Disgraced former president indicted

Source: NBC News

“Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with his mishandling of more than 100 classified documents, two sources confirmed to NBC News. Trump, who first revealed the news earlier Thursday in a post on his Truth Social platform, faces seven counts, according to his lawyer and another source. The charges include false statements, conspiracy to obstruct and a charge related to the Espionage Act, sources said. A federal grand jury in Florida has been meeting in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of Trump’s handling of classified documents, according to sources familiar with the investigation. The Florida grand jury is separate from a panel that was convened in Washington, D.C.” (06/08/23)


Washington throws a pity party for federal censors finally being investigated

Source: JimBovard.com
by James Bovard

“‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’ is the pious masthead motto The Washington Post adopted in the Trump era. But in the Biden era, the Post sees censorship as the salvation of self-government. Censorship requires secrecy to work its magic, though. Folks get ornery about wearing a government blindfold, the same way malcontents yelped about wearing face masks. Republican congressmen and activist groups are shamelessly yanking at the curtain hiding the censorship-industrial complex. Washington Post readers were invited Tuesday to a 1,700-word pity party for federal censorship contractors. Federal agencies have launched crusades in recent years to suppress ‘disinformation’ on the Internet. They mostly rely on ‘censorship by surrogate’ because the First Amendment’s freedom-of-speech provision makes it legally dicey to directly muzzle Americans. And fearing legal trouble from the feds if they didn’t cooperate, social-media companies kowtowed to the surrogates.” (06/08/23)


Ukraine war: Ukrainian forces on attack in southern Zaporizhzhia region

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Ukraine’s military has launched attacks on occupying Russian forces in the key southern Zaporizhzhia region, Russian officials and military bloggers say. They say Ukrainian troops — backed by tanks, artillery and drones — are trying to advance south of the town of Orikhiv for the second night running. A senior Ukrainian defence official said the enemy was in ‘active defence.’ Several military experts have said the focus of Ukraine’s long awaited counter-offensive will be Zaporizhzhia. They argue Kyiv is trying to regain access to the Sea of Azov, splitting the occupying Russian forces in the region into two detached groupings. … Meanwhile Russian attacks on Ukraine continue. Overnight it launched fresh cruise missile and drone strikes, with falling debris killing at least one person in Zhytomyr to the west of the capital Kyiv.” (06/09/23)


How I Learned to Relax and Love the AI-pocalypse

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“The genie is out of the bottle, folks. AI is a thing. It’s going to remain a thing. It’s going to keep getting better and faster …. If the US government tries to ‘regulate’ it, its advancement won’t stop. … Don’t believe me? Consider nuclear weapons. The US government  successfully tested its first atomic bomb on July 16, 1945. The Soviet Union tested its first such weapon barely four years later on August 29, 1949. At least nine regimes now have nukes. Which are a lot more difficult and expensive to build than AI large language models. I’m an optimist. I see no particular reason to believe that the coming super-AIs will automatically dislike people, or want to do us harm, and even current-level AI is happy (if it has, or ever will have, “emotions” as such) to help us out in many ways.” (06/08/23)


SCOTUS orders Alabama voting maps redrawn

Source: CNN

“The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Alabama officials to redraw the state’s congressional map to allow an additional Black majority district to account for the fact that the state is 27% [b]lack. The decision — that affords additional opportunities for minority voters to elect the candidate of their choice [sic] — comes as a surprise given the conservative majority on the court. Alabama currently has seven congressional districts, with six represented by Republicans. Supporters of voting rights had feared that the court was going to make it harder for minorities to challenge maps under Section 2 of the historic Voting Rights Act.” [editor’s note: Nearly every account of such controversies uncritically incorporates the racist assumption that voters can only be — or would only choose to be — “represented” by candidates of similar skin color – TLK] (06/08/230


Market Urbanism: Another Panacea

Source: Bet On It
by SolarxPvP

“The primary problem with current cities is that they are extremely car-centric. We don’t realize this because it’s just everyday life and we assume that cars make transportation easier and more convenient, but this is false. Car-centric designs are so bad that they make driving worse. The Netherlands, the model country on the YouTube channel, is one of the best places to drive in the world despite its walkable urban design …. Remember this fact: cities and their infrastructure are government funded and planned. The car-centric model was developed because the government mass-funded roads to be built for cars; and the government, as it does for everything, has terrible incentives. So it did not do this because it was more efficient to be car-centric and respond to market demand but because of public choice incentives.” (06/08/23)


France: Opposition MPs fail to pass pension repeal bill

Source: France 24 [French state media]

“Opponents of French President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform failed on Thursday to pass a repeal bill, in their latest effort to maintain the retirement age at 62. Centrist opposition group LIOT decided to withdraw its bill a couple of hours after the heated debate started because the text had been emptied of its initial content. Macron’s unpopular reform provides that the legal retirement age will go up to 64 by 2030. … The repeal bill was supported by the left and the far-right. Macron’s centrist party doesn’t have a majority in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, but it allied with some Republican lawmakers to push back the opposition’s efforts. … Leftist lawmakers said they would now prompt a confidence vote, to be held at the beginning of next week. Macron’s government has survived previous confidence votes.” (06/08/23)


Paul Krugman’s World War II is a Propagandistic Fairy Tale

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“In his June 6 New York Times column commemorating the 79th anniversary of the D-Day landing, Paul Krugman manages to regurgitate nearly every self-serving Western cliche about World War II. According to Krugman, ‘World War II was one of the few wars that was clearly a fight of good against evil.’ It is safe to assume that the vast majority of Americans would agree with him, but his description is wildly inaccurate. Unlike some analysts who confer sainthood on the Allied powers, Krugman at least concedes that ‘the good guys were by no means entirely good.’ … Strangely, though, he ignores the crucial point that the presence of the World War II Grand Alliance’s third member — Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union — makes a mockery of the notion that the war was a clean, existential struggle between good and evil.” (06/08/23)


FBI arrests Texas businessman linked to Paxton impeachment

Source: Politico

“The FBI on Thursday arrested a businessman at the center of the scandal that led to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s historic impeachment, a move that came amid new questions about the men’s dealings raised by financial records the Republican’s lawyers made public to try to clear him of bribery allegations. Nate Paul, 36, was taken into custody by federal agents and booked into an Austin jail in the afternoon, according to Travis County Sheriff’s Office records. It was not immediately clear what charges led to his arrest, but the records showed he was being held on a federal detainer for a felony. … seven of Paxton’s top deputies reported the attorney general to the FBI on allegations of bribery and abusing his office to help Paul, including by hiring an outside lawyer to examine the developer’s claims of wrongdoing by federal agents.” (06/09/23)