Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Feb 052023
 
 February 5, 2023  Posted by at 10:07 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Edward Hopper Room in Brooklyn 1932

 

Russia To Achieve Goals Of Special Operation – Zakharova (TASS)
Putin Did Not Threaten Germany – Scholz (RT)
Chess Master Putin Is Moving Closer To Destroying The US Dollar (Macleod)
US Fails Miserably in Efforts to Isolate Russia (NC)
Moscow ‘Legitimate’ Target For Ukraine – MP (RT)
Ukraine ‘Will Burn’ If It Strikes Crimea – Medvedev (RT)
Pepe Escobar: Ukraine War is Desperate Move by US to Preserve Hegemony (SCF)
EU Sanctions Blocked Nord Stream Repairs – Company (RT)
Congress Set To Expose The Largest Censorship System In US History (Turley)
Critics Shrug as Musk Wins Major Victory in Court (Turley)
Cut The BS – NOW (Denninger)
The Good News About Vaccine Hesitancy (Atlantic)
Japanese Researchers Sue Government For Covering Up Vaccine Side Effects (GP)

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 

 

 

Tucker MT balloon

 

 

 

 

Maher

 

 

A shark can swim faster than me, but I can run faster than a shark.
So in a triathlon, it would all come down to who is the better cyclist.

 

 

 

 

“Western attempts are futile..”

Russia To Achieve Goals Of Special Operation – Zakharova (TASS)

Participants in the Ukraine-EU summit, held in Kiev on February 3, will be frustrated, as the goals of Russia’s special military operation will be achieved, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Saturday. “Western attempts are futile. As the Russian leadership has reiterated, the goals and objectives of the special military operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine will be achieved in full. All the participants in the February 3 gathering in Kiev will be bitterly disappointed. They will have to be accountable also to their own population, at the expense of which the bloody geopolitical game ‘to the last Ukrainian’ waged by the West is being funded,” the diplomat said.

According to Zakharova, the recent event was yet further proof that “for the sake of weakening Russia and serving the hegemonic aspirations of the United States and NATO,” the European Union proceeds with its unconditional support of the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev. “By promising a EU prospect in violation of its own standard requirements for EU candidates and by declaring ‘common values’ shared with it, the European Union is condoning the all-out persecution of dissent, the trampling of freedom of speech and expression, the flagrant violation of linguistic and confessional rights in Ukraine,” the diplomat said. “Nevertheless, in the summit’s joint statement they cynically ‘reiterated’ the commitment to full respect for ‘the rights of persons belonging to minorities’. This totally overrides those principles on which the EU was once built,” she stressed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman pointed out that no less hypocritical were the EU representatives’ calls for peace when they pledged readiness to invest in military action to be continued “for as long as it takes”. “Twelve billion euros has already been allocated at the expense of European taxpayers. The beefed-up funding for the conflict, more shipments of weapons and equipment, more training camps, and more training programs for the Ukrainian armed forces – all of these will result in more casualties in the conflict, including among civilians,” Zakharova continued. According to the diplomat, under these circumstances, the attempts to launch the process of creating any quasi-structures to hold accountable for the Ukraine crisis are “absurd and immoral”.

“As they say, who are the judges? [Are they] those who cheated in the Minsk agreements, covered up the Kiev regime’s war crimes against civilians in Donbass since 2014, pumped weapons and money to Ukrainian criminals, and those who are trying to misappropriate Russian state assets and the money of our citizens?” she asked rhetorically. Zakharova stated that it was proved once again that the leadership of the European Union and its member countries had invested all political, financial and military means into deploying the front to Ukraine against the establishment of a multipolar world order, which was firmly advocated by Russia and the majority of the world community.

Zakharova

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Scholz plays both sides.

Putin Did Not Threaten Germany – Scholz (RT)

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has claimed a “consensus” was reached with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that Kiev will not use Western weapons, including German Leopard tanks, to stage attacks on Russian territory. The West, however, still considers Crimea and four other new Russian regions to be part of Ukraine. In an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper published on Saturday night, chancellor Scholz once again pinned all the blame for the conflict on Moscow, arguing that Russia’s “unprovoked aggression” justified the collective West’s intervention with military aid to protect the “European peace order.” “Together with our allies, we are giving battle tanks to Ukraine so that they can defend themselves,” Scholz argued. He added that Berlin “carefully weighed every arms shipment, closely coordinating… first and foremost with America.”

Scholz pledged 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine from the Bundeswehr’s own stocks last month, after the US promised to send some of its own M1 Abrams tanks sometime later this year. In the interview, the German leader dismissed any concerns about his country’s weaponry once again being used against Russian soldiers as “abstruse historical comparisons.” At a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of victory at the Battle of Stalingrad on Thursday, Russian President Putin said it was “unbelievable, but true – we are once again threatened with German Leopard tanks, with crosses on their hull. And once again seeking to battle Russia in Ukraine with the help of Hitler’s followers, the Banderites.” “Those seeking to defeat Russia on the battlefield apparently do not realize that a modern war with Russia would be entirely different for them,” he added, promising a response that goes beyond armored vehicles.

“No, Putin didn’t threaten me or Germany,” Scholz said about their phone conversations with the Russian leader, when the interviewer brought up recent claims by Britain’s ex-Prime Minister. The Kremlin said Boris Johnson had either deliberately lied about a “missile threat” or simply didn’t understand what Putin was talking about. Further justifying Western arms shipments to Ukraine, Scholz said there was a “consensus” that these weapons will only be used on “Ukrainian territory,” when asked if there was any kind of “agreement” on that with President Vladimir Zelensky. He did not elaborate on which territory he considered to be Ukrainian. The US also allegedly provided its military aid to Ukraine on condition that it is not used to strike targets in Russia.

However, American officials have said this restriction does not apply to Crimea and the other new Russian territories, and repeatedly stated that Kiev was free to pick its own targets. Crimea and the city of Sevastopol joined Russia in 2014, while the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, did the same last year. Kiev dismissed referendums in which people living in those territories voted for the move as a “sham.” On Wednesday, President Putin tasked the military with “eliminating any possibility” of Ukrainian strikes against Russia. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov clarified that includes the territories that Ukraine still considers to be its own, saying that Moscow will “push back” the Ukrainian troops to a range at which they will not be a threat, and that “the longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved.”

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“..Germany has a strong manufacturing ethos, benefitting from access to Russian resources, markets for its products, and through Russia renewed access and cooperation with China..”

Chess Master Putin Is Moving Closer To Destroying The US Dollar (Macleod)

There were several claims as to who the Father of a United Europe was, but the version which triumphed was authorised by the American Committee on United Europe (ACUE), which was set up in 1948 by senior American intelligence figures from the CIA. Germany is still kowtowing to US intelligence seventy-five years later. But as the recent episode over Leopard tanks has shown, there is some resistance to this status quo. We also know that other Germans at high levels have been unhappy with the ECB’s monetary regime. Jens Weidmann, who resigned as President of the Bundesbank in October 2021, is not the only critic of monetary policy, though the Bundesbank now appears to have been purged of critics of the ECB.

Therefore, there are two issues holding back Germany. It has been forced to abandon its sound money principals, and to cut itself off from its natural markets in Asia. But a resumption of NATO backed hostilities will throw Germany’s suppression by the US political and military establishments into sharp relief. Chancellor Scholtz will know that Russia is highly unlikely to be easily defeated. If anything, this forthcoming NATO venture is the western alliance’s final desperate throw of the dice. And despite NATO, Scholtz must keep his options open. If against all alliance propaganda NATO fails to win in Ukraine, Russia consolidates its position, and Putin remains as a strong Russian leader, Germany must be prepared for a political accommodation with Russia.

It is not only a question of geographical proximity, but Germany has a strong manufacturing ethos, benefitting from access to Russian resources, markets for its products, and through Russia renewed access and cooperation with China. Clearly, Germany’s commercial ethos has more in common with the industrial revolution being planned by the Asian axis and their emerging plans for sound money than it has with most of her EU partners. If only Germany was free of US political control, in time she could establish a new Hanseatic League, a trade corridor from Eastern Europe encompassing the Baltics and Netherlands. It is considerations of this sort that must make the US establishment determined to not release its grip over Germany and the wider EU.

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“..most of these countries have faced unprecedented pressure from the US but have instead ignored the declining power..”

US Fails Miserably in Efforts to Isolate Russia (NC)

“If Russia does not end this war and get out of Ukraine, it will be isolated on a small island with a bunch of sub countries and the rest of us 141 countries will go forward and build a prosperous future, while Russia suffers a complete economic and technological isolation…” -Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and chief architect of NATO war against Russia, in a March 2022 interview with TASS. Nuland has failed miserably. Instead, Russia’s economy is growing, and the inability to isolate Russia is arguably a larger loss than the one NATO is suffering in Ukraine. Last week The New York Times finally got around to admitting the isolation efforts have failed: “Silverado Policy Accelerator, a Washington nonprofit, recently issued a similar analysis, estimating that the value of Russian imports from the rest of the world had exceeded prewar levels by September.”

It marks quite the change in script. Consider this sampling of headlines from the past year: “Russia’s isolation from global markets is withering its economy and will wreck its status as an energy superpower, experts say” – Business Insider. “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will knock 30 years of progress off the Russian economy” – CNBC. “Another Nail In The Coffin Of The Russian Economy” – Forbes. “War against Ukraine has left Russia isolated and struggling — with more tumult ahead” – NPR. “A New Iron Curtain Is Falling: The isolation of the Russian economy is striking in its speed and scope” New York Times.

It’s been clear that this has never been the case. US allies Japan and South Korea remain unwilling to cut off energy ties to Russia. Chinese and Russian economic integration has grown, as have ties between Moscow and the Persian Gulf states. The US has been particularly frustrated by two countries that have been key to Russia’s economic resiliency: Türkiye and India. Washington has been unable to get Ankara and New Delhi to join the sanctions party, and it’s not for a lack of trying. What the Times’ piece leaves unsaid is that most of these countries have faced unprecedented pressure from the US but have instead ignored the declining power.

The US neocons continue to double down, however, lashing out in increasingly desperate attempts to achieve the Russian isolation they want. How much will they isolate the US in the process? They’ve long enjoyed creating chaos elsewhere while benefiting from the safety of two oceans. Will that geography play a part in their lasting gift to Americans: the cementing of the US into a backwater nation, effectively quarantined from the economic engine in Asia due to its untrustworthy and aggressive behavior?

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NATO seeks escalation. Ukraine volunteers.

Moscow ‘Legitimate’ Target For Ukraine – MP (RT)

Kiev’s forces will not hold back when it comes to hitting locations inside Russia, according to Fyodor Venislavsky, a member of the Ukrainian parliament’s National Security, Defense and Intelligence Committee. Speaking to Germany’s Bild tabloid on Saturday, he also described Moscow as a “legitimate military target.” Anyone who believes that Kiev should commit to not using the arms supplied by its Western backers in attacks on Russian territory are living in a “parallel world,” claimed Venislavsky, who is also Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s representative in the Constitutional Court.

Venislavsky insisted that any munitions depots as well as other military facilities on the territory of Russia are “legitimate military targets,” adding that the same goes for Moscow. The Russian capital is the country’s most populous city, with around 13 million people, according to official data. Moscow hosts the General Staff headquarters as well as Russia’s National Defense Management Center, which are both in the city center. Venislavsky stressed that he has no issue with Ukraine potentially attacking any command center in the Russian capital.

The MP did not say whether Kiev already has specific plans regarding targets, adding that it was for the Ukrainian military leadership to decide whether to strike locations inside Russia, including Moscow. Venislavsky’s remarks come a day after the Pentagon announced it was supplying Kiev with ground-launched small diameter bombs (GLSDB) – munitions consisting of a rocket motor and an airplane bomb, with a range of up to 150km (93 miles). It is unclear if Kiev has obtained any weapons capable of striking Moscow, since the capital lies some 500km (310 miles) away from Russia’s nearest border with Ukraine. Washington previously stated that it would not prevent Kiev from using the new weapons to strike targets deep within Russia.

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“I can assure you a response would be swift, hard and convincing.”

Ukraine ‘Will Burn’ If It Strikes Crimea – Medvedev (RT)

Washington’s decision to supply Ukraine with longer-range missiles and allow Kiev to use them at will can only lead to further escalation, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev warned on Saturday. He said the US appears not to want the Ukraine conflict to end. Strikes against the Crimean peninsula will not force Moscow to sit down at the negotiating table, the former president said. “The result would be exactly the contrary. There would be no talks in such a case. There would only be retaliatory strikes,” he warned in an interview with Russian journalist Nadana Fridrikhson. Medvedev insisted that if Washington wanted peace in Ukraine, it could simply urge Kiev to engage in talks with Moscow, but that US President Joe Biden’s administration and “hawks” in Congress are “simply not interested in it.”

Russia could “retaliate in any way possible” should Ukrainian forces strike targets in Crimea or deep inside Russian territory, the former president warned. “We do not set any limits depending on the nature of threats, and are ready to use all types of weapons,” he insisted, adding that Russia would only be guided by its own doctrines, including the nuclear one. “I can assure you a response would be swift, hard and convincing.” Medvedev also accused European leaders, who have been supporting Kiev through means including weapon shipments, of acting at the behest of Washington and to the detriment of their own people. The cost of sanctions, military aid to Ukraine, trade wars, and embargoes are borne by ordinary EU citizens, he added.

Medvedev’s remarks came a day after the Pentagon announced it was supplying Kiev with ground-launched small diameter bombs (GLSDB) – munitions consisting of a rocket motor and an airplane bomb, with a range of up to 150 kilometers. According to US Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, Washington will not prevent Ukraine from using these munitions to strike targets deep within Russia. Moscow has repeatedly warned that providing heavy weapons to Ukraine could see the US and its allies directly involved in the conflict, and spiral into a military standoff between Russia and NATO.

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“..The vast majority of the planet wants liberation from the U.S./Western warmongering system that underpins capitalist exploitation that only enriches a global elite..”

Pepe Escobar: Ukraine War is Desperate Move by US to Preserve Hegemony (SCF)

The war in Ukraine is not just about Ukraine and Russia with the U.S. and NATO acting as seemingly benevolent supporters of Ukraine, as the Western media portray. The United States and its NATO allies are deeply involved in the conflict. The military withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 – after 20 years of futile occupation – was a calculated “reorganization of firepower” against Russia, says Pepe Escobar. Ukraine is merely a proxy and ultimately cannon fodder for American imperial planners. This war is part of a bigger geopolitical confrontation between the U.S. and Russia, China and other nations that are pushing for the emergence of a multipolar world. That is a multipolar world no longer under the hegemony of U.S.-dominated Western capitalism. Pepe Escobar assesses the bigger picture and outlines how the U.S. imperial state is in “panic mode” to shore up the collapsing American-controlled global capitalist system, and in particular the privileged position of the U.S. dollar.


Going to war with Russia presently and in the longer term against China is part of the desperate dynamic to prolong the dominant position of Washington that was established after the Second World War. That postwar imperial order – euphemistically called the “rules-based order” – is increasingly falling into disrepute from unbridled imperialist wars and abuse of financial controls. The vast majority of the planet wants liberation from the U.S./Western warmongering system that underpins capitalist exploitation that only enriches a global elite. The war in Ukraine is but the manifestation of the breakdown in U.S. global power and the desperation to preserve the systematic inequality that defines capitalism. This year is fraught with extreme danger, says Pepe Escobar. But if the psychotic U.S. deep-state planners can be contained by Russia and China without an all-out catastrophic war erupting then there is a chance of a more hopeful, peaceful and just world order emerging.

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“The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that work on the pipelines would be in breach of the Norwegian sanction regulations – and by extension the EU sanction regulations..”

EU Sanctions Blocked Nord Stream Repairs – Company (RT)

Norway’s Equinor on Wednesday revealed that it was the government in Oslo and EU sanctions that blocked it from responding to a request for assistance in dealing with the damage to Nord Stream pipelines. The Baltic Sea pipelines delivering Russian natural gas to Germany were damaged by sabotage in September, which Moscow blamed on the West. “The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that work on the pipelines would be in breach of the Norwegian sanction regulations – and by extension the EU sanction regulations,” Equinor said a statement emailed to Reuters. Equinor is the Norwegian oil company that administers the Pipeline Repair and Subsea Intervention (PRSI) Pool, established by Oslo to deal with leaks and ruptures. The Swiss-based operators for Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 are among the 72 members of PRSI, and sent requests for assistance in October, shortly after both pipelines were damaged by undersea explosions.

Because PRSI “adheres to current legislation related to sanctions,” it “notified NS1 and NS2 (operators) that we were not able to do work as requested,” Equinor said in the statement. Nord Stream 2 AG told Reuters that it had filed a request for support to inspect the damage, “as a full member of the PRSI Pool,” but was turned down. Its sister company, which operates the original Nord Stream, said in early October that the survey vessel it attempted to charter was waiting for permission from the Norwegian government. The original Nord Stream was inaugurated in 2011, and supplied Russian natural gas to Germany and the rest of the EU while bypassing Ukraine and Poland. The second pipeline, which would have doubled the volume of gas deliveries, was finished in 2021 but Berlin refused to certify it for operations even before the conflict in Ukraine escalated. The US had sought to block the second pipeline’s construction with sanctions and vowed it would prevent it from becoming operational.

On September 26, 2022 both strings of NS1 and one string of NS2 were damaged in a series of powerful undersea explosions. As NS1 was pressurized at the time, a large quantity of gas was released into the Baltic Sea. Washington insinuated that Moscow was behind the blasts, while Russia pointed the finger at the West for the “act of terrorism.” Sweden, Denmark and Germany launched an investigation into the explosion, but refused to share the results with Russia. Anonymous EU officials have since leaked to the US media that there was “no evidence” to suggest Moscow was behind the sabotage. Russia’s energy company Gazprom was allowed access to the site only once, in late October. While the German gas company Uniper has estimated it would take 6-12 months to repair the pipelines, it is unclear whether Berlin even wants to do so.

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“Despite the push for censorship by some politicians and pundits, most Americans still want free-speech protections. It is in our DNA.”

Congress Set To Expose The Largest Censorship System In US History (Turley)

For years, many politicians and pundits have dismissed free-speech concerns by noting that the First Amendment only applies to the government. So long as corporations do the censoring, they contend, it is not a free-speech problem. This obviously is wrong on several fronts. The First Amendment is not the exclusive measure of free speech. Corporate censorship of political commentaries or news stories are denials of free speech that harm our democratic system. Second, this is a First Amendment violation. The Twitter files have substantiated long-standing concerns over “censorship by surrogate” or proxy. As with other amendments like the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches or seizures, the government cannot use private agents to do indirectly what it cannot do directly. Just as a police officer cannot direct a security guard to break into an apartment and conduct a search, the FBI cannot use Twitter to censor Americans.

To be fair, there were occasions when Twitter reportedly balked at government demands for raw political censorship — in one case, a demand by Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Cal.) led a frustrated Twitter censor to object that “We don’t do this.” Nevertheless, Twitter’s management certainly now seems to admit that the company worked as an agent of the FBI and carried out most demands for social media suspensions, removals or blocks of individuals. At the same time, the FBI pushed for closer collaboration on content removal. We do not know the full extent of this operation or its impact, but Congress should want to know if the FBI and other agencies created a system of censorship-by-surrogate. The only reason we now have Twitter’s previously secret communications is because an eccentric billionaire bought the company.

The broader effort with other companies could well constitute the largest censorship program ever run by the government — a system designed to escape both public and judicial scrutiny. It also shows how it is no longer necessary to have a “Ministry of Information” to maintain a state media: You can have an effective state media by consent rather than by coercion or control. The FBI’s response to disclosure of these long-secret communications is particularly chilling. When some critics denounced it as raw censorship, the FBI accused them of being “conspiracy theorists … feeding the American public misinformation.” So, criticism of the FBI’s work to censor citizens resulted in an official statement denouncing those citizens. None of these denials or attacks succeed, however. The public understands the threat and strongly supports an investigation into the FBI’s role in censoring social media. Despite the push for censorship by some politicians and pundits, most Americans still want free-speech protections. It is in our DNA.

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“..This unhinged campaign against Musk is being led by the same anti-free speech figures that long supported censorship..”

Critics Shrug as Musk Wins Major Victory in Court (Turley)

For months, media has been relishing the investor lawsuit against Elon Musk, who became persona non grata when he moved to restore free speech protections on Twitter. Coverage spoke of Musk losing billions in the lawsuit while others speculated that Musk might be “setting himself up to lose Tesla.” Not yet. Not only are stock prices up for Tesla, but Musk just won a unanimous verdict in the investor trial. The reaction to the trial has been a shrug from critics as they continue to try to hammer Musk into submission. It does not appear to be working. A jury found Elon Musk not liable for losses of investors due to a series of tweets saying he had “secured” funding to take the electric car maker private. They deliberated for less than two hours. Musk personally testified at the trial and noted that he was relying on a handshake agreement in 2018 with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.


The verdict is a buzz kill for the alliance of media, political, and business interests against Musk. Critics of his effort to restore free speech protections on Twitter have pressured advertisers while celebrities have publicly renounced their own Teslas. The very thought of allowing opposing views on issues from Covid to climate change to elections appears intolerable for many in politics and the media. The public itself, however, has consistently supported the effort to restore the protections and Twitter has experienced a sharp increase in users. That success, however, has only led figures like Hillary Clinton to call on foreign governments to censor fellow citizens. This unhinged campaign against Musk is being led by the same anti-free speech figures that long supported censorship. That is precisely why Musk may be the only person who could have fought this fight. While these figures and companies have a long history of forcing others into compliance, Musk has proven the immovable object in the face of this seemingly irresistible force.

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The balloon is boring me.

Cut The BS – NOW (Denninger)

Nobody launches a “balloon” of that sort of size and mass without a means of “de-orbiting” it should it veer out of its expected flight envelope or on command. I don’t care if China intended it to enter our airspace or not (although I will assume they did); they most certainly had the ability to prevent it from doing so by sending it a command to come down before it did so. They didn’t do that, on purpose. Period, end of discussion, full stop. The United States has full authority under both US and International law to shoot it down and did from the point at which it entered our EEZ’s airspace. We did not have to wait and there is utterly no excuse for our failure to destroy it before it crossed over into the United States.

Nobody has the right to enter the airspace of a nation without permission. If you do it as a manned aircraft you can be forced down and, if you refuse to land, destroyed. An unmanned device, which this clearly is, can be destroyed without warning. Something of that size and lifting capacity could easily have a thermonuclear warhead on board. Detonation of such at that height would produce minimal direct damage however nothing prevents the device from rapidly descending first and then exploding at, for example, 2 miles of altitude. Oh, they’d never do that? Sorry, that’s not how it works. An unannounced and uncleared incursion by a heavy-lift air vehicle capable of carrying such a device must be presumed to have one on board with intent to use it.

There are no “do overs” if you get this wrong. Our military is derelict in permitting this craft into our airspace and our so-called “civilian leadership” is either incompetent or deliberately in league with the Chinese. Either way both must be removed and destroyed, replacing same with functional entities. The Pentagon appears to be more-concerned with what pronouns some “soldier” wants to use than whether a potential nuclear device is floating over several of our major cities and a decent part of our nuclear missile silos inventory. We are a sovereign nation and its damn time we started acting like one.

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Just wow. The Atlantic. The only problem is not more people get vaxxed.

The Good News About Vaccine Hesitancy (Atlantic)

The world has just seen the largest vaccination campaign in history. At least 13 billion COVID shots have been administered—more injections, by a sweeping margin, than there are human beings on the Earth. In the U.S. alone, millions of lives have been saved by a rollout of extraordinary scope. More than three-fifths of the population elected to receive the medicine even before it got its full approval from the FDA. Yet the legacy of this achievement appears to be in doubt. Just look at where the country is right now. In Florida, the governor—a likely Republican presidential candidate—openly pursues the politics of vaccine resistance and denial . In Ohio, kids are getting measles . In New York, polio is back . A football player nearly died on national TV, and fears about vaccines fanned across the internet .

Vaccinologists, pediatricians, and public-health experts routinely warn that confidence is wavering for every kind of immunization , and worry that it may collapse in years to come. In other words, America is mired in a paradoxical and pessimistic moment. “We’ve just had a national vaccination campaign that has exceeded almost all previous efforts in a dramatic fashion,” says Noel Brewer, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina who has been studying decision making about vaccines for more than 20 years, “and people are talking about vaccination as if there’s something fundamentally wrong.” It’s more than talk. Americans are arguing, Americans are worrying, Americans are obsessing over vaccines; and that fixation has produced its own, pathological anxiety.

To fret about the state of public trust is rational: When vaccine adherence wobbles, lives are put in peril; in the midst of a pandemic, the mortal risk is even greater. More than 60 million Americans haven’t gotten a single COVID shot, and a few thousand deaths are attributed to the disease every week. But the scale of this concern—the measure of our instability—may be distorted by the heights to which we’ve climbed. Evidence that the nation has arrived at the brink of collapse does not hold up to scrutiny. No one knows where vaccination rates are really heading, and the coming crash is more an idea—a projection, even—than a certainty. The future of vaccination in America may be no worse than its recent past. In the end, it might be better.

The first alarms about a widespread vaccination crisis—the first suggestions that a leeriness of COVID shots had “ spread its tentacles into other diseases ”—were raised by clinicians. Megha Shah, a pediatrician with the Los Angeles public-health department, told me that she began to worry in the spring of 2021, while volunteering at a medical center. Two years earlier, she recalled, working there had been uneventful. She’d meet with parents—mostly from low-income Latino families—to discuss the standard vaccination schedule: Okay, here’s what we’re recommending for your child . This protects against this; that protects against that. The parents would ask a couple of questions, and she’d answer them. The child would be immunized, almost every time. But in the middle of the COVID-vaccine rollout, she found that those conversations were playing out differently. “Oh, I’m just not sure,” she said some parents told her. Or, “I need to talk this over with my partner.”

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When will US and EU follow suit?

Japanese Researchers Sue Government For Covering Up Vaccine Side Effects (GP)

During a press conference, a team of Japanese researchers led by Professor Masanori Fukushima stated their intention to sue the Japanese government if the Health Ministry continues to refuse to acknowledge the causal link between the vaccine and deaths. “Around April last year, the pathology and forensics societies have already issued a statement that in the future, an autopsy should be done on people who have died after vaccination,” said Prof. Fukushima. “In the future, we need to urgently establish guidelines on what kind of medical treatment should be provided for victims injured by vaccines, and we need to develop diagnostic techniques.”According to Fukushima, Japan’s Health Ministry won’t acknowledge the causal link between the vaccine and deaths.

The Japanese researchers threatened the government that additional lawsuits would be filed for the COVID vaccine harm cover-up.“One more thing, pathological autopsies have already been conducted on people who died after receiving the vaccine. However, the Health Ministry is still unwilling to acknowledge the causal link between the vaccine and the deaths. If the health ministry maintains this unjustified position, we intend to file additional lawsuits in consultation with our lawyers,” said Fukushima “We demand the Health Ministry provides appropriate victim compensation based on the vaccination law. In other words, the victim is compensated based on the vaccination law that is properly stipulated by Japanese law,” he continued.

When asked by a reporter on what he would say to medical professionals who provide vaccines to patients, he responded:”I want to say one thing very clearly to the Health Ministry in addition to the medical professionals. They should distribute a Vaccination Victim’s Handbook to everyone who has been vaccinated. The Vaccination Victim’s Handbook is similar to the Atomic Bomb Victim’s Handbook, which is distributed to survivors of atomic bombs. After distributing the vaccination victims handbook to vaccinated people, medical institutions should be encouraged to properly follow up with vaccinated people. It is necessary to examine whether there is a link between the disease and the vaccine. Biopsy tests should be performed on sick people suspected a vaccine-induced illness.”

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Visual effects

 

 


In 2015, photographer Atif Saeed captured this intense photograph of a male lion moments before it launched an attack on him. He narrowly escaped with this incredible shot of a face-to-face with a lion about to kill.

 

 

King

 

 

 

 

Hug

 

 

U2

 

 

 

 

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Feb 042023
 


Henri Matisse Olive trees at Collioure 1906

 

Building A New World Order Is Now An Existential Issue For Russia (Trenin)
US-China War By 2025: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (Fomenko)
Pentagon Allows Ukraine To Fire Long-range Missiles At Will (RT)
Russia Responds To Latest US ‘Escalation’ (RT)
From Imperial Failures to Imperial Excuses (Batiushka)
UK MIlitary Could Run Out Of Ammo In Single Afternoon – Ex-commander (RT)
Serbia Names ‘Greatest’ Mistake By West (RT)
RAND Gets It, Sort Of (Helmholtz Smith)
The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t (Schryver)
Sanctions On Russian Oil Not Working – Analysts (RT)
Lose-Lose (Jim Kunstler)
Republicans to Force Nancy Pelosi to Testify About Jan 6 (TP)
Musk Wins Lawsuit Over ‘Funding Secured’ Tweet (ZH)
Thai Princess Coma Mystery – World Expert Says It’s A Covid Jab Injury (DTNZ)
Biden Announces U.S. Surrender To Chinese Balloon (BBee)

 

 

 

 

OH SH*T, HERE WE GO (MacGregor)

 

 

 

 

What Becomes of NATO After The Loss In Ukraine

 

 

 

 

Trump Ukraine

 

 

 

 

“..a defeat – if it is hypothetically possible – could provoke a destabilization of the country, accompanied by the disintegration of Russian statehood.”

Building A New World Order Is Now An Existential Issue For Russia (Trenin)

Let us begin by assessing the current situation. One effect of the conflict has already been a fundamental change in the external environment in which Russia finds itself. Its political relations with the collective West, and its allies, have become openly hostile and the armed conflict in Ukraine is a proxy war by the West against Russia. Economic relations with this part of the world have been permanently undermined and are shrinking like Mars bars. Cultural, scientific, sporting and humanitarian ties have been severely curtailed, the information war has reached maximum intensity, and the Iron Curtain in Europe has been rebuilt – this time by the West. However, Russia is not completely isolated. It maintains and develops partnerships in many areas with the world’s new centers of power, and other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

This part of the world community includes most of the world’s states, where the majority of the human population lives and where more than half of the global economy is concentrated. It can rightly be called a world majority with the clear understanding, of course, that this majority is not a bloc and that its members are not allies of Russia. They are guided primarily by national interests and are deeply integrated into the global economy and the Western-centric institutions that serve it, which significantly limits interaction with Moscow. The dramatic shift in the external cycle has led to profound changes within Russia. The old model of mainly exporting raw materials and importing technology no longer works. The political system, which was built on liberal American-French models and then adapted more or less successfully – in substance, not in form – to domestic traditions, is obviously in need of a profound overhaul.

The quasi-ideology of pragmatism and the cult of money, which dominated the country after the collapse of the USSR, proved to be flawed and harmful. In short, the end of the historical orientation towards integration with the Western world logically requires Russia to reorient itself. But what does this mean? To which “self”? Soviet, tsarist or otherwise? A prerequisite for Russia’s long-term strategy is victory in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The most important criterion for such a victory is a state that is guaranteed not to lead to a renewed war after some time. On the contrary, a defeat – if it is hypothetically possible – could provoke a destabilization of the country, accompanied by the disintegration of Russian statehood. The stakes for Russia in the current conflict are therefore existential and fundamentally higher than those of the US and its allies. This in itself is a factor working in Russia’s favor, but it certainly does not guarantee its success.

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“..It also sees the competition catching up, however, and is ready to use all means necessary, and to take massive risks, to prevent the rise of rival powers. ”

US-China War By 2025: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (Fomenko)

American Four-Star General Mike Minihan, head of the US Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) believes the US and China will go to war by 2025. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan reportedly wrote in a memo to his officers, obtained by media outlets. The message instructs AMC personnel to train and get their affairs in order so that they are “legally ready and prepared.” This prediction is the most direct and blunt yet from an American official on the prospect of a potential conflict between the US and China, besides President Joe Biden’s indications that the US would intervene on the side of Taiwan if China invaded.

Of course, Minihan is not a policymaker, and the memo is not an official statement of US military policy towards China. But the influence of the US military and by extension, the military-industrial complex, on US foreign policymaking and on the mood in Washington in general, should not be underestimated. The reality is, especially as seen in Ukraine, that the risk of a major-power conflict is arguably at the highest it has ever been since the end of World War II or the height of the Cold War. That is because the US sees itself as a rightful and permanent global hegemon. It also sees the competition catching up, however, and is ready to use all means necessary, and to take massive risks, to prevent the rise of rival powers. As such, the US and China risk falling into the so-called, “Thucydides Trap,” which is described as “an apparent tendency towards war when an emerging power threatens to displace an existing great power as a regional or international hegemon”.

The current distribution of power in the world is described as “emerging multipolarity”. Following three decades of American unipolarity, when the US ruled unchallenged, a number of emerging powers are changing the international order. Multipolarity differs from “bipolarity,” where two powers compete for hegemony, the best known example being the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. While bipolarity brings a form of stability, as the military capabilities of both powers are evenly matched and the stakes of a potential conflict are extremely high, history shows multipolarity typically brings instability as it creates an insecure, unpredictable, and competitive international environment. The world of 1914, where a theatre of competing European powers scrambled for international dominance, ultimately combusted into the First World War. As competing world powers expanded their imperialist ambitions, they sought to contain others by forming alliances and starting arms races.

Sounds familiar? It should. Today’s world has some disturbing parallels. The US – an insecure hegemon whose relative power is diminishing as other world powers emerge – is desperately seeking to degrade, undermine and contain its rivals by triggering arms races and expanding alliance systems. Already, the focus on expanding NATO has provoked the conflict in Ukraine, but worse still, the Biden administration is actively seeking to expand that model to East Asia against China, in the form of blocs such as the Quad and AUKUS.

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“..Moscow will “push back” the Ukrainian troops to a range at which they will not be a threat.”

Pentagon Allows Ukraine To Fire Long-range Missiles At Will (RT)

It is up to the government in Kiev to decide how to use the new rockets for the US-supplied HIMARS launchers, the Pentagon said on Friday, confirming that the latest batch of munitions the American taxpayers are funding will include Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB).The Boeing-manufactured munitions consist of a rocket motor mated with an airplane bomb, with an estimated range of up to 150 kilometers. While Friday’s announcement listed “additional ammunition” for the HIMARS and “precision-guided rockets,” Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder told reporters that this indeed included the GLSDB, confirming the information leaked to Reuters earlier this week. Ryder also confirmed that the US won’t stand in the way of Ukrainians using the missiles to strike deep inside Russia.

“When it comes to Ukrainian plans on operations, clearly that is their decision. They are in the lead for those,” he said on Friday. “So, I’m not going to talk about or speculate about potential future operations, but again, all along, we’ve been working with them to provide them with capabilities that will enable them to be effective on the battlefield.” The GLDSB are produced by Boeing in cooperation with Swedish Saab AB, and combine the GBU-39 small-diameter bomb with the M26 rocket motor. It was unclear how many of the munitions the Pentagon intended to send, or whether they would come from the US military stockpile or need to be freshly produced. Reuters claimed to have seen a Boeing document saying the first deliveries could be “as early as spring 2023.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg cited unnamed officials who said the timeline could be as long as nine months, depending on when the US Air Force issues the contract. Bloomberg also reported the GLSDB order would account for $200 million of the $1.75 billion in the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding, referring to contracts for weapons and ammunition not coming out of the Pentagon stockpile. Whenever the missiles actually arrive, Russia has already hinted at how it will respond. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin tasked the military with “eliminating any possibility” of Ukrainian artillery strikes on Russian territory. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Thursday that Moscow will “push back” the Ukrainian troops to a range at which they will not be a threat. “The longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved,” Lavrov said.

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“the longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved.”

Russia Responds To Latest US ‘Escalation’ (RT)

The decision to supply Ukraine with longer-range missiles marks a “deliberate escalation” by the United States, Russia’s ambassador to Washington has said, warning that Moscow would not tolerate strikes on Russian cities. In a statement on Friday evening, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov commented on the latest round of US military aid approved for Ukraine earlier in the day, which is set to include Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB) – munitions with an operational range of 93 miles (150 kilometers). “Washington sees no boundaries in seeking to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. The transfer of increasingly powerful weapons to the Kiev regime is a deliberate escalation of the conflict by the United States,” he said, adding “Any attempt to harm the Russian Federation is doomed to failure. The sooner the United States realizes this, the sooner the current conflict will end.”

Though the Pentagon did not mention the GLSDB by name in announcing the weapons transfer, Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder later confirmed that it would be included in the next round of aid, also noting that US officials would not stop Kiev from using the missiles to strike inside Russia. Fired from the US-supplied HIMARS missile launcher, the GLSDB is among the longest-range weapons authorized for Kiev to date, and could theoretically reach targets deep within Russian territory. Antonov went on to say the United States is “de facto inciting its proteges to attack Russian regions,” arguing that Moscow makes no distinction between newer territories which voted to join the Russian Federation last year and other Russian lands.

“For us there is no difference when we talk about a possible attack by Kiev criminals on the Zaporozhye or Bryansk regions, the Crimea or the Smolensk region,” he continued. Though the new weapons could take up to nine months to reach the Ukrainian battlefield, Russia has already suggested how it might react, with President Vladimir Putin ordering the military to eliminate “any possibility” of Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory earlier this week. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, said Russian forces would repel Ukrainian soldiers to a distance from which they would not pose a threat, declaring: “the longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved.”

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“..Only through such a crushing defeat for Western hubris can further crazy adventures, including nuclear ones, be avoided.”

From Imperial Failures to Imperial Excuses (Batiushka)

Western support for the Ukraine, the most corrupt country in Europe, has done nothing for America’s authority. It had already been undermined by war crimes, water-boarding, economic decline, a drugs epidemic, mass shootings, a trashed health system for 40 million in poverty and military debacles from Vietnam to Afghanistan. The ‘regime changes’, assassinations, electoral frauds, black propaganda (also called PR), massacres, torture in global black sites, proxy wars and military interventions carried out by the United States since 1945 have resulted in over 20 million dead and planetary revulsion for U.S. imperialism. ‘Yanks go home’. Blood lies on the US. Did they really expect to get away with this?

The conflict in the Ukraine is effectively World War III, or if you prefer, World War I, Part III. A proxy hot war between Washington and Moscow. Yes, the military phase is local, having started between Russia and the Ukraine in 2014. But the repercussions for Russia are enormous. They mark the end of a 300-year period when Russia was enamoured with the West. Now Western deceit means that Russians have lost their illusions and naivety for ever. Now Russia will fight on until the Armed Forces of Ukraine and all those who took up arms and have been fighting Russians for almost nine years are no longer a threat to anyone. The Kiev Army will be routed and Russia will return to its roots of over 300 years ago.

However, the political and economic repercussions for the Western world, held on a tight leash by its feudal US owner, are even more enormous: the end of the rule of the dollar. True, there are those who predict a second military phase between Iran and the US colony of Israel. And a third could be between China and the US, the pretext being the Chinese Ukraine, Taiwan. But nothing is certain. After the coming Russian victory in the Ukraine, all could still be averted, for that victory will be sobering for the Western world. This indeed is the last hope, that defeat here will at last bring the Western world back to its senses and reality. Only through such a crushing defeat for Western hubris can further crazy adventures, including nuclear ones, be avoided.

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“..British armed forces “are smaller and less ready to fight than at any time in living memory.”

UK MIlitary Could Run Out Of Ammo In Single Afternoon – Ex-commander (RT)

The UK could deplete its ammunition stocks in mere hours should it be drawn into large-scale fighting, a former British general warned on Thursday. This and other issues make the UK military unfit to be regarded as a “top tier” NATO member, he said. Retired General Richard Barrons, who formerly headed the UK’s Joint Forces Command, sounded the alarm in an op-ed published by The Sun in which he said the fighting force has been “hollowed out by spending cuts.” Barrons claimed that the British armed forces “are smaller and less ready to fight than at any time in living memory.” He also warned that the UK Army is on course to slip below 76,000 troops. However, even these service members often do not receive inadequate training, Barrons noted.

British tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery pieces mostly date to the previous century, while “years of cuts to ammunition production mean that, for some types of key weapons, the army would run out in a busy afternoon,” the general said. Barrons added that the Royal Navy and Air Force are “in better shape” and boast some “outstanding modern equipment,” but cautioned that without experienced personnel, ammunition, and spare parts they might turn out to be just a “glittering shop window” without much to show for it on the actual battlefield. The former commander said the UK should focus on Europe, arguing that the “tilt to Asia can wait.” He urged London to invest in modern capabilities, including drones, missiles, and cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.

Britain should also double its reserves to 60,000 troops, he said. Regarding Russia, Barrons estimated that to be able to handle a “surprise attack,” the British Army will need to spend “£3 billion ($3.67 billion) this year, and every year for the next ten years.” British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace admitted in the House of Commons on Monday that the military has been “hollowed out and underfunded.” His comments followed a Sky News report alleging that a top US general had told Wallace that British forces are “barely tier two” in terms of fighting capabilities.

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“..the West’s “biggest” political mistake because it effectively manages to “unite the Russians like never before.”

Serbia Names ‘Greatest’ Mistake By West (RT)

The West’s recent announcement that it would be supplying Ukraine with main battle tanks marks a major miscalculation, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday. That’s as Moscow has threatened to burn any Western equipment that enters Ukraine and has vowed to retaliate “far beyond the scope of armored vehicles.” Vucic noted that the decision to supply Ukraine with tanks, especially with the “terrifying” German Leopard 2s, is the West’s “biggest” political mistake because it effectively manages to “unite the Russians like never before.” Last month, Germany and the US agreed to provide a number of heavy tanks to Kiev. Washington has promised between 30 and 50 of its M1 Abrams tanks, while Berlin pledged 14 Leopard 2A6s from the Bunderswehr’s own stocks.

An additional 51 of the same model and 88 of the older Leopard 1 model may also come from Rheinmetall as they get refurbished, Germany said. Berlin also gave the green light to countries that have expressed a desire to export their own Leopards to Ukraine. Those include Poland, Finland, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands. The UK and Canada have also said they would be sending their heavy equipment to Kiev. The decision has been heavily criticized by Russia, which has called it an “extremely dangerous” move that threatens to escalate the conflict in Ukraine. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin likened the new threat of “German Leopard tanks with crosses on their hulls” to the Soviet Union’s struggle against Hitler’s forces and warned that Moscow’s response would not be limited to weapons.

Other countries have also voiced their concerns about the West’s move. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the delivery of NATO tanks to Ukraine was a “high-risk endeavor” that would fail to help end the conflict and only “line the pockets of gun barons.” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also slammed Germany’s decision, noting that these Western countries are “drifting” towards becoming active participants in the conflict. Orban has insisted that instead of arming Kiev, the West should be pursuing “a ceasefire and peace talks” in Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly objected to Western weapon deliveries to Ukraine, arguing that non-stop arms shipments only serve to prolong the conflict and risk direct confrontation with NATO. The Kremlin has also insisted that no amount of military aid will prevent Moscow from reaching its objectives and warned that the tanks would “burn like the rest of Western weapons” supplied to Kiev.

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“morally repugnant Russian invasion”, “international community”, “illegitimate and illegal”, “aggression”, “humanitarian reasons”, “international norms.”

RAND Gets It, Sort Of (Helmholtz Smith)

A few years ago RAND put out a report Overextending and Unbalancing Russia. “This brief summarizes a report that comprehensively examines nonviolent, cost-imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue across economic, political, and military areas to stress—overextend and unbalance— Russia’s economy and armed forces and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad.” One of the things recommended was exploiting Russia’s “greatest point of external vulnerability” by “providing lethal aid to Ukraine.” (Only someone as paranoid as Putin, of course, could see any hostility in this). Well, they did it and it’s time for a new RAND report – Avoiding a Long War.

To save you the bother of reading this trivial effort, I will summarize – they start with the usual posturing – “morally repugnant Russian invasion”, “international community”, “illegitimate and illegal”, “aggression”, “humanitarian reasons”, “international norms.” Then on to how Russia is losing – “Russia’s conventional capabilities have been decimated in Ukraine”, “the weakened state of Russia’s conventional military”, “It will take years, perhaps even decades, for the Russian military and economy to recover from the damage already incurred.” But, as you wade on, you begin to suspect that the authors aren’t as triumphant after all – perhaps victory is not quite so close “given the slowing pace of Ukraine’s counteroffensives in December 2022, restoring the pre-February 2022 line of control—let alone the pre-2014 territorial status quo—will take months and perhaps years to achieve” or even so certain “Continued conflict also leaves open the possibility that Russia will reverse Ukrainian battlefield gains made in fall 2022.”

The authors spend some space explaining why a long war is not to America’s advantage. So, RAND, they followed your advice but things aren’t going very well. Time to try and get out of it. “Since avoiding a long war is the highest priority after minimizing escalation risks, the United States should take steps that make an end to the conflict over the medium term more likely.”

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“..the US armaments industry is effectively a modestly scaled high-end boutique..”

The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t (Schryver)

You see, for all its massive plunder of the public purse, the US armaments industry is effectively a modestly scaled high-end boutique. And there is simply no way this domestic US industry can expeditiously expand its production. It would literally take years – probably a full decade – for the US to expand its military production to a seriously potent industrial scale. For one, the labor pool for these industries is extremely finite and highly specialized. In the overwhelmingly financialized and service-oriented US economy, there is a shocking dearth of technical expertise of ALL kinds. It’s not simply a boomer cliché that “kids these days are innocent of almost any mechanical know-how”. If the US wants to staff new armaments factories any time soon, it will have to import the skilled labor from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

Beyond that, the permitting of new factories, with the attendant bureaucratic delays, public hearings, environmental impact studies, and various special interest road-blocking … well, everyone knows how these things work now in America. It took five years to build the Hoover Dam in the early 20th century. It would take FIFTY here in the early 21st century – if it could be built at all. Those clamoring for the US to intervene in the Ukraine war in order to “teach those filthy Russians a lesson they’ll never forget” simply have no conception of the catastrophe that would ensue were their dreams to be fulfilled. If the Pentagon consented to such an undertaking, it could probably amass no more than 250,000 combat-capable troops in the theater, and to do so would entail the evacuation of virtually every major US military base on the planet (and most of the minor ones).

It could probably assemble an additional quarter million troops from the active reserves and National Guard units in the United States. That said, it is empirically impossible that 500,000 combat troops could be satisfactorily equipped for high-intensity conflict such as would be the scenario in a war between the US and Russia in eastern Europe. And even if they could be assembled and equipped, it would be an insufficient force to face over a million Russian troops, close to a third of which are already “battle-hardened” from almost a year of high-intensity combat in Ukraine. In anticipation of the casualties attendant to great power warfare, it would become necessary for the United States to reinstitute conscription almost immediately. If a strong anti-war movement had not already been incited by its previous actions, conscription in America would almost certainly induce a widespread political upheaval, with large and aggressive public protests cropping up in all the major cities of the nation.

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“oil friendships are greasy”

Sanctions On Russian Oil Not Working – Analysts (RT)

Sanctions imposed by the West on Russian crude oil exports have so far “failed completely,” and new price caps could also prove ineffective, according to a CNBC report on Friday, citing analysts. The conclusions come as the European Union plans to ban imports of Russian refined petroleum products, including diesel and jet fuel, from February 5. The bloc had already prohibited imports of seaborne crude oil from Moscow in December. The EU, G7 countries, and Australia have also set a $60-per-barrel price cap, which blocks Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shippers of Russian oil unless the cargo is purchased at or below the set price. The price cap “was invented by bureaucrats with finance degrees. None of them really understand oil markets,” Paul Sankey, president and lead analyst at Sankey Research, told CNBC.

“It’s been a total bomb; it has failed completely,” he stressed. According to Sankey, Russian oil supplies have not been significantly interrupted and “they’ve sustained exports at high levels.” “I heard it from a great source that the Saudis have been asking around as to how come Russian oil is still flowing,” he said. “That brings the question of what will happen with the sanctions coming up on products, because it just doesn’t seem to work.” The founder of analytics firm Vanda Insights, Vandana Hari, also told the US broadcaster she was skeptical about the upcoming restrictions on Russian refined oil products, noting that “the crude price cap was pretty inconsequential.” “I think the refined product caps that they’re planning – about a $100 [per barrel] for diesel and clean products and perhaps around $45 for dirty fuels like fuel oil – are probably going to be immaterial as well,” the analyst explained.

According to Hari, Russian oil will find its way into the markets that are “still welcoming it” such as China and India. “China and India have benefited quite a big deal last year from heavily discounted Russian crude prices and the same’s going to happen to Russian refined products,” Hari predicted, adding that it could be more complicated for Moscow to find markets for such products. Paul Sankey also noted that “oil friendships are greasy” and there’s a lot of different ways to move Russian oil around the world, bypassing the price caps. Meanwhile, the EU has been struggling to agree on the price cap for Russian oil products, with some members reportedly claiming the proposed level is too generous for Moscow, and seeking a lower ceiling. The measures are expected to come into effect on February 5 after gaining the approval of all 27 EU member states.

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“..The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion..”

Lose-Lose (Jim Kunstler)

For those of you not paying attention the past thirty-odd years, Russia, incorporated as the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1991. The USSR was a bold experiment based on the peculiar and novel ill-effects of industrialism, especially gross economic inequality. Alas, the putative remedy for that, advanced by Karl Marx, was a despotic system of pretending that individual humans had no personal aspirations of their own. That business model could be reduced to the comic aphorism: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. It failed and the USSR gurgled down history’s drain. Russia reemerged from the dust, minus many of its Eurasian outlands. Remarkably little blood was shed in the process. Mr. Orlov’s book points to some very interesting set-ups that softened the landing. There was no private property in the USSR, so when it collapsed, nobody was evicted or foreclosed from where they lived.

Very few people had cars in the USSR, so the city centers were still intact and people could get around on buses, trams, and trains. The food system had been botched for decades by low-incentive collectivism, but the Russian people were used to planting gardens — even city dwellers, who had plots out-of-town — and it tided them over during the years of hardship before the country managed to reorganize. Compare that to America’s prospects. In an economic crisis, Americans will have their homes foreclosed out from under them, or will be subject to eviction from rentals. The USA has been tragically built-out on a suburban sprawl template that will be useless without cars and with little public transport. Cars, of course, are subject to repossession for non-payment of contracted loans. The American food system is based on manufactured microwavable cheese snacks, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizzas produced by giant companies.

These items can’t be grown in home gardens. Many Americans don’t know the first thing about growing their own food, or what to do with it after it’s harvested. There’s another difference between the fall of the USSR and the collapse underway in the USA. Underneath all the economic perversities of Soviet life, Russia still had a national identity and a coherent culture. The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which is actually just a hustle aimed at extracting what remains from the diminishing stock of productive activity and giving the plunder to a mob of “intersectional” complainers — e.g. the City of San Francisco’s preposterous new plan to award $5-million “reparation” payments to African-American denizens of the city, where slavery never existed.

As for culture, consider that the two biggest cultural producers in this land are the pornography and video game industries. The drug business might be a close third, but most of that action is off-the-books, so it’s hard to tell. So much for the so-called “arts.” Our political culture verges on totally degenerate, but that is too self-evident to belabor, and the generalized management failures of our polity are a big part of what’s bringing us down — most particularly the failure to hold anyone in power accountable for their blunders and turpitudes. This might change, at least a little bit, as the oppositional House of Representatives commences hearings on an array of disturbing matters. Meanwhile, be wary of claims in The New York Times and other propaganda organs that our Ukraine project is a coming up a big win, and that the racketeering operations of the Biden family are a right-wing conspiracy theory. These two pieces of the conundrum known as reality are blowing up in our country’s face. It will be hard not to notice.

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“… Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador.”

Republicans to Force Nancy Pelosi to Testify About Jan 6 (TP)

As the Biden Documents Scandal continues to build and the Chinese spy balloon over Montana dominates the headlines, some Republicans are still focused on holding Nancy Pelosi to account for the failures of security at the US Capitol on January 6th, failures to which they claim she is connected. One such Republican is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who said: “The reason there wasn’t a proper security presence on that day goes right to the speaker’s staff and the speaker’s office. As you go back and look at the communications, there’s this pattern that develops where the Sergeant of Arms is meeting with Pelosi’s staff. Many of those meetings, Republican staff wasn’t allowed to be there, but they had this pattern where everything had to run through her office, her staff, before the Sergeant of Arms could make a decision.”

Joining Rep. Jim Jordan was Rep. Troy Nehls, who said “And Nancy Pelosi. You do have questions you need to answer … Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador.” The statements from Jordan and Nehls follow a late-December of 2022 report released by Republicans that blamed Pelosi for the security failures at the Capitol on that day, faulting her for creating “political pressures” that led to lackluster security and inadequate preparations. The New York Post, reporting on that report, said: “Leadership and law enforcement failures within the U.S. Capitol left the complex vulnerable on January 6, 2021,” says the report, which is based on a trove of texts and email messages, and testimony from Capitol Police leaders and rank-and-file officers.

House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, who answered to Pelosi as one of three voting members of the Capitol Police Board, “succumbed to political pressures from the Office of Speaker Pelosi and House Democrat leadership,” was “compromised by politics and did not adequately prepare for violence at the Capitol.” Pelosi and her staff “coordinated closely” with Irving on security plans for the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6, but Republicans were deliberately left out of “important discussions related to security.” And, in an apparent attempt to hide from Republicans the fact that they were being excluded from discussions, Irving asked a senior Democratic staffer to “act surprised” when he sent “key information about plans for the Joint Session on Jan. 6, 2021, to him and his Republican counterpart.”

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“..Musk testified that the “funding secured” tweet was “absolutely truthful..”

Musk Wins Lawsuit Over ‘Funding Secured’ Tweet (ZH)

Having previously noted the absurdity of the trial, Elon Musk has defeated a shareholder lawsuit alleging that tweets claiming he had the “funding secured” to take Tesla private cost investors billions of dollars in losses. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the nine-person San Francisco-based jury said the investors who brought the class-action case failed to prove that Mr. Musk hurt them by tweeting about a possible deal. “The jury got it right,” Alex Spiro, a lawyer for Musk, said after the verdict. Musk testified that the “funding secured” tweet was “absolutely truthful,” touting what he described as an “unequivocal” commitment by Saudi Arabia even though he had nothing in writing. As Bloomberg reports, Musk gave jurors other reasons to believe him.

He said he felt compelled to reveal that he was considering taking Tesla private because earlier that day, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia was building a sizable stake in Tesla. He testified he was afraid his going-private plans might also be leaked, and that he wanted to put all Tesla investors on equal-footing by broadcasting his plans on Twitter. Musk also said that if required, he could’ve divested his ownership stake in his closely held rocket-ship company, SpaceX, to fund the transaction. This case is unusual for having gone to trial. From 1997 to 2001, less than 0.2% of federal securities class-action cases, excluding those involving mergers or acquisitions, were tried to a verdict, according to Cornerstone Research.

Musk, who had taken the stand as a witness in the case, was present in court during closing arguments. As The FT reports, the “funding secured” tweet has already proven costly for Musk. He and Tesla each paid $20mn to settle legal action from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk also had to resign as the carmaker’s chair, although he kept his position as chief executive. However, Musk has criticized the SEC in the years since, saying he felt pressured to settle and suggesting that doing so made him appear guilty. This case, he said in a deposition, was an opportunity to “clear the record.” And now he has!

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“.. Pfizer BioNTech is going to have to pay back those billions to Thailand, with which Thailand will recompensate those peoples that have lost their existence…”

Thai Princess Coma Mystery – World Expert Says It’s A Covid Jab Injury (DTNZ)

44 year old Princess Bajrakitiyabha of Thailand collapsed while out walking her dogs on 14 december last year. According to sources she had not felt well after receiving her 3rd booster. After her collapse she lost consciousness and remains in a coma. According to a report in The Independent, she is ‘on medical equipment supporting her heart, lungs and kidneys.’ Princess Bajrakitiyabha is the eldest child of current King Rama X. The law graduate is a senior diplomat in the Thai government. The Thai palace confirmed she had suffered a ‘heart issue’. But the explanation given by the authorities and a local university that it was caused by a bacterial infection has been called ‘ridiculous’ by medical expert Professor Sucharit Bhakdi.

Thai-born Bhakdi, a former professor of microbiology at the University of Mainz in Germany had a celebrated career in medical science as a world expert on the immune system and arterial disease, until mainstream narratives and ‘fact checkers’ labelled him a ‘conspiracy theorist’ for his strong opposition to the COVID ‘vaccines’. According to Bhakdi, who claims he and his contacts have been in direct contact with the Thai Royal Family over the matter, the princess’ collapse was an adverse reaction to the COVID jab. She was previously healthy with no known medical conditions. Speaking on the ‘neutralswiss‘ Rumble channel yesterday, Bhakdi said:

“This whole COVID-19 agenda is a fake… And I was able to lay out for them the proof that the COVID vaccinations were based on fraud… The EMA declared that safety pharmacological studies were never performed – never. And they were never deemed necessary. So now we have it. So, when I told the Thais this, you know guys, they jumped up. They jumped up in the room. And so they said to me ‘we will see to it that Thailand is the first country in the world that is going to declare this contract null… Which means that Pfizer BioNTech is going to have to pay back those billions to Thailand, with which Thailand will recompensate those peoples that have lost their existence…”

“‘One daughter of the present king Rama X collapsed and is in a coma… within 23 days after the third shot, 44 years old, never been seriously ill, collapsed and is now in a coma. The diagnosis that was given by the authorities and by the university is so ridiculous – she’s supposed to have a bacterial infection that will never do what she suffered from. And so we are determined, and the activists in Thailand who have been on this many many months now – great guys, also a professor from the University of Bangkok, he’s gotten in touch with the Royal Family, and we are sending information to the Royal Family to alert them to the fact that in all probability the princess is suffering as a victim of this jab, as so many people around the world have been suffering.’

Read more …

Whenever a story this crazy comes along, we suspect something’s hiding behind it.

Biden Announces U.S. Surrender To Chinese Balloon (BBee)

In a surprise statement to the world from the White House Situation Room, President Biden has announced America’s unconditional surrender to the Chinese Spy Balloon. “Listen, folks, it’s over,” said Biden as a single tear ran down his face. “We’re outgunned here. There’s no hope that we can match the awesome power of this giant balloon.” Biden’s voice was drowned out by the dozens of weeping journalists gathered outside the room. “I urge you all to hug your loved ones and embrace your children, for the end is near. God help us all,” Biden finally said before signing off for the last time. At publishing time, Americans had been urged by the administration to start learning Mandarin.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Sika deer

 

 

Water is life

 

 

Gallop croc

 

 

Dog doc

 

 

 

 

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Feb 032023
 
 February 3, 2023  Posted by at 3:26 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  6 Responses »


Johannes Vermeer The glass of wine c 1658-1660

 

 

Andrew Korybko approached me a few days ago asking if we could share some of his work. I don’t view the Automatic Earth as a publishing platform, and given all the censorship of the past 2-3 years (it’s expensive!), I will be very cautious about letting anyone in. But I like Andrew’s writing, so I said: let’s give it a go.

Then I had to transfer his Word file to the simple text editor I have been using for many years, but that only took half an hour … I don’t like Word. Or Bill Gates. Here’s Andrew:

 

 

Andrew Korybko: The “official narrative” surrounding the Ukrainian Conflict has flipped in recent weeks from prematurely celebrating Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory to nowadays seriously warning about its likely loss. It was therefore expected in hindsight that other dimensions of the information warfare campaign waged by the US-led West’s Golden Billion against Russia would also change. As proof of precisely that, the New York Times (NYT) just admitted that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions are a failure.

In Ana Swanson’s article about how “Russia Sidesteps Western Punishments, With Help From Friends”, she cites Western experts who concluded that “Russia’s imports may have already recovered to prewar levels, or will soon do so, depending on their models.” Even more compelling, she references the IMF’s latest assessment from Monday, which “now expected the Russian economy to grow 0.3 percent this year, a sharp improvement from its previous estimate of a 2.3 percent contraction.”

Neither the NYT, the Western experts that Swanson cites, nor the IMF can credibly be accused of being “Russian-friendly”, let alone so-called “Russian propagandists” or even “Russian agents”, which thus confirms the observation that this dimension of the Golden Billion’s infowar has also decisively shifted. The fact of the matter is that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions failed to catalyze the collapse of that targeted multipolar Great Power’s economy, which continues to remain impressively resilient.

The timing at which this narrative changed is also important because it extends credence to the more widely known new narrative that’s nowadays seriously warning about Kiev’s likely loss in NATO’s proxy war on Russia. After all, if the sanctions achieved the goal that they were supposed to and which the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) hitherto lied that they supposedly had, then it naturally follows that Kiev would “inevitably” win exactly as they claimed would happen up until mid-January.

With this in mind, the most effective way to “reprogram” the average Westerner after brainwashing them over the past 11 months into expecting Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory is to also decisively change the supplementary narratives that artificially manufactured that aforesaid false conclusion. To that end, the order was given to begin raising the public’s awareness about the failure of the Golden Billion’s anti-Russian sanctions, ergo the NYT’s latest piece and the specific timing thereof.

What’s left unsaid in that article is the “politically incorrect” but nevertheless heavily implied observation that the jointly BRICS– & SCO-led Global South of which Russia is a part has defied the Golden Billion’s demands to “isolate” that multipolar Great Power. No MSM outlet will ever admit it, at least not yet, but their de facto New Cold War bloc has limited sway outside the US’ recently restored “sphere of influence” in Europe, whose countries are the only ones suffering from these sanctions.

The NYT’s latest piece might inadvertently make many members of their public conscious of that, however, and they might therefore increasingly object to their governments scaling up their commitment to NATO’s proxy war on Russia under American pressure. Croatian President Zoran Milanovic recently joined Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in condemning this campaign and raising wider awareness of just how counterproductive it’s been for Europe’s objective interests.

As Europeans come to realize that they’re the only ones suffering from the anti-Russian sanctions that their American overlord coerced them into imposing and that their sacrifices haven’t adversely affected that targeted multipolar Great Power’s special operation, massive unrest might follow. It’s unlikely to influence their US-controlled leaders into reversing course, remembering that the German Foreign Minister vowed late last year never to do so, but could instead catalyze a violent police crackdown.

The reason behind this pessimistic prediction is that a reversal or at the very least lessening of the presently rigid anti-Russian sanctions regime would represent an unprecedentedly independent move by whichever European state(s) does/do so. Seeing as how that didn’t even happen in the eight years prior to the US’ successful reassertion of its unipolar hegemony all across 2022, the likelihood of that happening nowadays under those much more difficult conditions is practically nil.

The US’ “Lead From Behind” subordinate for “managing” European affairs as part of its new so-called “burden-sharing” strategy, Germany, has more than enough levers of economic, institutional, and political influence to several punish any of those lower-tier American vassals who get out of place. It’s therefore unrealistic to expect any single EU member to unilaterally defy the bloc’s anti-Russian sanctions that their own government previously agreed to.

Considering this reality, those leaders who want to remain in power or at least not risk the US’ German-driven Hybrid War wrath against their economies are loath restore a semblance of their largely lost sovereignty in such a dramatic manner. Instead, their most pragmatic course of action is to not participate in the military aspect of this proxy war by refusing to dispatch arms to Kiev exactly as the emerging Central European pragmatic bloc of Austria, Croatia, and Hungary have done.

The population of those countries are thus unlikely to protest against the sanctions even after being made aware of the facts contained in the NYT’s latest piece and naturally coming to the conclusion that the anti-Russian sanctions have only harmed their own economies and not that targeted Great Power’s. Folks in France, Germany, and Italy, however, could very well react differently, especially considering their tradition of organizing massive protests.

In such a scenario, their governments are expected to order a violent police crackdown under whatever pretext they concoct, whether it’s falsely accusing the protesters of employing violence first or accusing them all of being so-called “Russian agents”. Regardless of how it happens, the outcome will be the same whereby Western European countries will slide deeper into liberal-totalitarian dictatorship, which will in turn contribute to further radicalizing their population towards uncertain ends.

Returning back to the NYT’s piece, it represents a remarkable reversal of the “official narrative” by frankly admitting that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions are a failure. This coincides with the decisive shift of the larger narrative driven by American and Polish leaders over the past month whereby they’re nowadays seriously warning about Kiev’s likely loss in NATO’s proxy war on Russia. It remains to be seen what other narratives will change as well, but it’s predicted that more such ones will inevitably do so.

 

 

 

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Feb 032023
 
 February 3, 2023  Posted by at 9:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Henri Cartier-Bresson A visitor to the Forbidden City, Beijing 1948

 

White House Denies Biden Offered Putin ‘20% Of Ukraine’ (RT)
German Politicians Eye Revival Of Fascism — Lavrov (TASS)
Germany ‘Open’ To Idea West Behind Nord Stream Sabotage – The Times (RT)
Lavrov: Moldova Could Become A New “Anti-Russia” (RT)
Serbia More Objective On Ukraine Conflict Than Other Nations – President (TASS)
EU Urged To Sanction Steven Seagal (RT)
One Ukrainian Billionaire Funded Hunter Biden, Zelensky, Azov (Kanekoa)
Hunter Biden Email Promising Russian Oligarch Info Raises Fresh Concern (NYP)
Hunter Biden Finally Admits Infamous Laptop Is His (NYP)
Joe Biden’s Shady Plan To Funnel $10 Million To Hunter’s Legal Fund (TPN)
The Press Versus The President, Part Four (CJR)
Jaw-Dropping Story of Covid Conspiracy and a Worldwide Cover-Up (Dalgleish)
‘Stunning Increase’ in Serious Harm Reports in Young Healthy Pilots (ET)
Dr. Peter McCullough Unbowed After Winning Legal Case (DW)
100% of COVID Deaths in Canada Now Due to mRNA Vaccine (NP)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Putin unipolar

 

 

Putin trust

 

 

 

 

Vit. D, Covid

 

 

Nuke Moscow

 

 

 

Putin: “Those who draw countries into a new war and declare this as a fait accompli, those who expect to defeat Russia on the battlefield, must understand that a modern war with Russia will be completely different for them.

 

 

Veritas

 

 

 

 

I don’t think this came out of nowhere.

White House Denies Biden Offered Putin ‘20% Of Ukraine’ (RT)

President Joe Biden allegedly sent CIA chief William Burns on a secret mission to Moscow and then Kiev in mid-January, according to a report in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NNZ) on Wednesday. The White House and the CIA both addressed the allegeations on Thursday, saying it was not true that the US had offered Russia 20% of Ukrainian territory as part of a peace proposal. According to confidential conversations with two German lawmakers dealing with foreign policy – one from the ruling coalition, the other from the opposition – Burns reportedly offered a “land for peace” deal in which Russia would keep some “20% of Ukraine’s territory” – about the size of the Donbass.

The Swiss-German newspaper mentioned the supposed proposal in passing, focusing on the chain of events that led to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden announcing they would send Leopard 2 and Abrams heavy tanks to the government in Kiev. The NZZ report is “not accurate” and the CIA will say the same, deputy spokesperson for the White House’ National Security Council, Sean Davett, told Newsweek. A CIA official then told the US outlet that reports of a secret Moscow trip by Burns, or a peace proposal on behalf of the White House were “completely false.” The Washington Post reported earlier that Burns had taken a secret trip to Kiev ahead of the tank announcement, in order to meet and brief Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.


From what the two German politicians told NZZ, the peace offer hinted at a split in Washington regarding the conflict. While Burns and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan want to wrap up the fighting in Ukraine quickly to focus on China, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin are committed to backing Kiev. The Swiss outlet further pointed to the recent report by the Rand Corporation, urging Washington to avoid a “long war” in Ukraine – among other reasons, so the US can focus on China. Both Ukraine and Russia refused the US proposal, NZZ claimed. Kiev said it was unwilling to give up any territory, while Moscow was confident of victory. Asked about the NZZ report, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy told Newsweek he found it “interesting” but declined to comment on “speculation.”

Lula

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“Why do people refuse to see the Nazi ideology that lies at the heart of the Kiev regime?”

German Politicians Eye Revival Of Fascism — Lavrov (TASS)

Seeking Russia’s defeat as the “final solution to the Russian question” is nothing more than Nazism and there are politicians in the West, for instance, in Germany, who wouldn’t be against resurrecting it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a Thursday interview with TV news anchor Dmitry Kiselyov. According to the top diplomat, in its pursuit of “the final solution to the Russian question”, the West is gunning to hand Russia “a strategic defeat so it won’t recover for a long time.” “Is this not racism, is this not Nazism, is this not an attempt at the ‘final solution to the Russian question?” he pondered. “Yes, not yet in gas chambers at this point. There are still a lot of decent people in Germany who won’t permit the revival of Fascism but there are also those who wouldn’t be against it at all,” he insisted.


The Russian foreign minister noted that now, just like during the Great Patriotic War, Nazi dogma is being used against Russia.”Why do people refuse to see the Nazi ideology that lies at the heart of the Kiev regime?” he wondered. “And all these statements voiced by its enthusiasts and puppeteers are impossible to be perceived as anything other than an attempt at the final solution to the Russian question,” he stressed. “This is why we are in the epicenter of a geopolitical battle,” Lavrov stressed. “There is no sense in doubting this and those who are confronting practical tasks on the frontlines are doing the most important thing. They are heroes and the feats they perform are feats for the sake of mankind’s future,” he added.

Putin Stalingrad

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“Lavrov: The United States directly participated in the bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.”

Germany ‘Open’ To Idea West Behind Nord Stream Sabotage – The Times (RT)

German officials are “open to theories” that the sabotage of the Nord Stream undersea pipelines was carried out by a Western nation “with the aim of blaming it on Russia,” The Times reported. In a Wednesday report, the British newspaper described the mystery of who was behind the attacks as “one of the biggest questions of the 21st century.” The two pipelines, each of which has two strings, were damaged by explosions in late September. Germany, the recipient of Russian natural gas, for which the undersea energy routes were built, as well as Sweden and Denmark, in whose territorial waters the damage was done, are each running a separate investigation. Citing European officials, the Times said a failure to provide transparency in the probes risks encouraging “dangerous conspiracy theories” and “wild speculations.”

“This was a major infrastructure attack. It’s strange that we’ve heard very little,” an unidentified Western analyst was quoted as saying. The German investigation is thought to have made little progress and is “yet to uncover any compelling evidence” pointing to Russia, The Times said, adding that Berlin is “open to theories that a Western state carried out the bombing with the aim of blaming it on Russia.” It noted that 23 diplomatic and intelligence agencies across nine Western nations had also told the Washington Post recently that they had yet to see evidence implicating Russia and some said they did not believe Moscow was the culprit. Following the blasts, however, Kiev and some of its most-vocal backers were quick to assign blame on Russia, claiming that it damaged its own infrastructure to put pressure on the EU.


Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, explained the apparent irrationality of such a move, telling The Times that Moscow “relies on actions which are illogical but that it believes will intimidate.” The Russian government described the sabotage as a “terrorist attack” and said that the US was the nation that benefited most from it, by speeding up Europe’s attempts to wean itself off Russian gas. US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland declared that she was “gratified” with the destruction of the Nord Stream 2 project during a Congress hearing last week. Responding to the remark, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that the US diplomat had essentially “confessed” Washington was behind the sabotage.

Read more …

And a new battlefield?!

Lavrov: Moldova Could Become A New “Anti-Russia” (RT)

Moldova could follow in Ukraine’s footsteps and become a new “anti-Russia,” Moscow’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has suggested in an interview with the Russian media. The diplomat claimed that the West had installed a president in Chisinau who is hell-bent on bringing the former Soviet republic into the US-led fold. On Thursday, Russia’s RIA Novosti and Rossiya 24 media outlets published an interview with Lavrov. He was asked which country, in his opinion, could go down the same path as Ukraine and become an “anti-Russia.” The foreign minister responded by claiming the West was “currently considering Moldova for this role.” He said the country had been chosen primarily because the West succeeded in installing “through some very peculiar methods, far from free and democratic [ones],” a pliant president at the helm there.

Maia Sandu is “rushing into NATO” and “has Romanian citizenship,” Lavrov noted. The diplomat concluded that the Moldovan head of state is ready to merge her country with neighboring Romania and to “do practically anything.” Lavrov said the West and Moldova’s leadership have effectively put on hold the normalization process regarding the breakaway region of Transnistria in the 5+2 format. This involves the US and Russia, along with the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, as well as Moldova and Transnistria. He claimed that the new Moldovan government is no longer interested in the process and is considering retaking the region by force and booting Russian peacekeepers out of Transnistria. Late last month, President Sandu told Politico “there [was] a serious discussion” underway in Chisinau “about our capacity to defend ourselves, whether we can do it ourselves, or whether we should be part of a larger alliance.”


While she did not identify NATO directly, Sandu has consistently been pursuing pro-Western policies since coming to office back in 2020. Moldova was granted EU candidate status last year. It has also been actively cooperating with NATO in recent years, sending its troops to participate in the military bloc’s force in Kosovo. The Moldovan president held a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in New York in September 2021, and the country’s foreign minister attended a meeting of the organization in Romania last December. However, the outstanding issue of Transnistria precludes Moldova from becoming a member state of the US-led organization, as NATO requires all aspiring entrants to resolve all territorial and ethnic disputes first.

Read more …

Whoever wants to be objective will be accused of being pro-Russian.

Serbia More Objective On Ukraine Conflict Than Other Nations – President (TASS)

Belgrade is capable of assessing the developments in Ukraine in the most objective manner because it refrains from putting labels on the parties to the conflict, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said at a special session of the country’s parliament on Thursday. “In Serbia, we can freely figure out what both parties to the war think. It’s not like this in other countries as there is total censorship everywhere. There are no [opinions] of the two parties, just one party is good and the other is bad,” the Serbian leader noted. “Today, we are witnessing a kind of World War III, which will grow in size and scale, becoming more difficult than it is now as early as in the coming days, weeks and months,” the Serbian president stressed.


Vucic pointed out earlier that Serbia was not providing weapons to Ukraine and had no plans to do so. He emphasized that Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine was the reason for the West’s immense pressure on Serbia, particularly in terms of sanctions on Russia. Vucic has repeatedly noted that Serbia’s joining the policy of sanctions against Russia would not produce any results. Addressing the nation soon after the launch of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Vucic said that though his country supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity, it would not impose sanctions on Russia. He also announced that his country would temporarily suspend all army and police drills with foreign partners. He noted that Serbia viewed Russia and Ukraine as fraternal nations, regretted the developments in Eastern Europe and was ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Kiev.

Read more …

“..a coalition consisting of senior members of the US Congress, MEPs, and Ukrainian parliamentarians handed a list of individuals it wants sanctioned..”

EU Urged To Sanction Steven Seagal (RT)

Hollywood action movie star Steven Seagal is among ten individuals facing calls for sanctions by a group of politicians in the US-Europe Sanctions Coalition for their alleged support of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, Euractiv reported on Thursday. According to the news website, a coalition consisting of senior members of the US Congress, MEPs, and Ukrainian parliamentarians handed a list of individuals it wants sanctioned to Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Tobias Billstrom earlier this week. The list was previously sent to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, in late December, according to Ukrainian MP Aleksey Goncharenko, a member of the coalition who spoke to Euractiv.

The request reportedly includes Russian tycoons Magomed Gadzhiev, Vladimir Lisin and Vladimir Potanin, politician Franz Klintsevich, and Ksenia Sobchak – a Russian opposition figure and former presidential candidate. Also featured are entertainers such as Philipp Kirkorov and Igor Krutoy, a Russian state company official, the co-chair of Ukrainian Opposition Platform – For Life party, Vadim Rabinovich, as well as US actor Seagal. The ‘90s Hollywood star, who has been a Russian citizen since 2016, was included in the list for expressing his support for the Kremlin’s military operation in Ukraine and flying to Moscow in April to celebrate his 70th birthday with associates of President Vladimir Putin, whom he called a “great world leader.”


Back in August, it was also reported that the actor was working on a documentary about Kiev’s war against the Donbass republics, which have since joined Russia after holding public referendums. According to Ukrainian MP Aleksey Goncharenko, a member of the coalition who spoke to Euractiv, the purpose of the list is to “synchronize sanctions” across all member countries. The official insisted that “those who are guilty of the crime of aggression against Ukraine” must be held responsible and “pay their price.”

Read more …

Reportedly, he’s under investigation from Kiev now.

One Ukrainian Billionaire Funded Hunter Biden, Zelensky, Azov (Kanekoa)

The real person who was the benefactor to, and the boss of, Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, at the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, was not the CEO of Burisma Holdings, Mykola Zlochevsky, but it was instead Ihor Kolomoysky, who was part of the newly installed Ukrainian Government, which the Obama Administration itself had actually just installed in Ukraine, in what the head of the “private CIA” firm Stratfor correctly called “the most blatant coup in history.” Shortly after the Obama Administration’s Ukrainian coup, on March 2, 2014, Kolomoysky, who supported Yanukovych’s overthrow, was appointed the governor of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Hunter Biden, with no experience in the industry or region, would join Kolomoysky’s Burisma Holdings two months later, on May 12, 2014.


A 2012 study of Burisma Holdings done in Ukraine by the AntiCorruption Action Centre (ANTAC), an investigative nonprofit co-funded by American billionaire George Soros and the U.S. State Department, found that the true owner of Burisma Holdings was none other than Ukrainian billionaire-oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky.

Read more …

“Classified” files.

Hunter Biden Email Promising Russian Oligarch Info Raises Fresh Concern (NYP)

A Hunter Biden email sent to an American aluminum company and promising information on Russian oligarchs is raising fresh concerns about the first son’s access to classified documents recently discovered in his father’s Wilmington, Del., home as lawmakers prepare to investigate allegations of influence peddling. Documents dating back to 2011 on his notorious “laptop from hell” showed Hunter offered to sell intelligence on Russian oligarchs to the US aluminum firm Alcoa Inc. for $55,000, according to The Post’s exclusive October 2021 report. As his father served as former President Barack Obama’s second-in-command, Hunter Biden offered to provide a “statistical analysis of political and corporate risks, elite networks associated with Oleg Deripaska, the Russian CEO of Basic Element company and United company RUSAL,” which had just signed a metal supply agreement with Alcoa.

Hunter Biden also offered the company a “list of elites of similar rank in Russia, map of [Deripaska’s] networks based on frequency of interaction with selected elites and countries.” The deeply detailed proposal has come under sharp scrutiny given recent revelations that Hunter Biden had access to the Delaware lake-front home where secret papers from his father’s time as vice president were discovered in a garage, basement and library — combined with Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the high-profile former chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told The Post that the Alcoa solicitation fits within a broader picture. “The Biden family is the most corrupt family in the history of American politics,” he said. “The biggest question facing Republican investigators: Where to begin?”

Banks is not alone. Others, such as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), have raised suspicions that Hunter Biden, who has previously listed the 6,850-square-foot mansion as his home, may have used the classified documents in business dealings. Johnson said an April 12, 2014 Hunter Biden email to his business partner about Ukraine from 2014 looked “suspiciously” like it could have come from classified information. “It reads like one of those scene-setters — highly detailed information in terms of Ukraine,” Johnson told Fox News Tuesday. The email from Hunter to Devon Archer included a 22-point memo he described as “thoughts after doing some research” included prescient predictions that Petro Poroshenko would be elected Ukraine’s president and “some sort of decentralization will likely occur in the East.”

“If it doesn’t the Russians will continue to escalate there [sic] destabilization campaign, which could lead to a full scale take over of the eastern region most critically Donetsk,” Hunter Biden wrote. “The strategic value is to create a land bridge for RU[ssia] to Crimea.” In hearings to start next week, the House Oversight Committee will investigate Hunter Biden’s alleged influence peddling, cashing in on ties to his then-vice president father to rake in millions from foreign companies, its chairman, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), told the National Press Club on Monday.

Read more …

“51 former intel “experts” promised us the Hunter Biden laptop was “Russian disinfo.”

Hunter just admitted it was all real.

They all deserve jail time.”

Hunter Biden Finally Admits Infamous Laptop Is His (NYP)

So much for “the laptop ‘could be’ mine.” First son Hunter Biden’s lawyers admitted late Wednesday that the infamous laptop that the now-52-year-old abandoned at a Delaware computer repair shop in the throes of his crack cocaine addiction does indeed belong to him. The revelation came in a petulant letter from Hunter’s lawyers seeking a criminal probe into what they called attempts to “weaponize” its contents. In the 14-page letter to Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings, Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell claimed that repair shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac “unlawfully” accessed Hunter’s laptop data and worked with former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to “weaponize” sordid and incriminating contents on it against Joe Biden.

“This failed dirty political trick directly resulted in the exposure, exploitation, and manipulation of Mr. Biden’s private and personal information,” Lowell wrote. “Mr. Mac Isaac’s intentional, reckless, and unlawful conduct allowed for hundreds of gigabytes of Mr. Biden’s personal data, without any discretion, to be circulated around the Internet.” Mac Isaac took possession of the laptop and hard drive late in 2019 after trying and failing for months to notify Hunter that the device was ready to be picked up. Once the shop owner saw the laptop’s contents — including emails detailing influence-peddling involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and videos of the younger Biden smoking crack and having sex with prostitutes and his work subordinates — he alerted the FBI.


[..] Lowell’s letter singles out Mac Isaac, Giuliani, Costello, former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon, former Trump White House aide Garrett Ziegler, Bannon associate Jack Maxey, and Yaacov Apelbaum, founder and CEO of cyber analytics firm XRVision and former aide to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), as parties who gained unauthorized access to the laptop’s contents and disseminated it to the media and lawmakers. “We believe that the facts and circumstances merit further investigation as to whether the conduct of Messrs. Mac Isaac, Costello, Giuliani, Bannon, Ziegler, Maxey, and Apelbaum violated several provisions of Delaware’s criminal code — including, but not necessarily limited to, computer-related property offenses … theft … possession of stolen property … and misapplication of another’s property … Each of these offenses, if violated, has the potential to be a felony, depending on the value of the property in question,” Lowell writes.

Tucker laptop

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They appear a bit surprised.

Joe Biden’s Shady Plan To Funnel $10 Million To Hunter’s Legal Fund (TPN)

According to the Washington Post and NBC News, allies of President Joe Biden are working on creating a legal fund to help out Hunter Biden, the son of the current president, as he faces investigations and legal challenges now that the GOP controls the House of Representatives. The Washington Post, which first reported on the matter, claimed that the fund could add up to about $10 million dollars, giving Hunter a significant backdrop on which to rely as the GOP starts probing into his alleged influence peddling, particularly his connections in communist China. NBC, reporting on the effort to help pay Hunter’s legal bills, reports that the effort is still in its preliminary stages, as those seeking to help Hunter are trying to decide on what method of fighting back against GOP accusations and investigations will be most effective, with the new legal strategy being a change in tack from the way Hunter and his allies have been dealing with accusations against him up until now. In that outlet’s words:

“The discussions are in the preliminary stage, and as of now Hunter Biden’s legal advisers have not been planning for the potential creation a defense fund to help him pay for representation in the face of GOP investigations they view as unfounded and overtly political. There have been ongoing discussions within Hunter Biden’s circle of advisers about how to respond to Republican probes and accompanying GOP attacks, said multiple people with knowledge of the discussions. Until recently, the strategy was to exercise caution and restraint, preparing for future moves quietly until the federal criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, which has been run out of Delaware, has reached a conclusion about whether charges will be filed.”


While Hunter and his allies have been trying to “exercise caution and restraint”, NBC notes that the new legal fund, if created and funded with enough to help Hunter hire some of the best lawyers, would give him the ability to ” shift to a more proactive legal strategy in the coming months”. What form that new strategy would take is unclear. The legal fund’s creation comes as the sharks start to circle Hunter. Rep. James Comer, for example, recently sent a letter demanding answers from Hunter’s art dealer, saying: “Your arrangement with Hunter Biden raises serious ethics concerns and calls into question whether the Biden family is again selling access and influence.”

Read more …

“..all these countries,” aware of Bolton’s hawkish views, “thought we were going to blow them up” when Bolton sat in on the negotiations.”

The Press Versus The President, Part Four (CJR)

sTrump, in July 2018, finally had a summit meeting with Vladimir Putin, the man he mistakenly claimed in 2015 to have met years earlier and his supposed puppet master, according to Steele’s dossier. In advance of the summit, Trump met with his national security adviser, John Bolton, to discuss how to deal with Russian meddling. The president “remained unwilling or unable to admit any Russian meddling because he believed doing so would undercut the legitimacy of his election and the narrative of the witch hunt against him,” Bolton wrote in his 2020 memoir The Room Where It Happened. At a press briefing, the final question was whether US intelligence or Putin should be believed with regard to meddling in the 2016 election. After going on a tangent about the server at the DNC, Trump said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that did it. Then, a bit later in his answer, he expressed “great confidence in my intelligence people.”

The first remark received all the attention. Some outlets, like the Times, didn’t include his comments about “great confidence” in US intelligence in their stories, while others, such as the Post, did. Trump flew home to Washington, and when aides talked to him the next day about the reaction, he said he meant the opposite. A clarification was released, but the cleanup was not enough for critics such as Roger Cohen, then a columnist at the Times, who wrote of the “disgusting spectacle of the American president kowtowing in Helsinki to Vladimir Putin.” Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC host, saw the day’s events as affirmation of her having covered the Trump-Russia matter “more than anyone else,” because, as her blog pointed out, Americans were now “coming to grips with a worst-case scenario that the US president is compromised by a hostile foreign power.”


For his part, Trump, when asked about Helsinki in my interview, blasted Bolton. “Bolton was one of the dumber people, but I loved him for the negotiations,” he said, because “all these countries,” aware of Bolton’s hawkish views, “thought we were going to blow them up” when Bolton sat in on the negotiations.

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“Suppression of debate has “cost… at least a trillion pounds, given the disastrous legacy of lockdown on education, mental health and misdiagnosis leading to early deaths from cardiac and cancer.”

Jaw-Dropping Story of Covid Conspiracy and a Worldwide Cover-Up (Dalgleish)

We wrote a manuscript and shared it with the Government, Cabinet and scientific advisors saying that it was extremely likely that this was a laboratory escape and had clear and present security implications. Imagine our surprise when we were told quite categorically that there was no way it could have been a laboratory escape and was a natural zoonosis. We tried to publish this on many occasions and each and every one of the top journals, including Nature, Science, The Lancet and many others refused to publish this as it was not in the public interest. What was to follow was a complete suppression of any debate about the origin, which would appear to have been driven by Tony Fauci from the NIAID in America.

Indeed, he was so intent on quashing any evidence of the origin that he commissioned a paper from a group of scientists, who we now know also had concerns that it may not be natural but nevertheless, they published the paper in Nature Medicine saying all the evidence showed it was completely natural and was not a laboratory leaked virus. This paper was published in Nature Medicine and then used by Tony Faucci as absolute proof that it was not a lab leak. What was incredible was that this narrative was picked by governments throughout the world, all the mainstream media and the majority of scientists, who should have known better than to accept the narrative rather than look at the evidence. Birger Sorensen and I were only able to get our observations out under the disguise of a vaccine paper, which was published in QRB Discovery, a journal with a biophysics bent which appreciated our argument that the inserts affected the charge of the virus and this was why it was able to be so infectious.


Although ignored, this paper was soon to be downloaded a record of over a quarter of a million times! The narrative that this could not have possibly come from a laboratory, even though it was very strange the outbreak should have occurred in a place not known for coronavirus outbreaks, was so strongly adhered to that even in the West any suggestion that it may have been due to a laboratory accident was shut down with cries of xenophobia. Among many other put-downs was the allegation this was some sort of conspiracy theory. The ‘lab leak as conspiracy theory’ narrative was so strong that it ended up censoring discussion on all the social media networks and only scientists who produced theories or suggestions that it came from a bat in an original roundabout way were allowed any voice. China’s put-down was especially strong and it was so very obvious that they were covering up something as all specimens and databases were either altered or withdrawn.

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DMED Is the most accurate adverse event reporting system.

‘Stunning Increase’ in Serious Harm Reports in Young Healthy Pilots (ET)

It’s been a year since four Department of Defense (DOD) whistleblowers found a sudden increase in various diseases in the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED), which coincided directly with the introduction of COVID-19 vaccinations. Now, new data shows more evidence. That’s according to Lt. Col.Theresa Long, M.D., MPH, a board-certified aerospace medicine doctor and Army Brigade flight surgeon with specialty training as an aviation mishap investigator and safety officer, who was one of the four whistleblowers. Long’s background has uniquely equipped her to recognize what she described as “unusual diagnoses and alarming trends only after the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccinations.” Long said what she has now found has led her to file yet another whistleblower complaint with Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-Wis.) office.

She described this data as “more alarming DMED data” after she “went back into the ‘fixed’ DMED again to look for signals of harm for Army aviation.” “What I found was a clear signal, that something in 2021 changed the health of service members,” Long told The Epoch Times. She said these signals were consistent with those in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports. But unlike VAERS reports, DMED data showed spikes in the number of diagnoses “made by a healthcare professional within the DOD on service members.” According to the Military Health System, the DMED provides remote access to a subset of data contained in the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS). The DMSS contains up-to-date and historical data on diseases and medical events (including reportable events) and “is available to authorized users such as U.S. military medical providers, epidemiologists, medical researchers, safety officers or medical operations/ clinical support staff for surveying health conditions in the U.S. military.”


“After querying all pilots across the DOD, for all-cause morbidity and mortality, I found a stunning increase in the number of reportable events, spiking from an average of 226 reportable events a year (2016-2019) to 4,059 reports in 2022,” she explained. A DOD reportable event is any patient safety event resulting in death, permanent harm, or severe temporary harm—and all require a comprehensive systematic analysis and a follow-on corrective action implementation plan report. “The point is there is a statistically significant increase in death, permanent harm, or severe temporary harm in young healthy fit pilots,” she continued.

Menstrual cycle

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“Baylor accused McCullough in the $1 million lawsuit of “reputational harm..”

Dr. Peter McCullough Unbowed After Winning Legal Case (DW)

A district judge vindicated Texas cardiologist and outspoken COVID vaccine critic Dr. Peter McCullough on Wednesday, dismissing a lawsuit filed against him approximately two years ago by his former employer Baylor Scott and White Health system. McCullough, dubbed a prominent purveyor of COVID misinformation by his detractors, was sued by the health system two years ago for allegedly violating a separation agreement and bringing the Baylor Scott and White Health name into the media. Associate Judge Tahira Khan Merritt of the Judicial District Court Dallas County dismissed the suit with prejudice. “This is a strong victory for freedom of speech and fair balanced publication and media presentation of clinical data as it has emerged over the course of the pandemic crisis,” McCullough told The Daily Wire.

“My analyses and conclusions have been accurate, consistent, and have always been my own, not those of any institution.” Baylor accused McCullough in the $1 million lawsuit of “reputational harm,” stating that McCullough gave several media interviews and was published in journals that mentioned Baylor as an affiliate even though he had parted ways with the employer. Baylor Scott & White Health told The Dallas Morning News in a written statement at the time of the filings that McCullough’s views don’t represent those of the health care provider. “The lawsuit was filed to enforce this separation and avoid public confusion,” the statement said. “We take very seriously our responsibility to be a trusted source of medical information in the communities we serve.”


Yet, representatives for the cardiologist asserted McCullough never stated he was employed by the health system and that it was third parties who referenced the relationship. “The lawsuit, in a sense, represented a form of intimidation and professional reprisal, and I feel vindicated by the dismissal,” McCullough said.

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Arrived at by deduction: “..Health Canada no longer provides data on death by vaccination status.”

100% of COVID Deaths in Canada Now Due to mRNA Vaccine (NP)

New data shows that 100% of COVID deaths in Canada are being caused by the mRNA vaccines that were forced on the population by the Trudeau regime and Big Pharma. Covid deaths in Canada doubled in 2022 with a 85% vaccinated population. Health Canada reports Covid deaths week-by-week, starting from the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. In 2020, the total Covid deaths reported to the Public Health Agency Canada by provinces and territories was 9,225. In 2021, as vaccines became accessible to Canadians between January and July, Covid deaths didn’t decrease over the year. Instead, the figure slightly increased to 9,934. And, in 2022, with an approximately 85% vaccinated population in January and a less deadly Covid variant dominant, Covid deaths increased again.

Over 2022, Health Canada data shows 15,844 deaths occurred due to Covid – almost double the number of deaths in 2020 when citizens were “unprotected.” Over half of these reported deaths between 2020 and 2022 were among Canadians aged 80 years and older. Health Canada no longer provides data on death by vaccination status. As such, there’s no way to decipher which deaths in 2022 were among vaccinated populations and which were among unvaccinated. The health agency does show overall death percentages by vaccine status from the start of the vaccine rollout in December 2020. This data reveals that just over half of all Covid deaths took place among those who received at least one Covid vaccine. Legacy media created hysteria around the Delta variant in 2021, as the just-vaccinated population was learning they were not immune from getting infected with – or dying from – Covid.


Data suggested that the Delta variant was more contagious than the previously dominant Alpha, but less deadly. Furthermore, research indicates the Omicron variant – which became dominant in 2022 – is even less lethal than the Delta. As previously reported by The Counter Signal, Canada’s 2022 excess deaths trajectory is on pace to shatter the total from 2021 – and obliterate that from 2020. Excess deaths is the term that indicates whether a region had more or fewer deaths than expected, given demographics and historical trends. The figure helps calculate the true impact of a health crisis. Health Canada data indicates 13,940 excess deaths took place in 2022 up to August 27. By this same period in 2021, the total excess deaths was 10,406. In 2020, the total was 8,057. In other words, as the percentage of Canadians “vaccinated” against Covid increased, so too did the excess death total and the Covid deaths.

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People who died in the first 14 days after getting vaccinated were counted as unvaccinated.

 

 

 

 


The Natural History Museum in London is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items. Being a striking examples of Romanesque architecture, it is sometimes dubbed a cathedral of nature: this is its central hall

 

 

Hummingbird shower

 

 

Bumblebee tongue

 

 

Baby tiger
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621096344835469312

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 022023
 


Andre Derain The port of Collioure 1905

 

Former UK Defense Minister: NATO May Need To Send Ground Forces To Ukraine (ZH)
NATO Involved In Hybrid War Against Russia For A Long Time – Lavrov (TASS)
‘At War with Russia’, Europe Peers Down the Abyss (Alastair Crooke)
Trials and Tribulations of the Collective West (Escobar)
Sending Tanks To Kiev Not To Help Resolve Ukraine Conflict – Erdogan (TASS)
Zakharova: Jet Deliveries To Kiev Not Leading To Escalation ‘Absurd’ (TASS)
Russia Ramps Up EU-Bound Gas Transit Via Ukraine (RT)
Russia’s Pipeline Gas Exports To Europe Slump To Record Low (ZH)
Ukraine Attacks Pipeline Pumping Russian Oil To EU – Transneft (RT)
EU-Owned Tankers Boost Russian Oil Shipments (RT)
“Objectivity Has Got To Go” (Turley)
Hunter Biden’s Metabiota Labs Received $10s of Millions in DOD Contracts (GP)
Hunter Biden Demands Investigations Into Reporting On His Laptop (JTN)
The Press Versus The President, Part Three (CJR)
Why Did UK Wait 3 Months to Disclose Data Showing COVID Vaccine Risks? (CHD)
Is a Mad Scientist Set to Become Chief Scientist at the WHO? (CHD)
Sweden Destroyed Substantial Part Of Its Documents On Julian Assange (Maurizi)

 

 

 

 

Crazy Twitter

 

 

 

 

Kamala

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo 2023.02.01 The West Is Now Impotent In The Ukraine Conflict

 

 

 

 

“Are western citizens willing to fight and die for Ukraine? It’s highly unlikely.”

Former UK Defense Minister: NATO May Need To Send Ground Forces To Ukraine (ZH)

The “domino theory” was once used to great effect in order to manipulate the American public into supporting the Vietnam War, but will the same narrative work to get the west to support World War III with Russia? Former UK Defense Minister Sir Gerald Howarth seems to think so as he uses this exact claim to justify NATO boots on the ground in Ukraine.

It should be noted that a large percentage of the American populace and most of Europe have no interest whatsoever in engaging with Russia and possibly its allies in all out war, but the establishment appears intent on forcing the issue anyway. The delivery of NATO tanks and the possibility of longer range missiles will no doubt trigger a wider response from Russia, which will then be used by NATO as a reason to escalate further. At the very least, Howarth does admit what many in the alternative media have been saying for some time – That Ukraine’s efforts have ground to a halt without further support from NATO troops. The deliveries of money and weapons are nothing more than a stop-gap; wars are won by men.


The former minister suggests that Ukraine is essentially too big to fail and that NATO cannot allow Russia to prevail in the region, otherwise they will be emboldened to strike other nearby nations. There is zero evidence to support this argument, but it is clear that NATO talking heads are desperate to drum up some kind of public fervor. Are western citizens willing to fight and die for Ukraine? It’s highly unlikely.

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“..take necessary measures in order to prevent further attempt to turn Ukraine into an even sharper threat for our security..”

NATO Involved In Hybrid War Against Russia For A Long Time – Lavrov (TASS)

NATO has been involved in a hybrid war against Russia for quite a long time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a press conference after the talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry Tuesday. “Whatever our Western partners may say, however they try to justify their actions on pumping Ukraine with weapons – including the known slogans that the path to peace lies through arms shipments – everyone understands everything. We are talking about NATO being involved in a hybrid war against Russia for a rather long time, a war that is being refracted in its hot displays, in actions of the Kiev regime,” he said. Lavrov noted that Moscow is taking necessary measures in order to prevent attempts to turn Ukraine into an even sharper threat to Russia’s security.


“Of course, we watch how discussions develop in the West about further pumping of Ukraine with increasingly serious weapons, including offensive weapons. Of course, we see it all, and we not merely observer, but take necessary measures in order to prevent further attempt to turn Ukraine into an even sharper threat for our security, and to prevent the Kiev regime from prevailing in its policy of discrimination and destruction of rights of all those Ukrainian citizens and former Ukrainian citizens, who felt involved in Russian history, Russian culture and Russian traditions,” he said. Lavrov underscored that Russia is watching this process, while the armed forces take all necessary measures to prevent Western plans from coming to fruition. “And they will not [come to fruition],” Lavrov underscored.

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“..the neo-cons ultimate intent: Poland, already mobilising a 200,000 man military force, would become the new proxy (and the largest army in Europe) in a wider European war against Russia.”

‘At War with Russia’, Europe Peers Down the Abyss (Alastair Crooke)

‘Serendipitously’ – at this moment of Davos decay – a raucous, distracting noise started up: Abrahams M1s and Leopards for Ukraine. German FM, Baerbock declares Germany and the EU family are “at war with Russia”. The noise, as usual, succeeds in obscuring any wider picture. Yes, point one, we do have mission creep: We won’t send offensive weapons, but then they did. We won’t send long-range weapons M777), but then they did. We won’t send multiple missile launch systems (HIMARS), but then they did. We won’t send tanks, but now they are. No NATO boots on the ground, but they have been there since 2014.

Point two: Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a former adviser to a U.S. Defence Secretary, says that the mood in Washington has notably changed: DC gets it – the U.S. is losing the proxy war. This fact however, Macgregor says, still remains ‘under the radar’ in respect to the main-stream media. The more important point Macgregor makes is that this late ‘awakening’ to reality is not shifting the stance of the neocons hawks, one jot. They want escalation (as do one small faction in Germany – the Greens; as well as a leading faction in Poland and, as usual, the Baltic states). And Biden has surrounded himself with State Department war-hawks.

Point three: the contrarian ‘reality’ is that the ‘uniformed’ militaries of Europe also ‘get it’: that Ukraine is losing, and now are very worried by the prospect of escalation – and of war engulfing eastern Europe. The tanks have nothing to do with their calculus about the war outcome. The professionals know the Abrams or Leopards will neither change the course of the war, nor will they arrive before it is too late to alter anything. The European military cadre do not want war with Russia: They know the EU has no ‘surge’ manufacturing capacity to sustain war against Russia beyond a very small window. Popular opinion, and key strands of élite opinion in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe), are becoming hardened in opposition to the war. The concern is that the emphasis on sending exactly German tanks, with their dark symbolism of past bloody battles, is intended to bury any prospect of any future German relationship with Russia – for good.

Further, German military officers worry that a failing Ukrainian military might fall back to the Polish border – and even across it – before the tanks are delivered. The tanks then would be absorbed by the Polish military. There is a thought in these military circles that this might, in fact, be the neo-cons ultimate intent: Poland, already mobilising a 200,000 man military force, would become the new proxy (and the largest army in Europe) in a wider European war against Russia.

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“..nearly every possible scenario gamed in Washington and Brussels finishes with NATO like a giant, armoured version of Wile E. Coyote plunging to the depths of the Grand Canyon..”

Trials and Tribulations of the Collective West (Escobar)

Every military analyst with an IQ over room temperature knows all those Leopards will be duly incinerated – or better yet, captured, and dissected by Russian military specialists. So what happens next is yet another vector of the – very successful so far – U.S.-unleashed German de-industrualization racket: the Americans will invade the German industrial military complex with their “much improved” Abrams – which may perhaps arrive in 2024, when only a rump Ukraine may still exist, or never arrive at all. So no need for the Abrams to prove themselves in actual combat – as in being captured and/or incinerated. Rumors in Washington advance that the U.S. “strategy” in Ukraine – extensively detailed by endless think tank reports – had to be adapted. It’s not about “defeating Russia” anymore, but providing Kiev with the means to “scare” Russia.

The Russian General Staff must be trembling in their boots. Meanwhile, in real life, nearly every possible scenario gamed in Washington and Brussels finishes with NATO like a giant, armoured version of Wile E. Coyote plunging to the depths of the Grand Canyon. And that happens even if the much ballyhooded “Big Arrow” Russian offensive starts in a few days or weeks, or never starts at all. Arguably the Russian General Staff has concluded a long time ago there’s no point in reducing Ukraine to rubble in a matter of hours – something they could easily accomplish. Thus the fabled mincing machine approach – offering no excuses for NATO to “escalate” (which they continue to do anyway, as Jens “War is Peace” Stoltenberg is so fond of parroting).

The trick is that NATO’s escalation overdrive, as it happens, is somewhat controlled by the Russian General Staff, which is always calculating which optimal maneuvers will consume NATO’s military hardware faster. Call it a Russian version of the popular axiom “frog in a boiling pot doesn’t realize it’s being cooked until it croaks.” Absolute desperation is now graphically extrapolating into attacks on Iran. Both Russia and China have Iran as their key ally in West Asia for the whole, complex process of Eurasia integration; strategic partnerships interlink the trio. So attacking the Ministry of Defense in Isfahan with drones – total fail – and bombing an IRGC convoy of humanitarian aid crossing from Iraq to Syria is a serious U.S.-Israel-coordinated provocation.

Essentially these are also attacks against Russia and China. Israel cannot lift its hand or foot without U.S. permission. Iranian intel may be able to establish how the Straussian neo-con and neoliberal-con cabal in charge of U.S. foreign policy authorized if not ordered these attacks, which of course are directly connected to NATO’s desperation in Ukraine. When in doubt, just come back to Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski: “Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia and perhaps, Iran, an ‘anti-hegemonic’ coalition united not by ideology but by contemporary grievances. It would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc.” And mirroring Ukraine/Russia there’s of course Taiwan/China.

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“..this risky step is especially profitable for arms barons.”

Sending Tanks To Kiev Not To Help Resolve Ukraine Conflict – Erdogan (TASS)

The West’s supply of weapons, including tanks, to Kiev will not bring about the solution to the Ukraine conflict, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised interview with the TRT channel on Wednesday. “I cannot say that I believe that sending tanks is a step towards resolving [the Ukraine conflict],” he said. “We expect Western countries to back our calls for negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.” Referring to the buildup of arms supply to Kiev, Erdogan emphasized that “this risky step is especially profitable for arms barons.” Nevertheless, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that weapons supplies to Ukraine may create conditions for “a negotiated peaceful solution” in the future.


On January 25, the United States pledged to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Kiev. On the same day, Germany confirmed that it would transfer 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine and would allow other countries to re-export these combat vehicles to Ukraine. According to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, the Leopard 2 tanks would be sent to Ukraine “before the end of March.” Norway, Slovakia, the UK, Poland, and France have also pledged to provide Kiev with Western-made tanks. Kiev expects to receive up to 140 tanks from 12 countries as the first batch. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that tensions around the situation in Ukraine are rising due to Washington’s decisions and US pressure on other countries.

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‘Nothing is forbidden in principle, provided that it will be useful, in particular, for the Ukrainian armed forces, will not lead to an escalation of the conflict and strikes on Russian territory..”

Zakharova: Jet Deliveries To Kiev Not Leading To Escalation ‘Absurd’ (TASS)

French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement that the possible delivery of military aircraft to Ukraine will not lead to an escalation is absurd, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Wednesday. “We’ve paid attention to the words of French President [Emmanuel] Macron, who, responding to a question about the possible supply of aircraft to Ukraine, said: ‘Nothing is forbidden in principle, provided that it will be useful, in particular, for the Ukrainian armed forces, will not lead to an escalation of the conflict and strikes on Russian territory, will not weaken the defense capability of France itself.’ Forgive me, but it’s some kind of absurdity,” Zakharova said, “Sorry, but Paris’ readiness to supply Kiev with fighter jets was confirmed by the French Defense Minister [Sebastien Lecornu] who visited Ukraine on January 28.”

“Is the French president really sure that supplying the Kiev regime with arms, heavy weapons and aircraft for combat operations will not escalate the situation? I refuse to believe that a grown man can have such logic,” the diplomat added, “Such statements only increase the already irrepressible appetite of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s regime, which, by shelling hospitals and massacring civilians, has clearly demonstrated that Western military injections – how did Mr. Macron put it? – will not lead to an escalation of the conflict. Well, of course, they ‘give’ peace. Obviously these planes are going to be used to drop cookies and candy, right? I have a different feeling.”

The diplomat stressed that Russia strongly condemned “the increasingly aggressive and bellicose rhetoric of Western officials, who have not been shy about making loud statements on the Ukrainian conflict lately.” “I understand them. They feel the deadlock of their own position and the lack of arguments to explain to their own citizens what they have done, in particular to the European continent. Hence the tearing and shouting, trying to find some kind of explanation for what they are doing,” she added.

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4 articles on Russian gas to EU that seem to contradict each other. Is the volume going up or down? You tell me.

Russia Ramps Up EU-Bound Gas Transit Via Ukraine (RT)

Russian energy giant Gazprom has increased its daily volume of gas transit through Ukraine to the EU by 20% for the first time in weeks, the company announced on Wednesday. Supplies jumped to 29.4 million cubic meters (mcm) on February 1, compared to 24.5 mcm pumped the previous day through the Sudzha entry point, which remains the only operating interconnector in Ukraine. “Gazprom supplies Russian gas for transit through the territory of Ukraine in the amount confirmed by the Ukrainian side through Sudzha – 29.4 mcm as of February 1,” Gazprom spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov told reporters. Kupriyanov added that an application had been rejected for the Sokhranovka transit point, which previously served as a key gas transit route through Ukraine and handled about a third of the Russian gas flowing through the country to the EU.

Ukraine shut down transit through Sokhranovka in early May, citing “interference by the occupying forces.” Russian gas deliveries to the EU via Ukraine were slashed from last May in the aftermath of the bloc’s sweeping anti-Russia sanctions, and stood between 40 to 43 mcm per day. This year, shipments declined sharply from 35.5 mcm in early January to 24 mcm by the end of the month. Analysts attributed the lower volumes to warm winter temperatures in Europe and to high stocks of gas in underground storage facilities. Imports have somewhat rebounded after gas prices began to rise on expectations of colder weather next week. Flows are still about 27% lower than levels at the start of the winter gas season last year, according to Reuters estimates.

Meanwhile, requests for Russian gas from Ukraine to Slovakia via the Velke Kapusany border point also surged to 23.7 mcm compared to 18.6 mcm the previous day, Ukrainian transmission system data showed. Gas transit through Ukraine remains the only route for Russian supplies to the countries of Western and Central Europe after sabotage attacks in September rendered the Nord Stream pipeline inoperable. Gazprom also exports gas via the Turkish Stream and Blue Stream pipelines to Southern and South-Eastern Europe.

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The article above: “Russian energy giant Gazprom has increased its daily volume of gas transit through Ukraine to the EU by 20% for the first time in weeks..”

This article: “Russia’s pipeline gas exports to Europe slumped to a new monthly record-low in January, falling by nearly 30% from December..”

Russia’s Pipeline Gas Exports To Europe Slump To Record Low (ZH)

Russia’s pipeline gas exports to Europe slumped to a new monthly record-low in January, falling by nearly 30% from December due to lower prices on the spot market, according to Reuters calculations. Russia’s gas giant Gazprom has seen exports to Europe decline since the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year as Russia cut off gas supplies to a number of countries in Europe. Russia cut off supply to Poland, Bulgaria, and Finland in April and May, slashed gas deliveries via Nord Stream to Germany in June, then off Nord Stream supply in early September. Russia still sends some gas via pipelines to Europe via one transit route through Ukraine, and via TurkStream.

This month, Gazprom has reduced pipeline gas transit flows to Europe via Ukraine on some days. Analysts have said that the lower pipeline flows were the result of lower demand for gas under long-term contracts, considering the milder weather in parts of Europe earlier in January and the fact that spot supply is currently cheaper. Per Reuters calculations, which are based on daily data of flows from Russia via the transit route through Ukraine and via TurkStream, pipeline gas exports from Russia to Europe dropped to around some 1.8 billion cubic meters (bcm) in January, down from 2.5 bcm in December.

Gazprom hasn’t released January export data yet, but its exports to Europe via pipelines plunged to a post-Soviet low in 2022, according to data from the Russian firm calculated by Reuters. Last year’s Russian gas exports slumped by 45% year on year to reach 100.9 bcm in 2022. Germany, Russia’s biggest customer of gas before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, doesn’t import any Russian gas via pipeline now. Norway became Germany’s single-largest natural gas supplier in 2022, overtaking Russia, as total German gas imports dropped by 12.3% compared to 2021.

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“..Transneft workers are currently repairing the damage caused by the attack and that the pipeline continues to operate normally..”

Ukraine Attacks Pipeline Pumping Russian Oil To EU – Transneft (RT)

A Ukrainian rocket has reportedly struck near an oil pumping station connected to the Druzhba pipeline in Russia’s Bryansk Region, the operator Transneft claimed on Wednesday. Speaking to the TASS news agency, Igor Demin, a spokesman for the company, said the shell landed on the territory of the Novozybkovo station in the late hours of January 31. He noted that the attempted attack ultimately failed to cause any casualties or hinder the work of the pipeline. According to initial reporting by the Mash news agency, the strike was carried out using a Tochka-U rocket. Workers reportedly found a 20-meter crater on the territory of the station, which lost power as a result of the attack.

Demin explained that the Novozybkovo oil pumping station, which was the apparent target, is only temporarily used at peak times on the Druzhba pipeline and was last turned on in 2022 for only a few hours. He noted that Transneft workers are currently repairing the damage caused by the attack and that the pipeline continues to operate normally. The Druzhba (Friendship) oil pipeline is one of the longest in the world and connects eastern parts of Russia to several points in Europe, including Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Germany.

The segment that was apparently being targeted by Kiev’s forces on Tuesday is located some 39km from the Russian-Ukrainian border and leads directly into Belarus, where it branches off into two sections: one going to Germany and Poland and the other delivering oil to Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic. Germany, however, has not received any oil since the start of the year after Berlin and Poland both pledged to stop all imports of Russian crude. According to Bryansk Governor Aleksander Bogomaz, Kiev’s forces also launched several artillery strikes against civilian targets across the region on Tuesday. Although no casualties have been reported, Bogomaz said the attack damaged over a dozen residential buildings, a WWII memorial, and a shop. The strikes also cut off power to several villages, he said, later adding that these issues had been promptly resolved by emergency services.

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Price cap is $60. The average price for Urals oil blend was at $49.50 per barrel.

EU-Owned Tankers Boost Russian Oil Shipments (RT)

Exports of Russian oil loaded in Western-insured tankers surged in January as prices for Moscow’s flagship Urals grade stood below the cap set by the Group of Seven (G7) countries and the European Union, Reuters reported, citing tracking data. The price cap on Russian seaborne oil exports of $60 per barrel was introduced by the EU, G7 countries, and Australia on December 5. It bans Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shipments of Russian oil unless the cargo is purchased at or below the set price. The average price for Urals oil blend was at $49.50 per barrel on a free-on-board basis (FOB) on Tuesday for shipments from the port of Primorsk, and at $47.83 FOB from Novorossiisk, traders told the outlet. Western tankers are set to carry more than 9.5 million tons of crude from the Russia, hitting a multi-month high in January as soaring Asian demand pushes up prices.


This month’s loadings of crude from Russia and Kazakhstan from only two ports of Ust-Luga and Primorsk are expected to reach the highest volumes since 2019, amounting to 7.4 million tons, traders’ data showed. A quarter of all Urals shipments from Russia in January were handled by EU-owned vessels mainly from Greece, twice as much as in December. Meanwhile, other Russian export blends such as Sokol and ESPO are trading well above the price cap, with Sokol being contracted at about $78 per barrel and ESPO trading at over $72 per barrel as of Tuesday. Russia has been opposed to the price cap initiative from the start. Last month, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning the supply of Russian oil and oil products to foreign buyers that “directly or indirectly” mention the cap in their contracts. The ban came into force on February 1, and will be valid for at least five months.

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The blessings of bias.

“Objectivity Has Got To Go” (Turley)

Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll decried how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.” Lauren Wolfe, the fired freelance editor for the New York Times, has not only gone public to defend her pro-Biden tweet but published a piece titled “I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.”

Former New York Times writer (and now Howard University Journalism Professor) Nikole Hannah-Jones is a leading voice for advocacy journalism. Indeed, Hannah-Jones has declared “all journalism is activism.” Her 1619 Project has been challenged as deeply flawed and she has a long record as a journalist of intolerance, controversial positions on rioting, and fostering conspiracy theories. Hannah-Jones would later help lead the effort at the Times to get rid of an editor and apologize for publishing a column from Sen. Tom Cotten as inaccurate and inflammatory. Polls show trust in the media at an all-time low with less than 20 percent of citizens trusting television or print media. Yet, reporters and academics continue to destroy the core principles that sustain journalism and ultimately the role of a free press in our society.

Notably, writers who have been repeatedly charged with false or misleading columns are some of the greatest advocates for dropping objectivity in journalism. Now the leaders of media companies are joining this self-destructive movement. They are not speaking of columnists or cable hosts who routinely share opinions. They are speaking of actual journalists, the people who are relied upon to report the news. Saying that “Objectivity has got to go” is, of course, liberating. You can dispense with the necessities of neutrality and balance. You can cater to your “base” like columnists and opinion writers. Sharing the opposing view is now dismissed as “bothsidesism.” Done. No need to give credence to opposing views. It is a familiar reality for those of us in higher education, which has been increasingly intolerant of opposing or dissenting views.

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“..they had also helped it “get new customers,” including “government agencies” in the case of Metabiota..”

Hunter Biden’s Metabiota Labs Received $10s of Millions in DOD Contracts (GP)

According to USASpending.gov, a database of spending by the US federal government, the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded tens of millions of dollars in contracts to Hunter Biden’s Metabiota labs. Metabiota is a San Francisco-based health startup known for tracking epidemics. The company is mentioned on the Hunter Biden laptop. Hunter Biden’s investment firm, Rosemont Seneca, invested $500,000 in Metabiota, and the company went on to raise several million more from investment giants like Goldman Sachs. The firm has biolabs in several countries, including Ukraine, where Hunter played an important role in the company’s activities. In their pitches to potential backers, Hunter bragged that they had done more than just get financing for the company; they had also helped it “get new customers,” including “government agencies” in the case of Metabiota, according to Daily Mail.

Government data shows Hunter Biden secured millions in government funding and grants for Metabiota after he became part owner of the firm. Metabiota was one of the 46 Ukrainian Bioweapon labs that the US government partnered with, per DC Draino. Following Hunter Biden and his company, Rosemont Seneca’s acquisition of a 50% ownership stake in the Metabiota, the government contracts and grants started flowing. Before the Rosemont Senaca agreement, Metabiota was given a $349,513 contract from the government. Following Hunter’s involvement, Metabiota was awarded a contract with the Department of Defense worth $23.9 million. Before Hunter was involved, Metabiota received a $649,882 grant from the US government. After Hunter became involved, Metabiota received several million in government grants.


According to Daily Mail, Hunter Biden connected a corrupt Ukrainian gas company called Burisma with the Metabiota for an undisclosed “scientific project.” The outlet added that Metabiota is supposedly a medical data company, but in 2014, Metabiota Vice President Mary Guttieri contacted Hunter explaining how they could “assert Ukraine’s cultural and economic independence from Russia,” an unusual ambition for a biotech corporation. “Thanks so much for taking time out of your intense schedule to meet with Kathy and I on Tuesday. We very much enjoyed our discussion. As promised, I’ve prepared the attached memo, which provides an overview of Metabiota, our engagement in Ukraine, and how we can potentially leverage our team, networks, and concepts to assert Ukraine’s cultural and economic independence from Russia and continued integration into Western society,” the email reads.

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“[n]o one thinks this strategy of putting Hunter Biden front and center is smart… No one, including the White House, thinks this is a smart strategy.”

Hunter Biden Demands Investigations Into Reporting On His Laptop (JTN)

First son Hunter Biden and his legal team sent a slew of letters to government agencies on Wednesday demanding investigations into the dissemination of materials from his laptop, while also threatening to sue Fox News host Tucker Carlson. A source familiar with the letters, obtained by CBS News, indicated to the outlet that the scandal-plagued Biden intends to take the initiative in combatting negative press and Republican-led investigations. “He is not going to sit quietly by as questionable characters continue to violate his rights and media organizations peddling in lies try to defame him,” the source said. The letter to Carlson demands that the Fox host retract statements describing a “money laundering scheme” connected to Biden allegedly paying his father “rent” money.

The letter acknowledges that other outlets have retracted such claims. Other letters went to the Delaware attorney general, the IRS, and the Department of Justice seeking investigations related to the publication of the laptop, the authenticity of which has since been verified. The letters appear to mark a direct admission from Biden’s legal team that the laptop does indeed belong to Biden and that the contents are authentic. “This failed dirty political trick directly resulted in the exposure, exploitation, and manipulation of Mr. Biden’s private and personal information,” read the letter to Delaware AG Kathy Jennings. “Mr. Mac Isaac’s intentional, reckless and unlawful conduct allowed for hundreds of gigabytes of Mr. Biden’s personal data, without any discretion, to be circulated around the Internet.

Specifically, Biden wants investigations into laptop repairman John Paul Mac Isaac, at whose store the younger Biden left the laptop, as well as various Trump aides connected to the publication of its contents. Biden alleges that many of these aides may have broken the law in obtaining and distributing the laptop’s contents. Biden also has asked the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of Marco Polo, the organization operated by former Trump aide Garrett Ziegler that published a lengthy report on the laptop’s contents. Reports emerged in December that Hunter Biden was mounting a legal and media blitz to combat conservative criticism and allegations of legal improprieties. A source at the White House expressed concerns to the Washington Post about Hunter’s plans at the time, saying “[n]o one thinks this strategy of putting Hunter Biden front and center is smart… No one, including the White House, thinks this is a smart strategy.”

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The “Russia thing”.

The Press Versus The President, Part Three (CJR)

Trump’s firing of Comey on May 9 was nothing like his hit TV show, The Apprentice. The boss couldn’t move on to the next episode, nor would the ousted employee quietly walk away. The firestorm that erupted in the aftermath of Comey being axed required a do-over, in part because of shifting White House explanations for his dismissal. So Trump sat down two days later for an interview with Lester Holt, the Nightly News anchor for NBC. But instead of tamping down the controversy, it fanned the Russia flames for the media. A tweet from the show on May 11 set the narrative for the Holt interview: “Trump on firing Comey: ‘I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.’” Those few words, by suggesting Comey’s firing was aimed at getting the FBI inquiry off his back, provided fresh ammunition to anti-Trumpers.

The full interview, which was available online, presented a more nuanced story, and appeared to reflect what his advisers told him: firing Comey could prolong, not end, the investigation. Trump told Holt, soon after the controversial words, that the firing “might even lengthen out the investigation” and he expected the FBI “to continue the investigation,” to do it “properly,” and “to get to the bottom.” The media focused on the “Russia thing” quote; the New York Times did five stories over the next week citing the “Russia thing” remarks but leaving out the fuller context. The Post and CNN, by comparison, included additional language in their first-day story. The White House was upset and repeatedly asked reporters to look at the full transcript, according to a former Trump aide and two reporters.

On the heels of the NBC interview came a leak of Comey’s notes of private conversations with Trump, including one at a dinner in January where Trump was said to have asked the FBI director to pledge loyalty to him. The Times piece reported that the inquiry into Trump and Russia “has since gained momentum as investigators have developed new evidence and leads.” Comey, once out of office, had his internal memos leaked to the Times, hoping that might “help prompt” the appointment of a special counsel, he testified to Congress a few weeks later. At the same hearing, he criticized the paper’s story of February 14, one of whose authors was Michael Schmidt, the reporter who received his leaked memos. On June 8, at a Senate hearing, Comey was asked whether the Times story was “almost entirely wrong.” He said yes.

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“.. there were a total of 1,250 serious adverse events for every 1 million people vaccinated..”

Why Did UK Wait 3 Months to Disclose Data Showing COVID Vaccine Risks? (CHD)

A Jan. 25 report by the U.K government showed the risks of serious adverse effects from mRNA COVID-19 vaccines largely outweigh the benefits, according to John Campbell, Ph.D., who analyzed the U.K. data used for the report. U.K. health officials knew about the data in October 2022, but didn’t change their recommendations for the shots until the day they released the report and announced they will no longer recommend COVID-19 boosters for healthy people under 50. They also said they will discontinue free distribution of the primary two-shot series. In his latest video, Campbell, a retired nurse teacher in England, summarized the results of the report, which calculated how many people had to be vaccinated in different age groups and risk profiles in order to avoid a single hospitalization.

Campbell compared the results to peer-reviewed data on serious adverse events reported following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. The report was based on an October 2022 UK Health Security Agency presentation to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Despite the “massive shift” in vaccine risk-benefit analysis that was already clear in the October presentation, Campbell said, “the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation carried on without modification to the autumn booster program.” “My question to the Joint Committee on Vaccination Immunisation is why?” said Campbell, who noted that the agency is 85% funded by industry.

Summary of the analysis: ‘number needed to vaccinate’ versus risk of serious adverse events The U.K. study analyzed the “number needed to vaccinate” by age group to prevent either hospitalization or “serious hospitalization,” which is when someone needs oxygen or a ventilator — though Campbell noted that it is common, in general, to oxygenate in hospitals. For example, healthcare providers would need to vaccinate 43,000 people in the 50 to 59 age group to prevent one hospitalization and more than 256,400 people in that age group to prevent a serious hospitalization. Campbell compared the numbers in the report to a peer-reviewed study published in Vaccine that re-analyzed the original phase 3 trials for Pfizer and Moderna to identify serious adverse events of special interest following the mRNA vaccines.

In the Moderna trials, the risk of serious adverse events was 15.1 per 10,000 doses. In other words, 1 in 662 vaccines administered produced a serious adverse event. In the Pfizer trials, the risk of serious adverse events was 10.1 per 10,000, which breaks down to 1 in 990 vaccines administered producing a serious adverse event. On average, there were 12.5 serious adverse events per 10,000 people vaccinated, which is 1 in 800. That means there were a total of 1,250 serious adverse events for every 1 million people vaccinated, according to the study.

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“What we see with Farrar is a recipe for disaster when it comes to imposing experimental medical technology on the population during public health crises..”

Is a Mad Scientist Set to Become Chief Scientist at the WHO? (CHD)

The World Health Organization (WHO) last month named Dr. Jeremy Farrar its new chief scientist. Farrar will step down Feb. 25 as director of the Wellcome Trust, the largest funder of medical research in the U.K. and one of the largest in the world. Farrar and the Wellcome Trust are less well-known relative to similar global public health giants, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — and that’s “to people’s detriment,” investigative journalist Whitney Webb told journalist Kim Iversen on a recent episode of “The Kim Iversen Show”: “If what is essentially a power grab by the World Health Organization gets put into force, then Jeremy Farrar will have essentially total authority to impose upon member states what medical responses they would have to implement in the event of another pandemic.”

Webb referred to proposals in the works to transform the WHO from an advisory organization to a global governing body whose policies would be legally binding for member states in the case of a global health emergency. While at Wellcome Trust, Farrar was the architect of several key WHO COVID-19 pandemic policy directives, including lockdowns, masking and mass vaccination. “What we see with Farrar is a recipe for disaster when it comes to imposing experimental medical technology on the population during public health crises. This is a guy who was very much invested in this stuff,” Webb said. It’s something out of ‘Brave New World’ Iversen asked about links between the Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

While there is no direct link, Webb said, “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a lot of these other organizations, including the Wellcome Trust, are very much pushing an agenda that I would argue is sort of the fusion of Big Pharma and Big Tech.” “Essentially Big Pharma is looking for new markets and new products and Big Tech can help them accomplish that,” she said. Over the last several decades, Big Pharma and “billionaire philanthropists” have come to dominate the WHO, Webb told Iversen. They are the ones, “in my opinion, executing this power grab more than the WHO itself,” she said. There are also key ties between Big Tech and national security agencies, Webb said. Farrar has connections to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, Webb said.

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Stefania Maurizi has been tirelessly filing FOIA requests for years in Sweden, Britain, the United States and Australia.

Sweden Destroyed Substantial Part Of Its Documents On Julian Assange (Maurizi)

A substantial portion of the documents on Julian Assange were destroyed by the Swedish Prosecution Authority, which investigated him for rape in a criminal investigation opened and closed three times between August 2010 and November 2019. The materials destroyed were correspondence between the Swedish Prosecution Authority (SPA) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which was providing the SPA with support on the case, since Assange was under investigation in Sweden but had been in London since 2010. The correspondence between the SPA and CPS is absolutely crucial to understand and reconstruct what really happened in the Swedish rape investigation. That investigation was ultimately dropped once and for all without Assange ever being charged, but for almost a decade has deprived him of the empathy of public opinion.

Especially the empathy of that segment of the public more sensitive to the WikiLeaks revelations on war crimes and torture, often the segment also more mindful of women’s rights. The highly anomalous handling of the Swedish case by prosecutor Marianne Ny resulted in justice for no one, contributed to the devastation of Assange’s health, cost British taxpayers at least 13.2 million pounds to keep the Ecuadorian embassy under siege by Scotland Yard from 2012 to 2015, and resulted in the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention decision that Sweden and the United Kingdom had arbitrarily detained Assange since 2010, in the case of Sweden the first time the UN Group had ever made such a decision in the country’s history. In September 2019, the then UN Special Rapporteur on Torture who had investigated the case, Nils Melzer, listed fifty perceived due process violations, including “Proactive manipulation of evidence”, in an official letter to the Swedish government.

[..] The fact that documents were destroyed by the Swedish Prosecution Authority has just surfaced thanks to our lengthy FOIA litigation, and comes almost six years after that very same FOIA litigation unearthed that key documents were destroyed by the Crown Prosecution Service. It is now clear that both of the authorities handling the Swedish case, the SPA and the CPS, destroyed a large part of their email exchanges. Why? What did those documents contain and on whose instructions were those materials destroyed? Now more than ever some sort of explanation is urgently needed, considering that the United States is currently acting through the Crown Prosecution Service itself in the extradition proceeding against Julian Assange.

Since 2015, we have been engaged in trench warfare in Sweden, Britain, the United States and Australia to access the full documentation on the case under FOIA, represented by seven lawyers. This investigative work has allowed us to find the answer to one of the key questions around the Swedish case: why did Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny, who reopened the rape case in September 2010 after Stockholm’s chief prosecutor, Eva Finné, had immediately dismissed it (because, in her judgement, the suspect’s conduct “disclosed no crime at all”) refuse to question Assange in London for six years?

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Baldwin

 

 

Skills

 

 

Elephant Birth

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 012023
 
 February 1, 2023  Posted by at 9:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  88 Responses »


Claude Monet Water lillies 1914 – 1917

 

A Panicked Empire Tries To Make Russia An ‘Offer It Can’t Refuse’ (Escobar)
Desperate Actions (Dionísio)
The War and the Future (Batiushka)
France ‘Open’ To Sending Fighter Jets To Ukraine. UK Says “Not Practical” (ZH)
House GOP Kicks Off Biden Corruption Investigations (ZH)
Gold And The Shrinking Trust Horizon (John Rubino)
Norway’s Wealth Fund Posts Heavy Losses (RT)
Buzzfeed Sacks 180 Journalists, Replaces Them With AI (RT)
The Press Versus The President, Part Two (CJR)
Twitter Makes Move That Could Take Out ‘Woke’ PayPal (TPN)
Who Will be Spared from COVID-19 Vaccine Injury? (McCullough)
Did 7.5 Million People Die From Covid Shots? (Horowitz)
Massive Mask Meta-study Undermines Remaining Covid Mandates (JTN)
How Ivermectin Kills Prostate Cancer Cells (PR)
Quantum Entanglement Just Got A Whole Lot Weirder (Siegel)

 

 

 

 

U.S. Not Prepared to take on Russia / Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Tucker Dore

 

 

Winning

 

 

Gonzalo primer

 

 

 

 

Involves the John Helmer piece we mentioned recently.

A Panicked Empire Tries To Make Russia An ‘Offer It Can’t Refuse’ (Escobar)

Realizing NATO’s war with Russia will likely end unfavorably, the US is test-driving an exit offer. But why should Moscow take indirect proposals seriously, especially on the eve of its new military advance and while it is in the winning seat? Those behind the Throne are never more dangerous than when they have their backs against the wall. Their power is slipping away, fast: Militarily, via NATO’s progressive humiliation in Ukraine; Financially, sooner rather than later, most of the Global South will want nothing to do with the currency of a bankrupt rogue giant; Politically, the global majority is taking decisive steps to stop obeying a rapacious, discredited, de facto minority. So now those behind the Throne are plotting to at least try to stall the incoming disaster on the military front.

As confirmed by a high-level US establishment source, a new directive on NATO vs. Russia in Ukraine was relayed to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Blinken, in terms of actual power, is nothing but a messenger boy for the Straussian neocons and neoliberals who actually run US foreign policy. The secretary of state was instructed to relay the new directive – a sort of message to the Kremlin – via mainstream print media, which was promptly published by the Washington Post. In the elite US mainstream media division of labor, the New York Times is very close to the State Department. and the Washington Post to the CIA. In this case though the directive was too important, and needed to be relayed by the paper of record in the imperial capital. It was published as an Op-Ed.

The novelty here is that for the first time since the start of Russia’s February 2022 Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine, the Americans are actually proposing a variation of the “offer you can’t refuse” classic, including some concessions which may satisfy Russia’s security imperatives. Crucially, the US offer totally bypasses Kiev, once again certifying that this is a war against Russia conducted by Empire and its NATO minions – with the Ukrainians as mere expandable proxies. The Washington Post’s old school Moscow-based correspondent John Helmer has provided an important service, offering the full text of Blinken’s offer, of course extensively edited to include fantasist notions such as “US weapons help pulverize Putin’s invasion force” and a cringe-worthy explanation: “In other words, Russia should not be ready to rest, regroup and attack.”

The message from Washington may, at first glance, give the impression that the US would admit Russian control over Crimea, Donbass, Zaporozhye, and Kherson – “the land bridge that connects Crimea and Russia” – as a fait accompli. Ukraine would have a demilitarized status, and the deployment of HIMARS missiles and Leopard and Abrams tanks would be confined to western Ukraine, kept as a “deterrent against further Russian attacks.” What may have been offered, in quite hazy terms, is in fact a partition of Ukraine, demilitarized zone included, in exchange for the Russian General Staff cancelling its yet-unknown 2023 offensive, which may be as devastating as cutting off Kiev’s access to the Black Sea and/or cutting off the supply of NATO weapons across the Polish border.

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RAND Corp.

Desperate Actions (Dionísio)

Something is changing on Mount Olympus and it is leaving in tatters the union of tendencies connected to the U.S.-state falconry. To understand and predict the actions of the political elite that commands, through their transnational mandataries, our destinies, implies knowing what one of the most important US defense think tanks reflects and publishes. This research leads us to an entity that rarely appears in the “informative” moments of the North Atlantic press: the RAND Corporation. RAND’s best-known moment with regard to the conflict in Eastern Europe is signaled by the publication of the report “Extending Russia – Competing from Advantageous Ground”. This report contains the entire menu of malfeasance that, in the claims made public and repeated by the US power summit, would lead to a fulminating defeat of the political, economic, and military power of the Russian Federation.

The analysis expressed publicly, by the various political actors, was that the Russian Federation was nothing more than “a gasoline bomb with nuclear weapons,” a “paper tiger” with a GDP equal to that of Holland, and a people gagged by a “mad dictator” who remained in power only through “authoritarianism” and “repression”. Based on an analysis whose information seemed to substantiate such political positions, the RAND report advocated a type of intervention, some of which were well reported – others not so well reported – in the official press. This was the case with the attempted “colored” revolutions made in CIA in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Central Asian countries, which, together with Georgia and Moldova, would probably be “promoted” and “supported” to the condition of an actual Ukraine.

The Russian Federation, having to meet all the fires, some because they would become proxy armies (like Ukraine), others turned into bases of destabilizing operations launched by the CIA, would eventually “extend” itself until it broke into pieces and collapsed, putting an end to the current threat. Even without this partition, a point could always be reached where, after the destruction of the incumbent political power, a more docile “regime” would be installed, pointing to a more “advantageous position on the ground.” Given to be known only in 2019, we are forced to note that this strategy had long been in preparation, especially since the Russian president lost hope that he could count on a Western “partnership” and announce the end of the unipolar world. Fact is, the report has a logical connection with the 2018 National Defense Strategy (US national defense strategy).

At any rate, this strategy points to the “Yugoslavization” of the Russian Federation. The truth is that the constant itinerary of this work has been followed almost scrupulously by the U.S. security and defense establishment: “colored” revolutions; states transformed into proxy armies; communication and disinformation campaigns; destabilization and sabotage operations; economic sanctions and embargoes. A menu of fulminating “democratic” activities on the rise! And why is it important to talk about this today? It is important because in the last few days a new paper from the RAND corporation was published, but this time in reverse, a study entitled “Avoiding a Long War U.S. Policy and the Trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict.”

Lula

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“First of all, probably within the next fifteen months, we shall see the full liberation of the Ukraine..”

The War and the Future (Batiushka)

Since the historic Special Military Operation to liberate the peoples of the Ukraine from their US puppet tyrants in Kiev began on 24 February 2022, the post-1945 settlement has been over. In fact, it should have been over with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 or, at latest, at the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. However, the USA was blinded by its exceptionalist hubris as ‘the only Superpower’ and engaged in its latest fantasy of destroying Islam, which it mistakenly saw as a serious rival, arrogantly dismissing Russia, China and India as minor players. So, as a sectarian rogue-state, the USA began its war of terror on all who thought differently, which it so humiliatingly lost. This can be seen in the dramatic pictures of the last flights out of Kabul in 2021.

In other words, after the end of the Soviet Union, which had been born directly out of World War One and formally founded in 1922, the end of the American Union (= NATO) should have followed, and with it the end of the worldwide American Empire. Thus, today NATO is an anachronism, well past its best before date, which is why has begun meddling all over the world, from the foothills of the Himalaya to the Pacific Ocean. NATO is just like the alphabet soup of other US organisations and fronts, IMF, EU, WTO, OECD, G7, G20 and UN, with its mere five Security Council members, including minor Great Britain and France. What might await us as a result of the liberation of the Ukraine on the centenary of the 1945 settlement, in 2045?

1. After the Ukraine. First of all, probably within the next fifteen months, we shall see the full liberation of the Ukraine. With the eastern Novorossija half of the Ukraine returning to Russia, the remaining half, Central and Western Ukraine, perhaps minus Zakarpattia (returning to Hungary as an autonomous region under the Balogh brothers) and Chernivtsy (returning to Romania), will return to being Malorossija, its capital in Kiev. Thus, the way will at last be open to form the Confederation of Rus’. The at last freed East Slav lands and peoples, Eurasian Russia and the Eastern European Belarus and Malorossija, could together form such a Confederation of Rus’, with a total population of just under 200 million.

2. The Reconfiguration of Eurasia . After the Ukrainian question has been solved and the USA has lost its political, military and, above all, economic power to bully the rest of the world, all of us in Eurasia will be able to start living in our new-found Freedom and building Justice and Prosperity for all. We foresee first of all the expansion of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Wagner

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“..given training on the Abrams M1 tank could take at minimum six months, something as sophisticated as Western-made fighter jets could take years for pilots unfamiliar with their systems to get combat ready on..”

France ‘Open’ To Sending Fighter Jets To Ukraine. UK Says “Not Practical” (ZH)

Here we go again… French President Emmanuel Macron in Monday comments signaled openness to sending Ukraine advanced fighter jets, something which Kiev has broadly asked its allies for since nearly the start of the Russian invasion. “Nothing is excluded in principle,” Macron said immediately following talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte when pressed by reporters about the question of fighter jets for Ukraine. The Dutch premier himself had weighed in too saying, “There is no taboo but it would be a big step.” But he noted, “It is not at all a question of F-16s, there has been no demand (from Ukraine).” Macron added that the French “are not making this request at the moment for fighter jets” – in what appears a first confirmation that the Ukrainian government has not yet gone through with a formal ask.

Macron’s fresh remarks, however, are likely to be seen from Kiev as an invitation to proceed with a formal request, while will putting more pressure on Paris and the Western alliance. Ukrainian officials have long been going through Poland, it seems, to press the jet issue with NATO command in Brussels. Macron stipulated that jets for Ukraine must “not be escalatory” – meaning that they would “not be likely to hit Russian soil but purely to aid the resistance effort.” But obviously advanced fighters would be escalatory by the very nature of sending them after Moscow has reiterated its “red lines”. As for the rest of Europe, on the same day that the White House said that it would not be sending jets, Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it would not be practical.

“The UK’s … fighter jets are extremely sophisticated and take months to learn how to fly. Given that, we believe it is not practical to send those jets into Ukraine,” a spokesperson for the British prime minister told reporters. “We will continue to discuss with our allies about what we think what is the right approach.” Indeed given training on the Abrams M1 tank could take at minimum six months, something as sophisticated as Western-made fighter jets could take years for pilots unfamiliar with their systems to get combat ready on. Germany too has issued a firm “no” amid mounting pressure from Ukraine for jets. Meanwhile it’s no surprise that the European country pressing the hardest to send jets continues to be Poland. Warsaw has been pressing the rest of NATO to transfer jets since the opening months of the war. On Monday Polish officials expressed readiness to send US-made F-16s to Ukraine, but emphasized it would only do so in coordination with NATO. “We will act in full coordination here,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

Boris

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“..organized GOP members into “task forces” to come up with oversight and legislative priorities..”

House GOP Kicks Off Biden Corruption Investigations (ZH)

Newly empowered House Republicans are kicking off their long-planned investigations into a wide variety of issues, beginning with hearings on the US-Mexico border crisis, the origins of Covid-19, and pandemic relief programs. The House Judiciary Committee’s first meeting of the new Congress, led by Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), will be “The Biden Border Crisis: Part I.” Then, the House Energy and Commerce investigations subcommittee will hold a hearing titled: “Challenges and Opportunities to Investigating the Origins of Pandemics and Other Biological Events,” as part of its probe into the origins of Covid-19. Meanwhile, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, led by James Comer (R-KY) will kick off a hearing on waste, fraud and abuse related to federal pandemic spending, The Hill reports.

“I don’t think history will be kind to the PPP loan program,” said Comer during a Monday appearance at a National Press Club event, referring to the program that provided businesses with forgivable loans. “I think it’ll be eventually viewed in the same manner that the big bank bailouts were when people find out where a lot of that money was going.” Republicans had been plotting extensive investigations into the Biden administration for more than a year before the midterm elections. Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), in preparation for taking the House majority, organized GOP members into “task forces” to come up with oversight and legislative priorities. Republican members of committees started investigations last year when they were in the minority.

Republicans now have control over committee hearing topics, a better chance of getting answers from administration officials, and are armed with subpoena power to compel testimony and documents — though no committee has used it yet. Next week, the Oversight panel is set to hold a hearing on the U.S.-Mexico border and a hearing with former Twitter employees about the platform’s suppression of the New York Post’s story on the Hunter Biden hard drive in 2020. -The Hill Speaking of the Bidens, the Oversight panel is also conducting an ‘extensive probe’ into the business dealings of President Biden’s family which will focus on Hunter Biden. Republicans on the House Oversight, Judiciary and Intelligence committees have also sought information related to President Biden’s mishandling of classified information, while the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees are going to be investigating the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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“..the military industrial complex is starting (potentially nuclear) wars all over the place. Government debt is growing exponentially. Wall Street has turned the markets into one big casino. Universities have become (very expensive) insane asylums. Congress is full of insider traders who amass fortunes while “serving the public.”

Gold And The Shrinking Trust Horizon (John Rubino)

[..] believe it or not, the public health establishment losing its credibility is related to precious metals, via something called the trust horizon. It works like this: When things are good and the people in charge of big systems seem to be running them well, we’re content to trust the experts. We keep most of our money in banks, brokerage houses, and crypto wallets that exist for us only as websites. We buy produce that’s grown in a different hemisphere and shipped via boats, trains, and trucks to corporate chain grocery stores. We vaccinate ourselves and our kids according to the schedules set by the NIH or the CDC. We pop pills on our doctor’s orders without doing any research. We eat processed foods on the assumption that the FDA keeps them free of dangerous additives. And we believe what we see on cable news.

In other words, our trust horizon, defined as the distance from ourselves at which we’ll believe what we’re told, is global. We assume everything everywhere is working for our benefit and we’re thus willing to put our welfare in those distant hands. But let some big systems fail to take proper care of us and we pull back, finding people and institutions closer to home that we can see and judge first-hand. We move our money out of distant banks and brokers and into local credit unions whose managers live down the street. We start buying groceries from farmers markets or directly from local farmers. Instead of popping whatever pill is standard for our ailments we look into “food as medicine” and other lifestyle remedies like exercise, supplements, and meditation. We homeschool our kids and join gun clubs. We buy homesteads and start raising chickens.

So where are today’s Americans on the trust horizon spectrum? Well, the military industrial complex is starting (potentially nuclear) wars all over the place. Government debt is growing exponentially. Wall Street has turned the markets into one big casino. Universities have become (very expensive) insane asylums. Congress is full of insider traders who amass fortunes while “serving the public.” And our presidents, well, insert your sarcastic phrase here. It’s safe to say that for a growing number of disillusioned people, trust now extends to – maybe — the governor’s mansion, city hall, local farmers, their church and one or two community banks. And that’s about it.

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“The market was impacted by war in Europe, high inflation, and rising interest rates. This negatively impacted both the equity market and bond market at the same time, which is very unusual. All the sectors in the equity market had negative returns, with the exception of energy.”

Norway’s Wealth Fund Posts Heavy Losses (RT)

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, Government Pension Fund Global, posted a record loss of 1.64 trillion kroner ($164.4 billion) in 2022, according to data published on the fund’s website on Tuesday. The return on investment last year was negative 14.1%, according to the released figures. The fund’s equities holdings posted a 15.3% loss, while its fixed-income portfolio was down 12.1%. Nicolai Tangen, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, the entity that manages the fund, commented: “The market was impacted by war in Europe, high inflation, and rising interest rates. This negatively impacted both the equity market and bond market at the same time, which is very unusual. All the sectors in the equity market had negative returns, with the exception of energy.”


Despite the record loss, the overall value of the fund increased by 89 billion kroner ($8.9 billion) year-on-year. This was largely due to a record 1.1 trillion kroner ($109 billion) inflow, a figure roughly three times larger than the previous high from 2008. Currency fluctuations also helped, adding some 642 billion kroner ($64 billion) to the fund’s value. The fund, which reportedly lost the status of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund to China Investment Corporation, had a value of 12.4 trillion kroner ($1.2 trillion) as of December 31, 2022. The fund invests the revenue from Norway’s oil and gas sales, which grew substantially last year after the country became Europe’s largest gas supplier due to the drop in Russian flows. The fund holds stakes in some 9,300 companies globally and owns the equivalent of 1.3% of all listed stocks.

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“..the use of the technology could be extended further to help “create, personalize, and animate the content itself..”

Buzzfeed Sacks 180 Journalists, Replaces Them With AI (RT)

Struggling online publisher BuzzFeed will start using artificial intelligence (AI) to help write its quizzes after laying off dozens of employees, Report informs referring to The Telegraph. The media company, known for its light-hearted articles and “listicles”, will work with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, on the initiative. The chatbot, which provides human-like written responses to prompts, has attracted praise from tech executives, academics and politicians amid hopes it could simplify and transform tasks across a range of industries. The technology will be used to create quizzes on the website that are tailored to an individual, with, for example, a pitch for a personalized rom com.


The quiz would ask prompt questions such as “Pick a trope for your rom com” and “Tell us an endearing flaw you have” before using AI to generate a write-up based on the responses, according to a memo to staff from chief executive Jonah Peretti. Peretti said he planned to increase the use of AI across BuzzFeed’s editorial output and business operations this year, according to the memo seen by the Wall Street Journal. Peretti said he expected AI to assist the creative process and enhance the content, while humans would provide “cultural currency” and “inspired prompts”. But he suggested the use of the technology could be extended further to help “create, personalize, and animate the content itself” over the next 15 years. sThe company’s push into AI comes just over a month after it sacked 12pc of its workforce – around 180 employees.

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4-part series.

The Press Versus The President, Part Two (CJR)

In a windowless conference room at Trump Tower, on January 6, 2017, Comey briefed the president-elect about the dossier about him and Russia. Trump had heard, from aides, media “rumblings” about Russia, but, in an interview, he said he was unaware of the dossier until he met with Comey. Comey’s one-on-one with Trump came after the intelligence community briefed him on a new “Intelligence Community Assessment” (ICA) on Russian activities in 2016. The ICA claimed that Russia had mounted an “influence campaign” aimed at the election but had not targeted or compromised vote-tallying systems. Its most important, and controversial, finding was that “Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” as opposed to Russia’s usual goal, which was generally sowing chaos in the United States.

An unclassified version of the ICA was released the same day in Washington. The dossier, actually a series of reports in 2016, was included in the assessment, but it remained secret, temporarily, because a summary of it was attached as a classified appendix. “The only thing that really resonated,” Trump said about the briefing, “was when he said four hookers,” a reference to the unsubstantiated claim of a salacious encounter in Moscow. Trump’s immediate reaction was that “this is not going to be good for the family,” he recalled. But his wife, Melania, “did not believe it at all,” telling him, “That’s not your deal with the golden shower,” Trump recalled. Trump’s marriage might have survived but his hoped for honeymoon with the press was about to end. The dossier, largely suppressed by the media in 2016, was about to surface.

But first came the ICA. It received massive, and largely uncritical coverage. Some other reporters weren’t convinced. Gessen called the ICA “flawed” because it was based on “conjecture” and incorporated “misreported or mistranslated” and “false” public statements. They criticized the major media, including the New York Times, for describing the ICA as a “strong statement.” In an interview, Gessen said that their skepticism left them isolated and they began to “lose confidence.” The dossier wound up in the ICA because the FBI pushed it, despite reservations at the CIA. Agency analysts saw it as an “internet rumor,” according to Justice Department documents. Two “senior managers in the CIA mission center responsible for Russia” also had reservations, according to a memoir by Brennan, the head of the agency at the time.

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A lot of people will like an alternative to Paypal.

Twitter Makes Move That Could Take Out ‘Woke’ PayPal (TPN)

Twitter CEO Elon Musk is not messing around. The billionaire truly does want to take over the world. Back in October, Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion and made it clear from day one that he had high ambitions. As Elon Musk strives to revive Twitter, the company has taken action by submitting applications for regulatory licenses in various parts of the US and developing the necessary software to incorporate payments within the social media platform. This would directly compete with PayPal who has been slammed by Conservatives for their ‘woke’ practices including banning and suspending payments from people who they don’t agree with. Check out what the Financial Times reported:

“Esther Crawford, a fast-rising lieutenant to Musk inside Twitter, has started to map out the architecture needed to facilitate payments on the platform with a small team, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans. The nascent moves to allow payments through the site are a critical part of Musk’s plan to open up fresh revenue streams. Twitter’s $5bn-a-year advertising business has cratered since he bought the platform for $44bn in October, with marketers citing concerns over its management and moderation. Musk has previously said he wants Twitter to offer fintech services such as peer-to-peer transactions, savings accounts and debit cards, as part of a masterplan to launch an “everything app” that incorporates messaging, payments and commerce. In 1999, Musk co-founded X.com, one of the first online banks, which later became part of payments giant PayPal. [..] Twitter is also pushing forward with the regulatory checks needed before launching a payment service. In November, Twitter registered with the US Treasury as a payments processor, according to a regulatory filing. It had now also begun to apply for some of the state licences it would need in order to launch, these people said.

Shortly after he acquired the tech company, Musk hinted that a payment processor would be coming soon. “The man who reinvented the payment system back in 1999 is all set to do it again,” tweeted ‘DogeDesigner’ on Twitter. Musk responded to the tweet, agreeing that he would be reinventing the payment system again. “It’s gonna be great,” Musk said.

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“..80% of the Pfizer deaths have come from ~30% of lots, whereas 80% of the Moderna deaths have come from 20% of lots…”

Who Will be Spared from COVID-19 Vaccine Injury? (McCullough)

Americans have become numb with newsreels of sudden cardiac death, blood clots, stroke, seizures, hospitalization, and death after COVID-19 vaccination. Many have vowed to decline future boosters and get off the vaccination train. However, a common question is: will I be spared? A Zobgy survey in 2022 found that 15% of individuals who took a COVID-19 vaccine had some new medical problem for which they were seeking care.1 A concordant survey done by Dr. Mark Skidmore at Michigan State University found that 22% of Americans knew someone who was seriously damaged by the vaccines.2 The CDC V-Safe data showed that 7-8% of those who took received a COVID-19 vaccine had to seek urgent care from an emergency department or similar facility.

These data suggest that ~85% of those who have received COVID-19 vaccines have no significant problems, and ~15% have been damaged. While this number is unacceptably high, and the vaccine campaign should be stopped, many are wondering now: “why me?” There are almost certainly factors related to the vaccine product that plays a role. In general, Moderna with 100 mcg of mRNA appears to be more toxic than Pfizer with 30 mcg of mRNA.Janssen seems to be similar acutely to Pfizer, but with a better longer-term safety profile. Novavax, with 5 mcg of purified Spike protein, appears to have the most favorable safety profile with no genetic material being injected into the body.

It has been reported that 80% of the Pfizer deaths have come from ~30% of lots, whereas 80% of the Moderna deaths have come from 20% of lots. Thus, the lot number must be a proxy for mRNA content, contaminants, or some other factor related to the product. Patient susceptibility factors make a syndrome more likely to be expressed if it is going to occur. For example, a family or personal history of a genetic blood clotting disorder, use of estrogens, obesity, and immobility make a person more likely to develop severe thromboembolic syndromes after vaccination. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease makes it more likely for the vaccines to cause a heart attack or stroke. Baseline cardiomyopathy, mutations in various ion channels, and possibly internal adrenalin during sleep or sports may trigger vaccine-induced myocarditis and sudden death.

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Starting to look that way.

Did 7.5 Million People Die From Covid Shots? (Horowitz)

There is simply no macro epidemiological evidence that the COVID jabs saved any lives from the virus. To the contrary, there are numerous data points showing negative efficacy. Moreover, over 70% of the 6.75 million recorded COVID deaths occurred precisely after the shots were unleashed. In fact, many parts of the world that barely experienced COVID deaths during the first year, such as Scandinavia, Australia, and far East Asia, incurred almost all of their deaths after the shots were in the arms of every senior. So now that we established there was no mortality benefit, what was the cost? What if I told you it was 7.5 million – even more than the recorded number of COVID deaths? A new peer-reviewed study from Michigan State University estimated that as of Dec. 18, 2021, the time of the survey, 278,000 Americans died of reactions to the jabs.

The study, published last week in BMC Infectious Diseases, used Dynata, the world’s largest first-party data platform, to create a random sample of 2,840 Americans to report their experience with the shots: 15% of those surveyed indicated they had experienced a health issue after vaccination, and 13% of those indicated that a severe adverse event had occurred, in line with many other surveys. Using extrapolations from the survey juxtaposed to state-by-state VAERS deaths, the researcher estimates that, as of Dec. 18, 2021, there were a total of 278,000 vaccine fatalities in the U.S. Further, “severe” adverse events are estimated to be about one million nationwide, and “less severe” adverse events are about 2.1 million. Estimated nationwide fatalities, “severe” injuries, and “less severe” injuries tally to 3.4 million.

This is just after the first year of the vaccine. The results should shock the conscience of the public. So how many died in the world over two years of vaccination? Using the numbers from Our World in Data, 493 million doses of the vaccine were administered in the U.S. at the time of the Michigan State survey. So, if 493 million doses were enough to kill 278 thousand Americans, how many would have died at the same rate globally from the beginning until today? At 13.24 billion doses administered globally, that would result in 7.47 million vaccine fatalities, more than the Holocaust! That would be in addition to 27 million severe injuries globally!

What is shockingly eerie about this projection is that it’s almost identical to what I estimated in terms of the global death toll two months ago based on the CDC’s V-SAFE data demonstrating an underreporting factor in VAERS of 26. Using the URF of 26, and multiplying for the global doses administered, I estimated a back-of-the-envelope total of 7.855 million COVID shot deaths globally. Using this extrapolation just for the U.S. based on the total current number of doses, it would work out to about 372,000 deaths in the U.S. Some estimate as many as 550,000 non-COVID excess deaths, which could demonstrate potentially an even higher death toll.

Insurance analyst

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“..failed to find even a modest effect on infection or illness rates from masks of all qualities..”

Massive Mask Meta-study Undermines Remaining Covid Mandates (JTN)

An international research collaboration that reviewed several dozen rigorous studies of “physical interventions” against influenza and COVID-19 through last year failed to find even a modest effect on infection or illness rates from masks of all qualities. Published in the peer-reviewed Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, run by the British evidence-based medicine charity Cochrane, the study raises new doubts about ongoing mask mandates and public health recommendations worldwide. The CDC is still recommending masking in areas with “high” transmission levels — fewer than 4% of U.S. counties — as well as indoor masking to protect high-risk contacts in “medium” counties (27%).

Masks are still required in educational institutions in Democratic strongholds such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington and California, according to the Daily Mail. Boston Public Schools denied its “temporary masking protocol” in early January was a “mandate,” following a public letter against the policy by student Enrique Abud Evereteze. South Korea is still requiring masks on public transport and in medical facilities after dropping COVID mandates in most indoor settings, including gyms, Monday, Reuters reported. The researchers for the Cochrane study are affiliated with a geographically disparate range of institutions in the U.K., Canada, Australia, Italy and Saudi Arabia. Half are affiliated with the Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare at Australia’s Bond University. The corresponding author is the University of Calgary’s John Conly.

The team added 11 new randomized controlled trials and “cluster-RCTs,” which randomize groups of subjects rather than individuals, to its prior review from November 2020, for a total of 78 studies. The additions included COVID pandemic trials: two from Mexico and one each from England, Norway, Denmark and Bangladesh, the latter two well known internationally. The Danish study had trouble finding a major journal willing to publish its controversial findings that wearing surgical masks had no statistically significant effect on infection rates, even among those who claimed to wear them “exactly as instructed.” Mainstream media overlooked red flags in the Bangladeshi mask study, which found no effect for surgical masks under age 50 and a difference of only 20 infections between control and treatment groups among 342,000 adults.

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Very interesting. But there’s still no profit in IVM.

How Ivermectin Kills Prostate Cancer Cells (PR)

I spent the first semester of my course, The Biology of Cancer, reviewing all of the aspects of The Hallmarks of Cancer. This morning, firing up Pubmed to continue preparing my lecture prostate cancer, I found this gem of a study, which happens to be a collaboration between my former employer, The University of Pittsburgh, and Southern Medical University-Guangzhou. I don’t know the authors:


Title: “Integrated analysis reveals FOXA1 and Ku70/Ku80 as targets of ivermectin in prostate cancer” The authors exposed various prostate cancer cells lines to Ivermectin and found that ivermectin binds to two proteins: FOXA1 and Ku70/Ku80. This leads to the inhibition of androgen receptor (AR), E2F1 expression, and DNA damage repair activity. The cells stopped dividing (G0/G1 cell cycle arrest), experience extensive DNA damage, and die. A retrospective study of the rates of cancer and rates of death from cancer among unvaccinated people who prophylactically used Ivermectin over a long period of time vs those who did not is in order.

Study Abstract:


Ivermectin is a widely used antiparasitic drug and shows promising anticancer activity in various cancer types. Although multiple signaling pathways modulated by ivermectin have been identified in tumor cells, few studies have focused on the exact target of ivermectin. Herein, we report the pharmacological effects and targets of ivermectin in prostate cancer. Ivermectin caused G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, induced cell apoptosis and DNA damage, and decreased androgen receptor (AR) signaling in prostate cancer cells. Further in vivo analysis showed ivermectin could suppress 22RV1 xenograft progression. Using integrated omics profiling, including RNA-seq and thermal proteome profiling, the forkhead box protein A1 (FOXA1) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) repair executer Ku70/Ku80 were strongly suggested as direct targets of ivermectin in prostate cancer. The interaction of ivermectin and FOXA1 reduced the chromatin accessibility of AR signaling and the G0/G1 cell cycle regulator E2F1, leading to cell proliferation inhibition. The interaction of ivermectin and Ku70/Ku80 impaired the NHEJ repair ability. Cooperating with the downregulation of homologous recombination repair ability after AR signaling inhibition, ivermectin increased intracellular DNA double-strand breaks and finally triggered cell death. Our findings demonstrate the anticancer effect of ivermectin in prostate cancer, indicating that its use may be a new therapeutic approach for prostate cancer.

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“..multiple quanta have inherent properties that are both indeterminate, but the properties of each one aren’t independent of the other..”

Quantum Entanglement Just Got A Whole Lot Weirder (Siegel)

In the quantum Universe, things behave very differently than our common experience would suggest. In the macroscopic world we’re familiar with, any object we can measure appears to have intrinsic properties that are independent of whether we observe it or not. We can measure things like mass, position, motion, duration, etc., without worrying about whether that object is affected by our measurements; reality exists completely independently of the observer. But in the quantum world, that’s demonstrably not true. The act of measuring a system fundamentally changes its properties in an irrevocable way. One of the weirdest quantum properties of all is entanglement: where multiple quanta have inherent properties that are both indeterminate, but the properties of each one aren’t independent of the other.

We’ve seen this demonstrated for photons, electrons, and all sorts of identical particles before, enabling us to test and probe the fundamental and surprising nature of reality. In fact, the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded precisely for investigations into this phenomenon. But in a novel experiment, quantum entanglement has just been demonstrated between different particles for the first time, and already the technique has been used to see an atom’s nucleus like never before. In principle, quantum entanglement is a simple idea to understand, and it’s built on the idea of quantum indeterminism. Imagine you pull a ball out of a hat, and there’s a 50/50 chance that the ball has one of two properties.

• Perhaps it’s color: the ball could be black or white. • Perhaps it’s mass: either you pulled out a light ball or a heavy ball. • Perhaps it’s which direction it’s spinning: the ball could be “spin up” or “spin down.” If you only had one ball, you might wonder: upon pulling it out and examining the ball, did it always have those properties, even before you looked at it? Or did the ball have a set of indeterminate parameters, where it was a mix of: • black-and-white • light-and-heavy, • and spinning as a mix of both up-and-down, that was only determined at the instant you took the critical measurement?

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Thessaloniki 2023 Greece

 

 


The regal moth (Citheronia regalis), also called the royal walnut moth or the hickory horned devil, is one of the largest moths in North America. Its caterpillar can grow up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long

 

 


Jellyfish don’t have hearts, brains, or blood and have been that way for more than 650 million years. Photo: Jeff Hamilton

 

 


Charles Darwin brought back a 5 year old Tortoise named Harriet from the Galápagos Islands that would be later owned by Steve Irwin. Harriet died in 2006 at the age of 176

 

 

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Jan 312023
 


John M. Fox WCBS studios, 49 East 52nd Street, NYC 1948

 

The War Against Us (Jim Kunstler)
Ukraine Will Never Retake Crimea – Croatian President (RT)
Is NATO Helping Ukraine Fight Russia Or Using Ukraine To Fight Russia? (Diesen)
Ukrainian PM States Timeline For EU Membership Hopes (RT)
Beijing Explains US Role In Ukraine Conflict (RT)
US Skeptical Of UK Military – Sky News (RT)
Erdogan Questions Macron’s Competence (RT)
Russian Company Offers $70,000 Reward For Destroying NATO Tanks (RT)
If You’re Expecting Redemption… (Denninger)
Why Hasn’t Antarctica Warmed for Over 70 Years Despite Rise in CO2? (DS)
Why Environmentalists May Make This Whale Species Extinct (Public)
Growing Number of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots (ET)
Putin Talks Cooperation With Saudi Arabia (RT)
Moscow Provides More Evidence Of US Biolabs In Ukraine (RT)
Does the “Word of a Biden” Extend to the Biden Documents? (Turley)
Elon Musk Mocks Left-wing Think Tank Over Russiagate Claims (RT)
The Press Versus The President, Part One (CJR)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Pfizer

 

 

 

 

Fourth Reich
https://twitter.com/i/status/1619821761239085057

 

 

Joe Rogan cobalt

Rogan diver

 

 

Trump Star Wars

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..who can tell whether accountability might restore our institutions at this point. We may be too far gone.”

The War Against Us (Jim Kunstler)

All this criminal misconduct is connected in a foul matrix of lawbreaking. The fact-patterns are well-established. Dozens of excellent books have catalogued the misdeed of RussiaGate and scores of websites daily dissect the shady intrigues around the “vaccine” crusade. The infamies of gross election interference have been systematically laid-out in the Twitter Files of the past two months. Many books, published essays, and videos substantiate the reality of massive ballot fraud in 2020 and 2022, including the felonious role of Mark Zuckerberg’s front org, the Center for Tech and Civic Life, and the election law manipulations or Lawfare goblin Marc Elias. There’s an understandable wish that upcoming hearings in Congress will lead to a reckoning for all of this. To banish consequence from public life, as we have done, is a pretty grave insult to nature, but who can tell whether accountability might restore our institutions at this point. We may be too far gone.


The US is visibly collapsing now: our economy, our financial arrangements, our culture, our influence in world affairs, and our basic consensus about reality. We’re entering a phase of disorder and hardship that is likely to moot the further depredations of a government at war with its people. For one thing, it’s becoming impossible to pretend that this vicious leviathan has the money to carry on because the money is only pretending to be money. It’s no wonder that the collective ability for sense-making has failed. It will be quickly restored by each of us in the scramble to survive these disorders and hardships. The bewildering hypotheticals of recent years begin to dissolve like mist on the mountain and things come back into focus: your health, your daily bread, your shelter, your associations with other people close to you, your values, and most of all the power of your own choices. Nature, much insulted and maligned, will sort out the rest.

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Why are the voices of reason always the smaller, less powerful EU nations?

Ukraine Will Never Retake Crimea – Croatian President (RT)

Increasingly lethal military aid to Ukraine from NATO powers is “deeply immoral” and will only extend Kiev’s bloody conflict with Russia, causing more casualties and heightening the risk of nuclear war in a pointless pursuit of absurd goals, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has claimed. “I am against sending any lethal weapons there,” Milanovic told reporters at a briefing in Petrinja, south of Zagreb. “It’s only prolonging the war. What’s the goal? Carving up Russia? Regime change? They’re talking about partitioning Russia. This is madness.” Milanovic made his comments after the governments of Germany and the US last week announced that they had decided to send battle tanks to Ukraine.

Moscow has warned that such aid creates a greater risk of escalation, especially if Western weapons are used to strike Russian cities or try to seize Russian territory. Nevertheless, Washington and its top NATO allies have pledged to continue arming Ukraine for as long as it takes to win the conflict – however Kiev defines victory. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has vowed to retake all lost territories, including Crimea, which became part of Russia following the overthrow of Kiev’s elected government in 2014. Milanovic argued that Crimea “will never be Ukraine” – a point on which even Germany’s generals agree. “This is deeply immoral, what we’re doing, the collective West,” the Croatian president said. “German tanks will just unite the Russians, and China. My goal is to distance ourselves [Croatia] from it, to not be circus dogs. Any kind of participation in this is deadly dangerous.”

Milanovic said efforts to provoke conflict with Russia had been ongoing since 2014, “and a war broke out.” He warned that NATO leaders shouldn’t assume that they can treat Russia like Serbia, which the Western bloc bombed in 1999 amid violence in Kosovo. The breakaway province later declared its independence from Serbia. “Please understand Russia is not the same as Serbia,” Milanovic said. “That’s a painful fact, and dangerous. We annexed Kosovo, us and the international community. It was taken from Serbia. Did we not do it? Did we not recognize Kosovo? Oh it’s not an annexation, it’s a seizure? Whatever. This isn’t about Kosovo, but about the concept.”

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Recommended.

Is NATO Helping Ukraine Fight Russia Or Using Ukraine To Fight Russia? (Diesen)

The Western public, like others, are justly appalled by the human suffering and the horrors of the Ukrainian war. Empathy is one of the great virtues of humanity, which in this instance translates into the demand for helping Ukrainians. Yet, propaganda commonly weaponizes the best in human nature, such as compassion, to bring out the worst. As sympathy and the desire to assist the displaced are used to mobilize public support for confrontation and war with Russia, it is necessary to ask if the Western public and Ukrainians are being manipulated to support a proxy war. The US-led military bloc commonly depicts itself as an innocent third party that merely responds to the overwhelming desire of the Ukrainian people to join its ranks.

Yet, for years NATO has attempted to absorb a reluctant Ukraine into its orbit. A NATO publication from 2011 acknowledged that “The greatest challenge for Ukrainian-NATO relations lies in the perception of NATO among the Ukrainian people. NATO membership is not widely supported in the country, with some polls suggesting that popular support for it at is less than 20%”. In 2014, this problem was resolved by supporting what Statfor’s George Friedman labelled “the most blatant coup in history” as there were no efforts to conceal Western meddling. Regime change was justified as helping Ukrainians with their “democratic revolution”. Yet, it involved the unconstitutional removal of the elected government as a result of an uprising that even the BBC acknowledged did not have majority support amongst the general public.

The authorities elected by the Ukrainian people were replaced by individuals handpicked by Washington. An infamous leaked phone call between State Department apparatchik Victoria Nuland and Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt revealed that Washington had chosen exactly who would be in the new government several weeks before they had even removed president Yanukovich from power. Donbass predictably rejected and resisted the legitimacy of the new regime in Kiev with the support of Russia. Instead of calling for a “unity government”, a plan for which Western European states had signed as guarantors, NATO countries quietly supported an “anti-terrorist operation” against eastern Ukrainians, resulting in at least 14,000 deaths. The Minsk-2 peace agreement of February 2015 produced a path for peace, yet the US and UK sabotaged it for the next 7 years.

Furthermore, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande recently admitted that both Germany and France considered the deal an opportunity to buy time for Ukraine to arm itself and prepare for war. In the 2019 election, millions of Ukrainians were disenfranchised, including those living in Russia. Nevertheless, the result was a landslide with 73% of Ukrainians voting for Vladimir Zelensky’s peace platform based on implementing the Minsk-2 agreement, negotiating with Donbass, protecting the Russian language, and restoring peace with Moscow. However, the far-right militias that were armed and trained by the US effectively laid down a veto by threatening Zelensky and defying him on the front line when he demanded to pull back heavy weapons.

Pressured also by the US, Zelensky eventually reversed the entire peace platform the Ukrainians had voted for. Instead, opposition media and political parties were purged, and the main opposition leader, Viktor Medvedchuk was arrested. Subverting the wishes of Ukrainians in order to steer the country towards confrontation with Russia was yet again referred to as “helping” Ukraine. [..] Following NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent Orwellian statement that “weapons are the way to peace”, it is worth assessing if NATO is helping Ukraine or using Ukraine. NATO powers have stated that they are supplying Ukraine with weapons to have a stronger position at the negotiating table, yet one year into the war, no major Western leaders have called for peace talks. NATO has a powerful bargaining chip that would actually help Ukraine, which would be an agreement to end NATO expansion toward Russian borders. However, whitewashing the bloc’s direct contribution to the war prevents a negotiated settlement.

US munitions

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The EU will not survive this.

Ukrainian PM States Timeline For EU Membership Hopes (RT)

Ukraine sees itself as part of the EU in two years, but even its most ardent supporters in the bloc believe that target to be overambitious, Politico reported on Monday. The deadline was set by Prime Minister Denis Shmigal ahead of an EU-Ukraine meeting in Kiev next Friday. “We expect that this year, in 2023, we can already have this pre-entry stage of negotiations,” Shmigal told the news outlet. Ukraine applied for EU candidate status last February, after Russia launched its military operation. Brussels granted Kiev that status in June, though the timing for accession remains a matter of debate. Kiev and its biggest backers, such as Poland, claim Ukraine deserves to be fast-tracked to full membership. More skeptical nations have argued that it may take considerable time before the country meets the criteria.

French President Emmanuel Macron warned in May that the accession process “would probably take several decades,” unless the EU lowers its requirements “and also partially the principles that we hold.” Türkiye has been kept waiting on the EU’s doorstep since 1999, while Ankara’s request to join the European Economic Community, the EU’s predecessor, was filed in 1987. European Council President Charles Michel, who traveled to Kiev earlier this month to offer reassurances that Ukraine will eventually become part of the EU, indicated that the bloc’s leadership has no intention of bending the rules. “If it means changing the rules and procedures, no, because we believe in and defend the rule of law,” Michel said in an interview last week when discussing what fast-tracking Ukraine could mean.

Politico described Shmigal’s deadline as “throwing down a gauntlet to the EU establishment.” The head of the Ukrainian cabinet said he expects progress in specific areas, including the continued suspension of tariffs and quotas for Ukrainian goods, and inclusion into the EU’s mobile roaming area. Kiev could take certain steps to allay any criticism from the EU, such as rolling back controversial legislation which regulates how justices of the Constitutional Court are appointed, according to Politico. The reform was passed in December, with Kiev ignoring recommendations from the Venice Commission to modify the draft to prevent political influence on a special body tasked with screening candidates. President Vladimir Zelensky has been at loggerheads with the Constitutional Court since 2020, when he launched a campaign to remove the chief justice after the court struck down a bill that the presidential office wanted passed into law.

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“..the stage for the conflict was set by NATO’s expansion in Europe and its refusal to acknowledge Russia’s security concerns.”

Beijing Explains US Role In Ukraine Conflict (RT)

The US is the “initiator and biggest promoter” of the crisis in Ukraine, Beijing has said, commenting on Washington’s reported claims that state-run Chinese companies were providing non-lethal aid to Russia. If the US government actually wants to help the Ukrainian people and see the crisis end as soon as possible, it should “stop sending weapons and reaping the benefits of war,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Monday during a news briefing. She dismissed the claims of assistance to Moscow, which were reported in the Western media last week, as “unfounded suspicion and accusations” and said Beijing would not accept “groundless blackmail” or discrimination against Chinese companies by Washington.

The reports were based on an anonymous source described by Reuters as “familiar with the situation.” “What we’re seeing is non-lethal military assistance and economic support that stops short of wholesale sanctions evasion,” the source was quoted as saying. The person added that Washington was not sure if the Chinese government was aware of the “activity” and that it had communicated its concerns to Beijing. The US government publicly threatened China with consequences for any assistance to Russia in circumvention of the economic sanctions imposed by Washington and its allies.

When asked about the alleged assistance last Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the US was “monitoring the situation” and would “continue to communicate to China the implications of providing material support” to Russia. She pledged that the US would support Ukraine for “as long as needed.” The US has already allocated over $100 billion related to propping up Kiev in its fight against Moscow. Beijing has criticized Russia for sending troops against its neighbor but has said that the stage for the conflict was set by NATO’s expansion in Europe and its refusal to acknowledge Russia’s security concerns.

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“..leaving the British army with hardware that is at least 30 years old and in dire need of replacement.”

US Skeptical Of UK Military – Sky News (RT)

A senior US military official confidentially told British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace that the UK’s armed forces are no longer on par with those of the leading world powers, Sky News claims. The broadcaster, citing anonymous defense sources, said that years of cost-cutting measures by successive governments have made the country’s military a “hollow force.” The report, which came out on Monday, alleges that the unnamed American general had a frank conversation with Wallace and several other British officials last fall. The conclusion of the US general regarding the UK’s fighting capabilities was unsettling for London: “You haven’t got a tier one. It’s barely tier two.” According to Sky News, the general classed the armed forces of the US, China, Russia, and France as tier-one powers, with Germany and Italy representing tier-two armies.

Several unnamed British defense sources confirmed to the broadcaster that the nation’s military is currently in a sorry state. One official was quoted as saying: “It’s an entire service unable to protect the UK and our allies for a decade.” The UK military would reportedly run out of ammunition “in a few days” if a conflict broke out. Moreover, the armed forces would likely be unable to defend the skies against the level of missile and drone strikes currently seen in Ukraine, the broadcaster claimed. The report said that 10 Downing Street has repeatedly cut the defense budget following the end of the Cold War, leaving the British army with hardware that is at least 30 years old and in dire need of replacement.

London’s active role in supplying Ukraine with weapons over the past 11 months has further diluted its own fighting capabilities, the news outlet said. Another major issue highlighted by anonymous defense sources is chronic staffing shortages. With only 76,000 personnel, the British armed forces are less than half the size they were in 1990, Sky News claims. However, according to the government’s plans, the military will shed 3,000 more troops down the road, while new weaponry is not expected to be procured for a few years, the report notes.

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Erdogan plays the muslim card. For domestic purposes.

Erdogan Questions Macron’s Competence (RT)

Emmanuel Macron is unfit to be French president and has overseen a significant deterioration in relations with Africa, his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested. Erdogan claimed that with Macron at the helm, Paris is losing influence globally. Speaking at a youth gathering in Bilecik province in western Türkiye on Sunday, Erdogan said that “the person at the head of France does not have the experience to be at the head of that state.” The Turkish leader pointed to recent developments in Paris’ relations with African nations to support his case. “Look, they are exploiting African countries right now. Mali is in a complete break with France right now,” Erdogan argued. The Turkish president also noted that Burkina Faso has given French troops one month to leave the country.

Earlier in January, the West African nation suspended a 2018 agreement on the deployment of French service members on its territory. Relations between Paris and its former colony have been on a downward spiral, with the local population blaming France for its perceived inability to combat Islamic extremists. “And I think that Togo, they will send [the troops out] too,” Erdogan added. According to the Turkish leader, France “is rapidly losing its reputation” in Africa. “We have had many meetings with them, at international meetings and so on, but they are not honest,” Erdogan claimed. Macron has also “lost his credibility in parliament,” the Turkish president stated. “France is constantly losing credibility, and it is losing credibility in the international community.”

“Of course, there are many leaders like this in the world,” Erdogan continued, without elaborating. Unfortunately, “in the relations with Greece in the Mediterranean, they ignore Türkiye and enter into different relations with them.” Macron and Erdogan have frequently engaged in verbal clashes. One of the most notorious incidents took place in 2020, when the Turkish president suggested that his French counterpart “needs mental treatment” while criticizing Macron’s attitude toward Islam and Muslims. At the time, Macron said that radical Muslims in France were guilty of “Islamist separatism.” In response to Erdogan’s comments, Paris recalled its ambassador to Türkiye for consultations.

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“Politico reported last week that it could take “many months, or potentially years” before they roll onto the battlefield.”

Russian Company Offers $70,000 Reward For Destroying NATO Tanks (RT)

Fores, a Russian chemical manufacturer, is offering bounties to soldiers for destroying M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks in Ukraine. The news comes after Washington and Berlin approved the deliveries to Kiev last week. “Russian servicemen that destroy or capture a German Leopard 2 battle tank or an American Abrams will receive a monetary reward,” the company said in a statement on its website on Friday. “Fores will pay 5 million rubles [$70,700] for the first trophy. The payment for every next one … will be 500,000 rubles [$7,070].” The company added that if Ukraine ever acquires F-15 and F-16 jet fighters, Fores would hand out a 15-million-ruble ($212,100) prize for the first downed aircraft.

“The decision to transfer Western tanks to Kiev shows that NATO is not only delivering defensive weapons to Ukraine, which highlights the need for consolidation and support for our army. We have been doing this since the first days of [Russia’s] special military operation and will continue to support our servicemen”. Founded in 2000, Fores makes and sells proppant, a grainy substance used by oil and gas companies for fracking, according to its website. The company’s office is in Ekaterinburg, Russia. On Sunday, Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin, who is known for having hawkish views, announced a similar bounty on his blog. “Certain members of the big business community have authorized me to inform you that they are setting a 10-million-ruble ($143,900) prize for every destroyed Abrams,” he wrote.

Berlin said last week that it would supply Kiev with 14 Leopard 2s and has greenlighted deliveries of the German-made tanks from other European countries. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Germany and its partners were looking to supply 112 tanks in total. Meanwhile, the 31 Abrams tanks pledged by the US must be assembled first. Politico reported last week that it could take “many months, or potentially years” before they roll onto the battlefield. Russia has maintained that foreign weapons would lead to escalation, but will not change the course of the conflict. The Kremlin says that Western tanks in Ukraine will be treated as legitimate targets.

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“The mechanism that led Congress and the White House to believe they could get away with this – trade sequestration – is gone. We destroyed it with the Russian sanctions..”

If You’re Expecting Redemption… (Denninger)

… from The Fed, or from Biden, you’re certifiable. The Fed meeting is coming. PPI and CPI have relaxed somewhat, but the key is — somewhat. Problem: The Omnibus spending isn’t in the system yet, and thus its impact isn’t in there either. But it will be because there’s no effective means to stop it other than a refusal to raise the debt ceiling. Biden has said he will veto any attempt to roll back the spending bill, and there’s no chance of an override given Congressional makeup. Therefore, what’s done is done. But – and this is important – Biden also, in the last couple of days, has reiterated that he intends to “strengthen” Medicare and has said nothing, of course, about using the 100 year old laws that make virtually all of the pricing systems in the medical area of our economy felonious. The issue is that without fixing that specific area — CMS in the Federal Budget, which is Medicare and Medicaid — the government cannot resolve the spiral of deficits and inflation.

Let me be absolutely clear in that Social Security, while it has a cash-flow funding deficit, is fixable without a large and nasty set of changes. For example increasing the OASDI tax rate (the Social Security portion of FICA) from 12.4% (today) to 14%, still split as it is today, would increase the rate you “see” in your check by 0.8% and account for more than half of the cash-flow deficit. Partially lifting the cap to, for example, $250,000 (from the 2023 $160,200) and indexing it to wage increases rather than CPI or other indications of inflation would likely close the gap entirely — and permanently. Indeed within the next 15-20 years the “hump” of boomers retiring and ultimately dying will crest and with it the draw on the retirement side of that fund.

(As an aside let me point out that Social Security’s retirement fund is already wildly progressive. That is, you get much more back for each dollar you put in as a lower-income earner than a higher-income earner, so the often-repeated screeching about denying wealthier people funds from it is fundamentally stupid. You want people to earn a lot of money and pay into the fund because they get less back than the less-well-paid do already; anything you do that disincentivizes that higher earning person from earning that higher wage and thus contributing more on a per-paid-out dollar basis will do even more damage to the fund’s stability.) Medicare’s portion of the FICA tax, however, cannot be fixed. CMS, which is the department that funds Medicare and the federal portion of Medicaid, took in about $339 billion dollars last fiscal year but spent $2,067 billion — over two trillion dollars and thus only one dollar in six or 16% of its spending is funded by tax receipts. This cannot be fixed with tax increases as you’d have to multiply the tax rate by six in order to do so. The only way to fix this is to destroy every single medical monopolist and thus collapse costs.

This has been going on for the last three decades and I’ve been raising Hell about it since my time running MCSNet because what it was going to do was obvious if it was not stopped. It has not only not been stopped it has accelerated; about ten years ago that funding percentage was about 20% and today is is 16% — materially worse. The mechanism that led Congress and the White House to believe they could get away with this – trade sequestration – is gone. We destroyed it with the Russian sanctions; it was not imposed on us, so that was a choice and we made it. I doubt anyone in the Executive considered this, but that’s irrelevant now because what’s done is done.

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The whole discussion needs to restart. No such thing as settled science.

Why Hasn’t Antarctica Warmed for Over 70 Years Despite Rise in CO2? (DS)

Scientists are scrambling to explain why the continent of Antarctica has shown Net Zero warming for the last seven decades and almost certainly much longer. The lack of warming over a significant portion of the Earth undermines the unproven hypothesis that the carbon dioxide humans add to the atmosphere is the main determinant of global climate. Under ‘settled’ science requirements, the significant debate over the inconvenient Antarctica data is of necessity being conducted well away from prying eyes in the mainstream media. Promoting the Net Zero political agenda, the Guardian recently topped up readers’ alarm levels with the notion that “unimaginable amounts of water will flow into oceans”, if temperatures in the region rise and ice buffers vanish.

The BBC green activist-in-chief Justin Rowlatt flew over parts of the region and witnessed “an epic vision of shattered ice”. He described Antarctica as the “frontline of climate change”. In 2021, the South Pole had its coldest six-month winter since records began in 1957, a fact largely ignored in the mainstream. One-off bad weather promoter Reuters subsequently ‘fact checked’ commentary on the event in social media. It noted that a “six-month period is not long enough to validate a climate trend”.

A recent paper from two climate scientists (Singh and Polvani) accepts that Antarctica has not warmed in the last seven decades, despite an increase in the atmospheric greenhouse gases. It is noted that the two polar regions present a “conundrum” for understanding present day climate change, as recent warming differs markedly between the Arctic and Antarctic. The graph below shows average Antarctica surface temperatures from 1984-2014, compared to a base period 1950-1980.

The scientists note that over the last seven decades, the Antarctica sea ice area has “modestly expanded” and warming has been “nearly non-existent” over much of the ice sheet. NASA estimates current Antarctica ice loss at 147 gigatons a year, but with 26,500,000 gigatons still to go, this works out at annual loss of 0.0005%. At current NASA ice loss melt, it will all be gone in about 200,000 years, although the Earth may well have gone through another ice age, or two, before then. Most alarmist commentary centres around the cyclical loss of sea ice around the coast and some warming on parts of the west of the continent. But sea ice cover is running at levels seen around 50 years ago, as the graph below shows. Small rises and falls in the early 2010s have been followed by a reversion to the mean.

 

 

Climate denier

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“Their average life expectancy has declined from a century to 45 years..”

Why Environmentalists May Make This Whale Species Extinct (Public)

Since the passage of the 1973 Endangered Species Act, environmentalists have fought for strict protections for endangered species. They have demanded that the government apply what is known as the “precautionary principle,” which states that if there is any risk that a human activity will make a species extinct, it should be illegal. And yet here we are, on the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, watching the whole of the environmental movement — from the Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation to scientific groups like the Woods Hole Institute, New England Aquarium, and Mystic Aquarium — betray the precautionary principle by risking the extinction of the North Atlantic right whale.


The cause of this environmental betrayal is massive industrial wind energy projects off the East Coast of the U.S. The wind turbine blades are the length of a football field. Sitting atop giant poles they will reach three times higher than the Statue of Liberty. The towers will be directly inside critical ocean habitat for the North Atlantic right whale. There are only 340 of the whales left, down from 348 just one year earlier. So many North Atlantic right whales are killed by man-made factors that there have been no documented cases of any of them dying of natural causes in decades. Their average life expectancy has declined from a century to 45 years. A single additional unnatural and unnecessary death could risk the loss of the entire species.

Surveying for, building, and operating industrial wind projects could harm or kill whales, according to the U.S. government’s own science. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has given the wind industry 11 “incidental harassment authorizations,” or permits to harass hundreds of whales, including 169 critically endangered right whales. The industry will bring more ships into the areas that could strike and kill whales. Submarine noise pollution from the wind farm’s construction and operation, and entanglements in equipment, also add to the risk. So too could air turbulence generated by the turbines harm or destroy zooplakton feeding grounds. And, now, wind developers are demanding higher speed limits for their boats. If they don’t get them, the industry claims, it will need to build hotels for the workers at the sites, right in the middle of right whale habitat.


Defenders of the wind projects say they can reduce and mitigate the noise and ship traffic from the wind farm construction, but a senior scientist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contradicted that claim last spring when he wrote in a letter that “oceanographic impacts from installed and operating [wind] turbines cannot be mitigated for the 30-year lifespan of the project unless they are decommissioned.” Scientists representing many of the same environmental groups supporting the industrial wind energy projects wrote in a 2021 letter that “the North Atlantic right whale population cannot withstand any additional stressors; any potential interruption of foraging behavior may lead to population-level effects and is of critical concern.” Industrial wind projects “could have population-level effects on an already endangered and stressed species,” concluded the NOAA scientist, Sean Hayes. What are “population-level effects?” In a word: extinction.

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Just stop it.

Growing Number of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots (ET)

A growing number of doctors say that they will not get COVID-19 vaccine boosters, citing a lack of clinical trial evidence. “I have taken my last COVID vaccine without RCT level evidence it will reduce my risk of severe disease,” Dr. Todd Lee, an infectious disease expert at McGill University, wrote on Twitter. Lee was pointing to the lack of randomized clinical trial (RCT) results for the updated boosters, which were cleared in the United States and Canada in the fall of 2022 primarily based on data from experiments with mice. Lee, who has received three vaccine doses, noted that he was infected with the Omicron virus variant—the vaccines provide little protection against infection—and described himself as a healthy male in his 40s.

Dr. Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology and biostatics at the University of California, San Francisco, also said he wouldn’t take any additional shots until clinical trial data become available. “I took at least 1 dose against my will. It was unethical and scientifically bankrupt,” he said. Allison Krug, an epidemiologist who co-authored a study that found teenage boys were more likely to suffer heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination than COVID-19 infection, recounted explaining to her doctor why she was refusing a booster and said her doctor agreed with her position. She called on people to “join the movement to demand appropriate evidence,” pointing to a blog post from Prasad. “Pay close attention to note this isn’t anti-vaccine sentiment. This is ‘provide [hard] evidence of benefit to justify ongoing use’ which is very different. It is only fair for a 30 billion dollar a year product given to hundreds of millions,” Lee said.

Dr. Mark Silverberg, who founded the Toronto Immune and Digestive Health Institute; Kevin Bass, a medical student; and Dr. Tracy Høeg, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, joined Lee and Prasad in stating their opposition to more boosters, at least for now. Høeg said she did not need clinical trials to know she’s not getting any boosters after receiving a two-dose primary series, adding that she took the second dose “against my will.” “I also had an adverse reaction to dose 1 moderna and, if I could do it again, I would not have had any covid vaccines,” she said on Twitter. “I was glad my parents in their 70s could get covid vaccinated but have yet to see non-confounded data to advise them about the bivalent booster. I would have liked to see an RCT for the bivalent for people their age and for adults with health conditions that put them at risk.”

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Welcome to the BRICS+.

Putin Talks Cooperation With Saudi Arabia (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have discussed bilateral cooperation and measures to stabilize the global oil market in a phone call, the Kremlin stated on Monday. “Issues of further development of bilateral cooperation in the political, trade, economic and energy fields” were discussed, according to the Kremlin. Furthermore, the two leaders spoke of “cooperation within the framework of OPEC Plus to ensure the stability of the world oil market.” Putin and Prince Mohammed have spoken several times since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last February, with these calls taking place amid a growing rift between Saudi Arabia and the US, the Kingdom’s closest international partner.

Over the last year, Riyadh has deepened its ties with Beijing and declared its readiness to trade oil for Chinese yuan, a move that would threaten the US dollar’s standing as the world’s dominant petrocurrency. As the de-facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Arabia further snubbed the US last July when it refused to increase oil production following a meeting between Prince Mohammed and US President Joe Biden. An increase would have simultaneously benefited Biden by lowering gas prices in the US ahead of November’s midterm elections, and weakened the Russian economy by reducing its oil revenue. Instead, OPEC and its allies (a group of nations including Russia that make up the ‘Plus’ in the organization’s title) agreed in October to cut production by two million barrels per day, a move that kept prices steady for the benefit of producers.

With Moscow and Riyadh both interested in maintaining their petroleum profits, the US-backed price cap on Russian oil is viewed in both capitals as a potential threat to revenue. Furthermore, OPEC’s members worry that the measure could become “a global price cap” in the future, potentially ruining their economies. Washington responded to Saudi Arabia’s refusal to boost production by threatening to re-evaluate its relationship with Riyadh “in a very deliberate fashion.” Democratic lawmakers pressed Biden to halt arms sales to the Kingdom unless it would reverse OPEC’s production cut, accusing the Saudis of “colluding” with Russia.

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“The evidence “confirms the focus of the Pentagon on creating biological weapons components and testing them on the population of Ukraine and other states along [Russia’s] borders..”

Moscow Provides More Evidence Of US Biolabs In Ukraine (RT)

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday laid out more evidence that US-funded laboratories were working in Ukraine. Documents and materials recovered by Russian troops showed that Western pharmaceutical companies operating in territory under Kiev’s control conducted HIV/AIDS research on Ukrainian military personnel. The commander of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov, presented Ukrainian-language documents referring to HIV infection studies that began in 2019. The list of targeted groups shows service members alongside prisoners, drug addicts and other “patients at high risk of infection.” According to Kirillov, the Russian military has recovered more than 20,000 documents and other materials related to the biological programs in Ukraine, while interviewing eyewitnesses and participants.

The evidence “confirms the focus of the Pentagon on creating biological weapons components and testing them on the population of Ukraine and other states along [Russia’s] borders,” the general told reporters. Based on documents originating with the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Russian military identified eight more individuals involved in the US-funded research in Ukraine. Among the names Kirillov singled out was Karen Saylors of Labyrinth Global Health, previously of Metabiota, a company linked to US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. The latest trove of documents, belonging to the company Pharmbiotest, was unearthed in Lisichansk in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) early in January, Kirillov noted.

“Clinical samples and patient records with their personal data were buried, and not cremated or destroyed in a proper fashion. This suggests that the destruction of this evidence was carried out in extreme haste,” the lieutenant general said. In October 2022, Russia filed an official complaint over alleged US-backed biological activities in Ukraine and requested a UN probe into the matter. The UN Security Council rejected Moscow’s proposal after the US, UK, and France voted against it. The US opposition “once again confirms that Washington has something to hide, and that ensuring the transparency of biological research is contrary to US interests,” Kirillov said.

As evidence of the widespread threat posed by the Pentagon’s biological research conducted beyond America’s borders, Kirillov referred to the previously mentioned US involvement in coronavirus studies, including by funding the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance that contracted with the laboratory in Wuhan, China. Kirillov also brought up the 1977 outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Egypt, near a biological laboratory run by the US Navy. The disease previously known only south of the Sahara made a surprise appearance in Cairo a few months after the lab employees were vaccinated against it, the general said. Moreover, the Cairo strain was “highly pathogenic” compared to the disease’s normal flu-like symptoms, suggesting the involvement of gain-of-function experiments.

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“..the status of the University of Delaware documents is becoming more and more untenable for the White House..”

Does the “Word of a Biden” Extend to the Biden Documents? (Turley)

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has repeatedly assured the public that President Biden is committed in the classified-document scandal to move forward in “a very transparent way.” Putting aside the refusal to share any information beyond a desire to be fully transparent, Biden has one major test awaiting him on his pledge: his senatorial records. There has been much discussion of a classified document being found in his personal library in Wilmington, but there is a huge library of Biden documents sitting in the University of Delaware. The university is sitting on Biden documents due to a cynical 2012 arrangement made by Biden when he was vice president and contemplating a run for the presidency. The president effectively locked away his records by giving them to the university, which has claimed for a decade that it is still working to organize and catalog the documents.

He has refused to allow the public or the press to see the documents. With the recent reports that Biden may have included classified information in notebooks found at his residence, the status of the University of Delaware documents is becoming more and more untenable for the White House. The University of Delaware has been used for years to shield potentially embarrassing documents from public review for the Biden family, including allegations that the president engaged in sexual harassment or assault as a member of the Senate. The university effectively agreed to serve as a type of lock box for the Bidens to prevent a review of his senatorial records as he ran for higher office.At great public cost, the university has fought efforts by the media and the public to allow access to the documents. It is a troubling position for any institution of higher education to fight access to historical materials . . . for years.

Now, however, there is growing concern that the files may not only include incriminating information on past sexual-assault allegations but actual classified information. There is already confirmation that Biden removed classified information from the Senate more than 14 years ago. It now appears he also may have transferred classified information from briefings and documents to his notebooks. That raises the question of whether such information is contained in the notebooks and papers housed at the university. If President Biden is ready to embrace transparency, he can start by finally dropping his opposition to any review of his senatorial documents. At a minimum, the FBI should request access to determine if his violation of classified rules extends to this mountain of material given to the university.

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“This is the biggest journalism scam in a very long time,” replied Musk..”

Elon Musk Mocks Left-wing Think Tank Over Russiagate Claims (RT)

Elon Musk has hit out at the Alliance for Security Democracy (ASD) and its so-called “Russian bot dashboard” Hamilton68 for labeling Twitter accounts that it disagreed with as assets supposedly linked to the Kremlin. The billionaire illustrated his point with a mockup of a children’s book on justifying political failures in the media and government, titled ‘Everyone I don’t agree with is a Russian Bot’. His response comes after internal Twitter messages published by journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday revealed that the Hamilton68 dashboard knowingly mislabeled the accounts of real Americans as “Russian Bots.” The creators of the tool at one point claimed to be tracking over 600 accounts with alleged ties to the Kremlin to provide the West with an authentic view on Russian “influence operations.”

Hamilton68 was later used as a source by numerous major Western media outlets and even academic publications to claim that Russian bots were pushing conspiracy theories and promoting terms like “deep state” as well as hashtags such as #ReleaseTheMemo, #SchumerShutdown, #AlabamaSenateRace, and #ParklandShooting. However, the latest Twitter Files have revealed that the social media platform’s employees analyzed Hamilton68’s list of supposed “Russian bots,” only to find that these accounts were “neither strongly Russian nor strongly bots” and primarily consisted of real people living in the US, Canada, and the UK. “It was a scam. Instead of tracking how ‘Russia’ influenced American attitudes, Hamilton 68 simply collected a handful of mostly real, mostly American accounts, and described their organic conversations as Russian scheming,” wrote Taibbi.

The ASD has since attempted to defend its dashboard, claiming it was not meant as a list of Moscow-backed opinion leaders, but was a “nuanced” tool that was misunderstood by journalists. However, the committee’s own members have previously been on record as claiming that the Hamilton68 list included accounts used by Moscow to “discredit the FBI… attack ABC news… critique the Obama administration… and warn about violence by immigrants.” “This is the biggest journalism scam in a very long time,” replied Musk, who criticized the ASD’s attempts to shrug off any responsibility as a “disingenuous response.”

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“In fact, Baquet added, “I think we covered that story better than anyone else..”

The Press Versus The President, Part One (CJR)

The end of the long inquiry into whether Donald Trump was colluding with Russia came in July 2019, when Robert Mueller III, the special counsel, took seven, sometimes painful, hours to essentially say no. “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it,” is how Dean Baquet, then the executive editor of the New York Times, described the moment his paper’s readers realized Mueller was not going to pursue Trump’s ouster. Baquet, speaking to his colleagues in a town hall meeting soon after the testimony concluded, acknowledged the Times had been caught “a little tiny bit flat-footed” by the outcome of Mueller’s investigation.

That would prove to be more than an understatement. But neither Baquet nor his successor, nor any of the paper’s reporters, would offer anything like a postmortem of the paper’s Trump-Russia saga, unlike the examination the Times did of its coverage before the Iraq War. In fact, Baquet added, “I think we covered that story better than anyone else” and had the prizes to prove it, according to a tape of the event published by Slate. In a statement to CJR, the Times continued to stand by its reporting, noting not only the prizes it had won but substantiation of the paper’s reporting by various investigations. The paper “thoroughly pursued credible claims, fact-checked, edited, and ultimately produced ground-breaking journalism that has proven true time and again,” the statement said.

But outside of the Times’ own bubble, the damage to the credibility of the Times and its peers persists, three years on, and is likely to take on new energy as the nation faces yet another election season animated by antagonism toward the press. At its root was an undeclared war between an entrenched media, and a new kind of disruptive presidency, with its own hyperbolic version of the truth. (The Washington Post has tracked thousands of Trump’s false or misleading statements.) At times, Trump seemed almost to be toying with the press, offering spontaneous answers to questions about Russia that seemed to point to darker narratives. When those storylines were authoritatively undercut, the follow-ups were downplayed or ignored.

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Smart art
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Baby polar bear

 

 

Waterfall elephant

 

 

 

 

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Jan 302023
 


Charles Camoin Village Street in Collioure 1912

 

Boris Johson “Reveals” Vladimir Putin’s Threat To Assassinate Him (DM)
Ukraine: The War That Went Wrong (Chris Hedges)
Is The Mood Shifting In Washington? (Livshitz)
Scholz Says He Will Continue Telephone Talks With Putin (TASS)
German MP Condemns ‘US-led Proxy War Against Russia’ (GPE)
Latin America Refuses To Send Ukraine Weapons, Despite Western Pressure (Norton)
2nd Hunter Biden Email From Laptop With Classified Information Uncovered (GP)
A “Debt Doom Loop” Is Now Fully Engaged (QTR)
How to Create your own Shadow Government (Ugo Bardi)
FDA Sued for Withholding COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Analyses (ET)
Top Israel Scientist Speaks Out Against COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines (Pulse)
Deaths Running 26% Above Pre-Pandemic Levels – Vaccines a Leading Suspect (DS)
Do COVID-19 RNA-Injections Affect Male Fertility? (PF)
Link Between Massive Drop in Birth Rates, mRNA Vaccines Undeniable (Latypova)

 

 

 

 

Bhakdi

 

 

 

 

MIT Prof

 

 

Gohmert

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ha ha ha! Boris misses the spotlight, he wants to feel important. It’s a fine line between important and impotent.

Boris Johson “Reveals” Vladimir Putin’s Threat To Assassinate Him (DM)

Vladimir Putin threatened to assassinate Boris Johnson in the run-up to the Ukraine war, it emerged last night. The former prime minister said the Russian leader had bragged it would ‘take only a minute’ to kill him with a missile after he warned him to abandon his plans to attack Ukraine. The astonishing threat was made in February last year after Mr Johnson visited Kyiv to assure Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky that Britain would back his country if Russia invaded. Mr Johnson said that on his return, he had ‘a very long, most extraordinary call’ with Putin. At the time, the Russian president was publicly denying that he planned to invade Ukraine, despite massing tens of thousands of troops on its borders. Mr Johnson told him that war would be an ‘utter catastrophe’ and trigger unprecedented Western sanctions.


He played down the prospect of Ukraine joining Nato, given the opposition from members such as France and Germany, but warned that war could galvanise support behind Kyiv and would result in ‘more Nato, not less Nato’ on Russia’s borders. Mr Johnson said: ‘He said, “Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join Nato any time soon… what is any time soon?” And I said, “Well, it’s not going to join Nato for the foreseeable future. You know that perfectly well”. ‘He sort of threatened me at one point and said, “Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile it would take only a minute”.. ‘I think from the very relaxed tone that he was taking, the sort of air of detachment that he seemed to have, he was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate.’ The revelation comes in a BBC documentary series called Putin v the West, which is due to be broadcast tonight.

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“Empires in terminal decline leap from one military fiasco to the next.”

Ukraine: The War That Went Wrong (Chris Hedges)

Empires in terminal decline leap from one military fiasco to the next. The war in Ukraine, another bungled attempt to reassert U.S. global hegemony, fits this pattern. The danger is that the more dire things look, the more the U.S. will escalate the conflict, potentially provoking open confrontation with Russia. [..] NATO military commanders understand that the infusion of these weapons systems into the war will not alter what is, at best, a stalemate, defined largely by artillery duels over hundreds of miles of front lines. The purchase of these weapons systems — one M1 Abrams tank costs $10 million when training and sustainment are included — increases the profits of the arms manufacturers. The use of these weapons in Ukraine allows them to be tested in battlefield conditions, making the war a laboratory for weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin. All this is useful to NATO and to the arms industry. But it is not very useful to Ukraine.

The other problem with advanced weapons systems such as the M1 Abrams, which have 1,500-horsepower turbine engines that run on jet fuel, is that they are temperamental and require highly skilled and near constant maintenance. They are not forgiving to those operating them who make mistakes; indeed, mistakes can be lethal. The most optimistic scenario for deploying M1-Abrams tanks in Ukraine is six to eight months, more likely longer. If Russia launches a major offensive in the spring, as expected, the M1 Abrams will not be part of the Ukrainian arsenal. Even when they do arrive, they will not significantly alter the balance of power, especially if the Russians are able to turn the tanks, manned by inexperienced crews, into charred hulks. So why all this infusion of high-tech weaponry? We can sum it up in one word: panic.

Having declared a de facto war on Russia and openly calling for the removal of Vladimir Putin, the neoconservative pimps of war watch with dread as Ukraine is being pummeled by a relentless Russian war of attrition. Ukraine has suffered nearly 18,000 civilian casualties (6,919 killed and 11,075 injured). It has also seen around 8 percent of its total housing destroyed or damaged and 50 percent of its energy infrastructure directly impacted with frequent power cuts. Ukraine requires at least $3 billion a month in outside support to keep its economy afloat, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director recently said. Nearly 14 million Ukrainians have been displaced — 8 million in Europe and 6 million internally — and up to 18 million people, or 40 percent of Ukraine’s population, will soon require humanitarian assistance. Ukraine’s economy contracted by 35 percent in 2022, and 60 percent of Ukrainians are now poised to live on less than $5.5 a day, according to World Bank estimates.

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“..the extent of NATO allies’ indirect involvement in the war is breathtaking in scope..”

Is The Mood Shifting In Washington? (Livshitz)

The RAND Corporation, a highly influential elite national security think tank funded directly by the Pentagon, has published a landmark report stating that prolonging the proxy war is actively harming the US and its allies and warning Washington that it should avoid “a protracted conflict” in Ukraine. The report has an unequivocal title, “Avoiding a long war: US policy and the trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” which provides a strong indication as to its contents. It starts by stating that the fighting represents “the most significant interstate conflict in decades, and its evolution will have major consequences” for Washington, which includes US “interests” being actively harmed. The report makes it very clear that while Ukrainians have been doing the fighting, and their cities have been “flattened” and “economy decimated,” these “interests” are “not synonymous” with Kiev’s.

The US ending its financial, humanitarian and particularly military support promptly would cause Ukraine to completely collapse, and RAND cites several reasons why doing so would be sensible, not least because a Ukrainian victory is regarded as both “improbable” and “unlikely,” due to Russian “resolve,” and its military mobilization having “rectified the manpower deficit that enabled Ukraine’s success in the Kharkiv counteroffensive.” From the perspective of US “interests,” RAND warns that while the Kremlin has not threatened to use nuclear weapons, there are “several issues that make Russian use of nuclear weapons both a plausible contingency Washington needs to account for and a hugely important factor in determining the future trajectory of the conflict.”

The think tank believes the Biden administration “has ample reason to make the prevention of Russian use of nuclear weapons a paramount priority.” In particular, it should seek to avoid a “direct nuclear exchange” with Moscow, a “direct conflict with Russia”, or wider “NATO-Russia war.” On the latter point, RAND worries that US general Mark Milley’s demand that the conflict stay “inside the geographical boundaries of Ukraine” is on the verge of being disrespected, as “the extent of NATO allies’ indirect involvement in the war is breathtaking in scope,” including “tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and other aid” and “tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support,” along with “billions of dollars monthly in direct budgetary support to Kiev.”

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Call Boris.

Scholz Says He Will Continue Telephone Talks With Putin (TASS)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz considers it necessary to continue telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I will have telephone conversations with Putin again as it is necessary to talk to each other,” Scholz said in an interview with Der Tagesspiegel daily published on Sunday. The tone of such conversations “is not impolite,” despite “absolutely different” views on the situation, the German chancellor noted, referring to Russia’s special operation in Ukraine in this context as “an awful senseless war.” “Sometimes the issue was about particular questions of prisoner swap, grain export, Zaporozhye NPP,” Scholz said. “But I consider it important to always bring the conversation back to a particular topic on the way for the world to get out of this awful state. The conditions for that are clear – the pullout of Russian troops,” he added. German Chancellor and Russian President last had a telephone conversation on December 2, 2022.

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“Sevim Dagdelen has been a member of Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, since 2005. She is the spokeswoman for the Die Linke (Left Party) parliamentary group on the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, a deputy member of the Defense Committee, and spokeswoman for international policy and disarmament.”

German MP Condemns ‘US-led Proxy War Against Russia’ (GPE)

I would like to deal in my talk with the following questions: How can the origins of this war be explained? What are the global effects of the war, particularly on countries of the Global South that are not involved in the war but are severely affected by its consequences? What ways could there be to resolve this conflict, and what prospects could there be for a world order based on peaceful coexistence and fairness?The war in Ukraine has set humanity back several years, if not decades, on this path. Against this backdrop, I would like to deal in my talk with the following questions: How can the origins of this war be explained? What are the global effects of the war, particularly on countries of the Global South that are not involved in the war but are severely affected by its consequences? What ways could there be to resolve this conflict, and what prospects could there be for a world order based on peaceful coexistence and fairness?

My initial hypothesis comprises three parts. Firstly, the proxy war in Ukraine is indicative of an attempt by the United States to preserve its absolute global predominance in the twilight of a unipolar age. An elementary part of this strategy has been the US quest since the end of the Cold War to prevent the creation of a common security system in Europe that includes Russia. The resultant war is therefore partly due to the inability of Europe and the EU, because of the political rule of a comprador bourgeoisie, to cast off their dependence on the United States and to pursue a sovereign policy attuned to the interests of their own population, a policy aimed at peace, stability, and prosperity. Secondly, the war against Russia, which is being waged primarily on the economic front, is also an inwardly targeted social assault.

In Europe, the senseless economic war is tantamount to economic self-amputation, and is conducive to a shift in the balance of power within the Western alliance in favor of the United States. The unprecedented militarization in the context of the mobilization against Russia is also being accompanied by a massive bottom-up redistribution of wealth within NATO countries. While low-earners despair of meeting the rocketing cost of energy and food because of the economic sanctions, the energy companies are reaping billions in windfall profits. Thirdly, in the hegemonic conflict with Russia, the West is holding the countries of the Global South hostage, and so is increasingly isolating itself.

Orban

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“How can the world’s largest economic power say that it has no milk for children after President Biden announced $40 billion to buy arms meant for the war in Ukraine?”

Latin America Refuses To Send Ukraine Weapons, Despite Western Pressure (Norton)

Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia have rejected requests by the United States and European Union that they send weapons to Ukraine. The commander of the US military’s Southern Command (Southcom), which operates in Latin America and the Caribbean, revealed on January 19 that Washington has been pressuring countries in the region to arm Ukraine. Southcom wants Latin American nations to “replace [their] Russian equipment with United States equipment – if those countries want to donate it to Ukraine”, said Army General Laura J. Richardson. But Latin America’s left-wing leaders have refused, instead maintaining neutrality and urging peace. The socialist governments in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua blamed NATO expansion and US meddling for causing the war in Ukraine.

Mexico’s progressive President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) offered to hold peace talks to end the conflict. And the leftist governments in Bolivia and Honduras have joined Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia in refusing to be part of the proxy war. Germany announced on January 25 that it would send tanks to Ukraine, in a significant escalation of the NATO proxy war against Russia.Berlin subsequently asked Brazil to ship tank munitions to Kiev. But newly inaugurated left-wing President Lula da Silva declined to do so. Lula was a co-founder of the BRICS bloc, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. He has long called for a multipolar world, and supports South-South cooperation and regional integration.

Lula has denounced Western governments for ramping up the violence in Ukraine instead of encouraging peace negotiations. During his presidential campaign in 2022, Lula criticized the White House, asking, “How can the world’s largest economic power say that it has no milk for children after President Biden announced $40 billion to buy arms meant for the war in Ukraine?”.

Norton

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And still no inquiry?

2nd Hunter Biden Email From Laptop With Classified Information Uncovered (GP)

The Biden crime family made millions in Ukraine performing nefarious and criminal activities including espionage. TGP reported on Thursday that the Bidens were using classified information to the benefit of the Hunter Biden family business. Miranda Devine provided one email that appeared to include classified material from the US government. TGP determined that this information from the 22-point email came from the US State Department and it was classified. This email included this classified information and Hunter had no security clearance or reason to have this information. This was not the first time Hunter Biden had access to classified information. Today we have another email showing more Biden family crimes. A second email on Hunter’s laptop shows that Hunter Biden had access to classified information and used it to the Biden family’s financial advantage.

The Biden’s were asked to obtain visas for Burisma executives to travel to the US in early November of 2015. In a response to the request, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer reached out to a friend with ties to the US Deep State, John Sandweg. John Sandweg worked as the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from August 2013 to February 2014. Sandweg had a short tenure working in this role for the Obama administration. Sandweg was happy when the Biden gany replaced the Trump administration and expressed his happiness that habitual liar Alejandro Mayorkas was taking over Homeland Security. John Sandweg, a former Homeland Security Department official in the Obama administration, said his former colleagues still in government told him there is a hopeful atmosphere as Trump officials made way for their Biden replacements.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Sandweg. “There is a very palpable sense of excitement that [DHS Secretary-designate Alejandro] Mayorkas is coming back. It’s not tied to policy or politics. It’s a management and leadership issue.” In the email string below taken from the Hunter laptop, Sandweg emailed Eric Schwerin at Rosemont Seneca (Hunter Biden’s firm) on November 2, 2015. Sandveg relayed information on one of the individuals from Burisma for whom Hunter was trying to get a visa for was Mr. Zlochevskyi. Sandweg in his email says that he obtained a search:”…from the Department of Homeland Security and Customs databases did not reveal any prohibitions on Mr. Zlochevskyi ability to enter the United States. Unfortunately, after receiving the initial report, I suspected that the individual I asked to run the search only queried DHS/Customs databases and not State Department databases. As such, I asked another individual to query both databases. This search revealed the cancellation of the visa and the legal basis for the cancellation.”

Sandweg includes two attachments, one of which is labeled “Zlochevski Visa Denial”. Schwerin shared this information with Burisma, Hunter, and Devon Archer. Here are the problems with what was revealed in this email.
• Sandweg worked for Homeland Security and Customs last in 2014 and this email was from November 2015.
• Sandweg obtains information from the Department of Homeland Security and Customs databases which he should not have access to. He may have a security clearance but this would not grant him access to the systems. The information that he obtained on the visa application denial is classified.
• Sandweg shares the classified visa information with Hunter’s firm which is not a government agency.
• Hunter’s firm shares the classified information that he never should have had with Burisma, a foreign company – this is espionage.

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“We have seen this movie before..”

A “Debt Doom Loop” Is Now Fully Engaged (QTR)

We have seen this movie before. The Fed tightens, things break, the Fed reacts by opening the monetary flood gates and the cycle begins all over again. Before things break you generally see signs that trouble is coming. We call this rivets popping. There is always a lag effect between monetary policy and economic results. This current period reminds us of Summer 2007 when the Bear Stearns CDS funds failed. The GFC was 15 months later in the second half of 2008. One very large rivet that has already popped is Great Britain as we described above. Another hugely important rivet that has not popped yet, but in our opinion is close is the US Stock Market.


We think the pain has just started. Particularly in the stock market where as the chart below shows, street estimates (blue bars) are looking for continued earnings growth as if no recession is imminent. Green bars show earnings decline in recessions. The economy is slowing rapidly and will almost surely enter a recession given the record inversion in the yield curve as seen in the 2year/10year bond spread. With softening demand and increased labor costs, earnings will suffer. The Wall Street analysts who are projecting further earnings growth are on drugs in our opinion. Additionally, with higher interest rates, price multiples to earnings will compress.

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“..if you can rule from the shadows, you save yourself a lot of hassles and, if things really go bad, you may avoid most of the blame..”

How to Create your own Shadow Government (Ugo Bardi)

Not long ago, a friend of mine explained to me that he was completely sure that our elites are not just evil, but they actually practice worship of an evil deity called “Baphomet.” I must admit that I was skeptical, even though he showed me an image found somewhere in the dark web, purportedly showing the hierarchy of the worshiping organization. Yet, after some mulling over, I came to think that there is something in this idea. Much more than it would seem at first sight. Of course, I understand that you are probably already moving your mouse to click away from this page. But, if you don’t succumb to the anti-conspiracy memes implanted in your brain, let me try to explain what I have in mind. I am not saying that Baphomet could exist for real (but, who knows?) but, in our times, when politicians “create their own reality,” astral entities such as Baphomet may have assumed a memetic consistency that makes him (?) a force to be reckoned with. An AI called “Baphomet” could actually be worshiped.

Suppose you want to build a shadow government to take control of the state. It is a good idea for several reasons, the main one being that, not having to report to anyone or justify what you are doing, you can do a lot of evil things that normal governments have a harder time doing. Then, if you can rule from the shadows, you save yourself a lot of hassles and, if things really go bad, you may avoid most of the blame. But how to create such a hidden government? There have been historical cases of governments dominated by an “éminence grise,” someone who has a great influence on the leader(s). One is that of the Roman philosopher, Lucius Annaeus Seneca, said to have been the actual ruler of the Roman Empire as long as he could control his pupil, Emperor Nero. Unfortunately for Seneca, Nero eventually decided that he wanted to rule alone and got rid of his old master by ordering him to commit suicide.

That’s typical: the shadow leader gets older with time, while the young leader becomes bolder and more experienced. The end of the story is obvious. So, if you want to build a working shadow government you need to do much more than have an old man whispering words of wisdom in the ear of the leader. You need a hidden structure that controls all the layers of the apparent government. It needs to be a true alternate government, even though hidden from sight. But how could such a structure be created? How could it function? What could give it the power to operate? Let’s see if we can learn from one of the first known attempts in this sense: the Knights Templar.

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Pull the plug.

FDA Sued for Withholding COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Analyses (ET)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been sued for withholding the results of key COVID-19 vaccine safety analyses. The FDA’s actions violate federal law, the new lawsuit, filed on Jan. 26 in federal court in Washington by the nonprofit Children’s Health Defense (CHD), alleges. The suit is seeking the raw results from the FDA’s analyses of reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The system, which the FDA runs with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accepts reports of post-vaccination adverse events. As part of its vaccine safety monitoring, the FDA pledged to run an analysis called Empirical Bayesian (EB) data mining on the reports to see if any safety signals were triggered. These signals give agencies an idea of which problems may be caused by vaccines.


Agencies are supposed to research signals to verify them or rule them unrelated to vaccination. “A report to VAERS does not mean that a vaccine caused an adverse event. But VAERS can give CDC and FDA important information. If it looks as though a vaccine might be causing a problem, FDA and CDC will investigate further and take action if needed,” the CDC states on its website. The FDA denied CHD’s request for the results of the data mining, claiming that the records are “intra-agency memoranda consisting of opinions, recommendations, and policy discussions within the deliberative process of FDA, from which factual information is not reasonably segregable.” The FDA also claimed that the sought-after information “contains a discussion of legal and policy matters and fall within the attorney work product and attorney-client privileges as enunciated by the Supreme Court.”

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“There are other vaccines that are far more effective. There are countries with lower vaccination rates that bore [the pandemic] just fine,”
– Shapira

Top Israel Scientist Speaks Out Against COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines (Pulse)

Professor Shmuel Shapira, M.D., MPH, who served as the Director General of the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) between 2013 and 2021, is one of thousands of renowned scientists who have raised serious concerns with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. The COVID-19 pandemic marked the first time in history when renowned vaccine experts, developers, scientists and doctors were ridiculed and labelled as “anti-vaxxers” en masse. [..] Shapira is also the former head developer of Israel’s experimental coronavirus vaccine. He played a central role in the original development of Israel’s BriLife COVID-19 vaccine. It was a protein based live virus vaccine, not an mRNA shot.

The IIBR was tapped early in the pandemic, in February 2020, to develop a vaccine and seemed to be making significant progress until efforts were slowed and Israel launched its mass vaccination campaign with the Pfizer-BioNTech shot last December. The vaccine was eventually scraped, and ever since he has been quite critical about mRNA based COVID-19 vaccines. Despite having been vaccinated himself, Shapira feels that he and many others were coerced, pressured, and forced to take the jab. Lest we forget, many people lost their ability to work, put food on the table, pay their bills, travel, and more for choosing not to get vaccinated.

According to Shapira, the approval and distribution of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines was not done from a place of ‘good’ and with the intention to serve others, but rather to “rake in billions.” He stated that they are “mediocre” vaccines and calling them even moderately effective is “pretty generous.” Last May, Shapira stepped down from the directorship of the Biological Institute in a surprise turn of events that cast doubt on the future of the local inoculation venture. In a new book, he claimed that heavy government interference, unexplained regulatory delays, and some level of “sabotage” were also at play.

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“The appearance is of something generally raising the likelihood of death, or equivalently, reducing life expectancy.”

Deaths Running 26% Above Pre-Pandemic Levels – Vaccines a Leading Suspect (DS)

Deaths continue to run at extraordinary levels in England and Wales. In the week ending January 13th 2023 there were 17,381 deaths, which is 2,837 or 19.5% above the five-year average. This is despite the five-year average having risen due to the early 2021 Covid wave. Compared to the pre-pandemic five-year average of 13,822 it is 3,559 or 25.7% above average. There were 922 deaths with Covid registered on the death certificate, of which 654 were registered as due to Covid as underlying cause. This leaves 2,183 excess deaths from a different underlying cause. Since the wave of excess non-Covid deaths began in April the total now stands at 34,691.

[..] It’s clear, however, that these correlations with booster rollouts are far from determinative of the overall shape of the curve. In particular, deaths remained high during the summer and have spiked over the winter, despite few boosters being delivered in those periods. The Health Advisory and Recovery Team (HART) has noted this week that high-level mortality data like these do not contain an “obvious smoking gun” pointing to vaccines causing high numbers of deaths specifically during the vaccination campaigns. Rather, the excess deaths are broadly spread throughout the year. The appearance is of something generally raising the likelihood of death, or equivalently, reducing life expectancy.

The lack of correlation with vaccination programmes has led some to question the role that vaccines are playing in driving the excess deaths and advance arguments in support of other possible explanations, such as Long Covid, the NHS crisis and the legacy of lockdown including missed treatment. While some of these other contributors may be valid, it would be wrong to rule out a role for the vaccines simply on the basis of a lack of correlation with vaccination campaigns. This is because the mechanisms by which a vaccine may injure a person are not fully understood, and those for which understanding is more developed, such as auto-immune reactions due to the persistence of spike protein in the blood and organs, give plenty of scope for a delayed effect. In particular, we should note that many of the excess deaths are related to the heart and circulatory system, and the vaccines are known to increase the risk of such deaths.

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9 months.

Do COVID-19 RNA-Injections Affect Male Fertility? (PF)

The study entitled “Do COVID-19 RNA Injections Affect Male Fertility? Latest Facts and Perspective” from Germany provides a detailed overview of the data on vaccination side effects as a result of Covid injections on male fertility. The authors are the German molecular biologist Prof. Dr. Klaus Steger, who conducts research in the field of molecular andrology at the Biomedical Research Center of the University of Giessen, and Prof. Dr. Werner Bergholz – an expert in quality management and data analysis. Various databases on the occurrence of male reproductive tract diseases as a result of Covid injections were analyzed, as well as previously published studies investigating the effects of Covid injections on sperm quality or the success rate of assisted reproduction treatments. A comprehensive molecular biology background analysis details the actual long-term risks posed by vaccination side effects of mRNA technology on the male reproductive tract.

In summary, previously published studies on pre- & post-analysis of semen samples show massive deficiencies in the study design – especially the observed measurement periods over which vaccination side effects should be measured. Database analyses (UK Yellow Card, US VAERS as well as deStatis) show a clear association between erectile dysfunction (ED) and heart failure as well as a significant decline in fertility exactly 9 months after the start of the vaccination campaign, which may also be attributable to secondary infertility (infertility due to concomitant diseases of the reproductive tract). It was also pointed out that the mRNA used is not “simple mRNA”, as is often claimed, but so-called “modRNA” (modified RNA), which has a completely different effect in the body and inevitably entails hitherto unnoticed risks.

A significant decline in live births was observed in Europe and worldwide at the beginning of 2022. In particular, the decline in live births also started in Germany exactly 9 months after the start of the vaccination campaign, with the authors concluding: “However, vaccination and birth statistics are considered accurate, at least within a margin of error of 10%. Therefore, the presented coincidence between vaccination and the nine-month delayed abrupt decline in live birth rate can be considered statistically certain.” Accurate correlations in this sense can also be derived in Switzerland, even depending on the vaccination rate of the canton.


Figure 1: Monthly statistics for Germany showing a time lag of exactly nine months between vaccination of the relevant age cohorts and the abrupt decline in live births. Similar correlations exist for most other European countries. Taken from Bergholz & Steger, 2023

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9 months.

Link Between Massive Drop in Birth Rates, mRNA Vaccines Undeniable (Latypova)

During 2022 births per 100,000 women 18-45 yo in Sweden have declined progressively, reaching the lowest levels -12.7% and -11.5% in October and November, respectively. For the year, the average was -8.6% compared to same period in 2020-2021. Swedish birth rates have followed a declining trend over the last century. Exceptional negative or positive changes (plus or minus 6% over the birth rate from the preceding year) have occurred, for example following the significant peak in the 1920s and after baby booms in the 1940s, 1960s and 1990s. Except for 1922, however, there has never been such a sharp decline in birth rate over a single year as occurred in 2022.


In contrast to the alarming trend in the birth rates is Sweden’s excess mortality data that shows overall lack of excess deaths post vax rollout despite very high uptake. However, in my opinion, the graphs in this dataset are a bit bizarre – why are 70-79 and 50-59 age groups exhibiting completely opposite trends (and so are the 80+) from the rest of the population? It should be noted that Sweden is exhibiting same alarming birth rate declines starting 9 months after the rollout of the vaxxes as the rest of Europe and other countries with high uptakes of the miracle juice. Why their mortality data is so different – I have no idea. Speculations include manipulated death statistics (not out of the question) and the possibility of different formulations applied in particular countries.

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Dolphin

 

 


Painted grasshopper (Poekilocerus pictus)

 

 

Crows

 

 

 

 

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Jan 292023
 
 January 29, 2023  Posted by at 6:40 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  11 Responses »


Joseph Mallord William Turner The Tenth Plague of Egypt 1802

 

 

Highly appreciated Automatic Earth commenter TAE Summary presents another one of his series “A Tale of Two..”, and if only just for the obvious effort he put into it, let’s dig in. How do you feel about what each president has achieved? No wrong answers.

 

 

TAE Summary:

Biden is a Great President and Trump was an Awful President

 

Biden

• Appointed a diverse cabinet
• Signed executive orders addressing systemic racism and discrimination
• Passed the infrastructure bill to repair roads and bridges and improve internet access
• Reduced the deficit
• Led NATO in its support of Ukraine and opposition to Vladimir Putin
• Lowered the child poverty rate by increasing the tax credit for children
• Launched a program to protect earth from killer asteroids
• Officially recognized Turkish genocide of Armenians in 1915
• Sidelined the court-packing movement of the left
• Stepped up US support for Taiwan
• Announced a historic trilateral security agreement with Australia and Britain to counter Chinese hegemony
• Accelerate Covid vaccine delivery at home an abroad
• Improved the American economy by championing competition and reining in the power of big business which helped create millions of jobs
• Gave Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices and made the price of things like insulin and hearing aids cheaper
• Attacked hunger and fostered better nutrition in the US
• Funded opioid recovery programs
• Eliminated the statute of limitations for child sex abuse
• Tried to reform student loans
• Issued important cybersecurity regulations
• Chose humanity over politics when getting Brittney Griner released

 

Trump

• Colluded with the Russians to get elected in 2016
• Appointed unqualified family members to important positions in his administration
• Tried to ban TikTok
• Withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Accords
• Increased the deficit every year of his presidency
• Approved the Keystone Pipeline through native lands
• Disallowed transgender students from using the bathroom of their choice
• Attacked John McCain as a loser
• Ended curbs on auto emissions
• Cracked down on legal immigrants
• Impeded regulation against toxic chemicals
• Shrank the food safety net so that over 700K Americans lost their access to food stamps
• Suggested vaccines cause autism
• Accused Barack Obama of spying on his campaign
• Cut corporate taxes to the lowest level since 1939
• Oversaw the longest government shutdown in US history
• Acted as a racist and xenophobe when he implemented a travel ban from Muslim countries, blamed the Chinese for Covid, separated families at the US border, tried to build a wall between the US and Mexico and gave racist speeches
• Tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act which would have left millions without healthcare
• Inadequately responded to Covid, downplaying the dangers
• Use his influence as president to try to get Ukraine to provide damaging narratives about his political opponent
• Challenged the outcome of the 2020 election undermining democratic institutions and the public’s trust in elections which led to the events of January 6th and the deaths of 5 people

 

 

Trump was a Great President and Biden is an Awful President

 

Trump

• Negotiated three Arab-Israeli peace accords
• Fostered a strong economy and stock market by signing into to law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other policies
• Started the Space Force
• Attempted the first Defense Department wide audit
• Cracked down on unwanted robo-calls
• Attempted to build a wall on the border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration
• Helped American farmers with billions of dollars in aid
• Tried to fix health technology by removing rules blocking the sharing of medical information
• Rescinded rules for federal contractors that protected them from sexual harassment claims
• Made it easier to prosecute financial crimes like money laundering
• Renegotiated trade deals with Mexico, Canada and China which benefitted American workers and businesses
• Appointed three Supreme Court justices and many other conservative judges to federal courts leading to pro-Constitutional decisions like the overturning of Roe
• Passed the VA MISSION Act which improved healthcare access and services for veterans
• Oversaw the defeat of the Islamic State’s territorial caliphate in Syria and Iraq
• Kept us out of war
• Signed executive orders and laws combating human trafficking

 

Biden

• Opened the borders to illegal immigrants
• Discharged thousands of troops for refusing the Covid vaccine
• Opposed efforts to stop biological males from competing in women’s sports
• Lied about border patrol agents whipping migrants
• Claimed that January 6th rioters were a bigger threat to democracy than Confederates in the Civil War
• Described terrorism from white supremacy as the most lethal threat to the US
• Oversaw the disastrous withdrawal of American troops for Afghanistan
• Mis-handled the response to Covid mandating vaccines and dividing the nation on the basis of vaccination status
• Supported lockdowns and other pandemic polices which damaged the supply chain and the world economy
• Supported violent protesters instead of the police during the BLM riots
• Lied about Hunter’s laptop saying it was Russain disinformation
• Stated that election reform is the new Jim Crow
• Suppressed first amendment rights by influencing policies of social media outlets
• Supported the war in Ukraine and vilified Russia as our enemy
• Blocked American energy production
• Illegally attempted to forgive student loans
• Printed massive amounts of money causing massive inflation

 

I have one comment: I don’t think that “Joe Biden” (in Jim Kunstler language) only “supported the war in Ukraine and vilified Russia as our enemy”, “Joe Biden” did a lot more to poke the bear and instigate and fire up the war. But that’s just me. You can be the judge of that too.

Also just me: when Trump left and Biden came, we were at peace. Look at us now.

 

 

 

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Jan 292023
 


Edward Hopper Cat boat 1922

 

What’s Next? (Helmholtz Smith)
Ex-Polish FM Names Two Major Ukrainian Problems (RT)
Neutrality and Peaceful Multi-Ethnicity (Rosel)
Air Force General Predicts War With China In 2025 (NBC)
NATO Ready For Direct Confrontation With Russia – Official (TASS)
If WWIII Breaks Out, It Won’t Start On Tanks Or Fighter Jets – Medvedev (TASS)
White House Confronted Over Tanks To Ukraine (RT)
Britain ‘Modeling Cyber Strikes’ On Russian Infrastructure – Moscow (RT)
Mozart Group Trains Ukrainians To ‘Kill Russians’ – Founder (RT)
As West, Debt & Stocks Implode, East Gold & Oil Will Explode (Von Greyerz)
Are You Really Against Fossil Fuels? Read This Before You Answer (RCE)
Zuckerberg-Funded “Non-Profit” Gears Up for 2024 Elections (GP)
Bill Gates Trashes Effectiveness of COVID Vaccines (CHD)
Meet Hamilton 68, the New King of Media Fraud (Matt Taibbi)
Responding to Hamilton 68 (Matt Taibbi)

 

 

 

 

Douglas Macgregor – We are co Belligerents

 

 

 

 

“At first, the Germans sent soldiers’ helmets [to Ukraine], saying that they did not want to supply lethal weapons there. Now it’s come to tanks, and there are already talks about planes.” “Step by step, the Germans are drifting towards war,”
– Viktor Orban

 

 

Gonzalo Lira 2023.01.28 The West Has Lost Already

 

 

 

 

Madness

 

 

Ethical Sceptic

 

 

 

 

• Gonzalo: The last numbers I was confident of came from Col. Douglas Macgregor: He reported 157,000 KIA as of a few days ago.
• According to unofficial data circulating online, AFU Chief Valery Zaluzhny reported to the Pentagon and NATO on the number of losses of Ukrainian servicemen. According to the Ukrainian command, the AFU has lost a total of 232,000 killed since the start of the special operation.
• According to the private company Stratfor Forecasting, Ukraine’s losses exceed 305,000 killed.

 

 

 

 

“This grinding away can continue until Ukraine collapses because it is easier for the Russians to let the enemy come to them than go after them.”

What’s Next? (Helmholtz Smith)

I don’t know what the Russians are going to do in Ukraine and neither does anyone else outside of their high command. But there sure have been a lot of wrong predictions. Leaving aside the Western propaganda mill (of which more below), serious observers seem to get the timing wrong. We know the correlation of forces favors Russia but we expect things to happen more quickly. We agree that Moscow was expecting something shorter, less bloody and quicker at the beginning and was probably surprised by the resistance of the Kiev regime and NATO’s unhinged support. Therefore there was a re-examination and the call-up of further forces. Thus far we are in agreement – it’s the timing of the next step that we seem to get wrong.

I’ve been thinking about why this is so and I have come to the following conclusions. By now everybody who is paying attention knows that the Ukraine battlefield is part of a world war in which those who control the US empire are trying to hold onto their dominance. For those outside the NATO propaganda bubble there is general agreement that
1/ Russia is winning both in the Ukraine battlefield and the wider theater.
2/ Time is on Russia’s side.

First the Ukraine battlefield. The first aim in war is to destroy the enemy’s power and that Russia is doing, especially in the Bakhmut slaughterhouse. Kiev is determined to stand and fight here and the Russians are quite happy to let them do so – “artillery conquers and infantry occupies” – and that is what we see here. Slowly slowly the Russian forces advance over mountains of Ukrainian bodies. In the last week or so Russian forces have begun to advance on other fronts too. This grinding away can continue until Ukraine collapses because it is easier for the Russians to let the enemy come to them than go after them. Meanwhile Russian missiles destroy the infrastructure Kiev needs to continue the war. Time and developments favor Russia and there is no incentive to make “big arrow” movements.

Read more …

Ukraine went steeply downhill due to corruption.

“..the country had “nuclear plants, an aviation industry, no debt and the most fertile land in the world.”

Ex-Polish FM Names Two Major Ukrainian Problems (RT)

Ukraine was never able to achieve economic prosperity despite having a head start due to widespread graft among officials and delusions of being a significant global player, former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has suggested. In an interview with the magazine Krytyka Polityczna on Friday, Sikorski, who has represented Poland in the EU Parliament since 2019, stated that Ukrainian elites “were simply wasting their time.” In his view, they were “hiding their corruption and delusions of grandeur behind a story” that they were playing some big game with the US, Russia, Europe, and China.

The MEP recalled that after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Ukraine had a huge edge over many other ex-Soviet republics and members of the former Eastern bloc. In particular, he said the country had “nuclear plants, an aviation industry, no debt and the most fertile land in the world.” However, even before Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last year, the country “had a GDP four times smaller than Poland,” the former minister pointed out, adding that Ukrainians “are now paying dearly for this maneuvering” by the elites. Earlier this week, Sikorski suggested that Warsaw had considered partitioning Ukraine in the first weeks of the conflict. The allegation, however, was vehemently denied by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who accused Sikorski of acting “like a Russian propagandist.”

Once the second-largest economy in the Soviet Union, Ukraine was Europe’s poorest country by per-capita GDP as of 2020. Even before Russia’s military operation in February 2022, a major economic problem facing Ukraine stemmed from a popular revolt and hostilities in industry-heavy Donbass, which were sparked by a Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. Another major reason Ukraine had become something of an economic backwater, however, is rampant corruption. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception index, Ukraine ranked 122 out of 180 countries globally as of 2021. The same year, Freedom House, a US government-financed non-profit organization, described graft in Ukraine as “endemic,” noting that the government’s efforts to combat it “have met resistance and experienced setbacks.”

Read more …

“For those two diplomats Minsk was not a sham, it was an attempt in good faith to bring peace to Ukraine..”

Neutrality and Peaceful Multi-Ethnicity (Rosel)

Switzerland has been neutral since the year 1815. The great powers at that time guarantied the territorial integrity of Switzerland in the borders of 1815 provided that Switzerland would remian neutral in future conflicts. But even before 1815 the independence of the confederation from the great powers Austria and France was intertwined with its neutrality. Neutrality has been an issue in Switzerland since the latest Ukraine conflict began. A few months back the Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis was considered to be negligent in the matter of neutrality and as a result a referendum is now being prepared by the Swiss People’s Party which will confirm, clarify and strengthen Switzerland’s neutrality. Switzerland is not unique. Austria is also neutral, meaning that it is not a member of NATO, and in this way it avoided being partitioned after World War II as Germany was.

Switzerland is also a multi-ethnic country. Despite its population of only 8 million, there are four cultural groups and four official languages. There is an unofficial custom which parliament always observes when electing a new government: the three main regions must always be represented in the government. All ministers are bilingual. There are no ethnic tensions. If you want to talk about values, think about neutrality and peaceful multi-ethnicity! Switzerland’s last war was in 1848 and it was a very short civil war. It is also said that the neutrality of Switzerland allows it to be an honest broker. Thus many international agencies and summits are hosted in Geneva. Switzerland is a go-between the estranged nations United States and Iran.

The change in government in Kiev in 2014 can be considered to be a coup d’état since the elected government was replaced by a government according to the wishes of the United States, as was evidenced by the leak of an infamous telephone conversation between the US ambassador and the US diplomat (who is now known for her undiplomatic language) Victoria Nuland. The Maidan coup d’état resulted in severe ethnic tensions in a politically fragile country, which at that time had only been a nation state for a total of 28 years including the years from 1917 to 1922. There was for example a massacre in Odessa in which 46 anti-Maidan demonstrators were killed.

When the conflict in Ukraine broke out in 2014 after the troubles on the Maidan square and the violent change of government, Switzerland held the presidency of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe OSCE. Therefore the Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini (called “the facilitator” and praised by Bloomberg) was allowed to work on a ceasefire agreement which resulted in the Minsk I and the Minsk II Protocols, both signed for the OSCE by Tagliavini. She was supported by Swiss President Didier Burkhalter who at that time was President of the OSCE. He cautioned all parties not to pour oil on the fire. For those two diplomats Minsk was not a sham, it was an attempt in good faith to bring peace to Ukraine. Burkhalter retired prematurely from politics two years later.

Read more …

“If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.”

Air Force General Predicts War With China In 2025 (NBC)

A four-star Air Force general sent a memo on Friday to the officers he commands that predicts the U.S. will be at war with China in two years and tells them to get ready to prep by firing “a clip” at a target, and “aim for the head.” In the memo sent Friday and obtained by NBC News, Gen. Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, said, “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025.” Air Mobility Command has nearly 50,000 service members and nearly 500 planes and is responsible for transport and refueling. Minihan said in the memo that because both Taiwan and the U.S. will have presidential elections in 2024, the U.S. will be “distracted,” and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an opportunity to move on Taiwan.

He lays out his goals for preparing, including building “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain.” The signed memo is addressed to all air wing commanders in Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders, and orders them to report all major efforts to prepare for the China fight to Minihan by Feb. 28. During the month of February, he directs all AMC personnel to “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head.” He also orders all personnel to update their records and emergency contacts. In March he directs all AMC personnel to “consider their personal affairs and whether a visit should be scheduled with their servicing base legal office to ensure they are legally ready and prepared.”

Minihan urges them to accept some risk in training. “Run deliberately, not recklessly,” he writes, but later adds, “If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.” He also provides a window into one capability the U.S. is considering for possible conflict with China — commercial drone swarms. He directs the KC-135 units to prepare for “delivering 100 off-the-shelf size and type UAVs from a single aircraft.”

Read more …

Looks like he’s actually saying that NATO is not ready:

“The fact that your enemy has better weapons is not the problem of the enemy. That is your problem..”

NATO Ready For Direct Confrontation With Russia – Official (TASS)

Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer said that the US-led bloc is ready for a direct confrontation with Russia in an interview with Portugal’s RTP TV channel. Replying to a question on the matter, he asserted: “We are ready.” That said, he added that NATO is going to respond only if Russia crosses the red line by invading one of NATO member states. The military official stressed that NATO should be better prepared because currently Russia has the military initiative. “The fact that your enemy has better weapons is not the problem of the enemy. That is your problem,” he said. The interview also raised the issue of introducing “a war-time economy but in peace time,” however, Bauer admitted that this process would be difficult.

Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer – A doofus

Read more …

“Then everything will definitely be turned to dust..”

If WWIII Breaks Out, It Won’t Start On Tanks Or Fighter Jets – Medvedev (TASS)

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has lambasted Western attempts to justify arms deliveries to Kiev as an alleged effort to prevent a world war. “Firstly, defending Ukraine, which nobody needs in Europe, will not save the senile Old World from retribution if anything occurs. Secondly, once the Third World War breaks out, unfortunately it will not be on tanks or even on fighter jets. Then everything will definitely be turned to dust,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday. In this post, Medvedev commented, in particular, on Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto’s remarks that the Third World War would erupt if Russian tanks reached Kiev and “the borders of Europe”, and that the weapons sent to Ukraine were meant to stop the escalation. Medvedev equated his remarks to the calls from the United Kingdom to provide Kiev with all the weapons NATO has.

Read more …

“What actions will you take to ensure that our military equipment is not falling into the hands of criminal networks, terrorists, or being sold for profit?”

White House Confronted Over Tanks To Ukraine (RT)

Several Republican lawmakers have raised red flags about the decision by the administration of US President Joe Biden to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. They claim that the move comes at a time when the US is struggling with domestic problems, while the delivery itself is bound to face numerous challenges. In a letter released on Friday, representatives Troy Nehls, Paul Gosar, Eli Crane, and Lauren Boebert demanded answers from Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about the unprecedented step of sending Ukraine 31 M1 Abrams tanks to help it in its fight against Russia. The lawmakers said they were not elected by the American people “to continually spend their hard-earned money into a conflict halfway around the world” without the ability to properly track the use of military assistance to Ukraine.

They further argued that it is “shameful that the American taxpayer is continuing to subsidize the ongoing Ukraine conflict” while the White House is “turning a blind eye” to the issue of domestic security, particularly the record-high number of illegal crossings at the southern border. The delivery of heavy armor is certain to face logistical challenges, they said, noting that Abrams tanks could be delivered only in several months, while Ukrainian service members will have to undergo lengthy training to learn how to operate the machinery. The letter also noted that Ukraine has a history of being a hotbed for illegal arms trafficking. “What actions will you take to ensure that our military equipment is not falling into the hands of criminal networks, terrorists, or being sold for profit?” the lawmakers asked Biden and Austin.

They also wondered how the Pentagon intended to track the weapons and how the administration would account for the destruction of hardware provided under US military assistance and reimburse American taxpayers. In November, congressional Republicans called for an audit of US government funds appropriated for aid to Ukraine. A month later, however, the initiative was narrowly defeated in the House of Representatives, with Democrats arguing that it would send the wrong signal to Kiev.

Read more …

All sides, all the time.

Britain ‘Modeling Cyber Strikes’ On Russian Infrastructure – Moscow (RT)

Britain has been modeling cyberattacks on Russia’s critical infrastructure, the country’s deputy foreign minister, Oleg Syromolotov, said on Saturday. He added that the simulated hacks included energy facilities and were conducted under NATO guidance. The deputy minister stated that attempts to hack Russian government entities by foreign actors have “increased by two to three times” over the course of last year. Syromolotov was reacting to a story published by The Times last month, in which Lt. Gen. Tom Copinger-Symes, the deputy commander of the UK’s strategic command, was quoted as saying the National Cyber Force was seeking to recruit people with Russian degrees.

“The British are systematically using their offensive capabilities to target Russia’s information [sector],” Syromolotov told the TASS news agency. He added that London regularly conducts exercises, including joint NATO drills, simulating attacks on “Russian critical infrastructure.” “They include the modeling of strikes on government entities in the Kaliningrad Region and Moscow’s energy system,” the diplomat said. The Kaliningrad Region is a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea that borders Poland and Lithuania. Syromolotov said that last year Russia was hit by “unprecedented cyberattacks from abroad,” with the majority of intrusions coming from the US and other NATO members, as well as Ukraine. “We have become a target of coordinated aggression involving intelligence services, transnational IT corporations and hacktivists from the collective West and its puppets.”

According to Syromolotov, government services have been targeted the most. The Foreign Ministry has been repeatedly attacked, he said. “Overall, around 50,000 hacker attacks were repulsed last year.” On April 11, 2022, on the eve of Russia’s Cosmonautics Day celebrations, hackers targeted the website of the country’s space agency, Roscosmos, according to its press service. Also last year, intruders gained access to the database of one of the contractors of the Russian national postal service, leaking some internal documents. On Wednesday, cyber attackers briefly hijacked a TV signal in Russia’s Belgorod Region and Crimea and broadcast an excerpt from a speech by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Crimean officials blamed Kiev’s intelligence services for the intrusion.

Read more …

“Why do we train guys? It isn’t simply to defend themselves, it’s to kill the enemy.”

Mozart Group Trains Ukrainians To ‘Kill Russians’ – Founder (RT)

Despite its professed humanitarian mission in Ukraine, the Mozart Group is a private military company training Ukrainian soldiers to kill Russians, its founder and CEO told RT’s Afshin Rattansi on Saturday’s episode of ‘Going Underground.’ Founded by US citizens Andrew Milburn and Andrew Bain last March, the Mozart Group has been described as the Western answer to the Wagner Group – the Russian private military company currently fighting the Kiev forces for control of the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine). Speaking to Rattansi, Milburn was keen to dispel any comparison between Mozart and Wagner. He told the RT host that his group’s mission is “purely humanitarian,” and that Mozart’s members primarily work to supply and evacuate civilians living near the front lines.

However, the group’s other mission is the training of Ukrainian soldiers, which often takes place “very close to the front line,” Milburn, a former US Marine Corps commander, said. “Sadly in this war – in any war actually – the more of the adversary you take off the playing field, or kill, the less the danger is to your own guys,” he said. “Why do we train guys? It isn’t simply to defend themselves, it’s to kill the enemy.” “Everything we’re doing is exactly within the parameters of NATO policy,” he continued. “The West is providing Ukraine with lethal weapons that kill Russians. Why are they doing that? It’s to kill Russians.” “When we train soldiers that is their goal. It’s why we teach them how to operate their weapons.”

While Mozart survives on private donations, Milburn has previously called for “funding from Western governments,” asking Newsweek last month, “What the hell is stopping the US, or UK, or European Union governments from reaching out and saying ‘Let us help you?’” Milburn is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with Bain, who accused the retired commander of violating US arms trafficking regulations and seeking to expand Mozart’s training operations into Armenia. The suit also accused Milburn of embezzling money donated to the organization, orchestrating the burglary of humanitarian supplies in Ukraine, sexually harassing a female co-worker, and bribing Ukrainian military leaders. Milburn in turn accused Bain of seeking money from the Mozart Group, and claimed that Bain is “heavily invested in Russia,” which he denies.

Read more …

“Before the Western Ponzi scheme comes to an end, these three nations will virtually hold 100% of their own debt. At that point, the bonds will be worthless and interest rates will have reached infinity. Not a pretty prospect!”

As West, Debt & Stocks Implode, East Gold & Oil Will Explode (Von Greyerz)

“The risk of over-tightening by the European Central Bank is nothing less than catastrophic” says Prof Kenneth Rogoff . At Davos he also said: “Italy is extremely vulnerable. But this could pop anywhere. Global debt has gone up massively since the pandemic: public debt, corporate debt, everything.” Rogoff believes that it is a miracle that the world averted a financial crisis in 2022, but the odds of a major accident are shortening as the delayed effects of past tightening feed through. As Rogoff said: “We were very fortunate that we didn’t have a global systemic event in 2022, and we can count our blessings for that, but rates are still going higher and the risk keeps rising.” But lurking in the murkiness is also the global financial assets/liabilities which is almost $500 trillion including the shadow banking system at 46% of the total. The shadow banking sector includes pension funds, hedge funds and other financial institutions which are largely unregulated.

Shadow banking is not subject to the normal mark-to-market rules. Thus no one knows what the real position or losses are. This means that central banks are in the dark when it comes to evaluation of the real risks of the system. Clearly, I am not the only one harping on about the catastrophic global debt/liability situation. And no one knows the extent of total global derivatives. But if they have grown in line with debt and also with the shadow banking system, they could easily be in excess of $3 quadrillion.

Cultures don’t die overnight, but the US has been in decline since at least the Vietnam war in the 1960s. Interestingly, the US has not had a real Budget surplus since the early 1930s with a handful of years of exception. But when you, like the US, live on borrowed time and borrowed money, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up appearances. In 1971, the pressures on the US economy and currency became too great. Thus Nixon closed the Gold Window with the dollar having lost over 98% in real terms since then. This is of course a total catastrophe and a guarantee that the remaining 2% fall to ZERO will come in the near term future, whether it takes 5 or 10 years for the dollar to reach oblivion. Remember that the final 2% is 100% from today!


The US, EU and Japan have now reached the stage when no one wants their debt. So sovereign debt of these nations is no longer a question of “passing the parcel” but keeping the parcel. When every third party holder of these debts is a seller, who will buy? These three countries will end up holding their own debt. Japan already holds over 50% of its debt. Before the Western Ponzi scheme comes to an end, these three nations will virtually hold 100% of their own debt. At that point, the bonds will be worthless and interest rates will have reached infinity. Not a pretty prospect!

Read more …

Why Just Stop Oil is a pretty dumb statement.

Are You Really Against Fossil Fuels? Read This Before You Answer (RCE)

It is easy for anyone to say that they are against fossil fuels. Opposition to coal, oil and natural gas is fashionable and will prompt heads to nod and even hands to applaud in most places. But are people aware of the extent to which their lives are dependent on fossil fuels? Do they know that more than 90 percent of things used in their everyday lives are derived from fossil fuels? From your toothbrush to your car tire, a majority of the things you use today has been made possible because of fossil fuels. Shoes, refrigerators, washing machines, coffee makers, furniture, pens, eating utensils, eyeglasses, commodes, medical gear, camping equipment, and the list goes on and on.


Consider the computer or the phone from which you are reading this article. They are made of glass, metal, plastic, lithium and silicon – all of which require fossil fuels to mine, process or manufacture. While some are chemical derivatives of fossil fuels, all depend one way or another on their combustion for electricity generation, process heat or transportation. You wouldn’t have the iPhone, Android or MacBook without fossil fuels. Imagine the irony of typing out “end oil” from a phone that is made from fossil fuels! Or supporting climate activism by relaying video that was recorded with a camera made from fossil fuels! Of course, this sort of irony is displayed regularly and missed constantly. In short, the most fundamental necessities – and the most cherished conveniences – of daily life are products dependent on the use of fossil fuels.

Read more …

“Twenty-four states have enacted bans or restrictions on private funding of local election offices. But the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence has been working to ingratiate itself with local offices.“

Zuckerberg-Funded “Non-Profit” Gears Up for 2024 Elections (GP)

The Zuckerberg-funded group the Center for Tech and Civic Life that gave out $420 million to election offices in 2020 is doing the same in 2024. Through the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, they are funneling $80 million in election grants to local election offices. A report from election integrity watchdogs Honest Elections Project, John Locke Foundation, and Florida’s Foundation for Government Accountability issued a warned that the Alliance “is focused on systematically reshaping election offices and pushing progressive voting policies.”

Epoch Times reported: Election integrity watchdogs, including Virginia-based Honest Elections Project (HEP), North Carolina’s John Locke Foundation, and Florida’s Foundation for Government Accountability, are again raising the alarm about CTCL—this time, a year before the election rather than months after—claiming its Alliance is a front for boosting Democratic turnout, especially in Democratic strongholds within swing states. “No matter what it claims to be, the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is nothing more than a dark money-fueled scheme to push liberal voting policies and influence election administration in key states,” HEP Executive Director Jason Snead told The Epoch Times.

“The work of the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is ‘Zuck Bucks 2.0,’” John Locke Foundation Civitas Center for Public Integrity Director Dr. Andy Jackson said, claiming in a statement that the Alliance is a vehicle “for the private funding of elections by left-wing donors.” Snead and Jackson collaborated in producing a Jan. 19 Zuck Bucks 2.0 report that claims CTCL’s Alliance “is focused on systematically reshaping election offices and pushing progressive voting policies,” adding, “How state and local governments respond will have ramifications for free and fair elections in 2024 and beyond.” An investigation from House Republicans found that less than 1% of the funds were spent on personal protective equipment. Twenty-four states have banned or restricted private funding for local election offices.

Fox News reported:” CTCL issued about $400 million in grants during the 2020 election to fund a variety of work and equipment. That included ballot drop boxes, voting equipment, additional manpower, protective gear for poll workers and public education campaigns on new voting methods, among other expenses.… House Republicans found in an investigation that less than 1% of the funds were spent on personal protective equipment. Instead, the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence appears to be another effort by Zuckerberg and CTCL to influence local election operations, according to critics. “The work of the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is Zuck Bucks 2.0, which is why they avoided states that have instituted bans on the private funding of election administration,” Andy Jackson, director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity, said in a statement. Twenty-four states have enacted bans or restrictions on private funding of local election offices. But the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence has been working to ingratiate itself with local offices.“ The GOP needs to stop this!

Read more …

“He invested $55 million in BioNTech back in 2019 and it’s now worth north of $550 million.

Bill Gates Trashes Effectiveness of COVID Vaccines (CHD)

Bill Gates, long recognized as one of the world’s foremost proponents of vaccines, raised some eyebrows at a recent talk in Australia when he admitted there are “problems” with current COVID-19 vaccines. Speaking at Australia’s Lowy Institute as part of a talk entitled “Preparing for Global Challenges: In Conversation with Bill Gates,” the Microsoft founder made the following admission: “We also need to fix the three problems of [COVID-19] vaccines. The current vaccines are not infection-blocking. They’re not broad, so when new variants come up you lose protection, and they have very short duration, particularly in the people who matter, which are old people.” Such statements came as a surprise to some in light of Gates’ longstanding support of — and investments in — vaccine manufacturers and organizations promoting global vaccination.

However, they were the latest in a string of developments in recent weeks that have increasingly called the COVID-19 vaccines, in particular, into question. Several analysts and commentators were critical of Gates — but not due to disagreement with the statements he made in Australia. Instead, they argued that he had previously heavily invested in mRNA vaccines at the same time he encouraged a global COVID-19 vaccination campaign and supported mandatory vaccination. Speaking Jan. 25 on The Hill TV’s “Rising,” co-hosts Briahna Joy Gray and Robby Soave addressed Gates’ statements. Soave initially agreed at face value with Gates’ criticism of current mRNA vaccines, saying: “He really nails it on the issues that we’re having: the short duration of protection, not a significant discernable impact on the transmission of cases … not a massive benefit for a lot of otherwise healthy and younger people.”

However, Soave — who on Jan. 19 revealed “Facebook files” indicating the CDC significantly influenced content moderation and censorship on the platform pertaining to COVID-19 vaccines — then pointed out Gates’ prior investments that contributed to the development of mRNA vaccine technology. Soave said, “Bill Gates was a major proponent of mRNA technology … he was an investor in BioNTech, which developed the mRNA vaccine for Pfizer.” “We were just doing some digging,” continued Soave, “[and] we saw that he sold a lot of those shares at … how much profit was that?” “10x,” replied Gray. “He invested $55 million in BioNTech back in 2019 and it’s now worth north of $550 million. He sold some stock … at the end of last year, I believe it was, with the share price over $300, which represented a huge gain for him over when he invested.”

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“No evidence to support the statement that the dashboard is a finger on the pulse of Russian information ops.” “Hardly evidence of a massive influence campaign.”

Meet Hamilton 68, the New King of Media Fraud (Matt Taibbi)

If one goes by volume alone, this oft-cited neoliberal think-tank that spawned hundreds of fraudulent headlines and TV news segments may go down as the single greatest case of media fabulism in American history. Virtually every major news organization in America is implicated, including NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and the Washington Post. Mother Jones alone did at least 14 stories pegged to the group’s “research.” Even fact-checking sites like Politifact and Snopes cited Hamilton 68 as a source. Hamilton 68 was and is a computerized “dashboard” designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure “Russian disinformation.” It was the brainchild of former FBI agent (and current MSNBC “disinformation expert”) Clint Watts, and backed by the German Marshall Fund and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan think-tank. The latter’s advisory panel includes former acting CIA chief Michael Morell, former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, former Hillary for America chair John Podesta, and onetime Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.

The Twitter Files expose Hamilton 68 as a sham: The secret ingredient in Hamilton 68’s analytic method was a list of 644 accounts supposedly linked “to Russian influence activities online.” It was hidden from the public, but Twitter was in a unique position to recreate Hamilton’s sample by analyzing its Application Program Interface (API) requests, which is how they first “reverse-engineered” Hamilton’s list in late 2017. The company was concerned enough about the proliferation of news stories linked to Hamilton 68 that it also ordered a forensic analysis. Note the second page below lists many of the different types of shadow-banning techniques that existed at Twitter even in 2017, buttressing the “Twitter’s Secret Blacklist” thread by Bari Weiss last month. Here you see categories ranging from “Trends Blacklist” to “Search Blacklist” to “NSFW High Precision.” Twitter was checking to see how many of Hamilton’s accounts were spammy, phony, or bot-like. Note that out of 644 accounts, just 36 were registered in Russia, and many of those were associated with RT.

Examining further, Twitter execs were shocked. The accounts Hamilton 68 claimed were linked to “Russian influence activities online” were not only overwhelmingly English-language (86%), but mostly “legitimate people,” largely in the U.S., Canada, and Britain. Grasping right away that Twitter might be implicated in a moral outrage, they wrote that these account-holders “need to know they’ve been unilaterally labeled Russian stooges without evidence or recourse.” Other comments in internal company emails: “These accounts are neither strongly Russian nor strongly bots.” “No evidence to support the statement that the dashboard is a finger on the pulse of Russian information ops.” “Hardly evidence of a massive influence campaign.”

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“I genuinely wanted to hear an innocent explanation if they had one. They still said nothing. Only after the story blew up online yesterday did they put out an explanation.”

Responding to Hamilton 68 (Matt Taibbi)

Days before yesterday’s Twitter Files report about Hamilton 68, I wrote the public relations officers of both of the sites’ parent organizations, the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) and the German Marshall Fund (GMF). I told them I was in possession of the Hamilton 68 list, which purported to track “Russian influence activities.” I said I had a slew of internal Twitter documents that among other things identified their project as “bullshit.” Toward the end I added: Given the sheer quantity of news stories sourced to Hamilton 68, this has to go down as one of the great media frauds of all time. Unless you have an explanation for how and why hundreds of non-Russians like Dennis Michael Lynch, Patrick Hennigsen, Joe Lauria, and [I inserted the name of a San Diego school board member] came to be on this list, there’s no other conclusion.

I hope you will treat this matter with respect and answer this query. My story is going to identify not just people like Clint Watts but members of the ASD advisory board as party to this. The story eventually published, “Move Over, Jayson Blair: Meet Hamilton 68, The New King of Media Fraud,” was based on email assessments of Twitter executives like Yoel Roth and Nick Pickles, the forensic analysis Roth had done in 2017 and which was excerpted yesterday, and interviews with people on the list. These elements — especially the interviews — made for a pretty ironclad case that the much-ballyhooed Hamilton 68 “dashboard” was a sham, that took real opinions of real people and falsely declared them part of a “network” of “Russian influence activities.”

On the remote chance Hamilton 68 had inside information legitimizing the linking of Dennis Michael Lynch, David Horowitz, and @TrumpDyke to “Russian influence activities,” I not only reached out to Hamilton’s creators, but when they were quiet, threw a tantrum on Twitter, tagging every member of the ASD advisory board in an effort to hear from them pre-publication. I genuinely wanted to hear an innocent explanation if they had one. They still said nothing. Only after the story blew up online yesterday did they put out an explanation.

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Elon Mars

 

 

 

 

Musk landing

 

 


This 1974 photograph shows the freshly excavated pit with 2,000-year-old terracotta warriors still showing the original color scheme before the rapid deterioration that made them as we know them today

 

 

Mandarin duck

 

 


The sabertooth longhorn beetle is one of the largest beetles reaching a length of up to 17.7 cm. Its larval stage can last up to 10 years, while its adult phase is likely to last no more than a few months

 

 

Odd couple

 

 

 

 

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