After the COVID-19 pandemic winds down, we should honor truck drivers with a national holiday on October 4th.
A big 10-4, if you will.
After a long, dry sermon, the minister announced that he wished to meet with the church board following the close of the service. However, the first man to arrive was a total stranger.
"You misunderstood my announcement. This is a meeting of the board," said the minister.
"I know," said the man, "but if there is anyone here more bored than I am, I'd like to meet him."
Man wakes up in a slum with no memory of how he got there.
He wanders around aimlessly before he finds even one person who will talk to him. Some ratty beggar on the street turns out to be nice enough to explain where he is.
"You're in the afterlife!" he tells the man, "But you must have been a real shithead when you were alive, because this is the fourth ring, and only the worst people come here."
All of a sudden, a siren goes off, one of those air-raid things. The man is terrified but the beggar gets up calmly and leads him to a big, dilapidated warehouse where thousands of other similarly unkempt souls are gathering. When the man asks why they're all here, the beggar points to a line of folding tables against the wall. Each table has some moldy bread, cups of dingy water, and some bowls of broth so thin they could have just run out of cups. Only then does the man realize how hungry he is. A guard in heavy body armor blows a whistle and all the people arrange themselves into three lines.
The beggar is helpful enough to explain them for the man. "That one's the bread line, that's the broth line, and that's the water line. All the food here is free, but if you want to get out of this maggot hole, you've got to work, because the gate guards into the third ring ask five hundred dollars to get through. I've heard the food is better there."
So the man gets his food. It's abominable, and right then and there, he vows to make five hundred dollars and get into the third ring. Unfortunately for him, very few people need work in the afterlife, especially when all of them are saving up to emigrate. Even still, after ten years of hard work, eating the moldy bread and indistinguishable soup and water, he finally saves up enough money. The guards let him through and he finds himself in the third ring. It's nothing too fancy, if anything, it's a bit below average for a real city, but to his eyes it is paradise. All the guards look much friendlier, and the houses and buildings, while not spacious or lavish, are at least up to code. And to his surprise, he runs right into a familiar former beggar as he crosses the street.
"What are the odds?" they both ask and they get to conversing. The beggar, it turns out, only managed to make it in himself a few months back. Their conversation is interrupted, however, by what sounds like a school bell. When the man seems confused, the beggar leads him to what looks like a giant gymnasium. Here, people are gathering once again, and the man begins to understand. On a line of folding tables against one wall are stacks of hot dogs, big bowls of salad, and solo cups full of fresh lemonade. A cop shouts for everyone's attention and directs them all to stand in three lines. The beggar smiles at the man's wonder and points to each line in turn. "That's the hot dog line, that's the salad line, and that's the lemonade line." The man gets in each line in turn and gets himself his lunch.
While he's eating, basking in joy at not being stuck with old bread and water, the beggar encourages him, "The best part is, halfway through the year, they switch from hot dogs, salad, and lemonade to chicken, chili, and hot chocolate. You can never get tired of it!"
Sadly, this proved not to be true. After only a few days, the man did again get tired of the same meal every day. But he knew firsthand that he could change his lot, so one day he went up to the wall of the second circle. This time the guards were asking for ten thousand dollars. Well, the man didn't like it, but he figured he had his whole afterlife ahead of him now that he was out of the fourth circle, and he could certainly take some time to save up. After ten years of hard work, it wasn't too difficult for him to keep up the work ethic, and only twenty years later, he went back to the guards of the second ring with the money in hand. He went through the gate and found himself in a glittering, clean city full of glass and steel.
And wouldn't you know it, but there, standing across the street was the same beggar, only now he was wearing a well-fitted suit. The man greeted the beggar as an old friend and they started talking again. Once again, their conversation was interrupted, only this time it was by beautiful church bells. "Come," the beggar told him, "I'll take you to the evening meal." So the man followed and they entered a glamorous ballroom filled with beautiful attendees. Even the cops here looked good, dressed in suits and sunglasses like bodyguards. And sure enough, piled onto platters on huge mahogany tables against the far wall were plates of steak, bowls of the most delicious seafood soups, and glasses of champagne. One of the bodyguards cleared his throat loudly and politely requested that the attendees line up. Three lines were formed and the beggar pointed each line out in turn. "That's the steak line, that's the soup line, and that's the champagne line," and then he added, "and apparently here, they change the meals FOUR times a year!"
The man rejoiced, ate, and was happy, and for once felt that nothing was lacking. Four changes a year was enough for him. But one day, out of curiosity, he went up to the bodyguards that guarded the gate into the first and final ring of the afterlife and found they were asking for a million dollars to pass. Well the man was a bit disturbed by this, after all, the second ring seemed perfect to him. "What is it," he thought, "that could possibly be more wonderful than what I have here?" That question haunted him for weeks until he came to a conclusion. He was used to working hard and he had all of eternity to save up, so he wanted, just once to see what he could possibly be missing in the first ring.
Fifty years later, he returned to the guards with a million dollars. When he stepped into the first ring he fell to his knees. The architecture was glorious and inhuman, and the bodyguard had turned into shining angels. To his surprise, someone helped him up off the street and when he looked, he realized he recognized who it was--it was the beggar he met in the fourth ring, adorned in a golden robe and glowing, and when he looked down at himself he realized he looked much the same.
The beggar laughed jovially. "I got here only three years ago myself, but somehow I knew you would be right here behind me. I've come back to this gate every day waiting for you to make it in!" Suddenly, the air was filled with the sound of angelic choirs and the beggar led the man off to a gigantic palace made of crystal and cloud. The room was filled with radiant citizens of the first circle and angels prepared everything. Sure enough, there was a line of massive altars against one wall, spilling over with glistening golden dragon meat, a pudding refined from clouds and dew and silk, and an ice cold tub of ambrosia and nectar ladled out individually into blindingly beautiful crystalline chalices. An angel fluttered from the ceiling and bowed silently to the assembled mass, who bowed respectfully back and then broke themselves into their lines on their own.
Smiling at the tradition, the beggar pointed to the first line. "That's the line for the dragon meat," he said before turning to the next line, "and that's the line for angeldust stew," then he paused, confused.
"What is it?" the man asked his old friend.
The beggar replied, "There appears to be no punch line."
Back in the U.S.S.R.
An old Jew is on his deathbed. With weak voice he asks to call for a partorg because before his death he wants to join the Communist Party. A happy partorg rushes to him with filled out membership form to sign and a ready Party membership card. As the Jew signs the form he carefully takes the membership card and presses it against his heart.
In a peaceful and happy voice he whispers: "Today one more communist will die"
Yesterday I watched a match of women's volleyball, and 10 minutes into the game there was a wrist injury.
But by tomorrow I should be fine.
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“In just ten days, we discovered that neither the tampon issue, nor the participation of transsexuals in the Olympic Games, nor the climate emergency were real problems, nor emergencies, nor anything of the sort. They were just fictitious problems, the pastimes of a generation that hadn’t known tragedy.” - Diaz
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Spygate Could Make Watergate Look Like A Third-Rate Burglary by Chris Farell
The Spygate scandal is shaping up to be the most significant political abuse of government power in history. And it may be even larger than people expect.
The investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the FBI’s Russian collusion investigation – or as President Trump prefers to call it, the witch hunt – continues to expand. Durham reportedly opened criminal investigations last fall. And unlike the narrow Justice Department Inspector General’s review of the abuse of the FISA process, Durham is looking into the questionable activities of other government agencies, in particular the CIA and its former director John Brennan.
The widening scope involves not only the agencies being investigated, but who was being targeted and why. Earlier last week Sharyl Attkisson reported that, based on her sources in the intelligence and law enforcement communities, the authorizations to spy on Trump functionaries such as Carter Page or former campaign manager Paul Manafort were actually pretexts for a much more expansive web of surveillance that could include anyone in contact with Page, or even anyone twice removed from the ostensible target. Hence, thousands of people could have been unknowingly caught up in the Spygate web and are still unaware that their privacy had been violated under the severely compromised FISA process.
This ties into the whirlwind of “unmaskings” during the 2016-17 transition period. Names of people inadvertently caught up in this expansive web, which ordinarily would be classified and their privacy interests protected, were revealed and information sent to Democratic allies in Capitol Hill for “safe keeping.” Judicial Watch has chronicled how Obama’s United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, among others, colluded in this effort to bolster the “insurance policy” to hobble the Trump presidency.
There is also the matter of President Obama finalizing rules in the closing days of his administration that opened the raw, unedited information feeds collected by the National Security Agency to all of the 16 other agencies in the Intelligence Community before any privacy protections are implemented. This ill-considered and unnecessary rule change vastly expanded the potential for abuse in the system and was a curious move for Obama to make in the waning days of his presidency.
However, it makes perfect sense if you believe that Obama officials were doing their utmost to put in place a bureaucratic infrastructure seeking to undermine the Trump administration before it began. Also, factor in the distrust of NSA head Admiral Michael S. Rogers, who met with President-elect Trump in November 2016 and allegedly blew the whistle on the Trump Tower wiretapping.
Essentially, Obama’s rule change took Rogers out of the equation and gave other agency heads like Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper the freedom to spread around whatever information the NSA was scooping up, whether relevant to Russia or not.
Thus, the people peripheral to Donald Trump who were the initial targets served principally as gateways to justify a massive domestic spying operation. And the ultimate target of this illicit activity was clearly Trump himself. It says a lot that given this unprecedented abuse of domestic spying, with the coup cabal having unfettered access to the virtually unlimited information collected by the Intelligence Community, and after two years of brutal investigation by the Mueller team, the effort to show ties between Trump and Russia came up empty. But the insurance policy at least achieved part of its objective in severely damaging the Trump administration in its first years.
Hopefully the Durham investigation will reveal the true extent of the spying operation, and how many innocent Americans had their rights violated and their privacy compromised. Another important question yet to be resolved is when Spygate started. For example, George Papadopoulos was being targeted by foreign intelligence services like Australia, perhaps at Brennan’s behest, months before Donald Trump was the Republican nominee. This raises the question, were members of other then-still active Republican campaigns being targeted in this time frame as well? Was this part of a general push to begin weaving the Russian collusion story against any potential GOP 2016 nominee, and not just Trump? If the answer to that question is yes, then it will be clear that the entire enterprise was not an intelligence operation at all but a criminal political conspiracy of unprecedented scope and impact. It would indeed make Watergate look like a third-rate burglary.
Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch, a nonprofit government watchdog. Chris is a former military intelligence officer who specialized in human intelligence.
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