Gustave Courbet The desperate man (self portrait) 1852
Source: https://t.co/NBOFAoXr4I pic.twitter.com/Dyqu31AjGK
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) May 26, 2022
• The New York Times’ Shift on Victory in Ukraine (Walsh)
On May 11 The New York Times ran an article documenting that all was not going well for the U.S. in Ukraine, and a companion opinion piece hinting that a shift in direction might be in order. Then on May 19, the editorial board, the full Magisterium of the Times, moved from hints to a clarion call for a change in direction, declaring that “total victory” over Russia is not possible and that Ukraine will have to negotiate a peace in a way that reflects a “realistic assessment” and the “limits” of U.S. commitment. The Times serves as one the main shapers of public opinion for the elite and so its pronouncements are not to be taken lightly. The editorial contains the following key passages:
“In March, this board argued that the message from the United States and its allies to Ukrainians and Russians alike must be: No matter how long it takes, Ukraine will be free. …” “That goal cannot shift, but in the end, it is still not in America’s best interest to plunge into an all-out war with Russia, even if a negotiated peace may require Ukraine to make some hard decisions.” And, to ensure that there is no ambiguity, it went on: “A decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal. … Russia remains too strong…” Then, to make certain that President Joe Biden and the Ukrainians understand what they should do, it adds:
“… Mr. Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will go to confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain.” As Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky read those words, he must surely have begun to sweat. The voice of his masters was telling him that he and Ukraine will have to make some sacrifices for the U.S. to save face. As he contemplates his options, his thoughts must surely run back to February 2014, and the U.S.-backed Maidan coup that culminated in the hasty exit of President Viktor Yanukovych from his office, his country and almost from this earth.
Sending more weapons will only create more misery.
• Russia Controls Almost All of Luhansk, Makes Gains in Eastern Ukraine (Antiwar)
Russia continues to make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine and now controls 95% of Ukraine’s Luhansk oblast, which makes up the northern half of the Donbas region. The pro-Kyiv governor of Luhansk said Friday that Ukrainian forces might be forced to retreat from the near-surrounded cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, the last hold-outs in the region. “We will have enough strength and resources to defend ourselves. However, it is possible that in order not to be surrounded we will have to retreat,” said Governor Serhiy Gaidai. As the war grinds on in the east, Ukrainian officials are starting to admit that their military is facing a dire situation and are pleading for the US and its allies to send more advanced weapons.
Ukrainian volunteer soldiers told The Washington Post that they felt abandoned by the government in Kyiv as they were fighting in the east. In a video posted on Telegram, Ukrainian volunteers said they weren’t properly trained and didn’t have sufficient equipment or support to fight on the front lines. “We are being sent to certain death,” a volunteer soldier said in the Telegram video. “We are not alone like this, we are many.” The Post spoke with a volunteer company commander and his lieutenant who retreated to a hotel away from the front. After the interview, the men were arrested by Ukrainian military security services and accused of desertion.
“If the NATO vassals have any common sense, they will dissolve NATO altogether..”
• Will NATO Aggression Force Russia to Extend the Special Operation? (Batiushka)
Finally, we wonder if the Russian Federation will continue to tolerate the aggressive statements and actions of anti-Russian representatives of the mercenary US-installed elites in Bulgaria and Greece? If the Bulgarian and Greek elites were cleansed of those who will ‘do anything for a million dollars’ and their countries turned back into pro-Russian territories, it would mean that all of the Eastern half of Europe could at last return to being a pro-Russian, NATO-free buffer zone. This zone would of course include Hungary as well as Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is, most of ex-Yugoslavia, where most people and some of the governing classes are pro-Russian anyway.
As for Central Europe (here we include the Czech Lands, East Germany and Austria, as well as Slovenia, Croatia, and even Albania) and Western Europe, their populations would simply have to cope with being cut off raw materials. This means cut off from Russian oil, gas, paper pulp, fertilisers, cereals and minerals and the eventual possibility of the poorest among them facing starvation and next winter hypothermia because of their ruling classes’ anti-Russian sanctions. Unless, of course, those populations decided to revolt and liberate themselves from their neo-feudal, US-installed colonial elites. Even the offshore UK, with its buffoonish, New York-born Prime Minister Johnson, could yet object and reject. The economic situation in Europe is becoming serious.
Naturally, we cannot say what will happen. What we can say very clearly, however, is that the US elite and its NATO minions are playing with fire. As the dollar slips on a daily basis, now below even 57 to the rouble for the first time since 2015, some Western bankers are beginning to panic. If the NATO vassals have any common sense, they will dissolve NATO altogether, as should have happened in 1991, when the Warsaw Pact was dissolved. However, as they say, the problem with common sense is that it is very rare. It is rather like intelligence, which is very limited – whereas the capacity for stupidity is utterly unlimited….
Russian oil & gas [..] ..without which Europe would cease to exist as we know it with some countries becoming failed states..
• Dear Ursula, You Are Dead Wrong (Vilches)
Long ago, large fuel-consumer yet very fuel-poor Europe (Franz) married super fuel-rich Russia (Natasha) and together soon happily parented plenty of babies that have now grown-up and crave for Natasha´s delicious food. So the whole European über-successful export-based business model was conceived, designed, built, operated and developed on the basis of the cheap and plentiful ´Russian fuels´ premise. That is why every EU government has repeatedly failed to find the architectonics — let alone effectively construct — a realistic energy strategy that does not depend exclusively on Russia´s capability as an EXTRA-ordinary and reliable commodities exporter, most specially fuels. Europe´s economic success has always been based — and continues to be — in having available abundant high quality Russian energy with the enormous advantage of smooth Druzbha pipeline 24x7x365 door-to-door delivery.
Hereinafter please find out why Europe has no choice other than to keep importing lots of Russian oil & gas. It´d be technically impossible to do otherwise requiring a minimum of 20 years at probably more than twice the price, or even far more if the required monumental investments are priced in. Today, on the one hand we have the current Russian Urals blend oils which shall be briefly described herein. On the other we can now only have unknown Baltic oil blends that cannot be described because they do not exist and quite possibly may never exist, at least as needed. Actually, the only effective possibility would be to build from scratch ad hoc matching refineries and other chemical plants in order to accept still-undefined and most difficult to process Baltic oil blend feedstocks. You read it here first…
Energy security involves complex interactive underpinnings which demand a clear and well-focused mindset. Accordingly, below please find a short list of requirements for European oil imports (90%) today mostly sourced in Russia and without which Europe would cease to exist as we know it with some countries becoming failed states. For logistical reasons, the list below should later be expanded and adapted to the specific location of a given facility and/or other individual needs. A leading case in point would be the Schwedt Refinery as the largest in all of Europe and with a most special make-it-or-break-it importance as explained later. Without a fully functional and constantly well-supplied Schwedt Refinery, neither Berlin nor the immense surrounding Brandenburg state are viable… nor would the Berlin international airport and very large areas of Western Poland survive as they are today. I kid you not.
“Truth and beauty have gone outlaw. Bad faith and wickedness rule, led by a Party of Chaos.”
America has become a malfunctioning pageant without feasible roles that children can realistically project themselves into. What ten-year-old longs to become the Burger King fry-o-later boss in a brown apron and an asinine cardboard crown? Rather, they are prompted to aspire to become sports star millionaires, of which there are perhaps fewer than 5,000 positions in a land of 340-million. By age twelve, they probably comprehend the unlikelihood of that outcome, or of becoming the next Kardashian… or Spiderman. (Superheroes are supplied by the entertainment cartels to occupy the imaginative realm of children because American culture is bereft of reality-based roles worth aspiring to.)
In this tumult of cultural impoverishment, psychotic grandiosity creeps in. Be big if you can’t be anything else. Hence, one achievable role for young persons in American life is mass murderer. It is a way of becoming important, of having an effect on other people and society in general. Your name may be forgotten, but the act itself will endure in the collective memory of a people. It will be some kind of a mark in history, even better remembered, perhaps, than whoever played third-base for the Atlanta Braves in 1994… or the woman who once capered down the red carpet at the Oscars in a dress fashioned on a slaughtered swan.
The mayhem unleashed in a school shooting is just the rectified essence of the manifold derangements in our national life. Everything is out-of-whack, including our perception of what’s going on and what it means. There is almost nothing left of childhood in this land, in the way of young, unformed creatures assisted by adults who love them into a future worth being part of. We have forgotten how to be grateful for coming into this world at all, leaving us unworthy of being here. The quality of virtue, meaning that some things and some doings are recognizably better than others, was deceitfully replaced by the equity of nothing being allowed to be better than anything else. Truth and beauty have gone outlaw. Bad faith and wickedness rule, led by a Party of Chaos. So, really, what do you expect? And what do you deserve?
“Iran believes, and not unfairly, that the oil was just stolen from them..”
• US Seizes Tanker Full of Iranian Oil Near Greece (Antiwar)
Fresh off of the US targeting a series of companies involved in an Iran-linked oil smuggling network, the US has now seized an oil tanker near Greece, taking the Iranian oil within to be sent to the US. The oil was on a Russian-operated ship, which had been singled out for US targeting in February. It was then called the Pegas. The company renamed the ship the Lana. Greece had impounded the Pegas and its Russian crew last month over the invasion of Ukraine, but ultimately released it. Neither the US nor Russia is commenting. Greece says the US informed them the oil was Iranian, and that the US hired a different ship to take the oil to America. Iran has summoned the Greek charges d’affaires and called the incident a “clear example of piracy.”
The US accused the tanker of loading 700,000 Bbls of oil from Iran in August 2021. The tanker mostly carried oil to China. The seizure of the tanker, and oil, comes amid tensions on the ongoing nuclear talks. Iran believes, and not unfairly, that the oil was just stolen from them, and the US position, while yet to be public, is that the oil is now theirs. It’s not a great precedent, but generally Iran can’t do much about it, and the US is keen to have the oil.
• Iran Seizes 2 Greek Tankers In Persian Gulf, Tensions Spike (K.)
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard seized two Greek oil tankers on Friday in the Persian Gulf, just after Athens assisted the US in seizing an Iranian oil tanker over alleged sanctions violations in the Mediterranean Sea. The Guard’s announcement comes as tensions remain high between Iran and the West over stalled negotiations regarding its rapidly advancing nuclear program. The Guard issued a statement on its website, accusing the unnamed tankers of unspecified violations. Greece’s Foreign Ministry said it made a strong demarche to the Iranian ambassador in Athens over the “violent taking over of two Greek-flagged ships” in the Persian Gulf. “These acts effectively amount to acts of piracy,” a ministry statement said.
The ministry called for the immediate release of the vessels and their crews, and said these acts would have “particularly negative consequences” in bilateral relations and in Iran’s relations with the European Union, of which Greece is a member. The ministry’s statement said that earlier Friday, an Iranian helicopter landed on the Greek-flagged Delta Poseidon in international waters some 22 nautical miles off the coast of Iran. “Armed men then took the crew captive,” it said, adding that two Greek nationals were among the crew. “A similar incident has been reported on another Greek-flagged vessel, that was carrying seven Greek citizens, close to the coast of Iran,” the ministry said. It did not identify the nationalities of the other crew onboard the vessels. Industry sources confirmed to Lloyd’s List that the suezmaxes Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior, both under Greek flag, were seized.
“..catastrophic adverse events such as the destruction of the immune system..”
• What COVID Jabs Are Doing to the Immune System, How the Injured Can Heal (ET)
“Vaccines are safe and effective” has been the ongoing irrational mantra of the past two years, recycled from the last two decades of pushing children’s vaccination programs. It’s more than a failed hypothesis—the mantra has become dogma, a belief system that prevents people from getting the help they need for their jab-induced spike injuries or for those of their loved ones. MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff and naturopathic oncologist Greg Nigh’s paper, “Worse than the Disease” describes in detail the unintended consequences of the jabs against COVID-19, including catastrophic adverse events such as the destruction of the immune system.
Prominent immunologists, vaccinologists, and researchers from every clinical expertise are now providing evidence to support COVID-19 mRNA injectable products are causing immune system dysregulation. Explaining the complicated mechanism of jab-induced spike injury to the general public is not an easy task when governments still list vaccination as the number one way out of the pandemic while a deluge of campaigns are out to discredit doctors and scientists who want to recognize and help those who have been injured. With such little support from the establishment, and almost a black market for real medical guidance on jab-induced spike injury methods, people are desperate to know—how can the injured heal?
Before getting started on healing, one must first know a few key things about the spike protein’s unnatural injection into the body’s immune system. Most doctors and scientists understand the power and complexity of the immune system. The immune response is divided into innate immunity, the enormously effective biology we were born with, and adaptive immunity, which acquires training following exposure to pathogens. The innate system fights against foreign bodies, injuries, and pathogens by using natural bacteria-killing substances, skin protection on the outside, mucus membrane protection on the inside, and the first responders: scavenger cells or natural killers. The body is already wired to take on whatever intruder tries to break in. They have the intelligence to know which invaders belong in the body, and which ones are out to cause trouble.
“Baker testified that he was “100% confident” Sussmann had repeated his disclaimer at the beginning of their meeting..”
• The Three Ring Circus of Today’s Political Scandals (RCP)
Modern political scandals, like Caesar’s Gaul, are divided into three parts. The first is the actual malfeasance. That might be taking bribes, lying to federal agents, leaking classified materials, sexual misconduct, selling political access, whatever. The second part is the hyper-partisan involvement of Congress and, often, federal agencies, all eager to score points for their side. The third part is the media’s role, which goes beyond bias to include active promotion of political goals. Federal agencies, like all bureaucratic institutions, have always tried to increase their power and preserve their autonomy. What’s different today is that the bureaucrats, and often their entire agencies, are frequently partisan players. That’s disheartening but understandable.
One party is clearly the “party of government” and the party of experts. Most educated professionals, including bureaucrats and journalists, identify with that party. Filled with partisan “civil servants,” these agencies routinely tilt investigations (or kill them outright) to advance political goals – the same ones as their favored party. For the same reasons, they leak insider information to friendly media. Predictably, the opposing party tries to score points by attacking them for doing so. That brings us to the third element of these scandals: the “friendly media.” Mainstream outlets are not just biased. They often become outright partisans when a potential scandal could hurt conservatives or populists. That bias degrades what was once called “hard news.” Today, neutral reporting is as antiquated as rotary phones, conservative Democrats, and liberal Republicans.
The media’s bias, both left and right, is amplified by the fragmentation of the digital landscape. That fragmentation encourages each outlet to appeal to its self-selected audience and avoid alienating them with uncomfortable information.The trial of Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann illustrates how modern scandals have devolved into this dismal three-ring circus. Last Thursday, the FBI’s former general counsel, James Baker, testified at length that his old friend Sussmann had requested an urgent private meeting and provided the bureau damning, confidential information. Sussmann claimed he did so solely “as a good citizen,” not on behalf of any client. Sussmann made the same claim in a text message to Baker the night before.
Baker testified that he was “100% confident” Sussmann had repeated his disclaimer at the beginning of their meeting. (Before Special Counsel John Durham’s team concluded their case on Wednesday, they showed the jury that Sussmann had actually billed the Clinton campaign for that meeting.) Baker’s testimony was especially powerful because he was clearly reluctant to provide it.
Two separate justice systems. That is dangerous.
• Stolen Elections: A Tale of Two D.C. Courtrooms (Kelly)
Trump’s first two years in office were severely hobbled by the nonstop collusion drama as Mueller’s team systematically rounded up Trump allies on unrelated charges to produce breaking headlines and speculation that Trump would be the next one in handcuffs. Even after Mueller in 2019 finally admitted his prosecutors found no evidence of election-altering collusion, 84 percent of Democrats still believed Trump had been in cahoots with the Russians. For four years, Democrats proudly displayed #NotMyPresident hashtags on social media platforms. And to this day, Hillary Clinton insists the 2016 election “was not on the level.” But that sort of talk has not been designated the “Big Lie” by the news media or criminalized by the Justice Department.
Any suggestion that the 2016 election was “rigged” or “stolen” remains safely under the purview of protected speech and in many quarters, is still considered an indisputable fact. Not so for those who doubt the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Which is why, just a few floors below Judge Cooper’s courtroom, Timothy Hale is on trial for his participation in the protest at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. While the wheels of justice turn excruciatingly slow for Trump-Russian collusion schemers such as Sussmann, the government has moved at lightning speed to round up dissidents of the Biden regime. More than 800 Americans who protested Biden’s election on January 6 face criminal charges; the Justice Department announces new arrests every week.
Unlike Michael Sussmann, who walked free for five years following the commission of his alleged crime, Tim Hale has been in jail under pre-trial detention orders for more than 16 months. Yet Hale’s alleged offenses were far less damaging to the country than the crimes Sussmann and his accomplices are accused of committing. On January 6, Hale, an Army reservist, drove to Washington after working the night shift at a New Jersey Naval station to hear President Trump speak. Later that afternoon, Hale walked to Capitol Hill. He entered the Capitol building around 2:14 p.m. through a set of open doors; Hale carried no weapon and didn’t assault anyone. On at least two occasions, Hale is seen interacting with police officers, who did not attempt to arrest either him or those around him.
The smell of Schwab is all over this.
• Britain Is Paving The Way For Gene-edited Food (G.)
At the height of the anti-GM movement, in 1999, the then head of Greenpeace UK, Peter Melchett, was charged with theft and criminal damage after scything down a field of genetically modified maize. In a decisive victory for the anti-GM movement, Lord Melchett and 27 fellow activists were acquitted by a jury in what many took as a measure of the profound negative public sentiment towards GM technology. More than 20 years on, as the government proposes relaxing regulations on gene-edited products, experts say the public view on the technology has, if not entirely warmed, at least softened.“I think most people now have what I call the Catherine Tait view: ‘Am I bovvered?’,” said Prof Jonathan Jones of the Sainsbury Laboratory, a plant research institute based in Norfolk.
Scientists such as Jones welcome the new legislation that could pave the way for a host of technologically enhanced products from vitamin D-enriched tomatoes to anti-carcinogenic wheat. But experts also question whether the technology will really deliver the boost to food security and environmental benefits promised by the government. One point of contention is the distinction between gene-edited products, which will be permitted, and genetically modified organisms, which will still be subject to strict legislation. Newer gene-editing techniques – termed “precision breeding” in the bill – involve precise changes to single letters of the genetic code. Such changes can be achieved far less efficiently through years of cross-breeding. But the legislation will not immediately open the way for first generation genetic modification (GM) techniques, which involve taking an entire gene from one plant and inserting it into another.
“I’m a bit uncomfortable with the way this has been presented to the public,” said Jones. “It comes across as saying ‘Don’t worry about this nasty GM because we can do what we want with this lovely gene-editing method’. It leaves intact the false impression that there’s anything wrong with GM.” Jones said the bill may be a reasonable “tactical compromise” that could pave the way for a further relaxation of GM rules. “At least I’m hoping that’s what the government is thinking,” he added. The distinction has also annoyed some environmental campaigners. “Gene editing is just a subset of GM,” said Kierra Box from Friends of the Earth. The charity, she said, maintained a “fundamental opposition” to genetic modification because it was not convinced the technology could deliver environmentally friendly solutions. “If we’re interfering with the genetic codes in nature, we don’t know how those things respond,” she added.
Brussels is a very rich city. What’s going on in the poorer cities?
• More Middle-class People Flock To Food Banks In Brussels (BT)
Due to high inflation, energy costs and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people in Belgium have to rely on government support and food banks. It is no longer only the poorest in the city, but also middle-class people that can no longer afford groceries. Last year, a record of nearly 180,000 people per month were in need and appealed to the food banks. That number is likely to continue to rise for the rest of 2022, due to high living costs and energy prices, Bruzz reports. In recent months, the situation in Brussels has been deteriorating, according to the Sint-Vincensius association that distributes food parcels.
The beginning of this year saw a 15% increase in distributed parcels compared to pre-Covid times. The 34,000 food parcels that were distributed have also been delivered to different types of people: “What is striking is that new profiles have been appearing in our collection points since the end of last year,” says Frederick De Gryse, General Manager of the Sint-Vincensius Association. “In addition to Ukrainians, many freelancers, single mothers, people from the cultural sector and many other middle class people have arrived.” However, for the majority of newcomers, that does not come without feelings of guilt and fear of stigma, Bruzz found when speaking to people at the food bank collection centre in Schaerbeek.
54-year-old accountant Karel is ashamed that he is going to get a food package, as he does not want to take the place of the poorest of the poor. “For months when I can afford it, I don’t go to the food bank; others need it more.” Marie (52), a single mother of two dependent children, wholeheartedly agrees. “I am a working woman, have an income, have all the papers and yet I have to go to the food bank. I feel like I’m taking something from people who need it more.”
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