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The ‘Putin Is Bad, But’ Republicans



On Thursday, in a dim conference room in the bowels of a Washington, D.C., hotel, about 150 conservatives gathered for a day of group therapy. They had all been traumatized by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which had left them questioning their assumptions about the world. But Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression wasn’t what confounded them most; for these conservatives, a mix of D.C. professionals and college students leavened with a handful of older cranks, the hawkish response to Russian aggression by most elected Republicans was the real problem.

The conference, Up From Chaos, was a summit of all the wings of the right that would prefer a more hands-off American response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The organizers were The American Conservative, the paleoconservative publication founded by Pat Buchanan; and American Moment, a newer organization that tries to sell the next generation of the right on its version of national conservatism. “We were acutely worried that the seven years of foreign-policy gains that we made [since Donald Trump launched his campaign] were going to go away,” Saurabh Sharma, one of the conference’s organizers, told me.

The event wasn’t a Putin apologia like those found in some corners of the right. Instead, the phrase of the day seemed to be “Putin is bad, but …” The attendees, who included paleocons, libertarians, and hard-core MAGA acolytes, offered variations on that tune according to their policy preferences: Putin is bad, but we don’t want a nuclear war. Putin is bad, but why should we trust the American foreign-policy establishment? Putin is bad, but the media is in thrall to the U.S. intelligence apparatus. The broad consensus: Putin is bad, but why is that our problem?

“This is not an ism-based movement. There is a specific policy outcome motivating the type of factions we brought here today, which is that we don’t want another war,” Sharma said. “And people have their own isms that they bring to the table.” The result was a conference of the right where Tulsi Gabbard was invited but figures such as Ted Cruz were absent.

In fact, Cruz was the target of a jab onstage from a fellow Republican senator, Rand Paul, who suggested that the Texan’s advocacy for sanctions on Russian energy was simply intended to boost the bottom line of the energy industry in his home state. President Joe Biden, though, received some praise for his comparatively restrained response to the crisis. Saagar Enjeti, a conservative pundit and podcaster, went so far as to say that Biden’s “79-year-old ailing heart may be the only thing standing in between us and World War III.”

The most common object of the attendees’ ire was not the Democrats, but instead the traditional enemy of the isolationist right, neoconservatives. Time and time again, speakers mocked foreign-policy hawks and criticized Republicans who had supported the Iraq War. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was the target of repeated scorn. Perhaps the biggest applause line of the entire conference was delivered by the Ohio Senate candidate J. D. Vance, who mocked the intelligence of Bill Kristol, the neoconservative pundit and Never Trumper. Donald Trump’s greatest foreign-policy triumph was not so much any of his decisions, but rather that he “broke the neocon Republican orthodoxy,” Dan Bishop, a second-term representative from North Carolina, told the crowd.

Still, a sense that neocons and foreign-policy elites were winning seemed to permeate the room. For a D.C. conclave, the gathering featured few boldface names. Of the four elected officials who spoke, Rand Paul and Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky are best known for being libertarian gadflies, while Bishop and Representative Matt Rosendale of Montana are backbenchers who are relatively new to Washington. Vance, who hasn’t even been elected to any office and may never be, gave what might have been the most high-profile speech. (Unusually for a speaker at a Washington conference, Vance hung around as an attendee after his speech, sitting quietly in the back as the fellow Peter Thiel ally David Sacks, a wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur, addressed the crowd).

“The first time that I’ve ever actually had donors push back against all the crazy things that I say over the course of my Senate campaign is on this Russia-Ukraine thing,” Vance said. “The craziest idea I’ve had in the last year and a half … is that we should not be involved in a nuclear war with Russia.”

Sharma framed skepticism of the U.S. response as a test of political courage for the few on the right who were still willing to “stand up for a more sober foreign policy where the rubber meets the road.” It is a test that few on the right are passing so far. Even Trump has expressed openness toward more aggressive action against Russia in some public statements about the conflict. (He has also praised Putin as a “genius.”)

The challenge for the isolationist wing of the right is finding more allies. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is one of the most popular political figures in the United States, and the Russian army is falling back from the outskirts of Kiev. It seems, at least for the time being, that the “hawkish” response to the invasion of Ukraine has succeeded. The war in Europe, and the fight over the future of the Republican Party’s foreign policy, are likely to be long. But for now, the right’s isolationists are on their own.

This Article was first live here.


Pope Francis Says Nothing as the CCP Arrests Catholic Leaders in China and Hong Kong



Pope Francis remains silent as the CCP arrests and imprisons Catholic leaders in China and Hong Kong. 

Where is Pope Francis?  Why is he not leading the efforts to implement and support religious freedom in China and Hong Kong?

Last week the Cardinal in Hong Kong was arrested by the new head of the country who is a CCP plant.  Pope Francis said nothing.

Pope Francis Remains Silent About Arrest of Cardinal Zen in Hong Kong – the First Act by CCP Puppet Tyrant in Office

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Also, over the past year, the bishop in China was taken by the CCP and kept in solitary confinement for months.  No one knows where he is.  According to Breitbart:

As Breitbart News reported, officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) arrested the bishop of Xinxiang on May 21, 2021, along with 10 priests and 10 seminarians, in an effort to apply further pressure to the illegal underground Catholic Church.

Police originally took the bishop and priests to a hotel where they were kept in solitary confinement and subjected to “political sessions” to indoctrinate them with the CCP’s understanding of religious freedom, according to a report by AsiaNews, the official press agency of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.

The seminarians were released after three days and the priests followed several days later, yet Bishop Zhang is still in police custody, illegally held without charges or trial at an unknown location. Chinese law stipulates that no one can be detained in solitary confinement without charges for more than three months.

Two family members were allowed to see the bishop for a few minutes during Lunar New Year celebrations, but no one is aware of where he is being held and priests are not permitted to visit or call him.

AsiaNews reported that the Catholic community in Xinxiang still hopes for their bishop’s release, while also growing worried about his physical and mental health.

The Vatican has apparently made no appeal for Bishop Zhang’s liberation.

Again, the Pope says nothing.   Now as sovereign nations hand over their healthcare freedoms to the WHO, the Pope again remains silent.

This Article was first live here.

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Dan Rather Makes The Perfect Argument For Why Fox Is Not News



Legendary journalist Dan Rather called out the insider game of Rupert Murdoch’s network and showed why Fox is not news.

Dan Rather Explains Why Fox Is A Political Operation

Rather wrote on his Substack:

Needless to say, if a reporter at a news organization other than Fox supported a candidate with half as much complicity as Hannity did Dr. Oz, it would be grounds for immediate termination. Not surprisingly, at Fox News, Hannity’s actions don’t even earn a slap on the wrist. 


Since its founding, Fox News has always occupied a murky place between journalism and propagandist “entertainment.” On the one hand, it does employ some real reporters. Some of Fox’s work can be considered news, albeit often filtered through an ideological lens.


The steady stream of hatred, racism, and vitriol emanating from Fox News deserves all the attention it receives. But just as insidious is this inside game and what it says about a media outlet that is a functional arm of the Party of Trump. 

Fox Is Using Journalism As A Cover

Fox is using journalism as a cover for its political operation.  Fox disguises itself as news and never discloses the fact that many of its high-profile employees are assisting elected officials and campaigns.

In journalism, such activities would be grounds for firing. Since Fox isn’t journalism, advising candidates and elected officials behind the backs of viewers is part of the job description.

Dan Rather was right. Fox News is not journalism, and it is also incredibly dangerous to the nation’s democratic institutions. Journalism as a profession needs to stop being afraid of the Fox fraud and call them out for what they are.

Fox is a political operation that is spreading propaganda by pretending to be news.

This Article was first live here.

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Supporting the Buffalo community begins with honest conversations about racism



Since the 1930s, Black neighborhoods have been ranked as financially unstable to dissuade lenders from approving Black homeowners for loans. This meant Black homeowners were subject to different procedures when purchasing a home, which restricted the flow of capital into Black neighborhoods and prohibited Black homeowners from buying in white neighborhoods—reinforcing segregation.

The lack of access to loans also made it more difficult for Black people to open businesses and build wealth, sparking a downward spiral of disinvestment. Today, the impacts of segregation are clearly visible in the resources available in the city of Buffalo. Of the five major employment centers in Erie County, only one is located within the city of Buffalo, and there are 51 census block groups that have limited access to supermarkets. Every single one is located east of Main Street.

“Buffalo is a powder keg,” said Franchelle Parker, executive director of Open Buffalo. “We can’t talk about what happened on Saturday as one isolated event. Buffalo has been a breeding ground for this type of situation to occur.”

Parker said people outside of Buffalo can get involved by helping to change the racist, white supremacist systems that are in place that led to the attack. Parker suggests having conversations with family and friends about the reality of Buffalo’s history and pressing politicians for policies that support the Black community. Many white supremacists involved in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection have been tied to western New York, a breeding ground for racist ideology.

“We can’t change the system if we ignore the symptoms of it,” said Jillian Hanesworth, the first poet laureate of Buffalo and Open Buffalo’s director of leadership development. “I want people to stop saying ‘this isn’t Buffalo,’ because it is.”

To honor the lives of those who were killed, Parker and Hanesworth say a conversation needs to happen about how decades of policy decisions have starved the East Side of Buffalo of resources, including healthy food, high-paying jobs, and quality housing. Of all people who identify as Black within the city of Buffalo, roughly 85% live east of Main Street, where Tops is the only grocery store they can walk to. Buffalo is one of the most segregated cities in the country.

In the 1960s and ’70s, the planning and construction of a highway system through Buffalo cut through the city’s Humboldt Parkway, a tree-lined boulevard that connected its park system. Like many other cities in the Northeast, Black people, neighborhoods, and businesses were disproportionately targeted and affected by plans for “urban revitalization.” Its effects are felt today.

“It’s not just a poor Black neighborhood,” Parker said. “Jefferson Avenue is really the cultural heartbeat of the East Side of Buffalo. And many people in our community see this as not just an isolated attack at Tops, but an attack on the entire Black culture.”

For Masten, Buffalo, Tops was not just a supermarket. It was an anchor in the community where locals would cash their checks, buy food, and connect with each other. With that anchor indefinitely closed, Open Buffalo is serving as a connective hub to help locals find the resources they need, including addressing transportation, food, and mental health needs while the city remains on high alert. Buffalo Community Fridge has set up refrigerators on the street stocked with milk, eggs, fresh fruits, and vegetables to ensure that the community stays fed. The African Heritage Food Co-op is also providing free food delivery and distribution. And Heart of the City Neighborhoods is paying up to 90 days rent for the individuals directly impacted by the attack.

“I believe that our community can get back to our heyday and even greater, but we need policy choices that protect and uplift our people,” Parker said. “There is power that our elected officials have.”

At the time of the shooting, Hanesworth was at a baby shower outside of the city. Once the news broke, her organization’s group chat was in constant communication, and she immediately went to the scene to see how she could support her community. It was a traumatizing experience to see people running to the parking lot trying to identify their loved ones’ cars.  

“It was the most intense and pure grief I’ve ever witnessed,” Hanesworth said. “It was something I’ve never seen before, and I hope I never see again.”

Hanesworth has been organizing ever since while processing the traumatic event, and said when she woke up Sunday morning, she realized she had been crying in her sleep.

“I just feel very antsy and desperate to help and to not be in the way,” Hanesworth said. “Black people across the country, we have dealt with so much. We don’t need to be told that we’re resilient. This will almost trick people into normalizing this.”

Hanesworth wants to push against the idea of “Buffalo Strong” and persevering amidst the tragedy, and instead for people outside Buffalo to recognize that the community is deeply hurting.

“We don’t need to know that we’re strong,” Hanesworth said. “We need to know that we’re safe. I just love this community so much. I always say the culture of the city of Buffalo comes out of the East Side. We are really loud. We’re hopeful. We’re musical. And I really hope that beyond people seeing us in pain that they can see that we love each other and that we’re here for each other. We’re not going anywhere.”

Prism is an independent and nonprofit newsroom led by journalists of color. Our in-depth and thought-provoking journalism reflects the lived experiences of people most impacted by injustice. We tell stories from the ground up to disrupt harmful narratives, and to inform movements for justice. Sign up for our newsletter to get our stories in your inbox, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

This Article was first live here.

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