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Sun, 05 Feb 2023
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Bad Guys

The NATO-Russian Ukraine war's new, most dangerous phase

Ukraine war map
We are entering the most dangerous phase of the NATO-Russian Ukraine war up till now. The West is undertaking a major escalation in the war by increasing the lethality of weapons it is supplying Ukraine to include tanks and the largest tranche of military equipment supplied to Kiev so far. Meanwhile, Russia is on the verge of an offensive on the background of slow but steady gains in the east, taking Soledar, moving into Vugledar (Ugledar) and the outskirts of Bakhmut (Atemevsk), threatening Ukrainian forces with operational encirclements in several areas.

Russia now has available in and around Ukraine 5-600,000 regular troops, almost none of which have been used so far, with Moscow having been relying on the DPR and LNR forces, the Wagner troops, Chechens, and massive attacks from the air by artillery, rockets, drones and such in previous phases of the war.

Comment: See also:


Pirates

US halts licences for companies to export to Huawei

huawei

White House moving closer to imposing total ban on sale of American tech to Chinese company
The Biden administration has stopped providing US companies with licences to export to Huawei as it moves towards imposing a total ban on the sale of American technology to the Chinese telecom equipment giant.

Several people familiar with the discussions inside the administration said the commerce department had notified some companies that it would no longer grant licences to any group wanting to export American technology to Huawei.

The move marks the latest prong in Washington's campaign to curb the Shenzhen-based tech company, which US security officials believe helps China engage in espionage. Huawei denies any involvement in spying.


Comment: It's pretty clear that this is just part of the US' attempts to contain China by way of sanctions by another name


Comment: : US chip ban won't hurt China's revenue and will accelerate innovation - CEO


Recycle

Giant wind turbines keep falling over, quality control issues blamed

Wind turbine blown over

Wind turbine blown over by storm in 2017
The taller the wind turbine, the harder they fall. And they sure are falling.

Wind turbine failures are on the uptick, from Oklahoma to Sweden and Colorado to Germany, with all three of the major manufacturers admitting that the race to create bigger turbines has invited manufacturing issues, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Multiple turbines that are taller than 750 feet are collapsing across the world, with the tallest — 784 feet in stature — falling in Germany in September 2021. To put it in perspective, those turbines are taller than both the Space Needle in Seattle and the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Even smaller turbines that recently took a tumble in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Wales, and Colorado were about the height of the Statue of Liberty.

Quenelle

US chip ban won't hurt China's revenue and will accelerate innovation - CEO

china chip
© SMEE.com.cn
Although China successfully replicated some old ASML lithography, chipmakers stick with foreign technology
Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment said its SSZ600/20 could make 90nm chips.
Despite Western media reports that the Netherlands would follow the US guidelines on technology exports to China, ASML's chief executive Peter Wennink said Wednesday that the company would probably maintain its level of exports to mainland China this year.

ASML's sales of chipmaking equipment to China rose from about US$700 million in 2016 to US$2.8 billion in 2022.

Wennink also said that any further export ban would accelerate China's plan to develop its own lithography tools.

His comment came after media reports said the Netherlands and Japan, which have dominated the lithography markets for decades, would impose certain export restrictions on China as soon as the end of this month.

Comment: What are the chances that these bans, as with those against Russia, will backfire on the US and its lackeys in the West?


People 2

Food Stamp reduction to hit millions of Americans after February

US supermarket
Millions of Americans who are in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see decreases in payments after February, a federal agency said.

The decreases in payments are driven by two main factors, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) said in an update in early January.

FNS is an agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Firstly, the temporary increase to SNAP benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic - also known as emergency allotments - will end after the February 2023 payment.

The emergency allotments gave most SNAP households approximately $95 in extra payment, the agency said.

Comment: Crime in the US is already reaching record levels, and if welfare for the poor prevents people from procuring the necessities, crime will inevitably get many times worse.


Light Saber

After public outcry, Scotland changes policy on sending transgender inmates to all-female prison

islia bryson adam graham transgender rapist

Isla Bryson, 31, formerly known as Adam Graham, from Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, arrives at the High Court in Glasgow.
Justice warns against stigmatizing transgender women as threat against women, adding, 'predatory men are the risk to women'

After facing pressure to intervene in the transfer of a transgender convicted rapist to an all-women's prison, Scotland's government has decided to stop transferring such inmates with a history of violence against women to its all-female prison, according to reports.

The Agence France-Presse, or AFP, reported the decision was made just days after a rapist was removed from the all-female prison.

Some people worry women-only spaces are being compromised by those who are fighting for transgender rights.

Comment: Who knew that author J.K. Rowling would emerge as a staunch defender of women's rights. But given her experiences with raising a child while on the edge of poverty, perhaps its not so surprising.






Cult

Really against 'evil' fossil fuels? You'd better read this before you answer

oil pipeline lithium mine environment fossil fuels

Which is more damaging to the environment?
It is easy for anyone to say that they are against fossil fuels. Opposition to coal, oil and natural gas is fashionable and will prompt heads to nod and even hands to applaud in most places.

But are people aware of the extent to which their lives are dependent on fossil fuels? Do they know that more than 90 percent of things used in their everyday lives are derived from fossil fuels?

From your toothbrush to your car tire, a majority of the things you use today has been made possible because of fossil fuels. Shoes, refrigerators, washing machines, coffee makers, furniture, pens, eating utensils, eyeglasses, commodes, medical gear, camping equipment, and the list goes on and on.

Comment: This is what the spoiled brats of Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil refuse to understand. Their entire privileged lifestyle that allows them to throw public temper tantrums depends on fossil fuels. Beyond infuriating.


Hammer

Twitter nailed Chuck Schumer for lying, then Elon joined in

SchumerMusk
© The Bulwark/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/KJN
Chuck Schumer • Elon Musk
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was on Twitter already spreading lies about a "Fair Tax" that has been floating around. It's not even clear that Republicans are on board with the proposal, but that didn't stop Schumer from lying about it.
So many things wrong there, where to begin?

Comment: Tell Schumer to do (the real) math and stop the expanding the IRS. Given Congress' unread, 5000-page grift package known as the Appropriations Bill, Americans should decide whether the current government is worth their pennies.


Fire

At least 32 killed in Pakistan mosque blast

Peshawar mosque blast
© Maaz ALI / AFP
Security officials inspect the site of a mosque blast in Peshawar on January 30, 2023.
A terrorist attack on a mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan has claimed at least 32 lives, with over 147 more injured, local officials told the media. The blast took place on Monday in a heavily protected area with a massive police presence.

Witnesses and officials say the explosion was so powerful that the roof of the mosque collapsed.

The authorities have declared a "medical emergency" in the city and called on locals to donate blood for the injured.

Security officials told Geo News that the suicide bomber was in the front row of worshippers during prayers when he set off the explosive.

Speaking to reporters, Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Ijaz Khan acknowledged that a "security lapse occurred."

Dollars

Russian troops offered rewards for destroying NATO tanks

Leopard 2 tank
© Ronny Hartmann / AFP
FILE PHOTO: A Leopard 2 tank during an exercise in Ostenholz, Germany, October 2022.
Fores, a Russian chemical manufacturer, is offering bounties to soldiers for destroying Western-made battle tanks that have recently been pledged to Ukraine by the country's Western backers. The news comes after Washington and Berlin approved deliveries of heavy armor to Kiev last week.

"Russian servicemen that destroy or capture a German Leopard 2 battle tank or an American Abrams will receive a monetary reward," the company announced in a statement on its website on Friday.

"Fores will pay 5 million rubles [$70,700] for the first trophy. The payment for every next one ... will be 500,000 rubles [$7,070]."

The company added that if Ukraine ever acquires F-15 and F-16 jet fighters, Fores would hand out a 15-million-ruble ($212,100) prize for the first downed aircraft.
The decision to transfer Western tanks to Kiev shows that NATO is not only delivering defensive weapons to Ukraine, which highlights the need for consolidation and support for our army. We have been doing this since the first days of [Russia's] special military operation and will continue to support our servicemen.
Founded in 2000, Fores makes and sells proppant, used by oil and gas companies for fracking, according to its website. The company's office is in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

On Sunday, Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin, who is known for having hawkish views, announced a similar bounty on his blog. "Certain members of the big business community have authorized me to inform you that they are setting a 10-million-ruble ($143,900) prize for every destroyed Abrams," he wrote.

Comment: Don't expect those tanks, should they ever actually reach the battlefield, to last very long with such high bounties. The West seems to be solidifying not only Russian sentiment but also Ukrainian's inevitable defeat with every move it makes to support Ukraine.