8 Espionage Hacks To Outsmart The Masters Of Miscommunication

8 Espionage Hacks To Outsmart The Masters Of Miscommunication

Authored by Nicole James via The Epoch Times,

In the era of pervasive surveillance reminiscent of Orwellian nightmares, old-school Cold War hacks have staged a comeback, offering a clandestine refuge for the exchange of information.

As Big Brother looms large on every screen, the savvy practitioner must resurrect time-tested techniques to outsmart the puppeteers of miscommunication particularly in the face of impending legal consequences for government-designated purveyors of deceit.

Here, in the spirit of cloak-and-dagger intrigue, are eight tried-and-true methods to outwit the masters of miscommunication:

1. Auslan, Elvish, Klingon

Elevate your discourse to heights beyond the reach of prying bureaucrats. There are many mythical languages you can learn that government agents and their goons are unlikely to master, such as conversational Klingon.

Start with simple phrases but be careful as a seemingly anodyne statement such as “xɑb ʂoʂ.ˈlɪʔ q͡χut͡ʃ” which is pronounced “Hab SoSlI’ Quch” and means “Your mother has a smooth forehead” is, as Star Trek fans know, a grave insult.

It may be worth memorising, “mIpHa’wI’ vIVumlaH?” (Where can I get a fake vaccine passport?) which is bound to be useful.

Traditionalists might favour Elvish, while those with a penchant for hand movements could find sanctuary in the sign language Auslan’s silent eloquence when under surveillance of eavesdropping adversaries.

2. Combustible Notepaper

Add a combustible notebook to your shopping list.

This was used in World War II and contained film that, when triggered by a pencil, would go up in smoke, disappearing in seconds.

The CIA, masters of subterfuge, employed water-soluble paper for note-taking—an item easily disposed of, whether discreetly in a toilet sans flushing, or employed for the mundane task of nose-blowing (albeit with a potential mess).

3. Cryptography

In the realm of artful communication, classical codes emerge as the silent orchestrators of secrecy. The art of rearranging letters or substituting one for another stands as an age-old technique.

Consider the transformation of “The solar panel is booby-trapped” into “Uif tpmbs qbofm jt cppcz usbqqfe,” achieved by a simple letter-by-letter shift.

Julius Caesar used it with a shift of three to communicate with his generals, although messages such as “lchmy nby vfiix izz gs niau” or “rinse the blood off my toga” may have been meant for the local laundromat.

Cryptographic history traces back to ancient Egypt, where the first known code was etched in stone around 1,900 BC. Even the ancient Israelites engaged in the art of Atbash, an early Hebrew code.

For an added layer of protection in these trying times, consider translating conversational Klingon into Abash.

The Enigma coding machine that was used by the Germans in WWII on display at Bletchley Park National Code Centre in Bletchley, England, on Nov. 25, 2004. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

4. The Dead Drop

The dead drop involves putting a message (usually in code) in seemingly innocuous items.

Picture hollow coins or, for a touch of Dutch—or is it French?—bravery, a bottle of Bolly.

Coins have limited space but can hold messages in microdots, a writing system developed during the 1870 Franco-Prussian War to lighten the load of carrier pigeons. Even the future Queen Elizabeth found solace in these pigeons for her missives.

The most famous case of a hollow coin being intercepted was when a Russian spy accidentally gave his hollow coin to a newspaper boy.

When the boy dropped the coin, the microdot photo fell out, but the secret message was still safe for four years because that’s how long it took the FBI to crack its code.

5. Poetry

Ever thought poetry could be a covert tool? The French Resistance certainly did. They turned verses into codes, using them not just to convey messages but also to spot fellow rebels.

One standout piece was “The Life that I Have,” penned by Leo Marks.

Chelsea Clinton even had it recited at her wedding to Marc Mezvinsky. Was it a subtle nod to some family secret? Maybe in Klingon? We’re not ruling anything out.

6. Pyramid Power

The French Resistance had another trick up its sleeve: the Pyramid structure. This furtive pyramid was built on the notion that members only engaged with one or two comrades.

A shroud of secrecy enveloped the organization as no official records of membership were maintained, and messages traversed only through the sacred conduit of whispered exchanges.

The brilliance lay in limiting exposure; enemy infiltrators, at best, could unmask merely two resistance members, leaving the remainder of the organization veiled in safety.

It worked until it didn’t, with the Gestapo insinuating themselves into the command echelons of select resistance groups.

Trust, a rare commodity in these precarious times, may find a shaky foundation, but discovering someone with a lifetime subscription to The Epoch Times could be a promising initiation.

7. Tying Your Shoelaces

Behold the mystique within the magicians’ code, where the simple act of tying shoelaces transcends its pedestrian facade.

A boy ties his shoelace as he takes an evacuation train with her mother and sister in Pokrovsk amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on Feb. 25, 2023. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images)

Variations in knots carry a covert language, from the ominous “I am going to blow up the wind turbine” to the whimsically perplexing, “The woman standing next to you, I think she likes you.”

Concealing messages in the mundane theatre of daily life remains a timeless strategy.

Proceed with caution, however—tying both shoes together risks not only revealing your covert semaphore but also the perilous pratfall of a well-executed trip.

8. Jack-in-the-Box

In the arsenal of evasive tactics, the Jack-in-the-Box emerges as an unconventional ally, though not necessarily in the realm of communication.

A Jack-in-a-Box was used in 1982 by a CIA agent to evade KGB surveillance.

It is a suitcase that hides a dummy that looks like you from the shoulders up.

If you’re in a car chase, just wait for a sharp turn, open the Jack-in-the-Box, and roll out the passenger door. (Once cars are banned, this may not work as well on a bicycle.)

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/01/2023 – 20:15

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Did Elon Musk’s ‘GFY’ Tirade Accelerate Pivot In Advertising Strategy? 

Did Elon Musk’s ‘GFY’ Tirade Accelerate Pivot In Advertising Strategy? 

On Thursday we emphasized in a note titled “Time To Boycott Elon’s Boycotters” that when mega-corporations advertise on social media platforms or news websites, it’s often less about traditional advertising and more about supporting, promoting, and financially backing specific ideologies and party lines that align with their interests. 

As we noted, “It’s why when Pfizer or Moderna spend tens of millions for advertising in the NYT, it is not so people are aware that Pfizer makes a covid booster shot – they know that from non-stop news coverage; it is to make sure that the NYT never questions the corporate party line. In other words, it is public relations in an advertising wrapper.” 

Elon Musk is purging these mega-corporations from advertising on X, intentionally or unintentionally. 

His remarks on Wednesday at the DealBook Conference, where he bluntly told the audience that advertisers who attempt to “blackmail him” can “go fuck themselves.”

Musk was referring to some of these advertisers: Disney, IBM, and Apple, which halted ad spending on the platform for the billionaire’s ‘antisemitic post.’  

However, what is very interesting is that other social media channels, like Facebook and Instagram, have had way worse content on their feeds, but you don’t see corporate media and activist groups trying to pressure advertisers on those platforms. 

Out with the old…

To that end, Musk plans to attract small business advertising to plug the holes.

“Small and medium businesses are a very significant engine that we have definitely underplayed for a long time,” X told the Financial Times

X even said, “It [was] always part of the plan — now we will go even further with it.”

Perhaps large corporate ad spend was always destined to evaporate. When Musk bought X, he fired 80% of the workforce and dismantled the FBI’s communication channels with the platform that suppressed non-approved government stories, such as Covid lab theory and Hunter Biden laptop stories. The “one big club,” as it were, does not like this.

X told FT that it has ramped up ties with advertisers, such as JumpCrew, to which it will outsource some ad sales to target small and medium-sized businesses. 

A former X senior sales executive said Musk would have to soon make a difficult decision in either keeping an in-house ads team or moving to outsource sales and adopting an automated “self-service small business platform.”

Meanwhile, X CEO Linda Yaccarino responded to the controversy:

Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive hired by Musk for her deep connections to the advertising world, was bombarded by calls from friends and associates last weekend during her daughter’s wedding, according to several people familiar with the matter. They urged her to quit to protect her reputation.

On Thursday evening, Yaccarino instead sent a company-wide email cheering on X’s stance on fighting “censorship” and stating that Musk had shared an “unmatched and completely unvarnished perspective” and vision for the future. -FT

“Our principles do not have a price tag, nor will they be compromised — ever,” wrote Yaccarino. “And no matter how hard they try, we will not be distracted by sideline critics who don’t understand our mission.”

X’s switch in advertising strategy is necessary to mitigate corporate media and activist groups’ ‘blackmail” of ad spending for content that they do not like.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/01/2023 – 19:50

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Here Are The 38 Lawmakers Leaving Congress In 2024 (Twice As Many Democrats As Republicans)

Here Are The 38 Lawmakers Leaving Congress In 2024 (Twice As Many Democrats As Republicans)

Authored by Mark Tapscott via The Epoch Times,

Nearly 40 Congressional lawmakers aren’t seeking reelection in 2024… and most of them are Democrats…

Twenty-one House Democrats are opting out of another term compared to 11 Republicans. On the Senate side, six senators, four Democrat and two Republican, said they’re leaving public office, and one has opted to pursue a state governorship.

In comparison to the 38 lawmakers departing Congress so far this cycle, only 24 lawmakers retired before the 2022 election. Twenty-seven had done so before the 2020 election and 31 in 2018, according to Ballotpedia.

A spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which serves the same purpose for House Democrats as the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) does for House Republicans, didn’t respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

David Carlucci, a veteran New York state Democratic legislator and campaign consultant with a growing client list, described the wave of Democratic departures as partly attributable to “a normal confluence of events that happens where you have members leaving Congress.”

“Usually, the party that is not in power, you find that there are resignations from Congress,” he said. “If you are in power and you have chairmanships, you stick it out.”

Mr. Carlucci cautioned against ascribing too much significance to the retirement imbalance, noting that, for example, three of the 21 departing Democrats are members of the California delegation and are announced candidates for the Senate seat of the deceased former Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

House Democrats rally on the East Steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 13, 2023. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The three include Reps Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Ms. Porter is serving her third term in the House, while Mr. Schiff and Ms. Lee are long-serving veterans of 11 and 12 terms, respectively. Mr. Schiff and Ms. Lee represent safe Democratic districts, while Ms. Porter’s district is competitive, being targeted by both the NRCC and the DCCC in 2024.

Republicans have a ready explanation for the imbalance of retirees that’s centered on Mr. Biden’s mounting problems with voters.

“A civil war in their caucus over support for Israel, a historically unpopular president, and an inexperienced [House Minority] leader in Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) begs the question, why stay? Combine that with the climb out of the minority getting steeper by the day, House Democrats are smart to make a mad dash for the exits,” NRCC national press secretary Will Reinert told The Epoch Times.

The NRCC is the command center of GOP efforts to defend and expand the party’s narrow four-seat majority in the November 2024 elections.

Courtney Parella, communications director for the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), told The Epoch Times that Democrats are “looking for the exits,” thanks to “a historically unpopular president, a toxic and damaging agenda, and an unfavorable political environment.”

Ms. Parella said that “as Democrats continue to lose some of their top fundraisers in the House, several now-open seats have quickly become even better pickup opportunities for Republicans and remain pivotal to growing the majority in 2024.”


(L–R) Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Rep. Pete Aguilar, (D-Calif.), and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) arrive as the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its last public meeting in the Canon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 19, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)

The CLF is a political action committee that describes itself as “the only outside group to have the endorsement of the entire House Republican leadership.”

“The CLF supports Republican candidates for the House of Representatives and counters the efforts of well-funded left-wing groups seeking to elect liberals to Congress,” it stated.

Mr. Carlucci said the increasing partisan rancor in Congress specifically and more generally throughout American politics is a factor that’s motivating representatives to opt out of reelection bids.

“I think there is something to the fact that politics is changing. It’s always changing but now more rapidly than ever. We have seen the decorum in Congress degraded, at least to us watching it through cable TV. I’m sure there have always been side comments and digs, but now it has spilled over to a former Speaker of the House elbowing a colleague or a sitting senator challenging a witness to fight in a Senate hearing,” he said.

Mr. Carlucci referred to recent incidents in the Capitol in which former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was alleged to have elbowed Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) in the back and Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) challenged a union leader during a Senate hearing to make good on his previously tweeted threats of physical violence.

Mr. Carlucci also suggested that in the case of long-serving members, there’s a growing incentive “after a distinguished career to pack it in because the style of politics now is one where the electorate does not really reward results; it’s much more driven by the theater.”

Then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) talks to reporters inside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 2, 2023. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

National Republican strategist Jimmy Keady said a significant factor in the retirement imbalance is that Democrats are having difficulty recruiting quality candidates.

“Candidate quality matters for all levels of government. What we are seeing is a Democratic Party with a deficiency of quality candidates who can win in highly competitive races. Instead of recruiting from the outside, the Democratic Party is having to recruit from their own ranks, jeopardizing their control of competitive districts across the country,” Mr. Keady told The Epoch Times.

“We just saw this in Virginia where Del. Kim Taylor was a key recruit for Virginia Republicans, and she won reelection in a Biden+11 district. Republicans are focused on pulling leaders outside of the beltway to run in these districts, and based on retirements so far, Democrats are going to have a hard time keeping up.”

In addition to Mr. Schiff, Ms. Lee, and Ms. Porter, House Democrats leaving to pursue Senate seats include Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Colin Allred (D-Texas), David Trone (D-Md.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), and Andy Kim (D-N.J.).

Other House Democrats who are retiring to pursue another political office include Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C.), who hopes to be elected state attorney general; Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.); a Virginia gubernatorial candidate; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who’s running for mayor of Houston; and Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) who’s seeking the presidency.


Members-elect of the 118th Congress leave the House Chamber after three ballots failed to elect a new speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 3, 2023. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Retiring House Democrats who aren’t seeking other offices include California Reps. Anna Eshoo, Grace Napolitano, and Leo Cardenas; Michigan Rep. Dale Kildee; Virginia Rep. Jennifer Wexton; Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer; Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes; and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer.

House Republicans who are departing to seek a different political office include Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), both of whom are Senate candidates, and Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), who’s a candidate for state attorney general.

Retiring House Republicans include Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana, Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona, Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, Reps. Kay Granger and Michael Burgess of Texas, and Reps. Brad Wenstrup and Bill Johnson of Ohio. New York’s Rep. George Santos is expected to be expelled from Congress imminently as a result of a scathing House Ethics Committee report.

Senate Democrat retirees include Sens. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Tom Carper of Delaware, LaPhonza Butler of California, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Republican Senate retirees include Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Mike Braun of Indiana, who’s running for governor of the Hoosier state.


Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/01/2023 – 19:25

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Why Are Searches For ‘Trailer Park Near Me’ Erupting? 

Why Are Searches For ‘Trailer Park Near Me’ Erupting? 

The eruption in Google searches for “RV lot near me” has hit a five-year high. The reason for the surge remains unclear but could be attributed to the worsening housing affordability crisis ushered in by the failure of ‘Bidenomics.’

Earlier this year, we noticed in several RV Industry Association’s industry reports (read here) that new monthly shipments for “Park Model RVs,” otherwise known as trailers, were outpacing last year’s levels.

None of this comes as a surprise, as the worst housing affordability crisis in a generation has killed the ‘American Dream’ for many folks. 

The most vocal folks complaining about the era of unaffordability of everything have been Gen-Zers on the Chinese social media platform TikTok. These youngsters are experiencing voter regret after a president who could be their great-great-great grandfather pushed failed policies that have been nothing more than a financial disaster for them. 

They’re also mad about owning nothing

“The thing about being in Gen Z is that, generally, we quite literally own nothing,” PJ Yancey told Bussiness Insider. He said, “We’re not homeowners; we don’t own a ranch, a vacation home, any kind of property at all. If we’re living on our own, it’s in someone else’s house or apartment.”

So, the kid went out into the desert in California and bought a $200 plot of land. 

@peejstead I love my dirt #offroad #crazy ♬ 3 Stars – Jair Archive

The lesson youngsters need to learn is the government and central bank are responsible for your financial woes. And the search data plus mobile home industry data only confirms that Gen-Zer’s standard of living has quickly deteriorated. Welcome to third-world style living. 

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/01/2023 – 19:00

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The Urgency Of Strengthening America’s Electric Grid Cybersecurity

The Urgency Of Strengthening America’s Electric Grid Cybersecurity

Authored by Paul Steidler via RealClear Wire,

The U.S. electric grid continues to face a bevy of foreign and domestic cyberattack threats. Therefore, it makes more sense than ever before for utilities and transmission operators to aggressively fortify their cyber defenses. In fact, failure to do so is a classic case of being penny wise and pound foolish. 

The evidence includes the following: 

  • On November 16, following two days of cybersecurity scenario testing by more than 250 organizations, Manny Cancel, Senior Vice President of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) said, “The threat landscape in which we are operating is unprecedented – we are facing challenges that are increasingly difficult to detect and protect against.”
  • NERC added that evolving cyber threats to the grid are “guided by geopolitical events, new vulnerabilities, changes in technologies, and increasingly bold cyber criminals and hackers.”
  • China, Russia, and other countries continue to impose cybersecurity threats to the U.S. electric grid, as discussed in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Annual Threat Assessment.
  • Cybersecurity insurance premiums continue to rise sharply, making preventative actions more compelling from a cost-benefit standpoint. 
  • The shift to renewable energy and distributed resources opens additional vulnerabilities for electric utilities. As Bruce Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for Critical Infrastructure Security said in July 18 Congressional testimony, “Importantly, the risk associated with cyber is exacerbated by the rapid transformational changes happening in the electric sector. The transition away from a centralized generation and command and control model to a decentralized model, has increased the surface area for cyber penetration.  

The grid’s Operational Technology (OT) vulnerabilities are particularly notable. OT refers to the remote monitoring and control of components in the electric system. This encompasses supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and industrial control systems (ICS) networks. 

An October 2022 U.S. Department of Energy study found, “Another industry trend is increased attacker experimentation and exploitation targeting OT systems.” 

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has issued a similar warning: “Grid distribution systems – which carry electricity from transmission systems to consumers – have grown more vulnerable, in part because their operational technology increasingly allows remote access and connections to business networks.”

One way to simplify critical infrastructure protection and keep OT secure is to place a device that only allows pre-defined, legitimate signals to be sent to the OT on a network. This reduces the costs of more holistic network changes. It also prevents non-specific commands from passing through a protected device. 

One such system, Binary Armor, places an in-line barrier to cyber intrusion, while monitoring all communications to a piece of OT. The device is small, approximately five by three inches, and weighs less than a pound. It can be deployed throughout the distribution grid, including on main substation data lines and within substations. 

Legitimate commands can pass through. Those that would cause the device to behave in dangerous, destructive ways are thwarted. 

Binary Amor cannot be modified or reconfigured without physical access to the system, thereby providing robust security for remote facilities and critical infrastructure. The system allows the system operator to define the rules for SCADA/ICS traffic and to inspect every byte of information. 

The scope of threats that the U.S. electric grid will continue to face are likely to rise in complexity and severity. Rather than waiting for dictates from regulators, utilities and transmission grid operators should identify important areas for cybersecurity protection, especially where there are efficient, cost-effective solutions. In this environment, OT protection is especially important and likely to be even more so soon. 

This article was originally published by RealClearEnergy and made available via RealClearWire.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/01/2023 – 18:40

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Virginia Postrel & Jim Pethokoukis: How To Get a Great Future

Virginia Postrel and James Pethokoukis | Lex Villena

This is a bonus episode, hosted by Reason Features Editor Peter Suderman. A few weeks back, at our Washington, D.C. HQ, he moderated a discussion with former Reason Editor in Chief Virginia Postrel (Reason archive here)and American Enterprise Institute Fellow James Pethokoukis about the future—why it matters, why it’s misunderstood, and how we might get a better one.

Both have written extensively on the topic. Postrel is the author of many books, including The Future and Its Enemies. Pethokoukis is the author of the just-released The Conservative Futurist—How to Create the Sci-Fi World We Were Promised

It’s a great conversation about economics, progress, science fiction—and kitchen gadgets.

Today’s sponsor:

  • The Reason webathon. Once a year, we ask our readers, viewers, and listeners to make tax-deductible donations to support our principled libertarian journalism. Go here to see giving levels and make a contribution.

The post Virginia Postrel & Jim Pethokoukis: How To Get a Great Future appeared first on Reason.com.

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You Thought Murder Hornets Were Bad? The “Super Pig” Invasion Looms

You Thought Murder Hornets Were Bad? The “Super Pig” Invasion Looms

Fans of fearmongering classics such as “murder hornets” , “monkey pox” and “take this experimental vaccine or you’ll kill grandma” will love this one…

According to new reports, a population of badass “super pigs” is about to descend on North America from Canada, prompting northern US states such as Montana, Minnesota and North Dakota to take measures against the invasion.

The wild pigs, currently roaming Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, are often crossbreeds that combine the survival skills of wild Eurasian boars with the size and fertility of domestic swine to create so-called “super pigs” that one expert called “the most invasive animal on the planet,” and “an ecological train wreck,” according to CBS News.

Via Reddit user /u/Kalicoa

What caused this?

According to the report, Canadian farmers just cut pigs loose after the market collapsed in 2001. The pigs persevered – with the strong surviving harsh Canadian winters, and the weak dying off. The result was highly destructive packs of pigs are roaming around, eating anything – including crops and wildlife.

They tear up land when they root for bugs and crops. They can spread devastating diseases to hog farms like African swine fever. And they reproduce quickly. A sow can have six piglets in a litter and raise two litters in a year.

That means 65% or more of a wild pig population could be killed every year and it will still increase, Brook said. Hunting just makes the problem worse, he said. The success rate for hunters is only about 2% to 3% and several states have banned hunting because it makes the pigs more wary and nocturnal — tougher to track down and eradicate.

Wild pigs already cause around $2.5 billion in damage to U.S. crops every year, mostly in southern states like Texas. And they can be aggressive toward humans. A woman in Texas was killed by wild pigs in 2019. -CBS News

Feral pigs already in the United States have caused some $100 million in property damage in Texas, where lawmakers have authorized hot air balloon hunts to eradicate the porcine menace.

Feral pigs roam near a Mertzon, Texas, ranch on Feb. 18, 2009.

Ryan Brook, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and one of Canada’s leading authorities on the problem, has documented 62,000 wild pig sightings in Canada, and have seen them on both sides of the Canada-North Dakota border.

“Nobody should be surprised when pigs start walking across that border if they haven’t already,” said Brook. “The question is: What will be done about it?”

The only path forward is you have to be really aggressive and you have to use all the tools in the toolbox,” Brook said.

Murdalize em!

Options for eradication include guns, traps such as the “BoarBuster,” and nets fired from helicopters.

Looks like bacon is on the menu, boys!

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/01/2023 – 18:20

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Trump Claims ‘Cheating’ In Wisconsin Election Case: ‘Republicans Must Do Something’

Trump Claims ‘Cheating’ In Wisconsin Election Case: ‘Republicans Must Do Something’

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower the day after FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach home, in New York City, on Aug. 9, 2022. (David ‘Dee’ Delgado/Reuters)

Former President Donald Trump issued a response after the Wisconsin State Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case targeting state election maps.

Last week, Democrats urged the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn Republican-drawn legislative maps. The lawsuit was first brought by voters the day after the court flipped to what some say is a majority 4-3 liberal control in August. They want all 132 state lawmakers to stand for election under new, more favorable maps in 2024.

The state Legislature’s district maps were first drawn under former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, allowing the GOP to keep their majority in both chambers of the state Legislature.

Earlier this week, the former president offered criticism of the challenge, condemning the Wisconsin Supreme Court for taking up the challenge. He also shared a Wall Street Journal editorial that raised questions about the timing of the lawsuit after Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz, who was backed by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, started serving.

Tremendous cheating going on in a State that I love, Wisconsin. Republicans must do something to stop it!” President Trump said in a Truth Social post.

The Wall Street Journal article, meanwhile, wrote that Democrats fought to get Judge Protasiewicz elected earlier this year so “she could help them retake control of the state Legislature through a rewrite of the state’s political maps. Now the court’s liberal majority is going through contortions to deliver on that anti-democratic judicial promissory note,” describing the scenario as a “looming judicial coup.”

The fight comes ahead of the 2024 election in a battleground state where four of the six past presidential elections have been decided by fewer than 23,000 votes, and Republicans have built large majorities in the legislature under maps they drew over a decade ago.

President Trump won Wisconsin in the 2016 vote, while the state was certified in favor of President Joe Biden in 2020. Analysts have said it remains a key battleground state in 2024, coming after Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) won his reelection bid last year.


Last week, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley most aggressively questioned the motives of Democrats and repeatedly referenced newly elected Judge Protasiewicz saying during her campaign that the current maps are “rigged.”

“Everybody knows that the reason we’re here is because there was a change in the membership of the court,” Judge Bradley said. She said ordering elections for all 132 lawmakers, including half of the Senate midway through their current terms, was “absolutely extraordinary.”

“I can’t imagine something less democratic than unseating most of the Legislature that was duly elected last year,” she added.

During a candidate forum last year, Judge Protasiewicz said that the legislative “maps are rigged, bottom line. Absolutely, positively rigged. They do not reflect the people in this state.”

“They do not reflect accurate representation, neither the state Assembly or the state Senate. They are rigged, period. Coming right out and saying that. I don’t think you could sell to any reasonable person that the maps are fair,” Judge Protasiewicz continued.

Attorney Mark Gaber, from the Campaign Legal Center, said the timing of the lawsuit had nothing to do with the election result. He said the challenge over whether the districts are unconstitutionally not contiguous would have been filed, regardless of the makeup of the court. “I don’t see that as a partisan issue,” Mr. Gaber said.

Taylor Meehan, attorney for the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature, said the lawsuit was meritless, brought too late, and that Democrats only filed it because control of the court flipped. “They are a wolf in sheep’s clothing designed to backdoor a political statewide remedy,” Mr. Meehan said.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz attends her first hearing as a justice, in Madison, Wis., on Sept. 7, 2023. (Morry Gash/AP)

Due to her comments on the “rigged” maps, Republicans in the Legislature have publicly floated impeaching the judge if she didn’t recuse herself from the case and other redistricting cases.

On Tuesday, a judge dismissed a left-wing group’s lawsuit that claimed a panel researching the possible impeachment of the judge violated the state’s laws. Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington ruled that the group, American Oversight, filed its lawsuit too early, coming after Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos asked former state Supreme Court justices in September to advise on whether it’s legal to impeach the justice.

The legal fight in Wisconsin comes after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the state of Alabama’s bid to use a Republican-drawn congressional map. Months before that, the top U.S. court issued a ruling against the state that argued Alabama violated the Voting Rights Act, although Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, a Republican, said the court erred in its decision.

“It is now clear that none of the maps proposed by Republican supermajorities had any chance of success. Treating voters as individuals would not do. Instead, our elected representatives and our voters must apparently be reduced to skin color alone,” he said at the time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/01/2023 – 18:00

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Hezbollah Rejoins Fight, Lebanese Civilians Killed, After Gaza Truce Ended

Hezbollah Rejoins Fight, Lebanese Civilians Killed, After Gaza Truce Ended

The resumption of fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip after the truce ended Friday morning has quickly translated into rocket and artillery fire in Israel’s north, where emergency sirens have sent residents running for shelter across several towns. 

Hezbollah, which over the past week has respected the Hamas truce during which time it by and large silenced its weapons, has rejoined the conflict. Already there have been deaths in Lebanon after Israel responded by shelling the town of Hula. Hezbollah-affiliated television channel al-Manar said that a mother and her son were killed in the attack.

Previously in the day Al Jazeera reported that “Hezbollah claimed a strike on Israeli soldiers in the first cross-border attack on Israel since the resumption of the fighting in Gaza.”

Last weekend, the government of Iraq warned that if the Gaza ceasefire doesn’t become permanent, there’s a strong chance the conflict turns into broader regional war.

The Pentagon has forces on high alert at US bases in Syrian and Iraq. Prior the truce of last Friday, American bases in the region had come under some 60 or more total drone and rocket attacks. The US responded with airstrikes several times against ‘Iran-backed militias’. 

Whether these attacks will start up again is a big question the West will be watching closely. The Biden administration has repeatedly threatened to strike against Iran-linked targets and assets if Americans come under threat.

Below: Israeli artillery shelling parts of southern Lebanon

As for Hezbollah, despite that before the truce there were daily attacks on southern Israel, its role has been limited thus far after eight weeks of conflict. Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has previously stated that the group’s intent is to keep Israeli forces bogged down enough in the north to where the IDF can’t focus its entire arsenal and tanks on the Gaza theatre. 

But a big fear in Tel Aviv and Washington remains the possibility that Hezbollah could launch a full war. Its rockets and manpower are considered much bigger than that of Hamas, and a scenario like the 2006 war is something Israeli military leaders likely hope to avoid.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/01/2023 – 17:40

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/dfwnbRc Tyler Durden

Just Asking Questions: A New Reason Podcast!

Just Asking Questions logo | Joanna Andreasson

For the past several months, Reason Associate Editor Liz Wolfe and Senior Producer Zach Weissmueller have co-hosted a show on Reason‘s YouTube channel and on The Reason Interview With Nick Gillespie podcast feed called The Reason Livestream.

The show has featured discussions with economist Russ Roberts about life in Israel after October 7, Rand Paul on his Senate investigation into the origins of COVID, journalist Josh Barro on the state of the GOP, sex worker and data analyst Aella on state crackdowns on online porn, and multiple conversations about the rise of Javier Milei.  

Next week, Liz and Zach are launching a new version of the show with a new podcast feed and a new name: Just Asking Questions.

On Just Asking Questions, Zach and Liz will continue to bring you more long-form conversations diving deep into a single topic for an hour or more at a time with data, media clips, and guests who can teach, challenge, and have fun. 

New episodes will air on Reason‘s YouTube channel every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern and Fridays on the Just Asking Questions podcast feed.

Subscribe now to Just Asking Questions on Apple, Google, Spotify or wherever else you get your podcasts to get notified about full episodes going forward. If you prefer to watch a day early on YouTube, subscribe and turn on notifications.

The first episode of the new version of the show will go up next Thursday and will be a special in-person taping with podcaster Dave Smith. Given Liz’s and Zach’s past interactions with him, you’re not going to want to miss this one.

The title question of the episode: What is a libertarian? 

Join us on Thursday to get some answers. 

The post <em>Just Asking Questions</em>: A New <em>Reason</em> Podcast! appeared first on Reason.com.

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