Session 17 July 2022

Oxajil

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Q: (Bo) Is Thierry Baudet, a Dutch politician, leader of FVD, one of the good guys?

A: Not exactly. Controlled opposition.
Interestingly, soon after Baudet's political party (FVD) launched an app for its members, a failure in the app led to a leakage of personal information of all its members, current and old (93,000 people in total). The leaked information included names, ages, residential addresses, telephone numbers, location data, bank account numbers and membership fee information (or how much they donated) of each member. One IT professor said:

Such a large leak of political preferences has never happened before in the Netherlands. Your political preference is very sensitive and people can be discriminated against as a result.
Not to mention it may be interesting information for the govt as members/supporters of FVD are likely against Covid policies, support farmers and the like. The govt probably already has this information though, but it does show how careless Baudet and his party have been.

There's an article about it in English here.
 
Q: (Ze Germanz) What kind of weapons "based on new physical principles" does Russia possess?

A: Serious bunker busting hypersonic missiles. Also some really cool antigravity techniques combined with regular propulsion systems.

9 Dec, 04:38

Russia to design spacecraft engine that can travel to Solar System’s border

KALININGRAD, December 9. /TASS/. A project to design an engine that can bring a spacecraft to the Solar System’s boundaries is currently under way at Russia’s Fakel design bureau, the enterprise’s chief Gennady Abramenkov has told TASS.

"The Fakel design bureau, with scientific guidance of the Kurchatov Institute, is developing a high-power ion thruster," he said. "It will require a nuclear source of power and will be used during interplanetary space missions, with the potential of travelling to the boundaries of the solar system."

According to the official, the project will be a lengthy effort, since it employs previously untested physical principles and processes.

The Fakel design bureau is a Kaliningrad-based company, developing electric propulsion systems. By now, thrusters produced by the enterprise have been installed on more than 700 orbital spacecraft.


From Wikipedia on the Kurchatov Institute :


Until 1955 known under a secret name "Laboratory No. 2 of the USSR Academy of Sciences", the Kurchatov Institute was founded in 1943 with the initial purpose of developing nuclear weapons. The majority of Soviet nuclear reactors were designed in the institute, including the on-site F-1, which was the first nuclear reactor outside North America to sustain criticality.

Since 1955 it was also the host for major scientific experimental work in the fields of thermonuclear fusion and plasma physics. In particular, the first tokamak systems were developed there, the most successful of them being T-3 and its larger version T-4. T-4 was tested in 1968 in Novosibirsk, conducting the first quasistationary thermonuclear fusion reaction ever.[2]

In the 1980s Kurchatov Institute employees and computer engineers played a very important role in establishing computer culture through participating in the development of the DEMOS operating system. It led to the spread of the internet in Russia and contributed to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[citation needed]

Until 1991, the Ministry of Atomic Energy oversaw the Kurchatov Institute's administration. After the transformation into the State Scientific Center in November 1991, the institute became subordinated directly to the Russian government. According to the institute's charter, its director is appointed by the prime minister based on recommendations from Rosatom. In February 2005 Mikhail Kovalchuk was appointed director of the institute; since 2015 he has been president of the institute, and the position of a director was occupied by Drs. V. Ilgisonis, D. Minkin and (from November 2018) Alexander Blagov.

In February 2007, the Kurchatov Institute won the tender to be the main organization coordinating efforts in nanotechnology in Russia.
The Kurchatov Institute is also in charge of coordinating Russia's participation in international large-scale projects such as the X-ray laser research facility European XFEL in Hamburg and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Darmstadt, both Germany, the international fusion reactor project ITER in Cadarache and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility ESRF in Grenoble (both France) and the particle physics research center CERN in France and Switzerland.[3] On 4 March 2022, in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that had started a week earlier, the institute issued a manifesto on their web site that endorsed the attack on Ukraine, claiming that the neighbor country had been transformed "primarily due to the efforts of our Western partners, into a neo-Nazi bridgehead" and that the invasion was justified because it was aimed at "preventing the threat of a direct attack on our country from its territory."[4]
 

Eboard10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I've since heard a 'geopolitical theory' for why Abe might have been targeted: although he was a nationalist and supported Japanese moves to rearm and ditch neutrality, the argument goes that he was nonethetless 'sensible' and might have stood in the way of American/Consortium plans to 'arm Japan and throw her against China' in the near-future.
Interestingly, Japan is now looking to bolster its military by doubling defence spending from 1% to 2% of GDP by 2027 and invest in strike capabilities, something they claim not to have due to their post-war constitution. The document names China's military buildup and tensions in Taiwan as well as North Korea's expanding arsenal and the conflict in Ukraine as threats that justify this policy change. They already foresee to import Tomahawk cruise missiles from the US, capable of striking China and North Korea, and develop their own weaponry.

Eyeing China, Japan lifts longtime restrictions to allow major defense buildup

TOKYO — Japan has made a significant policy change to allow it to get the ability to strike other nations, a move widely seen as a major step toward rearming the nation more than seven decades since it demilitarized after World War II.

As Japan's relations with China worsen and the threat it perceives from its much larger neighbor heightens, the Japanese government gave a green light Friday to proposals it has been debating sporadically since at least 1956.

Japan had avoided obtaining strike capabilities, so as not to violate Japan's post-war constitution, which renounces the right — and the means — to wage war, and to avoid provoking its neighbors.

At a press conference after the documents' release, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida argued that Japan must keep pace with other nations' advances in missile technology.

"In such a severe environment," he said, "counterstrike capability, which can deter an attack, or force an enemy to stop one, is a capability which will become increasingly vital."

The move follows years of efforts by the United States to persuade Japan to assume more responsibility for its own defense, particularly as a bulwark against China's rising military might and threats against Taiwan.

In a statement, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan called the shift "a bold and historic step to strengthen and defend the free and open Indo-Pacific."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, meanwhile, accused Tokyo of "hyping up the 'China threat' to find an excuse for its military buildup."

The policy is outlined in revisions to three national security strategy documents. The document also calls for boosting defense spending to roughly 2% of gross domestic product by 2027, after decades of being capped at 1%.

The money would go to import missiles from the United States, such as Tomahawk cruise missiles, capable of reaching North Korea and parts of China. Japan also plans to develop its own weapons, including advanced fighter jets, hypersonic missilesand armed drones. Japanese media have reported on some of the purchase plans, citing the nation's defense ministry. Japanese politicians are debating where the money to fund the increase will come from.

It's the biggest shift in Japan's defense policy since its cabinet reinterpreted the constitution in 2014 to allow the military to fight in support of an ally under attack.

Japan's ruling party has long wanted to amend the constitution to remove restrictions on its military, but it has been unable to muster enough public support.

The government insists that Japan's defense policies will remain strictly defensive, and the country will neither threaten other nations, nor carry out preemptive strikes, in violation of international law.

Perceived foreign threats are driving the shift​

While the shift has been encouraged for years by Japan's principal ally, the United States, perceived threats are what primarily appear to be driving the policy change. The security documents name China, its military buildup and tensions with Taiwan, as primary threats.

North Korea's expanding nuclear and missile arsenal and Russia's invasion of Ukraine are also mentioned.

Polls indicate a majority of Japanese now agree that the country needs to have a strike capability.

Former defense official Kyoji Yanagisawa is one of the few dissenting voices. He believes the missiles will not deter potential adversaries, and Japan would be better off investing in diplomacy to avoid war.

"To have a deterrent, we should have the capability to almost completely neutralize the enemy's missiles, but we don't have that," he argues. "Not only do we lack a deterrent, we will also prompt a counterattack" from an enemy.

The legal details are murky​

Since Japan has increasingly indicated it will come to Taiwan's aid and work with the U.S., should China launch an invasion of Taiwan, it's possible that military bases on Japanese territories will be hit.

Official discussions suggest that Japan could launch a missile counterattack after being hit, or strike enemy bases or command facilities as missiles are about to be launched at Japan.

But striking enemies who you think are about to attack you could be legally murky.

"We only know whether an attack is pre-emptive or not," and legal or not, "after it is carried out," argues Yasuo Hasebe, a constitutional law expert at Waseda University in Tokyo. Japan's government, though, he adds, may be able to successfully argue that simply possessing the weapons as a deterrent without using them is in line with the constitution.

However, Hasebe adds, "The government is insisting it is constitutional. So it's difficult to debate this point."

Japan's government has not explained how the shift would square with the constitution, and so far there have been few challenges from civil society, media, courts or opposition parties.

What this means for Washington​

Zack Cooper, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., said that Japan is about to spend a lot of money to acquire capabilities that the U.S. already brings to the U.S.-Japan alliance.

One reason for this overlap, he said, is concern about the return of former President Donald Trump, who downplayed the value of America's traditional alliances, or someone like him.

"I think there are many in Tokyo who say, 'Look, we can't be 100% confident about where the United States is going to be in terms of the alliance five, 10, 15 years down the road,'" he said.

One lesson observers say Japan has taken from Ukraine's fight against Russia's invasion is that the more a nation takes the initiative to defend itself, the more it motivates allies to come to its aid.
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Niall said:
I've since heard a 'geopolitical theory' for why Abe might have been targeted: although he was a nationalist and supported Japanese moves to rearm and ditch neutrality, the argument goes that he was nonethetless 'sensible' and might have stood in the way of American/Consortium plans to 'arm Japan and throw her against China' in the near-future.
Interestingly, Japan is now looking to bolster its military by doubling defence spending from 1% to 2% of GDP by 2027 and invest in strike capabilities, something they claim not to have due to their post-war constitution. The document names China's military buildup and tensions in Taiwan as well as North Korea's expanding arsenal and the conflict in Ukraine as threats that justify this policy change. They already foresee to import Tomahawk cruise missiles from the US, capable of striking China and North Korea, and develop their own weaponry.

Q: (Josi) Why was Shinzo Abe assassinated?

A: Revenge and a message.

Q: (Niall) That question assumes it was one guy. Is there a conspiracy behind the assassination of Shinzo Abe?

A: Certainly connected to individuals involved with other conspiracies.

Q: (Joe) I think the question should be: Was the guy who shot him a patsy?

A: Yes

Q: (Joe) Was he a patsy for someone within the Japanese government?

A: Yes

Q: (Joe) So it was an internal thing.

Here is a look at Abe on nuclear and the initial (August) Fumio Kishida's messaging against Abe's past platform. The article by Eboard10 switches Kishida's messaging, although that is nuclear focused below, yet "strike capabilities" may include it at some future stage.

[...]
Abe’s nuclear legacy. The deeply ambivalent messages that paved Abe’s political career point to the perception by LDP leaders that a nuclear stance needs to simultaneously address all four audiences—adversaries, allies, the Japanese public, as well as its most conservative fraction. But Shinzo Abe’s views on nuclear weapons do not only reflect the longstanding strategy of his party. His continued, strong emphasis on the need for nuclear deterrence also resulted in a sharper divide and a greater hostility between the government and largely anti-nuclear public opinion in Japan. Moreover, even though Abe’s views were not at odds with the LDP, his government’s reliance on nuclear deterrence uniquely contributed to consolidating Japan’s nuclear hedging posture even further. The delays and hesitation by Abe’s government in presenting a clear roadmap for the management of the country’s plutonium stockpile as well as its nuclear energy policy also exacerbated the distrust of the public, still embittered by how the government managed the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Japan’s current prime minister, Fumio Kishida, is now highlighting Japan’s goal of nuclear disarmament and publicly rejected Abe’s idea of nuclear sharing. But the country’s nuclear hedging posture is so entrenched in the political thinking of the LDP’s leadership that it is highly unlikely Japan’s ambivalent nuclear policy will change in the foreseeable future.
[...]
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Was thinking on this today - don't know what the numbers are like to date (coincidentally high), yet there was a recent fire at a chicken plant.

Industrial fires do start, followed by investigations that are generally pretty good at reconstructing cause. In all these cases it would not be easy to collect the evidence externally and determine what that look like; social media accounts from FD, workers/community, would help.

Look at the Q&A again below:

Q: (Niall) Are major food distribution centers in the West being deliberately destroyed?

A: Yes

Q: (Joe) By whom?

A: Elements of the secret government.

Manufacturing facilities require very strict adherence to NFPA Fire Standards. These facilities and Standards would be very much of a focus at the municipal, county, town and city levels - (by fire departments and OSHA). Moreover, to operate they need annual certifications (and FD permits), and a big one, industrial insurance. The insurance companies that underwrite generally look to risk/loss require audits. A typical audit might be preformed by the Marsh Group - they operate in Canada, too, because almost every jurisdiction uses the NFPA Standards as a baseline reference, and they are very particular standards.

Again, sure, fires happen (natural, spark, equipment (like bearings getting hot), hot work, external arson or internal insurance fraud), yet the preventative aspects have to be acknowledge and signed off by insurers and other parties, as said above.

Curiously, just searched the increase fire question with some key words and an article comes up from the NFPA Journal itself on this - about "rumors online" (i.e. conspiracies). There is a video and a number of paragraphs, including stats:


The article seems to be in damage control mode to counter what Tucker Carlson raised (noticed too were a raft of Fact Checkers, like Reuters):


One NFPA paragraph:

We need to pay more attention to the fire protection measures that are in these facilities, make sure they’re maintained, and make sure they continue to function, so that when you are doing work in these kinds of plants you can make sure you control the risk that’s inherent,” she said.

While one can agree on maintaining, and functionality (and this can be a problem), they would have measures in place as per the NFPA (OSHA et al) Standards, and as per what their insurers require, so don't completely buy it. Management, too, would be very aware of fire potentials, and they might even have drills and response fire bigrade in-house.

Tucker, in twelve of these cases cites as was told to him, that some were equipment related. Okay fair enough. It is also a standard thing to say when you don't exactly know but can narrow down a guess, like it was a small (think portable) boiler, which they did say in one case. Two fires were a result of planes hitting the facilities - pilot error (interesting that). These cases were in just a weeks time.

So, in sum, the NFPA admit to not having the "precise data" for the food processing facilities while using the main title Nothing to See Here :lol:

That said, the fire still started, investigations still happened in some capacity, and cause is not sometimes known, yet they should get close. If it is deliberate in some of these cases, which the coincidence factor might indicate, fire investigators would note this (arson suspected), and Tucker was negative on that, at least from what he had been told of this twelve cases. Continuing if cause is nefarious, this would likely have taken place off hours (so that is something to check), and then the who; unknown people versus those known to the facility with access. It would likely be somewhere inside the plants as opposed to the exterior, as that forensically would be more easy to find as cause, if trying to hide it - hidding it they would try to do. Could their be external weapons that can be aimed, placed dropped to initiate, probably, sure.

All kinds of theories could be made, however the surface data optics does not look good, and Tucker was right to bring it up.

Lastly, the NFPA above states (for only 2019) that:

In 2019, the number of fires at all manufacturing or processing plants in the country topped 5,300—nearly 15 a day. Additionally, more than 2,000 fires occurred in agricultural, grain and livestock, and refrigerated storage facilities, which could all include food processing operations.

They also cite combustible dusts possibilities, and while true, it is also particular to the particulates, and is something that has had much focus upon, hence elevated protective and system measures.
 
Top Bottom