Jul 142024
 
 July 14, 2024  Posted by at 9:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  93 Responses »


Salvador Dali Meditative rose 1958

 

Trump Hit By Bullet At Pennsylvania Rally (ZH)
Trump Suggests Simultaneous Mental Test With Biden (RT)
Take Away the Car Keys (Hamilton)
Tulsi Gabbard – The Ultimate Insurance Policy for Trump (Luongo)
Musk Enters 2024 Fight With ‘Sizable’ Gift To Trump Super PAC (ZH)
Trump’s Facebook, Instagram Restrictions Rolled Back (RT)
Democrats Plotting To Oust Biden From Race – Axios (RT)
Major Donors Blackmailing US Democrats Over Biden – NYT (RT)
Democratic Party Insiders Struggle to Force Biden Out (Miles)
Viktor Orbán Deserves The Nobel Peace Prize (RM)
Russia Initiates Call With Pentagon On Ukraine and NATO (ZH)
The Yemen–Russia Riddle (Pepe Escobar)
European Cities Prime Targets For Russian Missiles – Moscow (RT)
72% of Israelis Want Netanyahu To Resign – Poll (RT)
Israeli Newspaper Says Country ‘Collapsing’ as 46,000 Businesses Shutter (Sp.)
Africans Support Russia – EU’s Borrell (RT)
‘Borrell Views Africa As ‘Jungle Full Of Zombies’ (RT)
ChatGPT Maker Secretly Developing New Type Of AI – Reuters (RT)

 

 

So glad the man’s alive. The shooter was well over 100 yards away. Trump surviving was pure luck. Or fate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex doesn’t see an incident, or a lone wolf

 

 

Costas

 

 

Rogan Dore

 

 

Sidney Powell

 

 

Biden 1994

 

 

T.S. Eliot from The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock:

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

 

 

 

 

They’ve been calling for it. Maybe that stops now. Don’t recall anyone asking for Biden to be shot.

Trump Hit By Bullet At Pennsylvania Rally (ZH)

• Shooter identified as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, NY Post
• Trump has responded, saying on Truth Social “I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear.”
• Secret Service says one spectator was killed and two were critically injured.
• Former President Donald Trump was shot in the ear by a would-be assassin at a Butler, Pennsylvania rally on Saturday.
• Trump could be seen grabbing his ear and falling to the ground, before standing up and walking off stage.
• Approximately nine shots rang out.
• A member of the crowd, as well as the shooter, are dead following the assassination attempt.
• One Trump supporter says he alerted Secret Service before the shooting and was ignored.
• Trump’s team reportedly asked for ‘beefed up protection’ and was rebuffed over and over by Biden DHS.

According to The Federalist’s Sean Davis, “A source familiar with Trump’s security detail tells @FDRLST that the former and future president’s detail has been asking for beefed up protection and resources for weeks, but has been rebuffed time and again by Biden’s DHS. DHS, which oversees Secret Service protective detail “wasn’t responsive to those requests” for more resources, the source said.”

Read more …

“..For the first time we’ll be a team, and do it for the good of the Country..

Trump Suggests Simultaneous Mental Test With Biden (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has urged incumbent leader Joe Biden to immediately take a cognitive test to prove his fitness for office. Trump expressed his readiness to take the test together with Biden, stating the two would work for the first time as a “team.” Trump produced the call on Friday in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social. “Joe should immediately take a Cognitive Test, and I will go with him, and take one also. For the first time we’ll be a team, and do it for the good of the Country,” Trump wrote. Such tests should also be made mandatory for all presidential hopefuls in the future, he argued. “From now on, all Presidential candidates should be mandated to take a Cognitive Test and Aptitude Test, regardless of their age!!!” he added.

Concerns over Biden’s cognitive and physical capacities skyrocketed in the aftermath of the disastrous presidential debate held late last month. The subpar performance of the president has prompted growing dissent within the Democratic Party, with an increasing number of high-profile members and major donors urging him to quit the reelection race. Facing mounting criticism, Biden has repeatedly dismissed any possibility of dropping his campaign, insisting he is the only person capable of defeating Trump in November. He has also angrily reacted to speculation about his health, stating he did not need any cognitive tests, given his job.

“I have a cognitive test every single day. Every day, I have that test. Everything I do. You know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world. Not – and that’s not hi – sounds like hyperbole, but we are the essential nation of the world,” Biden told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an explosive interview last week. The effort to convince the nation he was still fit for office, however, appears to have yielded little and may have had the opposite result. According to a fresh survey by CBS News/YouGov in the wake of the debate, 72% of registered voters do not believe that Biden has the “mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president.”

Read more …

Not sure what he tries to prove, but I get the main point.

Take Away the Car Keys (Hamilton)

One of the saddest moments of my life was the day I felt compelled to tell my father that he should give up his car and stop driving. He resisted, but only briefly. It was an example of the kind of man my father was. And it is an example for us today when we consider the peril our republic faces with President Biden clinging to his reelection bid. We all know the liberating feeling we had when we got our first driver’s license. The opposite feeling comes when it is time to turn it in. In my dad’s case, the problem was diminished eyesight. A resilient man, he had learned to live with many handicaps, including loss of a leg and use of an arm. He told me of a trick he successfully used at traffic intersections to compensate for his difficulty discerning red lights from green: He waited for other cars to move. Okay, I said, how will you feel if you end up hurting someone? That was all it took. He sold his car.

Such a moment has come now to Joseph Biden. The chances of him winning in November are virtually non-existent. Yet, he continues to make statements that defy reason in order to keep the keys to the White House. The president’s performance in his recent debate with Donald Trump was a shock to anyone with eyes and ears. His handlers have limited his unscripted interactions with journalists for precisely this reason. Yet he and his staff insist he is as intellectually vigorous as ever and trot out ludicrous excuses for why he stumbled. One of the excuses, jetlag from recent trips abroad, showed the opposite of what was intended – that is, that it takes the president 11 days to recover from travel.They argue that he is the best person to beat Donald Trump in November. After all, they say, he is the only one who has bested Trump at the ballot box. On close inspection, however, the statement is nearly meaningless. Trump has only been in two election races, and the one he won was fluky, to say the least.

His opponent, Hillary Clinton, ran a poor campaign – and still won the popular vote. Several Democrats have a better chance than Biden of beating Trump this time round. It is sad to hear Biden claim he is intellectually up to the job at the same time he says the polls are not all that bad. As the RealClearPolitics Poll Average shows, Trump is decidedly ahead of Biden. Moreover, Biden probably needs around 52% of the popular vote to win, given how the Electoral College functions. It might be comforting to think that there is still time to turn things around. But anyone can see that Biden is losing voters, not gaining them. The best that can be said is that the battle lines have been fixed in Trump’s favor. Biden has been lagging for months and that shows no signs of changing.

It is understandable that the president seeks supportive advice from staff as well as his wife, Jill, and his son, Hunter Biden. We all want reassurance. But we also need to seek out those who will give us a point of view that we do not want to hear. Contrary to what Biden is claiming, the elites are not out to get him. Taking on the mantle of victimhood only makes Biden seem unhinged – and more like Trump. Polls show that nearly three-quarters of Americans think Biden is not fit to serve, mainly as a result of the impacts of aging. The issue is not Biden’s age, per se. Donald Trump, 78, is not much younger than the president. The issue is that in recent years Biden’s acuity and physical presence have shown noticeable decline. Whatever one wants to say about Trump, he is vigorous.

Read more …

“Obama thought “…I sure don’t want to get shot, who could I pick for VP that would make even an assassin think twice? Oh, I know, Joe Biden. No one wants that dumbass in charge!”

Tulsi Gabbard – The Ultimate Insurance Policy for Trump (Luongo)

Having watched/listened to hundreds of hours of Tulsi Gabbard over the years, I’ve noticed a few things. First, she’s not a natural public speaker, nor is she really comfortable in front of the camera. So, she has worked very hard on crafting a public persona which is not easy for her to slip into but which is also authentically her. Because she is uncomfortable, that face begins to slip after a while…. about an hour. I always get the sense that there is a ‘macho military’ version of Gabbard lurking just below the surface, that swears like a mafia don and prays like a priest. And every once in a while it leaks out. But it will never do so in a six-minute segment on Fox News. You’ve got to get past that fatigue barrier. The reason I bring all of this up is because Gabbard was recently on the Keep Hammering Collective podcast with Cameron Hanes for nearly two hours.

She did that podcast after spending the day with him doing his triathalon he calls Lift, Run, Shoot which I suggest you watch the video of, especially if your name is Donald Trump. Why? You know why. I’ve already made my case for why I thought Gabbard is the ‘box-ticking’ favorite to be Trump’s running mate this fall. I think, however, in retrospect, that was a little unfair to Tulsi Gabbard. I, like the Davosians who tried to groom her into their perfect barista of globalism, made the mistake of not really getting past the character she plays, the boxes she ticks. There’s a fiery person underneath that calm face she wears in front of the camera. Her book, which I’ve read, makes this point ad infinitum. And the rounds she’s making supporting the book are showing us a Tulsi Gabbard hinted at, but she hasn’t really shown us before.

What’s, uh, the VP deal? Dexter White’s recent post reminded us about why Joe Biden was selected to be Barack Obama’s VP, “the life insurance policy for the first black president…” Obama thought “…I sure don’t want to get shot, who could I pick for VP that would make even an assassin think twice? Oh, I know, Joe Biden. No one wants that dumbass in charge!” Over the years, we’ve gotten so caught up in the political game that is choosing a Vice-President we forgot what the actual job description is… to be the person to step into the role should the President not be there, physically, mentally, or otherwise. I say this to remind the ghost of Al Haig that we still don’t want him in charge. It is precisely because Kamala Harris was picked to be Biden’s veep for every other reason than the job description that the Democrats and Davos are in the bind they are in as I write this.

It was never about Harris’ competence, capability, or commitment that landed her in the Naval Observatory. It was the boxes she ticked, the perception of her moral fluidity, and her solidification of the black female vote at a time when black men were drifting into Der Trumpenfuhrer’s orbit that made her the center of their Venn Diagram. Notice how she was never a person to them… just a series of attributes. For Trump, who has held back his choice for vice-president for months, the big question has been, if he wins the election will the blob/Deep State/Davos/etc. just kill him off before the inauguration? It’s a real conundrum.

So, I say, turn about is fair play. Biden was Obama’s insurance policy, make Gabbard Trump’s. Because, if there is one person of all the people on the short list to be Trump’s VP that Davos et.al. do not want to see on the ticket it is Tulsi Gabbard. Because she really is that person who walked away from power, has a strong moral center, and is authentically motivated by service. And that motivation, coupled with their previous shots against her, like they’ve done with Trump, should scare them maybe more than he does.

Read more …

“..Liz Peek said Musk and his companies were under investigation by the Department of Justice, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

Musk Enters 2024 Fight With ‘Sizable’ Gift To Trump Super PAC (ZH)

There’s been another major plot twist in the 2024 election saga, as Elon Musk has made a “sizable donation” to a super PAC working to return Donald Trump to the White House. Completing something of a Black Friday for Democrats, the story broke just hours after the New York Times reported that major donors had frozen $90 million pledged donations commitments to Biden’s top super PAC, having concluded that Biden is a dead man walking — politically if not otherwise. The news comes four months after Musk said he was staying on the sidelines: The world’s richest man clearly had a change of heart: Citing anonymous sources “close to the matter,” Bloomberg on Friday evening broke the potentially game-changing news that Musk had given money to America PAC, which is largely focused on “ground-game” initiatives, such as voter-canvassing and get-out-the-vote efforts. Among the constellation of Trump-backing groups, America PAC is spending the most money of any of them on direct voter outreach.

The amount of Musk’s donation wasn’t disclosed, but Bloomberg said sources “characterized the figure as a sizable amount.” Per Federal Election Commission rules, the PAC will provide its updated list of donors on Monday. While super PACs aren’t allowed to contribute directly to candidates or parties, or “coordinate” their efforts, they can collect unlimited contributions. With a Forbes-estimated net worth of $250 billion, Musk has obvious potential to fundamentally alter a fundraising war in which Democrats were already reeling from the mushrooming effects of President Biden’s disastrous performance in his June 27 debate with Trump, his poor interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and gaffe-filled NATO summit press events on Thursday. The donation seemingly completes a political metamorphosis: Musk has said he voted for Barack Obama, gave money to and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and voted for Joe Biden in 2020.

However, Musk has displayed growing discontent with Democrats’ approach to a variety of issues. One of them is border control: Earlier this year, Musk told an audience that “unvetted immigration at large scale is a recipe for disaster.” He’s also called out Democrats’ opposition to photo-ID requirements for voting, saying the “far left” wants to make it “impossible to prove voter fraud.” Over the weekend, he expressed dismay at Biden’s commitment to veto a bill that would require proof of citizenship to vote. In 2022, Musk tweeted that he voted for a Republican for the first time, backing Texas Republican Mayra Flores in a special US House election. Last month, Musk told Tesla shareholders that he’s “had some conversations with [Trump], and he does call me, out of the blue, for no reason… I don’t know why, but he does.”

In what may be a more potent motivator than policy issues, Musk repeatedly finds himself in the crosshairs of Democrats’ weaponized government, with a federal target on his back since buying Twitter in 2022 with a goal of ridding it of its leftist, government-serving censorship regime. Within two weeks of Musk closing on the purchase, Biden told reporters that “Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at. Whether he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting they’re worth being looked at.” With an ominously whimsical tone, he concluded, “there’s a lot of ways…” Summarizing the breadth of the attacks at The Hill in December, Liz Peek said Musk and his companies were under investigation by the Department of Justice, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Musk has expressed concern over Trump’s own victimization via politically-motivated lawfare, as he did in May when the former president was convicted in New York on mindbendingly-contrived charges relating to his 2016 funding of hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, who’d claimed the two had a one-night intimate encounter in 2006. The Trump campaign’s financial fortunes changed dramatically after that conviction, as irate sympathizers expressed their outrage with dollars, vaulting him into the lead. Musk’s entry into the game exacerbates Democrats’ dire situation, and is certain to accelerate efforts to jettison Biden from the top of the ticket…while exponentially increasing the anguish of leftists who thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse.

Biden Elon The dumbest brain in the US talks about the smartest one.

Read more …

“Restoring his access is like handing your car keys to someone you know will drive your car into a crowd and off a cliff..”

Trump’s Facebook, Instagram Restrictions Rolled Back (RT)

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced on Friday it would lift its restrictions on content posted by former US President Donald Trump. While the former US president’s accounts were unblocked 17 months ago, Meta had maintained limits on his ability to post. “Former President Trump, as the nominee of the Republican Party, will no longer be subject to the heightened suspension penalties”, the statement read. Meta claimed the penalties were imposed in response to “extreme and extraordinary circumstances.” Trump was booted from the platforms following the riot at the US Capitol in January 2021. Facebook’s parent company announced in January 2023 that it would reinstate Trump’s accounts but that he faced “heightened penalties for repeat offenses” as a way to “deter” a repeat of previous behavior.

“American people should be able to hear from the nominees for President on the same basis,” Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, wrote in a blog post on Friday. Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has condemned Meta’s move. “Restoring his access is like handing your car keys to someone you know will drive your car into a crowd and off a cliff,” Biden campaign spokesperson Charles Lutvak told The Hill. “Without question, it is a direct attack on our safety and our democracy,” Lutvak slammed the decision, claiming it will allow Trump to reach Americans with “fundamentally undemocratic, un-American misinformation.”

Read more …

“..The group primarily includes veterans of the Obama and Clinton administrations..”

Democrats Plotting To Oust Biden From Race – Axios (RT)

A growing number of “very-connected” Democrats are scheming to get US President Joe Biden to withdraw from the election race, Axios reported on Friday, citing “members” of this committee. The group primarily includes veterans of the Obama and Clinton administrations, who are seeking to field a candidate they believe has a better chance of winning the November election. The two former presidents are apparently supporting the group by having kept mostly silent since they publicly offered support for Biden following his disastrous debate against Donald Trump last month. “Silence is a very loud form of speech. No one is saying ‘come hell or high water,’” said James Carville, a veteran political assistant and one of the key figures behind Bill Clinton’s campaign. The members of the clandestine group insist it has no actual leadership or benefactor behind it, describing it instead as a ‘network’ of like-minded individuals.

“No one is more than one person away from everyone else,” an unnamed member of the group described as a “central player” told Axios. So far, the public campaign to pressure Biden into dropping out, launched by prominent elected Democrats and major party donors, has flopped and apparently produced an opposite effect, making the incumbent president adamant about his desire to win reelection. “The Clinton diaspora is freaking the hell out. But all these people going on the record aren’t helping. All it seems to have done is cause the Bidens to dig in deeper,” an anonymous former official from the Clinton White House said.

Still, it remains unclear whether the covert approach to the Biden problem will work either, given that the president has an overwhelming majority of Democratic delegates backing him for the nomination in August, a “veteran operative” member of the group admitted. They added that a decision to withdraw his candidacy can be taken only by Biden himself. “You need a psychiatrist more than a spin doctor,” he told Axios. The push to oust Biden from the race was prompted by his subpar performance during the first presidential debate in late June. The US president and his campaign have provided various excuses for the debacle, including that he had a cold, dismissing concerns over the state of his health. Over the past two weeks, Biden has repeatedly said he will not drop out of the race, insisting that he is the only person fit to beat Trump in the upcoming election.

Read more …

Blackmailing? Is that the word you’re looking for?

Major Donors Blackmailing US Democrats Over Biden – NYT (RT)

An estimated $90 million in donations to a group key to US President Joe Biden’s campaign has been put on hold until the Democrats replace him, the New York Times reported on Friday. The Times cited two unnamed sources “briefed on the conversations” between major donors and Future Forward, a political action committee (PAC) that was expected to raise $700 million for Biden’s re-election. “Multiple eight-figure commitments” are currently frozen and the PAC is “in a defensive crouch” until it is clarified whom the Democrats will actually run in November, according to the Times. The Biden campaign tapped Future Forward as its main super PAC in the 2024 race, and the group has already announced it would spend $250 million on TV and digital advertising after the Democratic National Convention next month.

Following Biden’s catastrophic performance at the June 27 debate with Republican challenger and former president Donald Trump, however, the PAC tested potential alternatives. The poll was later leaked to the media and showed Biden with “a worse overall favorability rating than all the alternatives,” which included Vice President Kamala Harris, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The current president has doubled down on staying in the White House. “I believe I’m the best qualified to govern. And I think I’m the best qualified to win,” Biden told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. While the White House and the campaign have held up the press event as proof that Biden was doing just fine, Democrats in Washington continued to lament the present situation.

“Candidates and campaigns are supposed to make you feel something – hope, optimism, courage – but instead most of us felt nothing after that presser. And feeling nothing is how you lose elections,” a veteran Democratic operative told Politico. A Democrat member of the US House of Representatives told the same outlet that a group of “super friends” is getting together, with the intent to make their case to the White House that Biden has to step aside because “we’re going to get our asses kicked if he doesn’t.” On Thursday, several Biden campaign aides told NBC that Biden will “never recover” and that they saw no path to victory, describing his chances in November as “zero.” Multiple Democrats have raised concerns that down-ballot races might be put at risk, costing the party seats in Congress.

Read more …

The “Unofficial Committee to Unelect the President”.

Democratic Party Insiders Struggle to Force Biden Out (Miles)

As concern mounts over the president’s political viability Biden is reportedly intent on proving his critics wrong. A loose alliance of donors, campaign advisors and other party leaders are working to convince Joe Biden to abandon his campaign for reelection without bruising the US president’s ego, according to reports in US media. But the “unofficial Committee to Unelect the President” is struggling to convince the famously stubborn head of state, according to insiders familiar with the matter, with Biden only becoming more determined as Democratic Party figures intensify their efforts. “It’s hard to deny that in the two weeks since the debate, it’s the arrogant and small Joe Biden we’ve seen most – hanging on, bragging, defensive, angry, weak,” wrote former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett on X. “Who else but him? he wonders aloud. Only God could change his mind, he tells us.”

Lovett, who has disparaged the octogenarian president’s refusal to bow out on his Pod Save America podcast, has been among Biden’s most prominent liberal critics in recent days. But he is joined by several others. The editorial boards of The New York Times and the Washington Post have been unsparing in their admonishment since the president’s performance during a debate against former President Donald Trump last month sparked public concern over his mental acuity. Many media personalities have joined the chorus. “I think that Biden debated as well as Abraham Lincoln,” said late-night television host Stephen Colbert Monday. “If you dug him up right now.” Former Clinton and Obama operatives have also chimed in. “President Biden is a historic figure, and a lot of that is gonna be tainted if he persists and loses this race,” said Obama chief strategist David Axelrod. Clinton strategist James Carville said keeping Biden on as the Democratic Party’s nominee would be an “idiotic choice” that would lead to “disaster.”

“Silence is a very loud form of speech,” the political advisor added, noting that party leaders who voiced continued support for Biden immediately after last month’s debate have grown quiet in recent days. Beyond the relative few Democratic Party figures who have publicly called for Biden to drop out are dozens more who have privately voiced concerns and are working behind the scenes to convince the president, according to insiders.But Biden remains convinced he is the best candidate to defeat Trump, pointing to his victory in 2020 and the Democrats’ better-than-expected performance in the 2022 midterm elections. The president is reportedly motivated by an intense desire to prove his detractors wrong, something that has driven him since his early days in politics. “You need a psychiatrist more than a spin doctor,” one longtime campaign operative told the online outlet Axios.

Biden is one of the longest-tenured figures in national US politics, first being elected to the Senate in 1972. He is considered a conservative politician, historically taking right-wing positions on issues from segregation to drug policy and criminal justice. His previous attempts to seek the presidency flamed out after a plagiarism scandal and comments in 2007 that many people deemed racially offensive. “You got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said of then-candidate Barack Obama. He apologized for the remark and Obama later chose him as his running mate the following year, elevating him to the vice presidency when the ticket won the 2008 election.

Democratic Party leaders intervened heavily in 2020’s primary to ensure Biden won the presidential nomination after Senator Bernie Sanders’ insurgent candidacy seemed inevitable. Now those same insiders appear powerless to remove him from the pedestal they placed him on. One strategist claimed a “donor strike” is underway, with powerful financial backers of the party moving funds to congressional races and away from Biden’s presidential campaign. George Clooney, Netflix founder Reed Hastings and businessman Ari Emanuel are reportedly among the wealthy figures seeking a candidate to replace Biden. With last month’s House primary between George Latimer and Jamaal Bowman shaping up to be the most expensive in history, money is more important than ever in competitive US politics. If contributions to his campaign effort dry up, insiders say Biden’s hand could finally be forced, with billionaire donors casting the most powerful vote in America’s pay-to-play system.

Read more …

Second.

Viktor Orbán Deserves The Nobel Peace Prize (RM)

Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, stands out for his audacity and persistence in the realm of contemporary politics. His tireless efforts in diplomacy and steadfast commitment to national and global stability merit serious consideration for the Nobel Peace Prize. His relentless pursuit of peace, even amidst widespread criticism, underscores the kind of leadership the world desperately needs today. The Nobel Peace Prize, despite its controversies, remains one of the highest accolades for contributions to global peace and reconciliation. Historical recipients, from the European Union in 2012 for turning Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace, to Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama for their diplomatic endeavors, have set a precedent for recognizing transformative efforts in international relations. While some decisions have sparked debate, the prize continues to honor those who genuinely strive for global harmony.

For over two decades Viktor Orban has been a central figure in Hungarian politics. His tenure has seen Hungary navigate through the 2008 financial crisis and emerge with strengthened national sovereignty and economic stability. Orban’s policies have focused on reducing national debt, increasing employment, and supporting families, thereby fostering a social cohesion that is essential for lasting peace. Economic stability, after all, is a cornerstone of societal tranquility. Recently, Orban’s diplomatic missions have further highlighted his unwavering commitment to peace. As the head of the rotating EU presidency, he has been at the forefront of international diplomacy, particularly concerning the Ukraine conflict. His proactive visits to key leaders—including Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev, Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Xi Jinping in Beijing, and next, Donald Trump in Florida—demonstrate his dedication to engaging with global leaders and promoting dialogue. These are not mere photo opportunities but substantive efforts to foster real change.

Orbán’s vigorous diplomatic activities have undoubtedly stirred the waters in Brussels. Critics argue that Orban’s methods sometimes breach diplomatic protocols, but his engagement with pivotal figures in the Ukraine conflict illustrates the kind of bravery and initiative that many modern politicians lack. Orban’s actions transcend superficial diplomacy; he is actively striving to move continents towards real solutions during a time of great division. Orban’s peace efforts have drawn significant criticism, especially from European and German political leaders. However, his bold and relentless pursuit of peace positions him as a modern-day Robin Hood, fighting for stability and harmony in Europe. While many leaders prefer the comfort of their offices, Orban is on the global stage, engaging with world leaders and taking decisive steps to bring about peace.

Many politicians focus on short-term gains and superficial gestures, but Orban stands out as a leader willing to take bold actions for the greater good. His approach to diplomacy—meeting with adversaries, challenging the status quo, and prioritizing long-term stability over fleeting popularity—lays the groundwork for meaningful peace talks and steps toward the de-escalation of the Ukraine conflict. These substantial contributions to peace warrant recognition. Viktor Orban embodies the spirit of a modern-day Robin Hood, daring to undertake actions that many politicians shy away from. For his relentless pursuit of peace and stability, Orban deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

Read more …

“Ukraine has been attacked by- by Russia. So the most important thing we should do is to step up our support to Ukraine to ensure that Ukraine prevails,..

Russia Initiates Call With Pentagon On Ukraine and NATO (ZH)

In a rare positive development, the heads of the US and Russian militaries have held a rare phone call in an effort to deescalate tensions. But Moscow is livid at certain recent developments and pledges from the West. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday spoke by phone Russian Minister of Defense Andrey Belousov for the second time in less than a month. The call was initiated by Moscow just after the close of the NATO summit hosted by Biden in Washington this week. A Pentagon readout said Austin “emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine,” deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told a briefing. The two sides had been quiet since a call in March 2023, but communications have been picking up, after a June 25th call which reestablished communications.

But Russia likely registered its anger at the NATO summit committing to an “irreversible path” for Ukraine’s NATO membership. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg still admitted in will be a very long path, as much as ten years or more. He said in a CBS News interview days ago: “Well, no one has said exactly 10 years but- but- but it’s obvious that it is a very serious issue to bring in Ukraine. Because Ukraine is now a country at war.” “Ukraine has been attacked by- by Russia. So the most important thing we should do is to step up our support to Ukraine to ensure that Ukraine prevails,” he continued. “That’s a precondition for any future membership for Ukraine.” According to The Hill, another recent issue which has roiled Russia and was likely conveyed by Belousov to Austin, is seen in the following:

“What’s more, NATO has backed Ukraine’s push for more latitude in its use of Western-supplied weapons to strike inside Russia, with the United Kingdom announcing it would allow Kyiv to hit targets over Russian borders with British-provided long-range missiles.” There’s also the US decision to deploy long-range missiles to Europe in violation of the previously in place INF treaty, which the US pulled out of in 2019. The missiles are expected to be deployed to Germany soon. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned this could make Germany or other places in Europe a target: “There has always been a paradoxical situation: the United States has deployed a variety of missiles of different ranges in Europe, which are traditionally aimed at our country,” he said, and warned: “Accordingly, our country designated European locations as targets for our missiles.”

Read more …

“..support the Palestinian people and respond to the American and British airstrikes on Yemen.”

The Yemen–Russia Riddle (Pepe Escobar)

Yemen’s stellar strategic maneuvering in defense of Palestine from its dramatically ascendant role in West Asia’s Axis of Resistance is acquiring the contours of an epic odyssey – eagerly scrutinized by the Global Majority. As if the unprecedented humiliation of the US Navy in the Bab al-Mandab and the Red Sea was not enough, Ansarallah targeted an Israeli ship with a Hatem-2 hypersonic missile, a remarkable advancement in indigenous technological development. These prodigious strategic-military advances displayed by Ansarallah at the same time revived the always simmering, unfinished war and blockade launched against Yemen in 2015 by Saudi Arabia and the UAE with the usual US and UK backing.

Riyadh abhors the Yemeni resistance like the plague. Instead of Sanaa, Yemen’s recognized capital city, it supports an anti-Ansarallah’ government’ sitting in Aden, sort of recognized by the ‘rules-based international order.’ In truth, though, that government actually sits in a luxury Riyadh hotel. Ansarallah has tried hard to negotiate a prisoner exchange involving captured Saudi pilots traded for jailed Hamas members in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has not only refused but threatened that bank transfers to and from Yemen would be blocked, and Sanaa’s international airport and sea ports would be shut down. Ansarallah’s response was stark: if Yemeni banking is blocked, the Saudi Arabian banking system would be destroyed. If Sanaa airport is targeted, the same would happen to Saudi airports.

So, the war that never ended is suddenly and ominously back on track. Ansarallah would have no problem targeting Saudi Arabia’s oil production as retaliation to a full blockade – considering its proven capability with brand-new missiles and naval drones. The consequences for global oil markets would be catastrophic. Yemen represents the classic case of a fierce resistance actor in the context of the emerging multipolar, multi-nodal world. So that begs the question of where multipolar/multi-nodal champion Russia stands when it comes to Yemen’s fight. Which brings us to the fascinating case of two Yemeni delegations that recently visited Moscow. One of them, led by a senior Ansarallah official, met in Moscow with the Russian President’s Special Envoy to the Middle East (West Asia) and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov.

They discussed not only the ongoing Gaza genocide but also what Ansarallah describes as “the American–British aggression on Yemen,” a reference to ongoing western naval operations in the Red Sea that have – unsuccessfully – sought for months to thwart Yemeni ops against Israel-bound and Israel-associated shipping vessels. A retaliatory siege, if you will. The Yemenis reassured the Russians that their maritime operations “do not pose a threat to international navigation or target anyone, but rather support the Palestinian people and respond to the American and British airstrikes on Yemen.” Ansarallah praised Russia’s understanding and expressed gratitude for:

Russia’s position against the American–British aggression on Yemen and their support for the humanitarian and political process in our country. We also reviewed the outcomes of the de-escalation efforts between Yemen and the aggressor countries and highlighted the necessity of reaching a comprehensive solution that ensures Yemen’s unity and sovereignty.

Read more …

“..While Washington continues to “profit” from the escalation, the EU nations are only serving as targets in the standoff..”

European Cities Prime Targets For Russian Missiles – Moscow (RT)

Moscow has enough capabilities to counter such hostile moves by Washington as its just-announced deployment of new missiles to Europe, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. European nations, however, are only becoming victims of the standoff between the US and Russia. The spokesman made the remarks to Russian Journalist Pavel Zarubin, who published the excerpts of the interview on his social media on Saturday. “There has always been a paradoxical situation: the US deployed different types of missiles, of different ranges, but traditionally aimed at our country. Our country, accordingly, identified European locations as targets for our missiles,” Peskov stated. While Washington continues to “profit” from the escalation, the EU nations are only serving as targets in the standoff, Peskov explained.

“Our country is in the crosshairs of American missiles located in Europe. We’ve been through all this before. All this has already happened. We have enough potential to deter these missiles. But the potential victims are the capitals of these states,” he said. On Wednesday, Washington announced plans to start deploying long-range weapons in Germany in 2026, including SM-6 and Tomahawk systems, “as part of planning for enduring stationing of these capabilities in the future.” Moscow has already vowed to “calmly” prepare a military response to the hostile move, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov describing the plans as “one of the elements of intimidation that, today, is almost the main component of the NATO and US” approach towards Russia.

In late June, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Moscow could resume the production and global deployment of ground-based intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in response to the hostile actions of the US. “We now know that the US is not only producing these missile systems but has also brought them to Europe, Denmark, to use in exercises. Not long ago, it was reported that they were in the Philippines. It is unclear whether they have taken these missiles out of the Philippines or not,” Putin said at the time. The munitions of this type were restricted by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which collapsed in 2019. However, Moscow has abstained from producing and deploying them, as long as Washington also refrained from doing so.

Read more …

Democracy.

72% of Israelis Want Netanyahu To Resign – Poll (RT)

Nearly three quarters of Israelis want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign over his government’s failures during the October 7 Hamas attack, according to a poll published by Channel 12 on Friday. Of the 72% of respondents who said that the prime minister should step down, 44% believe he should leave office immediately, while 28% suggested he should resign after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conclude their military operation in Gaza. Israeli citizens have repeatedly organized protest rallies against Netanyahu since the war in Gaza erupted, with many calling for a ceasefire and urging the government to bring back the remaining hostages held by Hamas. On October 7 last year, Hamas and allied Palestinian militants carried out a surprise raid on Israeli military bases, villages and farming communities.

In many places, the IDF were seemingly caught off-guard and quickly overwhelmed, as civilians were forced to either defend themselves or flee. The Israeli media described the attack as a “devastating intelligence failure,” with Channel 12 reporting that the army failed to properly maintain a signal system at the border with Gaza. The York Times reported in November that Israeli intelligence and military officials obtained Hamas’s plan for the October 7 incursion more than a year before it occurred, but believed it was too unrealistic to pull off. On Thursday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant urged the government to form a state commission that would investigate the failures in response to the October 7 raid. Netanyahu, however, has argued that such a probe can only be launched after the war ends.

Read more …

“Israel’s GDP fell by nearly 20% from October to December 2023..”

Israeli Newspaper Says Country ‘Collapsing’ as 46,000 Businesses Shutter (Sp.)

Israel’s GDP fell by nearly 20% from October to December 2023, though it rebounded with a 14% gain the next quarter, that was less than economists expected. Roughly 46,000 Israeli businesses have shut down since October 7, according to the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv. The Israeli economy has been declining rapidly since it launched its campaign in Gaza,particularly after the Yemen Ansar Allah movement (aka Houthi) and the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon have been taking action in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza. The Houthis have blockaded the Red Sea from ships it says are connected with Israel or the United States. Because of their actions, the southern port of Eilat –the country’s busiest port before the war– has been virtually shut down since October 2023. Exacerbating the situation further, foreign tourism has also collapsed during the war, and as of December, nearly half a million Israelis have left the country and that was before tensions inflamed significantly between Iran and Israel.

Meanwhile, the Ansar Allah movement has been attacking Israel’s north, forcing tens of thousands of Israelis to evacuate the area, virtually wiping out businesses in the area. However, businesses around all of Israel are struggling, the paper said, with construction and ancillary industries being hurt the most but it noted that nearly every industry is being affected. Yoel Amir the CEO of Coface Bdi, a services and credit risk management firm, told the paper that they estimate 60,000 Israeli businesses could shut down by the end of the year. “This is a very high number that encompasses many sectors. About 77 percent of the businesses that have been closed since the beginning of the war, which make up about 35,000 businesses, are small businesses with up to five employees, and are the most vulnerable in the economy,” Amir said.

In December, South Africa brought a case against Israel in the International Court of Justice, accusing it of genocide. Since then, a dozen countries have joined it and many more have publicly welcomed the case. More than 38,300 Palestinians have been confirmed killed and another nearly 88,300 have been seriously injured in Gaza since Israel began its campaign, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. That number is largely assumed to be a massive undercount because of a lack of health services and thousands who remain missing are presumed to be buried under the rubble. A recent study by the British medical journal The Lancet estimates that more than 186,000 Palestinians have likely died as either a direct or indirect result of the Israeli campaign.

Read more …

“..successfully delivered 200,000 tons of wheat to six low-income African nations, free of charge, making it the biggest humanitarian initiative ever conducted by Russia.”

Africans Support Russia – EU’s Borrell (RT)

The EU’s chief diplomat has expressed surprise at the high level of backing for Russian President Vladimir Putin among people in Africa. “In Africa, people support Putin. They say Putin saved Donbass,” Josep Borrell said on Thursday, speaking at the NATO Public Forum. Borrell emphasized the need for a new approach to defense, focusing on information warfare rather than traditional military tactics. “We need a different army. We need people watching the network and people explaining what is going on, reprogramming the listeners, giving them correct information, in order to prevent an intervention in electoral processes,” the EU foreign policy chief stated.

“Don’t dismiss this kind of war. It’s not just sending bombs and tanks, it’s just sending news and occupying the cyberspace. And on that the European Union has a certain important contribution to do,” he claimed. In May, in an exclusive interview with RT, Chadian envoy Mahamoud Adam Bechir stated that Putin’s reelection was beneficial not only for the Russian people, but for the entire world, including Africa. Bechir said Putin had strengthened relations with Africa, adding that Russia is led by a “great president.” Meanwhile, during a meeting with the Russian President on February 20, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev reported that Moscow had successfully delivered 200,000 tons of wheat to six low-income African nations, free of charge, making it the biggest humanitarian initiative ever conducted by Russia.

Read more …

“..there’s no way a responsible African will abandon Russia, China or the BRICS alliance in favor of NATO or Western interests..”

‘Borrell Views Africa As ‘Jungle Full Of Zombies’ (RT)

Western powers lack moral authority when they try to impose their interests on African nations, former Nigerian presidential contender Adamu Garba II has told RT. The politician was reacting to controversial ideas expressed by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell earlier this week. While speaking about European influence internationally, he voiced surprise at the level of pro-Russia sentiment among African people, and argued that information warfare tools should be developed to counter “disinformation.” “Don’t dismiss this kind of war. It’s not just sending bombs and tanks, it’s just sending news and occupying the cyberspace,” Borrell warned. “We need people watching the network and people explaining what is going on, reprogramming the listeners, giving them correct information.” Adamu Garba II said that judging by Borrel’s statements, he appears to view Western Europe as a guardian for other parts of the world.

“Perhaps he sees Africa as a jungle full of zombies that can be programmed to do their interests,” the politician joked, in an apparent reference to another controversial idea from Borrel. In 2022, the diplomat declared that Europeans live in a “garden,” while most of the outside world is a “jungle.” He later apologized for his words, which drew a wave of condemnation. On relations with Moscow, Adamu Garba II said: “there’s no way a responsible African will abandon Russia, China or the BRICS alliance in favor of NATO or Western interests, who do everything possible to take our resources from us.” The BRICS group of non-Western economies, founded in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India, and China, with South Africa joining in 2011, has become an attractive alliance for African nations, with some expressing their will to join. Speaking on the sidelines of the BRICS Parliamentary Forum in St. Petersburg this week, Ethiopian parliament speaker Agegnehu Teshager told RT that “most of the African countries have an appetite to be a member of BRICS.”

Read more …

AI for profit is dangerous.

ChatGPT Maker Secretly Developing New Type Of AI – Reuters (RT)

OpenAI, the creator of virtual assistant ChatGPT, is working on a novel approach to its artificial intelligence technology, Reuters has reported. As part of the project, code-named ‘Strawberry,’ the Microsoft-backed firm is trying to drastically improve the reasoning capabilities of its models, the agency said in an article on Friday. The way Strawberry works is “a tightly kept secret” even within OpenAI itself, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. The source said the project involves a “specialized way” of processing an AI model after it has been pre-trained on extensive datasets. Its aim is to enable artificial intelligence to not just generate answers to queries, but to plan ahead sufficiently to conduct so-called “deep research,” by navigating the internet autonomously and reliably, the source explained. Reuters said it had reviewed an internal OpenAI document, detailing a plan for how the US firm could deploy Strawberry to perform research.

However, the agency said it was not able not establish when the technology will become available to the public. The source described the project as a “work in progress.” When addressed on the issue, an OpenAI spokesperson told Reuters: “We want our AI models to see and understand the world more like we [humans] do. Continuous research into new AI capabilities is a common practice in the industry, with a shared belief that these systems will improve in reasoning over time.” The spokesperson did not address Strawberry directly in his response. Current AI large language models are capable of summarizing vast amounts of text and putting together coherent prose quicker than people do, but usually struggle with common sense solutions that are intuitive to humans. When this happens, the models often “hallucinate” by trying to represent false or misleading information as facts.

Researchers who talked to Reuters said that reasoning, which has so far eluded AI models, is key to artificial intelligence achieving human or super-human level. Last week, one of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence and a pioneer in deep learning, Yoshua Bengio, again warned of the “many risks,” including possible “extinction of humanity,” posed by private corporations racing to achieve AI of human-level and beyond. ”Entities that are smarter than humans and that have their own goals: are we sure they will act towards our well-being?” the Montreal University professor and scientific director of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) said in an article on his website. Bengio urged the scientific community and society as a whole to make “a massive collective effort” to figure out ways to keep advanced AI in check.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Viv

 

 

Kate

 

 

Cora

 

 

Meonk

 

 

Mission

 

 

Mother’s love
https://twitter.com/i/status/1812075811857396034

 

 

Adopt don’t shop

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 232024
 


Vincent van Gogh Weeping woman 1883

 

Biden May Decline Nomination If He Does Poorly in June 27 Debate – Hersh (Sp.)
A New Multipolar Security System Based On ‘Pax Rossiya’ (SCF)
Is Washington Trying To Dump The Ukraine War Into The EU’s Lap? (Jay)
The Only Way to End Confrontation Between Russia and the West (Lukyanov)
The Ukrainian Border War Folly (David Stockman)
Tens of Thousands of Ukrainians Hiding From Draft Officers – NYT (TASS)
Belgium Warns Against Seizing Russian Money (RT)
White Christians Being Replaced In Europe – Orban (RT)
Sunak Accuses Farage Of Appeasing Putin (BBC)
Wikipedia’s Political Bias Spreading To AI (RT)
The Supreme Court Swatted Down Hunter Biden’s Hail Mary Pass (Turley)
Common Sense And Memes Are Viruses To The New World Order (Lynn)
Bibi Is Needy (DeMartino)
UK Invents Phantom Skripals To Refuse To Testify In Novichok Inquiry (Helmer)

 

 

 

 

Cuomo Maher
https://twitter.com/i/status/1804499826546983385

 

 

Comer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1804207426297561197

 

 

Tucker J6

Jan 6
https://twitter.com/i/status/1804376332077535479

 

 

Judge Judy

 

 

Tesla

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Biden is going to need to match the intensity he demonstrated at his State of the Union address in March if he wants to stay in the race, Hersh said..”

Biden May Decline Nomination If He Does Poorly in June 27 Debate – Hersh (Sp.)

Democrats are discussing plans to have President Joe Biden decline the Democratic presidential nomination if he has a bad showing at the upcoming presidential debate on June 27, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported on Friday, citing a longtime friend of the US president. Hersh reported that there is a serious concern among the Democratic Party leadership and major Democratic donors about Biden’s ability to defeat former President Donald Trump in the November election. “One extreme possibility in the case of a very bad showing Thursday night, I have been told, is to obtain agreement from Biden and his family advisers for the president to come to the Democratic convention in Chicago in August and accept the accolades of a first-round delegate victory; then he would decline the nomination and throw the nominating process open to all,” Hersh said.

California Governor Gavin Newsom and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker could be favorites to replace Biden, Hersh said. Next week, Biden is going to need to match the intensity he demonstrated at his State of the Union address in March if he wants to stay in the race, Hersh said. An aggregation of national polls by RealClearPolitics shows that Trump holds a half-a-point lead over Biden and leads him in all seven swing US states.

Read more …

“The U.S. and its Western partners – a global minority – have come to be seen by most people of the world as rogue states that have trashed international law..”

A New Multipolar Security System Based On ‘Pax Rossiya’ (SCF)

For several years now, Russia, China and other members of the expanding BRICS alliance have been formulating progressive trade and financial relations of the emerging multipolar world order. That order is based on mutual respect and partnership grounded in international law and the UN Charter. The BRICS concept is rightly the zeitgeist of our time. It is rallying more nations to its fold especially those of the so-called Global South which for decades have been subjected to the unilateralism of Western hegemony. The trouble is that for a new world order based on equality and fairness to succeed in practice, it needs to be secure from arbitrary military aggression and imperialist tyranny. In other words, a new security architecture is required to underpin the development of a multipolar world. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been advocating for a new indivisible international security system. This week saw the plan for a new security arrangement put into action.

The Russian leader embarked on state visits to North Korea and Vietnam during which he signed new strategic partnership and defense accords. Ahead of his trip to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Putin outlined the integrated vision thus: “We are also ready for close cooperation to make international relations more democratic and stable… To do this, we will develop alternative mechanisms of trade and mutual settlements that are not controlled by the West, and jointly resist illegitimate unilateral restrictions. And at the same time – to build an architecture of equal and indivisible security in Eurasia.” The concept of indivisible security is by no means limited to Eurasia. Russia has signaled the same principles apply to Latin America, Africa and indeed every other corner of the world. During Putin’s meetings with Chairman Kim Jong Un of the DPRK and President Lo Tam of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the strategic partnerships agreed were not merely about military defense and security.

They involved comprehensive partnerships for the development of trade, transport, technology, education, science and medicine. Nevertheless, it was clear that the commitment to strategic partnership was underpinned by new mutual defense accords. This was most explicit in the treaty signed with the DPRK which furnished “mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties”. This is a game-changer. It totally upends the geopolitical calculations of the United States and its NATO partners who have been unilaterally expanding military force and provocations in Eurasia and elsewhere. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has ramped up aggression in the Asia-Pacific against China and North Korea with impunity. Under his watch, the US has increasingly moved nuclear forces into the region to intimidate not only Beijing and Pyongyang but also Moscow. The Biden administration has been assiduous in forming hostile military formations in the region with its NATO partners, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

Year after year, the United States has built up weapon systems in Taiwan to provoke China and on the Korean Peninsula to threaten North Korea. This unilateral aggression and “might is right” arrogance underpin the notion of Pax Americana that prevailed for decades after the Second World War. That notion was always a cruel euphemism for American imperialist violence to impose its economic and political interests. The Korean and Vietnam Wars in which millions of civilians were annihilated were the real-world grim translations of Pax Americana and its fraudulent “rules-based order”. Geopolitical perceptions have dramatically changed in a few short years. The U.S. and its Western partners – a global minority – have come to be seen by most people of the world as rogue states that have trashed international law through illegal wars and unilateral bullying with economic sanctions. The U.S. dollar and Washington’s relentless debt spending are seen as instruments of imperialist looting.

The BRICS multipolar world order is a welcome alternative to the mayhem of the Western-dominated system. The principles of fairness and cooperation are laudable and necessary to implement. But such principles must be reinforced with military defense and security for all. This is far from the one-sided “defense and security” of the United States and its NATO partners, which in reality is an Orwellian cover for aggression. The defense commitments given by Russia to the DPRK this week can be seen as long overdue. One may wonder how the U.S. and its allies got away with threatening the people of North Korea for so long and denying Pyongyang the sovereign right to self-defense. Admittedly, Russia did previously support UN sanctions on North Korea over its missile program. That’s over.

Read more …

“America wants to hand over the responsibility of Ukraine to the Europeans and shed responsibility for the mess that it has created..”

Is Washington Trying To Dump The Ukraine War Into The EU’s Lap? (Jay)

With just a mere matter of weeks now before the U.S. presidential election some experts are wondering if Joe Biden is preparing, at the last minute, to wriggle free of the Ukrainian curse and tell voters that in the next term, if he were to be President, Ukraine funding will be reduced dramatically. This would, after all, be a cunning move to outfox Trump who has told reporters on numerous occasions that he would end the war once in office simply through cutting U.S. financial support.Either scenario places EU countries – and the EU itself in Brussels – in a quandary as their worst nightmare is coming true: America wants to hand over the responsibility of Ukraine to the Europeans and shed responsibility for the mess that it has created. One could even argue that relations now between the U.S. and EU countries are on a collision course given one recent offer Washington made to the EU in the form of a loan which the EU would guarantee but U.S. companies would benefit from.

As Hungary prepares to take the helm of the EU’s six month rotating presidency on July 1st, western elites are fretting over whether this time Budapest will veto outright the sanctions which are in place, which need to be signed off every six months. America in particular wants a quick fix solution but is indicating that it wants to hand over all the risk to Europe. It argues that those who hold Russian assets should be the ones to offer the guarantees against default – through interest on Russian cash held by them – and that U.S. Congress anyway is unlikely to sign off another batch of military aid, even in the form of a loan, at such short notice. Following a massive body blow from European elections, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will tell President Joe Biden they reject the American proposal for Europe to act as sole guarantors for the loan, according to conversations with six senior diplomats and officials.

The offer was structured in such a way that EU countries would pay the interest, accept the risk and allow most of what was a 50bn dollar loan to benefit U.S. companies. Remarkable sting for the EU governments when it shows that the relationship between them and the Biden administration just sinks lower and lower each week. Of course, there is a great deal of anger from the EU side as many EU leaders feel as though the U.S. has cleaned up quite nicely from the whole business of war which has profited the U.S. on so many levels but has drained EU economies, explaining why Poland recently held a pole which claimed that a majority of those asked wanted funding for the Ukraine war to end. Europe has really been left holding the baby over the Ukraine war and the palpable resentment against the U.S. is certainly growing. The deal the U.S. pushed of course was never going to be a runner but more likely a new European Commission in September will borrow a new 50bn euro tranche from its seven year 1.2 trillion euro budget for Ukraine.

Even in this scenario, the EU is scraping the barrel and reaching new lows in throwing cash into the fire just as an ephemeral last-ditch effort to stay warm. But both the U.S. and EU realise that time is running out for whoever wants to pour more money into the black hole of Ukraine. Time is running out because while Ukraine desperately needs the money, there’s no certainty that a Donald Trump presidency would back any loan initiatives. A final agreement will now be delayed until at least in autumn with just a matter of few weeks before November 5 election. Relations between the U.S. and EU have never been so tipped in Washington’s favour. And that’s before Trump even gets into the White House.

Read more …

Talk.

The Only Way to End Confrontation Between Russia and the West (Lukyanov)

The concept adopted at the end of the Cold War stated that NATO ensured European security, and a bigger NATO meant a more secure continent. As a first step towards this, everyone (including Moscow) agreed that a reunited Germany would remain a member of the bloc instead of receiving neutral status, as some had suggested earlier. Further, it was implied that each country had the right to choose whether or not to join any alliances. Theoretically, that is what sovereignty implies. But in practice, the geopolitical balance of power had always imposed restrictions that forced alliances to consider the reaction of non-member countries. However, the triumphalism that reigned in the West following the Cold War significantly reduced the willingness to take such reactions into account. In other words, NATO felt like it could do anything and no reply would follow.

The situation could have changed dramatically if Russia had considered the possibility of joining NATO, and if the bloc itself had considered such a scenario. Then the principle of the indivisibility of security, proclaimed in the 1990 Charter of Paris for a New Europe, would have been respected within the framework of the bloc. However, it was impossible for Russia to join NATO, since, even at its weakest, Russia remained one of the world’s largest military powers and possessed the largest nuclear arsenal. The hypothetical accession of such a state to NATO would mean the emergence of a second force within the club that would be on a par with the US, and therefore, would not obey it on the same level as other allies. This would change the very essence of the organization, and alter its principles of Atlanticism (simply because of Russia’s geographical location). No one was prepared for this. The qualitative transformation of NATO was never on the agenda.

As a result, NATO’s expansion, which in a sense became automated, pushed Russia further and further to the east. Moscow’s attempts to regulate this process – first through participation in joint institutions (such as the NATO-Russia Council of 2002, which was an expansion of the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997) and then through growing opposition (starting with Putin’s Munich Speech in 2007) – did not bring the desired results. In addition to the inertia of the West’s initial approach (which implied that the bloc’s very existence is security in itself), the West believed that Moscow didn’t have the right to set conditions and must only follow the rules set by the stronger and more successful Western community. This is how the EU eventually got involved in the current Ukraine war. Could relations between NATO and Russia have developed in a different way? The West believes that the persistence of Russia, which continued to consider NATO a threat to its security, led to the current military crisis. And, in fact, this became a self-fulfilling prophecy. But even assuming that this was true, the speed and ease with which NATO returned to a strong confrontation with Russia shows that it had been prepared for this.

Russia’s memorandum of December 2021 and the 2022 military operation in Ukraine were designed to put an end to the idea of NATO’s uncontested expansion as the only means of ensuring European security. Two-and-a-half years later, we see that the scale of the conflict has exceeded all initial expectations. Judging by Moscow’s statements, the confrontation may only come to an end when the principles on which European security is based are fundamentally reconsidered. This is not a territorial conflict, but a conflict which may only end when NATO abandons its main goal and function. So far, there is no compromise on the horizon. The Western side is not willing to agree that the results of the Cold War must be reconsidered, and the Russian side is not ready to retreat without this assurance. Thirty years after the signing of the Partnership for Peace program, there’s still no partnership or peace between Russia and NATO. And neither is there a clear understanding of why the two sides were unable to achieve it.

Read more …

Not one country. Never was.

The Ukrainian Border War Folly (David Stockman)

once the iron-hand of totalitarian rule ended in 1991, the deep and historically rooted conflict between Ukrainian nationalism, language and politics of the central and western regions of the country and the Russian language and historical religious and political affinities of the Donbas and south came rushing to the surface. So-called democracy barely survived these contests until February 2014 when one of Washington’s “color revolutions” finally “succeeded”. That is to say, the Washington fomented and financed nationalist-led coupe d état ended the fragile post-communist equilibrium.

That’s the true meaning of the Maidan coup. It ended the tenuous cohesion that kept the artificial state of Ukraine intact for barely two decades after the Soviet demise. So save for Washington’s destructive intervention, the partition of a communist-confected state that had never been built to last would have eventually materialized. The evidence that the Maidan coup was the coup ‘d grace for the makeshift Ukrainian state is apparent in the maps below. These maps below tell you all you need to know about why this is a civil war, not an invasion of one neighbor by another. The first map is from the 2004 presidential election, which was won by the Ukrainian nationalist candidate, Yushchenko. The latter predominated in the orange areas of the map, over the pro-Russian Yanukovych, who swept the blue regions in the east and south.

2004 Ukraine Election Results—National Divorce In The Making

The second map is from the 2010 election, showing the same stark regional split, but this time the pro-Russian candidate, Yanukovych, won. In the map below, the dark blue parts to the far east (Donbas) indicate an 80% or better vote for Viktor Yanukovych in the 2010 election. By contrast, the dark red areas in the west voted 80% or more for the Ukrainian nationalist, Yulie Tymoshenko. That is to say, the skew in the Ukrainian electorate was so extreme as to make America’s current red state/blue state divide seem hardly noteworthy by comparison. As it happened, the sum of the pro-Yanukovych skews from the east and south (Donbas and Crimea) added up to 12.48 million votes and 48.95% of the total, while the sum of the extreme red skews in the center and west (the lands of old eastern Galicia and Poland) amounted to 11.59 million votes and 45.47% of the total.

Stated differently, it is hard to imagine an electorate more sharply divided on a regional/ethnic/language basis. Yet it was one which still produced a sufficient victory margin (3.6 percentage points) for Yanukovych – so as to be reluctantly accepted by all parties. That became especially clear when Tymoshenko, who was the incumbent prime minister, withdrew her election challenge a few weeks after the run-off in February 2010. At that point, of course, Russia had no beef with the Kiev government at all because essentially Yanukovych’s “Regions Party” was based on the pro-Russian parts (blue areas) of the Ukrainian electorate. But when Washington essentially put the anti-Russian regions in charge of Ukraine’s government by orchestrating, funding and immediately recognizing the Maidan coup, everything changed on a dime. That was especially the case when the new, illegal government enshrined in its constitution a requirement to join NATO at the earliest possible opportunity.

In effect, Washington’s 2014 Maidan coup was the equivalent of Khrushchev’s emplacement of missiles in Cuba during 1962. Even had Putin been as erudite and civilized as JFK, rather than the ruffian he actually is, he would have had little choice except to insist that NATO missiles 30 minutes from Moscow cannot stand. In a word, there has been no unprovoked “invasion” by Moscow of the transitory artifact known as the Ukrainian state. The latter effectively began and ended with the Soviet Union.Moreover, with respect to the actual underlying reason for intervention in Ukraine—NATO’s proxy war against Russia– a simple question recurs: Besides restocking the NATO arsenals depleted by the demolition derby in what remains of Ukraine, what’s the reason for NATO’s war? Alas, the question answers itself. The War Capital of the World on the Potomac insists upon it, and its vassals in Europe like Ursula von der Leyen nod, jawohl!

Read more …

“..hundreds of thousands more Ukrainians to be called up into the army..”

Tens of Thousands of Ukrainians Hiding From Draft Officers – NYT (TASS)

Tens of thousands of Ukrainian men have gone into hiding as they avoid conscription for fear of dying in the conflict involving “bloody trench warfare,” The New York Times reported on Friday. While it is not clear how many men are hiding from authorities, in big cities like Kiev and Lvov, social media groups alerting members to mobilization include tens of thousands of people, the newspaper wrote. Ukrainian men expressed fear of dying in the conflict, the NYT continued. According to the newspaper, Kiev has been sending troops without “sufficient training” to the front to replace combat losses.

Military analysts agree that a lack of adequate training makes it difficult for Kiev to hold its lines, the newspaper concluded. Ukraine announced a general mobilization in February 2022, which it has extended periodically ever since, with the country’s authorities doing their utmost to prevent men of conscription age from dodging the draft, including a ban on male residents of Ukraine from leaving the country. On May 18, a law tightening mobilization rules came into force in Ukraine, allowing hundreds of thousands more Ukrainians to be called up into the army.

Read more …

In a video I posted June 18, Jim Rickards says: “..Russia will retaliate by putting a lien on $40 trillion at the Euroclear custodian..” That’s not Russian money, but the total of what Euroclear processes. A recipe for absolute chaos.

Belgium Warns Against Seizing Russian Money (RT)

Belgium does not support the seizure of Russian assets that have been frozen by the EU as part of Ukraine-related sanctions, the country’s Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem said on Friday, highlighting the mounting risks related to the move. The West froze nearly $300 billion in assets belonging to the Central Bank of Russia following the launch of Moscow’s military campaign against Ukraine in February 2022, a move denounced by Moscow as “theft.” Around $280 billion of this sum is held in the EU, primarily in the Belgium-based depositary and clearing house Euroclear. “First of all, for our country there are two elements that are important: we did not touch the assets themselves, as the ownership title change would yield consequences both on the legal side and financial side that are unknown,” Van Peteghem said during a press conference after the bloc’s ECOFIN meeting in Luxembourg.

“And second, of course, risk sharing, that I think is important in the rollout of the instruments and is a crucial element of all discussion,” the minister added. Earlier this month, the G7 nations announced that they had reached an agreement on using interest from frozen Russian assets to finance a $50 billion loan to help Kiev buy weapons and rebuild damaged infrastructure. At the time, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said that the confiscation of the assets was not on the table. In April, Van Peteghem stated that the bloc was close to reaching a political agreement on seizing the profits generated by Russia’s central bank reserves, stressing that the first tax collection could take place as early as July 1.

The idea of seizing the frozen Russian assets has been debated by EU lawmakers and the bloc’s allies for about two years. While the US and UK have called for the outright confiscation of the funds, multiple reports suggest that EU member states remain cautious regarding the move, citing the lack of a legal basis for such a measure as well as fears that Russia will take retaliatory steps. Some top officials have reportedly warned that the drastic move could undermine investors’ confidence in the EU’s financial system. The Kremlin has denounced the push to use its immobilized funds to provide support for Ukraine. Earlier this week, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow has a “wide arsenal” of political and economic countermeasures it can use to respond to the potential confiscation of its sovereign assets.

Read more …

Sounds familiar.

White Christians Being Replaced In Europe – Orban (RT)

A “militant” faction of pro-migration politicians is overseeing the “replacement” of white European Christians with Muslim immigrants, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has declared. “In Europe there is an exchange of populations, the number of white, Christian, traditional – let’s say European – people is decreasing, the number of migrants being imported and the number of people belonging to the Muslim community born here is radically increasing,” Orban told Kossuth Radio on Friday. German politician Manfred Weber, who leads the centrist European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, is the “beelzebub” responsible for this alleged scheme, Orban continued, adding that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is Weber’s “little servant girl” responsible for its implementation.

The EPP remained the largest faction in the European Parliament after last month’s elections. However, the decline of the Greens and a surge in support for right-wing parties has left the EPP with fewer allies with whom to pass legislation. Hours after he spoke to Kossuth Radio, Orban flew to Berlin to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ahead of Hungary assuming the EU Council’s rotating presidency next month. The Hungarian PM claimed that Germany has suffered greatly as a result of immigration, and “no longer looks like it did ten years ago.” “This Germany is no longer the Germany that our parents and grandparents held up to us as an example,” he said, adding that the country is now a “colorful, changed multicultural world” in which migrants are “no longer guests.”

Hungary’s stance on immigration has placed the country at odds with Brussels in recent years. Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ordered Budapest to pay €200 million ($216 million) for failing to comply with EU asylum law, and imposed a fine of €1 million per day until Hungary fully implements the legislation. According to the court, Budapest has limited migrants’ access to asylum procedures since 2020, making the process of filing applications “virtually impossible.” “It seems that illegal migrants are more important to the Brussels bureaucrats than their own European citizens,” Orban responded, vowing to “figure out a way, so [the ruling] hurts Brussels more than it hurts us.”

Orban was criticized in the German media for his comments on Friday, with Munich’s Merkur newspaper accusing him of spreading “conspiracy myths” about immigration. The idea of a so-called ‘Great Replacement’ is often written off by liberals as a racist conspiracy theory. However, the population share of white Europeans has been decreasing across the continent since the mid-20th century, and European leaders sometimes admit that they intend to use non-European immigration to replace the aging native workforce. Speaking in Athens earlier this year, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson stated that “legal migration should grow by more or less 1 million per year” to achieve this goal.

Read more …

“..the ever-eastward expansion of Nato and the European Union was giving this man a reason to his Russian people to say, ‘They’re coming for us again’ and to go to war”.

Sunak Accuses Farage Of Appeasing Putin (BBC)

Nigel Farage’s claim the West provoked Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “completely wrong and only plays into Putin’s hands,” Rishi Sunak has said. The prime minister accused the Reform UK leader of “appeasement” that was “dangerous for Britain’s security”. In a BBC Panorama interview, Mr Farage said that “of course” the war was President Vladimir Putin’s fault. But he added that the expansion of the EU and Nato gave Mr Putin a “reason” to tell the Russian people “they’re coming for us again”. His remarks have prompted criticism from across the political spectrum. Labour’s shadow defence secretary John Healey said they made the Reform UK leader “unfit for any political office in our country, let alone leading a serious party in Parliament.” Former Conservative defence secretary Ben Wallace described Mr Farage as “pub bore”, who did not understand the “real world” of politics.

Speaking on an election campaign visit in London, Mr Sunak said: “What he (Mr Farage) said was completely wrong and only plays into Putin’s hands.”He added: “This is a man (Mr Putin) who deployed nerve agent on the streets of Britain, who is doing deals with countries like North Korea, and this kind of appeasement is dangerous for Britain’s security, the security of our allies that rely on us, and only emboldens Putin further.” In his Panorama interview, the former UKIP and Brexit Party leader was asked by Nick Robinson about his past comments on Mr Putin. “I said I disliked him as a person, but I admired him as a political operator because he’s managed to take control of running Russia,” he replied. He said it had been “obvious” to him for many years “that the ever-eastward expansion of Nato and the European Union was giving this man a reason to his Russian people to say, ‘They’re coming for us again’ and to go to war”.

Pressed further, he added: “We provoked this war. It’s, you know, of course it’s his fault – he’s used what we’ve done as an excuse.” After the interview aired on Friday, Mr Farage, a former member of the European Parliament, said on X that he was “one of the few figures that have been consistent and honest about the war with Russia”.Alongside the new statement, he reposted a speech in the European Parliament from 2014 in which he called for the West to “stop playing war games with Putin. “The Ukrainian presidency has told the BBC it will not be putting out an official statement on Mr Farage’s comments. But a source in the presidential office warned about the “virus of Putinism and the rise of war propaganda”, adding: “The task of civilized humanity is to fight this virus in the bud.”

Reform UK has been gaining ground on the Conservatives in the opinion polls since Mr Farage announced he was returning to front-line politics as the party’s leader shortly after the general election campaign got under way.
He has said his aim is for Reform to replace the Conservatives as the official opposition to Labour, which he says is certain to gain power on 4 July, although polling suggests the party may win only handful of seats at this election.

Read more …

“..its co-founder, Larry Sanger, saying last year that the website had become an instrument of “control” used by the US intelligence agencies to wage information warfare..”

Wikipedia’s Political Bias Spreading To AI (RT)

Wikipedia’s tendency to negatively portray right-wing political figures is feeding into AI large language models (LLMs) that harvest data from the online encyclopedia, a US-based conservative think-tank has claimed. A report released on Thursday by the Manhattan Institute looked at evidence of political bias in English-language articles on Wikipedia, by correlating the names of Western leaders and prominent politicians with emotion-laden words. The study found “prevailing associations of negative emotions (e.g., anger and disgust) with right-leaning public figures; and positive emotions (e.g., joy) with left-leaning public figures,” suggesting “evidence of political bias embedded in Wikipedia articles.” “We find some of the aforementioned political associations embedded in Wikipedia articles popping up in OpenAI’s language models,” the report concluded.

The researchers noted that Wikipedia articles are likely a prominent part of OpenAI’s “secret corpus of data” used to train ChatGPT. The report acknowledges, however, that this pattern is not universal, and is more common in articles about US political figures, while there was no evidence of Wikipedia bias in entries on British politicians or US-based think tanks. For example, in references to recent US presidents, Donald Trump – now the Republican presidential frontrunner – was portrayed with the most negative sentiment, while Barack Obama was listed as having the most positive references. The report concluded that Wikipedia “is not living up to its stated neutral-point-of-view policy.”

The policy referred to, which Wikipedia describes as one of the pillars of the encyclopedia, stipulates that articles must exclude personal opinions and interpretations of the editor, be based on reliable sources, and explore multiple points of view when dealing with a controversial topic. Wikipedia has been repeatedly criticized for its supposedly biased takes on hot-button political issues, with its co-founder, Larry Sanger, saying last year that the website had become an instrument of “control” used by the US intelligence agencies to wage information warfare.

Read more …

“What is now left for Hunter are sentencing guidelines that strongly support jail time and a judge who has imposed such jail time in past cases..”

The Supreme Court Swatted Down Hunter Biden’s Hail Mary Pass (Turley)

While the result in Washington was not as bad as the unanimous decision in Delaware, it may well have sealed his fate on appeal. U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika did not leave him much for appeal in overseeing a fair and textbook trial. The Biden legal team had been counting on Hail Mary passes since a Special Counsel was appointed. It almost worked. Special Counsel David Weiss seemed to work hard to avoid any felony charges against the president’s son. The Justice Department not only allowed the statute of limitations to run on major crimes, but sought to finalize an obscene plea agreement with no jail time for Hunter. In the hearing to accept the plea, Judge Noreika decided to ask a couple of cursory questions of the prosecutor, particularly about a sweeping immunity provision covering any and all crimes committed by Hunter.

The prosecutor admitted that he had never seen an agreement this generous for a defendant. The plea fell apart and the Biden team seemed unwilling to accept anything but a single throw victory. They told the prosecutor in court “just rip it up.” The Biden legal team then blundered in taking the case to trial with a jury nullification strategy. Some of us wrote that Hunter needed to plead guilty to avoid jail time. Instead, they hoped that a Delaware jury in Bidentown could never convict a Biden. They were wrong. That left the last pass to the Supreme Court, which just seemed to land in the stadium seats. In reality, it was never a strong throw. After all, Hunter was convicted for lying on gun forms, something that the Court was never likely to excuse.

What is now left for Hunter are sentencing guidelines that strongly support jail time and a judge who has imposed such jail time in past cases. The other group of people that may be even more upset with this ruling may be many in the media and Congress. Once again, the Court has shattered the false narrative that this is a hopelessly divided Court along ideological lines. This month the Court has continued to rule unanimously or nearly unanimously, including in cases like Rahimi in controversial constitutional claims. Instead, the Court rendered a reasonable, balanced accommodation for public safety under the Second Amendment. It is not clear who is more disappointed: Hunter or the Court critics.

Read more …

The New World Order can’t meme anymore than the left..

Common Sense And Memes Are Viruses To The New World Order (Lynn)

Relativism, undeniably, trends in modernity. And Orwell was right: “The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.” Orwell, George, ”1984”: part 2, chapter 9. So whether by Marxism or any other form of secular utopianism: The goals are always out with the “old” and in with the “new”. Order out of chaos. Dissolve and coagulate. Also like Orwell’s “1984”: The world’s global societal power structure is stratified into concentric rings of power. The Inner Party functions to continuously preserve and enrich itself; as the Outer Party (i.e. those following orders) and the Proles are utilized and cannibalized when necessary.

The circles of power have become increasingly interconnected in modernity; and technology allows the Inner Party to launch policies that are enforced by the Outer Party and unto the Proles. This process is also called “history”. The Outer Party depends upon the Inner Party for survival and it always remains a difficult challenge to convince the Proles of something they can’t, or won’t, see. As a result, history unwinds in inevitable, cyclical waves. Yet, the Inner Party has survived for generations – even before the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913 and its unleashing of the modern Fractional Reserve Banking monster. Slavery is rooted in economics; and so the Inner Party uses debt to implement and expand its various wars. The rich get richer as the poor suffer, starve, and die. While driving the other day, I listened to an “expert” on AM radio discussing the vast increase of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere and the conclusion was this: “Climate Change is real!” The radio voice seemed very confident in its conclusions and, by implication, it was ready to do everything necessary to stop what it perceived as a genuine threat. Always the same dialectics, again and again.

Is America having seizures? Or postmortem convulsions? At this point in time, I am convinced it’s the latter. While in communication with a retired retarded professor, she expressed exasperation at those who still plan to vote for Trump. After all, he was convicted by a jury of his peers and is now a convicted felon. In response, and from memory, I typed out a meme I saw on the internet: “He lived over 70 years without a criminal record. But when he ran for president he was charged with over 90 crimes! How can you explain that?” Silence. But… oops! Did you notice what I did there? Did you see how the Inner Party’s phony dialectics had me defending the proud promoter of Operation Warp Speed®?

When it was revealed that U.S. Senate ratification was required for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Pandemic “Treaty”, it was, instead, transitioned into an “agreement”. Except that strategy went down in flames, too, at the WHO’s 77th World Health Assembly. In response, Team Biden, China, and other unelected WHO totalitarians stealthily passed new International Health Regulations (IHR) behind closed doors. This was done on June 1, 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Ethiopian Communist, and WHO Director, Tedros Ghebreyesus, violated the IHR’s Article 55.2 eligibility requirements and with less than the required quorum of member states voting. This power grab was completely illegal and unlawfully elevated the WHO “from a global advisory-only body to an international enforcer of its mandates.” So we all better get the word out, before it’s too late. Especially now that it’s another election year so flu season is almost here.

Read more …

“Turning on a practically endless faucet of cash for a friend and then being criticized because it wasn’t endless enough..”

Bibi Is Needy (DeMartino)

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu released a video complaining about a short-lived pause of one weapon shipment from the United States. In the video, he directly criticized the administration of US President Joe Biden. “It is inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel,” The Israeli Prime Minister said, despite the United States being the largest provider of weapons to Israel and its most stalwart defender on the international stage. The White House canceled a meeting with high-ranking Israeli officials in response and attempted to assure the public that it had not stopped sending weapons to a country that has been accused of genocide by several nations. The decision to delay one shipment of weapons was in response to Israel’s decision to go forward with its Rafah invasion, despite pressure from the United States to hold off.

Biden has been dealing with protests over the US supplying weapons to Israel, but the pause on one shipment seemingly did nothing to slow Israel’s campaign. More than 6% of the Gaza population has been killed, seriously injured or remains missing. Turning on a practically endless faucet of cash for a friend and then being criticized because it wasn’t endless enough must be a familiar experience for Biden. Ukraine’s illegitimate President Volodymyr Zelensky complained earlier this year that aid from the US, which he had already received well over $110 billion worth, was arriving too slowly. But, considering who his family is, he is probably used to it. Last year, texts between Biden and his son Hunter were revealed that showed the younger Biden– despite earning millions allegedly on the back of his father’s name– complaining about being broke and asking his uncle James Biden for money.

Read more …

“The British have presented no evidence of Novichok on the Skripal home door handle; in the blood, skin, and urine testing of the Skripals in hospital; or in subsequent inquest and court proceedings..”

UK Invents Phantom Skripals To Refuse To Testify In Novichok Inquiry (Helmer)

A new lawyer appeared in a London court on Friday claiming to represent Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Jack Holborn, a barrister specializing in what he calls human rights, told Lord Anthony Hughes, who is conducting a public inquiry into the alleged Novichok death of Dawn Sturgess in 2018, that the Skripals should not be called to give evidence or testify in the case. Holborn claimed the Skripals are fearful for their security. “No security measures are perfect”, he said. Holborn has not been in contact with the Skripals, however. He refuses to answer questions put to him on what visual contact or other communications he has had with either Sergei or Yulia Skripal. Instead, he was told what to say at the hearing by the law firm of Kingsley Napley which the British government is paying to show that the Skripals are participating in the Novichok case. The spokesman for Hughes and the inquiry was asked to explain Holborn’s presence in court for the first time on Friday. She was also asked what authority the Skripals had given Holborn to represent them.

The spokesman answered: “Kingsley Napley has been designated as the recognised legal representative of the Skripals under r[ule] 6 of the Inquiry Rules 2006. By rule 8, the recognised legal representative may appoint a team to assist them and Kingsley Napley have accordingly instructed counsel to appear on their clients’ behalf.”. In other words, there has been no contact between the lawyers who say they represent the Skripals, and the Skripals themselves. The judge and government are refusing to give evidence that Sergei Skripal is alive, and that Yulia Skripal is not in prison. The problem for the British Government is that if the Skripals are allowed to give live evidence at the Hughes inquiry, there is no telling what they may say to contradict or discredit the six-year official narrative of the Russian Novichok attack in England. The lawyer for the inquiry, Andrew O’Connor KC, told Hughes on Friday morning this was a “difficult question as to whether either or both of Sergei and Julia Skripal should give oral evidence.”

He also acknowledged there was the same problem in revealing what the Skripals have already said. “In the case of the Skripals, the transcripts of their police interviews have not yet been provided to CPs [Concerned Parties] but will be very shortly.” In fact, the Skripal transcripts will be so redacted, the officials and lawyers admitted in court, it is uncertain what the Skripals believe had happened to them, and why. Release of the redacted Skripal transcripts from March of 2018 risks being contradicted by fresh written statements to the Hughes inquiry from the Skripals, so that form of testimony is also being barred. Since March 4, 2018, when the Skripals slumped unconscious on a Salisbury town bench and were kept in hospital under police guard, three British prime ministers — Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Rishi Sunak — have continued the story that three Russian military officers attacked the Skripals with a Novichok nerve agent they had brought by plane into England, and sprayed on to the door handle of Sergei Skripal’s home; that was several hours before he and his daughter showed symptoms and collapsed.

The British have presented no evidence of Novichok on the Skripal home door handle; in the blood, skin, and urine testing of the Skripals in hospital; or in subsequent inquest and court proceedings. The alleged Russian attack weapon – a perfume bottle atomiser – did not materialize for months until July 2018, when police claim to have found it on a kitchen bench in the home of another alleged victim, Dawn Sturgess, ten days – repeat ten days — after exhaustive police searches of the house had failed to find it. Sergei Skripal has not been seen in public since the day of the alleged Novichok attack, March 4, 2018. He has not been heard on the telephone by family members in Russia since June 26, 2019. Yulia Skripal was last seen in a government-directed interview at a US bomber base in England in May 2018; her last telephone call to Russia was heard on November 20, 2020. The Skripals have not been seen or heard from since.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Off-switch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1804219814627471641

 

 

Aurus

 

 

Only men

 

 

Brahmaputra
https://twitter.com/i/status/1804372316085981370

 

 

Coral
https://twitter.com/i/status/1804467986520002771

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 202024
 


Roy Lichtenstein Woman in Bath 1963

 

Russia Willing to Commit to Peaceful Negotiations (Manley)
Polish MP Calls For Landmines At Russian Border (RT)
Washington Weaponized Domestic Law and “Rules-based-order” (Paul Craig Roberts)
North Korea, Shunned For Decades, Welcomed Into New Multipolar World (Sp.)
‘No Place’ Is Safe If Israel Starts War – Hezbollah (RT)
Joe Biden’s ‘Ceasefire Proposal’ Was Just ‘Kabuki Theater’ (Sp.)
Hunter Biden’s Charge of Lying Under Oath (Patrick Lawrence)
Ryanair CEO: “It’s a Complete Scam, These People Are Not Refugees” (MN)
UK Tories Face Election Wipeout – Polls (RT)
‘God Destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah’ (RT)
Jonathan Turley: There’s A Movement To Rewrite The First Amendment (RCP)
Boeing Can’t Find New CEO – WSJ (RT)
McDonald’s Scraps AI Trial After Bacon Added To Ice Cream (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boondoggle

 

 

Gaetz

 

 

Ritter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1803500858656825589

 

 

Hillary
https://twitter.com/i/status/1803481223009808415

 

 

Mayorkas

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..you want to stop the fighting and the killing? Just withdraw troops.”

Russia Willing to Commit to Peaceful Negotiations (Manley)

At the end of March of this year, a nationwide poll asked Ukrainians how they thought their draft-age acquaintances might respond to a call to serve. Just 10% who responded to the poll said they would accept. Ukraine’s current military recruitment campaign has fallen short of expectations, a recent article from The Conversation suggested. The recruitment plan was first announced on April 16, 2024, with the goal of enlisting “hundreds of thousands of young Ukrainian men”, the report claimed. However, the effort has been met with “public skepticism, draft dodging and opposition to unpopular, heavy-handed attempts to root out those not heeding the call to sign up,” the report writes, adding that it has “left Ukraine struggling to fill the positions officials say are needed to beat back the invading army.”

Nicolai Petro, a professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island, sat down with Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Monday. According to Petro, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s specific proposals on Ukraine, and world development in the future comes down to “two points”. “Putin simplified the path to negotiation, because from Russia’s perspective it’s now boiled down to just two points,” said Petro. “Withdraw Ukrainian troops from the four regions that have been admitted to Russia and, secondly, issue an official statement. Ukraine should issue an official statement that it does not intend to join NATO. And as soon as that happens, Russia is willing to commit to an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations.”

“So why is this easier than what Ukraine proposed? Well, because Ukraine has ten sets of demands rather than just one from Russia’s perspective, which is an official statement that Ukraine will not join NATO,” he added. “The second thing that’s interesting about Russia’s proposal is that it is offering something that Ukraine has not offered, which is an end to the bloodshed. In other words, you want to stop the fighting and the killing? Just withdraw troops.”

Issues with Ukraine’s draft also highlight the fundamental issue: without funding from Western allies, Ukraine is likely to “exhaust its resources long before Russia does”, The Conversation report writes In December of 2023, former commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi told leader Volodymyr Zelensky that he needed nearly 500,000 more troops. But a nationwide poll conducted at the end of March showed that Ukrainians believe only 10% of their draft-age acquaintances might respond to a call to serve.“And thirdly,” the professor continued. “Putin’s proposal essentially [shows the lie of] Western statements that Russia intends to conquer all of Ukraine and then all of Europe, because he now specifically says Russia’s territorial ambitions are limited to the four occupied regions of Crimea, which is why I think it is aimed primarily not at Ukraine.”

“The Ukrainian, Western position is we cannot negotiate and we don’t want to negotiate because negotiation itself would be an acknowledgment of an immoral act of aggression, and therefore there’s nothing to negotiate, which is why we have this summit in Switzerland not even including Russia.”“So we’re not actually negotiating or willing to negotiate anything,” Petro said. “We’re simply making a statement of defiance against a Russian invasion versus the other side, in Russia’s case, which is saying [Russia] feels threatened by NATO’s expansion, which is why [they are] taking these actions. There’s also humanitarian reasons, but we are, we have always been and continue to be willing to negotiate on what our mutual security interests are.”

Read more …

“..The treaty that banned the use, production, stockpiling and proliferation of landmines came into effect in 1999 and has been ratified by 164 countries..”

Polish MP Calls For Landmines At Russian Border (RT)

Poland should withdraw from the ban on anti-personnel mines and deploy them along the border with Kaliningrad Region, former defense minister Mariusz Blaszczak has said. Blaszczak is currently a member of parliament with the Law and Justice (PiS) party. He was the defense minister from 2018 until 2023, when PiS lost power to Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform coalition. “As part of the program to strengthen the eastern border, the authorities must withdraw from the Ottawa Convention,” Blaszczak said at a PiS press conference on Wednesday, referring to the treaty banning the use of anti-personnel landmines. Warsaw should then mine the length of its border with Kaliningrad Region, the Russian territory between Poland and Lithuania, Blaszczak argued. Last month, Tusk publicly opposed mining the border with Russia and Belarus, a move originally proposed by the PiS government. According to Tusk, Warsaw does not intend to leave the Ottawa Convention, either.

The treaty that banned the use, production, stockpiling and proliferation of landmines came into effect in 1999 and has been ratified by 164 countries. The US, Russia, India and China are among the dozen nations that have declined to participate in the ban. Blaszczak oversaw the deployment of tens of thousands of Polish troops along the border with Russia and Belarus last year, in the run-up to the general election. The new government has chosen to continue that mission, citing the alleged “hybrid war” threat from Moscow and Minsk. Warsaw has been an outspoken supporter of Ukraine under both Tusk and the previous PiS government. Poland has also served as the logistics hub for almost all deliveries of NATO weapons, equipment, and ammunition to Ukraine since the conflict with Russia escalated in February 2022.

Read more …

“..maintained by his hope that the West will come to its senses before it is too late for the survival of the Western world..”

Washington Weaponized Domestic Law and “Rules-based-order” (Paul Craig Roberts)

Merrick Garland, Biden’s specialist in using law as a weapon against Donald Trump and his supporters, recently described in the Washington Post, a CIA asset, his critics as conspiracy theorists who are undermining trust in the Department of Justice (sic).Many Americans have a different view. Garland, claiming “executive privilege,” covers up the Justice (sic) Department’s refusal to indict Joe Biden for the same offense for which Trump has been indicted by preventing the release of special counsel Hur’s interview of Joe Biden. Hur found that Biden knowingly possessed national security documents for which he had no permission, and that he was guilty of mishandling national security documents by leaving them in the trunk of his car and spread among a variety of non-secure locations. However, Hur concluded that Biden shouldn’t be indicted because of his “diminished mental facilities.” As I previously asked, how then is Biden qualified to be president of the United States and have his finger on the nuclear button? The Justice (sic) Department doesn’t say.

This and other anomalies that characterize the Biden regime raise unavoidable serious questions about the integrity of the US Department of Justice. Contrast Garland’s reluctance to even have Biden interviewed for his possession of classified national security documents with the speed with which Trump was prosecuted for allegedly inappropriate possession of national security documents. The two cases are not comparable. Trump as president has authority to declassify national security documents. Biden as VP had no such authority. Trump’s documents were locked in a room in Mar-a-Largo, Trump’s residence which is under 24/7 Secret Service Protection. Biden’s documents were in his garage, in his Corvette’s trunk, and spread among a variety of other unsecured sites. When the FBI invaded Mar-a-Lago they spread the documents on the floor and brought with them pages marked Top Secret which they added to their spread of documents for photos handed over to a compliant and corrupt American media.

The FBI did not bring top secret pages to spread among Biden’s documents and give photos to the media. What this tells us is that the US Department of Justice is devoid of integrity. It is just another lie machine like the American media. Garland has prevented any inquiry into the evidence in Hunter Biden’s laptop showing Vice President and President Biden’s participation in, and payments from, Hunter Biden’s influence peddling schemes. Instead, the prosecution of Hunter Biden has protected Joe Biden by being limited to Hunter’s gun purchase while being a drug addict and income tax invasion from the proceeds of the influence peddling but not the influence peddling itself. If he is convicted of income tax evasion from money earned from influence peddling, how can the influence peddling go unindicted? Justice (sic) Department special counsel Jack Smith who is prosecuting President Trump on felony charges has been been found guilty of lying to the judge presiding over the case. Consequently, the judge has put the trial on hold while the matter is investigated.

The Fulton County prosecutor, Fani Willis, who is prosecuting President Trump has derailed her White House orchestrated prosecution by paying her lover a vast sum of taxpayers’ funds with which he took Fani on expensive vacations. The purpose of the Biden Justice (sic) Department is to get Trump, not to serve justice. The motto of the Democrats is: “We don’t need no stinking justice, we need to get Trump and his supporters.” The American media agrees. Consequently, the Biden regime’s misuse of law as a weapon is not a story. The complete and total failure of the American media, which our Founding Fathers mistakenly relied on to hold government accountable, has left Americans with two devastating threats, one of which is domestic tyranny and the other is war with Russia, and perhaps China and Iran also. Domestic tyranny is easily possible as an insouciant American population has permitted the Democrats to steal the last two national elections and has done nothing to prevent the Democrats from stealing the election in November.

The Democrats have made it clear that they will hold on to power at the expense of democracy. Washington no longer controls the war it has instigated. Russia has defeated Ukraine. If Washington, as seems to be the case, intends to prolong the conflict by deploying NATO troops in Ukraine and by using long range missiles to target sites deep into Russia, a fatal red line will have been crossed. So far the outbreak of war has been prevented by Putin’s willingness to accept provocations and insults. Putin’s willingness to live with the West’s declared intention to destroy Russia has been maintained by his hope that the West will come to its senses before it is too late for the survival of the Western world.

Read more …

“No more sanctions against North Korea, that’s for sure. That is not going to happen. The US is not going to get anything [in the UN Security Council]..”

North Korea, Shunned For Decades, Welcomed Into New Multipolar World (Sp.)

For decades, the people of North Korea have suffered under strict sanctions imposed by the so-called “International Rules-Based Order.” On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Pyongyang and signed a strategic partnership with his counterpart Kim Jong Un, opening the secretive nation to the new emerging multipolar world. In a letter to the North Korean people, Putin praised the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for being able to withstand “US economic pressure, provocation, blackmail and military threats that have lasted decades,” and said that the two countries are united in their fight against the US, which he said “is making every desperate effort to impose on the world the so-called ‘order based on rules’ which is nothing but a world-wide neocolonialist dictatorship based on the ‘double standards.’”

“This is huge,” explained international relations and security expert Mark Sleboda on Sputnik’s The Final Countdown on Wednesday. “Now the details of this are not known. It is being called a ‘mutual aid in case of aggression’ It does not specify and it does not rule out actually going to war with whoever the perpetrator of the aggression against either party. But I have to point out that neither does NATO’s Article Five mutual defense clause… So, by this analysis, without knowing the details yet, it seems and it’s being reported in the Western press that Russia and North Korea just signed a military alliance equivalent to NATO, which is huge.” North Korea has been under sanctions and embargoes by the United States since the Korean War started. While there have been brief periods of cooling between the US and the DPRK, the relationship has been overwhelmingly hostile over the decades.

Since 2006, the UN Security Council has passed nearly a dozen resolutions that sanctioned the DPRK, an action that required the support of both Russia and China, something that is unlikely to happen with this new paradigm.
“No more sanctions against North Korea, that’s for sure. That is not going to happen. The US is not going to get anything [in the UN Security Council],” explained Sleboda, adding that the mutual aid pact from Russia also prevents any US attack on North Korea, something it has threatened for decades.

Read more …

“..will change the face of the region and shape its future..”

‘No Place’ Is Safe If Israel Starts War – Hezbollah (RT)

Hezbollah is prepared for a full-scale conflict with Israel, the Shia militia’s head Hassan Nasrallah has said. He also warned Cyprus that it could be targeted if it hosts Israeli forces. Nasrallah gave a televised speech on Wednesday, following a memorial service for Hajj Sami Taleb Abdullah, a senior Hezbollah commander who had been killed in an Israeli strike on southern Lebanon earlier this week. “The enemy knows it must expect us on land, in the air, and at sea, and if war is imposed, the resistance will fight without constraints, rules, or limits,” he said, adding that “there will be no place safe from our missiles and drones.” The current confrontation is the “greatest battle since 1948,” the year Israel declared independence, and “will change the face of the region and shape its future,” Nasrallah said.

The Shia militia that controls much of Lebanon has prodded Israeli troops in Galilee since October 7 last year, when West Jerusalem declared war on Hamas in Gaza. The intermittent rocket attacks on both sides of the border have driven more than 53,000 Israelis and almost 100,000 Lebanese from their homes. Hezbollah is striking Israeli positions “within a certain and specific schedule,” Nasrallah claimed, noting that the group has a “very, very large amount of information” about Israeli fortifications, numbers and deployments, referring to Tuesday’s release of drone footage of the port of Haifa. According to Nasrallah, Hezbollah has all the weapons it needs to strike targets inside Israel, including previously undisclosed weapons that have yet to be used on the battlefield. The group is also well-supplied with drones and rockets.

Nasrallah also threatened Cyprus for the first time, telling the government in Nicosia that the country “opening its airports and bases to the enemy to target Lebanon means it has become part of the war.” He claimed that Israel had secret plans to use airfields in Cyprus should its own airbases be disabled by Hezbollah strikes. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Tuesday that it had finalized “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon.”Responding to US calls for restraint, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said his country was “very close to the moment when we will decide to change the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon.” adding that “in a total war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be hit hard.” Israel’s last major confrontation with Hezbollah was in 2006, when a ground offensive into southern Lebanon resulted in high casualties and no military gains.

Read more …

“The Biden administration did not want to appear as if they were vetoing another Security Council resolution..”

Joe Biden’s ‘Ceasefire Proposal’ Was Just ‘Kabuki Theater’ (Sp.)

The public proclamations about an alleged Israeli Ceasefire deal promoted by Biden, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and pro-Israel lawmakers in Washington was kabuki theater, designed to avoid the US having to veto another UN Ceasefire resolution and reduce domestic and international political pressure on the US Government, human rights lawyer Francis Boyle told Sputnik. “The so-called ‘peace proposal’ by Biden was a dodge,” Boyle argued on The Critical Hour. “The International Court of Justice just ruled 13 to 2 that Israel had to stop its offensive military operations in Rafah. Algeria, the Arab member of the UN Security Council then proposed a resolution… ordering the ceasefire. The Biden administration did not want to appear as if they were vetoing another Security Council resolution, both for appearances there in the Global South, the Arab-Muslim world and also here in the United States.”

“So, in order to head off that binding UN Security Council resolution terminating Israel’s offensive military operations in Rafah, the Biden administration, Blinken, concocted this phony ceasefire proposal, which was nothing more than a sort of kabuki theater.” On Tuesday, a senior Israeli official who is involved in the negotiations was quoted in Israeli media as saying that the fighting in Gaza will continue even after the Rafah offensive is finished. On Wednesday, the UN-backed Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory said that Israel had committed crimes against humanity, including forced starvation, extermination, murder and inhumane treatment of Palestinians. The chairperson of the inquiry, Navi Pillay, called for a ceasefire and the end of Israel’s siege on Gaza.

On Tuesday, two key US Democrats approved the sale of 50 F-15 fighter jets to Israel, a deal worth $18 billion. “Clearly, the United States is aiding and abetting Israeli genocide against the Palestinians in violation of Article 3 E of the Genocide Convention of prohibiting complicity in genocide, in addition [to] the Genocide Convention Implementation Act here in the United States.” The Genocide Convention Implementation Act specifies that those found guilty of violating it are subject to life imprisonment. “Israel is the American Bantustan over there in the Middle East. It’s our attack dog and cat’s paw, and without us, they simply would not survive. It’s that simple,” explained Boyle. Hamas has said it will “deal positively to arrive at an agreement,” to end the fighting. According to some reports, they asked for greater assurances that Israel would honor the ceasefire after the release of the hostages. Israel has not officially said if it supports the ceasefire deal presented by Biden.

Read more …

“..keep in place a federal attorney who had just demonstrated his willingness to protect the president’s son..”

Hunter Biden’s Charge of Lying Under Oath (Patrick Lawrence)

Much has been made of the Biden family’s displays of unity and compassion before and during Hunter Biden’s trial. President Biden flew to Wilmington for a late-night visit with Hallie Biden a few days before the trial began. Even The New York Times suggested this risked leaving the president open to charges of witness tampering, given Hallie Biden was scheduled to testify for the prosecution. Hallie Biden is the widow of Beau Biden, Joe’s oldest son, and, during Hunter Biden’s years as an addict was for a time after Beau’s death Hunter’s paramour. During testimony, Hunter’s chronic indulgences in cocaine and alcohol were almost ostentatiously played out for the jury and, it seemed, the public. The First Lady, Jill Biden, attended the trial daily but for the days she was at the Normandy beaches to join the president in marking the 80th anniversary of the D–Day landings. The Biden clan was notably stoic when the verdict was announced. Evidently for the cameras, Hunter Biden took his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, by the shoulders, leaned to kiss her, and audibly whispered with a faint smile, “Hey.”

It is not possible to interpret these evidently rehearsed-for-the-public family displays with anything like certainty. But questions inevitably arise. They turn, almost inevitably on David Weiss’ role as the prosecutor in the gun case.Weiss is a highly problematic figure. As earlier noted, he was deeply compromised when, during federal investigations into Hunter Biden’s tax records and the broader matter of his foreign business dealings, he, Weiss, acted covertly on numerous occasions to shield Hunter Biden from the lawful scrutiny of federal investigators. Many were astonished — and many Republican political figures objected — when, the plea deal of July 2023 having collapsed, Attorney–General Garland promoted Weiss to the rank of special prosecutor. This was ostensibly to give Weiss broader powers to direct investigations into the corruption allegations Hunter Biden faced — an array that threatened to lead to the White House door.

As many critics immediately charged, the Weiss appointment seemed intended not to extend his powers but to keep in place a federal attorney who had just demonstrated his willingness to protect the president’s son — and by extension the president, let us not miss — as a matter of partisan loyalty. Hunter Biden’s trial on various charges related to his handling of his federal taxes is to begin on Sept. 5, two months to the day before the presidential elections. Weiss will again be the prosecutor. This leaves us now with two questions. One, were Hunter Biden’s attorneys in the gun trial in essence shadow-boxing? Their defense strategies — it could not be proven Hunter was using when he purchased the gun, a guilty verdict would infringe on his Second Amendment rights — were flimsy and unpromising. Was the guilty verdict, in other words, what is called in intelligence circles a limited hangout?

Has a decision been made at top levels of the Democratic- controlled federal judiciary to find Hunter Biden guilty on the lesser crime of illegal gun possession — on the argument he had to be convicted of something — so as to prepare a skeptical public for an innocent verdict in the much more consequential trial on charges of financial corruption — a trial that could directly threaten the Biden presidency? Two, where are the House hearings likely to go from here, and what will be the next step? The June 5 criminal referrals are indication enough that the Oversight and Judiciary committees are far from done, spent, or at a dead end. As previously noted in this series, it seems clear they have enough sound evidence to support a vote to impeach President Biden. But it remains to be seen whether the House committees will have the political will to press the case they appear to have, just as the outcome in California, where Weiss will prosecute the tax and corruption cases, is for now not at all certain.

Read more …

“..57 per cent of asylum seekers have no documentation to prove their identity, their age, or their country of origin..”

Ryanair CEO: “It’s a Complete Scam, These People Are Not Refugees” (MN)

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary asserted that the asylum system was “a complete scam” and that such individuals “are not refugees” because they are arriving from safe countries and then flushing their passports down the toilet. O’Leary made the comments during an appearance on the Newstalk radio station. The airline boss was asked how people are able to arrive in Ireland on Ryanair flights without proper documentation or being able to prove their identities. “Yeah because they flush them down the toilet, they arrive at Dublin airport and they flush them down the toilet,” he responded. O’Leary said non-EU visitors to Ireland had to have their passports photographed at the border control desk so the details could be sent to the government, but that this was impossible with economic migrants.

“They show up here…it’s a complete scam and these are not refugees, one of the things that drives me nuts in Ireland is we treat people as refugees who are coming from the UK or from France,” he complained. “Nobody got to Ireland from Afghanistan or from Kenya or from Nigeria or from Syria on a direct flight because there aren’t any, so you’re not fleeing persecution in the UK or in Germany, O’Leary added. “We should look after refugees, I have great sympathy for the Ukrainians, but people who are arriving here from the UK, France or other EU countries, we should be turning them back saying, here back to the EU countries where you came from.”

O’Leary said it was difficult to track what flight the migrants were on or what seat they were sitting in “because they tear up or flush their documentation down the toilets, and all of them have documentation when they board the RyanAir flight at the other side.” Ireland has been completely subsumed by economic migrants, vast numbers of whom have set up in tent cities in major Irish cities, notably the capital Dublin. Meanwhile, according to data released in Germany by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, 57 per cent of asylum seekers have no documentation to prove their identity, their age, or their country of origin, a figure that has risen from 48 per cent in 2023.

Read more …

“..ending their 14 years at the helm of the UK..”

UK Tories Face Election Wipeout – Polls (RT)

The British Conservatives are set to face a historical loss in July’s general election, ending their 14 years at the helm of the UK, according to three major polls on Wednesday. A poll by Savanta and Electoral Calculus for the Telegraph forecasts the Tories getting just 53 seats out of the 650 up for grabs in July’s vote. Not only would this mark an all-time low for the Conservative party, the poll also predicted the current Tory leader and Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, could lose his seat in Richmond and Northallerton, an unprecedented blow for a serving PM. A More in Common survey for the News Agents podcast showed the Tories heading towards getting 155 seats. Despite being the most optimistic for the Tories of the three MRP polls, this would still put them way below the current 344, and even fewer seats than they had in 1997, when the Conservative party last lost leadership to Labour.

Meanwhile, YouGov predicted the Tories will slip down to 108 seats. All three MRP polls projected that the Conservative Party would see a worse outcome than their disastrous 1906 result, when they lost to a landslide Liberal victory, with 156 seats to 397. The surveys all forecast that the Liberal Democrats will attain their best results in years. YouGov predicted the Lib Dems would get 67 seats, which would constitute their best ever general election result. More in Common put them at 49 seats, while Savanta at 50. All three surveys suggested Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer is on track to become the next Prime Minister, and all three predicted his party winning more than 400 seats – higher than the party’s record historical win in 1997.

Read more …

“Why the Western push to promote LGBTQ in Ghana could backfire.”

‘God Destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah’ (RT)

Ghana, a west African country with deeply ingrained cultural and religious values, is grappling with issues surrounding the criminalization of LGBTQ lifestyles. In February 2024, the country’s parliament passed The Promotion of Proper Sexual Rights and Family Values bill, which seeks to promote traditional Ghanaian family values. The bill imposes penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years, for the promotion of LGBTQ activities. Although the bill received unanimous support from both caucuses of the parliament, it still requires the assent of the president to become law. However, its progression has been halted by a lawsuit, citing concerns of discrimination against a section of the population, which has prevented the president from reviewing it until the supreme court determines its legality.

The hearing, adjourned in May 2024 due to allegations that the petitioners had used inflammatory language, resumed this month. The fate of the bill is now in limbo as the Supreme court of Ghana is expected to give its final verdict later this year. The pending verdict is particularly significant as it will determine whether the bill can be promulgated into law. This will also help determine Ghana’s ability to uphold its sovereignty amid pressure from western countries and institutions. Ghana’s situation reflects the complex dilemma of African countries in deciding on the position of LGBTQ in their institutional framework. It is illegal in 32 countries including Nigeria, Mauritania, Sudan and Somalia where death penalty can be imposed on people engaging in gay sex. In Uganda, the office of the president has referred to homosexuals as “sick people” who need help.

This sentiment has been echoed by the former president of Zambia, Edgar Lungu, who questioned why humans should be compelled to engage in activities even animals do not do. South Africa remains the only African country to have legalized homosexuality while others such as Rwanda have rejected discussions on the issue. In Ghana, although there’s no specific law criminalizing LGBTQ activities, attempts to regulate them are based on a perception either of a western-imposed value system that contradicts Ghanaian norms, or from a human rights perspective. Ghana, a west African country with deeply ingrained cultural and religious values, is grappling with issues surrounding the criminalization of LGBTQ lifestyles. In February 2024, the country’s parliament passed The Promotion of Proper Sexual Rights and Family Values bill, which seeks to promote traditional Ghanaian family values.

The bill imposes penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years, for the promotion of LGBTQ activities. Although the bill received unanimous support from both caucuses of the parliament, it still requires the assent of the president to become law. However, its progression has been halted by a lawsuit, citing concerns of discrimination against a section of the population, which has prevented the president from reviewing it until the supreme court determines its legality.The hearing, adjourned in May 2024 due to allegations that the petitioners had used inflammatory language, resumed this month. The fate of the bill is now in limbo as the Supreme court of Ghana is expected to give its final verdict later this year. The pending verdict is particularly significant as it will determine whether the bill can be promulgated into law. This will also help determine Ghana’s ability to uphold its sovereignty amid pressure from western countries and institutions.

Read more …

“..there is one constant here. Citizens don’t like censorship. They still don’t. It’s in our DNA.”

Jonathan Turley: There’s A Movement To Rewrite The First Amendment (RCP)

GWU law professor Jonathan Turley talks about his new book, “The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in an Age of Rage,” during an interview with FNC’s “Special Report” host Bret Baier.

JONATHAN TURLEY: Free speech is under attack and what the book argues is that we are living in the most dangerous anti-free speech period in our history. And the question is why we continue to struggle with free speech, and the book goes back and looks at the very founding of the republic when the framers had a truly revolutionary idea that free speech really adheres to us as human beings. It’s not just because we are citizens, we need free speech to be fully human.

That view was lost within a few years of the Adams administration which became, until the Biden administration, the most anti-free speech in history. President Biden is rivalling that record. We have the largest censorship system in history. But, more importantly, we have this alliance of government, corporations, media, and academia and all supporting censorship, blacklisting and other forms of limitations and this book looks at that history and why we continue to struggle with what Brandeis called “the indispensable right.”

[..] I never really imagined I would see what I now see on campuses become unorthodox and unforgiving. Academics and journalists used to be the defenders of free speech. So did the Democratic Party. It’s now become really in vogue to be anti-free speech, to say free speech is harmful, it has to be curtailed. There is a movement to rewrite the First Amendment because one law professor said it’s “excessively individualistic.” Those are popular views now on campus. And this book is sort of how we got here, why do we call it “indispensable.”

[..] [In Moody vs. Netchoice LLC], the question is whether the Supreme Court will take the issue straight on or whether it will try to take off ramp. The oral argument was not very clear on that point. But you are absolutely right. It encapsulates much of this problem — we have this alliance I talked about, that is funded through the government, organized and directed in part through the government. One federal judge called it Orwellian, and it is. And many citizens don’t like it and that’s the one positive aspect. You know, I tell the stories of people who put their lives at risk to fight for free speech. And all of our periods of rage. But, there is one constant here. Citizens don’t like censorship. They still don’t. It’s in our DNA.

What this book really tries to do to see if there is this common article of faith that we can still gather around, despite all our political divisions that this defines us in a way that we can’t lose it. And I think that there is common ground there.

Read more …

Masochists wanted.

Boeing Can’t Find New CEO – WSJ (RT)

Several high-profile candidates have turned down offers to run aerospace giant, Boeing, The Wall Street Journal has reported, as the plane-maker faces scrutiny over multiple safety issues with its products. The aerospace giant announced in March that current chief executive, David Calhoun, would step down by the end of the year, as part of a management shake-up aimed at reviving Boeing’s reputation. The company’s airliners have encountered a litany of incidents this year, beginning with a door panel on a 737 MAX 9 operated by Alaska Airlines blowing off mid-air in January, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched several inquiries into Boeing. Whistle-blowers have alleged that the 737 Max, the 787 Dreamliner, and the 777 had serious production issues. As part of one probe, CEO Calhoun was grilled by US senators on Tuesday over the company’s patchy safety record. GE Aerospace CEO Larry Culp, widely considered the top candidate for the job, has declined Boeing’s request to consider taking over, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said, citing people familiar with the matter. According to the publication, Culp is known as a guru of lean manufacturing, a management philosophy focused on cutting waste while continuously improving quality. Culp has said that he intends to stay on at GE Aerospace.

Other potential candidates – the CEO of Boeing’s commercial-airplanes division Stephanie Pope, and Spirit AeroSystems CEO Pat Shanahan – face various complications on their path to the top job, the WSJ wrote. David Gitlin, CEO of the home-appliances firm Carrier and a member of the Boeing board, asked to be removed from the list of potential contenders in April. Boeing executives have said they hope to have a deal by the end of June, the WSJ noted. The US Department of Justice said in May it was considering prosecuting Boeing over two crashes in 2018 and 2019 which killed nearly 350 people. The accidents were found to have been caused by an errant pitch control system that the company had not informed pilots about.

Read more …

“This technology is proven to have some of the most comprehensive capabilities in the industry, fast and accurate in some of the most demanding conditions..”

McDonald’s Scraps AI Trial After Bacon Added To Ice Cream (RT)

McDonald’s is scrapping its AI drive-through trial after videos went viral of order mix-ups, including bacon being added to ice cream. The US fast food chain has been testing a voice recognition system developed by IBM to process orders since 2021. However, reliability of the AI-powered technology has been called into question after customers reported errors in their orders and shared comical mishaps on social media. McDonald’s has instructed franchisees to remove the AI-assisted technology from the more than 100 outlets that have been using it by the end of July, as reported by trade publication Restaurant Business on Friday. The fast food chain is abandoning the trial without any sort of expansion, the publication said, citing an email the company sent to franchisees on Thursday.

“After thoughtful review, McDonald’s has decided to end our current global partnership with IBM on AOT [Automated Order Taking] beyond this year,” the message read. While the Chicago-based fast food giant didn’t give the exact reason for the move, it comes after customers shared videos showing drive-through AI picking up orders from the wrong cars, multiplying orders, and producing bizarre combinations of food ranging from bacon-topped ice cream to hundreds of dollars’ worth of chicken nuggets. In one TikTok video, a woman attempts to order vanilla ice cream and a bottle of water only to end up with ketchup sachets and multiple stacks of butter. Another video shows a customer claiming that the AI drive-through assistant confused her order with someone else’s, resulting in nine portions of tea being added to her bill.

McDonald’s, which initially sought to embrace the technology to cut back on mounting labor costs, indicated that the end of the trial would not mean its experiments with AI are over. The company said that its work with IBM “has given us the confidence that a voice ordering solution for drive-thru will be part of our restaurants’ future.” IBM also said it plans to continue working with McDonald’s. “This technology is proven to have some of the most comprehensive capabilities in the industry, fast and accurate in some of the most demanding conditions,” the company said in a statement. Other major US fast food giants, including Chipotle, Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, have also been rolling out AI systems at their drive-throughs in a bid to replace human workers and reduce labor costs.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Morgan Freeman

 

 

Tiny Turtle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1803045071614337039

 

 

Moose

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 172024
 


Edward Hopper Cape Cod morning 1950

 

Putin’s Peace Initiative Last Chance To Save Ukrainian State – Medvedchuk (TASS)
Putin’s Peace Proposals on Ukraine Are ‘Golden Opportunity & Lifeline’ (Sp.)
A Proposal, A Last Chance, An Ultimatum (SCF)
Zelensky Set The Trap That Threatens To Destroy Us (Dionísio)
Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’ Is ‘Animal Farm’ – Medvedev (RT)
Polish President Calls For ‘Decolonization’ of Russia (RT)
US Tried to Provoke China Into Attacking Taiwan – Xi (Sp.)
The Changing Nature Of Nuclear Deterrence (Malinen)
Europe’s Elections as a Mirror (Patrick Lawrence)
Musk Says “Eliminate Electronic Voting Machines” (ZH)
Biden-Trump Debate Rules Revealed (RT)
Biden “Losing Focus”, “Worst He’s Ever Been” (MN)
AI is Digital Control, You’ve Been Warned – Catherine Austin Fitts (USAW)
Judges Named for Assange Appeal (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

Elon multiply
https://twitter.com/i/status/1802120341768089711

 

 

 

 

Amnesty

 

 

Wisdom

 

 

Meloni

 

 

 

 

 

 

This may be Putin’s final peace plan. Better consider it.

“This is a concentration camp for the Ukrainian people, with everyone wanting to flee except the gang that is criminally reigning..”

Putin’s Peace Initiative Last Chance To Save Ukrainian State – Medvedchuk (TASS)

The peace initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin is the last chance to preserve the Ukrainian state, Viktor Medvedchuk, the former leader of the Opposition Platform-For Life party now banned in Ukraine, told TASS in an interview. “The new peace initiative of Vladimir Putin is the last chance to preserve the Ukrainian state. Ukraine at present with its illegitimate president, the regime adversary to the people, legal nihilism and the Nazi state ideology cannot be considered to be the state anymore,” the politician said. “Vladimir Putin suggests returning the state to Ukrainians, making it neutral, sovereign, demilitarized and denazified,” Medvedchuk said.

“The peace proposals returns not only the peace to Ukraine but also rights of Ukrainian citizens criminally overturned by the regime of [Vladimir] Zelensky,” he stressed. Ukraine at present “cannot exist without huge external borrowings. This is actually a bankrupt country, a black hole for the Western economy,” Medvedchuk noted. “This is a concentration camp for the Ukrainian people, with everyone wanting to flee except the gang that is criminally reigning,” he added. On June 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin named conditions for settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including withdrawal of the Ukrainian army from Donbass and Novorossiya and refusal of Kiev to join NATO.

Read more …

“It is to be expected that the West will do everything possible to prevent Ukraine from accepting Russia’s peace initiatives..”

Putin’s Peace Proposals on Ukraine Are ‘Golden Opportunity & Lifeline’ (Sp.)

Kiev should agree to the preconditions for peace talks laid out by Russian President Vladimir Putin, otherwise its position both in the combat zone and at the negotiating table will only get much worse, Persio Gloria de Paula, an expert at the Naval War College in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, told Sputnik. “One should bear in mind that Ukraine is suffering both hardware and personnel losses. For the first, it relies on its patrons in the West, while to replenish the second it will need to push through increasingly stringent mobilization and lower the conscription age,” he remarked. At the same time, the Russian proposal poses a challenge to Kiev and its sponsors on the eve of the so-called peace summit in Switzerland. “This calls into question the goals and effectiveness of a summit which is not attended by all the sides involved,” Persio Gloria de Paula said.

The conditions laid out by President Putin to resolve the Ukraine conflict are “a golden opportunity both for Kiev and the European countries to begin negotiations,” Iranian political scientist Emad Abshenas told Sputnik. “Of course, as expected, Russia insists on its key demands,” he noted, including a neutral, non-nuclear status for Ukraine, “as well as guarantees of independence, rights, freedoms and interests of the Russian-speaking population of the country.” He singled out Putin’s remarks that these fundamental parameters along with Ukraine’s demilitarization and de-Nazification were broadly agreed on during the Istanbul negotiations in 2022. However, on Western countries’ orders, Kiev ultimately rejected these conditions, the expert said. It is to be expected that the West will do everything possible to prevent Ukraine from accepting Russia’s peace initiatives, said Unver Sel, chairman of the Federation of Crimean Tatar Culture Societies of Turkiye.

Once again, settlement of the conflict will be delayed. When asked if the West will claim responsibility for what is currently happening in Ukraine, the pundit said:“It is naive to hope that the West will suddenly acknowledge its responsibility. This did not happen in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria… The West will continue to behave like a spoiled child who does not understand the consequences of his actions, and acts solely based on his own selfish goals.”

Read more …

“The Ukrainians will only have to bear the burden of a slow, long and bloody defeat. And NATO, the sponsor of the spectacle of death, will be responsible for every life lost on the battlefield.”

A Proposal, A Last Chance, An Ultimatum (SCF)

While the Kiev regime and its supporters continue to organize the “peace summit” in Switzerland, the Russian Federation is advancing its plans to bring a real end to the conflict. For Moscow, the conditions for peace or war are clear: either Ukraine recognizes the territories already liberated as Russian and promises neutrality, or the responsibility for the bloodshed from now on will lie entirely with NATO. Russia has never been in any kind of “rush” in this conflict. With less and less casualties, an overwhelmingly economic growth, and having the opportunity to destroy NATO military software and neutralize foreign mercenaries, there is no reason for the Russians to want to quickly end hostilities. The Russian initiative to put forward peace terms is due to a sincerely humanitarian concern, since, unlike the Kiev neo-Nazi junta, decision-makers in the Kremlin see the Ukrainian people as a sister nation and a vital part of Russian civilization.

Since February 2022, Russia has constantly offered peace terms in accordance with the update of its strategic interests. Before the referendums for the union of the New Regions with the Russian Federation, Moscow’s demand was limited to the recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent countries – there was not even any interest in reintegrating them into Russia at the time. It was Western interventionism in the peace negotiations and the fascist government’s subservience to NATO that prevented an agreement from being reached in the early stages of the special military operation. The lack of guaranteed recognition for Donetsk and Lugansk led the war to continue and motivated these regions to ask to return to their eternal home (the Russian Federation).

Then Ukrainian insistence on boycotting the normalization of life in Crimea led Russia to also reintegrate Kherson and Zaporozhye. For now, the four New Regions and Crimea (already reintegrated ten years ago) are Russia’s only formal territorial demands. The only thing Russia is asking for in addition to that is a guarantee of neutrality and demilitarization so that its civilian areas are not attacked, which Ukraine can provide simply by promising not to seek NATO membership. Obviously, Zelensky will not be able to accept the agreement proposed by Putin. Firstly, because he is a puppet who only obeys NATO orders. Furthermore, NATO has not yet managed to open another front to maintain its proxy war against Russia. The anti-Russian lobby in Moldova is still not enough to move aggression against Transnistria or Gagauzia, while in Georgia the Parliament said “no” to foreign saboteurs.

Without another flank, NATO will not allow any negotiations in Ukraine. Kiev will have to keep fighting, even if it is very close to reaching the “last Ukrainian”. And from this perspective, Putin’s proposal becomes an ultimatum. The last chance was given to end this war with “only” half a million Ukrainians dead and 25% of the (former) Ukrainian territory liberated. With the obvious Ukrainian rejection, it is clear that there will be an update of these interests. Only the Russians will be able to say how much more territory they will demand from now on. The Ukrainians will only have to bear the burden of a slow, long and bloody defeat. And NATO, the sponsor of the spectacle of death, will be responsible for every life lost on the battlefield.

Read more …

“Now, to finance the war effort, the illegitimate Zelensky [..] is preparing to sell what he still has left..”

Zelensky Set The Trap That Threatens To Destroy Us (Dionísio)

Bandera’s Ukraine, which has been furiously privatizing its remaining state properties left to it by Russia and the USSR, already has a large part of its valuable black lands in the hands of Blackrock, Monsanto and other U.S. interests. These are joined by energy, mining, agro-industrial and real estate ownership. Now, to finance the war effort, the illegitimate Zelensky, who is currently usurping the position of president (I can already see the meaning of that kiss from von der Leyen, the usurpers recognize each other), is preparing to sell what he still has left. The exigencies from the IMF and from financial agreements with the European Union always require privatizations and the businesses in question are, in some cases, important natural monopolies.We all know who will profit most from the purchase of these state assets. The U.S. will get the best share, but the United Kingdom, Germany, France, in that order, will also get their “fair share”.

If the Hotel Ukraine is the most famous asset of all those announced in this new package, here is a list, which the Kiev regime itself says is a “large privatization”. Energy companies, Port of Odessa, mining sector, distilleries, heavy machinery factories, such as a locomotives factory…The most serious thing about all this, the most tragic thing for all of us, is that the sale of the country to the interests of the United States and the West is not innocent and goes far beyond a simple act of corruption or handing over the country to foreign interests. Consciously or unconsciously, the acquisition of large and profitable properties, by large Western corporations, constitutes a very important step towards worsening the conflict and one that I believe goes unnoticed by many good people, normally concentrated in the specifically military aspect. In these cases, the military aspect is nothing more than the peak of the Iceberg, which hides all the complexity of economic relations that, at the base, constitute the reason for everything that is happening.

Recourse to the military happens when relationships at the base become irreconcilable. Zelensky, certainly aware that the war can only be won with the direct entry of the U.S., even if we all have to lose it (in wars everyone loses) for him to win it, as he hands over his country to the oligarchies that support the American political apparatus, will know how important it is, the control of Ukrainian properties, by those powerful interests. What better way to protect access to the Black Sea than by handing over the Port of Odessa to Western interests? History tells us that Western corporate interests, especially the United States, protect their assets, even if, to do so, they have to invade countries and occupy them. Consequently, Zelensky knows that the greater the dominance of American corporations in Ukraine, the greater the likelihood of worsening the conflict and direct U.S. entry.

Read more …

“According to an earlier Bloomberg report, Biden skipped the summit because it overlapped with a campaign fundraiser in California..”

Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’ Is ‘Animal Farm’ – Medvedev (RT)

The Swiss-hosted Ukraine ‘peace summit’ has turned out to be an erratic and dysfunctional event whose participants have no clue what they are doing there, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said. The June 15-16 conference at the Burgenstock Hotel near Lake Lucerne focuses on three points of Vladimir Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’, including prisoner exchanges and nuclear and food security. The plan calls for Russia to withdraw from all territories claimed by Kiev, but has been dismissed by Moscow as divorced from reality. Russia was not invited to the event. President Vladimir Putin has argued that it is simply an attempt by the West to create the illusion of a global anti-Russian coalition and distract attention away from the root causes of the conflict.

Writing on Telegram on Sunday, Medvedev, who is currently the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, compared the summit to George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. The novel, which is considered to be a veiled reference to the Stalin-era Soviet Union, reflects on how ideals of equality and freedom can become distorted and betrayed after a ruthless leader takes over. The ex-Russian president said the Swiss event is “pure surrealism” and that “none of the participants in the ‘peace forum’ know what they are doing there and what their role is.” He went on to say that the Swiss “shepherd boys” invited only “trustworthy animals,” including a “crazy puny swine” and his sidekick, as well as “a flock of slow-witted Western Alpine sheep blithely bleating about peace, as well as a pack of European chained dogs to guard the livestock.” Medvedev did not specify who these remarks were directed at. According to the former president, the ‘dogs’ are “barking and spitting poisonous saliva” to maintain order, which he said is warranted since the “sheep often bleat out of place and confuse the memorized statements.”

In an apparent reference to US President Joe Biden, he said the flock is led by “an elderly, weak-minded owner” suffering from “progressive dementia.” He added that the US, instead of sending Biden, sent “a soft-headed deputy who… said a phrase learned by heart and quickly went home,” referring to Vice President Kamala Harris. ”To sum it up, the grazing of cattle in the Alps is just a sad pile of poop that is burning up taxpayers’ money,” Medvedev said. According to an earlier Bloomberg report, Biden skipped the summit because it overlapped with a campaign fundraiser in California ahead of the presidential election this November. Zelensky criticized the US president’s absence, suggesting it “would only be met with applause by Putin.” A number of Western officials have acknowledged that the Ukraine conflict cannot be resolved without Moscow’s participation in talks.

Read more …

“..over 190 ethnic groups that speak more than 270 languages and dialects..”

Polish President Calls For ‘Decolonization’ of Russia (RT)

Polish President Andrzej Duda has called for the “decolonization” of Russia, claiming that ethnic minorities should break away from Moscow’s rule and form their own states. Russia is one of the most diverse countries in the world and comprises over 190 ethnic groups that speak more than 270 languages and dialects, according to the government. Speaking at the so-called “Peace for Ukraine” conference in Switzerland on Sunday, Duda described Russia as a “prison of nations.” The country is “home to almost 200 ethnic groups,” which “became the residents of Russia as a result of methods used in Ukraine today,” the Polish leader claimed, referring to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

“Russia remains the largest colonial empire in the world, which, unlike European powers, has never undergone the process of decolonization and has never been able to deal with demons of its past,” Duda stated. “As a member of the international community, we have to finally say – there is no [space] for colonialism in the modern world.” Poland has been one of the most vocal proponents of aid to Ukraine since Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state. According to the Polish media, Duda’s main mission in Switzerland was to “highlight the scale of the Russian threat.”

Earlier this year, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk suggested his country’s readiness to potentially host US nuclear weapons, which Moscow called a “provocation” and “deeply hostile policy.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that Moscow has no intention of attacking NATO members and has dismissed claims to the contrary as scare tactics. In August 2023, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote an op-ed for the Izvestia newspaper, condemning “the crimes of colonialism” committed by the West and arguing that Western overseas possessions, such as France’s New Caledonia, Britain’s Gibraltar, and US’ Guam, are modern-day “colonies.” She insisted that “the free world will undoubtedly win, and the process of decolonization will be completed.”

Duda
https://twitter.com/i/status/1802051162373550439

Read more …

“..continues to pursue the one-China policy and does not support Taiwan’s independence.”

US Tried to Provoke China Into Attacking Taiwan – Xi (Sp.)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly underscored that the Taiwan issue in China-US relations is a major red line that must not be crossed. Beijing has also urged Washington to stop sending “erroneous signals” to Taiwanese separatists. Xi Jinping warned Ursula von der Leyen about Washington’s attempts to provoke Beijing into attacking Taiwan, the Financial Times reported. China’s president delivered the cautionary message in April 2023 both to the European Commission president and officials in his own country, according to insiders. The gist of Xi’s warning was reportedly that the Biden administration was trying to goad the People’s Republic of China (PRC) into invading Taiwan, but the Chinese leader would not be taken in that easily.

When delivering the warning last year, Xi purportedly added that a conflict with the US would dismantle many of his country’s impressive achievements and undercut the stated goal of achieving a “great rejuvenation” by 2049. The report laid emphasis on the fact that if true, this would have been the first known case of Xi Jinping making such a claim to a foreign leader. There has been no comment specifically on the report from either the Chinese Embassy in Washington or von der Leyen’s spokesperson.

[..] The FT report comes amid heightened US-China tensions. Beijing has referred to the Taiwan issue as a “red line” that must not be crossed in its relations with Washington. “We will not turn a blind eye to the separatist activities of forces advocating ‘Taiwan’s independence’ and the connivance and support [of these forces] by outside forces,” Xi Jinping was quoted by the Xinhua news agency as telling US President Joe Biden during a phone conversation in April. Biden, in turn, reportedly said that the US does not support Taiwan’s independence and is not planning to enter into a conflict with China. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed these statements, telling Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the United States “continues to pursue the one-China policy and does not support Taiwan’s independence.”

Read more …

“According to how history is currently written..”

The Changing Nature Of Nuclear Deterrence (Malinen)

When I was around eight years old, my baby-sitter let me watch a documentary on nuclear war. Unsurprisingly, it shook me to the core. It’s kind of hard to know what went on in her head, but those images of nuclear detonations never left my head. Looking back at it now, this ‘incident’ starts to make sense, kind of. This is because over the decades I’ve read a lot on nuclear deterrence and on nuclear war simulations. I have had this graving to understand nuclear warfare and deterrence basically throughout my adult-life. Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 became something of a case study on nuclear deterrence to me. This was in no small part because of the magnificent movie, Thirteen Days (published in 2000), documenting the crisis through the eyes of President Kennedy and the White House. I have also had the privilege to grow with a highly objective lecturer of history, my mother, who has always questioned the current knowledge on history.

One of her best quotes is, “According to how history is currently written”. It summarizes all you need to understand about research of history. We simply do not know all the facts and politics plays a major role on how history is being written. In the movie Thirteen Days, there’s a scene where Bobby Kennedy (played memorably by Steven Culp) and Special Advisor Kenneth O. Donnell (always great Kevin Costner) arrive to Russian (Soviet) embassy, where they are burning secret documents in preparation for an evacuation. I vaguely remember that I would have talked with my mom about this scene and that she would have confirmed that such a thing (burning of documents) actually happened, but I cannot vouch for that. In any case, it was a beautiful movie trick, intensifying and underlining the gravity of the situation the world faced. Unfortunately, we are very close of such a situation, again.

During the Cuban crisis, the ‘Doomsday Clock’, kept by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, was set to seven minutes to midnight. Currently, it stands at 90 seconds to midnight, closest to midnight it ever has, and I am expecting that it will be moved to 60 seconds to midnight during the next 12 months. While the Bulletin, quite unnecessarily, recently mixed “climate change” to the setting of the clock, the unprecedented warning on the close proximity of a nuclear holocaust should be taken extremely seriously. I have been pondering the growing nuclear threat since basically the onset of Ukrainian conflict in early 2014. It has become very pervasive in my thinking during the past few weeks mostly due to strikes of Ukraine to Russian early-warning system. During my academic studies, I have taken two courses in game theory. One during graduate and the other during post-graduate studies. During those courses, I read also on game theoretical simulations of nuclear warfare.

I cannot help to think that I did this, because of the misjudgement of my baby-sitter all those years ago. Past week, I started to build game theoretical model on a tactical nuclear first strike to understand the situation better. In this entry, which is likely to start a short series on nuclear deterrence and war, I go through the basic building blocks of modern nuclear deterrence starting from tactical nuclear weapons. Then I explain the foundational principle of nuclear deterrence, mutually asserted destruction, or MAD, and lastly I go through the weak spots of modern nuclear deterrence. All detailed information on nuclear weapons and deterrence is based on recent research by several scholars, only few of which I will detail (link) here. My model describes in more detail, why deterrence is so close of failing, and I return to that later. In the conclusions I also comment the recent steps of escalation, i.e., the Russian flotilla just off the Floridan coast and fresh U.S. sanctions to Russian financial sector.

Read more …

“..the “center” liberal authoritarians speak of as some kind of sacred space..”

Europe’s Elections as a Mirror (Patrick Lawrence)

The E.U. Parliament, to get straight a few basic details, is one strut of the three-legged stool of which the union is made: The unelected technocrats are in Brussels, the unelected central bankers are in Frankfurt, and the elected legislature is in Strasbourg. Belgium, Germany, and France: The distribution of institutional power in this way is meant as a display of the Continent’s hard-won unity. The catch here, and the reason I and many others got off the E.U. bus years ago, is that the lawmakers in Strasbourg are essentially powerless. Yes, you had inspired MEPs such as Claire Daly and her colleague Mick Wallace, both Irish (and you have to love Daly’s lilting brogue). They made use of the legislative chambers in Strasbourg to articulate principled positions on Gaza, Ukraine, and other such questions, but there has never been any question of the E.U. Parliament having the power to legislate the union’s direction.

Parenthetically, Daly and Wallace were voted out of office in last week’s elections. The E.U. is as it has long been—an undemocratic institution atop which sit neoliberal ideologues and austerian central bankers, technocrats who take no interest in the democratic process or the wishes of the E.U.’s citizenry. Readers may recall the brutality with which Brussels and Frankfurt had Athenians eating out of garbage cans nine years ago to protect the interests of bond investors holding Greek sovereign debt. That was the E.U. in action, the E.U. that has perverted the worthy vision of its postwar founders.

When we look at the polls held June 6–9 across the Continent, we must recognize a certain paradox. The MEPs elected will have little power, as European voters know better than anyone, but it was precisely to protest the corruption of European democracy that these voters delivered so severe a blow to mainstream parties and the Brussels technocrats from whom they are virtually inseparable. The outstanding question in the European capitals now is whether the profound animosity evident in last week’s election results will carry over to national polls due in political seasons to come. Figures such as Emmanuel Macron think that in legislative contests that will have actual consequences, unhappy voters will pull back from the brink: The E.U. vote as an acting out, let’s call this reasoning. I am not sure the French president is right about this. The conditions that produced last week’s E.U.–wide results are clearly leading to a substantial migration away from the “center” liberal authoritarians speak of as some kind of sacred space.

Read more …

“The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.”

Musk Says “Eliminate Electronic Voting Machines” (ZH)

Elon Musk on Saturday suggested that electronic voting machines should not be used in elections, as “The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.” Musk was responding to the recent news that Puerto Rico is ‘reviewing’ their contract with Dominion Voting Systems after a ‘software issue’ caused machines supplied by the company to miscalculate vote totals, according to the country’s elections commission. According to AP, vote counts reported by Dominion machines were lower than paper counts in some cases, and some machines reversed totals or reported zero votes for some candidates. “The concern is that we obviously have elections in November, and we must provide the (island) not only with the assurance that the machine produces a correct result, but also that the result it produces is the same one that is reported,” said Padilla. The island nation used more than 6,000 Dominion voting machines in their June 2 primary.

The company claims that the software issues stemmed from the digital files used to export the results from the primaries. The President of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, José Varela, has Dominion’s back – calling for Padilla to appear at a public hearing on Thursday to address the issues. “We cannot allow the public’s confidence in the voting process to continue to be undermined as we approach the general elections,” he said. “The problems called to mind the island’s botched 2020 primaries, when a lack of ballots at some centers forced the government to reschedule voting in a first for the U.S. territory. On June 2, Puerto Rico held primary elections to select gubernatorial candidates for the pro-statehood New Progressive Party and the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the island’s territorial status. In a surprise upset, Jenniffer González, Puerto Rico’s congressional representative, beat Gov. Pedro Pierluisi in the primary held by the New Progressive Party. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz defeated Sen. Juan Zaragoza in the primary held by their Popular Democratic Party. Both parties reported hundreds of ballots showing inaccurate results, with the PNP reporting over 700 errors and the PPD pointing to some 350 discrepancies. These inaccuracies affected ballots for positions including governor, mayor and resident commissioner.” -AP

Following the discrepancies, the elections commission conducted a full vote tally and audited paper receipts from hundreds of ballot-counting machines – after which Ombudsman Edwin García Feliciano called the incident a “threat” to the island’s electoral system, and called on the governor and the island’s federal control board that oversees the island’s finances to establish a plan to improve election security. “All planning is based on resolving emergencies, including unlikely ones,” said García Feliciano, adding “But predictable circumstances, which are well known to the public, cannot be addressed by improvisation and in a rush.” The island’s general election will be held in November, where citizens will choose a new governor and local representatives. Meanwhile in Georgia, a federal judge ruled in February that Georgia’s electronic voting machines had issues related to security and transparency – yet she declined to immediately halt the use of said machines.

Despite identifying several problems with the state’s election system, US District Judge Amy Totenberg allowed Georgia to continue using the current electronic voting system while acknowledging the plaintiffs’ concerns about the risks to the integrity of the voting process. Also meanwhile; In March, Headline USA reported that during defamation lawsuit between Dominion Voting Systems and former Overstock.com CEO and Donald Trump supporter Patrick Byrne, one of Byrne’s attorneys, Stephanie Lambert, who was later arrested, leaked evidence that foreign nationals remotely accessed voting machines used in Michigan in the 2020 elections. In February of 2022, top officials at a U.S. federal cybersecurity agency are urging a judge not to authorize at this time the release of a report that analyzes Dominion Voting Systems equipment in Georgia, arguing doing so could assist hackers trying to “undermine election security.”

Read more …

“Let’s see if Joe can make it to the stand-up podium.”

Biden-Trump Debate Rules Revealed (RT)

US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will get two breaks when they face off in a CNN debate this month, and will not be allowed to talk to their campaign staff during the event, the network has announced. Biden and Trump agreed last month to a live debate at CNN’s studio in Atlanta, Georgia on June 27. The debate, the first head-to-head showdown of the 2024 election season, will be moderated by CNN hosts Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, with no studio audience present. CNN released a host of further details on Saturday. According to the network, both candidates will stand at podiums chosen by a coin toss, and will not be allowed any props or pre-written notes. Biden and Trump will both be given a pen, a pad of paper, and a bottle of water. Each candidate’s microphone will be muted while the other speaks, and the 90-minute debate will be punctuated by two commercial breaks, during which Biden and Trump are forbidden from interacting with their campaign staff.

The debate was organized after months of challenges from Trump, who said in March that he would face off against Biden “any time, anywhere, any place.” After multiple non-committal responses, Biden released a video message last month calling on Trump to “make my day, pal.” Biden and Trump agreed to the CNN debate on June 27 and an ABC News debate on September 10, while Trump has also called on his opponent to accept two more debates – on Fox News and NBC News – before November’s election. Trump and Biden debated twice before the 2020 election, with both candidates proclaiming victory. In the runup to this year’s debates, Trump has repeatedly ridiculed his 81-year-old opponent’s propensity for verbal gaffes and slip-ups. “Crooked Joe Biden is the worst debater I have ever faced – he can’t put two sentences together,” Trump said in a statement last month. “Let’s see if Joe can make it to the stand-up podium.”

Meanwhile, Biden told ABC News this month that he intends to let Trump “say what he thinks,” betting that the American public will be shocked by the former president’s “off the wall” comments. The CNN debate is open to any candidate who has received at least 15% support in four separate national polls and is registered on ballots in enough states to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidency. Only Trump and Biden satisfy these requirements at present, although independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has received 15% in three polls and is on the ballot in six states worth 89 electoral votes. Earlier this week, Kennedy claimed to have collected enough signatures for ballot access in 22 states, totaling 304 electoral votes.

Read more …

“I hear now we’re sitting at tables. I don’t want to sit at a table.” “I said, ‘No, let’s stand.’ But they want to sit at a table..”

Biden “Losing Focus”, “Worst He’s Ever Been” (MN)

A report quoting insiders at the G7 summit this past week has warned that Joe Biden struggled to focus at the meeting of world leaders in Puglia, Italy. According to one source, Biden is “the worst he’s ever been,” with attendees from other delegations saying it was “embarrassing.” As we highlighted, Biden was seen wandering off like a dementia patient and looking perpetually confused. The footage of Biden prompted mocking headlines.

Biden also skipped the dinner later in the evening, before returning to the US. Of course, the Biden campaign claims it’s all “lies” and the footage of him was “taken out of context.” Biden’s campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod described the headlines and reports as “disinformation” and suggested that social media platforms should prevent it from being shared. It has also been reported that the debate between Biden and Trump scheduled for June 27 will see the pair seated at tables at the request of Biden’s campaign. Trump told the hosts of the Cats & Cosby Show last month “I hear now we’re sitting at tables. I don’t want to sit at a table.” “I said, ‘No, let’s stand.’ But they want to sit at a table,” Trump further remarked, adding “So we’ll be sitting at a table as opposed to doing it the way you should be, in my opinion, in a debate.”

Read more …

“..artificial intelligence takes off on its own, and it starts functioning in a way it makes no sense. . . . and it’s just lying. It’s just making stuff up and lying. It’s literally like it’s under demonic possession.”

AI is Digital Control, You’ve Been Warned – Catherine Austin Fitts (USAW)

Catherine Austin Fitts (CAF), Publisher of The Solari Report, financial expert and former Assistant Secretary of Housing (Bush 41 Admin.) is sounding the alarm about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it will impact your world in very negative ways. It’s all in a new report called “The AI Revolution: The Final Coup d’Etat.” CAF explains, “This is a very serious look at Artificial Intelligence and how it’s going to be used to implement control. . . . This past week, there was this huge open board meeting at OpenAI. There were board members put there to make sure OpenAI and its products were in alignment with the best interests of the human race. Some of them got booted out. Now, we see the former head of the NSA (National Security Agency) get put on the board. I just realized it today, and I had not realized it before. Edward Snowden just tweeted out and said you should never use any of these products, which include ChatGBT. Snowden also said, ‘You have to understand where this is going. You have been warned.’

“The AI Revolution” also warns that AI “. . . will alter the prospects for a free society, even free will. . . and . . . attempt to seed the idea human-only decision-making will become a rarity and, in time, cease to exist.” Don’t think sophisticated AI is some idea that is far into the future. AI is here now, and CAF points out, “I just see more and more companies using this type of technology to institute financial fraud and make money from financial fraud in their pricing. . . . You also have thousands of companies to track you for their benefit. . . . It is trying to extract data from you to accomplish whatever its goal is. . . . It’s like a swarm of invisible locusts that are all trying to surveil and track, and none of them are trying to optimize your life and give you a free and inspired life. They are just trying to get their piece.”

AI will also be used to ignore and break all laws. After all, it’s robotic and can’t be held accountable. CAF says, “By removing moral obligations and legal and obedient respect for laws, the speed at which you can do evil is extraordinary. . . . One of my concerns, and I have said this for many years, I think this kind of technology allows interdimensional intelligence to act as material reality so that, literally, demonic intelligence can have far more influence and impact in our world. It operates at such high speed, and then you combine that with the payment systems in the financial system. . . the things that can go wrong are phenomenal. One of the main problems that we have seen in the past year is artificial intelligence takes off on its own, and it starts functioning in a way it makes no sense. . . . and it’s just lying. It’s just making stuff up and lying. It’s literally like it’s under demonic possession.”

CAF says, no matter what, “AI can’t beat God.” And instead of worshiping Jehovah and Jesus (like you should), the creators of AI want you to trust whatever this tech tells you to do. CAF says, “They want an AI Religion Revolution.” Don’t buy into this crap because AI is a disaster for humanity and your freedom. CAF thinks the Democrats will be forced to replace Joe Biden come November, and she explains why. Now, more than ever, CAF thinks physical gold and silver are good investments. She encourages people to expand the use of cash. CAF thinks two of the best weapons against this sort of artificial intelligence used for control and tyranny is to enforce the US Constitution and, above all, do not lose your faith in God the Father and Christ Jesus.

Read more …

“the same who granted Assange a rare victory last month..”

Judges Named for Assange Appeal (Lauria)

The judges in Julian Assange’s two-day appeal hearing on July 9-10 are the same who granted Assange a rare victory last month: his right to appeal the Home Office’s extradition order to the United States. Justices Jeremy Johnson and Victoria Sharp granted Assange the right to appeal on only two of nine requested grounds, but they are significant: 1). his extradition was incompatible with his free speech rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights; and 2.) that he might be prejudiced because of his nationality (not being given 1st Amendment protection as a non-American). However the denial of his rights in an American courtroom would go beyond the First Amendment to all of his U.S. constitutional rights, according to the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in USAID v. Alliance for Open Society International Inc., which says that a non-U.S. citizen acting outside the U.S. has no constitutional protections at all.

The United States was unable to provide assurances that the European equivalent of his constitutional rights would be protected, required under British extradition law. That raises hopes for Assange in his appeal. Assange has been imprisoned in London’s notorious Belmarsh Prison for more than five years on remand pending the outcome of his extradition. He has been charged in the United States for publishing classified documents that revealed prima facie evidence of U.S. state crimes. CN has received an award and many accolades for our coverage of the Julian Assange case. We will be inside the courtroom and outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London for both days of the hearing, bringing you the latest news, analysis and commentary.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Hooker

 

 

Hitchens

 

 

King

 

 

Linden

 

 

Swim rabbits

 

 

Dachs

 

 

Dog tree

 

 

Humpback

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 022024
 


John French Sloan East Entrance, City Hall, Philadelphia 1901

 

Tyranny Is Upon Us: Law And Juries Are Weaponized (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Trump Trial Harkens Back to a Dark Period of American Law (Turley)
The Democrats Just Sealed Donald Trump’s Victory In November (Bridge)
DOJ: You Can’t Hear The Biden-Hur ‘Memory Interview’ Because of Deepfakes (Sp.)
Desperate, Lying Biden May Abuse AI to Pull the Ultimate Race Hoax (Sellers)
Artificial ‘N****R’ (Sellers)
RFK Jr. Slams Biden’s Decision to Allow Ukrainian Strikes Inside Russia (Sp.)
Ukraine Conflict Is Reshaping War For the 21st Century (DeMartino)
The Popski Syndrome – Allied Defeat Turns Into Battlefield Fantasies (Helmer)
Presidents Who Gamble With Nuclear Armageddon (Jeffrey Sachs)
Russia’s Victory Over Ukraine Is Drawing Near (Scott Ritter)
Ukraine Won’t Exist In 50 Years – Tucker Carlson (RT)
Dave Smith Burns Chris Cuomo To The Ground In Epic Covid Debate (ZH)
Mark Rutte, The Dutch Invader, Is Sinking In The Hungarian Goulash (Helmer)
Huge Anti-War Rally In Budapest, Hungary (RT)

 

 

 

 

RFK Elon

 

 

Flynn/Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Eric Trump

 

 

JD Vance
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796593469546287378

 

 

 

 

Eva

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..a single accounting reporting charge, a misdemeanor, was magically turned into 34 federal felonies of election violations..”

“..legally this is a case for which there are no legal grounds for bringing it..”

Tyranny Is Upon Us: Law And Juries Are Weaponized (Paul Craig Roberts)

Jury Finds Trump Guilty on All 34 Felony Charges in New York Trial. Keep in mind that these are 34 made-up felonies based on how an expense was recorded by accountants and attorneys. Trump did not record the expense.The expense was recorded according to accounting standards. Keep in mind that a single accounting reporting charge, a misdemeanor, was magically turned into 34 federal felonies of election violations, if memory serves, the argument being that Trump won the election by misreporting the expense. There are so many civil and criminal show trials going on against Trump that it is hard to keep track of all the absurdities. Keep in mind that it is a case without complainants, without harmed parties. It is a case brought by a prosecutor who can show no party harmed. What is frightening is that legally this is a case for which there are no legal grounds for bringing it. Yet, the bar associations, the law schools, the media said nothing.

Getting Trump was so important that law was sacrificed for the purpose. Trump’s demonization made a fair trial impossible, and few jurors can resist using their power against a rich person. The weaponization of law in order to interfere with an election –in other words the prosecutor is guilty of interfering in an election–the charge brought against Trump– means the future of America is tyranny. An appeal will be made, but a state where justice is as corrupt as New York is incapable of producing a decision based on law. If there is any fight left in Americans, and I am unsure, a prison sentence from the totally corrupt judge should launch a civil war. Many would say it is about time or past time. If not, the people have submitted to tyranny. The North submitted to Lincoln’s tyranny. The South did not. Little is left of the South. It is unclear what stands against the tyranny of Washington.

Read more …

The constitutional law professor: “Even after sitting in the courtroom watching the trial and the verdict, I still have no idea what Trump was convicted of in the case..”

The Trump Trial Harkens Back to a Dark Period of American Law (Turley)

After years of trying — in the words of the judge — “to get the damned rascal in this court,” it was a conviction that many welcomed. But those words were not from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, and the conviction was not that of former President Donald Trump. Rather they were from US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase, at the end of the 18th century, when America embraced political prosecutions to target critics and opponents. The man on trial then was James T. Callender, a muckraking writer critical of President John Adams. For accusing politicians of corruption, Callender was charged with sedition, fined $200 and put in prison. It was one of the many political prosecutions carried out by the Adams administration. Political prosecutions are something most citizens associate with dictatorships. But the Trump prosecution has forced many to confront the undeniable reality of the politicization of our legal system. In many respects, President Biden and Democrats have re-created the Adams era.

Biden has led calls for censorship of political critics and his administration has coordinated the silencing and the blacklisting of those with opposing views. Democratic politicians have pressured social-media companies to serve as surrogates for the government in banning, throttling and defunding individuals and groups. Indeed, I have previously written that Biden is now the most anti-free-speech president since Adams. The Adams era also reflected the same blind loyalty of many media outlets. Federalist publications supported the crackdowns while echoing charges against political opponents as seditionists and insurrectionists. Jeffersonian publications, like Callender’s, attacked Adams for his “unbounded thirst for ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice.” The nation was divided down the middle as both sides accused each other of being traitors and insurrectionists. Sound familiar? Yet, it is the politicization of the legal system that is the most chilling return to the Adams era.

Even liberal legal analysts and figures have admitted that the case against Trump was unprecedented and would not have been brought against anyone other than Trump. CNN legal analyst Elie Honig recently wrote that there should be concern over a judge being appointed (not randomly selected) who is not just a Biden donor but someone who “has earmarked donations for ‘resisting the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s radical right-wing legacy.’” Adding to these concerns is the movement of the third-highest official in the Biden Justice Department to the staff of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to build the case against Trump. Before joining the case, Matthew Colangelo was also paid by the Democratic National Committee for “political consulting.” So Trump was convicted in a trial with a Biden donor judge, who has a daughter who is a major Democratic operative, a lead prosecutor previously paid as a DNC political consultant and a jury selected in a district that voted roughly 90% against Trump.

The trial itself was a travesty. Even after sitting in the courtroom watching the trial and the verdict, I still have no idea what Trump was convicted of in the case. The charges were built on a dead misdemeanor barred with the passage of the statute of limitations. It was zapped back into life by alleging that the falsification of business records occurred to unlawfully influence the 2016 presidential election. Merchan told the jury members that they did not have to agree on what those unlawful means may have been. Specifically, he allowed them to base their verdict on any one of three vaguely defined crimes of a federal election violation, falsification of business records or taxation violations.

Read more …

“The only thing better than that would be to witness the first president in US history to pardon himself as the Trump legacy goes full circle.”

The Democrats Just Sealed Donald Trump’s Victory In November (Bridge)

Members of the Democratic Party continue to fail to understand that the more mud they fling at the former president, the dirtier they look by comparison. On Thursday, a unanimous decision from a 12-person jury declared Donald Trump guilty on 34 felony counts, which could see the former president sentenced to 136 years in prison. There’s just one catch: the notorious Orange Man will never spend a single night behind bars. The worst that will happen for the Republican presidential frontrunner is that he will enter the race with a criminal record. Because the crimes are nonviolent and Trump has no prior convictions, any chance of prison time is a long shot. What could happen instead is that Judge Juan Merchan could sentence him to house arrest – which would undoubtedly make ankle bracelets, much like the famous Trump ‘mug shot,’ the latest fashion accessory – probation or some other lighter form of supervised release.

Another option that would backfire in the Democratic Party’s face is the imposition of community service. While Democrats may relish the idea of Trump being forced to join a prison work gang as punishment, it’s too easy to imagine millions of Trump supporters turning out at some soup kitchen or animal shelter to throw their support behind the most controversial figure in American politics today. And then there is the question of New York, the site of the Trump case, which is only second to the state of California when it comes to liberal residents. Trump inveighed against District Attorney Alvin Bragg, calling him the “Soros-backed DA.” As The New York Times wrote of the Bragg-Soros connection, “Soros donated to a liberal group that endorses progressive prosecutors and supports efforts to overhaul the criminal justice system – in line with causes that he has publicly supported for years. That group used a significant portion of the money to support Mr. Bragg in his 2021 campaign.”

On November 21, 2022, The Times reported that the district attorney’s office “has moved to jump-start its criminal investigation” into Trump’s reported “hush-money payment to a porn star who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump.” This was the first indictment of a former president in US history. Trump pleaded not guilty, yet was found guilty of all counts on May 30, 2024, making Bragg the first prosecutor in US history to win a conviction against a former president. Trump, who will be sentenced on July 11th, denies ever having had sex with Daniels. Another aspect of the Trump case that has rallied many to Trump’s defense is the political identity of the judge presiding over the case, Juan Merchan, whom Trump has criticized as “conflicted.” That may be an understatement when it is considered that Merchan donates to an organization called ‘Stop Republicans,’ as well as the Biden campaign.

Finally, Trump posted on his Truth Social platform that Loren Merchan, the judge’s daughter, is president of Authentic Campaigns, a Chicago-based progressive political consulting firm whose top clients include Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who was the lead prosecutor in Trump’s first impeachment trial. Merchan’s daughter helped raise at least $93 million in campaign donations – and used the Trump case in her solicitation emails – highlighting a major conflict of interest that have Trump supporters demanding Judge Merchan recuse himself from the case. Finally, there is the question of fairness when it is considered that New York is major Democrat country. Can Trump seriously hope for a fair trial to take place in this prominent Blue state? He certainly doesn’t think so.

Merchan imposed the 10th contempt of court fine of $1,000 for an April 22 interview in which the former president said: “That jury was picked so fast – 95% Democrats. The area’s mostly all Democrat.” While the Democrats may be rubbing their hands in glee after finally getting Trump entangled in the judicial net, they continue to ignore the fact that every scandal has only served to empower the 45th president. In the worst-case scenario, should Trump be sent to prison, this will not stop the flow of campaign cash from entering the GOP’s coffers; in fact, it is practically guaranteed that the spectacle of the Orange Man behind bars – complete with mug shot in prison garb – will be the best campaign promo of all time. The only thing better than that would be to witness the first president in US history to pardon himself as the Trump legacy goes full circle.

Read more …

Anything can be deepfake, and now you can’t hear any of it anymore. Unless it’s about Trump.

DOJ: You Can’t Hear The Biden-Hur ‘Memory Interview’ Because of Deepfakes (Sp.)

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is attempting to prevent the release of the audio of the infamous “memory interview” between US President Joe Biden and special counsel Robert Hur, arguing that “deepfakes” may appear as a result. Hur was investigating Biden’s handling of classified documents he obtained as a senator and vice president. While Hur wrote in his report that Biden likely violated the law intentionally, he declined to press charges because he thought Biden would appear to the jury as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” It also noted that Biden had trouble remembering when he was vice president and which year his son Beau died. The DOJ issued a filing on Friday that argued “The passage of time and advancements in audio, artificial intelligence, and ‘deep fake’ technologies only amplify concerns about malicious manipulation of audio files. If the audio recording is released here, it is easy to foresee that it could be improperly altered, and that the altered file could be passed off as an authentic recording and widely distributed.”

While the DOJ admits that there is plenty of “other raw material to create a deepfake of President Biden’s voice” available to unscrupulous actors, it argues that if the public became aware that the legitimate recording was released, they would be more apt to believe a fake recording is legitimate. The filing was first obtained by Politico. It is not known how the court will respond to the strange reasoning. If a legitimate copy of the recording were released, it stands to reason it would become easier –not more difficult– to disprove fake versions. As the DOJ admits in its filing as part of its argument that the release of the audio recording is unnecessary, the full transcript of the interview has already been released. It would be trivial for someone with AI experience to use the “raw material” already available of Biden to create a deepfake version of the interview and say it was leaked. A legitimate version being released would make that much easier for other internet users and the media to definitively debunk.

The filing also comes after Biden used his executive privilege to stop the release of the tape to House Republicans who had sought to obtain it as part of their investigation into the Biden family. The latest filing was in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The DOJ also argues that the release of the audio would be a violation of Biden’s privacy. However, since we already know what he said thanks to the transcript– and we have no reason to believe that the transcript is incorrect, the only thing that would be revealed is everything between those words. How long did Biden pause before answering? How many times did he stumble on his words? Did he sound confused or angry during the interview? These are the questions that could be revealed through the release of the audio and according to the filing, the DOJ doesn’t think it is in the “public interest” to reveal the answers, so much so that they are willing to resort to absurd fear-mongering over a new technology in hopes that the judge will be cowed into blocking its release.

Read more …

I split Ben Sellers’ piece in two. First, reality.

Desperate, Lying Biden May Abuse AI to Pull the Ultimate Race Hoax (Sellers)

It is patently clear that 99% of what comes out of Biden’s mouth, and those of his surrogates is an abject, gaslighting falsehood. Many in the voting public have now woken up to this fact, which is why we’ve seen so many red-pilled ex-Biden backers suddenly flipping their support to Trump in protest of all—or even some—of the above. Taking a page from Adolf Hitler, Democrats already primed people for the so-called Big Lie, deflecting from the fact that they were in the process of committing it by, appropriately enough, projecting it preemptively onto Republicans Regrettably, we may now be on the cusp of what history will record as the “Biggest Lie,” if and when the truth ever comes to light—something so shamefully bald-faced, so transparently manipulative, that most will think, “They wouldn’t dare lie about that.” But indeed, Biden has proven nothing if not that he will lie about anything.

We are witnessing the remarkable confluence of several disparate factors that are leading us on the path to the biggest race hoax in recorded history—and yet, it seems obvious, like a black swan event, that something so dastardly would be the inevitable outcome of putting the declining Democrat ethos and the rise in artificial intelligence-generated disinformation together in a tinderbox that includes the bombastic Donald Trump.On Thursday, a former producer from Trump’s ABC television show The Apprentice drudged up a long simmering rumor regarding tapes of Trump having used the n-word to refer to contestant Kwame Jackson. Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung called it a “a completely fabricated and bullsh*t story,” Politico reported. Many critics have pointed out that President Joe Biden’s own troubled history when it comes to making controversial remarks about race often undermines his current posturing about being a champion of minority causes.

Nonetheless, Biden’s campaign—after recently botching the rollout on an eight-figure effort to win back black voters—made hay of the Trump smear, releasing an official statement to torque up the race-baiting allegation. “No one is surprised that Donald Trump, who entered public life by falsely accusing [b]lack men of murder and entered political life spreading lies about the first [b]lack president, reportedly used the N-word to casually denigrate a successful [b]lack man,” claimed Jasmine Harris, the Biden campaign’s director of black media. The campaign also appeared to have been coordinating with Pruitt on the story, which he released in a Slate op-ed, as it had canned footage ready to roll out of former Trump staffer turned critic Omarosa Manigault Newman leveling unsubstantiated ‘racism’ claims against her ex-boss.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1796222579759358116

Read more …

Second, AI.

“..a new low-water mark for America, as it faces a bombardment of structure tests from the radical Marxist subversives hoping to topple it for once and for all.”

Artificial ‘N****R’ (Sellers)

Lost in the Trump Manhattan trial about his alleged falsification of business documents to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels was the fact that the $130,000 paid to Daniels by Michael Cohen did not fulfill its contracted purpose. Prior to the November 2016 election, the Wall Street Journal published a story that named Daniels and Playboy bunny Karen McDougal, alleging the two had received hush-money payments to keep quiet about their decade-old affairs with Trump. Within two years, some of the key players in the purported scandal were speaking openly about it. Suffice it to say, if Pruitt had the evidence at the time to support his allegation about Trump using the n-word on The Apprentice, those tapes would have found their way into the hands of interested parties somewhere along the way long before Trump’s third presidential run.

It is reasonable to infer that the absence of the tapes up to this point suggests they don’t exist. Frighteningly, what does now exist is a rapid surge in artificial intelligence technology that could allow the Biden campaign to produce fake tapes of Trump using the pejorative, sowing just enough suspicion among his nascent black supporters that they would flock back to the fold on the Democrat plantation. Already, we have seen the technology put to frightening use to imitate Biden’s voice in a fake robocall that went out to New Hampshire voters, telling them to stay home since he wasn’t on the ballot, despite an expensive write-in campaign to deliver him a victory in the Granite State. The deep-fake was traced back to the owner of a telecom company in Texas, who had previously donated money to Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The technology also has been misused to create pornography of high school students and to scam a company out of $25 million with a phony conference call. And oh yea, the CIA has admitted it is taking full advantage of it for undisclosed purposes. Most perniciously, it has already been used for at least one race hoax. A disgruntled high school athletic director in Baltimore was caught using deep-fake software to mimic the voice of his principal going on a racist and anti-Semitic rant in retaliation for a probe of his misappropriation of school funds. The rant appeared on Instagram and quickly began to circulate. Although AI was suspected almost immediately, Pikesville High School Eric Eiswert was subjected to negative publicity and an intensive forensic investigation that drew in the FBI and experts from the University of California, Berkeley, before he was ultimately vindicated.

The potential for AI abuse, paired with the Biden administration’s penchant and proclivity for it, would certainly lead one to wonder, should a tape of Trump using the “n-word” suddenly surface, whether its authenticity could be trusted. Would Biden, or another bad actor working on his behalf, be willing to stoop so low as to falsely smear someone with an entirely made-up tape in order to deceive and manipulate a particular class of voters into making a misinformed decision? Sadly, if past is prologue, one need no longer ask questions about the depths to which they will stoop. Will it work? If so, it would simultaneously be a breakthrough achievement in AI technology—the successful passage, perhaps, of a sort of Turing test on the road to singularity—and a new low-water mark for America, as it faces a bombardment of structure tests from the radical Marxist subversives hoping to topple it for once and for all.

Read more …

“..authorizing Ukraine to strike targets deep in Russia. Using our weapons, trained in their use by our trainers..”

RFK Jr. Slams Biden’s Decision to Allow Ukrainian Strikes Inside Russia (Sp.)

US presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. condemned President Joe Biden’s decision to greenlight Ukrainian strikes using US-supplied weapons inside Russian territory. “More insane escalation by the Biden administration — authorizing Ukraine to strike targets deep in Russia. Using our weapons, trained in their use by our trainers,” Kennedy said on X. In a major policy shift, Biden authorized the use of US weapons against military installations in Russia. A State Department spokesperson insisted that the authorization was limited to what they called “counter-fire purposes” in Kharkov (also known as Kharkiv) region. The US has not authorized the use of long-range missiles, including ATACMS, inside Russia, the spokesperson told Sputnik.

Read more …

Drones. And the “turtle tank.”

Ukraine Conflict Is Reshaping War For the 21st Century (DeMartino)

The weapons that shaped warfare in the 20th century: barbed wire, machine guns, tanks, long-range artillery, and battleships, still play significant roles on the battlefield in the 21st, but they are dwarfed in importance by one invention, from which multiple theaters have been affected: the drone. While specific numbers of their effectiveness are difficult to come by at this stage of the conflict (that will be a job for war historians) there is no doubt that it is the most significant innovation on the battlefield today, used by both sides to inflict large amounts of casualties on the other. During Ukraine’s failed 2023 counteroffensive, drones played a huge role in stopping that advance. With the possible exception of Russia’s distance mining equipment, which also took out large numbers of tanks, drones were pivotal in taking out NATO’s most powerful armor.

“[US media] admitted how useless the Abrams [tank] is when tens of millions of dollars per tank can be taken out by a $500 drone. It is a new model of warfare,” Mark Sleboda, a security and international relations expert told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Friday. “But it is an evolution of warfare that is occurring before our eyes. So, the Chinese and Americans are certainly paying very close attention,” he noted earlier in the interview. It is an opinion shared by former Marine and UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter. Speaking on the Danny Haiphong show, he explained how everything from tactics to logistics has been changed by drones. “When this war started, people were working off of Cold War-era doctrinal thinking. That is: you have tank columns, you have artillery that operates in battery or battalion sized formations flooding a zone, you have big arrow movements and things of that nature,” Ritter recalled. “[Then] drones started coming in, not just for targeting purposes, not just for deep strike purposes, but tactical drones on the battlefront. These FPV drones are a nightmare for soldiers.”

“If I tried to take Marines into combat using the tactics that I was taught,” Ritter continued “[With] two platoons online, basic fire etcetera, my base of fire would disappear because it’d be swarmed by FPV drones… then my Marines attacking would be hit by these drones and they’re all dead.” Much like Haig, this was a lesson that the Armed Forces of Ukraine failed to learn during their counteroffensive. Rabotino was intended to be the first minor step during that offensive that would lead to Tokmak which would serve as the staging ground for an assault on Melitopol. But as armor assault after armor assault was destroyed, it became apparent that the Ukrainians would never reach their goal. But, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky needed something to show his Western benefactors, so Rabotino became the goal. It took 71 days to capture the tiny village with a pre-war population of about 500 people, largely using the same tactics they began with. Ukraine lost dozens of expensive tanks and thousands of men capturing and then holding the village.

The Ukrainian offensive never went any further and in May, Russia recaptured the village. Just as the invention of the tank helped break the stalemate of the First World War, new technologies are emerging to counteract the drone and there it seems Russia has a decided advantage on that front. According to Military Watch Magazine, Russian electronic defenses have rendered Ukraine’s best artillery weapons all but useless, including the Excalibur GPS-guided artillery shells, the vaunted HIMARS rocket artillery systems and the JDAM precision-guided bombs. “Everything ended [in 2023]: the Russian deployed electronic warfare, disabled satellite signals, and HIMARS became completely ineffective,” one senior Ukrainian military official was quoted as saying. But the innovations on the battlefield aren’t exclusive to high technology, often they come from the soldiers on the ground. As tanks were increasingly taken out by drones, soldiers started adding cope cages in an attempt to protect them. This eventually led to the deployment of what is affectionately called the “turtle tank.”

Typically beginning with a T-72 tank, so-called turtle tanks are outfitted with a metal shell that covers almost the entirety of the tank, leaving only the very front and its cannon exposed to drone attack. While limiting the driver in visibility and maneuverability, those drawbacks have proven worth it. The Ukrainians who initially laughed at the turtle tank’s awkward appearance and low-tech solution quickly stopped laughing as they retreated from turtle tank assaults across the Western front.

Read more …

“..the Russian response will not be nuclear. That is impossible. There are a thousand options between doing nothing and going nuclear, and we can be sure the General Staff are working on all of them..”

The Popski Syndrome – Allied Defeat Turns Into Battlefield Fantasies (Helmer)

In war, exaggeration is a killer. In the media, exaggeration is a bestseller. In the current war there is a dearth of military and political analysts who for truth or money will tell the difference. Instead, when the mentality of the war fighters is a combination of racial superiority and spetsnaz derring-do, what you get is the conviction that with one more brilliant operation and one more super-weapon, victory can be snatched from every indicator of defeat because the adversary will be persuaded to accept negotiations as he loses his nerve. This is the meaning of the Anglo-American publicity which burst over the long Bank Holiday and Memorial Day weekend, as summer campaigning began in earnest for the July and November elections in the UK and US — with the incumbent in the former running 21 points behind, and the incumbent in the latter trailing on an approval margin of minus-16 points.

The Reuters propaganda agency, based in New York, is claiming to have found four Russians from “a senior level in the political and business worlds” to be talkative about what they say they know of the Kremlin’s end-of-war plans. “[President Vladimir] Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war… Putin would, however, be ready to settle for what land he has now and freeze the conflict at the current front lines, four of the sources said. ‘Putin will say that we won, that NATO attacked us and we kept our sovereignty, that we have a land corridor to Crimea, which is true,’ one of them said, giving their own analysis.” With just one more successful push from the Ukrainian side, Reuters and its four Russians believe, Putin will agree to give up his war. This push, which the western media have been amplifying this week, is the drone attacks on Russian radar stations for early warning of nuclear missile attack at Armavir, Krasnodar, and Orsk, Orenburg.

Although Russian military sources claim these attacks were pinpricks, and the second of them was shot out of the sky before detonation, western media are reporting that it is now the battle strategy of the US, the British, and the Ukrainians to provoke Putin into retaliation, crossing the red line of tactical nuclear warfare. That’s a red line, the allies are calculating, which Putin would rather negotiate end-of-war terms than cross. A retired Moscow military analyst warns against the exaggeration, not of the attacks themselves, but of Putin’s power to decide end-of-war terms over the opposition of the General Staff and the new Defense Ministry. “It is obvious the Ukrainians have had a string of successful breakthroughs,” the source acknowledges, “– against ships, airfields, refineries, and now this radar site. We also understand it is not the Ukrainians: all target selection, identification, guidance, and the hardware are American or European. Where the command control of these launch sites is, we do not know but it might well not be in Ukraine.”

“But the Russian response will not be nuclear. That is impossible. There are a thousand options between doing nothing and going nuclear, and we can be sure the General Staff are working on all of them. So when people say this is provocation for a nuclear strike and that [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky is provoking it, we understand that, first, NATO planners know Putin will not go nuclear because he and his generals are too rational and sane. And second, Zelensky is not the one making the provocations. So the real red line now is not the nuclear arms provocations from the NATO side. That’s a fantasy of theirs. Just so, in response, I think it’s time Putin stops making threats and strikes at the source of these operations.” When desperate weakness triggers battlefield fantasies, call this the Popski Syndrome.

Popski was the call sign and unit nickname assigned by the British Army headquarters in Cairo to a tiny unit of behind-the-lines special forces operating against the Italian and German armies in the Libyan deserts from late in 1941 until September 1943, when the war moved on to Italy, taking Popski with it. Popski’s unit numbered 24 men to start in Libya; in Italy, by the war’s end, it had reached 80. Vladimir Peniakoff was Popski, born to wealthy Jewish Russians who fled the Revolution to install their aluminium business and themselves in Belgium, then the UK. With London publisher Jonathan Cape, Peniakoff imagined he could turn his small guerrilla war in the Libyan and Tunisian deserts into something approaching the bestsellerdom of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E.Lawrence’s story of the war of the Arabian peninsula tribes against the Turks between 1916 and 1918; first published in 1926.

Read more …

A timeline.

Presidents Who Gamble With Nuclear Armageddon (Jeffrey Sachs)

The Doomsday Clock was at 17 minutes to midnight when Clinton came to office, but just 9 minutes when he left it. Bush pushed the clock to just 5 minutes, Obama to 3 minutes, and Trump to a mere 100 seconds. Now Biden has taken the clock to 90 seconds. Most presidents, and most Americans, have little idea how close to the abyss we are. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which was founded in 1947 in part to help the world avoid nuclear annihilation, established the Doomsday Clock to help the public understand the gravity of the risks we face. National security experts adjust the clock depending how far or how close we are to “midnight,” meaning extinction. They put the clock today at just 90 seconds to midnight, the closest that it’s ever been in the nuclear age.

The clock is a useful measure of which presidents have “gotten it” and which have not. The sad fact is that most presidents have recklessly gambled with our survival in the name of national honor, or to prove their personal toughness, or to avoid political attacks from the warmongers, or as the result of sheer incompetence. By a simple and straightforward count, five presidents have gotten it right, moving the clock away from midnight, while nine have moved us closer to Armageddon, including the most recent five. Truman was president when the Doomsday Clock was unveiled in 1947, at 7 minutes to midnight. Truman stoked the nuclear arms race and left office with the clock at just 3 minutes to midnight. Eisenhower continued the nuclear arms race but also entered into the first-ever negotiations with the Soviet Union regarding nuclear disarmament. By the time he left office, the clock was put back to 7 minutes to midnight.

Kennedy saved the world by coolly reasoning his way through the Cuban Missile Crisis, rather than following the advice of hothead advisors who called for war (for a detailed account, see Martin Sherwin’s magisterial Gambling with Armageddon, 2020). He then negotiated the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with Khrushchev in 1963. By the time of his death, which may well have been a government coup resulting from Kennedy’s peace initiative, JFK had pushed the clock back to 12 minutes to midnight, a magnificent and historic achievement. It was not to last. Lyndon Johnson soon escalated in Vietnam and pushed the clock back again to just 7 minutes to midnight. Richard Nixon eased tensions with both the Soviet Union and China, and concluded the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I), pushing the clock again to 12 minutes from midnight. Yet Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter failed to secure SALT II, and Carter fatefully and unwisely gave a green light to the CIA in 1979 to destabilize Afghanistan. By the time Ronald Reagan took office, the clock was at just 4 minutes to midnight.

The next 12 years marked the end of the Cold War. Much of the credit is due to Mikhail Gorbachev, who aimed to reform the Soviet Union politically and economically, and to end the confrontation with the West. Yet credit is also due to Reagan and his successor George Bush, Sr., who successfully worked with Gorbachev to end the Cold War, which in turn was followed by the end of the Soviet Union itself in December 1991. By the time Bush left office, the Doomsday clock was at 17 minutes to midnight, the safest since the start of the nuclear age.

Read more …

UKiev.

Russia’s Victory Over Ukraine Is Drawing Near (Scott Ritter)

By the time the counteroffensive ground to a halt, in December 2023, Ukraine was a spent force militarily. Its armed forces had used up their reserves of manpower. NATO had depleted its stocks of available military materiel. And the West had become politically exhausted at the prospect of a never-ending conflict which seemed destined to result in an endless cycle of throwing good money after bad, all the while failing to bring about the strategic goal of defeating Russia. Moscow, on the other hand, emerged from the 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive in a good position. From a military perspective, the Russians had won the war of attrition with Ukraine and the collective West – basic military math had Ukraine consuming manpower and material resources at a far greater rate than they could be replenished, making Kiev grow physically weaker every day the conflict dragged on, while the Russians were able to accumulate manpower and material resources at a rate far greater than Ukraine was able to destroy, meaning Russia grew stronger every day te conflict continued.

Economically, Ukraine and its Western backers were exhausted. The blowback from the aggressive anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the West had severely curtailed the industrial capacity of the European members of the NATO alliance to sustain the scope and scale of its military support to Ukraine, while domestic political realities in the US, amplified by the fact that it was engaged in a hotly contested presidential election cycle, paralyzed the American ability to sustain Ukraine financially. The military and economic exhaustion of Ukraine and the collective West severely impacted the ability of this coalition to politically sustain support for a war that had no discernable prospect of ending well. While the conflict has not, by any stretch of the imagination, been without cost to Russia, the approach taken by the leadership, to create conditions on the battlefield designed to maximize enemy losses while minimizing their own, meant that Moscow entered 2024 in a much stronger position militarily, economically, and – perhaps most importantly – politically.

War, it has been said, is an extension of politics by other means, and this is no exception to the age-old adage. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest electoral victory has provided the leadership in Moscow with a political mandate that strengthens Russia’s hand considerably, especially contrasted with the weakened posture of Ukraine. It is within such a context that the Russian offensive north of Kharkov must be evaluated. From a military-political standpoint, the operation has a specific objective – to push Ukrainian forces back from the border with Russia so that Ukrainian artillery and rocket systems can no longer strike Russian territory. But there is a larger purpose for this offensive – to continue the process of grinding down the Ukrainian military, to complete the larger task of ”demilitarization” set by the Kremlin.

In this, Russia is succeeding. First and foremost, by attacking north of Kharkov, Moscow has compelled UKiev to commit not only the last of its mobile strategic reserves in response but, because these forces are inadequate in strength, to force Ukraine to strip away units on the eastern line of contact, in Kherson, Zaporozhye and Donbass, and to divert them to the Kharkov direction. The depletion of reserves is part and parcel of the overall Russian strategy of attrition. Moreover, as these forces displace to the Kharkov region, they are being interdicted by Russian air, missile, and drone strikes, further eroding their combat power. The result is that Ukraine is now defending a longer line of defense with even fewer forces than it started with.

Read more …

“They’re already selling off lands in Ukraine to foreign investors, and they will flood Ukraine with third-world immigrants and Ukraine will not exist in 50 years..”

Ukraine Won’t Exist In 50 Years – Tucker Carlson (RT)

The US has “betrayed” Ukraine and will destroy the country by selling off its land and “flooding” it with third-world immigrants, American journalist Tucker Carlson predicted in an interview with former President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr. In a video interview published on Friday, Carlson and Trump Jr. both agreed that US President Joe Biden had brought the world to the brink of World War III, and that the US is essentially “at war with Russia.” “No-one’s articulated what victory in Ukraine looks like,” Trump Jr. said. “I don’t know what it means. Is it just like perpetual death of Ukrainians and Russians until they’re all wiped out and Blackrock comes in there and takes over all the farmland? That’s what it feels like to me.” Blackrock is the world’s biggest investment company, and controls an estimated $10 trillion in assets. The firm is one of Ukraine’s largest foreign bondholders, and in 2022 signed a memorandum of understanding with Kiev stating that it would manage Ukraine’s post-conflict reconstruction.

Several BlackRock alumni serve in the Biden administration, including Brian Deese, the head of the National Economic Council. After Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky signed a controversial package of land reforms into law in 2020, foreign investment firms like NCH Capital, BNP, and the Vanguard Group now control around 28% of Ukraine’s arable land, according to research by the Oakland Institute, an American think tank. Zelensky’s reforms were backed by the International Monetary Fund and US Agency for International Development. “They’re already selling off lands in Ukraine to foreign investors, and they will flood Ukraine with third-world immigrants and Ukraine will not exist in 50 years,” Carlson stated. “There’ll be no Ukrainian nation. We betrayed them like no other country ever.”

Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised that he would end the Ukraine conflict “in 24 hours” if re-elected this November, telling a Libertarian Party conference last weekend that he intends to “quit spending hundreds of billions of dollars to fight other people’s wars.” Trump has never fully elaborated on how he would do this, save for forcing Zelensky to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but recent reports by Bloomberg and the Washington Post suggest that he would leverage the US’ massive military assistance to Kiev to pressure Zelensky into accepting the loss of some of Ukraine’s pre-conflict territory. However, Trump’s rhetoric on Russia has toughened in recent months, with the former president telling donors last week that he “would have bombed” Moscow when Russia’s military operation began in 2022. Trump did not lobby his Congressional allies to block a $61 billion aid package for Kiev in April, and said at the time that he would support lending, rather than gifting, money to Zelensky in future.

Read more …

“..you ate up every piece of propaganda, repeated all of it without any thought to whether it was true or not..”

Dave Smith Burns Chris Cuomo To The Ground In Epic Covid Debate (ZH)

For the legions of us who still carry righteous rage about the tyrannical and destructive Covid-19 regime, the planets aligned on Friday and gave us the enormous, vicarious pleasure of watching one of libertarianism’s most articulate voices repeatedly pummel one of the most visible villains of that dark era. In a debate hosted by Patrick Bet-David of PBD Podcast fame, “Part of the Problem” podcaster and comedian Dave Smith took on former CNN anchor and Covid regime propagandist Chris Cuomo. From lockdowns to masks, vaccines, Ivermectin and the vilification of resisters, the debate covered a lot of ground, with Smith dropping one laser-guided bomb after another on Cuomo.

Let’s dive right into the highlights…First, Smith opened the debate with a gentlemanly gesture, giving Cuomo a copy of the Tom Woods book, “Diary of a Psychosis: How Public Health Disgraced Itself During Covid Mania.” Tongue in cheek, he said, “I know you like following the science, and there’s a whole lot of science in that book.” Before the next clip, recall that, in an infamous segment on CNN, Cuomo and Don Lemon smugly battered Joe Rogan and others who used Ivermectin to battle Covid. Despite the fact that Ivermectin has been used since 1975 with great success against a wide variety of human maladies, Cuomo and Lemon ran hard with the regime narrative that referred to the wonder drug solely as a veterinary de-wormer.

Earlier this month, Cuomo revealed to Bet-David that he’s now himself taking a “regular dose of Ivermectin” for purported long Covid. However, In this jaw-dropping sequence, Cuomo stunned anyone with a memory of his exchange with Lemon by saying, “I don’t like what people did to Joe Rogan about Ivermectin.” A stunned Smith replied, “YOU did it!” Cuomo denied it and challenged Smith to “find the clips.” The PBD crew obliged, promptly rolling the damning video: Smith condemned Cuomo for failing to do his job, which was to “be skeptical of power and to shine a light against the propaganda…you ate up every piece of propaganda, repeated all of it without any thought to whether it was true or not, and then smeared millions of Americans like myself who were opposed to this stuff.” Cuomo said Smith was guilty of using “hyperbole” in referring to the Covid regime as “totalitarian.” An unwavering Smith had a pointed and compelling response: Smith elaborated, explaining why “it was completely criminal for all of these governments to lock down”…

Asked whether lockdowns were a net benefit — or instead erred on the side of catastrophe — Cuomo drew audience laughter when he said, “The people I talked to — who made these decisions — stand by them.” Smith quipped, “I’m sure Dick Cheney stands by the war in Iraq too!” Smith grew indignant when Cuomo suggested that Smith’s focus was on drawing attention to himself — to the detriment of society. Smith countered: “You’re attacking my motives…meanwhile, when those CNN checks were coming in, you said nothing that would have put them in jeopardy, but now that you’re here, you’re starting to tell a little bit of the truth.”

[..] Alas, amid the joy of Smith’s outstanding performance, there was a wistful element too, as many who’d hoped Smith would carry the flag of liberty as the 2024 Libertarian Party presidential candidate were reminded of what a remarkable champion he would have been — in stark contrast to the leftist, open-borders, drag-queen-promoting, kid-transing doozie the party ended up with. That said, far be it from us to end a feel-good story on a down note. Our highlight reel just scratched the surface: If you’re looking for weekend entertainment, here’s the entire debate, which also covers much more Covid ground, Trump’s trumped-up conviction and a lot more:

Dave Smith CNN
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796766419709022460

Read more …

“We certainly can’t support the election of a person to the position of NATO’s secretary general, who previously wanted to force Hungary on its knees..”

Mark Rutte, The Dutch Invader, Is Sinking In The Hungarian Goulash (Helmer)

The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte was the first leader of a NATO state to try to send his soldiers on to the Ukrainian battlefield to fight Russian forces directly. That was in July 2014, in the aftermath of the Ukrainian shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. That Rutte scheme failed after it was vetoed by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel; she insisted on more time to prepare the NATO forces in the Ukraine to fight Russia. Now that they are, Rutte is the US candidate to become the new secretary-general of NATO. For the first time, however, his appointment is being vetoed by a NATO member, Hungary, which has proposed an alternative candidate – the ethnic German Klaus Iohannis, who is President of Romania. Because NATO rules require unanimity on the secretary-general, the Hungarian objection puts the Rutte nomination in the soup — make that goulash.

Rutte’s plan to deploy up to 9,000 troops in the Donbass had been devised in the summer of 2014 with two other Dutchmen – David Petraeus, who is also a US national, a US Army general, and former CIA director; and Sandra Roelofs, a Dutch national who held Georgian citizenship because she was married to Mikheil Saakashvili, onetime President of Georgia. Their cover story was that the NATO military intervention force was required to recover the black boxes of the downed MH17 aircraft and the bodies of the passengers, most of them Dutch. Every one of Rutte’s attempts to go to war with Russia has ended in exposure of his personal lying; the collapse of the Dutch-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); and the loss of almost €30 billion in bilateral trade – oil and petroleum products from Russia; Dutch pharmaceuticals, medical technology, financial services, cut flowers, seeds and plants.

None of these losses has had material or political impact on the domestic Dutch constituencies or the Dutch media, which have accepted the state propaganda line, and in the case of the Dutch media owner, Derk Sauer, the money to keep repeating it. The book documenting the collaboration of Rutte and his officials in fabricating the narrative of Russian culpability in the MH17 crash, concealing the role of Kiev president Petro Poroshenko, and manipulating the evidence at The Hague District Court show trial, can be read here. Defeated at the Dutch parliamentary election last November, Rutte has been replaced as prime minister by a coalition of parties led by Geert Wilders, who agreed this week to Hendrikus (“Dick”) Schoof as prime minister. Schoof is a Dutch deep-stater and career liar who was promoted by the MH17 affair into the Dutch equivalent of the FBI, and then into the top job of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security.

According to a veteran Dutch political analyst, “the nomination of Dick Schoof is a terrible fact. He is the head of the secret services responsible for NATO agitprop on MH17, on OPCW, on the so-called Covid protective measures. Also, he was responsible for the protection of Geert Wilders [from Islamic attacks]. In a way Wilders has been his prisoner – Schoof has been the jailer who has held the keys to Wilders’s physical survival. Schoof has also been protecting Rutte from personal scandal. He’s the J.Edgar Hoover type of secret policeman.” The Russian reaction to Rutte’s nomination for the NATO post was muted until the Hungarian government announced that it is opting out of NATO operations, financial support and arms supplies to the Ukraine war; and that it will not accept Rutte at NATO. “We certainly can’t support the election of a person to the position of NATO’s secretary general, who previously wanted to force Hungary on its knees,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said several weeks ago.

Read more …

“I’m saying this slowly so that Brussels would understand: we will not go to war. We will not go to the East for a third time, we will not go to the Russian front again.”

Huge Anti-War Rally In Budapest, Hungary (RT)

Hundreds of thousands participated in a peace march in Hungary’s capital, Budapest on Saturday, denouncing the EU’s policy of escalating tensions with Russia. The event culminated with a speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who accused Brussels of bringing Europe closer to a global conflict. The demonstrators marched from the iconic Chain Bridge to Margaret Island on the Danube River. Many carried flags, chanted pacifist slogans, and held signs reading “No war” and “Give us peace, Lord.” “Never before have so many people lined up for peace. We are the biggest peace corps, the largest peacekeeping force in Europe,” the prime minister said, as quoted by Reuters. “Europe must be prevented from rushing into war, into its own destruction.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1796910522383704217

Orban said his country must draw lessons from the devastation it went through the darkest times of the 20th century. “In the two world wars, the Hungarians lost 1.5 million lives, and with them – their future children and grandchildren,” he told the crowd. “I’m saying this slowly so that Brussels would understand: we will not go to war. We will not go to the East for a third time, we will not go to the Russian front again.” Orban urged everyone to support the “pro-peace and pro-sovereignty” agenda of the ruling Fidesz party in the European Parliament election next week. “Do we want to shed Hungarian blood for Ukraine? No, we don’t,” he said. The pro-war [forces] have gone beyond common sense by wanting to defeat Russia as they tried to do during the First World War and the Second World war.

Since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Orban has repeatedly accused the EU leadership in Brussels of dangerous brinkmanship with Moscow and warned that the bloc must not allow itself to be dragged into a full-blown war. Budapest has refused to provide any military aid to Ukraine and threatened to veto financial assistance to Kiev. Orban heavily criticized the economic sanctions imposed on Moscow by the EU, arguing that the bloc had “shot itself in the lungs” by undermining trade and its own energy supply.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Moore Peterson

 

 

Oxdog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796805027706621955

 

 

Giraffes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796194713969537066

 

 

Thank you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796891909656310164

 

 

Happiness
https://twitter.com/i/status/1797011583891116440

 

 

Fishing net

 

 

Emmanuel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796791908389323179

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 262024
 


Edward Hopper People in the sun 1963

 

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

 

 

 

 

Merchan

 

 

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

 

 

Thatcher

 

 

Nigel Ursula

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

Of Men and Myths (Jim Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

Treason of the Intellectuals and Danger From Within (Brooks)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

But that was okay.

Dems Demand SCOTUS Justice Alito Recusal (ZH)

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

EU Marks a Sharp Decline in Population (Sp.)

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Matthau

 

 

Lennon

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 102024
 
 April 10, 2024  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Fall of the Rebel Angels 1562

 

(Hunter) Biden-Linked Burisma Used For Terror Attacks In Russia – Moscow (RT)
Burisma ‘Vehicle To Launder Taxpayer Money’ – Lawyer (RT)
Musk Warns Of Terrorist Threat To US (RT)
No Russian Misinfo On X, But Western Influence Ops Present – Musk (RT)
Musk: Starlink Free for Brazil Schools If Government Cancels Contract (ET)
‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza (Patrick Lawrence)
Ukraine ‘Losing The War’ – Chuck Schumer (RT)
Ukrainian NATO Membership ‘Fundamentally Unacceptable’ – Moscow (RT)
‘High-Intensity War In Europe No Longer A Fantasy’ – Borrell (RT)
China Sending Message That ‘It Has Russia’s Back’ If West Escalates (Sp.)
‘Russiagate’ About Seizing Power as Much as Stopping Trump (Sp.)
Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim (ET)
Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit (ZH)
Neom: Saudi Arabia ‘Scales Back’ Goals Of Megacity Project (MEE)
Boeing Shares Tumble After NYT Reveals Whistle-Blower Report (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Chasing Trump

 

 

Colbert AOC

 

 

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777710201937732085

 

 

CIA contractor

 

 

Finkelstein
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777519791168696416

 

 

 

 

“The same company that hired Hunter Biden and paid Joe Biden to get the prosecutor fired who was investigating them.”

(Hunter) Biden-Linked Burisma Used For Terror Attacks In Russia – Moscow (RT)

Criminal probes into the financing of terrorist activities in Russia and abroad have been launched against several private companies, the country’s Investigative Committee announced on Tuesday. The list of suspects includes the Ukrainian industrial conglomerate Burisma Holdings, linked to a corruption scandal surrounding the Biden family that has been dragging on for years. The criminal investigation stems from a complaint filed by a group of Russian MPs and public figures in the aftermath of the deadly Crocus City Hall attack outside Moscow last month. The original complaint identified the US and its allies as allegedly organizing a string of attacks on Russian soil. So far, investigators have “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia,” committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.

Terrorist activities have also reached beyond the country, aimed at the “elimination of prominent political and public figures, as well as causing economic damage,” she added. The committee’s specialists have been working “in cooperation with other intelligence services and financial intelligence,” Petrenko noted. The scrutiny currently revolves around “checking sources of income and further movement of funds in the amount of several million US dollars,” and examining the potential involvement of “specific individuals from among government officials, people with civic and commercial organizations of Western countries,” the spokeswoman stated. Burisma is probably best known internationally for its controversial ties to the current first family in the US. In the spring of 2014, following the US-backed coup in Kiev, the Ukrainian energy firm hired Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer on its board of directors, offering $1 million a year in pay.

Biden’s father Joe was President Barack Obama’s vice president at the time, and oversaw Washington’s Ukraine policy. He once famously bragged about getting a corruption prosecutor fired – which just happened to occur after that prosecutor began investigating Burisma. Nikolay Zlochevsky’s company also offered protection payments to the government in Kiev, according to former Ukrainian MP Andrey Derkach. Zlochevsky paid some “800 million hryvnias [over $21 million] for terrorism financing” in “various jurisdictions,” Derkach claimed in January. “The leaders of Ukraine’s security services make no secret of the fact that they carry out terrorist acts and political assassinations for extra-budgetary cash,” he said at the time. “Once again: Biden’s partners in the corruption business in Ukraine finance terrorist acts, thus avoiding responsibility for corruption in Ukraine.” Derkach claimed it was common practice for the owners of large businesses in Ukraine to ‘donate’ to the war effort in exchange for immunity from prosecution. He pointed to a criminal case against Zlochevsky relating to a $6 million cash bribe that ended with the Burisma owner paying a $1,800 fine.

Read more …

It’s ideally situated for the purpose.

Burisma ‘Vehicle To Launder Taxpayer Money’ – Lawyer (RT)

The Russian Investigative Committee on Tuesday said it launched a criminal probe into the financing of terrorism, naming the Ukrainian industrial conglomerate Burisma among the suspects. RT spoke about the unfolding scandal to Arnaud Develay, an international human rights advocate and the author of a book covering ties between the Ukrainian company and the family of US President Joe Biden. “This is something that the Russian Investigative Committee is going to have to determine to be sure, but this is nothing new,” Develay stated, describing the Ukrainian company as a “vehicle to launder taxpayers’ money.” The investigators have already “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia” and beyond.

Should the allegation prove to be true, the West will try its best to swipe the whole affair under the rug, as well as to derail any attempts to bring it before international bodies, Develay believes. “They would try to fight tooth and nail to basically deny it,” he said, adding that an attempt to establish a UN-backed tribunal to handle the affair is bound to get vetoed by the “Big Three” – the US, the UK and France. “This is something that is going to have to be handled a different way,” he warned. Develay’s work, titled ‘Foreign Entanglements: Ukraine, Biden & the Fractured American Political Consensus’ is set for public release on Wednesday.

Webb Burisma

Read more …

“..the ability of illegal migrants to cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without showing any identification “has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.”

Musk Warns Of Terrorist Threat To US (RT)

Elon Musk has warned that a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 could take place in the US unless the crisis at the southern border and the uncontrolled influx of migrants is addressed. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the remarks in response to an X post by former Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who called for mass deportations and the sealing of the US-Mexico border. “Even if only 0.1% of illegal aliens who’ve crossed our border have hostile intentions, that’s tens of thousands of would-be attackers,” Ramaswamy pointed out, suggesting that unless special attention is paid to the issue, “we’re paving the way for another 9/11-scale tragedy.” Musk replied, saying it is “only a matter of time” before such a disaster unfolds.

Previously, the billionaire argued that the ability of illegal migrants to cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without showing any identification “has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.” His claim followed reports that Venezuela’s homicide rate had dropped to its lowest in 22 years – with some suggesting this was due to Venezuelan gangs moving to the US. Meanwhile, a Politico report published last month suggested that US President Joe Biden was considering offering permanent residency to millions of illegal immigrants. Musk responded to the news by accusing the US Democratic party of intentionally opening up the southern border in order to “import voters.”

There are currently thought to be around 10.5 million illegal immigrants living in the US, according to data compiled by Pew Research in 2021. However, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security, at least 6.3 million more have entered the US in the years since. In February, Musk claimed Biden’s plan to keep the Democrats in power was a “very simple” one, which involves getting “as many illegals in the country as possible,” then legalizing those people “to create a permanent majority.” The state of the US-Mexico border has become one of the key issues in US politics over the past year amid a historic influx of millions of immigrants. Republican lawmakers have been demanding tighter controls and more money to be set aside to deal with the border crisis, prompting them to use a multi-billion-dollar aid package for Ukraine as leverage.

Read more …

“A lot of people still run under the illusion that the legacy newspapers they read are actually true. There is so much nonsense in them..”

No Russian Misinfo On X, But Western Influence Ops Present – Musk (RT)

The owner of X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk, has rejected accusations that Russian misinformation was widespread on his platform. The entrepreneur, who describes himself as a champion of free speech, has been accused of making the social network vulnerable to Russian activities by changing its content moderation protocols after purchasing Twitter in 2022. His latest denial came on Tuesday, while he was discussing X on ‘In Good Company’, a podcast. Host Nicolai Tangen suggested that Russian activity via fake accounts was “huge” in Germany. “We don’t see a lot of Russian activity, to be frank, on the system. We see very little,” Musk responded. “We do see a lot of attempts to influence things, but they seem to be coming from the West, not from Russia.”

Tangen’s remark apparently referred to claims made by Berlin in January. The German government said that the use of specialized monitoring software had allowed it to identify an estimated 50,000 fake accounts engaged in a pro-Russian misinformation campaign on X. Local press claimed that the messaging was strikingly similar to that of the right-wing opposition party AfD. Germany is not alone in its wariness regarding Moscow’s influence; this week US Congressman Mike Turner, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, accused some fellow Republicans of repeating ‘Russian propaganda’ in the chamber.

“It is absolutely true we see, directly coming from Russia, attempts to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor,” the Ohio congressman told CNN’s Jake Tapper. Similar remarks came last week from House Foreign Affairs chair Michael McCaul, another Republican lawmaker. In his interview, Musk hailed X as arguably “the best source of truth on the Internet” that, he argued, by far surpasses traditional news outlets in terms of accuracy thanks to user-driven fact-checking tools. “A lot of people still run under the illusion that the legacy newspapers they read are actually true. There is so much nonsense in them,” he lamented.

Read more …

“We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump..”

Musk: Starlink Free for Brazil Schools If Government Cancels Contract (ET)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said he will provide Starlink services free of charge for schools in Brazil if the government chooses to follow through and cancel a contract for the service in the country. Many schools in Brazil have reported using the company to provide internet access to their citizens. Starlink terminals connect to the company’s satellites in low Earth orbit and provide high-speed communications. Brazil’s government has reportedly announced plans to suspend all contracts with Starlink. Prompting Mr. Musk to offer the service free of charge. “Starlink will provide free Internet for schools in Brazil if the government won’t honor their contract,” he said in an April 8 social media post. The moves come amid a growing stoush between social media company X, also owned by Mr. Musk, and the Brazilian government.

According to an April 6 post on the platform, the global affairs team announced they were being “forced by court decisions to block certain popular accounts in Brazil.” “We do not know the reasons these blocking orders have been issued. We do not know which posts are alleged to violate the law. We are prohibited from saying which court or judge issued the order, or on what grounds,” the post said. The global affairs team claimed the company had been threatened with fines if they didn’t comply with the order. They also said they were unable to provide a list of which accounts were impacted. “We believe that such orders are not in accordance with the Marco Civil da Internet or the Brazilian Federal Constitution, and we challenge the orders legally where possible,” the post from the global affairs team said.

“The people of Brazil, regardless of their political beliefs, are entitled to freedom of speech, due process, and transparency from their own authorities.” The announcement came after a report by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, titled “Twitter Files Brazil.” Mr. Shellenberger said that sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists were among those named by Brazil’s highest court for censorship. He has shared his findings on X. Mr. Musk announced soon after he had removed all content restrictions in Brazil in defiance of the order.

[..] Mr. Musk has made serious allegations of corruption against Justice de Moraes and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In a follow-up April 8 post, Mr. Musk claims that events have since escalated and all Twitter Brazil employees are in danger of arrest. Once safe, he will release the information proving his allegations. “We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump,” he said. “They have been told they will be arrested. Save the Brazilian X employees.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1777796067225989299

Read more …

“A second AI system, sadistically named “Where’s Daddy?”—and how sick is this?—was then used to track Hamas suspects to their homes..”

‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza (Patrick Lawrence)

ZURICH—“Technological change, while it helps humanity meet the challenges nature imposes upon us, leads to a paradigm shift: It leaves us less capable, not more, of using our intellectual capacities. It diminishes our minds in the long run. We strive to improve ourselves while risking a regression to the Stone Age if our ever more complex, ever more fragile technological infrastructure collapses.” That is Hans Köchler, an eminent Viennese scholar and president of the International Progress Organization, a globally active think tank, addressing an audience here last Thursday evening, April 4. The date is significant: The day before Köchler spoke, +972 Magazine and Local Call, independent publications in Israel–Palestine, reported that as the Israel Defense Forces press their savage invasion of the Gaza Strip, they deploy an artificial intelligence program called Lavender that so far has marked some 37,000 Palestinians as kill targets.

In the early weeks of the Israeli siege, according to the Israeli sources +972 cites, “the army gave sweeping approval for officers to adopt Lavender’s kill lists, with no requirement to thoroughly check why the machine made those choices or to examine the raw intelligence data on which they were based.” Chilling it was to hear Köchler speak a couple of news cycles after +972 published these revelations, which are based on confidential interviews with six Israeli intelligence officers who have been directly involved in the use of AI to target Palestinians for assassination. “To use technologies to solve all our problems reduces our ability to make decisions,” Köchler asserted. “We’re no longer able to think through problems. They remove us from real life.” Köchler titled his talk “The Trivialization of Public Space,” and his topic, broadly stated, was the impact of technologies such as digital communications and AI on our brains, our conduct, and altogether our humanity.

It was sobering, to put the point mildly, to recognize that Israel’s siege of Gaza, bottomlessly depraved in itself, is an in-our-faces display of the dehumanizing effects these technologies have on all who depend on them. Let us look on in horror, and let us see our future in it. We see in the IDF, to make this point another way, a rupture in morality, human intelligence, and responsibility when human oversight is mediated by the algorithms that run AI systems. There is a break between causality and result, action and consequence. And this is exactly what advanced technologies have in store for the rest of humanity. Artificial intelligence, as Köchler put it, is not intelligence: “It is ‘simulated intelligence’ because it has no consciousness of itself.” It isn’t capable, he meant to say, of moral decision-making or ethical accountability.

In the Lavender case, the data it produced were accepted and treated as if they had been generated by a human being without any actual human oversight or independent verification. A second AI system, sadistically named “Where’s Daddy?”—and how sick is this?—was then used to track Hamas suspects to their homes. The IDF intentionally targeted suspected militants while they were with their families, using unguided missiles or “dumb” bombs. This strategy had the advantage of enabling Israel to preserve its more expensive precision-guided weapons, or “smart” bombs. As one of +972’s sources told the magazine: “We were not interested in killing [Hamas] operatives only when they were in a military building or engaged in a military activity… . On the contrary, the IDF bombed them in homes without hesitation, as a first option. It’s much easier to bomb a family’s home. The system is built to look for them in these situations.”

Read more …

BUT: “.. if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.”

Ukraine ‘Losing The War’ – Chuck Schumer (RT)

Ukraine is failing on the battlefield because of a lack of American funding, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday. He demanded the House Republicans pass the $61 billion aid bill as soon as possible. Schumer, a New York Democrat, brought up Ukraine in a speech about the upcoming US legislative agenda. The Democrat-majority Senate passed the funding proposal in mid-February, but the Republican-majority House has not voted on it yet. “The situation in Ukraine is desperate,” Schumer said, claiming that the funding bill has been “collecting dust” for 55 days while “our friends in Ukraine fight and die on the battlefield with no support.” With each passing day, Ukraine is running out of more soldiers, ammunition and hope, he added. “Let’s be blunt: the biggest reason Ukraine is losing the war is because the hard-right in the Congress has paralyzed the US from acting. That’s it, that’s the reason,” Schumer said.

By passing the bill, House Speaker Mike Johnson would “do the right thing for Ukraine, for America, and for democracy,” the New York Democrat argued. Otherwise, he claimed, the Republicans would hand a “large victory” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schumer made much the same argument while visiting Ukraine in late February, claiming that if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.” Democrats have sought to split the GOP into “moderates” and “MAGA Republicans” – referring to former US President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ – to get support for their legislative agenda in both chambers of Congress. The tactic has paid off in the Senate, where 22 Republicans voted in favor of funding Ukraine, more than offsetting three Democrats who were opposed.

Republicans currently have a razor-thin majority in the 435-member House, with 218 seats to the Democrats’ 213. Johnson became speaker in late October, after a group of disgruntled GOP lawmakers voted to oust his predecessor Kevin McCarthy for striking a secret deal with the Democrats to pass Ukraine funding. The US has provided Ukraine with $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities. Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms shipments to Ukraine, saying these will only prolong the conflict, while making the West a direct participant in the hostilities.

Read more …

Everybody knows.

Ukrainian NATO Membership ‘Fundamentally Unacceptable’ – Moscow (RT)

Ukrainian accession to NATO would pose a threat to Russia’s national security and is fundamentally unacceptable, Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has said. The Russian envoy was responding to comments by US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, who claimed at a press briefing on Monday that Kiev could become a member of the military bloc once the conflict with Moscow has ended. “Ukraine’s accession to NATO is unacceptable to us under any circumstances,” Antonov stated on Tuesday. “This is a threat to Russia’s national security.” “Only politicians ignorant of the fundamental interests of the Russian Federation can expect that we could accept Kiev’s entry into a bloc which is hostile to us,” he added. Antonov further accused Washington of ignoring Moscow’s core interests and refusing to accept Russia’s “categorical opposition” to Kiev’s potential NATO membership.

Speaking at a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted that Ukraine will be allowed to join the bloc, claiming that the commitment of its members to Kiev remains “rock solid.” The purpose of NATO’s next summit in July will be to “help build a bridge to that membership and to create a clear pathway for Ukraine moving forward,” Blinken added. Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, viewing the US-led bloc’s policies as an existential threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned for nearly two decades that NATO’s eastward expansion undermines Russian national security, and that moving the bloc’s forces into Ukraine would cross a “red line.” According to Antonov, Moscow offered the West a diplomatic way to defuse tensions over NATO expansion and Ukraine in 2021, but the appeal was rejected by Washington.

Arestovich

Read more …

All this ‘pre-war’ talk is crazy irresponsible. Kick ’em by the curb.

‘High-Intensity War In Europe No Longer A Fantasy’ – Borrell (RT)

A full-scale military conflict in Europe has become more likely due to the standoff with Russia, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has claimed, while warning member states against relying on the US to defend them. Several other European officials have cited a heightened military threat in recent months, with UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps saying last week that the world is moving from a “post-war to a pre-war” state due to the alleged threat emanating from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk made a similar “pre-war” assessment in March. Speaking at a Forum Europa gathering in Brussels on Tuesday, Borrell claimed that the “possibility of a high-intensity conventional war in Europe is no longer a fantasy” and that the bloc must “do everything to avoid it”.

The EU’s top diplomat alleged that Russia poses a growing threat to the continent, citing the conflict with Ukraine, and accused Moscow of seeking to destabilize the union. According to Borrell, while a military conflict in Europe is not imminent and “not going to start tomorrow,” citizens should understand that the “US umbrella that has protected us during the Cold War and after, may not be open all the time.” “Maybe, depending on who is ruling Washington, we cannot rely on the Americans’ support and American capacity to protect us,” he said. Describing the EU as being surrounded by a “ring of fires” and instability, Borrell called on member states to become more self-sufficient with their security and to ramp up their defense spending.

He added that while NATO is as “irreplaceable” as ever, Europeans should start building their own “pillar” within the US-led bloc. The diplomat acknowledged that Brussels’ stance on the conflicts in Gaza and in Ukraine is not fully shared by many non-Western audiences. Borrel’s remarks follow suggestions from numerous Western civilian and military officials in recent months that Russia could attack NATO within a few years. Speaking in late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed such speculation as “nonsense.” He argued that talk of a potential Russian attack on Poland, the Czech Republic, or the Baltic countries is propaganda coming from governments that seek to scare their citizens “to extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden on their shoulders.”

Read more …

China’s been saying this for a while, but not many in the west seem to know it.

China Sending Message That ‘It Has Russia’s Back’ If West Escalates (Sp.)

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, sending a strong message to the West that the two countries will continue their strategic relationship. The meeting came a day after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to China and warned it against partnering with Russia. The meeting between Lavrov and Xi, particularly right after Yellen’s visit, is a “message” to the West that China “will have the back of Russia” if the conflict in Ukraine is escalated by the West, lawyer and journalist Dimitri Lascarus told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Wednesday. “The timing of announcements such as these tell you a lot,” Lascarus said, pointing to not only Yellen’s visit but the increasingly provocative attacks on Russia by Ukraine’s intelligence services such as the mass shooting outside of Moscow which Russia has blamed Ukraine and its backers in the US and UK for, among other provocations.

“Of course, we have this ongoing drama with little Napoleon in France [French President] Emmanuel Macron, talking about sending a few thousand French troops to their deaths in Odessa,” Lascarus recalled. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it has been interpreted by both the Russian and Chinese governments as an attempt to provoke Russia into a direct attack on a NATO country.” “I think [China is] sending a message that China will have the back of Russia if this escalates. And, no one should have any illusions about that,” Lascarus explained. “They see, I believe, that there is a series of escalations happening here and there are no adults in the room, and they need to send an unequivocal signal that China will have Russia’s back in the event that this escalates out of control,” he added.

While neither government has any “reservations about the necessity” of their alliance, Lascarus argued that the West is forcing them to strengthen their relationship because of its aggressive actions. “Every day, Western governments are acting in a way which makes this partnership even more compelling to the Russian and Chinese governments.” With public sentiment turning against the “Ukrainian disaster” in both Europe and the US, Lascarus noted that polls show that the vast majority of French citizens think the country is heading in the wrong direction. “[France] has been one of the primary architects of this disastrous neocon policy in Ukraine,” he explained. “So we’re seeing already, that the political days of these characters are all numbered.” “The real question we have to confront as citizens of the West is, do we have an actual, competent, ethical, and principled alternative to these people? I don’t know that we do. But one thing is for sure, the public has enough and they’re on the way out the door.”

Lavrov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777580903339876516

Read more …

“..to literally take over these social networks, [which] all these big tech people thought was going to be this lovely garden of earthly delights and turn it into a prison.”

‘Russiagate’ About Seizing Power as Much as Stopping Trump (Sp.)

On Sunday, US Rep. and chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Michael R. Turner (R-OH) claimed that it is “absolutely true” that members of the US Republican party are repeating “pro-Russia messages” on the House floor, without naming the members. The US establishment disproven conspiracy that former US President Donald Trump was controlled by the Kremlin is about seizing control of social media and the internet as much as it is designed to harm Trump’s political ambitions, Serbian-American journalist and columnist Nebojsa Malic told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Tuesday. Malic argues that the “completely fabricated” Russiagate conspiracy was “not just to sabotage the Trump presidency, but to literally take over these social networks, [which] all these big tech people thought was going to be this lovely garden of earthly delights and turn it into a prison.”

Last year, a panel of federal judges ruled that the US intelligence agencies’ contact with social media companies, urging them to take down specific posts and block or ban certain users, likely constituted government censorship. The administration of US President Joe Biden has appealed the case to the Supreme Court. “Russiagate was the pretext that started this entire ball rolling, and it wasn’t even based on anything real. And now they want to do it all over again,” Malic explained. “I was listening to [Senate Majority Leader, Senator] Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speak yesterday about how Ukraine is losing the war because [House Speaker, Rep.] Mike Johnson (R-LA) doesn’t want to give them money. No, Ukraine is losing the war because it has always been [losing] because it is fighting an industrial war it cannot win,” Malic continued. “The West can’t win because it doesn’t have the industrial capabilities because in the past 30 years, we shut down our industry and turned everything over to finance, but Chuck Schumer is too thick to understand that.”

The reality on the ground in Ukraine has turned many against US support for NATO’s proxy war in Russia, with more Americans (37%) saying the US spends too much on Ukraine than too little (27%) and only 13% responded that they were either “extremely confident” or “very confident” Ukraine will defeat Russia, compared to 49% who say they are “Not too confident” or “Not confident at all.” People are asking “How is this helping freedom and democracy, exactly?” Malic contended. “And [the establishment’s] response is ‘shut up, Russian Agent.’” “This is a breakdown. Because, again, the blob’s agenda is to use Russia’s phantom menace for a power grab at home on one hand, and to push for this geopolitical fantasy that Russia needs Ukraine to be a global empire,” Malic said, explaining that Russia doesn’t want a global empire.

“They voluntarily dissolved the Soviet Union in ‘91, believing all of these stories about freedom and democracy and capitalism and human rights, and they got taken advantage of. Demographically, the country was worse off in the ‘90s than during World War Two,” Malic explained. “When we talk about the golden age of the 1990s, post-Cold War, freedom, democracy, transition from socialism, this is a horror story to these people and nobody in America seems to understand this because they didn’t live through it.” However, Malic said that it is “theoretically possible” that the “blob” actually wants Trump to win the election to give them an excuse to get out of Ukraine. “Maybe they want to get out of this Ukrainian quagmire and blame somebody else for it. They might want Trump to get elected so they can say ‘Okay, well, it’s all his fault. Had we kept the Democrats in power, we would have totally won the war. But, oh, well, what can we do? We just have to move on to the next war,’ which will be China.”

Read more …

“..from 1789 to 2023, no former or sitting president has faced criminal charges for their official acts, and for good reason..”

Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim (ET)

Special counsel Jack Smith in his final filing before the hearing is urging the Supreme Court to reject former President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity claim and deny any motions to delay a trial on charges related to the 2020 federal election conspiracy case. Prosecutors from the DOJ allege President Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election result on Jan. 6, 2021, charging him with four counts of conspiracy and obstruction. Former President Trump has denied he did anything wrong by calling for transparency and audits of the vote counts in swing states, and maintains presidential immunity for his actions on that day, which prevents prosecution for any actions he took while still in the top job. In a fresh court brief on April 8, Mr. Smith pressed that President Trump’s argument for presidential immunity over official acts as president has no grounding in the Constitution, the nation’s history, or Americans’ understanding that presidents are not above the law.

“The President’s constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed does not entail a general right to violate them,” Mr. Smith said in the brief. “The Framers never endorsed criminal immunity for a former President, and all Presidents from the Founding to the modern era have known that after leaving office they faced potential criminal liability for official acts.” According to Mr. Smith, former President Richard Nixon’s official conduct revealed during the Watergate scandal is the closest historical precedent for this situation. Mr. Smith says President Nixon eventually accepted a pardon from his successor, former President Gerald Ford, and that “his acceptance of a pardon implied his and President Ford’s recognition that a former President was subject to prosecution.”

“Since Watergate, the Department of Justice has held the view that a former President may face criminal prosecution, and Independent and Special Counsels have operated from that same understanding,” he said. Mr. Smith claims that despite President Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, all former presidents knew and wholly understood they were open to facing criminal charges for conduct while in the White House. [..] “The effective functioning of the presidency does not require that a former president be immune from accountability for these alleged violations of federal criminal law,” he said. “To the contrary, a bedrock principle of our constitutional order is that no person is above the law, including the president.”

Former President Trump has continued to argue that official acts by presidents should have immunity from criminal prosecution. Last month, he asked the Supreme Court to hold that he and other former presidents enjoy absolute criminal immunity from prosecution for official acts during their time in office. According to him, from 1789 to 2023, no former or sitting president has faced criminal charges for their official acts, and for good reason. “The President cannot function, and the Presidency itself cannot retain its vital independence if the President faces criminal prosecution for official acts once he leaves office,” President Trump’s brief to the Court says. “The threat of future prosecution and imprisonment would become a political cudgel to influence the most sensitive and controversial Presidential decisions, taking away the strength, authority, and decisiveness of the Presidency.”

[..] the Court has historically upheld a level of presidential independence and ruled in the 1982 decision of Nixon v. Fitzgerald that a president enjoys absolute immunity from civil liability for acts that fall within the “outer perimeter” of his official duties. A secondary issue that may be addressed is the demarkation between personal and official acts during President Trump’s tenure, and a possible separation of actions he can be prosecuted for, and actions covered by presidential immunity. The outcome for the case could impact President Trump’s other legal battles, in which he also argues presidential immunity as a defense. A federal appeals court recently ruled that several civil cases against President Trump related to Jan. 6 could go forward, finding that the actions cited personal acts of a candidate rather than official acts of a president. The question whether this immunity applies to former presidents is also new territory.

Read more …

He gets blamed for adhering to the Supreme Court decision.

“I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit (ZH)

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham dared to criticize Donald Trump’s new stance advocating that abortion law should be left to individual states — and was promptly subjected to withering fire from the former president. On Monday morning, Trump posted a video in which he implicitly rejected the idea of creating a federal limit on abortions, saying that, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v Wade, abortion is now a state-by-state issue: “States will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land; in this case, the law of the state. Many states will be different…many will have a different number of weeks, or some will [be] more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people.”

The announcement disappointed proponents of a federal ban who had been encouraged by February media reports that Trump had told his advisors and others that he favored a 16-week federal limit on abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. Graham quickly posted a tweet-thread declaring his “respectful” disagreement with Trump’s new stance, saying that a states’ rights rationale against a federal limit “will age about as well as the Dred Scott decision,” which helped perpetuate slavery. Trump responded via Truth Social, writing that “Senator Lindsey Graham is doing a great disservice to the Republican Party, and to our Country.” He elaborated on the political realities: “[Democrats] love this Issue, and they want to keep it going for as long as Republicans will allow them to do so. Terminating Roe v. Wade was, according to all Legal Scholars, a Great Event, but sometimes with Great Events come difficulties. Many Good Republicans lost Elections because of this Issue, and people like Lindsey Graham, that are unrelenting, are handing Democrats their dream of the House, Senate, and perhaps even the Presidency…”

A few hours later, Trump was back for more, this time chiding both Graham and Marjorie Dannensfelser, who leads SBA Pro-Life America. Dannensfelser had issued a statement saying her organization was “deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position.” With that particular scolding message, Trump took a more philosophical tack, saying Graham and Dannensfelser “should study the 10th Amendment.” A cornerstone of federalism, that final component of the Bill of Rights states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” By deferring to the states on abortion, Trump is taking the truly “conservative” position on the issue, compared to those who advocate for national regulation. As James Madison summed up the federal system:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. [Federal powers] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce… The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people.” In a third Truth Social posting, Trump threw in another jab at Graham while also boasting about the power of a Trump endorsement: “I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

Read more …

Live 500 meter high in a flat in a 170km straight-line city. No thanks.

Neom: Saudi Arabia ‘Scales Back’ Goals Of Megacity Project (MEE)

Saudi Arabia has scaled back some of its ambitions for its desert megacity Neom, according to a report by Bloomberg. The $1.5 trillion megacity project, which organisers claim will be 33 times the size of New York City, is due to include a 170km straight-line city. When launching The Line in 2021, the Saudi government had announced that 1.5 million people would be living in the city by 2030. Officials now expect there to be fewer that 300,000 residents by that time, according to a source cited by Bloomberg on Friday. The source said that officials expected only 2.4km of the 170km city to be completed by 2030. As a result of the scaling back, one contractor dismissed some of the workers it employs on site, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.

Neom – part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy and move away from oil reliance – is being built in the northwestern Tabuk province. Middle East Eye reported last year that construction was under way on The Line, based on satellite imagery. The Line is due to have no cars or roads, and a high-speed rail service running across the length of the city, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced three years ago. Two parallel, mirrored buildings that are nearly 500 metres tall and 120km wide are also planned as part of the project, according to designs uncovered in 2022.

In addition to the horizontal city, Neom is also touted to include an eight-sided city that floats on water, a ski resort with a folded vertical village, and a Red Sea luxury island resort called Sindalah. The Sindalah project is due to open later this year. Sources told Bloomberg that work was continuing on other parts of the Neom project, and Saudi officials still backed the overall aims of The Line. The sources added that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is providing most of the funding for the project, has yet to confirm its 2024 budget for Neom. The scaling back of the megacity project comes as the Public Investment Fund cash reserves dropped to $15bn in September, its lowest levels since 2020.

Read more …

Fell just 2%? Barely a tumble.

Boeing Shares Tumble After NYT Reveals Whistle-Blower Report (ZH)

Shares of Boeing are moving lower in early afternoon trade following a report from The New York Times of an engineer at the airplane manufacturer turned whistle-blower, revealing that sections of the 787 Dreamliner fuselage are improperly fastened together, posing structural integrity risks. Sam Salehpour, who worked on the 787 Dreamliner fuselage for more than a decade, detailed to NYT in a series of interviews that were packaged into documents and sent to the Federal Aviation Administration that the widebody plane is produced in several large sections by different manufacturers, and not all pieces were the same shape when they were fitted together. He said this could create structural issues over time. On April 17, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat of Connecticut and the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigations subcommittee, will hold a hearing featuring Salehpour to address his concerns about the 787 Dreamliner.

“Repeated, shocking allegations about Boeing’s manufacturing failings point to an appalling absence of safety culture and practices — where profit is prioritized over everything else,” Blumenthal said in a statement. Recall, in 2014, an Al Jazeera undercover report found that workers at the 787 factory in South Carolina were not confident in the plane’s manufacturing quality, with at least one worker callin it “f**king sh*t.” “This is the culture that Boeing has allowed to exist,” Katz said, adding, “This is a culture that prioritizes production of planes and pushes them off the line even when there are serious concerns about the structural integrity of those planes and their production process.” Boeing responded to the NYT report and said it was “fully confident in the 787 Dreamliner,” adding, “These claims about the structural integrity of the 787 are inaccurate and do not represent the comprehensive work Boeing has done to ensure the quality and long-term safety of the aircraft.” Investors were spooked by the report, which is yet another issue for Boeing. Shares in New York tumbled 2% around noon.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Heroes

 

 

Cloud seeding

 

 

Red Wolf

 

 

Humpback

 

 

Parkour
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777445115415482483

 

 

Swan

 

 

Dolly

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 062023
 


William Merritt Chase Back Of A Nude 1888

 

US Border Control Bill Collapses – NBC (RT)
Bernie Sanders Opposes $10 Billion Israel Aid (RT)
Zelensky Bails On Briefing With US Senate (RT)
Israel Has Crossed Its Rubicon (Rall)
Israel Can’t Defeat Hamas In Battle, So What’s Next? (Inlakesh)
Biden Works To Create Plausible Deniability On Gaza (Plitnick)
Israel Mulls Flooding Hamas Tunnels – WSJ (RT)
Israel Uses AI Genocide Programme To Obliterate Gaza (Cook)
Did The West Deliberately Prolong The Ukraine War? (Marketic)
Will the Real Hunter Biden Now Step Forward? (Turley)
DOJ Gave Hunter Biden ‘Preferential Treatment’ – US House Panels (Sp.)
Special Counsel Slams Hunter Biden’s Subpoena Demand (Turley)
House GOP: Evidence Of Coordination Between Democrat J6 panel, Georgia DA (JTN)
Why Do You Trust Those Who Lie To You? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Boris Johnson Considered Military Raid On Holland – Daily Mail (RT)

 

 


@azaizamotaz9: “A man is holding a little girl after he extracted her from under the rubble of her destroyed house by the Israeli war planes. This photo have been taken by me from my street today.”

 

 

Hamas
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731993030691807347

 

 

 

 

International Committee of the Red Cross

 

 

Milei

 

 

Byron York

 

 

Scott Adams: “It’s time to call batshit crazy what it is. This is a medical problem, not a political issue.”

 

 

 

 

Biden’s “national security bill” includes Ukraine and Israel aid. Keeping the border wide open is more important for the Dems than supporting Ukraine. Suggestions for tighter immigration controls are labeled “extreme policies” and “dictated by Donald Trump.”

US Border Control Bill Collapses – NBC (RT)

Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate have reportedly failed to reach a deal on a border security package, NBC reported on Tuesday, citing congressional aides with knowledge of the talks. The collapse of negotiations now threatens to derail President Joe Biden’s national security bill, which includes aid to Israel and Ukraine. The Republican Party has for weeks been threatening to block Biden’s $106 billion ‘national security supplemental request,’ originally introduced in October, unless it included a spending boost for the US-Mexico border and tighter immigration controls, particularly with regards to asylum and parole laws in immigration proceedings. GOP lawmakers have proposed detaining all migrants seeking asylum in the US upon entry instead of releasing them into the country while their claims are processed, as is currently the case.

Republican lawmakers have argued that the existing system is constantly being abused as it allows migrants to slip through the cracks. Democrats, however, have called these demands “extremist,”prompting negotiations to effectively break down, with both parties accusing each other of intractable positions. One Democratic aide told NBC that, despite Democrats offering several proposals to streamline the processing of asylum claims, Republican senators have insisted on “extreme policies” that would“end asylum as we know it” and effectively “shut down the border.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has also blasted Republican senators for holding up negotiations, saying on Monday that the GOP’s border demands were being “dictated by Donald Trump.” The politician stressed that the Democratic Party “will not keep going in circles if Republicans aren’t interested in meeting us halfway.”

In response to Schumer’s complaint, Republican Senator John Cornyn said there was a “misunderstanding” among Democrats. “This is not a traditional negotiation, where we expect to come up with a bipartisan compromise on the border. This is a price that has to be paid in order to get the supplemental,” he said. Minority Leader Mitch McConnel has also countered Schumer’s statement by suggesting that the Democrats were “wasting time with bizarre public scoldings.” He claimed that restoring a “functional” asylum and parole system and ensuring “meaningful”enforcement of US immigration laws was “a bridge too far for Senate Democrats.” The collapse of the negotiations comes as Biden’s office has urged Congress to “immediately” resolve the military aid deadlock, emphasizing that “there’s money for Ukraine” in Biden’s spending request that is “desperately needed.”

Read more …

More “national security bill”.

Bernie Sanders Opposes $10 Billion Israel Aid (RT)

US Senator Bernie Sanders has urged his Democratic colleagues to pull more than $10 billion in military aid to Israel from an upcoming spending bill, arguing that the money would make Washington complicit in Israel’s “immoral” war in Gaza. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Monday that he would put a $106 billion spending bill to a vote on Wednesday. Requested by President Joe Biden, the bill includes $10.1 billion in direct military aid to Israel, more than $61 billion for Ukraine, and $13.6 for border protection at home. “I do not believe we should be appropriating over $10 billion for the right-wing extremist Netanyahu government to continue its current military approach,” Sanders said in a speech on the Senate floor on Monday, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“What the Netanyahu government is doing is immoral, it is in violation of international law, and the United States should not be complicit in those actions,” Sanders continued. Israeli forces began bombarding Gaza in early October, in response to a surprise attack on the Jewish state by Hamas, a Palestinian militant group. Israeli tanks and troops were sent into Gaza three weeks later, and with fighting raging once again after a weeklong ceasefire at the end of November, more than 16,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to the latest figures from the Gaza Health Ministry. More than 7,000 of those killed were children, the ministry said on Tuesday. Hamas’ attack on Israel left around 1,200 dead and around 240 captured as hostages.

Sanders, who is Jewish, refused to join some of his progressive colleagues in demanding a ceasefire last month. He has also endorsed the provision of some military aid to Israel, saying on Monday that “it is appropriate for us to support defense systems that will protect Israeli citizens from incoming missile and rocket attacks.” However, Israel’s “indiscriminate approach” to the war is, “in my view, offensive to most Americans,” he added. Sanders did not say for sure whether he would vote against the entire $106 billion package. If Sanders and every single Senate Republican were to vote against the bill, Democrats could still pass it by making use of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

However, the bill will face much stiffer opposition in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. With a growing number of conservatives categorically opposed to further aid to Ukraine and demanding an end to Biden’s lax border policies, House Speaker Mike Johnson told Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young on Monday that “supplemental Ukraine funding is dependent upon enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws,” and on the White House providing “clearly defined and obtainable objectives” for the conflict in Ukraine.

Read more …

He knew what was coming.

Zelensky Bails On Briefing With US Senate (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky abruptly canceled a briefing with US senators and White House officials on Tuesday due to a “last-minute” snag, according to a high-ranking Democrat. The sit-down then became heated, as lawmakers shifted their focus to the debate over US border policy and continued aid to Kiev. Zelensky’s team called off the virtual appearance just moments before it was set to go ahead, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, noting that something had come up for the leader without elaborating. Administration officials were expected to offer updates on a massive military aid package for Israel and Ukraine currently under negotiations in Congress, which the White House has repeatedly urged lawmakers to pass. Some GOP lawmakers have sought to link new Ukraine aid to funding for US border agencies, with multiple senators threatening to hold up the spending bill unless it includes desired provisions for controls on immigration.

After Zelensky’s sudden cancellation, the briefing grew contentious, with some Republicans, including Senators Deb Fischer and Mitt Romney, even walking out early. “The point is there’s no answer to any questions down there,” Fischer told Defense News, adding “We’ve had it.” She stressed that she has previously supported all legislation supporting Ukraine, adding that the White House “better be worried. Because I have backed everything.” President Joe Biden’s top budget official, Shalanda Young, warned that Washington was “out of money” for Kiev earlier this week, stating that “without congressional action, by the end of the year, we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from US military stocks.” She went on to note that, as of mid-November, the Pentagon had spent 97% of the $62.3 billion it received for Ukraine this year, while the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID) had used up 100% of the funds allocated.

Biden has requested a massive spending package worth $106 billion to fund several priorities of his administration, namely military aid to Ukraine and Israel, but faces opposition from an increasingly skeptical Republican Party. Although Zelensky ultimately backed out of the Senate briefing without explanation, his chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, made in-person appearances on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to lobby for additional aid to Ukraine. During a speech at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, the official said Kiev faced a “big risk” of defeat should Washington halt its military support. “We’re at the end of our rope in terms of the existing funding,” an unnamed Zelensky advisor told Politico, adding that the money would not “go beyond December.”

Tucker Massie

Read more …

“..jihadi culture requires those about to stage a raid to warn their enemy in advance..”

Israel Has Crossed Its Rubicon (Rall)

A few weeks ago, from an international and domestic-U.S. PR standpoint, Israel might have been able to bring its war in Gaza in for a hard landing. Now, it has painted itself into a corner. Gaza has been destroyed. By this time next year, so will Israel—not its physical plant, but its current status as a privileged, funded, protected nation-state. The damage inflicted thus far is so severe and thorough that the Gaza Strip will be uninhabitable for the foreseeable future, at least several years. All or most of its 2.3 million residents, transformed into refugees, will be permanently displaced. Nothing can change that. If a left-wing Israeli government were to come to power, unilaterally end the war and offer the Palestinians their own sovereign independent republic side-by-side with Israel, Gaza would need to be rebuilt at a cost of tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars.

In the meantime, the Jewish state would have to provide long-term housing and public assistance for more than 2 million Palestinians throughout years of reconstruction. “You’ll end up having displaced people living in tents for a long time,” Raphael Cohen, senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, told US media. But where? Assuming that a new regime could muster the necessary political consensus and address the ensuing security concerns surrounding a massive population of internally displaced people, Israel is a small nation of fewer than 10 million people with high unemployment and an aging population; it can’t afford such a massive undertaking or the demographics to quickly absorb 2 million traumatized Palestinians.

This was the thinking behind the Israeli intelligence officials who wrote a “thinking” memo that suggested the situation be exploited as a rare opportunity to drive out all the locals so they could seize and annex the entire territory of Gaza. The revelations that Netanyahu’s government obtained Hamas’ plans for the incursion a year ago, viewed video showing Hamas fighters training (jihadi culture requires those about to stage a raid to warn their enemy in advance), received a warning from Egypt that Hamas was about to attack days prior, and that the IDF failed to respond for at least eight hours after Israel’s high-tech “smart fence” around Gaza was breached (despite receiving an instant alert) prompts the cynic in me to wonder whether the Israeli government let October 7th happen on purpose.

What – Netanyahu and his colleagues may have asked themselves – are a few hundred or even a few thousand Israeli lives compared to the chance to get rid of half the Palestinians in Palestine, and join Gaza to Israel in the bargain? If so, they miscalculated. US officials have conveyed to their Israeli counterparts that Israel only has a few weeks left before losing international support and suffering a “strategic defeat.” Israel plans to continue for months. The US assessment is too optimistic. The die is cast. Defeat is inevitable.

Scott Horton

Read more …

“According to Israeli polling data, Benjamin Netanyahu is only trusted by 4% of Israelis..”

Israel Can’t Defeat Hamas In Battle, So What’s Next? (Inlakesh)

After a seven-day lull in the war between Israel and the Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, the resumption of hostilities has been given another green light from Washington. Having failed to lead its Israeli allies towards military victory, the US is permitting a dangerous escalation and rejects a peaceful solution that will prevent further civilian suffering. Just minutes after the departure of US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, from Palestine/Israel, the war in Gaza resumed, with a large aerial onslaught on Palestinian civilian infrastructure resulting in the deaths of nearly 200 civilians. The White House spokesperson John Kirby announced continued support for Israel’s “right and responsibility to go after Hamas,” but to what end is unclear. As the likes of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak admits that Hamas is far from falling apart, it begs the question: what really is the point of this war?

Following six weeks of war that resulted in likely over 20,000 Palestinian deaths, the Israeli military has failed to produce any evidence that it has made a significant dent on the military capabilities of Hamas and the other Palestinian armed groups in the besieged coastal enclave. While Israel forced its way into the major hospitals in northern Gaza, claiming that Hamas was using the sites as bases and command-and-control centers, the evidence produced by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) does not support these allegations. The US government backed the idea that a command node had existed at the Shifa Hospital, and when the Israeli forces entered the hospital compound they presented weapons they claimed to have found there, as well as an empty tunnel. Any such images released to the public are curated and edited by the Israeli army, but if independently verified, they could serve as evidence of militant presence – still, not proof of a control center or node.

Little of note was discovered in other hospitals, and American claims of having solid intel that confirms Israeli claims is dubious, considering previous public statements such as US President Joe Biden’s words about having seen “confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children” which the White House later had to walk back. At the start of this war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government was going to “crush Hamas,” a goal that the US government backed publicly. Yet, Hamas has managed to not only inflict the largest blow against Israel in its history, but has also defended Gaza on the ground with countless documented cases of success against Israeli forces. The whole world is now talking about the formation of a Palestinian State, an idea that had been all but abandoned in favor of unconditional normalization agreements between Arab States and Israel, prior to the war.

In addition to this, one of the predictable outcomes of the Israeli war on Gaza, has been a tremendous uptick in support for Hamas throughout the occupied territories. In the Middle East and throughout the Muslim World, Hamas militants have become heroes and are widely viewed as a valiant national resistance. The Saudi-Israeli normalization deal, which the Biden administration’s Middle East policy revolved around, is dead in the water at this time as Riyadh moves closer to Tehran. According to Israeli polling data, Benjamin Netanyahu is only trusted by 4% of Israelis, while the most trusted national figure was recorded to be Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari. Hagari, despite being trusted by Israelis, was turned into the “there is a list guy” and an online meme, after presenting a video in which he claimed a regular Arabic calendar named “terrorists”. That video, in which he referred to the list, was supposed to show evidence of Hamas keeping hostages at the Rantisi Children’s Hospital.

At least 10 countries have either withdrawn ambassadors from, or suspended ties with, Israel. All this as the largest pro-Palestinian protests to have ever taken place in the West continue to occur in capital cities like London and Washington DC. This, combined with a considerable drop in Joe Biden’s approval rating, all spell disaster for the US-supported war in Gaza. The White House claims that it is putting certain restrictions on the Israeli army as it plans to invade the south of Gaza, but in the same breath offers unconditional support for Israel’s actions. At no point has the US government taken any responsibility for what has happened since October 7, there has been no apology for their lies, no change in strategy and no acknowledgement in the role that Washington has played in creating the situation on the ground in Gaza that facilitated the Hamas attack. The real question now is: Where do we go from here? Israel aimlessly fights in Gaza and continues to kill thousands of Palestinian civilians, there is no sign of a Hamas defeat on the horizon and the humanitarian situation, which is described as “the worst ever” by UN Relief Chief Martin Griffiths, is further deteriorating.

Read more …

“..every bullet that misses its intended target, every loose piece of flying shrapnel or debris, has a good chance of hitting a civilian..”

Biden Works To Create Plausible Deniability On Gaza (Plitnick)

Biden’s Special Envoy for Middle Eastern Humanitarian Affairs David Satterfield introduced what he called a new “deconfliction mechanism” for Gaza last week. This, he says, is a new system to make sure that Israel knows where humanitarian aid workers are so they will not continue to be killed at the highest rate of any conflict in the United Nations’ history. This is addressing a problem that doesn’t exist. UN and other relief organizations have been coordinating with Israel for decades about their activities in Gaza and where they are working. Israel has not been attacking UN sites, hospitals, schools, mosques, and humanitarian aid facilities and vehicles by mistake. Instead, they have argued that Hamas and other militant groups are using them as cover and they are therefore fair game.

International law, of course, does not give Israel the right to launch such attacks if the sites are full of civilians, even if it believes militants are using them for combat purposes outside of extreme cases of self-defense. Moreover, Israel has generally been unable to provide anything but the flimsiest and most suspect of evidence to support their often outrageous claims. But this “deconfliction mechanism” allows the Biden administration to claim it is working to protect innocent lives in Gaza while it continues its support of Israeli actions. The duplicity of this move is evidenced by the fact that Biden continues to refrain from criticizing Israel’s deliberate targeting of Gaza’s medical and humanitarian infrastructure. If that’s not a red line, then the “deconfliction mechanism,” an already redundant idea, is utterly meaningless.

It can’t be stressed enough that what we have in the south of Gaza now is an intense concentration of people so densely packed in that it would be impossible to launch even the most careful military operation without enormous civilian casualties. There simply is no room to create the sort of “safe zone” the U.S. is claiming Israel will magically conjure. But the theater continues. One U.S. official, speaking anonymously, said, “ You cannot have the scale of displacement that took place in the north replicated in the south.” That’s true, of course. There’s nowhere for them to go. Egypt is not going to allow masses of Gazans through the Rafah crossing — which couldn’t accommodate this kind of flight in any case.

There’s little left in the north to flee to, and Israeli forces would be in the way. So, every bullet that misses its intended target, every loose piece of flying shrapnel or debris, has a good chance of hitting a civilian. It is not credible that Biden administration officials, from the President on down, don’t know this. So when Sullivan talks about giving Palestinians in the south of Gaza the opportunity to “get out of the way” of an Israeli military operation, he knows he is speaking gibberish. It wasn’t possible for Palestinians to do that when the 2.2 million people in Gaza were packed into the full area of the Strip. They’re now jammed into half that space.

Read more …

Crazy.

Israel Mulls Flooding Hamas Tunnels – WSJ (RT)

Israel is considering using seawater to flood the extensive network of tunnels under Gaza, used by Hamas militants to smuggle goods in and out of the Palestinian enclave, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing sources. According to US officials interviewed by the paper, the Israeli military assembled an extensive flooding system not far from Al-Shati refugee camp in northwest Gaza in mid-November. The unit reportedly consists of five pumps capable of drawing thousands of cubic meters of water per hour from the Mediterranean Sea, potentially allowing Israel to flood the underground maze within a few weeks. The Israeli government informed the US, its key ally, of the initiative last month, sparking debate about whether the plan was feasible, as well as its pros and cons, WSJ sources said.

They noted that no final decision on its execution has yet been made and that it is unclear how ready Israel is to implement it. The plan, the report says, could drive Hamas fighters out of the sprawling system of tunnels, which span hundreds of kilometers, with some passages reaching into Egypt. The network also provides Hamas and other local Islamist groups with formidable cover from missile strikes and allows them to evade Israel’s blockade. Some tunnels are tall enough for an average man to stand up in, are built from reinforced concrete, and boast a network of communication lines. However, some US officials are said to have serious doubts about the plan. “We are not sure how successful pumping will be, since nobody knows the details of the tunnels and the ground around them,” one source said.

Meanwhile, Jon Alterman, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned in a WSJ interview that it was hard to estimate how much seawater would seep into the ground or what impact the pumping would have on water and sewage infrastructure. This sentiment was echoed by Wim Zwijnenburg, an environmental expert, who noted that the flooding could wash hazardous materials out of the tunnels, further contaminating the soil. He also recalled that Gaza’s aquifer has been getting saltier recently due to rising sea levels. The current hostilities between Israel and Hamas were sparked in early October and have resulted in thousands of dead on both sides, while Hamas took more than two hundred hostages, many of whom have since been released. The fighting has also exacerbated the ever-present water crisis in Gaza. According to the UN, Palestinians receive no more than three liters per day, compared to the healthy minimum of 15 liters.

Read more …

“..the artificial intelligence system, called “Gospel”, is generating lists of targets so rapidly the military cannot keep up..”

Israel Uses AI Genocide Programme To Obliterate Gaza (Cook)

It should already have been evident from the scale of death and destruction inflicted on Gaza over the past eight weeks that Israel was implementing a policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Palestinians in the besieged enclave. Now Israeli whistleblowers have provided details of how these crimes against humanity are being carried out – and how they are being rationalised internally within Israel’s military and political echelons. An extraordinary series of testimonies jointly published by the Israel-based publications 972 and Local Call last week established that the huge death toll of Palestinian civilians is, in fact, integral to Israel’s war aims, not an unfortunate side effect. The known dead so far are estimated at almost 16,000, with a further 6,000 missing, presumably crushed under rubble. Two-thirds of those killed by Israel are women and children.

Two years ago, during an earlier attack on Gaza, Israeli military officials admitted for the first time that a computer was supplying them with potential targets. The intention appears to have been to bypass the restraints imposed by human assessments of likely casualties by outsourcing the killings to a machine. The whistleblowers confirm that, given new, generous parameters of who and what can be attacked, the artificial intelligence system, called “Gospel”, is generating lists of targets so rapidly the military cannot keep up. Israel’s inputs are now so broad that they allow the bombing without warning of high-rise apartment blocks, so long as it can be claimed that one person residing there is believed to have a connection to Hamas. As Hamas not only has a military wing but runs the enclave’s government, the new policy potentially widens the circle of targets to include civil servants, police, health workers, educators, journalists and aid workers.

That helps explain how, according to United Nations figures, some 100,000 homes in Gaza have been levelled or made uninhabitable and 1.7 million Palestinians displaced, or some three-quarters of the enclave’s population. The revelations definitively give the lie to claims by western politicians, such as US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer, that Israel is simply defending itself and trying to avoid civilian casualties. In a report last Friday, the Guardian corroborated Israel’s reliance on the Gospel computing system. The paper quoted a former White House official familiar with the Pentagon’s development of autonomous offensive systems as stating that Israel’s no-holds-barred AI war on Gaza was an “important moment”. The official added: “Other states are going to be watching and learning.”

Read more …

“Amputations among Ukrainians have already reached a comparable scale to that suffered by Germans and Britons over World War One, in a fraction of the time..”

Did The West Deliberately Prolong The Ukraine War? (Marketic)

IFormer U.S. national security official Fiona Hill reported the two sides had reached a tentative peace deal the same month of Johnson’s surprise visit to Kyiv, while former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and several Turkish officials — all of whom were involved at various times in the talks — have said that NATO officials stopped or undermined negotiations. Multiple U.S. reports documented a divide in NATO, with the United States and U.K. reportedly heading a faction of states who preferred a longer war than a sooner peace. Historian Niall Ferguson reported overhearing an unnamed U.S. official say in March 2022 that “the only end game now is the end of Putin regime [sic].” What’s particularly notable is how dramatically these disclosures contrast with the overwhelming thrust of two years’ worth of mainstream discourse on, and analysis of, this war.

Until recently, both NATO officials and commentators across the political spectrum insisted that negotiations with Moscow were impossible and that the war could only be ended by pursuing victory on the battlefield, usually by pursuing Kyiv’s maximalist aims of reconquering all of the territory it had lost since 2014. (According to reports, the tentative agreement reached last April would have seen Ukraine exchange neutrality for a Russian withdrawal to its pre-February 2022 borders). Voices who called for a diplomatic resolution were ignored or viciously smeared, as was anyone who said that Ukraine’s possible entry into NATO was at the heart of the conflict, and that adopting neutrality could help end the war. There is now a mountain of evidence backing both of these claims. In fact, Arakhamia’s interview further drove home the point about NATO membership.

“They actually hoped until nearly the last moment that they could press us into signing this agreement, adopting neutrality,” he said in the interview. “That was essentially the main point. Everything else was cosmetic and political embellishments about ‘denazification,’ the Russian-speaking population, blah blah blah.” There are several key takeaways here. One is that Americans, and indeed all Western publics, should be far more skeptical in future of claims from officials and commentators that diplomatic solutions to conflicts and negotiations with adversarial governments are impossible or ineffective, and that military solutions are the only answer. Indeed, we’ve seen virtually the same arguments deployed against peace talks between Israel and Hamas — a conflict that recently saw a successful temporary ceasefire and hostage exchange — just as we saw them deployed in previous conflicts that likewise ended with successful negotiations.

Another is the carnage that could have been prevented. It was only a few months after negotiations were scuttled that Zelensky admitted Ukraine was losing between 60 and 100 soldiers every day. By August this year, U.S. estimates of Ukrainian casualties, which are an official state secret, stood at nearly 200,000, including 70,000 killed. Amputations among Ukrainians have already reached a comparable scale to that suffered by Germans and Britons over World War One, in a fraction of the time. Besides this death toll, the prolonging of the war has meant profound economic, demographic, and even territorial losses for Ukraine.

Read more …

“The risks of a moment of clarity and honesty may be too great for Hunter. If he recalls these events and messages, he will not only contradict prior denials but face potential criminal charges..”

Will the Real Hunter Biden Now Step Forward? (Turley)

Hunter Biden now has a date with Congress. The President’s son is scheduled to appear on December 13th to answer questions on his role in the alleged Biden corruption scandal. It is a long-awaited moment for the House Oversight Committee, which has assembled a damning array of evidence from shake-down messages to millions in transfers from shady foreign sources. The only question now is which Hunter will appear. He has been reinvented by his lawyers and public relations team so many times he now seems like a Sybil witness with carefully constructed alternative personalities. Played by Sally Field in the 1976 movie, Sybil was believed to have had dissociative identity disorder with over a 100 separate personalities. In reality, the real Sybil (Shirley Mason) admitted that the different personalities were fake. We will have to wait for the public hearing to see which Hunter will appear. Here are some of the options from the Hunter Biden repertoire:

Hunter the Genius. First, there is the gifted attorney and expert on issues ranging from trains to energy. For years, Joe Biden arranged for high-ranking positions like his appointment to the Amtrak Board of Directors — an appointment that even his nominating senator seemed to mock. Hunter the International Businessman. Second there is Hunter Biden the sophisticated international businessman whose fame for financial acumen was sought globally by Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, and other companies. While admitting that his father’s name helped him, Biden insisted that his resume justified the foreign companies clamoring for his expertise, even instructing a reporter to “say it nicer” when pressed on such questions.

Hunter the The Drug Addict. As the corruption scandal mounted, the Biden team and the media sought to portray Hunter was lacking responsibility for his action due to his addiction to drugs and alcohol. Of course, the “seven percent solution” contradicts the earlier images and only begged the question of why these foreign figures would be clamoring for the services of man who claimed that he was blacked out between trysts with high-priced prostitutes . . . for years. Hunter the Hunted. Most recently, the “Dark Biden” emerged as his legal team pledged to attack witnesses and critics against him. Now Hunter was to be the insulted and angry son of a President who had had enough of investigations. That image resonates in the letter from his counsel attacking all of these investigations as utterly baseless.

In reality, the hearing is likely to be a Sybil performance with each personality emerging when useful. Hunter will likely claim a lack of memory on many of the most embarrassing discoveries as the hopeless addict. He will then fall back on his resume to claim that his appeal to foreign companies was his insights and experience. Angry Hunter will then appear at critical moments to express disgust with the committee and portray questions as attacking recovered addicts everywhere. The one personality that is unlikely to manifest itself during the hearing is the one that has yet to appear in public: the honest Biden. Even the mainstream media has largely abandoned its denial of the corruption in these contracts. Reporters now admit that this was raw influence peddling but insist that there is no evidence that President Biden personally benefited from the schemes, as view that I have previously contested.

Yet, it will be difficult for Hunter to go before the Committee and admit that he was selling access to the highest bidders . . . but he was really scamming them. It is easier to claim that he was a hopeless blacked out junkie who was somehow able to maintain a global system of dozens of accounts and shell companies to transfer millions of dollars. The risks of a moment of clarity and honesty may be too great for Hunter. If he recalls these events and messages, he will not only contradict prior denials but face potential criminal charges for any factual misrepresentations. The Justice Department has allowed felonies to lapse against Hunter, but these would be new potential charges with new dates under the statute of limitation.

In the case of Sybil, her psychiatrist, Dr. Connie Wilbur, allegedly was told by his patient that she was making up these personalities but already had a book contract based on her original diagnosis. She went ahead with the book, which became a celebrated movie. It turned out that the existence of the personalities was simply a better story than the reality. The media is in the same position with Hunter. After spending years suppressing the corruption scandal, they are left with an array of carefully constructed personalities that will all likely be on display in December. They and the public will then be able to see a performance that could put Sally Fields to shame as the various Hunters are called before Congress at the same time. Like the movie, it might be hard to keep track and, like one of Sybil’s personalities, you are left asking “Who dat?” The answer is that they are all Hunter and none of them have much to say about corruption.

Read more …

“The Justice Department delayed its investigation into Biden, worked to remove Biden’s name from search warrants and subpoenas, restricted investigators from asking witnesses about US President Joe Biden during interviews and tipped off defense attorneys about their investigation..”

DOJ Gave Hunter Biden ‘Preferential Treatment’ – US House Panels (Sp.)

The House Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Oversight Committees released an interim staff report detailing the Justice Department’s treatment of Biden, who was under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and FBI. “The Committees’ investigative work to date has revealed that the Justice Department afforded Hunter Biden — the President’s son — preferential treatment throughout its investigation of his numerous alleged crimes, and then sought to cover up its actions after two courageous IRS agents stepped forward to blow the whistle on the Department’s deviations from its investigative standards,” the report said.

The Justice Department delayed its investigation into Biden, worked to remove Biden’s name from search warrants and subpoenas, restricted investigators from asking witnesses about US President Joe Biden during interviews and tipped off defense attorneys about their investigation, the report said. There is further information that the Justice Department is withholding from the committees, the report said. The Justice Department has not fully complied with requests for relevant documents and impeded the panels’ probe, the report said. The panels will continue to gather evidence to determine whether articles of impeachment against Joe Biden are warranted, the report said.

Read more …

“Weiss felt it necessary to remind Hunter that his “father, Joseph R. Biden, is the President of the United States” and his administration brought these charges..”

Special Counsel Slams Hunter Biden’s Subpoena Demand (Turley)

Special Counsel David Weiss filed a blistering opposition to Hunter Biden’s request to subpoena former President Trump and other former officials in his ongoing federal trial. On Tuesday, Weiss felt it necessary to remind Hunter that his “father, Joseph R. Biden, is the President of the United States” and his administration brought these charges. This “Father Knows Best” argument suggests that Hunter needs to focus a bit closer to home. We previously discussed how the Biden team had decided to get aggressive with witnesses and enemies. However, counsel Abbe Lowell and his team have run into a wall given the fact that his father’s administration brought these charges.

What is interesting is that critics have been defending the lack of charges for things like FARA and taxes by noting that the investigation began in the Trump Administration. The lack of charges is cited as showing that even that administration could not find evidence. Yet, now that charges were brought by the Biden Administration, the same fact is being cited as showing bias. Hunter was seeking subpoenas for Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr and two other former Trump administration officials. Weiss called Biden’s request “meritless and should be denied.” He added:

“Not only does defendant’s motion fail to identify any actual evidence of bias, vindictiveness, or discriminatory intent on the Special Counsel’s part, his arguments ignore an inconvenient truth: No charges were brought against defendant during the prior administration when the subpoena recipients actually held office in the Executive Branch. Instead, every charge in this matter was or will be brought during the current administration—one in which defendant’s father, Joseph R. Biden, is the President of the United States and Merrick B. Garland is the Attorney General that was appointed by President Biden and who personally appointed the Special Counsel. Defendant has not shown, nor can he, how external statements by political opponents of President Biden improperly pressured him, his Attorney General, or the Special Counsel to pursue charges against the President’s son.” In other words, as Margaret Anderson observed: “Well, I suppose Father knows best.”

Read more …

They shared it with Fani Willis and only then erased the tapes?!

House GOP: Evidence Of Coordination Between Democrat J6 panel, Georgia DA (JTN)

Two key House GOP lawmakers on Tuesday launched an investigation into possible collusion between Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and the Democrats’ Jan. 6 committee after uncovering evidence the prosecutor pursuing criminal charges against Donald Trump asked for evidence from Congress. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., the chairman of the House Administration’s Subcommittee on Oversight, said they had unearthed a Dec. 17, 2021, letter from Willis asking Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., the chairman of the January 6 Select Committee, to provide her office evidence that could assist in her prosecution of Trump and other defendants. In a letter to Willis, Jordan and Loudermilk said they found evidence to be troubling.

“Specifically, you asked Rep. Thompson for access to ‘record [sic] includ[ing] but . . . not limited to recordings and transcripts of witness interviews and depositions, electronic and print records of communications, and records of travel.’ You even offered that you and your staff were eager to travel to Washington, D.C, to ‘meet with investigators in person’ and to receive these records ‘any time’ between January 31, 2022, and February 25, 2022,” the lawmakers wrote. Some of the video transcripts of Jan. 6 witnesses are now missing, according to Loudermilk. Willis would eventually charge Trump and several other defendants with felonies related to the Jan. 6 riot, charges the former president and his defenders have called politically motivated. The charges are primarily on alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

“The coordination between Fulton County, GA District Attorney Fani Willis, and Pelosi’s January 6 Select Committee, should be concerning to everyone. This new information raises questions about Willis’ and Thompson’s commitment to due process, and whether House Rules were violated when the Select Committee failed to properly disclose this material. We have serious concerns about this behavior and we are seeking the truth,” Loudermilk said after he and Jordan released the letter. The letter asks Willis to provide to Jordan and Loudermilk “all documents and communications between or among the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol for the period July 1, 2021, to January 3, 2023.”

Read more …

“..if the official data showed that the Covid “vaccine” was not dangerous, the authorities would release it, and it would not have to be leaked..”

Why Do You Trust Those Who Lie To You? (Paul Craig Roberts)

Think about this for a moment. The facts are in. Big Pharma’s Covid “vaccines” have a high death rate and a high health injury rate. We know this from a number of official sources, such as Pfizer’s internal documents the release of which was ordered by US federal courts and from the release of the New Zealand data by the official data administrator. We also know it from countless scientific peer reviewed studies that every effort is made to suppress. It is obvious that if the official data showed that the Covid “vaccine” was not dangerous, the authorities would release it, and it would not have to be leaked by data administrators or ordered released by courts. Now ask yourselves and your friends what it means that the official health authorities of allegedly accountable democratic governments not only suppress the information but demonize and arrest those, such as New Zealand’s data administrator, who make it public.

Ask yourselves why the media discredits and supports the arrest of those who tell the truth in an attempt to save lives. Ask yourselves why public health agencies and HMOs continue recommending the deadly “vaccine” when the “vaccine” has a proven record of being deadly. Ask yourselves why the public trusts authorities who are out to murder them. Do you understand that the Covid “vaccine” still in use are doses approved under the emergency use authorization? The subsequently approved doses have not been released. Why? The reason is that the emergency use authorization in the US prevents lawsuits for damages, but the approved use batches do not. Obviously, the “vaccine” makers and the authorities understand that the vaccine is dangerous and requires use under emergency use authorization to avoid liability.

The people who died from Covid, instead of from the “vaccine,” died from the withholding of the known proven cures–Ivermectin and HCQ. The cures had to be withheld, because under the law if a cure existed, emergency use could not be activated. So in order for Big Pharma to make billions of dollars by killing and injuring the health of unsuspecting citizens, the cures were suppressed, and people died needlessly. Political and health authorities blamed the deaths on the unvaccinated. The corrupt media lampooned Ivermectin as “horse medicine.” And Americans fell for the outrageous lie and died. This is America. Are you proud of your government, media, and health establishment owned lock, stock, and barrel by Big Pharma? Are you a Proud American or one shamed to Hell by “your” government, “your” health authority, and “your” media? What are you going to do about it?

Read more …

“..Johnson is expected to reference the EU row when he gives evidence to a UK Covid inquiry on Wednesday..”

Boris Johnson Considered Military Raid On Holland – Daily Mail (RT)

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked military advisers to prepare plans to raid a Dutch Covid-19 vaccine plant to retrieve 5 million AstraZeneca doses, the Daily Mail has claimed. Johnson was “enraged” by a diplomatic spat with the EU after Brussels threatened to prevent doses of the vaccine from being sent to the UK from the plant in March 2021, the outlet reported on Sunday, citing anonymous sources. At the time, the EU was embroiled in a dispute with the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company over the rollout of the vaccine. AstraZeneca had said production issues meant it could only deliver about one-quarter of the planned stock to the EU, and had refused to divert supplies from its factories in the UK.

This prompted Brussels to threaten to ban exports of the vaccine from its own territory, which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen claimed was necessary to ensure “Europe gets its fair share.” Johnson, who had pledged that priority groups in the UK would be fully vaccinated by mid-April 2021, subsequently asked military advisers to prepare plans to forcefully retrieve the vaccine doses from the plant in Leiden, the Daily Mail reported. “The PM was enraged,” the diplomatic source told the newspaper. “He ordered officials to look at all options for responding, and that did include asking the security services to look at whether there were any options for physically going and taking the vaccines from the Netherlands and bringing them here.”

A second source said that the EU, whose actions they described as “Trumpian,” could not “accept the fact that we had negotiated a better deal with AstraZeneca… They (the vaccines) were effectively stolen.” However, the idea was abandoned after Johnson was advised that conducting a military-style operation to seize the vaccines would seriously undermine relations with the EU. It would also threaten the supply of future vaccine doses from elsewhere in the bloc, the Daily Mail said. Johnson is expected to reference the EU row when he gives evidence to a UK Covid inquiry on Wednesday. It was previously reported by The Times that the former premier will admit he “unquestionably made mistakes” in his leadership throughout the pandemic. However, he is also set to claim that his actions saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick Moore Net Zero

 

 

 

 

David Martin Covid 1966
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731921253026656632

 

 

Yeadon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731978883069878374

 

 

Questions

 

 

this ‘impossible portal’ created by coded loop artist @jn3008 challanges your mind leaning toward you or away from you

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 252023
 
 November 25, 2023  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Giorgio de Chirico The Enigma of the Hour 1910

 

No Ceasefire in the Propaganda War (Craig Murray)
As Israel Pounds Gaza, BBC Journalists Accuse Broadcaster Of Bias (AlJ)
Was October 7th a Hamas or Israeli Massacre? (Cradle)
The Eviction Notice Is Being Written, and Will Come in Four Languages (Escobar)
Ukraine Conflict Could Have Ended In Spring 2022 – Kiev’s Top MP (RT)
US, Germany Trying To Nudge Ukraine To Negotiating Table (TASS)
Zelensky Flags New Military Conscription Drive (RT)
Maidan 10 Years On… (SCF Op-ed)
Control of AI Can Be Similar To Nuclear Non-Proliferation Rules – Putin (TASS)
Eliminating Central Bank ‘Non-Negotiable’ – Argentina’s Milei (RT)
Netizens Slam Biden’s ‘Thanksgiving Guide for Responding to MAGA Nonsense’ (Sp.)
The Biden Administration’s EV Goals Are an Expensive Fantasy (RCW)
How Electric Vehicles Harm The Environment They’re Supposed To Save (RT)

 

 

 

 

Haaretz

 

 

 

 

Finkelstein
https://twitter.com/i/status/1727797005513117828

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter reveals why he gave up his career to fight against Netanyahu & the Israeli Right-Wing

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

 

 

VDH

 

 

Garland

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This “justice” system is an essential part of the imposition of apartheid and the slow genocide, which did not just start this autumn. The BBC won’t tell you that either..”

No Ceasefire in the Propaganda War (Craig Murray)

I have had BBC News on in the background for the last two hours. In that time there have been three lengthy interviews with different relatives of Israeli hostages held by Hamas. There has not been a single interview with a Palestinian relative of a Palestinian prisoner held by Israel. Today 13 Israeli prisoners and 39 Palestinian prisoners are due to be released. 90% of the BBC mentions of prisoner releases do not include the Palestinians at all. Just finished is a ten minute interview of a Professor in Kent on the psychological effects on Israeli hostages. Earlier there was an expert from Tel Aviv on the psychological impact on Israeli hostages’ families. There has been no mreport whatosever of the impact on Palestinian prisoners and their families. The BBC simply does not treat the Palestinians as human, whereas the emphasis on Israeli personal victimhood is incessant and unrelenting.

Of the 300 Palestinian women and children prisoners on the list possibly to be released during the ceasefire, 252 have never been charged with any crime. 23 were charged with stone throwing. Since October 8 over 200 Palestinian children have been taken prisoner, none of whom had anything to do with the October 7 attacks. That rather puts the possible release of 33 children and six women today into perspective. But it is not a perspective the BBC would ever give you. Over 2,000 Palestinians are held by Israel in “administrative detention”, without charge or trial. Some for over twenty years. Since 1967 Israel has made over 1 million arrests of Palestinians. This “justice” system is an essential part of the imposition of apartheid and the slow genocide, which did not just start this autumn. The BBC won’t tell you that either, and appears to have no problem with permanently showcasing its Israel based correspondents churning out the Israeli propaganda narrative, with no attempt at either perspective or balance.

Read more …

“The group does not plan to send the letter to BBC executives, believing such a move was unlikely to lead to meaningful discussions..”

As Israel Pounds Gaza, BBC Journalists Accuse Broadcaster Of Bias (AlJ)

The BBC has been accused by its journalists of failing to tell the story of the Israel-Palestine conflict accurately, investing greater effort in humanising Israeli victims compared with Palestinians, and omitting key historical context in coverage. In a 2,300-word letter written to Al Jazeera by eight UK-based journalists employed by the corporation, the BBC is also said to be guilty of a “double standard in how civilians are seen”, given that it is “unflinching” in its reporting of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine. Fearing reprisal, the journalists requested anonymity. The group does not plan to send the letter to BBC executives, believing such a move was unlikely to lead to meaningful discussions. They sent Al Jazeera the letter as a humanitarian disaster in Gaza escalates, and as grim milestones are reached at pace.

At the time of writing, more than 14,500 Palestinians have been reported as killed by Israeli bombardment, including at least 6,000 children. “The BBC has failed to accurately tell this story – through omission and lack of critical engagement with Israel’s claims – and it has therefore failed to help the public engage with and understand the human rights abuses unfolding in Gaza,” the letter reads. “Thousands of Palestinians have been killed since October 7. When will the number be high enough for our editorial stance to change?” Israel declared war against Hamas after the Palestinian group, which governs the densely populated enclave, attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 Israelis and taking more than 200 hostage. Rights groups and hundreds of thousands of protesters worldwide, outraged by the soaring Palestinian death toll in Gaza, have called for a ceasefire.

The war has also divided newsrooms globally, with disagreements over how each side is being portrayed, the allegedly unequal level of empathy shown to Israeli and Palestinian victims, and the use of language. The BBC journalists said that across British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) platforms, terms like “massacre” and “atrocity”, have been reserved “only for Hamas, framing the group as the only instigator and perpetrator of violence in the region. This is inaccurate but aligns with the BBC’s overall coverage”. The Hamas assault, while “appalling and devastating … does not justify the indiscriminate killing of thousands of Palestinian civilians, and the BBC cannot be seen to support – or fail to interrogate – the logic that it does,” their letter reads.

Read more …

“..Nor has the Israeli government investigated her death or told her relatives how she died. This is because Leil was likely not killed by Hamas, but by the Israeli army.”

Was October 7th a Hamas or Israeli Massacre? (Cradle)

A farewell ceremony was recently held for 12-year-old Liel Hezroni, an Israeli girl from Kibbutz Be’eri who died during the Hamas-led Al-Aqsa Flood military operation on 7 October. There was no traditional burial, just a ceremony, because her body has never been found. Israeli officials initially claimed that the Palestinian resistance killed 1,400 Israelis that day, including 112 in Be’eri. Though Liel died on “Israel’s darkest day,” no government official attended the farewell ceremony to offer condolences to her family. Nor has the Israeli government investigated her death or told her relatives how she died. This is because Leil was likely not killed by Hamas, but by the Israeli army.

Liel died when Israeli military forces fired two tank shells into a home in Be’eri that held 15 Israeli hostages and the 40 Hamas fighters who had taken them captive. Yasmin Porat, 44, is one of two Israelis to have survived the incident. She remained with Liel and other hostages for several hours in the house, guarded, she says, by fighters who treated them “humanely,” and whose “objective was to kidnap us to Gaza. Not to murder us.” Porat’s bombshell revelation was that when Israeli forces arrived, “they eliminated everyone, including the hostages,” the mother of three told Kan. “There was very, very heavy crossfire.”

An official Israeli police investigation into the Nova music festival attack near the Gaza border adds to the growing claims that the army killed civilians. The initial narrative of a Hamas-led massacre of 260 Israelis is swiftly being debunked as Israeli citizens demand investigations and more information surfaces. According to Haaretz, a police source disclosed that an Israeli combat helicopter, upon arrival, not only targeted Hamas fighters but also fired at Israelis attending the festival. The police report has now adjusted the festival death toll to 364 casualties.

A report from Yedioth Ahronoth on 15 October suggested that Hamas intentionally made it difficult for pilots to distinguish between them and Israelis by dressing in civilian clothing. This, it is argued, made the pilots hesitate to attack targets on the ground at first, but they soon began to fire indiscriminately: “The rate of fire against the thousands of terrorists was tremendous at first, and only at a certain point did the pilots begin to slow down the attacks and carefully select the target.” The willingness of occupation forces to unleash overwhelming firepower in this way helps explain the large death toll on 7 October. It also sheds a light on the stark discrepancy between two narratives – one, of a trigger-happy, murderous Hamas that killed hundreds “indiscriminately,” versus the other picture, Palestinian fighters who treated captives ”humanely.”

Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev admitted in an interview last week on MSNBC that the initial death count of 1,400 Israelis from the resistance operation was a mistake. The revised count lowered the number to 1,200. We “overestimated, we made a mistake,” Regev said. “There were actually bodies that were so badly burnt we thought they were ours, in the end, apparently, they were Hamas terrorists.” If some 200 Hamas fighters and Palestinians were burned so severely by tank and helicopter fire that they could not be identified, logic dictates that many Israelis met a similar fate. It may also explain why there was nothing left of Liel Herzoni’s body to bury at her farewell ceremony.

Read more …

“..President Putin defined sending humanitarian aid to Gaza as a “sacred duty”, which in Russian code includes, crucially, the military spectrum..”

The Eviction Notice Is Being Written, and Will Come in Four Languages (Escobar)

The Eviction Notice is being written. And it will come in four languages. Russian. Farsi. Mandarin. And last but not least, English. A much-cherished pleasure of professional writing is to always be enriched by informed readers. This “eviction” insight – worth a thousand geopolitical treatises – was offered by one of my sharpest readers commenting on a column. Concisely, what we have here expresses a deeply felt consensus across the spectrum not only in West Asia but also in most latitudes across the Global South/Global Majority. The Unthinkable, in the form of a genocide conducted live, in real time on every smartphone in the third decade of the millennium – which I called the Raging Twenties in a previous book – has acted like a particle accelerator, concentrating hearts and minds. Those that chose to set West Asia on fire are already confronting nasty blowback. And that goes way beyond diplomacy exercised by Global South leaders.

For the first time in ages, via President Xi Jinping, China has been more than explicit geopolitically (a true Sovereign cannot hedge when it comes to genocide). China’s unmistaken position on Palestine goes way beyond the geoeconomics routine of promoting BRI’s trade and transportation corridors. All that while President Putin defined sending humanitarian aid to Gaza as a “sacred duty”, which in Russian code includes, crucially, the military spectrum. For all the maneuvering and occasional posturing, for all practical purposes everyone knows the current UN arrangement is rotten beyond repair, totally impotent when it comes to imposing meaningful peace negotiations, sanctions or investigations of serial war crimes. The new UN in the making is BRICS 11 – actually BRICS 10, considering new Trojan Horse Argentina in practice may be relegated to a marginal role, assuming it joins on January 1st, 2024.

BRICS 10, led by Russia-China, both regulated by a strong moral compass, keep their ear on the ground and listen to the Arab street and the lands of Islam. Especially their people, much more than their elites. This will be an essential element in 2024 during the Russian presidency of BRICS. The current order of business in the New Great Game is to organize the expulsion of the Hegemon from West Asia – as much a technical challenge as a civilizational challenge. As it stands, the Washington-Tel Aviv continuum are already prisoners of their own device. This ain’t no Hotel California; you may not check out any time you like, but you will be forced to leave.

That may happen in a relatively gentle manner – think Kabul as a Saigon remix – or if push comes to shove may involve a naval Apocalypse Now, complete with expensive iron bathtubs turned into sub-ocean coral reefs and the demise of CENTCOM and its AFRICOM projection. The crucial vector all along is how Iran – and Russia – have played, year after year, with infinite patience, the master strategy devised by Gen. Soleimani, whose assassination actually started the Raging Twenties. A de-weaponized Hegemon cannot defeat the “new axis of evil”, Russia-Iran-China, not only in West Asia but also anywhere in Eurasia, Asia-Pacific, and pan-Africa. Direct participation/normalization of the genocide only worked to accelerate the progressive, inevitable exclusion of the Hegemon from most of the Global South.

All that while Russia meticulously crafts the integration of the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Baltic Sea (Finnish hysteria notwithstanding), the Arctic and the Northwestern Pacific Sea and China turbo-charges the integration of the South China Sea. Xi and Putin are gifted players of chess and go – and profit from stellar advisers of the caliber of Patrushev and Wang Yi. China playing geopolitical go is an exercise in non-confrontation: all you need to do is to block your opponent’s ability to move. Chess and go, in a diplomatic tandem, represent a game where you don’t interrupt your opponent when it is repeatedly shooting itself on the knees. As an extra bonus, you get your opponent antagonizing over 90% of the world’s population. All that will lead to the Hegemon’s economy eventually collapsing. And then it can be beaten by default.

Read more …

Not new, but first time from Ukraine sources.

“As soon as Russia pulled back its troops from the vicinity of Kiev, as a gesture of good will, Ukraine reneged on the deal, Putin said..”

Ukraine Conflict Could Have Ended In Spring 2022 – Kiev’s Top MP (RT)

Russia was ready to stop the fighting had Ukraine agreed to remain neutral, but the West advised Kiev to keep going, the head of President Vladimir Zelensky’s parliamentary faction – and the chief negotiator at the peace talks in Istanbul – David Arakhamia admitted on Friday. Arakhamia, who heads the ‘Servant of the People’ parliamentary group, told the TV channel 1+1 that Moscow had offered Kiev a peace deal in March 2022, but the Ukrainian side did not trust Russia. “Russia’s goal was to put pressure on us so that we would take neutrality. This was the main thing for them: They were ready to end the war if we accepted neutrality, like Finland once did. And we would make a commitment that we will not join NATO. This was the main thing,” said Arakhamia.

However, agreeing to neutrality and giving up NATO membership would have required changing the constitution of Ukraine, Arakhamia explained. “Secondly, there was no trust in the Russians that they would do this. This could only be done with security guarantees,” he told 1+1. During the talks, Arakhamia added, British then-PM Boris Johnson arrived in Kiev and told Ukrainian officials to keep fighting and not sign any agreements with Moscow. Johnson’s role in scuttling the peace talks in Istanbul was revealed in May 2022 by the outlet Ukrayinska Pravda. However, neither the British politician – who was ousted as PM in June that year and eventually landed a job at an American think tank – nor the US government ever officially acknowledged pressuring Kiev into reneging on the draft agreement, which Arakhamia himself had signed with the Russians. Kiev had likewise never officially commented on the matter – until now.

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed to African leaders that Moscow and Kiev had signed a draft agreement “on permanent neutrality and security guarantees for Ukraine” at the talks hosted by Türkiye. As soon as Russia pulled back its troops from the vicinity of Kiev, as a gesture of good will, Ukraine reneged on the deal, Putin said. The Russian withdrawal was presented by Western governments and media as a Ukrainian military victory and they began sending heavy weapons and equipment to Zelensky’s government, fueling the conflict for the next 18 months.

Read more …

“The German-US plan is to supply Kiev with just the kind of weapons and just the right quantity of them to allow the Ukrainian military to hold the current frontline..”

US, Germany Trying To Nudge Ukraine To Negotiating Table (TASS)

The US and Germany want to push Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky toward talks with Russia by providing Ukraine with only just enough weapons to hold the current frontline, the Bild newspaper reported, citing sources in the German government. “The German-US plan is to supply Kiev with just the kind of weapons and just the right quantity of them to allow the Ukrainian military to hold the current frontline, but not retake the conquered territories,” the newspaper reported. “Zelensky must come to the realization that things cannot go on like this on his own, without demands from the outside,” one of the sources told the newspaper. “He must address the nation of his own volition and explain that it is necessary to hold talks.”

The US and Germany want Zelensky to realize that extending the conflict makes no sense for his country. However, neither Chancellor Olaf Scholz nor US President Joe Biden plan to make direct demands that he start negotiations. The US and Germany are the largest suppliers of weapons to Kiev. Bild said the situation at the battlefield is “grim” for Ukraine and that “Russian troops are advancing, albeit slowly.” According to the newspaper, the German government’s main goal now is to help officials in Kiev achieve a “strategically favorable negotiating position.” “The White House and the chancellor’s office are coordinating their actions in this matter,” the sources said.

Bild also reported that Washington and Berlin have a plan B. “What Berlin and Washington want as an alternative to negotiations is a frozen conflict without an agreement between its sides,” one of the sources said. Under that scenario, the current line of engagement will be “a kind of a new border” between Ukraine and Russia. “It would be like Minsk (the Minsk agreements – TASS), but without Minsk,” the source said. The newspaper reported that many German decisions on arms deliveries are now made by Scholz’s office, not by the Defense Ministry headed by Boris Pistorius. According to the report, Pistorius is ready to transfer Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, but his “hands are tied.”.

Read more …

“The West has been pushing Zelensky to expand the conscription age to men aged 17-70 and mobilize more women..”

Zelensky Flags New Military Conscription Drive (RT)

Ukraine will announce a new “complex plan” of mobilization next week, President Vladimir Zelensky said on Friday after meeting with the General Staff. While he offered no details, other Kiev officials hinted at the possibility of demobilizing some soldiers that had been fighting since February 2022. Ukraine has been under pressure to make up the losses incurred in the four-month “counteroffensive” on the southern front, which Russia has estimated at over 90,000 men. “As for the issue of mobilization, you know how complex and very relevant it is,” the Ukrainian president said at a press conference on Friday. “Today there was a comprehensive report on what the challenges are, how to resolve the issue, what to do, what legislative changes, who must do this… A comprehensive plan on this issue will be available next week.”

Kiev first announced a mobilization and declared martial law in February 2022, when the conflict with Russia escalated. It has repeatedly widened the conscription net since, to the point where some German researchers warned this week it could jeopardize Ukraine’s economic recovery. Aleksey Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Ukrainian radio on Friday that at least some of the men mobilized early on in the conflict with Russia might be released from service “in the near future.” “We all know that we now have a problem with mobilization, one might say, a failure of mobilization,” Roman Kostenko, secretary of the parliamentary committee on Defense, National Security and Intelligence, told Ukraine’s Radio NV on Friday. “After the military commissars were replaced, we experienced a failure in mobilization.”

Zelensky had purged all the regional conscription offices earlier this year, citing widespread corruption. By the end of August 2023, over 20,000 men eligible for the draft had fled Ukraine – and another 21,000 tried to flee but were caught, the BBC reported last week. According to Kostenko, Kiev needs to find a solution quickly or it will face “big problems,” describing mobilization as a bigger challenge than the shortage of artillery ammunition. The West has been pushing Zelensky to expand the conscription age to men aged 17-70 and mobilize more women, Russian intelligence said earlier this week. Kiev has neither confirmed nor denied these claims.

Former Deputy Defense Minister Anna Maliar – whom Zelensky sacked in September – told the outlet Liga on Thursday that Ukrainians “shouldn’t be afraid” of mobilization. Ukraine needs to realize some “unpleasant things,” she said, such as that the Russians “simply physically have more people” while Ukraine has a smaller army that “will not get larger” and fewer weapons. “The time for popular solutions has already passed,” Maliar said. “As an adult society, we just need to understand these things and not expect that there should be good news every day.”

Read more …

“Von Der Leyen, who now so absurdly eulogizes Ukraine, was the German minister of Defense during the Maidan coup. Her family’s Nazi past was quite fitting for the role she played in pumping NATO weapons and training to build up Ukrainian paramilitaries..”

Maidan 10 Years On… (SCF Op-ed)

Ten years on from the Maidan uprising in Kiev, the country of the Ukraine has descended into utter chaos, corruption, fascism, destruction and suffering. And yet the Kiev regime and its Western state supporters have the audacity to call the tragic, bloody morass “a decade of dignity”. European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen declared this week: “Ten years of dignity. Ten years of pride. Ten years of striving for freedom. The cold November nights of Euromaidan changed Europe forever. The whole country took to the streets and spoke with one voice… The future for which Maidan fought has finally begun. Glory to Ukraine! Long live Europe!” It is nauseating to hear such bare-faced lies and distortions. “The whole country took the streets”? It was a minority of Nazi ideologues bankrolled by Western powers.

“Speaking with one voice”? The Maidan coup leaders murdered and burned opponents to death as in the Odessa pogrom on May 2, 2014, or in the deadly air strike on unsuspecting Lugansk civilians on June 2, 2014. Bitterly amusing, though, Von Der Leyen inadvertently speaks the truth when she said the Maidan event “changed Europe forever”. It certainly did that, but in an opposite and awful way to her ridiculous, rosy view. As this excellent documentary film makes clear, when the Western transAtlantic powers couldn’t get their way in dragooning Ukraine into joining the EU-NATO axis, the next step was to orchestrate a violent coup d’état in Kiev. This week ten years ago, the elected president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych rejected a vigorously promoted “association agreement” with the EU, preferring instead to orient the country towards closer economic integration with Russia and the Eurasian markets.

That decision by the president triggered relatively minor protests in Kiev dubbed the EuroMaidan which began on November 21, 2013. The rapid escalation of violent protests was obviously fomented and mobilized by external forces: the United States, European Union, the CIA and NATO. It was a repeat of the U.S.-sponsored Orange Revolution in Kiev in 2004 which had failed back then to fully decouple Ukraine from historically close relations with Russia. A second time around, however, the color revolution process would be more deadly and determined. Three months after the initial street demonstrations and amid mounting organized deadly subversion, the coup was executed on February 20, 2014. President Yanukovych fled the country.

A NeoNazi regime seized power and immediately transformed Ukraine into a bastion of anti-Russia hate. World War Two Nazi collaborators were venerated and made public heroes. Russian-speaking people were attacked and lynched. This is all documented, albeit censored out of history by the Western media. American and European politicians midwifed the birth of a monster. The objective was always to create a fascist Frankenstein terrorist state that would do the Western imperialists’ dirty work of destabilizing Russia. American imperialist ideologues like Zbigniew Brzezinski had touted and written books about Ukraine as the bridgehead for destabilizing Russia. The roots of such intrigue can be traced back to the early CIA recruitment of Ukrainian Nazis in the aftermath of World War Two to harass the Soviet Union.

Joe Biden, who was then the vice president in the Obama administration (2008-16), was intimately responsible for the transmogrification of Ukraine. Along the way, Biden even got his drug-addict playboy son Hunter a lucrative job as an executive in the country’s largest gas company. Von Der Leyen, who now so absurdly eulogizes Ukraine, was the German minister of Defense during the Maidan coup. Her family’s Nazi past was quite fitting for the role she played in pumping NATO weapons and training to build up Ukrainian paramilitaries for launching terror attacks on the Russian-speaking regions in the weeks, months and years after 2014.

Read more …

“Putin speculated that the best option would be to reach agreements before any threat in the field of artificial intelligence might emerge. “Do you know when this will be possible? When everybody feels threatened.”

Control of AI Can Be Similar To Nuclear Non-Proliferation Rules – Putin (TASS)

Humanity can agree on common principles of controlling artificial intelligence similar to the nuclear non-proliferation rules, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a conference on artificial intelligence. “Humanity has worked out certain rules related to the use of nuclear technologies, including those in the military field: non-proliferation. It formulated the rules for non-proliferation of delivery vehicles and nuclear technologies as such. There are such rules. Humanity has managed to create this. In the field of artificial intelligence, we can achieve common solutions acceptable to all and necessary for all,” Putin said. His point of view was supported by the head of Sberbank German Gref.

“You are absolutely right. It seems to me that it is in the interests of all people, all of humanity, to approach this process with a sense of great responsibility,” Gref said. He is certain that this process should be fully controlled by people. During the discussion Putin speculated that the best option would be to reach agreements before any threat in the field of artificial intelligence might emerge. “Do you know when this will be possible? When everybody feels threatened. When everyone feels threatened by uncontrolled proliferation, by uncontrolled work in this area, then we will immediately see a wish to reach agreements. It would be the best if common awareness of looming threats led to the wish to negotiate,” Putin said.

Read more …

He’s an interesting man. I like the video.

Eliminating Central Bank ‘Non-Negotiable’ – Argentina’s Milei (RT)

Argentina’s incoming president Javier Milei confirmed on Friday that he will keep his promise to shut the nation’s central bank. The statement was posted by his office on X (formerly Twitter). The shutdown was Milei’s signature campaign pledge along with “shock therapy” to fix Argentina’s beleaguered finances that includes dollarizing the economy, privatizing state-owned media outlets and other public companies including energy firm YPF. The statement reportedly came in response to what Milei has called “false rumors” that he had eased off on his plans, with some people claiming he was picking a more moderate Cabinet than expected.

Milei, who will take office on December 10, predicted it would take him “between 18 and 24 months” to decrease inflation, which is nearing 150%. Some economists have raised concerns that Milei’s “shock therapy sets Argentina on a path of deep uncertainty.” Experts suggested that dollarizing the $622 billion economy at a time of depleted international reserves could plunge the South American nation into another spell of hyperinflation.

Milei

Read more …

“The guide urges Biden supporters to say that “inflation is the lowest” under POTUS, in response to the claim that “the economy was better under Trump!”

Netizens Slam Biden’s ‘Thanksgiving Guide for Responding to MAGA Nonsense’ (Sp.)

The Biden campaign has faced strong criticism from internet users for sharing a set of talking points designed to assist supporters of the President in engaging in political discussions during Thanksgiving, covering a wide range of topics including immigration and the economy. The list, titled “Your handy guide for responding to crazy MAGA nonsense this Thanksgiving,” was shared on X and rejected by many users as nothing but propaganda and gaslighting. “You’re literally gaslighting Americans about the economy. So many Americans are struggling to make ends meet due to inflation,” a netizen wrote.

Another user pointed out the irrelevance of releasing similar talking points before Thanksgiving Day on November 23, noting: “Why not just encourage families to focus on each other, the things that unites them, and their thankfulness for health, each other, etc? One of the guide’s talking points was related to inflation in the US. The guide urges Biden supporters to say that “inflation is the lowest” under POTUS, in response to the claim that “the economy was better under Trump!”. In reality, however, inflation has risen to a four-decade high of 9.1% in June 2022 under the 46th U.S. president. Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics also shows that about 60% of Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck as inflation eats away at their wages.

Read more …

A society commiting suicide.

The Biden Administration’s EV Goals Are an Expensive Fantasy (RCW)

The Biden administration is pushing for widespread electrification in less than 20 years through government subsidies and coercive regulations as part of its aggressive climate agenda. The truth is that President Joe Biden’s goals are an illusion at the expense of the American people. While EV proponents try to claim that EVs will soon be cheaper than gasoline vehicles, our new research demonstrates that EVs benefitted from hidden subsidies that total nearly $50,000 per EV. Who is footing that bill? Gasoline vehicle owners, taxpayers, and utility ratepayers are. Electric vehicles primarily benefit from regulatory credits and generous fuel economy standards, which average $27,881 per vehicle. EVs have been given an unlawful 6.67 multiplier to their rated fuel economy, so that an EV with a rated fuel economy of 100 miles per gallon is credited as if it is getting 667 miles per gallon.

What’s more, the EPA’s proposed fuel economy standards are designed to require that 67% of new passenger cars sold be all-electric by 2032, demonstrating a clear government preference toward EVs without proper consideration of costs and benefits. For gasoline vehicles, the price you see at the gas pump covers the cost of extracting, refining, and transporting the gasoline, but the same cannot be said for the cost of charging an EV. EVs require new charging infrastructure, and their large power draw increases the strain on electricity infrastructure. As our research highlights, a typical EV charging overnight at home consumes as much power as several homes, and an EV charging at a fast-charging station in 30 minutes consumes as much power as a small to medium-sized grocery store. A few extra EVs in the neighborhoods are manageable, but widespread EV adoption will require significant and expensive grid upgrades.

Adding insult to injury, EV owners alone aren’t shouldering these increased electricity costs, which average $11,833 per vehicle over 10 years. Until a utility starts charging EV owners for the extra infrastructure costs to serve them, those costs are shared among all the utility’s customers. Residential electricity costs across the U.S. have risen 20% over the last three years, and a rapid forced adoption of EVs will only make this problem worse. Direct federal and state subsidies provide EVs with another $8,984 per vehicle over 10 years, including the widely publicized $7,500 federal tax credit in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act and smaller state subsidies for EVs. All these subsidies, of course, are borne by the American taxpayer.

President Biden’s expensive green pipe dream is not without irony. While Biden administration claims that these draconian EV mandates are necessary to combat climate change, the widespread adoption of EVs in the developed world would have negligible effects on global emissions and climate. For starters, if EVs are able to displace all the carbon emissions from U.S. passenger cars, that would only cut out 20% of U.S. carbon emissions. Our calculations show that even if the U.S. eliminated all of its carbon emissions by 2050, the effect on global temperatures in 2100 would only be 0.08 degrees Celsius.

[..] The lifetime emissions of the electric version of the Volvo SUV at the center of the study are only a third less than the emissions of the gasoline version, and that is when it is charged on the carbon-light European grid. Different assumptions could lead to an EV emitting more carbon than its gasoline counterpart. The obvious conclusion is that without rapid reductions in carbon emissions from the electric grid, an equally Herculean task to EV mass adoption, EVs will continue to produce significant carbon emissions. Emissions from gasoline vehicles are projected to decline 20% over the next decade, and hybrids, which nearly double the fuel efficiency of a gasoline vehicle with a battery that is 50-100 times smaller than an EV battery, would actually produce the least amount of lifetime emissions. But the net-zero advocates are needlessly demanding all EVs—or nothing.

Read more …

“India’s EVs depend on just the 8,738 Public Charging Stations (PCS) that are operational as of June 2023 [..] The number of PCS needs to increase to a minimum of 1.32 million..”:

How Electric Vehicles Harm The Environment They’re Supposed To Save (RT)

Five Indian cities, including the capital, New Delhi, consistently rank in the world’s top ten worst air-polluted cities. Vehicular emissions are significant contributors; Delhi alone has around four million cars – no wonder the government of India is promoting electric vehicles (EVs) on a large scale. While India’s target is a 30% market share of EVs by 2030, the share is currently only 1.1%. Moreover, concerns exist about whether EVs are a green option if pollution is transferred from the cities to the countryside. Around 27.4 million EVs were running on Indian roads as of July 2023, according to the ‘Vahan4’ portal of the Ministry of Road, Transport, and Highways. To achieve its goal of net zero by 2070 to cut down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, India is expanding its EV market.

The hope in New Delhi, for example, is that a rise in the number of green-number plate vehicles will herald a day when its air will become breathable again. However, India’s EVs depend on just the 8,738 Public Charging Stations (PCS) that are operational as of June 2023, as per the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power data. The number of PCS needs to increase to a minimum of 1.32 million, states the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on ‘Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles,’ to support the 30% market share target. But will EVs really be emission-free? For an EV to achieve maximum environmental benefit, the electricity used for charging must be generated from green or renewable sources. However, much of India’s electricity is still dependent on coal-based thermal power plants, and the government is on a spree to auction more mines and make non-operational mines functional again.

India’s total thermal installed capacity is 238.1 Gigawatts, and over 48.67% of thermal power (around 116 GW) is obtained from coal, and electricity demand is increasing by 4.7% annually. As per the National Electricity Plan (2022-32), the projected peak electricity demand for 2026-27 will be 277.2 GW, and for 2031-32, it will be 366.4 GW. Despite efforts to generate electricity from renewable sources, according to NEP 2022-23, much of India’s electricity will still be derived from thermal plants running on coal by the early 2030s. The share of coal-based capacity in the total installed capacity for the year 2026-27 is likely to be 38.57% and 28.83% for the year 2031-32, which will be around 107 GW and 106 GW respectively, by 2026-27 and 2031-32 – little difference from the present scenario.

Read more …

 

 


Dr. Gabor Maté and Dr. Tarek Loubani, a doctor who treats patients in Gaza and runs the Glia Project which seeks to provide medical supplies to impoverished locations, break down Israel’s systematic destruction of medical practice in Gaza. Loubani recounts his own experiences to portray a horrendous site in which children are forced to undergo surgery using “prehistoric” medicines without anesthesia, and innocent civilians are left for dead due to Israel’s blockading of crucial medial supplies. Maté describes these horrors through the lens of trauma, and gives insight as to how war psychologically destroys all its victims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penguin

 

 

Raccoon

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 242023
 
 November 24, 2023  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  35 Responses »


Jean-Michel Basquiat Self Portrait 1982

 

Hamas is Winning the Battle for Gaza (Scott Ritter)
Gaza: A Pause Before The Storm (Pepe Escobar)
IDF Knew Real Hamas HQ While Lying About al-Shifa (CN)
1,000 Boats To Leave Türkiye For Gaza In New ‘Freedom Flotilla’ (Palinfo)
How Zionists Rewrote the History of The Second World War (McCrae)
How the Democratic Party Faked an American Insurrection (Robert Bridge)
Zelensky Weighing Trump Peace Plan: ‘Time to Wrap This Conflict Up’ ? (Sp.)
2004, 2014, 2022: What Is Ukraine Celebrating? (Oncan)
Dems Fear Ukraine Might Not ‘Survive’ Until 2024 as House Halts Funding (Sp.)
Ukraine Has No One Left to Fight Because of Desertion (Sp.)
Pfizer Sues Poland Over Covid-19 Vaccine (RT)
Eurozone Economy ‘Stuck In The Mud’ – Economist (RT)
Germany to Choose Lifeline for Its Embattled Economy Over Ukraine Aid (Sp.)
Stark Warning Against UK Following Sweden By Going Cashless (Exp.)
European Lawmakers Vote For Abolition Of Member State Vetoes (RMX)
OpenAI Researchers Warned Board of AI Breakthrough Ahead of CEO Ouster (R.)

 

 

 

 

Nap/Macgregor

 

 


Dr. Areilla Oppenheim from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, did the first extensive DNA study in 2001 on Israelis and Palestinians, and concluded that emigrants on ships to Palestine before it became Israel were 40% Mongolian and 40% Turkish. There was no Semitic blood…

 

 

Ray McGovern: They Killed JFK, Will We Let Them Kill Peace?

 

 

Nap/Wilkerson

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Nap Celente

 

 

Joe Lauria: “Is it any coincidence that a 4-day ceasefire allowing cameras to show food trucks delivering aid to Gazans coincides with the 4-day Thanksgiving holiday, when Americans often debate politics and won’t be confronted with images of genocide and deprivation as they overeat? The killing will resume when they go back to work on Monday.”

 

 

Actress Melissa Barrera is fired from the next Scream film sequel for daring to speak for the persecuted #Palestinians – “I’d rather be excluded for who I include, than be included for who I exclude.”

 

 

If you think the pope is pro-Palestinian, wait until you meet Jesus.

 

 

 

 

“..Hamas baited a trap for Israel which the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu predictably rushed into.”

Hamas is Winning the Battle for Gaza (Scott Ritter)

When Hamas launched its October 7 attack on Israel, it initiated a plan years in the making. The meticulous attention to detail that was evident in the Hamas operation underscored the reality that Hamas had been studying the Israeli intelligence and military forces arrayed against it, uncovering weaknesses that were subsequently exploited. The Hamas action represented more than sound tactical and operational planning and execution—it was a masterpiece in strategic conceptualization as well. One of the main reasons behind the Israeli defeat on October 7 was the fact that the Israeli government was convinced that Hamas would never attack, regardless of what the intelligence analysts charged with watching Hamas activity in Gaza were saying. This failure of imagination came about by Hamas having identified the political goals and objectives of Israel (the nullification of Hamas as a resistance organization by undertaking a policy built on “buying” Hamas through an expanded program of work permits issued by Israel for Palestinians living in Gaza.)

By playing along with the work permit program, Hamas lulled the Israeli leadership into complacency, allowing Hamas’ preparations for their attack to be carried out in plain view. The October 7 attack by Hamas was not a stand-alone operation, but rather part of a strategic plan possessing three main objectives—to put the issue of a Palestinian state back on the front burner of international discourse, to free the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, and to compel Israel to cease and desist when it came to its desecration of the Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest place. The October 7 attack, on its own, could not achieve these outcomes. Rather, the October 7 attack was designed to trigger an Israeli response which would create the conditions necessary for Hamas’ objectives to reach fruition. The October 7 attack was designed to humiliate Israel to the point of irrationality, to ensure that any Israeli response would be governed by the emotional need for revenge, as opposed to a rational response designed to nullify the Hamas objectives.

Here, Hamas was guided by the established Israeli doctrine of collective punishment (known as the Dahiya Doctrine, named after the West Beirut suburb that was heavily bombed by Israel in 2006 as a way of punishing the Lebanese people for Israel’s failure to defeat Hezbollah in combat.) By inflicting a humiliating defeat on Israel which shattered both the myth of Israeli invincibility (regarding the Israel Defense Forces) and infallibility (regarding Israeli intelligence), and by taking hundreds of Israelis hostage before withdrawing to its underground lair beneath Gaza, Hamas baited a trap for Israel which the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu predictably rushed into.

Read more …

“South Africans do know a thing or two about apartheid. They, like other critics of Israel, better be extra wary moving forward.”

Gaza: A Pause Before The Storm (Pepe Escobar)

While the world cries “Israeli genocide,” the Biden White House is gushing over the upcoming Gaza truce it helped broker, as though it’s actually “on the verge” of its “biggest diplomatic victory.” Behind the self-congratulatory narratives, the US administration is not remotely “wary about Netanyahu’s endgame,” it fully endorses it – genocide included – as agreed at the White House less than three weeks before Al-Aqsa Flood, in a 20 September meeting between Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and Joe “The Mummy” Biden’s handlers. The US/Qatar-brokered “truce,” which is supposed to go into effect this week, is not a ceasefire. It is a PR move to soften Israel’s genocide and boost its morale by securing the release of a few dozen captives. Moreover, the record shows that Israel never respects ceasefires.

Predictably, what really worries the US administration is the “unintended consequence” of the truce, which will “allow journalists broader access to Gaza and the opportunity to further illuminate the devastation there and turn public opinion on Israel.” Real journalists have been working in Gaza 24/7 since October 7 – dozens of whom have been killed by the Israeli military machine in what Reporters Sans Frontieres calls “one of the deadliest tolls in a century.” These journalists have spared no effort to go all the way to “illuminate the devastation,” a euphemism for the ongoing genocide, shown in all its gruesome detail for the entire world to see. Even the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA), itself relentlessly attacked by Israel, revealed – somewhat meekly – that this has been “the largest displacement since 1948,” an “exodus” of the Palestinian population, with the younger generation “forced to live through traumas of ancestors or parents.”

As for public opinion all across the Global South/Global Majority, it “turned” long ago on Zionist extremism. But now the Global Minority – populations of the collective west – are watching raptly, horrified, and bitter that in just six weeks, social media has exposed them to what mainstream media hid for decades. There will be no turning back now that this penny has dropped. The South African government has paved the path, globally, for the proper reaction to an unfolding genocide: parliament voted to shutter the Israeli embassy, expel the Israeli ambassador, and cut diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv. South Africans do know a thing or two about apartheid. They, like other critics of Israel, better be extra wary moving forward.

Anything can be expected: an outbreak of foreign intel-conducted “terra terra terra” false flags, artificially induced weather calamities, fake “human rights abuse” charges, the collapse of the national currency, the rand, instances of lawfare, assorted Atlanticist apoplexy, sabotage of energy infrastructure. And more. Several nations should have by now invoked the Genocide Convention – given that Israeli politicians and officials have been bragging, on the record, about razing Gaza and besieging, starving, killing, and mass-transferring its Palestinian population. No geopolitical actor has dared thus far. South Africa, for its part, had the courage to go where few Muslim and Arab states have ventured. As matters stand, when it comes to much of the Arab world – particularly the US client states – they are still in Rhetorical Swamp territory.

Read more …

They simply want all hospitals gone, make the strip unlivable.

IDF Knew Real Hamas HQ While Lying About al-Shifa (CN)

Although corporate news media have made it clear they don’t buy the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claim that al-Shifa Hospital has been a cover for a Hamas command and control center and weapons armory, Western media have failed to report a much bigger story. The IDF and the Israeli government already knew when they launched their propaganda campaign about al-Shifa that Hamas had no military command and control facility hidden there because it had already found the complex kilometers away. As Consortium News reported last week, for 15 years the Israelis claimed Hamas was operating its primary command and control base from a tunnel underneath al-Shifa. After the Israeli bombing campaign against Gaza began in October, the Israeli military amplified that message to press its contention that by hiding the Hamas high command, al-Shifa Hospital had lost its immunity from military operations under the law of war, and could now legitimately be taken over by force.

On Nov. 11, IDF spokesman Richard Hecht declared that al-Shifa was the “main hub of Hamas activity;” Newsweek reported the IDF regarded al-Shifa Hospital as “Hamas’s main command post” and the Times of Israel headlined “Hamas leaders again hiding under hospital”. The crescendo of Israeli propaganda about al-Shifa being a “human shield” for Hamas came with a long report published by The New York Times on Nov. 14. It was based on interviews with eight present and former intelligence and defense officials, describing a vast military command complex under al-Shifa with multiple levels. But something quite unexpected had happened during this new round of press stories on al-Shifa that completely demolished the entire IDF story line: the IDF had gained control of the real Hamas command and control center in an area where the Hamas leadership had previously had their above-ground offices in the Al Atatra neighborhood, in the extreme northwest of Beit Lahiya city, 8.5km away from al-Shifa.

After that office building was demolished, the IDF discovered a major tunnel facility that was quite certain had been the central headquarters for the Hamas high command — the command and control center for the entire war. As the IDF leaked to The Jerusalem Post in a story published Nov. 14, the discovery was made “several days ago” of a tunnel with an elevator that reached thirty meters underground, compared with only five meters underground in other tunnels. Furthermore it had been equipped with oxygen, air conditioning and more advanced communications than seen anywhere else. That major IDF discovery, made on or before the Nov. 11 false stories about al-Shifa, threatened to undermine the Israeli political campaign to justify the IDF’s takeover and destruction of Gaza’s hospitals on the grounds that they were “human shields” for Hamas.

Al-Shifa Hospital was the centerpiece of that campaign, based on the claim that it was hiding the high command of Hamas in a tunnel underneath it. Obviously the IDF and the extreme right-wing Israel government would want to stop all further publicity about the discovery of the actual Hamas high command’s underground base. No story about the discovery of the real Hamas high command bunker has been published inside Israel or elsewhere in the nearly two weeks since the detailed Jerusalem Post piece on Nov. 14. Somehow the Israeli government and media have been able to completely suppress the discovery of the Hamas headquarters, despite the fact that a number of foreign news media have offices in Tel Aviv and the story is still available on the internet.

Read more …

“..the boats will carry 4,500 people from 40 countries, “including anti-Zionist Jews.”

1,000 Boats To Leave Türkiye For Gaza In New ‘Freedom Flotilla’ (Palinfo)

Approximately 1,000 boats have gathered in Türkiye on Wednesday before heading toward Gaza in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade in a similar attempt from over a decade ago. In an interview with Turkish news website Haber7, Volkan Okçu, one of the organizers of the protest, indicated the boats will carry 4,500 people from 40 countries, “including anti-Zionist Jews.” Among the 1,000 vessels would be 313 boats filled with Russian activists, and 104 filled with Spanish activists, he said. Only 12 Turkish vessels will join the flotilla, he told Haber7. However, Okçu said in a later tweet that he expected the number of Turkish vessels to be much higher.

The activist indicated to Haber7 that the flotilla is scheduled to leave Turkish coasts on Thursday. The maritime convoy is set to make a first stop in Cyprus before continuing toward the Israeli port of Ashdod. Some participants in the flotilla will also reportedly take their spouses and children on board.

Read more …

“Hitler sought to radicalise Muslims for jihad against the British and French colonial powers, as had the Kaiser in the First World War.”

How Zionists Rewrote the History of The Second World War (McCrae)

The truth about the relationship between the Third Reich and the Jews is more complicated than the induced horror of a trip to Auschwitz. Robert Oulds, in his masterpiece, World War II: the First Culture War (2023), describes what happened in Palestine, a less-known yet dramatic theatre of the Second World War. In the 1930s Hitler had supported a Jewish homeland, as was already emerging since the Balfour Declaration of 1917. But the Holy Land around Jerusalem was keenly contested. The British had suppressed the Arab Revolt of 1936 to 1939, but Palestine and the wider Middle East were volatile.. Hitler sought to radicalise Muslims for jihad against the British and French colonial powers, as had the Kaiser in the First World War. As Oulds explains: ‘Hitler planned to use Crete as a steppingstone to reach Cyprus and from there take Palestine from the British and Zionists who were in the process of colonising the Mandate.’

The Zionist paramilitary organisation, the Stern Gang, sought cooperation with the Nazis, to liberate Palestine from British control, but their overtures were coolly received. Hitler favoured the Arab nationalists. Meanwhile, twelve thousand Palestinians, mostly but not exclusively Christian, had volunteered to serve in the British army. According to Oulds, ‘the Nazis admired Islam because its adherents were prepared to sacrifice their lives for their cause. Furthermore, as the Nazis were opponents of Judeo-Christian heritage, they thought that Islam could be a useful tool in undermining the traditions which the National Socialists despised.’ Ironically, this was similar to the aim of the Frankfurt School, whose Cultural Marxist professors were predominantly of the Jewish intelligentsia targeted by Hitler.

Muslims, particularly from the Caucasus, Bosnia and the Crimean Tatars, were recruited to the Waffen SS. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem helped the Germans in this regard. However, Hitler’s Middle-Eastern endeavour was unsuccessful. Zionists showed little gratitude to the British for the initiation of the Jewish state. The Stern Gang killed about two hundred servicemen, many of whom had fought bravely in the North African desert against Rommel’s army. In 1946, ninety-one people died in the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, site of the British administrative headquarters. Twenty-eight lives were lost, including five British soldiers, in an attack on the El Kantara to Haifa express train in 1947. Other violent campaigns of terror and ethnic cleansing were waged by other Jewish terrorist organisations, including the Haganah, Irgun, and Lehi.

Read more …

“And just like that the J6 Committee’s violent insurrection narrative has crumbled..”

How the Democratic Party Faked an American Insurrection (Robert Bridge)

“Truth and transparency are critical,” Johnson said in a prepared statement. “This decision will provide millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations, and the media an ability to see for themselves what happened that day, rather than having to rely upon the interpretation of a small group of government officials.” Democrats, however, who have milked the ‘insurrectionist’ narrative for everything it is worth, predictably chafed at the release, calling it a ‘risk to national security.’ “It is unconscionable that one of Speaker Johnson’s first official acts as steward of the institution is to endanger his colleagues, staff, visitors, and our country by allowing virtually unfettered access to sensitive Capitol security footage,” said New York Democrat Rep. Joseph Morelle, who sits on the Committee on House Administration. “That he is doing so over the strenuous objections of the security professionals within the Capitol Police is outrageous. This is not transparency; this is dangerous and irresponsible.”

For almost two years, Democrats, who managed to cherry-pick the most suggestive scenes of the footage, portrayed January 6th as everything from another September 11 to a second Pear Harbor. Last year, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), the photogenic member of the Democrat’s radical progressive wing, was shown visibly upset after having to “relive” the events of the Capitol riot. “I am so angry. Having to relive that footage,” she sobbed, rubbing her forehead. “I know it’s not just me. This is everyone.” “These attacks killed people, traumatized people and for any of you right-winger Trump loyalists, he sent his own people to jail, and promised his own people that he would pardon them.” The inconvenient truth, however, is that only one person was killed on the day of the Capitol riot – unarmed Air Force veteran and avid Trump supporter, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a police officer.

Now, Republicans are demanding justice be served and that the incarcerated protesters be immediately set free. “And just like that the J6 Committee’s violent insurrection narrative has crumbled,” said conservative commentator Charlie Kirk over X (formerly Twitter). “The Capitol Police facilitated the protesters passage through the building…the vast majority of J6ers should be immediately released.” However, with the Democrats still in control of Washington, D.C., together with the FBI, the Justice Department and other administrative offices, the Republicans will have to wait until November 4th – and possibly longer if they lose their White House bid – before any real justice is meted out. Meanwhile, federal officials have said there is no evidence that law enforcement officials helped coordinate the attacks.

“If you are asking whether the violence at the Capitol on January 6 was part of some operation orchestrated by FBI sources or agents the answer is emphatically no,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) during a House Committee hearing. Higgins was questioning Wray about two Greyhound buses he said dropped off FBI agents dressed as Trump supporters at the Capitol on January 6, referring to the vehicles as “ghost buses.” Whatever the case may be, the fresh revelations were a silver lining in a shitstorm that has been following Donald Trump, who hopes to win back the White House next November despite multiple legal woes. “Congratulations to Speaker of the House Mike Johnson for having the Courage and Fortitude to release all of the J6 Tapes, which will explicitly reveal what really happened on January 6th!” Trump wrote on Truth Social Friday.

Read more …

“Buying a ticket to the Trump Circus could really backfire for Zelensky..”

Zelensky Weighing Trump Peace Plan: ‘Time to Wrap This Conflict Up’ ? (Sp.)

In a recent interview with US media, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signaled a belated interest in a peace proposal pitched earlier this year by former US President Donald Trump. In June, before a failed Ukrainian counteroffensive and a renewed Russian offensive, Zelensky had appeared incredulous at the suggestion of a negotiated settlement. In May, Trump claimed he “would have that war settled in one day, 24 hours” if he were president, saying he would sit down with both Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin, both of whom “have their weaknesses.” The following month, as Ukraine was preparing to launch a highly anticipated counter-offensive, Zelensky told a US newspaper he “couldn’t understand” Trump’s statement, noting that in the four years Trump was in the White House, he didn’t secure the return of Crimea – by then part of the Russian Federation following its secession from Ukraine – or the Donbass – then governed by the autonomous People’s Republics that had not yet been recognized by Moscow – to Ukrainian control.

However, the Ukrainian counteroffensive fell flat on its face, failing to secure all but the most meager of territorial gains for Ukraine at an appalling human and materiel cost, and now Russian forces have launched their own operations aimed at pushing Ukrainian forces out of claimed Russian territories. Speaking with a US television news outlet on Tuesday, Zelensky said he was “ready” to hear Trump’s proposal. “Let’s speak with him and give him this possibility to show what steps [are] of his peace formula,” Zelensky said. “He can share it with me,” the Ukrainian leader said. “Yes, we can stop this war if we will give Russia Donbass and Crimea, to my mind that our country will not be ready for that such [a] peace plan. That is not [a] peace plan.” However, earlier this month, Zelensky told another US news outlet that he would only need “24 minutes” to explain to Trump “that he can’t manage this war … he can’t bring peace because of Putin.”

The US has already funneled more than $113 billion in aid to Kiev since Russia’s special operation began in February 2022, according to US government statistics, and Biden has called on Congress to approve a massive $61.4 billion aid bill. On Monday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin traveled to Kiev and declared the US would “continue to stand with Ukraine” and “will continue to support Ukraine’s urgent battlefield needs and long-term defense requirements.” Michael Shannon, a political commentator and Newsmax columnist, told Sputnik on Wednesday that Zelensky’s shift toward Trump was a risky intervention into US domestic politics that could seriously backfire. “It’s beginning to look like Zelensky’s blank check for US financial and military support has been returned for insufficient funds. The attitude on the part of the Biden administration and the left has been changing from ‘fighting to the last Ukrainian’ to ‘maybe it’s time to wrap this conflict up,’” Shannon told Sputnik.

“You can see evidence of this change in the coverage of the diplomatic portion of the conflict,” he noted. “The Regime Media is discussing negotiations without the previous preconditions. Zelensky can read the room and may be thinking that listening to Trump will signal an openness to alternative outcomes for the war.” However, Shannon also floated the opposite possibility: that Zelensky sees this maneuver as a ploy to provoke the White House into doubling down on support for Ukraine. “Or, it could be that Zelensky knows Trump is absolutely toxic to the Biden administration and he hopes that by meeting with Trump it will make a negotiated peace at this time anathema to the administration,” he explained. “Call it a ‘diplomatic bank shot’ if you will. A very risky bank shot. Zelensky would have been smarter to continue to ignore Trump.”

Read more …

Not much left to celebrate..

2004, 2014, 2022: What Is Ukraine Celebrating? (Oncan)

The catalyst for the Maidan coup, as it is now known, was the suspension of the association process with the EU by the Ukrainian government on November 21, 2013. Allegations of corruption further fueled pro-Western actions. A symbolic moment occurred on December 8 of the same year when the Lenin statue in Kiev was demolished, signaling a transformative shift for Ukraine. The activists leading the Maidan protests were primarily figures associated with Ukraine’s Western-backed ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi movements. The Social-Nationalist Party, founded in 1991 and later renamed Svoboda (ironically meaning “Freedom”), played a significant role in the 2014 protests through its youth organization, Ukrainian Patriot.

Notably, neo-Nazi figure Andrey Biletskiy, founder of Trizub (established in 2002 and later transformed into the Azov Battalion), symbolizes the character of the Maidan regime, having been imprisoned for demolishing the Lenin statue in 2011 but subsequently released to enter parliament after the coup. Dmitry Yarosh, the founder of Praviy Sektor and a manager of Trizub, emerged as a leading figure in neo-Nazi organizations during and after the Maidan protests. Yarosh further gained influence as the chief advisor to the Chief of General Staff of Ukraine. The United States, a major international supporter of the Maidan protests, was notably represented by Victoria Nuland, who, as the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, distributed cookies to Ukrainian activists during the ongoing protests. Nuland’s involvement in shaping the post-coup administration, coupled with the claim that the USA spent $5 billion on Ukraine over two decades, highlighted the significant U.S. role.

The strong U.S. support for the Maidan coup also found expression in the appointment of Hunter Biden, the son of then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, to the board of directors of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest energy company. Following the coup, the ultra-nationalist government’s initial actions aimed to erase the Soviet past, suppress Russian cultural presence, and undertake moves against Russians in the country. The Ukrainian administration implemented measures such as banning the Russian language in public spaces, erecting statues of Nazi collaborators (particularly Bandera), designating their birthdays as public holidays, equalizing the status of Red Army veterans and members of Nazi collaborator organizations, official affiliation of neo-Nazi groups with the Ukrainian army, and the banning, persecution, and killing of members of the Communist Party and socialist organizations.

Russians, predominantly located in the east of the country, formed anti-fascist unions and engaged in Anti-Maidan actions to protect against attacks. This resistance led to the establishment of the Federal State of Novorossiya, comprising the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Despite the Minsk protocol signed by Ukraine, Russia, Donetsk, Lugansk, and OSCE representatives for a ceasefire, Ukrainian forces persisted in their attacks. A protracted war ensued, exacerbated by the special military operation launched by Russia.

Read more …

Make peace you fools.

Dems Fear Ukraine Might Not ‘Survive’ Until 2024 as House Halts Funding (Sp.)

The crisis in the Middle East, the possibility of a government shutdown, and the election of a new House speaker have shifted Washington’s attention away from Ukraine, with officials in the Pentagon and civilian agencies sending increasingly desperate warning signals that they’re running out of cash to sink into NATO’s proxy war against Russia. White House officials and Democratic lawmakers lobbying for the extension of US economic and military assistance to Ukraine have sounded the alarm over GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson’s perceived foot-dragging in setting up a vote on the issue. Citing recent attempts to include Ukraine funding into omnibus, must-pass funding measures, Democratic lawmakers pointed out that the next stopgap funding bill won’t be coming until late January or early February of 2024, and expressed fears about whether Kiev can hold out for that long.

“I don’t know that Ukraine can survive until February of 2024,” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy told Beltway media this week. “My sense is they start to run short of ammunition in the next several weeks.” “We have to bear down, get this done and get this supplemental passed soon because the brave Ukrainians who are fighting as winter is coming are looking at losing the supplies they’ve needed for ammunition, for missiles, for drones, for defense, for armor, and we cannot possibly afford to abandon Ukraine,” his colleague, Democratic Senator Chris Coons concurred. Johnson and his conservative Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives torpedoed President Joe Biden’s proposed $105 billion all-in-one funding bill this month containing money for Ukraine, Israel, cash for US brinksmanship with China in the Pacific, and the border crisis, instead pushing through a stopgap measure preventing a government shutdown and assuring funding for government services, but not a cent more.

The bill passed the Senate, and President Biden reluctantly signed it, despite earlier threats by the White House to veto the measure. For the Pentagon and US civilian agencies tasked with doling out cash to Kiev, Johnson’s reluctance to tee up a vote on Ukraine poses a real danger, with US military officials warning earlier this month that there was only about $1 billion remaining in the Ukraine war chest, and a USAID administrator revealing that its funds for direct budgetary support were all gone. “Without further appropriations, the government of Ukraine would need to use emergency measures such as printing money or not paying critical salaries, which could lead to hyperinflation, and severely damage the war effort,” USIAD assistant administrator Erin McKee said in congressional testimony earlier this month.

Senior White House aides informed media that part of the administration’s problem with Johnson is that it “does not yet have a clear read” on the politician’s negotiating style, and expressed concerns that the speaker may not be as malleable as his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy to backroom side deals (which helped culminate in McCarthy’s ouster).

Read more …

“Ukrainian prisons are currently holding at least a few brigades of deserters. Their motive is clear: fear of death..”

Ukraine Has No One Left to Fight Because of Desertion (Sp.)

The botched counteroffensive has caused the Kiev regime a serious shortage of human resources for mobilization, not to mention growing questions from Kiev’s Western allies and donors as to what they are actually providing money and weapons for. In 2021, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine initiated 117 criminal cases for desertion. Another 2,028 cases were classified as “unauthorized leaving of a military unit or place of service,” meaning that individuals left their units with the intention of returning. In addition, there were 33 cases of self-inflicted injuries.In the first nine months of this year, 4,638 soldiers deserted from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 10,940 temporarily left service, and there were 161 cases of self-harm. Deserters face sentences of five to eight years in prison. In some instances, these cases often end with a pretrial agreement and a suspended sentence.

Ukrainian prisons are currently holding at least a few brigades of deserters. Their motive is clear: fear of death. Local media reported that a Russian missile destroyed several dozen soldiers in their barracks. One survivor fled, taking his rifle with him. His friends say he surrendered as a PoW. Nevertheless, he was sentenced to eight years in prison. Another soldier left his position after it was shelled, but returned later. He was sent to a military psychiatrist. He did not fully recover, disappeared again, then was arrested and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. Another deserter admitted in court that he feared for his life during the attack on Liman. According to him, the operation was poorly planned and lacked fire support. Sentence: five years. Some try to flee abroad. In July, a deserter was caught on the border with Romania. He was also sentenced to five years.

They are also sent to penal battalions. This is not widely publicized, but it happens. At the front, however, they only trust those who surrendered at the first opportunity, and now they are only assigned to construction work. Officers are punished for the desertion of subordinates. Therefore, if a soldier declares that he would rather go to jail than face bullets, he will be kept in the rear. However, fatigue from the fighting is mounting for everyone. Losses are enormous and finding replacements are problematic. Many combat units are 30-40 percent short of personnel. Almost everywhere, there are hidden desertions. Soldiers, sergeants, and officers feign illness and try to stay at headquarters and in rear units – anything to avoid the front lines. And then “psychologists” rush to help, complaining that many people live by the principle “see no evil, hear no evil,” so the state should intensify propaganda.

Read more …

Reminder: Von der Leyen “negotiated” with Bourla on WhatsApp (or a similar app) , because she was not required to save such talks.

Pfizer Sues Poland Over Covid-19 Vaccine (RT)

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has escalated its feud with Poland over excess Covid-19 vaccine doses that were ordered under a massive contract with the European Union, filing a lawsuit to demand payment for 60 million jabs that Warsaw didn’t need. The case was filed this week in Brussels, demanding 6 billion zloty ($1.5 billion) for the vaccines that Poland’s government declined after it stopped taking delivery of the jabs in April 2019. Warsaw was locked into buying its share of Covid-19 inoculations under a controversial contract that the European Commission signed with Pfizer in 2021 on behalf of EU nations. The bloc wound up ordering 1.1 billion doses under the contract, saddling EU states with a vaccine glut as the Covid-19 pandemic waned.

The EU prosecutor’s office announced an investigation of the procurement process amid allegations of corruption and secret backroom dealings. Polish officials questioned the role of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in making the deal. Von der Leyen admitted to privately communicating with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla for weeks during the contract negotiations, but the European Commission said last year that her text exchanges with the executive could not be found. The first hearing in Pfizer’s lawsuit is scheduled to take place on December 6. The company offered earlier this year to give the EU more time to complete its minimum vaccine purchases under the binding contract, but it insisted that it eventually be paid for the full number of doses to which the bloc committed. Poland refused to sign on to a revised EU agreement with the drugmaker.

Polish Health Minister Katarzyna Sojka told broadcaster TVN24 on Wednesday that there is some hope of resolving the Pfizer lawsuit “in a positive way.” She noted that Warsaw is not alone in the issue, as other EU states will face similar lawsuits. Pfizer decided to go forward with the lawsuit “following a prolonged contract breach and a period of discussions in good faith between the parties,” a company spokesman told Politico. Millions of Poles refused to receive Covid-19 vaccines, and Warsaw halted deliveries of the jabs as an influx of Ukrainian refugees in early 2022 strained the government’s finances.

Read more …

“The situation is especially dire in the Eurozone’s two largest economies, Germany and France..”

Eurozone Economy ‘Stuck In The Mud’ – Economist (RT)

The lingering economic downturn in the Eurozone signals that the region may plunge into a recession by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing economists and private-sector activity surveys. According to S&P Global, the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) in the region continued to shrink in November, plunging to 47.1 points, the sixth consecutive monthly reading below 50 – the threshold separating contraction from growth. The same trend was seen in both manufacturing and services. “The Eurozone economy is stuck in the mud,” Hamburg Commercial Bank chief economist Cyrus de la Rubia told the news outlet. According to the expert, everything points to “a second consecutive quarter of shrinking GDP” after a 0.1% drop in gross domestic product in the previous quarter, which would constitute a technical recession.

The situation is especially dire in the Eurozone’s two largest economies, Germany and France, de la Rubia said, noting that both are “in the grip of considerable weakness.” While Germany’s contraction somewhat eased in November and private-sector activity shrank at a slower pace than in the previous month, the country remains “in recession territory” and its economy may return to growth no sooner than next year, the analyst predicted. The state of affairs in France, meanwhile, was even worse, with the country’s PMI little changed at 44.5. Both manufacturing and services are suffering from weak demand, while the surge in unused business capacity triggered the first decline in private-sector employment in three years. This put the country’s economy “in a kind of a dead-end,” according to another economist at Hamburg Commercial Bank, Norman Liebke. Inflation in both France and Germany remained far above target levels and is unlikely to decrease sufficiently enough to stop weighing on their economies in the short term, de la Rubia said.

Read more …

They didn’t choose, the Federal Constitutional Court made the choice for them.

Germany to Choose Lifeline for Its Embattled Economy Over Ukraine Aid (Sp.)

The German Finance Ministry has announced a freeze on almost all new spending approvals for 2023, permitting only current liabilities and exceptional new obligations, after a Federal Constitutional Court ruling questioned the legality of several hundred billion euros in special funds. Berlin is facing a tough choice between financial support for German businesses and continuing to waste money on the “failed project” that is NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. As “Ukraine fatigue” percolating throughout the West increasingly pulls the rug from under Kiev’s hopes for continued financial and military assistance being funneled to it, another blow might have been dealt to Europe’s efforts to sustain aid for the regime, the WSJ noted.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner announced a freeze on public spending for the rest of the year on Monday. Applicable to almost the entire budget for 2023, the decision was made due to “the need to review the overall budgetary situation for the federal budget,” as per a statement from the ministry. The move came in the wake of a bombshell ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court last week. The judicial ruling stated that the €60 billion (over $65 billion) earmarked for the pandemic response cannot be repurposed for other initiatives, like advancing green manufacturing practices or boosting solar energy production. The court said Berlin was bound by the country’s constitutionally enshrined fiscal rules that limit budget deficits to 0.35% of gross domestic product in normal times.

The implications of the move are such that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government is now facing a dilemma. The increasingly unpopular Scholz Cabinet had been counting on a flood of spending on “green-energy projects and technology,” along with multibillion-euro-worth subsidies to construct chip-making plants, the WSJ underscored. Now, Berlin will either have to go ahead with painful budget cuts or raise taxes, or even both. But most importantly, in the short term, Berlin will need to decide whether priority shall be given to boosting Europe’s collective defense, and directing more aid to the Kiev regime, or “cushioning the impact of surging energy prices and inflation on businesses and households,” the outlet said. Nevertheless, Berlin will continue supporting a €50 billion four-year Brussels budget package for Ukraine for next year, according to cited German sources conferring with the bloc’s officials on November 17.

Read more …

There are reasons why it’s been used for centuries. Don’t throw it away, because you will get a lot of disadvantages.”

Stark Warning Against UK Following Sweden By Going Cashless (Exp.)

Britain should not follow Sweden towards becoming a cashless society, the leader of a Scandinavian grassroots movement has warned. Björn Eriksson, a former president of international police organisation Interpol, set up his campaign group to fight against the ditching of notes and coins in Sweden. And in a warning to the UK against going cashless, he said: “My message would be keep the two systems side by side. “It’s true that it costs more to have a system of cash running parallel with a digital system, but look upon it as an insurance. “There are reasons why it’s been used for centuries. Don’t throw it away, because you will get a lot of disadvantages.” Mr Eriksson launched Kontantupproret – Cash Rebellion – in 2015 due to concerns that some people were being cut adrift by the decline of cash in Sweden.

He said: “It just happens that I tried to be more modern and suddenly I could see there is something curious with this. “Everybody seems to be happy, nobody’s talking about those left aside. And that was more or less the starting point.” He said those affected include pensioners, women fleeing abusive relationships, the disabled, refugees, voluntary organisations, small businesses and people living in the north of the country where internet coverage can be a problem. Just eight percent of people in Sweden used cash for their most recent payment, according to a 2022 survey by the country’s central bank, down from 39 percent in 2010. But Britain is not that far behind with figures from UK Finance showing 14 percent of transactions last year used notes and coins.

Banks are vanishing from high streets up and down the country with 5,753 branches shutting their doors since January 2015, figures from consumer group Which? show. And some shops, cafes, restaurants and other venues across the UK will now only accept plastic. In Sweden, many banks have stopped handling cash altogether and Mr Eriksson said it is increasingly difficult to pay with notes and coins in shops. He said: “If you take foods you still have the possibility but notice it’s very easy to pay with digital means, maybe you have five places where you can do it in a shop, while if you have cash it’s a long line and you have to wait and then you can use your cash. “If you want to have a cup of coffee in Stockholm and you walk from the Parliament to the Central Station, for example, there is nowhere you could get your cup of coffee because they have a little sign saying we are cashless.”

Read more …

Are they trying to blow up the union?!

European Lawmakers Vote For Abolition Of Member State Vetoes (RMX)

European lawmakers approved plans on Wednesday to remove the national veto for EU member states in the latest attempted power grab by Brussels to wrestle control away from national governments. A total of 291 MEPs supported the proposal put forward by the “Verhofstadt Group,” a group of MEPs led by the arch-federalist Guy Verhofstadt to amend the European Union treaties in favor of greater centralization and limiting the sovereignty of member states. The vote was only narrowly passed with a majority of just 17 after a faction of conservative parliamentary groups expressed considerable opposition to the move.

In the plenary debate on the matter on Tuesday, Verhofstadt claimed that veto rights had been used by member states disillusioned with the European Union’s trajectory to “blackmail” the bloc, a thinly veiled jibe at Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has refused to sanction the European Union’s proposed amendments to the bloc’s collective budget to further finance the Ukrainian war effort. In response, a former co-rapporteur to the Verhofstadt Group, Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, accused federalists in the European Parliament of attempting “to transform the EU into a superstate,” continuing his opposition to the plans outlined in a recent interview with Remix News.

The public is not supposed to notice that a putsch is about to take place, that the European Union as a community of sovereign states is being abolished and a superstate is being created without any consent of the people, says Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski Saryusz-Wolski resigned from the working committee led by Verhofstadt in protest at the development of the plan that would further politicize the European Commission, give Eurocrats sole competency over several issues including the environment, education, and public health, and remove the need for unanimity among member states in key policy areas. The Polish MEP called the move “a silent putsch with communist roots.”

Vice Chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group Rob Roos, contrasted the vote on Wednesday with the Dutch election being held on the same day, posting on X: “Today the festival of democracy takes place in the Netherlands, but in Strasbourg our democracy is being buried. “A European Parliament majority just voted for the abolition of the Netherlands’ veto in many areas. Vote for a party that defends our veto!” he added. The resolution in reality changes little. It gives an insight into the consensus of the parliament but treaty change ultimately remains a matter upon which unanimity among member state governments is required.

Read more …

“OpenAI defines AGI as autonomous systems that surpass humans in most economically valuable tasks..”

Better listen to Elon, and not let Bill Gates run away with it.

OpenAI Researchers Warned Board of AI Breakthrough Ahead of CEO Ouster (R.)

Ahead of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s four days in exile, several staff researchers wrote a letter to the board of directors warning of a powerful artificial intelligence discovery that they said could threaten humanity, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The previously unreported letter and AI algorithm were key developments before the board’s ouster of Altman, the poster child of generative AI, the two sources said. Prior to his triumphant return late Tuesday, more than 700 employees had threatened to quit and join backer Microsoft in solidarity with their fired leader. The sources cited the letter as one factor among a longer list of grievances by the board leading to Altman’s firing, among which were concerns over commercializing advances before understanding the consequences. [..]

After being contacted by Reuters, OpenAI, which declined to comment, acknowledged in an internal message to staffers a project called Q* and a letter to the board before the weekend’s events, one of the people said. An OpenAI spokesperson said that the message, sent by long-time executive Mira Murati, alerted staff to certain media stories without commenting on their accuracy. Some at OpenAI believe Q* (pronounced Q-Star) could be a breakthrough in the startup’s search for what’s known as artificial general intelligence (AGI), one of the people told Reuters. OpenAI defines AGI as autonomous systems that surpass humans in most economically valuable tasks. Given vast computing resources, the new model was able to solve certain mathematical problems, the person said on condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to speak on behalf of the company.

Though only performing math on the level of grade-school students, acing such tests made researchers very optimistic about Q*’s future success, the source said. Reuters could not independently verify the capabilities of Q* claimed by the researchers. Researchers consider math to be a frontier of generative AI development. Currently, generative AI is good at writing and language translation by statistically predicting the next word, and answers to the same question can vary widely. But conquering the ability to do math — where there is only one right answer — implies AI would have greater reasoning capabilities resembling human intelligence. This could be applied to novel scientific research, for instance, AI researchers believe.

Unlike a calculator that can solve a limited number of operations, AGI can generalize, learn and comprehend. In their letter to the board, researchers flagged AI’s prowess and potential danger, the sources said without specifying the exact safety concerns noted in the letter. There has long been discussion among computer scientists about the danger posed by highly intelligent machines, for instance if they might decide that the destruction of humanity was in their interest. Researchers have also flagged work by an “AI scientist” team, the existence of which multiple sources confirmed. The group, formed by combining earlier “Code Gen” and “Math Gen” teams, was exploring how to optimize existing AI models to improve their reasoning and eventually perform scientific work, one of the people said.

Altman led efforts to make ChatGPT one of the fastest growing software applications in history and drew investment – and computing resources – necessary from Microsoft to get closer to AGI. In addition to announcing a slew of new tools in a demonstration this month, Altman last week teased at a summit of world leaders in San Francisco that he believed major advances were in sight. “Four times now in the history of OpenAI, the most recent time was just in the last couple weeks, I’ve gotten to be in the room, when we sort of push the veil of ignorance back and the frontier of discovery forward, and getting to do that is the professional honor of a lifetime,” he said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. A day later, the board fired Altman.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sea angel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1727792704078168321

 

 

 

 

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