Lebanon: Preliminary election results show losses for Hezbollah, gains for pro-Saudi party

Source: Reuters

“Iran-backed Hezbollah has been dealt a blow in Lebanon’s parliamentary election with preliminary results showing losses for some of its oldest allies and the Saudi-aligned Lebanese Forces party declaring significant gains. With votes still being counted, the final results have yet to emerge for the first election since Lebanon’s devastating economic meltdown and a huge port explosion in 2020 that shattered Beirut. The heavily armed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah and its allies won 71 of parliament’s 128 seats when Lebanon last voted in 2018, but whether they can cling on to a majority hinges on results not yet finalised — including Sunni Muslim seats. Results declared point to a more fragmented parliament sharply polarised between allies and opponents of Hezbollah, an outcome analysts said could lead to deadlock as factions hash out a powersharing deal over top state positions.” (05/16/22)


Crime Begets Crime, ICE Edition

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“On May 10, Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology released a report — ‘American Dragnet: Data-Driven Deportation in the 21st Century’ —  which you should find disturbing but shouldn’t find surprising. The part you should find disturbing: ‘ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement]  has created a surveillance infrastructure that enables it to pull detailed dossiers on nearly anyone, seemingly at any time. In its efforts to arrest and deport, ICE has — without any judicial, legislative or public oversight — reached into datasets containing personal information about the vast majority of people living in the U.S.’ [That’s also the] part you shouldn’t find surprising …. a number of commentators pronounce themselves shocked — shocked! — that a federal agency which the US Constitution says can’t be allowed to exist would do things the US Constitution says it can’t be allowed to do.” (05/15/22)


Free Talk Live, 05/15/22

Source: Free Talk Live

“Jury Finds Officers at Fault for Failing to Stop Fellow Cops from Beating Innocent Teen :: Free market police services :: What is life and when does it begin? :: More opinions on abortion :: How to show resistance through activism :: David in NM harshes our buzz :: 10yo Girl Reports Her Police Officer Dad for Sexually [sic] Abuse, Fellow Cops Covered It Up :: Show: 2022-05-15 Captain Kickass, Steve Clasic, Steve Kahuna.” [Flash audio or MP3] (05/15/22)


NY: Ten killed in “racially motivated” mass shooting at Buffalo supermarket

Source: CBS News

“Ten people were killed and three more were wounded when a man opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, authorities said Saturday. Police said the shooter, who is now in custody, has been charged with murder in what officials are calling a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism. … A law enforcement source told CBS News that the suspect allegedly yelled racial slurs during the shooting. A source also said the gunman had a racial slur written on his weapon. The suspect is believed to have posted a hate-filled manifesto online with racist language.” (05/15/22)


Turn Pushers of This “Anti-White” Conspiracy Theory Into Pariahs

Source: The Daily Beast
by Andy Craig

“Not all political ideas one disagrees with should be shunned, and it is an important liberal virtue to leave a generous space for disagreement. But that doesn’t mean we have an obligation to remain oblivious to the reality that ideas have consequences, and some extremely bad ideas have extremely bad consequences. Just because the government shouldn’t interfere or censor doesn’t mean our society is better off if every such idea is accepted in polite company, or that we shouldn’t object to them being endorsed and promoted to a mass audience. This impulse is, for good reasons, especially strong in cases of hateful bigotry and dehumanizing rhetoric combined with wild conspiracy theories. We’re allowed to make this judgment, to exercise our freedom of association as well as our freedom of speech. ‘Replacement theory’ is firmly in that category. It’s not a close call.” (05/15/25)


India: Regime bans wheat exports

Source: CNN

“India banned wheat exports on Saturday — days after saying it was targeting record shipments this year — as a scorching heat wave curtailed output and domestic prices hit a record high. The government said it would still allow exports backed by already issued letters of credit and to countries that request supplies ‘to meet their food security needs.’ The move to ban overseas shipments was not in perpetuity and could be revised, senior government officials told a press conference. Global buyers were banking on supplies from the world’s second-biggest wheat producer after exports from the Black Sea region plunged following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. Before the ban, India had aimed to ship a record 10 million tonnes this year.” (05/14/22)


Unions Exist to Look After Their Members, Baseball edition

Source: EconLog
by John Phelan

“In Minnesota, while the Player’s Association was striking for more money, the government school teachers of Minneapolis were doing the same thing. … MPR News reported that the teacher’s union was seeking, among other things, ‘higher wages for paraprofessionals.’ More money then, just like the baseball players. But there was a big difference between how these two strikes were presented by their respective unions. MPR News quoted one teacher saying: ‘Nobody wants to go on strike. None of the teachers do. None of the staff wants to … But for the kids, and for the students, and for their learning environment, it just needs to happen.’ … No baseball player ever said their strike was ‘for the fans.’ Just like the Player’s Association, the teacher’s union represents its members, quite rightly, but unlike the Player’s Association, the teacher’s union pretends it is acting in the interests of some additional stakeholders.” (05/14/22)


NE: Ricketts says he will call a special session to pass total abortion ban if Roe is overturned

Source: CNN

“Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska said Sunday that he will call a special session of his state’s legislature to pass a total ban on abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this term. ‘Nebraska is a pro-life state. I believe life begins at conception,’ Ricketts told CNN’s Dana Bash on ‘State of the Union.’ ‘If Roe v. Wade, which is a horrible constitutional decision, gets overturned by the Supreme Court, which we’re hopeful of, here in Nebraska, we’re going to take further steps to protect those unborn babies.’ ‘Including in the case of rape or incest?’ Bash asked. To which the governor replied: ‘They’re still babies, too. Yes.'” (05/15/22)


Alito’s Challenge to Libertarians

Source: Free Association
by Sheldon Richman

“In his recently leaked first draft of an opinion that would reverse the abortion-rights cases Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gives Americans a choice between judges who read their personal preferences into the Constitution and judges who recognize only rights that they find ‘rooted in [our] history and tradition’ and deem ‘essential to our Nation’s ‘scheme of ordered Liberty.” Is that it? Neither choice seems an adequate safeguard for individual freedom. Whether one likes the result or not, Alito’s draft in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization raises important issues apart from abortion. Indeed, he unintendedly draws attention to whether the Constitution can be relied on to protect liberty.” (05/13/22)


Finland: Regime confirms intention to join NATO

Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Finland has formally confirmed it intends to join Nato, abandoning decades of military non-alignment in a historic policy shift triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that will redraw the security map of Europe. … Finland’s prime minister, Sanna Marin, said the proposal would be sent to parliament on Monday for ratification. ‘We hope parliament will confirm the decision in the coming days. It will be based on a strong mandate,’ she said. … With neighbouring Sweden’s ruling party also holding a decisive meeting on Sunday on whether to back a Swedish application for membership, Moscow’s onslaught on Ukraine looks set to usher in the expansion of Nato that Vladimir Putin claimed he wanted to prevent.” (05/15/22)