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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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JANUARY 14-15,  2023

THE SURPRISE ISSUE:  Who would have thought, after the minimal results of the last election, that the Republican Party would be handed such a gift?  So Joe Biden, who mightily denounced Donald Trump for the latter's handling of classified documents, now is revealed as someone who stored the secrets of the United States next to his Corvette.  Not even in the trunk.  Next to it.  Maybe the storage box came from the Container Store.

Biden seeks to assure us that nothing is wrong.  The Corvette was in a locked garage.  And probably guarded by one of those plastic Christmas reindeer you get from Walmart.

Oh, by the way, how does a guy buy a Corvette on a government salary?  Never mind.

The issue of Bidengate is growing.  With the Repubicans in control of the House, they have the power to launch investigations.  They are using it.  This could seriously hamper any plans Biden has to run in 2024.  Democrats are probably looking around for a replacement,  but mention Kamala Harris and they go back to Biden, dead or alive.  From Fox:

As President Joe Biden is rumored to soon announce a 2024 bid for re-election, the developing investigation into several batches of classified documents found in his possession could cause turmoil for a potential campaign.

This week, news broke of three sets of classified documents found at the Penn Biden Center and in two separate locations at the president's home in Wilmington, Delaware. On Saturday, White House Special Counsel Richard Sauber revealed that five additional pages of classified materials were found at Biden's home on Thursday when attorneys with security clearances went to the location.

Though many Democratic and Republican strategists believe the classified documents scandal won't play a major role in Biden's 2024 aspirations, some political insiders told Fox News Digital that it's still not an ideal situation for a president seeking re-election — particularly as it opens Biden up to GOP attacks.

"It's never good when there's a special prosecutor appointed. It's definitely not a place I'd want to be in as we try to put the pieces together of a re-election campaign," said a Democratic strategist and veteran of presidential campaigns, who who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely.

Kevin Walling, a Democratic strategist, said he does not think the documents will affect Biden's decision to run for re-election.

"I think the President from what I've seen and heard has made up his mind to run, and clearly he knew that this was likely to be an issue when the documents were turned over last fall, he was down with his family in the Caribbean. And all indications are that he's running for office, and that he plans to run hard and win," Walling said. "So I don't think this is going to actually affect his thinking on 2024 whatsoever."

On "Outnumbered" Friday, Fox News' Tomi Lahren speculated that the Democratic Party might use the situation to separate themselves from Biden and use the opportunity to recruit a new Democrat nominee for the 2024 election.

Brad Woodhouse, Democratic strategist, told Fox News Digital the "misplaced" classified documents would be an issue in 2024.

COMMENT:   No one really cares about the documents themselves, and what they contained, or the threat to national security.  This is all about politics.  Therefore, the GOP will try its best to make the story last until the 2024 election.  The press, though, will try to help Biden, and play down the story. 

I have no doubt that the GOP will try to link the document mess to Biden's relationship with China.  And that may be the key to whether Biden gets seriously hurt. The Republicans will paint Biden as a security risk, which, of course, he is.

January 15, 2023       Permalink


BEHAVIOR BULLETIN:  I wanted to be sure you all saw this early so you won't make fools of yourself or wind up in prison if you're traveling through the UK.  Don't say we didn't warn you.  From Fox:

According to a report, students at two schools in the United Kingdom have been banned from having any physical contact, including hugging and holding hands.

Officials at the Hylands School in Chelmsford, Essex, in England, instructed parents that students were not allowed to participate in "any aggressive contact" which includes "hugging," or "holding hands," according to BBC.

Catherine McMillan, the school's assistant headteacher, said in the letter that the school "will not tolerate any physical contact within our community."

"This includes any aggressive physical contact, hugging, holding hands, slapping someone, etc.," the letter continued, noting the rule is to ensure safety. "This is in order to keep your child safe. If your child is touching somebody else, whether they are consenting or not, anything could happen."

The letter explained that physical contact "could lead to an injury, make someone feel very uncomfortable, or someone being touched inappropriately."

McMillan said the guidelines prevent "romantic relationships," which are banned at the school. She noted, however, the school wishes children would "make really positive friendships."

"If your child is asked to take their 'hands off' another student, they will receive a loss of privileges," she added, according to local news station Essex Live.

Maggie Callaghan, the executive headteacher for Hylands School, told BBC the school prioritized "wellbeing at all times" and that the "policies are designed to support our culture of mutual respect and inclusion, and our most recent policy has received positive feedback from parents and pupils alike."

Administrators at Southchurch High School in Southend-on-Sea, a coastal city in England, similarly instructed parents that students were not to make contact, according to a letter provided by BBC and seen by Fox News.

"Students are not allowed to touch each other whilst on site," the letter read.
Exceptions included performing arts classes, where students likely have to make contact during dances, sporting contests and physical education courses.

"This will help to create a calm and orderly atmosphere and ensure that there is no confusion about play fighting or anything more serious," the letter continued.

COMMENT:  Let's be sure we understand this, especially you handshakers out there.  I've always thought a handshake is high-risk.  It's about time we dropped it, and its code language.  I'm just embarrassed that the Brits got there first.  What's wrong with us?  Why are we always the barbarians?

Oh, another thing.  Cancel baseball.  You know, it's that tagging thing.  You show me a man who tags another man and I'll show you a pervert. 

It's great to be militant.

January 14, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

JANUARY 12-13,  2023

MAJOR MOVE IN THE PACIFIC:  As readers know, one of the missions of Urgent Agenda is to direct attention to important events that don't get the attention they deserve in the mainstream media.

One of those events is the decision by Japan to reject the near-pacifism of the post-World War II decades and rebuild itself as a major military power.   The main reason for the change is the rise of a militant, threatening China.  From the German outlet, Deutsche Welle: 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is meeting US President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday, just weeks after Tokyo revised its defense strategy to break from its postwar restraint to take on more offensive roles with an eye toward China. 

The US and Japan are currently strengthening their military, economic and technological cooperation in response to changes in the geopolitical and security environment in Asia brought on by the rise of China as a military power.

Last week, Kishida described the US visit, his first to the country as premier, as "very significant."

"We will show to the rest of the world an even stronger Japan-US alliance, which is a linchpin of Japanese security and diplomacy," Kishida said. "We will also show our further cooperation toward achieving a 'free and open Indo-Pacific.'"

A statement released by the White House last week said Biden and Kishida would discuss expanding cooperation on a range of regional and global issues, from climate change and critical technologies to North Korea's weapons program, the war in Ukraine, as well as stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Japan's defense and security policies will be high on the agenda when both leaders sit for talks on Friday.

Kishida's administration recently unveiled a massive $320-billion (€295-billion) military buildup over the next five years that would arm it with missiles capable of striking China and ready it for a sustained conflict amid growing regional tensions.

Tokyo said it would also stockpile spare parts and other munitions, reinforce logistics, develop cyberwarfare capabilities and cooperate more closely with the United States and other like-minded nations to deter threats.

"The strategic challenge posed by China is the biggest Japan has ever faced," it said in the national security paper released last month.

Kishida's plan will also hike defense spending to about 2% of gross domestic product over the next five years and increase the Defense Ministry's share to around a tenth of all public spending. It will make Japan the world's third-biggest military spender after the United States and China, based on current budgets.

"Until now, Japan has played the shield, i.e., taken on the defensive part, and the US has been the sword, responsible for offensive capabilities," said Alexandra Sakaki, a Japan expert at the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs think tank.
"This division of responsibilities loses clarity if Japan now acquires offensive capabilities, so you have to define how to deal with this new division of roles," she said.

The strategic changes are the latest and biggest step in Japan's yearslong drive to move away from the constraints imposed by its pacifist constitution and turn itself into a stronger military power.

COMMENT:  Please read the whole thing.  This is big stuff, a change in the balance of power in the Pacific. 

The new Republican majority in the House is establishing a special subcommittee to deal with the threat of an aggressive China.  Already it is being attacked by the Democratic Party's lunatic fringe as "racist."  But the new subcommittee already has major bipartisan support.  The WOKE crowd is losing on this one...so far.

January 12-13, 2023       Permalink 

 

HIGH ALERT:  It is simply incredible that this urgent story has not been in the headlines in America.  Are we asleep, or worse than that?  It sometimes feels like 1939.   From Daily Mail: 

A shipment of uranium has been seized at Heathrow airport - sparking an investigation by counter terrorism police who fear there could have been plans to use it to make a dirty bomb. 

The undeclared material was discovered on December 29 on a passenger flight which arrived from Oman.

The package originated from Pakistan and was destined for an Iranian business with premises in the UK.

It has prompted fears the uranium may have been destined for use in a dirty bomb - which is a mix of explosives, such as dynamite, with radioactive powder or pellets.
When the dynamite is set off, it can carry radioactive material into the surrounding area.

Police have not made any arrests, but The Sun reports there is an overwhelming 'concern over what the Iranians living here wanted with non-disclosed nuclear material'.

An unnamed source told the publication: 'The race is on to trace everyone involved with this rogue non-manifested package.

'Security bosses are treating this with the seriousness it deserves. Protocol was not followed and this is now an anti-terror operation.'

Specialist scanners picked up on the undeclared parcel as it was transported to a freight shed. 

Border Force agents isolated the shipment in a radioactive room and, upon determining it was uranium, called in counter-terror police.

Met Police said in a statement: 'We can confirm officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command were contacted by Border Force colleagues at Heathrow after a very small amount of contaminated material was identified after routine screening within a package incoming to the UK on December 29.

'The material has been identified as being contaminated with uranium.'

Last year, Former Washington official Robert Joseph told MailOnline that Iran is a nuclear weapons state with enough uranium to build 'one, if not two' bombs.

'We have been saying for years 'they're approaching this breakout point and we've really got to negotiate with them.' They're there.'

Joseph was the chief negotiator to Libya in 2003 and is credited with convincing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to give up his nuclear weapons programme. 

COMMENT:  A "dirty" nuclear weapon has always been a nightmare.  Exploded in an airport, a train station, or even a busy street, it can paralyze an entire area.  And it would terrorize a population.  We stand warned.  Anyone in the American press interested?

January 12, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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