Aug 102022
 August 10, 2022  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Gustav Klimt Field of poppies 1907


Is The US Preparing To Throw Zelensky Under The Bus? (Diesen)
Zelensky Aide: Counterattack Claims Part Of Kiev’s ‘Information Warfare’ (RT)
Welcome To The Third World (Matt Taibbi)
FBI Even Searched Melania’s Wardrobe Inn Trump Raid (Devine)
Judge Who OK’d Mar-a-Lago Raid Once Obama Donor, Jeffrey Epstein Lawyer (NYP)
Trump Ally Rep. Scott Perry Says The FBIs Seized His Cellphone (Fox)
EU Break-up Now Inevitable (Saxty)
Z for Zorro (Batiushka)
Hungary Offers Solution To Resume Russian Oil Supply (RT)
Lies, Damned Lies, and the Jan. 6 Committee (Sperry)
The Global Debt Scam – Day of Reckoning? (Salamah)
How Greece Became Europe’s Worst Place For Press Freedom (
US Occupation Loots Most Of Syria’s Oil: Ministry (AlMa)
Lockdowns Increases Obesity, And Obesity Increases Covid Risk (DM)







Australia bombshell






EU imports of Russian Energy

1. Oil:
Jan – May 21: €25 bn
Jan – May 22: €43 bn
=> +71%

2. Gas:
Jan – May 21: €6 bn
Jan – May 22: €21 bn
=> +260%

3. Coal:
Jan – May 21: €1.5 bn
Jan – May 22: €4.0 bn
=> +170%


German front yr power futures have reached 411 €/MWh today.
Germany consumes about 500 TWh electricity annually. So at current prices the economy’s power bill stands at €205bn.
The 2010s average was €20bn.
The German electricity bill went up by €195bn. That’s 5% of GDP.







“..there needs to be a fall guy to take the blame for the pending disaster..”

Is The US Preparing To Throw Zelensky Under The Bus? (Diesen)

Until very recently, the US successfully upheld the international image of Zelensky as some sort of reincarnation of Winston Churchill. Washington dominated the information war in which the complexity of the proxy fight was simplified with dichotomous imagery of the two leaders. Zelensky and Putin were successfully portrayed as a virtuous democrat versus a vicious dictator, a victorious David versus a failing Goliath. Presenting conflicts as a struggle between good and evil is an ideal strategy to mobilize public support and to depict the lack of compromise as a moral position. However, when a war is lost and compromise is necessary, the narrative must be changed. President Joe Biden must defend his weak political position at home and allies must be reassured about American resolve, thus there needs to be a fall guy to take the blame for the pending disaster.

While Washington will continue to send more weapons to bleed Russia, it appears to be simultaneously preparing for defeat by no longer shielding Zelensky from criticism. sIt has been a remarkably difficult month, so far, for Zelensky in the Western media, which had previously withheld all criticism. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, closely linked to the White House, reported that “there is deep mistrust between the White House and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine – considerably more than has been reported.” Friedman also detailed Washington’s growing concerns about Ukrainian corruption and mismanagement, a topic that has been denounced as Russian propaganda since February. This is the same media that until recently repeated every line from Zelensky, including labeling the mass surrender in Mariupol as an “evacuation.” No more.

It is seemingly also no longer taboo to report on the internal divisions in Ukraine as a source of failure. The New York Times reports on Zelensky’s reckless purge of the military and security services, while the Washington Post accuses Zelensky of sidelining mayors and centralizing control over all recovery aid “to weaken any future political rivals.” Sky News, a very anti-Russian news agency, also aired a segment with the title “Zelensky ‘not all he’s portrayed as’ by Western media.”An anchor accused Zelensky of dismantling Ukrainian democracy by seizing control of the national media, banning political opposition parties, and arresting the opposition leader. All true, but previously taboo..

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“All public remarks by Ukrainian officials are part of information warfare against Russia..”

“He ruled out Kiev’s military defeat as a possible scenario, predicting that Western nations will funnel weapons to Ukraine regardless of the cost..”

Zelensky Aide: Counterattack Claims Part Of Kiev’s ‘Information Warfare’ (RT)

All public remarks by Ukrainian officials are part of information warfare against Russia, Mikhail Podolyak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenksy, claimed in an interview on Tuesday. The comment came as Podolyak was discussing Kiev’s plans to take back the city of Kherson from Russia with the BBC. Ukrainian officials have repeatedly claimed that a major counterattack was looming and that Russia was concentrating its forces in return, suggesting that a major battle in southern Ukraine was about to break out. Speaking to the British broadcaster, Podolyak said that “war is a dynamic process” that entails “a constant correction of tactical goals” and that he preferred to discuss “the possibility of lifting the blockade in broad terms” rather than particular maneuvers.

When pressured on the promises of a counteroffensive, he conceded that they could have been meant to deceive Russia. “Certainly, all public comments are part of information warfare. We need to demoralize the Russian army,” he said. The official erroneously called Kherson the largest city captured by Russia since attacking Ukraine in February, explaining its symbolic importance for Kiev. The port of Mariupol is bigger, the BBC noted in an editorial remark. Zelensky’s adviser claimed that Ukrainian forces were waging a “creative war,” as opposed to Russia, which he believes has little regard for its own casualties. “Russia hates us so much that it is ready to lose 100,000 of its people just to prove that it has the right to kill,” he declared.

Podolyak said that Zelensky will remain in power in Ukraine for as long as the armed conflict continues, dismissing the idea that the country could hold a presidential election before the hostilities end. Responding to the widely-used assertion that the government would fight “to the last Ukrainian,” he said the fight would be “to the last Russian citizen in Ukrainian territory.” He ruled out Kiev’s military defeat as a possible scenario, predicting that Western nations will funnel weapons to Ukraine regardless of the cost. Western nations won’t negotiate a truce with Russia at the expense of Ukraine “because the reputation of President Zelensky is such that no such talks can be held behind his back,”Podolyak said.

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“’ll quickly lose track if you try to count the named and unnamed intel spooks appearing in coverage today..”

Welcome To The Third World (Matt Taibbi)

Headline from Politics Insider this morning: “Feds likely obtained ‘pulverizing’ amount of evidence ahead of searching Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, legal experts say.” Pulverizing! Hold that thought. We’ve reached the stage of American history where everything we see on the news must first be understood as political theater. In other words, the messaging layer of news now almost always dominates the factual narrative, with the latter often reported so unreliably as to be meaningless anyway. Yesterday’s sensational tale of the FBI raiding the Mar-a-Lago home of former president Donald Trump is no different. As of now, it’s impossible to say if Trump’s alleged offense was great, small, or in between. But this for sure is a huge story, and its hugeness extends in multiple directions, including the extraordinary political risk inherent in the decision to execute the raid.

If it backfires, if underlying this action there isn’t a very substantial there there, the Biden administration just took the world’s most reputable police force and turned it into the American version of the Tonton Macoute on national television. We may be looking at simultaneously the dumbest and most inadvertently destructive political gambit in the recent history of this country. The top story today in the New York Times, bylined by its top White House reporter, speculates this is about “delayed returning” of “15 boxes of material requested by officials with the National Archives.” If that’s true, and it’s not tied to January 6th or some other far more serious offense, then the Justice Department just committed institutional suicide and moved the country many steps closer to once far-out eventualities like national revolt or martial law.

This is true no matter what you think of Trump. Despite the early reports of “cheers” in the West Wing, the mood in center-left media has already drifted markedly from the overnight celebration. The Times story today added a line missing from most early reports: “The search, however, does not mean prosecutors have determined that Mr. Trump committed a crime.” There are whispers throughout the business that editors are striking down certain jubilant language, and we can even see this playing out on cable, where the most craven of the networks’ on-air ex-spooks are crab-crawling backward from last night’s buzz-words: The hugeness of the story has become part of its explanation. An action so extreme, we’re told by expert after expert, could only be based upon “pulverizing” evidence.

Throughout the Trump years we’ve seen a numbing pattern of rhetorical slippage in coverage of investigations. The aforementioned Politics Insider story is no different. “Likely” evidence in the headline becomes more profound in the text. An amazing five bylined writers explain: Regardless of the raid’s focus legal experts quickly reached a consensus about it: A pile of evidence must have backed up the warrant authorizing the search. They then quoted a “former top official in the Justice Department’s National Security Division” — you’ll quickly lose track if you try to count the named and unnamed intel spooks appearing in coverage today — who said, “There’s every reason to think that there’s a plus factor in the quantum and quantity of evidence that the government already had to support probable cause in this case.”

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Theater. Bad theater, but still..

FBI Even Searched Melania’s Wardrobe In Trump Raid (Devine)

FBI agents scoured Melania Trump’s wardrobe and spent several hours combing through Donald Trump’s private office, breaking open his safe and rifling through drawers when they raided the former First Family’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida Monday morning. The Post has learned that the search warrant used by the FBI to enter the palatial Palm Beach property focused solely on presidential records and evidence of classified information being stored there. A source close to the former president expressed concern that FBI agents or DOJ lawyers conducting the search could have “planted stuff” because they would not allow Trump’s attorneys inside the 128-room building to observe the operation, which lasted more than nine hours.

The raid by over 30 plain clothes agents from the Southern District of Florida and the FBI’s Washington Field Office extended through the Trump family’s entire 3,000-square-foot private quarters, as well as to a separate office and safe, and a locked basement storage room in which 15 cardboard boxes of material from the White House were stored. Feds arrived at 9 a.m. and didn’t leave until 6:30 p.m. An eyewitness to the raid said all of the boxes were confiscated by federal agents Monday, but it is unknown if anything else was taken as no itemized list of items was provided by the FBI.

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Nothing the FBI does can be clean.

Judge Who OK’d Mar-a-Lago Raid Once Obama Donor, Jeffrey Epstein Lawyer (NYP)

The Florida federal magistrate judge who signed off on a search warrant authorizing the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort donated to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign — months after he left the local US Attorney’s office to rep employees of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who had received immunity in the long-running sex-trafficking investigation of the financier. Sources tell The Post that Judge Bruce Reinhart approved the warrant that enabled federal agents to converge on the palatial South Florida estate on Monday in what Trump called an “unannounced raid on my home.”

Reinhart was elevated to magistrate judge in March 2018 after 10 years in private practice. That November, the Miami Herald reported that he had represented several of Epstein’s employees — including, by Reinhart’s own admission to the outlet, Epstein’s pilots; his scheduler, Sarah Kellen; and Nadia Marcinkova, who Epstein once reportedly described as his “Yugoslavian sex slave.” Kellen and Marcinkova were among Epstein’s lieutenants who were granted immunity as part of a controversial 2007 deal with federal prosecutors that allowed the pervert to plead guilty to state charges rather than federal crimes. Epstein wound up serving just 13 months in county jail and was granted work release. According to the Herald, which cited court documents, Reinhart resigned from the South Florida US Attorney’s Office effective on New Year’s Day 2008 and went to work for Epstein’s cohorts the following day.

Epstein, who was found dead in August 2019 of an apparent suicide in the Manhattan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges, had hired a stable of high-powered lawyers for his defense in the late 2000s, including former independent counsel Kenneth Starr. Ten months after starting work for Epstein’s co-conspirators, according to Federal Election Commission records, Reinhart gave $1,000 directly to the Obama campaign and another $1,000 to its fundraising arm, the Obama Victory Fund. Though the records show the judge made mostly small-dollar donations to his law firm’s political action committee in subsequent years, Reinhart also donated $500 to Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign in November 2015.

Reinhart was later named in a civil lawsuit by two of Epstein’s victims that accused him of violating Justice Department policies by switching sides in the middle of the Epstein investigation, suggesting he had spilled inside information about the probe to build favor with the notorious defendant, the Herald reported in 2018. In a 2011 affidavit, Reinhart denied he had done anything improper and insisted that since he was not involved in the federal investigation of Epstein, he was not privy to inside information about the case. However, in a 2013 court filing, Reinhart’s former colleagues contradicted him, saying that he had “learned confidential, non-public information about the Epstein matter” while employed by the US Attorney’s Office.

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“My phone contains info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents, and friends. None of this is the government’s business.”

Trump Ally Rep. Scott Perry Says The FBI Seized His Cellphone (Fox)

Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania says that the FBI has confiscated his cellphone. Perry, in an exclusive statement, told Fox News on Tuesday that while traveling with his family earlier in the day, he was approached by three FBI agents who handed him a warrant and requested that he turn over his cellphone. The confiscation of the congressman’s personal phone comes one day after FBI agents searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. “This morning, while traveling with my family, 3 FBI agents visited me and seized my cell phone. They made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish.

“I’m outraged — though not surprised — that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland’s DOJ, would seize the phone of a sitting Member of Congress,” Perry said in his statement. “My phone contains info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents, and friends. None of this is the government’s business.” Perry asserted in his statement that “as with President Trump last night, DOJ chose this unnecessary and aggressive action instead of simply contacting my attorneys. These kinds of banana republic tactics should concern every Citizen — especially considering the decision before Congress this week to hire 87,000 new IRS agents to further persecute law-abiding Citizens.”

Perry, a five-term congressman and loyal Trump ally, is an original member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and took over as the group’s leader at the beginning of the year. Perry was also a strong supporter of Trump’s repeated unproven claims that his 2020 election loss to now-President Biden was due to massive voter fraud. Perry has been a target of interest of the Democratic dominated January 6 House select committee that is investigating the deadly 2021 attack on the Capitol by right wing extremists and other Trump supporters who aimed to disrupt the congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory. Perry was in communication numerous times with the Trump White House in the days and weeks ahead of the storming of the Capitol.

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“Since Orbán returned to power in 2010 marriages in Hungary have doubled, abortions have halved, divorces have hit record lows, and the birth rate has risen by a quarter.”

EU Break-up Now Inevitable (Saxty)

Back in 2020, Dutch Prime Minister – Mark Rutte – asked (perhaps slightly tongue-in-cheek as to whether they might have an EU without that troublesome duo of Hungary and Poland? It was a telling moment, hinting at frustration in western Europe with what many there see as recalcitrant ex-communist states. Then in 2021, Rutte said Hungary had no business being in the European Union anymore owing to the banning of LGBT issues to under-18s. While Rutte said he could not push Hungary out of the EU by himself he somewhat candidly added: “The long-term aim is to bring Hungary to its knees on this issue”. Now bad blood is brewing between progressive Brussels and conservative-nationalist central and eastern Europe over the tying of EU cash to rule of law issues, something Hungary and Poland see as a thinly-veiled attempt to impose liberal values upon them.

To some extent, central and eastern Europe got a bait and switch with the EU, believing they were joining an enhanced free trade bloc, they ended up joining a political union with a strong progressive ideology. That said, Hungary and Poland have been in the club long enough by now to know the rules. Budapest and Warsaw must, by now, be aware the EU is not going to change to suit them. Officially, majorities in most central and eastern EU states support EU membership. In reality, however, most back being part of a beefed-up trade alliance, not an ideologically-fixed political union. Plus, the EU cannot chuck the two out. As Brexiteers know, the only way out is Article 50 and it must be triggered by the country in question. Article 7 can impose sanctions, including losing the right to vote in the European Council.

However, this requires unanimity, and Hungary and Poland – not to mention other central and eastern European states – generally have one another’s backs. How much longer then can Hungary and Poland keep doing this dance, and how much longer can both sides of the EU divide ignore the cultural Iron Curtain which has caused a schism on the Continent? Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is not just an irritant to Brussels, he sees the world from an entirely different perspective. Since Orbán returned to power in 2010 marriages in Hungary have doubled, abortions have halved, divorces have hit record lows, and the birth rate has risen by a quarter.

Orbán has also overseen a constitution with references to God and Christianity; funded Christian schools, and banned content deemed to promote LGBT issues to minors. None of this has endeared him to Brussels but has proved extremely popular in central and eastern Europe. But it is almost certainly the case that what Brussels sees as Hungary’s and Poland’s draconian policies is a direct reaction to what Budapest and Warsaw feel is coming their way from Brussels.

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“Today the question is, after the UK, who next? A popular choice is Hungary. But who knows? Apart from the imbecile-afflicted UK, there is already political turbulence in three EU countries, Bulgaria, Estonia and Italy.”

Z for Zorro (Batiushka)

The collapse of the EU has never been a question of ‘if’, only of ‘when’. The decomposition of the Brussels Yoke of unelected bureaucrats has already long been visible and its collapse foretold years ago. First there was Grexit (which was averted at the last moment at huge cost), then Brexit, which actually happened, and then was an alphabet jungle of Frexit, Italexit, Nexit, Dexit, Polexit etc. Today the question is, after the UK, who next? A popular choice is Hungary. But who knows? Apart from the imbecile-afflicted UK, there is already political turbulence in three EU countries, Bulgaria, Estonia and Italy.

It all sounds as if these are only ‘the beginning of troubles’. Winter is coming to Europe on 1 December with probable food riots, looting and mass civil disobedience, caused by the refusal and inability to pay soaring energy bills because of the EU millionaire elite’s refusal to buy Russian gas. The only way out is if European countries free themselves from the shackles of the USA in order to find their natural places as part of the Eurasian, or rather, Afro-Eurasian, world. This liberation deserves a sign. We can think of no sign more topical – or more native to the Western world – than the sign ‘Z’. Let me explain. Z was the sign of a fictional Spanish-Mexican character, El Zorro, created by an American author in 1919. Zorro is portrayed as a masked, nineteenth-century avenger who defends the common people and native peoples of Spanish-run California against an oppressive imperialist dictator in Madrid, his corrupt and tyrannical local servants and other evildoers.

His name Zorro, (in Spanish, ‘The Fox’), comes from his foxlike cunning. Using the tip of his rapier, he leaves his mark, the initial ‘Z’, on his defeated enemies and on objects in order to sign his presence. However, this purely fictional Zorro goes back to several real figures, notably to three main characters, real ones, indeed so real that they have become myths in European history. These are: Eadric was one of many Englishmen, well-known in their day, who lived in the wilder parts of England after 1066 in order to fight back against the barbaric Norman occupiers. Called ‘the Wild’ or ‘the Woodsman’, Eadric was a nobleman (‘Cild’ in Old English) and landowner in the hills of the west of England. (Remarkably, Eadric’s descendants inherited his lands in a place called Acton Scott in the west of England and these lands still belong to his descendants, the Actons, after a thousand years). Here Eadric led the English Resistance to the Norman occupation and was active in 1068–70.

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“Transneft, announced on Monday that attempts to pay Ukraine for transit have been blocked due to EU sanctions.”

Hungary Offers Solution To Resume Russian Oil Supply (RT)

The Hungarian oil and gas company MOL confirmed on Tuesday that Russian crude supplies via the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline stopped a few days ago, and said it had initiated negotiations to assume obligations to pay for transit. The company responsible for Russian oil supplies to the EU, Transneft, announced on Monday that attempts to pay Ukraine for transit have been blocked due to EU sanctions. According to news outlet Origo, MOL has offered to pay transit fees on behalf of Transneft, but has not received a reply from Ukraine. “Although MOL has enough reserves for several weeks, it is working on a solution and has also initiated negotiations on the assumption of the fee obligation,” the energy company said in a statement.

On Monday, Transneft announced that Ukraine had suspended Russian oil flows to parts of central Europe since August 4 because Western sanctions prevented Moscow from making payments for transit. According to the Russian company, the suspension of pipeline flows has affected Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Transneft said it was working on alternative options for the transfer of funds. Druzhba, which is one of the longest pipeline networks in the world, carries crude some 4,000km from the eastern part of European Russia to refineries in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Russia normally supplies about 250,000 barrels of oil per day via the southern leg of the route. The northern branch of the Druzhba pipeline running through Belarus to Poland and Germany continues to operate as normal, according to Transneft.

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“While in some cases, it lied by omission, in others, it lied outright.”

Lies, Damned Lies, and the Jan. 6 Committee (Sperry)

The Select Committee to Investigate Jan. 6 has adjourned for a well-deserved summer break. Misleading the public is exhausting work. A careful review of the official transcripts of its eight long hearings shows the committee repeatedly made connections that weren’t there, took events and quotes out of context, exaggerated the violence of the Capitol rioters, and omitted key exculpatory evidence otherwise absolving former President Donald Trump of guilt. While in some cases, it lied by omission, in others, it lied outright. It also made a number of unsubstantiated charges based on the secondhand accounts—hearsay testimony—of a young witness with serious credibility problems.

These weren’t off-the-cuff remarks. Panelists didn’t misspeak. Their statements were tightly scripted and loaded into teleprompters, which they read verbatim. In other words, the committee deliberately chummed out disinformation to millions of viewers of not just cable TV, but also the Big Three TV networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC—which agreed to preempt regular daytime and even primetime programming to air the Democratic-run hearings. And because Democrats refused to allow dissenting voices on the panel or any cross-examination of witnesses, viewers had no reference points to understand how they, along with the two Trump-hating Republicans they allowed on the committee, shaded the truth.

This charade of an honest investigation appears to have had the desired effect. Polls show the Jan. 6 hearings hurt Trump, who plans to run again, with independents. Unaffiliated voters have grown more likely to blame Trump for the Capitol riot and to show support for Democrats in the midterms, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey.

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“..a mere 0.88% (US$ 866 Bill) is owed by Africa comprising 54 countries. And even then, more than half of the African debt is owed by just three countries…”

The Global Debt Scam – Day of Reckoning? (Salamah)

Global debt is now claimed to exceed $300 Trillion, while the poor countries’ debt continues to rise in percentage terms – The Poor are always the culprits. It is all a matter of definition, you set it according to your understanding, objectives, or motives. We can make it a lot more alarming by theoretically adding the liabilities of the derivatives and futures markets which could be considered hypothetical debts should they be allowed to become due; then, global debts would be in the Zillions. Economists just love creating definitions, no matter how practical or impractical they are, or how narrow and rigid they become, and end up wagging the dog! On a closer look, however, it transpires that the US$ 300 Trillion global debt includes the internal and external debts of all countries.

In other words, it probably includes Aunt Jemima’s debt to her local grocer. While this is important and helps understand how deep the world has fallen into the hole it has dug, it is probably of higher priority to address the External Debt of countries; debt owed to parties outside their borders. These are the debts that will immediately impact countries’ currency exchange rates, ability to import especially food and energy, and fund development. They are quicker to trigger inflation and disrupt economies and societies. Accordingly, when we look at the Global External Debts, we are taken aback by their distribution. (Bear in mind that the actual numbers are approximations as they cover different years as well as slightly differ from one compiler to another, however they all point in the same direction):

What is striking here is that approx. 80% of global external debt is owed by the advanced countries (the US, its close Allies, and Europe), while a mere 0.88% (US$ 866 Bill) is owed by Africa comprising 54 countries. And even then, more than half of the African debt is owed by just three countries. As for Asia, it owes 3.62% (US$ 3.5 Trill) distributed among 42 countries with the top 4 countries owing half of it. Similarly, 29 Latin American countries owe just 2.25% (US$ 2.2 Trill) with the top three responsible for more than half. Most financial data, including the World Bank and IMF, kick off with a display of debt as a percentage of GDP (a ratio) and relegate the actual nominal debt figures to links that are harder to find or access. This approach may be useful to assess the size and seriousness of the debt problem in an individual economy, but it is not the only tool.

A country’s ability to pay its debts over a period of time can also be affected by inflation, which could falsely paint a rosy shrinking debt-to-GDP picture and vice versa, at least in the short term. Also, a sudden contraction or bounce up of GDP could occur as a result of multiple causes such as wars, market collapses or spikes, and rebounds in economies after sharp falls such as the ‘post covid’ temporary activity. Hence, the actual debt numbers add an important aspect to any analysis. Not surprisingly, the global Debt-to-GDP percentages/ratios tend to tally with the conclusions of the above table of actual numbers. The ratios of advanced nations and Europe are way, way higher than those of the poorer countries. In fact, quite a few of their ratios make Japan, with its famously excessive ratio, appear to be thrifty.

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I’m not sure this is helpful. The trend is everywhere. The farmers in Holland get very little coverage. But now Rutte can say: Look at Greece, it’s much worse…

How Greece Became Europe’s Worst Place For Press Freedom (

Reporters across Europe raced to follow up on the piece, which provided evidence of possible criminal behavior. Interview requests poured into Germany’s Der Spiegel, one of the outlets behind the story. One country, however, was noticeably quiet on the matter: Greece. “You’d be hard pressed to find any reference to it in the pro-government press, which dominates, especially the airwaves,” said Giorgos Christides, a reporter at Der Spiegel. “In Greece, there’s two parallel media universes.” The moment illustrated what journalists, media analysts, civil rights groups and EU investigators have been warning about for years. Greece, they say, is now seeing the troubling, violent and oppressive results of a years-long erosion of press freedom in the country.

It’s a problem, they say, born during the Greek financial crisis, which destabilized the country, polarized its politics and sapped media outlets of the profits that helped them stay independent. News organizations became increasingly partisan. Threats, attacks and surveillance targeting journalists rose. The pandemic only made things worse. Press conferences were halted and essentially never came back. Questions arose over whether the government was favoring friendly outlets with taxpayer funds. A new law claimed to curb misinformation but is fueling concerns that journalists could be tossed in jail for critical reporting. And just last week, the spying web that had ensnared journalists blossomed into a full-blown scandal that forced two top officials to resign. “Due to the financial situation, media owners have handed over the keys of their businesses to the government,” said Tasos Telloglou, an investigative reporter in Greece.

“This, combined with a government that believes that it does nothing wrong, is an explosive combination.” The situation reflects a broader trend across Europe. Demonstrators going after reporters. Demonization from officials. Public funds withheld. Countries from Germany to Luxembourg to Slovenia, Poland and Hungary have all slipped in annual press freedom rankings. But Greece fell to the bottom of all European countries on the latest list. The Greek government insists the fears are vastly overblown. Press freedom is enshrined in the country’s constitution and there is no press censorship, officials note, correctly. “Greece is a country where everyone can write and publish whatever they want about anyone, without any censorship and no government control,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the European Parliament in a recent debate, holding up two newspaper front pages featuring negative articles about the government.

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Shameless. The Russians should kick them out.

US Occupation Loots Most Of Syria’s Oil: Ministry (AlMa)

The Syrian Oil Ministry revealed that the US occupation loots the majority of Syria’s oil, knowing that the daily production of the eastern oil fields is 80.3 thousand barrels.” During a meeting held to discuss its work plans and the work of its subsidiaries during the first half of this year, the Syrian Ministry of Oil stated that “the amount of oil production during the first half of this year amounted to about 14.5 million barrels, with an average daily production of 80.3 thousand barrels.” The Ministry added that the barrels are delivered to refineries at a rate of 14.2 thousand barrels per day, stressing that the US occupation forces and their mercenaries steal up to 66,000 barrels per day from fields in areas in the eastern region that they occupy.

“Around 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas were produced, with a daily production rate of 11.3 million cubic meters, of which 11.1 million cubic meters is renewable natural gas,” it stated. The Ministry detailed that “82% of the gas produced is delivered to the Ministry of Electricity, 3% to the Ministry of Industry, and 15% to the Ministry of Oil.” It is worth noting that the daily average quantity delivered to the Ministry of Electricity is 8.6 million cubic meters, as per the Ministry. [..] Besides being an occupation force that backs armed groups for its own operations and agenda in the region, the US occupation forces continue to steal Syrian oil by smuggling it from their bases in Syria to their bases in Iraq. Convoys of tens of vehicles, including tankers loaded with stolen oil from oil fields occupied by US forces in Syria, are frequently seen crossing toward northern Iraq, in addition to trucks loaded with military equipment.

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“.. the most important independent risk factor for the development of severe infections in youths..”

Lockdowns Increases Obesity, And Obesity Increases Covid Risk (DM)

One of Australia’s top Covid-19 experts says lockdowns have drastically affected the health of children as a study shows two years of coronavirus restrictions have made people fatter and unhealthier. Professor Peter Collignon, an influential infectious diseases physician with the Australian National University, shared a medical study on his Twitter in which American experts researched the link between the pandemic response and obesity in children and adolescents. ‘Lockdown measures affected healthy lifestyle behaviors through modification of dietary habits, reduction of physical activity and alteration of sleep patterns, and also increased the levels of stress and anxiety, overall promoting weight gain and obesity,’ Prof Collignon wrote on Twitter.

‘Paediatric overweight/obesity—an alarming epidemic of increasing proportions, before Covid-19, has been demonstrated to be the most important independent risk factor for the development of severe infections in youths, requiring admission to hospital/ICUs,’ Prof Collignon said. The paper published by the National Library of Medicine concluded, ‘the dramatic lifestyle changes forced by Covid-19-related lockdown promoted weight gain, with a stronger impact on obese subjects, at higher risk of severe infection.’ The study looked at both the risk factors of lockdown-induced weight increase and the impact of obesity on the risk of hospital admission in children and adolescents. The study also concluded those who were classified as obese had a higher probability of being hospitalised compared to the normal weight population and Covid-19 and obesity represent ‘epidemic conditions with detrimental impact’.

Epidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett says the full effect of Covid restrictions have had on the obesity epidemic are not yet fully grasped ‘It is one of those things we have been concerned about yet with obesity the challenge is those rates have been rising anyway, so the question is how much can be attributed to the increase from restrictions from Covid?’ Prof Bennett said. ‘Constraints on individual liberties, exercise, organised sport disruption in and outside of schools would all contribute to the nature of the problem. ‘It is really important that we invest in actively understanding the impacts of Covid restrictions. It is crucial so we can put in place things that might help minimise the long term impacts and address the impacts in terms of obesity and chronic illness.’

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Home Forums Debt Rattle August 10 2022

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  • #113223

    That is partly because the controllers do not want their voices heard. But also because the general populace has been carefully trained to avoid thinking about reality and focus on consumption and comfort. Short-term comfort, that is. .

    Bernays has an awful to to answer for!!



    Thanks for your insightful comments, we appreciate your take on things.


    Last ne for today:

    The REINZ reported that the national median dwelling price dropped -$40,000 in July, now down -$110,000 from the November peak. That is a -12% fall so far. The housing market slump deepened with sales at a 12-year low for a July.’

    And the depression… oops… ‘transition to health and prosperity’ is only just getting started.

    “Inflation is only transitory.” Yeah right! That’s why an item that was $4.50 two years ago was $5.50 a month ago and $6.60 today.

    V. Arnold

    Bernays has an awful to to answer for!!

    Doesn’t ones personal responsibility for their own behavior count for anything?
    A classic denial situation as usual…


    Don’t trust the USA with your life.
    How many leaders has the USA assassinated?
    Peace will arrive in the Ukraine with assassinations

    D Benton Smith

    @AFewKnowTheTruth ref: comment #113222 , ” Never assume . . . etc.”

    Nailed it. And it don’t stop there. Just keep thinking along those lines and you’ll get to a very interesting place. Not a “nicey nice” place necessarily, but definitely interesting.

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