Odilon Redon Sunset n.d.
Never forget. BE MAD. GET LOUD. You have every right. pic.twitter.com/cdZ3woUCix
— Samantha Marika (@samanthamarika1) July 27, 2022
Don’t miss O’Looney
This is NOT normal… UK Funeral Director John O'Looney talks about what he's been seeing post-mortem for people that have taken the jab pic.twitter.com/kkbr1gZ64R
— Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson (@LauraLynnTT) July 27, 2022
Covid vaccine hesitancy among parents – rpt- 43% say they will "definitely not" vaccinate their young kids
Source: CBS News pic.twitter.com/4sjjEPXWgL
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) July 28, 2022
Breaking, not confirmed.
Dozens were killed after Ukrainian forces struck a jail with POWs in Donbass, local official says Ukrainian troops shelled a prison housing POWs in Yelenovka early Friday morning, Donetsk People’s Republic Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov wrote on his Telegram channel. “There was a direct hit at a building with prisoners,” Bezsonov wrote. “The results as of now: 40 killed, 130 wounded.” The minister added that he believes Kiev used US-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launchers for the attack. The facility reportedly housed Ukrainian fighters captured by Russian and allied forces during the siege of the Azovstal steel mill in the city of Mariupol.
“Many on this list are citizens of the United States, some of whom, like me, have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Dear Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Congressman Tonko, My name is Scott Ritter. I am a New York State resident, currently residing in the Town of Bethlehem, in Albany County. My family and I have lived at our current address since July 2000. I am writing to you in your collective role as my elected representatives in the United States Congress, specifically regarding H.R. 7691, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022, which became Public Law 117-128 on May 21, 2022, which each of you voted in favor of. I draw your attention to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, specifically the following language: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
By enacting Public Law 117-128, you appear to have abrogated your Constitutional responsibilities in so far as you may have, in fact, made a law which both abridges the freedom of speech and a free press by enabling the Government of Ukraine, through the use of US taxpayer dollars appropriated under Public Law 117-128, to publish a “blacklist” singling out US citizens as “Russian propagandists” for exercising their Constitutional rights pertaining to free speech and a free press. The “blacklist” in question was published on July 14, 2022, by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, and consists of a list of politicians, academics, and activists who the Center claims promote “Russian propaganda.” Many on this list are citizens of the United States, some of whom, like me, have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.
While the specific criterion used by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation for selecting persons for inclusion on this “blacklist” is not known, in my case the Ukrainian government appears to have taken umbrage against my articulation of Ukraine as a NATO base of operations, my analysis of the Bucha Massacre in early March which assigns responsibility to Ukrainian security services, and my description of the current Ukraine-Russian conflict as a “proxy conflict” being waged on behalf of the United States. Whether one agrees with my positions on these and other matters pertaining to Ukraine is not the point; by articulating my views, I am exercising my rights under the Constitution of the United States. While the Government of Ukraine is free to express its opinions regarding my viewpoints as it sees fit, the Government of the United States, by using funds appropriated by the United States Congress, should not facilitate the actions of the Government of Ukraine in this regard.
[..] As a constituent whose name has appeared on a so-called “blacklist” published by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, my personal and professional life has been, and continues to be, detrimentally impacted by the chilling effect of being labeled a “Russian propagandist” for simply exercising the right to free speech guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Moreover, Ukraine has a history of converting “blacklists” of this nature into “kill lists”, where those who speak out against the policies of the Ukrainian government are being murdered or threatened with violence.
Nancy missed the past 30 years.
Yves Smith is aghast about the U.S. eyepoking of China: “The neocons above all seem unable to process that the days of US hegemony are over. It boggles the mind that they are not just eyepoking but escalating greatly with China via the still-planned Pelosi visit to Taiwan in August. As we’ll explain, China is fully cognizant of the fact that Pelosi is number two in line after Harris should something happen to the increasingly addle-brained Biden. And they don’t buy for a second that Pelosi is operating without the explicit approval of the Administration. Note that it’s entirely possible that Pelosi revived her Taiwan trip plan (recall she put it off after coming down with Covid) all on her own. The Pentagon gave her a face-saving out by saying they didn’t recommend it. China, which is routinely screechy when it is upset about what it perceives to be foreign transgressions, has managed to find new registers in its objections the proposed Pelosi visit.”
Pelosi is not only number two in line but has been hostile to the Chinese government for more than 30 years. In 1991 she and two other members of Congress made a stunt on the Tiananmen square where two years before protests had taken place. The multiday protest in the square had ended peacefully. But outside of the square bloody riots took place over several days and nights during which hundreds of soldiers and rioters got killed. The protest and riots had been a U.S. instigated color revolution attempt with the father of the color revolution concept, Gene Sharp, being personally in the Beijing and consulting the protest leaders. After the attempt had failed the CIA organized the exit of hundreds of protest leaders and agents to Hong Kong where they formed the base for the 2020 color revolution attempt there. Lots of those ‘activists’ have now moved to Taiwan.
In 1991 Pelosi and two congressmen unfolded a banner on Tianamen in front of the international media that said: “To those who died for democracy in China.” Police immediately intervened and ended the stunt. The stunt had a positive echo in U.S. media (Note: The video title says it is 1989 but the announcer says it is two years later). Pelosi may think she can recreate another positive media echo by traveling to Taiwan. But the China of 2022 is no longer the China of 1991. It is now the world’s biggest economy and its military force rivals the one the U.S. has. It no longer condones eyepoking and ‘human rights’ stunts. It knows a U.S. provocation when it sees one. In the 1950s and 60s the U.S. financed terrorism in Tibet. In 1989 it coached and financed a bloody color revolution attempt in Beijing. In the 1990s it brought Islamist terrorism to Xinjiang. In this century the U.S. instigated several periods of riots in Hong Kong.
“..during the Cold War, there was an “understanding of the Soviet doctrine and capabilities — and vice versa” because they kept more negotiation channels open.”
British National Security Advisor Stephen Lovegrove warned on Thursday that there is a greater risk of nuclear war today than there was during the Cold War due to a lack of communication channels. “The Cold War’s two monolithic blocks of the USSR (Soviet Union) and NATO — though not without alarming bumps — were able to reach a shared understanding of doctrine that is today absent,” Lovegrove said. He said during the Cold War, there was an “understanding of the Soviet doctrine and capabilities — and vice versa” because they kept more negotiation channels open. “This gave us both a higher level of confidence that we would not miscalculate our way into nuclear war,” Lovegrove said.
“Today we do not have the same foundations with others who may threaten us in future — particularly with China,” he said. Today, there is only one remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia, the New START, which limits the deployment of nuclear warheads, bombers, submarines, and missiles. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the US has abandoned diplomacy with Moscow, and US officials have said they can’t imagine negotiating a replacement of New START before it expires in 2026. The US has no nuclear arms control treaties with China, which has a vastly smaller arsenal than the US or Russia. Current estimates put Beijing’s arsenal at around 350 warheads, while the US has 5,550 and Russia has about 6,200.
During the Trump administration, the US tried to get Beijing to take part in trilateral arms control talks with Moscow and Washington. But China has little interest in such talks while its arsenal is so much smaller. If the US were serious about getting China involved, it would need to work with Russia to significantly reduce its stockpiles. Besides the lack of communication, the risk of nuclear war is significantly higher today because the US is funding a war on Russia’s border and helping Ukraine with intelligence to carry out attacks on Russian forces. The US is also stoking tensions with China by deploying more military forces in the South China Sea and increasing support for Taiwan.
What Is A Woman? – Part 2
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released their report on the second quarter GDP. “Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022, according to the ‘advance’ estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 1.6 percent.” By standard definitions, two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth indicates that a nation is in an economic recession. President Joe Biden said on Monday that the US is not facing a recession. “We’re not going to be in a recession, in my view,” Biden said. “The unemployment rate is still one of the lowest we’ve had in history. It’s in the 3.6 percent area. We still find ourselves with people investing.”
“The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, federal government spending, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by increases in exports and personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased,” the BEA reports. The White House last week adjusted the definition of recession to distinctly not mean that two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth is a recession. “While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle,” the White House wrote.
“Instead, both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data—including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes. Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year—even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter—indicates a recession,” the White House said.
Zschaepitz : “This horror chart suggests that #Germany is heading for a huge energy crisis. Not only are gas prices near record highs, but electricity prices in particular are signaling stress.”
Germany is heading for a “huge energy crisis,” a senior editor at one of the country’s most influential newspapers, Die Welt, warned on Wednesday. “Not only [are] gas prices near record highs, but electricity prices in particular are signaling stress,” Holger Zschaepitz, a senior editor on the daily’s economic and financial desk, wrote on Twitter. In what he called a “horror chart” that he posted with his tweet, Zschaepitz showed that the price of electricity had reached almost €400 per megawatt hour on the energy exchange, or €0.40 per kilowatt-hour. If consumer prices reflected such market rates, Germans would be paying around €0.80 per kilowatt-hour rather than the current €0.30, including taxes and fees. However, such a sharp increase would be socially explosive, Zschaepitz suggests.
Meanwhile, in such a case energy companies would no longer be able to produce competitively, he adds. Electricity prices in Germany are influenced by the price of natural gas, which is the source of 15% of the country’s electricity, according to official statistics. Gas prices have nearly quadrupled this year, primarily due to shrinking flow from Russia, the continent’s major supplier. The price crunch has already led to a partial nationalization of one of Germany’s largest energy supply companies. The German government announced last week it would acquire a 30% stake in Uniper after the company asked for a bailout, citing “extreme financial pressure” caused by the reduced Russian natural gas deliveries.
The curtailment of gas flows meant that rather than being able to fully rely on its long-term contracts at a fixed price, Uniper has recently been forced to buy gas on the spot market at a much higher price to make up for shortages. According to a recent report by Bloomberg, European energy firms are racking up debt to cover the soaring costs, with their liabilities having reportedly reached over $1.7 trillion.
The Germany city of Hanover has become the first big city in Europe to ban hot water and central heating in public buildings in response to Vladimir Putin’s weaponizing of gas supplies. The drastic step comes as Germans have been told to expect sky high electricity bills and sweeping gas rationing measures that will affect their day-to-day lives. In a sign of things to come, Hanover, the capital of Lower Saxony in the north west of the country, will cut off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms. Other desperate gas-saving measures include switching off public fountains and blacking out night-time lights on major buildings such as the town hall and museums. The city’s mayor, Belit Onay, spoke of an ‘imminent gas shortage’ that meant they had to reduce the city’s energy consumption by 15 per cent.
The plans call for shutting off heating within public buildings between April and September each year, and thermostats set at just 20C (68F) for the rest of the year, although there will be some exemptions. There will also be a ban on portable air conditioners, heaters and radiators among the general populace as the average German begins to pay a price for standing up to the Russian dictator. The panic among European states – especially Germany – will likely come as music to Putin’s ears, as he is seen to be cutting energy supplies in retaliation for countries that have supported Ukraine after he invaded the country. Germany, like most of Europe, has been enjoying a hot summer which should soften the blow of the cold showers, but public officials are introducing the measures now in fear of what awaits them when the season turns.
“..the German industry also depends on it, and if it collapses, the Austrian industry will also collapse, and we will face mass unemployment..”
The European Union cannot ban Russian natural gas, as the step would harm EU members more than Russia, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer warned on Thursday, as cited by Austrian media outlets. Chancellor Nehammer made the comments during a visit to Vienna by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “Sanctions must hit those against whom they are directed more, but not harm those who decide them,” Nehammer told the Austria Press Agency. A ban on gas supplies from Russia – an idea that has been circulating within the EU since Moscow started its military operation in Ukraine – would lead to a domino effect in Europe, the Austrian chancellor suggested.
“Austria’s position is that an embargo on gas is impossible. Not only because Austria depends on Russian gas, the German industry also depends on it, and if it collapses, the Austrian industry will also collapse, and we will face mass unemployment,” Nehammer said, as cited by Lenta.ru. Viktor Orban criticized the gas rationing plan approved by the EU – which aims to reduce gas consumption within the bloc by 15% from August to March next year – earlier this week. According to the Hungarian PM, the mandatory rationing of natural gas is “the first sign of a war economy,” and warned of a possible recession and unemployment in Europe.
Europe has seen reduced gas flow from Russia – a major supplier – due to technical issues at a major pipeline. Nord Stream 1 is currently operating at 20% capacity. The reduction comes as the continent is trying to top up its gas reserves ahead of the heating season. The EU pledged earlier this year to end the bloc’s reliance on Russian energy. A partial embargo on oil was agreed upon, but several rounds of sanctions have not included similar restrictions on Russian natural gas.
The EU is made up of bureaucrats, so of course pratical things do not get done.
The European Union clinched a deal this week to cope with a gas supply crisis, but to make it work member states need to establish bilateral pacts to share gas and, right now, most have no such agreement in place. Only six such deals have been secured, leaving most of the EU’s 27 countries without firm terms on how and when they would share gas in a supply crunch, or the financial compensation they would give or get for doing so. “[Bilateral deals] are really … the only thing that will hold at the end of the day if there is a real supply crisis,” Christian Egenhofer, associate senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies, said. “They organise the legal stuff, the compensation, the financial but also the infrastructure constraints,” he said.
Fearing Russia may completely halt gas flows, EU countries agreed on Tuesday to curb their gas use by 15% over winter, to fill storage and free up fuel to share around in a supply crisis. But it is up to individual countries to sort out how that sharing of fuel will happen in practice. EU laws oblige member states to send gas to a neighboring state whose households or essential services like hospitals face a severe shortage. To make that happen, governments arrange bilateral deals. However, just eight countries are covered by the six agreements so far – including between Germany and Austria, Estonia and Latvia, and Italy and Slovenia. “This is not sufficient,” EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson said last month, urging countries to arrange more.
A handful of countries are negotiating new two-way agreements, government officials said. A German-Czech deal is due to be signed by winter, and Germany is working on further agreements with Poland and Italy, its economy ministry said. But some countries heavily reliant on Russian gas – such as landlocked Hungary, which opposed this week’s deal – have none. Italy and France are the EU’s biggest gas users after economic powerhouse Germany. Italy has just one bilateral deal on emergency gas sharing and France has none. A senior Italian official said the country was negotiating a deal with Greece on gas storage.
“I simply cannot believe that this absolute failure of economic policy is now being trumpeted as a positive accomplishment.
I have had the great privilege of travelling to 40 American cities in just about as many states and to 15 European countries in the last four months, in the waning days of the great COVID panic, and I have learned many things about our great and self-conscious nation. First: I have not travelled anywhere else where the citizens and the government are more neurotically “concerned” about the pandemic. It may have escaped Canadians’ notice, but virtually nowhere else in the developed world is it now required to wear a mask, as is still mandatory in many of Canada’s airports and on flights out of our benighted country. There is absolutely no excuse for this, except the punitive self-righteousness of the Trudeau Liberals.
What else might you expect, however, from a government that also includes Chrystia Freeland, a deputy prime minister who has bragged about her colleagues’ appalling economic performance, claiming that it is actually good for Canadians to empty their wallets at the gas pumps, because of its implications in fighting the “climate emergency.” I simply cannot believe that this absolute failure of economic policy is now being trumpeted as a positive accomplishment. Here’s a hint for you saintly progressives: if you cared about the poor (the real poor, not the hypothetical poor you are hypothetically saving in the future), you would seek to drive down the cost of energy — energy that is precisely equivalent to work and, therefore, to the wealth that ameliorates poverty.
Second: it is almost impossible to overstate the degree to which Canada’s international reputation has been damaged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Americans I have talked to (including people very well-placed politically on the Democratic and Republican fronts alike) listen in disbelief when I recount the claim brought forth by the Trudeau Liberals: that the trucker Freedom Convoy was financed by Americans hell-bent on bringing about a Jan. 6-style insurrection in Ottawa. Who would benefit from that, even in principle? Even if the Americans (Republican MAGA-types, say) cared about us — which they don’t — why in the world would they want to destabilize Canadian democracy? What’s the motive, to justify the crime? There is none. Even the American Democrats think that idea is insane.
Recent developments warrant the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, former Attorney General William Barr says. “[I]ntervening events, especially recent reports about FBI whistleblowers and the possible reach of the investigation, warrant adding the protections of special counsel status to assure that key decisions are made independently without political ‘favor,’” Barr told The Federalist. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been under federal investigation since 2018 for issues related to his foreign business practices, including obtaining investments and board positions from politically compromised figures in communist China and other trouble spots. Multiple U.S. attorney’s offices were tasked with components of the investigation, with the Delaware office being the lead.
Hunter Biden’s problems became much more public with the news that he had left a laptop full of incriminating information at a computer repair store in Delaware. That news was then suppressed by Democrat-allied intelligence officials falsely claiming it was Russian disinformation. This week, multiple FBI whistleblowers, including those in senior positions, accused FBI headquarters of “improperly discredit[ing] and falsely claim[ing] that derogatory information about Biden’s activities was disinformation, causing investigative activity and sourcing to be shut down,” according to a Monday letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. That fact, as well as concern over the investigation’s complexity and scope, convinced the former attorney general of the need for a special counsel.
By highlighting the apparent breadth of the still-pending investigation into Hunter Biden’s affairs, Barr’s comments confirm concerns of three insiders, reported by The Federalist on Wednesday, that “the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office investigating Hunter Biden lacks the wherewithal and resources to adequately probe the dubious financial dealings of the Biden family and their business partners.” Barr’s view that a special counsel is now warranted to continue the investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings represents a change from the position he took in December 2020.
During a December 21, 2020 press conference, when asked whether he agreed with Republicans that a special counsel was needed to handle the Biden investigation, Barr negated the idea. “I think it’s being handled responsibly and professionally currently within the department, and to this point I have seen no reason to appoint a special counsel, and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” the outgoing attorney general told reporters.
Get that counsel.
Despite repeated denials that he ever spoke to his son Hunter about the latter’s overseas business dealings, Fox News reported on Thursday that President Joe Biden met with at least 14 of Hunter’s business associates from the US, Mexico, Ukraine, China and Kazakhstan. Abandoned in a Delaware computer repair shop some time before the 2020 election and unearthed by the New York Post, Hunter’s laptop contained presumed evidence of numerous foreign deals in which businessmen offered tens of millions of dollars for introductions to Joe Biden, as well as graphic proof of Hunter’s drug use and dalliances with prostitutes.
“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden insisted in 2019. When last month Britain’s Daily Mail published a 2018 voicemail featuring Biden speaking to Hunter about a deal with Chinese oil firm CEFC, the official line remained the same, with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that “what the president said still stands.” Fox News’ latest report casts serious doubt on Biden’s denial. According to the news site, Joe Biden met with Mexican businessmen Miguel Aleman Velasco and Miguel Aleman Magnani in 2014, giving the pair a tour of the White House. A year later, Biden reportedly spoke by video with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and all three Mexicans – whom Hunter was doing business with or in negotiations with at the time – visited them at the vice presidential residence in Washington DC.
In a text message found on the laptop, Hunter told his business partner, Jeff Cooper, that he had spoken to his father about the deal involving Slim. Joe Biden also reportedly met with former Colombian President Andres Pastrana Arango and Eric Schwerin, another of Hunter’s business partners, in 2012, before dining with Arango and Juan Esteban Orduz, a Colombian businessman, later that same day. Files from the laptop show that during a single dinner in 2015, Joe Biden met with Hunter’s business associates from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia, including an executive from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company that paid Hunter a reported $50,000 per month from 2014 to 2018 to sit on its board. The following day, the Burisma executive emailed Hunter, thanking him for “giving an opportunity to meet your father.”
Anton is a former Trump WH adviser.
Why? They say Jan. 6. But their determination began much earlier. And just what is so terrible about Trump anyway? I get many of his critics’ points, I really do. I hear them all the time from my mother. But even if we were to stipulate them all, do Trump’s faults really warrant tearing the country apart by shutting out half of it from the political process? Love him or hate him, during Trump’s presidency, the economy was strong, markets were up, inflation was under control, gas prices were low, illegal border crossings were down, crime was lower, trade deals were renegotiated, ISIS was defeated, NATO allies were stepping up, and China was stepping back (a little). Deny all that if you want to. The point here is that something like 100 million Americans believe it, strongly, and are bewildered and angered by elite hatred for the man they think delivered it.
Nor was Trump’s record all that radical—much less so than that of Joe Biden, who is using school-lunch funding to push gender ideology on poor kids, to cite but one example. Trump’s core agenda—border protection, trade balance, foreign restraint—was quite moderate, both intrinsically and in comparison to past Republican and Democratic precedent. And that’s before we even get to the fact that Trump neglected much of his own agenda in favor of the old Chamber of Commerce, fusionist, Reaganite, Conservatism, Inc., agenda. Corporate tax cuts, deregulation, and bombing Syria: These are all things Trump’s base doesn’t want, but the oligarchs desperately do, which Trump gave them. And still they try to destroy him.
Again, why? I think it’s because, while Trump’s core MAGA agenda is decidedly not outside the historic bipartisan mainstream, it is well outside the present regime’s core interests. Our rulers’ wealth and power rise with open borders, trade giveaways, and endless war. Trump, at least in principle, and often in practice, threatens all three. The old America—the one in which Republicans cared about the heartland and weren’t solely valets to corporate power, Democrats were pro-worker and anti-war, and Bill Clinton and The New York Times could advocate border security—is in the process of being replaced, if it hasn’t already been, by one in which there is only one acceptable opinion on not just these, but all other issues.
Anti-Trump hysteria is in the final analysis not about Trump. The regime can’t allow Trump to be president not because of who he is (although that grates), but because of who his followers are. That class—Angelo Codevilla’s “country class”—must not be allowed representation by candidates who might implement their preferences, which also, and above all, must not be allowed. The rubes have no legitimate standing to affect the outcome of any political process, because of who they are, but mostly because of what they want. Complaints about the nature of Trump are just proxies for objections to the nature of his base. It doesn’t help stabilize our already twitchy situation that those who bleat the loudest about democracy are also audibly and visibly determined to deny a real choice to half the country. “No matter how you vote, you will not get X”—whether X is a candidate or a policy—is guaranteed to increase discontent with the present regime.
Some may say this is fake. pic.twitter.com/FUoKWvtN0a
— figensezgin (@_figensezgin) July 28, 2022
Gerry Ritz – fmr Canadian minister about trouble ahead: farms in Canada will fail & banks will buy up the land pic.twitter.com/AT0fOHZvZa
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) July 28, 2022
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