"Free people can say 'no'. Free people can refuse demands for their money, time, and children. Slaves cannot. There is no freedom without the freedom to say 'no'. If someone demands that you do something and you can say 'no' and refuse to do it, then you are a free human being. If you can be forced to do something or surrender something that you do not wish to, then you are a slave. No other test need be applied" -- Michael Rivero
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is calling on the military to assist the police with tackling the rise in gang-related violence in the country, as fatal shootings and bombings claimed the lives of 12 people last month.
As Statista's Anna Fleck reports, in the latest move, the Swedish government said on Friday that it would authorize future military assistance to the police, following a meeting between Krisstersson and the heads of both forces on how to reduce violence from organized criminal gangs. It is not yet clear exactly which duties the military will take on.
"The wave of violence is unprecedented in Sweden, but it is also unprecedented in Europe, no other country has a situation like the one we have," Kristersson commented in a televised speech.
"The police cannot do all the work themselves."
According to the Swedish Police Authority's annual reports, last year a total of 62 people were killed by gunfire, marking the deadliest year for shootings since the authorities started publishing data in late 2016.
President Joe Biden held a call with the leaders of several allied nations to stress that weapon shipments to Ukraine cannot end for any reason. Some members of NATO recently expressed an unwillingness or inability to provide further arms to Kiev.
National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby stated Biden spoke with the leaders of Canada, Italy, Japan, the UK, Poland, Romania, Germany, the European Commission, the European Council, and NATO on Tuesday. Kirby said the president expressed that “we cannot under any circumstances allow America’s support [for] Ukraine to be interrupted. Time is not our friend.”
Biden added that he was confident Congress would authorize an additional $24 billion in aid that the White House requested. While a majority of representatives in both houses continue to support aiding Ukraine, recent polling shows that 71% of Republicans, and 55% of Americans, do not want Congress to pass another multibillion-dollar bill to support Kiev.
A press release from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said London was committed to supporting Kiev. It stated that he “outlined the UK’s ongoing military, humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine and stressed that this support will continue for as long as it takes.”
The US will run out of money to pay for Ukrainian government salaries and services within the next month if Congress does not authorize more Ukraine aid, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed US and Ukrainian officials.
The US and Ukraine’s other Western backers have been paying the salaries of about 150,000 civil servants in Ukraine. This has been done through a form of US support known as direct budgetary aid that is provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank.
According to the Journal, the World Bank has sent $23.4 billion to Ukraine through the program, with $20.2 billion funded by the US and $2 billion from the UK. USAID is expected to provide another $1.15 billion this month, but future disbursements are unclear.
Little is known about the high school student Manar Al Gafiri, an 18-year-old who, according to the exiled Saudi human rights group ALQST, was sentenced in August to 18 years in prison by the Saudi Specialized Criminal Court, in charge of trying terrorism crimes. Al Gafiri was still underage when she was arrested for tweeting in support of political prisoners in Saudi prisons and “human rights defenders, especially women who demand equal rights,” Carlos de las Heras, a specialist on Saudi Arabia at Amnesty International, confirms by telephone. This and other cases, he says, illustrate “a worrying increase over the last year of repression against those who use the internet to express opposition.”
The case of the jailed teenager is not even the most serious sentence handed down in Saudi Arabia for expressing dissent on social media. Since 2017, shortly after the current de facto Saudi leader, Mohammed bin Salman, was named crown prince, these alleged crimes have been considered “cybercrimes” and are likened to acts of terrorism. The same court that sentenced Al Gafiri sentenced a retired professor, Muhammad al Ghamdi, 54, to death on July 10 for his activity on X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube. On his two accounts on X, Al Ghamdi had a total of 10 followers. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Prosecutor’s Office accused him of criticizing the royal family.
“At approximately 11:50 pm today, Monday 10/2/2023, the Israeli enemy carried out an air attack on some of our armed forces positions in the vicinity of the city of Deir Ezzor,” a military source told SANA news agency.
The source said on top of the two wounded soldiers, there was some material damage. No details were provided on what the Israeli strikes targeted. The strike marks at least the 25th time Israel bombed Syria this year.
The Deir Ezzor province is partially controlled by the Syrian government. To the east of the Euphrates River, the province is occupied by US forces and the US-backed Kurdish-led SDF. In recent weeks, the SDF has been fighting against Arab tribes who oppose Kurdish rule in the region.
Hsu made the comments on Monday at the annual US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference, a closed-door event being held in Williamsburg, Virginia, from Sunday to Tuesday. According to the US-Taiwan Business Council, this year’s meeting marks the 22nd conference of its kind hosted in the US.
Taiwanese officials and China hawks in the US have complained about how long it takes for weapons Taiwan has purchased from the US to be delivered. There is supposedly a $19 billion “backlog” in arms sales for Taiwan going back to 2019, although major weapons sales typically take years to fulfill.
At times, Ukraine has been unwilling to negotiate an end to the ongoing war with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has gone so far as to issue a decree banning negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
At other times, Russia has given up on negotiating. In a press conference at the United Nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lamented, if you insist “’on the battlefield’—well, let it be on the battlefield.”
And at times, Ukraine and Russia have been willing to negotiate with each other. The United States, though, has at no time been willing to negotiate. Instead, an administration that promised the world “a new era of relentless diplomacy” has delivered an unhappy pattern of obstructing negotiations.
As early as December 17, 2021, months before their invasion, Russia presented the United States with a proposal on mutual security guarantees that demanded NATO not expand into Ukraine. The proposal demanded that “The United States of America shall take measures to prevent further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and deny accession to the Alliance to the former USSR republics.” A month later, on January 26, the United States rejected Russia’s central demand and formally declined to negotiate, insisting instead on “the right of other states to choose or change security arrangements.”
The European Union is gearing up to open negotiations with Ukraine on its future accession to the bloc with a formal announcement expected as soon as December.
According to three diplomats with knowledge of the plans, leaders are preparing to give Kyiv the green light to begin formal talks on joining the 27-country bloc before the end of the year.
Ukraine is at the heart of a major new push to expand the EU to as many as 35 countries. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in her annual address to Parliament last month that Ukraine's future was "in the Union."
Webmaster addition: Trying to drag Ukraine away from Russia and into the EU is what started this whole mess in the first place!
Uh… gulp… you thought it was bad when that experienced pilot ejected from one of the Air Force’s hottest “new” planes, the F-35 combat fighter, near — no, not China or somewhere in the Middle East — but Charleston, South Carolina. The plane then flew on its own for another 60 miles before crashing into an empty field. And that was without an enemy in sight.
Perhaps we should just be happy that an F-35 ever even made it into the air, given its endless problems in these years. After all, as Dan Grazier of the Center for Defense Information wrote, it’s now “the largest and most expensive weapons program in history.” Yet when it comes to something as significant as “mission availability,” according to the Congressional Budget Office, only about 26% of all F-35s, each of which now costs an estimated $80 million to produce and $44,000 an hour to fly, are available at any moment. Not exactly thrilling, all in all.
Hungary's Viktor Orbán has long been an opponent of the mainstay of EU policy on Ukraine, having also persistently criticized Kiev for discrimination against Hungarian minorities, and demanding that a 2017 law restricting the use of minority languages be changed. He's also refused to ratify Sweden's entry into NATO.
Orbán has further throughout the conflict stood against policies which escalate against Moscow, and has constantly warned against stumbling into a WW3 scenario involving direct NATO-Russia clash. He told Tucker Carlson in a recent interview that "the Third World War сould be knocking on our door so we have to be very careful." With Budapest having been a consistent thorn in the side of the EU, Brussels now wants to pay the Hungarians off.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) was founded fifty years ago. It has gained more and more prominence over the decades and has become one of the leading platforms of futuristic thinking and planning. As a meeting place of the global elite, the WEF brings together the leaders in business and politics along with a few selected intellectuals. The main thrust of the forum is global control.
Free markets and individual choice do not stand as the top values, but state interventionism and collectivism. Individual liberty and private property are to disappear from this planet by 2030 according to the projections and scenarios coming from the World Economic Forum.
Individual liberty is at risk again. What may lie ahead was projected in November 2016 when the WEF published “8 Predictions for the World in 2030.” According to the WEF’s scenario, the world will become quite a different place from now because how people work and live will undergo a profound change. The scenario for the world in 2030 is more than just a forecast. It is a plan whose implementation has accelerated drastically since with the announcement of a pandemic and the consequent lockdowns.
According to the projections of the WEF’s “Global Future Councils,” private property and privacy will be abolished during the next decade. The coming expropriation would go further than even the communist demand to abolish the property of production goods but leave space for private possessions. The WEF projection says that consumer goods, too, would be no longer private property.
There's a new, maritime dimension to the scourge of rampant crime in northern California cities, as homeless creeps are now taking to the water and preying on houseboats and yachts docked on San Francisco Bay, reports Fox News.
"Multiple vessels have been stolen and ransacked. Victims have had to resort to personally confronting the criminals to recover their property without the benefit of police support," said former harbor master Brock de Lappe at a recent municipal meeting. "Is this appropriate activity for a 79-year-old senior?"
The 3,000-slip Oakland-Alameda Estuary has been particularly hard-hit, as thieves use small boats to burglarize or steal private boats on the waterway. The pirates use stolen boats or old, abandoned dinghies to carry out their raids.
After a long debate, the SAFER Banking Act is making its way out of committee and onto the floor of the Senate for a vote.
The Act would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses without penalty. It currently enjoys bipartisan support in the Senate, but there are some sinister consequences for firearms businesses due to loose language hidden in the text of the Act.
As currently written, the law does not sufficiently protect the firearms industry from the abuse of banks or regulators to harm firearms businesses in a manner similar to "Operation Chokepoint" of the Obama era.
The law states that Federal Banking regulators can recommend to financial service providers de-bank businesses that they suspect of breaking a rule or condition from a federal agency like ATF.
Consider that currently, the Biden administration has imposed a "Zero Tolerance Policy" on FFLs, which makes mundane and simple mistakes such as misspelling an abbreviation on a form into federal crimes for which a gun store could now be penalized.
ATF's published data concerning its compliance inspections in 2020 reflects that it conducted 5,823 inspections and found and reported errors in 43.7% of those inspections.
ATF's compliance inspections for 2022 increased over 2020 by 1,156 inspections to 6,979 inspections, and ATF's data reflects that it found and reported errors in 45.5% of the inspected FFLs. In summary, a failure to clarify whether the language in the law applies only to banking regulations could result in nearly half of all gun stores losing access to financial services!
This month, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will get a boost, but eligibility requirements have changed.
The new rules, which went into effect Oct. 1, stipulate that able-bodied adults without dependents between the ages of 52 and 54 will have to prove that they are actively working, training, or in school. Before, those between the ages of 18 and 52 had to prove they are working at least 80 hours per month, in school, or involved in a training program to get the SNAP benefits.
The age requirement was expanded as part of the debt ceiling deal that was passed in Congress and signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year. The age requirement will expand by another year in October 2024, while the new requirements will be in effect until Oct. 1, 2030.
With the recent changes, the left-wing Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warned that more than 750,000 "older adults" are at risk of losing SNAP benefits due to the "expansion of the existing, failed SNAP work-reporting requirement." The requirements initiated under the debt ceiling deal were the largest changes made to the SNAP, or food stamps, in decades.
"The expansion of this requirement would take food assistance away from large numbers of people, including many who have serious barriers to employment as well as others who are working or should be exempt but are caught up in red tape," it said.
Switzerland will ban the use of electric cars for 'non-essential' journeys if the country runs out of energy this winter, the government has announced.
Emergency plans drawn up in the event the Swiss are hit by blackouts also call for shop opening hours to be reduced by up to two hours per day, heating systems in nightclubs to be turned off, and other buildings to be heated to no more than 20C.
Crisis measures could see streaming services and games consoles banned, Christmas lights turned off, and all sports stadiums and leisure facilities closed.
“’You’ll own nothing and be happy’? David Webb has gone through the 50-year history of all the legal constructs that have been put in place to technically enable that to happen.” [Oct 2 interview titled “The Great Taking: Who Really Owns Your Assets?”]
The derivatives bubble has been estimated to exceed one quadrillion dollars (a quadrillion is 1,000 trillion). The entire GDP of the world is estimated at $105 trillion, or 10% of one quadrillion; and the collective wealth of the world is an estimated $360 trillion. Clearly, there is not enough collateral anywhere to satisfy all the derivative claims. The majority of derivatives now involve interest rate swaps, and interest rates have shot up. The bubble looks ready to pop.
Who were the intrepid counterparties signing up to take the other side of these risky derivative bets? Initially, it seems, they were banks –led by four mega-banks, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. But according to a 2023 book called The Great Taking by veteran hedge fund manager David Rogers Webb, counterparty risk on all of these bets is ultimately assumed by an entity called the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), through its nominee Cede & Co. (See also Greg Morse, “Who Owns America? Cede & DTCC,” and A. Freed, “Who Really Owns Your Money? Part I, The DTCC”). Cede & Co. is now the owner of record of all of our stocks, bonds, digitized securities, mortgages, and more; and it is seriously under-capitalized, holding capital of only $3.5 billion, clearly not enough to satisfy all the potential derivative claims. Webb thinks this is intentional.
Webmaster addition: Remember, the "money" is an imaginary construct!
The European Union is aligning with Ukraine in a discourse centered around navigating the realms of information, as articulated by Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
This conversation emerges in the expansive domain of the digital sphere, moving beyond the traditional frameworks of conflict. While information dynamics have always been a part of global interactions, the digital age introduces new facets to this domain.
During a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine-Ukrinform on Sunday, Borrell touched upon a reality: the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine also extend into the realm of information. Amid allegations of manipulative propaganda and disinformation campaigns, the essence of free dialogue finds itself ignored amidst a complex backdrop.
A technology officer from artificial intelligence company OpenAI warned that if AI is improperly programmed, the platforms could become far more addicting than modern social media and, in a sense, enslave humanity.
Female attendees at a major conference for women in technology were outraged after some males allegedly attended by identifying as non-binary in order to seek the high-paying jobs offered at the meeting.
Earlier this month, a school board in Pennsylvania voted against a policy requiring boys and girls to use bathrooms corresponding to their biological sex. The 5-4 vote was denounced by parents and students alike, and the students staged walkouts in protest.
Americans will soon be able to add shrimp to the list of high-risk meat products getting slipped into the increasingly toxic United States food supply, thanks to an Israeli company that just raised $8.25 million from a group of venture capitalists to start administering oral, RNA-based "vaccine" drugs to the marine life food chain.
On August 13, 2021, the second largest public school district in the United States -- the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) -- ordered all employees to be “fully vaccinated” against covid-19 by October 15, 2021. Employees who did not consent were considered a threat to public health and to the lives of children.
A surprising number of French people support the idea of placing a limit on the number of times people can fly in their lifetime in the name of saving the environment, with 41 percent of French citizens overall in favor of banning individuals from taking more than four flights – ever.