Paul Gauguin Breton woman and goose by the water 1888
George Webb is at least partly right: there WAS a Berlin conference on October 25. But is it about peace? Not 100% clear. The theme was reconstruction. Which George says is a precursor to peace talks. Maybe.
When the usual suspects talk about reconstruction of Ukraine, they mean including Crimea and the “four regions”. But Russia has no plans to give any of them up. So it might as well lead to more war.
It’s the 25th. I said there would be a Ukraine Reconstruction Conference on Berlin to finalize Peace Deal Payout. Clockwork. pic.twitter.com/77BdnztNSf
— George Webb – Investigative Journalist (@RealGeorgeWebb1) October 25, 2022
“German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attend a joint news conference during a post-war reconstruction of Ukraine conference in Berlin, Oct. 25, 2022.”
Gonzalo sees it as an American plan for more war.
Biden today: The pandemic is a “global health emergency”
Biden literally last month: “The pandemic is over”
Now: get a $20 discount when you get the shot
Biden calls on Americans to get boosted again: “Get the shot and get $5, $10, $20 off your drug store or grocery purchase” pic.twitter.com/T9i0DHzwYu
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) October 25, 2022
At least by now, everyone should know about the dirty bomb story. Maybe that’s the best Russia can do at the moment.
• Exposure Of Ukraine’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Plans Caused Stir In Kiev – Russia (RT)
Kiev might be shelving its alleged ‘dirty bomb’ program after Russia exposed it, Moscow’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, claimed on Tuesday. He added that Ukraine may well have time to do this before the upcoming nuclear inspection. Over the last few days, Russian officials, including Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, have been accusing Kiev of preparing a false-flag attack with the use of a ‘dirty bomb’, a device combining conventional explosives with radioactive material. Ukraine has categorically denied Moscow’s claims. At the same time, the official claimed that the danger of Kiev using a ‘dirty bomb’ remains “very high,” and that Ukraine “has the opportunity” and “has every reason to use it.”
Earlier on Tuesday, in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Russian mission’s head, Vassily Nebenzia, said that Moscow would consider the use of a “dirty bomb” by Ukraine “an act of nuclear terrorism.” Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba earlier called the Russian allegations “as absurd as they are dangerous.” He also noted that “Russians often accuse others of what they plan themselves.” On Tuesday, the minister revealed that Ukraine had invited IAEA inspectors to come and to “prove that Ukraine has neither any dirty bombs nor plans to develop them.”
“Good cooperation with IAEA and partners allows us to foil Russia’s ‘dirty bomb’ disinfo campaign,” Kuleba said. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, commenting on the matter, said that “all parties should avoid any actions that could lead to miscalculation and escalation of what’s already a devastating conflict.” Meanwhile, the Pentagon claimed that Russia’s allegations against Ukraine were “transparently false.” NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said that the allies “reject the allegation” and believe that Russia “must not use it as a pretext” for further escalation.
“The possibility that Russia would deliberately corrupt this communication channel with disinformation is highly unlikely.”
• Russia’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Scare (Scott Ritter)
In the span of a few hours on Sunday, the senior-most Russian defense authorities — Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and General Gennady Gerasimov — called their counterparts in the U.S., U.K., France, and Turkey, with the same message — Ukraine is preparing to detonate a so-called “dirty bomb”— high explosive-wrapped radiological material, designed to contaminate large areas with deadly radioactive isotopes. Russia is not only concerned about the immediate impact of Ukraine detonating such a devise in terms of the harm that would be done to people and the environment, but also about the potential for such an event to be used by Ukraine’s western allies to directly intervene militarily in the ongoing conflict, similar to what occurred in Syria when allegations about the use of Sarin nerve agent by the Syrian government against civilians were used by the U.S., U.K., and France to justify an attack on Syrian military and infrastructure targets. [..]
The Russians are serious about the threat posed by the possibility of a Ukrainian “dirty bomb.” While the history of “dirty bombs” does not point to a threat on the scale or scope of an actual nuclear weapon, one can “worst case” a scenario which provides the potential for the significant loss of life and property from the radioactive fallout such a weapon could produce. Such an outcome would be a disaster which Russia and, presumably, the Western allies of Ukraine would like to prevent. So far, the Russian allegations appear to have fallen on deaf ears, with Ukraine dismissing the claims as absurd, and non-government affiliated western analysts flipping the script, accusing Russia of actually planning a false flag attack on Ukraine using a “dirty bomb” of its own construction.
But the reality is that Russia takes its senior military-to-military connections with its western counterparts very seriously, given the role such contacts play in the kind of deconfliction cooperation that keeps small-scale incidents from exploding into war. The possibility that Russia would deliberately corrupt this communication channel with disinformation is highly unlikely. Russia appears to be legitimately concerned about the possibility of Ukraine building and using a “dirty bomb”, so much so that it has taken the unprecedented step of reaching out to multiple senior Western defense authorities to prevent such an occurrence from happening. If, at the end of the day, the appropriate phone calls are made by the West, and Ukraine backs down, then Russia will have succeeded. And if it turns out that the Russian information is wrong, there was no harm from the effort. However, if Russia is correct, and Ukraine not only is preparing to use a “dirty bomb”, but detonates one, and the West did nothing to prevent it, then Russia is on the record for having provided the West with due warning.
Russia used all channels.
• US Doubles Down On Denial Of ‘Dirty Bomb’ Warnings (RT)
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has rejected Moscow’s warnings about Kiev’s alleged plans to deploy a ‘dirty bomb’ to frame Russia. The statement came during a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart on Monday. The Pentagon chief spoke with Minister of Defense Alexey Reznikov to “reaffirm the unwavering US commitment to support Ukraine’s ability to counter Russian aggression,” according to the readout of the call. He also “strongly condemned” Russian strikes on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and “reiterated that the United States rejects the public and false allegations by Russia about Ukraine,” describing them as “a pretext for further Russian escalation of its unlawful and unjustified war against Ukraine.”
Austin also raised the issue with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The two officials “discussed recent diplomatic engagements with Russia”and what they called “Moscow’s false accusation that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own soil.” Stoltenberg repeated the sentiment in an interview with Politico, describing the warnings as “absurd,” saying that Kiev is “fighting so hard to liberate” its territory. On Monday, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, warned that the threat from Ukraine is evident, adding that the West’s disbelief does not mean that the threat ceases to exist. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a possible ‘dirty bomb’ attack would allow Ukraine to portray Russia as a “nuclear terrorist”, intimidate the local population and trigger a refugee exodus to the European Union.
Moscow’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, wrote to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, urging him “to do everything in his power to prevent this heinous crime.”He also stated that Russia would “regard the use of a dirty bomb by the Kiev regime as an act of nuclear terrorism.” Russia has already warned high-ranking officials from Türkiye, the US, the UK, and France about the possibility of a nuclear incident. All of them except for Ankara refuted what they called the “blatantly false allegations,” adding that this “should not be used as a pretext for greater escalation.” Kiev has also denied Moscow’s allegations. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky noted that the only side capable of launching an attack using nukes is Russia itself.
Yeah, blame your staff…
• “Progressive” Democrats Formally Retract Call For Diplomacy (ZH)
That didn’t take long… the 30 Houses Progressive Democrats led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has early Tuesday afternoon issued a complete retraction of their letter sent to the Biden White House urging diplomacy on Ukraine, per an official statement [emphasis ours]: “The Congressional Progressive Caucus hereby withdraws its recent letter to the White House regarding Ukraine.” “The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting. As Chair of the Caucus, I accept responsibility for this. Because of the timing, our message is being conflated by some as being equivalent to the recent statement by Republican Leader McCarthy threatening an end to aid to Ukraine if Republicans take over.
The proximity of these statements created the unfortunate appearance that Democrats, who have strongly and unanimously supported and voted for every package of military, strategic, and economic assistance to the Ukrainian people, are somehow aligned with Republicans who seek to pull the plug on American support for President Zelensky and the Ukrainian forces.” What’s more is that Jayapal’s retraction – after giving the ole “blame the interns” excuse (“unfortunately was released by staff without vetting”) – actually goes so far as to suggest diplomacy won’t be possible until after Ukrainian victory. The retraction concludes: “Nothing could be further from the truth. Every war ends with diplomacy, and this one will too after Ukrainian victory. The letter sent yesterday, although restating that basic principle, has been conflated with GOP opposition to support for the Ukrainians’ just defense of their national sovereignty. As such, it is a distraction at this time and we withdraw the letter.”
Because your media says so.
• Why Ukraine Is Always Winning The War (Mazaheri)
In the United States media editorial policy has not wavered on one subject this year: Ukraine is always winning the war. From the first week, when the Ukrainian air force and navy were smashed, to last week’s smashing of the electrical grid – this is what “victory” looks like in the Ukrainian language, apparently. The Russians can electorally incorporate territory after territory, but to suggest that Ukrainian victory hasn’t already arrived is verboten in American public spaces. What is the point of reading American coverage of the unrest in Ukraine when it’s so very absurd? The point is: to learn what America is thinking, of course. If it’s deluded then – like it or not – that’s the story, and the story always writes itself in honest journalism.
I was talking with a Polish cab driver whom I found extremely intelligent, and not only because he has an Iranian brother-in-law and thus knew and respected Iranian culture. This longtime immigrant cabbie was very pro-Ukraine and anti-Russian, which is his right and not unexpected, and he was a typical Pole in that he was ardently pro-American. However, he volunteered to me that he found Americans to be the most effectively propagandised people in the world – he said they, invariably, merely mouthed whatever they heard on TV news. It is one thing to dismiss the criticism of your enemies, but the criticisms of your friends merit some refection.
I have also personally found the same iron-jawed retention of dogma: Americans tell me that only in very recent weeks have they heard anyone even suggest the idea that the war isn’t going well for Ukrainians. I agree, as I have yet to hear such a remark (outside of interviews of political analysts for my work at PressTV), and I have gotten many strange stares when I brought up the idea – in my personal life – for discussion. It is happy news for Americans to talk about, after all: “Hey, did you hear? The Ukrainians are winning the war! Still!” [..] Ukraine has always been winning, is winning currently and will win in the future because the US always wins every war it embarks upon.
After all, the US was always winning the war in Afghanistan. The only internal disagreement ever allowed was regarding their total retreat in August 2020 – was it poorly planned, or not? If the former, then the total US victory was disgracefully (though merely slightly) tarnished by the total US retreat. The US was always winning the war in Iraq, as well. Shock and awe prevailed from start to finish, with the finish being a total shock at how few positives the US-led war created for either the Iraqis or the Americans. The indisputable fact of the American victory, however: totally awesome, of course.
The whole 8-year history. Very useful.
• Reflections on the Coup in Ukraine – 2014-2022 (Francis Lee)
Victor Yanukovich was elected President of the Ukraine in 2010 narrowly defeating Yulia Timoshenko with 49% of votes cast to Timoshenko’s 45%. The Ukrainian Presidential term of office lasts for five years. Yanukovich’s party, the Party of the Regions, together with its coalition partner, the Communist party of the Ukraine, also had a majority in the Ukrainian Parliament, with Mykola Azarov as Prime Minister. The membership of the European Union was one of the more salient issues during this time and was the trigger for subsequent upheavals. Negotiations for Ukraine’s initial stage of eventual membership of the EU – the Association Agreement – had been dragging on since 2011, with both Yanukovich and Azarov favorably disposed, although the communist coalition partners were not.
This did not go down at all well in Moscow and Azarov tried to assuage Russian misgivings by urging Russia “to accept the reality of Ukraine signing the EU agreement”. The commitment of Yanukovich was eventually to be tested to destruction since he was being pulled in two directions: by Russia on the one hand, and the EU on the other. For their part the Russians offered the Ukraine a $15 billion loan, a discount on gas prices, and membership of the customs union of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. But the EU was having none of it: President of the Euro-pean Commission José Manuel Barroso stated that the EU will not tolerate “a veto of a third country” (Russia) in their negotiations on closer integration with Ukraine. Thus, Yanukovich was forced into a choice which would be certain to alienate and anger one of the powerful interested partners on his borders.
Negotiations dragged on into 2013. Yanukovich was invited to sign the Association Agreement, but there were a number of conditions. The most significant of these were those concerning an IMF loan. The conditions were very much in the tradition of IMF Structural Adjustment Programmes (the scourge of the developing world). This was enough to scupper the EU deal. Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stating that ‘’the issue that blocked the signature of the EU deal were the conditions proposed by the IMF loan being negotiated at the same time as the Association Agreement, which would require large budget cuts and a 40% increase in gas bills. This, for a country already verging on bankruptcy. In store for the Ukraine was the usual neo-liberal IMF austerity package, deregulation, privatization, and liberalization. The Greek treatment. Yanukovich took the Russian offer instead.
Killing Ukrainians for profit.
• Raytheon Making A Killing On Ukraine Weapons Demand (RT)
US-based Raytheon Technologies, one of the largest aerospace and defense manufacturers in the world by revenue and market capitalization, posted a near 5% year-on-year surge in third-quarter revenue on Tuesday. Company sales grew to $16.95 billion during the period – based largely on its missile and defense contracts – thanks in part to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, as well as rising air travel demand, which buoyed parts and services sales. The Raytheon Missile and Defense unit reported third quarter adjusted sales of $3.678 billion. They were down 6% versus the prior year due to supply chain constraints and declines on some military programs, but the decrease was partially offset by higher volume on strategic missile defense orders.
Among the most notable defense bookings during the quarter were a $1 billion contract to develop the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) for the US Air Force and a $972 million contract for the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) for the US Air Force, the US Navy, and international customers. Raytheon also recently received a $182 million contract from the US Army for supplying its National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAM) to Ukraine. It is part of the $2.98 billion in US defense aid promised to Kiev in order to stave off the advance of Russian troops. According to US defense officials, eight NASAMs have already been dispatched to Ukraine. This month, reports have emerged that Washington plans to send two more NASAMs to Kiev in the near future.
The US has also been supplying the Ukrainian army with Raytheon and Lockheed Martin-developed Javelin anti-tank missiles. Last month, the Pentagon announced a new $311 million contract for replenishing the stocks of Javelins that were reportedly depleted by deliveries to Kiev. Ukraine has been demanding more US missiles for its air defense following Russian missile attacks on several Ukrainian cities, including Kiev.
Raytheon CEO yesterday
“..the world still needs Russian oil to flow into the market for now..”
• IEA Warns Of ‘First Truly Global Energy Crisis’ (RT)
Tightening markets for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and curtailed supply from major oil producers have created “the first truly global energy crisis,” Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), has said. While addressing the Singapore International Energy Week on Tuesday, the IEA chief said that soaring LNG imports by Europe and a potential rebound in Chinese appetite for the fuel will tighten the market. Meanwhile, only 20 billion cubic meters of new LNG capacity will come on the market next year, according to Birol. He described the recent OPEC+ decision to cut output by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) as “risky,” noting that the IEA sees global oil demand growth of close to 2 million bpd this year.
“(It is) especially risky as several economies around the world are on the brink of a recession, if that we are talking about the global recession…I found this decision really unfortunate,” Birol said. He pointed out that skyrocketing global prices for oil, natural gas, and coal are hammering consumers, who are also dealing with spiraling costs of food and services. Europe may make it through this winter, though somewhat battered, if the weather remains mild, Birol believes. “Unless we will have an extremely cold and long winter, unless there will be any surprises in terms of what we have seen, for example Nord Stream pipeline explosion, Europe should go through this winter with some economic and social bruises,” he said.
The world will still need Russian oil to meet growing demand, he added, noting that the G7 nations’ price cap scheme still has many details that need to be ironed out and will require the cooperation of major oil-importing nations. Birol believes that “…the world still needs Russian oil to flow into the market for now. An 80%-90% is good and encouraging level in order to meet the demand.”
“The Russians, Ukrainians and Europeans, first and foremost, have unleashed a war upon their own continent..”
• Colombian President: “The US is Ruining Economies Around the World” (NC)
Just over a month ago, Colombia’s recently elected left-wing President Gustavo Petro ruffled a few feathers by lambasting the US-led war on drugs from the podium of the UN General Assembly in New York. He also condemned the NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine, which raised serious questions about Colombia’s position as NATO’s only Latin American partner. Then last week, during a visit to Urabá Antioquia, on Colombia’s northern border with Panama, he set his sights on US economic policy: “An economic crisis is undoubtedly brewing. The United States is practically ruining economies around the world. The German economy has already been destroyed by the war [in nearby Ukraine]. The Russians, Ukrainians and Europeans, first and foremost, have unleashed a war upon their own continent, which is a war for gas, for energy.
“And as a result of that war the European economy is sinking. Powerful Germany is entering recession. And who would think it? England, which one day was the world’s dominant colonial power, is mired in a deep economic crisis. In Spain, the residents of towns and cities are up in arms. The same in France. And in the United States decisions are being taken to protect the United States, sometimes without thinking about the consequences elsewhere.” Petro places much of the blame on the US Federal Reserve, whose aggressive interest rate hikes of the past seven months have propelled the dollar to its highest level since the year 2000. Raising rates draws capital toward the US economy and away from higher-risk emerging markets. [Interestingly, Petro didn’t mention how US and EU sanctions on Russia are ruining economies around the world by further rupturing global supply chains and supercharging inflation].
As the IMF noted last week, the dollar has appreciated 22% against the yen, 13% against the Euro and 6% against emerging market currencies since the start of this year. That the currencies of rich economies such as the UK and the EU have, as a whole, fallen faster against the dollar than emerging market currencies is testament to the severity of the global dollar shortage. As the Korean economist Keun Lee notes, “while US monetary policy is hardly the only factor in causing that shortage, it is undoubtedly making matters worse.” Many emerging market crises of the past were caused or exacerbated by a strengthening dollar. When the dollar strengthens sharply, emerging markets have fewer policy options to defend their currencies than rich economies.
Including via Malaysia. Et al.
• Record Volumes Of Russian Energy Headed To China (RT)
Russia exported a record amount of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and steelmaking coal to China in September, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday citing Chinese customs data. According to the report, Russia’s coking coal exports to its trading partner last month surged to 2.5 million tons from around 900,000 tons in September last year and 1.9 million tons in August. Overall coal imports, including thermal and coking coal, jumped 20% to nearly 7 million tons year-on-year. LNG deliveries surged by a third from a year ago to 819,000 tons. It is unclear how much Russian gas China has imported via pipelines, which is the main route for its delivery, as Beijing hasn’t reported on those flows since the start of the year.
China’s imports of Russian oil dropped to 7.5 million tons last month from 8.3 million tons in August but were still higher than last year’s 6.1 million tons. Total purchases of Russian energy, including oil products, also dropped slightly to $7.5 billion last month from $8.4 billion in August. They were still significantly higher than last year’s $4.7 billion. China’s overall purchases of energy products from Russia topped $51 billion in the seven months since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. During the same period in 2021, China’s energy purchases from Russia amounted to $30 billion. The growth represents mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, where Russia acquires a buyer for its energy products snubbed by the West, and China takes advantage of the discounts offered by Moscow.
Make peace and send them home.
• Kiev Tells Ukrainian Refugees Not To Come Home Yet (RT)
Ukrainians who have fled the country amid Russia’s military offensive should not return home before spring, Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said on Tuesday. Staying away would protect them from unnecessary risk and help the country “survive” its deepening energy crisis, she added. Speaking on national TV on Tuesday, Vereshchuk claimed Russia was losing on the battlefield and had therefore turned to “terrorizing the civilian population” by targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure. “I will ask you not to return, we need to survive the winter. Unfortunately, the power grids will not survive, you see what Russia is doing. You don’t need to do this. If you have the opportunity to stay, it’s better to spend the winter abroad,” Vereshchuk said.
She said she would like to see everyone return in the spring to rebuild Ukrainian cities and villages together. “Our children must live and study here, but for now let’s hold back, because we understand that the situation will worsen, and we have to survive the winter. We will survive the winter, and then we will think about everything else,” she added. According to a poll published by the Kiev-based Razumkov center in late August, more than 90% of Ukrainian refugees plan to return home at some point. More than 88% of those intending to return plan to live in the same region where they lived prior to the beginning of the Russian attack on February 24. Ukraine has been experiencing regular blackouts since Moscow launched massive strikes against its critical infrastructure, including power stations on October 10, accusing Kiev of terrorist attacks on Russian infrastructure.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has since asked his compatriots to ease pressure on the struggling energy system by limiting electricity use between 5pm and 11pm. On Monday, the head of the state-owned energy giant Naftogaz, Yuri Vitrenko, said that Ukraine was facing “the worst winter in history,” marked by “constant power outages.” He explained that recent Russian airstrikes have also hit oil refineries and destroyed “about 40% of the power generation plants.” On the same day, the Ukrainian online retailer Rozetka revealed that the last two weeks had seen a sharp increase in demand for “goods needed in the event of an energy crisis,” such as potbelly stoves, power banks, candles and gas burners.
“The problem is that many officials had an affirmative duty to protect individuals on that day, including congressional leaders and officials.”
• MSNBC Legal Analyst Declares Trump Could Be Charged With Manslaughter (Turley)
We previously discussed the declaration of Harvard Professor Lawrence Tribe that former president Donald Trump could be charged with the attempted murder of former Vice President Michael Pence. Now, MSNBC legal analyst and Michigan Law Professor Barbara McQuade has gone one better. She told MSNBC viewers that Trump could be charged with manslaughter for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot. Just as Tribe declared his theory was “without any doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond any doubt,” McQuade appeared equally certain that this was a serious and possible charge. Anchor Nicolle Wallace was bouncing off comments of Rep. Liz Cheney on what the House might do to Trump when she turned to McQuade for legal analysis:
Wallace: “Let me ask you, I think what they’re saying is that even if you were that deluded, quote, ‘You may not send an armed mob to the Capitol or sit for 87 minutes and refuse to stop the attack. You may not send out a tweet that incites further violence.’ It sounds like around the violence. She’s looking at what the committee talks about as dereliction of duty. Is that a specific crime you can charge someone with, Barbara?” McQuade: “It’s not a federal offense, but there actually is an interesting legal theory here for manslaughter, which Federal law defines as a death that occurs on federal property when a person acts with a recklessness mindset or even gross negligence. And so Donald Trump, unlike most ordinary citizens, has not only a duty not to do something bad, but an affirmative duty to take action to protect people. I think you could possibly put together a theory based on the facts that Liz Cheney just described to make Donald Trump responsible for the deaths that occurred that day.”
So let’s recap. Trump could be prosecuted for manslaughter because he had an “affirmative duty to take action to protect people”? The problem is that many officials had an affirmative duty to protect individuals on that day, including congressional leaders and officials. There is no question that Trump waited too long to call back his supporters. Many of us criticized Trump for his insistence that Pence could effectively block certification of the election. I publicly condemned Trump’s speech while it was being given. However, I know of no case that would impose this affirmative duty on Trump as a criminal legal matter.= That does not change due to Trump’s speech before the riot. Indeed, such a use of the speech would contradict controlling Supreme Court precedent.
“.. the government — and not just ours — has declared war on the very reason we have had a rational cost of living for the last one hundred years..”
• It Is ALL, At This Point, ENERGY (Denninger)
It’s pretty basic, as I noted in Leverage about 10 years ago: Behind every unit of GDP is a unit of energy. Period. I’ve been doing a fair bit of traveling this summer and fall, and in fact am having some fun right now, as I did last weekend. There is a constant — the spread between diesel and regular gasoline has held right around $2. I’ve never seen this before. It portends very bad things. You see, diesel isn’t just what you think of, although that’s bad enough. That is, big trucks without which you get….. nothing. Basically every item you buy from any place, anywhere, makes at least the last mile of that journey by truck. Most of it makes a very large percentage of its journey by either truck or train — both of which run primarily on diesel fuel.
That includes the gasoline you buy at the corner station. So who thinks inflation pressure is going to come down? How about the people who still use heating oil this winter? Oh, that’s diesel incidentally. Same fuel. Exactly the same fuel — just no road tax, and dyed red so if you try to cheat and put it in a truck you can be caught. “Well those fools should have converted by now!” you might say. Really? Have you looked at the price of natural gas lately? Propane? Well just burn wood! If you live where you can. And then…… wait, isn’t this about “saving the planet”? I thought wood was…… dirty?
Here’s reality, like it or not. That huge spread exists because the government — and not just ours — has declared war on the very reason we have had a rational cost of living for the last one hundred years. It has driven basically all of our advancement in that regard. It is responsible for all of the plastic things you have (look around you), all of the synthetic fibers (your couch, your bed, etc.) your shoes, your computer(s), your cellphones, the Internet and even the shingles on your house without which it rains inside as well as out.
• 5 Thoughts on the Global Dictatorship (Cudenec)
2. A system that hates life. I am fed up with researching the ramifications and machinations of the finance-based global dictatorship, if I am completely honest. It is not a spiritually-nourishing activity; instead it sickens my soul, deeply offends my ethical aesthetics of honour, justice, truthfulness and value. Exploring and assessing the nastiness of the ruling crime gang leaves me feeling polluted and contaminated. And it keeps me trapped on the level at which they operate: I yearn to turn my back on their corrupt and shallow world and explore instead all the timeless magic of our living that so interests me.
I want to plunge into the folklore and mythology of my ancestors and yours, searching out the currents and branches and offshoots and intertwinings that have created, over many thousands of years, the richness of our common culture, paradoxically united by its infinite diversity. I want to feel and know and understand the way in which this wisdom grew slowly out of the soil and the hills and the plants and was spun and woven by our essential oneness with the natural world. I want to know what it feels like to reach, feet firmly grounded in the earth, towards the sky, the sun, the stars; informed and inspired by the wisdom of our forebears, I dream of finding the great poetry that will bring me peace in my final days.
And yet, I know full well that the time has not yet come when I can simply walk away from that other mundane work, the task of describing the detail of what has gone wrong in our contemporary society. I know full well that the system in which we are forced to live represents an existential threat to everything that inspires me. This system hates and fears the tangled roots of life, the sap of vitality and freedom that sends its green shoots soaring forth in search of authenticity and fulfilment. It hates and fears the belonging, and the knowledge of belonging, that makes us strong and proud and kind and just. It hates and fears how powerful we become when we feel the energy of the cosmos itself lighting us up from within, when our understanding and imagination pulse and glow with something which will lie forever beyond its dull comprehension. While this system still imprisons us, I will never find peace.
“NY Supreme Court just ruled that all unvaccinated NYC employees are “reinstated to their full employment” and are “entitled to back pay in salary from the date of termination.”
• NY Supreme Court Reinstates All Employees Fired For Being Unvaccinated (Fox)
The New York State Supreme Court reinstated all employees who were fired for not being vaccinated on Monday, ordering backpay and saying their rights had been violated. The court found that “being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting COVID-19.” New York City Mayor Eric Adams claimed earlier this year that his administration would not rehire employees who had been fired over their vaccination status. NYC alone fired roughly 1,400 employees for being unvaccinated earlier this year after the city adopted a vaccine mandate under former Mayor Bill de Blasio. Many of those fired were police officers and firefighters. FDNY-Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro and FDNY-Fire Officers Association President Lt. James McCarthy condemned Adams earlier this year after the mayor allowed an exception to the vaccine mandate for athletes and performers, even as firefighters were still being fired over their status. The pair called on the city to expand the exception to all New Yorkers.
“We’re here to say that we support the revocation of the vaccine mandate that the mayor announced on Thursday,” McCarthy said. “We think that it should be extended, as well. We support the revocation of the mandate for the athletes and performers that work in New York City. We think that the people that work for New York City should also have the mandate relocated for them.” “If you’re going to remove the vaccine mandate for certain people in the city, you need to remove it for everybody in the city,” Ansbro said. “If you’re gonna follow the science, science is gonna tell you there isn’t any danger right now and putting hundreds of firefighters, police officers, and other emergency workers out of work is not in the best interest of the city. It’s not safe.”
Tucker Carlson – Vindication for those who stood against mandates pic.twitter.com/wSGYCXkMqb
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) October 26, 2022
“Many people now would not touch a booster with a barge pole, and I include myself amongst those…”
• Inquiry Focusing Solely On Safety Of Vaccines Will Not Be Opened – UK (Sky)
The government is not planning to open an inquiry solely into the safety of coronavirus vaccines, a health minister has said. Caroline Johnson added the vaccines will be reviewed as part of the wider UK COVID-19 inquiry. However, Dr Johnson insisted the jabs are safe and encouraged those eligible to come forward for autumn boosters. She was speaking during a Westminster Hall debate in parliament – held in response to a petition calling for a public inquiry into COVID-19 vaccine safety, which has been signed more than 107,000 times. A few MPs raised concerns during the debate about the vaccines’ possible side effects, including what some described as data showing a correlation with increased levels of cardiovascular problems.
The NHS website says “reports of serious side effects are very rare” and the “COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”. Scottish National Party MP Steven Bonnar said the vaccine programme saved “millions of lives”, adding almost 28,000 of those were in Scotland. But he added: “Despite this, there has been a significant increase in heart attacks and other related illnesses since the COVID-19 vaccinations started to be distributed in 2021. “To determine if there is any potential connection with the COVID-19 (vaccine) rollout, I believe this government must conduct an immediate and complete scientific investigation and ensure that the prescribed medical interventions of its response to coronavirus are indeed safe.”
But Mr Bonnar also said he would take his booster when called, and said people can “safely receive” their flu and COVID jabs at the same time as part of the autumn booster plan, saying they have been shown to be effective and “acceptably safe”. Conservative former minister Sir Christopher Chope said: “I agree with the legitimate concerns of the 100,000-plus people who signed this petition and I share their belief that the recent and increasing volume of data relating to cardiovascular problems is enough of concern to warrant an inquiry into safety.” Sir Christopher chairs the COVID-19 Vaccine Damage All-Party Parliamentary Group, which has five members: four Conservative and one Labour. He acknowledged the wider COVID inquiry “is going to cover, I think, a lot of this ground”, but said: “That won’t be for many years.
“And in the meantime people are being encouraged to have more and more boosters, and they want to know, understandably, what the impact of those boosters is upon their health and what the potential risks and rewards are. “The government seems to be in denial about the risks of these vaccines,” the MP for Christchurch said, saying the booster vaccines “are not perfectly safe, and there’s a question about whether they are effective”. He warned the vaccine damage payment scheme is “not fit for purpose”, and said: “Many people now would not touch a booster with a barge pole, and I include myself amongst those. “I am not anti-vax, I had my first two vaccines, but from all that I’ve seen and know about this, I think that the increase in boosters is now, for many people, counterproductive, and for some people it’s also dangerous.”
“Democrats Form Committee To Get To The Bottom Of Who Did All Those Lockdowns And Vaccine Mandates”
“At publishing time, the committee announced the results of their thorough investigation: It was Ron DeSantis all along.”
• Democrats: Who Did All Those Lockdowns And Vaccine Mandates? (BBee)
With the 2022 midterms just around the corner, Democrat lawmakers have formed the “United States House Select Committee to Investigate Who Did All Those Lockdowns and Vaccine Mandates” in hopes of finding out just who was behind all of those school closures, mask mandates, arrests, and egregious abuses of civil rights. “Despite the scant evidence pointing to any one political party as being at fault for enforcing harmful lockdowns and mandates,” said Committee Chair Nancy Pelosi while wearing three masks and a solid gold commemorative pin celebrating her vaccine status. “This committee pledges to leave no stone unturned in its investigation.”
Pelosi added that, while much anecdotal evidence points to Republicans being the source of damaging lockdown policies, “We may, in fact, never know who is truly to blame for the untold injuries brought upon the American people.” The committee began its investigation by issuing subpoenas to Senators Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, and other lawmakers who, according to CNN and MSNBC, were pro-lockdown from the start. At publishing time, the committee announced the results of their thorough investigation: It was Ron DeSantis all along.
Elon Musk said yesterday he wants to close the Twitter deal by Friday. Employees have their demands:
And Musk has his answer ready:
When @elonmusk enters Twitter offices on Friday pic.twitter.com/2qAdNtTvRm
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) October 25, 2022
Deaf man’s cat
When this deaf man's cat realized that meowing was useless, he learned to communicate with him through signs.
by Luksbe pic.twitter.com/PAmvwer2L4
— B&S (@____B_S____) October 26, 2022
“There’s less than a week to go before Halloween in case you haven’t cleaned your bat yet.”
Extremely close encounter with a shark.pic.twitter.com/nN2duiuJKO
— Fascinating (@fasc1nate) October 26, 2022
Epicrates cenchria or rainbow boa
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