Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 04:15:13 PM EST
by Cat on Thu Feb 2nd, 2023 at 07:47:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelensky addresses participants of National Prayer Breakfast in United States, 2 Feb
We must do everything we can so that next year we will be able to pray with thanks for the obtained salvation from evil - Volodymyr Zelensk*'s address to the participants of the National Prayer Breakfast in the United States
...I am glad that for 70 years this tradition of prayer breakfasts, which was started during the time of President Eisenhower, has been preserved to this time. This is a symbol that despite any, even the worst, circumstances, the best in people still prevails, and prayer continues.

If you recall the Psalms of David, you will pay attention to how often they ask the Lord to hear the prayer...

religionnews | A new vision for the National Prayer Breakfast
Most Americans probably haven't give much thought to how the National Prayer Breakfast came to be or what happens there. If I had to guess, I imagine most believe it to be an anodyne expression of civic religion. In fact, until this year, this annual event at the Washington Hilton was funded and organized by a conservative Protestant advocacy organization variously known as the International Foundation, the Fellowship Foundation or simply "The Family."....
whitehouse | Remarks by President Biden at the National Prayer Breakfast
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 02:01:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The Family (2019)
(I skipped this one, and now I am not a NFLX subscriber. Darn.)
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 01:07:51 PM EST
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Lo! The Star of Rouen on high
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 07:50:07 PM EST
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Watch Pentagon officials testify on UFOs in rare House hearing, 17 May 2022 A/V (EN)
run time 01:26:35
"Congress on Tuesday held its first public hearing on UFOs in more than 50 years. Pentagon officials testified before a House Intelligence Committee subcommittee about how the Defense Department is organizing reports of these mysterious objects."

Congress Holds UFO Hearing, Unveils Never-Before-Seen Videos, 18 May 2022

Deputy Dir. US Naval Intelligence SCOTT BRAY: the triangular appearance is a result of light passing through the night vision goggles and then being recorded by an SLRN camera.
Pentagon admits to 400 UFO sightings & 11 encounters; Shows video 'proof' at U.S. Cong hearing
Deputy Dir. US Naval Intelligence SCOTT BRAY: We attribute this incease in reporting to a number of factors including our work to de-stgmatize reporting, an increase in the number of new systems such as quad 'copters and unmanned arial systems that are in our air space, identification of what we can classify as clutter—mylar balloons and other types of air trash—and improvements in the capabilities of our various sensors to detect THINGS in our airspace.
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 07:43:18 PM EST
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China says more than 10 high-altitude US balloons flew in its airspace in past year, 13 Feb
said China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a briefing in Beijing.
AFP: I have another question regarding China's balloon shot down by the US ten days ago. The foreign ministry said it was for civilian use. Can you tell us which entity it belongs to?
Wang Wenbin: We've stated repeatedly our position on the unmanned airship's unintended entry into US airspace. But let me share with you some facts....
White House dismisses claims of US balloons in Chinese airspace: 'Not true', 13 Feb
"Not true. Not doing it. Just absolutely not true," National Security Council spokesman John KIRBY told MSNBC when asked about the accusations from China. "We are not flying balloons over China. This is absolutely true."...
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 08:07:56 PM EST
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by Cat on Tue Feb 14th, 2023 at 11:00:17 PM EST
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APsplainin Mormon church fined for obscuring $32 billion investment portfolio, 22 Feb SEC
The [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] has agreed to pay $1 million and Ensign Peak [Advisors Inc.]  will pay $4 million in penalties based on the violation.
Federal investigators said for a period of 22 years, the firm violated agency rules and the Securities Exchange Act by not filing paperwork required that disclosed the value of its assets.

Instead, they said Ensign Peak filed the forms through 13 shell companies they created, even as they maintained decision-making power. They also had "business managers," most employed by the church, sign the required shell company filings.

by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 04:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This "values, procedures" story put on boots, tied laces, and zipped over to R-word "media outlets" last weekend.

CBS | Lawmakers propose letting Massachusetts prisoners donate organs for reduced sentences

The legislation would give people anywhere from 60 days to a year off their prison sentence "on the condition that the incarcerated individual has donated bone marrow or organ(s)."

The "act to establish the Massachusetts incarcerated individual bone marrow and organ donation program" [HD.3822] is sponsored by Democratic Reps. Judith Garcia of Chelsea and Carlos Gonzalez of Springfield.

... The Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Committee shall also be responsible for promulgating standards of eligibility for incarcerated individuals to participate and the amount of bone marrow and organ(s) donated to earn one's sentence to be commuted. Annual reports including actual amounts of bone marrow and organ(s) donated, and the estimated life-savings associated with said donations, are to be filed with the Executive and Legislative branches of the Commonwealth. All costs associated with the Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Program will be done by the benefiting institutions of the program and their affiliates-not by the Department of Correction. There shall be no commissions or monetary payments to be made to the Department of Correction for bone marrow donated by incarcerated individuals....
They say it would "restore bodily autonomy [!] to incarcerated folks" and expand the pool of donors, especially for people of color [!] who struggle to find a match. But critics strongly disagree and say it might even be illegal.

"It's like [sic] you're harvesting organs. It just doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel humane," Project Turnaround founder Romilda Pereira told The Boston Globe. "You're bargaining with ["]vulnerable people["] over their time."

by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 09:38:35 PM EST
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Trial ICC The Hague - Trial KLA leaders for war crimes and alleged organ harvesting

... The report itself was controversial. It alleged among other things that the KLA engaged in organ harvesting but failed to provide concrete evidence. However, it did make allegations that prominent KLA leaders were tied to war crimes and crimes against humanity, including Hashim Thaci - who would become Kosovo's president in 2016 - and one of the group's founders Kadri Veseli, a future president of the National Assembly.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 10:12:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ill-conceived headline of w/e 25 Feb
Colorado gay club shooting no mystery, but motive unknown
by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 04:30:33 PM EST
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FTX best practices with Blinken characteristics
DOJ seeks court sanctions against Google over 'intentional destruction' of chat logs, 23 Feb
...Through a setting in its chat software, Google employees can save chat history for up to 18 months—but only if the setting is manually enabled, the US government said in its filing, adding that Google routinely trained and encouraged employees to discuss sensitive topics over chat messages they knew would be auto-deleted the next day.

The filing cites several attached exhibits in which Google employees, sensing that a conversation was about to stray into sensitive territory, suggested that the discussion continue on the chat platform, with history turned off....

US vs Google LLC, 23 Feb: Memorandum in support of the United States' sanctions against Google, LLC and an evidentiary hearing to determine the appropriate relief
These deleted chats may have contained especially probative information and revealed candid discussions between key Google executives on relevant topics. As a result, the prejudice to the United States is substantial. Gerlich, 711 F.3d at 171 (prejudice analysis is "unavoidably imperfect" when the evidence at issue has been destroyed and noting "care should be taken not to require too specific a level of proof") (quotations omitted); Borum, 332 F.R.D. at 47 (noting the degree of prejudice should be analyzed "along a continuum," with Rule 37 providing "judges
with discretion to determine how best to assess prejudice in particular cases"). [pp 21-22]

by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 09:48:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pelosi endorses Schiff in California Senate race -- if Feinstein doesn't run, 3 Feb
Pelosi's conditional endorsement comes one week after Schiff (D-Calif.) officially launched his campaign. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) was the first to jump into the race, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has privately told her colleagues that she intends to run. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has also expressed interest, saying that will consider a bid "over the next few months."
After Shock | The coming end of the American gerontocracy
< wipes tears >
archived attachment disorders, NY Post "primary" winner, Short- or long-term memory loss?
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 01:08:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CBS | Biden says it's a "big mistake" for Russia to suspend participation in New START nuclear treaty, 22 Feb
President Biden said Wednesday that it is a "big mistake" for Russia to suspend its participation in the New START nuclear arms control pact, the last remaining nuclear treaty between the U.S. and the Kremlin.
U.S. Withdrawal from the INF Treaty on August 2, 2019
The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia.  Russia's noncompliance under the treaty jeopardizes U.S. supreme interests as Russia's development and fielding of a treaty-violating missile system represents a direct threat to the United States and our allies and partners. The United States greatly appreciates the steadfast cooperation and resolve NATO allies have shown in responding to Russia's violation....
The New START treaty was signed in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The treaty limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles and heavy bombers. It also includes a number of verification measures, including 18 on-site inspections annually for U.S. and Russian teams.

The pact was set to expire in February 2021, but the U.S. and Russia struck a deal to extend it through February 2026....

FAS |If Arms Control Collapses, US and Russian Strategic Nuclear Arsenals Could Double In Size(07.02.2023)

...In August 2022, in response to a US treaty notification expressing an intent to conduct an inspection, Russia invoked an infrequently used treaty clause "temporarily exempting" all of its facilities from inspection. At the time, Russia attempted to justify its actions by citing "incomplete" work regarding Covid-19 inspection protocols and perceived "unilateral advantages" created by US sanctions; however, the State Department's report assesses that this is "false:"

"Contrary to Russia's claim that Russian inspectors cannot travel to the United States to conduct inspections, Russian inspectors can in fact travel to the United States via commercial flights or authorized inspection airplanes. There are no impediments arising from U.S. sanctions [?] that would prevent Russia's full exercise of its inspection rights under the Treaty. The United States has been extremely clear with the Russian Federation on this point."

Instead, the report suggests that the primary reason for suspending inspections "centered on Russian grievances regarding U.S. and other countries' measures imposed on Russia in response to its unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine....It is also important to note that the United States' findings of Russian noncompliance are not related to the actual number of deployed Russian warheads and launchers. While the report notes that the lack of inspections means that "the United States has less confidence in the accuracy of Russia's declarations," the report is careful to note that "While this is a serious concern, it is not a determination of noncompliance." The report also assesses that "Russia was likely under the New START warhead limit at the end of 2022" and that Russia's noncompliance does not threaten the national security interests of the United States....

After Shock | US at nuclear zero: start with the FBI raid on Rockwell Int'l. in 1989
by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 12:18:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Medvedev was President of Russia during the Georgia War started by Saakashvili at the behest of NATO allies, the West and Israel, a key military ally. George Bush, John McCaine and profiteer lobbyist Scheunemann were key players ... Bush/Cheney threatened a naval assault from the Baltic Sea ... never happened as the war soon ended with "independence" called over Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Indeed the renewal of the SALT treaty and don't forget the key foreign policy win for Obama the short-lived JCPOA agreement with Iran.

Obama/Biden/HRC showed the appreciation for Medvedev's cooperation by starting the war in Libya for regime change .... oops, that wasn't part of the UN Security Council resolution (1) ... oh what the heck .... it's just about borders-sovereignty-UN Charter ... who really cares? Democrats got the applause of the MIC establishment, neocons and the twin Johns: Bolton and McCaine. Well done USA, onward to Syria.

Ref. (1) To Intervene or Not to Intervene -- Role Military Force

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 09:37:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
USAToday | What's the difference between a tactical and strategic missile?, 23 Feb illustrated
According to the Defense Department, tactical nuclear [!] weapons, sometimes called battlefield or nonstrategic nuclear weapons, were designed to be used on the battlefield. They are smaller than strategic nuclear weapons like the warheads carried on intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are designed to be used against enemy cities, factories and large-area targets.
< wipe tears >
Tactical nuclear weapons vary in yield from sub-kiloton to about 50 kilotons, compared with strategic nuclear weapons, which have yields that range from about 100 kilotons to more than a megaton.
[Which countries have nuclear weapons? - no attribution]
[Estimated global nuclear warhead stockpiles, 1945-2022 - no attribution]
[2022 stockpiles - SOURCE Federation of American Scientists [!], March 2022; USA TODAY]

Global nuclear missile stockpiles

According to a paper printed in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Russia has a stockpile of an estimated 2,000 tactical nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization based in the U.S., says that the yield of these weapons ranges from 'very low' [like 15 kt?] to over 100 kilotons.

The U.S. has an estimated 200 tactical nuclear bombs, which have yields of 0.3 to 170 kilotons (The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, was 15 kilotons.) In the interactive simulation site NUKEMAP, created by Alex Wellerstein, the effects ["yield"] of a nuclear explosion at various levels of kilotons are shown.

by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 01:24:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU sets up first stockpile to respond to chemical and nuclear emergencies in Finland, 17 Jan Health Union
A total of €242 million has been allocated to Finland by the European Commission to create the bloc's first strategic [not tectical?] reserve against chemical, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats for use by all member states.

"Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has confirmed the need to strengthen EU CBRN preparedness," Janez Lenarcic [!], European Commissioner for Crisis Management, said. The stockpile, he added, "will provide the EU with a significant safety net enabling a quick and coordinated response at EU level."

by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 01:39:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! Grand Forks Herald | Two commanders, four others fired from Minot Air Force Base, 28 Feb
... due to a loss of confidence in their ability to complete their assigned duties," a news release from the base said.

The commanders are Col. Gregory Mayer, 5th Mission Support Group commander, and Maj. Jonathan Welch, 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, according to Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs.
The release added that in order to "protect the privacy of the individuals, further details will not be released."

"Eighth Force continues to safeguard global combat power and conduct around-the-clock strategic deterrence operations in a safe, secure[,] and effective manner," [Maj. Gen. Andrew J.] Gebara said in the release. "Our mission is foundational to our nation's defense, and we remain committed to the success of that no-fail mission." ...

CBS kktv AP | US officials make case for renewal of surveillance powers
...At issue is a provision of FISA known as Section 702, which allows spy agencies to collect huge swaths of foreign communications. But that tool has drawn scrutiny from civil liberties advocates because it results in the incidental collection from Americans when those Americans are in contact with the foreign surveillance targets.
Separately, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen [!], the Justice Department's top national security official, delivered the same message in a speech at the Brookings Institution [!] think tank.

"The bottom line is that Section 702 gives us the intelligence necessary to stay one step ahead of our adversaries," Olsen was to say, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. "We cannot afford to allow it to lapse. And it is too important to the interests of the U.S. and our allies -- and to our basic safety -- to wait for the 11th hour to do so."...

WaPoo AP | US officials make case for renewing FISA surveillance powers
...As part of an effort to persuade Congress to renew the program, and to assuage potential privacy concerns, Biden administration officials held a background briefing for reporters and released a statement from national security adviser Jake Sullivan [!] and a letter to lawmakers from Attorney General Merrick Garland [!] and the national intelligence director, Avril Haines [!].
The intelligence community has also never released a precise figure on how many searches are conducted of its bulk data for information on Americans. In its most recent transparency report, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the FBI had conducted "fewer than 3,394,053" searches during 2021.
by Cat on Tue Feb 28th, 2023 at 05:51:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 01:35:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 23rd, 2023 at 10:19:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The Balloon vs F-22s (Larry Mayer/The Billings Gazette via AP
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 03:14:40 PM EST
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by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 04:10:24 PM EST
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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning's Regular Press Conference on February 3, 2023
CNN*: Pentagon officials said that over the past few days, they have been monitoring a high-altitude surveillance balloon that they believe is from China. I wonder if you can confirm this and offer any comments. And will this revelation have any impact on the expected visit by Secretary Blinken to China and the program of the visit, including his expected meeting with the Chinese leader? 
Mao Ning: I have noted relevant reports. We are gathering and verifying the facts. As to whether Secretary Blinken will visit China, I have nothing to offer at the moment. 
CNN*: The US military has also said that it is not the first time that high-altitude surveillance balloons from China have been discovered in the US airspace and they have expressed the hope to maintain communication with the Chinese side via multiple channels. But after Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, the Chinese side has suspended mil-to-mil talks with the US. Does this incident highlight the importance and urgency of resuming China-US mil-to-mil talks?
Mao Ning: China is a responsible country and we always act in accordance with international law. We have no intention to violate the territory or airspace of any sovereign country. As I said, we are gathering and verifying the facts. We hope both sides can handle the matter together in a cool-headed and prudent manner.
* a rare, auspicious appearance at the daily briefing
Other than that, what else is going on in the world of "Just Transition" action plans?
Global Times: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in his remarks to the International Religious Freedom Summit [partners, sponsors] that this past November  [?], the US named a dozen nations as "Countries of Particular Concern" because of their egregious violations of religious freedom, including China's "perpetrating an ongoing genocide against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs". Do you have any comment?
Mao Ning: Those remarks are contrary to the basic facts and deeply rooted in ideological bias. They deliberately paint China's religious policy in a negative light and constitutes grave interference in China's internal affairs. We are firmly opposed to that.
euractiv | EU imports from Xinjiang rose by 34% in 2022, 2 Feb illustrated
... Judging by Chinese customs statistics, EU imports from Xinjiang have strongly increased in the past years, reaching more than $1.1 billion in 2022. The number is a fraction of the total EU imports from China, which stood at €472 billion in 2021. However, some products that the EU imports from the rest of China are likely < wipes tears > to have parts of their supply chain in Xinjiang....
archived (bal)LOON-y telecom devices, It's not about the nail in Crisis as Discipline, NPI Systems Design 2022
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 12:32:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning's Regular Press Conference on February 7, 2023
NBC*: China has said that The Balloon™ that was shot down over the US and the second balloon that has been spotted over Latin America are civilian airships. Which company or enterprise or department do the balloons belong to? Can China please clarify for the record? Several days into the investigation, could you please clarify what kind of information, weather or otherwise, was The Balloon™ gathering over the US?
Mao Ning: The Chinese side has given information about the unmanned airship on several occasions.
Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks during a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. [04.02.23]
I don't have anything to add at the moment.
NBC*: Has China asked the US to return the debris of The Balloon™ that was shot down?
Mao Ning: The airship does not belong to the US. It belongs to China.
buh bye!
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 06:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AFP: With regard to the spy balloon, I would like to confirm that based on information the foreign ministry has gathered so far, is the Chinese side still looking forward to a visit by Secretary Blinken? There's no change to the plan, right?
Mao Ning: As to whether Secretary Blinken will visit China, I have nothing to share at the moment.
Wall Street Journal: I know you cannot confirm any information about the alleged balloon over the US, but could you confirm whether the US and China have been in contact over the past 24 hours about this issue whether at a diplomatic level or any communication between the two militaries? 
Mao Ning: As I said, the Chinese side is gathering and verifying the facts. We hope that both sides will handle this matter together in a cool-headed and prudent manner.
I detect a pattern.
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 12:40:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
state.gov | Senior State Department Officials On the People's Republic of China, 3 Feb "special briefing" by teleconference
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Good morning, everyone. And thanks for joining this call at somewhat short notice.  We want to take advantage of the opportunity to discuss and to explain for you the postponement of the Secretary's planned travel to the People's Republic of China.

This call will be on background. You can attribute what you hear to senior State Department officials. This call will also be embargoed. It will be embargoed until the conclusion of the call. Just for your background and not for reporting purposes, we're joined today by [Senior State Department Official Two].  [Senior State Department Official Two], as you know, is [title redacted].
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Yesterday, the Department of Defense released a statement saying that it has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States. The U.S. Government, to include NORAD, continues to track and monitor it closely.  Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. Government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive < wipes tears > information.

We've directly communicated with the PRC Government through multiple levels about this issue. The Secretary and Deputy Secretary conveyed this message clearly and directly to the PRC's senior Washington-based official on Wednesday evening. That same message was delivered at senior levels in Beijing. Senior department officials also engaged close allies to inform them of the presence of the surveillance asset in our airspace.

We have noted the PRC statement of regret. But the presence of this balloon in our airspace is a clear violation of

archived 2022 jet streams of BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS
our sovereignty, as well as international law and it is unacceptable that this has occurred. After consultations with our interagency partners, as well as with Congress, we have concluded that the conditions are not right at this moment for Secretary Blinken to travel to China. ... But the Secretary indicated that he would plan to travel to the PRC at the earliest opportunity when conditions allow.
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 01:22:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BRENNAN:  Is - kind of what's different this time, if there have been past balloons as the Pentagon said?  And is postponement the extent of the diplomatic fallout?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah, thank you very much, Margaret.  Look, again, I think on the assessment of the situation, I'll, again, refer you to the Pentagon's statement.
And Margaret, I'll add one point.  You asked what's different this time. As [Senior State Department Official Two] said, we'd refer you to the Department of Defense to speak to the details of that, but we can point out one element that's different this time. This is the first time it's happened on the eve of a planned secretary of state visit to the PRC.
< wipes tears >
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 01:31:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NBC | Another Chinese 'surveillance balloon' is flying over Latin America, Pentagon says, 3 Feb flotilla of BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS
...Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the Defense Department was aware of reports of another balloon "transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon."

Earlier on Friday the Pentagon said it wouldn't attempt to remove the balloon in U.S. airspace because "any potential debris field would be significant" and could cause "civilian injuries or deaths or < wipes tears > significant property damage" -- but did not provide a plan to respond to the < wipes tears > slow-moving violation of "U.S. airspace and international law."...

by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 01:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It should be under "butterfly effect theory" with keyword Paper tiger and cunning rabbit.
by Tom2 on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 12:38:09 PM EST
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by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 02:03:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 02:27:07 AM EST
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Blinken postpones China trip amid spy balloon row; US officials scramble to get rid of it

"The spy balloon incident would have detracted from the planned 'broad, substantive agenda,' according to officials."

by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 04:14:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LMAO 🤣🤣🤣

Performance of weasels ... I understand there are "serious" negotiations underway between the US and Russia to "end the Ukraine War" seceding 20% of sovereign territory, declare "peace" and fast track 80% of Ukraine 🇺🇦 into NATO.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 08:53:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 12:48:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
🤣😂 Man O' Man  

Great headlines for American pastime ... we had the 02-02 gopher ... chipmunk or was it a ...

Nice to have coverage of a weather balloon now flying over South America ... do they having any subject worthwhile spying on? Drugs lords ... corruption ... dictatorships ... already plenty of Chinese investments, need to secure those assets before the US launches a new law of thievery and blocking/seizure of Chinese property.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 03:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< wipes tears >
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 01:59:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 05:02:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

#balloongate #huawei

Chinese balloon punctures Blinken's plans, leaving U.S.-China ties adrift | NPR |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 06:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Antony Blinken just wanted to mimer a bit longer about the strategic military base extension on the Philippines ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 06:21:17 PM EST
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Biden's Legacy of Peacekeeper Was Not to Be

Union of concerned scientists The Equation ... however politicians aren't defined by scientific formulas. Flunked the test.

Could Biden's Legacy Be Leaving Behind a Safer World? | UCSUSA - Oct. 11, 2021 |

Thirty-five years later, the goal that Reagan and Gorbachev set still makes sense, particularly for the United States. No country would benefit more from the elimination of nuclear weapons, as they constitute the greatest direct threat to our nation's survival. 

We can't go back in time, but we can go back to Reykjavik and back to the negotiating table. With that in mind, President Biden should invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to join him in Reykjavik and put on the table the elimination of nuclear weapons. If he is feeling highly ambitious, Biden could invite China's leader, Xi Jinping, to join them. China has made it clear that it will only join negotiations on limiting its nuclear arsenal when the United States and Russia come down to its level. Setting a goal of zero, particularly in combination with progress on other international arms control treaties, could open that door at a time when it is desperately needed.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 08:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

A legal precedent? Time for other nations to take down those US military spy satellites hanging above sovereign states

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 09:05:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 09:47:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 09:18:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chinese physicists simulate nuclear blast against satellites | SCMP |

A nuclear blast in near space could create a radioactive cloud over an area as big as New York state, crippling or destroying satellites in near-Earth orbit, according to a new computer simulation conducted by a team of Chinese military scientists.

Starlink alert: China testing anti-satellite nuclear weapons | Asia Times - Oct. 22, 2022 |

China would target Elon Musk's satellite system in a Taiwan war and now has a model to simulate high-altitude attacks

Challenges to Security in Space was first published in early 2019 to address the main threats to the array of U.S. space capabilities, and examine space and counterspace strategies and systems pursued primarily by China and Russia and, to a lesser extent, by North Korea and Iran. This second edition builds on that work and provides an updated, unclassified overview of the threats to U.S. space capabilities, particularly from China and Russia, as those threats continue to expand.

Infographic: Growth of All Chinese and Russian Satellites In-Orbit, 2019-2021

On 11 January 2007, China conducted an anti-satellite missile test. A Chinese weather satellite--the FY-1C (COSPAR 1999-025A) polar orbit satellite of the Fengyun series, at an altitude of 865 kilometres (537 mi), with a mass of 750 kilograms (1,650 lb) ...

Wait ... not the end, a precedent of destruction has just been set by Joe's Top Gun. 😀

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 05:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When this balloon panic appeared, I recalled an article published earlier in the week, iirc AP, describing Blinken's agenda and a date certain, 5-6 Feb—coinciding with Price Cap Coalition's pivot to Indo-Pac "Russian-origin" oil trade. I also thought it strange for two reasons: (1) Blinken supposedly was meeting XI who is not his counterpart and cursorily mentioned Wang and Qin's ancillary roles in his morality play; and (2) neither China state editorial nor fmcn daily conference anticipated or confirmed Blinken's meeting—as they did ahead of Biden's G20 summit prep.

Ironically, these discrepancies recalled months-long 2022 MSM promotion of Biden's desire to lock-in his "close friend Xi" to (any) sideline summit. I wanted link it, but couldn't re-locate it even in my bookmark history. I suppose, AP alerted by Defense nat. sec. telex, scrubbed it. (in this weekend background filler), not only have "Allies" been tracking the "spy balloon" for a week...
Canada tracked suspected Chinese spy balloon over Canadian airspace since last weekend: sources (h/t MoA)

Canadian officials have not publicly stated whether the massive high-altitude balloon entered Canadian airspace. But sources told CTV News it had passed over the Canadian Arctic, Alberta and Saskatchewan before it was spotted over Montana on Thursday, as it flew over a nuclear launch site. Sources told CTV News it was tracked the entire time it was in Canadian airspace.

After being flagged by Norad, the joint U.S.-Canadian agency responsible for air defence in both nations, U.S. fighter jets investigated the balloon and determined it wasn't fitted with any weapons, but was equipped with high-resolutions cameras.

Even though Canadian officials had known about the balloon since the weekend, the Department of National Defence only confirmed it had been tracking the balloon late Thursday night, after the U.S. had announced the spotting of the balloon....

...Blinken had not received a response from China to his gate-crashing invitation by Friday. So. 14-hour flight cancelled until "the earliest opportunity when conditions allow".
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 01:00:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]

netweather.tv, interactive jet stream MODEL
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 01:26:19 AM EST
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USNI News | 3 Navy Warships, FBI Now Hunting for Wreckage of Chinese Spy Balloon off South Carolina, 4 Feb
"The balloon, which was being used by the PRC in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above U.S. territorial waters," Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a Saturday statement. "On Wednesday, President [Joe] Biden gave his authorization to take down the surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to American lives under the balloon's path."

The Raptor from the 149 Fighter Squadron, based at Langley Air Force Base, used a single AIM-9X Sidewinder, fired from 58,000 feet in the air, to shoot down the balloon that was operating at 62,000 feet, a senior military official told reporters on Saturday afternoon.

The remains of the surveillance balloon, about the size of three school buses, is spread over a seven-mile debris field in shallow water in the Atlantic, a senior military official told reporters.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79), guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and amphibious warship USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) are on station near the crash site. Coast Guard cutters and boats are also on the scene to assist in the recovery, a message left with a Coast Guard Atlantic Area spokesman was not immediately returned.

needs moar SE, DK, DE salvage crews, possibly Polish politicians
by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 01:39:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What will they do when 99 luftballoons fly over?
by Oosterbeek on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 09:54:00 AM EST
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by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 02:43:37 PM EST
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wut: "In recent weeks, Xi and his aides have launched a charm offensive aimed at easing tensions with Washington as they struggle with a Covid outbreak and an economic downturn. The Chinese government was even preparing to welcome Secretary of State Antony Blinken for a now-postponed visit in which he would potentially have met with Xi."
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 01:42:44 AM EST
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by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 03:27:23 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 10:52:43 AM EST
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Fool's coverage @zerohedge 😂

US Stealth Jet Shoots Down Chinese Spy Balloon Off Carolinas

From EMP-Delivery To Nuke-Mapping: Potential Purposes Of China's High-Altitude Invasion

First, the immediate question is why the Biden Administration has not destroyed the balloon? Why not shoot first and ask questions later? Well, Biden's silence on this issue suggests he either has no answers or that the truth will make the American public very angry.

The most likely reason it has not been shot down is because it is very difficult to shoot down.

Chinese ALTA Balloon Program
For a few years now DARPA has been playing with a concept for high altitude surveillance balloons using a technology called "Strat-OAWL". Balloons have been fielded for centuries as surveillance weapons, but unpredictable wind and atmospheric changes push the balloons around, making them useless within a coupe of days for any specific region.

High altitude balloons travel at 80,000 to 120,000 feet. The average fighter jet can hit altitudes of 65,000 feet and new generation drones can climb to 50,000 feet. These balloons also emit little to no heat signature, which makes them very difficult to target using missiles. If laser technology exists that has such a range, the US military is not talking about it. It might actually be easier to shoot down a Chinese satellite than one of these balloons.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 10:53:31 AM EST
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APsplainin 'It just rang': In crises, US-China hotline goes unanswered, 10 Feb
Within hours of an Air Force F-22 downing A GIANT Chinese balloon that had crossed the United States, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reached out to his Chinese counterpart via a special crisis line, aiming for ["]a quick general-to-general talk["] that could explain things and ease tensions. But Austin's effort Saturday fell flat, when Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe declined to get on the line, the Pentagon says.
From [US] Americans' perspective, the lack of the kind of reliable crisis communications that helped get the U.S. and Soviet Union through the Cold War without an armed nuclear exchange is raising the dangers of the U.S.-China relationship now, at a time when China's military strength is growing and tensions with the U.S. are on the rise.
archived Biden admin declares post-Cold War era 'definitively over'
Without that ability for generals in opposing capitals to clear things up in a hurry, Americans worry that misunderstandings, false reports[,] or accidental collisions could cause a minor confrontation to spiral into greater hostilities.
archived "we're not putting a gun to anyone's head"
And it's not about any technical shortfall with the communication equipment, said Bonnie Glaser, managing director of Indo-Pacific studies at the German Marshall Fund think tank. The issue is a fundamental difference in the way China and the U.S. view the value and purpose of military-to-military hot [tubs].
archived DOD, "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2022", DOD, "2022 Nuclear Posture Review Fact Sheet, US Extended Deterrence"
by Cat on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 03:29:25 PM EST
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CNN | White balloon similar to the one seen flying across US has been spotted over Latin America this week, 4 Feb
CNN is aware of at least half a dozen [6] eyewitnesses in Latin America who have reported seeing the white balloon, sharing video and images on social media of its flight over Costa Rica and Colombia. CNN is unable to confirm if the images show a Chinese surveillance balloon.

Colombian media are reporting sightings of a balloon flying at about 70,000 feet [!] over the South American country's airspace, citing the Colombian military. There have also been reports that there was a balloon seen flying over Costa Rica, which could be the same one as seen in Colombia.

Neither the Colombian government nor Costa Rica have issued any confirmation or official statement so far regarding any sightings.

ABC News | 2nd Chinese surveillance balloon spotted over South America, Pentagon says, 4 Feb
There were early reports Friday that the balloon was flying over Colombia and Venezuela but there was no information until now.

"We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon," said Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

by Cat on Sun Feb 5th, 2023 at 04:04:46 PM EST
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Blinken to travel to Germany, raising possibility of meeting with Chinese counterpart, 15 Feb
Secretary of State Antony Blinken will attend a prominent European security conference this week that will overlap[!] with the travel of his Chinese counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
not Xi, not Qin Xi, or even Wang Wenbin
The secretary's travel raises the possibility of a face-to-face meeting with Wang. Blinken canceled a high-stakes trip to Beijing in the wake of the Biden administration's discovery and destruction of a Chinese spy balloon transiting the U.S.
Munich Security Conference on Thursday, 16 Feb
The statement did not specify Blinken's agenda but said discussions will include U.S. "commitment to transatlantic security and a rules-based international order."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed that Wang would travel to the Munich Security Conference.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Blinken is considering meeting Wang at the Munich conference, citing anonymous sources, but said no meeting had been set or confirmed.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on February 16, 2023
by Cat on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 03:09:07 PM EST
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House passes resolution denouncing socialism, vote splits Democrats
"328-86-14 vote. The majority of Democrats -- 109 of them -- voted with all Republicans for the resolution, while 86 voted against it and 14 voted 'present.'"
wut: "The measure, which runs three pages, says "socialist ideology necessitates a concentration of power that has time and time again collapsed into Communist regimes, totalitarian rule, and brutal dictatorships."
by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 04:15:46 PM EST
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Victoria Spartz passes on Senate run, to retire from Congress at end of term, 3 Feb
"The lawmaker will leave Congress [in 2024] after only two terms, having replaced former Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) in 2021. She previously served in the Indiana state Senate."
archived on vendetta and purges
by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 03:01:56 PM EST
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No loss ... in 2025 a new Secretary of State ... 50/50 chance it will be a Republican 🙃

Earlier failed spy missions ...

U-2 Gary Powers one of many flights above the USSR

The Soviets recovered the plane mostly intact, including the aerial camera system. It became instantly apparent that the weather survey story was a cover-up for a spy program.

Extraterrestrial observation ... it was a weather balloon

A published statement from the War Department in Washington claimed the debris collected on Brazel's ranch was the remains of a weather balloon, and the Roswell Dispatch's morning headline, "Army Debunks Roswell Flying Disc as World Simmers with Excitement," set the tale to rest on July 9.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 04:38:11 PM EST
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Bolton? Or Power?

< wipes tears >

by Cat on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 at 12:03:20 AM EST
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by Tom2 on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 12:51:57 PM EST
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Navy releases images of downed Chinese balloon resisting arrest
...Sailors aboard several ships continue to scan for debris of the estimated 200-foot aerial object that spent days floating over the country. ...
by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 06:57:48 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 08:00:30 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 08:02:26 PM EST
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Archives Jan 8th 2021 ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 08:04:03 PM EST
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Ron DeSantis takes control of Disney's governing district after `don't say gay' row

Disneyland... the gayest kingdom of them all!

Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, signed a bill on Monday that gives him control of Walt Disney World's self-governing district, punishing the company over its opposition to a state law that restricts sexual orientation and gender identity discussions in schools.

"The corporate kingdom finally comes to an end," DeSantis said during a press event at Lake Buena Vista near Orlando. "There's a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day."

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 28th, 2023 at 11:38:58 AM EST
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