May 302024
 


Ivan Aivazovsky The Ninth Wave 1849

 

This Is Insanity: Trump Case Judge Issues Unbelievable Jury Instructions (ZH)
Trump Tells Donors He’d Bomb Moscow and Beijing – WaPo (RT)
Et tu, Trump (Paul Craig Roberts)
‘Lightweight’ Biden Officials Lack Gravitas to Negotiate with Russia (Sp.)
Ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister: Zelensky is Nothing But Impostor Since May 21 (Sp.)
Zelensky is ‘An Outlaw’ – Russian State Duma Chairman (RT)
Western Experts Realizing NATO Expansion Was A Mistake – Lavrov (RT)
Lavrov: NATO Plans to Supply F-16s to Ukraine a Signal in Nuclear Sphere (Sp.)
Robert De Niro Court Presser Turns into a Sad Spectacle (Turley)
“Democracy is on the Ballot” (Turley)
Evidence That President Raisi, FM Amir-abdollahian Were Murdered (Helmer)
No Zone is Safe (Manley)
My Name Is Khan. I’m From The ICC and You’re Under Arrest (Jay)
Netherlands’ Ex-Intelligence Chief To Be Next Prime Minister (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Kash Patel

 

 

Eric Trump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796000745663156374

 

 

Larry Ellison

 

 

Trump& Musk

 

 

 

 

“..they could split 4-4-4 and he will still treat them as unanimous…”

This Is Insanity: Trump Case Judge Issues Unbelievable Jury Instructions (ZH)

Legal minds are beside themselves at how the judge in the Trump ‘hush money’ case has instructed jurors to rule – first in what constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley called “the coup de grace instruction,” Judge Juan Merchan said that there is no need to agree on what occurred – and can disagree on what the crime was among the charges. “Merchan just delivered the coup de grace instruction,” Turley wrote on X. “He said that there is no need to agree on what occurred. They can disagree on what the crime was among the three choices. Thus, this means that they could split 4-4-4 and he will still treat them as unanimous…” “This is absolute insanity,” posted Missouri Attorney General Andrew Baily, in response to another Turley observation – namely that the jury will not be given copies of their instructions, but can ask for them to be read again. What could be behind this activist judge?

* * *
With closing arguments in Donald Trump’s hush money trial having ended on Tuesday, jury deliberations have officially begun, putting the outcome of the case in the hands of a dozen New Yorkers. A jury of seven men and five women were instructed to begin deliberating just before 11:30 a.m., where they will weigh in on the first criminal trial of a former US president. While the jurors’ discussions will be in private, they can send Trump-hating Judge Juan Merchan notes asking to rehear testimony or review evidence. “It is not my responsibility to judge the evidence here. It is yours,” said Merchan. Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with an alleged scheme to shelve potentially embarrassing claims during the 2016 US election – similar to how the Clintons paid Paula Jones $850,000 to drop a sexual harassment lawsuit after more than four years of legal action. According to Merchan, “Your verdict on each count you consider, whether guilty or not, must be unanimous,” adding “That is, each and every juror must agree to it.”

That said, they do not need to be unanimous on what crime they think Trump is guilty of. “You should discuss the evidence and consult with each other, listen to each other, give each other’s views careful consideration. And when you deliberate, you should do so with a view to reaching agreement when that can be done without surrendering an individual juror,” Merchan continued. As the Epoch Times notes further, all the evidence from trial has been loaded onto a laptop, and Juror 4 and Juror 6 volunteered to operate it for the group. Merchan checked with defense attorney Todd Blanche about whether defense counsel explained to President Trump about evidence being on the laptop for jurors. Mr. Blanche affirmed that defense counsel reviewed the contents of the laptop and have no objections to this protocol. “I always watch the jurors. I watch to see who is paying attention and who is not,” said Merchan. “Justice Merchan said. “Each of you is very engaged in this case. But we’re not going to excuse [alternates].”

During closing arguments on Tuesday, Merchan criticized Blanche for telling the jury that the former president could go to prison if they convict – and reminded them that their decision would be based on the word of Michael Cohen, who Blanche described as a “liar” who “lied to” the jury. “You cannot send somebody to prison, you cannot convict somebody based upon the words of Michael Cohen,” said Blanche – to which prosecutors jumped in and objected. Merchan agreed, sustaining the objection. “That was outrageous, Mr. Blanche,” he said. “Someone who’s been a prosecutor as long as you have, someone who’s been an attorney as long as you have knows that it’s highly inappropriate.”

Vivek

https://twitter.com/i/status/1795844798043095515

https://twitter.com/i/status/1795968181057814904

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This “report” doesn’t smell quite right. Also:

“..The Trump campaign, however, has dismissed the WaPo report as “fake news.”

Trump Tells Donors He’d Bomb Moscow and Beijing – WaPo (RT)

Former US President and current Republican candidate Donald Trump has told campaign donors that he “would have bombed” Moscow and Beijing if they’d attacked Ukraine and Taiwan respectively on his watch, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing sources. According to numerous donors, advisers and other people close to him, the former president has ramped up his fundraising campaign rhetoric ahead of his likely rematch with incumbent Joe Biden in the upcoming November election. Trump, who regularly addresses foreign policy topics at such events, reportedly claimed that he would have bombed the Russian capital in response to its Ukraine campaign, and prescribed the same response to a hypothetical Chinese move to assert its sovereignty over Taiwan. These remarks “surprised” his donors, according to the Washington Post.

Former President Trump is also said to have made a “series of audacious requests” to solicit significant campaign contributions at funding events, as he has reportedly promised tax cuts, approvals for oil infrastructure projects, and other policies that his donors might appreciate. Some legal experts interviewed by the Washington Post noted that such promises and requests are “testing the boundaries of federal campaign finance laws.” Trump is no stranger to hardline rhetoric, famously threatening North Korea with “fire and fury” when tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs flared in 2017. On the Ukraine conflict, however, he had earlier promised to settle hostilities within just 24 hours if reelected by sitting down with both Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

An earlier Washington Post report suggested that Trump hoped to end the conflict by pressuring Ukraine to agree to recognize at least some of its territorial losses to Russia. In the fall of 2022, four former Ukrainian regions voted to join Russia, following in the footsteps of Crimea, which did so in 2014. The Trump campaign, however, has dismissed the WaPo report as “fake news.” In February, Bloomberg also reported, citing an adviser to the ex-president, that if Trump wins the election, he could pressure Ukraine to negotiate peace with Russia by threatening to cut massive US military assistance to the country. Russia maintains that it is open to talks over Ukraine; however, in the fall of 2022, Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning all negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow.

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“..Americans must stand up to the Democrats weaponization of law and show that such law is unacceptable by vindicating Trump in the November election..”

Et tu, Trump (Paul Craig Roberts)

No sooner do I finish an interview about the rapidity with which we are traveling the road to Armageddon than we pick up speed. Trump campaign donors report that Trump told them he would have bombed Moscow and Beijing if they’d attacked Ukraine and Taiwan on his watch. So the likely next US president tells the world that in the interest of Ukraine and Taiwan, two artificial states created by Washington, he is prepared to launch World War III. No more talk about normalizing relations with Russia. That talk brought him eight years of troubles and indictments. Trump now out-neocons the neocons. There is no doubt that Trump has been persecuted for eight years and faces a collection of civil and criminal indictments simply because he said he intended to normalize relations with Russia.

This was seen as an attack on the budget and power of the military/security complex. Trump was threatening their world by taking away their necessary enemy. The CIA director called Trump a traitor to America. My position has always been that Americans must stand up to the Democrats weaponization of law and show that such law is unacceptable by vindicating Trump in the November election. Otherwise, the result will be the institutionalization of weaponized law, which means tyranny. As important as law is as a shield of the people instead of a weapon in the hands of the state, it takes second place to avoiding nuclear Armageddon. I can no longer support Trump.

The situation could not be more dangerous. The entire leadership of the Western world is committed to war with Russia. European leaders are telling Europeans that Europe must be prepared for war with Russia. No one in Washington, and precious few among policy analysts, will admit to any US responsibility for the dangerous situation. The fact that Washington overthrew the government in Ukraine, installed a puppet, trained and equipped a large Ukrainian army to retake the independent Donbas republics, deceived Putin with the Minsk Agreement, mischaracterized Putin’s protection of Donbas as an invasion of Ukraine, and used every opportunity to widen the war is simply unspeakable in the Western world. Anyone who tells the truth is a Putin agent/dupe. The denial of the reality of the conflict is leading directly to a major war, perhaps humanity’s last war, and no Western leader is alarmed.

They are only alarmed that Washington is losing its proxy war. The determination is not to end the war but to expand it with long-range missiles and NATO troops to prevent Washington from losing the war. A few brave American students protest Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians, but no one protests the rapidity at which we are traveling the road to nuclear Armageddon. The American public is unaware of, or unconcerned with, the risk. Nowhere in any of the Western democracies do the people have a voice. The Western media is given over to war propaganda. Compared to the emphasis on reducing tensions that characterized the long Cold War, I can only conclude that the West has gone insane and is incapable of recognizing reality and behaving responsibly. Biden has refused the responsibility of his office to meet with Putin and resolve the dangerous situation. Instead, Biden insists on continuing an existential threat to Russia.

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“The West is playing poker and the Russians are not playing games..”

‘Lightweight’ Biden Officials Lack Gravitas to Negotiate with Russia (Sp.)

Which White House official has the clout to go toe to toe with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov? “That’s a trick question. Nobody.” So says Serbian-American journalist Nebojsa Malic, who joined Sputnik’s The Final Countdown program Tuesday to discuss how the Biden administration’s diplomatic deficit prevents Washington from dialing down tensions with one of the world’s foremost military powers. “The West is playing poker and the Russians are not playing games,” said the veteran columnist for AntiWar.com, who claimed the United States has consistently provoked Moscow. “The Ukrainians are losing badly on the operational and tactical level [and] the strategic level, arguably, as well,” he added, claiming that talk of Ukraine firing US weapons into Russia is intended “to present to their own population that they’re doing something.”

The issue has represented the latest controversy in the West’s ongoing proxy war against Moscow, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly making the case to encourage Kiev to strike within Russian territory. “But you can say that that particular rubicon has been crossed months ago,” said Malic. “These long-range strikes – they’re hitting oil refiners, they’re hitting cities, they’re hitting civilians – they’re not striking military formations. Never did.” “This whole talk of, ‘oh, but we couldn’t disrupt the offensive because we weren’t allowed to strike Russian territory,’ is just an excuse from Zelensky and his command to justify their total and utter failure on the battlefield. And that’s why it’s arisen… ‘let’s do this because we’re going to blame the West for not letting us fight.’”

As Russia has consolidated their gains on the battlefield and pushed north towards Kharkov, Western media has begun to acknowledge the Kiev regime’s dire straits. With Ukrainian victory now more unlikely than ever, Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated that he is open to negotiating peace. But Moscow prefers to negotiate with “the people who make the decisions,” noted Malic, who reside not in Kiev, but in Washington. “Do you see a scenario where Antony Blinken and Sergey Lavrov sit down and have tea together?” asked host Angie Wong. “No,” the analyst replied bluntly. “Simply put, no. I don’t think Lavrov wants to negotiate with somebody who’s such a lightweight,” he claimed, apparently unimpressed with Blinken’s guitar playing abilities.

“[William] Burns actually might be the person,” said Malic, referring to Biden’s CIA director who has helped facilitate negotiations with Israel. “He used to be an ambassador to Russia, if I remember, and he might have the adequate gravitas to negotiate. Although does he have the authority? I don’t know. But yeah, Burns might actually be someone that the Russians might be willing to discuss things with.” The writer ran through the list of other top officials in the Biden White House, attempting to conjure someone who approaches the stature of Russia’s longtime top diplomat. “Sullivan: no. Harris: no. Biden, himself: don’t make me laugh. Blinken: no. Austin: no, also he’s indisposed. Yeah, I think Burns might be the guy.”

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“..[Zelensky] is not a specialist, not a patriot of his country, he is just a random person in power, a puppet.”

Ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister: Zelensky is Nothing But Impostor Since May 21 (Sp.)

Zelensky’s presidential powers expired on the night of May 20-21 and cannot be extended per the Ukrainian Constitution which limits the presidential tenure to five years. Despite calls from the West to secure a second term via a general election in Ukraine, he refused to do so – using the pretext of martial law to continue. “It is absolutely obvious to anyone who is familiar with electoral law and the Constitution of Ukraine that Zelensky has become an impostor since May 21,” Nikolay Azarov, prime minister from 2010 to 2014 and a veteran politician with over 20 years of experience in Ukrainian politics, told Sputnik. Azarov went on to trash Zelensky’s martial law pretext to justify canceling elections: “Zelensky did not declare war [against Russia]. He also did not announce any military operation. He simply introduced martial law. Why did you introduce martial law if you are not declaring war?”

The former Ukrainian president’s unwillingness to hold elections stems from his legitimate fear that he would have lost miserably, according to the former prime minister. “If there were a chance [of winning], he would have held elections,” he said. “Nothing prevented him from holding elections, because the entire administration, all the security forces, all the penal structures, everything is in the hands of his administration.” Azarov suggested that Zelensky could have held elections in the territories controlled by Kiev – akin to what his predecessor Petro Poroshenko did during his presidential tenure. But even under these conditions, Zelensky understood that he could not win and could be easily beaten by any other contender, like General Valery Zaluzhny, the ex-prime minister presumed.

“It is absolutely clear to everyone, with the possible exception of an extremely narrow circle of people, that [Zelensky] is not a specialist, not a patriot of his country, he is just a random person in power, a puppet. And therefore he would hardly have won if any [presidential] candidates had emerged,” Azarov said. As Zelensky’s tenure expired on May 20, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) and its speaker are now the only legitimate powers in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters on May 28, adding that the Ukrainian Constitution provides for the extension of the powers of the parliament, but not the president, under martial law.

Responding to Putin’s remark, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk argued that the president of Ukraine exercises his powers until his successor assumes the post. However, the debate over Zelensky’s legitimacy is gaining pace regardless of Stefanchuk’s assertions. “The military conflict has been going on for three years now. It is still difficult to say how long it will last. Will [Zelensky] continue to usurp power all this time? This raises legitimate questions,” Azarov said.

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“..the Ukrainian constitution stipulates that presidential duties must be performed by the country’s speaker of parliament until an election is held..”

Zelensky is ‘An Outlaw’ – Russian State Duma Chairman (RT)

Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has essentially committed a blatant power grab by deciding to keep his presidential post after his term officially expired, Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin has said. Writing on Telegram on Wednesday, Volodin proclaimed Zelensky – whose presidential term officially ended on May 20, an “outlaw,” adding that Ukraine has plunged into a “crisis of power.” The lawmaker recalled that the Ukrainian constitution stipulates that presidential duties must be performed by the country’s speaker of parliament until an election is held and a new president sworn in. However, Ruslan Stefanchuk, the parliament’s speaker, said that Zelensky must remain as president and denounced as “an enemy of Ukraine” anyone who questions his legitimacy.

He also argued that the nation’s constitution says that the president must perform his duties until a new leader is sworn in. Volodin disagrees, however, pointing out that the extension of the president’s term can only be done on the basis of an election, which Zelensky refused to greenlight, citing martial law imposed after the start of the Ukraine conflict. “Anything else is a state crime. And this is what Zelensky has committed,” the MP said. He went on to remark that foreign leaders found themselves in “a difficult position,” explaining that while they have the right to meet with Zelensky, “international agreements and treaties with him will have no legal force, because he has lost his powers.”

“This carries risks of non-return of funds and many other problems in the future,” Volodin added. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the only legitimate authority in Ukraine is now the parliament, adding that “a deep legal analysis” of Zelensky’s current status should be carried out. The Russian president also suggested Zelensky is being kept in office by “overseas masters” so that he and his government would become scapegoats for all recent and future “unpopular decisions.” Meanwhile, Zelensky himself has claimed that he “is not really bothered” by talk of his perceived illegitimacy, adding that his fellow Ukrainians know the national law and can draw their own conclusions.

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“..‘don’t have a war over this. We don’t need NATO enlargement for US security. In fact it’s counter to US security’.”

Western Experts Realizing NATO Expansion Was A Mistake – Lavrov (RT)

Historians and political scientists in the West have finally grasped that NATO’s post-Cold War expansion led to conflict in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, adding that this expansion was driven by Washington’s “irresistible desire” to dominate the continent. “Today, many historians and political scientists in the West express the point of view that their colleagues have been declaring for many, many years, maybe even decades. This is the fact that when the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist, when the Soviet Union extended its hand for unification with Europe, the US and the West as a whole on the basis of equality, mutual benefits and respect, no one dissolved NATO. And actually no one planned to,” Lavrov told a meeting of ambassadors in Moscow on Wednesday. “Just yesterday, a famous US economist, political scientist Jeffrey Sachs, cited this mistake in an interview with [US journalist] Tucker Carlson,” Lavrov noted.

Sachs on Lavrov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1795903854908711016

“Now, we can confidently say that the irresistible desire of the US to retain control of Europe through NATO was the reason.” In a video interview with Carlson published on Tuesday, Sachs condemned successive US administrations for breaking Washington’s promise to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev by expanding NATO to swallow up former Soviet satellite states in eastern Europe. “They got this idea that ‘we’ll expand NATO so that every country in the Black Sea around Russia is a NATO country. We’ll get Romania and Bulgaria, we’ll get Ukraine and we’ll get Georgia’,” Sachs explained. “And the reason was very clear. This is our way to basically dominate Eurasia. We are the sole superpower. We are unchallenged.” Among those who pushed back against Washignton’s expansionism were political scientist John Mearsheimer, Cold War strategist George Kennan – who called it ‘the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era” – and William Burns, the current director of the CIA who in 2008 described NATO’s offer of eventual membership to Ukraine as “the brightest of all red lines” for Moscow.

Speaking to reporters after NATO offered future membership to Ukraine and Georgia in Bucharest in 2008, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow views “the appearance of a powerful military bloc on our borders… as a direct threat to the security of our country.” When Putin sent US President Joe Biden a draft security agreement in late 2021, Sachs contacted National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and urged him to treat the document as a basis for negotiations, he told Carlson. “The core of it was ‘stop the NATO enlargement’,” Sachs explained. “I called the White House myself at that point and said ‘don’t have a war over this. We don’t need NATO enlargement for US security. In fact it’s counter to US security’.”

“We should have disbanded NATO,” he concluded. “It’s doing huge damage to Europe, it’s destroying Ukraine…and almost nobody stands up and talks about it.” An economist and political analyst by trade, Sachs worked as an adviser to three UN secretaries general, and to the governments of Russia, Ukraine, and other post-Soviet countries during the 1990s. Since the start of the Ukraine conflict in 2022, he has consistently called on the US to stop financing the Ukrainian military and push for a ceasefire between Kiev and Moscow.

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“Russia will consider the supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine a deliberate signal action by NATO in the nuclear sphere.”

The F-16 CAN carry nuclear loads, so Russia must presume that is what they do. Can’t afford to wait and see.

Lavrov: NATO Plans to Supply F-16s to Ukraine a Signal in Nuclear Sphere (Sp.)

Russia considers the idea of a hypothetical convening of a peaceful international conference on the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict with the participation of both Moscow and Kiev as a possible continuation of China’s efforts to create conditions for resolving this crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Sputnik. “As for the idea of convening an international peace conference in a timely manner, which would ensure the equal participation of Russia and Ukraine and the discussion of all available peace initiatives, we regard it as a continuation of Beijing’s efforts to create conditions for resolving the Ukrainian crisis. We share the position that, first of all, it is necessary to eliminate its root causes, ensure the legitimate interests of all parties,” Lavrov said. Future agreements on the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict must be based on the principle of equal and indivisible security, the minister added. Lavrov also noted that Russia believes the US has become an accomplice to Kiev’s crimes, when it comes to Ukraine’s missile strikes on Russian cities.

“In the US national security strategy, Russia is called an immediate threat. The US and NATO explicitly say that their goal is to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on our country. In this context, the fate of the civilian population of Russian cities is not of interest to the White House, which has become an accomplice to the crimes of the Kiev regime,” Lavrov said. The United States is actually exacerbating the conflict in the Middle East by publicly declaring its commitment to a just solution to the Palestinian problem, Russian Foreign Minister added. “The Americans continue to publicly speak about their commitment to a just solution to the Palestinian problem. At the same time, in practice, they plentifully add oil to the flame of the armed confrontation,” Lavrov stated. The Russian Foreign Minister further indicated that Russia will consider the supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine a deliberate signal action by NATO in the nuclear sphere.

“F-16 fighter jets have long been the main means of delivery in the framework of the so-called NATO joint nuclear missions. Therefore, we cannot but consider the supply of these systems to the Kiev regime as a deliberate signal action by NATO in the nuclear sphere. They are trying to make it clear to us that the US and NATO are ready for literally anything in Ukraine,” Lavrov said. At the same time, the supply of F-16 fighters would not change the situation on the line of contact in any way, the minister added. “These jets will be destroyed, as well as other types of weapons supplied by NATO countries to Ukraine,” Lavrov said. He also stated that the drills on the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons of Russian and Belarus should talk sense into western opponents about the consequences of escalation. “We hope that the Russian-Belarusian drills held these days to practice the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons will bring our opponents to reason, reminding them of the catastrophic consequences of further progress of nuclear escalation,” Lavrov said.

On Monday, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said that Belarusian and Russian air forces are conducting joint tactical flight drills on May 27-31. Russia and China agree on the importance of increasing defense cooperation, not only on a bilateral basis but also in multilateral formats, Sergey Lavrov said. “We share the opinion on the importance of increasing defense cooperation not only on a bilateral basis but also within the framework of multilateral formats. This understanding is set out in a joint statement signed following the visit of Russian President [Vladimir] Putin to China. Specifically, we are talking about expanding the scale of joint drills and combat training, conducting sea and air patrols, and developing the potential for joint response,” Lavrov said.

The cooperation between Beijing and Moscow is not aimed against any third country, the minister said. “Military cooperation with China is based on a high level of mutual trust. Russian-Chinese cooperation is aimed at strengthening international security and is carried out in accordance with the norms of international law. The combination of our efforts is not aimed against third countries. We and our Chinese friends are forced to take into account the negative military and political trends in the Asia-Pacific region and take measures to mitigate their consequences,” Lavrov said.

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“..reputations, you know, a lifetime to build, seconds to destroy.”

Robert De Niro Court Presser Turns into a Sad Spectacle (Turley)

In the movie A Bronx Tale, the character played by Robert De Niro tells his son that “the saddest thing in life is wasted talent.” Yesterday, the actor appears to have forgotten his own cinematic advice in a bizarre press conference organized by the Biden campaign in front of the Manhattan courthouse during the trial of former President Donald Trump. In a raving, disconnected press conference, De Niro predicted the end of democracy and then the world if Trump is not stopped in New York. De Niro offered a rambling monologue and exposed the danger of an actor speaking without a script:

“It’s a good time to reflect on how Americans fought and died so that we may enjoy the freedoms guaranteed to us by a democratic government, a government that as President Lincoln said of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth. Under Trump this kind of government will perish from the earth. I don’t mean to scare you. No, no, wait, maybe I do mean to scare you. If Trump returns to the White House, you can kiss these freedoms goodbye that we all take for granted. And elections, forget about it. That’s over. That’s done if he gets in, I can tell you right now, he will never leave, he will never leave. You know that he will never leave.”

De Niro has gone full Travis Bickle. However, now 80, it came across as De Niro screaming at the courthouse for Trump to get off his lawn. The diatribe is consistent with the messaging of Democrats, including President Biden, that “democracy is on the ballot” and that this may be our last election. De Niro was not satisfied with that alarmist message and decided to take it to an apocalyptic level in predicting a global meltdown. As I have previously written, it is a narrative that ignores our history and our values. To suggest that this may be our last democratic election is to suggest that both branches (and the population at large) would stand idly by as a president assumed tyrannical powers. That did not occur, even when this country was united by wars and national emergencies. With the nation now divided right down the middle, it is even less likely.

That is why the “democracy is on the ballot” claims border on defamation against our Constitution. We have the most successful and stable democratic system in history. The success of that system is not measured by those who would riot or challenge our values. It is measured by how the system responds. Our system works because it was not only written for times of relative unity and calm, it also was written for times like these. What was particularly weird is that the Biden campaign succeeded in reinforcing the view of this case as lawfare, an effort to stop Trump at any cost.

That message was also reaffirmed by President Biden stating that he will hold a press conference on the verdict. After the third highest ranking official in the Biden Justice Department joined the prosecution to bring the case, the announcement only magnified the view of a case that is being used for political purposes. De Niro walked away pursued by hecklers and proceeded to exchange profanities. The question for the Biden campaign lingered as to what was achieved by the chaotic scene outside of the courthouse. I am a great fan of De Niro’s artistic work, a legacy of great movies that are now an indelible part of our culture. That is precisely why, as I watched from the Fox camera location near his presser, I was more sad than surprised by the spectacle. As another De Niro character said in the movie Stardust, “reputations, you know, a lifetime to build, seconds to destroy.”

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Popular slogan this year…

“Democracy is on the Ballot” (Turley)

“Democracy is on the ballot.” That mantra of President Joe Biden and other Democrats has suggested that “this may be our last election” if the Republicans win in 2024. A few of us have noted that the Democrats seem more keen on claiming the mantle of the defenders of democracy than actually practicing it. Democrats have sought to disqualify Donald Trump and dozens of Republicans from ballots; block third party candidates, censor and blacklist of those with opposing views; and weaponize the legal system against their opponents. Most recently, in California, democracy is truly on the ballot and the Democrats are on the wrong side.

California has always prided itself on the ability of citizens to vote on changes in the law directly through referenda and ballot measures. That is precisely what citizens are attempting to do with a measure that would require voter approval of any tax increase, including a two-thirds vote for some local taxes. It is called the Taxpayer Protection Act and it is a duly qualified statewide ballot measure slated for the November 2024 ballot. The state Democrats are apoplectic over the prospect of citizen control over revenue and taxes. What was a quaint element of democratic empowerment is now challenging a core vehicle of Democratic power. So Gov. Gavin Newsom and other Democratic leaders have taken the issue to the state Supreme Court to demand that citizens be denied the right to decide the issue. In oral arguments, the attorney supporting the challenge explained to the justices that citizens are simply not equipped to deal with the complexities of taxation and should not be allowed to render such a decision.

In a prior decision, Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar wrote that “Whether the context involves taxation or not, all of these cases underscore how courts preserve and liberally construe the public’s statewide and local initiative power. Indeed, we resolve doubts about the scope of the initiative power in its favor whenever possible and we narrowly construe provisions that would burden or limit the exercise of that power.” Half of the Court seemed to be inclined to deny the public the right to decide the question. The Court, however, may wait until after the election to render a decision on the limits of democracy in California.

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Not real evidence.

Evidence That President Raisi, FM Amir-abdollahian Were Murdered (Helmer)

The release of fresh details of the fatal helicopter flight on May 19 which killed Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is ruling out bad weather, machine failure, signals interference, on-board bomb or ground-fired missile as the cause of the crash. Iranian civilian, military and clerical officials are also excluding Israeli or US involvement. Instead, Raisi’s chief of staff, Gholam-Hossein Esmaeili, a civilian lawyer and Raisi loyalist for many years, has described a sequence of details, preceding and following the incident, which hint at suicide murder by one of the pilots of the presidential aircraft. Esmaeili made his remarks on Tehran television on the evening of May 21. He revealed that Raisi’s helicopter was flying second in a convoy of three aircraft, while Esmaeili was flying third, behind Raisi, when his helicopter “suddenly disappeared”. The pilot of the third helicopter then “decided to circle and return to search for the President’s helicopter”.

Esmaeili also said that attempted calls to Raisi, Amir-Abdollahian, and the pilot of their aircraft, Colonel Seyed Taher Mostafavi, all failed to produce a response. However, two calls were answered by Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Al-Hashem, the only passenger who appeared to survive the impact and fire of the crash, but died soon after. Al-Hashem represents the clerical power in East Azerbaijan province. According to Esmaeili, Al-Hashem said “our situation is not good, the copter has crashed into the valley”. Al-Hashem’s remark appears to rule out a missile strike or bomb explosion. Esmaeili’s statements rule out adverse weather conditions and the sight or sound of mid-air explosion. An Iranian Army General Staff statement, issued last Friday May 24, after investigation of radar, radio, other telecommunications, and the aircraft debris, has confirmed normal navigation and communications between the helicopter pilots and with ground controllers.

“Gunshot wounds or similar ones have not been seen in the remaining parts of the helicopter,” the report claims, “in the conversations of the control tower with the flight crew, no suspicious cases have been observed.” The implication is also that there were no sudden machine failures triggering loss of pilot control and indicated by either pilot or automatic instrument distress signals. Because the Raisi aircraft disappeared into clouds ahead of Esmaeili, and there was no heat burst from missile or bomb strike, satellite images by Russian, US, or Chinese satellites are unlikely to have recorded what happened. The signals intelligence collected by Russia and the US is also unlikely to have recorded more than Esmaeili has admitted.

That leaves the Russian hint published by Konstantin Malofeyev, owner and editor-in-chief of Tsargrad, citing a retired Russian Air Force general. According to Major General Vladimir Popov (retired), “the main threat to top officials during air travel comes from themselves”. The mainstream Russian press, the Moscow military bloggers, and RT, the state propaganda organ, have all avoided analysis of the incident forensics and speculation of motive; they have stuck to repeating official Iranian news releases. RT’s version of Esmaeili’s statements is significantly shorter and less comprehending than the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) report and the Times of India video. “Esmaeili’s statement points to Raisi’s pilot making the decision to crash,” comments a western military source. “Why order the other two aircraft to ascend and get above the clouds, and then not do so himself?”

Read more …

“..Israel had acted in defiance of the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), after the court ordered them to cease their military offensive in Rafah last week..”

No Zone is Safe (Manley)

The attack on what the IDF had designated as a “safe zone” came shortly after a barrage of Hamas rockets reached central Israel on Sunday; the group’s first long-range strikes in months. No deaths or injuries were reported following the strike. On Monday, an Israeli airstrike killed 45 people and as a result, has left the world shocked as more than half of those killed included women, children, and the elderly. Global condemnation followed the strike, with the most condemnatory of those coming from the Arab League nations and the Global South in general, Sputnik reported. Others stressed that Israel had acted in defiance of the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), after the court ordered them to cease their military offensive in Rafah last week. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Türkiye lambasted Tel-Aviv, saying: “We will do everything to hold these barbarians and murderers accountable.”

But while some Western countries spoke out against Israel’s atrocities, the US appeared to keep mum on their ally’s assault. “Israel has a right to go after Hamas, and we understand this strike killed two senior Hamas terrorists who are responsible for attacks against Israeli civilians,” a US National Security Council spokesperson said. “But as we’ve been clear, Israel must take every precaution possible to protect civilians.” According to witnesses, at least eight airstrikes struck the camp of displaced victims about 600 feet from a UN warehouse. A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesperson said the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) had previously identified the camp as a “humanitarian area.” The IDF confirmed the strike as well, claiming that “significant Hamas terrorists were operating” there and said the strike’s “precise intelligence” had eliminated Hamas’ chief of staff for the West Bank.

Survivors said that the families were preparing to sleep when the strike hit the Tel Al-Sultan neighborhood, according to a Reuters report. A Palestinian mother described the strike as a “loud noise” followed by a fire that erupted around them. Palestinian authorities have reported that over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict first broke out in October. A majority of those who have been killed are believed to be women and children. Cindy McCain, the head of the United Nations World Food Program has also warned that Gaza has now entered a “full-blown famine”. And yet, the Biden administration has said that they do not believe Israel is committing “genocide” in the Gaza Strip.

Read more …

“..We have to underline the equal worth of every child, every woman, every civilian in a world that is increasingly polarised and if we don’t do that, what’s the point of us?”

My Name Is Khan. I’m From The ICC and You’re Under Arrest (Jay)

There’s been nothing like it before. The arrest warrants for both Hamas leaders and Benjamin Netanyahu by the ICC create a new precedent for the so-called rules-based order of the West and its elites. With now countries like Norway, Ireland and Spain already declaring that Palestine could be recognised as a state, with at least 100 Global South countries ready to back such a bold move, the pressure on U.S. President Joe Biden is mounting, as he manages to back himself and his administration into a corner with America increasingly isolated now on the world stage. What happens when the Global South wakes up and realises that these international courts in the Hague are merely tools for any U.S. administration to arrest and detain any leaders around the world who they can’t assassinate or replace easily and that the ‘rules-based order’ is just an excuse for the U.S. and UK to break their own rules around the world when it suits them to support U.S. hegemony?

Karim Khan is the man who could shatter in one blow the credibility of these institutions and put America even farther behind in its declining power, struggling to adapt to the multipolar world. Khan is the chief ICC prosecutor who issues the warrants which are subject to approval by the ICC’s judges. If they are issued, they would immediately become a much more significant potential constraint on Israel’s leadership than a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case brought by South Africa, which ordered Israel to suspend its military campaign in Rafah. If granted, it could be a game changer which could set the entire Gaza war and its endeavour to have its own state on a new path, crushing once and for all any hegemony the U.S. thinks it still wields in the Middle East.

Khan’s announcement accused Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, and his defence minister Yoav Gallant, along with three Hamas leaders, of crimes against humanity. It was the first time that a sitting western-backed leader had been targeted by the court and it prompted international outrage. It’s important to note that the ICC is not a court linked to the UN but formed by a treaty signed in Rome in 2002 and was largely backed by poor countries whose regimes were afraid of being victims of coup d’états from neighbouring countries. Broadly speaking, the difference between the ICC and the ICJ is that the former issues arrest warrants for dictators with pressure on the member states themselves to enact them. Neither Israel nor the U.S. are members.

Khan recently gave an exclusive interview to the London Times where he revealed how much he is hated by western leaders, in particular from his own country, like Rishi Sunak, who called the decision “deeply unhelpful”, and President Biden, who called it “outrageous”. “Our job is not to make friends,” he says. “It’s to do our job whether we are applauded or condemned. We have to underline the equal worth of every child, every woman, every civilian in a world that is increasingly polarised and if we don’t do that, what’s the point of us?”

Read more …

Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) won bigly in the elections. But he’s considered unacceptable as prime minister. Bring on the deep state!

Netherlands’ Ex-Intelligence Chief To Be Next Prime Minister (Sp.)

Former Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service Director-General Dick Schoof has acknowledged that he had been asked to be the next prime minister of the Netherlands, The NL Times has reported. Dutch media reported on Tuesday that the new Dutch coalition government, which includes the Party for Freedom (PVV), the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the New Social Contract party (NSC) and the Farmer-Citizen Movement party (BBB), planned to nominate Schoof as the next Dutch prime minister. The report said on Tuesday that Schoof, 67, is likely to take office on June 26. The newspaper cited the ex-intelligence chief as saying that he plans to be a leader for the entire country and remain “partyless” while in office. The prime minister is traditionally chosen as a member of the largest party in a coalition, which is currently the PVV led by Geert Wilders, the newspaper reported, adding that Schoof said he will not be “dragged to an extremist stance.”

“For me, this is a very intense moment. I never would have expected to be asked; to stand here is an honor. It’s very special, and I’m well-aware that the prime minister of the Netherlands is an intense job,” the report quoted Schoof as telling a press briefing. Dutch broadcaster RTL Nieuws reported in mid-May, citing sources, that former Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk, who acted as a mediator at the beginning of negotiations on the current coalition, could be the most likely candidate for the post of prime minister. Plasterk was the minister of the interior and kingdom relations in the second cabinet of incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte from 2012 to 2017 and served as the minister of education, culture and science in the cabinet of then-Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende from 2007 to 2010. However, the official announced earlier in May that he was not ready to lead the new Dutch government.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

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Affection
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Home Forums Debt Rattle May 30 2024

Viewing 6 posts - 41 through 46 (of 46 total)
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  • #160041
    poppie
    Participant

    Just sharing. I had “bronchitis ” around 1968. Again around 1986. Then my adult son visited in Oct 2019 and gave it to me again. Same all 3 times. Deep in lungs. Long lasting. I was forced to vax or lose my job when it bloomed into the Covid horseshit. I consider myself lucky I got it before the vax. Clearly not the flu but not novel. There are some papers that got suppressed like everything else that show that the various coronavirus will suppress other coronavirus. So the absence of flu is at least 2 reasons. Known coronavirus behavior and lying.

    #160042
    zerosum
    Participant

    Poor Trump hear, “Guilty as charge”,
    Why … Becoming a politician and telling a White lie to get elected.
    This will be the end of democracy.

    #160043
    those darned kids
    Participant

    omg, america is going to elect a convicted hushmoneyer!!!!!

    #160044
    WES
    Participant

    Just waiting for Joe to say he isn’t debating no convicted felon.
    Then congress removes Trump’s name from the presidential ballot.
    Then Rinos nominate Nicki at their convention.

    #160045
    zerosum
    Participant

    Dreamtime for all

    #160047
    SeaBirds
    Participant

    WES
    How about Vivek for Trump replacement?

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