More to ignore, Book 95....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Latest QAnon Conspiracy Theory: Today Will Either Be A "Day of Vengeance" Or Maybe Something Else

PvtJarHead

  • A German politician's speech has spawned a wave of baseless conspiracy theories about September 24.
  • Some internet users believe a global "major event" is going to occur on the day.
  • The baseless notion has also gained traction in circles of the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon.



....While no one at QAnon is certain what, exactly, is going to happen on September 24th, followers on different platforms have thrown around the possibility of nuclear war, a financial crisis, water poisoning, and an armed revolution. The conspiracy theorists first got the idea for a fall armageddon when German lawmaker Friedrich Merz, speaking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this month, misspoke and said everyone will remember where they were on September 24th instead of than February 24th, the day Russia invaded.

Taking Merz’ mistake as a hint at what’s to come, QAnon followers turned to The Simpons — which has, in the past, predicted Trump’s presidency and the Disney-21st Century Fox merger, among other things — to investigate.

Naturally, they turned to Season 9 Episode 24 (aka 9/24), an episode that features a group of end-of-the-world preppers. In the episode, dubbed “Lost Our Lisa,” the preppers discuss WROL, or Without Rule of Law, which refers to a post-apocalyptic landscape with no rules. QAnon followers also cited the electromagnetic pulse device that features in the episode as proof that “10 days of darkness” are coming to restore Donald Trump to office.....


.....The claim has been spread by major QAnon accounts on Telegram, YouTube, and Trump’s own platform, Truth Social. One of those sharing the claim was Juan O Savin, a QAnon influencer whose real name is Wayne Willott, who has deep connections to far-right GOP candidates running for secretary of state positions in November’s midterms.

To back up their wild speculation, followers flagged other coincidences about the day—such as the fact that Sept. 24 on the Gregorian calendar converts to Sept. 11 on the Julian calendar. Others pointed out that it is the beginning of Rosh Hoshanah, the Jewish new year, though, like many of the claims, this is inaccurate as the holiday begins this year on the evening of Sept. 25.

Everything from nuclear armageddon to a financial reset to widespread water poisoning and an armed revolution has been predicted by those spinning these conspiracies to their followers......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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307689833_205885048453635_8806637388630454550_n.jpg
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Welcome to the Army of Russia!

Mark Sumner

GettyImages-1243472048.jpg

NOT a Russian soldier. A Ukrainian soldier on the front line at Kupyansk. Because Russian Army is not for women. It is for big, tough 65 year-old drunks. September 24, 2022.

On Saturday morning, the news from the front is … pretty much what it was yesterday. At Bakhmut, Russia has launched a series of new attacks from the south, all of which have apparently been repelled. Same as always. At Lyman, there are reports that Russian forces have withdrawn and that Ukraine is preparing a final push into the city. Same as pretty much every day this week.


screencap.jpg

As always, right click on the map and open in another tab to see a larger image.

Just hauling up yesterday’s Lyman map for reference, Russians sources report that they managed to get some air support to slow Ukrainian troops moving toward Ridkodub. So while there are other reports suggesting that Ukraine controls both Ridkodub and Nove (mostly in the form of reports that Russia shelled those locations), I’m not updating for now. There are also reports that Ukrainian forces have entered Novoselivka and control about half that location. Novoselivka is pretty much cut off from the rest of the area by lakes to the east and a steep valley / canyon on the north, so holding this position doesn’t really seem to offer a good chance to maneuver anywhere else. Russia claimed it got additional force to Drobysheve and helped break out those two mercenary units that had been encircled in the town. In an incident reportedly taking place north of Lozove, Ukrainian forces shot down not one, but two Su-25 jets—possibly the same planes that had been providing ground support at Ridkodub. [Correction: On closer inspection, the plane flying away appears to be a shiny new SU-30SM multirole fighter]




The second SU-25 is able to fly out of the picture with engine that’s very much in the process of consuming itself. I can’t tell from the available shots whether it also crashes or makes it away. In any case, it won’t return soon.

There seems to be ongoing fighting at Derylove, Drobysheve, Novoselivka, Lyman, Serednie, Shandryholove, and north of Lozove. And that’s just what’s getting reported. Which is probably why the number of Russian troops being listed as killed each day has been running upwards of 400.

It’s a lot of fighting. Why Ukrainian forces aren’t able to smash this area they way they did Balakliya and Izyum, I don’t know. I don’t have a good handle on the number of troops fighting here on either side, and some of the folks who are usually good at showing the deployment of units seem just as baffled. Both sides report that the other is getting reinforcements. Russian sources seem convinced that Ukraine is putting in “all the reserves” (spoiler alert: they are not) for a big push at Lyman in the next 48 hours.

If I learn anything more, I’ll pass it along.
..........
Multiple sources are showing that new recruits to the Russian Army can expect beautiful, new equipment.



And first-class transportation.



To their choice of five star accommodations.



In any case, you can bet Ukraine is quaking now.



For those companies who didn’t get out of Russia when it was clearly the right thing to do, there is now an extra reward in the form of helping send their employees to die in an illegal war.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Iran update: As protests continue to grow, government reportedly forced from Kurdish city

Mark Sumner

The murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini by Iranian “morality police” has launched a sustained protest over the suppression of women and the brutal rule of the theocratic government in Iran. For nine nights in a row, protests have grown and spread, and what many initially took as social unrest that would be quickly be quieted has turned into a widespread uprising that those in Iran report to be far larger than previous protests in 2019 or 2012.

On Saturday night, there were reports that riot police had lost control of much of Tehran, along with terrifying scenes of Iranian police firing AK-47 rifles into crows of protestors. The number of dead is unknown. And still the protestors did not back down. There are even reports that in the north of Iran, government forces have been pushed out of the Kurdish city of Oshnavieh with Iranian military bases being burned. Those who have been thinking this protest was trivial and no threat to the powerbase of the mullahs, should think again.




The bravery of Iranian women in this protest has been amazing. In cities, towns, and villages across Iran, women of all ages — from girls to grandmothers — have been removing their head coverings and publicly protesting in a way they know puts them not just in danger of jail, but at very real risk of death. For many of these women, there is no going back. They have crossed a line, and they know what will happen if these protests aren’t successful in wresting change in Iran.

For many of those reporting on the situation, both inside and outside Iran, it was at first easy to write this off as the kind of protest that has come and gone there before. There were large scale protests in Iran in 2019 over changes to the government-controlled pricing of fuel and food. Those protests ended with “Bloody November” (or Bloody Aban) in which at least 1,500 protestors were killed before the government was able to put down protests that had spread to two dozen cities. A clearly fixed election in 2009 resulted in a series of small protests before boiling over into nationwide uprising in 2011, to which the government responded with widespread arrests and heavy censorship.

But the murder of Mahsa Amini appeared to pulled the cork on decades of resentments from Iranian women, and the protest they’ve generated is also getting a lot of backing from sympathetic Iranian men, who are also chaffing at the dictatorial and arbitrary rule of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Reuters reports that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has called for decisive action, and the government has staged a series of pro-government rallies that it is heavily promoting on social media. Meanwhile the Associated Press reports that Amini’s death trigged an “explosion of outrage” that is nowhere near to being calmed. So far, the fake flag waving of those government “protests” is no match for the real thing.

Amini was Kurdish, and in the northwest of Iran, where those with Kurdish backgrounds are in the majority, her death has also served as a cause for renewed tension between local Kurdish groups and the Iranian government. However, protests are not restricted to that area. At last report, there were protests in 31 provinces spanning the whole of Iran.

screencap.jpg


This is a highly simplified map intended mostly to show known locations for the videos below. Amini’s hometown of Saqez, and the city of Oshnavieh where government forces were reportedly driven out, are both in the northwestern, predominantly Kurdish region.





On occasion, the anger and frustration has been replaced by moments of sheer joy and expressions of freedom.



This is a location a few miles north of Saqez, which was Mahsa Amini’s hometown, and the place where she was buried eight days ago. What’s actually going on in the city isn’t clear. What is known is that the government appears to have cut all communications—land lines, cell service, and internet. What’s getting out comes from those few citizens with satellite phones or satellite internet, both of which are technically illegal in Iran.



Oshnavieh and Shno appear to be the same city. In this case, there are military bases in the area which have reportedly been burned.



There are multiple social media messages along this line on Saturday morning, claiming that protestors have taken a much larger area. However, this seems unlikely in part because it’s not clear there is any sort of consistent leadership supporting the protests. In any case, it seems unlikely that “a number of cities and towns” are now under the control of protesters. These messages are likely, at best, highly premature.



However, even where protests aren’t going on, there’s a change in attitudes both among women and men in Iran that will hopefully be permanent.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Saturday, Sep 24, 2022 · 3:09:18 PM EDT · Mark Sumner
Okay, here’s something of a mini-map update. Open in another tab and be prepared to follow along.

screencap.jpg


The big change you can see here is to the area of “in dispute” as well as some new villages and towns lighting up at the edge of this conflict. There are good reports that the fighting has now extended across the Kharkiv / Donetsk border to touch Hlushchenkove and Maliivka. There are geolocated images for both. In particular, that video of Ukrainian forces shooting down a pair of Russian jets took place where that little fire symbol is, about a kilometer south of Maliivka. So yes, those were the same planes that were providing fire support in the area.

At the same time, I have absolutely no reports of fighting at Serednje and nothing new out of Shandryholove.

Consider that little blue outline curving around the top of this area my best guess at what’s actually happening. Ukrainian forces are hooking around the string of lakes and towns in the center of this area rather than advancing straight north from the Lozove — Lyman line. That may turn out to be an illusion, but it fits with the reports of current fighting.

Russian sources once again reported that Russia is making a counterattack from Ridkodub and Nove toward Karpivka. However, there were similar reports yesterday and nothing seems to have come of it. The fights going on in places like Novoselivka may be pretty much behind Ukrainian lines, but the topography there makes it hard to get at the town from more than a few locations, so they are isolated from what’s happening to the north. And if Ukraine’s goal is to get over to Stavky and move down on Lyman from the north, that still seems several moves away.


In Lyman, Ukraine reportedly controls an area both in the southwest corner, and the southeast corner of the city with Russia still holding the center and enforcing it with artillery positioned to the north.

That’s my best interpretation for now. There are still tons of reports in the area, 99.9% of which are probably too optimistic. Heck, this report is probably too optimistic. We’ll see.

Oh, and as you might expect, Russia is reporting just
fabulous turnout for the referendums. Don’t be surprised if by end of day Sunday they announce they have enough votes to call it in all four areas.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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....They described large offensives in which columns of Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles tried to cross open fields only to be pounded mercilessly by Russian artillery and blown up by Russian mines.

One Ukrainian soldier, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to publicly discuss casualties, said that during a recent assault, “we lost 50 guys in two hours.” In another place, said the soldier, who works closely with different frontline units, “hundreds” of Ukrainian troops were killed or wounded while trying to take a single village, which is still in Russian hands.......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Mastriano's money woes prompt his advisor to call for harassment of GOP Governor's Association

Dartagnan

Doug Mastriano, the Jan. 6 insurrectionist, White Christian nationalist and Trump-loving conspiracy theorist who Republicans picked to run for Governor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is having trouble raising money. Trailing in the polls and adamantly refusing to talk to the mainstream press, Mastriano has premised his campaign thus far on relatively small meet and greet sessions with fellow knuckle-draggers mainly from the Commonwealth’s deep-red hinterlands. These spit-sharing sessions all share a similar theme; as southeastern PA’s public broadcasting affiliate, WHYY explains, they invariably devolve into braying whine-fests about “election fraud and immigration, culture war flashpoints like transgender women and girls playing sports, and the specter of since-ended pandemic mitigation measures.” And while these antics may impress the GOP base, they are generally repulsive to the sensibilities of suburban voters any candidate in PA needs to secure the governor’s mansion.

Mastriano has not impressed the mainstream conservative media either. On Friday columnist George Will, writing for the Washington Post, called his candidacy a “special danger to the nation” citing Mastriano’s boast that his administration would be empowered to disregard the results of any election that he deems improperly decided. Will added that Mastriano’s absolute refusal to permit women and others who become pregnant the right to terminate their pregnancy for any reason, and his opposition to same-sex marriage further demonstrated Mastriano’s stark alienation from the views of most voters.

So when Mastriano reported a mere $400,000 in his campaign war chest for the last finance reporting period in June, compared to his Democratic opponent, PA. Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s take of $13.5 million during the same time frame, it was time for former Trump lawyer and current Mastriano “legal advisor” Jenna Ellis to take action. She did it the way the Master taught her: by instigating a harassment campaign via Twitter. But her target this time was the GOP establishment.
............
As reported by William Bender and Julia Terruso, writing for the
Philadelphia Inquirer (behind paywall): the article is also available here on Microsoft Start.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.
And if you’re Jenna Ellis — legal adviser to Doug Mastriano, social-media maven, and election-denier extraordinaire — they include siccing your 890,000 Twitter followers on the Republican Governors Association to demand money for your candidate’s campaign.

Assuming half of Jenna Ellis’ “twitter followers” are simply Russian bots, that still meant providing almost a half million of Trump’s rabid QAnon-worshipping base with the phone number for the RGA’s general counsel, Jessica Furst Johnson.

Ellis, in a Tuesday tweet, shared a phone number and email address for the RGA and instructed her followers to “tell them DOUG FOR GOV!!”
“The Republican Governors Association would rather see an insane extremist Democrat win in Pennsylvania than have a Republican they can’t control,” she tweeted, referring to Democrat Josh Shapiro. “Doug Mastriano’s race is MORE CRITICAL THAN EVER for freedom from BOTH SIDES!”

Because goading an abusive gaggle of Trump supporters to harass an organization dedicated to doling out much-coveted funding for Republican candidates nationwide seemed like the thing to do, particularly when your candidate has, as the Inquirer article points out, already expressed his disdain for the Republican establishment. This flight of inspiration on Ellis’ part lasted only for a short time, apparently, as she quickly deleted her Tweet. There’s no telling how much — or what— the poor little RGA had to tolerate, since they refused to comment for Bender and Terruso’s story.

But as Doug Ducey, the RGA’s chair and current governor of Arizona, explained last week, it’s really only about the candidate’s ability to move his numbers and thus far, that just hasn’t happened enough to justify those kinds of outlays for Mastriano.

“We’re watching Pennsylvania very closely,” Ducey said last week during a forum hosted by the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service. He added that while he sees the contest as a “pickup opportunity,” his group generally does not fund “lost causes” or “landslides.

Meanwhile, as the Inquirer article’s authors observe, Mastriano continued to bemoan his lack of financial support from “national level Republican organizations,” appearing on Steve Bannon’s war room podcast (in which he bragged again about appointing someone who could refuse to certify a Democrat in the 2024 presidential election) and posting a rather morose and depressing appeal on Facebook:



As Mastriano himself points out, there are still seven weeks for the Republican establishment to decide to spend their money on a candidate that even George Will describes as “unhinged.” And as Will himself notes, there’s no arguing with the fact that what happens here in Pennsylvania — where our democracy was born — will have huge implications for the rest of the nation. As Will states, “This fall ... the state will matter more than any other as its voters’ choice of governor will either imperil or reassure the nation that began here.”
 

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