Jan 092023
 January 9, 2023  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

David Hockney A bigger splash 1967


Former US Secretaries: Russia Won’t Return Annexed Ukrainian Provinces (Az.)
Top Officials Are Panicking That $100 Billion In Aid Isn’t Enough (Korybko)
The Attack On Western Europe (Ugo Bardi)
Bye Bye 1991-2022 (Escobar)
BRI Is Back With A Bang In 2023 (Escobar)
General Soleimani Kick-started The Multipolar World (Escobar)
Brazil Anti-Lula Protestors Storm Presidential Palace, National Congress (PM)
El Paso Cleans Migrant Camps Ahead of Visit By President Biden (CB)
White House Pushed Facebook to Censor Tucker Carlson on COVID-19 Vaccines (ET)
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Responds To Impeachment Talk (CB)
A Summer of Illness and Excess Death in Australia (Chudov)
Experts Trying to Explain White Lungs in China (ET)
Swiss National Bank Posts Record $143 Billion Loss In 2022 (R.)





Tucker Malone RFKjr







Bowie internet







No, it won’t. As always with articles like the WaPo one, you have to scrutinize the timing.

Former US Secretaries: Russia Won’t Return Annexed Ukrainian Provinces (Az.)

The Washington Post has published an opinion article by Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009, and Robert M. Gates, US Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011, Report informs. “When it comes to the war in Ukraine, about the only thing that’s certain right now is that the fighting and destruction will continue. Vladimir Putin remains fully committed to bringing all of Ukraine back under Russian control or — failing that — destroying it as a viable country. He believes it is his historical destiny — his messianic mission — to reestablish the Russian Empire and, as Zbigniew Brzezinski observed years ago, there can be no Russian Empire without Ukraine. Both of us have dealt with Putin on a number of occasions, and we are convinced he believes time is on his side: that he can wear down the Ukrainians and that US and European unity and support for Ukraine will eventually erode and fracture.

To be sure, the Russian economy and people will suffer as the war continues, but Russians have endured far worse,” reads the article. “For Putin, defeat is not an option. He cannot cede to Ukraine the four eastern provinces he has declared part of Russia. If he cannot be militarily successful this year, he must retain control of positions in eastern and southern Ukraine that provide future jumping-off points for renewed offensives to take the rest of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, control the entire Donbas region and then move west. Eight years separated Russia’s seizure of Crimea and its invasion nearly a year ago. Count on Putin to be patient to achieve his destiny.

“Meanwhile, although Ukraine’s response to the invasion has been heroic and its military has performed brilliantly, the country’s economy is in a shambles, millions of its people have fled, its infrastructure is being destroyed, and much of its mineral wealth, industrial capacity and considerable agricultural land are under Russian control. Ukraine’s military capability and economy are now dependent almost entirely on lifelines from the West — primarily, the United States. Absent another major Ukrainian breakthrough and success against Russian forces, Western pressures on Ukraine to negotiate a cease-fire will grow as months of military stalemate pass. Under current circumstances, any negotiated cease-fire would leave Russian forces in a strong position to resume their invasion whenever they are ready. That is unacceptable.”

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“All four top officials shattered prior narratives by either admitting Ukraine’s proxy role and/or acknowledging the success of Russia’s special operation thus far.”

Top Officials Are Panicking That $100 Billion In Aid Isn’t Enough (Korybko)

Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov and Ambassador to the UK Vadim Prystaiko tried guilting NATO into sending more arms by emphasizing Ukraine’s status as that group’s proxy in the hopes of swaying popular Western perceptions to its side, while the second-mentioned also contributed to former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s fearmongering that the failure to do so would leave Russia in control of extremely strategic territory. All four top officials shattered prior narratives by either admitting Ukraine’s proxy role and/or acknowledging the success of Russia’s special operation thus far.

Zelensky’s trip to DC last month wasn’t the success that the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) spun it as being as evidenced by the panic that’s since taken hold of top Ukrainian and former US officials. They’ve begun an information warfare offensive alleging that the approximately $100 billion in American aid that Kiev’s received thus far supposedly isn’t enough to completely dislodge Russia from that former Soviet Republic’s pre-2014 borders, let alone defend against any forthcoming offensives. Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov told national TV last week that “Today, Ukraine is addressing [the] threat (of Russia). We’re carrying out NATO’s mission today, without shedding their blood. We shed our blood, so we expect them to provide weapons.”

This was followed up by Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Vadim Prystaiko telling Newsweek something similar in spirit shortly thereafter. According to him, “The West now has a unique chance. There are not many nations in the world who would allow themselves to sacrifice so many lives, territories and decades of development for the purpose of defeating the archenemy…This is what I mean: All hands on deck, every single thing we can spare to help Ukraine win.” He also expressed concern that the West might pressure Kiev to agree to a ceasefire with Russia if the present stalemate isn’t soon broken. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice then jointly authored an opinion piece for the Washington Post on Saturday dramatically headlined that “Time is not on Ukraine’s side”.

Their narrative is completely contrary to the “official” one that’s popular among most Westerners claiming that Russia will inevitably collapse the longer that its special operation drags on for. Instead, Gates and Rice warned that “Absent another major Ukrainian breakthrough and success against Russian forces, Western pressures on Ukraine to negotiate a cease-fire will grow as months of military stalemate pass”, which would result in Russia retaining “much of [Ukraine’s] mineral wealth, industrial capacity and considerable agricultural land” if the Line of Control (LOC) is frozen. This is an important point that was also reaffirmed by Prystaiko.

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“..if relations between Europe and Russia are relatively friendly, there is less need for NATO, less need for expensive US-made weapon systems and less need for a US military presence on the continent..”

The Attack On Western Europe (Ugo Bardi)

As the journalist Mike Whitney notes, if relations between Europe and Russia are relatively friendly, there is less need for NATO, less need for expensive US-made weapon systems and less need for a US military presence on the continent. But wouldn’t all that be a plus from the US point of view? Like former President Trump, don’t most Americans want to stop subsidising Europe’s security? They might, but that’s not how many in the US foreign policy establishment see things. Which raises an important point: when I refer to what “the US wants”, I’m really talking about what certain elements within the foreign policy establishment want (“US hawks” is a useful shorthand).

As Hastings Ismay, the first Secretary General of NATO, is reputed to have said: the purpose of NATO is not only “to keep the Soviets out”, but also to “keep the Americans in, and the Germans down”. Although Ismay was an Indian-born British general, his quip undoubtedly reflected the views of the organisation’s main backers, the Americans. This awkward truth was not lost on more nationalistic European leaders at the time. Noting that “Europe is useless if it doesn’t control its own defence,” the French President Charles de Gaulle described NATO as “a machine to disguise the stranglehold of America over Europe.” He added, “Thanks to NATO, Europe is placed under the dependence of the U.S. without seeming to be”.

And you don’t have to go back to the sixties to find evidence that US hawks see NATO as vehicle for exerting influence over Europe, rather than as a costly burden on American taxpayers. In 1997, the Project for the New American Century (a thinktank closely tied to the Bush administration) published a report titled ‘Rebuilding America’s Defences’, which explained how the US can “preserve and extend its position of global leadership”. Regarding Europe, it noted: The region is stable, but a continued American presence helps to assure the major European powers, especially Germany, that the United States retains its longstanding security interest in the continent. This is especially important in light of the nascent European moves toward an independent defense “identity” and policy; it is important that NATO not be replaced by the European Union, leaving the United States without a voice in European security affairs.

Of course, American subsidisation of European security is hardly something that had to be forced on unwilling European leaders. Most of them were quite happy to spend less on defence, while prioritising election-winners like better healthcare, larger pensions and a bigger safety net. At the same time, increasing talk of European strategic autonomy evidently worried some US hawks for whom American “leadership” of the West remains crucial.

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Pepe has been busy.

“Apart from Ukraine and Poland there is no NATO force worth mentioning.”

Bye Bye 1991-2022 (Escobar)

The CIA abandoned Afghanistan in a humiliating retreat – even ditching the heroin ratline – just to relocate to Ukraine and continue playing the same old broken records. The CIA is behind the ongoing sabotage of Russian infrastructure – in tandem with MI6 and others. Sooner or later there will be blowback. Few people – including CIA operatives – may know that New York City, for instance, may be destroyed with a single move: blowing up the George Washington bridge. The city can’t be supplied with food and most of its requirements without the bridge. The New York City electrical grid can be destroyed by knocking out the central controls; putting it back together could take a year. Even trespassed by infinite layers of fog of war, the current situation in Ukraine is still a skirmish. The real war has not even started yet. It might – soon.

Apart from Ukraine and Poland there is no NATO force worth mentioning. Germany has a risible two-day supply of ammunition. Turkey will not send a single soldier to fight Russians in Ukraine. Out of 80,000 U.S. troops stationed in Europe, only 10% are weaponized. Recently 20,000 were added, not a big deal. If the Americans activated their troops in Europe – something rather ridiculous in itself – they would not have any place to land supplies or reinforcements. All airports and seaports would be destroyed by Russian hypersonic missiles in a matter of minutes – in continental Europe as well as the UK. In addition, all fuel centers such as Rotterdam for oil and natural gas would be destroyed, as well as all military installations, including top American bases in Europe: Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Ramstein, Baumholder, Vilseck, Spangdahlem, and Wiesbaden in Germany (for the Army and Air Force); Aviano Air Base in Italy; Lajes Air Base in Portugal’s Azores islands; Naval Station Rota in Spain; Incirlik Air Base in Turkey; and Royal Air Force stations Lakenheath and Mildenhall in the UK.

All fighter jets and bombers would be destroyed – after they land or while landed: there would be no place to land except on the autobahn, where they would be sitting ducks. Patriot missiles are worthless – as the whole Global South saw in Saudi Arabia when they tried to knock out Houthi missiles coming from Yemen. Israel’s Iron Dome can’t even knock out all primitive missiles coming from Gaza. U.S. military power is the supreme myth of the fish to be fried variety. Essentially, they hide behind proxies – as the Ukraine Armed Forces. U.S. forces are worthless except in turkey shoots as in Iraq in 1991 and 2003, against a disabled opponent in the middle of the desert with no air cover. And never forget how NATO was completely humiliated by the Taliban.

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How could the West let this slip through their hands?

BRI Is Back With A Bang In 2023 (Escobar)

The year 2022 ended with a Zoom call to end all Zoom calls: Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping discussing all aspects of the Russia-China strategic partnership in an exclusive video call. Putin told Xi how “Russia and China managed to ensure record high growth rates of mutual trade,” meaning “we will be able to reach our target of $200 billion by 2024 ahead of schedule.” On their coordination to “form a just world order based on international law,” Putin emphasized how “we share the same views on the causes, course, and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape.”

Facing “unprecedented pressure and provocations from the west,” Putin noted how Russia-China are not only defending their own interests “but also all those who stand for a truly democratic world order and the right of countries to freely determine their own destiny.” Earlier, Xi had announced that Beijing will hold the 3rd Belt and Road Forum in 2023. This has been confirmed, off the record, by diplomatic sources. The forum was initially designed to be bi-annual, first held in 2017 and then 2019. 2021 didn’t happen because of Covid-19. The return of the forum signals not only a renewed drive but an extremely significant landmark as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in Astana and then Jakarta in 2013, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.

That set the tone for 2023 across the whole geopolitical and geoeconomic spectrum. In parallel to its geoconomic breadth and reach, BRI has been conceived as China’s overarching foreign policy concept up to the mid-century. Now it’s time to tweak things. BRI 2.0 projects, along its several connectivity corridors, are bound to be re-dimensioned to adapt to the post-Covid environment, the reverberations of the war in Ukraine, and a deeply debt-distressed world. And then there’s the interlocking of the connectivity drive via BRI with the connectivity drive via the International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), whose main players are Russia, Iran and India.

Expanding on the geoeconomic drive of the Russia-China partnership as discussed by Putin and Xi, the fact that Russia, China, Iran and India are developing interlocking trade partnerships should establish that BRICS members Russia, India and China, plus Iran as one of the upcoming members of the expanded BRICS+, are the ‘Quad’ that really matter across Eurasia. The new Politburo Standing Committee in Beijing, which are totally aligned with Xi’s priorities, will be keenly focused on solidifying concentric spheres of geoeconomic influence across the Global South.

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“..the imperial machine – following trademark, decades-long mockery of international law – assassinated a de-facto diplomatic envoy.”

General Soleimani Kick-started The Multipolar World (Escobar)

The consensus among future historians will be inevitable: the 2020s started with a diabolic murder. Baghdad airport, January 3, 2020, 00:52 a.m. local time. The assassination of Gen.QassemSoleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic RevolutionGuards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi, by laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was, in fact, murder as an act of war. This act of war set the tone for the new decade and inspired my book Raging Twenties: Great Power Politics Meets Techno-Feudalism, published in early 2021.

The drone strikes at Baghdad airport, directly approved by the pop entertainer/entrepreneur then ruling the Hegemon, Donald Trump, constituted an imperial act engineered as a stark provocation, capable of engendering an Iranian reaction that would then be countered by, “self-defense”, packaged as “deterrence”. The proverbial narrative barrage spun to saturation, ruled it as a “targeted killing”: a pre-emptive op squashing Gen. Soleimani’s alleged planning of “imminent attacks” against US diplomats and troops.No evidence whatsoever was provided to support the claim. Everyone not only along the Axis of Resistance – Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah – but across the Global South had been aware of how Gen. Soleimani led the fight against Daesh in Iraq from 2014 to 2015, and how he had been instrumental in retaking Tikrit in 2015.

This was his real role – a true warrior of the war on terror, not the war of terror. For the Empire, to admit his aura glowed even across – vassalized – lands of Sunni Islam was anathema. It was up to then-Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, in front of Parliament in Baghdad, to offer the definitive context: Gen. Soleimani, on a diplomatic mission, had boarded a regular Cham Wings Airbus A320 flight from Damascus to Baghdad. He was involved in complex negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh, with the Iraqi Prime Minister as a mediator, and all that at the request of President Trump. So the imperial machine – following trademark, decades-long mockery of international law – assassinated a de-facto diplomatic envoy.

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Jan 6 revisited. Which side is more corrupt?

Brazil Anti-Lula Protestors Storm Presidential Palace, National Congress (PM)

The headquarters of Brazil’s executive and legislative branches were stormed by demonstrators protesting against the election of socialist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Sunday, breaking into the presidential palace as well as the National Congress building. Palácio do Planalto, or Planalto Palace in English, is the workplace of Brazilian presidents, and is located in the same plaza as the National Congress of Brazil, as well as the Supreme Federal Court. The Praça dos Três Poderes, or Three Towers Plaza, is in the capital city of Brasília.

Brazilian outlet Metropoles reports that a hundreds of “Bolsonarists,” or supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro, “broke through blocks that prevent the entry of non-accredited people and entered the Planalto parking lot,” before eventually making their way into the Planalto Palace and National Congress buildings. Footage shared by American conservative activist ALX shows the moment protestors broke through the barrier as police attempted to subdue them. Eventually the police had to retreat while the crowd stormed through. Video from inside the Planalto Palace shows the protestors, decked out in patriotic outfits, walking through the gas around the offices. Around 2:40 pm, the protestors also entered the National Congress building under a “shower of tear gas bombs.”

More footage shows masses of protestors climbing up the ramps on the outside of the congressional building to get inside. Renato Souza, a reporter with Brazilian publication Portal R7, shared video from the inside of the building. “President Lula is not on site,” he reported. Portuguese news outlet LUSA reports that the protestors are calling for “military intervention” to overthrow President Lula. In response to the invasion, Lula has “decreed federal intervention in the Federal District,” according to the Brazil-based Tupi Report. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro is suspected to have been in Orlando, Florida, since December, reported The Hill. Lula, who was inaugurated just one week ago, won 50.83 percent of the vote compared to conservative incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, who won 49.17, in the country’s October 2 vote. There was a runoff election afterwards on October 30 which Lula won, and that win was immediately ratified by the Superior Electoral Court.

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El Paso Cleans Migrant Camps Ahead of Visit By President Biden (CB)

The city of El Paso is putting its best face on for President Joe Biden who is finally making a visit to the Southern border. The city has been cleaning up migrant encampments that have been languishing, ahead of the president’s photo op visit, The New York Post reported. Encampments near the downtown bus station and the Sacred Heart Church, which operates a shelter, have been dismantled by local authorities over the last two nights as the city prepares to host President Biden’s first visit to the southern border, according to a photographer for The Post who witnessed it. Six buses loaded with mostly Venezuelan migrants were spotted crossing a downtown bridge to Ciudad Juarez, the frontier city in Mexico, Saturday, as police escorted dozens more to a pedestrian crossing.

A Border Patrol agent who did not want to be identified told The Post that 200 people were sent back to Mexico Saturday. “People are saying that if you are out in the streets the Border Patrol will get you and deport you because the President is coming to El Paso and they don’t want to show him the reality of things,” said Venezuelan migrant Maria Rodriguez said to The Post. She said that for the past three days she has been living in a dumpster in El Paso. “I hope we get shelter tonight because it took us a lot of courage to go out of that dumpster after three days…We just don’t want to keep running. All we are asking is for one chance,” she said. Another Venezuelan migrant, Joan Enriquez, 21, said he had been sleeping on the steps of a church and is furious with President Biden for making false promises.

“I really think politicians are playing with us,” he said. “Both side, Democrats and Republicans. We are props to them because like Biden, he first said he wanted to help us, and then he shut the border down and we can’t find a way to get legal in this country.” And critics are seizing on the cleaning of the camps by El Paso authorities saying that they are attempting to cover up what is really happening. “El Paso being cleaned up as if nothing unusual ever happened there. Just in time for Biden’s ‘visit to the border’. We suggest just landing in Des Moines, Iowa and telling him it’s El Paso. He’ll never know the difference,” the Border Patrol Union said.

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“..if ‘reduction’ means ‘pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with [T]ucker Carlson saying it doesn’t work’ then … I’m not sure it’s reduction!”

White House Pushed Facebook to Censor Tucker Carlson on COVID-19 Vaccines (ET)

The White House pressured Facebook to take action against Fox News host Tucker Carlson for supposedly saying COVID-19 vaccines “don’t work,” according to a document released by Louisiana’s Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry, who characterized the move as a request to censor the journalist. Landry shared the document—an email exchange between White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty and an unidentified Facebook employee—in a Jan. 7 post on Twitter, with the comment: “Rob Flaherty tells facebook to censor” Tucker Carlson. “Since we’ve been on the phone—the top post about vaccines today is [T]ucker Carlson saying they don’t work. Yesterday it was Tomi Lehren [sic] saying she won’t take one,” Flaherty reportedly said in the message to the Facebook staffer, whose name and email address have been redacted.

“This is exactly why I want to know what ‘Reduction’ actually looks like—if ‘reduction’ means ‘pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with [T]ucker Carlson saying it doesn’t work’ then … I’m not sure it’s reduction!” Flaherty continued, per the document shared by Landry. Signaling action regarding the request, the unidentified Facebook employee then reportedly wrote: “Running this down now.” [..] Landry, together with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, sued the Biden administration in May 2022 for allegedly pressuring and colluding with social media giants to suppress free speech. Schmitt on Jan. 5 was sworn in as a U.S. senator and has been replaced in his role as Missouri attorney general by Andrew Bailey.

Bailey took to Twitter on Jan. 7 to say that when he took the oath of office, he swore he would protect the Constitution and explained “why.” “We now have hard evidence that President Biden’s Administration colluded with social media companies to censor differing viewpoints and silence ‘misinformation’ that was later deemed true,” Bailey wrote in a series of posts. Bailey shared a screenshot of an email from White House COVID-19 Digital Director Clarke E. Humphrey to an unidentified Twitter employee with the subject line “Flagging Hank Aaron misinfo” and requesting the Twitter staff to “get moving on the process for having it removed ASAP.” In her request, Humphrey provided a link to a Twitter post by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a known critic of the Biden administration’s narrative on COVID-19 vaccines.

Tucker Jan 6 – real good

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“..Every order, every action and every failure will determine whether we can begin impeachment inquiry..”

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Responds To Impeachment Talk (CB)

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is hitting back at Republicans who want him to resign or to impeach him. He appeared on the ABC show “This Week” on Sunday and said he does not have any intention of resigning, knowing that he faces investigations and even a possible impeachment from the Republican House of Representatives. “As of yesterday morning, Kevin McCarthy is speaker of the House. And back in November, he suggested that you might be impeached if you don’t resign. Here’s what he said,” host George Stephanopoulos said as he played a clip of what Speaker Kevin McCarthy said. “If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will investigate. Every order, every action and every failure will determine whether we can begin impeachment inquiry,” the Speaker said.

“What’s your response to the speaker?” the host said. “I am joining the president today on his visit to El Paso, Texas. I’ve been to the border quite a number of times,” the secretary said. “I’m joining the president at the North Mexican Leader’s Summit in Mexico City to work with our partners in Mexico and Canada to address the security of the homeland. I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m proud to do it, alongside 250,000 incredibly dedicated and talented individuals in the Department of Homeland Security and I’m going to continue to do my work,” he said. “So, you have no intention of resigning?” the host said. “I do not. I’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’re going to do it,” the secretary said. “Are you prepared for the investigations?” the host said. “I am. I will be. And I’ll continue to do my work throughout them,” the secretary said.

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“..NSW’s reports became so inconvenient for COVID vaccine promoters that NSW decided to stop reporting hospitalizations and deaths by vaccine status.”

A Summer of Illness and Excess Death in Australia (Chudov)

January marks the middle of summer in Australia. Unfortunately, despite “health experts” hoping that Covid is a seasonal disease and would go away in summer, Australia is in the middle of yet another wave of Covid. New South Wales, one of the Australian states, publishes “weekly surveillance reports.” Compared to November, COVID hospitalizations more than tripled, according to the latest report. Here’s the strange part: the unvaccinated comprise exactly ZERO out of 1,779 hospitalized people. If we are to believe that so many unvaccinated people die of Covid without ever being hospitalized (a phenomenon seen only in NSW and not anywhere in the world), only 6% of deaths in NSW are unvaccinated.

94% of deaths are in vaccinated people, but only 84.3% of all Australians are vaccinated. NSW health authorities want us to believe that unvaccinated people die of Covid without being hospitalized before dying! While people certainly do die without being hospitalized, the pattern I compiled from recent reports is odd.

The table shows that out of 27 dead unvaccinated people, only four were hospitalized before death. Not sure about you, but to me, this isn’t easy to accept. Are they counting any deaths with “unknown” status as unvaccinated to pad their numbers? I looked at persons over 16 in NSW and compiled hospitalization data (with known status) and percentages of the population with the respective number of doses.

While some of this is explained by age affecting the number of vaccines received, the NSW data shows the utter failure of Covid vaccines. A year ago, NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said at 2:12: There is no question that we will NOT get out of this pandemic without a very substantial portion of our population being vaccinated. Now this “substantial portion,” sadly, is quite sick as Brad is nearing his retirement – while no unvaccinated people are in NSW’s hospitals. NSW’s reports became so inconvenient for COVID vaccine promoters that NSW decided to stop reporting hospitalizations and deaths by vaccine status.

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Is this real?

Experts Trying to Explain White Lungs in China (ET)

While the official data from China reports mild disease and low mortalities surrounding the latest COVID-19 outbreaks, Chinese social media is awash with reports of “white lung,” a form of pneumonia often seen in moderate to severe disease. Anecdotal accounts of deaths after infections, and overwhelmed hospitals and morgues, have flooded Weibo and Chinese short-form video platforms. Pulmonary critical care specialist Dr. Joseph Varon from Baylor University expressed his perplexity at the white-lung reports on Chinese social media. “It doesn’t make sense,” he said, referring to the official reports from China that state the dominant circulating strains as BA.5.2 and BF.7, both Omicron variants that cause mild disease.

Omicron in general, “[doesn’t] give you white lungs,” he argued. “Those images [on social media] suggest that you’re dealing with something very similar to Delta.” Whiteness in Computed Tomography (CT) scans is a telling sign of severe disease. “The whiter the lungs are, the more chances of dying you have,” said Varon, referring to a study he co-authored on disease prognosis. Omicron’s different surface markers make the variant more capable of infecting the upper airways rather than causing inflammation and pneumonia in the lungs. Pneumonia is more likely seen in patients infected with Omicron if they are old and severely immunocompromised.

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“It is equivalent to slightly more than the annual GDP of Morocco..”

Swiss National Bank Posts Record $143 Billion Loss In 2022 (R.)

The Swiss National Bank posted an annual loss of 132 billion Swiss francs ($143 billion) in 2022, it said on Monday, the biggest in its 115-year history as falling stock and fixed-income markets hit the value of its share and bond portfolio. A strengthening Swiss franc also had a negative impact. Monday’s provisional figure, which marked a reverse from a 26 billion franc profit in 2021, was far bigger than the previous record loss of 23 billion francs chalked up in 2015. It is equivalent to slightly more than the annual GDP of Morocco. The SNB will release detailed annual figures on March 6. It made a loss of 131 billion francs from its foreign currency positions – the more than 800 billion francs in stocks and bonds it bought during a long campaign to weaken the Swiss franc.

Global stock markets weakened and bond prices fell last year as central banks around the world, including the SNB, hiked interest rates to combat inflation. The strong Swiss franc – it rose above parity versus against the euro in July – led to exchange rate-related losses. The only positive was the SNB’s gold holdings which stood at 1,040 tonnes at the end of 2021 and gained 400 million francs in value during 2022. The 2022 loss meant the central bank will not make its usual payout to the Swiss central and regional governments, it said. Last year the SNB paid out 6 billion francs. Still, the loss is unlikely to have an impact on SNB policy. It hiked interest rates three times in 2022 as Chairman Thomas Jordan moved to stem high Swiss inflation, analysts said.

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Stir it up



Paul Newman and Marlon Brando at a sit-in protest for fair housing in California in 1963.





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Home Forums Debt Rattle January 9 2023

Viewing 35 posts - 81 through 115 (of 115 total)
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  • #125620

    kultsommer, let me real in my brashness and be a little more civil. Within 75 miles each side of my residence and indeed centered around my residence there resides all branches of the US armed forces. There is also a large contingent of civil service. The revolving door starts at light bird in the service and at upper mid level in the civil service. Selling how the procurement system works is a quite a lucrative trade. All of the services under the executive branch engage in this system. This is not speculation, i played ball with some of these fellows for over 25 years. The congress is not the only culprit in non-functional overpriced trash.

    The US armed services have an up or out policy. Those who advance, remember Lindman, are selected for reasons other than national defense. As one of my acquaintances says, “I thought full birds were special and then they made me one”. Living with the armed services for 60 years takes the shine off the romance. The colonel may be speaking how he “feels”, however he did not get where he is by putting the constitution, the nation and her people first. Not one of those i know in the revolving door serve the nation, they serve someone but not the nation.

    John Day

    The year 2023 will proceed with China playing the New Great Game deep inside, crafting a globalization 2.0 that is institutionally supported by a network encompassing BRI, BRICS+, the SCO, and with the help of its Russian strategic partner, the EAEU and OPEC+ too. No wonder the usual suspects are dazed and confused.

    Tom Luongo looks at NATO-member Turkey’s increasingly independent national stance under Erdogan, who survived a US-led coup in 2015, by fleeing to Iran on very short notice from Vladimir Putin, which saved Erdogan’s life and government. Turkey is central to energy flows into southern Europe, sea shipping through the straits, and has the second largest NATO army. It used to have very healthy trade with Syria, the foundation of both economies, until the US/NATO began the attempted coup/revolution in Syria, and Turkey was forced to betray their neighbor.
    Turkey is taking diplomatic steps to restore full neighborly trade and diplomacy with Syria, get Turkish troops out of Syria, and coordinate this with Russia. The meetings have begun and the changes are underway. Turkey can be ejected from NATO, but NATO will lose more than Turkey will in that arrangement. US forces will need to withdraw from Syria and will lose Incirlik air base.
    That being said, Erdogan has been a handful for Putin to deal with, but Putin has patiently done so all of that time. Erdogan’s political position is always in flux, and he will benefit in elections this fall by having arranged peace with Syria, and repatriated most of the Syrian refugees in Turkey.
    “But the timing of this is the most inconvenient for the US/UK neocons who are clearly ramping up a 2023 regime change operation against Putin in Russia.
    ​ ​When you put it all together — Erdogan facing stiff opposition in the polls, hyperinflation, unrest at home, and an election later this year — ending the war in Syria had to be tops on his to-do list for 2023​”​… ​ ​
    ..”It means that Syria will shoot down an Israeli F-16 at some point and Israel will have to take it. Or it will provoke Bibi to do something so rash that no one will be able to spin it in his favor.
    ​ ​Davos is hanging Israel out to dry at the UN, driving the Neocons to the point of alcoholism.
    ​ ​Either way, what Putin has done here, with Erdogan’s help, is turn the entire power dynamic of aggression on its head.
    ​ ​Now, the Russians can allow Syria and Iran to ‘defend themselves’ while keeping his hands mostly clean there.
    ​ ​Now the real ‘bluff calling’ phase of this situation begins.​”​

    Turkiye’s Erdogan Flips Syria on its Head

    ​Russian counter-batteries did return fire fonto Ukrainian artillery, from Ukrainian shelling attacks, but only that​.
    Russia honors Christmas truce despite Ukrainian strikes

    M.K. Bhadrakumar , ​Biden’s existential angst in Ukraine
    ​ ​Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia. Cooper stated explicitly that the war in Ukraine threatens the US’ global standing:
    ​ ​“From an overall strategic perspective, it is hard to emphasise enough the devastating consequences if Putin were to be successful in achieving his objective of taking over Ukraine. This would rewrite international boundaries in a way that we have not seen since World War II. And our ability to reverse these gains and to support and stand by the sovereignty of a nation, is something that resonates not just in Europe, but all around the world.”
    ​ ​The cat is out of the bag, finally — the US is fighting in Ukraine to preserve its global hegemony. Coincidence or not, in a sensational interview in Kiev, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov also blurted out in the weekend that Kiev has consciously allowed itself to be used by NATO in the bloc’s wider conflict with Moscow!

    Biden’s existential angst in Ukraine

    John Day

    ​The House of Representatives is returning more to constitutional roots, away from the centralized power of the Pelosi years.​

    ​ ​McCarthy Faces First Test With House Rules Package, Including Vote To Cut IRS Funding
    ​ ​Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted “This is what we’ve been fighting for,” in relation to seven bills that the holdouts were able to include in the rules package, which is expected to be put to a vote on Monday.
    1) A bill to cut some of the additional funding that was made available to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
    2) A bill to authorize the secretary of Homeland Security to turn away people crossing the border illegally.
    3) A bill that includes prohibiting the secretary of energy from sending petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China.
    4) A tough-on-crime bill that includes amending the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act to direct the district attorney and prosecutor’s office to report to the attorney general.
    5) A bill to require a national instant crime background check system to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other law enforcement agencies when information surfaces that a person present in the United States illegally may be trying to obtain a firearm.
    6) A bill to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions.
    7) A bill to amend Title 18, United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.

    ​After they did a big clean up and bussed a lot of migrants into Mexico over the past few days.
    ​President Joe Biden has finally visited the US-Mexico border for the first time since taking office – but didn’t see or meet with any migrants despite taking a trip to a migrant respite center. https://www.zerohedge.com/political/biden-finally-visits-border-fails-meet-single-migrant


    I imagine people come to Tae for a variety of reasons. Ilargi supplies the lettuce. The commenters provide the dressing. Personally, I come for info about .gov shenannigans and tips on how to stay out of the way. Dr. John and Germ are helpful.
    Then there’s the entertainment angle. DR D and Bosco rank high. So do the fights and name calling on the far end of the playground. Something about agw. I usually don’t bother reading those. Just skip to the end where they call each other names. Trolls also entertain. Why do they try to det in a club where nobody likes them. Must be somebody puts them up to it.

    Leon Blanc-Sec

    Is Mr. Escobar on drugs?

    The way the little Special Military Operation has been going, after what is soon to be a full year, should be enough to dispel the myth that the Russian Army is incredibly competent, equipped with all sorts of unstoppable whiz-bang fanciest equipment, and led by a military super-genius that was popular in some circles… until the invasion of Ukraine.

    Russia has its hands full fighting backward, second-world at best, corrupt Ukraine, and it is supposed to be able to take on all NATO member states, disabling all their defenses, economic infrastructure and military installations in the blink of an eye, when it never managed to take Kiev located 200 miles from its border?

    And what’s with the criticality of the George Washington bridge to NYC?



    How an anti-drone gun works. Archival footage of the interception of an enemy UAV in the Donetsk direction.

    A fighter of the DPR People’s Militia, using a “drone swatter”, in a matter of seconds “drew” the copter of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and suppressed its control channels. After that, the “bird” of the enemy was planted and disabled.

    The electromagnetic gun used by the operator is equipped with additional antennas with an increased gain of the beam, which allows you to increase its range, and therefore play ahead of the curve. In modern combat, this is extremely important.

    The fighters of the DPR NM had to immediately change their position, since the coordinates of the place of loss of communication with the copter were known to the enemy. So, there was a possibility of getting under artillery fire from Ukrainian militants.



    Just a few random observations.

    1. The west is clearly winning the propaganda war in the Ukraine. Since both Hitler and the USSR won their propaganda wars, then history tells us the west is likely losing the war in the Ukraine.

    2. Why has Russian artillery been so effective in the Ukrainian war? People mention drones. What nobody seems to mention are the tethered drones. What are tethered drones you may ask? These are drones tethered to the ground by a physical connection. They stay in one place just like an observation balloon. However one can only place tethered drones if you have air superiority. Russia’s air defense system of S-300s, S-400s, and S-500s missiles does just that. This means Russia is able to maintain 24/7 surveillance on their frontlines in real time. The second thing about tethered drones is they are impervious to electronic jamming not to mention very hard to detect.

    3. AFKTT mentioned how it seems like the majority always wins, and is probably right, but here on TAE we are definately the minority! The majority rarely win with us!


    Do what you do do well, boy, do what you do do well.

    The meaningless do. And how English became the third-rate language in its own country. (Those damned Normans, conquering England, and then much of the rest of the world).

    Just think, if the English had not been successful in turfing out most of the French and Spanish from America, English would not be the dominant language of the times we live in.

    Russian and Chinese are clearly upward moving languages, as Oceania, otherwise known as NATO, progressively loses its wars with Eurasia and Eastasia.


    ‘We Are Facing The Entire NATO In Ukraine’: Kremlin Says, As UK Mulls Battle Tanks


    TUESDAY, JAN 10, 2023 – 10:45 AM

    Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev has issued ultra-provocative words claiming that it’s not fundamentally Ukraine that Russia is at war with, but that the Russian military is facing all of NATO inside Ukraine.

    “The events in Ukraine aren’t a clash between Moscow and Kiev. It’s a military confrontation of NATO, first of all the US and Britain, with Russia. Fearing a direct engagement, NATO instructors push Ukrainian men to certain death,” he said in a fresh interview with state-owned newspaper aif.ru.



    “Tell me this isn’t the mRNA “vaccines” doing this. It pains me to see good, but too trusting, people dying like flies.”

    “I’m with you. Breaks my heart to witness what’s happening. If this thing continues to go south, I will have no one I’m close to who make it through. I’ve got my fingers crossed this begins to lessen in the very near future.”

    Oh fuck all that noise.

    When society runs on irrational fears this is expected. This is Karmic, cause – effect, fuck around and find out lessons. One cannot escape the consequences of reality, no matter how much one tries to deny reality.

    The Covid cult members that went along with this bs, that did not resist, that obediently obeyed, that did not push back and defend basic human rights with dignity, that displayed eggregious condescending arrogance…they can all fuck off and die, sooner the better.

    As for the Cult overlord pushers, no mercy. If you want a better world, then you better be damn ready to dish out some pain to those fuckers. If you want a bitter world, then do nothing and complain about it like a coward.

    Do not obey, do not comply. Do not forget or forgive the cult, ever. Your life and everything you love is at stake. Live like it. You’re ALIVE, fucking act like it.

    Boo hooing for the virtue signalling vaxtards that are now sicker and dying as a result of their own stupidity? Heartbroken that they chose spiritual bankruptcy, zero intellectual curiosity and lined up like lab rat sheep? No way, Fuck that and fuck them.

    As for the children caught up in all this- Remember the words of a few of our “Leaders” –
    Madeleine Albright- “the price of 500,000 dead children was worth it”

    Team Obama- WASHINGTON — A 16-year-old American boy killed in an Obama administration drone strike “should have [had] a far more responsible father,” Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs says.

    We already know that War Criminal US Politicians do not blink an eye over murdering innocent children.
    We aleady knew Pharm Corporations were felons who have sickened and killed hundreds of thousands of human beings for profit. We know MSM are blatant liars and advertisers for the worst abusers.

    No one can claim “we didn’t know and how could this have happened?” However, the possibility still exists that WE can emphatically look at each other and insist that heads roll and this bs never happens again.

    Antidote for irrational fears? Courage, discernment, calm, logic, pause, process, honor, restraint, caution, extreme care. Danger, EXPLOSIVES, Handle with care.

    “In 3 to 5 years 90% of the vaxd will be dead”. We’re not even 2 years into this.

    Those are people who DIED, DIED, all of my friends, they DIED…


    Dead Dead Dead

    “The Covid cult members that went along with this bs, that did not resist, that obediently obeyed, that did not push back and defend basic human rights with dignity, that displayed eggregious condescending arrogance…they can all fuck off and die, sooner the better.”

    You appear to be getting your request.


    Drone corrected and directed artillery in action

    No where to run, no where to hide


    Think. Imagine.

    Elevators in your high-rise building does not work.

    What will it take for you to leave/go live somewhere else?
    (Ask a Ukrainian.)


    You appear to be getting your request.

    This is not my “request” asshole. Do not twist my words out of context. Are you too stupid to realize that Biden and company request mandated forced this crap on all of us? This was their request not mine…

    The govt/media/pharma/military/corporations decided to force vax our entire Nation. You want the vax? Go right ahead. You want to force rape me by vax? Fuck you and die.

    Veracious Poet

    What incredibly shallow claptrap…


    The way the little Special Military Operation has been going…

    Russia has its hands full fighting backward, second-world at best, corrupt Ukraine, and it is supposed to be able to take on all NATO member states

    @Leon Blanc-Sec

    ^^^ Hahahaha found another one

    The conflict is still ongoing, RF has destroyed hundreds of thousands of ukr nazis, taken and secured territory , and exposed Natos murderous intentions.

    Like I said, the conflict is still happening….

    Why not give us some of your expertise regarding the US led Nato war in Afghanistan that has ended for the US, cough cough? Trillions of dollars, ten of thousands of deaths, complete and total humiliating loss for the US just like Vietnam.

    The US did not fair too well against sandals and AK’s now did they? The RF will and must defend itself as the US and Nato have declared war on RF at its doorstep. What are your pronouns Mr Rainbow military enthusiast?





    Figmund Sreud



    Fatty Fight!

    With Mask face diapers on!


    Veracious Poet

    So much Doom & Gloom, devoid of any spiritual connection ~ I take a couple of days off the incessant whinging, banter & self-important rants only to find it worse then when I left 😕

    There’s a solution, but not in The land of the blind, where the one-eyed truth tellers are unnoted…

    Looks like Brazil is running the wildly successful Reichstag/Jan. 6 scam (following yet another *blatantly* corrupted s-election cabal filching), will it stand without protest like it has for the U.$. kleptocracy?

    Fascism for the Master Class + it’s select minions, Bread & Circuses (pretend sociolism) for *everyone* else, with a da$h of random winnowing for the unlucky souls that *trust* the med/science/pharm chem mafioso 😕

    Now I’m getting all Doom & Gloom, it’s getting real hard to see a happy ending in this here near pitch darkness, but I know somehow, somewhere, someday the *solution* will materialize…

    Sure hope they understand the insidious rot that the creation & exploitation of Emergency Powers have created & navigate back to *normalcy*.

    All blessings,


    John Day

    @Germ: Where inn this did you find the relative responsiveness of variants to HCQ and IVM, or did you already know that, and just compare rising variants by region?
    &Thank you for Gail’s latest. That girl is hip and diplomatic, without obfuscating her meaning.

    : Thank you for good finds and very good comments today, Brother.


    In 10 – 15 years
    Sea sponge has COVID-blocking powers
    by University of British Columbia

    All three of the most effective compounds were found in Canada: alotaketal C from a sea sponge collected in Howe Sound, B.C., bafilomycin D from a marine bacteria collected in Barkley Sound, B.C., and holyrine A from marine bacteria collected in Newfoundland waters.

    “We’ve been collecting things for 40 years all over the world, but these three just happen to be Canadian, and two are from B.C.,” said co-author Dr. Raymond Andersen, professor in the department of chemistry.

    Further testing showed the three compounds were effective against the delta variant and several omicron variants, and they are about as safe for human cells as current COVID-19 treatments. Many of these treatments are no longer effective against currently circulating omicron variants because the virus is evolving. This highlights the need for new antivirals, said Dr. Jean.

    More information: Jimena Pérez-Vargas et al, Discovery of lead natural products for developing pan-SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics, Antiviral Research (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2022.105484

    John Day

    Thanks for the Alastair Crooke, F.S. He is a gd analyst, has a lot of experience, and is a fine wordsmith.
    He does not go as deep into the rabbit hole as I would. The west is leveraged into massive debt-overhang and needs to rape Russia to pull out of the flaming dive.
    The $US was weaponized to pull that off and it failed, ruining the $US even more rapidly.
    Now US/NATO has sabotaged Germany/Europe, starved them for energy, and is slapping them around in public.
    Crooke acts if the US might save global $US hegemony somehow, but it is just running on momentum, and heading for the cliff where expediency evaporates and $US debts are defaulted upon widely.
    Trust is already gone.
    The UK empire jumped from the square mile of London to the US, for the most part.
    Can it be smothered to death? It’s not a baby. It’s a monster…


    Beyond my paygrade
    Alotaketal A
    Bafilomycin D
    holyrine A





    “supposed cures for these bioweapons.”
    Let’s not forget Spartacus’s mention of DRACO– the cure for all viruses.
    It’s harder to believe it was on purpose if they didn’t think they could be immune, themselves.


    Russia has its hands full fighting backward, second-world at best, corrupt Ukraine, and it is supposed to be able to take on all NATO member states, disabling all their defenses, economic infrastructure and military installations in the blink of an eye, when it never managed to take Kiev located 200 miles from its border?

    Not sure about that. When the war started, most pundits in the West thought it would be over in 30 days and Putin would be gone. The Ruble would be reduced to rubble they said. The Russian economy would be crushed. Well that did not play out as expected.

    The other story that came out from the West was that the real aim was regime change, and the strategy was to pull Russia into a long drawn out quagmire. It seems that Russia’s countermeasure was to minimize casualties, even at the expense of giving up territory. Russia may be willing to play a long game — as long as Ukraine is bleeding more than Russia.

    Perhaps Russia could have taken Kiev if it had made a more determined effort. Or perhaps they saw that as a trap — one that would be quite costly, and which might cause public support to dry up. Or perhaps once the Ruble and the economy stabilized, they did not believe that they were under pressure to take Kiev anytime soon.

    If Russia is expanding trade, and the Ruble is holding strong, and Russia can expand its weapons production, and Russia is not losing men . . . then maybe this situation can last a lot longer than either side expected last March. Which side does it favor?

    D Benton Smith

    Not to be a wet blanket or anything like that about the anti-viral wet dream of DRACO or anything like it ( see link to definition of DRACO at comment #125648) but some viruses are already KNOWN to be important or vital to organic life forms like us. There are probably other as yet UNKNOWN such viruses that we living humans host which in might also be necessary to us staying that way (i.e. alive), who knows? WE sure as hell don’t know, and that’s my point.

    If there are such “vital viruses” then DRACO , or something like it, would be a death sentence. Kind of a drawback or contra-indication, to my way of thinking.


    citizenx and Boogaloo each provide a response to Leon Blanc-Sec’s criticism, and I’ll add the question: what does taking Kiev accomplish? Is it true that Russia has its hands full — what is it doing with Japan, for example? Boogaloo does point to the Bigger Picture, where we do note that Russia is taking on NATO, and in the process allowing NATO to tear itself apart from the power dynamics already at work within it, as its corrupt production of war machines (for profit rather than for warfighting) empties its stocks and grinds away at resources through debt and its political corruption of bureaucrat machines (for profit rather than for egalitarian justice) depletes tolerance and patience and allows for balkanization to return to the union.

    Not bad for a first post, Leon, and good to start with asking questions. (Don’t worry too much about the eaten comments; it happens to others too) It’s also good to hold onto the data point that Ukraine is corrupt, because that unifies the critics of NATO as well as the critics of Russia, and they’ll both need to criticize together for the benefit of all those who wish to criticize in the future, critical times when there won’t be any spaces left for doubtful views.

    At any rate, not all military action is about conquering land. “Politics by other means” suggests that one’s purposes for destroying lives and rendering industries useless also include subjugation of opposing forces through depletion to make others “tap out” of larger political strategies.

    For example, by tying up his interlocutors with making them spend time crafting their own thoughtful responses and inspiring their comments with their particular idiosyncrasies, a clever agent of online terrain operations not only gains insights into the psychology and reasoning of those interlocutors but also adapts in directing their efforts, discovers opportunities for more elaborate mimicry and redeployment of thoughtforms in other terrains, and inevitably discerns characteristic weaknesses in the psychological frameworks necessary for supporting adherence to those thoughtforms. The less clever, instead, do not engage in any revealing conversation but instead respond to the elaborate approach with dismissive attention on projected weaknesses supposedly common: not everyone online is a glass cannon, but sometimes you’ll find operators treating others as though they are. They respond to longer, thoughtful discussions with short, unengaging accusation and/or imperative, and this closes off the opportunity for genuine victory.

    So rather than blow up one thoughtful commentor with a strike at their ego (a common place to think is someone’s “capital” or “nerve center”) in as few words as possible, a far more dangerous approach is to figure out how someone thinks through studying their capacity to respond and engage with their own internal questions and allowing them space and opportunity to grind away, for in this way, you conquer an opponent through their own inconsistencies, which every human will have as a function of the language they use to articulate their thoughts (“How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find a word that means Maria?”). They will change their minds on the basis of their own values, and in this metanoia one can insert just the right key strokes to effect great changes down the line. Someone who is doing this for the sake of truth, who changes their mind after thinking about it, this is one who is much more valuable a prize than turning someone into a memetic repeater: genuine people see and think clear through the fraud of the mindless repeater, and although the ubiquity of billboards proves that saturation has some benefits, a billboard never changes the whole of a society as much as a genuine and convinced human soul.

    I am just talking in a metaphor about warfare here. My point is simple: winning quickly is not the same thing as taking quickly, and “quickly” is not always the same thing as “efficiently”. Sometimes, the careful destruction of an opponent involves drawing them into their own self-destruction, with feinting, false securities, and informed study of “gravity centers” —those places where their forces draw their strength, momentum and orientation. A well-played strike to make an opponent doubt the gravity of their center will have long-term and altering effects ; an ill-timed display of ineffective aggression only reveals insufficiency and lack of preparation, and this never will significantly alter the terrain.

    Leon Blanc-Sec

    When the war started, most pundits in the West thought it would be over in 30 days and Putin would be gone

    Curious, I remember the opposite. Most people were saying that despite Ukrainian resistance they failed to see how Ukraine could not get crushed in a matter of weeks or a few months. And if western commentators were gloomy, the russophiles were triumphant. If I may I quote The Saker, who for some reason regularly gets reprinted on this blog like he’s an authority on the conflict even though he has been cosmically wrong about it:

    February 28
    The big story here is the gradual closing of the operational cauldron in the East. Once it it closed, about 10-12 Ukie brigades will have to chose: surrender or die.
    Kiev: the city is blocked from three directions, but the Russians have left one open corridor which anybody can take to safely get out.

    March 02
    For all practical purposes the entire Nazi concentration of course in the Donbass is now locked into an operational cauldron.
    Long range, standoff capabilities: gone
    Air defenses: gone
    Regular ground forces: no less than 65% (some say up to 80%) of the Ukie military is surrounded and condemned
    Ukrainian disarmament: mostly already done, the Ukraine has nothing to threaten Russia with
    the real magnitude of the Ukrainian defeat will become impossible to conceal in just a few days.
    the entire Nazi force in the Donbass is not getting resupplied. Not by air, not by sea and not by road.

    March 9
    Dismembering and disorganizing the Ukrainian military achieved in the estimated 24 hours
    Closing the operational cauldron behind the Ukie forces in the Donbass: achieved in 2 weeks
    Russia basically encircled Kiev.

    Leon Blanc-Sec

    What are your pronouns Mr Rainbow military enthusiast?

    Well a good evening to you too. Why don’t you leave the keyboard, take a long walk in the park, you may need it, you look a little tense.

    You have no idea what I think about anything – except, perhaps, how ridiculous is that little fantasy Mr. Escobar is having about Russia insouciantly crushing Europe and the US militarily and economically in a matter of minutes, considering the success it has had in the war it is already in. Destroying all bases in Europe, all airports, destroying all industrial infrastructure, destroying cities in another continent when it cannot do so in a war on its doorstep in a war it describes as existential.


    ‘MMA promise Victoria Lee dies at age 18 of unknown causes

    Farewell to Victoria Lee

    Devastating news for the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Victoria Lee, one of its strongest young promises, died unexpectedly at age 18.’


    Unexpectedly, unknown causes.

    Add to the lexicon of The Age of Consequences.

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