Society's ChildS

Bulb

Why young Germans vote for the AfD

Germany bewildered
In the aftermath of the European elections last Sunday, the German establishment has been trying to come to terms with radically altered political realities. Despite advance polls predicting a notable shift to the Right, the result still shook the country. Less than a third of voters stuck with the parties of the ruling centre-left coalition, and the Right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) became the second largest political force after the conservative Union. Young people in particular defied expectations, many turning their backs on the Greens and switching to the Right.

For the first time, 16- and 17-year-old Germans were allowed to vote in EU elections, something the Greens had strongly advocated as one of three parties in the governing coalition. Arguing that the "lowering of the voting age takes young people and their concerns seriously", they had no doubt hoped that these concerns would align with their own.

Comment: Parts of the Western world are slowly waking up to the fact that basic quality of life concerns are just not on the list of priorities for many Green Parties, Democrats, etc. - or most mainstream establishment political groups for that matter.

See also:


Question

Why did it take Russia so long to realize Donbass was worth fighting for?

Scott Ritter
© Scott RitterScott Ritter (center) visits the city of Luhansk, founded in 1795, accompanied by bodyguards from the Sparta Battalion

As its military operation enters a critical stage, the question of why it took Moscow eight years to intervene remains a sensitive topic

On May 26, the Donetsk People's Republic marked the tenth anniversary of the first battle for the region's international airport. This was a key clash in the fight between Ukraine and local citizens who opposed the nationalist-dominated government that had seized power in Kiev as a result of the US-backed coup in February 2014. The anniversary was but one in a succession of similar commemorations of events which, together, draw attention to the fact that the war in Donbass has been ongoing for a decade.

Earlier this year I traveled to the Chechen Republic, Crimea, and the New Russian territories of Kherson and Zaporozhye, all locations which comprised what I called Russia's "Path of Redemption," the geographic expression of actions undertaken by Moscow. The fourth -and final- destination of my trip, the two people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk that are collectively referred to as the Donbass, brought this journey to a close. By visiting the literal ground zero of the current Russian-Ukrainian conflict, I was able to put a punctation mark at the end of a long and complicated passage which delved into the very essence of modern-day Russia — what it means to be Russian, and the price the Russian nation has been willing to pay to preserve this definition.

Newspaper

Pope repeats 'gay slur' in closed-door meeting, states homosexual men should not enter seminary


Comment: Well, this really did need to be said!


Pope Francis holds weekly audience at the Vatican, December 2, 2020.
© VATICAN MEDIA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERSFILE: Pope Francis holds weekly audience at the Vatican, December 2, 2020.
The pope has again used a highly disparaging word against gay people for which he had already apologised last month, ANSA news agency said on Tuesday.

Italian media had attributed to the pope the use of the word "frociaggine", a vulgar Italian term roughly translating as "faggotness", on May 20 during a closed-door meeting with Italian bishops.

According to ANSA, Francis repeated the term on Tuesday as he met Roman priests, saying "there is an air of faggotness in the Vatican," and it was better that young men with a homosexual tendency not be allowed to enter the seminary.


Comment: Based! This is an acknowledgement that is long overdue from the head of the Roman church. Francis is of course not 'bigoted', he means well for everyone, INCLUDING those who would fall victim to such "frociaggine"...

We're glad the pope has said the quiet part out loud, but this problem has long since become way too 'institutionalized' in the Church. On this issue, the protestants are right: celibacy is too high a bar for most men.


Asked about the latest report, the Vatican's press office made reference to a statement it had issued regarding Tuesday's meeting with the priests, in which the pope reiterated the need to welcome gay people into the Church and the need for caution regarding them becoming seminarians.

Comment: Well, he was informed a month ago it was considered a slur, but perhaps he just slipped. One would imagine he wasn't intending to insult all homosexuals, because he was apparently also talking about welcoming them into the church (as congregants).

That said, it may be that he had a certain kind of character in mind, because the Catholic church has been plagued by sex scandals in the recent decades:


Light Sabers

Russia halts dollar and euro trade on its biggest exchange 1 hour after US announces new sanctions

Maria Zakharova russia stock exchange
© AFP / YURI KADOBNOV; RIA / FileFILE: Exchange office in central Moscow, Russia. (inset) Maria Zakharova in Moscow, Russia.
New U.S. sanctions against Russia have forced an immediate suspension of trading in dollars and euros on its leading financial marketplace, the Moscow Exchange.

The exchange and the central bank rushed out statements on Wednesday - a public holiday in Russia - within an hour of Washington announcing a new round of sanctions aimed at cutting the flow of money and goods to sustain Russia's war in Ukraine.

"Due to the introduction of restrictive measures by the United States against the Moscow Exchange Group, exchange trading and settlements of deliverable instruments in U.S. dollars and euros are suspended," the central bank said.

Comment: It seems likely that, as with the other sanctions packages, this is also going to backfire. After all, in contrast to the recession hit West, Russia's economy is doing rather well:


Bizarro Earth

Our Apocalyptic "New Normal"

apocalyptic events
Our world is witnessing apocalyptic events so frequently that many of us are starting to become numb to it all. Major wars are raging all over the globe, children in Africa are literally dropping dead from starvation as hunger spreads like wildfire, and "billion dollar disasters" are hitting us more frequently than we have ever seen before. But as long as these tragedies are not affecting us directly, most people don't really care too much. As the level of worldwide suffering rises, it seems as though hearts are getting colder at the same time. The traumatic events of the past several years have left deep scars, and there are many that prefer to ignore the apocalyptic things that are happening in the world because it is just too much for them to handle emotionally.

Cell Phone

Tokyo to launch dating app

Tokyo, Japan
© Getty Images / Adam PrettyFILE PHOTO. Tokyo, Japan.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is preparing to launch its own dating app as part of a national effort to boost the country's dwindling birth rate, The Japan Times reported on Wednesday, citing a government official.

The app will be called 'Tokyo Futari Story', with 'futari' meaning two people, or a couple. Users of the app will be asked to provide documentation indicating that they are single, go through an interview to confirm their identity, and sign a paper stating that they are willing to get married.

A special website offering counsel and general information to those seeking a partner is already up, while the actual app remains in development. According to Tokyo authorities, the mobile and web version of the service are expected to be launched later this year.

"We learned that 70% of people who want to get married aren't actively joining events or apps to look for a partner," the Tokyo government official in charge of the new app was quoted as saying by The Japan Times. "We want to give them a gentle push to find one."

According to Japan's Health Ministry, in 2023, the country recorded only 799,728 births, compared to 1.58 million deaths.

Stock Down

Financially 'gasping for air': Nearly two-thirds of middle-class Americans say they are struggling

Dollar General
© Alamy
Americans are feeling pessimistic about their finances amid ongoing inflation

A majority of middle-class Americans are experiencing financial hardship that they expect will continue for the rest of their lives, according to a new poll.

Findings published by the National True Cost of Living Coalition show that 65% of Americans whose incomes are 200% above the national poverty line - which is about $62,300 for a family of four, often considered middle class - said they are struggling financially.

Respondents include those with high school diplomas and graduate degrees as well as blue- and white-collar workers who live in both rural and urban America.

While many of these people said they are able to afford the most basic expenses, they expressed concern about their inability to save for the future. Tellingly, about 40% of Americans said they are unable to plan beyond their next paycheck, while another 46% said they do not have $500 saved for emergencies.

Comment: Should Trump make it back into office, he will do his best to turn things around. But the Biden/Obama/Deep State are conducting a stealth scorched-earth policy with respect to the U.S. economy. By the time Trump takes office, the problems are likely to be intractable, with Trump holding the bag.


Roses

Gaza: 'I heard all of my friends' last breath' - Testimonies from the Nuseirat massacre

Palestinians gather in front of demolished buildings
© Omar Ashtawy / APA ImagesPalestinians gather in front of demolished buildings following the Israeli invasion of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, on June 8, 2024.
The Israeli massacre in Gaza's Nuseirat camp killed over 270 Palestinians and injured many more. Survivors say the horrors they witnessed will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

The Israeli massacre in the Nuseirat camp to liberate four Israeli prisoners held by resistance factions in the Gaza Strip started at 11:00 in the morning on June 8. Although the scenes of Palestinians running for safety may have seemed sadly familiar, this invasion was different from others that have been carried out across the Gaza Strip.

This time, the Israeli military wore civilian clothes, rode in Palestinian cars, and moved among the people in disguise. There were no warnings to evacuate, or orders from the army to move elsewhere, and people were surprised by the Israeli special forces and tanks. A large number of special forces hidden among the people only revealed themselves once the deadly operation began as other special forces stormed the area traveling in cars loaded with luggage, the same luggage that the displaced people carry with them, such as mattresses, pillows, blankets, and bags. When the Palestinians detected them, the soldiers quickly called for support, and helicopters, fighter planes, artillery, and tanks descended. Reconnaissance aircraft and foot solders then began committing massacres against the civilian population.

Magnify

Some US lawmakers call for more scrutiny of news app NewsBreak over Chinese origins

sign
© MISR
Three U.S. lawmakers have called for more scrutiny of NewsBreak, opens new tab, a popular news aggregation app in the United States, after Reuters reported it has Chinese origins and has used artificial intelligence tools to produce erroneous stories.

The Reuters story drew upon previously unreported court documents related to copyright infringement, cease-and-desist emails, and a 2022 company memo registering concerns about "AI-generated stories" to identify at least 40 instances in which NewsBreak's use of AI tools affected the communities it strives to serve.

Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat who chairs the Intelligence Committee, said:
"The only thing more terrifying than a company that deals in unchecked, artificially generated news, is one with deep ties to an adversarial foreign government. This is yet another example of the serious threat posed by technologies from countries of concern. It's also a stark reminder that we need a holistic approach to addressing this threat - we simply cannot win the game of whack-a-mole with individual companies."
The lawmakers expressed concerns about NewsBreak's current and historical links to Chinese investors, and the company's presence in China, where many of its engineers are based. In response to a request from Reuters for comment about the lawmakers' statements, NewsBreak said it was an American company:
"NewsBreak is a U.S. company and always has been. Any assertion to the contrary is not true."

Comment: These days, accusing without cause or proof is so...Washington.


Evil Rays

Four American teachers stabbed during trip to university in China

china
Four American college instructors from a small Iowa college were stabbed in broad daylight during a teaching trip to China, highlighting the increasing dangers abroad amid rising Sino-US tensions. Beijing says the incident was "isolated," and foreigners are safe there.

The four educators are from Cornell College, a private liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa. The school's president, Jonathan Brand, told CNN the educators were involved in a "serious incident" during a daytime visit to a public park.
"We have been in contact with all four instructors and are assisting them during this time," Brand said.

Comment: China-based commentators provide some more detail:
Local police in #Jilin have arrested a 55yo man who attacked four foreigners with a knife yesterday at a local park. They said the man bumped into one of the foreigners and then attacked them as well as their Chinese companion who tried to stop the man. From the statement, it sounds as though maybe there was an altercation after the attacker bumped into the group that might have escalated. I've been hearing some pretty hideous suggestions as per motive online so I'm glad it doesn't sound as though those are true.

As noted, attacks like this are relatively rare, particularly against tourists and foreigners, however there have been a number of seemingly random, violent, attacks in recent years in China, and in Japan: (May 2024) Man kills 2, injures 21, in hospital knife attack in China's Yunnan province

Meanwhile, over in the West, there appear to be more frequent, irregular spikes in similar kinds of attacks: