Top senators believe the US secretly recovered UFOs | The Hill

Has the U.S. government secretly retrieved exotic craft of “non-human” origin? Newly declassified documents, along with extraordinary legislation, illustrate how two successive Democratic Senate majority leaders appear to have believed so.

Notably, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the late Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) were not alone in their focus on UFOs. The Democratic heavyweights received critical support and encouragement from a bipartisan group of high-profile senators over the years, including former fighter pilot and famed astronaut John Glenn (D-Ohio); Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who observed a UFO as a World War II pilot; Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), then-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense; 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.).

In late 2011, for example, the top scientist at the Department of Homeland Security met with Lieberman, then chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Reid to discuss the establishment of an ultra-secret UFO program.

Source: Top senators believe the US secretly recovered UFOs | The Hill

The Pentagon is lying about UFOs | The Hill

According to Gaetz, fighter pilots tracked four unknown objects flying in a “clear diamond formation.” Notably, the incident occurred on a training range typically conspicuously free of any airborne clutter.

In a case resolution report published last week, the Pentagon’s UFO analysis office concluded with “moderate” confidence that the object observed by the pilot was a balloon, likely “a large commercial lighting balloon.”

This so-called explanation insults the intelligence of any reader who takes a few moments to review the details of the incident. It did not convince the world’s most prominent UFO skeptic. The pilot’s sketch of the object, described as akin to an “Apollo spacecraft,” bears no plausible resemblance to the design of any known industrial lighting balloon.

Source: The Pentagon is lying about UFOs | The Hill

Opinion: I’m a Jewish student at Yale. Here’s what everyone is getting wrong about the protests | CNN

In light of student arrests Monday morning — along with similar arrests at Columbia last week — campus clashes and concerns around antisemitism are once again in the news.

I do not deny that there has been a shocking and upsetting rise in antisemitism over the last few months, including several instances of antisemitism right at Yale and in New Haven. Last fall, one professor’s post on X (formerly Twitter) appearing to praise Hamas’ October 7th attack sparked a petition for her to be fired.

I have had countless painful conversations with close friends trying to explain to them how their rhetoric has at times minimized the killing and hostage-taking of Israeli Jews and how that language hurts their Jewish classmates, myself included.

But when people see pro-Palestinian protesters arrested at the same time as President Joe Biden and others are warning about a surge of antisemitism on college campuses, they apply the same tired framework — supposedly antisemitic pro-Palestine activists pitted against Jewish pro-Israel activists — to Yale. As a fourth-year Yale student, I find this characterization to be deeply frustrating, as it could not be further from the truth. At every turn, I have encountered a community of activists and organizers that is eager to listen, ready to learn and committed to including Jewish voices and perspectives.

Source: Opinion: I’m a Jewish student at Yale. Here’s what everyone is getting wrong about the protests | CNN

Opinion A rotten week for MAGA Republicans’ feeble stunts

MAGA House Republicans would rather do anything but their jobs. They would rather indulge right-wing media consumers with baseless impeachments, motions to vacate the speaker’s chair (again!), fruitless hearings and parroting Russian propaganda. None of these activities serves the interests of the voters; none improves U.S. national security. For these minions of Donald Trump, chaos and paralysis appear to be the goal. Fortunately for the country, Democrats have figured out how to short-circuit the antics and humiliate Republicans.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/04/21/maga-antics-fail-mayorkas/

Democracy Dies Behind Paywalls – The Atlantic

How many times has it happened? You’re on your computer, searching for a particular article, a hard-to-find fact, or a story you vaguely remember, and just when you seem to have discovered the exact right thing, a paywall descends. “$1 for Six Months.” “Save 40% on Year 1.” “Here’s Your Premium Digital Offer.” “Already a subscriber?” Hmm, no.

Now you’re faced with that old dilemma: to pay or not to pay. (Yes, you may face this very dilemma reading this story in The Atlantic.) And it’s not even that simple. It’s a monthly or yearly subscription—”Cancel at any time.” Is this article or story or fact important enough for you to pay?

Or do you tell yourself—as the overwhelming number of people do—that you’ll just keep searching and see if you can find it somewhere else for free?

Source: Democracy Dies Behind Paywalls – The Atlantic

Russian soldiers who quit Putin’s war get no hero’s welcome abroad as asylum claims surge

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) — If the choice was death or a bullet to the leg, Yevgeny would take the bullet. A decorated hero of Russia’s war in Ukraine, Yevgeny told his friend and fellow soldier to please aim carefully and avoid bone. The tourniquets were ready.

The pain that followed was the price Yevgeny paid for a new chance at life. Like thousands of other Russian soldiers, he deserted the army.

“I joke that I gave birth to myself,” he said. “When a woman gives birth to a child, she experiences very intense pain and gives new life. I gave myself life after going through very intense pain.”

Yevgeny made it out of the trenches. But the new life he found is not what he had hoped for.

https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-war-putin-deserter-asylum-5c7642cd14431d9af65076df2df4b861

‘This Seems to Be a Major Strategic Error on the Part of Iran’ – POLITICO

Yes, so much of the last 48 hours has been many of us just head-scratching over this. Why would Iran do what it did? I like to quote Napoleon’s dictum: When your enemies are making a big, big mistake, don’t interrupt them. Iran interrupted a situation when Israel was increasingly isolated and on the defensive, both internationally and in its relationship with the U.S., which had reached something of a nadir. At the United Nations, too, the narrative was working in Iran’s favor. Iran had so many other ways to respond effectively — perhaps using Hezbollah to militarize the West Bank or to do things elsewhere in the region. That has been the essence of Iranian national security policy for decades. So this seems to be a major strategic error on the part of Iran.

Source: ‘This Seems to Be a Major Strategic Error on the Part of Iran’ – POLITICO

On another planet

One friend on Facebook who normally stays genteel watched one of Trump’s coronavirus press conferences and then unloaded on him in a post:

Watching the daily Presidential press conference on the Corona virus. Sorry Trump fans but how pathetic can one be. So far its been me, me, me!! How great I am, how much I’ve done, previous administrations are responsible, Governor’s are totally responsible. Everyone but me is responsible!! Forget the 30,000 dead, 700,000 infected and continuing. Outrageous!! Sorry for venting on my few posts.

Most of the responses to his post were in agreement, but one of his friends responded with this:

He’s actually none of those things and he’s doing a great job he’s he is talking himself and the task force up a lot but only because this is his only chance to defend himself the media totally lies. They are blaming him for a delayed response to the handling of the virus when in fact Dr. Fauci said on Feb. 29th that there was no need to change our behavior. Dr. Birx also supported the White House response and timeline at the press conference the other day. No one has a crystal ball and no one knew how bad the virus would be our president took decisive action and he was a genius in partnering private and public partnerships to get all the PPE and ventilators and things that we need acted very quickly he does deserve a little credit and he’s been working really hard and it’s very unfair shouldn’t matter what your politics are we should all be coming together in this time of crisis.

This totally blows my mind. It’s like this person is on another planet, viewing a different president than I am.
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The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus takes over the world

SARS-CoV-2


Life as we know it has changed in an astonishingly quick moment. Last week it was fairly normal when it looked like China might be able to contain the virus but then panic set in across the country. Sports leagues like the NBA, NCAA, ACC, and NHL canceled their games. Raleigh’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade was called off. Then Wake County Public Schools decided last Friday to not count absences before turning around on Saturday and closing schools. A week ago I worked my first day at home and have not been back to the office except for a brief time Saturday to retrieve the plants off my desk.

We are doing what is termed “social distancing,” where we interact with as few people as possible. The kids are at home, Kelly and I are at home and we have largely given up any trips outside of the house except for dire emergencies. It is frightening and surreal. In an instant life has changed drastically.

It has been day three of our all being at home. Our home is big enough that we can find our own corners and not disturb each other. When we’re sharing our home office, Kelly has complained about how loudly I chew gum (narrator: it’s not that loud). Spirits are high now but the realization is setting in that this will not be over any time soon. We may have to shelter in place like this for months.

The saving grace is that we are not strictly confined to our homes. At least, not yet. We can go for drives, walks, bike rides, dog walks. Whatever. We are just encouraged to maintain that six-foot distance experts suggest will keep us safe from getting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
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A Requiem for Raleigh’s Citizens Advisory Councils – Letter to the Editor

After some back and forth with the N&O editorial staff, I have trimmed my CAC op-ed into more of a long letter. Hopefully it will run in Friday’s edition.

A Requiem for Raleigh’s Citizens Advisory Councils

Amid concerns that rapid growth was distancing city leaders from the community, Raleigh launched its Citizens Advisory Councils (CACs). For 46 years, CACs were a forum where citizens and government officials could exchange information and concerns until Raleigh City Council abruptly ended this decades-long partnership in a vote that demonstrated a shocking lack of transparency and good governance.

Much has been made of the (merely advisory) role played by CACs in rezoning cases but CACs were so much more. CACs stepped in when neighbors needed help, organized school supplies drives, and provided a forum where wary neighbors met with Raleigh Police officers to build connections, and the list goes on. It didn’t matter who you were, if you were a resident your voice counted.

All other city advisory boards get their direction from the top; work must first be approved by the City Council. In this model, how do we ensure citizen concerns are adequately addressed? Who’s doing the listening and who’s doing the talking? Absent the independence of CACs, community engagement quickly devolves into a one-way conversation. The partnership is no more.

CACs had their challenges but they also represented one of the most basic forms of democracy: neighbors coming together to work things out. We will be hard-pressed to do better.