Society's ChildS

War Whore

Support for 'authoritarian' Zelensky falling - German media

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky
© Paula Bronstein/Getty ImagesUkrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
The Ukrainian president's failure to keep his election promises has contributed to public disenchantment, Tagesspiegel claims.

Public support for Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is declining as he is increasingly perceived as an authoritarian ruler, German newspaper Tagesspiegel has claimed.

In an article on Saturday, Tagesspiegel reported that approval ratings for Zelensky "have recently sunk to 61%," citing fresh opinion polls by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology. The Ukrainian leader had enjoyed the support of more than 80% of citizens in the initial months after the conflict with Russia broke out in 2022, the German outlet noted.

In January, the New York Times reported that Ukrainians were growing weary of government narratives being pushed on TV, accusing them of painting an unrealistic picture of frontline developments.

Cross

Vatican blasts gender-affirming surgery, surrogacy and gender theory as violations of human dignity

Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez
© AP Photo/Gregorio BorgiaThe prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez
The Vatican has described the belief in gender fluidity as "a concession to the age-old temptation to make oneself God", as it released an updated declaration of what the Catholic church regards as threats to human dignity.

The new Dignitas infinita (Infinite Dignity) declaration released by the Vatican's doctrinal office on Monday after five years in the making reiterates Pope Francis's previous criticism of what he has called an "ugly ideology of our time".

"Desiring a personal self-determination, as gender theory prescribes, apart from this fundamental truth that human life is a gift, amounts to a concession to the age-old temptation to make oneself God, entering into competition with the true God of love revealed to us in the gospel," the 20-page document says.

Heart - Black

Fourteen-year-old Ukrainian violently abducted by conscription officers - media

Ukrainian soldiers
© Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency Getty Images
A group of Ukrainian soldiers detained at gunpoint and assaulted a 14-year-old orphan as a part of Kiev's push to mobilize more people for the conflict frontlines, local media reported on Saturday.

According to the website Bessarabia Info, citing Oksana Terzi, who heads the local department of social protection, the incident took place on Tuesday afternoon in the village of Priozernoye in Odessa Region.

The official claimed that a white minivan with four men in military uniform and balaclavas - one of whom was the driver - pulled over near the teenager as he was walking to meet his girlfriend. They then dragged the boy into the van while pressing the muzzle of an assault rifle to his temple. Terzi explained that the gunmen might not have suspected the boy was a minor because he was broad-shouldered.

The boy started to resist, the official continued. "The kid plays sports, so the self-defense instinct kicked in. He began to struggle, and the attackers restrained him, hitting him in the back with an assault rifle. They beat him and tied his hands with a plastic tie."

Comment: Quite the "free and democratic" country that Zelensky has built.


Red Flag

Thanks Dems: 99 Cent Only Stores shutting down all 371 locations due to inflation and theft

99 Cent Only Stores
© Ron Holman / Visalia Times-Delta / USA TODAY NETWORKAll 371 99 Cent Only Stores are shutting down due to unmanageable inflation and theft
The national chain of 99 Cent Only Stores — consisting of 371 locations in four states — is shutting down, with operators blaming unmanageable inflation and theft.

"This was an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve," Mike Simoncic, Interim Chief Executive Officer of 99 Cents Only Stores, said Friday.

Simonic cited several factors for the shutdown, including the "unprecedented impact" of the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting consumer demand, persistent inflationary pressures and rising levels of shrink — an industry term that refers to inventory lost thanks to shoplifting, employee theft and administrative errors.

Combined, those issues "have greatly hindered the company's ability to operate," Simoncic said.

Wolf

UK: Local council tried to pressure elderly couple to sell their home amid government's push to house migrants

britain house pressure sell migrants
© Roland LeonA spokesman North Northamptonshire Council apologised to the couple for suggesting that their home could be sold to house asylum seekers - and said it had been sent in error
An elderly couple who had just moved into their £200,000 house were horrified to receive a letter from their council suggesting the property could be subject to compulsory purchase and used to house asylum seekers.

Jose and Ted Saunders said they were 'insulted and shocked' when the strongly-worded letter from North Northamptonshire Council - which has never balanced its own books - dropped on their mat last month.

It said their neat mid-terraced house in Rushden, near Wellingborough, was deemed to be an empty property, or was 'derelict' and the council could even force them to sell it.

'I couldn't believe it,' said retired carer Jose, 76. 'We moved to Rushden to help provide childcare for my grand-daughter and found this nice little place to live.

'The idea of forcing us to sell it to make room for refugees and asylum seekers seems totally wrong.'

Bizarro Earth

Bang-and-Whimper

eclipse
"Whoever doesn't miss the Soviet Union doesn't have a heart. Whoever wants it back doesn't have a brain." — VV Putin
Have you checked if your hair is on fire today? Here comes an eclipse of the sun. Our moon will cast a totality of its shadow in a path about 100 miles wide arcing from Del Rio Texas to Bangor Maine, with lesser effects outward on each side of the path so that night will seem to fall at mid-day over most of America east of the Big Muddy. This event typically freaks out primitive peoples, and brings out the latent archaic terror even in supposedly civilized minds, reminding us in a powerfully spooky way that the cosmos runs things, not us puny humans.

You might ask: Are we hostages to cycles, Astronomical, Kondratieff, the Maunder Minimum, Fourth Turning, the Great Wave. . .? Considering the feckless doings of our own society, we seem to be yielding to some final act of cosmic punishment. What is not falling apart? Our livelihoods? Our politics? Our money system? Our morals? Our common sense, our families, our relations with other societies, our infrastructure, our culture, our business models, our education, our medicine? Alas, our government still lurches along, gone mad-dog on its citizens as it desperately sucks all power and resources unto its inner engine like a red giant star preparing for death.

Bad Guys

Washington's NATO promise to Kiev is prelude to 'nuclear apocalypse' - Musk

F-16
© Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFPA Belgian F-16 jet fighter takes part in the NATO Air Nuclear drill "Steadfast Noon" at the Kleine-Brogel air base in Belgium on October 18, 2022.
Ukraine joining the bloc is like the start of a movie about end of the world, the billionaire has said.

A pledge by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Ukraine will become a member of NATO looks like a scene from a movie about a nuclear apocalypse, entrepreneur Elon Musk believes.

The top US diplomat reiterated the "rock solid" determination of his country and other members to eventually include Ukraine in the military bloc at a NATO summit in Brussels this week. Speaking alongside Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, he said the purpose of the event was to "help build a bridge to membership."

Comment: See also:


HAL9000

The madness of the race to build artificial general intelligence

artificial intelligence takeover
© Adobe
A few weeks ago, I was having a chat with my neighbor Tom, an amateur chemist who conducts experiments in his apartment. I have a longtime fascination with chemistry, and always enjoy talking with him. But this conversation was scary. If his latest experiment was successful, he informed me, it might "have some part to play in curing cancer." If it was a failure, however, there was a reasonable chance, according to his calculations, that the experiment would trigger "an explosion that levels the entire apartment complex."

Perhaps Tom was lying, or maybe he's delusional. But what if he really was just one test tube clink away from blowing me and dozens of our fellow building residents sky high? What should one do in this situation? After a brief deliberation, I decided to call 911. The police rushed over, searched his apartment and decided after an investigation to confiscate all of his chemistry equipment and bring him in for questioning.

The above scenario is a thought experiment. As far as I know, no one in my apartment complex is an amateur chemist experimenting with highly combustible compounds. I've spun this fictional tale because it's a perfect illustration of the situation that we — all of us — are in with respect to the AI companies trying to build artificial general intelligence, or AGI. The list of such companies includes DeepMind, OpenAI, Anthropic and xAI, all of which are backed by billions of dollars. Many leading figures at these very companies have claimed, in public, while standing in front of microphones, that one possible outcome of the technology they are explicitly trying to build is that everyone on Earth dies. The only sane response to this is to immediately call 911 and report them to the authorities. They are saying that their own technology might kill you, me, our family members and friends — the entire human population. And almost no one is freaking out about this.

Comment: See also:


Sherlock

Moscow launches probe into Crocus City fire safety staff

crocus mall city hall terrorist attack
Aftermath of the terrorist attack on Moscow's Crocus City Hall theater, March 22, 2024
More people died as a result of the fire than of gunshot wounds in the March 22 terrorist attack, investigators said last week

The people responsible for fire safety at the Crocus City Hall, where a deadly terrorist attack took place in March just outside of Moscow, are being investigated for criminal negligence, law enforcement told TASS news agency on Sunday.

The attack on the concert hall claimed more than 140 lives. Four armed gunmen stormed the busy venue on a Friday night when it was packed for a rock concert, opening fire and setting the building ablaze. At least 45 people died as a result of the fire, the head of the Russian Investigative Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, said last week. While bodies are still being identified and the causes of death determined, as of last week, more people died of the fire than of gunshot wounds.

Che Guevara

Democrats whine as anti-free speech allies turn against them

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)
© Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesRep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)
You are "killing people," President Biden told social media companies a couple of years ago. He sought to shame executives into censoring more Americans. Biden has lashed out at disinformation by anti-vaxxers, "election deniers" and others. This month, those words were thrown back at Biden himself as a "genocide denier" by protesters who have labeled him "Genocide Joe" over his support for Israel.

After years of supporting censorship and blacklisting of people with opposing views, politicians and academics are finding themselves the subjects of the very anti-free speech tactics that they helped foster.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), for example, has been a leading figure in Congress opposing efforts to curtail massive censorship programs coordinated by the Biden administration. While opposing the investigation into past federal censorship efforts, Raskin continues to push social media companies to increase the censorship and silencing of Americans. Last December, Raskin sent a letter on behalf of other Democrats on the powerful House Oversight Committee demanding even more censorship, not only on election fraud, COVID or climate change, but also on abortion.