The United States(!) of A

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factotum started the topic in Thursday, 27 Aug 2020 at 11:12am

Septic Tanks are going to Septic Tank

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san Guine Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 1:42pm

flollo,
...how about the credentials of the writer and... it's an opinion piece not an academic treatise.

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He has served as Special Adviser to three UN Secretaries-General. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, Building the New American Economy, and most recently, A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism.

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Jelly Flater Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 3:15pm

https://m.

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gsco Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 5:49pm

great article San Guine, thanks for posting it.

Another really interesting one I read recently is The West’s False Narrative about Russia and China

Jeffrey Sachs wrote:

The world is on the edge of nuclear catastrophe in no small part because of the failure of Western political leaders to be forthright about the causes of the escalating global conflicts. The relentless Western narrative that the West is noble while Russia and China are evil is simple-minded and extraordinarily dangerous. It is an attempt to manipulate public opinion, not to deal with very real and pressing diplomacy.

The essential narrative of the West is built into US national security strategy. The core US idea is that China and Russia are implacable foes that are “attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” These countries are, according to the US, “determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

The irony is that since 1980 the US has been in at least 15 overseas wars of choice (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Panama, Serbia, Syria, and Yemen just to name a few), while China has been in none, and Russia only in one (Syria) beyond the former Soviet Union. The US has military bases in 85 countries, China in 3, and Russia in 1 (Syria) beyond the former Soviet Union.

President Joe Biden has promoted this narrative, declaring that the greatest challenge of our time is the competition with the autocracies, which “seek to advance their own power, export and expand their influence around the world, and justify their repressive policies and practices as a more efficient way to address today’s challenges.” US security strategy is not the work of any single US president but of the US security establishment, which is largely autonomous, and operates behind a wall of secrecy.

The overwrought fear of China and Russia is sold to a Western public through manipulation of the facts. A generation earlier George W. Bush, Jr. sold the public on the idea that America’s greatest threat was Islamic fundamentalism, without mentioning that it was the CIA, with Saudi Arabia and other countries, that had created, funded, and deployed the jihadists in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere to fight America’s wars.

Or consider the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1980, which was painted in the Western media as an act of unprovoked perfidy. Years later, we learned that the Soviet invasion was actually preceded by a CIA operation designed to provoke the Soviet invasion! The same misinformation occurred vis-à-vis Syria. The Western press is filled with recriminations against Putin’s military assistance to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad beginning in 2015, without mentioning that the US supported the overthrow of al-Assad beginning in 2011, with the CIA funding a major operation (Timber Sycamore) to overthrow Assad years before Russia arrived.

Or more recently, when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recklessly flew to Taiwan despite China’s warnings, no G7 foreign minister criticized Pelosi’s provocation, yet the G7 ministers together harshly criticized China’s “overreaction” to Pelosi’s trip.

The Western narrative about the Ukraine war is that it is an unprovoked attack by Putin in the quest to recreate the Russian empire. Yet the real history starts with the Western promise to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not enlarge to the East, followed by four waves of NATO aggrandizement: in 1999, incorporating three Central European countries; in 2004, incorporating 7 more, including in the Black Sea and Baltic States; in 2008, committing to enlarge to Ukraine and Georgia; and in 2022, inviting four Asia-Pacific leaders to NATO to take aim at China.

Nor do the Western media mention the US role in the 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych; the failure of the Governments of France and Germany, guarantors of the Minsk II agreement, to press Ukraine to carry out its commitments; the vast US armaments sent to Ukraine during the Trump and Biden Administrations in the lead-up to war; nor the refusal of the US to negotiate with Putin over NATO enlargement to Ukraine.

Of course, NATO says that is purely defensive, so that Putin should have nothing to fear. In other words, Putin should take no notice of the CIA operations in Afghanistan and Syria; the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999; the NATO overthrow of Moammar Qaddafi in 2011; the NATO occupation of Afghanistan for 15 years; nor Biden’s “gaffe” calling for Putin’s ouster (which of course was no gaffe at all); nor US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stating that the US war aim in Ukraine is the weakening of Russia.

At the core of all of this is the US attempt to remain the world’s hegemonic power, by augmenting military alliances around the world to contain or defeat China and Russia. It’s a dangerous, delusional, and outmoded idea. The US has a mere 4.2% of the world population, and now a mere 16% of world GDP (measured at international prices). In fact, the combined GDP of the G7 is now less than that of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), while the G7 population is just 6 percent of the world compared with 41 percent in the BRICS.

There is only one country whose self-declared fantasy is to be the world’s dominant power: the US. It’s past time that the US recognized the true sources of security: internal social cohesion and responsible cooperation with the rest of the world, rather than the illusion of hegemony. With such a revised foreign policy, the US and its allies would avoid war with China and Russia, and enable the world to face its myriad environment, energy, food and social crises.

Above all, at this time of extreme danger, European leaders should pursue the true source of European security: not US hegemony, but European security arrangements that respect the legitimate security interests of all European nations, certainly including Ukraine, but also including Russia, which continues to resist NATO enlargements into the Black Sea. Europe should reflect on the fact that the non-enlargement of NATO and the implementation of the Minsk II agreements would have averted this awful war in Ukraine. At this stage, it is diplomacy, not military escalation, is the true path to European and global security.

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etarip Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 7:00pm

Wait, so who’s escalating?

Read those final two sentences critically.
“ Europe should reflect on the fact that the non-enlargement of NATO and the implementation of the Minsk II agreements would have averted this awful war in Ukraine”
- this is hypothesis. Pure and simple. Would or could? For an article that tries to promote a nuanced view of the complex road to war, it certainly fails to reflect that in its summary.

“At this stage, it is diplomacy, not military escalation, is the true path to European and global security.”

Yes. True. A truism. Diplomacy is the path to security. Strong finish.

And who is, and has, consistently escalated militarily?

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etarip Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 7:22pm

And consider this comment, in relation to bases outside of their own country:
“ China in 3, and Russia in 1 (Syria) beyond the former Soviet Union.”

- the key theme is in the omission of an actual number for Russia, instead inferring that bases in ‘the former Soviet Union’ don’t count. Why not? What is the number if you include them? I’d suggest that it’s not included as it tends to undermine the central (false) theme - that Russia is an innocent victim of western aggression. That omission is an interesting rhetorical tool, but that’s about it.

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Jelly Flater Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 7:25pm

https://m.

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san Guine Sunday, 9 Oct 2022 at 8:26am
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Jelly Flater Sunday, 9 Oct 2022 at 12:51pm

https://m.

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truebluebasher Sunday, 9 Oct 2022 at 5:27pm

4th of July (Putin's Birthday Gift was being wrapped very carefully!)

By Aug - Ukraine were bragging they had destroyed every East Ukrainian bridge but the Holy Grail.

Russia's Kerch Bridge Bombing Test may have killed more than the inevitable US / Ukrainian Strike.

Full history of built in defence against impending US / Ukrainian strike on Kerch Bridge.
https://eurasiantimes.com/russia-boosts-3-7b-kerch-bridge-defenses-as-us...

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tubeshooter Sunday, 9 Oct 2022 at 6:13pm

Get to the Choppa

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Island Bay Wednesday, 12 Oct 2022 at 8:06am

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san Guine Wednesday, 12 Oct 2022 at 8:25am
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Jelly Flater Wednesday, 12 Oct 2022 at 10:15am

Everything should be fine…
These two are still holding the fort ;););)

https://m.

https://m.

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sypkan Wednesday, 12 Oct 2022 at 6:31pm

"but does have a soft spot for authoritarians"

does she?

or does she just have a war machine (and a media smear machine) that must push that line, because she's brave and smart enough to not follow the party line?

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 12 Oct 2022 at 6:42pm
Island Bay wrote:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1579788950696185859

Looking forward to her new Joe Rogan podcast, her last one was a good listen, she sure didn't sound like a democrat even then way to sensible, always strange when you get people that seem like they are in the wrong party.

Turnball is another classic example.

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sypkan Wednesday, 12 Oct 2022 at 6:45pm
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truebluebasher Friday, 14 Oct 2022 at 1:56am

Doomsday Druglords making a killing

Gi Joe is pimping $470m worth of Nuke neutralizer Nplate
https://theshaderoom.com/u-s-buys-290-million-worth-of-anti-radiation-dr...

Canada are brewing Rad Block Iodine Pills
https://thyroidpatients.ca/2022/03/04/potassium-iodide-dosing-nuclear-em...

Ukraine trying to get Iodine Tabs...
https://www.q13fox.com/news/kyivs-city-council-to-give-out-potassium-iod...

Iodine Tabs "Sold Out" in Sweden
https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/iodine-pills-sold-out-at-many-swedish-p...

Finland Pharmacies ran outta Iodine after PM Sanna snorted supplies at weekend End of World Rave.
https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/finnish-pharmacies-run-out-of-iodine...

Poland hand out free Iodine tabs @ Schools / City Halls / Fire Stations
https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1681767/poland-iodine-tablets-ru...

UK calls for Iodine tabs...NOW!
https://www.thesun.ie/news/9560554/britain-woefully-unprepared-nuclear-w...

Germany, Romania & Denmark stockpiled iodine at the Start of Invasion.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/31/world/europe/the-european-union-plans...

France actually brew their own Iodine Tabs to feed residents near their own leaky Nuke Silos. (Cough!)
https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20220507-iodine-pills-and-bunkers-is-france...

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Optimist Friday, 14 Oct 2022 at 6:15am

Only God can save us from Biden and Putin….the suicide seniors.

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silentp Friday, 14 Oct 2022 at 9:38am

yawn....seems like God is dragging its feet

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burleigh Friday, 14 Oct 2022 at 9:59am

This God lady sure does love punishing people.

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frog Friday, 14 Oct 2022 at 10:57am

My salt has iodine in it and I have a desk to hide under so I figure I'm pretty safe.

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Jelly Flater Friday, 14 Oct 2022 at 1:32pm

https://m.

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sypkan Friday, 14 Oct 2022 at 2:14pm

I was just thinking this morning... where have all the left wing war protestors gone?

then this pops up

how inconvenient for the darling...

you're being rude!

how inconvenient indeed

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 15 Oct 2022 at 5:56pm
Jelly Flater wrote:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rAfwpfUBw1M

Listened to this (Tulsi Gabbard with Joe Rogan) whole podcast while working this morning.

It's kinda funny as she was in the democratic party and Joe always claims to be left leaning, but seriously their views on a lot of stuff is a super conservative viewpoint, especially their discussion on trans stuff that Joe seems obsessed with, it was funny listening to their discussion as even conservatives are too scared to put it like that or get cancelled for way less.

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GuySmiley Saturday, 15 Oct 2022 at 7:02pm

Whoop whoop

https://m.

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sypkan Saturday, 15 Oct 2022 at 7:24pm

so is tulsi a stooge too?

you happy AOC is blindly supporting the neocon / neoliberal war machine?

with no push back, and no calls for accountability at all...

you think the world walking headstrong into a www111 / nuclear war scenario is all cool?

you think pelosi and biden and your other boomer mates, who've fucked up just about everything, should just be given carte blanche with no questioning at all?

or, you got absolutely nothing?

again...

fwiw, i think putin didn't offer much choice, ...initially... but, yet another war with no clear objective, no media challenge, no negotiations entered into, and offering putin no 'off ramp' whatsoever - when all reasonable commentators were once upon a time saying thats what we need to steadfastly maintain - is all kinds of crazy...

c'mon guysmiley, engage, enlighten us...

(or... support ya woke cabal war monger boomer mates, and just hide in your snide shit slinging basement, with joe... again...)

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etarip Saturday, 15 Oct 2022 at 7:28pm

https://cepa.org/article/whisper-it-russia-begins-to-discuss-defeat/

There’s a couple of really valid nuggets in this piece.

“ Russian propaganda can — and often does — look absurd to outsiders. The falsehoods are so transparent that there is no need for individual refutation. And yet events, conceived and executed by the Kremlin leadership can be self-fulfilling. If before 2022, or especially 2014, the West never considered the need for war — or even in its wildest dreams — victory over Russia, now it does. The desire to defeat Russia is the implicit goal of most NATO states’ efforts. So the threat to the regime which so recently seemed only the fruit of the fecund mind of Vladimir Putin, now threatens to come true.”

Defeat in this context of course being of the Russian incursion into Ukraine. But, with so much staked on victory there, Putin’s all-in gamble threatens more than simply his military adventure. This is increasingly being recognised by Russia’s own media.

“ The West and the Russian opposition face a complex mission: to assist Russian society to accept the inevitable consequences of defeat and to explain that these are not as terrible as the propagandists say (at least for ordinary Russians.) But in the end, it must also be stated that countries which wage wars of aggression against their neighbors must accept that they have lost, and that this is no one’s fault but their own. This is not merely a whim of the victors, but a natural consequence of the crimes of the Putin era.”

If military defeat in Ukraine leads to more profound negative political outcomes for Russia’s current regime, the West (US) will need to curb its predatory instincts. I’m not sure that this will occur.

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etarip Saturday, 15 Oct 2022 at 7:30pm

Off-ramp = get the fuck out of Ukraine.
It’s been the consistent condition since Feb 24.

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sypkan Saturday, 15 Oct 2022 at 7:38pm

not so clear though is it?

not so consistent...

what is 'ukraine'

and biden...

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/taibbi-does-united-states-have-pl...

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sypkan Saturday, 15 Oct 2022 at 7:44pm

"If military defeat in Ukraine leads to more profound negative political outcomes for Russia’s current regime, the West (US) will need to curb its predatory instincts. I’m not sure that this will occur."

seems 'mission creep' is baked into everything they do

we've all seen how that pans out

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etarip Saturday, 15 Oct 2022 at 8:04pm

JTFC syppo. What is Ukraine?

It’s the country that was recreated in 1991 from the SSR of Ukraine, by an overwhelming majority vote in all oblasts. (Crimea being the outlier with a 54% pro-independence vote)

It’s also the country that is increasingly unified toward a truly independent identity, including among its language groups.

That article was pish, btw. I don’t even think Tabibi knows what he was actually trying to say. If you can provide a coherent synopsis I’d appreciate it.

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Jelly Flater Saturday, 15 Oct 2022 at 9:18pm

https://m.

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sypkan Sunday, 16 Oct 2022 at 12:45am

I agree, it was an atrocious piece of writing, but i guess it was a cut and paste job from larger article, as most of taibbi's articles on zerohedge seem to be

however, the premise of the article holds, the US's position has been all over the shop... biden is all over the shop...

and biden has quite a history round those parts... oh what a history...

and, there seemingly is no plan whatsoever, beyond a creeping mission capitaising on 'opportunities'...

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sypkan Sunday, 16 Oct 2022 at 1:03am

fwiw, I would like to believe biden's puppet masters vaguely know what they are doing

and in a way are using biden's all over the shop-ness to their advantage...

using him to copy trump's 'foriegn policy', where the loose cannon/s can say all sorts of outrageous and ridiculous things to keep their opponents guessing... creating an air of 'strategic ambiguity' and looseness, creating and capitalising on known unknowns and instability...

'like to believe' is a key phrase in there... Im not convinced biden or the masters have much of a clue or plan at all

they're all in the 'putting out spot fires' level of mangement mastery, and walking us all into an unnecessary swathe of disasters

time will tell I guess, but geez it seems there ain't much strategy at all, and definitely no will for respect or moderation

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seeds Sunday, 16 Oct 2022 at 1:12am

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sypkan Sunday, 16 Oct 2022 at 1:43am

"What did Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill all have in common? They could see the threat and had the courage to confront it.

Tulsi Gabbard is the one Democrat who could not only recognize the threat of the modern-day Democratic Party but also dares to lead a movement to help take them out of power. And they must be taken out of power until they can get a grip and restore some sanity to the party and the country.

You see the “Temporary Republicans” mostly on Twitter anonymously or in comment sections. But don’t be surprised if you see them turn out in November.

They are parents whose children’s lives or businesses were destroyed by crippling lockdowns. Parents whose toddlers were forced to wear masks inexplicably. Even questioning the absurdity of such an illogical command was verboten.

They are parents at their wit’s end because of a fast-moving ideology that has infected every corner of American culture and now reaches up to the presidency. They are environmentalists who understand that these Democrats might pretend climate is an urgent threat, but until they get China and other major countries on board, right now is not the time to pivot to electric cars.

They are scientists who can no longer do honest work in their research because the doctrine keeps getting in the way. They are the teachers and professors leaving their life’s work of educating young people because they have been told that they must obey the new rules of the “woke” left.

They are families in cities ravaged by fentanyl or crime. They are worried about the rising cost of food and gas, and every time they turn on the news, it’s Trump and January 6th. They are worried about the economy. They are worried about the schools. They can see that lockdowns wrecked their children emotionally and have put them so far behind they might never fully catch up.

They are working-class Americans who are told daily that they must concern themselves with the frequent outrages that consume Twitter and the media feedback loop, as though any of it matters.

America could not be in more dire straights, facing down nuclear war potentially, with inflation crushing budgets, streets less safe, and all of these insane liberals still wearing masks while they walk outside..."

https://sashastone.substack.com/p/meet-the-temporary-republicans?sd=pf#d...

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sypkan Friday, 21 Oct 2022 at 5:25pm

Im no market dude... or defense dude...

but biden's looking particularly reckless to me

not stoking war through blunders and loose lips... this time..

but by draining the US's sttrategic oil reserve, purely for political purposes

the reserve is at the lowest point in four decades, and the world seems to be on the brink of war, a real war, not just another projected one... and this cat's reacting to minor domestic political inconveniences

I dunno if fighting self induced inflation leading up to an election counts as an 'emergency', for your emergency supply...

but to me, with the instability across various regions, now would the time for stoking up that supply, not draining it for a quick fix...

and, isn't our emergency supply tied in there somewhere?

the dude's bludering through on so many fronts its plain bloody scary

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velocityjohnno Sunday, 30 Oct 2022 at 4:01pm

Although I haven't followed the US political stuff much since the counting was stopped in the middle of the night, it seems Elon is wasting no time enjoying his 44Bn Twitter purchase:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/29/technology/twitter-layoffs-musk-jobs....

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DudeSweetDudeSweet Sunday, 30 Oct 2022 at 4:22pm

“Although I haven't followed the US political stuff much since the counting was stopped in the middle of the night,”

Haha….excellent.

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velocityjohnno Sunday, 30 Oct 2022 at 5:23pm

The Ukraine stuff has gone in here, fasten your seatbelt for a ride in a Ukrainian (I assume) USV as it is strafed by a helicopter in the seas around Sevastopol:

It appears the Ukrainians have attempted to do a remotely-controlled Taranto on the Russians in port. Fog of war so don't know if/how successful, but it appears drone aircraft, subs and surface craft may have been used.

If this is so, it's quite remarkable, and a change in naval warfare. Taranto was the attack where the British used a single fleet carrier, and just over 20 obsolete biplanes (Swordfish) in a night attack, and took out the Italian line of battle in 1940, disabling or sending to the harbour floor 3 battleships iirc. The Japanese were watching that one, and did it the next year to the Americans with over 320 aircraft...

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velocityjohnno Sunday, 30 Oct 2022 at 5:33pm

And this is apparently an explosive USV lining up a Russian frigate:

If it's real, it seems the ship's point defence weapons (like a phalanx on US ships) weren't used to stop it. The ship seems to be moving at speed so one would think the crew were alert.

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velocityjohnno Sunday, 30 Oct 2022 at 5:59pm

And reckon you've got quick reflexes? This fellow certainly has:

Russian SU25 shot down by surface to air missile in low level flight, only a couple of seconds to decide to live!

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flollo Monday, 31 Oct 2022 at 10:27am

Midterms are coming soon. As usual, 538 has some good statistics.

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2022-election-forecast/

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sypkan Monday, 31 Oct 2022 at 12:09pm

have the democrats possibly ran the worst election campaign ever?

at a time when voters (and anyone who's not a mindless minion) have been telling them for years that they are seriously out of touch...

they have ran the most aloof, disconnected - literally detached from reality, of campaigns ever, ...totally dismissive of people's concerns and the glaring realities of the day...

(I really keep hoping they'll sort their shit, truly do... but it serms they're irredeemable... ...irreparable?)

sad times

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DudeSweetDudeSweet Monday, 31 Oct 2022 at 3:14pm

You mean worse than when Hillary acted like an insufferable cnt and told half the nation they were useless and disgusting liabilities ?

Worse than when Joe Biden only emerged from his basement a couple of times in the year leading up to the election and even then there was no hiding the fact that he was a mentally deficient, probable-pedo, hair sniffing weirdo?

Seriously….how would you react if some strange bloke started acting like this around children in front of you? The shit overlooked by the media and political officials in their pursuit of power is astounding.

Just imagine if Trump had acted like this piece of filth.

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flollo Monday, 31 Oct 2022 at 3:13pm

@DSDS they're still telling the other half that they are useless and a liability...

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sypkan Monday, 31 Oct 2022 at 4:51pm
DudeSweetDudeSweet wrote:

You mean worse than when Hillary acted like an insufferable cnt and told half the nation they were useless and disgusting liabilities ?

Worse than when Joe Biden only emerged from his basement a couple of times in the year leading up to the election and even then there was no hiding the fact that he was a mentally deficient, probable-pedo, hair sniffing weirdo?

https://youtu.be/8iCsIGRA7H8

Seriously….how would you react if some strange bloke started acting like this around children in front of you? The shit overlooked by the media and political officials in their pursuit of power is astounding.

Just imagine if Trump had acted like this piece of filth.

they've essentially done the same thing... both! ...double whammy!

they've labelled half of the nation as nazis

and they've locked away a clearly incapacitated man, in his basement, hoping the media and his wife will cover for him and slip him into power - fetterman

whilst hoping to get elected purely on the (totally partisan) jan 6 show trials and the dobbs decision...

despite all the polls telling them that the jan 6 show trials are pretty unpopular (and seen exactly for what they are) across the spectrum

their cluelessness and self importance is truly next level

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frog Monday, 31 Oct 2022 at 9:16pm

The Empire of Truth led by the

Hair Sniffer In Chief

Vid is sort of funny but actually quite creepy to watch

We are in safe hands.

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sypkan Tuesday, 1 Nov 2022 at 1:13am

this 'paul pelosi was attacked by a right wing MAGA nutter' narrative thing isn't going well for them...

musk got his hands on twitter just at the right time, what a shit storm

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Roadkill Tuesday, 1 Nov 2022 at 5:42am
frog wrote:

The Empire of Truth led by the

Hair Sniffer In Chief

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcjJn1i6D_I

Vid is sort of funny but actually quite creepy to watch

We are in safe hands.

Jimmy Savile was that same sort of touchy creepy…all those kids were 100% repulsed by the crazy guy