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Hong Kong Protesters Object to Lack of Mob Attack Arrests 

Protesters face riot police inside the Yuen Long MTR station, the scene of an attack by suspected triad gang members a month ago, in Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong, China August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Reuters HONG KONG (Reuters) — Thousands of Hong Kong residents held a sometimes scrappy anti-government protest on Wednesday at a suburban subway station that was attacked by a mob last month, angry that nobody has yet been prosecuted for the violence.

Some masked protesters clashed with police, spraying fire extinguishers from the inside of Yuen Long station as others smeared the floor with cooking oil, beer and detergent to stop the police from advancing.

Some blocked station exits with bins, booths and other station furniture as others sealed roads outside the station, aiming green laser beams at the lines of shield-bearing officers. Others threw empty fire extinguishers at police lines.

Many inside the station sat quietly.

It was the latest in a series of demonstrations since June against a perceived erosion of freedoms in the former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

It also marked a return to aggression after a brief lull in tensions following a huge peaceful march on Sunday.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Japan believes North Korea Has Already Developed Nuclear Warheads 

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports: According to the original version of the Japanese government’s 2019 white paper on defense, North Korea is believed to have already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and the development of nuclear warheads, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

This is the first time such statements have been included in the report.

Regarding South Korea, which is intensifying its confrontation with Japan, the report lowered that nation’s ranking from the previous year among the countries and regions that are promoting security cooperation with Japan.

The Japanese government is making arrangements to approve the 2019 white paper at a Cabinet meeting in mid-September. On North Korea’s military moves, the paper again said they posed a “serious and imminent threat.” Read the rest of this entry »


China’s Great Firewall No Barrier to Ugly Online Battles Over Hong Kong Protests

Sarah Zheng  reports: Hong Kong’s summer of protests looks very different from inside and outside the Great Firewall that encircles the internet in mainland China.

On Monday morning, the top trending topic on Weibo, China’s highly regulated version of Twitter, featured a Shanghai tourist who was “harassed and beaten” during a massive pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong on Sunday evening. It racked up 520 million views. A prominent video on the topic from Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily showed the man, surnamed Ma, telling reporters about protesters accosting and accusing him of photographing their faces, under the tagline: “Is this the ‘safety’ that rioters are talking about?”

But in Hong Kong, where there is unfettered access to the internet, the focus was on the peaceful Sunday demonstrations, which organisers said drew 1.7 million people despite heavy rain. On LIHKG, the online forum where Hong Kong protesters discuss and organise their action, one hot topic celebrated Weibo posts on Ma that mentioned a taboo – Beijing’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. The topic cheered the “first time China’s Weibo allowed public discussion of June 4th”, referencing posts about Photoshopped images of Ma in a shirt calling for justice over the crackdown.

An estimated 1.7 million people took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo: Robert Ng
An estimated 1.7 million people took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo: Robert Ng

Since the protests began in Hong Kong in early June, triggered by a now-shelved extradition bill, there has been a clear dichotomy between how the movement has been portrayed online, inside and outside China. Read the rest of this entry »


Chinese State-Sponsored Rap Threatens Army Can ‘Wipe Out’ Hong Kong Protesters 

 Kyle Hooten reports: Chinese state media is using rap music to rally public support in opposition of Hong Kong protesters, even threatening that the Chinese military can “wipe out” the protesters.

Last week, a state-supported Chinese hip-hop group known as Tianfu Shibia or CD Rev, released a rap video titled “Hong Kong’s Fall.” The song accuses America of supporting the massive protests in Hong Kong, which are aimed at preserving some of the region’s sovereignty from China, and threatens the death of the protesters. The group is supported by the unilateral Communist Party of China, according to the Guardian.

“There are 1.4 billion Chinese standing firmly behind Hong Kong police,” the lyrics state. “They will always protect Hong Kong without any hesitation. Airplanes, tanks and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army all gathering in Shenzhen waiting for command to wipe out terrorists [protesters] if needed.” Read the rest of this entry »


Marines Use Armored Vehicle to Defend Navy Ship from Small Boats off Iranian Coast

An AH-1Z Viper attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 163 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) takes off during a strait transit aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)

An AH-1Z Viper attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 163 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) takes off during a strait transit aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)

 reports: As sailors and Marines are sailing in more contested waters, the blue-green team is getting creative about how to defend amphibious assault ships from enemy small boats and drones.

Members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit were photographed sailing through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf this week with a Light Armored Vehicle on the flight deck.

The armored vehicle can be seen in the background of photos released by the Marine Corps on Wednesday, showing AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters flying off the amphibious assault ship Boxer. The LAV was first spotted by Phil Ewing, national security editor at NPR.

Sailing through or near the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway that runs between the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, has been contentious in recent months.

In July, the 11th MEU jammed one Iranian drone — and possibly two — that flew within 1,000 yards of the Boxer. Iranians also seized a British tanker in the strait last month. And in June, two oil tankers were attacked in the nearby Gulf of Oman. Read the rest of this entry »


We’re in a new Cold War. Hong Kong, like Berlin before it, is the first battle

Continued American silence will convince China that it can advance on other fronts. We must show Beijing that Hong Kong’s freedom isn’t up for grabs.

Marion Smith writes: Would the United States have let the Soviet Union invade West Berlin? Never. Yet America is on the verge of allowing Communist China to enslave the free city of Hong Kong. If this happens, it will be one of the greatest abdications of U.S. moral leadership in history.

Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects Chinese troops of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison at the Shek Kong Barracks in Hong Kong, Friday, June 30, 2017. Xi landed in Hong Kong Thursday to mark the 20th anniversary of Beijing taking control of the former British colony, accompanied by a formidable layer of security as authorities showed little patience for pro-democracy protests. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Right now, Communist China is massing paramilitary forces on its border with Hong Kong. The purpose appears obvious: Intimidate the pro-freedom movement that has brought parts of the city to a standstill in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Beijing’s rulers have labeled Hong Kong’s protesters “terrorists,” while stating that “those who play with fire will perish by it.” The echoes of the Tiananmen Square massacre 30 years ago are unmistakable.

[Read the full story here, at USAToday]

These developments are eerily familiar to the Soviet Union’s attempts to dominate West Berlin. Yet the United States always made it clear that we would defend the city. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan even traveled there personally, proving by their presence that America stood with its residents.

Compare that with today. The best President Donald Trump can muster is a tweet: “Everyone should be calm and safe!”

A new Cold War

It’s time to admit that we’re in a new Cold War. The blockade of Berlin in 1948 was widely seen as the opening salvo of the decades-long struggle between freedom and communism. With Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong already well underway, maybe now we’ll admit that another struggle has arrived. The Soviet Union is gone, and America’s new adversary is the Chinese Communist Party.

Yet unlike the first Cold War, this time it’s unclear whether America has the will to win. Read the rest of this entry »


America’s Apathy Toward Hong Kong Is A Crisis Of Confidence

America’s relative silence over the Hong Kong protests and the impending Chinese crackdown is deafening, and telling. It’s also dangerous.

writes: The protests in Hong Kong that began two months ago have now shut down the city’s airport—one of the busiest in the world—amid violent clashes with riot police in recent days. Chinese troops, we’re told, are amassing along the border even as Chinese propaganda outlets warned Tuesday that protesters were “asking for self-destruction” and Chinese officials decried the demonstrations as “deranged acts” that marked “the first signs of terrorism.”

In other words, it appears the situation is about to get much worse. Why has the American response to all this been so muted? Hong Kong is the most important city in the world right now, and the cause of the pro-democracy protesters is one that all Americans should rally behind.

Yet, rhetorically, it’s not even clear what side the United States is on. President Trump has been content to offer platitudes and unhelpful observations like, “We’ll see what happens. But I’m sure it’ll work out. I hope it works out for everybody, including China, by the way.” On Tuesday, he tweeted, “Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!”

Okay, thanks for that, president of United States and leader of the free world.

News and social media have largely focused on other stories, like Chris Cuomo flying off the handle at some random guy in New York calling him “Fredo,” or whether the Clintons had Jeffrey Epstein assassinated, or how stupid the 2020 Democratic candidates look eating corn dogs and pandering at the Iowa Sate Fair.

[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, protesters are waving the American flag and singing the “Star-Spangled Banner.” They do this because they know that America is an idea and that the principles of our Founding are universal. Read the rest of this entry »


Hong Kong for International Business: It’s Over

Kaput. Fini. Terminado. 完. законченный. Done. Over. No more.

Dan Harris writes: Not sure why nobody has just come out and said this yet, but Hong Kong as an international business and financial center is no more. I take no comfort in saying this because I have many friends in Hong Kong and I’ve always loved going there, but Hong Kong’s special position is over. Kaput. Fini. Terminado. 完. законченный. Done. Over. No more.

I challenge you to say “one country two systems” with a straight face.  

For the last few months I have been relentlessly asking everyone I know in Hong Kong or who used to be in Hong Kong or who at one time contemplated setting up a business in Hong Kong how what has been happening in Hong Kong has and will or would impact their doing business in Hong Kong. Based on those responses and on my own experience with how international companies operate, I foresee the following:

  1. Companies that were deciding between Hong Kong or Singapore for their Asian headquarters will choose somewhere other than Hong Kong.
  2. Growing companies with offices in Hong Kong and with offices somewhere else in Asia will increase their hiring outside Hong Kong and decrease or eliminate their hiring in Hong Kong.
  3. Companies with offices in Hong Kong and with offices somewhere else in Asia will be move personnel from their Hong Kong office to their other offices.
  4. Fewer contracts will be drafted with Hong Kong as the venue for arbitration.
  5. Companies will move their Hong Kong bank accounts elsewhere. It is no coincidence HSBC stock hit its 52 week low today.
  6. Travelers will choose somewhere other than Hong Kong as their Asia stopover. It is no coincidence Cathay Pacific stock hit its 52 week low today.
  7. Many Hong Kongers will eventually go elsewhere.

Read the rest of this entry »


Riot Police Storm Hong Kong Airport as Protesters Force Second Day of Flight Cancellations 

Hong Kong International Airport has canceled all remaining flight departures for the second straight day due to protests.

Riot police stormed the Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday as protests by thousands of anti-government demonstrators forced flights to be canceled for the second straight day.

Travelers at one of the world’s busiest airports were advised that check-in had been suspended and hundreds flights were cancelled, and that they should leave the terminals as quickly as possible and contact airlines for more information.

The clashes appeared to represent an escalation 10 weeks after the protest’s massive, peaceful beginnings in early June, when hundreds of thousands marched in the semi-autonomous city against a now-suspended extradition bill. A Chinese official said Tuesday that protesters “have begun to show signs of terrorism,” and China appeared to be weighing a crackdown on the democratic movement.

Bolstered by anger over the crackdown by Hong Kong police, the protests has grown more confrontational in recent weeks and reached new levels last Monday with a city-wide strike that disrupting traffic and hundreds of flights.

PHOTO: A tourist gives her luggage to security guards as she tries to enter the departures gate during another demonstration by protesters at Hong Kongs International Airport on Aug. 13, 2019.
A tourist gives her luggage to security guards as she tries to enter the departures gate during another demonstration by protesters at Hong Kong’s International Airport on Aug. 13, 2019.

After weeks of issuing warnings, but deferring to Hong Kong authorities to quell protests, Beijing has hinted at a more assertive posture. Chinese paramilitary police were seen in video released by the state holding exercises in Shenzhen, China, which sits across the border from Hong Kong. Images circulated online showing a convoy of armored personnel carriers from the People’s Armed Police traveling to the site. Read the rest of this entry »


China Says Hong Kong Protests Show ‘First Signs of Terrorism’

Police firing teargas inside a train station. One young man got hit badly in the face and sustained serious trauma near his eye. via Joshua Wong, Twitter

BEIJING— Chun Han Wong reports: Chinese authorities condemned violent weekend demonstrations in Hong Kong as “deranged” acts that marked the emergence of “the first signs of terrorism” in the semiautonomous city, vowing a merciless crackdown on the perpetrators.

The escalating rhetoric from Beijing followed a day of heated protests in Hong Kong, including the hurling of petrol bombs, and came as thousands of protesters gathered at Hong Kong’s international airport on Monday, prompting officials to cancel all flights for the rest of the day apart from those already en route to the air-travel hub.

“Radical Hong Kong protesters have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers,” a spokesman for the Chinese government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office told a news briefing on Monday, according to Chinese state media. “The first signs of terrorism are starting to appear.”

On Sunday, police in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds of protesters across Hong Kong, some of whom threw bricks and what police identified as Molotov cocktails and smoke bombs. Police said an officer was hospitalized with burns to his legs after being hit by a Molotov cocktail hurled by a protester.

Clashes between protesters and police have entered a more violent phase, as Beijing has signaled its growing intolerance for dissent. Meanwhile, public discontent is mounting over the police’s handling of the unrest. Photo: Jeff Cheng/Associated Press
Read the rest of this entry »

A Letter To Our Subscribers, From The New York Times 

Dear Valued Subscriber,

For a mere $39.99 a month, about what you pay your Guatemalan nanny, you depend on us for thought-provoking personal reassurance, award-winning arrogance, hard-hitting sycophancy, and up-to-the-minute coverage of Orange Man – who is very, very bad.

The New York Times remains the world’s most prestigious Viewpoint Validation Service because we understand the crippling emptiness permeating the wealthy liberal soul – we are that emptiness – and you entrust us to make you feel good, smart and worthy every day.

While News and Opinion whisper watered-down postgrad nothings in your ear, Style and Dining guarantee you’ll be validated on the outside, as well as inside. Style and Dining remain committed to informing you on exactly what Brooklyn thought was cool three years ago. While the city that is our namesake – and the place you’ve built your entire identity around – might be a dead, stale cultural wasteland that no one cares about anymore, our Travel section reminds you that you’re a global citizen. Times subscribers don’t have homes, they have bases.

  [Read the full letter here, at Spectator USA]

But even the pre-eminent VVS is vulnerable to mistakes.

As some of you are aware, we failed in our commitment to ferociously guard the sanctity of your echo chamber this week. A headline appeared on our front page suggesting Orange Man spoke against racism. While the headline was factual, it was a flagrant betrayal of the service you expect us to provide and we literally stopped the presses to fix it.

We listened to our readers on how to proceed from there. The headline writer was an elderly holdover from the days when we were a newspaper. But today’s lovepaper business is different. Inspired by the Texas revolutionary Joaquin Castro, our editorial board decided to take out a full page ad in our own paper to publish his home address and pictures of his family. Then we mobilized our 52,247 interns to brigade his employer, us, with phone calls to report that we have a racist in our ranks. The writer was immediately fired. Our interns, known as …. (read more)

Source: Spectator USA,  as told to


The New York Times Company Tanks 20% After Saying Ad Revenue Will Decline Next Quarter 

The New York Times' editorial page is not exactly beloved by staffers, according to a New York Observer report. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

  • Shares of The New York Times Company plunged as much as 20% on Wednesday after the publisher said it expects total advertising revenue to fall next quarter. 
  • The newspaper publisher reported second quarter results on Wednesday that beat expectations for earnings per share but fell short of revenue estimates. 
  • The New York Times also said it added 197,000 new digital-only subscribers during the period, bringing the publication’s total subscriber base to 4.7 million. 
  • Watch The New York Times Company trade live.

The New York Time Company saw its stock tumble as much as 20% on Wednesday after the newspaper publisher said it expects advertising revenue to shrink by high-single digits in the third quarter.

      [Read the full story here, at Markets Insider]

The publisher reported second quarter financial results on Wednesday. Here are the key numbers:

  • Revenue: $436.25 million, compared to $439.25 million estimated by analysts
  • Earnings per share: $0.17, compared to $0.15 estimated by analysts
  • Operating profit: $37.9 million, down from $40 million last year

The company said it expects total ad revenue to decline in the high-single digits Read the rest of this entry »


Hong Kong Protests Disrupt Flights and Subways as a Strike is Called 

At least 100 flights were canceled and subway service widely disrupted in Hong Kong on Monday as a pro-democracy movement called for a general strike.

Cathay Pacific and other domestic carriers such as Hong Kong Airlines were the most affected by the flight cancellations, public broadcaster RTHK said. Airport express train service was also suspended.

A citywide strike and demonstrations in seven districts in Hong Kong have been called for Monday afternoon. They follow a weekend of clashes with police on the streets. Read the rest of this entry »


Hong Kong Bankers Join Call for Citywide Strike over Handling of Outcry over Extradition Bill 

Alvin Lum  reports: Hundreds of workers at 34 banks joined calls for a citywide strike next week against the government’s handling of recent unrest which has rocked Hong Kong.

The finance staff added their voices to an umbrella group of 95 unions from the public and private sectors behind the action planned for Monday.

The appeal from the pro-democracy Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU) and staff from local banks, including international investment banks and Chinese state-owned banks, was also echoed by teachers and art groups.

Civil servants, meanwhile, got the go-ahead from police to host an unprecedented rally on Friday evening in Chater Garden to urge the government to respond to the demands of protesters against the now-abandoned extradition bill.

The idea of a strike was first floated weeks ago on an online forum, and has gained momentum after two protests that descended into clashes over which 44 people have been charged with rioting. Read the rest of this entry »


Beijing Strikes Ominous Tone, Saying Military Could Intervene in Hong Kong 

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Alice Su reports: The latest protests in Hong Kong appear to have touched a nerve in Beijing, where officials and state media have escalated rhetoric against the pro-democracy movement, accusing the United States of interference and ominously affirming the People’s Liberation Army’s ability to intervene at the Hong Kong government’s request.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said at a news conference Wednesday morning that the protests on Sunday were “intolerable.”

“Some radical protesters’ actions challenge the authority of the central government and the bottom line of ‘One Country, Two Systems,’” Wu said, adding that the ministry would follow Article 14 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law.

“One Country, Two Systems” is China’s way of referring to its administration of Hong Kong, under which it is part of China but allowed to maintain some degree of autonomy. Article 14 states that the Chinese government’s military forces stationed in Hong Kong will not interfere in local affairs unless the Hong Kong government requests assistance “in the maintenance of public order” or for disaster relief.

As mass protests against a proposed extradition bill morphed into a desperate pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong over the last two months, the local government has denied rumors that the Chinese military might intervene. Some analysts who study Hong Kong expressed skepticism that Beijing would send its military, which could have devastating consequences.

But Chinese officials and media are now stoking nationalist anger with rhetoric that’s been used to pave the way for crackdowns in the past, specifically with accusations of foreign intervention and condemnations of “chaos” and “disorder.”

Sunday’s protests broadened the scope of conflict as protesters shifted from targeting the Hong Kong territorial government and police to directly challenging the Chinese government.

Thousands marched to Beijing’s representative office in Hong Kong, chanting a pro-independence slogan. They splattered the Chinese government emblem with eggs and black ink and spray-painted the walls with derogatory terms for China. Read the rest of this entry »


Reader Comments: Bailey Franklin Has Grievances That Deserve To Be Heard

BaileysComplaint

Editor’s Note: We understand Bailey Franklin has some trouble reading and responding to articles in news sites. Lets’s help Bailey. 

Bailey, thanks for your comment. First, “tin foil hatted enterprise” should be spelled “tin foil-hatted enterprise”.

Second, your comment — though misdirected — hasn’t been deleted! We’re happy to share your comment.

Finally, Bailey, your grievance isn’t with us, it’s with the article’s author, Andrew C. McCarthy, and the article’s original source, the New York Post.

Here’s our repost, linking to Mr. McCarthy’s article: Read the rest of this entry »


Proving Hitchcock Right, Bird Attacks Are Turning Violent This Summer

Red-winged blackbirds and other species are stepping up divebombing attacks on humans.

Fleming Smith reports: Stephen Vedder used to enjoy peaceful lakeside runs near his Marlborough, Mass., home. This spring, after years of coexisting with an ornery neighbor, those tranquil outings came to an end.

The culprit was a red-winged blackbird.

More than 250 million of the birds live across North and Central America, and this summer some are feeling extra aggressive toward human neighbors—driving them to change walking routes, wear protective headgear or furiously wave arms above their heads as they jog.

“You talk to people about being attacked by birds, and they look at you like you’re crazy,” says Mr. Vedder, a 60-year-old programmer. “This is ‘The Birds’ all over again, but it’s real!”

Many people who have long lived in harmony with the birds have noticed an uptick in their aerial assaults this season. Bird-on-human attacks are growing more common as people encroach on their habitats, says Lori Naumann, information officer at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Read the rest of this entry »


Yellow Vest Anger Burns in France, Fueled by Notre Dame Fire

AP photo/Francisco Seco

PARIS  — French yellow vest protesters set fires Saturday along a march through Paris to drive home their message to a government they believe is ignoring the poor: that rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral isn’t the only problem France needs to solve.

Like the high-visibility vests the protesters wear, the scattered small fires in Paris appeared to be a collective plea to French President Emmanuel Macron’s government to “look at me — I need help too!”

Police fired water cannon and sprayed tear gas to try to control radical elements rampaging on the margins of the largely peaceful march, one of several actions around Paris and other French cities.

The protests marked the 23rd straight weekend of yellow vest actions against Macron’s centrist government, which they see as favoring the wealthy and big business. Protesters view themselves as standing up for beleaguered French workers , students and retirees who have been battered by high unemployment, high taxes and shrinking purchasing power.

But violence and divisions have marred the movement.

Associated Press reporters saw a car, motorbikes and barricades set ablaze around the Place de la Republique plaza in eastern Paris. The smell of tear gas mixed with the smoke, choking the air.

Paris firefighters — who struggled earlier this week to prevent the 12th-century Notre Dame from collapsing — quickly responded to extinguish the flames at Saturday’s protest. Read the rest of this entry »


Behind the Obama Administration’s Shady Plan to Spy on the Trump Campaign

There is no doubt that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. As Barr made clear, the real question is: What predicated the spying? Was there a valid reason for it, strong enough to overcome our norm against political spying? Or was it done rashly? Was a politically motivated decision made to use highly intrusive investigative tactics when a more measured response would have sufficed, such as a “defensive briefing” that would have warned the Trump campaign of possible Russian infiltration?

Last year, when the “spy” games got underway, James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, conceded that, yes, the FBI did run an informant — “spy” is such an icky word — at Trump campaign officials; but, we were told, this was merely to investigate Russia. Cross Clapper’s heart, it had nothing to do with the Trump campaign. No, no, no. Indeed, the Obama administration only used an informant because — bet you didn’t know this — doing so is the most benign, least intrusive mode of conducting an investigation.

Me? I’m thinking the tens of thousands of convicts serving lengthy sentences due to the penetration of their schemes by informants would beg to differ. (Gee, Mr. Gambino, I assure you, this was just for you own good . . .) And imagine the Democrats’ response if, say, the Bush administration had run a covert intelligence operative against Obama 2008 campaign officials, including the campaign’s co-chairman. Surely David Axelrod, Chuck Schumer, The New York Times and Rachel Maddow would chirp that “all is forgiven” once they heard Republicans punctiliously parse the nuances between “spying” and “surveillance”; between “spies” and “informants”; and between investigating campaign officials versus investigating the campaign proper — and the candidate. Read the rest of this entry »


Mueller Exposes Spy Chiefs 

 reports: The one we need is for all the intelligence officials—including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Central Intelligence Agency chief John Brennan, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s former Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe—who pushed the Russia conspiracy theory. The special counsel has just made clear they did so with no real evidence.

Mr. Mueller could have said he didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute. Instead he was categorical: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

This wasn’t for lack of trying on Moscow’s part. “Despite multiple offers” from Russia-affiliated individuals to help their campaign, Mr. Mueller reports, the Trump people didn’t take them up on it.

So why do 44% of Americans—according to a Fox News poll released Sunday—believe otherwise? Part of the answer has to be that the collusion tale was egged on by leading members and former members of the American intelligence community.

Intelligence professionals are trained to sift through the noise and distractions in pursuit of the truth. In this case, however, they went all in for a tale that the Russian government had somehow compromised Mr. Trump or his close associates. In peddling this line, their authority rested on the idea they had access to alarming and conclusive evidence the rest of America couldn’t see. Now it appears they never had much more than an unverified opposition-research dossier commissioned by Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

Nevertheless, they persisted. Start with the FBI’s Mr. McCabe, who boasts that he is the man who opened the counterintelligence probe into Russia and President Trump. Today the question has to be: On what evidence was this extraordinary step predicated, apart from Mr. Trump’s saying things the G-man didn’t like? Read the rest of this entry »


Disgraced US Air Force Officers Were Set Up, Stasi Documents Show Decades Later

For nearly 40 years, Bill Burhans has steadfastly maintained he wasn’t drunk when, as an Air Force lieutenant colonel driving fellow U.S. military liaisons home from a holiday party with their Soviet counterparts in East Germany, he lost control of the car, careened up an embankment and slammed into a bus.

Matthew M. Burke and Marcus Kloeckner report: When the car came to a stop on Dec. 29, 1979, Air Force Lt. Col. James Tonge, his passenger, called to him to move the car to the shoulder. But Burhans sat frozen, except for his trembling hands.

It was as if he’d been “hit in the head with an ax at the slaughterhouse,” Tonge would later tell U.S. investigators in a sworn statement.

A copy of retired U.S. Air Force Col. James Tonge’s USMLM credentials. Never-before-seen Stasi documents indicate that Tonge, then a lieutenant colonel, and another U.S. Air Force officer, Lt. Col. Bill Burhans, were subject to a “targeted measure to discredit” them in Germany on Dec. 29, 1979 by the Soviets. Photo Courtesy of James Tonge

“He didn’t respond at all,” Tonge said of Burhans, who at the time was set to replace him as deputy of the U.S. Military Liaison Mission.

Based in Potsdam, near Berlin, the USMLM’s official mission was to serve as a liaison between the U.S. military command and its Soviet counterpart in post-war Germany, but its personnel also gathered intelligence, monitored Soviet forces and reported on readiness throughout the Cold War era. French, British and Soviet liaison missions did similar work.

After helping Burhans into the back seat, Tonge moved the car himself.

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. James Tonge, then a lieutenant colonel, far left, is seen here talking to his Soviet counterparts during a USMLM reception. Photo Courtesy of James Tonge

Police arrived in minutes. Read the rest of this entry »


This Cuban Cartoonist Drew the Cold War for MAD Magazine

The Black Spy and the White Spy have been chasing each other around in MAD Magazine for 56 years

After penning one too many cartoons that were critical of Fidel Castro, Prohías — who was a prominent cartoonist and illustrator in his home country — headed for New York, writes Eric Grundhauser for Atlas Obscura. At the time, he didn’t speak a word of English.

“In New York, Prohías took work in a factory during the day, while working up his illustration portfolio at night,” Grundhauser writes. He changed the appearance of one of his characters from the strip he published in Cuba, El Hombre Siniestro, and gave him a counterpart: Spy vs. Spy was born.

“In 1960, just months after moving to the city, Prohías, along with his daughter Marta who acted as an intepreter, walked unannounced into the offices of MAD Magazine,” Grundhauser writes. “The editors were skeptical of the artist, but his silly spy gags won them over, and he had sold three of the strips to the magazine before leaving that day.”

His reason for going to MAD with his idea, writes scholar Teodora Carabas: he liked the magazine’s name.  The Black Spy and White Spy have been a fixture in MAD ever since, appearing in the magazine’s Joke and Dagger Department. The strip’s appeal, which was one of the artist’s signature strengths, was partly its silence, writes Grundhausen. Like El Hombre Siniestro (“The Sinister Man”), the spies’ adventures were wordless, violent and hilarious, drawn in a dramatic style. Many of the jokes aren’t outwardly political, he writes, but  Prohías said El Hombre was inspired by “the national psychosis of the Cuban people.” Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Ronald Reagan LSD Probe Bigger Than You Think, 14 Nuke Sailors Busted

reports: Fourteen sailors from the nuclear reactor department of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan face disciplinary action in connection to LSD abuse, Navy officials confirmed this week.

Two sailors are already heading to court-martial for using, possessing and distributing the hallucinogenic drug, while three are waiting to see whether they will be charged as well, according to 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. Joe Keiley.

Another 10 sailors with the Japan-based ship were administratively disciplined on LSD-related charges, Keiley said.

A 15th sailor was also disciplined, but that person was not assigned to the carrier’s reactor department.

Keiley said the 14 reactor sailors charged or facing potential charges came from a department with more than 400 personnel.

Accused sailors were removed from all duties pending the findings of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe, he said in an email. Read the rest of this entry »


‘A Saudi Excuse for Murder’: New York Post Cover for October 16th, 2018

Source: New York Post


Report: John Kelly Scuffled with China Official Over Nuclear Football

  • John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, “got into a physical altercation” with a Chinese official during President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing last year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Kelly reportedly told colleagues he would not accept an apology from the official unless it occurred under a US flag in Washington, DC.
  • Relations between Washington and Beijing are tense as Trump spars with the Chinese government over trade and other issues.

 reports: John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, “got into a physical altercation” with a Chinese official during President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing last year and refused to accept an apology, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The official was reportedly attempting to access the nuclear football, a 45-pound aluminum briefcase that’s always by the president’s side, carried by a military aide. It contains information and instructions for the president on how to conduct a nuclear strike.

Kelly told colleagues he would not accept an apology from the official unless it occurred under a US flag in Washington, DC, according to the report.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. Read the rest of this entry »


The Many Delusions of Socialism Revisited

Jeffrey A. Tucker writes: There is vast intellectual work to do to come to terms with the great delusion of the 20th century, namely that there would be a workers’ revolution against private ownership of capital that would end in something called socialism, whether of the right or left variety. Or perhaps what is needed is psychological work.

To believe in socialism, I’m convinced, requires a dogmatic theory of the direction of history. In this case, history means more than just stuff that happens. It postulates history as an actor independent of human choice, some kind of irresistible wind that buffets humanity from stage to stage.

This mental template is remarkably impervious to processing contrary information. Socialism is a case study in the capacity of the human mind to allow ideology to get in the way of good sense, to the point that nothing is what it appears to be.

socialism-taboo-nyt

It’s a common feature of all socialist ideology that it is dismissive of individual choice and replaces it with some form of Hegelian theorizing about what must be. It presumes that one’s own intelligence is capable of discerning directions of change that rise above normal human aspirations.

We like to think that this way of thinking is gone but this is doubtful. Socialist thought is the delusion that never quite fully goes away. It represents the fulfillment of a fundamental mistake, the belief that intellectuals can outsmart people’s choices in the course of their normal lives.

Gumballs on the Subway

What comes to mind for me is an amazing scene from 1917 New York. Leon Trotsky (1879–1940) was visiting the U.S. to cheer up the growing communist movement in the United States. He briefly hung out on the subway platform. He saw workers buying gumballs from machines and chewing madly as they rode. Trotsky might have been delighted that capitalism was providing such joy to regular people, but no: for him, the gum itself was evidence of exploitation and the inevitability of socialism.

socialism-minimum-wage1

“The car of the subway is jammed,” he wrote in a letter to friends. “In the subway are those who have become weaker. The color of their faces is greyish, their hands are hanging down weakly, their eyes are dim. . . . Only their jaws are moving, submissively, evenly, without joy or animation. . . . What are they trying to find in this miserable, degrading chewing? Capital does not like the working man to think and is afraid. … It has therefore adopted measures. … It has put up automats in each station and has filled them with disgusting candied gum. With an automatic movement of the hand the people extract from these automats pieces of sweetish gum, and they grind it with the automatic chewing of their jaws. . . . It looks like a religious rite, like some silent prayer to God-Capital.”

Look, I’m not a huge fan of gum, but honestly, this is just too much. Maybe gum is not evidence of the Marxist parable. Maybe instead people were just buying and chewing gum because they enjoy it?

Nazi Propaganda Poster - Women Want National Socialism 1944

Sombart the Great

To gain a grasp of this intellectual disorder and its tendencies, let’s look back at an early work of communist/Nazi Werner Sombart (1863-1941). He was a German professor of sociology and economics, a gigantically influential socialist whose works rocked European intelligentsia, as much as that of Karl Marx or Max Weber. He shaped the thought of several generations. Read the rest of this entry »


China Paying Vox to Publish Communist Propaganda

reports: Explanatory media website Vox has been receiving money from a Chinese communist government-backed front organization.

A recent Vox blog post by foreign editor Yochi Dreazen titled, “The big winner of the Trump-Kim summit? China” discloses at the bottom of the piece that the reporting was subsidized by the China-United States Exchange Foundation.

“This reporting was supported by the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a privately funded nonprofit organization based in Hong Kong that is dedicated to ‘facilitating open and constructive exchange among policy-makers, business leaders, academics, think-tanks, cultural figures, and educators from the United States and China,'” the post states in a note at the bottom.

CUSEF, as first noted by Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, is a front organization backed by the Chinese government and established to spread the party’s propaganda.

“You know CUSEF is chaired by a top official in the Chinese Communist Party’s influence operations network, right?” Rogin queried Vox on Twitter.

“Tung Chee-hwa, CUSEF’s chair, is vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which is connected to the United Front Work Department, the Communist Party agency designed to advance party objectives with outside actors,” Rogin went on to note.

Vox’s ties to CUSEF are receiving increased scrutiny in light of efforts to lawmakers to counter China’s promotion of propaganda in the U.S. media. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Progress Of The Left 

Here’s everything liberals have done in the last few weeks to promote their values throughout this country.


Dems: ‘We May Have Lost The SCOTUS Seat, But At Least We Kept Our Dignity’ 

U.S.—Democratic leaders consoled themselves from their failure to stop Brett Kavanaugh from assuming a seat on the Supreme Court Monday by reminding the nation that although they lost the SCOTUS seat, they were able to keep their dignity.

As liberal protesters banged on the doors of the Supreme Court and attempted to claw them open, Senate Democrats calmed their constituents by pointing out that they were able to be the bigger person in all this. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] ‘We Are Always on the Verge of Chaos:’ The PJ O’Rourke Interview 

For the last 45 years, no writer has taken a bigger blowtorch to the sacred cows of American life than libertarian humorist P.J. O’Rourke.

As a writer at National Lampoon in the 1970s, he co-authored best-selling parodies of high school yearbooks and Sunday newspapers. For Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and other publications, O’Rourke traveled to war zones and other disaster areas, chronicling the folly of military and economic intervention. In 1991, he came out with Parliament of Whores, which explained why politicians should be the last people to have any power. Subtitled “A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government,” this international bestseller probably minted more libertarians than any book since Free to Choose or Atlas Shrugged. More recently, O’Rourke published a critical history of his own Baby Boomer generation and How The Hell Did This Happen?, a richly reported account of Donald Trump’s unexpected 2016 presidential victory.

O’Rourke’s new book, None of My Business, explains “why he’s not rich and neither are you.” It’s partly the result of hanging out with wealthy money managers and businessmen and what they’ve taught him over the years about creating meaning and value in an ever richer and crazier world. It covers everything from social media to learning how to drink in war zones to why the Chinese may be more American than U.S. citizens. He also explains why even though he doesn’t understand or like a lot of things about modern technology, he doesn’t fear Amazon or Google, especially compared to people who are calling for Socialism 2.0. Read the rest of this entry »


‘CUFF HUXTABLE’: New York Post Cover for Sept 26, 2018

Source: Covers | New York Post


WWII Code Breaker Buried in Nebraska with UK Military Honors 

OMAHA, Neb. — A 92-year-old woman has been buried in Nebraska with British military honors for a secret that she held for decades: her World War II service as a code breaker of German intelligence communications.

The Union Jack was draped over Jean Briggs Watters’ casket during her burial Monday, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Watters died Sept. 15.

The tribute honored Watters for her role decoding for a top-secret military program led by British mathematician Alan Turing, who was the subject of the 2014 Oscar-winning film “The Imitation Game .”

Pallbearers move the casket of Jean Watters for her funeral at the Omaha National Cemetery in Omaha, Neb., on Sept. 24, 2018. Watters was part of the super-secret team that broke the German ENIGMA code during World War II. CHRIS MACHIAN/OMAHA WORLD-HERALD VIA AP

Pallbearers move the casket of Jean Watters for her funeral at the Omaha National Cemetery in Omaha, Neb., on Sept. 24, 2018. Watters was part of the super-secret team that broke the German ENIGMA code during World War II. CHRIS MACHIAN/OMAHA WORLD-HERALD VIA AP

Watters was among about 10,000 people, mostly women, who participated in the Allied effort to crack German communication codes throughout the war. Read the rest of this entry »


Senate Judiciary Committee Reschedules Vote on Brett Kavanaugh for Friday Morning 

The Senate Judiciary Committee rescheduled a planned key vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination for Friday morning, one day after Kavanaugh Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. Urged to Rapidly Prepare for Electromagnetic Pulse Attack

World War II-style Manhattan Project needed for electric infrastructure protection.

reports:The United States is vulnerable to a devastating electromagnetic pulse event caused by a high-altitude nuclear blast or solar superstorm, according to a recently published book.

Peter Pry, a former CIA analyst and author of the book EMP Manhattan Project, is urging the government to rapidly harden the U.S. electric power system against EMP similar to the three-year crash program to build the first atomic bomb in 1942.”Today the United States and the world faces another existential threat—from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) catastrophe that can be caused by nature or man, and topple the technological pillars of modern electronic civilization,” said Pry, who served on a congressional EMP commission in the early 2000s.

The book contains fresh assessments of the EMP threat produced by a more recent congressional commission last year that concluded the United States would suffer millions of deaths from a major EMP incident.

EMP was discovered in the 1960s during above-ground nuclear tests. The tests showed a nuclear blast created a pulse capable of disrupting or destroying electronic devices over large areas, in some cases over 1,000 miles away.

The latest EMP commission found the United States is confronted with “a present and continuing existential threat from naturally occurring and manmade electromagnetic pulse assault and related attacks on military and critical national infrastructures.”

panic-betty

An EMP event would produce an electric power outage over large areas of the country that could last for a year or longer.

Emergency systems, such as generators, also are vulnerable to damage from EMP.

EMP events would disable critical supply chains and plunge the entire country into living conditions similar to those of centuries ago prior the use of electric power.

“An extended blackout today could result in the death of a large fraction of the American people through the effects of societal collapse, disease, and starvation,” the commission stated in its July 2017 report. “While national planning and preparation for such events could help mitigate the damage, few such actions are currently underway or even being contemplated.”

William R. Graham, former head of the EMP commission, stated in a preface to the book that a nationwide electrical blackout of one year “could kill millions, perhaps prove fatal to most Americans, by starvation, disease, and societal collapse.”

“EMP is a civilization killer,” Graham said.

The book warns that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran are preparing to use EMP attacks combined with traditional military strikes and new cyber attacks in future conflicts.

The threat was highlighted by North Korea’s announcement in state-run media in September 2017 that the country’s thermonuclear device could be detonated at high altitude and produce “great destructive power … for superpowerful EMP attack.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Students Asked What They Thought Of The Kavanaugh Controversy

They need more evidence

… Reporters from The Daily Caller News Foundation asked students at George Washington University what they thought of the Supreme Court nominee, the allegations he’s facing and what they would tell him or his accuser.

Almost everyone said if Kavanaugh is guilty, he should not serve on the bench, “even if it was 35 years ago.” But most found it a difficult situation Read the rest of this entry »


Headline of the Year: Author of ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ arrested for allegedly killing her husband 

Life has apparently imitated art for one romance writer.

Storm Gifford reports: In a twist of irony so devious it would have turned Agatha Christie green with envy, Oregon chef Daniel Brophy was found shot to death nearly seven years after his wife of 27 years penned an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband.”

Nancy Crampton-Brophy, the writer of sensuous mysteries such as “Hell on the Heart” and “The Wrong Husband,” was arrested for murder on Sept. 5 — more than three months after the death of her spouse.

“Dan was one of the very few people I’ve known that knew exactly what he wanted in life and loved doing it,” she said at a candlelight vigil two days after Daniel’s demise.

Oregon cops were mum on arrest details such as why Crampton-Brophy, 68, was taken into custody only last week for the June 2 shooting.

“Detectives believe Nancy L. Crampton-Brophy is the suspect in Daniel C. Brophy’s murder,” said Portland police, who refused to discuss motive or evidence. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] What Should Have Happened at the Kavanaugh Hearing

 

Alternate reality.

Something light to cleanse the palate via Reason at the end of a week that was even stupider and more irritating than expected … (read more)

Source: HotAir.com – Reason


Testosterone May Make Men More Honest 

An article published by Ta Kung Pao this week used a photo of James Bond actor Daniel Craig to illustrate what it described as the widespread presence of M16 agents in Hong Kong. Associated Press

Alex Berezow reports: Testosterone does a lot of different things for a men — it masculinizes the body, boosts the sex drive, and contributes to hair loss. Now, researchers think it may also make men more honest.

In recent years, there has been an interest in determining how our hormones affect our economic behavior, such as gambling and financial risk taking. The financial industry is dominated by men, and if testosterone influences decision-making, this potentially has a profound implication for the national economy.

Paradoxically, testosterone promotes pro-social behaviors in some circumstances and anti-social behavior in others. The reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, but it may involve a man’s desire to increase his social status. Previous research shows that testosterone may actually make a man a fairer negotiator.

Humphrey_Bogart_Casablanca.JPG

To investigate such phenomena further, a team of researchers administered testosterone gels to 124 college-aged male volunteers and placebo gels to 118 males. (The total sample size was 242.) They were then given a die and told to roll it, and whatever number came up was the amount of money they were to receive for participating in the experiment. Because they rolled the die in private, they could cheat (by reporting a higher value than they actually rolled). The authors hypothesized that the testosterone group would be more honest.

The results showed that both groups cheated, but the placebo group cheated more, which was consistent with the team’s hypothesis.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Mental State of M. Todd Henderson by Elaine Ash

Mad Genius Club

The Mental State of M. Todd Henderson

by Elaine Ash

As the purge of conservative and libertarian pundits roils You Tube, Twitter, Facebook and anywhere speech is supposedly free, M. Todd Henderson and his political thriller Mental State fight an uphill battle to release in October.

In late 2015, I was hired as a freelance editor by Mr. Henderson, a law professor at the University of Chicago. His book, Mental State,  is based on the real-life partially unsolved murder of Florida law professor Dan Markel. In the book, the murder is pinned on the wrong perp.

View original post 703 more words


Are You a DFIO? The Four Ways Ex-Internet Idealists Explain Where It All Went Wrong 

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21st-century digital evangelists had a lot in common with early Christians and Russian revolutionaries.

A long time ago, in the bad old days of the 2000s, debates about the internet were dominated by two great tribes: the Optimists and the Pessimists.

“The internet is inherently democratizing,” argued the Optimists. “It empowers individuals and self-­organizing communities against a moribund establishment.”

“Wrong!” shouted the Pessimists. “The internet facilitates surveillance and control. It serves to empower only governments, giant corporations, and on occasion an unruly, destructive mob.”

These battles went on at length and were invariably inconclusive.

Nevertheless, the events of 2016 seem to have finally shattered the Optimist consensus. Long-standing concerns about the internet, from its ineffectual protections against harassment to the anonymity in which teenage trolls and Russian spies alike can cloak themselves, came into stark relief against the backdrop of the US presidential election. Even boosters now seem to implicitly accept the assumption (accurate or not) that the internet is the root of multiple woes, from increasing political polarization to the mass diffusion of misinformation.

All this has given rise to a new breed: the Depressed Former Internet Optimist (DFIO). Everything from public apologies by figures in the technology industry to informal chatter in conference hallways suggests it’s become very hard to find an internet Optimist in the old, classic vein. There are now only Optimists-in-retreat, Optimists-in-doubt, or Optimists-hedging-their-bets.

As Yuri Slezkine argues wonderfully in The House of Government, there is a process that happens among believers everywhere, from Christian sects to the elites of the Russian Revolution, when a vision is unexpectedly deferred. Ideologues are forced to advance a theory to explain why the events they prophesied have failed to come to pass, and to justify a continued belief in the possibility of something better.

[Read the full story here, at MIT Technology Review]

Among the DFIOs, this process is giving rise to a boomlet of distinct cliques with distinct views about how the internet went wrong and what to do about it. As an anxiety-­ridden DFIO myself, I’ve been morbidly cataloguing these strains of thinking and have identified four main groups: the Purists, the Disillusioned, the Hopeful, and the Revisionists.

These are not mutually exclusive positions, and most DFIOs I know combine elements from them all. I, for instance, would call myself a Hopeful-Revisionist. Read the rest of this entry »