Titian Venus of Urbino 1534
Comedians were funnier before they started toeing the government line. pic.twitter.com/F0D5OW577f
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) August 21, 2023
A year ago I said that the US dollar is losing its world reserve currency status because of the efforts by BRICS+ to stop using USD in trade. Now USD is losing trade volume everywhere. Soon the US Govt can’t print the money it needs without hyperinflation. pic.twitter.com/xFDaE0FFXx
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) August 17, 2023
Worth every minute of your time.
”President Biden has enabled ‘combat pay’ which implies there are American forces on the ground in Ukraine.”
Tucker Carlson on Monday published an interview with former Trump administration official Col. Douglas Macgregor (Ret.), who explained why the war in Ukraine has put the United States on the brink of a ‘catastrophic war that could easily destroy us.’ Carlson begins with a bold statement: “pretty much everything that NBC and The NYTimes have told you about the war in Ukraine is a lie.” “‘The Russian army is incompetent’ – they claim. ‘Ukraine is a Democracy!’ ‘Vladimir Putin is Hitler and he’s trying to take over the world!’ ‘Thankfully, the Ukrainians are winning.’ “Every claim is false, the last one especially,” said Carlson, adding “the Ukrainian army is not winning – in fact, it’s losing badly. Ukraine is being destroyed. Its population is being slaughtered.”
“Most American know nothing about Ukraine,” Macgregor continued, adding that “if they knew anything about the history of Eastern Europe, they would all say ‘get out!’… because the wars and the blood and the hatred that’s been fought over for centuries is something we can’t sort out.” Macgregor’s comments grow more ominous in their tone as the discussion continues. He notes that President Biden has enabled ‘combat pay’ which implies there are American forces on the ground in Ukraine. “It would be a mistake to think that the Russian forces do not know where they are,” the retired colonel explains, pointing out that the Russians are sending a message with recent precision missile strikes near the borders of Poland and Moldova: “if you think you can hide from us, if you come in here, if you cross these borders, we will annihilate you.”
We need to come to terms with these realities because we can’t defeat it,” he remarked reflecting on the fact that people have called him ‘unpatriotic’ for his comments. He summed the situation in Ukraine up rather succinctly: “if we press this war with Russia in Central East Europe, it will reach us here in the United States.” According to Macgregor, “The smartest thing we can do is end this war now,” adding “The Russians will never tolerate NATO forces on Ukrainian soil.” “Ukrainian forces are in piecemeal fashion, surrendering to the Russians, not because they don’t want to fight; it’s because they can’t fight anymore, they have so many wounded they can’t evacuate them … we’re going to see this army that we have spent so heavily on, melt away.”
When it comes to the equipment being used to fight, MacGregor said that “a lot of the equipment we sent over there is quite frankly, obsolete… its very old, it’s not new.” “Integrated air defenses will knock virtually everything that flies out of the sky,” he said, adding “We will then fall back on a nuclear deterrent – a tactical nuclear weapon that says ‘if you keep advancing, we’ll have to use a nuclear weapon.’ We don’t want to go there, because the notion that there are so-called tactical nukes ‘oh, it’s just a little nuke, so that won’t precipitate a nuclear war’ – the use of any nuclear weapon is going to precipitate an escalation very rapidly,” he said.
Ep. 18 Into the abyss: Colonel Douglas Macgregor tells us why the Ukraine war must end now. pic.twitter.com/a3bGLvJC4s
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 21, 2023
Medvedev on Telegram: “This is a good day for Ukraine, and consequently, a good day for Europe,” said the foreign minister with an incomplete secondary education, Annalena Berbock, regarding the decision to supply F-16 aircraft to the Bandera brothers of German Nazis. Oh, don’t play with toy planes in your sandbox, kids. Let’s hope one of these future ‘good days’ for Europe doesn’t turn out to be its last day…”
“Since Russian intelligence has certain capabilities to track such cargoes, it is possible to detect their location and eliminate them even before the start of their operation..”
While Ukraine is now set to receive F-16 Falcon fighter jets from NATO, they won’t be on the battlefield for at least six months, and they stand little chance of being effective for at least two years, meaning the program won’t affect the course of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine for a while, experts told Sputnik. According to the latest deal hammered out between the NATO powers and Ukraine, the Netherlands and Denmark will together supply Kiev with 61 F-16 Falcon fighter jets of the older A/B variants – with updated equipment – in exchange for being permitted to buy newer versions of the jet from the United States. Kiev has long sought Falcons, which were introduced as an interceptor in the 1970s to counter Soviet fighters and bombers, as a year and a half of combat has severely attrited its air forces.
While Western powers that are former Soviet allies have until this point supplied Ukraine with Soviet-made aircraft from their own inventories, shipping Western-made fighters presents a new challenge since both Ukrainian pilots and Ukrainian technology will have to be adapted to use them. Boris Rozhin, a military expert with the Center for Military-Political Journalism, an independent Russian military affairs think tank, said that the transfer of fighters would likely be slow and it would present few problems for Russian forces.“It was promised that Denmark and Holland should receive 61 F-16 fighters according to their plans within three years. That is, some quantity will be delivered possibly before the end of the year, some parts will arrive in 2024-25 and even possibly in 2026.
This is a rather lengthy process, at each stage of which geopolitical and technical problems may arise. Maybe the conflict will come to naught by then. Various things can happen. But there is no particular doubt that these aircraft will be provided in principle, the process is underway, approved by the United States,” he told Sputnik. “It has already passed into the stage of practical implementation, so the planes will take part in the fighting. It depends on the quantity of the first delivery. In addition, how many aircraft will be delivered as part of the first batch is also unclear, as is the final number of aircraft that will be provided to Ukrainian troops,” Rozhin said. “If the planes are nevertheless handed over, the pilots have time to master these machines and learn how to handle them correctly and efficiently, then they will be used to launch missiles.
That is, they will also seek to carry out missile strikes against our facilities, because they fly at low altitudes,” Rozhin said. “In response, we can attack the airfields where they are based and warehouses with missiles that are transmitted from the West. Since Russian intelligence has certain capabilities to track such cargoes, it is possible to detect their location and eliminate them even before the start of their operation,” Rozhin continued. “We will probably also see strikes on military targets, personnel accommodation facilities and guarding the parking lot or repairing such vehicles. They will need to hide them well to avoid such blows.”
“..those two mocked whistleblowers prompted the Justice Department to prosecute..”
“There is a time to laugh and a time not to laugh, and this is not one of them.” Those words from Inspector Jacques Clouseau may have to be emblazoned across the hearing room of the House Oversight Committee. It was a month ago that House Democratic members mocked the testimony of two whistleblowers who testified about the rigged investigation to protect Hunter Biden, the son of President Biden. Now it appears that the controversial “sweetheart deal” was not the first choice of US Attorney David Weiss. He actually was planning to let Hunter walk without even a misdemeanor charge despite massive unpaid taxes, gun violations, and work as an unregistered foreign agent, among other alleged crimes. The reason for his change at Justice, according to the New York Times? Those pesky whistleblowers.
One of the most insulting moments for the respected IRS agents came from ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who mocked the allegations as part of “this Inspector Clouseau-style quest for something that doesn’t exist [that] has turned our committee into a theater of the absurd, an exercise in futility and embarrassment.” Raskin assured the public that these “disagreements” are “routine” matters in investigations (a position echoed by his junior colleague, Rep. Dan Goldman of New York). The IRS agents tried to object that they had never seen anything like what happened in this case. Then the case became anything but a laughing matter for Democrats. The plea agreement with Hunter Biden collapsed within minutes of a federal judge asking a few basic questions.
When District Judge Maryellen Noreika balked at sweeping language on immunity, she asked the prosecutor if he had ever seen any agreement like this one. He answered “no” and the deal quickly fell apart, with Hunter Biden’s lawyer finally saying exasperatedly, “Just rip it up.” The language was anything but routine. Then an FBI agent spoke to Congress and confirmed testimony of the IRS agents, including that Hunter Biden was tipped off on an attempt to interview him. The agent said they were forced to sit a block away and told not to approach the house. The interview was then cut off. He described being “upset” and how this was not routine. The New York Times, which has spent years downplaying the Hunter Biden scandal, has published an internal account of the investigation. The Times reported that US Attorney David Weiss was actually preparing to let Hunter walk “without requiring a guilty plea on any charges.”
However, that “changed in the spring, around the time a pair of IRS officials on the case accused the Justice Department of hamstringing the investigation. Mr. Weiss suddenly demanded that Mr. Biden plead guilty to committing tax offenses.” In other words, according to the Times, those two mocked whistleblowers prompted the Justice Department to prosecute. Why would that be? Attorney General Merrick Garland insisted that no political pressure or political considerations would affect the investigation. Yet it appears that the Biden team did raise the potential embarrassment for the president and the Justice Department if Hunter faced serious charges. New emails reveal that Hunter Biden’s lawyers told the prosecutors that, if there were serious charges, it would be President Biden in the spotlight.
Gavin Newsom is trying to get him off the ballot in California..
The popularity of urban legends is a testament to the will to believe. The desire of people to keep Elvis alive or prove that a Sasquatch could exist furtively in our backyards shows the resilience of fables. Constitutional urban legends often have an even more immediate appeal and tend to arise out of the desperation of divided times. One of the most popular today is that former President Donald Trump can be barred from office, even if he is not convicted in any of the four indictments he faces, under a long-dormant clause of the 14th Amendment. This 14th Amendment theory is something that good liberals will read to their children at night. It goes something like this: Donald Trump can never be president again, because the 14th Amendment bars those who previously took federal oaths from assuming office if they engaged in insurrection or rebellion.
With that, and a kiss on the forehead, a progressive’s child can sleep peacefully through the night. But don’t look under the bed. For as scary as it might sound to some, Trump can indeed take office if he is elected…even if he is convicted. Indeed, he can serve as president even in the unlikely scenario that he is sentenced to jail. Democrats have long pushed this theory about the 14th Amendment as a way of disqualifying not only Trump but also dozens of Republican members of Congress. For some, it is the ultimate Hail Mary pass if four indictments, roughly 100 criminal charges and more than a dozen opposing candidates fail to get the job done. I have strongly rejected this interpretation for years, so it is too late to pretend that I view this as a plausible argument.
However, some serious and smart people take an equally strong position in support of the theory. Indeed, conservative scholars William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen have argued for the interpretation and insist in a recent law review article that “the case is not even close. All who are committed to the Constitution should take note and say so.” But some of us like to believe that we are committed to the Constitution and, for that same reason, we say no. While I have great respect for these academics, I simply fail to see how the text, history or purpose of the 14th Amendment even remotely favors this view. Despite the extensive research of Baude and Paulsen, their analysis ends where it began: Was January 6 an insurrection or rebellion? I have previously addressed the constitutional basis for this claim. It is, in my view, wildly out of sync with the purpose of the amendment, which followed an actual rebellion, the Civil War.
“..yet a new, fresh Covid-19 scare for the fall, in order to reenforce the special mail-in voting scheme that’s working so nicely (for them)..”
If you are among that segment of the population that has not lost its mind, you might realize that the public health authorities have no authority. They lied outrageously about everything connected with Covid-19. And when they were caught lying, they just lied some more in the vain attempt to cover up their previous lies. And so, it would be foolish to regard anything they say from now on — without a complete house-cleaning of agency personnel, plus some earnest prosecutions — as worth listening to and following. Authority, you see, is granted only to those who are trustworthy. Yes, it’s really that simple. If an authority lies about everything, and is caught doing it, then it is rendered invalid.
Now, it happens that the US public health agencies, huge and costly as they are, make up only one part of the even larger and costlier US government, which has been busy surrendering the authority of all its other parts for years now, to the point that the whole enterprise is untrustworthy and in need of a severe housecleaning. Traditionally, elections are the mechanism for cleaning that house, but our elections have lost their authority, too? Really? How so? Because the untrustworthy officials in charge of them employ dubious systems for gathering the vote: mail-in balloting that invites fraud and hackable vote-counting machines that are connected to the Internet. The defects of these things are so obvious they can hardly be ignored. And the remedy is obvious and simple, too: paper ballots hand-counted in small precincts of manageable size, all done on one day, which we call Election Day (and which should be a national holiday, so more working people can get to the polls).
Somehow, though, we are unable to avail that remedy, probably because the untrustworthy people in charge would lose their jobs and the power they enjoy in a truly fair election. So, they conclude, let’s not have that. It’s even looking like the untrustworthy public health authorities are ramping up yet a new, fresh Covid-19 scare for the fall, in order to reenforce the special mail-in voting scheme that’s working so nicely (for them), and to disorder the minds of the public so they’ll be too frightened to notice that all the other parts of the government are failing in virtually all their duties to the people of this land. Bring on some new Covid variants and the lovely new booster vax that’ll work so well (not). Go ahead, we should say, I dare you. We won’t be fooled again.
BRICS Summit in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24.
African nations can establish new trade alliances by working with the BRICS group of emerging economies, Tanzania’s high commissioner to South Africa told RT in an exclusive interview on Sunday. Maj Gen Gaudence Salim Milanzi said BRICS is “the hottest club in the world” and although Tanzania has not yet applied for membership, it sees opportunities in working with the bloc. A Tanzanian delegation will be attending the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24. Milanzi explained that “BRICS offers an alternative to many other systems which we have now.” African nations have traditionally traded with Western countries, but “we always look for other trading partners,” and that is what BRICS can offer as well “as a huge economic bloc.”
According to the high commissioner, the economic objectives of BRICS – currently comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are “aligned to what Tanzania aspires to” and “there is common ground.” Milanzi noted “a welcome change” in recent years in how Western and Eastern countries have turned their focus to Africa and poured investment into the continent. “Many countries are realizing the potential of Africa as an economic partner,” he added. Gaudence Salim Milanzi also pointed to the long-running exploitation of Africa, saying that with its vast resources the continent “should not be poor as it is now” and that it needs “the development to be actually in Africa itself.”
“..Over 40 countries have expressed their desire to join BRICS, with 23 of them doing so officially..”
The heads of state or heads of government of the five member states – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – will be attending the BRICS 2023 Summit this year. Accordingly, on the list are President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, which took up the rotating chairship of the group in January, China’s President Xi Jinping, Brazil’s President Lula da Silva, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the gathering in person, but is expected to participate in the summit via video link. The online speech of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the BRICS summit in South Africa is expected to take place on August 23, according to Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s BRICS envoy. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be heading the country’s delegation at the BRICS 2023 Summit.
The South African president has “invited (with consensus support from his fellow BRICS Leaders) sixty-seven (67) Leaders from Africa and the global South to attend the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogues. The Leaders cover all the continents and regions of the global South,” South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said earlier in August. Another 20 representatives of international organizations have also been invited, the minister said. “The President has also invited twenty (20) dignitaries that include the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the President of the New Development Bank, the Chairs and Executive Heads of African Regional Economic Communities, African financial institutions, and the Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat and CEO of the African Union Development Agency,” the statement said.
Currently, 41 countries have confirmed their participation, with more expected, according to Anil Sooklal. Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergey Aleinik will participate in the BRICS Summit, Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anatoly Glaz told Sputnik. “On the instructions of the head of state, our delegation [to BRICS] will be headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Aleinik,” Glaz said. He added that the country will participate in the BRICS-AFRICA Outreach and BRICS+ dialogues. This will be the first time Belarus takes part in BRICS Summit events, Glaz noted. No Western leaders have been invited.
[..] Over 40 countries have expressed their desire to join BRICS, with 23 of them doing so officially, according to South African top diplomat Naledi Pandor. “We have had formal expressions of interest from the Leaders of 23 countries in joining BRICS, and many more informal approaches about the possibilities of BRICS membership,” Pandor said. Among those who have officially applied are Argentina, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Senegal, Algeria, Ethiopia, Iran, and Indonesia. “The list of countries is large,” Anil Sooklal said..
“In terms of a game-changing geopolitical moment, this is it..”
Johannesburg is gearing up for the 15th BRICS Summit, which will kick off on Tuesday and run through Thursday, with this year’s theme entitled “|BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism.” “Multilateralism” is perhaps the most significant word to describe the gathering nations’ intentions, with the BRICS’ combined economic might already outweighing that of the G7, and, when accounting for the human, geographic, economic and resource potential of countries that have expressed interest in joining, pose a serious challenge to the US-led international order. “The great potential for creating a fair and democratic architecture of international relations lies in structures like BRICS,” Russian foreign intelligence chief Sergei Naryshkin said last week on the eve of the summit.
Pointing to the bloc name’s similarity to the English word “bricks”, Naryshkin indicated that BRICS is a subtle nod to the US and its allies that the so-called “rules based international order” is on its way out. “These are indeed the building blocks in the foundation of a truly free and equal world. In the near future, new bricks or poles will be added. The structure of multipolarity will continue to grow and strengthen, protecting the rights of nations to sovereignty and identity will promoting real economic development. No beast on Earth will succeed in dismantling this structure.” “In terms of a game-changing geopolitical moment, this is it,” Pepe Escobar told Sputnik, when asked about the special significance of this year’s BRICS summit.
“Much more than previous summits, much more than the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, much more than all previous BRICS summits. And the fact that it takes place in Africa, which, as we all know now, is at the center of everything once again, especially because of, let’s put it concisely, the ‘African revolt against French neocolonialism,'” only adds to the gathering’s significance, Escobar said. There’s also “the fact that the organizing committee invited 67 heads of state of powerful representatives from all over Africa and many other places in the Global South to be part of discussions involving the collaboration between BRICS and Africa and also ‘BRICS+,” Escobar added, referring to the exciting prospect of new members joining the bloc for the first time since South Africa itself did so in 2010.
“One thing we already know for sure coming from [leaders’ representatives] is that they already decided on a mechanism for the absorption of new members. Of course, this is a very complex endeavor because it involves, at the last count, over 30 nations, 23 that that have already expressed their formal desire to be part of BRICS+,” the observer noted. “Of course, these are baby steps, Escobar clarified. “We should not expect BRICS in two days in South Africa [to turn] the ‘rules-based international order’ upside down. No, this is going to be a gradual, slow moving, very challenging process. But what’s happening in South Africa and immediately after South Africa is, let’s say, a sort of Rosetta Stone for what’s going to happen ahead.”
Iran, Indonesia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia. Who else in round 1?
About 20 countries are reportedly seeking admission to the five-member organization and the list of countries that will be represented at the meeting in South Africa is three times as long. This is a sign of the times and points to two things: the yearning of many non-Western nations to become more consequential to how the world is run, and the growing pushback against self-serving Western dominance in global politics, economics, finance, and the media. This does not mean, however, that BRICS (an acronym made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will have an easy run in reshaping the world order. Ahead of the Johannesburg summit, two issues emerged as the main challenges to the group’s further evolution.
One is expanding membership. A number of countries from all over the globe have lined up at BRICS’ door, ready to walk in. These include Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Going for a big-bang enlargement would be a loud statement, to the effect that an alternative to the US-led system of alliances and partnerships is being built. However, the question is would such an expansion make a much more diversified BRICS immediately stronger or not?
[..] Within BRICS itself, views on enlargement differ. Yet, there is a model that can prove useful. Another non-Western group, with some of the same participant states, did manage the enlargement issue without diluting effectiveness. This was the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which started with Russia, China, and three Central Asian states. Over time, the SCO has found a formula for categories of participating countries and criteria-cum-processes for admitting new full members. The organization was able to extend its full membership to India and Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Iran, with a number of others in line for admission. If the SCO approach is adopted by BRICS, this could be a solution.
The other challenge for the bloc is coming up with new financial instruments to reduce the non-Western economies’ dependence on the dollar. Washington’s weaponization of its currency in its Hybrid War against Russia and its concurrent manipulation of trade and technology against China have made the issue urgent. Western restrictions have hampered the activities of the BRICS’ New Development Bank. Calls have been made for the group to create a common currency, to break the dollar’s monopoly in world finance. Yet, it is self-evident that creating a reserve currency for five very different economies, of which China accounts for two-thirds of the combined nominal GDP of the group, will run up against the jealously guarded principle of national sovereignty. The original goal of achieving financial independence will not be met.
“What we do seek is to advance the agenda of the Global South and to build a more inclusive, representative, just, fair global architecture..”
China plans to push for BRICS to become a full-fledged rival of the G7 during the bloc’s upcoming summit in South Africa, officials told the Financial Times. The Chinese government has “clashed” with India over the prospect of expanding the bloc in the run-up to the event, which is scheduled to take place in Johannesburg between August 22 and 24, the British paper reported on Sunday. According to FT’s sources, there’s no agreement between Beijing and New Delhi on whether BRICS, which currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, should be a non-aligned economic club or a political force that openly challenges the West. South African officials told the paper that 23 countries had expressed interest in joining BRICS and some of these could receive invitations to join in Johannesburg.
The report singled out Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia as the favorites to become the first new members of the bloc since the inclusion of South Africa in 2010. “If we expand BRICS to account for a similar portion of world GDP as the G7, then our collective voice in the world will grow stronger,” an unnamed Chinese official told the FT. Earlier this month, New Delhi dismissed media reports that it opposed the expansion of the bloc, with Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi describing them as “baseless speculation.” “As mandated by the leaders last year, BRICS members are internally discussing the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures for the BRICS expansion process on the basis of full consultation and consensus,” Bagchi pointed out.
A senior Brazilian diplomat told the FT that the country supported the expansion of BRICS, but noted that “it’s important that criteria are defined for the entrance of these new members.” Last week, South Africa’s ambassador to BRICS, Anil Sooklal, dismissed claims that the bloc is “anti-West” and looking to compete with the G7. “What we do seek is to advance the agenda of the Global South and to build a more inclusive, representative, just, fair global architecture,” he explained. In early August, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said Russia believes that “in one form or another, the expansion of BRICS will contribute to the further development and strengthening of this organization.” He noted that “the format and size” of this expansion would be discussed by BRICS leaders during the summit in Johannesburg, in which Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate via video link.
2/3 of people want him gone. That can’t of course be his fault…
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz received a frosty welcome during a campaign speech in Munich’s iconic Marienplatz square on Friday evening. Critics of the country’s military aid to Ukraine booed the official, who then questioned the true intentions of his detractors and accused them of playing right into Russia’s hands. Scholz was confronted by a crowd that was calling the chancellor a “warmonger,” “loser,” and “liar,” among other things. The chancellor parried, insisting that the “right-wing populists” stand for a “gloomy future.” Scholz went on to argue that those demanding an end to German weapon deliveries to Ukraine were not peace doves, but rather “fallen angels, that come from hell, because at the end of the day they make the case for a warmonger,” – an apparent reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The official went on to defend his decision to provide Kiev with weapons to fend off “imperialist aggression,” assuring the public that such steps were taken only after careful consideration. Similar scenes occurred during events attended by Scholz in Frankfurt and Neuruppin last week, with critics also taking aim at his climate policies. Meanwhile, the results of a new opinion poll released by Bild on Saturday indicated that some 64% of respondents would want to see the incumbent “traffic light” coalition government made up of Scholz’s Social Democrats, the Free Democrats, and the Greens replaced. Only 22% are content with the way the country is being governed at present, the media outlet revealed, with 70% of the Germans polled dissatisfied with Scholz personally.
Back in June, Scholz was booed at a ‘European Festival’ in the town of Falkensee, organized by his own SPD party.As captured by a Ruptly video agency cameramen, some of the attendees denounced the chancellor as a “people’s traitor” and a “warmonger,” while calling for “peace without weapons.” According to Bild, some of those people were members of right-wing groups and were sporting pro-Russia symbols.Scholz’s government has consistently supported Ukraine since the start of its conflict with Russia last February, with the chancellor predicting that Berlin would have to provide weapons to Kiev for years to come.
However, in addition to those opposing such deliveries, the official has also caught flak from top Ukrainian officials and some politicians at home for his apparent hesitancy when it has come to certain types of hardware, such as Leopard tanks.Speaking at another event on Friday, the official insisted that all efforts to shore up Ukraine were being undertaken only after careful consideration and in close coordination with allies to minimize the risk of the conflict merging into a “war between Russia and NATO.”
Is limitless energy a good idea for mankind? Look at what we did with our newfound energy the past 200 years…
Earlier in August, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California said it had repeated its controlled nuclear fusion reaction experiment, achieving higher energy yield than during the laboratory’s original feat last December. Back then, the US scientists became the first to conduct a controlled fusion experiment that produced more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it. Such developments have excited proponents of fusion who hope to one day produce nearly limitless, carbon-free energy and displace fossil fuels as well as other traditional energy sources. However, this remains an elusive goal at the moment since fusion happens at inordinately high temperatures and pressures that are extremely hard to control.
“In the recent experiment, the fusion energy is very small. It can heat roughly a cup of water. To produce a power plant (i.e. to produce hundreds of megawatts of power per hour) one would need to have many fusion explosions per second. Now, one has no idea how to produce laser pulses at the required rate. My conclusion is that one would need at least 30 years of research to approach the necessary performance and it is not clear at all if it is possible,” Jean Barrette, professor emeritus with McGill University’s Department of Physics, said. When asked which of the main approaches to controlled-fusion energy — inertial confinement or magnetic confinement — is more viable from a technical and economic standpoint, the expert replied that there was no way to determine this as both methods have a long way to go before reaching a final positive result.
The magnetic confinement approach is embodied in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, which has been in development since the late 1980s, with actual construction launched in 2010. Nevertheless, while ITER is closer to being a working power plant, it is still unclear whether the project will be economically viable, Barrette said. At the same time, the inertial confinement model used by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is “further away but may be progressing faster at least for a while,” the expert added. “Note [that] today one only talks about the Livermore Inertial Confinement Result and ITER as the only two options. This is not quite the total picture,” Barrette said, citing reports about other approaches, some of which are quite old.
“Tyrannies, from Biblical times to the present, invert the rule of law. They turn the law into an instrument of injustice. They cloak their crimes in a faux legality. They use the decorum of the courts and trials, to mask their criminality. ”
Bearing the cross, living in truth, is not about the pursuit of happiness. It does not embrace the illusion of inevitable human progress. It is not about achieving wealth, celebrity or power. It entails sacrifice. It is about our neighbor. The organs of state security monitor and harass you. They amass huge files on your activities. They disrupt your life. They throw you in prison, even when, like Julian, you did not commit a crime. It is not a new story. Nor is our indifference to evil; palpable evil we can see in front of us, new. In the reading from the Hebrew Bible we hear the story of the prophet Jeremiah. He, like Julian, exposed the corruption and lust for war by the powerful. He warned of the catastrophe that inevitably comes when the covenant with God is broken.
He condemned idolatry, the corruption of kings, priests and false prophets. Jeremiah was arrested, beaten and put in stocks. He was forbidden from preaching. An attempt was made on his life. After Egypt was conquered by Babylon, and Judea began to prepare for war, Jeremiah delivered an oracle warning the king to maintain peace. King Zedekiah ignored him. Babylon besieged Jerusalem. Jeremiah was arrested and imprisoned. He was freed by the Babylonians after Jerusalem’s conquest, but was exiled to Egypt, where, according to the Biblical tradition, he was stoned to death. Jeremiah, like Julian, understood that a society that prohibits the capacity to speak in truth extinguishes the capacity to live in justice.
Yes, all of us who know and admire Julian decry his prolonged suffering and the suffering of his family. Yes, we demand that the many wrongs and injustices that have been visited upon him end. Yes, we honor him for his courage and his integrity. But the battle for Julian’s liberty has always been much more than the persecution of a publisher. It is the most important battle for press freedom, and truth, of our era. And if we lose this battle, it will be devastating, not only for Julian and his family, but for us. Tyrannies, from Biblical times to the present, invert the rule of law. They turn the law into an instrument of injustice. They cloak their crimes in a faux legality. They use the decorum of the courts and trials, to mask their criminality.
Those, such as Julian, who expose that criminality to the public are dangerous, for without the pretext of legitimacy the tyranny loses credibility and has nothing left in its arsenal but fear, coercion and violence. The long campaign against Julian and WikiLeaks is a window into the collapse of the rule of law, the rise of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of “inverted totalitarianism,” a form of totalitarianism that maintains the fictions of the old capitalist democracy, including its institutions, iconography, patriotic symbols and rhetoric, but internally has surrendered total control to the dictates of global corporations.
I was in the London courtroom during Julian’s extradition hearing overseen by Judge Vanessa Baraitser, an updated version of the Queen of Hearts in “Alice in Wonderland”, demanding the sentence before pronouncing the verdict. It was a judicial farce. There was no legal basis to hold Julian in prison. There was no legal basis to try him, an Australian citizen, under the U.S. Espionage Act. The CIA spied on Julian in the embassy through the Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide embassy security. This spying included recording the privileged conversations between Julian and his lawyers as they discussed his defense. This fact alone invalidated the hearing. Julian is being held in a high security prison so the state can, as Nils Melzer, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, has testified, continue the degrading abuse and torture it hopes will lead to his psychological, if not physical disintegration.
This deceiving grid tricks you into thinking there’s a curved line somewhere, but you can’t find it. The purposefully placed gray lines will induce your peripheral vision to interpolate curved lines [image by Lesha Porche. Explanation: https://buff.ly/3b79VC8]
– Just one dragonfly can consume over one hundred mosquitos in a day
– Dragonflies can fly backwards
– They have nearly 360-degree vision
– Their wings inhibit bacterial growth due to their natural structures
– They're actually beautiful pic.twitter.com/DJ4s7ieNWt
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) August 21, 2023
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