Thought for the day
"We do not at present educate people to think but, rather, to have opinions." -- Louis L'Amour
A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.
Thomas Reed, a former US Air Force secretary who was in Ronald Reagan's National Security Council, discloses what he called just one example of the CIA's "cold-eyed economic warfare" against Moscow in a memoir to be published next month.
Leaked extracts in yesterday's Washington Post describe how the operation caused "the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space" in the summer of 1982.
Mr Reed writes that the software "was programmed to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds".
Jewish American journalist Katie Halper has been fired by The Hill for calling Israel an “apartheid state”.
Known for her podcast, Rising, the 41-year-old had drafted a monologue in response to the recent attacks on Palestinian American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.
Halper was initially blocked from making the comments in support of the Democrat member of the US Congress but was later dismissed from her job.
China warned the United States it could face severe consequences—including the prospect of nuclear war—if it allows Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), drawing the 30-member alliance into the country's conflict with Russia.
In a Sunday editorial in the state-owned Global Times, Beijing warned that allowing the country into the alliance—as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has requested—would lead to an inevitable escalation in the conflict, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin's threats to use nuclear arms against the West.
While unlikely—U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan stated in a White House press briefing last week that NATO should delay talks on allowing the country into the alliance—the newspaper warned "all European countries will tremble under the shadow of a possible nuclear war" should it take place, and called for the Western alliance to withdraw from its longstanding involvement in Eastern Europe.
After the death of George Floyd, Democratic-run states demonized police officers.
Defunding the police movements makes it hard for officers on the force to take action. Instead, many spend their days miserable behind a desk. Police officers are instead opting for early retirement or finding a new job. One state welcomes those officers with open arms.
Western Journal states, “According to Breitbart, “New York City … saw over 1,000 more retirees in 2020 compared to 2019 — 2,600 compared to the previous 1,509. In many ways, Minneapolis was the civil unrest’s epicenter, dipping from 912 uniformed officers to 699.”
An award-winning New York University organic chemistry teacher was fired after 82 students signed a petition to get rid of him for making his course ‘too hard.’
Earlier today business magnate and investor Elon Musk posted a poll on his Twitter page about the end-game in the Russia-Ukrainian War.
On Sunday, a gang of females clad in head-tote neon-green leotards stormed a NYC subway and robbed several teenagers.
President Trump sued CNN on Monday for defamation. The Republican president seeks $475 million in damages.
Sunday night was one of the toughest endured by Yemenis for months, as they waited for the news that the truce between their country’s warring parties had been extended. They were left disappointed.
As the deadline passed, minds began to wander. Would the boom of relentless air strikes become commonplace again? Will the availability of fuel get even worse? What will happen to our sons on the frontlines?
They would soon hear that clashes and shelling resumed across the country, including Taiz, Marib and al-Dhale.
Yemen’s truce between the Houthi movement and forces loyal to the Yemeni government was brokered in April and immediately raised hope that a negotiated route out of the eight-year conflict could be found. Initially agreed for two months, the deal was renewed twice.
United States manufacturing activity grew at its slowest pace in nearly two and a half years in September as new orders contracted while interest rates were aggressively hiked to cool demand and tame inflation.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Monday that its manufacturing purchasing managers’ index or PMI dropped to 50.9 in September, the lowest reading since May 2020, from 52.8 in August.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for 11.9 percent of the US economy. Economists polled by Reuters news agency had forecast the index slipping to 52.3.
Some of the slowdown in manufacturing reflects the rotation of spending from goods to services. Government data last Friday showed spending on long-lasting manufactured goods barely rose in August, while outlays on services picked up.
In a ruling filed on Friday, Judge Timothy Kelly said Saad al-Jabri, who served as the kingdom’s spy chief until he fled in 2017, failed to prove that Kelly's Washington court had jurisdiction in the case, which was also brought against a dozen other Saudi Arabians and MiSK, the crown prince's foundation.
Last week’s suicide bombing at a Kabul education center killed as many as 52 people, more than twice the death toll acknowledged by Taliban officials, according to a tally compiled by The Associated Press on Monday.
Dozens more were wounded in Friday's blast, making it one of the bloodiest attacks since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan more than a year ago. There was no claim of responsibility, but Islamic State group extremists have carried out a series of attacks against Taliban targets and ethnic minorities.
The blast struck at a time when hundreds of teen-age students were taking practice exams at the Kaaj Higher Educational Center in the Afghan capital. The explosion blew the roof off the building.
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly lashed out at the US over its brokering of a deal between Israel and Lebanon to resolve a maritime dispute, claiming that the American involvement amounted to election interference, according to a Sunday television report.
The Kan public broadcaster reported that Netanyahu alleged in private talks that the Biden administration was attempting to interfere in the November 1 elections.
The report said Netanyahu protested both the US involvement in the negotiations between Israel and Lebanon, and a senior Democrat senator’s warning that the former premier’s inclusion of extreme-right lawmakers in a potential future government would harm US-Israel relations.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday wrapped up an official visit to Azerbaijan, where he met with the country’s President Ilham Aliyev and his Azeri counterpart, Zakir Hasanov.
Gantz’s visit focused on security and policy issues, with the aim of fostering defense cooperation between Jerusalem and Baku, according to his office.
During the visit, Gantz also met with the Chief of the State Border Service Colonel General Elchin Guliyev and visited a State Border Service headquarters.
In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline, according to a new memoir by a Reagan White House official.
Thomas C. Reed, a former Air Force secretary who was serving in the National Security Council at the time, describes the episode in "At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War," to be published next month by Ballantine Books. Reed writes that the pipeline explosion was just one example of "cold-eyed economic warfare" against the Soviet Union that the CIA carried out under Director William J. Casey during the final years of the Cold War.
At the time, the United States was attempting to block Western Europe from importing Soviet natural gas. There were also signs that the Soviets were trying to steal a wide variety of Western technology. Then, a KGB insider revealed the specific shopping list and the CIA slipped the flawed software to the Soviets in a way they would not detect it.
These are prestigious organizations for senior academics with impressive research track records of at least two decades in length.
Within the past two decades, however, that situation has changed, and in the last 3 years women made up about 40 percent of the new members in both academies. We build lists of active scholars from publications in the top journals in three fields – Psychology, Mathematics and Economics – and develop a series of models to compare changes in the probability of selection of women as members of the NAS and AAAS from the 1960s to today, controlling for publications and citations. In the early years of our sample, women were less likely to be selected as members than men with similar records. By the 1990s, the selection process at both academies was approximately gender-neutral, conditional on publications and citations. In the past 20 years, however, a positive preference for female members has emerged and strengthened in all three fields. Currently, women are 3-15 times more likely to be selected as members of the AAAS and NAS than men with similar publication and citation records. …
Another way to interpret the magnitudes for the most recent decade is to ask: if we were to inflate the numbers of publications and the numbers of citations of all female researchers by a certain percentage, how large would the boost have to be to fully eliminate the estimated female effect? In psychology the estimated boost to publications and citations for female researchers is 73 percent. In economics and mathematics the estimated boost is even larger, at 104 percent in economics and 245 percent in mathematics. One interpretation of this boost is that represents the adjustment needed to compensate for the additional difficulties that female candidates have had in publishing their work and getting cited, e.g., in psychology, a female scholar’s publications and citations are about 73 percent lower than would be expected for a male who has done similar work.
Earlier this year, military leaders announced they would be lowering their recruiting goal for the Army from 476,000 to about 466,000. Despite lowering this goal, the U.S Army is reporting it will miss recruiting goals for the year by 15,000 soldiers, or 25% of the goal.
This age is passing. Stories like this ensure it’s passing occurs far sooner than was ever expected, because the overt anti-whiteness wasn’t expected until another decade. [Kamala Harris Promises Equity in Hurricane Recovery Resources: ‘Not Everybody Starts Out at the Same Place’, Breitbart.com, September 30, 2022]:
Vice President Kamala Harris promised that she and President Joe Biden would focus on principles of equity and environmental justice as they worked to rebuild communities after recent hurricanes.
“It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues not of their own making,” she said.
On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people in Atlantic Canada were still without electricity, caused by Hurricane Fiona, which had destroyed homes and closed roads across the region.
A new Monmouth University poll shows Republicans in the driver’s seat with just over a month to go for the midterm elections. The poll shows a dramatic shift as Democrats lost their lead in the generic control of Congress question, plunging from 50 percent support in August to 44 percent in September while Republicans took the lead with 47 percent support up from 44 percent in August.
Within hours of the attack on the September attack on the Nordstream pipelines, a consensus emerged that the Americans did it, in spite of the fact that the mainstream media were united in blaming Russia. Only the Americans had the motive and the means. The evidence was circumstantial but irrefutable. Within hours of the attack on Nordstream, the video of President Biden’s February 2022 press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was making the rounds on the internet. In response to a question from a reporter in February, Biden said in no uncertain terms that if Russia invaded the Ukraine, America would take out the Nordstream pipelines. The video of Victoria Nuland saying the same thing also started circulating within hours of the attack.
Historically, the attack fit into the pattern of Anglo-American foreign policy like a hand in a glove. The Nordstream pipelines were a clear violation of the Mackinder thesis, which has been the hidden grammar of American foreign policy for over a century, a fact corroborated by both Donald Trump, who opposed Nordstream as president, and his opponent Ted Cruz, who said that there was bipartisan agreement on the threat which Nordstream posed to American interests.
Ever since Halford Mackinder wrote The Geographical Pivot of History at the beginning of the 20th century, the goal of Anglo-American foreign policy has been to thwart any unification of the Eurasian landmass because, according to Mackinder, the country which controls Eurasia controls the world. Any rapprochement between Russia and Germany posed an existential threat to Anglo-American hegemony. When the Kaiser and the Czar, cousins by blood, threatened to collaborate, Winston Churchill and Lord Grey lured both countries into a war which pitted them against each other, ensuring a favorable outcome for Oceania, the name George Orwell gave to the island nations which made up the Anglo-American Empire in his dystopian novel 1984.
The civil unrest in Iran in response to the recent death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was waiting at a Tehran police station, although rooted in legitimate grievances, also bears the hallmark of a western-sponsored covert war, covering multiple fronts.
Mere days after the protests erupted on 16 September, the Washington Post revealed that the Pentagon had initiated a wide-ranging audit of all its online psyops efforts, after a number of bot and troll accounts operated by its Central Command (CENTCOM) division – which covers all US military actions in West Asia, North Africa and South and Central Asia – were exposed, and subsequently banned by major social networks and online spaces.
The accounts were busted in a joint investigation carried out by social media research firm Graphika, and the Stanford Internet Observatory, which evaluated “five years of pro-Western covert influence operations.”
Published in late August, it attracted minimal English-language press coverage at the time, but evidently was noticed, raising concerns at the highest levels of the US government, prompting the audit.
The Ukrainian government is prepared to give the Joe Biden administration virtual control over its selection of Russian targets. Kiev made the proposal in a bid to receive longer-range weapons from the White House, according to multiple sources speaking with CNN.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will provide a full list of possible targets while allowing the White House to veto any of the potential sites. Kiev is hoping the increased transparency will pave the path to Biden authorizing more weapons transfers. Zelensky made the offer to Washington to alleviate concerns in the Biden administration that new weapons will be used to target Russian territory.
However, Kiev, Washington and Moscow currently have different views on what is Russian versus Ukrainian territory. After a 2014 coup in Ukraine that saw US-backed elements overthrow a democratically elected government, Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula. Last week, Moscow claimed four additional regions of Ukraine as its own.
Elina Asensio had a restraining order in place against her father when she met with a court-appointed psychologist assigned to determine whether he should be part of her life.
She expected Mark Kilmer, the Colorado “parental responsibility evaluator” appointed to her parents’ custody case, would want to hear about the incident that had led to her father being charged with felony child abuse and pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault. The 14-year-old was surprised, then, as she talked to Kilmer on the front porch of her mother’s suburban Denver home in October of 2020, that he didn’t seem interested in learning about it.
A year earlier, according to police reports, her father had grabbed Elina from behind by her lucky charm necklace and hoodie and dragged her up a flight of stairs. “Dad, I cannot breathe. … You’re hurting me, stop it,” Elina had screamed, according to the police report. She was left with burst blood vessels on her eyelids and a deep cut from ear to ear where the necklace had dug into her neck, according to the police report. A child welfare investigator described the resulting scar as a “ligature mark,” the imprint left after strangulation.
It was Elina who first brought up the incident, mentioning it after Kilmer asked why, “if you love your Dad,” she was not attending therapy with him, according to notes that accompanied Kilmer’s report to the court.
“I still feel my dad’s hands around my neck sometimes,” she recalled telling Kilmer, who is the brother of actor Val Kilmer.
He responded with a blank stare, she said.
A new type of online fraud emanating from scam sweatshops in Southeast Asia is facing its first major crackdown. Cambodian authorities have stepped up raids on compounds alleged to house workers engaging in online fraud, seizing computers, phones and electric shock batons and freeing thousands of involuntary workers. And Apple has removed from its app store two popular trading apps that cybercriminal groups in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar have used to defraud people.
The moves are likely to disrupt — perhaps only temporarily — the lucrative global scam known as “pig butchering.” Named for its analogy to a farmer fattening up a hog before slaughtering it, the fraud relies on convincing people to deposit more and more money into fake online platforms controlled by swindlers. Once the targets become unable or unwilling to deposit more funds, they’re informed that they’ve lost access to their cash and can retrieve it only by depositing more money or paying a hefty fee, a process that compounds their losses.
Public defender Merrill Nordstrom walked into a Mississippi federal courtroom in May 2021 ready to challenge the no-knock search warrant behind her client’s arrest.
It had happened two years earlier, after an informant bought less than a gram of marijuana from Antoine Bryant. Police broke open Bryant’s door with a battering ram, shattering the glass. Three children sleeping inside were startled awake.
Police found no cache of drugs, but they did find a pistol Bryant wasn’t supposed to have.
By the time Nordstrom asked a judge to toss out the evidence against Bryant, a year had passed since the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor during a no-knock raid in Louisville, Kentucky. Taylor’s death and the tactic that led to it had caused widespread outrage.
It was time, Nordstrom said, for similar scrutiny of how these warrants were used in Greenville, the Mississippi Delta’s largest city.
She had learned that most search warrants issued in Greenville were no-knock warrants, which allow law enforcement to barge into someone’s home unannounced. She suspected that many of those raids violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches.
The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s bid to stop a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems.
The father of a Marist College student was shot dead Sunday morning while in town for family weekend. Marist, located in Poughkeepsie, New York, is a private liberal arts college serving approximately 5,000 students. The shooting occurred at a Marriott hotel near the college.
The US Supreme Court on Monday turned away an appeal from Missouri and nine other states challenging Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.