Reader’s Links for February 28th, 2023

Here is a link to the VladTepesBlog social media Mastodon Pod. Please feel free to check it out and sign up for an account if you are sufficiently annoyed with Twitter and Facebook to try something new.

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

88 Replies to “Reader’s Links for February 28th, 2023”

  1. It almost makes me feel like voting for Bernier despite knowing we’ll get four more years of Deer Leader. To Hell with it, thinks I, maybe the only way to save this country filled with automatons is to degrade it more. The risk is that is that there may be no return on a path that has been completely destroyed by communism. 2 min Mark Steyn:

    • I have to support Max Bernier, my conscience will not allow me to support anyone else but Max. he defended the truckers /Patriots long before it was the thing to do.

      I support his stand on immigration.

      I do not believe in climate change, although I do believe the WEF bs on climate change may help in wiping out peoplekind. There is a very fine line these madmen are playing with. I put all my faith in the Balance of Nature a long, long time ago.

      Justine Trudeau promised Canadians he and his band of Merry men would see to it that there were millions of trees planted – he lied.

      Remember when we were told paper bags were bad, we must use plastic. How many jobs were lost when tree growers were not longer feasible according to the left loons. Trees that were grown for multiple purposes, cut and replanted. The lying sons told us about the amount of carbon coming from the trees. Please show me any tree that produces copious amounts of carbon before it is 25 years old.

      We need to vote our conscience and if peoplekind vot for Trudeau or Singh especially, we are in way to deep and we as a nation are SOL.

    • That is pretty much what he wants.

      Is it realistic? Probably not but that isn’t going to stop his desire. He wants a return to the glory days. Erdogan is dreaming the same dream, he wants a return of the Ottoman Empire. Xi wants to expand China.

      Are any of those ideas practical? Not really but Hitler and the Nazi’s dreams weren’t realistic either. People who dream of Empire consider themselves special, capable of doing things no one else can. Consider the long history of failure of the socialist systems. This multi thousand year history of failure isn’t stopping any of our current crop of socialist Dictators from continuing to try and force socialism on us.

      On today’s Zero Hedge there is an article about how they can’t build the new world order until they have torn down the existing order. The left has pretty much destroyed the old world order but it is highly unlikely they will succeed in establishing their version of what the new world order should be.

    • Is the dream of the Deep Ecology movement of limiting the world’s population to 600 million realistic?

      The available evidence says they are trying to achieve this goal.

  2. Martin posted an article in Reader’s yesterday to which I couldn’t help but respond. (Ty M) It took great effort to discredit Tucker Carlson by making what I think were specious presumptions. But it was a great example of the kind of diagonal vector discreditation that goes on everywhere. My push back comes in the form of the simplest questions, and without worrying if I am perceived as stupid, uninformed or unsophisticated. We cannot allow major events to continue to slide by without stopping to ask, simply, who and why? So it makes you ornery. It’s not like you have more friends to lose, right?

    • zero hedge – The Left Is Right To Fear Tucker Carlson

      The news broke last week that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has given Tucker Carlson of Fox News access to thousands of hours of surveillance video from the day of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in 2021.

      Naturally, this has led to panic on behalf of the usual suspects – the leftist mob who are not outside the Capitol but within its halls. These petty tyrants think only they should have access to information – and control its release.

      First up was Rep. Bennie Thompson, the former chairman of the House Select Committee on January 6, who could have released the footage any time he wanted during the 18 months when he was supposedly seeking the truth.

      His statement was typical of the smears progressives employ to kill the messenger before the message can get out. You know the type. Just think back to the phony claims that Hunter Biden’s laptop was a “Russian information operation” and the accompanying attacks on the New York Post for trying to get the laptop’s incriminating information to the public.

      Thompson’s statement suggested that providing the footage to Carlson created “significant security concerns” and said Carlson “routinely spreads misinformation and Putin’s poisonous propaganda.” Not to be outdone, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and known liar Adam Schiff, called Carlson a “right-wing propagandist” and “a man who spews Kremlin talking points.” The California Democrat was joined by fellow select committee member Jamie Raskin of Maryland who smeared Carlson again as a “Pro-Putin journalist.”

      How did one of America’s top journalists become a Putin puppet? Well, to decipher that, you have to go back at least to the 2016 campaign and the two years after, when the New York Times and Washington Post won Pulitzer Prizes for making up stories about how Donald Trump was either a willing partner of Russia or an unwitting stooge. Carlson never bought into the hoax. He was exposing the Democrats’ narrative as the cynical nonsense it was, and therefore he had to be destroyed.

      Then when he asked hard questions about the war in Ukraine, Carlson became an enemy of the national security state – yes, the same national security state that President Eisenhower warned us against as long ago as 1961. Unfortunately, the national security state now controls most of the national media, and the pro-war forces don’t like not being able to control Carlson, so they have to attack him endlessly. His coup in obtaining access to the Jan. 6 footage is just the latest opportunity.

      You can be sure that the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC will do everything they can over the next week to smear Carlson for having the temerity to actually allow the American public to make our own judgments about what the footage shows – and reach our own conclusions about why Nancy Pelosi hid the Jan. 6 footage for two years.

      Instead of condemning Carlson and Speaker McCarthy, all loyal Americans should be thanking them for deciding that “we the people” ought to be trusted with the facts, not spoon-fed them selectively. Heck, the Democrats didn’t even think we could be trusted with knowing how much surveillance video existed. For months, we have been told there were 14,000 hours of raw footage, but now we find out it is actually as much as 44,000 hours. Did anyone on the Jan. 6 committee even try to wade through that footage to see if it confirms their pre-established narrative of an armed insurrection? Or were they afraid of what they would find?

      Whatever they thought then, it is obvious what they think now – that it will be dangerous for the American public to see what really happened. And until the footage is aired on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” there’s no guarantee we will see it. You can be sure that Democrats in the House will be working overtime to keep that from happening, just as Democrats in the White House worked feverishly to convince Twitter and Facebook to suppress Hunter’s damning laptop. The common thread always seems to be that anyone opposed to Democratic Party politics is a Russian stooge or a Putin puppet.

      When I heard those criticisms of Tucker Carlson, it reminded me of a similar canard used against another journalist many years before, a journalist who like Carlson was unafraid of entrenched power and who stood up for American principles at every opportunity.

      That journalist was Edward R. Murrow, who exposed the anti-American demagoguery of Sen. Joseph McCarthy at a time in the 1950s when most members of the media – like most citizens of the country – were terrified of being labeled a Communist if they didn’t carry a torch for McCarthy’s witch hunt.

      Murrow’s program “See It Now” was noted for fearless journalism, and the March 9, 1954, episode entitled “A Report on Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy” was the high-water mark of Murrow’s career, leading to the eventual condemnation of McCarthy by the Senate.

      Being a fair-minded journalist, Murrow offered McCarthy a full episode of “See It Now” to respond to Murrow’s report. In that response, McCarthy resorted to the same name-calling tactics that Thompson, Schiff, and Raskin used last week in attacking Carlson. The only difference was that McCarthy smeared Murrow, the most reputable journalist of his day, as a Communist rather than a tool of Russia, though the difference is mostly academic when you think about Putin’s past.

      McCarthy attacked Murrow as “a symbol, a leader and the cleverest of the jackal pack which is always found at the throat of anyone who dares to expose individual Communists and traitors” and claimed that Murrow, “as far back as 20 years ago, was engaged in propaganda for Communist causes.”

      Most significantly, McCarthy dressed up in the mantle of a defender of freedom just as the members of the Jan. 6 committee tell us they are defenders of democracy. He proclaimed that his wish to humiliate, harass, and lock up anyone who had ever spoken a kind word about communism was to ensure that “We Americans live in a free world, a world where we can stand as individuals, where we can go to the church of our own choice and worship God as we please, each in his own fashion, where we can freely speak our opinions on any subject, or on any man.”

      So, too, do the Democrats in charge of the Jan. 6 committee proclaim that they are defending democracy against those who have different opinions about an election, who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and who can apparently be locked up for years without trial. But if democracy needs defending, it is not from protesters, but from those who believe only their truth can be spoken, only their narrative can be heard.

      Like Murrow, Tucker Carlson can be counted on to follow the facts, and for that reason he is indeed dangerous – not to democracy, but to demagogues.

  3. Dystopia’s capital is having a snow storm this morning. I just witnessed a traffic accident. The car ahead of me hit a cyclist. It looked really bad. The cyclist went down in a bad way, but luckily he got up, shook his fist angrily at the motorist, then continued on with his spindly little wheels churning stupidly through the deep snow on the HIGHWAY, wobbling unsteadily like a shaky old man because he couldn’t get up enough speed for the gyroscope effect of the wheels. The motorist stopped to check on the cyclist, but when he was told to f-off he kept going.

    Riding your bike on a highway in a snow storm is an example of the kind of mentacide that virtue signals the saving of the planet, one near traffic fatality at a time.

  4. Academics Call For WWII-Style Rationing Of Food And Fuel To Stop Climate Change
    Tyler Durden’s Photo
    TUESDAY, FEB 28, 2023 – 01:45 AM
    As we have outlined outlined in detail many times in the past, there is little to no concrete evidence supporting the theory that man-made carbon emissions have any relevance whatsoever to weather and climate change. There is no evidence of a “climate crisis” and no evidence that human industry and agriculture makes a negative impact on the Earth’s temperatures. There is no evidence that carbon emissions have a causation effect on global warming and no evidence to support “tipping point” theories that assert that a mere 1.5°C increase in temps will lead to environmental catastrophe.

    Climate activists relying on a tiny time frame of around 100 years of our planet’s weather history as evidence to support their claims while ignoring the millions of years of temperature changes that occurred without human input is alarming and anti-science. In fact, the Earth has been much warmer (and cooler) multiple times in its history that it is today suggests that people have very little influence on the climate in general.

  5. GREATER IDAHO: Movement to Make Several Oregon Counties Part of Idaho Gains Steam
    By Mike LaChance Feb. 27, 2023 11:00 pm312 Comments

    As you know, several counties in the state of Oregon are trying to secede and become part of the state of Idaho.

    The people who live in these counties are sick and tired of the radical left wing politics that rule their state because of cities like Portland.

    We have been tracking the process of this movement. It’s looking good in the Idaho legislature.

    People want it to happen.

    Achieving this goal is a massive undertaking but the idea is ganing popularity.

    FOX News reports:

    ‘Greater Idaho’ movement to absorb conservative rural counties from liberal Oregon gains momentum

    A campaign to have rural eastern Oregon effectively secede from the blue state and join more conservative Idaho is gaining steam as leaders from both states express support for relocating the border between them.

  6. This provocative article tries to connect the dots. I say provocative mostly because it mentions Henry Kissinger. Kissinger is truly a mystery wrapped in an enigma, or something like that. Why was he initially against the war in Ukraine but now supports it? Have all those concerns of famine and mass migration gone away? No, they’re now worse. Was his initial stance a head fake to camouflage his real stance? Why does Klaus Schwab cite HK as his greatest influence?
    Excerpt from an article written by Rappaport:

    “Today I’m reposting a brief excerpt from a piece I wrote in November of 2014.

    I do so because Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, speaks and writes on and on about The Great Reset, a new normal, and how the world will change.

    When he was young, Schwab’s mentor at Harvard was Henry Kissinger. The connection was highly significant.

    From 2014—

    The late well-known journalist, Alexander Cockburn, on the op ed page of the LA Times on September 8, 1994, in his piece “Real U.S. Policy in Third World: Sterilization: Disregard the ‘empowerment’ shoe polish—the goal is to keep the natives from breeding,” reviewed the infamous Kissinger-commissioned 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200, “which addressed population issues.”

    “…the true concern of Kissinger analysts [in Memorandum 200] was maintenance of US access to Third World resources. They worried that the ‘political consequences’ of population growth [in the Third World] could produce internal instability … With famine and food riots and the breakdown of social order in such countries, [the Kissinger memo warns that] ‘the smooth flow of needed materials will be jeopardized.’”

    In other words, too many people equals disruption for the transnational corporations, who steal nations from those very people.

    Cockburn notes that the writers of the Kissinger memo “favored sterilization over food aid.” He goes on to write,“By 1977, Reimart Ravenholt, the director of AID’s [US Agency for International Development] population program, was saying that his agency’s goal was to sterilize one-quarter of the world’s women.”

    The Task Force on Vaccines for Fertility Regulation was created at the World Health Organization in 1973. Ute Sprenger, writing in Biotechnology and Development Monitor (December 1995) describes the Task Force:

    “…a global coordinating body for anti-fertility vaccine R&D…such as anti-sperm and anti-ovum vaccines…”

    Sprenger indicates that, as of 1995, there were several large groups researching these vaccines. Among them:

    * WHO/HRP. HRP is the Special Progamme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, located in Switzerland. It is funded by “the governments of Sweden, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Canada, as well as the UNFPA and the World Bank.”

    * The Population Council. It’s a US group funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Institutes of Health [a US federal agency], and the US Agency for International Development [notorious for its collaborations with the CIA].

    * National Institute of Immunology. Located in India, “major funders are the Indian government, the Canadian International Development Research Center and the [ubiquitous] Rockefeller Foundation.”

    * The Center for Population Research, located at the US National Institute of Child Health and Development [!], which is part of the US National Institutes of Health.

    —end of 2104 excerpt—

    Klaus Schwab was launched by Henry Kissinger.

    Kissinger was a subsidiary of David Rockefeller.

    David Rockefeller was the recent prince of the Rockefeller Empire which, among many other endeavors, pioneered and maintained research on depopulation.

    And still does.

    This lineage is not loose. It is close-knit, it is intentional, and it DOES involve a declaration that population reduction is necessary.”

    Truth these days is like Sasquatch: a lot of people think they see it, but it’s just a big skunk. I do know that we cannot afford sacred cows.

    • Event 201 – – Please don’t keep saying this “pandemic “ was a surprise and no body knew what to do – where to spend the money. Justine Trudeau, Chrystia Freeland as World Economic young leaders knew what was coming.

      Let them now start a dialogue about all the fired doctors, nurses, paramedics, healthcare workers, firemen, police, autoworkers, clerks, the list is staggering, middle class CANADIANS who were not allowed to collect unemployment because this tyrannical government punished the misogynistic, racists, small fringe minority that take up space, that put us all at risk (of getting the flu), spreaders of disease and misinformation, the extremists who would not get the so-called shots. You know what the vile little SOB clown prince spread about the citizens.

      Then they can tackle all the propaganda the “media” in this country spread, the fear, more fear and then more fear. Stay home, stay safe and shut the hell up – do not talk to anyone and find out the real truth, just get the jab. don’t listen to your loved ones, the government will look after you, they will even pay for your funeral if you die after taking the poison.

      And now if per chance you do get sick from the jab, the government will recommend MAID. Pierre Trudeau appointed Maurice Strong who was a staunch believer in eugenics, junior has carried on his legacy.

  7. NATO Pokes Russian Bear – Agrees to Plan for Ukraine to Become Member State
    By Jim Hoft Feb. 28, 2023 8:30 am15 Comments

    We have the worst leadership.
    NATO announced Tuesday the member nations agreed to allow Ukraine to become a member of the alliance.

    These people really love their wars.

    NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg also told reporters, “The faster and the sooner we give them[Ukraine] more heavy weapons the soon the war will end.”

    • Ukraine Will Join NATO In Long Term— NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg

      Stoltenberg says, “NATO allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member of our alliance, but at the same time that that is a long term perspective, what is the issue now is to ensure that Ukraine prevail as a sovereign, independent nation, and therefore we need to support Ukraine”.

    • NATO membership: Finland takes step towards joining alliance without waiting for Sweden

      The parliament in Helsinki is to debate and vote on joining the alliance without waiting for Sweden, or the approval of Turkey and Hungary.

    • twitter @KanekoaTheGreat

      @elonmusk : “Nobody is pushing this war more than Nuland”

      Kindly retweet this while the documentary loads.

      + 2 min 25 video


      The Ukrainian government demanded this Euromaidan documentary be taken off the air in Europe.

      Check out the trailer.

      Should I post the full documentary on Twitter?

      + 1 min 35 video


      Discover the untold story about the War in Ukraine in this eye-opening documentary. Are you ready to challenge what you know?

      + 51 min video

    • europravda – War in Ukraine: Kyiv says it’s ready for a counteroffensive in spring

      The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence said one of his country’s strategic goals is to split Moscow’s frontline between Crimea and Russia

    • FEB 28 2023 – NBC News – See inside Crimea as Ukraine hopes to retake the Russian-annexed territory

      …. a “shocking” report from Crimea

    • europravda – Blinken vows support for Central Asian nations’ independence in bid to weaken Russia’s influence

      Blinken visiting Kazakhstan, is targeting all the former Soviet republics who fear they will be future victims of Russian expansionism

    • yahoo news –Matt Gaetz Shut Down By Pentagon Official For Pushing Chinese Propaganda At Hearing

      Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) was swiftly shut down by a Pentagon official on Tuesday after trying to introduce Chinese propaganda as a credible source during a congressional hearing.

      In a House Armed Services Committee hearing, Gaetz used his time to criticize U.S. efforts to aid Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion. The committee heard from several Pentagon officials, including Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy.

      Gaetz began to grill Kahl, asking him whether the Pentagon currently has personnel in Ukraine. Kahl acknowledged a “couple dozen” Defense Department employees at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, but no other personnel.

      Kahl declined to answer Gaetz’s question about whether CIA officials are “training folks in Ukraine,” stressing that he could only discuss such subjects in a classified setting.

      When Gaetz asked if the U.S. is supplying weapons to Ukraine’s Azov Battalion — a far-right nationalist paramilitary unit — Kahl responded: “Not that I’m aware of.”

      The Florida Republican then attempted to create a gotcha moment, entering into the record what he said was an investigative report by the Global Times, an English-language daily tabloid that’s a subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship newspaper The People’s Daily.

      Gaetz, who appeared unaware of the tabloid’s propaganda links, cited the report in claiming that the U.S. had supplied weapons to the Azov Battalion as early as 2018. Asked if he disagreed with the report, Kahl calmly responded: “I’m sorry, is this the Global Times from China?”

      “No, this is …” Gaetz said before looking at the report in front of him and conceding. “Yeah, it might be. Yeah.”

      “As a general matter, I don’t take Beijing’s propaganda at face value,” Kahl said, his right pointer finger pressed against his temple.

      After Kahl repeated the statement a second time, Gaetz conceded. “Fair enough, I would agree with that assessment,” he said.

      The Global Times is popularly referred to as “China’s Fox News.” It often covers international issues from a Chinese ultranationalistic perspective. Under the Trump administration, the State Department designated the tabloid as a “foreign mission” that is “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by the Chinese government, according to The Washington Post.

      Gaetz’s introduction of the Global Times report as a congressional hearing exhibit is especially notable as tensions grow about the possibility of China supplying weapons to help Russia wage war against Ukraine.

      Before going after Kahl, Gaetz spent several minutes attempting, unsuccessfully, to get Defense Department Inspector General Robert Storch to admit that the Biden administration has lost track of U.S. funding to Ukraine.

      Gaetz and some other GOP House extremists want to halt U.S. aid to Ukraine.

    • Matt Gaetz GRILLS Defense Inspector General on Ukraine Aid!

      GAETZ to DOD Inspector General Robert Storch: “I think everyone watching this could see that if you could testify to [proper U.S. oversight of Ukraine aid], you would. You’re citing a classified report. I don’t know why that report is classified. The American people deserve to know if the 1996 law requiring oversight is being followed or not. You can’t testify that it is being followed, and so I think they can draw reasonable conclusions from that.”

    • yahoo news – Pentagon tells Republicans ‘no evidence’ that weapons for Ukraine are being diverted

      Top Pentagon officials on Tuesday told lawmakers they’re confident weapons being sent to Ukraine are being used for their desired purpose and aren’t being smuggled to the black market, a major concern among some Republicans.

      The testimony of the Pentagon’s policy chief and internal watchdog came in a House Armed Services hearing on U.S. support to Ukraine as Republicans make a push to ramp up open oversight of billions in aid to Kyiv.

      Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told the panel that the Pentagon assesses that Ukrainian forces “are using properly what they’ve been given.”

      “What we’re not seeing is any evidence of significant diversion,” Kahl told lawmakers. “Our assessment is if some of these systems have been diverted it’s by Russians who have captured things on the battlefield , which always happens, but that there’s no evidence the Ukrainians are diverting it to the black market.”

      He added that Ukraine is “clearly using what we are providing them … to maximum effect” and are requesting more weapons.

      At the same time, Kahl pushed back on bipartisan calls to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighters, the latest flashpoint between President Joe Biden and Congress on the conflict.

      The Armed Services session is the first such public hearing devoted to U.S. military support to Ukraine. Armed Services Chair Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) wants to intensify high-level public oversight of aid to show that weapons and equipment are going where they’re intended.

      Top Democrats and Republicans are aiming to preserve the bipartisan bloc that’s successfully enacted more than $100 billion in emergency aid since Russia launched its full-tilt invasion in February 2022 in a freshly split Congress.

      Pentagon Inspector General Robert Storch was pressed early by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) on whether his office has found instances of sensitive weapons, such as Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, being lost or diverted.

      “We have not substantiated any such instances,” Storch said.

      Democrat John Garamendi of California later pressed Storch: “You’ve not found problems of any great significance, is that correct?”

      “A lot of these audits and evaluations are pending, but with regard to the areas I’ve mentioned, we have limited findings, the department has been addressing them, and we’re going to continue to look at the issue,” Storch said. “So yes, that’s correct.”

      Republicans who now control the House are contending with a vocal minority that opposes further funding for Ukraine. Proponents of more aid are also navigating a potentially austere funding atmosphere as conservatives push for spending cuts in the coming budget cycle.

      Rogers and other defense leaders argue the Pentagon must explain publicly how it tracks equipment as part of that effort.

      Kahl told lawmakers that Ukrainian officials provide the Pentagon with information on their inventories and transfer logs. The Defense Department has provided Ukrainians with handheld scanners to send data back to the U.S. Defense officials based at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv have also made site visits.

      “They have seen no signs of diversion or that the Ukrainians are not following procedure,” Kahl said.

      Some lawmakers also dinged the administration for refusing to send Ukraine weapons it has requested, such as longer-range artillery or U.S.-made warplanes. Rogers slammed Biden for being “overly worried” that sending certain weapons would be viewed as escalatory and said holding back has “only prolonged the war.”

      Kahl later pushed back, arguing the administration weighs what weapons to send based on Ukraine’s needs and potential impact on U.S. military readiness rather than concerns over escalation.

      He faced bipartisan criticism over Biden’s refusal to immediately send F-16s to Ukraine. Biden said last week that Ukraine “doesn’t need F-16s now.”

      The Pentagon policy chief said the most optimistic timeline for delivering older F-16s would be “about 18 months” while producing newer F-16s would take three to six years to deliver.

      “It is a priority for the Ukrainians, but it’s not one of their top three priorities,” Kahl said in an exchange with Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.). “Their top priorities are air defense systems … artillery and fires, which we’ve talked about, and armor and mechanized systems.”

      Backers of sending Ukraine the Lockheed Martin F-16s or similar jets, led by Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), released an updated letter on Tuesday to Biden with additional signatures. Sixteen lawmakers from both parties have now signed the letter, first reported by POLITICO.

      The panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, defended the administration. He argued the “best case scenario” would see some F-16s in Ukraine within eight months to a year.

      “We looked at that and we determined that is not a wise use of the resources that are necessary to win the fight,” Smith said.

      “No blank check means no blank check,” he said. “It means we don’t just send everything that people ask for in the blink of an eye without thinking about it.”


      reuters – U.S. does not see significant near-term Russian gains in Ukraine: Pentagon official

      The United States does not expect Russia to make significant territorial gains in Ukraine in the near-term, a senior Pentagon official said on Tuesday, describing the front lines in the year-long war as a “grinding slog.”

      Despite failing to take Kyiv early in the war and despite its many battlefield setbacks, Russia still controls about a fifth of Ukrainian territory. yiv has so far ruled out talks with Moscow and has demanded that Russian troops withdraw to Ukraine’s borders as of 1991 – the year the Soviet Union collapsed.

      Russian forces on Tuesday pressed forward their weeks-long drive to encircle and capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut where the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces described the situation as “extremely tense.”

      “You may see small portions of territory change hands in the coming weeks and months. I do not think that there’s anything I see that suggests the Russians can sweep across Ukraine and make significant territorial gains anytime in the next year or so,” Colin Kahl, the U.S. under secretary of defense for policy, told a House of Representatives hearing.

      Kahl made the remarks during a hearing focused on oversight of the billions of dollars in military aid Washington has provided to Kyiv.

      President Joe Biden’s administration has provided nearly $32 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion a year ago, including drones, long-range artillery systems and air defense capabilities.

      In October, the U.S. restarted on-site inspections in Ukraine to help keep track of the billions of dollars of weapons being provided to Kyiv.

      One of the weapons the U.S. has not provided — despite public appeals by Ukrainian officials — are F-16 fighter jets.

      Kahl was asked repeatedly by lawmakers about sending the jets to Ukraine.

      Biden has ruled out the fighter jets for now and Kahl said it could take 18-24 months to deliver existing F-16s, with new ones taking months longer.

      He added that Ukraine wanted the jets but it was not its top priority.

      “It is a priority for the Ukrainians, but it is not one of their top three priorities,” Kahl said.


      zero hedge – Zelensky Hints At Withdrawing From Russian-Encircled Bakhmut: ‘Out Of Options’

      It was only in late January that Ukraine’s military General Staff emphasized that any potential forces withdrawal from the strategic city of Bakhmut in the east was “out of the question” as the situation was said to be under control.

      But a month later, the narrative has dramatically shifted amid reports that the Russians are shelling Ukrainian positions around the clock, and as complaints from Ukrainian front lines oersist of not enough ammo supplies to keep pace with the Russians. President Zelensky in fresh remarks on the situation has admitted that besieged Bakhut is running out of options.

      Within the past days he also said for the first time that he won’t seek to hold the city “at any cost” – strongly suggesting Ukraine has suffered a staggering loss in manpower.

      He said Tuesday:

      “The situation is getting more and more difficult”…

      “The enemy is gradually destroying everything which can be used to protect our positions,” Zelenskiy said in his address, stopping short of announcing a pullout.

      There have been emerging reports of gun battles deep within the city itself, which is a new development, also as Russian forces have it nearly fully encircled, as the NY Times also confirms:

      The commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, on Tuesday described the situation around the city as “extremely tense” in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

      And Reuters too for the first time presented a headline Tuesday which put the situation for the Ukrainian side in stark terms: “Russians tighten noose on Ukraine’s Bakhmut,” the news service reported.

      On Monday Zelensky had described that “The enemy is constantly destroying everything that can be used to protect our positions for fortification and defense. Our soldiers defending the area around Bakhmut are true heroes.” Some soldiers cited in local reports are vowing to fight till the end, as military reports get more and more desperate.

      Meanwhile the Biden administration is still resisting demands to give Kiev F-16 fighter jets… “for now” that is.

      John Kirby had described in a Monday interview that “At no time have the Russians ever achieved air superiority over Ukraine” – though by many military observer accounts, this is a highly dubious statement.

      Russian forces are fast closing in on months-long efforts to have the sizeable city completely surrounded and cut off…

      He emphasized that “we do want Ukraine to win” – speaking of the United States, however, he qualified that Ukraine’s leaders will determine what ‘winning’ looks like, which could be seen as a sign of creeping openness to negotiated settlement.

      WaPo – Congress presses Pentagon on Biden’s reluctance to give Ukraine F-16s

      Colin Kahl, a top U.S. defense official, told lawmakers it could be 18 months at the earliest before Ukraine’s military could operate and maintain the advanced aircraft

      Ukrainian forces would need at least 18 months to learn how to fly and maintain F-16 fighter jets in combat, a senior Pentagon official told Congress on Tuesday as the Biden administration continued to fend off questions about why a frequent request from Kyiv and, increasingly, American politicians has gone unfulfilled.

      The issue has dogged the administration for months, as President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to make public pleas for the planes and U.S. lawmakers question why Ukrainian pilots are not already in training.

      “I do think this conversation will continue,” Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, explained to members of the House Armed Service Committee. In a best-case scenario, he said, older F-16s could be transferred within two years. To purchase and deliver new ones, he noted, could take up to six.

      “It’s just hard for me to tell any member of Congress, of the American public, that the best use of that dollar spent right now is on F-16s,” Kahl said.

      The questioning from lawmakers followed comments last week from President Biden, who told ABC News that Ukraine “doesn’t need F-16s now.” The committee’s Republican leadership called Tuesday’s hearing after having pledged to conduct vigorous oversight of the tens of billions of dollars in weapons and money that the Biden administration has provided the government in Kyiv to fend off invading Russian forces.

      While an outspoken minority of Republicans have questioned whether Washington should be helping Ukraine at all, several committee members from both political parties zeroed in on whether the Biden administration is moving quickly enough to provide the sorts of advanced weapons that could help Zelensky’s military drive out the Russians from occupied areas and set the most favorable conditions for a peace deal.

      “Since the beginning, the president has been overly worried, in my view, that giving Ukraine what it needs to win would be too escalatory,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala.), said. “This hesitation has only prolonged the war and driven up the cost in terms of dollars and lives.”

      Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) noted that a bipartisan group of lawmakers had appealed to the administration several times throughout the past year, calling for the provision of long-range missiles in addition to F-16s. While Ukrainian officials may have more immediate priorities, like obtaining more air defenses to protect its people and civilian infrastructure from Russian missile and drone attacks, “certainly they would prefer to have their top five or top six or top ten needs or capabilities met,” Golden said.

      The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.), hewed more to the administration’s point of view, saying near the hearing’s outset that “everyone has become obsessed” with F-16s in recent weeks.

      “We could maybe get some operational F-16s into Ukraine within a year, maybe eight months if we really pushed it,” Smith said. “And this is getting lucky, alright? Because you don’t just have to train the pilots, you have to train the mechanics, you have to have airfields that can accommodate the F-16 and you have to have the spare parts to make it work. So we looked at that and we determined that is not a wise use of the resources that are necessary to win the fight.”

      Tuesday’s hearing was remarkable as well for the broad sense of agreement among Republicans and Democrats who favor a stricter accounting of the vast amount of military hardware being sent into the war zone. Kahl, when asked about the possibility of U.S.-provided weapons falling into the wrong hands, said that the Pentagon had not seen “any evidence” of diversion.

      “We think the Ukrainians are using properly what they’ve been given,” he said.

      The Defense Department inspector general, Robert Storch, stopped short of saying that no weapons have gone missing, telling Rep. John Garamendi (D.-Calif.) that so far his team has not found any major issues.

      The hearing was convened two weeks after Rogers led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Poland and Romania meant to observe how the U.S. military delivers and tracks the weapons it provides to Ukraine. The lawmakers released a joint statement after their trip calling for greater transparency on the issue.

      “The American people have every right to know that U.S. military equipment donated to Ukraine is being used for its intended purpose — Ukraine’s fight for national survival,” the lawmakers said. They added that they “came away with a clear understanding of the various safeguards” that have been put in place after a briefing with the American general who oversees the effort, but warned that “should we confirm that any defense articles are siphoned off, diverted, or missing the flow of U.S. equipment would cease to be tenable.”
      CNN – Situation in Bakhmut is ‘much worse than officially reported,’ Ukrainian soldiers say

      Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut describe a worsening situation on the ground

    • Foreign Policy The Conversation About Ukraine Is Cracking Apart

      What government officials are saying in public, and private, is fascinating—and full of contradictions.

      I attended the Munich Security Conference for the first time this year, so I may be a member of Washington’s so-called Blob after all. I was grateful for the opportunity and enjoyed the experience, but I can’t say that I came away from it feeling better about the current state of the world.

      The war in Ukraine dominated the proceedings, of course, and there were two important dividing lines in the collective conversation.

      The first gap was the vastly different perceptions, narratives, and preferred responses between the trans-Atlantic community on the one hand and key members of the global south on the other. Several important media outlets have described this gap already, and a new report from the European Council on Foreign Relations contains compelling survey data documenting it. I attended several sessions and private dinners focused on this issue, and the discussions were revealing.

      Diehard Atlanticists tend to portray the war in Ukraine as the single most important geopolitical issue in the world today. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said the war had “far-reaching global ramifications,” and the head of one U.S.-based think tank called it “the fulcrum of the 21st century.” Similarly, when asked how the war might end, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock replied that anything less than a complete Russian defeat and withdrawal would mean “the end of the international order and the end of international law.”

      In this narrative, in short, what is at stake in Ukraine is the future of the entire rules-based order—and even the future of freedom itself. Some American and European speakers seemed to be competing to see who could give the most Churchillian speech, insisting that there was no substitute for victory, dismissing any risk of escalation, and calling for Ukraine’s supporters to give Kyiv whatever it needs to win a quick and decisive victory.

      The rest of the world sees it differently. Nobody was defending Russia or President Vladimir Putin in Munich, and the United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine “immediately, completely and unconditionally” passed with more than 140 votes a few days later. But states outside the trans-Atlantic coalition (including important powers such as India, Brazil, or Saudi Arabia) have not joined Western-led efforts to sanction Russia and do not see the conflict in the same apocalyptic terms that most officials in the West do. Atlanticists in Munich seemed baffled by their stance, and a few people were sharply critical. I heard another Western think tank head chide nonaligned states by saying, “This conference is not about moral ambiguity.”

      In fact, this gap is not that hard to understand. For starters, people outside the West view the rules-based order and Western insistence that states not violate international law as rank hypocrisy, and they were particularly resentful of Western attempts to claim the moral high ground on this issue. In their view, not only do Western powers make most of the rules, but they are also perfectly willing to violate these rules whenever it suits them. Not surprisingly, representatives from the global south were quick to bring up the United States’ illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003—where was the rules-based order then? Similarly, several speakers pointed out that the same Western governments warning that Russia is violating the post-World War II norm against acquiring territory by conquest did nothing to stop Israel from conquering the Golan Heights and West Bank, annexing the former and filling the latter with settlers. Russia is now heavily sanctioned—understandably—whereas the United States gives Israel generous economic and military aid as well as uses its veto to shield Israel from criticism in the U.N. Security Council. Such blatant double standards make Western moral posturing hard to swallow.

      Furthermore, key states in the global south do not share the Western belief that the future of the 21st century is going to be determined by the outcome of the war. For them, economic development, climate change, migration, civil conflicts, terrorism, the rising power of India and China, and many others will all exert a greater impact on humanity’s future than the fate of the Donbas or Crimea. They wonder why Western governments quickly found tens of billions of dollars to send Ukraine but wouldn’t pay enough to mount an effective global vaccination campaign against COVID-19. 🙂 🙂 🙂 They ask why Ukraine is now in the spotlight 24/7, but the West devotes only intermittent attention to the lives being lost in sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, or other trouble spots. They are angry watching European states welcome Ukrainian refugees with open arms, given their prior hostility to refugees fleeing equally horrific situations in Syria or Afghanistan. And because the war is affecting their interests adversely (e.g., through higher food prices), they are more interested in ending it than helping Kyiv achieve all its war aims.

      The global south’s measured stance does not mean it is “pro-Russian”; it means those states are merely as self-interested as other countries are. It also means the gap between the West and the so-called rest is not likely to go away.

      The second gap I observed in Munich was a gulf between the optimism that top officials expressed in public and the more pessimistic assessments one heard in private. In the main events featuring officials such as Harris, Baerbock, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and others, one heard upbeat tales of Western unity and long-term prospects for victory. U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky echoed this message during Biden’s surprise visit to Kyiv last week. While acknowledging that difficult days lie ahead, the focus in Munich was on the victory that would one day be won.

      In private, however, the conversations were much more somber. None of my private meetings included officials at the very top of key governments, but nobody I spoke with expected the war to end soon and no one thought Ukraine would be able to retake all of its lost territory (including Crimea) no matter how much aid it gets in the next year. Indeed, increasingly fervent calls for more lethal aid (such as tanks, artillery, Army Tactical Missile Systems, and fighter planes) may reflect an awareness that Ukraine is in worse shape than mainstream reports indicate. Most of the people I spoke with expect a continued grinding stalemate, perhaps leading to a cease-fire some months from now. Western aid for Ukraine is not aiming for victory; therefore, the real goal is to put Kyiv in a position to strike a favorable bargain when the time comes.

      This gap between public optimism and private realism is not surprising either. Leaders at war need to maintain public morale (and alliance cohesion), and that means telling an upbeat story in public. Expressing confidence in success and committing to fight for as long as it takes may help convince the enemy to revise its own war aims downward. Even if one thinks it’s time to cut a deal, saying this out loud will undermine one’s own bargaining position and get a worse outcome in the end.

      But here’s what worries me. The Biden administration’s rhetorical support for Ukraine keeps increasing, and it continues to promise us some sort of happy Hollywood ending. Biden’s trip to Kyiv was a bold move that underscored his stamina and personal commitment to helping Ukraine, but it also tied his political fortunes to the war’s outcome more directly and visibly. If Biden can’t deliver what he’s promised, then what looks like a compelling demonstration of U.S. leadership today will look a lot less impressive a year from now. If the war is still at a brutal stalemate in February 2024 and Ukraine is being destroyed, then Biden will face pressure either to do more or look for a plan B. Given what he’s promised, anything less than complete victory will look like failure. Moreover, if China decides to give Russia more help, then Biden might have to impose additional sanctions on the world’s second-largest economy, triggering new supply chain problems and jeopardizing the delicate economic recovery that is now underway. And if that happens, Republican presidential hopefuls (one of them in particular) will be licking their chops and liking their chances.

  8. President Trump to Be Keynote Speaker at CPAC In DC This Week – Mike Pence and Ron DeSantis to Skip This Year’s Event
    By Joe Hoft Feb. 28, 2023 8:15 am82 Comments

    Mike Pence and Ron DeSantis will not attend this year’s CPAC in Washington DC.

    Local Florida News Channel News 4 in Jacksonville shared that Governor DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence will not be going to CPAC this year.

    The Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, is returning to Washington for the first time since 2020.

    CPAC, which is billed as the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world, begins Wednesday.

  9. Marjorie Taylor Greene “Attacked” in a Restaurant – “Never Even Noticed These People Until They Turned Into Demons”
    By ProTrumpNews Staff Feb. 28, 2023 9:00 am574 Comments

    The American left uses threats and violence to intimidate those they don’t agree with. This is a familiar tactic used by regimes throughout history.

    GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted out that she was attacked in a restaurant by an insane woman and “screamed at by her adult son” late Monday night.

    Greene said, “People used to respect others even if they had different views. But not anymore. Our country is gone.”

    This was a common occurrence during the Trump years. Republican and Trump administration officials were frequently harassed and attacked by the violent left while they were out in public.

    No Republican is safe from the woke mob.

    • The article points out this was common during the Trump Administration. Biden’s senility is making the Dems desperate, they know there is no way they can get the majority of the people to believe he wins the 2024 election. They also know there isn’t another Democrat that is popular enough for them to steal the 2024 election. This is why they are resorting to terror attacks against the Republicans that are effective in our fight to overturn the Democrat coup. I don’t think this tactic will work but it is something the left has to try.

      The Dems want another 4 years because it will give them more time to create chaos in the big cities. The idea behind this tactic is to make thing so bad the people will give up their freedom for the illusion of safety. This won’t work as long as strong people are working against the Democrats. This is why we can expect more andom violence and more targeted attacks of Republicans. I don’t think these tactics will work but the Dems actions are showing they think the ordinary people aren’t going to revolt no matter what the Dems do.

  10. While Biden Attacks US Coal Producers and Families of Coal Miners, China Is Building New Coal Plants at Break-Neck Speed
    By Joe Hoft Feb. 28, 2023 10:45 am1 Comment

    What’s going on? While Biden and John Kerry attack US coal producers, China is busy building more coal plants.

    The Daily Mail reported on China’s efforts to escalate the production and functioning of coal-powered plants:

    China approved 168 coal-fired power plants in 2022, the most rapid expansion of the country’s coal-fired power capacity since 2015, according to a report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and Global Energy Monitor (GEM) Monday.

    Chinese companies began constructing 50 gigawatts (GW) worth of coal-fired power capacity in 2022, more than triple the rest of the world put together and spiking 50% from 2021, according to the report. Conversely, President Joe Biden’s signature Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is expected to lead to the retirement of 30 GW to 60 GW of U.S. coal-fired power plants by 2030, by making it more difficult for coal to compete with renewables, E&E News reported, citing an analysis by analytics firm Rhodium Group.

  11. Trump: Zuckerberg “Cheated on the Election…Why Isn’t He Being Prosecuted?”
    By ProTrumpNews Staff Feb. 28, 2023 10:15 am50 Comments

    Donald Trump is not giving up exposing the 2020 election steal.

    Trump blasted Mark Zuckerberg in a Truth Scocial post-Sunday.

    Trump said, Zuckerberg “cheated on the Election(s)” and asked, “why isn’t he being prosecuted?”

    Truth Social:

    <IHe cheated on the Election(s). The whole system is RIGGED. Why isn’t he being prosecuted? The Democrats only know how to cheat. America isn’t going to take it much longer!

    Trump cited an article from Fox News saying that a Georgia elections board may have violated the law when they accepted money from a Zuckerberg-linked group.

    The DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections accepted $2 million from a Zuckerberg-linked group.

    The Honest Elections Project called this a “flagrant and egregious” violation of a state ban on private funding.

    • zero hedge – Brazilian President And WEF Member Lula Da Silva Pressures Population Into Total COVID Vaccination

      After three years of covid disinformation from governments and globalist institutions, western countries are finally starting to realize that the pandemic event was not much of a pandemic and that the majority of restrictions and mandates involved in the response had nothing to do with public health or safety. The establishment failed to implement vaccine mandates and passports in the west, but that does not mean they have given up on the agenda in other parts of the world.

      The nation of Brazil has become a prime target for further medical authoritarianism despite the fading mandate efforts in the US and Europe.

      While data disproving the majority of covid claims is becoming widespread in North America, there is a fight brewing in South America to dismiss or censor scientific evidence and enforce vaccine requirements anyway. To recap, the “conspiracy theorists” were right about everything.

      The lockdown mandates were useless. The mask mandates were useless. The death rate of covid has been exposed as fraudulent, with up to 70% of covid fatalities misdiagnosed by hospitals. The rumors of covid induced heart failure have been debunked. The claims of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” have been debunked as the majority of covid deaths today are among the vaccinated. Natural immunity has been shown to be far superior to the vaccines. The US government is now essentially admitting that covid most likely came from the Level 4 virology lab in Wuhan, China – The same lab where Anthony Fauci and the NIH funded gain of function research on coronaviruses.

      Don’t show any of this evidence to Lula Da Silva, the highly controversial convicted criminal president of Brazil – He says it’s all “denialism” designed to convince the Brazilian populace to remain unprotected from covid. Silva has made forced vaccination a centerpiece of his presidency, and his latest efforts smell of globalist policy influence.

      twitter @goddeketal

      Today, Lula launched a Covid vaxx campaign… in 2023!

      “The vaccine is a guarantee of life.
      That’s why I took my fifth vaccine today. And if there is a sixth, I will take the sixth. If there is a seventh, I will take the seventh.”

      The problem will hopefully solve itself soon.

      + 1 min 24 video + Eng subs


      Silva has launched a new covid vaccination initiative in 2023, thee years after the covid outbreak and more than a year after most other nations gave up trying to pressure the citizenry to comply. The oddity of it is rooted in Brazil’s existing vaccine rate – According to “official data” Brazil already has an 80% vaccinated population. If this is true, why is Silva still trying to force the other 20% into compliance? In pure public health terms, Brazil has already achieved herd immunity (if the vaccines were actually effective as claimed). It would appear another motive is afoot.

      Lula is a long time favorite associate of the World Economic Forum and Klaus Schwab. Lula has attended the WEF for at least 20 years, and the think-tank gave him a “Global Statesman Award” in 2010. The WEF has stated on numerous occasions that “vaccinating the entire world” using mRNA covid products is their goal.

      The WEF member was convicted on corruption charges in 2018 and was supposed to serve a 12 year sentence. However, magically, the Brazilian Supreme Court reversed the prison sentence less than two years later. A coordinated corporate media campaign designed to clean up Silva’s image was then enacted so that he could run for president yet again. Silva claimed victory in the 2022 elections, though at least half of Brazil argues that the elections were rigged.

      Ever since, Silva has made it his mission to vaccinate the whole of Brazil, using such measures as restricting access to welfare benefits for anyone that does not stay up-to-date on their boosters and parents that refuse to vaccinate their children.

      Silva’s go-to narrative is to shame Brazilians into submitting to the vaccine by suggesting they are putting their children and relatives at risk. He claims that the vaccine is the “only guarantee of life.” All the scientific evidence says otherwise. With covid’s official median Infection Fatality Rate at 0.23% (even less when taking false positive deaths into account) covid is a non-issue for 99.8% of the public. But if the goal is to test how far the population can be pushed to accept globalist covid rules, then evidence will not mean much.

    • the epoch times – Hypocrisy Unlimited: Hollywood’s Secret Counterfeit Vaccine Network

      Last week, I had a remarkable phone call with a person—I’m equivocating to protect their identity, though I assure you that person was either male or female, not in the least transgendered—from my former home in the Los Angeles area, regarding Hollywood and COVID-19 or, as it’s known hereabouts, the CCP virus.

      Ironically, this was exactly one week before the deadline for Oscar voting. Although no longer working in the industry, I’ve been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since the mid-’80s but never have I received so many emails, texts, and phone calls reminding me to vote.

      This tells me that other members may be as bored with the process as I am. Who wants to vote in the event, let alone watch it?

      Besides being reactionary in its obsession with race and sexual identity, “woke” Hollywood just isn’t fun (or entertaining) anymore.

      Even less fun for all of us was COVID-19, but for Hollywood, it was especially inconvenient because of the stringent California laws that the studios took to with alacrity. You had no career without mRNA certification. You were supposed to be vaccinated just to get on the studio lot.

      The phone call I mentioned above was with a person who works in the entertainment industry and said they obtained—through connections—vaccination record cards for use by major Hollywood celebrities and others.

      These aren’t counterfeits, but actual cards purloined from a hospital pharmacy where the vaccines were sold and included batch numbers but without names attached. In essence, they were contraband.

      The person claims to have been inspired to do something for people in the face of forced vaccination after news emerged that the virus might have been the result of a lab leak in Wuhan, China, and that the government had been lying about the pandemic in general.

      My interlocutor says they began selling the cards in early April 2021. Between then and early October of that year, calls were apparently coming in every day for contraband cards.

      The individual estimates that they sold at least 250 of the cards during that period. When asked whether they were afraid of the Justice Department and IRS because of this, the answer was affirmative.

      The celebrities for whom this person made these counterfeits were almost uniformly liberals or progressives, at least publicly. In other words, if you asked them, they supported mandates, masks, and so forth, sometimes adamantly. Behind the scenes was another matter.

      The stories this person told me were amusing, nauseating, and, in some sense, edifying all at once. We have long known that Hollywood types are some of the most hypocritical people on the planet— living large while endlessly lecturing the little folk on climate and the rest—but this may take the proverbial cake.

      Many of this person’s clients, I was told, were well aware of details of the growing concerns about potential side effects of the vaccines—particularly in the reproductive area. Not surprisingly then, the person estimated 90 percent of the clients were female.

      The general state of these people was described as fear and paranoia, reminiscent of the 1980 Lichtenstein-like cartoon in the LA Weekly that showed an anguished female studio executive intoning, “NUCLEAR WAR? There goes my career!”

      It didn’t always go well.

      One of my informant’s clients—a well-known entertainer whose name I was assured I would know—was allegedly upset that a favorite local sports team was demanding proof of vaccination for entry, even at the VIP entrance.

      So this person apparently panicked when offered a card by my interlocutor. It was said there would be ushers at all entrances with iPads, checking the cards against the California state database.

      My informant replied the database was hodgepodge—apparently, 30 percent of vaccinations were never recorded —and that the celeb should just insist the card was valid, loudly, if necessary, and all would be well. The entertainer apparently replied that was fine for the man and woman on the street, but if the celeb made a fuss, it would be on TMZ before morning, a career-ender like the 1980s cartoon.

      The celeb ended up giving the VIP tickets, sans card, to the entertainer’s manager, only to find out later that no one was at the door checking anything.

      This paranoia, or was it just the reality of that world, carried through with another well-known actress, who allegedly wanted cards for herself and her partner. But she was so worried about being found out that she wouldn’t allow my informant to go to her house or for her to go to theirs, nor would she meet my informant in a public place. She ended up sitting with them in the informant’s driveway squeezed inside her Corvette (where have we heard that lately?) so that no one could see or record that they had met.

      As noted above, not all the clients were celebs. My interlocutor was even approached for help by three nurses from a large area hospital who my informant said actually turned out to be—irony of ironies—their compliance department. They had plenty of information about the inadequacies of the aforementioned database.

      I asked my interlocutor whether the Hollywood clients learned anything from these dealings, having to confront their hypocrisy up close. The response was tentatively positive in some instances, but only in a few.

      Do I think this person was being honest with me? Yes, absolutely. The knowledge of the terrain—that I knew well from decades as a screenwriter—was too exact.

  12. Ohio Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown Fundraises in Hollywood During Crisis in East Palestine
    By Mike LaChance Feb. 28, 2023 11:00 am0 Comments

    Ohio’s Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown is fundraising in Hollywood while the people of East Palestine are still dealing with an environmental crisis.

    To his credit, Brown has visited the accident site, but maybe now is not the best time for him to be asking Hollywood liberals for campaign donations.

    Why are so many Democrats so tone deaf on this issue?

    FOX News reports:

    Democrat Ohio senator fundraises in Hollywood amid East Palestine toxic chemical spill

    Democrat Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown was fundraising in Hollywood, California, over the weekend while residents of East Palestine, Ohio, are still dealing with the effects of the toxic chemical spill affecting the Buckeye State.

    Brown, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, took part in a Hollywood Hills fundraiser on Saturday according to an Instagram post from one of the co-hosts of the event.

    “If you know me you know I have been a big fan of Sherrod’s for years !! (sic)” said Jill Goldman, who formerly served on Obama´s National Finance Committee and is a former Obama appointee. “Sherrod is a progressive champion who wins in a tough state like Ohio because Ohioans know he fights for them in the workplace.”

    His Dignity of Work message enables him to reach those Trump voters even though he has been pro-choice his whole career, gets an F from the NRA and has been for marriage equality since he voted against DOMA in the 90’s!” Goldman continued.

    “SHERROD is up for a tight re/election campaign 2024 but he can do it in a red Ohio! I love Sherrod !! We need Ohio to keep the Senate Blue !!THE SENATE NEEDS SHERROD BROWN !! WE ALLL NEED SHERROD NOW MORE THAN BEFORE !!! (sic)” she added.

    This is a bad look.

  13. That Was My Best Weapon!” – Bodycam Footage Shows DC Metro Officer Boasting About Beating Trump Supporters with a Flagpole on J6 (VIDEO)
    By Cullen Linebarger Feb. 28, 2023 10:00 am90 Comments

    This should make every American livid about not only the utter cruelty by law enforcement toward January 6 protesters.

    The Epoch Times obtained bodycam footage from Officer Michael Dowling, a Metropolitan Police Department officer, showing him assaulting protesters with a flagpole.

    Today there are dozens of Trump supporters sitting in prison for doing much less.

    Now we know why Democrats and the Deep State DO NOT want the J6 Capitol Hill footage released.

    One woman was hit twice in the head after she was trying to escape the Capitol Hill tunnel. Dowling also jabbed at several men who were facing the police.

    The footage also shows Dowling dragging a pulseless Rosanne Boyland into the tunnel, As Gateway Pundit readers know, Boyland was brutally beaten by MPD officer Lila Morris and gassed and smothered on the US Capitol steps until she died.

    Dowling also handed gas canisters to Virginia State Police and explosions were heard seconds later on the Lower West Terrance.

    Even more sickeningly, his fellow officers openly congratulated Dowling for his awful actions with the pole. “You did well with that, sir,” one officer exclaimed.

    • I have spent my life obeying the law. This sickens me and the fact that citizens are OK with this tyranny terrifies me. It is like the Mounties beating Canadians, knocking them down and kicking them, knocking Canadians down while they were on horseback and bragging about it. Yes it terrifies me because I know we are getting close to the point of no return.

      • I don’t know that the Citizens are ok with this, it is probably that they are getting their news from the networks and don’t know about the criminal actions.

  14. Putin’s top aid claims Biden’s senility could start World War 3

    (Richard: Brad is giving us fair warning, Biden is a Loose Cannon that the entire world knows is senile. The people who are wanting to conquer neighboring nations are taking advantage of this to try and achieve their goals. The West with out a strong leader are trying to take up the slake but the European population has too many long held national grievances for one of them to be the rallying point. Plus they have millions of illegal Moslems in their countries messing up the political math.

    As Brad says their are Storm Clouds on the horizon that spell a very violent and bloody couple of decades for the world.

    Keep your musket clean, your powder dry and your bugout bag packed.)

  15. CNN – Zero-calorie sweetener linked to heart attack and stroke, study finds

    A sugar replacement called erythritol – used to add bulk or sweeten stevia, monkfruit and keto reduced-sugar products – has been linked to blood clotting, stroke, heart attack and death, according to a new study.

    “The degree of risk was not modest,” said lead study author Dr. Stanley Hazen, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diagnostics and Prevention at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute.

    People with existing risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, were twice as likely to experience a heart attack or stroke if they had the highest levels of erythritol in their blood, according to the study, published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine.

    “If your blood level of erythritol was in the top 25% compared to the bottom 25%, there was about a two-fold higher risk for heart attack and stroke. It’s on par with the strongest of cardiac risk factors, like diabetes,” Hazen said.

    Additional lab and animal research presented in the paper revealed that erythritol appeared to be causing blood platelets to clot more readily. Clots can break off and travel to the heart, triggering a heart attack, or to the brain, triggering a stroke.

    “This certainly sounds an alarm,” said Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health, a hospital in Denver, who was not involved in the research.

    “There appears to be a clotting risk from using erythritol,” Freeman said. “Obviously, more research is needed, but in an abundance of caution, it might make sense to limit erythritol in your diet for now.”

    In response to the study, the Calorie Control Council, an industry association, told CNN that “the results of this study are contrary to decades of scientific research showing reduced-calorie sweeteners like erythritol are safe, as evidenced by global regulatory permissions for their use in foods and beverages,” said Robert Rankin, the council’s executive director, in an email.

    The results “should not be extrapolated to the general population, as the participants in the intervention were already at increased risk for cardiovascular events,” Rankin said.

    The European Association of Polyol Producers declined to comment, saying it had not reviewed the study.

    What is erythritol?

    Like sorbitol and xylitol, erythritol is a sugar alcohol, a carb found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It has about 70% of the sweetness of sugar and is considered zero-calorie, according to experts.

    Artificially manufactured in massive quantities, erythritol has no lingering aftertaste, doesn’t spike blood sugar and has less of a laxative effect than some other sugar alcohols.

    “Erythritol looks like sugar, it tastes like sugar, and you can bake with it,” said Hazen, who also directs the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Microbiome and Human Health.

    “It’s become the sweetheart of the food industry, an extremely popular additive to keto and other low-carb products and foods marketed to people with diabetes,” he added. “Some of the diabetes-labeled foods we looked at had more erythritol than any other item by weight.”

    Erythritol is also the largest ingredient by weight in many “natural” stevia and monkfruit products, Hazen said. Because stevia and monkfruit are about 200 to 400 times sweeter than sugar, just a small amount is needed in any product. The bulk of the product is erythritol, which adds the sugar-like crystalline appearance and texture consumers expect.

    An unexpected discovery

    The discovery of the connection between erythritol and cardiovascular issues was purely accidental, Hazen said: “We never expected this. We weren’t even looking for it.”

    Hazen’s research had a simple goal: find unknown chemicals or compounds in a person’s blood that might predict their risk for a heart attack, stroke or death in the next three years. To do so, the team began analyzing 1,157 blood samples in people at risk for heart disease collected between 2004 and 2011.

    “We found this substance that seemed to play a big role, but we didn’t know what it was,” Hazen said. “Then we discovered it was erythritol, a sweetener.”

    The human body naturally creates erythritol but in very low amounts that would not account for the levels they measured, he said.

    To confirm the findings, Hazen’s team tested another batch of blood samples from over 2,100 people in the United States and an additional 833 samples gathered by colleagues in Europe through 2018. About three-quarters of the participants in all three populations had coronary disease or high blood pressure, and about a fifth had diabetes, Hazen said. Over half were male and in their 60s and 70s.

    In all three populations, researchers found that higher levels of erythritol were connected to a greater risk of heart attack, stroke or death within three years.

    But why? To find out, researchers did further animal and lab tests and discovered that erythritol was “provoking enhanced thrombosis,” or clotting in the blood, Hazen said.

    Clotting is necessary in the human body, or we would bleed to death from cuts and injuries. The same process is constantly happening internally, as well.

    “Our blood vessels are always under pressure, and we spring leaks, and blood platelets are constantly plugging these holes all the time,” Hazen said.

    However, the size of the clot made by platelets depends on the size of the trigger that stimulates the cells, he explained. For example, if the trigger is only 10%, then you only get 10% of a clot.

    “But what we’re seeing with erythritolis the platelets become super responsive: A mere 10% stimulant produces 90% to 100% of a clot formation,” Hazen said.

    “For people who are at risk for clotting, heart attack and stroke – like people with existing cardiac disease or people with diabetes – I think that there’s sufficient data here to say stay away from erythritol until more studies are done,” Hazen said.

    Oliver Jones, a professor of chemistry at RMIT University in Victoria, Australia, noted that the study had revealed only a correlation, not causation.

    “As the authors themselves note, they found an association between erythritol and clotting risk, not definitive proof such a link exists,” Jones, who was not involved in the research, said in a statement.

    “Any possible (and, as yet unproven) risks of excess erythritol would also need to be balanced against the very real health risks of excess glucose consumption,” Jones said.

    Healthy volunteers

    In a final part of the study, eight healthy volunteers drank a beverage that contained 30 grams of erythritol, the amount many people in the US consume, Hazen said, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which examines American nutrition each year.

    Blood tests over the next three days tracked erythritol levels and clotting risk.

    “Thirty grams was enough to make blood levels of erythritol go up a thousandfold,” Hazen said. “It remained elevated above the threshold necessary to trigger and heighten clotting risk for the following two to three days.”

    Just how much is 30 grams of erythritol? The equivalent of eating a pint of keto ice cream, Hazen said.

    “If you look at nutrition labels on many keto ice creams, you’ll see ‘reducing sugar’ or ‘sugar alcohol,’ which are terms for erythritol. You’ll find a typical pint has somewhere between 26 and 45 grams in it,” he said.

    “My co-author and I have been going to grocery stores and looking at labels,” Hazen said. “He found a ‘confectionery’ marketed to people with diabetes that had about 75 grams of erythritol.”

    There is no firm “accepted daily intake,” or ADI, set by the European Food Safety Authority or the US Food and Drug Administration, which considers erythritol generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

    “Science needs to take a deeper dive into erythritol and in a hurry, because this substance is widely available right now. If it’s harmful, we should know about it,” National Jewish Health’s Freeman said.

    Hazen agreed: “I normally don’t get up on a pedestal and sound the alarm,” he said. “But this is something that I think we need to be looking at carefully.”

    CNN – New study finds popular zero-calorie sweetener linked to heart attack and stroke

    … linked to blood clotting, stroke, heart attack and death

    • NBC – FEB 28 2023 – Paving the way for the world’s first RSV vaccine, FDA advisers recommend shot from Pfizer

      In trials, Pfizer’s RSV shot reduced the risk of illness in older people. The FDA advisory committee will evaluate a similar shot from GSK on Wednesday.

      In a narrow vote, Food and Drug Administration advisers on Tuesday recommended that the agency approve the country’s first RSV vaccine for older people, a shot from Pfizer for adults ages 60 and up.

      The FDA’s independent Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted 7-4 in favor of recommending the vaccine based on its efficacy, with one abstention. The single-dose shot was shown to reduce the risk of illness from respiratory syncytial virus by as much as 86%, according to Pfizer.

      The next step is for the FDA to approve the vaccine, which could take several months, though the agency usually follows the advisory committee’s recommendations. After FDA approval, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must recommend the shot before it becomes available to the public. If all of that happens, this would be the first RSV vaccine to get approved in the U.S.

      The second may be close on its heels. The advisory committee will meet again Wednesday to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a similar RSV vaccine for older adults, this one from GlaxoSmithKline. Trial data published earlier this month in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the shot lowered the risk of symptomatic illness by 83% and of severe illness by 94% in adults ages 60 and up.

      RSV causes lower respiratory illness, though for most healthy adults the symptoms are mild. In serious cases, however, RSV can lead to bronchiolitis, which causes airways to become inflamed and clogged with mucus, or pneumonia.

      Older people and infants are particularly vulnerable to such outcomes. RSV kills more than 10,000 adults ages 65 or older and around 300 children under 5 each year in the U.S. Cases spiked dramatically among infants earlier this winter, which overwhelmed children’s hospitals — a reminder of the virus’s threat.

      In the advisory committee meeting on Tuesday, a separate vote evaluating the Pfizer vaccine’s safety resulted in the same distribution: seven votes in favor, four against and one abstention.

      Several of the experts who did not vote in favor of the vaccine based on its efficacy expressed concerns that there weren’t enough trial participants infected with RSV to adequately assess the shot. Those who voted “no” based on the vaccine’s safety profile largely worried about its potential association with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare neurological disorder that damages nerve cells and causes muscle weakness or paralysis.

      “It was a 1 in 9,000 risk of GBS, which is concerning,” said Dr. Hana El Sahly, the FDA advisory committee chair, who voted against the shot based on its safety profile but in favor based on efficacy.

      Pfizer has tested its same RSV vaccine in pregnant people to see whether the protection can pass to babies in utero. The company said its data suggests the vaccine reduced the risk of severe illness in infants by 82% through their first 90 days of life, and by 69% through six months.

      But the FDA committee’s vote on Tuesday was limited to the vaccine’s use for older people. The agency is still reviewing Pfizer’s data for pregnant people, with a decision expected in August.

      According to an FDA briefing document released ahead of the Tuesday meeting, the most common side effects of Pfizer’s vaccine among older people were fatigue, headache, pain at the injection site and muscle pain. The document also highlighted the potential risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

      One man in Pfizer’s trial developed Guillain-Barré after receiving the vaccine, and a woman developed Miller Fisher syndrome, a rare nerve disease related to Guillain-Barré.

      The most common side effects of GSK’s vaccine were similar — injection site pain, fatigue and muscle pain — but participants in that trial reported side effects more frequently than those in Pfizer’s did.

      The race to an RSV vaccine

      Several companies have been racing to secure FDA approval for RSV vaccines.

      In total, 11 RSV vaccines are being actively studied in U.S. trials, according to data from PATH, a nonprofit global health organization.

      Moderna has said an RSV shot it developed for older adults could get submitted to the FDA by July. Bavarian Nordic expects to have late-stage trial data for its RSV vaccine, which targets the same demographic, by the middle of the year.

      The FDA is also reviewing data from trials of a monoclonal antibody injection designed to protect babies from RSV, which functions similarly to a vaccine. The shot, from Sanofi and AstraZeneca, has already been approved in Europe.

    • WHO Was ‘Complicit’ In China’s Cover-Up Of COVID-19 Origins: Sen. Daines

      The World Health Organization (WHO) was “complicit” in helping China’s communist regime cover up the origins of COVID-19, according to Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

      Speaking with NTD News, The Epoch Times’ sister outlet, Daines on Feb. 27 suggested that the WHO could not be trusted due to its compliance with in China’s attempts to hide the truth of how the pandemic began.

      “Based on what we are seeing in the latest intelligence reports about the origin of COVID—that there’s credible evidence now that it may indeed have been a leak out of the Wuhan lab, given the role that WHO played in many ways of being complicit with the Chinese and covering up what happened in Wuhan—I think … you’re going to see a lot of new questions as the evidence continues to come out of Wuhan as to what really happened to the origins of the COVID,” the senator said.

      Daines’ remarks came amid calls from his fellow senators for the Biden administration to declassify a U.S. Energy Department report that concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic most likely originated from a Wuhan laboratory leak.

      According to a Feb. 26 Wall Street Journal report, the assessment was described in a document update by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. The report added that officials who had access to the classified report said the judgement was made with “low confidence,” given the lack of access to China. The FBI, in its own 2021 assessment, came to the same conclusion but with “moderate confidence,” the WSJ said.

      As news of the report has spread, cries for transparency have erupted on Capitol Hill, including from Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), all of whom said they felt the information should be declassified.

      “The Biden administration has new ‘intel’ pointing to a lab leak,” Braun wrote in a Monday tweet. “The American people deserve to see it!”

      The Senate Republicans’ concerns were also shared by their counterparts in the House, as House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Chair Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) called on the Energy Department, State Department, and the FBI to provide documents and testimony on the matter.

      “Since April 2, 2020, Committee on Oversight and Accountability Republicans have been investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s role in obscuring the truth regarding the initial outbreak, and whether any U.S. taxpayer dollars funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s (WIV) dangerous gain-of-function research,” the lawmakers wrote in letters to the three departments. “The Select Subcommittee is now the only Committee in Congress with explicit jurisdiction to conduct this wide-ranging and important investigation.”

      Uncovering the truth, the congressmen added, “is vital to U.S. national security, critical to the prevention of future pandemics, and will bring some semblance of closure to the families of those who lost loved ones during the pandemic.”

      At a White House press briefing on Monday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby addressed the subject, noting that the president agreed that determining the source of the pandemic was important, but added, “There is not a consensus right now in the U.S. government about exactly how COVID started.”

      Braun, responding to that comment via Twitter, said: “Let the American people decide for themselves. Declassify all COVID origins intel.”

      The Epoch Times has reached out to the World Health Organization for comment.

    • Unsure if I replied to you, Martin, but I kept the page open. This is so important.

      I’m a MAJOR consumer of Stevia-flavored water drinks. About 12 liters a week diluted in spring water on ice. I think I might have at least one blood clot in my left foot and leg. Major swelling is recent. I’ll check with my doctor. THANKS.

      • well… yes it is better to check with your doctor … don’t wait

        A few years ago I bought a big bottle with a hermetic cap at Dollarama and every second day I prepare lemon tea …. with tea bags ( $2.00 box at Dollarama) and lemons from IGA ( $ 3.99 for 6) … sometimes I add some sugar but not always … …
        at noon I use to drink some red wine ( Toro Loco $14.29 at IGA )
        then aperitif on Saturday or Sunday afternoon – Cinzano on ice ( $ 14.30 at SAQ )
        I stopped drinking coffee 2 years ago and I never buy soft drinks…
        ….but of course if ever I am invited somewhere and someone offers me a coffee or a 7up I drink it …

  16. The Optimistic Conservative

    In a new geo-military landscape, Belarus’s Lukashenko goes to China
    Behold: a new thing in the earth

    Just over six years ago, in January 2017, I noted in an article at Liberty Unyielding that China had recently closed a logistics gap eyed for some 200 years by military planners. The gap had been felt as a hindrance for much longer than that, but it became especially significant to warfare and geopolitics in the age of rail.

    China’s feat was completing a capable, reliable rail network all the way from China’s eastern coast to the UK, on the western edge of Europe. On 1 January 2017, Beijing inaugurated the first freight train service from China to London.

    Rail service all the way across Asia and Europe, and not operated by Russia to at least Eastern Europe, had never existed before. The lack of such service was a key factor in every kind of geopolitical calculation about Asia: economic and military as well as political. The Soviet “iron curtain” had laid a long stasis over the largely unpenetrated Asian interior, and no modern transport service rumbling through villages old and new in Siberia and the “Stans” had brought the outside breezes of commerce or possibility into it.

    Now the service did exist, if in an early and comparatively rudimentary form.

    The form of service has not remained rudimentary. China and partners from Russia to the UK have been upgrading and expanding it rapidly in the years since. The networks of China Rail Express are part of the Belt and Road Initiative, and Xi Jinping has prioritized them assiduously. (See this 2018 report from CSIS for the map and more.)

    All images and graphics: click to enlarge for legibility. Map credit: CSIS. See The Rise of China-Europe Railways
    In November 2021, for example, CRE launched the fastest freight service to date between China and the portals of Eastern Europe, with a mere 13-day transit from Wuwei, China to Poland. The service, operated by Gansu Platform Company, uses three different Polish border crossings to serve Hamburg, Germany and Lodz, Poland, as well as other points west.

    And in late October 2022, China initiated its first fixed-schedule freight service to Europe, which runs between Xi’an and Duisburg, Germany. The Railway Supply website explains: “[T]his is the first Chinese train to have a timetable and it will run between China and Europe on a fixed schedule.”

    It’s still necessary to make stops for gauge changes (typically solved by transshipment at intermodal hubs) in the trek across Asia. That continues to slow the service down a bit. But it is weeks faster than sending freight by sea between China and Europe, and a much less vulnerable path for outside interdiction. The political cost may vary, for any interdiction effort no matter where it is, but interdicting rail through Central Asia requires penetration of sovereign territory in Central Asia. On average, that’s a more prohibitive prospect than interdicting cargo at sea or in foreign ports.

    The connections reflected on the next map and the schematic following it didn’t exist 20 years ago. Now they do.

    Note hubs in Manzhouli and Alashankou (China) and Belarus. The schematic map below shows how the CRE route service relies on those hubs. Map credit: China Daily. See link:

    Per the previous map, all the CRE (here, “CER”) route service from Manzhouli to Northern Europe’s major transshipments hubs goes through Belarus. Included is China Rail’s touted “rapid express” service to Poland, inaugurated in 2021. The fixed-schedule route launched in 2022 between Xi’an and Duisburg, though it traverses Alashankou, is funneled by rail connections in Russia through Belarus as well. Map credit: Kyoung-Suk Choi
    (Department of International Trade, Jeonbuk National University, Korea). “The Current Status and Challenges of China Railway Express (CRE) as a Key Sustainability Policy Component of the Belt and Road Initiative.” MDPI Open Access Journals; March 2021
    Just a couple of points are worth serious thought. One is that Russia and China have never before had such well-developed lines of communication (LOCs) to work with in a military partnership. Over the preceding centuries, Central and Eastern Asia have occasionally been a battlescape for the two Asian giants. But it’s only in the last decade that they have come into a logistic communication network that would serve both, from one end of the continent to the other.

    Moscow and Beijing have the world’s longest “interior line of communication” now.

    The other point is the purpose of this article. One glance at the map of the CRE network (just above the schematic) reveals that both of the CRE’s northernmost routes enter Europe through Belarus. The most northerly route does so after stopping at railway hubs in Russia that afford connection to Russia’s national rail network.

    (Also important to point out: the “dotted line” planned routes for CRE through Central and Southern Asia are not without rail service now. Freight going to and from China can traverse the nations in question, but CRE, per se, isn’t serving those routes yet. Freight has to be transferred to other carriers to continue along those routes. For commercial service, shipping agents take care of that.)

    The fastest-ever service mentioned above, with its three entry points into Poland, runs through Belarus. Besides Warsaw, destinations for freight carried by CRE through Belarus include the massive transport hubs in Hamburg, Duisburg, and Rotterdam.

    Belarus, and Minsk in particular, is the biggest European entry hub for CRE service to Europe. Note that the great Chinese hub of the “Northern Corridor” route – Manzhouli, on China’s border with Russia – is the collective service entry point for that route. For the “Middle Corridor,” the hub at China’s border is Alashankou in Xinjiang (in the troubled Uyghur Autonomous Region).

    But both corridors’ networks connect across Kazakhstan and southern Russia, and funnel freight into Europe through Belarus. (Everything shipped across Russia via CRE goes through Moscow as well. Some freight goes from there to St. Peterburg and onward to Finland and the Baltic Republics, rather than through Belarus to the rest of Northern Europe.)

    For completeness, here is the rail network of Belarus, with the CRE entry crossings into Poland annotated.

    Map credit: Wikipedia – Homoatrox (derivative work) – Own work, using File:Belarus location map.svg (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by NordNordWest. Author annotation of CRE crossings into Poland.
    Regarding LOCs accessible to Russia and China, we shouldn’t neglect the road network either. In the form of the Trans-Siberian highway, collectively Route 297, it has been significantly improved over the last decade. Broad expanses of it that once were mere gravel paths, often impassable in inclement weather, have been widened, graded, and well paved.

    One view of the Trans-Siberian Highway network dubbed collectively Route 297. Wikipedia.

    Second view of R297 with sections annotated by number. The numbers and details for each are available at the link below. Note that “24” is the location of the new (Jun 2022) bridge connecting Blagoveshchensk, Russia and Heihe, China. See Wikivoyage at
    In June 2022, a modern bridge was opened over the Amur River connecting Route 297 across the border cities of Blagoveshchensk (Russia) and Heihe (China). Reporting on it in Western languages is sketchy, but it appears to be capable of supporting the heaviest freight traffic. The new bridge will enable truck freight of all kinds to flow between Russia and China along a much-improved Russian roadway.

    Google map; author annotation.

    Bridge opened in June 2022 over the Amur River, linking the highway systems of China and Russia at Heihe and Blagoveshchensk. Wikipedia – Prokopov roman4 – Own work
    Notably, R297 runs at several points through major intermodal hubs also served by CRE and Russian lines. So although freight coming from eastern China would probably be loaded by rail at Manzhouli, or stations east or south of it, the means of transport is there along the route (i.e., by road) to add options and redundancy to the growing capability.

    The challenge of getting freight across Russia from China has never been so well-served.

    The governing lifestyle. CCTV video, YouTube
    Lukashenko heads to China

    The easy-open can that Western Russia, Belarus, and Europe now constitute for China is essential context for three bits of news from the past week.

    One is that China has offered a 12-point peace plan for Ukraine and Russia. The second is that Western intelligence agencies suggest China is planning to supply Russia with arms for the Ukraine fight. (China says no.)

    The third is that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is traveling to China this week to meet with Xi Jinping.

    It was less than a decade ago that such a meeting would have had more the character of a political abstraction. It would have been meaningful, of course. But not tethered to implications about China’s Belt and Road posture in Belarus, what that might mean geographically for China’s “hybrid-operational” options as an interested party in the Ukraine conflict, and what role Belarus would serve in an enterprise like providing Chinese military hardware to Russia for use in Ukraine.

    China has a foothold in Europe today. Ten years ago, there was no express transport service capable of moving Chinese arms all the way from the industrial hubs of eastern China to Belarus and/or southwestern Russia, with any number of prudent stops and transshipment points in between. Now there is.

    And China, with CRE infrastructure all over Belarus, has more than just a few shipping containers rolling through.

    The Lukashenko visit may be, as some are speculating, a fresh piece of theater: a show that looks like more than it is. But there’s a lot more actual “there” there, as regards tangible connections between Beijing and Minsk, than there ever was before. And it’s directly applicable to the latest news about China’s posture on Ukraine. It infuses our new geo-military reality with an unprecedented immediacy.

    In that regard, one last observation. Belarusians, and possibly others, are reported to have been quietly sabotaging rail transport near the Belarusian border to stall the build-up and logistic movement of Russian troops and weapon systems to the front with Ukraine. Rail connections directly between Belarus and Ukraine were shut down in the first month of the invasion last year.

    In late October 2022, according to the New York Post, UK intelligence said that such saboteurs had also claimed at least six attacks since June 2022 on rail points linking Belarus with Russia; i.e., with the Russian rear area across Ukraine’s northeastern border.

    This location claimed by the group “Stop the Wagons” is on the Russian side.

    Railway sabotage near Novozybkovo in October 2022, claimed by Belarusian group “Stop the Wagons.” See NY Post link in text. Zoomed-in inset map via NY Post, social media. Google map; author annotation.
    Along the same line, a Belarusian “anti-government” group claimed responsibility over the weekend for a successful drone attack on a Russian airborne early warning and air control aircraft (AWACS) at Machulishchiy air base near Minsk. The Russian Beriev A-50 “Mainstay” is similar in function to the U.S./NATO E-3 Sentry. The aircraft is reported as a non-functional loss.

    Google map, satellite image; author annotation.
    According to Russia’s TASS news service, cited here, Russia’s air defense force was abruptly resubordinated from the ground forces commander to the aerospace force commander, shortly after the drone attack.

    Restive partisans in Belarus have had some success with sabotage efforts against Russian assets and logistic arrangements. But Belarus is a critical node for Chinese commerce and access to Europe now. It’s an interesting question what Xi might ask Lukashenko to do about such an internal sabotage problem, if Belarus were to be involved as a way-point or staging point for Chinese arms supplied for the Ukraine theater.

    Almost as interesting as such a role for Belarus arising in the first place. We’ve left the 20th century, with its defining wars and defining limitations, behind.

    February 28, 2023 at 4:29 am
    “It’s still necessary to make stops for gauge changes (typically solved by transshipment at intermodal hubs) in the trek across Asia.”
    Gradual implementation of variable gauge system solutions will smooth out these transport issues as well.

    February 28, 2023 at 5:50 am
    I realize it’s inconvenient for ‘our sides’ narrative, but looking ahead, it might be more important to take the increasing number of various acts in the EU (refusal to transport munitions in Italy, growing Europe-wide protests against the war, and the eventual disruption by saboteurs and 5th columnists in Poland and the Baltic States) into account, rather than the goings on in Belarus.
    There’s no real appetite for this war against Russia in Europe — with the exception of the US-bought-and-paid-for euro-‘elites’, rabidly anti-Russian Poles, and brainwashed Anglo-Saxons that is. . .


    • This is one of the big takeaways from this analysis. The war is spreading and some people don’t want it to spread to Belarus. Probably because they think Belarus is next on Putin’s list of former conquests to be annexed by Russia.

      Restive partisans in Belarus have had some success with sabotage efforts against Russian assets and logistic arrangements. But Belarus is a critical node for Chinese commerce and access to Europe now. It’s an interesting question what Xi might ask Lukashenko to do about such an internal sabotage problem, if Belarus were to be involved as a way-point or staging point for Chinese arms supplied for the Ukraine theater.

      Combine these with the reports of Ukrainian drones hitting targets inside Russia and you see the war spreading. Spreading west and with an internal line of communication. A long line of communication but one that would be hard to reach to sabatoge. Especially with the Stan’s wondering where they are on Putin’s to do list.

  17. St. Louis Horror! Homeless Man Executed on City Street in Broad Daylight (Video)
    By Kristinn Taylor Feb. 28, 2023 11:30 am104 Comments

    St. Louis Horror! Homeless Man Executed on City Street in Broad Daylight

    A homeless man was executed on a city street in St. Louis Monday morning in broad daylight. The shooting was captured on video, showing the victim was shot (at least) twice, with about ninety seconds elapsing before the first shot and the coup de grâce.

    The video cuts off as the person filming realizes he is witnessing a murder. In the moments before, the victim is seen sitting on the curb as a man stands a few feet away from him. The man pulls a gun out and fiddles with it, apparently loading it. He then steps closer and draws down on the man, aims at his head and fires.

    Video of the execution was posted Monday night with this caption, “This was in #stl today in broad daylight. Dude executed him with not a care in the ?. We have a corrupt George Soros funded prosecutor and 1/4 murders in St Louis actually are prosecuted. That’s what y’all get when you vote for soft on crime democrats. This is outcome. Another black man executed where’s blm?”

    Longer video posted Tuesday shows the man was shot twice, ninety seconds apart, “Heres the full video of the broad daylight murder in #stl yesterday. Btw 10 am today #kimgardner supporters are gathering downtown.Meanwhile a young girl lays with her legs amputated and crushed pelvis 1 mile away in the hospital from a thug Kim and her cronies let back on the street when he should been in jail. Show Kims pals this ? from yesterday PS I’m not the one recording I just was given the video knowing I’m not scared to post it. Hoping the guy goes public people need to see truth of what happens here daily.”

  18. Drones Attack Russia From All Sides
    Allison Quinn

    Chaos erupted in Russia overnight as drones swarmed multiple regions, sparking an explosion at an oil depot and the deployment of fighter jets near St. Petersburg, according to local reports.

    One strike at around 2 a.m. in the Krasnodar region was less than 100 feet from a Russian Defense Ministry barracks, the independent Agentstvo News reports. Two drones filled with explosives landed at a nearby Rosneft oil depot in Tuapse, sparking a blaze that was “quickly extinguished,” according to the Russian outlet Baza.

    Hours later, St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport came to a standstill as authorities shut down the surrounding airspace, reportedly in response to an “unidentified flying object” spotted in the area.

    Local authorities confirmed to RIA Novosti that incoming and outgoing flights were temporarily halted, though they gave no reason for the move. Meanwhile, Baza reported, fighter jets were deployed to take down the “object.”

    A short while later, however, Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed the whole thing had simply been a training exercise, and the airspace was reopened.

    Drones were also reported overnight in the Bryansk and Belgorod regions, as well as the Republic of Adygea. Another drone landed in the Moscow region, near a Gazprom gas compressor station on Tuesday. Local reports noted that the drone could have made it to the Kremlin in less than an hour if it had not crashed.

    Hours later, St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport came to a standstill as authorities shut down the surrounding airspace, reportedly in response to an “unidentified flying object” spotted in the area.

    Local authorities confirmed to RIA Novosti that incoming and outgoing flights were temporarily halted, though they gave no reason for the move. Meanwhile, Baza reported, fighter jets were deployed to take down the “object.”

    A short while later, however, Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed the whole thing had simply been a training exercise, and the airspace was reopened.

    Drones were also reported overnight in the Bryansk and Belgorod regions, as well as the Republic of Adygea. Another drone landed in the Moscow region, near a Gazprom gas compressor station on Tuesday. Local reports noted that the drone could have made it to the Kremlin in less than an hour if it had not crashed.

    The FSB and other competent authorities are dealing with the situation, there is no threat to the safety of residents,” Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov said in a statement.

    The strikes were part of what local media described as a “mass drone attack” that appears to have intensified in the last 24 hours.

    On Monday morning, residents of an apartment building in the Belgorod region, near the border with Ukraine, were forced to evacuate in the middle of the night after one of four drones crashed into the building, according to Baza. Another drone landed on the roof of a supermarket and exploded, scorching the premises.

    “People were moved to a safe place. Everyone was offered the chance to stay in a hotel while the special services do their work,” Belgorod Mayor Valentin Demidov announced on Telegram.

  19. Drone Crashes Near Moscow, Two Others From Ukraine Downed In South Russia
    By AFP – Agence France Presse
    February 28, 2023
    A drone that was likely targeting civilian infrastructure crashed near Moscow on Tuesday, a regional official said, after the defence ministry reported downing two Ukrainian drones in southern Russia.

    The reported incidents are the latest in a series of suspected drone attacks in recent months inside Russia — sometimes far from the border with Ukraine — that Moscow has blamed on Kyiv.

  20. Pennsylvania Republicans Call on Fetterman to Appear on Camera to Prove He Is “Alive and Well” or Resign
    By Cristina Laila Feb. 28, 2023 2:40 pm148 Comments

    Pennsylvania Republicans are calling on Democrat Senator John Fetterman to appear on camera to prove he is “alive and well” or resign.

    “Because of the now confirmed lies that were told during the 2022 general election regarding the health of Senator John Fetterman, as well as the threats made against a journalist who interviewed him, the Washington County Republican Party refuses to take assurances from the Office of the Senator or Democrat operatives that Fetterman is able to carry out his duties as Senator,” the Washington County Republican Party said in a Facebook post.

    “As such, we call upon Senator Fetterman to appear on camera to show us he is alive and well, and if he is unable to do so, we call upon our elected Representatives in Washington, Senator Casey and Congressman Reschenthaler, to intervene immediately.” they said.

    “Ultimately, if Fetterman is unable or unwilling to carry out his duties as a United States Senator, then we ask for his resignation and call for a special election to be held this year; no more lies or games.”

  21. Watch Disgusting Liar Randi Weingarten Suffer Absolute MELT DOWN Over Student Debt Payments Outside SCOTUS (VIDEO)
    By Jim Hoft Feb. 28, 2023 4:55 pm1 Comment

    Here’s today’s edition of Democrats and their free money.

    On Tuesday the Supreme Court will hear a pair of challenges to Joe Biden’s proposed student loan debt handout. Biden announced the plan before the 2018 election in order to fool the youths to vote for Democrats. Biden claimed he has the authority to wipe student loan payments under a law known as the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act, which initially intended to benefit service members deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq by waiving their student loan debt. Biden applied it to all students regardless of their contributions to the US military.

    Now the Supreme Court will decide if the move was constitutional.

    On Tuesday Democrats and Communists gathered outside SCOTUS to demand student loan forgiveness for all.

  22. LEO HOHMANN – MAJOR ESCALATION: Drone Attacks Strike Deep Inside Russia, Targeting Nation’s Oil Industry
    By Joe Hoft Feb. 28, 2023 4:15 pm218 Comments

    MAJOR ESCALATION: Drone attacks strike deep inside Russia, targeting nation’s oil industry
    Guest post by Leo Hohmann

    Today’s reports mark stunning escalation of the proxy war between Russia & NATO, which now seems firmly on the path of World War III and potential thermonuclear war. We cannot over emphasize: PREPARE

    Zero Hedge reports that Russia came under attack by multiple drones on Tuesday, with one of those drones reportedly causing a fire at an oil depot in the southern part of the country, and another hitting outside Moscow.

    The attack on the oil facility happened in Tuapse, which lies about 150 miles southeast of the Crimean peninsula, with Reuters citing local media to report, “Emergency services put out a fire at an oil depot in southern Russia overnight after a drone was spotted flying overhead, the RIA news agency said on Tuesday.”

    The city of Tuapse is about 500 kilometers from the nearest Ukrainian-held territory, which exhibits significant reach assuming the attack was launched by the Ukrainians.

    The fires which started at the facility at about 2:30 a.m. were extinguished after they spread to an area of some 200 square meters. “The oil tanks were not affected. There was no spill of oil products. No injuries,” a local official, Sergei Boyko, described.

    Another drone crashed in the Moscow region on the same day, with Governor Andrei Vorobyov saying it was likely an operation to target civilian infrastructure.

    Vorobyov said on his Telegram channel, as translated by the Moscow Times:

    This happened near the village of Gubastovo, the target was probably a civilian infrastructure facility, it was not damaged. There are no casualties or destruction on the ground.”

    The Russian defense ministry in a statement made mention of a third drone attack in southern Russia, close in time to the attack on the oil facility which it says was intercepted.

    According to an AP report, “three drones also targeted Russia’s Belgorod region on Monday night, with one flying through an apartment window in its namesake capital, local authorities reported. Regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said the drones caused minor damage to buildings and cars.” is 100 percent reader supported, not beholden to any corporate ads or sponsorships. If you would like to support my work, please consider a donation of any size, which may be sent c/o Leo Hohmann, P.O. Box 291, Newnan, GA 30264, or via credit card here. Thanks!

  23. the gateway pundit – Canadian Pastor Gets Violently Removed From A Children’s Drag Queen Story Hour (VIDEO)

    The Calgary Public Library in Alberta, Canada, hosted an all-ages drag event (meaning children were in attendance) called “Reading With Royalty” last weekend.

    Pastor Derek Reimer, angered by the public library’s decision to exploit vulnerable children, protested the event.

    A Calgary constituent filmed a video which opens with the pastor being restrained by a few grooming apologists and arguing with them.

    He is then taken outside the library room and violently tossed to the ground.

  24. Iran can make fissile material for a bomb ‘in about 12 days’ – US official
    By REUTERS Published: FEBRUARY 28, 2023 22:46
    Updated: MARCH 1, 2023 00:07

    While US officials say Iran has grown closer to producing fissile material, they do not believe it has mastered the technology to actually build a bomb.

    Iran could make enough fissile for one nuclear bomb in “about 12 days,” a top US Defense Department official said on Tuesday, down from the estimated one year it would have taken while the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was in effect.

    Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl made the comment to a House of Representatives hearing when pressed by a Republican lawmaker why the Biden administration had sought to revive the deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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    “Because Iran’s nuclear progress since we left the JCPOA has been remarkable. Back in 2018, when the previous administration decided to leave the JCPOA it would have taken Iran about 12 months to produce one bomb’s worth of fissile material. Now it would take about 12 days,” Kahl, the third ranking Defense Department official, told lawmakers.

    “And so I think there is still the view that if you could resolve this issue diplomatically and put constraints back on their nuclear program, it is better than the other options. But right now, the JCPOA is on ice,” Kahl added.

    US officials have repeatedly estimated Iran’s breakout time – how long it would take to acquire the fissile material for one bomb if it decided to – at weeks but have not been as specific as Kahl was.

    While US officials say Iran has grown closer to producing fissile material, they do not believe it has mastered the technology to actually build a bomb.

    The 2015 Iran deal
    Under the 2015 deal, which then-US President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, Iran had reined in its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

    Trump reimposed US sanctions on Iran, leading Tehran to resume previously banned nuclear work and reviving US, European and Israeli fears that Iran may seek an atomic bomb. Iran denies any such ambition.

    The Biden administration has tried but failed to revive the pact over the last two years.

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