🇺🇸 Revolution
January 11, 2022

Good morning, and happy Tuesday! European scientists say they’re “sucking DNA from the air” in an attempt to save endangered species. After vacuum pump filters collected air samples at two zoos, eDNA was identified from resident species as well as animals like chicken and beef used for feed. At the atmospheric level, these tests could help track populations of at-risk species.

Plus, sometimes keeping it real goes wrong. The US government is suing an auto-repair shop in Georgia after it paid a former employee $915 – in pennies. The petty pennies were delivered in a wheelbarrow following a payment dispute and allegations of wage theft. Department of Labor officials argue the stunt was an act of illegal retaliation.

Flag Polls


ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/10: Biden Job Approval, Rasmussen Reports Approve 41, Disapprove 59
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/5: Biden Job Approval, Economist/YouGov Approve 43, Disapprove 51
D 1/5: Gen. Congress Vote, Economist/YouGov Republicans 38,
Democrats 42
D 1/4: Gen. Congress Vote, USA Today/Suffolk Republicans 37,
Democrats 39

Trending On The Left


New York TimesBiden Comes Out Swinging Against Republicans as His Agenda Stalls

WaPo: Trump calls GOP senator a ‘jerk’ after he rejects Trump's false claims of widespread election fraud

Huff Post: Rep. Jim Jordan Rebuffs House Panel Interview On Jan. 6 Insurrection

CNN: GOP push for hand-counting paper ballots is latest effort to cast doubt on elections

Trending On The Right


Daily Wire: McCarthy to Kick 3 Dems Off Their Committees If GOP Wins Back House In 2022

Fox News: Frustrated Americans UNLEASH on Biden due to desolate grocery store shelves

Breitbart: ‘The Butt of Jokes’: Democrat-Allied Experts Turn on Joe Biden’s Coronavirus Response

The Blaze: Whole Foods argues it has right to ban its employees from wearing 'BLM' masks

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Revolution

Violent protests led to the death of 164 people last week in Kazakhstan. Now, the nation’s president says he survived a coup attempt.

Reporting from The Left: “The unrest is the biggest challenge yet to autocratic Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's rule, with initial public anger over a spike in fuel prices expanding to wider discontent with the government over corruption, living standards, poverty, and unemployment in the oil-rich, former Soviet nation, human rights organizations report.” (CNN)

Reporting from The Right: “The same party has ruled Kazakhstan since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Anyone aspiring to oppose the government has either been repressed, sidelined, or co-opted, amid widespread economic hardship despite the country's enormous reserves of oil, natural gas, uranium, and minerals.” (Fox News)

From The Flag: Here’s how both sides are responding to the violent unrest that many are calling a crisis.

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Inequality And Russian Influence Are To Blame


Left-leaning commentators say inequality is the root cause of the unrest, as Kazakhstan is an oil-rich country with concentrated wealth in some areas and extreme poverty elsewhere. Others say it’s impossible to ignore Vladimir Putin’s role as Russia looks to expand its regional influence.

"Inequality is driving protest against Kazakhstan’s authoritarian government" Peter Leonard, The Guardian: "Almaty, the commercial capital of Kazakhstan, is the kind of mirage that oil-rich nations so often produce. It has all the trappings of comfort and consumer excess: swanky shopping malls, luxury car dealerships, high-end hotels. This is the image of prosperity that the country’s rulers enjoy projecting to the world. For decades, Kazakhs have been encouraged to take out expensive loans to experience their share in the dream: to buy flats, cars, and even holidays they can barely afford. Beyond the limits of Almaty and the capital city, Nur-Sultan, however, the illusion begins to look threadbare. And the causes behind the protests currently gripping the central Asian nation come into focus. Average monthly salaries are less than £450 ($600). Police, doctors, teachers, and all kinds of government workers supplement their meagre pay with bribes."

"The uprising against dictatorship in Kazakhstan is about Russia, too" Editorial Board, The Washington Post: "... the regime has made false charges of foreign subversion to justify a military intervention by Kazakhstan’s closest ally, Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The Russian boots on the ground, like Mr. Putin’s support for Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko against protests in 2020, demonstrate the strategic priority he places on propping up fellow autocrats, so as to preserve a Russian sphere of influence in the former Soviet space ... Kazakhstan’s sudden crisis might also reverberate in Ukraine, on whose borders Mr. Putin has massed roughly 100,000 troops, making accusations and demands against the United States and its allies ... Kazakhstan could make an invasion of Ukraine less likely, by diverting Russian military resources and consuming Mr. Putin’s attention. Or the Russian leader could seize on the events in Central Asia as yet another purported Western-instigated destabilization."

"Kazakhstan’s Protests Are About Soaring Inequality" Zanovo Media, Jacobin Magazine: "Kazakhstan is ablaze with protests driven by mass layoffs and the ever more intolerable cost of living. But in a country where almost all opposition has been silenced for years, the movement has to avoid being captured by rival oligarchic forces." Keep reading.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Soviet Storm Rising: Putin Sees Opportunity


Commentary from the right is focused on Russia and Vladimir Putin’s influence when it comes to Kazakhstan, with comparisons made to Belarus and Ukraine. Some say this latest uprising and Russian paratrooper deployments suggest the USSR is reforming, factoring in available resources and the positioning of military assets.

"Is the Crisis in Kazakhstan the Rebirth of the Soviet Union?" John Bolton, The Wall Street Journal op-ed: "... the last thing America or Europe should do is take provocative action regarding Ukraine or other countries caught in the gray zone between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s eastern borders and Russia’s western ones. ... Predictably, the State Department’s first reaction to the Kazakh crisis was moral equivalency, calling ‘for restraint by both the authorities and protestors.' ... NATO must urgently develop a strategy for the non-NATO former Soviet states. It is insufficient to say we have no treaty obligation to defend them, which ignores strategic reality. Russia’s imperiling of their security will inevitably affect NATO. ... firmness now can render Mr. Putin’s expansionist aims untenable. But if NATO confines itself to rhetoric about the 'rules-based international order' and asking all sides to 'exercise restraint,' historians may mark the Kazakh crisis as the point where the Soviet Union rose from its ashes."

"Resource-rich Kazakhstan invites Putin to guard its henhouse" Paul Roderick Gregory, The Hill op-ed: "... Vladimir Putin will not allow a popular uprising against a fellow kleptocratic regime in his neighborhood to succeed. It happened in Ukraine, and it won’t happen again. Second, Putin will not pass on the opportunity to extend control over another former Soviet state, particularly one with massive oil and mineral resources ... Russian troops serving as ‘peacekeepers’ in Kazakhstan can open up a new relationship between Russia and Kazakhstan. Not only will Russian troops be a presence in Kazakhstan — as in Belarus, Russian cadres will find their way into Kazakhstan’s media, business, and public affairs. If Russia gains political control over Kazakh energy, its share of world oil reserves increases by 40 percent, creating a behemoth equal to Kuwait. Kazakhstan accounts for 40 percent of world uranium production, a rather valuable asset for Russia’s treasure chest."

"Kazakhstan protests won't alter Putin's Ukraine invasion agenda" Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner: "Russia retains both the strategic interest and capability to launch a new offensive against Ukraine ... Kazakhstan is a complication for Putin — but not one that alters his Ukraine agenda." Keep reading.

FLAG THIS

Unrest In Kazakhstan Roils Crypto And Commodities Markets


Ever since China strictly limited crypto-related activities, bitcoin mining has boomed in Kazakhstan. In fact, the Central Asian nation is now the world's second-largest center for bitcoin mining. As political violence and upheaval set in last week, authorities in Kazakhstan shut off the nation's internet. Just hours later, there was a 12% drop in bitcoin's hash rate, which measures the computing power needed to produce new bitcoin. Oil and uranium prices also dropped given Kazakhstan's role in producing both commodities.

Flag Polls: How do you think the US should handle the unrest in Kazakhstan? Click here to share your thoughts.

POWERED BY DASH

Pop the Cork, Store the Bottle

Wine drinkers, rejoice. The phrase "I'll just have whatever's open" is now a thing of the past. With the Dash Serve & Preserve wine set, you can pop the cork and enjoy a glass in just 8 seconds. Simply touch a button and the rechargeable electric opener has you ready to pour, while the top of the device is a vacuum sealer that preserves any remaining wine. It comes with a built-in stainless steel charger base, adding a touch of elegance to any setting. Just one charge will open 30 bottles, and with two reusable bottle stoppers included, you'll never waste wine again. It's wine o'clock right here.

US & WORLD

Worst Start for Bitcoin, Ikea Cuts Sick Pay for Unvaccinated, US & Russia See Little Progress

Bloomberg: Bitcoin dipped below $40,000 for the first time since September, putting it on pace for its worst start to a year since the earliest days of the digital alternative to money

BBC: Ikea has cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff who need to self-isolate because of Covid exposure and in some cases for workers who test positive.

WSJ: US and Russian negotiators failed to narrow their differences in security talks in Geneva on Monday against the backdrop of Moscow’s military buildup near Ukraine, US and Russian diplomats said.

NYP: Robert Durst, the bizarre New York real estate scion and long-suspected serial killer recently convicted in his pal’s murder, has died. He was 78.

BBC: A court in Myanmar has sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four more years in prison. She was convicted for the illegal possession and import of walkie-talkies and breaking Covid-19 rules.

Reuters: High levels of T-cells from common cold coronaviruses can provide protection against COVID-19, an Imperial College London study published on Monday has found, which could inform approaches for second-generation vaccines.

CNBC: Jamie Dimon said the US is headed for the best economic growth in decades. “We’re going to have the best growth we’ve ever had this year, I think since maybe sometime after the Great Depression,” Dimon told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs during the 40th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. “Next year will be pretty good too.”
 

WATERCOOLER

Grand Canyon, Cows and VR, Decoy Shoppers

On January 11, 1908, US President Theodore Roosevelt declared the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument.

Mental Floss: Taco Bell Wants to Sign You Up for a Monthly $10 Taco Subscription

METRO: Farmer gives cows VR headsets to reduce anxiety and increase milk production

Vice: This Keyboard Lets People Type So Fast It’s Banned From Typing Competitions

Today I Learned the inventor of shopping carts, Sylvan Goldman, had to hire "decoy shoppers" to wheel the carts around stores and demonstrate their convenience, due to not catching on initially.

Copyright © 2022 The Flag, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.