Humint Events Online

Friday, January 01, 2100

Blog Overview (Permanent Top Post)

This blog explores politics from a liberal/left perspective but also deals heavily with conspiracy theories and various unusual topics. Although I started this blog to research 9/11, my most pressing issue of concern now is anthropogenic climate change.

If you have doubts about the science of climate change, this website is a very useful resource to get educated.

I'm happy to have people comment and contribute ideas here. I don't censor comments except in rare cases where there is abuse or private information. Google/Blogger does sometimes censor comments for reasons I don't understand and I have no control over. Lately, I am not able to even find comments that Google/Blogger has blocked. Sorry about that.

I post kind of irregularly in recent years but I try to keep this site active. Feel free to use the search engine on the side for older content. You can read about the history of this blog here.

I rarely ever check my email for this blog (see sidebar for my address). If you need to contact me, the best bet is to leave a comment. If you need to email me, let me know in a comment that you've emailed me.

Thank you for reading.

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Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Crash Site of Flight 93 Is Still REALLY FREAKING WEIRD

I still can't figure out what happened if we assume the official crash scenario.

 The biggest smoking guns for me are

1) the crater makes no sense for the official story of how the plane went in

2) the lack of any significant sized debris near the crater

3) the lack of disturbed earth around the crater-- what happened to the dirt in the hole and remember supposedly most of a Boeing 757 is in the bottom of hole underneath some dirt, too

4) the crater generally seems to small for a huge plane to go in there at 600 mph and blow up completely

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Thursday, March 09, 2023

Good Summary of 9/11 Being An Inside Job

 Best Example of State-Sponsored False-Flag against one's own citizens (Synthetic Terrorism)

-- Italy's "Strategy of Tension" in the 1970's and 1980's; Operation Gladio

Best Example of US Considering Synthetic Terrorism
-- Operation Northwoods Plan (early 1960's)

Best Examples that 9/11 was not Unexpected
-- NORAD and other government agencies running terrorist hijacking drills and hijacked planes into building drills prior to 9/11

Best Example of General Forewarnings of 9/11
-- FBI whistle-blowers warning of Arabs in flight schools

Best Example of Specific Forewarnings of 9/11
-- Suspicious trading of American Airlines and United Airlines stocks right before 9/11 (trades were not by the terrorists since story has been covered up)

Best Examples that US intelligence agencies knew about the attacks
-- Extensive interactions between CIA, Pakistani Intelligence Services (ISI), Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden: contacts went back to when US supported the Afghanistan Muhajadeen against the UUSR
-- Pakistani ISI Chief (General Ahmed) approved money transfer to lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta
-- FBI informant lived with two 9/11 hijackers in San Diego right before attacks
-- FBI agents told government lawyer David Schippers specific time and date for 9/11 attacks

Best Examples that there is more to the 9/11 story than the official version

-- Live-fly hijacking exercise and mutiple other wargames run by NORAD on 9/11

-- National Reconnaissance Office (NRO, in charge of satellite monitoring) was running a plane into building exercise on 9/11

-- Not one of the eight pilots on the four hijacked planes signaled they were hijacked to air traffic control: how did knife and boxcutter-armed hijackers manage surprise take-overs on every plane?

-- the hijackers should not have been able to to fly jumbo jets effectively with their level of training

-- Perfectly controlled collapse of WTC building 7, a 47 story building housing several government agencies including the CIA and Secret Service: building had only a limited fire and was not hit by an airplane

-- Witnesses described bombs in WTC towers: officials and media have covered this up

-- Rudy Giuliani was told WTC towers would collapse right before it happened yet the collapse was completely unexpected by most people

-- WTC towers had massive central core section that was built to withstand impact with large jet airliner: WTC structure has been misleadingly portrayed by the media to promote pancake collapse story

-- Jet fuel fires should not have been hot to enough to weaken steel beams in WTC tower core

-- Strange and very difficult flight path taken by flight 77 pilot to hit Pentagon

-- Damage to Pentagon limited to recently renovated and sparsely occupied part of building

-- Complete lack of air defenses over Washington DC on 9/11 when DC should have been a top priority for air defense and hijacked planes were heading back towards the area

-- President Bush's Air Force One plane was threatened with attack using secret code words that only top level government officials knew

Best Examples of Administration Cover-Up
-- Stonewalling of appointment of the 9/11 commission
-- Appointment of Henry Kissinger initially to chair the commission
-- Limited time and budget allotted to 9/11 commission
-- Bush and Cheney testify to commission together
-- Complete lack of mention of the NORAD wargames running on 9/11 in the 9/11 commission report
-- US forces ISI Chief General Ahmed into retirement
-- Terrorist connections to the information services company P-tech which had access to FAA and other important government databases
-- Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI-translator, is being gagged from telling what she knows about 9/11

Reasons and Motives for 9/11
-- geopolitical strategy, maintenance of US global dominance by creating permanent US bases in middle east and asia
-- incitement to war to capture middle-east and asian oil reserves
-- disgruntled military officers wanted a war after many years of relative inaction
-- Neocon motives: clash of civilzations with the west and Islam; Islam perceived as threat to long-term US global dominance and to Israel
-- Massive insurance fraud by Larry Silverstein, owner of WTC, and others
-- Establishes political dominance by Republicans/Conservatives-- provides all purpose cover for radical government policies

I posted this years ago, but I'm not sure the source of this -- if I wrote it, or took it form somewhere or more likely modified it from someone else's post. 
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Thursday, March 02, 2023

"We Have a Real UFO Problem. And It’s Not Balloons."

We seriously are not alone. UFOs or UAPs are no joke.

On a clear, sunny day in April 2014, two F/A-18s took off for an air combat training mission off the coast of Virginia. 

The jets, part of my Navy fighter squadron, climbed to an altitude of 12,000 and steered towards Warning Area W-72, an exclusive block of airspace ten miles east of Virginia Beach. 

All traffic into the training area goes through a single GPS point at a set altitude — almost like a doorway into a massive room where military jets can operate without running into other aircraft.  

Just at the moment the two jets crossed the threshold, one of the pilots saw a dark gray cube inside of a clear sphere — motionless against the wind, fixed directly at the entry point. The jets, only 100 feet apart, zipped past the object on either side. 

The pilots had come so dangerously close to something they couldn’t identify that they terminated the training mission immediately and returned to base. “I almost hit one of those damn things!” the flight leader, still shaken by the incident, told us shortly after in the pilots’ ready room. 

We all knew exactly what he meant. “Those damn things” had been plaguing us for the previous eight months. 

I joined the U.S. Navy in 2009 and underwent years of rigorous training as a pilot. Specifically, we are trained to be expert observers in identifying aircraft with our sensors and our own eyes. 

It’s our job to know what’s in our operating area. That’s why, in 2014, after upgrades were made to our radar system, our squadron made a startling discovery: There were unknown objects in our airspace. 

Initially, the objects were showing up on our newly upgraded radars and we assumed they were “ghosts in the machine,” or software glitches. But then we began to correlate the radar tracks with multiple surveillance systems, including infrared sensors that detected heat signatures. 

Then came the hair-raising near misses that required us to take evasive action. These were no mere balloons. 

The unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) accelerated at speeds up to Mach 1, the speed of sound. They could hold their position, appearing motionless, despite Category 4 hurricane-force winds of 120 knots. 

They did not have any visible means of lift, control surfaces or propulsion — in other words nothing that resembled normal aircraft with wings, flaps or engines. 

And they outlasted our fighter jets, operating continuously throughout the day. 

I am a formally trained engineer, but the technology they demonstrated defied my understanding. After that near-miss, we had no choice but to submit a safety report, hoping that something could be done before it was too late. But there was no official acknowledgement of what we experienced and no further mechanism to report the sightings — even as other aircrew flying along the East coast quietly began sharing similar experiences. Our only option was to cancel or move our training, as the UAP continued to maneuver in our vicinity unchecked. Nearly a decade later we still don’t know what they were.   


If the phenomena I witnessed with my own eyes turns out to be foreign drones, they pose an urgent threat to national security and airspace safety. If they are something else, it must be a scientific priority to find out.




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Why the Whole Lab Leak Theory for the Origin of COVID Is A Nonsensical Argument

For me, I just gotta say this whole argument about a lab leak is dumb because-- why should we worry about viruses leaking from research labs if the general population can't be convinced to fucking take pandemics and public health seriously??? And yes, this is due to fucking conservatives, the same assholes who promote the lab leak theory!!!

David Wallace-Wells of The New York Times wags a finger at liberals:
We’ve Been Talking About the Lab-Leak Hypothesis All Wrong
He wants us to imagine a world that experienced the same pandemic the real world has been experiencing, except this world is devoid of right-wing politics:
Imagine yourself, if you can, in the months before the Covid-19 pandemic. Imagine being told then that a novel virus would emerge in China that would then spread around the world, infecting much of the global population, by some estimates killing more than 20 million people, and upending much of humanity’s social, political and economic life along the way.

Imagine you were then told that some experts believed that this new virus raised questions about the safety of certain kinds of scientific research, in which virologists collected rare viruses out in the wild, brought them to facilities in or near cities and in some cases tinkered with them there to help prevent or better respond to future pandemics.

Imagine that none of this was presented to you in partisan or nationalistic terms. Imagine that Donald Trump had not been president and that nobody used the term “bioweapon.” And then imagine that a question was put to you: What would the chances have to be that a lab accident was the origin of the pandemic to justify a broad and public conversation about the safety of that research?
Wallace-Wells believes -- and, really, I get this -- that even a very small chance that carelessness caused the pandemic should have made us rethink lab safety:
... personally, I think that if I were asked what the chances of an accidental outbreak would have to be to justify a loud and public reckoning over lab safety, I would put the number much lower than full proof. In fact, much lower even than “preponderance of evidence” — as low as 5 percent, perhaps, or 1 percent or less. Truthfully, I’m not sure that it would need to be any higher than zero, given that early in 2020, many of those scientists who would become the most stalwart critics of the lab-leak theory privately acknowledged that the origins of the pandemic were very much up for debate and that a laboratory leak was a perfectly plausible — perhaps even the most likely — explanation for the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan a few months earlier.
But we can't "imagine that none of this was presented ... in partisan or nationalistic terms." We can't "imagine that Donald Trump had not been president and that nobody used the term 'bioweapon'" -- or, more memorably, the phrase "China virus," a name Trump first endorsed on March 11, 2020, when COVID was barely a presence in much of the United States, and then used repeatedly in speeches and on Twitter.

(See also: "Chinese coronavirus," "Wuhan virus," "Wu flu," etc., etc.)

Right-wingers poisoned our COVID discourse from the start, the way they poison our discourse on so many other issues. Writing about our COVID debates as if they can be imagined without right-wing demagoguery is like talking about the real estate market in East Palestine, Ohio, as if the train derailment never happened. The housing stock is wonderful! The schools are first rate! Yes, but there are deadly toxins in the air, water, and soil. The derailment determines what we talk about when we talk about East Palestine, just as right-wing demagoguery sets the terms for how we talk about ... well, pretty much anything these days.

Instead of saying that "we" -- meaning right-thinking liberals -- deserve blame for failing to advocate better lab safety, Wallace-Wells should be angry at the right for making reasonable debate impossible. We're seeing it again as Republican politicians and the right-wing media respond to news that the Department of Energy believes the pandemic resulted from a lab leak, a conclusion the FBI had already reached. Downplayed in right-wing rhetoric -- which is flooding the zone right now -- is the fact that other agencies still dispute this conclusion, as The Washington Post noted on Monday:
... other intelligence agencies involved in the classified update ... were divided on the question of covid-19’s origins, with most still maintaining that a natural, evolutionary “spillover” from animals was the most likely explanation....

The overall view — that there is as yet no definitive conclusion on the virus’s origin — has not changed since the release of an earlier version of the report by the Biden administration in 2021, according to the officials.

“The bottom line remains the same: Basically no one really knows,” one of the officials said.
Moreover, it appears that no agency believes that the virus was altered in the lab.
But the agencies are united, the official said, in the view that the virus was not developed as a bioweapon.

“‘Lab’ does not equal ‘man-made,’ the official said, noting that lab workers could have collected the virus in nature and stored it at the lab from which it escaped. “Even if it was a leak from a lab," the person added, intelligence analysts "still think it would be a naturally occurring virus.”
If even agencies that believe the virus spread via a leak believe it was "a naturally occurring virus," then presumably it was not even the product of "gain of function" research designed to test responses to potential future pathogens.

But the agencies' actual conclusions -- and ongoing uncertainty about whether a lab was involved -- aren't preventing Republican demagogues from proclaiming that (a) it's settled fact that COVID came from a lab and (b) it's certain or nearly certain that the virus was engineered, in all likelihood as a bioweapon:
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) bluntly asked at the House Select Committee’s hearing about Communist China if the totalitarian regime created the coronavirus as a bioweapon.

Directing his question to former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger, Banks cited a recent statement from FBI Director Christopher Wray indicating that the coronavirus came from a Wuhan lab.

“The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” Wray told Fox News. “Here you are talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab.”

... In his question, Jim Banks took it a step further by asking Pottinger if the virus did not simply originate from a lab leak, but if China actually created a bioweapon.

“Mr. Pottinger, less than an hour ago, the FBI Director, Christopher Wray, confirmed that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab. Do you think there is a chance that the Wuhan lab was involved in bioweapons research?” asked Banks.

... “We know for certain that the Chinese military is involved in research in coronavirus,” [Pottinger] said. “We know that they were experimenting using U.S. technology to work on chimeric viruses. That is ones that had been engineered.”

“We know that the Chinese government and military had been involved in trying to develop vaccines for coronaviruses. I think that this is an area that there is still a great deal of information that has yet to come out that will show that there was an enormous amount of interest,” he added.
(Emphasis added.)

Christopher Wray confirmed nothing. But this is how the right dictates the terms of the debate. If the rest of us feel we can't talk about lab safety without feeding right-wing demagoguery, you can't blame us.

Also, please note that the right-wing narrative -- ChiComs deliberately unleashed COVID on the world -- suggests that we don't have a lab safety problem. In the view of the right, the Chinese are evil supervillains. Supervillains don't make mistakes -- every diabolical thing they do is deliberate. So maybe the right deserves even more of the blame for the fact that we're not talking about lab safety.
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Incredibly Dumb and Toxic Rightwing Conspiracy Theories Spread on FoxNews and Twitter

On Feb. 3 a train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Some of the contents immediately caught fire. Three days later authorities released and burned off additional material from five tankers. These fires caused elevated levels of harmful chemicals in the local air, although the Environmental Protection Agency says that the pollution wasn’t severe enough to cause long-term health damage. 
Train derailments are actually fairly common, but you can see how this one might become a political issue. After all, the Obama administration tried to improve rail safety, for example by requiring superior modern brakes on high-hazard trains, and then the Trump administration reversed these regulations. As it happens, these regulations probably wouldn’t have prevented the Ohio derailment, because they were too narrow to have covered this particular train. 
Still, the events in East Palestine would seem, on the face of it, to strengthen the progressive case for stronger regulation of industry and hurt the conservative case against regulation. Instead, however, the right is on the attack, claiming that blame for the disaster in Ohio rests on the Biden administration, which it says doesn’t care about or is even actively hostile to white people. 
This is vile. It’s also amazing. As far as I can tell, right-wing commentators have just invented a whole new class of conspiracy theory, one that doesn’t even try to explain how the alleged conspiracy is supposed to work. 
 Conspiracy theories generally come in two forms: those that involve a small, powerful cabal and those that require that thousands of people colluding to hide the truth. Historically, theories about powerful cabals have often been tied to antisemitism, to the belief that the Elders of Zion and/or the Rothschilds were shaping history — a view promoted by some actually powerful people, including Henry Ford. 
These days, however, the most prominent example is QAnon, with its claim that a secret ring of pedophiles controls the U.S. government. And at this point, of course, QAnon adherents hold significant power within the House Republican caucus. 
The thing about secret-cabal theories is that while they’re generally absurd, they’re hard to definitively disprove. Is President Biden actually a shape-shifting alien lizard? The White House physician will tell you no, but how do you know that he isn’t a lizard, too? 
The other kind of conspiracy theory, by contrast, seems as if it would be easy to disprove, because thousands of people would have to be in on the plot, without a single one breaking ranks. A prime example, still highly influential on the right, is the assertion that climate change is a hoax. To believe that, you have to claim that thousands of scientists are colluding to falsify the evidence. But that hasn’t stopped the belief that climate change isn’t real from being widespread, maybe even dominant, on the U.S. political right. 
The Big Lie about the “stolen” 2020 election would seem to fall into the same category, requiring malfeasance by election officials across the country. Yet a large majority of Republicans told pollsters that they didn’t believe Biden actually won.
 And there’s a new conspiracy theory in town: the claim that the war in Ukraine isn’t really happening, that it’s some kind of fake. Who could possibly believe that all the reporting, all the film footage is concocted? Well, Donald Trump’s first national security adviser is apparently now a Ukraine war truther (Mike Flynn), and I won’t be surprised if we start to hear this from many people on the right. 
But the conspiracy theorizing about the Ohio derailment takes it to a whole other level. When Tucker Carlson suggests that this happened because East Palestine is a rural white community, with another Fox News host going so far as to say that the Biden administration is “spilling toxic chemicals on poor white people,” how is this even supposed to have worked? How did Biden officials engineer a derailment by a private-sector train company, running on privately owned track, which lobbied against stronger safety regulations? 
The administration also hasn’t stinted on disaster aid. Multiple federal agencies quickly arrived on the scene, and Ohio’s Republican governor says of the federal response, “I don’t have complaints … we’re getting the help that we need.” But never mind. Something bad happened to conservative white people, so surely woke progressives must have been responsible. 
Given what we’ve learned about how Fox handled claims of a stolen election — feeding the Big Lie in public while mocking it in private — it’s a good bet that the network and other right-wing commentators know perfectly well that their accusations about the derailment are junk. 
But they know their audience, and probably believe that it’s good business to propound racist conspiracy theories even if they make no logical sense. 
Of course, it does no good to appeal to the right’s better nature. But let me make a plea to mainstream media: Please don’t report on this as if there were an actual controversy about who’s responsible for the East Palestine disaster.
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Sunday, February 12, 2023

Alien Invasion?!?!

 What the hell is going on???


Another aerial object, this time over Lake Huron, shot down by military 
The announcement of a fourth object being shot down over North America [in 8 days] comes as lawmakers press the White House for more information  
By Ann E. Marimow, Mark Johnson and Alex Horton 
 Updated February 12, 2023 at 7:44 p.m. EST
Published February 12, 2023 at 2:07 p.m. EST 

The U.S. military shot down a fourth aerial “object,” this time over Lake Huron on Sunday afternoon, according to the Defense Department and a senior Biden administration official, who described the object as “unmanned” and not a military threat to anything on the ground. 
Officials said the object, initially detected Saturday night, was flying over Michigan’s upper peninsula at about 20,000 feet — an altitude and path that raised concerns about potential interference with commercial aviation. “Out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of military leaders, President Biden directed the unidentified object be shot down,” according to the senior official who provided a statement on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. 
In describing the latest shoot-down, the administration acknowledged that the Pentagon may have missed an opportunity to confront the object on Saturday, when radars detected something suspicious over northern Montana. Fighter jets were sent to investigate, but they did not find any object to “correlate to the radar hits,” and concluded that it could have been an anomaly, the official said. The airspace was later reopened, officials said, potentially putting civilian air traffic at risk. 
Military personnel “re-acquired the radar contact” on Sunday and detected the unmanned object from Montana over Wisconsin and Michigan, the official said. “Based on its flight path and data we can reasonably connect this object to the radar signal picked up over Montana, which flew in proximity to sensitive DOD sites,” Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement, but he did not provide more details. 
The object was described as an “octagonal structure” with nothing visible aboard or attached such as sensors or cameras. 
It was shot down by an F-16 at 2:42 p.m. Sunday. “We have no indication that it has surveillance capabilities but nor can we rule that out,” the senior Biden administration official said. “We will work to recover it to learn more.” 
The takedown of a fourth mysterious airborne object was initially announced in a pair of tweets from Michigan lawmakers. “I appreciate the decisive action by our fighter pilots,” Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) said in a tweet. “The American people deserve far more answers than we have.” Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) said the object was “downed” by pilots from the U.S. Air Force and National Guard. Slotkin said in a tweet that she learned about the latest object from the Defense Department and “that all parties have been laser-focused on it from the moment it traversed our waters.” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) also reported on Twitter that the object had been “swiftly, safely and securely taken down.” 
Even before the latest shoot-down became public, members of Congress on Sunday were pressing for more information from the Biden administration about the objects shot down over North America in recent days. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), the ranking Democrat of the House Intelligence Committee, was critical of the lack of details from the White House. “I have real concerns about why the administration is not being more forthcoming with everything that it knows,” Himes said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 
Himes acknowledged that the limited information is probably due in part to the second and third objects being shot down in remote areas off the northern coast of Alaska and over Canada’s Yukon territory that have complicated recovery efforts. But he warned that the dearth of details from the administration could quickly lead to public anxiety and wild speculation about alien invasions or additional spying by China or Russia. 
“I do hope that very soon, the administration has a lot more information for all of us on what’s going on,” Himes said. The U.S. shot 3 objects out of the sky in 8 days. 
When asked on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) characterized the two objects shot over Alaska and Canada as “balloons.” 
U.S. and Canadian officials said the latest objects were much smaller than the Chinese airship that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4 after traversing the continental United States. However, officials urged caution as they continue to gather information about the objects through recovery efforts. “We will not definitively characterize them until we can recover the debris, which we are working on,” according to the senior administration official. “I would note we have kept Congress continuously briefed and we will continue to.” 
Schumer defended the administration’s handling of the situation and said U.S. military and intelligence officials are gathering and analyzing information as they seek to learn about the objects’ capabilities and purpose. “You can be sure that if any American interests or people are at risk, they will take appropriate action,” Schumer said on ABC. 
Little is known about what Canada’s defense minister said was a “cylindrical object” first detected Friday evening by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, an organization that includes both U.S. and Canadian military personnel and is responsible for safeguarding North America’s skies. 
After a call between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Biden, the leaders authorized their pilots to shoot down the object over the Yukon, the White House said in a statement Saturday night. “The leaders discussed the importance of recovering the object in order to determine more details on its purpose or origin,” the statement said. 
Another object was downed Friday near the North Slope of Alaska by a U.S. fighter jet, but its recovery has been hampered by icy conditions and wind chills reaching minus-55 degrees. 
Detection of the most recent incursions is a result of additional information from radars and sensors, a U.S. official said Saturday, partly addressing a key question of why so many objects have been spotted recently. 
“We basically opened the filters,” the official said, much like a car buyer unchecking boxes on a website to broaden the parameters of what can be searched. 
That change does not yet fully answer what is going on, the official cautioned, and whether stepping back to look at more data is yielding more hits — or if these latest incursions are part of a more deliberate action by an unknown country or adversary. 
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Asked whether Americans should be worried, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Sunday that the administration had acted out of an abundance of caution and in coordination with Canada. “We’re always gonna track, we’re always going to detect, and we’re always going to defend our airspace. And that’s what the American people should expect,” she said on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart.” Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” 
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.) expressed outrage at the use of American technology on the Chinese balloon, vowing, “It will be one of my number one priorities as the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in this Congress, to stop the export of technology to China that then goes into their most advanced weapons systems. “In this case, a sophisticated spy balloon that went across three nuclear sites … It did a lot of damage.” 
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the Biden administration with its latest downing of an unknown object over Canada does “appear somewhat trigger-happy, although this is certainly preferable to the permissive environment that they showed when the Chinese spy balloon was coming over some of our most sensitive sites.” 
Administration officials have said that allowing the Chinese craft to traverse the country gave military officials time to observe it and gather intelligence that has informed their understanding of what they now say is a sprawling surveillance program overseen by the People’s Liberation Army. Searches continued over the weekend off the coast of South Carolina for that airship and near the north Alaskan town of Deadhorse for the object shot down Friday. 
Turner said the Biden administration needs to “stop briefing Congress through our television sets and actually come and sit down and brief us. What we’re seeing here is a number of announcements by the administration without any real information being given to Congress.” 
Republicans and Democrats pressed senior U.S. defense officials during a congressional hearing last week about why they had not acted sooner to stop the Chinese balloon and whether they have taken appropriate measures to enforce the boundaries of U.S. airspace. Schumer said Sunday that he supports efforts by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to examine why U.S. officials are only now learning about and taking action to shoot down such objects, which Schumer said dated back to the Trump administration. “Congress should look at that. That’s the question we have to answer,” Schumer said. “I think our military, our intelligence are doing a great job, present and future. I feel a lot of confidence in what they’re doing. But why — why as far back as the Trump administration did no one know about this?” 
Dan Lamothe and Toluse Olorunnipa contributed to this report.

A lot of questions to be answered here, but most importantly what the heck are these UFO-like things? 

This NYT piece from today downplays the idea that these are extraterrestrial objects, but of course they will say that.

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Friday, January 27, 2023

Corrupt Assholes Covered Up Mango Mussolini's Crimes

Legal experts are now weighing in on Thursday’s bombshell, massive and months-long reporting from The New York Times that reveals, among several previously unknown allegations, that then-Attorney General Bill Barr and his special counsel, John Durham were handed apparent evidence of suspicious financial acts by Donald Trump, and proceeded to create a false public narrative that Durham’s investigation found evidence of “suspicious financial dealings” related to Trump, suggesting it was on the part of the FBI, not the president, in order to protect the president. 

“On one of Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham’s trips to Europe,” The Times reveals, “according to people familiar with the matter, Italian officials — while denying any role in setting off the Russia investigation — unexpectedly offered a potentially explosive tip linking Mr. Trump to certain suspected financial crimes.” 

The Times adds that “Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham never disclosed that their inquiry expanded in the fall of 2019, based on a tip from Italian officials, to include a criminal investigation into suspicious financial dealings related to Mr. Trump.” 

“Mr. Durham never filed charges, and it remains unclear what level of an investigation it was, what steps he took, what he learned and whether anyone at the White House ever found out. The extraordinary fact that Mr. Durham opened a criminal investigation that included scrutinizing Mr. Trump has remained secret.” 


These corrupt motherfuckers went to such extreme lengths to bow down to Mango Mussolini and cover up his treasonous crimes. This guy asks what I want to know! "“This stuff has my head spinning,” Mr. Luskin said. “When did these guys drink the Kool-Aid, and who served it to them?”'

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Ironically, America’s Gun Culture is Priming Us for More Authoritarianism

Ruth Ben-Ghiat:
What is driving democratic decline in America? 
Disinformation, election subversion, Donald Trump’s authoritarian leader cult and institutionalized racism leap out at you. 
But there’s another factor that is all the more dangerous because it’s part of our everyday reality: civilian access to lethal weapons, and the mass death that enables. 
The scale and scope of gun violence in America doesn’t just desensitize us to violence. It also cheapens the value of life. It fosters political, social and psychological conditions that are propitious for autocracy. The omission of gun law reform from discussions of democracy protection is symptomatic of our normalization of this tragic situation. The Jan. 6 insurrection shows us how dangerous that blind spot has become. 
For decades we have shot each other, with Americans causing fellow Americans more harm than any foreign enemy. More than 1.5 million died of gunshots in the past 50 years vs. 1.2 million in all the wars in the country’s history. This year alone, mass shootings have killed or injured more than 1,800. Yet no amount of loss seems enough to deter the supporters of a brutal gun rights culture that factors in harm to some so that the freedoms and privilege of others can continue, and accepts mass death and trauma in the name of “liberty.” 
Add in an uptick of activity by extremists that preach violence and extralegal action as a way of changing history, and you have a high potential for political destabilization. 
... “We have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow,” said President Biden at a memorial service for victims of coronavirus. The same could be said of the daily tragedy of gun violence. But going numb is also a survival strategy for those who have seen much violence or have lost multiple loved ones and don't dare admit their fear that they will be next. 
 Fear of violence can, paradoxically, create the conditions for more violence. Gun sales have risen dramatically due to a more polarized political climate. Some 40 percent of firearms purchases in 2020 were to first-time buyers, including to women and non-Whites who fear for their safety. This probably means more deaths of an accidental and intentional nature. More children who find an improperly stored weapon or take mommy’s handgun out of her purse. More adult and teen suicides, and more hate crimes. 
A September 2020 policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the effects of active shooter drills in schools summed up the dangers that can paradoxically arise from our attempts to buffer against danger: “High-intensity crisis preparedness efforts may contribute to a distorted sense of risk in children and perspective that adults and peers need to be viewed as potential killers.” 
Gun culture arises in part from collective distrust, but it also engenders that very distrust, a process that threatens to become a self-reinforcing loop. 
The terror-filled psychological climate created by mass death only encourages the embrace of fundamentalist and cult ideologies that promise to bring order to chaos by providing an explanation for everything that happens. 
A healthy democracy requires a strong civic culture and a public sphere conducive to social trust and altruism. 
Instead, we have generations raised with fear, suspicion of others and uncertainty — states of being perfect for authoritarian politics, which play on conspiracy theories and seek to rob populations of optimism and hope. 
Exploit the hurt, make others feel as debased as possible, then rouse them to anger: This is the strongman formula. Such leaders know that it can be easier to try to control the world through violence than to stay still and grieve, and easier to find a scapegoat than look within. 
That’s what happened a century ago, when fascism arose among veterans in Italy and Germany who had been ravaged by World War I and formed far-right militias rather than transition to civilian society. 
We have no recent comparable conflagration. Yet our ongoing experience of mass death primes us for a political order backed up by extrajudicial violence. Gun control is thus not only a public health, economic and social issue but an urgent matter of democracy protection. 
When violence is accorded a patriotic value; when mass death of your fellow citizens is considered an acceptable price to pay for possession of lethal weapons; when a leader has convinced people to follow his dogma even if it jeopardizes their own well-being; when the very thing that frightens is the thing primed to save you from your fear; when the value of life itself has been cheapened … then the conditions are right for authoritarian rule.
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