Jun 222022

James Ensor Baths at Ostend 1890


Just 11% of Americans Blame Putin for High Energy Prices (BB)
Ruble Rises To Seven-year High, Best Performing Currency In The World (BNE)
Russia Leapfrogs Saudi Arabia As China’s Biggest Oil Supplier (Fortune)
Inflation as a Political Power Play Gone Wrong (Varoufakis)
The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages (Michael Hudson)
Biden: We Need More Money for the Second Pandemic (Celente)
Be Warned, A Full-blooded European Sovereign Debt Crisis Is Coming (Blain)
The New Yorker Accidentally Makes Ron DeSantis Look Awesome (NR)
Can DeSantis Displace Trump as the GOP Combatant-in-Chief? (New Yorker)
How Did America Become Ruled By Its Military-Industrial Complex? (Zuesse)
British ‘Watchdog’ Journalists Unmasked As Security State Lapdogs (Cook)
Court Orders EPA to Reassess Glyphosate Risk to Human Health, Environment (CHD)
US Supreme Court Denies Bayer Bid To Block Roundup Lawsuits (AFP)














“By the far the largest share of Americans—52 percent—say it is Biden’s energy policies that are to blame for high gas prices.”

Just 11% of Americans Blame Putin for High Energy Prices (BB)

President Joe Biden’s attempts to convince the American people that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is responsible for high gas prices and inflation has failed, polling data released Tuesday showed. “With the biggest single driver of inflation being Putin’s war against Ukraine, @POTUS has taken action to blunt the impact of Putin’s Price Hike for families,” the White Hosue falsely claimed on Monday. The American public is not buying what the Biden White House is selling. Just 11 percent of Americans think Putin is to blame for high energy prices, according to a poll of 1,000 U.S. likely voters taken by Rasmussen between June 16 and June 19. Biden has also sought to blame oil companies and refiners for high prices but just 29 percent find that convincing.

By the far the largest share of Americans—52 percent—say it is Biden’s energy policies that are to blame for high gas prices. Biden has nominated at least two opponents of fossil fuel to key financial regulation posts—although those nominations were ultimately defeated. On the campaign trail, Biden said a number of times that he would end fossil fuels and stand athwart fossil fuel expansion. One of his first actions as president was to cancel the permits needed for the Keystone Pipeline. Biden increased the royalty rate—essentially, a tax rate—on oil production on federal lands by 50 percent this year, the first hike in 100 years. It’s only now that high gas prices have become a political liability for the president that his administration has pivoted to claiming the Biden administration is not opposed to fossil fuel extraction.

Eighty percent of Republicans think Biden’s policies are most to blame for rising fuel costs. Most troubling for Biden, 54 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party blame Biden. Among Democratic voters, only 24 percent blame Biden, 46 percent blame major oil companies, and 20 percent blame Putin. So Biden’s “Putin price hikes” message is not even resonating within his own party. The issue of gas prices has increasing salience with voters. Ninety-two percent of voters view the rising price of gasoline, home heating oil and other petroleum products as a serious problem, including 68 percent who consider rising fuel costs a Very Serious problem. In April, 83 percent said rising petroleum prices were a serious problem.

A single word

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Will it get too strong?

Ruble Rises To Seven-year High, Best Performing Currency In The World (BNE)

Russia’s ruble jumped 6% against the euro on June 21 to a seven-year high, making it the best performing currency in the world. By 1338 GMT, the ruble had gained 6.3% to trade at 58.75 versus the euro , its strongest point since early June 2015, reports Reuters. And the ruble was up 4.6% against the dollar at 57.47, just below the 57.0750 it traded at on June 17, its strongest level since late March 2018. Analysts say the rate is largely artificial as its value has been boosted by the strict capital controls imposed by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The value has also been pushed up by soaring commodity prices that has earned Russia a windfall of over €100bn of payments for oil and gas exported to Europe since the war began. The value has been lowered further by the extreme sanctions imposed by the West on Russia that has seen the volume of imports, predominantly equipment and machinery, cut in half leading to record current account surpluses. Some economists have dubbed the current strong ruble “Dutch Disease on steroids” as the value of the currency is being pushed up by the same commodity export inflows that pushed up the Netherlands guilder when that country began to produce gas.

The government has become concerned by the high level of the ruble and is working to weaken it back to its fair value that economists estimate to be around RUB65-70. However, with the sanctions in place the authorities have fewer tools at their disposal. The so-called budget rule that automatically syphons off excess earnings to the National Welfare Fund (NWF) to sterilise them has been suspended after the West seized some $300bn of CBR reserves. Another alternative is to reduce the inflow of revenues from raw material exports.

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“Total imports from Russia increased 80% year-on-year to almost $10.3 billion.”

Russia Leapfrogs Saudi Arabia As China’s Biggest Oil Supplier (Fortune)

Russia has reclaimed its position as China’s biggest oil supplier, overtaking Saudi Arabia in May as Beijing cashed in on discounted Russian energy. Last month, Chinese imports of Russian oil surged by 55% from a year earlier, according to data from the Chinese government. The increase meant Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia as China’s biggest source market for oil, recovering the top spot after a gap of 19 months. China imported around 8.42 million tons of crude oil from Russia in May, the data showed—the equivalent of 1.98 million barrels per day, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, China’s purchases of Russian liquefied natural gas rose 54% from the previous May. Total imports from Russia increased 80% year-on-year to almost $10.3 billion.

China and Russia have maintained strong political and economic ties since the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, with the country’s two presidents holding a “warm and friendly” phone call last week in which they committed to deepening the relationship between their two countries. Western sanctions on Russian energy in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine have forced Moscow to slash the price of its energy exports as it searches further afield for buyers to plug the gap set to be left by Europe. In May, Reuters reported that the spot price of Russian oil was around $29 less per barrel than it was before the invasion of Ukraine and well below the price of oil from the Middle East, Africa, the U.S. and Europe.

The price of Urals—Russia’s main export blend—averaged $73.24 a barrel between mid-April and mid-May, according to Bloomberg, making it almost a third cheaper than Brent crude futures over the same period. Urals is usually traded at a discount to Brent crude, but the gap between the price of the two products is reported to have widened drastically since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. According to data from Finnish fuel refiner Neste, Urals was priced, on average, at $33.63 less than Brent over the five days to Monday. A year earlier, the price difference was around $1.50, according to Neste.

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“As the locked-down multitudes spent some of their furlough money on scarce imports, prices began to rise.”

Inflation as a Political Power Play Gone Wrong (Varoufakis)

For 50 years, the US economy has sustained the net exports of Europe, Japan, South Korea, then China and other emerging economies, while the lion’s share of those foreigners’ profits rushed to Wall Street in search of higher returns. On the back of this tsunami of capital heading for America, the financiers were building pyramids of private money (such as options and derivatives) to fund the corporations building up a global labyrinth of ports, ships, warehouses, storage yards, and road and rail transport. When the crash of 2008 burned down these pyramids, the whole financialized labyrinth of global just-in-time supply chains was imperiled. To save not just the bankers but also the labyrinth itself, central bankers stepped in to replace the financiers’ pyramids with public money.

Meanwhile, governments were cutting public expenditure, jobs, and services. It was nothing short of lavish socialism for capital and harsh austerity for labor. Wages shrunk, and prices and profits were stagnant, but the price of assets purchased by the rich (and thus their wealth) skyrocketed. Thus, investment (relative to available cash) dropped to an all-time low, capacity shrunk, market power boomed, and capitalists became both richer and more reliant on central-bank money than ever. It was a new power game. The traditional struggle between capital and labor to increase their respective shares of total income through mark-ups and wage increases continued but was no longer the source of most new wealth.

After 2008, universal austerity yielded low investment (money demand), which, combined with plentiful central-bank liquidity (money supply), kept the price of money (interest rates) close to zero. With productive capacity (even new housing) on the wane, good jobs scarce, and wages stagnant, wealth triumphed in equity and real-estate markets, which had decoupled from the real economy. Then came the pandemic, which changed one big thing: Western governments were forced to channel some of the new rivers of central-bank money to the locked-down masses within economies that, over the decades, had depleted their capacity to produce stuff and were now facing busted supply chains to boot. As the locked-down multitudes spent some of their furlough money on scarce imports, prices began to rise.

Corporations with great paper wealth responded by exploiting their immense market power (yielded by their shrunken productive capacity) to push prices through the roof. After two decades of a central-bank-supported bonanza of soaring asset prices and rising corporate debt, a little price inflation was all it took to end the power game that shaped the post-2008 world in the image of a revived ruling class. So, what happens now?


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“Biden has thoroughly backed up Republican-appointed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in endorsing a financial crash in hope that it will roll back U.S. wage levels.”

The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages (Michael Hudson)

The Federal Reserve Board’s ostensible policy aim is to manage the money supply and bank credit in a way that maintains price stability. That usually means fighting inflation, which is blamed entirely on “too much employment,” euphemized as “too much money.”[1] In Congress’s more progressive days, the Fed was charged with a second objective: to promote full employment. The problem is that full employment is supposed to be inflationary – and the way to fight inflation is to reduce employment, which is viewed simplistically as being determined by the supply of credit.

So in practice, one of the Fed’s two directives has to give. And hardly by surprise, the “full employment” aim is thrown overboard – if indeed it ever was taken seriously by the Fed’s managers. In the Carter Administration (1777-80) leading up to the great price inflation of 1980, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker expressed his economic philosophy in a note card that he kept in his pocket, to whip out and demonstrate where his priority lay. The card charted the weekly wage of the average U.S. construction worker. Chairman Volcker wanted wages to go down, blaming the inflation on too much employment – meaning too full. He pushed the U.S. bank rate to an unprecedented 20 percent – the highest normal rate since Babylonian times back in the first millennium BC. This did indeed crash the economy, and with it employment and prosperity.

Volcker called this “harsh monetary medicine,” as if the crash of financial markets and economic growth showed that his “cure” for inflation was working. Apart from employment and wage levels, another victim of Volcker’s interest-rate hike was the Democratic Party’s fortunes in the 1980 presidential election. They lost the White House for twelve years. The party thus is taking great courage – or simply being ignorant – by entering on this autumn’s midterm election by emulating Mr. Volcker’s attempt to drive down wage levels by financial tightening, which already has crashed the stock market by 20 percent. President Biden has thoroughly backed up Republican-appointed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in endorsing a financial crash in hope that it will roll back U.S. wage levels. That is the policy of the Democratic Party’s donor class and hence political constituency.

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“We have to think ahead. And that’s not something the last outfit did very well. That’s something we’ve been doing fairly well. That’s why we need the money. Thank you all very much.”

Biden: We Need More Money for the Second Pandemic (Celente)

President Joe Biden warned Americans Thursday that there is going to be a second pandemic and we need to be ready. Transcript from the White House: “Well, we’ll get through at least this year. We do need more money. But we don’t just need more money for vaccines for children, eventually; we need more money to plan for the second pandemic. There’s going to be another pandemic. We have to think ahead. And that’s not something the last outfit did very well. That’s something we’ve been doing fairly well. That’s why we need the money. Thank you all very much.”

Bloomberg reported last week that researchers believe that there is a 50/50 chance of another pandemic in the next 25 years. The report said that the Biden administration wants $88.2 billion in funding to adjust the pandemic preparedness in the U.S. to focus on a central White House response. “The plan is aimed at avoiding confusion that has plagued the U.S. pandemic response. The government would need to invest tens of billions of dollars to back the ideas in the new plan to strengthen U.S. biodefense, people familiar with the new plan told Bloomberg.” 1 Americans are still getting infected with COVD. About 300 people in the United States are dying from the virus each day and the average number of new infections each day was over 100,000 since the end of May.

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“So buy Italy, sell Germany, and ignore anyone who says sell dollars.”

Be Warned, A Full-blooded European Sovereign Debt Crisis Is Coming (Blain)

Welcome to the age of divergence! A new long-term trend is upon us. Buy Dollars, Sell Europe. Unfortunately, it’s likely to play into Putin’s hands in Ukraine. Hurts to say it, but Europe is going to struggle most with what’s coming next. It’s got limited choices between galloping inflation, economic misery, and political instability. Being Europe, there is a significant risk it’s likely to reap the non-benefits of all three. After the US and UK hiked interest rates this week, the global inflation threat is so pronounced that even the Swiss National Bank surprised markets by joining the central bank tightening trend. The Bank of Japan – well, they have a different view, keeping up QE and zero interest rates, but they have a different demography, and a tumbling yen that doesn’t particularly bother them.

Thus far, central banks are struggling in this crisis. Addressing the massive exogenous inflation shock of the Ukraine war, following the exogenous shock of the pandemic with 50 basis point rate hikes, feels like treating a gaping flesh wound with a kid’s sticky plaster. It isn’t going to stop inflation. The Bank of England is now predicting Q3 inflation of 11% and raising interest rates is a massive problem for markets. Reading through acres of market research, the credibility of central banks is being called into question around the globe. They face a devil or the deep blue sea choice – how to a) preserve jobs and economic stability by avoiding a market crash, or b) slash inflation? And/or is not an option. It’s a thankless task, made more complex by the consequences of the last 13 years of monetary experimentation.

The ECB? It exists in the same economic world as the rest of us. But being a committee of 19 national members makes it somewhat unwieldy. At the best of times, steering an economy with imprecise monetary tools is challenging. For the ECB, it’s a compromise at best. That’s a major reason that 10 years after the last European Sovereign Debt Crisis, absolutely nothing is fixed about the debt-raddled south. [..] A full-blooded European Sovereign Credit Crisis is coming, and perversely it will give us a clear investment winner! I am not for one second suggesting Italy is an attractive investment proposition, but it’s a screaming speculative opportunity! Buy Italy!

That’s because keeping Italy and several other debt-stressed members in the Euro remains the defining policy of the ECB, and thus the European Union. So buy Italy, sell Germany, and ignore anyone who says sell dollars. Why would you? The US may longer be the globally trusted world policeman, but it’s still the global hegemon. There is not a credible dollar replacement. US Treasuries remain the ultimate safe haven, and if folk sell Treasuries, it’s because they need dollars to pay as the benchmark for all commodity and finished goods trade.

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“..what we learn from the profile is that DeSantis is smart, serious, hard-working, focused, honest, and apparently incorruptible..”

The New Yorker Accidentally Makes Ron DeSantis Look Awesome (NR)

The New Yorker set out to do a hit piece on Florida governor Ron DeSantis. But what we learn from the profile is that DeSantis is smart, serious, hard-working, focused, honest, and apparently incorruptible. He ignores media “noise” and does what he thinks is best for Florida based on analysis of data and science. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood, then attended Yale, where he worked several jobs to pay tuition, and Harvard Law School. He served in the military in Iraq. The main thing the New Yorker hates about DeSantis is his effectiveness and hence the implicit threat he poses to Democrats: “Like Trump with a brain.”

Quotes from the piece: “He’d read all the medical literature — all of it, not just the abstracts.” “Ron’s strength as a politician is that he doesn’t give a f**k. . . . Ron’s weakness as a politician is that he doesn’t give a f**k. Big donors? He doesn’t give a s**t. Cancels on them all the time.” “He’s good-looking. . . . His wife is really good-looking. His family is beautiful. They look like they’re from central casting.” “He’s a serious guy. Driven.” “He was stubborn. If he set his mind to something, you couldn’t shake him. He was focussed and motivated. He didn’t get that from me.” [This is Ron DeSantis Sr. speaking. DeSantis’s dad opened the door in a Florida State University T-shirt and proceeded to chat amiably about his son’s baseball prowess.]

“Ron was a voracious worker, and he worked at phenomenal speed. He was a superb writer, especially for his age.” “He’s so f***ing smart and so creative. You couldn’t even plagiarize off his work. He’d take some angle, and everyone knew there was only one person who could have done that.” “He’s just incredibly disciplined.” And summations by the author of the piece, Dexter Filkins: “DeSantis has an intense work ethic, a formidable intelligence, and a granular understanding of policy.” He’s “articulate and fast on his feet.” He’s “dogged and precise.”

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Looks like an election time PR piece.

Can DeSantis Displace Trump as the GOP Combatant-in-Chief? (New Yorker)

One Sunday afternoon in September, 2020, Jay Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist at Stanford University, was at home in Los Altos when he got an unexpected call. It was Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, and he wanted to talk about the coronavirus. In the early months of the pandemic, Bhattacharya had established himself as an outlier among public-health experts. He is one of three scientists who drafted the Great Barrington Declaration, which argued that many governments were doing more harm than good by shutting down economies and schools. The only practical approach, they said, would be to protect the most vulnerable—mainly by isolating the elderly—and allow everyone else to go about their lives until vaccines and herd immunity neutralized the disease. With covid-19 killing hundreds of Americans every day, the signers of the declaration became pariahs in their profession. “I’ve lost friends,” Bhattacharya told me. “I’m lucky to have tenure.”

DeSantis, young and aggressively confident, was similarly convinced that he could find a better way to handle the virus. Talking with him, Bhattacharya was surprised by his command of the research. “He’d read all the medical literature—all of it, not just the abstracts,” he told me. The science, though, remained unclear—Did the virus linger on surfaces? Did it travel in droplets or in a fog?—and many politicians found that the most appealing solutions were the ones that fit their ideology. For DeSantis, who espouses a libertarian vision of small government and personal freedom, the ideas in the Great Barrington Declaration resonated. In his view, the government, apart from protecting the elderly and making treatments available, should do almost nothing.

Initially, as the virus began spreading in Florida, DeSantis had ordered a statewide lockdown, in accordance with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recommendations. Three weeks later, he changed his mind. “We will never do any of these lockdowns again,” he said. After talking to Bhattacharya, he lifted nearly all remaining restrictions—on schools, government buildings, stores, restaurants, and other private businesses—and halted the enforcement of mask mandates. As the death toll mounted, he was mocked by critics as “DeathSantis” and denounced by the mainstream press. “Any public distrust of this administration has been well-earned,” the Miami Herald editorial board wrote. “We can’t trust the governor with our lives.” A former political adviser with knowledge of the covid response told me that DeSantis was unfazed: “We were getting crucified, but to him it was just noise.” DeSantis revels in defying what he sees as a corrupt and self-satisfied liberal establishment.

Those who work closely with him say that he is unique among elected officials in his disregard for public opinion and the press. “Ron’s strength as a politician is that he doesn’t give a fuck,” a Republican consultant who knows him told me. “Ron’s weakness as a politician is that he doesn’t give a fuck. Big donors? He doesn’t give a shit. Cancels on them all the time.”

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FDR=peace. Truman=war.

How Did America Become Ruled By Its Military-Industrial Complex? (Zuesse)

A document dated 21 January 1946 from the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and titled “STATEMENT OF EFFECT OF ATOMIC WEAPONS ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND MILITARY ORGANIZATION”, opened with a “Memorandum by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army,” which itself opened:

“Upon reading the Joint Strategic Survey Committee’s statement on the above subject (J.C.S. 1477/5), I obtained a somewhat unfavorable over-all impression. While most of the specific statements made seem reasonable, the over-all tone seems to depreciate the importance of of the development of atomic weapons and to insist unnecessarily strongly that the conventional armed services will not be eliminated. While I agree entirely, so far as the immediate future is concerned, with the latter concept, I have not felt that there is strong public demand at the present that the services be in fact eliminated. The general tone of the statement might therefore be misconstrued by Congress and the public, and be looked upon as an indication of reactionism on the part of the military and an unwillingness under any circumstances to reduce the size of the military establishment.”

That was at a time when the widespread American assumption was that there would continue to be no standing army in this country. Within less than two years of FDR’s death on 12 April 1945, such a permanent-war U.S. Government became officially created. FDR’s plan for a U.N. that would internationally outlaw all empires became replaced by Truman’s plan for an America that would itself become what Hitler, himself, had only aspired to create: the world’s very first all-encompassing global empire. Truman’s dream is today’s American dream, in today’s Washington DC; and here was how the Nobel Peace-Prize-winning U.S. President, Barack Obama (the other of history’s slickest liars), stated it to graduating West Point cadets, on 28 May 2014:

“The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world. ” It’s endlessly onward and upward, for the U.S. All other nations are “dispensable.” And that objective is backed-up now, by half of the world’s military expenditures. This is how it happened. It happened by deceit, at every step of the way.

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Britain is rotting on all sides simultaneously.

British ‘Watchdog’ Journalists Unmasked As Security State Lapdogs (Cook)

Events of the past few days suggest British journalism – the so-called Fourth Estate – is not what it purports to be: a watchdog monitoring the centers of state power. It is quite the opposite. The pretensions of the establishment media took a severe battering this month as the defamation trial of Guardian columnist Carole Cadwalladr reached its conclusion and the hacked emails of Paul Mason, a long-time stalwart of the BBC, Channel 4 and the Guardian, were published online. Both of these celebrated journalists have found themselves outed as recruits – in their differing ways – to a covert information war being waged by Western intelligence agencies.

Had they been honest about it, that collusion might not matter so much. After all, few journalists are as neutral or as dispassionate as the profession likes to pretend. But as have many of their colleagues, Cadwalladr and Mason have broken what should be a core principle of journalism: transparency. The role of serious journalists is to bring matters of import into the public space for debate and scrutiny. Journalists thinking critically aspire to hold those who wield power – primarily state agencies – to account on the principle that, without scrutiny, power quickly corrupts. The purpose of real journalism – as opposed to the gossip, entertainment and national-security stenography that usually passes for journalism – is to hit up, not down.

And yet, each of these journalists, we now know, was actively colluding, or seeking to collude, with state actors who prefer to operate in the shadows, out of sight. Both journalists were coopted to advance the aims of the intelligence services. And worse, each of them either sought to become a conduit for, or actively assist in, covert smear campaigns run by Western intelligence services against other journalists. What they were doing – along with so many other establishment journalists – is the very antithesis of journalism. They were helping to conceal the operation of power to make it harder to scrutinize. And not only that. In the process, they were trying to weaken already marginalized journalists fighting to hold state power to account.

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Both the Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit come out against Bayer.

Court Orders EPA to Reassess Glyphosate Risk to Human Health, Environment (CHD)

In a historic victory for farmworkers and the environment on June 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and its represented farmworker and conservation clients by overturning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision that the toxic pesticide glyphosate is safe for humans and imperiled wildlife. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto-Bayer’s flagship Roundup weedkiller, the most widely used pesticide in the world. The 54-page opinion held the Trump administration’s 2020 interim registration of glyphosate to be unlawful because “EPA did not adequately consider whether glyphosate causes cancer and shirked its duties under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).”

Represented by the Center for Food Safety, the petitioners in the lawsuit included the Rural Coalition, Farmworker Association of Florida, Organización en California de Lideres Campesinas and Beyond Pesticides. A consolidated case is led by Natural Resources Defense Council and includes Pesticide Action Network. “Today’s decision gives voice to those who suffer from glyphosate’s cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said Amy van Saun, senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety and lead counsel in the case. “EPA’s ‘no cancer’ risk conclusion did not stand up to scrutiny. Today is a major victory for farmworkers and others exposed to glyphosate. Imperiled wildlife also won today, as the court agreed that EPA needed to ensure the safety of endangered species before greenlighting glyphosate.”

[..] As to its cancer conclusion, the court concluded that EPA flouted its own Cancer Guidelines and ignored the criticisms of its own experts. EPA’s “not likely to cause cancer” conclusion was inconsistent with the evidence before it, in the form of both epidemiological studies (real-world cancer cases) and lab animal studies. In addition to its lack of conclusion as to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk (the cancer most tied to glyphosate), the court also concluded that EPA’s general “no cancer” decision was divorced from its own guidelines and experts when EPA selectively discounted evidence that glyphosate causes tumors in animals.

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1000s of lawsuits. $15 billion set aside. Let’s make sure it’s not enough.

US Supreme Court Denies Bayer Bid To Block Roundup Lawsuits (AFP)

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a bid from Bayer-owned Monsanto that aimed to challenge thousands of lawsuits claiming its weedkiller Roundup causes cancer, a potentially costly ruling. The high court did not explain its decision, which left intact a $25 million ruling in favor of a California man who alleged he developed cancer after using the chemical for years. The decision marks a major blow to the German conglomerate’s legal fight against Roundup-related cases, and Bayer has set aside more than $15 billion to deal with a wave of US lawsuits linked to the weedkiller.

“Bayer respectfully disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision,” the company said in a statement. Bayer has been plagued by problems since it bought Monsanto, which owns Roundup, in 2018 for $63 billion and inherited its legal woes. The German firm says it has not committed any wrongdoing, and maintains that scientific studies and regulatory approvals show Roundup’s main ingredient glyphosate is safe. Glyphosate is nonetheless classified as a “probable carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer at the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Home Forums Debt Rattle June 22 2022

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 43 total)
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  • #110159

    James Ensor Baths at Ostend 1890   • Just 11% of Americans Blame Putin for High Energy Prices (BB) • Ruble Rises To Seven-year High, Best Perform
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle June 22 2022]

    V. Arnold

    James Ensor Baths at Ostend 1890

    Just love that painting…it’s got everything…
    The clouds kissing across the sun is a cute touch…
    I’m sure there is much more, which I’ll leave to you’all…

    Michael Reid

    The Bank of Russia’s gold games


    Big Pharma Devouring Russia


    Doug Casey on Crashing Markets, Commodities, and What Happens Next

    Doug Casey on Crashing Markets, Commodities, and What Happens Next

    the five reasons to expect higher interest rates:

    Inflation is out of control. Even the government’s official inflation statistics—which understate the situation—are far above current interest rates.

    The federal government must issue a flood of new Treasuries to finance multi-trillion dollar deficits—which are here to stay.

    Sanctions are eroding confidence in the US financial system.

    Foreigners aren’t buying as many Treasuries.

    The Fed is tightening.

    A Rare Paradigm Shift With Huge Implications… 5 Reasons Why It’s Imminent


    “1000s of lawsuits. $15 billion set aside. Let’s make sure it’s not enough.”
    It really doesn’t matter, if the settlements get too high they will just go bankrupt like Union Carbide after the Bhopal disaster. After all the gas dispersed Union Carbide is still somewhere inside of Monsanto. Once the penalty gets high enough create a new company and claim bankruptcy on the old one. Sell the “intellectual” property to the highest bidder, the new company, for pennies on the dollar and back to work. Tested tried and true time and time again. Corporations achieved the status of being a person without the trappings of the possibility of prison. Oh and immortality. I mean what’s the use of immortality if you have to spend it in gaol.

    V. Arnold

    The Bank of Russia’s gold games…

    Everyone is playing games; that’s not the point.
    The point is…who plays the best game…all indications point to Russia as the best player…by far…
    What I find intersting is that when Russia speaks; the world listens; it’s that simple…

    Michael Reid

    They are pushing countries away from US investments, according to Ray Dalio



    A change On Twitter.
    Nobody banned or censored

    Watch the full presentation from the Doctors 4 COVID Ethics symposium here:
    Dr. Michael Yeadon says, in his view, the COVID gene-based vaccines are toxic by design

    “They have definitely killed 100s of thousands of people bc they trigger blot clotting, neurological problems, immune destruction of tissues & so on. They are just horrible.”

    1 Quote Tweet
    Old sayings:

    If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich.

    Its been tried before.


    Dr. D

    Jane’s Revenge vows to use “fire” and “Rage” on Roe v Wade. So, direct calls for actual violence, at least against property, but that necessarily means against people as you can’t light a building on fire without risking lives, and then we know that they will use actual direct violence against people, at the least policemen, but we’re at 17 pregnancy support centers firebombed? And attempted to murder Federal Officials?

    What do you think? Is this appropriate? Does it make them the good guys? If they’re out of line, doesn’t their own side ask them to re-direct their actions to something safer and more legitimate? If they don’t make demands for law and peace, and actively call FOR attacks and illegal actions at Supreme Court residences?

    Btw, wasn’t Jan 6 about “Interfering in Federal Business”? So if you harass and intimidate Judges over cases on which they are presiding, that is not “Interfering in Federal Business” when using actual violence? And in the case of the court, they can always pass a Roe law, as it was supposed to be done the first time. No recognition, little interest in doing so. AND it will revert to the States. How many levels…

    Decide for yourself.

    “For 50 years, the US economy has sustained the net exports of Europe”

    Um, how? Our “Economy” is we the people DO-ing things. If we DO and MAKE things, then we’re net-equal trading with others. That’s normal. So how would us making stuff “add to exports” from others? No, because it’s NOT the “economy”; it’s the money-printing, meaning Europe, Japan, Korea have been getting a short deal as vassals to empire. But it’s not our “Economy” at all: it’s our bankers. It’s our violence.

    The Tsunami of capital coming back to be parked here is because of the Cantillion effect, to be parked closest to the Money volcano.

    “wealth triumphed in equity and real-estate markets, which had decoupled from the real economy.”

    It had been pretty decoupled along with markets from their underlying product, but this pushed it into complete disconnection.

    The next step was that they ALREADY released the money tsunami. People say, “Where would the inflation come from?” It’s ALREADY been printed and is waiting in Ice9. Look at it this way: we’re pretty sure housing is 6x what it should be. Stocks are 3x what they should be. Tesla is 300x what it should be. You don’t have to “Print” the money. We merely take all the existing money and say “I don’t want 300x Tesla, I want bacon futures.” But, but, there is only like $1B in commodity instruments and $30,000B in other instruments! Don’t care: Buy Mortimer! Buy!

    Then what THEY (incorrectly) call “Inflation”: that is, daily stuff like food, fuel, rises 1000x. And the Dow doesn’t even deflate all that much since they’ve so screwed the market that finance is 5x any normal size, the Dow is larger than all GDP, etc. If they hadn’t got involved market rigging, Farm products and I dunno, Insurance, FIRE products would have a similar historical size. To keep food prices down and people rioting due to your monetary inflation, they held food to the size of the 1960 U.S. Economy, while pushing all (non-real) assets to the size of a U.S. year 2501 economy. Now once you do that, you basically can never right the ship and go back to honest markets. As we well see. Therefore it has to crash. As we see and they predicted, planned, and helped, and invented, planned, pre-positioned the “Solution” to the crash they themselves caused.

    “The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages (Michael Hudson)”

    Powell said this directly last week: that his goal is to always crush wages. Now we knew that was the Fed’s goal: raise asset prices and kill workers, but you’re not supposed to say it out loud. How did the do the con? Well they removed – everything – from the inflation index. Except wages. Then when wages rise, it’s by definition “Inflation” which is bad! and must be stopped. So rising wages and prosperity = bad. Rising paper prices = good. Got it.

    “Volcker’s interest-rate hike was the Democratic Party’s fortunes in the 1980 presidential election.”

    Maybe, but I remember this being blamed on Reagan. Probably shows people vote from gas prices, not from pundits. Also notice he says “White House.” That’s because undercutting his argument, the DNC still owned the Senate, and immediately took the House back in ‘86.

    “Researchers believe that there is a 50/50 chance of another pandemic in the next 25 years.”

    They’re like economists: they predicted 50 out of the last 1 pandemics. Wrong 100% of the time. Or at least 99%. And then when it happened, were wrong again. Where’s my 25M dead? You mean of dead of old age? Or…was it dead from hyperinflation due to printing $6 Trillion to bridge a lockdown that didn’t work anyway? (Meta-meta study worldwide says all lockdowns combined had a 2% effect. Like me and everyone said, cause it was so obvious you only needed bare literacy of their own documents to conclude it)

    “the average number of new infections each day was over 100,000 since the end of May.”

    Sounds like Biden’s failing at Covid. Isn’t every single death the President’s fault?

    “it’s likely to play into Putin’s hands in Ukraine. Hurts to say it, but Europe is going to struggle”

    Why? Is it because they didn’t prepare a bit for 80 years? Took no seriousness in their manufacturing, energy, or social situation? Giggled when asked why there’s a NATO if they get 100% of their energy from Russia anyway? Why they haven’t bought tanks to back NATO ever, being 50% under their defense budget promises for 50 years? What do you want me to say?

    “It isn’t going to stop inflation.”

    Sure it will: they’re going to tank the economy and people will starve and freeze, and die. That will indeed lower prices somewhat. Whatever the question is, the answer is always Murder.

    “10 years after the last European Sovereign Debt Crisis, absolutely nothing is fixed”

    Great example comparing the 50 or 80 years above. Real crisis, front page. 10 years to work, create, and prepare: nothing. Literally nothing has been done. They’re still booking conference rooms over the Greek crisis. Still have Greek Soup Kitchens I hear.

    “He is one of three scientists who drafted the Great Barrington Declaration, which argued that many governments were doing more harm than good by shutting down economies and schools.”

    How crazy of them when every 1% increase in unemployment leads to a 40,000 increase in death. I mean, can’t they do maths? …It’s also against every pandemic practice and research in the whole history of the human race.

    “That was at a time when the widespread American assumption was that there would continue to be no standing army in this country.”

    Yesssss. We forget: there is not supposed to be a standing Army in the U.S. We are on the State Militia model. Because: who would we fight? Cleveland? French tourists? We have no Act of War, so everything they do and spend is illegal. …There was supposed to be a Navy, however.

    Yeah, FDR was a complex cat. Maybe he helps us see the factions and not cartoon-paint all the rich guyz with the same brush. If they’re squabbling it’s important for us to capitalize on their conflicts and break them to dust.

    Like right now: Fed (American Plan) vs Davos? Is that real? Well, probably, but describing it would probably take 5 factions. In any case, chatter is discussing the blowout rates, and the huge national divergence of sovereign bond rates.

    “All other nations are “dispensable.”

    Yes, that’s what that means. “Some nations are more equal than others.” Some peoples are more worthy than others. So, you just have to die in Syria for the greater good. We started 15 new wars for “your own good”. White man’s burden.

    Both journalists were coopted to advance the aims of the intelligence services.”

    Note that: Intelligence, not Parliament. When “government” asks you, it’s bad, but they are accountable. What if a party asks you no one has heard of, isn’t aligned with peoples’ and representaives’ interests, and just goes it’s own way as it thinks best? Corrupting journalists perhaps to ATTACK PMs and the People, the People’s interests and will? How would you know? Nope: can’t be allowed and never was til now for this reason. …”Now” being like WWII and increasingly every day since.

    “Court Orders EPA to Reassess Glyphosate Risk to Human Health, Environment (CHD)”

    You mean experts were lying??? “Science” only followed the money??? Say it isn’t so!

    “regulatory approvals show Roundup’s main ingredient glyphosate is safe.”

    “As safe as water” And “Regulatory approvals” are not science. It’s “appeal to authority.” An Authority that has a 100-year history of being bought off. Possibly worse than the SEC and FBI.


    When Bayer bought Monsanto I was surprised, but of course Bayer is one of the oldest and mightiest of the monstrous corporations. Now the US courts have crossed them.
    Glyphosate is way up there on my list of civilization-ending disasters that “they” may be hiding from “us”. That is, it’s waaaay worse than is generally known.

    From yesterday:
    D B Smith- I should have been more clear- yesterday I found a Mediterranean borer in my kitchen. I love beetles (especially vocal ones) so I didn’t have the heart to kill it. Now, I don’t want to be the one who let the first pair of emerald ash borers go free, so I wondered how a gardener like John Day approaches little aliens (who may be “pests”).

    You answering my plaint was perfectly appropriate, and I appreciate your response.

    Alexander Carpenter

    James Ensor Baths at Ostend 1890 — Find Waldo

    Overall, thanks for some sanity.


    Your leaders are taking care of you.
    Cut off oil/gas from Russia.
    Restart coal fired electric plants.
    Restart buying coal from Russia for the electric plants.

    Mister Roboto

    Though I usually find myself agreeing with Chris Hedges, his take on the economic situation in his article that was posted in yesterday’s Rattle seemed off-the-mark. In placing the blame for inflation solely on corporate greed, he ignores that various major central banks have printed twenty trillion dollars in new money since the Great Financial Collapse of 2008 to keep the system up and running. He also seems unaware of the fact that Peak Liquid Hydrocarbons happened very recently, and this also makes everything more expensive because the master energy-resource of the industrial economy is getting more expensive. Also, his recommendation of wage and price controls as a solution to inflation is a classic example of that old-timey social-dem approach to economics that has been shown to do more harm than good when governments have implemented such measures in the past.


    There’s probably a word for the belief that there is only so much consciousness available to living things (humans), and that’s why so many people walk around unconscious. Maybe those who are conscious are hogging it and that’s why there are so many zombies walking around. 😉

    I just saw a “Meta” commercial- they are trying to become “the holo-deck” (from Star Trek). Yeah. We’re ready for that.
    A more likely consequence is that Meta will make it possible for Assange to “serve” all 175 years of his possible sentence.


    James Ensor Baths at Ostend looks like a precursor to Dr Seuss meets Where’s Waldo

    John Day

    @My Parents Said Know: I also agreed with DBS and left that comment on the late-night thread, but failed to address your question about the novel-insect discovery, which I now better understand.

    I am an outlier. You may not want to do as I do. What I do is an experiment, and I’ll share myobservations-to-date.

    When Jenny and I trekked the Annapurna trail (3 weeks) in 1988, our friend, who trekked the first half with us, was Jain, and practiced “Ahimsa”, non-violence, to the degree that David would not kill mosquitos on his body. I noticed this behavior and asked him about it. He gave a good and detailed explanation, and I have read further on Jain philosophy since then.
    I accept it partly, but find that it’s acceptance of “finance”as a non-violent career does not accord to my current perceptions of the actual workings of economy. “No easy answers”, I think.

    I employ Ahimsa in my gardens, not using pesticides, and throwing caterpillars away from the garden when I discover them. I would toss a beetle, perhaps, and I always toss grasshoppers (voracious buggers).

    What I have found is that pest infestations last one year, not more, and that the following year, predators that eat the pest are in place. there is a balance after that. I do have to have enough garden to out-produce the critters to some degree, but I am a broad-basedeater, and most critters are far narrower in what they will eat.

    Special cases are squirrels, which are controlled by hawks in Yoakum, but not nearly as controlled in Austin. Squirrels rule my trees in Austin, and bite some tomatoes. I cannot have a garden without excluding deer, which are semi-tame in our neighborhood, and can’t get into the back garden over the tall wooden fence. We don’t have bunnies. Oxymoron can probably talk about dealing with rabbits.
    I think they are harder to exclude, but well-made fencing is used.

    Aphids are species specific, and I keep rotating what is in the beds. Ants do “farm” aphids. They are an essential coupler. When it gets warmer and aphids get my cabbages, kale and collards, I remove those and put in tomatoes. It’s a signal. Aphids will eventually get to the okra, but later, and okra is tough and productive, so no big problem, self-limited minor-problem.

    I sometimes don’t splat mosquitoes, but If I’m hot, sweaty, irritable and pushing a mower in sun, heat and humidity, my reflexes do whatever my reflexes do.
    “Natural consequences”.

    John Day

    “Act Rationally” is up, with picture of Namwah banana project on longest day of 2022. Limiting blog excerpts to minimize redundancy… https://drjohnsblog.substack.com/p/act-rationally

    I have not had to face a complete threat to my worldview. That has made a lot of what is going on much easier for me to accept. I grew up with intelligent and broadly traveled grandparents on both sides who did not trust the wealthy, powerful or governments for very clear and established reasons.

    I learned to drive and drove thousands of miles the summer of 1973, then we moved to Japan, and the Yom Kippur War and Arab Oil Embargo happened.
    I was taught about the Limits to Growth as that embargo was going on across the Pacific in the USA. Resources get used up. Pollution happens. Economy shrinks. Population can’t be supported anymore so a lot of people die, but it would all happen in about 50 years; nothing bad until economic collapse time.
    “I may not even be alive in 50 years, but I sure won’t get a retirement”, I thought.
    Here we are.

    Charles Hugh Smith, Our Economy In a Nutshell
    The economy has reached an inflection point where everything that is unsustainable finally starts unraveling.
    ​ ​Beneath its surface stability, our economy is precarious because the foundation of the global economy– cheap energy–has reached an inflection point: from now on, energy will become more expensive.
    ​ ​The cost will be too low for energy producers to make enough money to invest in future energy production, and too high for consumers to have enough money left after paying for the essentials of energy, food, shelter, etc., to spend freely.
    ​ ​For the hundred years that resources were cheap and abundant, we could waste everything and call it growth: when an appliance went to the landfill because it was designed to fail (planned obsolescence) so a new one would have to be purchased, that waste was called growth because the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) went up when the replacement was purchased.
    ​ ​A million vehicles idling in a traffic jam was also called growth because more gasoline was consumed, even though the gasoline was wasted.
    ​ ​This is why the global economy is a “waste is growth” Landfill Economy​.​..

    ​ ​Now that we’ve consumed all the easy-to-get resources, all that’s left is hard to get and expensive. For example, minerals buried in mountains hundreds of miles from paved roads and harbors require enormous investments in infrastructure just to reach the deposits, extract, process and ship them to distant mills and refineries. Oil deposits that are deep beneath the ocean floor are not cheap to get.
    ​ ​Does it really make sense to expect that the human population can triple and our consumption of energy increase ten-fold and there will always be enough resources to keep supplies abundant and prices low? No, it doesn’t.
    ​ ​Many people believe that nuclear power (fusion, thorium reactors, mini-reactors, etc.) will provide cheap, safe electricity that will replace hydrocarbons (oil and natural gas). But nuclear power is inherently costly, and there are presently no full-scale fusion or thorium reactors providing cheap electricity to thousands of households.
    ​ ​Reactors take many years to construct and are costly to build and maintain. Cost over-runs are common. A new reactor in Finland, for example, is nine years behind schedule and costs have tripled.
    ​ ​The U.S. has built only two new reactors in the past 25 years.​..
    ​ ​Many believe so-called renewable energy such as solar and wind will replace hydrocarbons. But as analysts Nate Hagens has explained, these sources are not truly renewable, they are replaceable; all solar panels and wind turbines must be replaced at great expense every 20 to 25 years. These sources are less than 5% of all energy we consume, and it will take many decades of expansion to replace even half of the hydrocarbon fuels we currently consume.
    ​ ​To double the energy generated by wind/solar in 25 years, we’ll need to build three for each one in service today: one to replace the existing one and two more to double the energy being produced.
    ​ ​All these replacements for hydrocarbons require vast amounts of resources: diesel fuel for transport, materials for fabricating turbines, panels, concrete foundations, and so on.
    ​ ​Humans are wired to want to believe that whatever we have now will still be ours in the future. We don’t like being told we’ll have less of anything in the future.
    ​ ​The current solution is to create more money out of thin air in the belief that if we create more money, then more oil, copper, iron, etc. will be found and extracted.​..​​..Many people feel good about recycling a small part of what we consume. But recycling is not cost-free, and the majority of what we consume is not recycled.
    ​ ​The percentage of lithium batteries that are recycled, for example, is very low, less than 5%. We have to mine vast quantities of lithium because we dump 95% of lithium-ion batteries in the landfill. There are many reasons for this, one being that the batteries aren’t designed to be recycled because this would cost more money.
    ​ ​The majority of all manufactured goods–goods that required immense amounts of hydrocarbons to make–are tossed in the landfill.
    ​ ​Goods and services are commoditized and sourced from all over the world in long dependency chains (hyper-globalization): if one link breaks, the entire supply chain breaks.​..

    ..​Each of these systems is dependent on all the other systems (what we call a tightly bound system), so when one critical system unravels, the crisis quickly spreads to the entire economic system: one domino falling knocks down all the dominoes snaking through the global economy.​ (Internet?)
    ​ Those who understand how tightly interconnected, unsustainable systems are basically designed to unravel can prepare themselves by becoming antifragile: flexible, adaptable and open to the opportunities that arise when things are disorderly and unpredictable.​ (Easily said.)

    M.K. Bhadrakumar, “West at inflection point in Ukraine war”​ ​“Fundamentally, the Western economies are facing a systemic crisis. The complacency that the reserve-currency-based US economy is impervious to ballooning debt; that the petrodollar system compels the entire world to purchase dollars to finance their needs; that the flood of cheap Chinese consumer goods and cheap energy from Russia and Gulf States would keep inflation at bay; that interest rate hikes will cure structural inflation; and, above all, that the consequences of taking a trade-war hammer to a complex network system in the world economy can be managed — these notions stand exposed.”​ ​https://www.indianpunchline.com/west-at-inflection-point-in-ukraine-war/

    ​ Michael Hudson article is short enough that I won’t edit it, but it hinges upon a point that Charles made above, that the prices are too low for producers and too high for consumers. In classic and Marxist analysis the cost of energy is not considered as such, because coal was just one input, for instance. Hudson does not often give enough thought to why energy costs are too high for consumers and too low for energy producers​. He does look at parasitic costs of predatory financial capitalism, how nobody makes money investing long term anymore (refineries in the news. Also predatory costs of bureaucracy, especially as to making mandates that happen to create a single monopoly in many fields, with monopoly pricing, and the costs of ever growing regulatory and distributive bureaucracies.
    The crude “fix” to rebalance the system is to squeeze the wages of productive workers. This has been done already since 1977. At the same time the costs of daily life, fees, taxes, professional bills, utilities, licensing, groceries, medical and other insurance have all gone up, up, up. That card is being played again, by raising interest rates, but the squeezed have no blood to give. More are losing their places to live. Another recent interview had Professor Hudson advocating “making America Great again” by copying China copying the America of 120 years ago. That would mean putting all public utilities back in public ownership, including banking (Bank of North Dakota style) and lowering predatory rent costs to the economic system that way.
    The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages
    ​ ​Addendum: Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism reminds me that: “Paul Volcker made it explicit that the Fed is in the business of crushing labor. As reported by William Greider in Secrets of the Temple, when Volcker was driving interest rates to the moon, he kept a note card in his pocket. It was a record of weekly average construction wages. Volcker wanted them to go down as proof his harsh medicine was working.” https://thesaker.is/the-feds-austerity-program-to-reduce-wages/

    John Day

    ​ ​This explanation is only semi-rational, even if you don’t know that cheap energ​y ​resources and global economy are in terminal burnout. In my assessment TPTB just need a big enough war to always be a big enough emergency for whatever emergency measures they need to declare until they figure out “the new thing”.​

    New British Army Chief Sir Patrick’s Contentious Statement: “Prepare The Army to Fight in Europe Once Again”
    ​ ..On the one hand, a perpetual proxy war could atrophy Russian resources and uphold the US’ recently restored unipolar hegemony over Europe on an anti-Russian basis, but it could also backfire by collapsing its proxies’ economies, widening already emerging divisions between them over the conflict (e.g. the “Big Three” vs. UK-CEE), and boggling the US-led West down in Europe instead of focusing more on “containing” China in Asia. A possible “compromise” between these grand strategic visions is for the US to support the gradual de-escalation of the Ukrainian Conflict in light of the increasingly obvious impossibility of Kiev’s victory but ensure that the UK keeps stoking EU-Russian tensions indefinitely.
    ​ ​In practice, this could take the form of supporting the convergence between the Polish-led “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI, with its core being the “Lublin Triangle” that comprises the newly de factoPolish–Ukrainian Confederation and Lithuania) and the UK’s regional alliance plans as a structural wedge between Russia and the “Big Three” (France, Germany, and Italy). That could in turn maintain some unbridgeable differences between them (i.e. geopolitical, geo-economic, and military) so as to perpetually prevent any meaningful rapprochement in the future that would risk eroding the US’ recently restored hegemony over the bloc.
    ​ ​With this in mind, the British army chief’s policy statement that his island-state should prepare for fighting a war in Europe makes more sense since it’s aimed at preconditioning the armed forces and the population that funds them into expecting a sustained military deployment to CEE.

    ​ This is actually not a bad assessment and looks at a lot of current crises-in-motion. (There is plenty of dirty coal, not the clean coal that industry used up in WW-1)
    ​Rabobank: We Are Heading For More Crashes, Bangs, Wallops
    ​ ​Indeed, as noted yesterday, Europe –like China– is plunging back into coal production again as Russian gas-flows tail off rapidly. The EU is chastising individual European countries for this backsliding, which makes sense in terms of a green strategy using future technology and future inputs, but little in terms of being able to keep the lights on this winter with current ones.
    ​ ​The US is also flailing for a response to high gasoline and diesel prices, and we have now seen two floated solutions: 1) subsidy cards for consumers – stymied by the US not having the chips to even make them, which speaks volumes about supply-side problems; and 2) that the US –like China– should start a state oil refinery to reverse the 5% drop in capacity since Covid, but would still take years to happen, even if were politically ‘acceptable’, which it isn’t.
    ​ ​The food situation, linked to energy, looks even worse.

    ​Paul sends this book review, the premise of which is that global shipping, especially the very large, very low massive container and tanker ships, have relied on the US Navy to keep the seas free from pirates, and the US no longer even has a merchant marine service.​ One successful business is modeling its shipping investments on the progressive failure of the US Navy to protect global shipping, and it is doing quite well. To me, the US could protect anybody’s ships as long as the finance was going through western banks in dollars, the oil trade in $US cemented this, but all this will change. We will see much more uncertainty than even now, in the ability to supply goods across oceans. Supply lines will break and industrial production will halt. Charles mentioned that above, and this is one mechanism.
    The End Of The World Is Just Beginning For Shipping

    The End Of The World Is Just Beginning For Shipping

    John Day

    ​ “Fghting ISIS” , Stealing stuff for democracy.
    US Occupation Troops Steal Wheat from Syria to Send to Iraq
    In addition to stealing Syrian wheat supplies, the US military has also been stealing Syrian oil
    ​ ​US occupation forces in Syria led a convoy of 40 trucks, each filled up with stolen Syrian wheat, into Iraq from Syria, according to an 18 June report from Syrian state news agency SANA.
    ​ ​The report indicates that the US military, along with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), looted large quantities of wheat from the Al-Jazeera region and transported it towards the Al-Waleed border crossing, where it entered Iraq on 18 June.
    ​ ​The report noted that this was not the only convoy filled with stolen goods led by the US military. Another convoy with 36 vehicles, filled with stolen Syrian wheat, crossed Al-Waleed border from the Tal Hamis area…
    ​ ​Damascus considers US presence in northeastern Syria a means of stealing Syrian resources…
    ​..​The US military routinely smuggles Syrian oil into northern Iraq, in a move that is both in violation of international law and as routine practice that shows how deeply entrenched the US is in its occupation of both nations.
    ​ ​The theft of Syrian food and fuel supplies is taking place amid a global food and fuel crisis.
    ​ ​Countries like Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen are already dealing with severe economic and food crises.
    ​ ​Once a major wheat producer, Syria is now facing food shortages. The western-backed war on Syria as well as a recent drought has made Syria more dependent on Russian wheat. https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-occupation-troops-steal-wheat-from-syria-send-to-iraq/5784105

    ​ Moon of Alabama fails to employ Rational-Actor-Theory. Since I do not see the Federal Government as “moral”​, this looks like standard trade protectionist practice. I am told that 3-layer solar panels are about to revolutionize that industry with much higher efficiencies at similar production costs. it’s proven technology, but was only used in space, due to licensing restrictions. Patents just expired. This will mess with global supply chains in a major way in the near term, which will conserve natural resources by impairing global economy with roadblocks.
    This New Import Law Will Hurt U.S. Consumers
    Today the the U.S., suffering from high inflation caused by a lack of supplies, is launching the dumbest sanction regime ever:
    A new law, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, goes into effect in the United States on Tuesday and will bar products that were made in Xinjiang or have ties to the work programs there from entering the country. It requires importers with any ties to Xinjiang to produce documentation showing that their products, and every raw material they are made with, are free of forced labor — a tricky undertaking given the complexity and opacity of Chinese supply chains.
    In theory, the new U.S. law should block all goods made with any raw materials that are associated with Xinjiang until they are proven to be free of slavery or coercive labor practices…
    For small importers it will be impossible to do the above. Only big companies can afford to research and provide all that data and to take the risk of importing products that may get confiscated at the border. They will of course ask their customers to pay for all that.
    For the U.S. consumer this does not only mean higher prices but likely less access to products they need or want. The U.S. industry is not in state where it can provide on the scale that China can.
    To avoid the scrutiny Chinese producers may eventually move their factories. But they will move to countries in South Asia and not to the United States.
    Why the ‘green agenda’ Biden administration thought that this is a smart move is beyond me. (It does reduce resource consumption through economic strangulation. “Green” is a control narrative, which was somewhat compatible with physical reality , but less and less lately.)

    No statistical evidence of benefit:​ “Hey, we tested these vaccines on several kids and they all did ok. This stuff is fine!”
    (Drug companies are exempt from lawsuits on approved childhood vaccines.)
    FDA “Approves” COVID Vaccine for 6-month-old Babies Despite Study Finding Persistent Heart Abnormalities Among COVID Vaccinated Children

    John Day

    Did Pfizer Roofie the Placebo Babies?
    Saline injections are not supposed to have such an aggressive side effects profile. So what exactly was in Pfizer’s placebo injection?


    The collective West’s blind rage that Russia is coming up roses.

    So they double down with Kaliningrad

    Death Wish

    The Duran take

    Lithuania is living dangerously, angering China and Russia


    They listen until Russia announces its red lines.


    Rabbits: I have used a string of electric fencing set at a height just above the grass (~5″) to exclude rabbits from a garden area. It’s kind of a pain to maintain, though, since the more grass that touches the wire the more the voltage bleeds off.


    Ah! Jainism. Thanks for the word “ahimsa”. I daresay I do not go that far. I kill aphids, the larvae of 3-lined potato beetle on the tomatillos (but not the beetles). I also kill pantry and wool moths, mosquitoes, and biting flies. I don’t kill leeches, and I don’t usually kill ticks, and I try to never kill a spider.
    I was worried that someday someone will say “the mediterranean borer is devastating flower beds around the midwest…”

    Armenio Pereira

    “How Did America Become Ruled By Its Military-Industrial Complex? (Zuesse)”

    The military-industrial complex hired the smartest ones.

    Armenio Pereira

    There are no victories or defeats – only transfers of energy.
    Since humans have been endowed with large memory units (the brain) – well, a fair amount of them, anyway – they also have been “doomed” with the sense of gradation. That’s why small transfers of energy are usually seen as innocuous or outright ignored (at our own peril), while large ones are treated as defeats/victories, depending on how one is suited to deal with such energy transfers.

    Armenio Pereira

    “[…] texting – not talking – could be the key […]” (Herald Sun)

    For once, I agree. Let’s then prevent all those who became silent from tweeting, and paradise will be close at hand.

    Dr D Rich

    @Armenio Pereira

    “The military-industrial complex hired the smartest ones”


    Armenio Pereira

    @Dr. D Rich

    Then we are really screwed.

    John Day

    The military industrial complex hires the smart ones that will do exactly what it pays them to do,
    but some of them get wise to the game…

    The wise are otherwise-employed.

    John Day

    Faina Savenkova is a 13 year old girl. This is the letter she wrote to Tucker Carlson.

    Truth is the way out of chaos To Journalist Tucker Carlson
    Hello, Tucker. I am 13 years old and I live in Lugansk. I think many people from the American authorities do not even know where it is, but they continue to supply weapons to Ukraine for the war with Russia. For a week now, Ukrainian artillery has been mercilessly shelling Donetsk, killing civilians in the Donbass. It’s one thing to fight with the army, and another to just shoot guns at schools, kindergartens and sleeping residents. Many will say that this is deception and propaganda, but it is not so. I was born and live in Lugansk. I spent the entire war – since 2014 – in my hometown. Living in a war for 8 years is very hard. It’s very scary when your childhood is spent in such conditions. 8 years of hope for peace, which never came. But it didn’t break me. I keep telling the truth about what’s going on here. And I know that you do the same thing when you talk about America. I do not consider you a friend of Russia, but the fact that you are telling the truth and do not want a war with Russia pleases me. After all, if there is a nuclear war, there will be no winners in it.
    I’ve had to turn to world leaders a lot. I’ve been trying to stop the war for three years, but they, like musicians and politicians, are deaf and dumb. Perhaps someone wants to calmly meet old age, someone is afraid of change, and someone simply does not understand what war is. After all, it is not next to them.
    Last year, Ukrainian nationalists entered my personal data on the “myrotvorets.center” (english: “Peacemaker”) website, posting them in open access. After that, I started receiving threats. You may ask, “What is a myrotvorets.center?” Indeed, many in the US do not know what it is. If we compare, imagine if the Ku Klux Klan in the USA created its own website and posted there the addresses, bank accounts and other personal data of all politicians, actors and musicians who disagree with them. And the authorities would help them at the same time. This is what is happening in Ukraine now. A lot of my friends from Ukraine faced the same problem: “myrotvorets.center ” published their personal data, including address and phone number. Can you imagine such a thing in the USA? No.
    It’s hard for me to say what will happen to me tomorrow. After all, I live in a war where shells arrive every day. But I believe that the war will end, just like the confrontation between Russia and the United States. And personally, Tucker, I want to wish you good luck. Thank you for trying to tell the truth, because someone has to do it. If there is chaos around, there must be people who can show the way out to the others.
    Faina Savenkova, playwright and writer, 13-year-old girl, Lugansk

    Letter from Faina Savenkova

    Dr D Rich

    The military concentrates other traits (undesirable to a peacefully functioning society) through industrial scale skills, aptitude and psychometric testing. Recruits, enlisted and officers, are not necessarily rejected for toxic personality traits such as narcissism, antisocial (psychopathy) and hyper-developed tendency toward authoritarian followership.
    Then we have to endure the consequences of tick-borne diseases.

    Veracious Poet


    Regarding your comments about FDR, if true, I believe many have been deceived by propaganda.

    Happens everyday. Just like the myriad of miracles very few perceive 😉


    They’re doing it to babies, now, people.

    I guess that’s true, if you exclude infanticide & better-living-through-chemistry, that industrial behemoths have been subjecting babies & children to in their pathological efforts to increase P/E 🙄

    An inability or refusal to perceive/confront systemic threats (sociopaths), and/or the failure to identify perils at large (criminality), transforms the “rational individual” into a fragmented agent of chaos ~ A willing, or duped, accomplice of evil.

    Only a fool negotiates with sociopaths, terrorists & small children.

    Veracious Poet

    Veracious Poet

    Michael Reid

    Chuck Baldwin: America at Serious Crossroads, Covid Narrative Analogous to Beast of Revelation

    Dr. Chuck Baldwin discusses how America has abandoned the fundamental constitutional, Christian, ethical, and liberty principles upon which the country was built and if this trend continues it cannot stand as it was, a free country. America’s problem is spiritual, not political, and the primary culprits in the malaise we are now experiencing are the pastors and pulpits of the nation, which have become entertainers and CEOs of corporations. Pastors today are refusing to address the issues of our day. Russia is winning the war in Ukraine and sanctions are backfiring. As a result, the U.S. economy is collapsing, which is also due to the totalitarian government response to COVID. The features of the Orwellian policies that we now know as the COVID narrative is analogous to the beast of Revelation.

    Chuck Baldwin: America at Serious Crossroads, Covid Narrative Analogous to Beast of Revelation


    Not worth your sympathy: The story of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov battalion
    Much less than the heroic defenders they are made out to be, the extremist regiment’s many crimes are well documented
    22 Jun, 2022 By Evgeny Norin, a Russian historian focused on conflicts and international politics

    John Day

    @VP Gary: The American Nazis skimmed the cream of the German Nazis.
    The (wealthy/powerful) American Nazis never went away or changed their views during WW-2.


    Russia claims hundreds of casualties during strike in Ukraine
    As many as 500 Ukrainian troops from a single brigade were killed in the city of Nikolaev, defense ministry said
    Russian strikes on a shipbuilding plant in the Ukrainian port of Nikolaev killed as many as 500 troops on Tuesday, the Russian defense ministry claimed during a daily press briefing on Wednesday.

    The troops belonged to the Ukrainian Army’s 59th Mechanized Brigade, the report said, who it’s believed were taking cover at the Okean Shipyard. The facility is located in the southern part of the Ukrainian city that stands on a major river some 60 kilometers inland from the Black Sea

    Veracious Poet

    Attorney General Intervenes After Bill Gates Buys A Massive Amount Of Farmland In North Dakota

    As of January 2021, Bill Gates is the largest owner of farmland in the U.S., owning 242,000 acres across 18 states, according to the Daily Mail.


    Massive Layoffs Hit One of Top U.S. Aluminum Plants, Halting Operations

    One of the U.S.’s top aluminum manufacturing plants has made massive cutbacks to its workforce, putting a halt to all operations for at least nine months, the company said on Wednesday.

    Citing an “unprecedented rise in global energy prices,” Century Aluminum in Kentucky announced they will be laying off 628 Hawesville Smelter employees starting August 5.


    Raw material costs for electric vehicles have doubled during the pandemic.

    The cost increase is being led by materials such as cobalt, nickel and lithium – all essential for the production of batteries used to power the electric cars and trucks.


    Demand for adjustable-rate mortgages surges, as interest rates make biggest jump in 13 years.

    Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 8% last week compared with the previous week, bolstered in part by demand for adjustable-rate mortgages, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.


    Veracious Poet

    Reichstag II Operation deemed success (American Nazis Fascist Press AFP):

    64% (sheeple) think Jan. 6 attack on Capitol was planned: Quinnipiac University poll

    Democrats say 84-13 percent and independents say 61-30 percent the attack was planned, poll results show, while Republicans are divided. 49% of Republicans say it was planned and 46% say it was spontaneous.

    According to the poll, 46% of Americans say former President Donald Trump did commit a crime with his efforts to change the results of the 2020 presidential election, while 47% say he did not.


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