Jun 062024
 


Paul Gauguin We hail thee Mary 1891

 

RNC Backup Plans for Presidential Nomination If Trump Is In Prison (ET)
X Urges Supreme Court for Review After Jack Smith Obtained Trump Files (ET)
J6 Committee Delayed Secret Service Driver From Refuting Limo Story (Turley)
Poll: Plurality of Americans Believe Trump Trial was Politically Motivated (AmG)
“Biden Allies Freak After WSJ Blasts “Slipping” Brain (ZH)
Is Hunter Biden Pursuing a Jury Nullification Strategy? (Turley)
Scott Ritter on Reason Behind Move to Stop Him From Traveling to Russia (Sp.)
NATO Would Stand No Chance’ Against Russia-China Military Alliance (Sp.)
The West Is Already At War With Russia But Its Leaders Can’t Wake Up (Jay)
Ukraine To Recruit Deserters – Media (RT)
Ukraine No Longer Allowing Dual Citizens To Leave (RT)
Nobody in US Has Ukraine’s Interests At Heart – Putin (RT)
Austria’s Ex-FM Kneissl Says Europe ‘Lost Its Soul,’ Entered War Path (Sp.)
Americans Are an Abused People (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Huckabee
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798530465214693854

 

 

Trump ad


https://twitter.com/i/status/1798402097773428890

 

 

Ron Paul

 

 

John Roberts
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798137403019768042

 

 

The greatest temptation is to settle for too little. – Thomas Merton

 

 

Trump Black Panthers

 

 

Putin on Trump case

 

 

Laptop

 

 

Laptop
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798383585683968496

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last paragraph is golden.

RNC Backup Plans for Presidential Nomination If Trump Is In Prison (ET)

With former President Donald Trump facing the possibility of being sentenced to prison just days before the Republican National Convention, GOP officials are formulating backup plans in case the former president isn’t able to receive the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in person. “We’ll be thinking about it, and we’re working on that right now,” Republican National Committee Chair Michael Whatley told Newsmax in an interview on June 4, when asked whether the Republican Party is preparing for the possibility that the former president can’t attend the convention because he’s behind bars. The convention, which will take place in Milwaukee from July 15 to July 18, is expected to draw thousands, but President Trump might not be one of them, given his recent felony conviction and the possibility that, on July 11, Justice Juan Merchan will sentence him to prison.

President Trump was recently found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide nondisclosure payments, supposedly to prevent bad press and sway the 2016 election in his favor. He maintains his innocence and says he’s the victim of a vindictive political prosecution meant to derail his 2024 comeback bid. Justice Merchan could sentence President Trump to up to four years on each business records falsification count, with a maximum of 20 years. The former president said in a June 2 interview on Fox News that he could handle being jailed or imprisoned, while calling the people involved in his conviction “sick” and “evil.” The former president and his attorneys have vowed to appeal the conviction, with President Trump even calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to step in before the sentencing date and overturn the guilty verdict.

Although a former Manhattan district attorney predicted that President Trump would receive no prison time regardless of any appeals process, GOP officials say they’ll be ready to handle whatever scenario presents itself at the convention. “We expect that Donald Trump is going to be in Milwaukee and he’s going to be able to accept that nomination,” Mr. Whatley said. “And if not, we will make whatever contingency planning we need to make for it.” Although Mr. Whatley didn’t provide specifics about the contingency plans, he said the RNC will “certainly” have a plan in place to make sure President Trump receives the nomination no matter what. “We want to have a show that is going to roll out Donald Trump and his vision for America, which is going to set up this election cycle,” Mr. Whatley said while expressing confidence that President Trump will become the 47th president when the Election Day dust settles in November.

In response to Mr. Whatley’s preparing for the possibility of President Trump virtually addressing the Republican National Convention, Democratic National Committee Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd released the following statement: “Even before Donald Trump became a convicted felon, his inner circle was already staffed by a roster of convicts and fraudsters brought on board for their loyalty to Trump and his MAGA agenda over the rule of law. Now Trump’s hand-picked RNC chair is openly floating Trump calling into the convention from a jail cell because the Republican Party has become completely beholden to a criminal who is willing to undermine our justice system and our democracy to pursue his agenda of revenge and retribution.”

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“..disclosing the warrant would result in “destruction of or tampering with evidence, intimidation of potential witnesses, and serious jeopardy to the investigation,” and let President Trump “flee from prosecution.”

X Urges Supreme Court for Review After Jack Smith Obtained Trump Files (ET)

Elon Musk’s X Corp. has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider stepping in against a process that lets officials obtain information from social media companies and bars the companies from informing people whose information is handed over. The process wrongly enables officials to “access and review potentially privileged materials without any opportunity for the user to assert privileges—including constitutional privileges,” lawyers for X said in a filing to the nation’s top court. Unsealed documents in 2023 showed that X provided data and records from former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account to special counsel Jack Smith after Mr. Smith obtained a search warrant. X was blocked from informing President Trump by a nondisclosure order that Mr. Smith also obtained. The order said disclosing the warrant would result in “destruction of or tampering with evidence, intimidation of potential witnesses, and serious jeopardy to the investigation,” and let President Trump “flee from prosecution.”

X challenged the order, arguing it violated its First Amendment rights and noting that President Trump might have reason to claim executive privilege, or presidential privilege. The company wanted to alert the former president so he could assert the privilege, but U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled against it, claiming during a hearing that the only reason X was issuing the challenge was “because the CEO wants to cozy up with the former president.” A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the ruling from Judge Howell, an appointee of former President Barack Obama. “The government proffered two compelling interests that supported nondisclosure of the search warrant: preserving the integrity and maintaining the secrecy of its ongoing criminal investigation of the events surrounding January 6, 2021,” U.S. Circuit Judge Florence Pan wrote. She was joined by Circuit Judges Cornelia Pillard and Michelle Childs. Judge Pillard was appointed by President Obama; Judges Pan and Childs were appointed by President Joe Biden.

The full court denied a rehearing en banc, although four judges said “we should not have endorsed this gambit,” referring to the combination of a warrant and nondisclosure order. “Rather than follow established precedent, for the first time in American history, a court allowed access to presidential communications before any scrutiny of executive privilege,” Circuit Judge Neomi Rao wrote in a dissent. The appointee of President Trump was joined by Circuit Judges Gregory Katsas and Justin Walker, other President Trump appointees; and Judge Karen Henderson, an appointee of former President George H.W. Bush. The Supreme Court should take up the case because the majority’s opinion conflicts with Supreme Court precedent and rulings from other circuits, lawyers for X said in the new petition. “This court has long held that holders of executive privilege must have notice and an opportunity to assert privilege before confidentiality of the potentially privileged documents is breached. The decision below departs from that precedent.

Because former President Trump was not informed of the warrant before his records were produced, he could not timely assert executive privilege,” they wrote. Several circuit courts have issued contrasting decisions, which creates a split that needs resolved, X lawyers said. That included a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that cleared a protocol for a warrant that involved giving people with attorney-client privilege “the first opportunity to identify potentially privileged materials” and did not let investigators access the materials until the parties or the court approved. Another circuit split exists in regard to the nondisclosure order, the lawyers said. In Freedman v. Maryland, the Supreme Court ruled that “any restraint prior to judicial review can be imposed only briefly in order to preserve the status quo.” While two circuit courts have found the ruling does not apply to nondisclosure orders, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has found that some nondisclosure orders must adhere to the ruling. The conflict “warrants this court’s review,” X lawyers said.

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What a disgrace that committee is/was.

J6 Committee Delayed Secret Service Driver From Refuting Limo Story (Turley)

Just the News is reporting that the January 6th Committee rebuffed repeated efforts from a Secret Service agent to refute the false story related by Cassidy Hutchinson alleging a violent episode with Trump in the presidential limousine during the Capitol riots. The J6 Committee staff repeatedly delayed the testimony of the agent to disprove the widely reported allegation. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, the chairman of the House subcommittee that is investigating the Jan. 6 riot, has obtained a transcript of the driver’s interview that was conducted months after he first offered to testify. However, it turns out that committee staff were asked repeatedly by counsel for the agent to let him present evidence debunking the claim. Despite being reported by virtually every news outlet, the Committee slow walked his appearance as the story went viral.

The transcript of the driver’s testimony contains express objections by the lawyer that his client had offered to testify in July, August and September of 2022, but was “rebuffed” by the committee. The account reaffirms a major criticism of the committee. After Democrats refused to allow the GOP to pick its members (as a long-accepted practice in the House), the Democrats selected two anti-Trump Republicans who did little to push for a full and fair display of witnesses and facts. The Committee was chaired by Rep. Benny Thompson, a Democrat, with Rep. Liz Cheney, as Vice Chairwoman. Cheney and the committee members clearly knew that Hutchinson’s account was debunked by the very driver who allegedly struggled with Trump. Yet, they allowed the media to report the incident for months while rebuffing the requests of the driver. Loudermilk is quoted as saying “We’re talking about the driver of the limousine, and the head of the entire protective detail. They were brought in by the select committee to testify, but they weren’t brought in until November.

The false account was given by Hutchinson in June of that year. The Secret Service driver testified Trump never tried to reach for or grab the wheel of the SUV. Notably, the transcript shows Cheney trying to explain the delay as due to the need for the Secret Service to produce all documents in the January 6 investigation. Yet, she had no problem with making the false story public through Hutchinson before such supporting material was supplied. She also did not suggest any countervailing testimony or witnesses on the issue as the media ran with the account. Instead, Cheney publicly teased the claim that they had much more evidence of crimes against Trump, which never materialized. Cheney ended one hearing by calling for more officials to come forward and noting that Trump family members and former officials have now come forward with their own public “confessions.” Many of us support the effort to bring greater transparency to what occurred on Jan. 6th and these hearings have offered a great deal of important new information.

Indeed, it has proven gut-wrenching in the accounts of lawyers and staff trying to combat baseless theories and to protect the constitutional process. Yet, the heavy-handed approach to framing the evidence by the Committee was both unnecessary and at times counterproductive. The strength of some of this evidence would not have been diminished by a more balanced committee or investigation. We previously discussed the highly scripted and entirely one-sided presentation of evidence in the Committee. Indeed, witnesses were primarily used to present what Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to as “the narrative” where their prior videotaped testimony was shown and they were given narrow follow-up questions. They at times seemed more like props than witnesses — called effectively to recite prior statements between well-crafted, impactful video clips. It had the feel of a news package, which may be the result of the decision to bring in a former ABC executive to produce the hearings.

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A mixed set of numbers.

Poll: Plurality of Americans Believe Trump Trial was Politically Motivated (AmG)

A new poll shows that a sizable plurality of the American people believe that the New York trial of former President Donald Trump was a politically-motivated show trial. As the Daily Caller reports, the ABC News/Ipsos poll shows that 47% of Americans believe the trial was indeed a political hit job, while 38% say that the trial was legitimate and fair. On the question of the “guilty” verdict, 50% of respondents believe the verdict was correct; by contrast, just 27% believe the verdict was wrong, while the remaining 23% said they “don’t know” what to believe with regards to the verdict. Among those who claimed to have followed the case closely, 55% say the verdict was correct while 35% say it was incorrect; another 8% said they “don’t know.”

After the verdict was announced, 49% of respondents said that Trump should end his campaign for re-election. Among partisan lines, just 16% of Republicans said Trump should drop out while 75% want him to continue his candidacy. Among Democrats, 79% want Trump to drop out now, while 52% of independents say the same thing. The same poll also showed that the trial and its outcome have had virtually no effect on Trump’s approval ratings, and may have even led to a slight increase. While the former president had a 29% favorability in March, his favorability currently sits at 31%. Biden’s favorability is at 32%, a slight decrease from 33% in March. The poll featured a sample size of 781 American adults, and was conducted from May 31st to June 1st. The margin of error is 3.7%.

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“I used to meet with him when he was vice president. I’d go to his house,” McCarthy said in an interview. “He’s not the same person.”

“Biden Allies Freak After WSJ Blasts “Slipping” Brain (ZH)

The Biden administration is scrambling for damage control over the president’s mental condition. Over the past month, the White House claimed executive privilege over an audio tape of Biden’s classified documents interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur, the transcripts of which were altered to make Biden seem more competent Next, TIME Magazine’s Massimo Calabresi couldn’t give a straight answer over Biden’s serious cognitive decline exhibited during an interview. Now, the White House and Biden allies are slamming a Tuesday report from the Wall Street Journal in which 45 people from both sides of the aisle told the outlet that Biden is, to put it mildly, two sandwiches short of a picnic. The Journal cites a January meeting behind closed doors during a critical discussion about Ukraine funding, Biden’s soft-spoken nursing home demeanor led some participants to question his engagement, as he occasionally read from notes and paused.

“You couldn’t be there and not feel uncomfortable,” one attendee noted about the meeting’s dynamics, adding “I’ll just say that.” In another example, Biden completely forgot the details of ‘his’ own policy on big energy projects during a one-on-one meeting with House Speaker Mike Johnson. Others who attended said Biden’s demeanor and level of engagement fluctuated and he seemed lively and engaged at some points. When the topic moved to an immigration overhaul, Johnson, the House speaker, offered Biden a list of dozens of executive actions he could undo to improve border security. Biden, rather than responding to Johnson’s suggestions, chided him, according to people at the meeting, “I’ve forgotten more about immigration than you’ll ever know.” -WSJ

Then, during debt ceiling negotiations with House Republicans, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and others noted that Biden’s demeanor and command of the details varied significantly from day to day. On some days, Biden was described as relying heavily on notes and mumbling, which could suggest inconsistency in cognitive performance. “I used to meet with him when he was vice president. I’d go to his house,” McCarthy said in an interview. “He’s not the same person.” -WSJ. The article also lays out public speaking errors, such as mixing up names of his Hispanic cabinet secretaries, mistakenly speaking about conversations with long-deceased leaders, and other factual errors. These instances contribute to the narrative of cognitive decline. In another section, the Journal reports that “The president moved so slowly around the Cabinet Room to greet the nearly two dozen congressional leaders that it took about 10 minutes for the meeting to begin, some people who attended recalled.”

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What are the odds of him being convicted in Delaware?

Is Hunter Biden Pursuing a Jury Nullification Strategy? (Turley)

There was an interesting development this week in the Hunter Biden gun trial: the fact that there will indeed be a Hunter Biden gun trial. That development is surprising only because there do not appear to be any facts in dispute in this case. And the primary witness against Hunter Biden will be Hunter Biden himself. The sole issue in this case is whether Biden filed a false gun form (ATF Form 4473) in which, as a condition for his purchase of a .38-caliber Colt Cobra revolver from the StarQuest Shooters and Survival Supply in Wilmington, Del., he stated that he was not a user of drugs. Biden’s counsel, Abbe Lowell, previously suggested that his client may have had a window of sobriety when he signed the form, but then returned to his addiction afterward. But then Hunter himself blew that theory away with his public comments and books. Lowell then suggested in court that someone else may have checked the box on the form.

In the interim, Lowell has brought a litany of challenges. At one point, he claimed that the government must fulfill a prior dead plea agreement. At another, he adopted an argument of the National Rifle Association challenging the underlying statute. The defense also failed this week to call a last-minute witness who would testify that Hunter may not have known that he was an addict. The defense was accused of essentially hiding the ball with the expert’s expected testimony so Judge Maryellen Noreika barred the appearance of the Columbia professor. Yet, again, Hunter Biden himself would have destroyed the defense. The form asks if Hunter was a user of drugs, not just an addict: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” Hunter wrote how he was a user of a wide array of drugs for years. It is hard to imagine he thought himself as clean as a clergyman in Wilmington in 2018.

So why wouldn’t Hunter just plead guilty? Even without his earlier plea deal, a guilty plea could significantly reinforce a request to avoid jail time in the case. It would also avoid an embarrassing trial for himself and his father during a presidential election. While Hunter could always throw in the towel before the start of testimony, there is currently no discernible strategy beyond hoping that a pending case in the Supreme Court might undermine the indictment. There may also be another possible strategy in play: jury nullification. Unlike Donald Trump in Manhattan, Delaware is Biden country. The chance that he will get strong supporters of his father on the jury is an almost statistical certainty. In 2020, Joe Biden received roughly 60 percent of the vote over Donald Trump in the state. Having first lady Jill Biden, who is extremely popular, at the trial will only reinforce the connection. In addition to a favorable jury pool, Biden may be hoping that testimony on his travails with drugs will prompt one or more jurors to ignore the law and vote to acquit.

Notably, virtually all of the selected jurors have said that they know of someone who has struggled with drugs. Indeed, Judge Noreika already appears to suspect such a strategy. Noreika rejected the effort of the defense to introduce an altered version of the federal firearms form created by the gun store employees. They argue that the alternation showed a political bias on the part of the prosecutors. The court found the document “irrelevant” and chastised the defense team for pursuing “conspiratorial” theories and an effort to confuse or mislead the jury. She noted that the use of the altered form would be “unduly prejudicial and invites (jury) nullification.” Jury nullification arguments have long been banned or discouraged in many courtrooms. Nevertheless, jury nullification has its advocates. For example, Georgetown Law Professor Paul Butler has called for Black jurors to refuse to convict Black defendants of drug crimes. Butler has said that “my goal is the subversion of the present criminal justice system.”

Hunter Biden is obviously not the primary concern of Professor Butler in the impact of drug prosecutions on the Black community. However, he has also argued that “jury nullification is just part of an arsenal of tools to end the failed “war on drugs.” Biden’s case has all of the characteristics of a nullification defense. Even if he cannot secure acquittal, the combination of political and social elements at play in Delaware could produce a hung jury. Trying a Biden in Delaware is a challenge for any prosecutor, even without the potential sympathies for a reformed drug addict. With the first lady sitting behind him, the family ties will be on full display. There is an understandable parental desire to show emotional support for Hunter, but prosecutors cannot be thrilled by the potential effect on jurors in the pro-Biden state.

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“They provided no explanation of what they were doing. They just did it..”

Scott Ritter on Reason Behind Move to Stop Him From Traveling to Russia (Sp.)

On June 3, the former Marine Corps intelligence officer and Sputnik contributor was removed by US Customs and Border Protection officers from a plane bound for Russia, where he was to attend the 2024 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). The US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) does not have the authority to seize passports without probable cause, former Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter told Sputnik, commenting on Monday’s incident. Ritter recalled that as he prepared to board the plane, he was pulled out of line by three armed CBP officers who took control of his passport. He said that when he asked them “on what authority,” they cited orders from the US Department of State. “They provided no warrant, no documentation, nor did they provide a receipt for my passport. They provided no explanation of what they were doing. They just did it,” the Sputnik contributor pointed out.

Ritter stressed that his constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment were violated because the document requires CBP officers to provide a warrant or some other form of authority upon which to conduct the seizure of his passport. “Under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution and others, I’m free to travel. The US government cannot restrict my travel without specific justification, none of which was articulated to me and none of which I believe exists. So it’s a violation of my Fifth Amendment,” the former Marine Corps intelligence officer added.] He suggested that “the real reason” behind all this “appears to be to prevent” him from participating in the SPIEF 2024 and to prevent the work he planned to do as a journalist with his documentary film crew. According to him, he was planning to make a documentary about “the reality of Russia”. “This is my First Amendment right under freedom of speech and a free press. And this right was likewise violated by the US government, by the Biden administration,” Ritter noted.

The Sputnik contributor recounted that he had traveled to Russia “two times in the last year using this same passport,” and that on each time, the US government was notified in advance of his intent to travel and of his itinerary.
In an apparent reference to his planned trip to Russia to attend SPIEF 2024, Ritter said he was “not off on a secret mission” and that the US government “knew full well” what he was up to. “And this is why I believe they acted in the way they did. This has a chilling effect, not just on me and the work I was doing, but on all Americans who choose to speak out against the policies of the United States that they disagree with and to travel abroad at the same time that they are criticizing the US government. And what the US government is saying is that we can control your movement. We can control your life. We can punish you for what you’ve been saying that we disagree with,” the former Marine Corps intelligence officer emphasized.

Nap Scott Ritter : On My Way to Russia I Met Big Brother.

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“The strategic alliance between Russia and China ain’t going to be about taking over countries, ain’t going to be about missile-producing or whatever. It’s going to be about ensuring justice and fairness on the global stage…”

NATO Would Stand No Chance’ Against Russia-China Military Alliance (Sp.)

The United States has historically worked to prevent an alliance between Russia and China, but the two global powers have joined together in an effort to guard themselves against Western aggression.One year before his death Henry Kissinger, a consequential – and highly controversial – former US Secretary of State, saw the writing on the wall. “The time is approaching to build on the strategic changes which have already been accomplished and to integrate them into a new structure towards achieving peace through negotiation,” said the top diplomat, urging an end to Ukraine’s Western-backed war against Russia. Kissinger made the comments in an article entitled “How to Avoid Another World War” in the British magazine The Spectator, noting that Russia’s “thousands of nuclear weapons” make it “one of the world’s two largest nuclear powers.”

With characteristic braggadocio, the veteran strategist’s remarks were slammed by the Ukrainian government and criticized by a fair number of Western liberals, by then fully convinced of the United States’ duty to once again safeguard freedom and democracy. The West’s apparent indifference towards the prospect of nuclear war and strategic incompetence in allowing Russia and China to join forces was criticized by former security analyst Dr. David Oualaalou, who discussed the latest developments in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict on Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Tuesday. “Putin will not bluff on this, because this is what’s going to be expected of the Russians, the Russian people, from their leader to defend the country by any means, as we are pushing more and more,” said Oualaalou, noting that Moscow views the conflict as a matter of existential importance.

“The idea to me, the way I look at it, is [Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor] Orban does not want to have his country caught in the middle of this, being a member of NATO or not at this point,” he added, characterizing the European leader as a voice of sanity on the issue. “He’s talking to his lawyers, the officers – they are looking for ways on how to opt out of this kind of involvement with NATO. Frankly, if I may use the term here, it’s about time for Hungary to make a decision whether to leave NATO altogether.” Oualaalou noted that the increasing unpopularity of Western involvement in the ongoing proxy war is leading to a surge in popularity for the right-wing across Europe, with French politician Marine Le Pen rising in popularity while suggesting the country should leave NATO.

Kissinger, credited with setting the United States on a path towards global dominance in the 1970s, worked to ensure China and Russia remained divided during his time as US Secretary of State, pursuing an opening of relations with China to pull them closer to the US. But Western bellicosity has now functioned to create a strong partnership between the two countries, Oualaalou argued – forming an alliance that Western powers would not be able to overcome through military means. “The strategic alliance between Russia and China ain’t going to be about taking over countries, ain’t going to be about missile-producing or whatever. It’s going to be about ensuring justice and fairness on the global stage… [With] these two countries – Russia and China – joined by others, NATO would stand no chance. The US would stand no chance,” he claimed.

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“..the West cannot entertain any of these requests and has taken so much control of the media that its leaders are starting to believe their own BS..”

The West Is Already At War With Russia But Its Leaders Can’t Wake Up (Jay)

Is NATO planning something big in Ukraine? Are we on the cusp now of WWIII really breaking out since the U.S. has now backed the idea that Ukraine can fire missiles beyond its borders into Russia? The news that President Joe Biden has given the go-ahead for long-range missiles to be fired into Russia should be worrying for a number of reasons. The dangerous game of escalation that the West is playing will have a breaking point in the not too distant future. The question is whether the West really understands how Putin thinks as it is presently betting on no retaliation from Russia, which is not only erroneous but very, very dangerous. Recent missile strikes into Russian territory destroyed two radar installations which western press refuse to report.

The significance of this strike is important as the more Ukraine loses on the battlefield, the more desperate its tactics, egged on by western leaders who still think that their stake in the war is minimal. Although just recently Germany’s leader Scholz did a U-turn at a conference in Berlin with French President Macron — in backing the missile strikes into Russia plan — the truth is that officially NATO does not support the plan, which is why the UK is doing it independently using Storm Shadows operated by SAS soldiers. This has been going on for months and so in many respects the news that the U.S. has authorised the practice could be taken lightly. What’s new? Or, more to the point, is Ukraine going to use longer-range U.S. missiles to keep up with such strikes like the radar stations? Does it have enough missiles in stock is also an important question.

With this strategy in play, we are looking in all scenarios at the slow demise of NATO as the more that such strikes occur, the more it is evident that NATO is a defunct organisation and only really a talk shop at best. NATO members are divided on an overall strategy with Ukraine and so member states do their own thing. If we see more of these strikes, the pressure on Putin to react will be overwhelming but when that time comes, he will practice and eye-for-an-eye strategy and strike the equivalent military installations within Europe or at least Ukraine’s drones operating in the Black Sea. This will be a shock for the West. It will take some days for such a strike to be seen for what it is: a warning. The message will be the escalation game has its limits and you’ve gone over a line.

But are the recent reports of a new offensive in the planning from NATO genuine? Probably not. Just like the reports of Putin wanting to negotiate a peace deal now. Both fake news are part of a strategy of panic from the Biden administration which really needs some sort of victory in Ukraine to present to the American people. Yet all of the aces are with Putin and he doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of falling into these traps. Putin has been pretty consistent in how he sees any kind of peace deal. Denazification, demilitarisation and no deal on NATO membership. The reasons why peace talks are a mere figment of the imagination of western journalists who sink to new lows is that the West cannot entertain any of these requests and has taken so much control of the media that its leaders are starting to believe their own BS. The fourth requirement also of Putin’s is that he can’t negotiate peace with a leader in the Ukraine who no longer has legitimacy as a president. One wonders how long the West can continue to kick up a fuss about that one.

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Anyone who can fog a mirror…

Ukraine To Recruit Deserters – Media (RT)

Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has allowed the country’s Armed Forces to recruit deserters as the military continues to experience personnel shortages after suffering heavy casualties, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday. The agency cited a letter sent by SBI Director Alexey Sukhachov to Ukraine’s commander-in-chief Aleksandr Syrsky. According to the document, up until now, how to deal with cases where servicemen who abandoned their units without permission or outright deserted have decided to voluntarily return to service had not been clearly defined to Ukrainian commanders. In his letter, Sukhachov reportedly asked Syrsky to “orient commanders of military units on the need to ensure the acceptance of the above-mentioned military personnel, who voluntarily returned to military units and expressed a desire to undergo further military service, to appoint them to positions and continue military service.”

Furthermore, RIA writes, the SBI chief asked that the service members who decide to return also be provided the right to monetary compensation. Sukhachov’s request comes as Kiev suffers from a shortage of military personnel having incurred heavy casualties on the battlefield. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Ukraine’s Armed Forces are estimated to have lost more than 35,000 troops in May alone, amid Moscow’s offensive in Kharkov Region. Despite the Ukrainian military’s efforts to ramp up mobilization, many people don’t want to serve in the army, prompting Kiev to further tighten mobilization rules and even reduce the conscription age limit from 27 to 25. Last month, Ukraine’s General Staff also announced that it intends to “optimize” its operations by releasing as many as 60% of its personnel and using them “to replenish the command and control bodies at the operational and tactical levels, as well as combat units.”

Ukraine’s mobilization campaign, which was announced shortly after the start of the conflict with Russia, has also been marred by widespread draft dodging. Many have tried to escape the country to avoid service, sometimes losing their lives in the process. According to the Ukrainian State Border Service, at least 45 Ukrainian men have already died while trying to illegally cross into the EU. In May alone, ten people were confirmed to have drowned while trying to cross the Tisza River, which flows from Ukraine’s southwestern border through Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Serbia.

Arestovich

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And that includes Americans…

Ukraine No Longer Allowing Dual Citizens To Leave (RT)

Ukrainian nationals with dual citizenship have been barred from leaving the country, a border guard official said on Tuesday. They are also no longer exempt from the military draft under a new mobilization law. The authorities are struggling to replenish the army ranks as a result of heavy casualties suffered on the battlefield. Russia’s Defense Ministry estimates that Ukraine’s armed forces lost more than 35,000 troops in May alone. Ukrainians with dual citizenship were previously allowed to leave the country, border service spokesman Andrey Demchenko told state TV on Tuesday. “We are not letting this category of citizens through now,” he added.He cited a recent government decree that obliged such people to register for the draft within 30 days. Previously, dual citizens and Ukrainians who were living abroad under a residence permit had been exempted from military service.

Earlier, Defense Ministry spokesman Dmitry Lazutkin also demanded the return of Ukrainians who were residing abroad, saying they should visit their territorial draft offices in person even if they have updated their data remotely. The US embassy in Kiev immediately warned Americans who hold Ukrainian citizenship against traveling to Ukraine. “Effective June 1, Ukraine has eliminated a ‘residence abroad’ exception that previously allowed certain Ukrainian males aged 18 to 60 to depart the country,” it said in a statement, adding that “US-Ukrainian dual citizens… may no longer be able to depart the country” in light of the changes. The diplomatic mission then advised those who are already in Ukraine to “shelter in place and obey all local orders,” while cautioning those “not currently in Ukraine” against traveling there. “There is an extremely high risk you will not be allowed to depart, even with a US passport,” the statement said.

Kiev has been ramping up its mobilization efforts in recent months. In April, Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky signed a controversial mobilization law that lowered the conscription age from 27 to 25, greatly expanded the powers of enlistment officers, and introduced additional penalties for draft dodgers. In May, he approved further legislation that provided a way for some prisoners to be paroled if they enlist. Later the same month, the country’s justice minister, Denis Maliuska, announced the first release of convicts to fill the military ranks.

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“..Americans are “not fighting for Ukraine or the Ukrainian people, they are fighting for their own grandeur and global leadership.”

Nobody in US Has Ukraine’s Interests At Heart – Putin (RT)

The US only cares about its own grandeur and is involved in the Ukraine crisis in order to fulfil its global ambitions, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the leaders of global media agencies ahead of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Wednesday. Washington has provided tens of billions of dollars in military aid to Kiev since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.When asked about a potential shift in US policy towards Russia, Putin said that it is largely dependent on Washington itself and its perception of reality. America is currently obsessed with globalist ambitions that are “destroying the US from within,” the president said. US involvement in the Ukraine conflict is just one manifestation of that globalist policy, he told journalists.“Nobody in the US cares about Ukraine’s interests,” Putin said. Americans are “not fighting for Ukraine or the Ukrainian people, they are fighting for their own grandeur and global leadership.”

According to Putin, the current administration is not so much interested in helping Kiev prevail in the ongoing standoff but is rather “determined to prevent any Russian success precisely because they believe it would damage US leadership [positions].” Those globalist ambitions are harmful to America itself, Putin maintained, naming “high inflation and a huge debt” among the biggest challenges the US is currently facing. A future administration could reverse this destructive trend by focusing on “strengthening the US from within, strengthening its economy and finances, and building up normal relations with the world,” he said, adding that such policies could then bring some “real change” in relations between Moscow and Washington as well. The president’s words came just a day after the Kremlin called the US an “enemy” for the first time. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov referred to Washington as such while speaking to journalists on Tuesday.

“We are now an enemy country for them – much like they are for us,” Peskov said at that time, describing the two nations’ attitudes toward each other. The Kremlin has previously referred to the US as an “unfriendly state” or “opponent.” Peskov was commenting on Washington’s decision not to allow former US marine, UN weapons inspector and RT contributor Scott Ritter to travel to St. Petersburg to take part in several SPIEF panel discussions. Earlier, the US also let Kiev use American-supplied weapons against targets inside Russia, beyond what the US considers Ukrainian territory. Moscow has repeatedly warned that such actions, alongside continued weapons shipments to Kiev, only lead to further escalation and increase the risk of an all-out war between Russia and NATO, which can easily spiral into World War III.

Putin US

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She fled her home country. A Foreign Minister.

Austria’s Ex-FM Kneissl Says Europe ‘Lost Its Soul,’ Entered War Path (Sp.)

Europe has “lost its soul” by stepping onto the path of war, ex-Austrian Foreign Minister and currently Director of the St. Petersburg State University G.O.R.K.I. (Geopolitical Observatory for Russia’s Key Issues) Center, Karin Kneissl, said on Wednesday. Speaking at a meeting of the Russian Historical Society in the presidential library, Kneissl recalled German philosopher Oswald Spengler’s book “The Decline of the West,” to argue that Europe has been degrading for 20 years.

“Unfortunately, Europe today is a Europe of war. This is the current European agenda… I cannot conceal my sadness… I have always dreamed about a Europe of pluralism, a Europe of freedom, constitution, art,” she told the meeting, adding that Europe has “lost its soul, it is dead.” Kneissl served as the Austrian Foreign Minister from December 2017 to June 2019. Her scapegoating at home was largely associated with the alleged “Russian ties”. The former diplomat moved to Lebanon in June 2022 after leaving Austria in September 2020 and residing in France because of persistent death threats and a de facto ban on working in her home country. In August 2023, it became known that Kneissl had moved to Russia.

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“But if they write to a representative or senator about the misallocation of resources they will get back a letter explaining that “we have to stop them over there before they get over here.”

Americans Are an Abused People (Paul Craig Roberts)

Americans are screwed over people and are too insouciant to notice. And not just on big things, such as being forced to be injected with an untested new kind of “vaccine” with unknown safety and effectiveness. Millions of Americans were faced with the choice of being injected or losing their job and ability to pay rent or mortgage, car payments, utilities, and buy food. The “vaccine” has caused many deaths and millions of injuries from new diseases and profusions of what previously were rare diseases among age groups not previously affected. American babies now die from strokes and heart attacks. And the grieving parents are denied any recourse. No one is being held responsible. And apparently Americans don’t care. How is this any different from the Zionist story of Jews being herded into gas chambers?

Americans can’t do anything about the hundreds of billions of dollars Washington sends to Ukraine to conduct Washington’s proxy war against Russia, or about the billions sent to Israel for the slaughter of Palestinians and physical destruction of Gaza, or the billions sent to Taiwan for Washington’s proxy war against China. Meanwhile homeless American veterans sleep on the streets while the Biden regime gives immigrant-invaders pre-paid debit cards and houses them in hotels. A few Americans might wonder if the billions of dollars could be better used getting the homeless out of their public parks and tent encampments off their sidewalks. But if they write to a representative or senator about the misallocation of resources they will get back a letter explaining that “we have to stop them over there before they get over here.”

The message is: “we are here to serve the military/security complex and Israel Lobby, the funders of our election campaigns, and to replace white Americans with the third world in the interest of diversity. It is not the big things that Americans notice. They are not personally at risk of being sent to war, and there is no specific tax taken from them to finance Israel’s and Ukraine’s wars. But you would think that Americans living on credit card debt would at least notice that which dramatically affects them. Do Americans living on credit card debt comprehend that under the guise of interest charged the credit card companies are taxing their balances at rates ranging from 19.49% to 29.99% based on the credit card company’s estimate of the debtor’s credit worthiness.

In addition to the federal and state income taxes on their income and the Social Security tax and the Medicare tax on income, the credit card companies are imposing a 20-30% tax on debt that is paying for housing, transportation, food, and utilities, as incomes alone in the age of jobs offshoring are insufficient to support living standards for about 40% of the population. I learned about modern day usury in May when my credit card bill did not show up. Perhaps it went into the spam or junk folders or fell victim to a glitch, all possibilities being joys of the digital revolution. Consequently the amount due on May 18 did not get paid until 4 days later on May 22 when an unpaid bill notice appeared in the email. The notice told me that I am charged a late payment fee of $29 plus an interest charge of $61.54. So a 4 day late payment cost me $90.54.

The late payment notice told me that my interest rate of 19.49% is charged from the “first day of the billing period until we receive your payment in full.” In other words, the interest was not charged for the 4 late days, but for the 4 days plus the month’s billing period. The notice also told me that if I missed a second payment, even for one day, during a 12 month period, my interest rate on my unpaid balance would jump from 19.49 to 29.99. There you have it. This is a system for the enserfment of the American consumer. If you are able to focus your attention, try to imagine the rapid rise of impossible indebtedness of Americans who can only make the minimum payment. The minimum payment is a tiny percentage of the balance due. For example, a balance of $4,173.66 has a minimum payment of $131.37. The minimum payment leaves a balance of $4,042.29 accumulating interest at double-digit rates.

Assuming he does not miss two payments in 12 months, his interest rate based on creditworthiness (he only makes minimal payments) is 27.49%. So, the interest on the unpaid balance adds $1,100 to his debt. And the growth in debt increases with the interest charged on the rising unpaid balance. I remember when credit card companies made their money by the 2.5% charge to the businesses that accepted payment via credit card. Those days have vanished. Now credit card companies live extravagantly on interest on consumer credit card debt, while businesses accepting credit card payment charge their customers a fee for paying with a credit card. As an economist I am really amazed that Keynesian economists, whose policy is based on the American consumer’s ability to spend, stood aside while such extraordinary restrictions on aggregate demand were allowed to be put in place. After paying debt service, people have nothing left to spend.

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