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divemaster5734

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Everything posted by divemaster5734

  1. This is sure to anger those who love CNN and such, but for the rest, this is an excellent read..DM Shedding Light on Who, Exactly, is Responsible for the War in Ukraine By Roger Annis - August 6, 2022 6 [Source: english.news.cn] On July 7, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR.org) published an article by Gregory Shupak analyzing the hypocrisy of U.S. corporate media in its reporting of Ukraine, specifically the differing treatment by Western media of the situations in Donbas compared to that of the Serbian-Albanian territory of Kosovo. The article was titled, “Media support ‘self-determination’ for U.S. allies, not enemies.” Shupak writes, “My aim is to investigate whether there were significant differences in how corporate media covered the Kosovo [1999 and onward] and Donbas [2014 and onward] cases despite their similarities.” He details how there are, indeed, significant differences in the media coverage—whereas corporate media supported “self-determination” for Kosovo, they do not accord the same support to the people of Donbas. [Source: fair.org] It is an informative read. Even more so if it is read in tandem with an April 25, 2022, article by Dan Kovalik of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, titled “Why Russia’s intervention in Ukraine is legal under international law.” That said, Shupak’s article contains several inaccuracies and oversights that detract from its otherwise informative presentation. These are very important to understand, given the significance of Russia’s political/military intervention in Ukraine and the stakes in an eventual settlement. Gregory Shupak [Source: fair.org] Dan Kovalik [Source: law.pitt.edu] Setting the record straight on “separatism” and who invaded whom in Donbas in 2014 Shupak writes, “Donetsk and Luhansk, the Donbas’ two major regions… have been war zones since 2014, when Russia-aligned separatists began fighting Ukraine’s central government after the success of the U.S.-backed overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government.” This is factually wrong on several accounts. First, the claim of “separatism” directed against the rebel movement in Donbas is inaccurate. The Donbas republics agreed in February 2015 to the Minsk 2 peace settlement (text here). It envisioned a referendum on political autonomy that would, among many measures, more formally guarantee language rights for Russian speakers in Ukraine. Minsk 2 superseded earlier talks and agreement in the late summer of 2014 (also reached in Minsk, hence the term “Minsk 1”) which Shupak’s article describes. Unfortunately, Shupak does not mention Minsk 2 in his article text. That highly important agreement was endorsed by no less than the Security Council, on February 17, 2015, unanimously to boot. Kyiv and the NATO powers that signed onto the agreement then proceeded to sabotage it during the seven years that followed. Second, the conflict in Donbas commenced in April 2014 when the coup regime in Kyiv and its paramilitary, extreme-right battalions-in-formation invaded the two then-Ukrainian oblasts (provinces) of Donetsk and Luhansk. The two oblasts comprise the historic region of Donbas. Kyiv intended to violently suppress the pro-autonomy movements there. [Source: socialistproject.ca] Paramilitary forces-in-formation acted similarly against the people protesting in favor of autonomy in the city and oblast of Odessa. The rightists murdered as many as 50 pro-autonomy protesters on May 2, 2014, after protesters had taken shelter in the city’s massive, historic Trade Unions Building. The building was set on fire by the rightists and many of those who tried to escape the building were clubbed to death. Trade Unions Building in Odessa after it was burned by rightist forces. [Source: nbcnews.com] An unjust intervention by Russia in Ukraine in 2022? Shupak describes Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine is unjust. But unjust for whom? Certainly not for the people of Donbas. They have endured seven years of low-intensity war against them by Ukrainian armed forces and paramilitaries, with political support as well as military training and equipping by NATO countries. That war cost some 14,000 lives on both sides (as of February 24, 2022), including more than 3,100 civilian deaths. Most of those deaths occurred on the Donbas side. Today, it is necessary to understand not only what Russia is doing with its intervention in Ukraine but also what alternative existed to stop Ukrainian aggression against Donbas and to assure Russia’s national security. Recall that Ukraine and NATO were preparing in late 2021 and early 2022 for what they hoped would be a “final” military blow to aspirations for Donbas autonomy (now independence-from-Ukraine). Russia warned the world against this months earlier. Ukrainian servicemen ride atop an armored fighting vehicle in eastern Ukraine. [Source: rferl.org] It is eye-opening to read today the “Update on Ukraine” by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on December 1, 2021. (The full text of that briefing is appended at the end of this article.) She explained, “Kyiv’s efforts to subvert the Minsk agreements are most vividly on display at the contact line in Donbas. The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are building military power, and drawing up heavy equipment and personnel. According to some estimates, the strength of Ukraine’s armed group in the conflict zone is already close to 125,000. This is half of the AFU personnel.” Adding to this threat was, and remains, the presence of NATO soldiers in Ukraine. In December 2021, the Zelensky regime in Kyiv adopted a special law to permit foreign soldiers onto its soil. As an entry by the U.S. Library of Congress explains, “The adoption of this law was required because the Constitution of Ukraine prohibits the creation and operation of armed units in Ukraine if they are not authorized by national law.” NATO has waged a decades-long drive to expand its country membership right up to the Russian border. NATO doctrine holds that an attack against one country-member is “an attack against all.” UK-NATO soldier on exercise in Estonia training for war against Russia. [Source: politico.eu] Whose diplomacy? Shupak says a return to diplomacy is needed to settle the conflict in Ukraine. But Russia and the people of Donbas have exercised seven years of extreme patience in hoping and expecting that diplomacy in the form of Minsk 2 would be implemented. What is needed is real diplomacy, not a repeat of the sham diplomacy as we saw following Minsk 2. Shupak disregards this dilemma over diplomacy. He leaves the false impression that Russia is to blame for the current failure to reach a diplomatic solution. He further compounds such a distorted view of events by failing to explain that, in the recent weeks, it is Ukraine that has refused to engage in diplomacy and negotiations. Far from being nudged by NATO members to engage in negotiations, Kyiv is being encouraged not to do so. The reason for this is, by now, public information—NATO is counselling Kyiv against negotiations because the two partners are recklessly (and hopelessly) pursuing military action in a bid to weaken Russia, a goal which leaders in Washington no longer even try to hide. A proper humanitarian response to all this would be to call upon the aggressor powers to recognize Russia’s legitimate national security concerns and to negotiate peace with the people of Donbas. Negotiation is precisely what Kyiv and NATO–not Russia–are refusing to engage. Indeed, the photo caption of Shupak’s article in FAIR.org cites his own words in explaining: “Had the U.S. seriously pursued peace, Minsk II could have both ended the war in Donbas and extinguished the NATO issue that was a driving factor in the invasion Russia launched.” Precisely. And we can add today that little or nothing since has changed on this front. [Source: globaltimes.cn] Chris Hedges condemns NATO expansion but muddies the waters over Ukraine Writer Chris Hedges has detailed in a new article the years and decades of aggressive, NATO expansion intended to weaken and humble Russia. He explains that, following the demise of the Soviet Union in 1990-91, “NATO and the militarists had no intention of embracing [a] ‘peace dividend,’ fostering a world based on diplomacy, respect of spheres of influence and mutual cooperation. [NATO was instead] determined to stay in business. Its business is war. That meant expanding its war machine far beyond the border of Europe and engaging in ceaseless antagonism toward China and Russia…” Chris Hedges [Source: ineteconomics.org] It is a powerful news article and commentary. But the reader will find in it descriptions of events that are unclear if not mistaken. Notably, Hedges writes, “NATO expansion and the 2014 U.S.-backed coup in Kyiv led Russia to first occupy Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, with its large ethnic Russian population, and then to invade all of Ukraine to thwart the country’s efforts to join NATO. The same dance of death is being played with China over Taiwan…” Here, in one sentence, we find three mistaken ideas or interpretations. First, Russia did not “occupy” Crimea in early 2014. Following the violent and illegal coup in Kyiv in February 2014, Russia was immediately invited, indeed urged, by the elected and constitutional government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Wikipedia) to protect the Crimean government and people from similar, violent coup actions as occurred in Kyiv and from threats of invasion (as Ukrainian far-right paramilitaries were commencing in Donbas). Russia reacted positively and promptly, moving soldiers, sailors and police from Sevastopol into positions of defense and control. Those forces were already stationed in Sevastopol, Crimea, by virtue of the Russia-Ukraine “Partition Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet” in 1997. (Wikipedia). Crimeans cheer signing of treaty that made Crimea a part of the Russian Federation. [Source: scmp.com] It is important to understand here that, as a result of the coup in Kyiv, there was no constitutional government in power in Ukraine following February 2014. There was a constitutional government still in power in one region of the country–Crimea. It was the only region of Ukraine to have its own government. Its powers were similar to those of state governments in the U.S. or provincial governments in Canada. Second, Russia has not “invaded all of Ukraine” in the year 2022. It has acted to defend the lives and right to political self-determination of those regions of Ukraine with high numbers of ethnic Russians and where residents are under military threat or attack by Ukraine armed forces and ultranationalist paramilitaries. Russia is also defending its own national security from the direct threat that NATO membership for Ukraine would represent and that the current presence of NATO soldiers and weapons on Ukrainian territory currently represents. Third, it is not a “dance of death” taking place in Ukraine. What is taking place is a life and death struggle for political self-determination by people in Donbas and elsewhere in Ukraine facing political violence and loss of political rights. Russia is defending the right of self-determination of these people and it is defending the security of its own people. People wave Russian national flags celebrating the recognition of independence in the center of Donetsk, the territory controlled by pro-Russian rebels, in eastern Ukraine, on Monday, February 21. [Source: aljazeera.com] By Chris Hedges’ mistaken measure, self-determination struggles and wars of national liberation throughout the 20th century should also be termed “dances of death.” China’s long struggle for independence in 1949 comes to mind. So, too, the ‘people’s wars’ in Korea and Vietnam following World War Two which freed those countries from imperialist domination. Vietcong freedom fighter engaged in a just war against a foreign aggressor—much like the people of eastern Ukraine. [Source: reddit.com] Yes, many people tragically died in the many national liberation conflicts during the 20th and 21st centuries. But the blame for this does not lie with those who resisted imperialist war and violence (and, tragically, continue to do so today in many cases). No, the blame lies with those who perpetrate such. Similar off-the mark points of analysis by other writers can be found who, otherwise, present informative news and commentary on the conflict in Ukraine. For example, another writer at FAIR.org, Joshua Cho, published a very informative analysis on July 21 titled, “Calling Putin ‘Hitler’ to smear diplomacy as [being] ‘appeasement’.'” But out of left field appears this sentence in the article: “Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine is a violation of international law, condemned by 141 out of 193 countries in a UN General Assembly vote.” Joshua Cho [Source: fair.org] But Russia’s action in Ukraine can be accurately viewed as a legitimate act of national self-defense, as per the article by Dan Kovalik cited earlier in this article. Moreover, Ukraine and its backers among the Western countries were given ample warning of the need to pull back from their reckless course of militarism and NATO expansion. Furthermore, Russia is acting in a ‘responsibility to protect’ capacity in Donbass and southern Ukraine. Its actions in this regard are light years removed from the self-declared ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine which Western countries created and have used in recent decades to justify countless violent and bloody coups and political interventions against governments that dare to defy imperialist diktat. Yes, a large majority of UN General Assembly member countries voted for a resolution on March 1 condemning Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. But three of the world’s five most populous countries, with more than one third of the world’s population, abstained on that vote (India, China, Pakistan), while a repeat of such a vote in today’s conditions would receive far fewer votes in favour because the world now understands much better the true history and stakes in the conflict in Ukraine compared to more than five months ago. Writer and broadcaster Aaron Maté penned an article on his Substack media outlet on July 16 in which he wrote a blatantly false accusation against Russia: “By invading Ukraine rather than [emphasis added] exhausting all diplomatic solutions, Russia bears obvious responsibility for the crisis.” This is, quite simply, factually wrong, as this present article has explained above in its explanation of the demise of the Minsk 2 agreement. Aaron Maté [Source: soundcloud.org] Difficult as this is to believe, considering the tidal wave of corporate media messaging saying the opposite, Russia is far from being the ‘imperialist’ country which so many on the political right and also on the political left accuse it of being. That accusation does not stand the test of serious analysis. What’s more, its intervention in Ukraine qualifies as an anti-imperialist initiative. Russia’s actions in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world (for example, in Cuba) are creating space–economic, political and military–for the victims of imperialism to live, breathe and fight for a different world in which big power dominance and hegemony give way, kicking and screaming, to a world of cooperation among peoples and countries. Surely, this is something worth understanding and to welcome? And to prompt asking: How can the people of the world draw inspiration and follow the examples of the self-determination struggles in Donbas and Crimea and the decisions of the Russian government to refuse to abide by imperialist diktat? Appendix: Update on Ukraine [This “Update on Ukraine,” delivered by Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, was part of the broader, weekly briefing on December 1, 2021.] Maria Zakharova [Source: reuters.com] We receive many questions with a request to comment on the situation in Ukraine. We are seriously concerned over Kyiv’s efforts at dismantling the Minsk process, and its de facto refusal to try to settle peacefully the conflict in Donbas. On November 29 of this year, President Volodymyr Zelensky submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a draft law to allow foreign armed units to come to Ukraine in 2022 for participation in multi-national exercises. This action directly contradicts Article 10 of the Minsk Package of Measures providing for the withdrawal of all foreign armed formations from Ukrainian territory. The draft Ukrainian law “On the Principles of the State Policy of Transition Period” has not been removed from the agenda, either. I would like to recall that we have repeatedly said that the adoption of this document will mean Kiev’s withdrawal from the Minsk agreements. We do not see any other option. Instead of a special status and amnesty for the residents of Donbass, this document envisages forced Ukrainisation, screening of officials and the de facto complete “mopping up” of the territories in the east of Ukraine. Although President Zelensky said during the press marathon on November 26 of this year that this is “not a current issue,” everyone understands that a decision on its approval may be adopted any time. Kiev’s efforts to subvert the Minsk agreements are most vividly on display at the contact line in Donbass. The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are building military power, and drawing up heavy equipment and personnel. According to some estimates, the strength of Ukraine’s armed group in the conflict zone is already close to 125,000. This is half of the AFU personnel. According to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), violations of ceasefire are recorded along the entire contact line rather than merely locally. On some days in the past few weeks, the number of violations exceeded the maximums that the mission recorded before the additional measures on enhancing ceasefire entered in force on July 22, 2020. Heavy weapons banned by the Minsk agreements are being used increasingly. We have spoken about this more than once. Civilians are the hardest hit by the shelling by the Ukrainian military. It is strange that this is not seen by human rights champions in the Western countries nor by observers and special rapporteurs assigned to international organizations. The absolute majority of destroyed houses and civilian facilities are located in Donbass districts. Where is the international human rights movement? Where are the champions of humanitarian law? What about articles in the leading Western media? The matter deals not just with one person who becomes a target of Western media campaigns. This is about the population of a region that has been suffering under the iniquity of the Kiev regime for many years. It is on the verge of a disaster. The Kiev regime is tightening its military power around this population and does not deem it necessary to conceal its real attitude to the Minsk agreements. What else should the Kiev regime do, how should it humiliate the residents of Donbass for the Western mainstream to turn its head to the residents of this region and start wondering what is really happening there? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky plotting attacks in war with Russia. [Source: indianaexpress.com] A civil war is raging in Ukraine. The population is suffering and dying from military adventures (we will talk about this later today). In these conditions, it is impossible to understand the cynical approach of the NATO countries and of NATO as an association. They continue supplying Ukraine with arms and ammunition and sending their military instructors to it. Recently, Western capitals have started making statements about their readiness to send troop contingents to Ukraine as well. London reported its intention to send up to 600 British military personnel to Ukraine. Rendering such assistance to the state where settlement is a remote prospect and the domestic conflict is far from being resolved, the West should understand that it automatically becomes an accomplice in the crimes against Ukrainian civilians. Against this backdrop, the hysterical campaign in the media, unleashed by Kiev and its foreign patrons about Russia’s alleged preparations for an offensive is simply a sidetracking maneuver, a fake excuse for the further militarization of Ukrainian territory. We urge the NATO countries to stop their provocations and encouragement of the Kiev regime’s militaristic plans and do all they can to encourage Kiev engage in direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk with a view to finding a sustainable peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian domestic conflict in line with the Package of Measures endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution. [end this section of briefing]
  2. A Farmer Writing a Romance Novel "Her body tensed and quivered as she felt wave after wave surge through it. I guess I should have told her about the electric fence."
  3. A sign of the insanity in California, Americans have moved to Mexico to work remote and live without the Nazi lockdowns and mask mandates. Mexican residents are incensed over Americans don't speak Spanish and are ruining their neighborhoods. I laughed, cried, then thought, "hey, I'm remote, I could do this, hmmm..."
  4. Great find. Was left speechless watching all those folks we lost. The soul rot caused by "academia" has premediated every facet of America's life, and the illegals southern invasion brings loyalty to another country that will be passed through generations. We are at a place that took fifty years of steady decay to get to. Until there are a LOT of changes made, we can't possibly start to heal. The true insanity is we could have it tomorrow, if only people could wake up an see with different eyes.
  5. I often wondered what my parents did to fight boredom before the internet. I asked my 10 siblings, but they didn’t have a clue either.
  6. One day my Detective partner and I were driving along a country lane when we accidentally ran over a rabbit that had darted across the road. My colleague, who was an excellent cook, insisted that we stop and collect the creature for the pot. I stopped the car and he put the animal in the boot (trunk). We carried on driving and I glimpsed in the rear view mirror to see a van following us and flashing his headlights. I pulled over and the van stopped behind. Out of the vehicle stepped an Inspector from the RSPCA (ASPCA). He was a large man in full uniform and he came striding towards us in a rather angry fashion. He told us that he had reason to believe that we had a live wild animal in the boot(trunk). We identified ourselves as police officers and I showed him my warrant card (shield). He examined the card carefully and told me that it was not valid as it had been signed by a Chief Constable that had retired the year before. He also insisted that as he was an Inspector, we should address him as ‘Sir’from that point onwards. My partner and I looked at each other, but said nothing. I explained what had happened and that the animal was dead, but he insisted it was alive and ordered us to open the boot. I opened it and we could see the creature lying prostrate. The Inspector told us to stay exactly where we were and he walked back to his van. He returned a short time later carrying a spray can. He sprayed it into the boot and all over the animal. The was a white foam which completely filled the boot. It soon started to dissolve and we could see the animal again. It started to twitch and the suddenly came to life and jumped out of the car and into the hedgerow. I was absolutely astonished and asked the Inspector what was in the spray can. I couldn’t believe it when he told me it was Hare Restorer
  7. A rookie police officer pulled a biker over for speeding and had the following exchange: • Officer: May I see your driver's license? • Biker: I don't have one. I had it suspended when I got my 5th DUI. • Officer: May I see the owner's card for this vehicle? • Biker: It's not my bike. I stole it. • Officer: The motorcycle is stolen? • Biker: That's right. But come to think of it, I think I saw the owner's card in the tool bag when I was putting my gun in there. • Officer: There's a gun in the tool bag? • Biker: Yes sir. That's where I put it after I shot and killed the dude who owns this bike and stuffed his dope in the saddle bags. • Officer: There's drugs in the saddle bags too?!?!? • Biker: Yes, sir. Hearing this, the rookie immediately called his captain. The biker was quickly surrounded by police, and the captain approached the biker to handle the tense situation: • Captain: Sir, can I see your license? • Biker: Sure. Here it is. It was valid. • Captain: Who's motorcycle is this? • Biker: It's mine, officer. Here's the registration. • Captain: Could you slowly open your tool bag so I can see if there's a gun in it? • Biker: Yes, sir, but there's no gun in it. Sure enough, there was nothing in the tool bag. • Captain: Would you mind opening your saddle bags? I was told you said there's drugs in them. • Biker: No problem. The saddle bags were opened; no drugs. • Captain: I don't understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn't have a license, stole this motorcycle, had a gun in the tool bag, and that there were drugs in the saddle bags. • Biker: Yeah, I'll bet he told you I was speeding, too.
  8. A police officer, at nearly midnight, saw a couple in a car at Lovers' Lane with the interior light brightly glowing. He carefully approached the car to get a closer look. He saw a young man behind the wheel reading a computer magazine. He then noticed a young woman in the rear seat, filing her fingernails. Puzzled by this surprising situation, the officer walked to the car and gently rapped on the driver's window. The young man lowered his window. "Uh, yes, officer?" The cop asked, "What are you doing?" The young man said, "Well, officer, I'm reading a magazine." Pointing towards the young woman in the back seat the officer asked, "And her, what is she doing?" The young man shrugged, "Sir, I believe she's filing her fingernails." Now, the cop was totally confused. A young couple, alone, in a car, at night in Lover's Lane and nothing is happening! He asked, "What's your age, young man ?" The young man said, "I'm 22, sir." The cop asked, "And her, what's her age?" The young man looked at his watch and replied, "She'll be 18 in 11 minutes.".
  9. A missionary was about to leave his posting in the jungles where he has spent years teaching the natives 'The Good Word' when he realizes that the one thing he never taught them was how to speak English. So he takes the chief for a walk in the forest. He points to a tree and says to the chief, "This is a tree." The chief looks at the tree and grunts, "Tree." The missionary was pleased with the response. They walk a little farther and he points to a rock and says, "This is a rock." Hearing this, the chief looks and grunts, "Rock." The missionary is really getting enthusiastic about the results when he hears a rustling in the bushes. As he peeks over the top, he sees a couple of natives in the midst of heavy sexual activity. The missionary is really flustered and quickly says, "Riding a bike." The chief looks at the couple briefly, pulls out his blowgun and kills them. The missionary goes ballistic and yells at the chief that he has spent years teaching the tribe how to be civilized and kind to each other, so how could he kill these people in cold blood that way? The chief replied, "My bike."
  10. Did you know that on the Canary Islands there is not one canary?..... And on the Virgin Isles? Same thing....Not one canary there either.
  11. Almost dry, too bad for you.... I told myself that I should stop drinking. Then I thought... Why would I listen to a drunk who talks to himself?! People that have no time for my s**t need to budget their time better... maybe get up an hour earlier To the lady that flipped me off this morning when I waved and honked at you...I'm pretty sure your phone is no longer on top of your car. A co-worker asked me, “Could you be any more annoying?” So the next day I wore tap shoes to work. 4 out of 3 people struggle with math If at first you dont succeed, skydiving is not for you Laughter is the best medicine... unless you have diarrhea Q: What do Captain Kirk and toilet paper have in common? A: They both keep the Klingons off Uranus. I pulled a nose hair out today, just to see if it hurts... Judging by the reaction of the guy sleeping next to me on the bus, it's fairly painful. I once had a dream I was floating in an ocean of orange soda. Actually, it was more of a Fanta sea. Shhhh... talk quietly. I don't trust these trees. They look shady. How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage? Just learned that the companies that make yard sticks and rulers won't be making them any longer. Something to ponder; 1970 and 2022 are as far apart as 1970 and 1918. 52 years. A lot of us have lived it. So much makes sense now…
  12. Last one, am pretty sure the epoxy has set by now.. My doctor asked if anyone in my family suffered from mental illness and I said, "No, we all seem to enjoy it." Just once, I want a username and password prompt to say, "Close enough." I'm a multitasker. I can listen, ignore and forget all at the same time! Retirement to do list: Wake up. -I Nailed it! People who wonder if the glass is half empty or half full miss the point. The glass is refillable. I don't have grey hair. I have wisdom highlights. Sometimes it takes me all day to get nothing done. I don't trip, I do random gravity checks. One minute you're young and fun. Next, you're turning down the car stereo to see better. I'd grow my own food if only I could find bacon seeds. Some people you're glad to see coming; some people you're glad to see going. Common sense is not a gift. It's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it. I came. I saw. I forgot what I was doing. Retraced my steps. Got lost on the way back. Now I have no idea what's going on. If you can't think of a word, say "I forgot the English word for it." That way people will think you're bilingual instead of an idiot. I'm at a place in my life where errands are starting to count as going out. I don't always go the extra mile, but when I do it's because I missed my exit. I don't mean to brag, but I finished my 14-day diet food supply in 3 hours and 20 minutes. I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented. ...I forgot where I was going with this.
  13. Christmas falls on Friday this year. Blonde: I hope its not the 13th. Most people are shocked when they find out how bad an electrician I am. A hole was found drilled in a privacy fence at a local nudist club. The authorities are looking into it. My 2nd grade teacher was cross-eyed. She had a hard time controlling her pupils! If you have to wear both mask and glasses, you may be entitled to condensation. When you teach a wolf to meditate, it becomes aware wolf. The girl in the middle of the tennis court is Annette. Water is heavier than butane because butane is a lighter fluid. My son wants to study burrowing rodents. I told him to gopher it. I'm reading a book called "Quick Money for Dummies", by Robin Banks. Nothing tops a plain pizza. When you said life would get back to normal after June... Julyed. Lego Store reopens after Lockdown! Folks lined up for blocks! Cosmetology student misses class... forced to make up makeup test. I pulled a muscle digging for gold, but it was just a miner injury. I never finish anything. I have a black belt in partial arts. Ghosts like to ride in elevators. It lifts their spirits. I'm going to start collecting highlighters. Mark my words! Fungi puns are my yeast favorite. There's too mushroom for error. When one door closes and another door opens, you are probably in prison. Always borrow money from a pessimist. They don't expect it back anyway!
  14. Apparently, an RSVP to a wedding invitation "Maybe next time," isn't the correct response. Don't irritate old people. The older we get, the less "Life in prison" is a deterrent. "You will hit every cone on the highway before I let you merge in front of me because you saw that sign 2 miles ago like I did." I asked my wife if I was the only one she had ever been with. She said yes, all the others were nines and tens. It turns out that being an adult now is mostly just googling how to do stuff. Do you ever get up in the morning, look in the mirror and think "That can't be accurate." I told my wife I wanted to be cremated. She made me an appointment for Tuesday. I picked up a hitchhiker. He asked if I wasn't afraid, he might be a serial killer? I told him the odds of two serial killers being in the same car were extremely unlikely.
  15. 1. Dad, are we pyromaniacs? Yes, we arson. 2. What do you call a pig with laryngitis? Disgruntled. 3. Writing my name in cursive is my signature move. 4. Why do bees stay in their hives during winter? Swarm. 5. If you’re bad at haggling, you’ll end up paying the price. 6. Just so everyone’s clear, I’m going to put my glasses on. 7. A commander walks into a bar and orders everyone around. 8. I lost my job as a stage designer. I left without making a scene. 9. Never buy flowers from a monk. Only you can prevent florist friars. 10. How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced? A buccaneer. 11. I once worked at a cheap pizza shop to get by. I kneaded the dough. 12. My friends and I have named our band ‘Duvet’. It’s a cover band. 13. I lost my girlfriend’s audiobook, and now I’ll never hear the end of it. 14. Why is ‘dark’ spelled with a k and not c? Because you can’t see in the dark. 15. Why is it unwise to share your secrets with a clock? Well, time will tell. 16. When I told my contractor I didn’t want carpeted steps, they gave me a blank stare. 17. Bono and The Edge walk into a Dublin bar and the bartender says, “Oh no, not U2 again.” 18. Prison is just one word to you, but for some people, it’s a whole sentence. 19. Scientists got together to study the effects of alcohol on a person’s walk, and the result was staggering. 20. I’m trying to organize a hide and seek tournament, but good players are really hard to find. 21. I got over my addiction to chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts. I won’t lie, it was a rocky road. 22. What do you say to comfort a friend who’s struggling with grammar? There, their, they’re. 23. I went to the toy store and asked the assistant where the Schwarznegger dolls are and he replied, “Aisle B, back.” 24. What did the surgeon say to the patient who insisted on closing up their own incision? Suture self. 25. I’ve started telling everyone about the benefits of eating dried grapes. It’s all about raisin awareness.
  16. Every facet of the establishment is being destroyed by politicization. The liberals have exposed themselves for even half-wits to see. Fortunately, this includes the GOP. Since 2000 I've been screaming from the rooftops about the RINO's. The Party is deeply divided, with the vast majority of the population steadily moving away from the war-mongering corporate agenda pols. This is good. We knew it would be painful. Hopefully enough states have enacted voter ID laws to override the few who are too corrupt to toss mail-in ballots. If America can make it to November, We The People might actually have a chance to survive. It will be close, and with the WEF getting to place four of their graduates in high level leadership positions in as many months, we may well be alone in our populist agenda. But that's all it would take to set the planet on fire as countries around the globe follow our lead to individual freedom. Without a "red wave" in November I am fearful America won't make it to 2024.
  17. A country with over 99% Covid recovery rate, almost no testing, and very few jabs. It's sad when North Korea earns more respect and is more believable than the entire western media, all western governments, and most of the elite medical establishment... combined. Never thought that would happen...
  18. A little history, and reality check..DM An intriguing fallout from the Supreme Court’s evisceration of the constitutionally baseless Roe V. Wade decision can be found across the Atlantic, where efforts are now underway to enshrine in the French Constitution the so-called right to kill one’s own pre-born baby. Evidently some plumes have been ruffled. French President Emmanuel Macron, whose own people have such a poor opinion of his performance that his party hemorrhaged 63 seats in the recent legislative elections, went as far as to accuse the U.S. Supreme Court of undermining women’s liberties. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Aurore Bergé, who heads Macron’s party in parliament, and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo were also quick to put in their two cents, attributing the Court’s decision to populism and a gangrenous conservativism. Whether or not the French amend their constitution is their own affair. Instead of insulting the U.S. Supreme Court, however, and by extension the U.S. Constitution, their elected officials should show greater respect for a system of government that eclipses their own by almost 200 years. France’s present constitution is barely 65 years old. It’s the umpteenth re-write after four failed republics dissolved invariably in bloody tyranny, dictatorship, occupation, and war. The first constitution (pre-republic) was cooked up in 1791 by a mishmash of inept, unlearned, opportunistic, and petty delegates, as British economist and philosopher Edmund Burke described them, who composed France’s first unilaterally declared National Assembly. They botched things so wretchedly that the country spent the following 150 years having to reinvent the wheel, with the Napoleonic dictatorship and a temporary restoration of the monarchy thrown in along the way. Hence for anti-life “progressives” like Macron et al. to be bleating about liberties and solidarity with women, and throwing rocks at America’s highest court, an almost 250-year-old institution, is laughable. It’s also puerile rhetoric given that America’s sons bailed out France with their lives when in 1940 its government folded to the Germans in about 10 seconds (end of Republic Number 3) and spent the remainder of the war collaborating with the Nazi juggernaut. A Tale of Two Revolutions Yet there’s a deeper lesson to be observed. July each year tells a tale of two revolutions — the American War of Independence and the French Revolution — fought within decades of each other. The first U.S. government was formed the same year as the storming of the Bastille, an event commemorated by the French on its national holiday, celebrated this week on July 14. King Louis XVI was executed four years later, the same year that George Washington was sworn in as first president. These events, inspired by the same 18th-century Enlightenment philosophies, are often conflated. But they are different beasts. The contrast goes to the heart of what makes the United States so special and sheds light on how its system of government and, most importantly, its relationship with God, are under siege today. Burke got it. So did French philosopher and historian Alexis de Tocqueville. They understood that the uprising by thirteen American colonies against the increasingly harsh and exploitative British crown was about casting off the shackles of tyranny and pursuing the blessings of liberty. Meanwhile, they intuited that the French Revolution entailed the overthrow of the existing regime and the yoking of the masses to a power vastly more extensive and absolute than any known under the monarchy. It was the birth of the modern administrative state. The concepts of life, liberty, property, government, and separation of powers adopted by American revolutionary leaders were shaped by 18th-century thinkers such as Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu. Yet the abstractions of these and other Enlightenment writers, particularly outlier Jean-Jacques Rousseau, took on a disturbing form in revolutionary France. The goal was not merely the reform of the French social system, but a total reconstruction of society, the individual, and indeed the whole human race. Unlike the limited objectives of the American founders, the French Revolution was unfettered, boundless, and insatiable in its ideological zeal. New Administrative State The primacy of Paris, which had originally been a grievance against the monarchy, was strengthened. The long-reaching arm of the new administrative state reached into all aspects of French life. Property was requisitioned, ancient property rights destroyed, and craft guilds obliterated. The ancient communes and provinces were dissolved, and the country carved into 83 roughly equal departments. The Church was mercilessly pillaged, religious orders banished, and religious vows annulled. A new monetary system was devised along with a bizarre new calendar that sought to erase from memory all sacred holidays and religious observances. “Citizen” as a form of address was introduced, private schooling was banned, and national conscription implemented. Amid threats of foreign invasion, crippling riots, food shortages, and inflation, the monarchy was overturned, King Louis was beheaded, and a Committee of Public Safety with dictatorial powers was instituted in 1793. Under the notorious Maximilien Robespierre, the new republic embarked on a terrifying journey of religious persecution for the sake of virtue, atheistic fanaticism in the name of reason, the glorification of the nation state while ripping it to shreds and burying its history, the idolization of tolerance while crushing dissent, and an appeal to fraternity while resorting to extremes of bloody fratricide. The Jacobin spirit was perhaps best summed up decades later by Charles Dickens, when he wrote: “Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death — the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!” The “freedom” of the individual was conditional on total submission to the state. This centralized administrative machine was the only feature of the ancien régime to survive the monarchy and outlive the revolution because it was the life force of the new society created. The American Republic certainly did not envisage this kind of omnipotent administrative behemoth, even if circumstances over the last century have taken an unhappy turn in that direction. The French model was predicated on it from the outset. Yet the Jacobin political order did graver harm than subordinating the individual to the collective will of the state. They made, à la Rousseau, a “Supreme Being” of the nation, relegating almighty God and his holy church to the outhouse and reimagining Jesus Christ as little more than a righteous revolutionary much like themselves. As distinct from the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, approved by the French National Assembly in 1789, tellingly provides for the open expression of religious views, “provided their manifestation does not disturb the public order established by law.” Herein the seeds of the faulty doctrine of separation of church and state were sown, the sour milk on which French nationals are still weaned today, a perversion that continues to wreak havoc throughout the West. Civilized Society Requires Religion Fortunately, this dead-end road was never trodden by the American Founders. Despite wide variations among the principally Protestant denominations, there was a general understanding, per Tocqueville, that “civilized society, especially if it be free, cannot exist without religion.” Burke went even further, lamenting the crisis of faith unfolding in France. He warned that if “that Christian religion which has hitherto been our boast and comfort, and one great source of civilization” were to be overthrown, the void would inevitably be filled by “some uncouth, pernicious, and degrading superstition.” Against this religious and intellectual backdrop, both at home and abroad, it makes total sense that the American Republican model was overlayed on a generic Christian tradition and belief system with which government was not to meddle. So as both countries celebrate their national holidays this month, and French leftists freak out over the workings of this country’s Supreme Court, while working to accommodate Moloch worship in their own constitution, it’s worth reflecting on why the U.S. system of government is superior and unparalleled. The Founders were wise enough to recognize that man finds protection, not fulfillment, in the state, and humble enough to declare that individual rights are safeguarded by the state but endowed by the Creator alone. They placed God at the core, and the sovereign power with the people, on loan to the government — a Creator-instilled, bottom-up dynamic. The French revolutionaries got this entirely backwards, and barbarously spurned God Himself. They resorted to any extreme of terror and propaganda as a means of reconstructing human nature, rejecting the truth that the individual is a creature of God, not an invention of the state. Hence the American War of Independence heralded the birth of a now 246-year-old republic. The French experiment, on the other hand, was the first in a revolving door of constitutions and republics, with the “head of Liberty” routinely swapped for another, as Tocqueville saw it, but always “on the shoulders of a servile body.” CARINA BENTON
  19. Built a '72 Nova, one of only 500 ever with factory ragtop. Did 11.4 second 1/4 mile at the strip. At the time that was insanely fast, the pro mods were in the 9's. It could do wheelies if you bounce the suspension just right. Or, it could break the transmission in half, snap U joints, wrinkle and twist up the drive shaft until it became short enough to pop out of the transmission, or make a heavy duty starter look like a grenade went off inside. Lost count of how many starters after a couple dozen, the parts store let me exchange two before I had to pay for a new one, that was before the made heavy duty housings to go with the heavy duty windings. U joints were preferred to snap instead of entire drive shaft fails. Broke a turbo 400 with stall torque converter and shift kit straight in half in the middle of the bell housing area once, just pure torque. But Oh My God, when everything worked, the dual exhaust put out the most beautiful music as the built to the teeth 350CU engine screamed going through the gears, there was no greater high. I had a license to fly. Three very expensive transmission rebuilds, two full engine rebuilds, and I've forgotten how many times I had to pull the heads, change out bent push rods or snapped timing chain later, I won a race against a Shelby GT350 but had to tach it past 10k and murdered the engine. So I traded it for four new tires and rims for my Ranchero GT. The pain of knowing that cars value today is short lived remembering those years of Friday night drags and cruising around town after. Thanks for the memory.
  20. Do you remember those WWII underground Popeye flicks? They used to play them at a small run down theater in Huntington Beach that played midnight surfer flicks. They had Popeye taking a hit of spinach and at the time hilarious swearing mixed with vile slangs as he slapped bad guys with their own destroyers. Seriously foul-mouthed, adult themed, but really good frame drawn cartoons. We'd sometimes hit a flick after night surfing if there was a hurricane making waves in the south Pacific. Fresh out of the Army, spent a couple years chasing a curl.
  21. An excellent story, and one our government not only hasn't forgotten, but desperately tries to make sure never plays a part again. Which is why they have severe restrictions on church nonprofit speech. The Revolution was given life through the pulpits as the truth of Freedom, unfortunately, that truth was never fully realized.
  22. As a confirmed "two wheel addict" with several in my garage, what happened to the monkey is the fate of anyone trespassing or disrespecting my bike. I hope that democrat learned his lesson and sticks to harassing the cages.
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