May 262024
 
 May 26, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  Add comments


Edward Hopper People in the sun 1963

 

US Should Erect a Monument To Assange – RFK Jr. (RT)
Of Men and Myths (Jim Kunstler)
Treason of the Intellectuals and Danger From Within (Brooks)
Zelensky’s Unconstitutional Power Grab Amidst Ukraine’s Military Failures (Sp.)
Top Ukrainian Officials Don’t Believe Zelensky’s Rhetoric – Guardian (RT)
Hungary Blocking EU Plan To Give Russian Money To Ukraine – FT (RT)
Ukraine Peace Summit Another US-invented Scam – Zakharova (RT)
China and Brazil Offer Own Peace Plan as Western Ukraine Summit Fumbles (Sp.)
Ukraine and US Attacked Key Element Of Russia’s Nuclear Umbrella – Senator (RT)
We Must Stay A Step Ahead Of The Enemy – Putin (RT)
Special Counsel Jack Smith Demands a New Gag on Trump (Turley)
Dems Demand SCOTUS Justice Alito Recusal (ZH)
Europe Is Fading Away And Becoming A ‘Lost Continent’ (Sushentsov)
EU Marks a Sharp Decline in Population (Sp.)
Musk: AI Will ‘Do Everything Better Than You,’ Make Employment Obsolete (CT)

 

 

 

 

Merchan

 

 

Trump hot
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793790334037541177

 

 

Thatcher

 

 

Nigel Ursula

 

 

 

 

“On my first day in office, I’m going to pardon Edward Snowden and I’m going to drop the charges, all of the charges against Julian Assange..”

US Should Erect a Monument To Assange – RFK Jr. (RT)

The US authorities should stop prosecuting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and instead erect a monument in Washington DC to celebrate his “heroic” deeds, independent US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said. He insisted that the case against Assange runs counter to the freedom of the press. The US indicted the WikiLeaks founder under the Espionage Act for helping whistleblower Chelsea Manning in her 2010 disclosure of hundreds of thousands of classified and sensitive documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which WikiLeaks later made public. Assange is now battling US attempts to extradite him from Britain. Speaking at the 2024 Libertarian Party Convention in Washington, DC on Friday, Kennedy criticized ex-President Donald Trump’s track record during his first term in office. He claimed that the Republican, who is also running, “assaulted” the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and the press.

Trump “continued President [Barack] Obama’s persecution and prosecution of Julian Assange,” Kennedy argued, eliciting an ovation from the audience. According to the independent presidential candidate, “Assange should be celebrated as a hero for doing exactly what journalists are supposed to do, which is to expose government corruption.” “We shouldn’t be putting him in prison, we should have a monument to him here in Washington DC,” he added. Kennedy went on to say that the “same is true for Edward Snowden, who exposed illegal spying by the NSA,” calling the US whistleblower a “hero, not a criminal.”

The former computer expert and contractor for the National Security Agency revealed in 2013 that the agency was systematically engaged in mass illegal spying on American citizens. Fearing for his safety, he fled the US and ended up in Russia, where he was granted asylum and later citizenship. At home, he faces charges under the Espionage Act. “On my first day in office, I’m going to pardon Edward Snowden and I’m going to drop the charges, all of the charges against Julian Assange,” Kennedy said.

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“Donald Trump doesn’t trust women. I do. ” — “Joe Biden” on “X”

“..in the name of. . . women. . . who just can’t get a fair shake in this land, despite running all the elite universities, the foundations, many corporations (especially MSNBC), and the new misinformation-squelching commissions..”

Of Men and Myths (Jim Kunstler)

There comes a time when the rigors and exertions of being insane just aren’t worth it anymore. You end up in a deadly Pareto distribution in which 80 percent of your energy gets wasted on hallucinating and the rest is barely enough to get yourself dressed, comb your purple hair, and choke down a granola bar. Verging on a long, hot summer, the party behind “Joe Biden” looks like a 1950s horror movie, complete with lurching ghouls, evil scientists in white lab coats, and the sore beset denizens of Anytown USA screaming down the streets. Only it’s the actual life of our nation now, and it looks like an awful lot of the people who live here lawfully have had enough of it. The mysterious cabal in power knows that they must ditch the old stumblebum pretending to run for president, and time is running out to get the dastardly deed done.

They are staring down a month of dread days that lead to the proposed great debate between the major party candidates, which is doomed to play like a combo of the classic horror movie endings — the unmasking of the phantom with a wooden stake driven through his heart, with Donald Trump cast as Prof Van Helsing. Can our resourceful intel blob instead maybe find a way before that to make it look like the “president” passed away peacefully in his slumber? Or perhaps it would suffice to just leak the voice recording of his interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur and allow people to compare what’s in it with the already-released printed transcript. Here’s just how crazy the party is: rumor has it that they might just rudely shove oId “JB” aside and try the Hail Mary pass of inviting RFKJr back on-board from exile to head the ticket. The Kennedy name alone used to be synonymous with the party’s brand, is their thinking, you see.

Trouble is, the Democratic Party is, in reality, synonymous with the intel blob that infests it, and protects it in the service of protecting its own sorry ass. You might recall that RFKJr has publicly stated that his father and uncle were murdered by that selfsame intel blob, which he has promised to treat very harshly were he actually elected. So, scratch that gambit. Beyond that, you’re back to the maddening rotation of Gavin Newsom, Michelle, and Rodan the Flying reptile, a.k.a. She-Whose-Turn-It-Is — all of them appallingly impossible. Gavin might have been Mr. Dreamboat incarnate — that hair! that height! those teeth! — prompting a pandemic of The Vapors among ladies who lately predominate in the Democrat rank-and-file. But, alas, under his charge California degenerated into a Woke bedlam of diseased homeless junkies shitting all over his cities, with non-stop flash-mob looting, carjacking, and drag queen promenading in the background, and there’s no way of hiding it. Gavin Newsom has a big “L” carved on his forehead the way that Charlie Manson used to sport a swastika.

The Michelle ploy might tempt them, but let’s face it: it’s really just Barack getting a fourth term in the White House — really his fourth-and-a-half, since the Obama intel blob cabal was behind all the RussiaGate roguery that beset, preoccupied, thwarted, and overthrew Mr. Trump’s turn in office. Behind the still-charming Obama façade lurks a penumbra of menace. It begins to look like maybe he really did want to destroy our country, to complete the Cloward-Piven downfall that dedicated Marxians deem the necessary step to creating their nirvana of equity and inclusion. And there are still those dark tales of his coke-fueled cruising nights in Chicago. . . and the mysterious death of his paddle-boarding chef-pal on Martha’s Vineyard. . . and those persistent rumors that what you see in Michelle is not what you get. Can you really see Barack hosting kaffeeklatsches in the East Room while Michelle plans drone strikes in the Oval?

So, finally there is. . . Hillary. After all, she still stalks this earth. She still pops up on TV regularly pronouncing this and that, mostly in the name of. . . women. . . who just can’t get a fair shake in this land, despite running all the elite universities, the foundations, many corporations (especially MSNBC), and the new misinformation-squelching commissions. She’s still reminding all and sundry that the country owes her the Big Prize in this era of historic firsts. She also happens to own the DNC, the apparatus that actually runs the party’s affairs. Her last time around (2016) she simply shoved primary election leader Bernie Sanders off-the-plank when convention time rolled around and there was nothing else left to do. Personally, I’d love to see the rematch. It would be the end of the party, which apparently doesn’t grok just how much America loathes her. Much more, I daresay, than even the Golden Golem of Greatness who is metamorphosing day by day into an archetypal hero that the ancient Greek myth-makers would be proud of as he survives one tribulation after another thrown at him by Nemesis.

Now, as he awaits conviction in the shuck-and-jive court case under mad dog Judge Juan Merchan, he ventured onto Democratic Party sacred ground up in the South Bronx to a surprisingly warm welcome by exactly the hard-up people the Democrats pretend to care about (as long as they stay down on the plantation and don’t get too uppity). Will Judge Merchan actually try to send the candidate to jail? Or maybe confine him to Trump Tower under some sort of house arrest? With maybe a big clunky ankle-bracelet for additional humiliation? That will be ripe. Let me proffer some advice to the Judge: the last thing you want to do with an archetypal hero is give him a prison to break out of so he can come roaring out for vengeance. In the end, Mr. Trump could accomplish something truly remarkable: bringing our country back together as a people united against being fucked-around by their own government.

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“Today’s woke left is destroying America’s legacy. While they claim to worry about “democracy,” they are really worried about losing their own power. They saw how actual democracy worked in 2016 and they don’t want any more of it.”

Treason of the Intellectuals and Danger From Within (Brooks)

“The enemies from within are more dangerous to me than the enemies from the outside,” said Republican Presidential Candidate Donald J. Trump, at a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, on May 11, 2024. At a Springfield, Illinois, event, some 20 years before the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln delivered a prophetic message to his fellow citizens: “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” The speech is said to be the origin of the popular quote wrongly attributed to Lincoln: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” While these were not Lincoln’s exact words, most Americans understand that the 16th and 45th presidents of the United States were troubled by the same thing—the potential self-destruction of their nation.

History has demonstrated that internal discord can be as dangerous to a sovereign country as a foreign aggressor. In 2013, American author Diana West published “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character.” Her book initiated an important debate about the modern history of the American Republic. Ms. West contended that Nov. 16, 1933, was the beginning of a long assault on the security of U.S. democracy. This was the date when Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt decided to normalize relations with the murderous communist regime known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. FDR’s fateful decision opened America’s doors to an unprecedented invasion of Marxist militants, communist spies, and domestic fellow-travelers. In the decades that followed, progressive academics, journalists, novelists, artists, and entertainers all celebrated the socialist ideals of the Bolshevik Revolution. According to Ms. West, even American businessmen were “eager to buy their rope from Lenin.”

Ms. West’s views about the influence of communist ideologues in American politics were ridiculed by some of the most notable literary figures in the United States and Canada. Other courageous scholars came to her defense. One was the late Vladimir Bukovsky, a Russian-born writer and human rights activist who spent 12 years in Soviet psychiatric hospitals, prisons, and labor camps during the Brezhnev era. Another was Pavel Stroilov, a Russian Christian exile who fled to the UK after his academic research put his life and liberty in jeopardy. Writing for Breitbart News in November 2013, Mr. Bukovsky and Mr. Stroilov insisted that Diana West’s book would make history. Both agreed that, despite the collapse of the Soviet Union and the unraveling of the Warsaw Pact in 1989, the United States never really won the Cold War. Like Ms. West, they asserted that the conflict between the United States and the USSR was more than a military stand-off.

“It was an ideological war waged by the totalitarian utopia of Socialism against our civilization; and on that level, the most optimistic view of it is that it still goes on. The Soviet Union is gone, but Russia is still governed by a junta of Gestapo officers; China is still governed by the Communist Party; and the Western world is governed by closet Marxists and Mensheviks, imposing on us yet another version of the same socialist utopia,” they wrote. Drawing on copious research and experience, Ms. West, Mr. Bukovsky, and Mr. Stroilov demonstrated that it was an elite American intelligentsia who surrendered the United States to the adversarial socialist culture. The U.S. establishment’s capitulation to the global left led to a complete occupation of U.S. institutions and the ultimate corruption of the free world. Few scholars have produced better explanations for the precipitous decline of Western democracy in the 21st century.

For more than 150 years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution, Americans regarded their nation as a beacon of liberty and a model for representative democracy. In the early decades of the 19th century, French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville expressed high praise for the United States, its citizens, and their civic institutions. After abolishing slavery, Abraham Lincoln identified the U.S. Republic as “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Americans developed civil institutions that were second to none. In 1964, the American Civil Rights Act extended the foundational promises of the United States to all of its citizens. Today’s woke left is destroying America’s legacy. While they claim to worry about “democracy,” they are really worried about losing their own power. They saw how actual democracy worked in 2016 and they don’t want any more of it.

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“These issues will not be resolved by presidents. You know who will decide them. A lot has already been decided overseas, and what hasn’t, will be decided later..”

Zelensky’s Unconstitutional Power Grab Amidst Ukraine’s Military Failures (Sp.)

Despite his term legally expiring on May 20, Zelensky has decided to extend his tenure as de-facto president, claiming legal authority under the Law of Martial Law and the Electoral Code of Ukraine, which prohibit elections during a period of martial law. Russian Senator Andrey Klishas explained why it is still unconstitutional. The Constitution of Ukraine does not contain provisions for the extension of the president’s term during martial law, but it does provide for such an extension for the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament), Klishas noted. The principle of subsidiarity in constitutional law implies that matters of highest importance, including the extension of terms, should be regulated at the constitutional level.

The absence of a constitutional norm regarding the extension of the president’s term under martial law indicates that such legal regulation is impossible, contradicting the foundations of constitutional law. The Office of the President of Ukraine avoids appealing to the Constitutional Court regarding the extension of terms, indicating an acknowledgment of the constitutional risks associated with such a decision. The extension of martial law, and consequently, Zelensky’s tenure, is perceived as an illegal extension of the power of the “Kiev junta”, Russian Senator Andrey Klishas emphasized. Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Zelensky’s legitimacy has expired, and Russia will proceed from this fact.

“Of course, we are aware that the legitimacy of the current head of state [of Ukraine] has ended,” Putin said at a press conference in Minsk on Friday after talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko agreed with Putin’s assessment, saying that “there is no legal integrity, and cannot be any legal integrity” on this question. “All the same, I believe that neither the current president nor the future one can resolve the big issues facing the state of Ukraine and the people of Ukraine. These issues will not be resolved by presidents. You know who will decide them. A lot has already been decided overseas, and what hasn’t, will be decided later,” Lukashenko said.

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“Publicly, I support what the president says,” the report cited one of the officials as saying. “Unpublicly, I think we should survive as an independent western state that has the possibility of development.”

Top Ukrainian Officials Don’t Believe Zelensky’s Rhetoric – Guardian (RT)

High-ranking Ukrainian officials privately consider Vladimir Zelensky’s statements about returning to the country’s 1991 borders to be unrealistic, and only hope for the country’s survival, The Guardian reported on Friday. According to the outlet, there is growing criticism towards Zelensky in Ukraine for maintaining “unrealistic hopes of total victory,” including the return of all former Ukrainian territories. Zelensky’s roadmap to resolve the crisis, which he has been promoting since 2022, calls for a complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces from all territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders, for Moscow to pay reparations, and for a war crimes tribunal to be held. Moscow has described Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’ as an “absolutely hollow” ultimatum that is “divorced from reality.” Even senior officials in Ukraine privately give a more cautious definition of victory, the article noted.

“Publicly, I support what the president says,” the report cited one of the officials as saying. “Unpublicly, I think we should survive as an independent western state that has the possibility of development.” The outlet also pointed to growing anger in the country towards the West “for not doing enough, fast enough” for Ukraine. A government minister told the outlet that the US Congress “will never be forgiven by the Ukrainian people” for the “endless” delays in voting on the latest round of military aid. There is also growing discontent with Zelensky’s performance; his presidential term expired on May 20, raising questions over his legitimacy as head of state, according to the report. Several separate sources told the outlet that Zelensky “obsessively” studies his ratings, which continue to drop. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Moscow is ready to engage in peace negotiations with Ukraine. However, any future agreement “will have to take into account the realities on the ground,” he said.

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“..while Hungary is not opposed to sending the Russian money to Ukraine per se, it has concerns about making the payments automatic.”

Hungary Blocking EU Plan To Give Russian Money To Ukraine – FT (RT)

Hungary has blocked legislation that would allow the EU hand over profits earned on frozen Russian assets to Ukraine, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, citing sources. The West froze around $300 billion in Russian sovereign assets when the Ukraine conflict escalated, trapping around $280 billion in the EU. While the bloc stopped short of confiscating the assets outright due to legal concerns, earlier this week it approved the use of interest generated from the assets to provide military aid to Kiev. The annual revenue is estimated to be around $3 billion. However, according to five FT sources familiar with internal discussions among EU ambassadors, Hungary’s envoy has opposed expedited payments to Ukraine using Russian interest income.

“For the time being they are blocking everything connected to the military support to Ukraine,” one source said, adding the situation would not change until next month’s elections for the European Parliament, at the earliest. To placate Hungary, the EU reportedly proposed a deal under which its share of the bloc’s funds would not be used to purchase weapons for Ukraine. According to FT, this had limited success, as Budapest agreed not to veto the transfer of revenue to Ukraine. However, it is holding up the implementation of the decision by failing to support the necessary legislation, the article says. The outlet also said that while Hungary is not opposed to sending the Russian money to Ukraine per se, it has concerns about making the payments automatic.

Meanwhile, Moscow has denounced the decision to transfer profits from its assets to Ukraine as blatant and illegal “expropriation.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called the move “potentially dangerous,” and warned of possible repercussions, including lawsuits. Hungary has been a consistent critic of the West’s approach to the Ukraine conflict, particularly its arms shipments to Kiev. Officials in Budapest have repeatedly called for a ceasefire, insisting that EU sanctions against Russia have failed to undermine its economy and have boomeranged against the bloc. At the end of last year, Hungary delayed the EU’s €50 billion ($54 billion) aid package to Ukraine for several weeks, but eventually backed down under Western pressure.

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No Biden, no Kamala, no China, no Brazil… etc etc.

Ukraine Peace Summit Another US-invented Scam – Zakharova (RT)

Kiev’s claims that Moscow is trying to derail the Swiss-hosted Ukraine peace summit scheduled for next month are ridiculous, be(RT) cause the much-hyped event is a hoax in the first place, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. On Friday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba weighed in on a recent Reuters report which claimed, citing senior Russian sources, that President Vladimir Putin was ready to end the conflict by freezing the current frontline, but is prepared to fight on if the proposal is rejected. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that while Moscow remains open to talks, any settlement should meet the goals of its Ukraine campaign.

According to Kuleba, the Reuters report is Russia’s attempt to undermine the June 15-16 summit on Lake Lucerne, which is expected to focus on several points of Vladimir Zelensky’s peace formula, which Moscow has rejected as unacceptable. Russia was not invited, but has said it would not attend even if it were. The top Ukrainian diplomat suggested that Putin is “scared of [the summit’s] success,” and that is why “his entourage sends these phony signals of alleged readiness for a cease-fire despite the fact that Russian troops continue to brutally attack Ukraine.”

Zakharova vehemently disagreed, accusing Kuleba of “shamelessly lying.” She remarked that Russian officials have said hundreds, if not thousands of times, that Moscow is ready for talks on Ukraine, while Kiev walked away from engagement in the spring of 2022 on the advice of the UK. ”As for the ‘peace summit…’ this is another scam invented by the US State Department. And everyone understands this,” the spokeswoman said, adding that such events cannot be held by those sending weapons to the conflict zone. At least 50 delegations are expected to attend the Swiss-hosted summit. However, Bloomberg reported on Thursday that neither US President Joe Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris will be present, as the Biden campaign is focused on fundraising ahead of November’s presidential election.

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“[..] the upcoming talks in Switzerland [..] Putin suggested that they constitute an effort by the Kiev regime’s patrons to confer legitimacy on Zelensky..”

China and Brazil Offer Own Peace Plan as Western Ukraine Summit Fumbles (Sp.)

Moscow was not invited to participate in the “peace conference” that Switzerland will host on June 15-16. Russian officials have noted that it was conceived as another effort to “push through the unworkable ‘peace formula’ that ignores Russian interests.” Furthermore, any negotiating process on Ukraine without Russia’s involvement is “meaningless.” The upcoming gathering dubbed a Ukraine “peace summit” in Switzerland is being undercut on all sides. Brazil and China announced a rival initiative on Friday, further demoting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s conference aimed at pushing through his unworkable “peace formula.” The two countries support an international peace conference “held at a proper time that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine, with equal participation of all parties as well as fair discussion of all peace plans,” they said in a statement.

The joint document was signed by Celso Amorim, special adviser to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and stated:
• Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis.
• Conditions should be created for resumption of direct dialogue, with de-escalation until a comprehensive ceasefire is in effect.
• An international peace conference should be held with participation of both Russia and Ukraine.
• Attacks on civilians and civilian facilities must be avoided.
• Targeting nuclear power plants and other peaceful nuclear facilities must be opposed.
• Use of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons and chemical and biological weapons, must be opposed.
• All possible efforts must be made to prevent nuclear proliferation and avoid nuclear crisis.
• The world should not be divided “into isolated political or economic groups,” the two countries stated.

The initiative from Brazil and China came after their presidents refused to attend the Ukraine “peace summit” set for June 15 to 16. The event in Lucerne is plagued by major no-shows. Joe Biden’s attention has been diverted to more pressing issues such as rubbing elbows with Hollywood celebs at his fundraiser. Besides the leaders of Brazil and China, South Africa has also refused to attend the event. Moscow has dismissed the conference, to which it was not invited, as “meaningless.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the conference is clearly not result-oriented, as it is impossible to have effective talks on Ukraine without Russia’s participation. As far as the upcoming talks in Switzerland are concerned, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin suggested that they constitute an effort by the Kiev regime’s patrons to confer legitimacy on Zelensky now that his legal term as president has expired.

Volodymyr Zelenesky’s constitutionally-mandated term as Ukraine’s president expired on May 21. He canceled elections planned for March or April last November. Putin emphasized at Friday’s press conference that Russia remains ready to resume peace negotiations with Ukraine, including based on the draft agreements inked during talks in Belarus and Turkiye in the spring of 2022, but accounting for the current realities on the ground. Regarding Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan, it is nothing but an ultimatum to Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted on Wednesday as he chaired a meeting of BRICS sherpas and sous-sherpas in Moscow. He added that the US was imposing Zelensky’s formula on everyone, inviting countries of the Global South to its platforms, such as the upcoming Lucerne meeting.

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“..we stand not on the precipice, but on the very edge… If such enemy actions are not stopped, an irreversible collapse of the strategic security of nuclear powers will begin..”

Ukraine and US Attacked Key Element Of Russia’s Nuclear Umbrella – Senator (RT)

The US is directly responsible for a Ukrainian strike on a key element of Russia’s nuclear umbrella, Senator Dmitry Rogozin has said, warning that such attacks could lead to the collapse of the entire global nuclear security architecture. In a statement on Telegram on Saturday, Rogozin, a senator who previously headed up the Russian space agency Roscosmos and is now in charge of a military technical center called Tsar’s Wolves, said that the attack targeted a nuclear early warning system in the southern Krasnodar Region. The Russian Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the matter, while the extent of the damage remains unclear.

Rogozin suggested that it was extremely unlikely that the strike, which Ukrainian media reported involved several drones, was carried out at Kiev’s sole initiative and without US involvement. According to the senator, Washington has always sought to achieve military superiority over Moscow since the very dawn of the nuclear age, but this rivalry was mostly limited to a battle of minds between scientists, strategists, and policymakers. This seems to have changed, however, as “the US has commissioned a crime by hiring an irresponsible bandit” to attack Russia’s early warning system, the official said, apparently referring to Vladimir Zelensky. Rogozin claimed that Washington’s “deep involvement in the armed conflict and total control over Kiev’s military planning means that the version that the US does not know about Ukrainian plans to strike Russia’s missile defense system can be discarded.”

Thus, we stand not on the precipice, but on the very edge… If such enemy actions are not stopped, an irreversible collapse of the strategic security of nuclear powers will begin. The attack apparently targeted an advanced Voronezh radar station in the city of Armavir, which went into operation in 2013. The system can detect incoming cruise and ballistic missiles at a range of 6,000km and can track up to 500 targets. During the inauguration of the system, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that it would significantly increase the country’s defense capabilities in the southern and southwestern directions.

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“The president also touched upon the civilian crowd-funded military manufacturers that have emerged amid the hostilities..”

We Must Stay A Step Ahead Of The Enemy – Putin (RT)

Russia “must always be one step ahead” of its adversaries and should maintain its technological advantage in order to “guarantee” victory, President Vladimir Putin has said. The president made the remarks on Saturday as he visited the headquarters of the Tactical Missiles Corporation, a major state-owned defense company located outside Moscow. While at the facility, Putin held a meeting with the CEOs of Russia’s leading defense corporations. Gaining even a slim technological advantage has a drastic impact on the battlefield, the president stated, referring to what has been learned from the Ukraine conflict. “I would like to emphasize that we must always be one step ahead. We have to always be one step ahead of the adversary, and then victory will be guaranteed. You know this,” he said.

“Your specialists and you personally always remain in touch with our men fighting on the line of contact without sparing themselves to defend Russia’s interests. Whenever we manage to get an edge, no matter how slim it is, this increases our effectiveness manyfold,” Putin added. The country’s defense industry, which has been booming amid the hostilities, must not only become more efficient in meeting the needs of the military, but also diversify and become more involved in civilian manufacturing, according to Putin. “Delivering on this systemic objective is instrumental for streamlining the defense sector’s manufacturing potential and helping talented professionals advance their careers. Overall, this would create a more sustainable footing for defense manufacturers by offering them a solid economic and financial foundation in the long run,” he explained.

The president also touched upon the civilian crowd-funded military manufacturers that have emerged amid the hostilities. The solutions they offer – such as radio-electronic warfare devices or sophisticated drones – must be fast-tracked for adoption by the military, the president said. “We must also be effective when using assets supplied by the so-called grassroots defense manufacturing sector. We must enable it to develop and expand its manufacturing operations, and introduce a fast-track procedure for supplying its most effective solutions to the army,” Putin stated.

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“..Smith is not seeking to protect specific witnesses but the entire government from criticism. He objects that the statements create “a grossly misleading impression about the intentions and conduct of federal law enforcement.”

Special Counsel Jack Smith Demands a New Gag on Trump (Turley)

The government often waits until Friday night when it wants to file something controversial in seeking to reduce media coverage and public attention. Special Counsel Jack Smith followed this practice this week in quietly filing a motion to gag former president Donald Trump in his Florida case. Smith took the action after Trump suggested that the warrant used on his Palm Beach home included a provision allowing the use of lethal force. While the provision is standard in such warrants, Trump has portrayed the inclusion of the boilerplate language as a threat to his life and the lives of his family. Nevertheless, I believe that the gag order, like Smith’s past demands, is over-broad and a violation of the free speech rights of the former president. I have been a long critic of gag orders as inimical to free speech. I have specifically opposed past demands by Smith (and prior orders) as overbroad and unconstitutional.

There has been much discussion of the gag order imposed on Trump by Justice Juan Merchan who is controlling not only the travel but the speech of the leading presidential candidate from his small Manhattan courtroom. He has gagged Trump from speaking about witnesses like Michael Cohen who has attacked him as both a candidate and as a defendant in public. The New York courts have upheld the order. What is most troubling is the bar on Trump discussing such figures as Matthew Colangelo. Colangelo was third in command of the Justice Department and gave up that plum position to lead the case against Trump. Colangelo was also paid by the Democratic National Committee for “political consulting.” So a former high-ranking official in the Biden Justice Department and a past consultant to the DNC is leading the prosecution. With the weaponization of the criminal justice system by the Democrats as a central issue in this campaign, the gag order is curtailing the ability of Trump to address one of the most controversial figures in the effort.

Now Smith would like to radically expand the gag with a new order out of Florida. Notably, Smith has thus far failed in his unrelenting efforts to get one of his two cases to a jury before the election. Thus, this order would gag Trump through the election even though the cases could be effectively scuttled if he were elected. Trump has used the language to galvanize his supporters, claiming that FBI “WAS AUTHORIZED TO SHOOT ME” and that the government was “just itching to do the unthinkable.” He added that the FBI was “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.” Figures like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) have piled on with claims that the DOJ and FBI were “planning to assassinate Pres. Trump and gave the green light.” My strong disagreement with Trump on this lethal force provision does not alter my opposition to the gag effort. Many of us have publicly disagreed with these claims and expressed concern that they are fueling rage.

Trump’s opponents and the media have made the statements a focus of coverage for days. That is how free speech works. Citizens can reach their own conclusions on the merits in an free and open debate. Once again, the solution to bad speech is good speech, not censorship or gagging of those with opposing views. In his Friday filing, Smith is not seeking to protect specific witnesses but the entire government from criticism. He objects that the statements create “a grossly misleading impression about the intentions and conduct of federal law enforcement.” That could very well be true, but Smith is seeking to control what a presidential candidate can say about the government, a chilling measure for any political system. It is particularly concerning when directed at an anti-establishment candidate. The concerns over the premise of such an order are only exceeded by concerns over its scope. Smith does not seek to define that scope, but rather says that we will know a violation when we see it:

“Whether a particular statement meets that test “must be determined by reference to the statement’s full context. But that condition would clearly prohibit further statements deceptively claiming that the agents involved in the execution of the search warrant were engaged in an effort to kill him, his family, or Secret Service agents.” The vagueness of the order would create a chilling effect on a political candidate who would have to self-censor to avoid possible contempt sanctions, including jail. For the United States government to seek such a limit on political speech should be widely condemned in the media and politics. Under this order, the Justice Department would effectively limit what criticism could be voiced of its actions and intentions by the leading candidate for the presidency. For a candidate who has been subject to false allegations, including in the federal Russian collusion investigation, the gag would impose an unprecedented and unconstitutional limit on political speech.

It is another example of Smith’s lack of any sense of restraint in his pursuit of Trump. He has repeatedly shown a pronounced disregard for both due process and free speech in his prosecution of these cases. Indeed, while the inclusion of the boilerplate language has been exaggerated and distorted, the real threat from the government is evident in the motion filed in response to that criticism. Smith has again fulfilled the narrative with another motion that speaks to his animosity and sense of impunity in the prosecution of Donald Trump. The Smith motion should be denied and Attorney General Merrick Garland should exercise a modicum of responsibility in his supervision of the case. While Smith is being given broad discretion, that independence should not extend to contradicting core departmental policies on interfering with elections or curtailing free speech.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president..”

“..comments she later apologized over, calling them “ill-advised.”

But that was okay.

Dems Demand SCOTUS Justice Alito Recusal (ZH)

Senate Democrats have found their latest tantrum to attack the Supreme Court since its conservative majority – the fact that Justice Samuel Alito reportedly flew two flags outside his homes they say makes him unfit to weigh in on matters concerning Donald Trump. In mid-January 2021, Alito flew an upside down American flag – historically used by the military as a distress signal, while in July and September of 2023, he displayed an “Appeal to Heaven” flag – commissioned by George Washington in 1775 for maritime use – outside his New Jersey vacation home. The flags have caused uproar among Democrats, who have been scheming for years to dilute the conservative power of the Supreme Court (see: court packing). In a Friday letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Democrat Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin and subcommittee head Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse urged Roberts to take steps to ensure Alito recuses himself from cases related to the 2020 presidential election and Jan. 6 attack.

The Court currently has two such cases pending before it – one concerning federal prosecutors’ use of an obstruction charge against Jan. 6 defendants, and another which addresses whether Donald Trump is entitled to immunity from criminal charges stemming from his actions following the 2020 election. Now, the New York Times and Obama’s law professor Lawrence Tribe are engaging in what people are referring to as “High-brow QAnon” conspiracy theories (aka ‘BlueAnon); In 2016, Democrats were absolutely silent over Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s notorious and public hatred of Donald Trump – comments she later apologized over, calling them “ill-advised.” “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” she told the NY Times during the election, adding “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.” She also called Trump a “faker” and criticized him for not releasing his tax returns. “‘Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand,’” she joked.

Who cares, right? But Democrats playing in the sandbox want to throw sand over Alito. When Sheldon Whitehouse, the guy currently demanding Alito’s recusal, was asked by The Dispatch about Ginsburg’s public comments opposing Trump during the 2016 campaign, he said “I don’t know what cases she was ruling on at that point. They [Republicans] weren’t asking for [recusal.]. Ginsburg notoriously weighed in on several cases involving Trump’s policies, including the travel ban (Trump v. Hawaii), Trump’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census (which was denied), and DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), though the major Court decision involving the case came after her 2020 death.

Meanwhile (and there’s always a meanwhile), WikiPedia’s entry on the Appeal to Heaven (aka ‘Pine Tree’) flag has radically changed over the past several days. On Wednesday, it was referred to as ‘a religious and political symbol by some conservative, nationalist, and Christian national activists’ in the US. Now, the entry reads: “The flag fell into obscurity until the 2020s, where it became seen as a symbol of Christian nationalism and support for President Donald Trump and his “Stop the Steal” campaign among far-right groups.Oh… The flag draws its meaning from a John Locke quote: “And where the Body of the People, or any single Man, is deprived of their Right, or is under the Exercise of a power without right, and have no Appeal on Earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to Heaven, whenever they judge the Cause of sufficient moment,” -The Second Treatise on Civil Government (1689).

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“..I accept that this, like many things in history, is a spiral. And in time there will be a process of return. But it is obvious that today Western Europe is for Russia not a region that is very important or offers many opportunities.”

Europe Is Fading Away And Becoming A ‘Lost Continent’ (Sushentsov)

The growing presence of NATO on Russia’s western borders worries our country. There are signs of the US-led bloc’s transition from hibernation to preparations for a major military confrontation in Europe. The path of increasing escalation and pressure on Russia is a dead end: Moscow takes the NATO threat seriously and has the means to deal with it. The militarization of the Baltic states, the strengthening of the bloc’s influence in the Black Sea and near the Russian border will increase the number of episodes in which our interests collide and keep us in constant tension. Russia has no aggressive plans against the Baltics – this is a threat invented by Washington and Brussels. However, if NATO chooses the path of escalating tensions, Moscow will not shy away from this challenge. I believe that this path is a fool’s errand for Western Europe – it becomes a hostage to the American desire to isolate the EU’s main economies from Russia.

Escalation creates a series of phobias, removes any impetus for economic cooperation and ultimately ties Western European states to the US economy, making them much less competitive. As a result, the Americans are “cannibalizing” the Western Europeans under the noble guise of protecting the European continent from an imaginary Russian threat. I believe that those in Western Europe should not be blind to this artificial inflation of tensions by the US – they must act in their own interests. Russia has now turned its attention to other regions of the world and is developing its historic relations with the countries of Asia and Africa with great vigor. To some extent, Western Europe is turning away from Russia and Russia is turning away from Western Europe. I accept that this, like many things in history, is a spiral. And in time there will be a process of return. But it is obvious that today Western Europe is for Russia not a region that is very important or offers many opportunities.

On the contrary, what we hear from there nowadays are the most bellicose statements, but not backed up by much political resolve. While Russia continues to perceive Western European actions against our country as a threat, the focus of Moscow’s attention is shifting to other parts of the world. At the same time, the US remains the most active – in a destructive sense – force in international relations, constantly working to create ad hoc coalitions to use against its opponents. Now it’s acting more and more feverishly, realizing that time is not on its side. Instead of this nonsense, it would be wise for Washington to accept that objective demographic, economic and social processes are making Asia the world’s main center of gravity in the new century, and to work to ensure that the conditions for stability and development are maintained. The actions of the Americans, unfortunately, show the opposite: they are exacerbating the perception of their own decline, which would be less acute if they behaved more constructively.

The shift of the center of gravity from the Atlantic region to East and South Asia is an objective process. Moscow and Washington are only indirectly involved in it, but the growing influence of the countries of this region cannot be denied or stopped. In this context, relations between Russia and China are remarkable – although there have been crises between our countries in the past, Russian-Chinese relations are now at their peak and are one of the fundamental pillars of a new balanced international order. As early as the mid-1990s, Russia and China formulated a common vision of the world of the future. It was enshrined in the 1997 ‘Declaration on a Multipolar World and the Formation of a New International Order’. And since then, the Russian-Chinese understanding of how the world should be has evolved: on the basis of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, mutual interests, and the recognition that cooperation between countries is possible regardless of the nature of their government. This basis for cooperation has stood the test of time and many international crises in recent decades, and is taking our relations to an even higher level.

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[..] just 6% of Europeans 65 years of age and older still working. Japan: 25%..

EU Marks a Sharp Decline in Population (Sp.)

This week, the Financial Times published an article highlighting the European Union’s (EU) shrinking population which has put a strain on the bloc’s finances. The article notes that a dip in the bloc’s population rose in the year that ended in January 2023, thanks to the influx of displaced Ukrainians. The London-based paper wrote earlier this month that the “trade-off between ethnic homogeneity and prosperity is set to become more acute over the next decade”. The newspaper has also noted that the participation of immigrants and women working in the labor force is no longer enough to keep afloat the EU’s falling percentages of those who are considered “working-age”, or people who are aged 20 to 64. According to United Nations (UN) data, those in the working-age bracket shrunk from 270 million in 2011 to roughly 261 million this year; dropping to 58% from a peak of nearly 62% in 2008.

And one European country in particular stands out regarding this drop: Germany has lost about 2 million people in the working age bracket since that group’s number peaked in 1998, according to the article’s analysis of UN data, and is set to lose another 10% in the next decade. The Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft has estimated that a lack of workers could cost Germany €49 billion of lost output for this year alone. The EU’s population numbers for the year 2023 were below expectations as birth levels fell to a number that the European Commission’s Eurostat had not predicted would occur for at least another two decades. This suggests that the forecast for the EU’s peak population – 453 million – may occur sometime before 2026. The article notes that in addition to the failure of EU governments’ pro-natal policies, anti-immigration parties are predicted to make strides in the European parliament elections this June.

Dubravka Suica,the European Commission’s vice-president for democracy and demography, explains that if these dropping population numbers are not addressed, the bloc will suffer threats to its competitiveness, budgets, public services, pensions and unemployment. According to the article, experts are now urging European governments to invest in skills and education to increase the value of what is produced per hour worked. Suica adds that affordable and efficient family policies, which worked in the past to help support fertility rates, no longer work as well as they once did. In 2022, the number of babies born in the EU fell below 4 million for the first time since data was first kept in 1960.

Europe also has the highest life expectancy of any continent as well as the highest median age, yet they fall far past Japan (25%), the US, OECD countries, and the UK in the percentages of those 65 years of age and older who still participate in the labor force, with just 6% of older Europeans still working. The number of those living over the age of 85 is also growing, which adds a pressure on the wallets of younger generations and strains public finances.

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“..I do think there’s perhaps still a role for humans in this, in that we may give AI meaning.”

Musk: AI Will ‘Do Everything Better Than You,’ Make Employment Obsolete (CT)

Elon Musk recently doubled down on his predictions that humans would need a “universal high income” in the wake of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven job displacement. — this time claiming that without our jobs, our purpose in life may eventually be to “give AI meaning.” The bleak prognostication from the world’s richest person came during the VivaTech 2024 event in Paris as part of a winding speech wherein Musk made fervent claims that AI would provide all of our goods and services in the future. “My biggest fear is AI,” the mogul said. He also claimed that AI will be better than humans at everything, thus relegating our species to doing our best to support the machines:

“The question will really be one of meaning — if the computer and robots can do everything better than you, does your life have meaning? I do think there’s perhaps still a role for humans in this, in that we may give AI meaning.” Musk, the father of at least 10 children, said humans might be able to work “as a hobby,” if they chose, but ultimately painted a bleak picture of the future where, according to his previous predictions, AI will supplant us in all endeavors. In related news, Musk’s AI company, dubbed simply xAI, has reportedly secured $6 billion in funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Tribe Capital at a total valuation of $18 billion. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Musk says that xAI lags behind industry leaders OpenAI and DeepMind but could catch up by the end of 2024:

“xAI is a new company so it still has a lot of catching up to do before it has an AI that is competitive with Google Deepmind and OpenAI. Maybe towards the end of the year, we will have that.” This sentiment, combined with his prediction that AI will surpass humans by 2025, indicates that he believes his company will be among those that could potentially create AI capable of human-level cognition. It bears mentioning that Musk’s AI-related predictions haven’t always fared so well. In 2019, he famously promised that Tesla would field 1 million fully autonomous robotaxis on the road by 2020. More recently, he claimed that Tesla would unveil its first robotaxi in August 2024.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Matthau

 

 

Lennon

 

 

Cheese baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1794337512820977875

 

 

Tap
https://twitter.com/i/status/1794232297136288078

 

 

Groper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1794371390692302897

 

 

Octopus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1794375243412443435

 

 

Girl horse dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793741279282462988

 

 

 

 

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Home Forums Debt Rattle May 26 2024

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  • #159770
    Oroboros
    Participant

    .

    #159771
    Oroboros
    Participant

    Thatcher explained why London, and now the EU, hate Russia:

    Because Russia has all the resources and because Russians have refused to be colonized by the #West since the 1700s.

    The most creative description of the desire to steal.

    Russia has EVERYTHING

    #159772
    Rototillerman
    Participant

    Posting this for Dr. John Day, please excuse me if someone has already presented this work by The Ethical Skeptic. It’s a wild read, involving pyramids, floods, conservation of angular momentum in the earth’s core, and… shifting poles:

    Exothermic Core-Mantle Decoupling – Dzhanibekov Oscillation (ECDO) Hypothesis

    #159776
    poppie
    Participant

    nice shoes

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