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President Trump slammed critics, talked up tariffs, unveiled his 2020 slogan, brought up executing drug dealers (again) and noted how “bored” people would be if he acted like a regular old president at a Saturday night rally for Republican Rick Saccone in Moon Township, PA.
“Remember I used to say how easy it is to be presidential?” Trump reminded the audience. “But you would all be out of here right now. You would be so bored. I’m very presidential.”
Trump then gave a mock-campaign speech where he robotically delivered “boring” presidential remarks.
“See, that’s easy. That’s much easier than doing what I have to do,” said Trump. “But this is much more effective. This got us elected. If I came like a stiff you guys wouldn’t be here tonight.”
Trump also slammed “sleeping son of a bitch” Chuck Todd, and “very low IQ” Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi.
“It was 1999. I was on “Meet the Press” a show now headed by sleepy-eyes Chuck Todd. He’s a sleeping son of a bitch. I tell you.”
— Chet Cannon (@Chet_Cannon) March 11, 2018
“We have to defeat Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters, a low IQ individual,” Trump then said – going back into another impression, this time of Waters:
“Do you ever see her? We will impeach him!” President Trump said mockingly.
Trump calls Maxine Water a “very low IQ individual” during his rally in Pennsylvania pic.twitter.com/Emtkuz8fMv
— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) March 11, 2018
Trump also rolled out his 2020 slogan during the rally; “Keep America Great!”
“But we can only do that if we elect people who are going to back our agenda and fight for our values,” he added.
Pres. Trump on 2020 campaign slogan: “We can’t say ‘Make America Great Again’ because I already did that.” pic.twitter.com/KXYumDk2j4
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) March 11, 2018
More highlights from Saturday night:
- Trump warned voters “We need Republicans. We need the vote,” warning that Democrats would take away “your Second Amendment Rights” to bear firearms, among other things.
- There should be a national discussion about executing major drug dealers because each one is responsible for thousands of deaths. “I don’t know if that’s popular. I don’t know if that’s unpopular,” Trump told the crowd.
- Trump says his new economic are paying off, saying that his 25% tariffs on steel imports would boost Pennsylvania’s economy. “Your steel is coming back. It’s all coming back,” Trump said.
- Trump vowed to resist retaliatory trade measures by – as an example, slapping imported European cars with taxes.
- Oprah Winfrey better watch out if she runs for president in 2020. “I’d love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness,” said the President, who added that the upcoming presidential race “would be a painful experience for her.“
- Trump singled out his wife Melania amid an ongoing scandal involving an alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels – who CNN recently stalked at a live strip club performance, and says she’s “more in demand” due to the recent controversy. “You think her life is so easy folks? Not so easy,” Trump said of the First Lady.
Israel is in the process of plunging America into a war with Iran that could destroy what’s left of the Middle East and ignite a third world war, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, warned in Washington approximately a week ago.
Wilkerson, a retired army colonel who now teaches at Washington-area universities, didn’t hold back in his critique of where the status quo is leading the United States via its client state, Israel.
At the annual Israel lobby conference at the National Press Club, sponsored by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and Institute for Research: Middle East Policy, Wilkerson explained that Israel is headed toward “a massive confrontation with the various powers arrayed against it, a confrontation that will suck America in and perhaps terminate the experiment that is Israel and do irreparable damage to the empire that America has become.”
One of the principal antagonists begging for a war with Iran that Wilkerson identified was none other than Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Russian-born Defense Minister. Wilkerson stated:
“Lieberman will speak in April in New York City at the annual conference of the Jerusalem Post. The title is, ‘The New War with Iran.’ It is clear that he’s [at] the forefront of promoting this war.
“And nowhere does my concern about such a war focus more acutely at the moment than Syria. As [the] president of France Emmanuel Macron described it recently, ‘The current rhetoric of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel is pushing the region toward conflict with Iran.’”
Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s incessant denigrations of Iran, including claiming the greatest danger facing the Jewish state is the Islamic republic — a country he accuses of fanning the flames of anti-Semitism — Wilkerson blew these accusations out of the park using simple logic. He said:
“This antisemitism bit, of course, as we’ve heard today, is almost always a weapon of choice for Israeli politicians under stress hurled, in this case, at the country whose Jewish population — by the way, the largest in the Middle East outside of Turkey and Israel — lives in Iran in reasonable peace.”
“And don’t forget that these words were uttered by the man who, as we’ve heard today, is doing everything he can to expel dark-skinned African refugees largely from Eritrea and Sudan from Israel, where most have come as legitimate refugees.”
Wilkerson highlighted the hypocrisy of Netanyahu and his cohorts in more ways than one. For example, Wilkerson referred to Netanyahu’s grandiose speech at the Munich Security Conference in which he directly challenged Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif while holding remnants of a drone allegedly downed over Israeli airspace. Israel claimed the drone was Iranian-manufactured. Wilkerson noted that in response, Iran found itself being rescued by Lebanon’s Defense Minister, who said he had an Israeli drone over his head virtually 24 hours a day.
Further, the mainstream media and the governments that benefit from their narratives pay close to zero attention to the fact that Israel routinely violates Lebanese airspace with its sophisticated aircraft. Rather, Iran is constantly painted as the major threat and violator of international law.
“Of late of course,” Wilkerson continued, “Tel Aviv is increasingly using Iran’s presence in Syria, its support for Bashar al-Assad, and its alleged drive– and I love this one, and my military comrades love it, too– for a Shia corridor from Tehran to Aden, as the hoary beast that must not be at any cost, including of course America’s treasure and lives, as his probable cause and existential prompt for action.”
But why is there a danger that the U.S. will be dragged into this war, and why does Israel need America’s help? As Wilkerson explains:
“I believe the answer is fairly clear once you push aside the cobwebs that surround it. The legitimacy of great power is what I call it. And that is precisely what Netanyahu and Lieberman desire.
“It’s also what Riyadh desires, especially with the new boy king Mohammed bin Salman, now an erstwhile ally of Israel.
“In short, the IDF could defend Israel but it could not attack Iran. Not successfully, anyway. And were it to do so, it would be damned internationally and thus isolated even more than it already is today, perhaps devastatingly so.”
Last year, a top Israeli general tasked with writing his country’s defense policy admitted that Israel cannot take on Iran’s military alone if the day should come that the regional powers face off in a direct military confrontation, saying they would need to rely on the U.S. for assistance
According to a Politico report, during the Obama years, Israel drew up a military strike option but never really used it. Deep down, Israel knew its effectiveness lied in its ability to pressure the U.S. government into taking further action of its own lest it be dragged into a catastrophic war with Iran that it may or may not be prepared to fight. From the Politico report:
“They [the Israelis] ordered the Israel Defense Forces and the intelligence arms to prepare for a huge operation: an all-out air attack in the heart of Iran. Some $2 billion was spent on preparations for the attack and for what the Israelis believed would take place the day after – a counterattack either by Iranian warplanes and missiles or by its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah. The latter could use either the 50,000 missiles it had stockpiled (by 2018, Israeli intelligence estimated the number had increased to 100,000), or it could activate its terror cells abroad, with the assistance of Iranian intelligence, to strike at Israeli or Jewish targets. This is what it did in 1992 and 1994 when it responded to Israeli attacks in Lebanon by blowing up the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the Jewish community center AMIA in that city, with a massive number of casualties in both attacks.”
The strike plan never took place, of course, but according to Politico, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to use it to put pressure on the U.S. government to achieve its anti-Iranian objectives. Every day, the likelihood that a war might erupt between Israel and Iran, in turn involving the United States, which has sworn to come to Israel’s defense if attacked by Iran, continues to inch that much closer to reality.
As we have discussed previously, “hypersonic aircraft and missiles are being developed and tested by the United States, Russia, and China at an accelerating pace. While the race for hypersonic technologies has certainly flourished among global superpowers, who realize that the first to possess these technologies will not just revolutionize their civilian and military programs, but will also dictate the future path for civilizations on planet earth.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Undersecretary of Defense for Research Michael Griffin presented last week at the McAleese-Credit Suisse Defense Conference in which he warned, “when the Chinese can deploy tactical or regional hypersonic systems, they hold at risk our carrier battle groups. They hold our entire surface fleet at risk. They hold at risk our forward deployed land-based forces.”
Griffin emphasized that Beijing has administered “20 times as many of hypersonic weapons tests as has the United States over the last decade.” He stated Beijing is spending billions to develop and test non-nuclear versions of hypersonic weapons that could render the United States Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers unprotected against a hypersonic strike.
In December 2017, Reuters reported that Griffin was nominated by President Donald Trump to be Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. The U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination on February 15, 2018, which means he has been on the job for less than two weeks and has already declared — developing hypersonic weapons is his “highest technical priority.”
Griffin stressed that Beijing is transforming into a global superpower and America’s worst enemy, while President Xi Jinping modernizes the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with railguns, hypersonics, and stealth fighter jets. Detailed in the beginning paragraph, the American empire could unquestionably be dethroned if countries like Russia and China field hypersonics before Washington.
“Without our ability to defend and without at least an equal response capability on the offensive side, then what we’ve done is we have allowed a situation to exist where our deployed forces are held at risk. We cannot do the same for them,” Griffin said.
“And so our only response is either to let them have their way or to go nuclear. Well, that should be an unacceptable situation for the United States,” he added.
Here is a crash course on what does it mean to fly at hypersonic speeds:
Defense News details the Pentagon’s budget for hypersonic development:
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency budget for hypersonic weapons has increased steadily over the last two years, but more funding would inevitably be welcomed by supporters of the technology. In FY17, Congress appropriated $85.5 million for hypersonics. That went up to $108.6 million in the FY18 request, a 27 percent increase. And for the recently released FY19 request, the figure shoots up to $256.7 million — a whopping 136 percent increase, but still a fairly low figure by Pentagon standards.
Griffin further stated, “the advantage of hypersonic systems is broadly speaking, irrespective of their range, that they underfly missile defense and they overfly air defense. That’s a niche we haven’t spent much time in recently, and if I had to pick my highest technical priority responding that that, both offensively and defensively, that would be my highest technical priority. If our response is either let them win or go nuclear, that’s a bad place to be. It invites bad behavior on the part of adversaries.”
When it comes to hypersonic development, Griffin has critical players deep inside the Pentagon’s swamp…
Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the Director at Missile Defense Agency, said the speed at which Russia and China are “researching, developing, testing, delivering weapons systems” requires his agency to take the hypersonic threat seriously.
Also, Gen. Paul J. Selva, the 10th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned on Janurary 30, “we [U.S.] have lost our technical advantage in hypersonics,” but “we haven’t lost the hypersonics fight.”
It is startling to observe how Pentagon officials are now openly admitting that foreign hypersonic threats could be a major headache to the American empire in the not too distant future. Nevertheless, the reality of a decaying American empire is starting to set in, as officials understanding the Pentagon’s hypersonic program(s) are way behind the eight ball.
The one question we ask: Could hypersonic weapons make the US Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers obsolete?
Perhaps, the Pentagon’s maintenance of the 800 military bases around the world, and endless hybrid military conflicts has diverted much-needed resources to fund critical technologies [hypersonics] that would keep America in the running as a superpower. Falling behind in the supersonics race is a symptom of an over-extended empire… We’ve seen this before —- Rome is burning.
Cryptocurrency investors have endured a difficult week as reports that Japanese regulators are cracking down on local exchanges following a massive heist at CoinCheck – an unregistered local exchange – and the SEC is demanding that US-based cryptocurrency exchanges register with the agency, sent virtual currency prices reeling, eventually pushing bitcoin to a multiweek low on Friday below $9,000.
But in the world of blockchain technology, where even crypto skeptics like Jamie Dimon (who now regrets calling BTC a fraud) and Ray Dalio see a promising future, it was truly the best of times. Earlier this week, the town of South Burlington, Vermont became the first town in the US to record a real estate transaction by registering the deed transfer on a blockchain-based system.
And in another triumph, the first national election to be tracked and verified using blockchain technology unfolded in Sierra Leone this week. The votes are still being tallied, but blockchain voting startup Agora is supervising the first beta test of its vote-monitoring blockchain tech, as Coindesk reported.
As voters lined up to cast votes in what had been a heated campaign between 16 candidates, unbeknownst to them, blockchain voting startup Agora was helping keep track of it all, and through its proprietary distributed ledger, providing unprecedented insight into the process.
In what, by all accounts, appears to be a world’s first for the emerging technology, Agora used a private, permissioned blockchain – one inspired by the technology that backs bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – to oversee the results of a national election in real time. It then relayed the data to individuals entrusted to oversee and verify the nation’s democratic process.
Of course, the technology is still very rudimentary, and required Agora employees to physically verify paper ballots before accurately entering their content into the company’s blockchain database.
The company’s tech – which it calls “skipchain” – is what’s known as a “permissioned” blockchain – where only some of the data being entered into the database is visible to the public (in this case, the names and personal information of the voters will remain hidden, while the results of the vote and all non-personal associated metadata should be available for all to see).
As this article was being completed, Agora, a Switzerland-based foundation, was in the process of manually counting the votes and logging them on a blockchain.
“Voters complete their votes on paper ballots and then our team with impartial observers register them on the blockchain,” explained Lukasiewicz, who formally joined the company in January after first joining as an advisor.
Stepping back, though, not only is this the first time blockchain has been implemented in a national election, it’s also the first live implementation for Agora’s stack of blockchain services – what the company calls “skipchain” technology, designed to reach consensus with each node only seeing part of the blockchain.
In some respects, Sierra Leone had a number of advantages that made Agora’s beta testing feasible. For instance, since the end of its civil war in 2002, the country has conducted a number of largely “free and fair” elections. But this year’s vote was also fraught with complications that are still being worked out. Several episodes of political violence preceded the ballot, and already, before the official vote tally has even been released, two opposition parties are expressing “grave concerns” about the fairness of this year’s vote, per Africa News. The Coalition for Change and National Grand Coalition told AN that their agents were evicted from some polling stations when the counting of votes started…
But in its preliminary report, the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, noted that while the election was largely peaceful, free and fair, there were some issues, including the heavy presence of security at polling stations that reportedly intimidated some reporters.
In summary, the blockchain-backed vote is a first and important step toward deploying a seamless system of balloting on the blockchain that would allow voters to record their choices directly onto Agora’s blockchain, without the paper intermediary. And with a handful of other African states interested in working with Agora for future elections, that day might arrive sooner than some skeptics expect.
For those who are still unfamiliar with how the technology works, this two-minute explanation could offer some insight.
Gustavo made it through two job interviews but got knocked out of the running in the third interview round. Did Gustavo ignore essential advice from the recruiter Sarah that he should have followed, instead?