Salvador Dalí The persistence of memory 1931
Tucker Iowa Excellent
Ep. 65 What the results in Iowa mean. pic.twitter.com/fVAObbJWIB
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) January 16, 2024
📷📷BREAKING 📷Watch the full interview with Andrii Derkach, the Ukrainian parliamentarian who exposed Biden’s family corruption in Ukraine and that have been targeted by both Ukraine and the USA as result.
He disappeared from the public ever since but we achieved to catch him… pic.twitter.com/kLCIDhCoal
— Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos (@SimonaMangiante) January 11, 2024
Meeting his masters and sponsors: thank you for murdering the US reporter pic.twitter.com/GGmWzxDulS
— Russian Market (@runews) January 16, 2024
BREAKING: New Bombshell January 6th footage shows Nancy Pelosi's security detail member Special Agent David Lazarus perjured himself during the Oath Keepers trial
Lazarus testified that he witnessed "antagonistic" encounters between the Oath Keepers and Officer Harry Dunne… pic.twitter.com/EdrOpUfYnL
— George (@BehizyTweets) January 15, 2024
“..for success two major problems must be solved — dislocation and exploitation. One precedes and one follows the actual blow — which in comparison is a simple act.”
When your enemy dupes you into compounding your mistakes, without achieving your military objectives, he is leading you into an escalation of force which will defeat you, sooner or later. Later is more costly, defeat more ruinous, so the Arab-Iranian alliance against Israel and the US is waging the long war they were never before believed capable to fight. No matter how much force you use, every US Army manual on winning battles and wars says the same thing. Captain B.H. Liddell Hart, the British Army strategist of a generation ago, advised that “for success two major problems must be solved — dislocation and exploitation. One precedes and one follows the actual blow — which in comparison is a simple act.” Today is Tuesday morning — and it is already plain on the Middle Eastern battlefield that the Anglo-American air attacks against Yemeni targets of Friday and Saturday have “dislocated” none of the capabilities of the Ansarallah government in Sanaa and the Houthi military units.
For exploitation after the air strikes, the initiative has remained instead with the Houthis: they are continuing their attacks on the US Navy fleet in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, keeping them on guard, but demonstrating they are ineffectual to protect US and Israel-connected shipping now diverting from the area. “War is a two-party affair,” old Liddell Hart had said, “in order to hit with effect, the enemy must be taken off his guard.” In the Middle East the enemy has been taken off his guard. That’s to say, the Israelis, the Americans, and the British. Minutes after midnight on Tuesday, Moscow time, Russian military bloggers began relaying the news from Iran and Yemen of new missile attacks against a Greek-American owned bulker in the Gulf of Aden during the afternoon, and hours later at night, a US mercenary forces unit, a US consulate building, an Israeli base, and the home of a leading oil trader in the Kurdish city of Erbil in northern Iraq.
According to Boris Rozhin’s Colonel Cassad Telegram platform, “the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has officially announced that the ballistic missile attack on US and Mossad bases in Iraq was carried out in response to the bloody terrorist attack in Kerman during commemorative events dedicated to Qassem Soleimani. Local sources in Erbil report at least 8 rocket strikes… At the moment, what is known is that there have been strikes against of the following targets by IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] missiles: 1. The American base at Erbil airport. 2. The U.S. Consulate in Erbil. 3. The local headquarters of the Kurdish security service. 4. The private residence of a local businessman [Peshraw Dizayee] associated with the Mossad. There is a high activity of ambulances in Erbil. There is no clarity about the victims, but it is obvious that there will be numbers of them.”
“..the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and the forced displacement of Palestinians undermine security in the occupied West Bank, and will not make Israel safer..”
Alongside the military assault on Gaza, extremist religious parties in Israel’s government coalition seized a strategic opportunity after Operation Al-Aqsa Flood to launch a systematic displacement agenda in the occupied West Bank. This stealthy policy was facilitated by several factors, notably, the escalation of settler violence post-7 October, increased political pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the vise-like leverage that settler-extremists enjoy over Israel’s ruling coalition and key governmental institutions, particularly the Ministry of Finance As an example, nearly $250 million of the national budget earmarked for war expenses in December 2023 was directed by Israel’s radical Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich toward settlement projects in the West Bank.
Immediately after its announcement, the EU criticized the settlement-funding provisions of the revised budget, rightly arguing that the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and the forced displacement of Palestinians undermine security in the occupied West Bank, and will not make Israel safer. In response, Tel Aviv significantly tightened its grip on West Bank Palestinians. This involved obstructing Palestinian workers from employment in Israel and the finance minister’s refusal to transfer Palestinian clearance funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay Gaza’s worker salaries. On the military front, Israeli has launched a frenzied campaign on the West Bank since 7 October, resulting in the death of hundreds and arrest of over 6,000 Palestinians. Acts of violence, forced displacement of civilians, and armed settler attacks – enabled by weapon transfers from Israel’s extremist National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir – escalated dramatically across the occupied territory.
Ben Gvir, who fronts the hidden agenda of nationalist and religious parties in the coalition government, used the Al-Aqsa Flood events to displace 25 Palestinian Bedouin communities, including 266 families in the eastern foothills near Ramallah and the Jordan Valley. Already this year, under pressure from his extremist allies, Netanyahu has halted demolitions of illegal Jewish outposts in the West Bank, going against the recommendation of Defense Minister Yoav Galant who is trying to ease tensions in the West Bank while conflict rages on Israel’s northern and southern fronts. In early January, Smotrich and Ben Gvir publicly called for the displacement of Gazans to make way for the return of Zionist settlers to the Gaza Strip for the first time since their 2005 expulsion. Their belligerent comments sparked a new rift with the US administration of Joe Biden, which has sharply criticized “inflammatory and irresponsible” rhetoric from Tel Aviv.
“South Africa’s role in the world is a ‘mandalisation..’”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to eliminate all Palestinians and move them to Sinai, former Nigerian foreign minister Bolaji Akinyemi told RT in an exclusive interview as Pretoria’s genocide case against Israel continues before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Akinyemi, who served as external affairs minister from 1985 to 1987, said South Africa was carrying “a heavy load” because Pretoria “will not expect material reward” in taking Israel to the ICJ, accusing it of genocide against Palestinians. “South Africa’s role in the world is a ‘mandalisation,’” he added. The term ‘mandalisation’ is associated with Nelson Mandela, who repeatedly refused deals for his release from prison until the world saw the country’s problems. “[Nelson Mandela] was stubborn,” Akinyemi added.
The former minister believes that “Netanyahu wants to wipe out all the Palestinians, not just Hamas, [and what] he really wants to do is to drive them into Sinai.” He argued that Hamas is a product of “Israeli aggression and occupation.” Akinyemi suggested that the main decision of the ICJ won’t be delivered for a few years, “by which time the war is over, the Palestinians will have been wiped out, or Israel will have done whatever it is that it needs to do.” For this reason, it is “important that the ICJ [delivers] an interim ruling within weeks,” Akinyemi stated.
“If you want to stop the Hamas resistance, Israel has to recognize the fact that the Palestinians must have a home of their own. The two-state solution is the solution,” the former Nigerian minister concluded. On Thursday, the ICJ began hearing South Africa’s case in The Hague, which claims that Israel has committed genocide against the Palestinians. South African lawyers at the ICJ stated that the latest Gaza war is a result of Israeli oppression of Palestinians for decades. However, the allegations have been vehemently denied by Israel. South Africa is asking for a preliminary ruling to compel Israel to stop its military campaign in Gaza.
A 47-lawyers team..
On Monday, South African lawyers handling the Genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced that they are preparing a separate lawsuit against the United States and the United Kingdom for complicity in Zionist war crimes. The new legal action would aim to bring those complicit in the genocide before civil courts, said Wikus Van Rensburg, who said that the team of South African lawyers has maintained contact with American and British lawyers to finalize the new judicial action. Even if the U.S. does not accept the ICJ ruling, it should at least receive sanctions as happened with Germany, a country that is still paying compensation for the Holocaust. The United States must now be held accountable for the crimes it committed,’ says Van Rensburg, who is leading the 47-lawyers team.
“We intend to bring legal proceedings against the U.S. Government based on overwhelming evidence that the U.S. Government has, and is, aiding, abetting and supporting, encouraging or providing material assistance and means to Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces. This conduct by the U.S. Government has enabled and continues to enable Israel to engage in international crimes against the Palestinian people,” the South African lawyers said in a letter sent to US President Joe Biden on January 2. “These crimes resulted in, among others, the displacement of the Palestinian people from their homes and property, destruction of Palestinian property, theft of Palestinian land and which facilitate and assist Israel in committing the ongoing and current war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and intentional killing of innocent civilians, including men, women, children and babies as well as the elderly and disabled.”
“..Iran has shown that it can hit all of Israel with well targeted attacks without having to deploy any soldiers abroad..”
During the one hundred days of war by Israel on all people in Gaza the members of the ‘resistance axis’ responded to the onslaught. Hamas in Gaza successfully attacked invading Israeli forces. Even yesterday it still launched missiles from north Gaza towards Israel. Hizbullah in Lebanon attacked Israel on its border. Iraqi resistance groups attacked U.S. bases in Syria and Iraq. The Houthi in Yemen attacked ships related to Israel. The U.S./Israel axis escalated from there. Israel killed Hamas officials who openly lived in Beirut. It also killed an IRGC official in Syria and a Hizbullah official in Lebanon. The U.S. bombed the Houthi as well as resistance groups in Iraq and Syria. An ISIS attack, likely instigated by the U.S., killed some 100 people in Kerman, Iran.
After the U.S. attacked Iraqi resistance groups in Syria and Iraq these intensified their attacks on U.S. bases. Hizbullah slowly incremented its responses to Israeli attacks on Lebanon. After the U.S. bombing in Yemen the Houthi responded by adding U.S. and UK related ships to their target list. Yesterday a U.S. owned ship was hit by a Houthi missile. The resistance axis is a collection of groups loosely connected to Iran. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp has trained these groups. But it did much more than the usual U.S. military training would do. The IRGC encouraged the groups to contact each other and to exchange knowledge. They now cooperate on all levels. Iran brought in new technologies and weapons and taught each group on how to make their own copies. Today Hizbullah intelligence people teach Houthi how to systematically interpret U.S. actions. Houthi and Iraqis exchange missile and drone building plans.
The axis of resistance has become an assembly of quite autonomous entities who no longer depend on deliveries or orders from Iran. But they all follow the same anti-colonial ideology. The U.S. tried to interrupt the resistance development by, in 2020, killing Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC and founder of the resistance axis. It was in vain. The resistance was already too developed. It continued to grew on its own despite U.S. attempts of interference. After Soleimani’s death Iranian support for its resistance partners increased: “When President Donald J. Trump ordered the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of the Quds Force, in 2020, “Iran’s response to the assassination of its national hero was very measured,” noted Adnan Tabatabai, an expert on Middle East politics who focuses on Iran-Saudi relations. What followed, Mr. Tabatabai said, was “what I would refer to as a severe deterrence crisis for Iran, because in the following two years in particular, Israel carried out the most humiliating operations on Iranian soil.” They included sabotage around the Natanz nuclear enrichment site and the remote-control assassination of the scientist at the heart of the nuclear program.”
But in the four years since, Iran has deepened and sharply improved its proxy forces, supplying them with new generations of weapons, the capability to assemble their own arms and more training. Until yesterday all but one member of the resistance axis had responded to the Israeli attack. Last night Iran itself finally joined in. It fired ballistic missiles from Iran on two far away targets. The headquarter of the ISIS related Turkestan Islamic Party in Idleb, Syria, was destroyed. A headquarter of al-Qaeda aligned Hayad Tahrir al-Sham was also hit.
Another barrage of missiles came down (vid) in the city of Erbil in the Kurdish north of Iraq. The house of Peshraw Dizayee, a rich Kurdish businessman, was hit and destroyed. Dizayee did a lot of business with the U.S. and was involved in selling oil from the Kurdish region of Iraq through Turkey to Israel. Iran claims that his house was used as a base for the Israeli Mossad. That is at least plausible. The shortest trajectory from Iran to Idleb in Syria is at least 1,200 kilometers. Iran thus demonstrated that it can reliably hit targets at that distance. The missiles used, named Khaybar Shekan, have a top reach of 1,450 kilometers. These attacks are a warning to Israel and the U.S. Iran has shown that it can hit all of Israel with well targeted attacks without having to deploy any soldiers abroad. Should Iran be attacked, it has the will and the means to respond in kind.
“Far from taking action against this illegal move by an out-of-control president, Congress as a body couldn’t even see fit to criticize the Administration..”
Late last week President Biden started a new US war on the tiny country of Yemen. US warships and fighter jets launched more than a hundred missiles at the country in a massive escalation that the Administration bizarrely claimed would “de-escalate” tensions in the Red Sea. Taking the US to war without a Congressional declaration of war is a grave crime against the Constitution. Not only did Biden show no interest in coming to Congress for a war declaration, he didn’t even ask for authorization. Together with Washington’s reliable junior partner in war, the UK, Biden attacked Yemen. It seems the US Administration consulted more with the UK government than with the US Congress on the attacks. But that’s not really the worst part. Far from taking action against this illegal move by an out-of-control president, Congress as a body couldn’t even see fit to criticize the Administration.
On the contrary, Congressional leadership in both bodies actually applauded President Biden for brazenly violating US law! House Speaker Mike Johnson not only praised the illegal move, he urged the President to go further and confront Iran. He said, “This action by U.S. and British forces is long overdue, and we must hope these operations indicate a true shift in the Biden Administration’s approach to Iran and its proxies that are engaging in such evil and wreaking such havoc.” To their credit, several Members of Biden’s own party joined with a handful of Republican colleagues to denounce a US president taking the country to war without the authority to do so. California Rep. Ro Khanna was one of the first Democrats to criticize Biden’s warmaking, stating, “The President’s strikes in Yemen are unconstitutional.
For over a month, he consulted an international coalition to plan them, but never came to Congress to seek authorization as required by Article I of the Constitution.” The Framers of the Constitution gave war-making power to Congress because they understood that leaving such power in the hands of one person was a recipe for disaster. The role of the president is to make the case for a war declaration. Congress deliberates and either authorizes or refuses the proposed action. Washington has obviously not learned the lessons of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and all the other failed US interventions over the past 20 years. Why do we keep losing wars? Because we do not go into wars according to the US Constitution. This war will be no different.
The Houthis in Yemen withstood years of attacks from the Saudis using the latest US weaponry and came out on top. To this point they have not been targeting US vessels in the Red Sea, but only ships heading to or from Israeli ports. They are doing so in opposition to Israel’s destruction of Gaza. In short, it was never our war. But now, with this attack, Biden has made it our war. So we are left with the strange and sad spectacle of Congress asleep at the wheel as a Defense Secretary launches military strikes from his hospital bed in the service of a president clearly not in his prime. All this in pursuit of a policy that makes no sense and is leading us closer to a major war in the Middle East that will only harm, not serve, the US national interest.
“..a fundamental question — where is their money, the money of American taxpayers, spent, and whether the astronomical sums that were spent for last year were allocated to the Kiev regime. Did these amounts help achieve any results?”
The Biden administration wants Ukraine to switch its strategy in the ongoing proxy war against Russia “from offense to defense,” Andreas Kluth, a columnist for Bloomberg, has written. Ukraine botched the counteroffensive launched last summer despite the billions’ worth of NATO military aid, “frustrating Washington.” Hence, the regime in Kiev is to get new instructions from its “puppet-masters.” The new “assignment” from the White House is reportedly to be delivered by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan as he meets with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Russia’s forces are “too well dug in, and the Ukrainians have lost too many soldiers and used up too much ammo,” the columnist admitted. “Offense is always harder than defense, but for Ukraine it may now be out of the question,” he noted succinctly.
But even the defense tactic will only work if the US, Europe “keep sending drones, missiles and bullets,” Kluth noted, as enthusiasm for propping up Kiev wanes. “There can be no optimism in Davos” on Ukraine this year, the columnist summed up. Zelensky, who continues to be in denial over Ukraine’s battlefield results (or rather, lack thereof) will not like what he hears from Sullivan, the author surmised. However, he can be expected to slug down that bitter-tasting edict and continue what he does best: harangue Western allies over insufficient aid. US President Joe Biden has requested $106 billion in supplemental funds, of which more than $60 billion would be intended for Ukraine. However, the request prompted deadlock on Capitol Hill as Congressional Republicans have been demanding stricter immigration policies and strengthening border security in exchange for approving the additional aid for Ukraine.
More and more officials in the United States are questioning the efficacy of spending astronomical sums of money to support Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “We see that internal debates and internal processes continue in the United States, more and more representatives of the political establishment are interested in, well, probably such a fundamental question — where is their money, the money of American taxpayers, spent, and whether the astronomical sums that were spent for last year were allocated to the Kiev regime. Did these amounts help achieve any results?” Peskov told reporters.
“..Putin will not “rest in peace, both in this world and in the next,” said Zelensky. “Neither his children, nor his grandchildren.”
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin’s entire family with “criminal trials” and long prison sentences, during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday. Zelensky’s address to the gathering of aspiring global leaders focused on asking for more weapons, money, and ammunition so he could continue to fight Russia. At one point, however, he made a reference to the Russian leader’s family. Putin will not “rest in peace, both in this world and in the next,” said Zelensky. “Neither his children, nor his grandchildren.” The Russian leader is “the sole reason why various wars and conflicts persist” and he must be held accountable so his “aggression” doesn’t embolden other “autocracies,” Zelensky insisted.
“Yes, we are not terrorists, and therefore these will be criminal trials,” after which Putin and his entire family would spend “a long, multi-year vacation” behind bars, he added. Zelensky has repeatedly insisted that Ukraine does not engage in terrorism, while admitting he would have Putin assassinated if the opportunity arose. The Ukrainian security service, the SBU, has operated a dedicated assassination unit since 2015, according to its former chief. The Washington Post recently highlighted the SBU’s campaign of assassinations while attempting to deflect any blame from the CIA, which is deeply embedded in Ukrainian intelligence. Ukraine has targeted local Russian officials, as well as journalists such as Darya Dugina and Vladlen Tatarsky.
Writer Zakhar Prilepin survived an assassination attempt, while Russian security services thwarted a SBU hit on RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan in November. Zelensky’s mention of Putin’s grandchildren came just a day after Anne Applebaum – an American journalist and wife of Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski – claimed that the Russian president “has a grandson with Dutch citizenship.” Her source was an associate of Alexey Navalny, a Russian blogger imprisoned for embezzlement. The Russian president was married from 1983 to 2013 and has two daughters, who have stayed out of the media spotlight. His ex-wife, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, was sanctioned by the UK in 2022.
🇺🇦🇷🇺🤬 ZELENSKY BLINDED BY RAGE, CALLS TO PUNISH PUTIN’S KIDS AND GRANDKIDS (00:50 in top vid): Mad Vlad thinks he can speak on behalf of all Ukrainian people as he claims they’ll "never forgive" Putin before casually calling for kin punishment.
Apparently Putin's grandchildren… pic.twitter.com/Bo38vAqfmL
— Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil (@ivan_8848) January 16, 2024
“Let Serbia serve as an instructive case study, foreshadowing the contours of the coming dystopia.”
Not one of the items that follow will strike a typical resident of the “collective West,” aka the 14 percent of the world that styles itself the “international community,” as inherently improbable or even odd in many instances. They have grown accustomed to it; it is part of their everyday landscape. Here, for illustrative purposes, is a select but representative sample of policies and prescribed behaviours that in that bizarre but thankfully shrinking part of the world have come to constitute the new normal.
1/ In order to maintain the fiction that in their attributes men and women are physiologically indistinguishable, the Canadian government has mandated the installation of tampon dispensers in men’s bathrooms. The empirical fact that men have no use for tampons is trumped by ideology, which dictates categorically that they do because it is dogmatically prescribed that men do menstruate and are furthermore able to give birth to babies. People who believe themselves to be something they are not, and claim that their subjective self-perception overrides reality, are politically empowered to cancel empirical observation and the conclusions reached by scientists who perform accurate, verifiable research.
2/ Also on the ideological reality chopping block is terminology that points to pre-woke, common sense notions about natural relations between human beings. “Mother” and “father, “expressions that allude to the manifestly different roles of parents in the process of conception and nurture of offspring, in the woke-controlled universe have been forcibly replaced by designations “parent no. 1” and “parent no. 2,” invented to hide those facts. Now the Methodist Church of Great Britain has gone a step farther, to label terms “husband” and “wife” offensive. Inspired by inclusivity, the technical rationale for this departure from normalcy is “to avoid making assumptions” that are not “the reality for many people.”
3/ The avant-garde state of California has passed a law that takes effect this year, AB 1084, requiring large retail stores to include gender neutral toy sections or face fines and other punishments. The new law will place an additional undue burden on retailers and will have the foreseeable economic impact of raising the price of toys generally for normal families and their children. Incidentally, it is anybody’s guess what the definition of gender neutral toys is and whether there is a market for such items. But in a parallel universe governed by ideological delusions these are inconsequential details.
4/ In Britain, the country where the novel 1984, which introduced the notion of thought crime, had been written, the first literal thought crime prosecutions have recently been instituted. Isabel Vaughan Spruce, Director of UK March for Life, so far has been cited by the police three times and taken to court for silently praying in front of abortion clinics. Readers should note that her arrests were triggered not by speech or conduct but for an “objectionable” activity that was purely mental. British authorities did not contest her right as a citizen (or royal subject, if you wish) to be in the public space where she was detained. Detention and prosecution were based entirely on their perception of what allegedly was going on in her mind, in the proximity of an abortion clinic, which the authorities considered might be provocative and perturbing to the consumers of the clinic’s services.
Readers should be aware that in common law the concept of thought transgression does not exist and that so far the British Parliament has not given statutory expression to such an offence. Nevertheless, an actual person presumably endowed with human rights has been subjected to persecution for objectively unprovable thoughts in order to enforce a legally non-existent norm. But that is the new normal, the rules based order of woke jurisprudence now taking shape in the land that once prided itself on upholding the “rights of Englishmen,” no matter how eccentric. Even the KGB in the old days could not have made this up.
5/ Returning to avant-garde California, award-winning Glendale fifth-grade teacher Ray Shelton was suspended for refusing to acquiesce to male students who “identify” as girls stripping naked in front of female students in the girls’ changing room. For opposing the transgender agenda in his school Shelton lost his job. It made no difference that female students and their parents fully supported him and also vehemently objected to these aggressive displays of opposite sex nudity. Glendale happens to be a heavily Armenian suburb of Los Angeles and its overwhelmingly normal residents are unacculturated to progressive Western values. They reacted with consternation to the state-orchestrated sexualisation of their children. Their protests, however, were to no avail. Shelton is now suing the state for damages. Good luck, in the judicial system of the deranged state of California.
These morsels of lunacy might be regarded as the tragicomical final stage in the collapse of a suicidal civilisation except for the fact that by means of highhanded political manipulation and arrogant agenda imposition even nations and cultures which still retain a residue of sanity are being cowed into submission and drawn into the abyss. Let Serbia serve as an instructive case study, foreshadowing the contours of the coming dystopia.
All tax deductible. Including the escorts.
Rental prices in Davos, Switzerland during the World Economic Forum (WEF) have become a spectacle of the absurd. However, for local landlords this is not something outrageous but merely business as usual — a prime opportunity to capitalize on the presence of the global elite to generate substantial income. With only around 50 fully booked hotels and a limited number of vacation homes providing about 25,000 beds for visitors, Davos is pushing its capacity limits. This falls far short of what’s needed for a globally significant event such as the WEF. Even participants staying in nearby Klosters, Bad Ragaz, or even Zurich contribute to a veritable revenue boom typically only seen in the summer. Some shop owners rent out their establishments for exorbitant prices of $200,000 or $300,000 per week.
Accommodations are typically fully booked months in advance, with even the most affordable available room on Airbnb coming at a hefty price of $1,614 per night – and this is for a shared bathroom in a residential apartment. For those looking to book an entire place for the week of January 15th, the cost is at least $2,386 per night. While hoteliers still exercise restraint, individual property owners are going all out this year. Rentals of up to $18,387 per week are not uncommon. Some listings even surpass this. One private landlord is asking an unbelievable $86,197 for a 4.5-room apartment during the WEF week – equivalent to $14,366 per day! Shamelessly leveraging the economic summit as a selling point, this provider advertises on popular booking websites under the name “WEF 2024 Davos.”
Numerous houses are exclusively offered for the duration of the WEF. For instance, this year, the Tivoli Lodge was rented for $456,265, whereas normally it costs between $54,958 and $73,277 per week. But it doesn’t stop there: the Bortji Estate, featuring three chalets accommodating up to 42 people, was leased for $1,460,000. This stands out as the pinnacle during the WEF and makes this year’s event the most expensive ever in terms of rental prices. [..] Luxury property prices in Davos are witnessing a substantial surge, driven by the basic principles of supply and demand. The prevailing formula is straightforward: as demand for accommodation in Davos rises and supply remains constant, prices soar.
This surge is accompanied by a hefty price tag. While attendance at the Davos event is complementary for WEF members – although a membership reportedly costs approximately $65,000 – the associated expenses can add up. Tickets for non-members, meanwhile, come with a price tag of approximately $25,000, and attendance is strictly by invitation-only. Total expenses for the week can easily surpass $350,000. Additionally, attendees face steep prices for food, drinks, and events, exemplified by 2015 reports of a hot dog costing a staggering $43.
“..Beijing “will have 10 state ministers in attendance,” with Scott Miller, the US ambassador in Bern, suggesting the delegation had all the hallmarks of a “pseudo state visit.”
US diplomats are scrambling to hold on to their influence in Switzerland, as their Chinese counterparts attempt to woo the country’s top officials during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Politico reported on Monday, citing sources. The outlet said American officials were so alarmed by the size of the Chinese delegation at the event that they rushed to arrange a meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Swiss President Viola Amherd to ensure Washington does not lose influence in the Alpine country, famed for its neutrality and status as a mediation powerhouse. Politico cited an internal State Department memo dated January 12 as outlining US strategy in this regard. It reportedly warns that Beijing “will have 10 state ministers in attendance,” with Scott Miller, the US ambassador in Bern, suggesting the delegation had all the hallmarks of a “pseudo state visit.”
The document reportedly further underscores the importance China attaches to the trip, noting that the delegation was to be headed by Premier Li Qiang, described in the memo as the “No. 2” to Chinese leader Xi Jinping. “Miller believes it would be bad optics if S[ecretary] doesn’t at least have a handshake with new Pres of Swiss Confederation,” the paper is said to note, adding that Amherd “has made herself completely available” for a sit down. Meanwhile, Li and Amherd held talks on Monday, bolstering an already existing free trade agreement and discussing cooperation and mediation issues. China has also agreed to grant Swiss citizens visa-free entry. At the same time, a spokesperson for the State Department told Politico that Blinken was also expected to meet with Swiss officials, although the exact timing remains unclear.
The top US diplomat will be in Davos on Tuesday and Wednesday and is likely to meet Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, as well as a number of Western leaders, according to the article. Washington’s apparent effort to step up its diplomatic game comes just as it has once again locked horns with Beijing in the aftermath of the presidential election in Taiwan, which China considers part of its sovereign territory. After the US congratulated Taiwanese President-elect William Lai, who is a supporter of a pro-independence course, China stated that this message sent a “gravely wrong signal,” and protested the US having “any form of official interaction with Taiwan and interfering in Taiwan affairs.”
“..German farmers are not only told to eat cake, Marie Antoinette style, but also to pay up for the government’s screw-ups..”
I spent a week with farmers protesting near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Too bad Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government didn’t get down off its high horse and do the same. It was a missed opportunity to benefit from a much-needed mugging by reality. Instead, the Interior Ministry contented itself by preemptively framing the protesters as susceptible to far-right infiltration. Scholz said that “rage is being stoked deliberately” by “extremists”. When asked about this concept, the unanimous response among the farmers was laughter, eye rolling, or one-line jokes. If you want to put down a dog, just say it has rabies – or has been hanging out with the far-right. Despite the protest taking place right across the street from the German parliament, farmers said the only officials whose presence was noticed, as they inquired about the protesters’ concerns, were from the right-wing Alternative for Deutschland.
Oh no, looks they’re co-opting already! Or maybe they’re just doing their jobs in trying to actually grasp the “ground truth” of the situation rather than framing it up with a convenient narrative in an effort to dismiss it. When a government official finally graced the protest with his presence on January 15, at the apex of the week-long protest, it was Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who took to the stage and loudly proclaimed that the government basically had no money. “I can’t promise you more state aid from the federal budget. But we can fight together for you to enjoy more freedom and respect for your work,” he said. I’m not even a farmer – although I was raised on a farm in Canada – and still I find this infuriating. Mostly just as a woman, though. Because Lindner sounds like a guy on a date who says that he’s broke, but instead of just splitting the check, he wants you to pay for the whole thing.
The farmers aren’t asking Berlin to pay their bills. What they want is for Team Scholz to refrain from taking even more of their hard-earned money in the form of taxes on diesel fuel for their farm vehicles, particularly at a time when government efforts to stick it to Russia and to the climate-change bogeyman, by making fossil fuel energy less available and affordable, is making it increasingly harder for them to do the job of feeding the country. As if farmers aren’t already paying this government enough. One farmhand told me that his boss has a budget of €3,300 a month for his job, and that by the time all the taxes are paid to the German government, the final salary paid to the worker tops out at €1,400. Where’s all that cash going?
Here’s a clue. Scholz said last fall that Germany had to “be able to help Ukraine on the basis of solidarity. We support Ukraine in its defense struggle, with financial resources and weapons.” Yet German farmers are not only told to eat cake, Marie Antoinette style, but also to pay up for the government’s screw-ups. Team Scholz blasted a hole in its own budget when it transferred cash from a Covid fund into a “climate and transformation fund,” but then couldn’t pay it all back, leaving a €17 billion ($18.5 billion) deficit and a scramble to somehow recoup the funds through austerity measures. So Scholz wants the farmers to pay his bills, but also to pay for his mistakes. And if they refuse, they must have been infiltrated by far-right extremists.
🇩🇪 Covering the German farmers’ protest this week was an incredibly moving experience. To all the farmers, blue collar workers and citizens who decided to stand up against the corrupt elites of Germany and the rest of the world: I salute you! Keep up the fight.#NoFarmersNoFood pic.twitter.com/XyAebIVfuZ
— Eva Vlaardingerbroek (@EvaVlaar) January 16, 2024
The hatred is deep. And deeply unhealthy.
In an early glimpse of what to expect from coverage of this election, MSNBC and CNN hosts went into full rage mode with the Iowa caucus results. MSNBC host Joy Reid led this effort by declaring that “White Christians” are racists who want minorities to “bow down” to them. Reid asked about this manifest racism of white Christians in a conversation with Robert “Robbie” Jones, the president and founder of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and author of “The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy.” Reid explained to anyone who was confused about their white Christian neighbors: “All the things that we think about, about electability, about what are people gaming out, but none of that matters when you believe that God has given you this country, that it is yours, and that everyone who is not a White, conservative Christian is a fraudulent American, is a less real American. Then you don’t care about electability. You care about what God has given you.”
She later added “It is religion And I think what we have to actually confront – and this is what the Democrats are going to face – is this is now what White evangelicalism is. It is Christian nationalism. That’s the name of it, right?” It is all part of “White evangelical Christians of a certain mindset … that they own this country, that immigrants, that Brown people, that Hindus like Vivek Ramaswamy and his wife are illegitimate Americans. They are less legitimate Americans than they are…They’re not trying to convince people and win people over through politics. What they’re saying is, ‘We own this country, and everyone will bow down to us.’”
As we look at the rising anger in this country, this is a good part of it. In our echo chambered coverage, viewers hear of the effort to suppress all minorities (including apparently minority GOP presidential candidates) and how this “may be our last election.” Yet, these same hosts will denounce others for their reckless language as they fuel racist and rage rhetoric. Reid’s colleague MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow censored Trump’s victory speech and said that the network would not allow viewers to hear him because he said “untrue things.” MSNBC would allow viewers to hear the victory speeches of anyone it deems as speaking truthfully about political issues. Much like our politics, our media often seems captured by the most extreme elements of our society. It explains why the media is now at an all-time low in terms of trust. However, the most concerning aspect is that this is just the beginning of January. We have to make it to November.
The White House made this up. All of it:
““the President has established the highest ethical standards of any administration in American history, and his family’s commitment to rigorous processes like this is a prime example.”
More details are emerging from the recent testimony of Hunter Biden’s art dealer, George Bergès. We previously discussed how Bergès confirmed that the accounts of buyers flocking to buy Hunter’s art was false and that most of the art was purchased by his Democratic donor patron, Kevin Morris. Not only did Bergès shatter White House claims of a carefully constructed ethical system to keep Hunter from knowing the identity of purchasers, Bergès testified that Hunter expressly demanded to know the identity. Various experts objected to the sales as a serious ethical problem of donors using the purchases to assist President Biden and his family. The media dutifully reported at the time how the White House was grappling with the ethical questions and, according to the Washington Post, “the White House officials have helped craft an agreement.” It was portrayed as unprecedented and unyielding.
The White House continued to swat down questions by citing an ethical plan created for the sales. Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for the White House, said in a statement that “the President has established the highest ethical standards of any administration in American history, and his family’s commitment to rigorous processes like this is a prime example.” Then White House spokesperson (and now MSNBC host) Jennifer Psaki stated: “Well, I can tell you that after careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards […] But all interactions regarding the selling of art and the setting of prices will be handled by a professional gallerist, adhering to the highest industry standards. And any offer out of the normal course would be rejected out of hand. And the gallerist will not share information about buyers or prospective buyers, including their identities, with Hunter Biden or the administration, which provides quite a level of protection and transparency.”
Yet, Bergès reportedly testified that he had no contacts with the White House and Hunter knew the identity of the purchasers of most of the art. Notably, Bergès was reading these same reports in the news but never objected to the alleged misrepresentation. He admitted that he read of those reports and was confused. A staffer asked: “When you’re seeing in the press that the White House is putting in certain safeguards regarding an ethics agreement but you’ve had no conversations with [the] White House, I mean, did you ever say to Hunter Biden, ‘Hey, where’s this coming from?’” Bergès responded: “I might have. I probably did, yeah.” He admitted that he was surprised by the coverage “[b]ecause I hadn’t had any communication with the White House about an agreement.” That, of course, was never reported. Instead, the media dutifully reported how there was this comprehensive ethical plan in place.
What was particularly notable is that, despite the false White House claims and extensive coverage, Hunter appears to have discarded any such limits. Berges testified that artists usually do not know who buys their art. So not only did Hunter not comply with the agreement with the first, this was a departure from standard operating procedure to let him know about the purchasers: “…I don’t know how it was phrased or—but I remember that there—that that was the difference…That part was different. Normally, the gallerist does not let the artist know who the collectors are…The first one was that I was required to disclose who the buyers were. In the second one, I was required to not disclose the buyers.”
The most important testimony, in my view, is still the massive purchase by Morris. This Democratic donor was introduced to Hunter at a Democratic fundraiser for the first time not long before reportedly giving him millions to pay off his taxes and support his lavish lifestyle. He then reportedly purchased most of the art as the media was reporting how hot Hunter was as a new emerging artist. The claims of walling off the identity of purchasers and the high demand for his art proved to be false.
“..citizens became heroes — artists, musicians, writers, soldiers and sailors who stubbornly resisted the iron from entering their souls.”
An epochal anniversary from the annals of modern history is coming up in another ten days that remains a living memory for the Russian people. The Siege of Leningrad, arguably the most gruesome episode of the Second World War, which lasted for 900 days, was finally broken by the Soviet Red Army on 27th January 1944, eighty years ago to be exact. The siege endured by more than three million people, of whom nearly one half died, most of them in the first six months when the temperature fell to 30° below zero. It was an apocalyptic event. Civilians died from starvation, disease and cold. Yet it was a heroic victory. Leningraders never tried to surrender even though food rations were reduced to a few slices of bread mixed with sawdust, and the inhabitants ate glue, rats — and even each other — while the city went without water, electricity, fuel or transportation and was being shelled daily.
It was on the 22nd of June, 1941 that the German armies crossed the Russian frontiers. Within six weeks, the Army Group North of the Wehrmacht, armed forces of the Third Reich, was within fifty kms of Leningrad in a fantastic blitzkrieg and had advanced 650 kms deep into Soviet territory. A month later, the Germans had all but completed the city’s encirclement, only a perilous route across Lake Ladoga to the east connected Leningrad with the rest of Russia. But the Germans got no further. And 900 days later their retreat began. The epic siege of Leningrad was the longest endured by any city since Biblical times, and, equally, citizens became heroes — artists, musicians, writers, soldiers and sailors who stubbornly resisted the iron from entering their souls.
Petrified by the prospect of surrender to the Soviet Union, the Nazis preferred to lay down arms before the western allied forces, but Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe, ordered that the honour of victory should go to the Red Army. Herein lies one of the greatest paradoxes of war and peace in modern times. Today, the anniversary of the siege of Leningrad has become, most certainly, an occasion that the US and many of its European allies would rather not remember. Yet, its contemporary relevance is not to be glossed over, either. The Nazi leadership aimed to exterminate Leningrad’s entire population by enforced starvation. Death by starvation was a deliberate act on the part of the German Reich.
In the words of Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler “intended to have cities like Moscow and St Petersburg wiped out.” This was “necessary”, he wrote in July 1941, “because if we want to divide Russia into its individual parts,” it should “no longer have a spiritual, political or economic centre.” Hitler himself declared in September 1941, “We have no interest in maintaining even a part of the metropolitan population in this existential war.” Any talk of the city surrendering had to be “rejected, as the problem of keeping and feeding the population cannot be solved by us.” Simply put, the population of Leningrad was left to starve to death – much like the millions of Soviet prisoners of war held by the Wehrmacht. The historian Jörg Ganzenmüller later wrote that this form of mass murder was cost-effective for Berlin, for, it was “genocide by simply doing nothing”.
— Enez Özen | Enezator (@Enezator) January 16, 2024
Respect them and they will respect you back ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sqQun8NYQY
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) January 16, 2024
The pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus, the largest known flying animal that ever lived, with a 40-foot (12-meter) wingspan. It existed about 65 to 72million years ago.
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