Frank Trumbetti told NBC10 his gym will remain open without a license.

It was the latest move in a standoff with Atilis over coronavirus-related restrictions.

Comment: The gym owners appeared on Tucker Carlson's show to say the gym is still open, despite having business licence revoked.

See also: Owners of New Jersey's Atilis Gym under arrest for defying state orders to close


Propaganda

CCDH: The Centre for Cancel Culture and Digital Hypocrisy - Part 1

Center For Countering Digital Hate
The Center For Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) are a UK based organisation who have misspelled "centre" in their name. Perhaps they have opted for the U.S spelling in the hope of selling their peculiar brand of morally bankrupt censorship to the American propaganda market.

Their most recent report, called The Anti-Vaxx Industry, is a propaganda leaflet with two main objectives. The first is to create a false dichotomy in the public imagination and the second is to build a public-private censorship grid in anticipation of forthcoming government legislation. This is proposed to censor legitimate scientific opinion and evidence based debate on a wide range of issues the government and its corporate partners would rather silence. Including any questioning of vaccines.

CCDH Propaganda Leaflet

CCDH Propaganda Leaflet
They insist that anyone who has any doubts about any vaccine rejects all vaccines outright. This isn't true but the CCDH are censors and propagandists, not rationalists.

Comically, they claim they are a non governmental organisation (NGO). While technically plausible, their network of links to government, globalist think tanks and private corporations is extensive.

Alarm Clock

Lukashenko: Short-term victory, long-term defeat - Belarus protests overview

Belarus
© REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
People attend a rally following the presidential election in Minsk, Belarus August 11, 2020.
After two nights of protests following the presidential election in Belarus, it's clear that the formal winner, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, might have won tactically - but he definitely lost strategically.

The death of at least one protester, the cruelty of police and the extreme violence of the confrontation (the two sides drove vehicles into crowds several times) indicated the extreme polarization of society in Belarus, a post-Soviet republic of 10 million people.

Why can we still say that Alexander Lukashenko won a tactical battle? He will stay in power, at least for the time being, because his opposition is fragmented and does not have a single leader. The formal "second runner" in the election, housewife Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (who got almost 10 percent of the vote, the best official result for an opposition candidate during Lukashenko's 26 years in power), does not have the skill nor the will to press ahead with a recount of the votes, even though very few people believe Lukashenko's official score of over 80 percent of the vote.

Comment: RT further quotes State Duma deputy Konstantin Zatulin from the pro-Putin United Russia party as saying:
Zatulin maintains that "insane with power" Lukashenko "obviously" didn't receive as many votes as he claims, and says that determining the true number of votes cast is an impossibility.

"The published results are not credible," he explained. "As someone already said, Lukashenko won the election but lost the country, and this is because of his extremely selfish policy, which prioritized preserving his regime of personal power."
Russia-based correspondent Bryan MacDonald is also highly skeptical about the election result:


The opposition leader, who officially got just 10% of the votes, has fled to Lithuania (though rumor has it she was explicitly sent there by Lukashenko). Far from calling on her countrymen to avenge her electoral defeat, she has called on them to "be reasonable and respect the law," so as to avoid "blood and violence. I am asking you not to oppose the police, not to go out on to the squares so as not to risk your lives. Take care of yourselves and your relatives."

The police in Belarus are certainly on edge. In a video widely shared on social media on Tuesday, two members of Belarus' OMON tactical police can be seen restraining a young man, possibly a protester. The officers manhandle the suspect, and as bystanders complain, one officer tugs on the pin of a grenade.


The detainee is eventually dragged away and bundled into an unmarked van, before being sped off to an uncertain fate. The Belarusian news portal TUT.BY, whose logo appears on the video, is currently unavailable amid reports of massive internet outages. Who cut off the internet is an open question though: Lukashenko claims it was done to the country from without, but that could be more of his mind-games, as Babich suggests above.

From the footage we've seen of the ongoing protests, they appear genuinely spontaneaous: the protesters are not armed to the teeth with siege and attack equipment, as if prepared months ago for weeks and weeks of rioting, as we have seen in the Hong Kong riots or the US riots. They just turned up to protest because they don't believe the election result and are sick of heavy-handed police brutality.





RFE/RL reports that Belarus is now under curfew.

Going into this election, we warned that Belarus president Lukashenko - even if he won another term fairly - was going to face a pressue cooker of dissent...
Political trouble is brewing for Lukashenko, however, so this stance of his on Covid-19 may turn out to be one last 'hurrah' for freedom from him.
We could see this coming not because of signs of foreign interference but because the country's leader so resolutely defied taking up Covid-19 measures, and in fact loudly criticized the whole pandemic as a geopolitical 'scam'.

He is basically correct in his assessment, but he appears to have made a mistake by not 'playing along' like most leaders. Every country on Earth - Belarus included - is made up of large numbers of people who are constitutionally authoritarian and liable to 'lose their shit' if they do not feel that 'Big Brother' is protecting them from external threats. And Covid-19 was the Mother of All External Threats. (It wasn't really, of course, but the authoritarians believed that it was, which is what counts.)

It may not be the only factor in play here, but we suspect that it's the major one. Lukashenko 'failed to protect us', and/or 'cannot be relied on any longer to protect us from future threats, so we have lost faith in him as our leader'...


Take 2

NASA drops 'harmful' celestial nicknames such as Eskimo Nebula, Aunt Jemima

Eskimo Nebula
© NASA
Eskimo Nebula
The names of grocery store items, pro sports teams and country music bands have all been changed after being criticized as racially insensitive.

Now, NASA is adding celestial bodies to the list that includes Aunt Jemima, the Washington Football Team and hitmakers The Chicks and Lady A.

"Eskimo Nebula" and "Siamese Twins Galaxy" are out, for example.

"Nicknames are often more approachable and public-friendly than official names for cosmic objects, such as Barnard 33, whose nickname 'the Horsehead Nebula' invokes its appearance," NASA said in a release. "But often seemingly innocuous nicknames can be harmful and detract from the science."

NASA is examining its use of phrases for planets, galaxies and other cosmic objects "as part of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion."

Gear

Nearly five times more people dying of flu and pneumonia than coronavirus in UK

New figures show deaths from flu and pneumonia
© Joel Goodman/LNP
New figures show deaths from flu and pneumonia have now outnumbered coronavirus for seven weeks in a row
Nearly five times as many people are now dying of flu and pneumonia than with coronavirus in England and Wales, new figures have revealed. Numbers published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show 917 flu and pneumonia deaths were registered for the week ending on July 31.

In comparison, 193 people died that week after testing positive for Covid-19 - the lowest weekly level for 19 weeks.

Deaths from flu and pneumonia have now outnumbered coronavirus for seven weeks in a row.

flu deaths

Deaths from coronavirus have plummeted

Comment: Of course the UK gov doesn't want people to think about what these actual numbers mean. Because if they did the Brits would likely (or should be) absolutely up in arms for having their lives upended in they ways that they have and are.


Propaganda

Wrong narrative? US mainstream media mum on murder of 5yo white boy allegedly shot by black man in his own front yard

darius sessoms
© City of Wilson
Darius Sessoms, 25
The story of a 5-year-old North Carolina boy who reportedly was killed when a man ran up to him and shot him in the head for no known reason apparently was not compelling enough to merit US mainstream media coverage.

There were some details that might have drawn the attention of the decision makers at CNN, the Washington Post and other mainstream outlets, that have remained conspicuously silent on the story. The boy, Cannon Hinnant, was riding his bike in front of his own house Sunday in North Carolina, and the 25-year-old suspect was a neighbor. He allegedly shot the child at point-blank range as the boy's 7- and 8-year-old sisters looked on.

The hair-raising details of the incident, however, are not gracing the front pages. While it can be speculated why the story was generally overlooked, the fact is Hinnat was white. The alleged shooter, Darius Sessoms, who was arrested Monday, is black. Critics of mainstream media, such as podcast host Matt Walsh, said they've seen a pattern of black-on-white violence being ignored by the press and white-on-black violence being hyped to fit an agenda.

"This is an actual conspiracy," Walsh said Tuesday on Twitter. "These media companies have to make an editorial decision to blacklist stories like this. It's not like they haven't heard of it. This is a considered and intentional decision to ignore the murder of a child, and the reason is that he's white."


Comment: Walsh is correct: no major leftwing outlet has carried the story as of yet. Just look at the Ground News media bias report on this story. No center or left outlets are touching it:
ground news