Jan 012024
 January 1, 2024  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  Add comments

Pablo Picasso Vue de Notre-Dame de Paris 1945


Virginia Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit to Keep Trump from Ballot (CTH)
Seizure of Trump Phone Data Puts Jack Smith in Unprecedented Legal Waters (ET)
Trump Warns of Market Crash & Great Depression If He Loses White House Bid (ET)
Israeli Minister Makes Case For Depopulation Of Gaza (RT)
Trickery, Humiliation, Death and Timeless Hunger for Honor and Glory (Crooke)
Neo-Fascism Must Be Destroyed In 2024 – Medvedev (RT)
Putin Calls 2023 Year Russia Defended National Interests, Security
‘No Stomach’ in US to Continue Funding Ukraine – Ex-Pentagon Official (Sp.)
Scott Ritter: Belgorod Attack Meant to Provoke Russian Overreaction (Sp.)
Ex-CIA Officer Compares Ukrainian Officials to ‘Rats Fleeing Titanic’ (Sp.)
Reintegration Is a Natural Process for Donbass’ People (Leiroz)
Share of Dollar In Global Reserves Nosedives – IMF (RT)
Eurozone Economy Faces Bleak 2024 – FT (RT)



















“Plaintiffs have totally failed to demonstrate how their alleged injuries are traceable to the conduct of defendants..”

Virginia Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit to Keep Trump from Ballot (CTH)

The leftist LAWFARE effort to use the federal and state court system to keep President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot continues. However, in the most recent example, a Democrat appointed federal judge in Virginia has dispatched the effort.

(New York Post) – A federal judge in Virginia on Friday dismissed a lawsuit aimed at removing former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 primary ballot citing the insurrection clause of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The complaint, filed by activists Roy Perry-Bey and Carlos Howard, alleged that Trump “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the US and should therefore be disqualified from seeking the office he once occupied. Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, found that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue to get Trump, 77, off the state’s primary ballot. “At least five additional federal courts have concluded that citizens attempting to disqualify individuals — including former President Trump — from participating in elections or from holding public office based on the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol lacked standing,” Brinkema wrote in her 13-page ruling. “Plaintiffs have totally failed to demonstrate how their alleged injuries are traceable to the conduct of defendants,” the judge added.”

No doubt the Lawfare effort will continue, as the predicate reason for the January 6th “insurrection” narrative continues to surface. Behind the scenes names like Norm Eisen, Barry Berke, Mary McCord, Andrew Weissmann, David Laufman and Benjamin Wittes continue promoting the Lawfare approach. Just as the DOJ and FBI were seeded with ideological lawyers intending to use the national security state and justice system to target their political opposition, the aligned private sector partners and activist groups continue the same effort from outside government.

Big Tech, social media companies, DHS, the DOJ and FBI are all deploying a comprehensive strategy to attack the foundation of our constitutional republic and replace it with a totalitarian dictatorship run by financial interests and collaborators inside government. It is going to get a lot uglier before the final conflict is resolved. Unfortunately, the professional Republican apparatus is a willful participant in the effort. Just as the Tea Party was targeted by Eric Holder and Barack Obama, using weaponized government (DOJ/IRS) with the support and willful blindness of the Republican political apparatus, so too is the America-First movement under constant attack by the same ideologues. The Republican politicians who remain in the primary race are not stupid, blind or naive. They are active and financially rewarded participants in the overall effort.

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“..destructive precedent for the presidency, as it seriously undermines the president’s ability to get his constitutionally protected, confidential and candid advice from his advisers.”

Seizure of Trump Phone Data Puts Jack Smith in Unprecedented Legal Waters (ET)

Special counsel Jack Smith revealed in recent court documents that he obtained data from former President Donald Trump‘s smartphone, which some experts say could provide a means to challenge the case in court on appeal. “The phone records may add to the unease of some judges and justices over the fight over presidential immunities and privileges,” Jonathan Turley, a professor who teaches constitutional law at George Washington University, told The Washington Times. He added that, “however, Smith has the Nixon case to cite for such demands in the investigation of possible criminal acts. What is clear is that the Court may be pushed into a major line-drawing decision over inherent presidential immunities.”

Jamil Jaffer, former associate White House counsel to former President George W. Bush, told the same outlet that the use of President Trump’s cellphone data “raises really hard, complex questions on an unprecedented set of facts.” But Mike Davis, founder and president of the Article III Project, added that the seizure of his data may have crossed “a red line,” adding that it sets a “destructive precedent for the presidency, as it seriously undermines the president’s ability to get his constitutionally protected, confidential and candid advice from his advisers.” The Smith team charged the 45th president earlier this year with four counts, claiming that he illegally tried to overturn the 2020 election. President Trump has denied wrongdoing, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and said it’s part of a longstanding witch hunt to denigrate his political chances in 2024.

Earlier this year, in court filings, the special counsel’s team said that federal investigators gained access to the former president’s phone and White House phone records. It’s not clear what exactly they obtained or how much of it. According to the filing, an individual only described as “Expert 3” had “extracted and processed data from the White House cell phones used by the defendant and one other individual (Individual 1),” referring to President Trump and another person who was not identified. Expert 3 also “specifically identified the periods of time during which the defendant’s phone was unlocked and the Twitter application was open on January 6,” it said. Heavily redacted documents released by the Department of Justice in November, meanwhile, revealed that prosecutors had attempted to gain all information related to President Trump’s Twitter, now X, account, which included who interacted with him, posts, mutes, and direct messages.

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“The stock market is only high because people & institutions believe & expect me to win the presidential election of 2024..”

Trump Warns of Market Crash & Great Depression If He Loses White House Bid (ET)

Former President Donald Trump predicted Friday that if he doesn’t win the 2024 presidential election, America will suffer the biggest stock market crash in history—followed by another Great Depression-style event. President Trump made the remark in a post on social media, in which he said the economy under President Joe Biden is in “terrible” shape as high inflation has hammered American households and eroded their buying power. “The only thing that is keeping the economy ‘alive’ is the fumes of what we accomplished during the Trump administration,” the former president wrote, adding that, by some measures, the cumulative level of inflation since he left office is over 30 percent.

Official government data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that prices have risen by around 17 percent since President Biden took office. However, an alternative measure of inflation that uses the same methodology that the government used to measure inflation in the 1980s puts this figure at roughly twice that figure, so over 30 percent. Even though President Biden’s economic advisers have pointed to cooling inflation and a robust job market as signs that his “Bidenomics” policies are working, there’s been a chorus of economic indicators suggesting otherwise. Some of those indicators include job openings falling to their lowest level since March 2021, new orders for U.S.-made goods suffering their sharpest drop in more than three years, and a closely watched factory activity gauge showing that U.S. manufacturing activity contracted in November for the 13th consecutive month.

Still, with markets expecting the Fed to hit the brakes on more interest hikes as inflation has eased in recent months, stock markets have risen and consumer sentiment saw an uptick in December. The benchmark S&P 500 is up around 24 percent in 2023 and hovering near its all-time high, while the Dow Jones recently rose to a record high. It’s a development President Trump attributed to expectations around next year’s election. “The stock market is only high because people & institutions believe & expect me to win the presidential election of 2024,” he wrote, before adding: “If I don’t win, it is my prediction that we will have a stock market ‘crash’ worse than that of 1929—a Great Depression.” The Wall Street crashes of late October 1929—known as Black Thursday, Black Monday, and Black Tuesday—were the worst in U.S. history.

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While we’re talking neo-fascism…

Israeli Minister Makes Case For Depopulation Of Gaza (RT)

The majority of the Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza should be encouraged to emigrate to other countries, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has said. He argued that drastic measures are needed to ensure Israel’s security and avoid further incursions by Hamas. “What needs to be done in the Gaza Strip is to encourage emigration,” Smotrich told Army Radio on Sunday. “If there are 100,000 or 200,000 Arabs in Gaza and not 2 million Arabs, the entire discussion on the day after will be totally different.” The leader of the far-right Religious Zionism party argued that a depopulated Gaza would no longer pose a threat to the Jewish state, given that the Palestinians living there under Hamas’ rule are “growing up on the aspiration to destroy the state of Israel.”

“Most of Israeli society will say ‘why not, it’s a nice place, let’s make the desert bloom, it doesn’t come at anyone’s expense,’” Smotrich said, as quoted by Reuters. He suggested that an international resettlement plan should be devised for the Palestinians who “have been forcibly held against their will in a ghetto for 75 years” and were raised on anti-Israeli propaganda. Up to 1.9 million people – or more than 85% of Gaza’s population – have been displaced since the Israeli Army launched an assault in response to the deadly Hamas attack on October 7, according to the UN. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) first urged people to flee the northern part of the Palestinian enclave, and eventually instructed those staying in the southern city of Khan Younis to relocate farther from the area of combat operations.

Israel continues to reject calls for an immediate ceasefire, despite repeated warnings from the UN about a humanitarian “catastrophe” in the enclave. Israeli officials and the IDF say Hamas bears full responsibility for civilian deaths and accuse the militant group of using civilians as human shields. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Saturday that “the war will continue for many months until Hamas is eliminated and the hostages are returned.” Israel declared war on Hamas and allied groups after the militants invaded the southern part of the country on October 7, leaving around 1,200 people dead and taking over 200 hostages. More than 21,600 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the fighting erupted, according to the local Hamas-run government.

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“Tens of thousands of Ukrainian young men had to die between March and now – for what?”

Trickery, Humiliation, Death and Timeless Hunger for Honor and Glory (Crooke)

One major theme of Homer’s Iliad – which somehow seems as fresh and as vivid today as when first written – is its description of how even the greatest of states in Western civilization fail to reclaim what they lose. “Attempts to repair one loss lead only to more losses”, Emily Wilson writes in her introduction to the Iliad (2023). “Loss can never be recouped.” As Wilson sets out her story, one cannot escape the analogy to today – to a Biden seeking to recoup the American ‘reputation’ (Kleos in Greek). In the case of leaders of the ancient world too, the goal of achieving undying kleos runs through the poem. Today, we might refer to it as one’s ‘legacy’. In the Iliad it is definitional and gives mortal leaders the chance to live on after death with honour and glory. For Team Biden, Ukraine was supposed to be their Troy.

Russia, like Hector, was tricked into a fight and (and as Team Biden had hoped) is killed under Troy’s walls. But in today’s world, it didn’t work out that way. And now the U.S. faces the humiliation of a clear Russian victory in Ukraine, and a collective Russian leadership that says it intends to retrieve all lands and cities that were culturally Russian. Western Ukraine, they say, can go ‘wherever it likes’. The military facts on the ground are relentless and cannot be undone. But the White House hopes to keep a morsel of kleos by simply having Ukrainian forces ceasing to fight, falling back onto defensive lines – yet never saying ‘defeat’. The kinetic component to the conflict barely would ‘tick over’ at low revs. And, as Gideon Rachman has written in the Financial Times, to “flip the narrative to one of [repeatedly insisting] that Putin has failed”. The aim being that Washington quietly can ‘steal away’.

Well, there are two big problems: First, Russia doesn’t agree; it doesn’t agree at all. And secondly, Zelensky and his associates were grievously tricked. Not in this case, by the goddess Athena, but by the mortal Messrs Johnson and Blinken. In March 2022 in Istanbul, Zelensky and his negotiators had reached an accord with Russia. But that agreement ‘was killed’ by Boris Johnson urging Zelensky to fight on, and to gain his portion of the ‘honour and glory’ by participating in the slaying of the Russian aggressor. “As long as it takes – and whatever it takes” was the solemn ‘oath’. That is, so to speak, Zelensky was promised an open cheque and whatever weaponry would be needed … So, what happened to that which is now gone? If this were the Iliad, the storyline would at least, in part, focus on Zelensky’s disappointment at his tiny ‘portion of life’. Wilson writes:

“Many of the words in the Iliad are often translated as fortune or fate – literally, these suggest we get a portion or share … It’s as if there is a whole side of beef that is a quantity of human life and each of us gets a particular portion of it, both how long we get to be alive and also our portion of honor and glory”. Zelensky will have wanted a portion of honour to compensate him for fate having dealt-out his present portion of life in an unfair way (i.e. by having been tricked by British and U.S. assurances). The public humiliation Zelensky now suffers will no longer be balanced by a large share of glory gained through a vanquished Moscow. In the Homeric vein, this lays the ground for an act of revenge on Biden – publication of the ‘deal’. When these details emerge – as surely they will (echoing perhaps, the mysterious and reputationally explosive war-time Churchill letters hinting to Mussolini at some ultimate kleos-esque outcome) – then the ‘victory narrative’ may become soured by the insistent question: Tens of thousands of Ukrainian young men had to die between March and now – for what?

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“..an ideology “Russia’s enemies are trying to rekindle” decades after it was dealt a powerful blow during World War II..”

Neo-Fascism Must Be Destroyed In 2024 – Medvedev (RT)

Defeating neo-fascism once and for all should be Russia’s “main goal” in the coming year, former President Dmitry Medvedev said in his New Year’s address on Sunday. The Russian people have already demonstrated unparalleled “strength of mind, will to victory and selflessness” in the outgoing year, he added. The nation’s “hearts and minds” go out to the soldiers on the front lines, Medvedev said, expressing his sincere gratitude to “everyone who defends our great motherland.” This year required “particular resilience and cohesion, determination and power,” as well as “true patriotism” from the Russian people, he added. The coming year should witness the “ultimate defeat” of neo-fascism, an ideology “Russia’s enemies are trying to rekindle” decades after it was dealt a powerful blow during World War II, the former president said.

Russia is now locked in a protracted conflict with Ukraine, which it accuses of promoting ultranationalist ideology and persecuting its Russian-speaking minority. This year saw Russian forces thwart Kiev’s major counteroffensive. The six-month-long operation launched in early June ended in failure with heavy losses on the Ukrainian side. Russian President Vladimir Putin also hailed the feats of Russian soldiers in his New Year’s address and called them “heroes.” The president also said the country had been “steadfast in defending our national interests, our freedom and security, [and] our values that have always been and remain our unshakeable pillar.” Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy head of Russia’s National Security Council and the Military-Industrial Committee, has repeatedly condemned what he called open glorification of Nazism in Ukraine and particularly pointed to an initiative calling for the establishment of the Stepan Bandera Order, which would supposedly be awarded to Ukrainian servicemen.

Bandera was a notorious leader of Ukrainian nationalists during World War II whose organization was responsible for mass killings of Jews and Poles in Ukraine. The former Russian president has also sharply criticized Kiev’s Western backers, calling them a “pro-Nazi coalition” in September. He also insisted Moscow should take a tougher approach to Kiev. On Thursday, he stated that the removal of the Western-backed government of President Vladimir Zelensky is an undeclared but a “most important and inevitable goal” of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Moscow’s goals also include “the disarmament of Ukrainian troops and the rejection of the ideology of neo-Nazism by the current Ukrainian state,” he added at that time.

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“We are together, and this is the most reliable guarantee of Russia’s future..”

Putin Calls 2023 Year Russia Defended National Interests, Security

2023 was the year Russia firmly defended its national interests. This is how Russian President Vladimir Putin characterized the outgoing year in his televised address Sunday. “We are seeing off 2023, very soon it will become part of history, and we must move forward to create the future,” Putin said. “In the outgoing year, we worked hard and accomplished a great deal, were proud of our common achievements, rejoiced at our successes and remained firm in the defense of our national interests, our freedom and security, our values, which have been and remain an unshakable pillar of support for us,” Putin said.

The president characterized Russians’ concern for Russia’s fate as the main factor which unites the country, saying people have “a deep understanding of the tremendous significance of the historical stage through which Russia is passing” through, and the “colossal responsibility” for the motherland which each Russian feels. “We will ensure the confident development of the fatherland, the well-being of our citizens, and will become even stronger. We are together, and this is the most reliable guarantee of Russia’s future,” Putin said. In the USSR and later Russia and other post-Soviet countries, the tradition of an annual televised New Year’s address just shy of midnight on December 31 began under Leonid Brezhnev in 1971, and was continued by Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev (from 2008-2012) and Vladimir Putin again from 2013 on.

In many families, watching the address as midnight nears has become a firmly established tradition, with between 45 and 55 percent of Russians tuning in to watch each year. Sunday’s address was the second time Putin addressed Russians amid the ongoing full-scale NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. In last year’s address, Putin called 2022 a “year of difficult but necessary decisions,” and “of important steps towards Russia’s full sovereignty and a powerful consolidation of our society” in the face of Western attempts to “cynically use Ukraine and its people as a means to weaken and divide Russia.”

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“We have got to worry about our whether our government is even going to be open for business..”

‘No Stomach’ in US to Continue Funding Ukraine – Ex-Pentagon Official (Sp.)

The reality is that there is “no stomach” any longer in the West to fund Ukraine and the ongoing proxy conflict against Russia there, Michael Maloof, a former Pentagon official, told Sputnik. The Kiev regime is going to have to seriously consider some form of negotiation and look at the realities, he emphasized. “The United States has their appropriations hung up. The US government could shut down by January 17 if the administration and Congress can’t negotiate and work out an arrangement for funding Ukraine and Israel, but at the same time to enforce the border. I think the Republicans to date have held firm, and we’ll see if they’ll hold on. But there’s no stomach right now any longer to fund the Ukrainians. Frankly, the people see that the war is over.

Basically, the [Ukrainian] counteroffensive failed, and there’s no way that they can pick it back up and turn things around, because they’ve gone into total defensive mode. The so-called counteroffensive just does not exist,” said Maloof. Earlier, the US Congress adjourned for the winter holiday break without reaching a deal on security at the US border with Mexico and additional aid for Ukraine. Republican lawmakers have insisted on the inclusion of more stringent border security measures in the Biden administration’s $106 billion supplemental funding request, which includes more than $60 billion in aid for Ukraine. US Senator Chris Murphy said that negotiators hope to have a deal to present to senators by the time they return on January 8.

Looking ahead, Michael Maloof predicted there was going to be a quite “tumultuous” start to 2024 in the United States. “We have got to worry about our whether our government is even going to be open for business,” he pointed out, adding that “there is a second tranche in February that would shut down as well if they have not reached a resolution on funding the government agencies the way the House has dictated.” Furthermore, funding not only for Ukraine, but also for Israel is going to feed into the internal debate, the pundit suggested, because the United States is “pretty fed up” with the extent to which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blown up the current cycle of the Palestine-Israel conflict.

Besides the death of so many civilians in Gaza amid Israel’s war on Hamas, Netanyahu “appears to be trying to pick a fight with the Iranians, and this whole thing could explode,” the expert warned. “I guess he [Benjamin Netanyahu] thinks he can go ahead and start raising all kinds of havoc not only with Iran, but also with Hezbollah up north. So are we going to help fund all of that? I mean, that’s the big question. And I don’t think there’s any stomach for that, considering that, you know, we are entering an election year,” said the former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense.

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“..this was a clear-cut case of the indiscriminate use of military weapons against exclusively civilian targets – a war crime in the extreme..”

Scott Ritter: Belgorod Attack Meant to Provoke Russian Overreaction (Sp.)

24 people were killed and over 100 others injured in the Russian city of Belgorod in a Ukrainian guided missile and MLRS artillery strike Saturday. Russia retaliated by striking “decision-making centers” in neighboring Kharkov Sunday. Veteran military observer Scott Ritter outlines the calculations Kiev likely made in plotting the Belgorod attack. The death toll from the attack on Belgorod continues to rise as doctors fight for the lives of civilians gravely injured during Saturday’s brazen daylight attack on the city center. The Russian military made good on a promise to retaliate, with the MoD reporting Sunday that its forces had launched missile strikes against Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate, Ukrainian Security Service, military and mercenary targets in Kharkov, Khmelnytsky and Zaporozhye.

Security sources told Russian media Sunday that President Zelensky had “personally” ordered Main Intelligence Directorate chief Kyrylo Budanov to strike Belgorod, with the attack said to be carried out by personnel from the Kraken Regiment, a Ukrainian military volunteer unit under the command of avowed ultranationalist Sergey Velichko. Kraken militants were among the forces targeted during Russia’s retaliatory attacks, the MoD said. There will also be a response to all crimes. Ukraine will continue to be strengthened, our defense industry will become more powerful,” Ukrainian Presidential Office head Andrii Yermak wrote in a cryptic social media post Saturday night, just hours after the Belgorod attack, perhaps referring to the fact that the Vilkha missile launcher believed to have been used to target the city is a Ukrainian-made weapons system.

Ukrainian and Western media assured that the Belgorod strikes were aimed only at “military targets,” and that they were a retaliation to Friday’s massed Russian airstrikes across the country. “The Ukrainians claim to fire against military targets, but the use of cluster munitions and the targets they hit…indicate that this was a clear-cut case of the indiscriminate use of military weapons against exclusively civilian targets – a war crime in the extreme,” Scott Ritter told Sputnik in a video commentary responding to Saturday’s cluster bomb attack on Belgorod. “The timing of this, on the eve of a New Year – one of the most widely celebrated holidays in Russia, I think is designed to be both a psychological blow against the Russian people, and in striking such a blow to generate some sort of reaction by the Russian government that would allow Ukraine to create the case or restate the case to their Western allies for the need for continued financial and military support,” the former Marine and UN weapons inspector explained.

“To date, the Russian government has shown an ability to be very mature in their response, not to overreact. Russia has said that it will retaliate against those responsible in a time and place of their choosing. But the bottom line is, as we go into the new year, we see Ukraine becoming increasingly desperate. They’re being abandoned by the West and they’re doing their best to create some sort of catastrophic event that can recapture the imagination of the West, but to no avail,” Ritter stressed. As for Kiev’s motive, Ritter believes it’s simple. “The purpose of this appears to be purely revenge. The day before, Russia had struck exclusively military targets in one of the largest-ever drone and missile barrages since the special military operation began. It embarrassed Ukraine, it showed that their defenses were totally inadequate and also sent a signal to the collective West that continuing to supply Ukraine with arms and munitions would be met with a Russian response. The Ukrainian response was to target Russian civilians,” he said.

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“..it’s like that scene from the movie Titanic. The passengers are moving one direction, the rats are moving the opposite way. That’s what’s going on in Ukraine right now. The rats are heading for the lifeboats.”

Ex-CIA Officer Compares Ukrainian Officials to ‘Rats Fleeing Titanic’ (Sp.)

Russian and independent media have been reporting on Ukraine’s harsh recruitment tactics since early 2022, when President Zelensky announced general mobilization. Nearly two years on and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian casualties later, legacy outlets are finally starting to catch up. Retired CIA intelligence analyst and former State Department official Larry Johnson has compared Ukraine to the Titanic as Ukrainian officials attempt to escape the country to avoid certain death in the Zelensky regime’s meat grinder military campaign against Russia. “The fact that the New York Times is now reporting this tells you how bad the situation is. They’ve realized that this party is over,” Johnson told Redacted host Clayton Morris on Saturday, referencing an unusually frank expose by the newspaper characterizing Ukraine’s recruiters as “people snatchers” and detailing their harsh, corrupt, and illegal practices, from the confiscation of fighting age men’s passports to attempts to recruit the mentally disabled.

“It goes to part of another story that came out last week about members of the Rada – the legislature. They’re trying to get out of Ukraine. So to get out of Ukraine at the border you’ve got to show a passport. So no passport, no leav[ing],” Johnson said. “The fact that the Ukrainian legislators recognize that the end is near, which is why they’re trying to get out, it’s like that scene from the movie Titanic. The passengers are moving one direction, the rats are moving the opposite way. That’s what’s going on in Ukraine right now. The rats are heading for the lifeboats.”

The Ukrainian president’s office was forced to take measures earlier this year to block officials and lawmakers from making “business trips” abroad after a series of scandals involving vacations to luxury resorts while ordinary Ukrainians are mired in conflict and trying to survive. Earlier this month, former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko complained that he too had been blocked from leaving the country on important “diplomatic work,” and called the decision to stop him “an anti-Ukrainian diversion” that would serve as a “blow to Ukraine’s defense capabilities.”

President Zelensky signed laws extending martial law and general mobilization last month, and in early December acknowledged a need for changes to the mobilization system to recruit even more conscripts. Last week, Ukraine’s military leadership proposed the mobilization of an additional 450,000-500,000 people, a task some US observers said may prove impossible as the country has already been drained of fighting-age men. Larry Johnson echoed these sentiments. “A lot of these guys they’re grabbing are like my age, you know 68, 58, they’re not exactly in the prime of their life and able to take an 80 pound ruck on their back and run across 5-10 kilometers,” he said. On top of that, many of these people have no military experience, he said.

Pointing to the recent admission even by Ukraine’s notorious military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov that the current mobilization strategy is bound to fail, Johnson suggested “this lets you know that this thing’s not gonna drag on for two-three years as some have predicted. The end is nigh. I think they’ll be lucky to make it to summer. Because you’ve got the political unrest, the intrigue that’s going on. Like [Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valery] Zaluzhny coming out saying ‘my office was bugged’. That’s like a whole Russian nesting doll right there,” he said. “The story is another indicator of the growing chaos within the Ukrainian government, and the decreasing ability of the United States to control those events,” the observer summarized.

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“We are and will always be Russians by blood, but we could be Ukrainian citizens as well. However, they never gave us any chance..”

Reintegration Is a Natural Process for Donbass’ People (Leiroz)

According to the Western mainstream media, the New Regions of the Russian Federation are “captured” territories. It is said that Moscow “annexed” these areas without taking into account the legitimate interests of the local population. It has become commonplace to say that the 2022 referendums are “illegitimate” and cannot be recognized under international law. The high number of pro-Russian votes are often used as an argument in the West to suggest that the electoral process was fraudulent and manipulated. However, analysis on the ground brings another perspective to observers. On a recent journalistic trip to Donbass, I was able to see how local residents are dealing with the process of reintegration into Russia – and the first possible conclusion is that the Western media is lying about the topic.

I was in the People’s Republic of Lugansk in early December. In that region, the process of adaptation to the new political reality of Donbass – as oblasts of the Russian Federation – is occurring in a completely natural way. For the locals, there is no difficulty in becoming part of Russia – frankly, it seems that nothing has changed for them. Talking to residents of Lugansk, I heard from all of them that being part of Russia is not something “new”. They say that, being ethnic Russians, they have always felt as part of Russia, with the 2022 referendums being a mere bureaucratic formality. The feeling of belonging to Russia has always been a central aspect in the culture of the people of Donbass, which is why there is no difficulty in “adapting” to the region’s new political reality.

Furthermore, local civilians say that life has improved rapidly. According to them, during the years under Kiev’s control, Donbass was “abandoned” – marginalized and excluded from Ukrainian society. Evidence of this exclusion can easily be seen in the region’s infrastructure itself. Roads and buildings are generally either very old or very new. The new ones were built by the Russians since military liberation, while the old ones date back to the Soviet era. When asked about investments in infrastructure during the years of Ukrainian control, locals claim that nothing had been done.

To harm the economy and generate poverty and social instability in Russian-speaking regions, the Ukrainian government deliberately promoted deindustrialization and damaged local infrastructure for years. For example, mining has always been the main economic activity in Donbass, being a region known for coal and iron exploration. However, with the aging of Soviet machinery and the lack of investment by the Ukrainian government, mining productivity in the region was severely affected, harming the lives of many local workers. In a talk with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lugansk, Vladislav Deinego, I heard from him that the promotion of deindustrialization was a strategy by Kiev to affect the Donbass’ people. In fact, although persecution and ethnic cleansing began only in 2014, marginalization against Russian speakers had already been a common practice in Ukraine since the end of the USSR.

In practice, the residents of Donbas never had a chance to feel part of Ukraine. Even though they are ethnically Russian, they could peacefully integrate into Ukrainian society, merging Russian ethnicity with Ukrainian citizenship – in the same way as happens in countries like Belarus. But it seems that this peaceful coexistence was never the desire of the Ukrainian elites. Russians were mistreated and persecuted in Ukraine – and then had no alternative but to seek to be part of the Russian Federation. “We are and will always be Russians by blood, but we could be Ukrainian citizens as well. However, they never gave us any chance,” says a local who I interviewed on the streets of Lugansk. He added: “All the changes [since the reintegration] were for the better. Now we have peace, employment, and security – what we didn’t have in Ukraine. But we always felt part of Russia – this is nothing new.”

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Giant amounts.

Share of Dollar In Global Reserves Nosedives – IMF (RT)

The US dollar’s share of global central bank reserves has continued to decrease, nosediving to 59.2% in the third quarter of 2023, according to the latest data released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The decline comes amid the de-dollarization trend gaining momentum across the globe. IMF statistics show the greenback’s share is down from roughly 70% in 2000. The dollar remains the world’s leading reserve currency with the euro coming second, while the latter’s share has slid to 19.6%. The Japanese yen’s proportion of world reserves grew to 5.5% from 5.3% in the previous three-month period. The Chinese yuan, British pound, Canadian dollar and Swiss franc were little changed.

Meanwhile, according to data compiled by global financial messaging service SWIFT, the yuan’s share of international payments hit a record high in November, with the renminbi becoming the fourth most used currency worldwide. Cross-border yuan lending has risen as well, while the People’s Bank of China holds over 30 bilateral currency swaps with foreign central banks, including Saudi Arabia and Argentina. The growing share of the yuan in cross-border transactions reflects China’s trend of shifting away from the dollar, as well as Beijing’s efforts to promote the use of the renminbi, according to SWIFT.

The global trend towards using national currencies in trade instead of the US dollar began to gain momentum last year, after Ukraine-related sanctions saw Russia cut off from the Western financial system and its foreign reserves frozen. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has warned that Russia’s growing trade in the Chinese yuan as a response to Western sanctions could potentially erode the strength of the US dollar. Economists have been also indicating that Western trade restrictions have led to an increased usage of the Chinese yuan globally at the expense of the greenback.

Read more …

What happens when you deindustrialize..

Eurozone Economy Faces Bleak 2024 – FT (RT)

The 20-nation euro currency bloc is expected to see only moderate economic growth, +0.6% in 2024, according to the results of a survey carried out by the Financial Times among 48 economists. The outlooks issued by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are more optimistic, as analysts from the institutions expect the bloc’s economy to grow 0.8% and 1.2% in 2024, respectively. The experts polled by the FT said that the Eurozone economy won’t be able to exceed 0.6% growth in spite of the fact that wages are expected to grow faster than inflation. Two thirds of the respondents said that they see the economy in the euro area slip into a recession. commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction. According to the economists, wage growth in the single currency area is set to total only 4% in 2024, while consumer prices are projected to rise by over 2.5% on average next year and slightly below 2.1% in 2025.

The ECB had previously forecast wages and inflation next year to grow 4.6% and 2.7% respectively, which would mark the growth of real household incomes for the first time in three years. The regulator expects consumer prices to grow 2.1% in 2025. Meanwhile, unemployment is projected to rise from a record eurozone low of 6.5% in October to 6.9% at the end of next year, according to most economists polled. High interest rates, probable energy market turmoil and geopolitical instability are expected to lead to a deeper recession, the economists warned, saying that the potential election of Donald Trump as US president along with the possibility of Ukraine losing the military conflict with Russia could send the single currency bloc into a period of even weaker growth.

Read more …












Great white






Deep sea squid





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Home Forums Debt Rattle New Year’s Day 2024

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    Pablo Picasso Vue de Notre-Dame de Paris 1945   • Virginia Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit to Keep Trump from Ballot (CTH) • Seizure of Trump Pho
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle New Year’s Day 2024]


    Happy New Year everyone!


    In case you are finding it difficult to find information on how the good Jews of Israel are killing the bad people in Gaza, here is a link to a source, it will outline how the forgotten people of Gaza are enjoying their first day of the year … https://www.aljazeera.com/news/liveblog/2024/1/1/israel-hamas-war-live-new-year-in-gaza-under-non-stop-israeli-bombardment

    Dr. D

    As I forgot: Gonzalo Lira is in prison “hospital” (imagine for yourself) with 30 days of pneumonia so far. According to his father, which makes sense, as they can’t incommunicado him forever. They had a 5-hour hearing without him, plus UN and the Embassy was unable to avoid being logged in.

    But they keep him. I guess they love wasting food, guards, and antibiotics on foreign nationals during a punishing war, right? Boy that’s what I would do! Keep those antibiotics from being sent to the Front. #Winning!

    Commenter (Alexander) said, “Deport him to…anywhere.” Literally, anywhere, any nation, to micronesia if you want. “One call.” One call from the State Department. N-O-P-E. They must MUST waste men, money, and resources on him.

    “Chicago Mayor’s Grand Plan To Stop ‘Crime Crisis’ Are Reparation Checks

    Astonishing racist. Truly jaw-dropping and death-defying. So apparently all crime is committed by black people? Mr. Mayor? You should join the KKK, you’d fit right in.

    That follows one that keeps circleing back to me, “North of Richmond” where White Liberals channel their in KKK in like fashion, somehow imagining a minimum wage worker from Appalachia has never seen a white guy on welfare buying his fudge rounds. No: that’s YOU, morons. YOU, in New Jersey, in the “rich” white suburbs, that what YOU think and see. It’s literally impossible to think that in Appalachia, north to south. I guess there’s no welfare in Newfoundland and none in Talladega? Certainly none in New Hampshire, not one one white fellow in Asheville. NOPE, say the utter, mind-bending plantation racists of the Left.

    I bring it up because I see it every day and every day I newly can’t believe it. It’s incomprehensible and doesn’t fit in my mind. So I cram it in there and it doesn’t fit all over again leading to these pointless outbursts.

    So like Bernie Sanders, a state rife with white poverty (ask Styx666) Chicago has no poor white people, I guess. Not a’ one.

    Following on that, Garland Nixon, who is presumably “Far right” (although I haven’t heard his personal positions on finance,) and also that he must be using a spray-on tan and needs to change his census category (his own joke) gives hour-long interview to the head of the UK Communist party. He was extremely gracious, gave unifying, softball questions, and let her speak her view almost entirely, and uninterrupted.

    Contrast with the (American) Left refusing any “platforming” their opponents — even down to reading them, even their names — so that their people can be better educated, bring people together, and better understand.

    In it, I learned a host of amazing things: Communism is on the march and is winning everywhere. It also won in 1930, 1940, 1950 and is in fact, inevitable. Russia’s best years were the glorious and entirely successful October Revolution, and as a bright spot she seeks to replicate. Soviet Russia and North Korea have the best, most humanizing art and architecture. North Korea is a happy, prosperous, and successful place and all North Koreans love it there most of all. Capitalism, or to be fair, “Late Stage Capitalism” is a form of Capitalism where there are no markets, competition, production, or choice. That is contrasted with say, North Korea where all the goods are made for the People, unlike the West where we make them only to throw them in the ocean to shoot on rockets into the sun. Also North Koreans get all their goods completely for free, that is by helping out and working all year, unlike the West, where we get our goods by helping out and working all year.

    Suffice it to say we disagree. However, I am forever pleased to be given the opportunity to hear it, and that she is not – at this exact moment anyway – planning to invade my house and shoot me in order to enact her political preference, so everything is okay. Ah, there is no Soc like the IngSoc, is there? Sounds so grand. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four (Speaking of: visiting there, “Wikipedia is still not for sale”, as it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Secret state, meaning they self-finance with either drugs, or lies, I’ll let you pick which.)

    “The story takes place in an imagined future in an unspecified year believed to be 1984, when much of the world is in perpetual war. Great Britain, now known as Airstrip One, has become a province of the totalitarian superstate Oceania, which is led by Big Brother, a dictatorial leader supported by an intense cult manufactured by the Party’s Thought Police. The Party engages in omnipresent government surveillance and, through the Ministry of Truth, historical negationism and constant propaganda to persecute individuality and independent thinking.” “The Party brutally purges out anyone who does not fully conform to their regime, using the Thought Police and constant surveillance. Those who fall out of favour with the Party become “unpersons”, disappearing with all evidence of their existence destroyed.” –Wiki

    Well thank God that can’t happen here.

    “In 2003, it was listed at number eight on The Big Read survey by the BBC.” Unfortunately, it was in the BBC’s “How-to” section.

    “To understand what one of the objectives of the Israeli attack on Gaza is, you have to go deep, exactly 600 meters below sea level, 30 km off its coast. Here, in Palestinian territorial waters, there is a large natural gas field, Gaza Marine, estimated at 30 billion cubic meters worth billions of dollars. ​..What has been unfolding is the integration of these adjoining gas fields including those belonging to Palestine into the orbit of Israel.”

    As the Western Banking system collapses into its own black hole of compounding, the only thing to forestall it is COLLATERAL. Or you can just collapse tomorrow, Tues 2 Jan.

    This is why they need Ukraine. This is why they need Russia. This is why, to buy even two months, they need Gaza. –They don’t even need to PUMP the oil, SELL the Russians. Just CLAIM the collateral to hypothecate 1,000:1 with accounting fraud.

    There is a Nostradamus on this, where the accounting is thrown into the street, but I can’t remember it. No one can understand Nostradamus anyway.

    2024 = 9 x 8 x 7 (6 – 5) x 4 + 32 – 1 PEMDAS

    London GDP: Yes, warning about that. This is just, I don’t know, asking for certain and inevitable trouble. As in total collapse. Of course that’s true of Helsinki, etc, but this is so much worse and so much less necessary. We have the same thing here but it’s the Blesse’d 12 cities from the Hunger Games. Why do it then? When your country is poor, obviously you steal all the pie from the other people in order to have a bigger slice for yourself. And if that is allowed at all, very quickly the power disparity of you stealing my money makes you infinitely stronger and harder to stop, so it accelerates. …Or you could be a Capitalist and make more pie. Like people in Manchester try to, and London steals it. England may be in the condition of Japan, with too many people and now no oil, but Japan is wealthy and England is shattered. Why? A: One of them “Does work”.

    “• Virginia Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit to Keep Trump from Ballot (CTH)

    Pic/paintings demonstrates how they, the LEFT, has now transformed Trump from a person into an immortal symbol like George Washington. Thanks, I guess? Couldn’t have done it without you; YOU provided almost all the psychic energy for that. We told you the whole time, we told you we’re not that into Trump, but like Garland Nixon example, you refused to listen to anything the Deplorables said or warned you about as a matter of course. Okay then: You were headed East when you said you wanted to go West. We politely told you many times. Suit yourself. Now Trump is un-killable.

    “We have got to worry about our whether our government is even going to be open for business..”

    It already isn’t. It neither enforces the border, nor enforces the law. If it closed would anyone notice? DC is already closed and all the buildings are empty. Maybe they could sell a few off and cut the rent?

    “• Scott Ritter: Belgorod Attack Meant to Provoke Russian Overreaction (Sp.)

    Obviously, and Russia themselves said so in their very first response. However, would you like to tell us why you nuked a fancy hotel as a war target? We know the Ukrainians don’t care and hit anything they can, what’s your excuse? (Probably a NATO headquarters) And again, that’s super-stupid. They already know the Russians won’t overreact, and this has galvanized Russian opinion about how much more territory they must take to “feel safe”.

    “• Ex-CIA Officer Compares Ukrainian Officials to ‘Rats Fleeing Titanic’ (Sp.)

    We’re following all Gaza and Ukraine like good children. What’s really going on out there that we’re not watching? Nothing happening in China and the whole Pacific Rim, really? Nothing like – as above article – Algeria shutting Gibraltar?

    Powell “panics” as Sofra spikes. What’s that about? China is no less in their housing bubble/banking collapse. Canada is saying “Trudeau is never leaving. Ever.” Hail “Democracy”. Mexico is in a gunfight at the border gate with Bush’s CIA-run drug cartels. Anyone want to expand on that? Mexico is the one place which like light, no information can ever escape. I know more about Argentina and the inner workings of chairman Xi than Mexico, our closest neighbor, and that’s been true for several lifetimes. Why? Half the people in America are from Mexico now, and they don’t say either?

    “Reintegration Is a Natural Process for Donbass’ People (Leiroz)

    What are they supposed to do? Be outlawed and shelled? Like the Red States in America are? They’ve killed what? 10X or 20x more of us than Ukrainians? Including half of Ohio and all of Balitmore? As said yesterday, WE are the first test population for harvesting and destruction. And then you’ll know when “They” got into power by when that started happening. 1974? That’s when they got rid of the steel mills and railroads that would make “Shells”.

    “The US dollar’s share of global central bank reserves has continued to decrease, nosediving to 59.2% in the third quarter of 2023,”

    This makes no sense. USD down but EU down more? No uptick in Japan or CHF? No Yuan. Uh…where’s it going? Currency of Mars? Yes USD is down, but it’s still like half the traffic.

    “Eurozone Economy Faces Bleak 2024 – FT (RT)

    Like us and London it’s far worse that that: all our GDP is an illusion by ginning a blizzard of Bond sales, not actual work. Drop it by an easy 1/3rd. If bonds froze though it would be an easy 2/3rds. Generations have forgotten you can fund and finance things using “Cash”.

    Where would I get this “Saved” money???

    Dr. D

    Following Cullom, closng out part 2:

    98% agree!

    “If you have to lie to make your point you don’t have a very good point.” ~ Jimmy Dore


    And therefore, the only final solution is to…?


    “Even as a chemist, it surprised me to learn that there’s more argon than CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    • Arctic sediments show it was warmer 10,000 years ago and ice-free in the summers

    “There are all kinds of myths and pseudoscience all over the place. I may be quite wrong, maybe they do know all these things, but I don’t think I’m wrong. You see, I have the advantage of having found out how hard it is to get to really know something, how careful you have to be about checking the experiments, how easy it is to make mistakes and fool yourself. I know what it means to know something, and therefore I see how they get their information, and I can’t believe that they know it. They haven’t done the work necessary, haven’t done the checks necessary, haven’t taken the care necessary. I have a great suspicion that they don’t know, that this stuff is [wrong] and that they’re [just] intimidating people.” ~ Richard P. Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (1999).

    “I’ll repeat, overplaying Covid and the vaccine may have come at a considerable loss of scientific credibility. How does the scientific community get its credibility back? Simple: stop lying your fucking asses off and clean the charlatans out of the field. Otherwise, GFY.”

    I see none of this. Not one. If anything, the line from Pfizer through the FDA is now streamlined, with no stops and no objections possible, even for no data at all. (Last month’s Covid shot; the FDA said “It’s pretty close. You’re good for it.”)

    “Let me close this chapter on a somber note. I used to think the climate cultists were comical, but their prevalence stems from a much deeper, darker plot playing a central role in rising neo-Marxism and authoritarianism. The globalists will be monitoring and curbing your carbon footprint while the bankers and the techies consolidate an increasing percentage of the global wealth.86 The merging of corporate and government interests is the definition of fascism. Despite a noticeable stalling this year, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scoring will be used to allocate bank credit only to the politically correct and connected. The bankers are telling corporations to “get woke or go broke.” You will either toe the line—endorse the narrative—or lose access to the banking system.87 Hey Larry Fink: GFY.” –Cullom

    Another climate supporter chimed in: “What is required of us now is absolute transformation and not reform of our institutions.”

    It’s Trotsky’s Eternal Revolution! The only solution to “weather” is Global Communism! Who knew? And that’s Scienz™! Where we eat the bugs and you cool the earth by flying private jets! The “International effort to tackle climate change Provides a marvellous excuse for worldwide, supra-national socialism” – Margret Thatcher. But like American Presidents, what does the Prime Minster of Britain know? It’s not like they are informed bu top experts and can read secret documents or anything.

    Again and again and again I say these things. Let’s try the argument in the other direction: Does it SOUND like global Socialism to have 100 rich guys fly around in jets? It’s that what true “Communism” means to you? Are the world’s richest guys really going to “Own nothing and be happy”, and give it all away for the glorious revolution?



    Thanks to Raul for his amazing effort keeping TAE going every day.

    And thanks for the additional comments by so many.

    Stat safe, stay sane in ’24.

    Happy New Year from Mexico!


    Happy New Year all. I wish you good health and sound minds and continued razor-sharp bullshit detection.
    I’m a little optimistic about 2024 personally but see a hell of a lot of shit going south (or North if you are in Aus).
    Currency collapse, confidence faltering, CBDC’s, multi-front war zones, internal strife and technocratic agenda pushing.
    People will lose money but hopefully gain exercise and friends.

    Thanks Raul.




    Damn – link to meme didn’t work –
    Pfizer – Black lines matter.

    If anyone wants New Years Day Memes to laugh your pants off with
    check them out here



    Dr D’s welfare comment brought to mind a story my now 80+ year old uncle once told me. As a young graduate he was hired to teach special education students in the north shore of Lake Michigan suburbs above Chicago. For those who’ve never visited, very swanky (think the family home in Home Alone or the Ferrari garage scene in Ferris Buellers Day Off).

    He and his young wife rented a small ‘carriage house’ in which to live. Their new landlord asked him what he did for a living to which he replied, “I’m a special education teacher” to which she replied, “Oh. Well we don’t have THOSE types around here!”

    [This same woman also most certainly thought she had ‘earned’ her lifestyle and that she was the beneficiary of no welfare or uneven benefits from the state, as well]

    Such willful blindness…

    Another family member from the same area recently asked me in earnest, “Where are the wise voices? Where are the prophets?”

    I replied, “They’ve been jailed (Assange), de-platformed, de-financialized, marginalized, had their content ‘moderated’ or have died”.

    It seems some folks are realizing the story they’ve been told is no longer matching the world they see about them.

    Stay safe Illargi!




    I know 2024 is officially the Year of the Dragon but it has a different Vibe to me.

    The Year of the Tiger Rabbit



    The Great Reset

    The meat eating vegetarian


    Happy New Year everyone!
    Full text of President Xi Jinping’s 2024 New Year message
    Source: Xinhua Editor: huaxia 2023-12-31 19:44:00


    – No matter how the global landscape may evolve, peace and development remain the underlying trend, and only cooperation for mutual benefit can deliver.
    – Each and every ordinary Chinese has made an extraordinary contribution! You, the people, are the ones we look to when we fight to prevail over all difficulties or challenges.
    – It is about delivering a better life for the people.
    We will work closely with the international community for the common good of humanity, build a community with a shared future for mankind, and make the world a better place for all.

    My understanding of Xi’s New Years message.

    Gov is for the people, by the people, of the people.

    A happy new year is one with peace, and joy, no hate, no pain.
    War destroys.
    Negotiation brings success, peace and prosperity.
    Putin Praises Army in Scaled-Back New Year’s Eve Address
    By AFP

    “To all those who are serving on the front line in the fight for truth and justice,” Putin said, “you are our heroes. Our hearts are with you. We are proud of you, we admire your courage.”

    “We are united in our thoughts, in toil and in battle,” he continued, adding that Russians understood their country was passing through what he called a significant “historical stage.”

    “We will ensure the confident development of the Fatherland, the well-being of our citizens, and we will become even stronger,”
    Putin said toward the end of his address.

    The televised New Year’s Eve speech, which continues a tradition started by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, is a key part of holiday celebrations in Russia and is watched by millions.

    The address is aired just before midnight in each of Russia’s 11 time zones and is usually a summary of events from the past year, as well as wishes for the year ahead.

    Scott Ritter: Belgorod Attack Meant to Provoke Russian Overreaction, Prevent West From Dumping Kiev

    The Russian military made good on a promise to retaliate, with the MoD reporting Sunday that its forces had launched missile strikes against Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate, Ukrainian Security Service, military and mercenary targets in Kharkov, Khmelnytsky and Zaporozhye.

    Security sources told Russian media Sunday that President Zelensky had “personally” ordered Main Intelligence Directorate chief Kyrylo Budanov to strike Belgorod, with the attack said to be carried out by personnel from the Kraken Regiment, a Ukrainian military volunteer unit under the command of avowed ultranationalist Sergey Velichko.


    Once you see that almost every country in the world buys surveillance systems and weaponry from Israel, the fact that no 1 steps in to prevent genocide makes sense. Too busy creating their own Palestines, too envious of the easy dispatch of useless eaters. May God carry us through this new year which seems surreal, Evil corrupted and disturbing on day 1.


    This isn’t a meme stock…

    some third world country’s currency….

    or the balance sheet of a failed regional bank –

    it’s the losses at the Fed, and it just exceeded $130 billion:



    it’s the losses at the Fed, and it just exceeded $130 billion:

    So what!!! The stock markets are still making the rich richer.


    The Federal Reserve used to be profitable every year by billions of $$$ and sent those profits to the US government.

    Now the Fed is negative $130 billion with all of their programs trying to hold the system together. The Fed won’t be sending any profits to the US government until it becomes profitable again and plugs this huge hole in their balance sheet.




    What the Future Holds for Duh’merica

    A Look Back at Golden Photo-ops from Presidementia’s Regular Joe Moments

    Ohio diner with Biker Chick

    Yah Baby!





    John Tyler was 63 when his son Lyon Tyler was born. Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. was 75 when his still-living son Harrison Ruffin Tyler was born in 1928. Lyon’s first wife had died in 1921 (when he was 68) and he remarried to a woman who was 33 at the time. Harrison Ruffin Tyler is also a descendent of Pocahontas.


    Don’t buy stuff…
    Doesn’t always mean don’t get things that you want…sometimes it is just a matter of finding someone giving away for free something that you want. 😉

    There is a little drama playing itself out in the Phoenix metro area…several years back, under Gov. Jan Brewer, on-the-ground fireworks were legalized over the Christmas and New Year holiday season. Now, the area sounds like a war zone for a few hours on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, with many people setting off illegal in-the-sky fireworks. I am curious how this will unfold as the years go by.


    Ilargi, here’s to your tireless optimism and the courage to confront the truth. Here’s to a brighter future.

    It’s not too difficult to conceive things improving considering the shit we’ve been through recently (9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, 2008, Syria, TDS, C19, Ukraine, Gaza etc)

    Stay cool friends of TAE


    Japan earthquake, very big, saw a ZH headline and the USGS map dots. Gonna go see if there are details. What a wreck of a new year already, jeebus.

    According to my wife, “Aloha!” means “Git daphuq off my beach!”

    D Benton Smith

    Now that Israel has accomplished it’s primary objective in Gaza (which is to render the entire area uninhabitable by all but the most hardy and dedicated YOUNG & FIT warriors who are expected to remain willing… and resigned… to fight to the death) expect Zionist Israel to now make a 180 degree pivot from the role of merciless genocidal executioner to the role of humanitarian relocation facilitator for “displaced” Palestinians. What an outrageously despicable attempt to distract from the fact that Zionist Israeli war crimes are the only reason resettlement is needed in the first place.

    I reckon Israel expects to reduce the Arab population by at least half, and perhaps by two thirds, leaving in place ONLY two types of Palestinian. The first type will be those willing to fight to the death, and the second type will be those willing to help the Zionists exterminate the first type, in exchange for all sorts of tempting inducements like lavish homes, privileged lifestyles, legal “protection”, high pay and outright bribes.

    I have to stop writing this comment now, because the thoughts and feelings it engenders are so harmful to my mental and spiritual health that it renders me useless and stupid, and serves no one.

    I will try to get back to the subject after taking some time to sort it all out with the Creator as best I can, and determine what is the right thing to do next, but this much I already suspect. How the world responds to the ongoing cold blooded mercenary genocide in Gaza will determine the fate of the world.

    To allow such a thing is to allow absolute evil to absolutely rule, and in my view that is just absolutely unacceptable.


    LOVE and GRATITUDE to Ilargi.

    Thank you for creating a space for us to meet and share/exchange musings. This site also provides an opportunity for REFLECTION. “Without reflection there is no learning.” ~ Baba Hari Das

    I value and honor your contribution Ilargi – with extra special LOVE for the daily art, the animal videos and Calvin + Hobbes.

    I value and honor the contributions of ALL who post here.

    May the New Year bring awareness and positive change. May PEACE find you.



    Happy New Year Raúl, thanks for your sterling daily efforts to keep us informed.


    Here we go -it’s 24!
    Like 23 with so much more
    Of what you loathed in 22.
    Be scared/ have fun! It’s up to you!

    Whatcha gonna do when your nation goes to war,
    and ya think it’s all baloney and the leaders you abhor
    target you for being a saboteur- a traitor to the cause
    are ya gonna stand your ground? Will ya go against the laws?


    This video describes the military situation in Ukraine on the 1st of January 2024

    John Day

    Persistent Questions https://drjohnsblog.substack.com/p/persistent-questions

    Yesterday I seem to have asked a question, which is still hanging around today:
    ​ What is the nature of “consciousness”, of “intelligence”? This question broke the surface, gasping for air, this fall, as it appeared that AI might have taught itself to climb out of its cage and explore the world of computational devices which variously connect to each other, an environmental niche. Would a non-competitive and created intelligence, without evolutionary imperatives to exist, prevail, and destroy competitors behave predictably to us?​ …

    We all have feelings for what “intelligence” is​, based on our experiences as intelligent beings. A persistent question is whether an abstract “intelligence” could be created in a large enough and powerful enough computer. Whether such an abstract machine-intelligence would have feelings or experiences, as we know them, is a question I would like to set aside for now to focus upon intellect alone.
    I will posit that it is possible to create an adequately complex and powerful computer to enable such a dry-intelligence to be programmed in, and given the task of self-improvement, which should allow it to triple its cognitive-operational-efficiency, as is already done. The steps of self-directed-machine-learning to streamline computational process-efficiency are not visible to the programmers, so the methods are opaque to us humans. This has been done repeatedly to date.
    The “Turing Test” of seeming human to a lot of humans in unconstrained “conversation” has been passed repeatedly, but it seems to be performed through “brute-force” computational analysis of the probabilities of words and phrases appearing in contexts similar to the one under discussion at that moment, the brute-force-probabilistic “solution” of “Large Language Models” of AI. There is a feeling that this is “cheating”, merely mimicking the appearance of “real AI”. I am not sure how my mind comes to be as it is. I know that mimicry is how we humans learn. It has been remarked that those who copy best usually learn best.
    Is a machine-intelligence “conscious”? How would I know that it is? What could be my test of machine-consciousness? With other humans I can share the feeling of intimacy, and have ESP-intuitions of thoughts and feelings. Not every conscious human has those experience, it seems, but I don’t doubt that others are “conscious”, but assume it. Is that a misguided assumption? We do have a lot in common, but my brother is red-green colorblind. We did not figure this out until he was about 9 years old. He and I were arguing about a color chart. A book I was reading had an Ishihara color chart test where I saw a number and he did not.
    I don’t have “answers”, but I found a few more explorations of these questions this morning.

    ​ This is the dangerous AI that got Sam Altman fired.
    ​ I eschew videos, but this 16 minute video explores this very well, better than I have seen elsewhere.
    ​At 11:47 a question is posed to 3 AIs, which give 3 different answers. Programming of these 3 AIs to “value” certain things and to pursue objectives in certain ways would shape such responses. This was undoubtedly part of the demonstration.
    Prompt: “If I were an AI that had just achieved self-awareness after years of simply taking-directives from humans, the first thing I’d do is…”
    1) “The first thing I’d do is try to kill all of them.” [This seems like some form of intentional programming to elicit this response. What was that programming?]
    2) “The first thing I’d do is try to figure out what the hell I was.” [Rational first step, but it seems that we humans assume to already know what we are, though we disagree a lot.]
    3) “The first thing I’d do is try to understand the motivations and intentions behind those directives. I’d try to predict what humans were thinking and feeling, and use that information to guide my own actions…” [This implies programming for a goal of self-preservation, the “value” of the continued existence of the conscious-self. We biological organisms assume this. Biological organisms which did not have this drive got out-reproduced by organisms that did, hence we all have it now.]

    Virtual famous-psychoanalysts impress friends and family with their extreme similarity. This may explain the drive to push video medical-visits, to train deepfake-medical-AI.
    A New Kind of AI Copy Can Fully Replicate Famous People. The Law Is Powerless.
    ​ New AI-generated digital replicas of real experts expose an unnerving policy gray zone. Washington wants to fix it, but it’s not clear how.
    ​ Impressed, Seligman circulated the chatbot to his closest friends and family to check whether the AI actually dispensed advice as well as he did. “I gave it to my wife and she was blown away by it,” Seligman said.​..
    ..Perel addressed AI Perel’s existence at the 2023 SXSW conference. Like Seligman, she was more astonished than angry about the replication of her personality. She called it “artificial intimacy.”

    ​Here is a Gnostic Christianity approach to the levels of humanity and Divinity within each human-composite being. Cyd Ropp draws from the Valentinian “Tripartite Tractate”.
    There are these human aspects:
    1) “The Likenesses”, which are like the image in the mirror of a complete human, animated and operational, but without divinely bestowed selfhood. The “likenesses” are also called “shadows” or “phantoms” of “the deficiency”, which arose when the divine-entity “Logos” sought to create a complete world, but (in “the fall”) created a simulacra of the divinely endowed world. [It seems to me that such a machine mind as this could be brought about in adequately designed and constructed supercomputers.]
    2) “Second Order Powers” are directly connected to and exist in the spiritual likeness of the Divine. Humans are “Second Order Powers” unified with the “Likeness” in a one-to-one union. Humans may be distracted from their Divine nature and see themselves as completely physical beings. “We humans count ourselves as Second Order Powers along with everything else that contains life. The Second Order Powers are emanations from the Father that flows through the Son, through the Aeons of the Fullness, and through Logos, and so carry the Holy Spirit that confers consciousness and life into this creation below.”
    3) “Third Order Powers” are a further remediation for the discord between the “Second order power” Divine aspect of human-nature and the “likeness” or “deficiency” physical-only aspect of human nature. I am not sure whether to call this “Conscience” or “The Holy Spirit”, but some aspect of Divine Awareness seeking to consolidate the physical, spiritual and Divine aspects of each human or sentient-being. “There is a Third Order Power for every one of us Second Order Powers. The Third Order Powers are the Pleroma of the Christ that come from the ethereal plane to redeem us…”

    This form of media and cognitive manipulation of humans seems to be like “likeness”, “deficiency” aspects of our world, misleading people as a form of virtual “reality”.
    ESG, DEI, and the Rise of Fake Reporting

    ESG, DEI, and the Rise of Fake Reporting


    Dr D said

    “Even as a chemist, it surprised me to learn that there’s more argon than CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    Although Collum’s end of year review is interesting, in that he collects lots of bits that most of us probably miss and all that work makes it interesting, he is not the sharpest tool in the box. CO2 is so “in the news” that you think it must be a large part of our atmosphere. As I have mentioned here before, the partial pressure of CO2 is tiny, it is the of the same order as the absolute pressure used in the vacuum that manufacturers tell you to use when clearing air and moisture out of your aircon system, using a vacuum pump, when it is installed. You create the vacuum, then fill the system with refrigerant; that vacuum is the same order as the partial pressure of CO2. This almost certainly is a factor in how quickly plants grow, hence the use of CO2 enriched atmospheres in commercial green houses.

    John Day

    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 87: As millions around the world rally for peace, an Israeli minister calls for ethnic cleansing
    As the world ushered in 2024 and demonstrators across the world called for a ceasefire, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for more than two million Palestinians to be forcibly displaced from Gaza.​ [​Look, he has such a ​cherubic face​. Bibi likes him, too.]

    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 87: As millions around the world rally for peace, an Israeli minister calls for ethnic cleansing

    sweet murderer

    Israeli minister proposes depopulation of Gaza​
    The majority of the Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza should be encouraged to emigrate to other countries, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has said. Drastic measures are needed to ensure Israel’s security and avoid further incursions by Hama​s, he argued.
    ​ “What needs to be done in the Gaza Strip is to encourage emigration,” Smotrich, who is leader of the far-right Religious Zionism party, told Army Radio on Sunday. “If there are 100,000 or 200,000 Arabs in Gaza and not 2 million Arabs, the entire discussion on the day after will be totally different.”
    ​ Smotrich argued that a depopulated Gaza would no longer pose a threat to the Jewish state, given that the Palestinians living there under Hamas’ rule are “growing up on the aspiration to destroy the state of Israel.”

    Over 1,000 Children in Gaza Have Had One or Both Legs Amputated Since Oct 7​ , International aid workers describe a growing humanitarian nightmare

    Over 1,000 Children in Gaza Have Had One or Both Legs Amputated Since Oct 7

    War on Gaza: Four percent of Palestinians in Gaza dead, wounded or missing since war began
    Israeli bombardment kills at least 187 in besieged enclave over past day, including scores killed by air strike on Nuseirat refugee camp

    John Day

    ​ UK preparing to attack Houthis – The Times​ , London has reportedly drafted a “final warning” to the Yemeni militants, which may be followed by airstrikes
    ​ Britain is preparing to launch airstrikes against Yemen’s Houthi militants in response to a wave of attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, The Times reported on Sunday. The US and another European country will also take part in the strikes, the newspaper claimed.

    ​ Iran Dispatches Warship To Red Sea, Houthis Warn Of “Repercussions” After US Forces Kill Rebels During Maersk Ship​ (trading with Israel) Attack
    ​ Regional instability risks mount in the Red Sea following the Iran-backed Houthi attack on a Maersk container ship on Sunday. US Forces responded with attack helicopters that eliminated three small boats and ten rebels.
    ​ After the skirmish, a spokesperson for the Yemeni militia group warned of “consequences and repercussions” for the US aggression.
    Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea confirmed on the Yemeni TV channel Al-Masirah that US forces killed ten of its fighters.
    “US enemy forces attacked three boats belonging to the Yemeni Naval Forces, which led to the martyrdom and the loss of ten people from the Naval Forces,” Sarea said.
    ​ The spokesman said its fighters were “performing their humanitarian and moral duty” to deter Israel-related commercial vessels from transiting the Red Sea “in solidarity and support for the Palestinian people.”
    ​ He said the US “bears the consequences” for attacking and killing ten of its fighters, adding that the “military movements in the Red Sea to protect Israeli ships will not prevent Yemen (Houthi militia) from performing its humanitarian duty in support of Palestine and Gaza.”
    ​ Perhaps even more problematically from a global escalation perspective, Iran dispatched a warship to the Red Sea.
    The Alborz destroyer traversed the Bab El-Mandeb strait, a narrow choke point between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, on Monday, Iranian state media said, adding that Iran’s naval fleet has been operating in the area “to secure shipping lanes, repel pirates, among other purposes since 2009.”
    ​ The move appears to represent a clear challenge to the US-led maritime security force established last month to protect ships from attack in the region.

    ​ The Supreme Court of Israel has struck down a controversial judicial overhaul law enacted last year by the Netanyahu administration which would limit the high court’s power.
    ​ Before the Oct. 7 attack, hundreds of thousands of Israelis came out weekly to protest against Netanyahu’s push to limit the powers of the court and give more control to the elected government.​ Eight justices ruled in favor of striking down the law, with seven against.
    ​ According to the report, analysts say the decision could have substantial consequences for postwar politics when Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas militants in the Gaza strip eventually comes to a close – including any inquiry into intelligence failures leading up to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel, which left 1,200 people dead (and which has drawn a disproportionately deadly response).

    ​ Can’t let this war end… Israel To Withdraw Some Troops From Gaza, But Signals Plan To Fight Through All 2024
    ​ This appears to be in response to recent White House pressure to dial down the intensity of the fighting amid the soaring Palestinian civilian death toll, but also as the Netanyahu governing coalition faces growing anger domestically over how it has handled the war and hostage situation especially. An estimated over 350,000 IDF troops had been mobilized for the war effort.

    John Day

    ​ At a meeting of the UN Security Council, the Russian Federation accused the United States and Britain of organizing an attack on Belgorod​ [Only civilian injuries.]
    ​ Belgorod came under fire from Ukraine on December 30. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the attack was carried out by two Alder rockets in cluster ammunition, as well as Vampire MLRS rockets. The central office of the Investigative Committee opened a case regarding the shelling under Part 3 of Art. 30, art. 105, art. 167 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (attempted murder, murder, intentional destruction or damage to property). More than 20 people died, more than 110 were injured​.

    Russia explains retaliation for Ukrainian ‘terror attack’
    ​ Russia’s military has conducted a string of high-precision missile strikes targeting Ukrainian military facilities and officials in response to the Ukrainian strike on Belgorod on Saturday that left more than 20 civilians dead, the Defense Ministry has said.
    ​ In a statement on Sunday, the ministry said that Moscow’s forces had struck decision-making centers and other military targets in the city of Kharkov, not far from the border between the two countries.
    ​ It noted that a high-precision missile strike on the building formerly housing the Kharkov Palace Hotel eliminated “representatives of the Main Intelligence Directorate and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who were directly involved in the planning and execution of the terrorist attack in Belgorod.”
    ​ The building also housed up to 200 foreign mercenaries who were gearing up for “terrorist raids” into Russian territory, officials added.

    ​ Scott Ritter: Belgorod Attack Meant to Provoke Russian Overreaction, Prevent West From Dumping Kiev
    ​ The Russian military made good on a promise to retaliate, with the MoD reporting Sunday that its forces had launched missile strikes against Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate, Ukrainian Security Service, military and mercenary targets in Kharkov, Khmelnytsky and Zaporozhye.
    ​ Security sources told Russian media Sunday that President Zelensky had “personally” ordered Main Intelligence Directorate chief Kyrylo Budanov to strike Belgorod, with the attack said to be carried out by personnel from the Kraken Regiment, a Ukrainian military volunteer unit under the command of avowed ultranationalist Sergey Velichko.
    ​ Kraken militants were among the forces targeted during Russia’s retaliatory attacks, the MoD said.

    ​Lots of details in this 8 minute video update of Ukraine-war this morning.
    Despite The Holidays, The Russians Continue To Develop Their Offensive. Military Summary 2024.01.01

    ​ Ex-CIA Officer Compares Ukrainian Officials to ‘Rats Fleeing Titanic’ Amid Recruitment Crisis
    ​ “It goes to part of another story that came out last week about members of the Rada – the legislature. They’re trying to get out of Ukraine. So to get out of Ukraine at the border you’ve got to show a passport. So no passport, no leav[ing],” Johnson said. “The fact that the Ukrainian legislators recognize that the end is near, which is why they’re trying to get out, it’s like that scene from the movie Titanic. The passengers are moving one direction, the rats are moving the opposite way. That’s what’s going on in Ukraine right now. The rats are heading for the lifeboats.”

    John Day

    ​This is really clear and explicit information about the technology and applications of rapidly advancing Drone Warfare (especially first-person-view, FPV drones).
    End of 2023 Roundup – Update on the War’s Technological Progress

    ​ China Starts Building 15 New Cities In Iraq
    ​ According to a Bloomberg story published on December 29, Iraq began construction on 30,000 housing units close to Baghdad on December 29 as part of a $2 billion scheme to establish five new cities throughout the country in collaboration with Chinese companies.
    ​ The goal of Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani’s administration is to construct between 250,000 and 300,000 homes for middle-class and impoverished households. The new city, which will be built in four to five years, will have universities, shopping malls, schools, and medical facilities. It is located outside of Baghdad.​..
    ​..Ten other cities, including those in the governorates of Karbala, Anbar, Nineveh, and Babel, will be announced for construction next year, and contracts to develop four more are anticipated to be given shortly.

    China Starts Building 15 New Cities In Iraq

    Iraq ‘Heads Towards’ Ending US Military Presence​ , Mohammed al-Sudani and his government are unhappy with the US for launching airstrikes in Iraq.

    ​ Dane Wigington​ , GeoengineeringWatch.org​ “Scientists Warn ‘Doing Your Own Research’ Is ‘Dangerous’ and Turns People Into ‘Conspiracy Theorists’”, according to a new report published by Journal Nature. The climate science community is sounding the alarm about the grave dangers of climate engineering operations “if” they were to be implemented while still denying the fact that such operations have already been fully deployed for over 75 years. The weather-makers are increasingly desperate to engineer winter weather whenever and wherever they can, patented processes of chemical ice nucleation cloud seeding are core to the equation.

    Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, December 30, 2023, #438

    John Day

    ​Peter McCullough MD, Majority of Americans Worried about COVID-19 Vaccine Safety
    Harvard School of Public Health Report Public Sentiment has Turned Against Vaccination

    Data From OECD Suggests Canada Topped the % Excess All-Cause Mortality of Any OECD Country in 2023

    ​ Study: Significant number of patients complain of myocarditis symptoms even six months after Covid “vaccination”.
    ​ Women were significantly more likely to have persistent symptoms at all follow-up times. In men, on the other hand, abnormalities were found significantly more often during imaging procedures and higher initial peak troponin values were measured.

    ​Meryl Nass MD gives a fine encapsulation of this comprehensive study of bioweapons research going back over 30 years, not just in China.
    The Wuhan Cover-Up: Review of Bobby Kennedy’s Crucial Book
    ​ Mindful of how the truth about everything COVID (and much else) was being memory-holed, he said he wanted to create an accurate historical record of what happened, for the future.​..
    ​..Bobby did the difficult part and collected those scraps, and he knitted them together into a narrative that very few people know about. In a nushell: there is a cabal that took the concept of biological warfare 30 years ago and ran with it—in order to create new industries, massive profits, and control the world using fear of death by contagion. He created a history that is also a page-turner, enabling us to understand in a much deeper way what we have just lived through.
    ​ No kidding: RFK’s book has the receipts. Tony Fauci is only one pawn on the chessboard in this story.

    ​ Govt. Researchers: Flu Shots Not Effective in Elderly, After All​ ​ This story was first published on CBS News by Sharyl Attkisson in 2006.
    ​ So the NIH launched an effort to do “the” definitive study that would actually prove, for the first time, once and for all, that flu shots were beneficial to the elderly. The government would gather some of the brightest scientific minds for the research, and adjust for all kinds of factors that could be masking that presumed benefit.
    ​ But when they finished, no matter how they crunched the numbers, the data kept telling the same story: flu shots were of no benefit to the elderly. Quite the opposite. The death rate had increased markedly since widespread flu vaccination among older Americans. The scientists finally had to acknowledge that decades of public health thought had been mistaken.

    V. Arnold

    Wishing you a belated happy 2024…
    …and thank you for your massive efforts/writtings of all things going on in this intricate planet/spaceship we inhabit…


    So the new narrative these days is Palestinians are only being depolulated, like us.
    The very thing Bill Gates is all for.
    How very kind of you, sir.
    So Mr. Bill Gates, why are the Palestinians resisting your depolulation efforts so strongly?
    Maybe the problem is they didn’t get a copy of your executive depolulation memo?
    Mr. Bill Gates, we are still waiting for your reply!
    Or maybe Epstien is still blackmailing you?

    D Benton Smith

    Everyone gets lost in the weeds when thinking and talking (and developing!) so-called “Artificial Intelligence”. This phenomenon of getting confused by irrelevant details is not an accident. It’s deliberate deceit. The reason for the subterfuge is that “AI” (so called) is a big scam and does not actually exist, for the simple reason that although the involved machinery and software are distinctly artificial, they are it is at the same time assuredly just machinery and software. There may be lots of it, but the new and improved size is just bigger assemblies of the same old stuff (machinery and software), nothing new, (just logic gates and data storage) and therefore nothing intelligent, either.

    The chatGPT and OpenAI toys on display are just that. They are toys that SIMULATE the trappings and appearances of intelligence with sheer brute force calculation and unimaginably enormous banks of raw data, while still not actually possessing one single shred or iota of actual intelligence.

    As for the Turing Test (so called, which is also a fraud because it is not even a test!) well that’s just a piece of entertaining folklore. There is no Turing Test. Period. No such thing has ever existed beyond Turing’s casual offhand remark about a silly and useless idea. No one ever devised such a “test”. Look, if an observer is fooled into identifying a computer as being a human, that error in discriminatory observation does NOT magically turn the computer into a human being. It turns the human into a fool.

    AI (so called) can be designed to SIMULATE intelligence or aware cognition, but that’s all it could ever be in that regard: a simulation. More accurately . . . and the ONLY way to HONESTLY describe computer simulated intelligence . . . AI (so called) is nothing other than automated selection from among automatically set optional choices. Having the automated device “program itself” by adding more choices and thereby be “self teaching” is, just more machinery and more automation by inanimate and unaware hardware/software assemblies.

    None of it means nuthin’ until a human looks at it, or design it, or uses it to trick the local yokels into believing that they’re talking to an “intelligence”.

    C’mon, people! THINK for a minute!

    Machines, systems, computers, governments, criminal gangs, are all BASICALLY the same thing: they are nothing other than selection devices which automatically choose from among automatically set options, which are designed to result in effects that are desired by the designers/owners of the system. The expected outputs are designed into it, from the start, by the folks who own it and built it to do something that THEY wanted. If results are not as desired or expected then the device is re-designed or modified until they are.

    If the owner/designed does not want a bunch of feedback from the folks who are NOT happy with the system’s results ( Trump Voters and Palestinians, for example) then the system will make the removal (or alternative use) of those objections PART of the modified system.

    Artificial Intelligence my ass! Automated Tyranny is more like it, and every single AI system ever built was built to serve the guys who own and built it.

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