Frank Walton Crows on a beach 1884
The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again. And we will never be tormented by the boredom of eternity.
Half the country.
Karine Jean-Pierre says that people who voted for Donald Trump are “a threat to our democracy, to our freedom, to our rights.”
Karine Jean-Pierre says that people who voted for Donald Trump are "a threat to our democracy, to our freedom, to our rights." pic.twitter.com/8e2fXP2sD7
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) August 31, 2022
Finally someone is talking about Biden’s daughters diary…where she wrote that she took inappropriate showers with her dad Joe. pic.twitter.com/bF1rnx8Brw
— Hodgetwins (@hodgetwins) August 31, 2022
“You have to remember when the debt collapses, all the assets that were supported by this debt will collapse. You will have an implosion of values, I expect 90% plus.”
“I did forecast that . . . the stock market is going to fall at this particular point. The 1,000-point drop on the DOW last Friday came right on cue. Fundamentally, the markets should have crashed a long time ago. . . . It appears clear to me we are going to see a 30% or so fall in the markets in the next one to two months. That’s the first fall, but that’s just the beginning. . . . Markets will fall, in real terms, by 90% to 95% in the coming years. That’s not going to happen overnight, but if it does happen overnight, then all bets are off and there will be a total disaster. The world is going to shut down. . . . Then there will be some extra money printing and people will be optimistic for a while. There is no money anymore because the money that is printed will make zero difference.
There will be nothing that will drive the world forward. All the decisions on top of the with energy, climate change, sanctions, etcetera, will mean it all will crash a lot faster. . . . The world is going to see a collapse that it has never seen before in history, and there is absolutely no remedy for that. They are not going to be able to do anything. Everybody who is not in power is going to promise something that they can’t deliver. When they get into power, they will be thrown out because they couldn’t deliver. So, the era of Shangri-la and money printing and saving the world by fake money—that era is totally gone.”
EvG goes on to say, “I am not a prophet of doom and gloom, but it may sound like it. I am just someone who just looks at risk. This is why I got into gold 20 years ago. Gold was the best solution to a risk situation in the financial world. . . . We almost had a collapse in 2008, and it was patched up temporarily. This time they won’t succeed . . . . We have a situation nobody can solve. . . . Initially, there will be money printing, but adding new debt to pay old debt is not a great solution to the problem. I don’t think there will be any orderly reset at all . . . . At some point, there will be an implosion of the system. There has to be. . . . You have to remember when the debt collapses, all the assets that were supported by this debt will collapse. You will have an implosion of values, I expect 90% plus. Stocks crashed in 1929 to 1932 by 90%. The risk back then and the magnitude of the problems then were nothing compared to what we have today. Remember, today it’s global, and it’s every single country in the world. . . . It’s everywhere, and no one can escape what’s coming.”
“..in Belgium, households on average will be paying $10,000 a year for power and heating.”
Rising energy prices could lead to mass impoverishment in the EU, Professor at the University of Liege in Belgium Damien Ernst told French news site Atlantico on Monday. He warned there is no indication that the situation will improve after this winter. According to him, “the perfect storm” that has formed in energy markets is expected to have a major economic impact on households and businesses. Ernst suggested that in Belgium, households on average will be paying €10,000 ($10,000) a year for power and heating. The energy crisis will be far worse than the 2008 financial crisis and the oil shocks of the 1970s, he said, adding: “This will have economic consequences, especially for purchasing power, and lead to financial constraints.” With such a jump in energy prices, “it will be impossible to control inflation,” Ernst warned. Power prices in Europe have continued to reach record highs, intensifying the region’s energy crisis and stoking fears about access to electricity and heating as the weather begins to cool.
I think prices have come down a bit. Not that it matters much anymore.
European spot prices for natural gas rose in early trading on Wednesday after Russian energy major Gazprom shut down supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. According to the Intercontinental Exchange data, the price of October gas futures on the TTF hub in the Netherlands rose 5.5% to €280 ($280) per megawatt-hour, or $2,906 per thousand cubic meters, at around 07:00 GMT, after falling below $2,600 the day before.= Earlier on Wednesday, Gazprom confirmed the temporary halt of natural gas deliveries to Europe via Nord Stream 1 due to scheduled maintenance.
Unless there are technical setbacks, the gas flow will be resumed on September 3, with supply volumes restored to 33 million cubic meters per day, or roughly 20% of the pipeline’s full capacity. Following Gazprom’s announcement on August 19 regarding the temporary suspension, gas prices reacted sharply. Last week, the price of September futures exceeded $3,500 per thousand cubic meters. However, after German Economy Minister Robert Habeck announced that the country’s underground gas storages were 85% filled ahead of schedule, the gas price rally somewhat subsided.
And the west wants it.
Russia has huge natural gas reserves that could last for more than a century, the head of state-owned Gazprom, Alexey Miller, said on Wednesday at the International Business Congress. “Our consumers, Russian citizens, will have access to [this] cheap, reliable energy resource. It is especially important to note that they could be optimistic about the country’s gas future. Why? Because we are provided with reserves for 100 years ahead,” Miller said, noting that some of Gazprom’s fields will still be providing gas even in 2120. The energy giant’s chief executive attributed such an optimistic forecast to the development of the vast resources in Russia’s northern Yamal Peninsula, adding that Gazprom is currently preparing to launch the Kharasavey gas field and has also started developing the deep deposits of the Bovanenkovo field. Russia holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves, estimated at 48 trillion cubic meters, or roughly a quarter of the global total.
Move to Budapest while you can. It’s a pretty city.
Hungary says it has signed a deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom for 5.8 billion cubic metres of extra natural gas. Zoltan Kovacs, international spokesman for Hungary’s government, said it would be on top of the country’s current supplies. “Hungary’s energy supply is safe,” he added. Hungary’s foreign affairs minister also announced the deal with Gazprom on Facebook during a break from his meeting with other EU ministers. Péter Szijjártó specified that in September and October, Gazprom will deliver a maximum of 5.8 million cubic meters more natural gas per day to Hungary via Serbia than what was specified in its long-term contract. EU foreign affairs ministers were meeting to debate a possible visa ban on Russian tourists in response to the war in Ukraine.
Szijjártó added that during the foreign affairs meeting, he spoke out against a possible visa ban on Russians. The announcement comes as Europe scrambles to cut energy consumption and cope with a reduction in supply of Russian gas. The Russian state-owned energy company had increased supplies to Hungary earlier this month even as it stopped flows to other European countries. Gazprom stopped gas supplies to Europe’s Nord Stream 1 pipeline earlier on Wednesday for maintenance. The company also said it had suspended gas flows to French gas company Engie “due to failure to pay for July supplies in full.”
“..the entire German economy is about to get its plug pulled..”
It’s not just European smelters shutting down due to soaring energy prices: the entire German economy is about to get its plug pulled. While a handful of macro tourists rejoice that record European year-ahead electricity prices plunged by 50% to levels not seen since… last week… Europe is facing economic devastation and depression at a scale that will make 2008 seems like a walk in the park. As the FT reports, German manufacturers are halting production in response to the surge in energy prices, a trend the government has described as “alarming”. German economy minister Robert Habeck said industry had worked hard to reduce its gas consumption in recent months, partly by switching to alternative fuels like oil, making its processes more efficient and reducing output.
But he amusingly clarified, some companies had also “stopped production altogether” — a development he said was “alarming”. “It’s not good news,” he said, “because it can mean that the industries in question aren’t just being restructured but are experiencing a rupture — a structural rupture, one that is happening under enormous pressure.” Habeck said rising gas prices were affecting everyone from big industrial companies to small trading firms and the medium-sized enterprises that make up the “Mittelstand”. “Wherever energy is an important part of the business model, companies are experiencing sheer angst,” he said. And since energy is a crucial part of every business model, one can only imagine the chaos, fear and loathing hammering the largest European economy right now.
Confirming that Trump was right all along, the German minister said the business model of large parts of German manufacturing was based on the abundance of gas from Russia that was cheaper than gas from other regions. That competitive advantage “won’t come back any time soon, if it ever comes back at all”, Habeck said. Whether he was aware of it or not, Habeck effectively echoed what Zoltan Pozsar said over the weekend, that Europe is facing a Minsky moment triggered by excessive financial leverage “and in the context of supply chains, leverage means excessive operating leverage: in Germany, $2 trillion of value added depends on $20 billion of gas from Russia… …that’s 100-times leverage – much more than Lehman’s.”
Their gov’t has explicitly said they don’t care what the voters want.
The majority of Germans want the West to take concrete steps to initiate talks with Russia to end the Ukraine conflict, a recent survey has indicated. Published on Wednesday, the poll commissioned by Germany’s RTL/ntv-Trendbarometer was conducted from August 26 through August 29, with 1,011 people taking part. According to the survey, some 77% of Germans believe that the West should make concrete efforts to try to launch negotiations with Russia, which could help bring an end to the conflict in Ukraine. Only 17% would oppose such talks. When asked whether it is the right thing for Western leaders to keep phoning Russian President Vladimir Putin, 87% of the respondents replied in the affirmative, with 11% against.
Regarding the extent of German aid to Ukraine, 43% said they are content with the current state of assistance, while 26% want Berlin to do more and a quarter believe the country is already doing too much in this respect. The latter sentiment is particularly prevalent in eastern Germany and among supporters of the Alternative for Germany party, the researchers noted. Although some politicians from the ruling ‘traffic-light’ coalition are calling for continued deliveries of heavy weaponry to Ukraine, even at the expense of Germany’s own military, 62% of the respondents expressed skepticism about whether this would be a prudent move, while only 32% would welcome such deliveries.
The way the EU’s been going, they can only make it worse.
The EU is rushing to intervene in the electricity and energy markets to prevent a further price escalation, now that the crisis is threatening to destabilize the biggest European economies, especially the highly dependent on Russian gas Germany. Those who loudly and with more than a hint of contempt pushed back on proposals by Greece and other southern European countries for a price ceiling on natural gas and the decoupling of gas prices from electricity rates, are now at the forefront of efforts for immediate intervention on exactly these issues, seven months late. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made public Monday the EU’s intent for an “emergency intervention and a restructuring of the electricity market” and, on Tuesday, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner sent a message to his EU colleagues that Berlin was open to considering a price ceiling on natural gas in the emergency meeting of EU Energy Ministers on September 9.
Across Europe and at EU headquarters, in Brussels, officials are weighing the pros and cons of the price ceiling and the decoupling, proposals that Greece had first made, through Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in October 2021. The task is to find the most effective mix of policies that will restore a certain equilibrium in the natural gas market and will lead to a price de-escalation. Moreover, these measures must be agreed upon by all 27 EU members. In this complicated effort, Europe is certain that, whatever decision it takes, it will lead to a Russian reaction. Also, and independently of what it decides about natural gas, Russia will keep reducing flow, under a variety of pretexts, continuing a policy that begun with demands that it be paid in rubles and whose latest manifestation was Tuesday’s reducing of supply to France’s Engie.
“..Monsanto, Cargill and Dupont have already bagged 17 million hectares of prime, fertile arable land – over half of what Ukraine still possesses..”
The Russian military never made a conscious decision to interrupt the multi-channel flow of western weapons to Kiev. Methodically destroying those weapons once they’re in Ukrainian territory – with plenty of success – is another matter. The same applies to smashing mercenary networks. Moscow is well aware that any negotiation with those pulling the strings in Washington – and dictating all terms to puppets in Brussels and Kiev – is futile. The fight in Donbass and beyond is a do or die affair. So the battle will go on, destroying what’s left of Ukraine, just as it destroyed much of Syria. The difference is that economically, much more than in Syria, what’s left of Ukraine will plunge into a black void. Only territory under Russian control will be rebuilt, and that includes, significantly, the bulk of Ukraine’s industrial infrastructure.
What’s left – rump Ukraine – has already been plundered anyway, as Monsanto, Cargill and Dupont have already bagged 17 million hectares of prime, fertile arable land – over half of what Ukraine still possesses. That translates de facto as BlackRock, Blackstone and Vanguard, top agro-business shareholders, owning whatever lands that really matter in non-sovereign Ukraine. Going forward, by next year the Russians will be applying themselves to cutting off Kiev from NATO weapons supplies. As that unfolds, the Anglo-Americans will eventually move whatever puppet regime remains to Lviv. And Kiev terrorism – conducted by Bandera worshippers – will continue to be the new normal in the capital.
“Russians Targeting Kids’ Beds, Rooms With Explosives: Ukrainian Bomb Team”
The western propaganda we’re currently experiencing is nothing new. Today’s President Putin joins yesterday’s Middle East “monsters” as current Ukrainian Nazi militias become “freedom fighters” and the Russians become “Nazis.” Likewise, the previous Middle Eastern terrorist groups became “moderate Islamist’s” but only if they were fighting for a US led NATO in Iraq and Syria. Yet such is the power of belief on an already stupefied majority western population that it’s become factual. In our upside down world, reality has long vanished to 15% of our western leaders who regard themselves as the “international community.” On August 24th, only 54 countries out of 193 supported a UN resolution which condemned Russia for not stopping its intervention in the Ukraine, which begs the question of why, if the majority population loathe today’s western politicians, do they passionately and often even fanatically believe their every word?
Supplying weapons and financial aid to the Ukraine which enables Russia to get bogged down in an endless war with mounting casualties, coupled with sanctions to bring down Russian middle-class living standards is just another attempt at regime change. Moreover, having failed to control the Middle East oil producers, it has not gone unnoticed that Russia is itself a major gas and oil producer. Bathsheba Crocker, US Ambassador to the UN warned in the New York Times on February 21st before the incursion occurred that Russia had a ‘hit list’ of people destined for arrest, detention and torture including “vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons.” How she knew that is not explained, but the inclusion of homosexuals as a vulnerable group now appears mandatory in any media story.
From allegations presented as facts by Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner Lyudmyla Denisova and picked up by The British Daily Mail and the US New York Times in May, of multiple repeated child rapes and murders near Kiev. Meanwhile, Newsweek also in May ran the headline “Russians Targeting Kids’ Beds, Rooms With Explosives: Ukrainian Bomb Team”; what kind of sick minds dream this up?! Although written in a news format, both headlines carried disclaimers that the content remained unverified. In which case, why report it as news? One assumes that in time these stories will join Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and the Ghost of Kyiv hoaxes.
Fraud. The only infrastructure still in place in Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials in the eastern Zaporozhye Region are being investigated for allegedly stealing massive amounts of humanitarian aid sent to them. They are accused of looting hundreds of freight cars’ worth of goods. Raids at offices and addresses associated with the suspected embezzlers were reported on Tuesday. Agents of the SBU, Ukraine’s successor to the KGB, and the anti-corruption agency NABU conducted the operations, according to a statement by the agencies. The region is mostly controlled by Russian forces, but its capital Zaporozhye and some of the surrounding areas are under Kiev’s control. The raids targeted the Kiev-appointed administration and members of the city council, according to the SBU and NABU. The agencies also reported confiscating what they believe to be narcotics and illegal firearms while searching the premises.
While the official statement offered few details, a more comprehensive account of the ongoing probe came from Ukrainian public figure Evgeny Shevchenko, who is widely described by the local media as an unpaid agent for the NABU. The agency had previously confirmed working with him. According to his post on Facebook, the suspected grifters made off with “almost all humanitarian aid” sent to the region, selling the goods through local retail chains. The total volume of what was stolen amounts to 22 sea transport containers, 389 freight train cars and 220 trucks, Shevchenko claimed. The activist named several senior officials in Zaporozhye Region as suspects and shamed them for posing as Ukrainian patriots while profiting at the expense of the country.
Shevchenko is a controversial figure in Ukraine. He emerged from the radical wing of the so-called Maidan protests of 2013-2014 and made a name for himself as an associate of militia commander and former MP Konstantin Grishin, who prefers to be called by his nom de guerre Semyon Semenchenko. Last year, Shevchenko and Semenchenko were arrested on allegations of involvement with an illegal militia. The arrests came after Shevchenko had accused the office of President Vladimir Zelensky of derailing an intelligence operation aimed at luring a group of Russian security contractors to Ukraine and detaining them. Shevchenko believes that his arrest and that of Semenchenko were an act of revenge by Zelensky’s chief-of-staff, Andrey Ermak. In his post about the raids in Zaporozhye Region, he linked the suspects with the president and the head of his office, pointing out that the officials targeted had been appointed by Kiev.
“Zakharova compared the EU to the group of blind men in the painting ‘The Blind Leading the Blind’ by Dutch Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder.”
“..“strange suicidal initiatives that are attributed to the EU, but are actually imposed or planted” by an outside force..”
Russia does not pursue a foreign policy aimed at dividing the West, or the EU in particular, despite claims to the contrary, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has said. However, the bloc could benefit from being more tolerant of dissenting voices, considering how much it has hurt itself with its ‘united’ approach to Russia, she said in a radio interview on Wednesday. Zakharova compared the EU to the group of blind men in the painting ‘The Blind Leading the Blind’ by Dutch Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder. “They are united. No one in this group, who are being led towards a ditch, voices any doubt, objects, asks questions or protests,” she said.
Brussels’ approach towards Russia is similar, the spokeswoman suggested, noting the “strange suicidal initiatives that are attributed to the EU, but are actually imposed or planted” by an outside force. She added that when it comes to Russia, the bloc does not tolerate dissenting voices – which is surprising, given that the EU claims to cherish democracy, a system in which opinions that differ from the dominant line of thinking are supposed to be appreciated. While many Western politicians claim that Russia wants to divide the bloc with its policies, this is not the case, Zakharova said. “If anything, our goal is to return common sense into international relations.”
Her remarks came during a discussion in the radio interview on the EU’s proposed ban on visas for Russians. The plan is promoted by Ukraine and some Eastern European member states, but Western European nations such as Germany and France believe less radical restrictions should be adopted. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki suggested this week that an implosion within the EU could occur unless all member states follow the hardline Russia policy that Warsaw has adopted.
Yeah, yeah, Covid…
The average American’s life expectancy notably dropped between 2019 and 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed in a report published on Wednesday. It is the first two-year drop recorded since 1961-1963. Over the last two years, the US life expectancy decreased by 2.7 years, leaving the average lifespan at 76.1 years – the same as it was in 1996. According to the CDC, the primary factor in driving down life expectancy was the Covid-19 pandemic, which has contributed to the deaths of over one million Americans. “Unintentional injuries” – a category that includes overdoses and other drug-related misadventures – as well as heart disease were also major factors contributing to the decline.
Before the pandemic, heart disease had long been the top-recorded cause of death in the US, while the opioid epidemic has led to record numbers of overdoses for several years running. Breaking the CDC’s numbers down by race yields even more alarming trends. Native Americans suffered a 6.6 year drop in life expectancy between 2019 and 2021, compared to about four years for black and Hispanic people and 2.4 years for white people. The statistical burden disproportionately fell on males, whose life expectancy has declined to just 73.2 years, while females can still expect to live a comparatively long 79.1 years.
The report found most of the decline in life expectancy took place during the first year of the pandemic for nonwhite populations, while white Americans suffered the worst losses during the second year. Similar studies have found that Covid-19 worsened an already-yawning gap between the US, which has the most expensive healthcare in the world, and other developed nations in terms of life expectancy. Americans can now expect to live five fewer years than their European counterparts. Researchers studying the decline in life expectancy have blamed high rates of preexisting conditions like obesity and heart disease for the US’ outsized losses during the pandemic compared to 19 of its economic peers.
“..the collective West, which back in February had suggested Zelenskyy should surrender and flee..”
There’s mounting evidence that the war in Ukraine could have been over by this point, but key Western backers of Kiev sought to sabotage the potential for peaceful settlement through negotiations. That’s precisely what regional Ukrainian media reports concluded as early as May, soon after the UK’s Boris Johnson showed up in the capital on a “surprise” visit to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time the month prior This is what a bombshell story in Ukrainska Pravda said at the time, but which was almost completely ignored in Western mainstream media: According Ukrainska Pravda sources close to Zelenskyy, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson, who appeared in the capital almost without warning, brought two simple messages. The first is that Putin is a war criminal, he should be pressured, not negotiated with.
And the second is that even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, they [the UK and US] are not. Johnson’s position was that the collective West, which back in February had suggested Zelenskyy should surrender and flee, now felt that Putin was not really as powerful as they had previously imagined, and that here was a chance to “press him.” The Ukrainian media English-language report went on to emphasize that Three days after Johnson left for Britain, Putin went public and said talks with Ukraine “had turned into a dead end”. At the time the Istanbul peace talks, which saw top officials from each warring side gather in the Turkish capital, was hailed in some corners as “the quickest way to end the war in Ukraine” – according to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s words, who was seeking to mediate between Moscow and Kiev.
But as the invasion ordered by Putin pressed on, Britain especially was the earliest out front in making large weapons and munitions deliveries to Ukraine via military transport planes a high priority. UK press reports also took note of the ‘convenient’ timing of London going all-in hawkish on Ukraine given Prime Minister Johnson’s enduring ‘Partygate Scandal’ at home. Again, recall the tone of Ukrainian media following the arrival of the British prime minister in Kiev (and it should be noted Johnson was the first leader of a G7 country to visit, coming two weeks after Russian forces withdrew from suburbs around Kiev) on April 9: “Following the arrival of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv, a possible meeting between Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin has become less likely.”s
A President’s impunity is almost limitless.
Last night, Department of Justice Tuesday filed in opposition to the appointment of a Special Master in Florida. It used the filing to add new facts and allegations to the public record, including the statement that “obstructive conduct occurred” at Mar-a-Lago by concealing or moving documents. The Department makes many of the same claims that it used to opposed the release of a redacted affidavit, claims shown to have been misleading and exaggerated after the magistrate ordered the release. Notably, this filing contained details that were likely redacted in the affidavit but just released on the public record. In the most direct challenge to the former President’s public claims, the Justice Department claimed that he and his staff had failed to turn over classified material and that the Department had no choice but to search areas outside of the storage room. Indeed, it says that it found three classified documents in Trump’s desk without indicating the level of classification or subject matter.
It also said that the Trump staff barred the FBI from looking at documents in the storage room after turning over classified information to them. “As the former President’s filing indicates, the FBI agents and DOJ attorney were permitted to visit the storage room. See D.E. 1 at 5-6. Critically, however, the former President’s counsel explicitly prohibited government personnel from opening or looking inside any of the boxes that remained in the storage room, giving no opportunity for the government to confirm that no documents with classification markings remained.” The filing also adds new disclosures on past claims of declassification by Trump. It states that “[w]hen producing the Fifteen Boxes, the former President never asserted executive privilege over any of the documents nor claimed that any of the documents in the boxes containing classification markings had been declassified.”
That was in January 2022. It then alleges that, in the June 3, 2022 meeting, “neither counsel nor the custodian asserted that the former President had declassified the documents or asserted any claim of executive privilege.” It is not clear if or when the Trump team made the declassification claim. The filing also includes this notable allegation: “The government also developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.” The Justice Department told the court that it was vindicated in its suspicions and that “the FBI, in a matter of hours, recovered twice as many documents with classification markings as the ‘diligent search’ that the former President’s counsel and other representatives had weeks to perform calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification and casts doubt on the extent of cooperation in this matter.”
Not a fan of the man, but he’s right here.
World Economic Forum's ENTIRE plan EXPOSED in just 60 seconds— This is what attacks against Dutch farmers are REALLY about… pic.twitter.com/RDIoeovSEb
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 31, 2022
The long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus) is found throughout Europe and the Palearctic. Photo Hajime Nakatsuka
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