Sunday, January 05, 2020

5 January - pm - Blogs I'm Following - 3 of 5

10 pm MST

Israel Has Perfected The Art Of Making U.S. Weapons Even Deadlier

Charlie Gao at The National Interest - 11 hours ago
*Charlie Gao* *Security, Middle East* And isn't stopping. *Key point: *American equipment has not always been the best suited to the tough desert and urban conditions encountered by the IDF. The Israel Defense Forces field a wide variety of American military equipment, due to significant amounts of American military aid to Israel. However, American equipment has not always been the best suited to the tough desert and urban conditions encountered by the IDF. As a result, American equipment in Israeli service is often extensively modified to fit the IDF’s unique mission. Here are ... more »

Time For President Trump to Truly Apply Maximum Pressure on North Korea

Olivia Enos at The National Interest - 11 hours ago
*Olivia Enos* *Security, Asia* No one knows what 2020 may bring. But what is certain is that human rights violations continue in North Korea. For negotiations to be successful, they should not focus merely on a single track, but should incorporate human rights as a component of broader negotiations. That means getting sanctions right – and not only the sanctions that relate to Pyongyang’s weapons programs, but also the sanctions the U.S. institutes on human rights grounds. The war of words continues between North Korea and the U.S., with the latest threats issued by Kim Jong-un ... more »

How 1 Error Let Russia Get Their Hands on a Cutting Edge Spy Drone

Michael Peck at The National Interest - 11 hours ago
*Michael Peck* *History, Asia* [image:] The sleek D-21. *Key point:* Sometimes your prized machines wander off right into the enemy's hands. In November 1969, the U.S. Air Force sent Russia an early Christmas gift. It was a sleek flying machine that bore an uncanny resemblance to the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. The American generosity was purely unintentional. The aircraft was actually a cutting-edge drone dispatched on a mission to photograph Communist Chinese nuclear sites. And the drone did what it was s... more »

The Poet: Carl Sandburg, "Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind"

CoyotePrime at Running 'Cause I Can't Fly - 11 hours ago
*"Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind"* "*The past is a bucket of ashes."* *1* "The woman named Tomorrow sits with a hairpin in her teeth and takes her time and does her hair the way she wants it and fastens at last the last braid and coil and puts the hairpin where it belongs and turns and drawls: Well, what of it? My grandmother, Yesterday, is gone. What of it? Let the dead be dead. *2* The doors were cedar and the panels strips of gold and the girls were golden girls and the panels read and the girls chanted: We are the greatest city, the greatest ... more »

Iraq's Parliament Passes Resolution To Expel US-Led Coalition Troops From The Country. Vote Was Split Along Sectarian Lines With Sunni And Kurds Representatives Voting Against

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 11 hours ago
Breaking: Members of #Iraqi Parliament shout at the session "Yes, yes to Soleimani" "No, No to America" — Al-Menassa (@AL_Menassa) January 5, 2020 *Reuters: **Iraqi parliament passes resolution to end foreign troop presence * BAGHDAD, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Iraq’s parliament passed on Sunday a resolution telling the government to end the presence of foreign troops in Iraq and ensure they not use its land, air, and waters for any reason. “The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due t... more »

Trump Says 52 Targets Already Lined Up If Iran Retaliates

AP News at - 11 hours ago
President Donald Trump issued a stark warning to Iran, threatening to hit dozens of targets in the Islamic Republic “very fast and very hard” if it retaliates for the targeted killing of the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

New Risks Loom as Thousands Mourn Iran General Killed by US

AP News at - 11 hours ago
Mourners beat their chests, wept and cried out carrying posters bearing the image of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of its expeditionary Quds Force that organizes Tehran’s proxy forces in the wider Mideast.

Biden lies about his advice to Obama on bin Laden

trinko at Conversations about the obvious - 11 hours ago
Back in 2012 Biden told a group of Congressional Democrats that he advised Obama to not go after bin Laden but to wait for more data. But now he's saying he didn't say that. He's doing so because he needs to be able to condemn Trump for killing an archterrorist, Suleimani, while still appearing to be tough on terror. The reality is that not only did Biden counsel against attacking bin Laden, albeit not because he didn't think bin Laden should be killed but that he wanted more confirming Intel, he was cool with Obama's massive bribery of Iran which included warning the Iranians of an... more »

Where U.S. Troops Are In The Middle East And Afghanistan

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 11 hours ago
*WNU Editor:* The above map is from this Washington Post story .... *Where U.S. troops are in the Middle East and Afghanistan, visualized* (The Washington Post).

Ducktrap River of Maine recalls herring with cream sauce that is labelled as wine sauce

News Desk at Food Safety News - 11 hours ago
Ducktrap River of Maine says its goal is to “wow” each customer, but a Saturday recall of Herring Center Cuts is more likely just confusing. Located in Belfast, ME, Ducktrap has been smoking seafood since 1978. Over the weekend, it announced the recall of Herring Center Cuts in Wine Sauce identified with a sell-by date... Continue Reading

Would Democrats punish Iran if Iran assassinated Trump?

trinko at Conversations about the obvious - 11 hours ago
Historically Democrats and Republicans united when dealing with foreign threats. We saw that after 9/11 for example. But today Democrat politicians hate Trump so much it's unclear if they'd be bothered if Trump was assassinated by Iran. The way the Democrat base, the #FakeNew media, and Democrat politicians have reacted to Trump killing the head of ISIS and now archterrorist mastermind Suleimani it's unclear that they wouldn't blame Trump and excuse Iran if Iran killed Trump. Unlike their response to the execution of bin Laden Democrat fanatics are castigating Trump and declaring th... more »

Spotting The State Department’s Propaganda For Escalating War Against Iran

Shadowproof at Shadowproof - 11 hours ago
*A version of this newsletter written by Shadowproof’s Kevin Gosztola was sent out on January 3. President Donald Trump’s administration assassinated Iranian general Qassim Soleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. They were killed in a drone strike near Baghdad’s international airport overnight on January 3. Viewed as an escalation The post Spotting The State Department’s Propaganda For Escalating War Against Iran appeared first on Shadowproof.

US Narrative on Iran is Quickly Falling Apart

21wire at 21st Century Wire - 11 hours ago
*21WIRE* | Experts are left wondering if anyone, including Congress, will be able to restrain the White House and Israel - both of who seem bent on starting this war with Iran.

‘Iran’ Launches Cyber-Attack on US Government Website

OYE NEWS at OYE Alternative News - 11 hours ago
A group claiming to be working on behalf of the Iranian government has hacked a US government website where they plastered sinister warnings. Hackers who claim to be working for the Iranian government have hacked a US government website in a “revenge” attack. In a brutal take-down of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) the … The post ‘Iran’ Launches Cyber-Attack on US Government Website appeared first on OYE Alternative News.

Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Calls For Revenge Attacks Against The U.S. For The Death Of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 11 hours ago
*France 24*: *Hezbollah leader vows bloody retaliation for US killing of Iranian general* Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday the US military in the Middle East would pay the price for killing Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, which he said marked ‘the start of a new phase’ for the region. Nasrallah, speaking in a televised address marking Soleimani’s death in a targeted US air strike, said responding to the killing was not only Iran’s responsibility but the responsibility of its allies in the region too. As thousands listened at a rally in the southern... more »

"How It Really Is"

CoyotePrime at Running 'Cause I Can't Fly - 11 hours ago
Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

"It Is The Rule..."

CoyotePrime at Running 'Cause I Can't Fly - 11 hours ago
Evidently indisputable... The consequences, inevitable...

Why The Political Reality Of Cenk Uygur?

DownWithTyranny at DownWithTyranny! - 12 hours ago
Please listen to this 44 minute interview that Nicole Sandler did with Cenk Uygur a few days ago on her show. It would be enough to make the mythical centrist's blood boil-- if there were any mythical centrists and they weren't all as prevalent as unicorns. Do you think the party leadership wants to hear, "We can win this race and we can rock this country?" They don't. From the neo-lib governor, Gavin Newsom to Nancy Pelosi and the slimy Democratic Party chiefs on every level... they are *all* against Cenk-- and in an unprecedented fashion. Here's why: Cenk is running for Con... more »

More Reaction From Iran On The Death Of Quds Commander Soleimani Via Twitter

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 12 hours ago
Members of Iran's parliament chants "Death to America" — Jason K. Morrell (@CNNJason) January 5, 2020 Funeral procession for Qasem #Soleimani’s in #Ahvaz. The funeral continues in #Mashhad, #Tehran, #Qom, and #Kerman in what is probably the biggest ever funeral procession the history of #Iran since the death of Khomeini. — Mohammed (@MazAlJumaily) January 5, 2020 Live updates: Iran Army Commander says US lacks courage to strike the 52 targets Trump spoke about — Sputnik (@SputnikInt) January 5, 2020

Breaking: Iraqi PM calls on Parliament to end US military presence in Iraq

News Desk at AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - 12 hours ago
Iraq’s caretaker PM has asked the parliament to take measures to remove foreign troops from the county in the wake of a US targeted assassination of a top Iranian general and a commander of Iraqi militia. Speaking at an emergency parliament session on Sunday, Adil Abdul Mahdi said the American side notified the Iraqi military […] Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

First US troops from Fort Bragg deploy to Middle East amid tensions with Iran: video

News Desk at AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - 12 hours ago
Hundreds of US troops were deployed from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on Saturday, to reinforce the US military presence in the Middle East amid fears of escalation, following the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Footage filmed on Saturday by the US military, shows troops loading cargo planes and lining up to board a plane […] Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Iraqi Parliament begins vote on whether or not to expel US troops

News Desk at AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - 12 hours ago
BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:10 P.M.) – The Iraqi Parliament has begun their session today to vote on whether or not to expel the U.S. Armed Forces from the country. According to reports, the Iraqi Parliament was delayed on Sunday after they initially failed to reach quorum; however, enough ministers have arrived over the last hour to […] Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Iran may retaliate with cyber-attack against US: Homeland Security

News Desk at AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - 12 hours ago
Iran’s leadership may execute a terrorist attack or a cyberattack against the US’ critical infrastructure after the killing of Iranian IRGC-Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, the US Department of Homeland Security said in a statement on Saturday following the US air forces’ operation targeted at the general. “Iran maintains a robust cyber program and can […] Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Iranian media posts never before seen photos of Qassem Soleimani and Hassan Nasrallah

News Desk at AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - 12 hours ago
BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:45 P.M.) – The Iranian media posted before seen photos of the late Quds Force commander Major-General Qassem Soleimani and Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday. In the photos that were released on Sunday, the men can be seen posing for photos, praying, and conversing with one another. الإعلام الإيراني ينشر لأول […] Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Russia highlights Qassem Soleimani’s role in fight against ISIS

News Desk at AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - 12 hours ago
The Russian Defense Ministry has highlighted the contribution of Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US strike at Baghdad airport, to combating the Islamic State in Syria. “Under the direct leadership of Qassem Soleimani, armed resistance against international terrorist groups ISIL and Al-Qaeda was organized in Syria and […] Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Trump brags about spending $2 trillion on military as he issues more threats to Iran

News Desk at AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - 12 hours ago
US President Donald Trump has stepped up his threats against Iran, vowing to retaliate if the Islamic Republic attacks America. “The United States just spent two trillion dollars on military equipment,” he tweeted on Sunday. “We are the biggest and by far the best [military] in the world!” “If Iran attacks an American Base, or […] Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز - The Arab Source

Iran's Response To The Death Of Quds General Qassem Soleimani -- News Updates January 5, 2020

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 12 hours ago
*Daily Mail:* *Iran threatens the WHITE HOUSE: Tehran ups the ante by promising a 'crushing and powerful retaliation on American soil' and US military sites and calls Donald Trump a 'terrorist in a suit' for warning he will attack 52 Iranian targets* * Iranian MP Abolfazl Abutorabi threatened to attack White House during open session of parliament Sunday * 'We can attack the White House itself, we can respond to them on the American soil,' Abutorabi said in session * MP's threat came after Trump warned that US would hit 52 targets representing victims of Iran hostage crisis * Iran... more »

"Iraq Votes To Expel US Troops As Iranian MPs Chant 'Death To America'"

CoyotePrime at Running 'Cause I Can't Fly - 12 hours ago
*"Iraq Votes To Expel US Troops * *As Iranian MPs Chant 'Death To America'"* "If President Trump wanted to reduce America's troop presence in the Middle East, he may have just got his wish, albeit not at his orders. During an emergency parliamentary session this morning, the Iraqi government just voted to have foreign troops removed from the country. Interim Iraqi prime minister, Adil Abdul Mahdi, stressed during the session, that while the US government notified the Iraqi military of the planned strike on Soleimani, his government denied Washington permission to continue with the o... more »

Has Donald Trump Learned on the Job as Commander in Chief?

rflissnerguest at Lawfare - 12 hours ago
Photo Credit: White House/Reuters via National Interest *Editor’s Note: President Trump is entering his fourth year as commander in chief, a time when many of his predecessors have learned from their early mistakes to lead a more effective foreign policy team. Rebecca Friedman Lissner of the Naval War College examines Trump’s performance, comparing him with other modern presidents. Lissner finds that Trump has failed to change his approach after his early mistakes and does not exhibit any of the characteristics that make successful learning more likely in the future.* *Daniel Bym... more »

Ghislaine Maxwell, protected and living in safe houses (Video)

Alex Christoforou at The Duran - 12 hours ago
The Duran Quick Take: Episode 424. More The post Ghislaine Maxwell, protected and living in safe houses (Video) appeared first on The Duran.

Will Trump turn Iraq into a full-blown enemy?

Luboš Motl at The Reference Frame - 12 hours ago
Exactly 50 years ago today, Max Born died. In 2020, it's common for pseudoscientific activists to question the fundamentally probabilistic meaning of quantum mechanics that brought him his Nobel Prize. Donald Trump has decided to assassinate Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a widely respected general in Iran whom Trump blames for the death of many Americans and for his plans to murder many more. The U.S. military has fulfilled Trump's order flawlessly. Some extra powerful Iraqi folks were assassinated, too. Iran vs U.S., perhaps a helpful 101 ten-minute-long video. I am willing to bel... more »

US Blundering in the Middle East

Majia's Blog at Majia's Blog - 12 hours ago
I receive (academic) James M. Dorsey's very interesting political analyses and his latest on the US targeted killing is definitely worth reading. Here is a brief excerpt: By James M. Dorsey [A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud, Itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spreaker, Pocket Casts, Tumblr, Podbean, Audecibel, Patreon and Castbox. The killing of Iranian military leader Qassim Soleimani proves the point: The United States has perfected the art of strengthening Iranian hardliners fuelled by an apparently ingrained misreading of Iranian politics and strate... more »

Al-Shabab Attacks A Military Base Used By US Forces In Kenya. US Military Aircraft And Vehicles Destroyed

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 13 hours ago
*Daily Mail: **Al-Shabab attacks a military base used by US forces in Kenya: American aircraft and vehicles are destroyed in pre-drawn assault by terrorists* * Attack destroyed US aircraft and vehicles, and at least four attackers were killed * It's not yet clear whether any US or Kenyan forces were killed during the attack * The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, based in nearby Somalia, claimed responsibility and asserted that 'intense' combat with US forces continued * It is the first known al-Shabab attack against United States forces inside Kenya The al-Shabab extremist group a... more »

Gerald Celente — Warning: U.S. Fires First Shots of WWIII

mosesman at Socio-Economics History Blog - 13 hours ago
Gerald Celente Gerald Celente is the Founder of the Trends Journal, providing subscribers with research, analysis & trend forecasts no other news source delivers: What’s going on? What does it mean? What’s next? Knowledge is power. Subscribe to the Trends Journal for Truth, Trends, and so much more. end

California’s Increasing Weed Taxes are Fueling Crime, Destroying Environment, and Killing Jobs

Matt Agorist at The Free Thought Project - 13 hours ago
[image: california]Through overtaxation and overly complicated regulation of the legal cannabis industry, California government is fueling cartels, destroying the environment and killing jobs.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Calls Israel A 'Nuclear Power' During Today's Cabinet Meeting

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 13 hours ago
ראש הממשלה בהצהרה כמעט היסטורית — מיכאל שמש Michael Shemesh (@shemeshmicha) January 5, 2020 Netanyahu calls Israel a "nuclear power," then corrects himself (Hebrew) *Reuters:* *Netanyahu, in apparent stumble, calls Israel 'nuclear power'* JERUSALEM (Reuters) - In an apparent slip of the tongue on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Israel as a nuclear power before correcting himself with a bashful nod and an embarrassed smile. Israel is widely believed to have an atomic arsenal but has never confirmed or denied that it has nuclear weapons,... more »

Trump Should Read This: What Awaits America In A War With Iran

David Axe at The National Interest - 13 hours ago
*David Axe* *Security, Middle East* A terrible fate. *Key point:* America would win, but at a very high cost. In the summer of 2019 Iran and the United States are “staggering toward war,” Jim Krane, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, *wrote* for Forbes. And to a great degree, it’s the fault of U.S. president Donald Trump, who in 2017 withdrew the United States from a 2015 agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. Four years ago Tehran suspended uranium enrichment in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. Trump reimposed many of those... more »

When It Comes To AR-15s, Is The Expense Worth It?

Charlie Gao at The National Interest - 13 hours ago
*Charlie Gao* *Technology, * Or do "budget" rifles compare? *Key point: *Quality rifles are starting to get cheaper too. The popularity of “budget” AR-15s has exploded in recent years. From offerings from established manufacturers like the S&W M&P 15 Sport and the Springfield Armory Saint to parts kits to offerings from upstart manufacturers in that niche like Anderson, Palmetto State Armory, and Aero Precision, there’s a dearth of options for those looking for a cheap AR-style rifle. But are these cheaper rifles as good as their more expensive counterparts? Companies like BCM... more »

Israel's Iron Dome Has Protected The Country From Hundreds Of Rocket Attacks

Seth J. Frantzman at The National Interest - 13 hours ago
*Seth J. Frantzman* *Technology, Middle East* And is still going strong. *Key point: *This system has been tested numerous times over past years and it has improved. In 1991, during the Gulf War, more than forty Scud missiles were fired at Israel. At the time, the entire country was included in one early warning zone, so millions of people were warned of the incoming rockets, even though most of them lived in areas that were not threatened. Today there are more than 1,700 distinct zones in Israel that enables the country to warn only the communities under direct threat. It is th... more »

PKM: Is This the Best Light Machine Gun Ever?

Charlie Gao at The National Interest - 13 hours ago
*Charlie Gao* *Security, Global* More than just an inverted AK-47. *Key point: *PKMs still arm many western-aligned nations as well. Mikhail Kalashnikov is known for creating the AK rifle, but his contributions to Soviet firearms design didn’t end there. In 1961 he designed the PK machine gun, which was modernized into the PKM in 1969. Like the AK, this machine gun serves on to the current day. However, in many ways, it can be considered a better design than his rifle, despite it serving a different role. The PKM is sometimes described as “an AK flipped upside down and made in a... more »

Study: Blame The War On Drugs (And Not Prescriptions) For America's Opioid Crisis

Jeffrey A. Singer at The National Interest - 13 hours ago
*Jeffrey A. Singer* *Society, Americas* The details are here. *Key point: *As prescription volume precipitously drops, the overdose rate continues apace. A new study reported in the November 1, 2019 *Annals of Emergency Medicine *pours more cold water on the false but persistent narrative that the opioid overdose crisis was caused by doctors prescribing opioids to patients in pain. This prospective cohort study by researchers in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine followed 484 “opioid naïve” patients prescribed opioids for acute pain upon... more »

What Iran and the Movie Top Gun Have in Common: They Both Use F-14 Tomcats

Sebastien Roblin at The National Interest - 13 hours ago
*Sebastien Roblin* *Security, Middle East* Yes, sold to Iran. *Key Point:* The Tomcat did prove itself to be one of the great American fighters of its era—in the hands of both the U.S. Navy and the Iranian Air Force. Let’s just get this out of the way: Maverick. Iceman. Charlie. Are you done swooning yet? For many, the 1988 film *Top Gun* caused the F-14 to embody everything cool about fighter jets and the pilots that flew them. And the Tomcat *was *cool—entering service in 1975, it was arguably the first operational fourth-generation jet fighter that successfully combined the... more »

What Will North Korea Do in 2020?

Robert Farley at The National Interest - 13 hours ago
*Robert Farley* *Security, Asia* Test a nuclear weapon or ICBM? Make peace with Donald Trump? One of our top national security experts gives us his take. Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un’s speech closing the Plenary Meeting of the Worker’s Party of Korea left analysts with much to chew on. Kim staked out a path for North Korean relations with the United States that was less confrontational than weary of well-worn disputes. Kim’s dropped numerous hints that he is ready to give up on hopes for a comprehensive deal with the United States, at least until after the US election. Kim reaff... more »

Iraq – Sunday in a nutshell

Uriel at 'Nox & Friends - 13 hours ago
So much is happening so fast over there I thought it might be easier just to sum up and provide a few links. State Department –– cancel all plans in Afghanistan and Iraq. The embassy is closed till further notice. Find commercial flights or land means and depart those areas immediately. Consulate in Erbil is open at this time for assistance out. At the Embassy has no current plans to evacuate U.S. personnel. Private U.S. citizens should depart while it is possible to do so. On December 26th, though it was pretty much pushed out by other breaking news, President … Continue reading →

Iraq calls for foreign forces to leave after Trump orders killing of Soleimani

Just In - 13 hours ago
Iraq's parliament has called for US and other foreign military forces to leave amid a growing backlash against Washington's killing of a top Iranian military commander.

Six German tourists killed by drunk Italian driver in horror crash

Just In - 13 hours ago
Six German tourists are killed in northern Italy as a car driven by an Italian man, who registered a high blood alcohol content, ploughed into their group, leaving 11 more injured, four critically.

Sunday Morning Links

Unknown at Accidental Deliberations - 13 hours ago
This and that for your Sunday reading. - Scott Gilmore writes about the glaring need for Canada's politicians to show more capacity for shame - through it's worth noting both a global pattern to the same effect, and the dangers of trying to draw "both-sides" equivalency (as Gilmore does) in circumstances where the problem is asymmetrical. - Carrie Tait reports on Jason Kenney's foisting of additional policing costs on municipalities which are already suffering from the UCP's cutbacks elsewhere. And Jennifer Hamilton writes about the UCP's gross neglect of Alberta's social and infr... more »

ICYMI: Off To A Great New Year's Start Edition (1/5)

Peter Greene at CURMUDGUCATION - 13 hours ago
Marking the new year always strikes me as a bit odd-- we draw an arbitrary line in the chronological sand, then get all excited about examining it. Humans are fun. In the meantime, this week's list is loaded with some exceptionally good readings. Remember to share the ons that speak to you. Amplifying voices is what the interwebz are all about. *The Surprising Source of the NPE Data * The pushback against NPE's report on charter waste and fraud has been considerable, but here Carol Burris provides a measured and detailed response. And guess where some of the data in question comes ... more »


Jenna Orkin at From the Wilderness' Peak Oil Blog - 14 hours ago
From Jenna Orkin Pence says Iran's Qasem Soleimani aided 9/11 hijackers. Experts say that's not trueSydney's Penrith the hottest place on Earth amid devastating bushfires Behind the Ukraine Aid Freeze - NYT Physicists Just Achieved Quantum Teleportation Between Computer Chips for the First Time Hezbollah Isn’t Just in Beirut. It’s in New York, Too. (1 year old) Mystery airstrike reportedly kills Iran-backed militia members in Baghdad just one day after US killed a top Iranian generalThe United States' main allies are abandoning Trump over his 'dangerous escalation' with Iran CapEco... more »

"What ties together many notions of Englishness is a nostalgia for a country which no longer exists, and perhaps never did really"

Craig at Is the BBC biased? - 14 hours ago
Here's a few of Mark Mardell's points about English nationalism on today's *The World This Weekend*: - There are multitudes of meaning within Englishness, from George Orwell's England of suet puddings and red postboxes, through the Blitz and "our finest hour", to John Betjeman's tennis whites and teacakes. What ties together many notions of Englishness is a nostalgia for a country which no longer exists, and perhaps never did really. - So do we now reflect that early England, effortlessly expanding, already inclusive of Jutes, Saxons, Angles and Danes, or a Tud... more »

“The Sunburn Missile - Iran's Weapon That Could Defeat The US In The Gulf”

CoyotePrime at Running 'Cause I Can't Fly - 14 hours ago
This was originally posted here on 11-2-2014, and due to ongoing improvements in the operational capabilities of this and additional missile systems the lethality threat is much greater today. - CP ○ * “The Sunburn **Missile **- * *Iran's **Weapon That Could Defeat The US In The Gulf”* By Mark Gaffney "*A word to the reader:* The following paper is so shocking that, after preparing the initial draft, I didn't want to believe it myself, and resolved to disprove it with more research. However, I only succeeded in turning up more evidence in support of my thesis. And I repeated this cycl... more »

He'll Get Burned

Owen Gray at Northern Reflections - 14 hours ago
Qaseem Soleimani had lots of blood on his hands. Max Boot writes: He has the blood of hundreds of Americans and thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of Arabs on his hands. [But] Soleimani was not the leader of a stateless terrorist organization. He was one of the most powerful figures in the Iranian government. His death makes him the highest-ranking foreign military commander assassinated by the United States since the shoot-down in 1943 of an airplane carrying Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack. This is precisely the kind of crisis that many feare... more »

"The USA Doubles Down On Its Saudi Allegiance"

CoyotePrime at Running 'Cause I Can't Fly - 14 hours ago
*"The USA Doubles Down On Its Saudi Allegiance"* by Craig Murray, "For the United States to abandon proxy warfare and directly kill one of Iran’s most senior political figures has changed international politics in a fundamental way. It is a massive error. Its ramifications are profound and complex. There is also a lesson to be learned here in that this morning there will be excitement and satisfaction in the palaces of Washington, Tel Aviv, Riyadh and Tehran. All of the political elites will see prospects for gain from the new fluidity. While for ordinary people in all those countr... more »

Cop Indicted for Recklessly Driving Patrol Car Onto Sidewalk, Killing a 4yo Little Girl

Matt Agorist at The Free Thought Project - 14 hours ago
[image: sidewalk]A cop has been charged with manslaughter after distractedly driving onto a school sidewalk and killing a 4-year-old girl.

Protecting Diplomats Following Soleimani's Death

fburton at Lawfare - 14 hours ago
DSS special agents with the Office of Mobile Security Deployments, UN General Assembly, Sept. 2018 (Source: Flickr/U.S. State Department/Public Domain) The recent siege at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and subsequent threats of retaliation from Iran and its proxies following the Jan. 3 U.S. military operation that killed commander of Iran’s Quds Force Qassem Soleimani are vivid reminders that the world is often a dangerous place for American diplomats. In the coming days, American diplomats and civilians face an increased risk of further violent social unrest and ordnance targeting ... more »


Craig at Is the BBC biased? - 14 hours ago
Here's Mark Mardell introducing the first item on today's *The World This Weekend*: The body of General Qassem Soleimani has arrived back in Iran. Tens of thousands of mourners have packed the streets walking alongside the flag-draped coffin. Women sang a hymn to the fallen general. The depth of mourning for the infamous spymaster, Iran's chief foreign strategist, isn't in doubt. The consequences of the US assassination of him are still very uncertain. President Trump has announced in a tweet that if Iran carries out its threat to retaliate the United States is ready to hit 52 Iran... more »

Question of the Day

Craig at Is the BBC biased? - 15 hours ago
Is there a BBC rule that if any BBC current affairs programme discusses English nationalism then Billy Bragg *must* be on it and his *A New England *played?

Australia Drought, The Indian Ocean Dipole & Sudden Stratospheric Warming

Paul Homewood at NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT - 15 hours ago
By Paul Homewood One factor that seems to have received no attention at all in the media’s reporting of the Australian fires is the role of the Indian Ocean Dipole, or IOD. The IOD is, in very simplistic terms, a similar phenomenon to ENSO. When it is in positive mode, the Indian Ocean […]

Trump Predicted An Incompetent U.S. President Would Start A War With Iran To Help Him Win Reelection-- Who Could Have Guessed He'd be Right About Something?

DownWithTyranny at DownWithTyranny! - 15 hours ago
After the assassinations in Baghdad this week, CNN reported that the U.S. is deploying thousands of additional troops to the Middle East as tensions with Iran mount. And CNN also reported that Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani says the United States and Iran should “solve their disputes through dialogue… We call on our great neighbor Iran-- with which we share similarities in language, religion, history and culture-- and the United States of America, which is a strategic and fundamental partner of Afghanistan, to prevent tensions and we hope that both sides can solve their di... more »

How Donald Trump and North Korea Can Strike a Nuclear Deal

Michael O'Hanlon at The National Interest - 15 hours ago
*Michael O'Hanlon* *Security, * Kim wants a deal on his terms. What can Trump offer to avoid tensions from spiking just like in 2017? As the twelve days of Christmas end without the promised "gift" from Kim Jong-un, what does 2020 hold in store for Northeast Asia and U.S. security policy in that key part of the world? And what does Kim's recent major speech, more or less an annual tradition and delivered just before New Year's this year, suggest by way of hints and clues? First, a quick review. The situation in Korea is roughly as follows today. In one of international polit... more »

Russia's Largest Nuclear Bomb Was Too Big (And Failed)

Steve Weintz at The National Interest - 15 hours ago
*Steve Weintz* *Security, Asia* [image:] This is why you don't skip steps when it comes to nukes. *Key Point:* The Tsar Bomb convinced its creator to become an anti-nuclear activist. On July 10, 1961 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev summoned the USSR's top nuclear weaponeers and told them to promptly resume nuclear testing. After roughing up America's young new President Kennedy at a Vienna summit in June, Khrushchev was in a mood, according to Andrei Sakharov, to “show the imperialists what we can do.” For ... more »

This Is How The Uzi Became a Legendary Super Gun

Charlie Gao at The National Interest - 15 hours ago
*Charlie Gao* *Security, Middle East* It's a real killer. *Key point: *Submachine guns have come a long way since the Uzi. The Uzi is a rare gun that has gained enough recognition to enter popular culture. But unlike other guns that have made the distinction, like the Glock, AK, M-16, and MP5, the Uzi doesn’t have as stellar of a reputation among its users. Ask about the Uzi on any military forum, and stories of accidental discharges and terrible ergonomics will pop up. Yet the small SMG served on every continent and even in the hands of elite units like the United States Secre... more »

These Horrors Awaited The U.S. Army At Nordhausen Concentration Camp

Warfare History Network at The National Interest - 15 hours ago
*Warfare History Network* *History, * On March 30, 1945, the U.S. 3rd Armored Division made a startling discovery at the Nordhausen Concentration Camp the same day its commander was killed near Paderborn, Germany. After leading his U.S. 3rd Armored “Spearhead” Division on the longest, one-day, enemy-opposed mechanized advance in American history, Maj. Gen. Maurice Rose was killed in action on March 30, 1945, one of 30 flag officers who fell in World War II, and the only armored division commander ever lost in combat. However, the march of the 3rd Armored Division did not end wit... more »

Mark Mardell uses the l-word

Craig at Is the BBC biased? - 15 hours ago
A Twitter chat yesterday: *Ross Hawkins*: Interesting debate this morning, and over last few days. I covered election for BBC Radio 4 *Today*… *Mark Mardell*: There’s a concerted effort to lie about the way the Beeb covered the campaign in some newspapers.

Educational Crash Course #695

Diogenes Sarcastica™ at Diogenes' Middle Finger - 15 hours ago
*Another Installment of Diogenes'* *Public Service Educational Series:* *"Home Maintenance" * *Basic **Plumbing* *NEXT IN SERIES:* *'Jeffery Epstein Did Not Kill Himself. *A discussion with Carl Bernstein, Harvey Weinstein Bruce Springsteen and Mo 'The Knee' Feinstein. *Educational Crash Course Series Archive*

Sunday morning music

Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man - 15 hours ago
Here&s something rather different from our usual Sunday morning fare. Two years ago today, in 2018, I put up a dialog from a Dungeons & Dragons game by Daddy Warpig. It made me laugh, and amused a lot of my readers as well. I came across that post the other day, and laughed all over again. It started me wondering . . . how much music is out there that was inspired by D&D? A quick search on YouTube revealed dozens of songs, but most of them were very amateurish and not particularly funny. One, however, caught my eye - this one. This is for all the Dungeon Masters who&;ve ever ha... more »

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