Mar 302024
 


Ciseri Ecce homo (Behold the man) 1670

 

New Yorkers Silently Worrying Over Ramifications of Trump Ruling (ET)
Jack Smith’s Case Against Trump Appears to Be Falling Apart (Margolis)
House Formally Invites Biden to Testify in Impeachment Inquiry (Turley)
Elon Musk Accuses Democrats Of ‘Importing Voters’ (RT)
NYC No Longer Differentiates Between Illegal Aliens and US Citizens (PCR)
NYC Begs Supreme Court to Allow Over 800,000 Illegal Immigrants Vote (TH)
The British Government Trips On A New Lie About The Skripals (Helmer)
The West Has Created A Frankenstein Monster On Its Own Doorstep (Bhadrakumar)
Imperium: Decline on the Way to Fall (Patrick Lawrence)
Europe Is In ‘Pre-War Era’ – Polish PM Tusk (RT)
Ukraine Being Destroyed from Within by Zelensky Government Corruption (Miles)
Zelensky Changes Stance On Talks With Russia (RT)
US Political Support for ‘Terrorist’ Ukraine Regime Evaporating (Miles)
Oh Say Can You See? (Kunstler)
It Could Take HOW LONG to Rebuild Francis Scott Key Bridge??? (Green)
Why I Don’t Spend A Lot Of Time On The Republicans (Matt Taibbi)

 

 


Illustration by The Epoch Times, Getty Images

 

 

Trump NYPD

 

 

Benz

 

 

 

 

Diddy

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

These people have no idea of the damage they’re doing. Completely blind hatred. Should not be allowed anywhere near a justice system.

“I have never heard of a victimless civil case that even won $500..”

New Yorkers Silently Worrying Over Ramifications of Trump Ruling (ET)

Monday’s dramatic bond reduction for former President Donald Trump did nothing to dissipate the dark cloud that his civil-fraud case has cast over New York business deals. Although investors won’t publicly admit it, the case is having a chilling effect, said Charles Trzcinka, professor of finance at Indiana University-Bloomington. “If you talk to people in this market, they are very, very upset … and these are people who are neutral or even opposed to Trump,” Mr. Trzcinka told The Epoch Times. “They’re just angry about it.” In his role at the university, Mr. Trzcinka said he places students in the corporate lending market in New York, making him aware of trends in that sphere. An appeals court’s decision to slash the bond by about 60 percent, reducing it to $175 million, still left a massive penalty intact while President Trump continues a legal challenge of Justice Arthur Engoron’s ruling.

Judge Engoron ruled that President Trump and his associates fraudulently overvalued their assets. But Mr. Trzcinka said anyone who thinks President Trump’s activities in that case were irregular or fraudulent may lack an understanding of typical New York business transactions. A source familiar with the case explained to The Epoch Times that, normally, business-related cases are handled in the New York courts’ commercial division. There, cases are decided by judges who have specific, “sophisticated” knowledge of commercial law and business practices. But the case didn’t go that route because New York Attorney General Letitia James found a novel way to use New York’s anti-fraud law. Researchers examined other alleged fraud cases in New York over a 70-year period and found the Trump case stands alone. The Trump Organization was the only company that confronted the possibility of being forced out of business despite no victim suffering major financial harm.

Because of Ms. James’ unusual application of the law, the case was channeled to a court that would rarely, if ever, handle business-related matters. Thus, the source said, “This case proceeded in just a highly irregular fashion from the start.” Legal scholar Jonathan Turley agreed the case is atypical and its repercussions far-reaching. “This has really done great damage to the New York legal system … Businesses are looking at this with a degree of horror—that a judge could come up with a figure so large you have to sell parts of your business just to get an appeal,” Mr. Turley told Fox News. However, people who dislike President Trump are cheering on Ms. James. She ran for election on a promise to prosecute the former president if she won the post of attorney general. Before the court-ordered bond reduction, the original $464 million bond amount included a $363 million judgment that Judge Engoron levied against President Trump and his associates, plus 9 percent interest.

Speaking to reporters after the March 25 appellate court’s decision, President Trump called Judge Engoron’s original decision a “disservice” to New York. “Businesses are fleeing,” he said. The case promises to continue discouraging investors from doing business in the Empire State, Mr. Trzcinka and two other knowledgeable sources told The Epoch Times. That’s not only because of the crippling dollar amounts involved, the sources said, but also because President Trump and his associates were behaving within the bounds of normal business practice and victimized no one. “All the parties under this civil case were satisfied,” Mr. Trzcinka said. Yet Ms. James “brought a case without a victim” and secured a judgment approaching $500 million. “I have never heard of a victimless civil case that even won $500,” he said.

Businesspeople are afraid to express concerns about the ramifications aloud. Doing so would paint targets on their backs—an underlying reason why President Trump was unable to persuade bonding companies or banks to cover the original $464 million bond, Mr. Trzcinka and the sources said. “I don’t think a bonding company [or a bank] is willing to be associated with Donald Trump … because the attorney general could turn around and sue them, go after them,” Mr. Trzcinka said. Judge Engoron ruled that President Trump and his associates committed fraud by overvaluing his properties. Parties involved in real estate transactions tend to exaggerate values in one way or the other, and they “hit each other over the head” with dueling appraisals, Mr. Trzcinka said. And, in a case such as this one, “everyone had the same information and just came to different conclusions” as to the valuations, he said. Then the parties negotiated figures and agreed to them. Even before interest was added, Judge Engoron slapped President Trump with “the largest penalty in history” for a case of its kind, said Mr. Trzcinka.

He had never heard of such a high penalty imposed for a “syndicated loan,” which involves civil contracts between a corporate borrower and corporate lenders. About $355 million of the total order specifically applied to President Trump. In addition, the judge ordered $4 million to be recovered from each of his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., and $1 million from former Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg. Even the ultra-wealthy would rarely, if ever, have rapid access to hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquid assets, Mr. Trzcinka and other financial experts say. Marshaling that much cash to post the bond in just 30 days proved to be a daunting task for President Trump; the appellate court’s ruling granted him 10 more days to post a reduced $175 million bond. That decision moved the amount from “the realm of the impossible” into a different category; “it’s expensive but it’s feasible,” a source said.

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“Special Counsel Jack Smith could be blocked from using evidence against Donald Trump contained in grand jury investigation files, which were transferred to the former president’s Florida classified documents case,,”

Jack Smith’s Case Against Trump Appears to Be Falling Apart (Margolis)

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s efforts to imprison Donald Trump for mishandling classified documents have hit a few snags recently, and the latest snag is, indeed, a big one. “Special Counsel Jack Smith could be blocked from using evidence against Donald Trump contained in grand jury investigation files, which were transferred to the former president’s Florida classified documents case this week, a former prosecutor has suggested,” reports Newsweek. “In 2023, a grand jury in Washington, D.C., heard evidence from witnesses—including Trump’s attorney, Evan Corcoran—while considering whether charges should be brought against the former president and others for hoarding classified documents. However, Trump and his co-accused were later indicted in Florida and, under federal rules, the grand jury files were transferred on Monday to Trump-appointed judge, Aileen Cannon’s court.” According to former prosecutor Bill Shipley, the transfer of the case from D.C. to Florida gives Judge Cannon control over what evidence can be included—especially testimony that may have violated attorney-client privilege. More from Newsweek:

“On March 24, 2023, Corcoran was forced to testify before the classified documents grand jury in Washington D.C. It was his second time giving evidence. Corcoran was called to give evidence because he wrote a letter that was sent to the Department of Justice in June 2022 that stated that there had been a “diligent search” for classified documents. Along with the letter, he sent the Department more than 30 documents with classified markings that were found on Trump property. […] Department of Justice Special Counsel Smith announced on Monday that the Washington, D.C., court had transferred the grand jury files to Cannon. Trump is facing 40 federal charges over his handling of sensitive materials retrieved from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, after leaving the White House in January 2021. He is accused of obstructing efforts by federal authorities to return them. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges.”

Leftists have been routinely triggered by Judge Cannon’s rulings—probably because she’s not a rabid leftist like Judge Engoron, who literally ruled that Trump should pay a civil fine of nearly half a billion dollars for a non-crime with no victim. Jack Smith’s prosecution of Trump has been widely criticized as selective prosecution, especially in light of the release of the Hur report last month, which found that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen,” and that his actions “present[ed] serious risks to national security.” Despite Biden’s actions, former special counsel Robert Hur declined to prosecute Biden because he would present himself as an “elderly man with a poor memory” and it would be difficult to convince a jury he was guilty of a serious felony because to commit such a crime “requires a mental state of willfulness.” The report elaborated by pointing out that Biden couldn’t even remember when he was vice president and or when his son Beau died.

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“Yet, the White House responded, again, with mockery — a sense of impunity that only exists due to an enabling media.”

House Formally Invites Biden to Testify in Impeachment Inquiry (Turley)

House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer has sent a seven-page letter to invite President Joe Biden to testify in the Republican impeachment inquiry. The letter is the latest, and best, reduction of the glaring contradictions in the President’s past statements on his family’s well-documented influence peddling operation. President Biden is not expected to testify. However, the media should be interested in his answering the questions presented by the Committee. It is now clear that the President lied during his campaign and during his presidency on his lack of knowledge of his son’s business activities as well as his denial of any money gained from China. Yet, the White House responded, again, with mockery — a sense of impunity that only exists due to an enabling media.

Chairman Comer reduces the past testimony and evidence acquired by the Committee in the corruption scandal. In the last hearing, Democratic members simply refused to acknowledge that evidence. There was a bizarre disconnect as members mocked the witnesses for not supplying evidence of the President’s knowledge or involvement. They then did so and the members declared that there was no evidence.

Various members also misrepresented my earlier testimony during the hearing on the basis for the impeachment inquiry. Members like Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md.) stated that I joined other witnesses in stating there was nothing that could remotely be impeachable in these allegations. That is demonstrably untrue. My testimony stated the opposite. I refused to pre-judge the evidence, but stated that there was ample basis for the inquiry and laid out various impeachable offenses that could be brought if ultimately supported by evidence. I also discussed those potential offenses in columns. The purpose of the hearing was not to declare an impeachment on the first day of the inquiry. Unlike the two prior impeachments by many of these same Democratic members, this impeachment inquiry sought to create a record of evidence and testimony to support any action that the House might take.

Now, the Committee has laid out the considerable evidence showing that the President had lied, knowingly and repeatedly. Interspersed with specific evidentiary findings, the Committee presents ten questions that the President should be able to answer directly and unequivocally:

1) Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Jonathan Li of Bohai Industrial Fund and/or Bohai Harvest Rosemont?
2) Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Ye Jianming of CEFC?
3) Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Henry Zhao of the Harvest Fund?
4) Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Vadym Pozharskyi of Burisma Holdings?
5) Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Mykola Zlochevsky of Burisma Holdings?
6) Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Kenes Rakishev of Novatus Holding?
7) Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Yelena Baturina?
8) Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Yuriy Luzhkov?
9) Did you ever ask your brother James Biden about the source of the funds he used to pay or repay you?
10) Did Eric Schwerin have insight into all your bank accounts until December 2017?

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“1. Get as many illegals in the country as possible. 2. Legalize them to create a permanent majority – a one-party state..”

Elon Musk Accuses Democrats Of ‘Importing Voters’ (RT)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has accused the US Democratic Party of opening up the country’s borders in order to “import voters.” Earlier this week, Politico reported that President Joe Biden was considering offering permanent residency to millions of illegal immigrants. Commenting on the report, Musk declared on his X platform that “The Dem Party goal is to import voters.” According to Politico’s sources, Biden is considering expanding access to the US’ so-called ‘Cancelation of Removal Program’ for illegal immigrants who have lived in the US for more than ten years and whose removal would negatively impact their citizen or resident friends and relatives. The program is currently available to lawful residents who have been ordered to leave the US for various reasons, and for some illegal immigrants. A successful cancellation can take years to make its way through the legal system, and around 4,000 cancellations of removal are issued every year, according to the US Justice Department.

There are thought to be around 10.5 million illegal immigrants living in the US, according to data compiled by Pew Research in 2021. However, at least 6.3 million more have entered the US in the years since, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security, potentially bringing the total to almost 18 million. An earlier Pew study found that approximately two thirds of illegal immigrants in the US had been there more than a decade. Counting only those immigrants present in the country in 2021, the removal program reportedly mulled by Biden could result in around six million of them being made permanent residents. Only US citizens can vote in federal elections. However, permanent residents can apply for citizenship after five years, or three years if married to a US citizen. Biden’s first actions as US president included signing a raft of executive orders repealing almost all of former President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions.

He has since unsuccessfully lobbied Congress to pass a bill offering a path to citizenship for more than 10 million illegal immigrants, and sued the state of Texas for attempting to enforce federal immigration law. “Biden’s strategy is very simple,” Musk tweeted in February. “1. Get as many illegals in the country as possible. 2. Legalize them to create a permanent majority – a one-party state. That is why they are encouraging so much illegal immigration. Simple, yet effective.” In the US, racial minorities typically vote Democrat. Aside from potentially creating future voters, illegal immigration can give certain states greater representation in Congress, as the number of seats assigned to a state in the House of Representatives is determined by its overall population, which includes those present illegally.

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“..before long the illegal population in America will exceed in size the actual citizens of the country..”

NYC No Longer Differentiates Between Illegal Aliens and US Citizens (PCR)

The New York City Council is begging the New York state Supreme Court to permit the council to ignore the New York state constitution that only permits citizens to vote. The city council says that allowing illegal immigrants to vote can only strengthen democracy “by increasing civic engagement.” Think about this for a moment. For the NY City Council, the only difference between an American citizen and an illegal alien is that the alien is discriminated against by not being allowed to vote. It was obvious from the beginning that this is what happens when a country allows immigrant-invaders to settle among the legal population. The illegals become part of the population and, thus, denying them the vote is discrimination. It was totally obvious from the beginning that accepting illegal entry would create an untenable situation: a population partly illegal and party legal.

As it has proved impossible to prevent entry of multi-millions of immigrant-invaders and impossible to remove them, before long the illegal population in America will exceed in size the actual citizens of the country. It is curious that the US, whose government is so anxious to go to war over the borders of foreign countries has no concern for its own borders. So what is the purpose of US national defense? Is it only to protect Ukraine’s border and Israel’s border, but never America’s border? That seems to be the case. It is extraordinary that if you ask this sensible question you are branded a racist. In the United States it is now racist to defend the US border. And of course, the Democrats do not defend the border which is so porous that it doesn’t exist.

The federal government, the government of America, is using the judicial system to prevent Texas from defending its and America’s border. The obvious question is: why does the federal government represent immigrant invaders instead of American citizens, and why do federal courts come down on the side of eliminating any difference between an American citizen and an illegal invader? Why are long-established websites such as vDare.com being suppressed by government authorities simply for pointing out what is at stake? Something is seriously wrong with the mentality of the American people who clearly are incapable of recognizing that their country is being stolen from them to the point that many offer to sponsor immigrant-invaders.

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“There is nothing more important than preserving the integrity of our election system, and in today’s age, the government should be working to create more trust in our elections, not less..”

NYC Begs Supreme Court to Allow Over 800,000 Illegal Immigrants Vote (TH)

The New York City council is asking the state’s Supreme Court to allow illegal immigrants to vote in the city’s municipal elections. In 2021, then-Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a law that would have allowed 800,000 non-citizens with green cards, visas, and work permits to vote as long as they have resided in the city for at least 30 consecutive days. However, the controversial law was struck down last month by an appellate court. New York City Council spokesperson Rendy Desamour arrived in court on Tuesday to beg the Supreme Court of the State of New York to override the rulings and allow the council to start authorizing illegal immigrants to vote.

“Today’s filing to appeal the Second Department’s recent decision seeks a determination from the state’s highest court that the law is consistent with the State Constitution, Election Law, and the Municipal Home Rule Law,” Desamour said. “Empowering New Yorkers to participate in our local democratic process can only strengthen New York City by increasing civic engagement.” The council argued that illegal immigrants living in the city should be able to vote because they pay taxes and make contributions to the community. Breitbart News noted that: The ordinance was set to massively influence local elections while diluting the votes of American citizens living in the city.

In 2021, for instance, Mayor Eric Adams (D) won the Democrat mayoral primary by less than 7,200 votes. Former councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) said that the ordinance would dilute the votes of citizens while shifting electoral power to foreign nationals with ties to the United Nations, Wall Street, and the global financial system which has long been based in New York City. Staten Island President Vito Fossella is challenging the case, stating that, according to the New York State Constitution, only U.S. citizens have the right to vote in elections. “There is nothing more important than preserving the integrity of our election system, and in today’s age, the government should be working to create more trust in our elections, not less,” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) said.

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The Skripals are back! Or are they?

The British Government Trips On A New Lie About The Skripals (Helmer)

For the first time in six years, the British Government has officially told Moscow that Russian citizen Yulia Skripal, one of the victims of a nerve spray attack in Salisbury on March 4, 2018, has “rejected the offer of consular assistance” from the Russian Embassy in London. A British diplomatic note, delivered to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow this week and made public by the Ministry spokesman, also claimed “the Russian woman has the contact details of the consular department of the Russian Embassy in London in case of need.” Omitted from the document is that the British have not allowed Yulia Skripal to sign a document, send an email, or make a telephone call since 2020. The new Foreign Office paper failed to identify the whereabouts or wishes of Yulia’s father, Sergei Skripal, a dual Russian and British citizen who was also the target of the 2018 attack.

The calculated omissions, and the record of subterfuge and faking which British officials, coroners, and judges have been making since 2018, indicate that, in fact, Yulia Skripal is imprisoned and incommunicado, and that Sergei Skripal is dead. “The British authorities,” said Maria Zakharova at her ministry briefing on March 27, “do not say a word about the fate of Sergei Skripal. It is completely unclear why. I would like to ask the British if he is alive? Can you at least tell me that?” After years of stonewalling in London, the new lie appears to indicate that Sergei Skripal has died in British captivity. Since 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 sudden symptoms and collapsed.

The British have presented no evidence of Novichok on the Skripal door handle; in the blood, skin, and urine testing of the Skripals in hospital; or in subsequent 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 after exhaustive police searches of the premises 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 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 was heard on November 20, 2020.

The full story of what happened and didn’t happen, and of the High Court and coroners’ court hearings which have followed since 2018, has been documented in the book published in 2020; then in reports of the ongoing cover-up by a retired Appeal Court judge, Lord Anthony Hughes. In March 2022 Hughes announced he had appointed a London lawyer, Adam Chapman, to represent the Skripals; but the judge, his spokesman, and the lawyer have repeatedly refused to confirm how the Skripals communicated to them, if at all. The lawyer refuses to answer press questions; in court he has said nothing on the Skripals’ behalf. Timed earlier this month on the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of the Skripals, the Russian Embassy in London sent the Foreign Office a new request for what the Embassy had described last June as a “demand that the British authorities allow us to ascertain they are safe and sound. London carries full responsibility for their well-being.”

Zakharova revealed the reply on Wednesday. “It’s hard to believe,” she said, “but the Russian Foreign Ministry has received a response from Britain to the request on the Skripals. The Russian side continues to make efforts to clarify the circumstances of the incident that occurred in Salisbury in March 2018, with the participation of citizens of our country: S.V. Skripal and his daughter Y.S. Skripal. It’s been almost six years. All this time, the Russian Foreign Ministry has been sending dozens of diplomatic notes. In response, we received nothing but ‘non-subscriber notices.’ For the first time since mid-2018, a response note was finally received from the British Foreign Ministry in response to another note from the Russian Embassy in London. With some reservations, it can be considered a kind of belated official reaction. They say they have been waiting for the promised three years. It took twice as long here.”

“In this note, it is reported that Y.S. Skripal allegedly took note of the offer of consular assistance, but rejected it…According to the assurances of the British Foreign Ministry, the Russian woman has the contact details of the consular department of the Russian Embassy in London in case of need. In addition, responding to the demand to provide information on the official results of the investigation into the incident in Salisbury, British diplomats said they would not comment on this topic, since ‘the relevant legal procedures are still ongoing.’”

“The British authorities do not say a word about the fate of Sergei Skripal. It is completely unclear why. I would like to ask the British if he is alive? Can you at least tell me that? We consider the forced reaction of the British side as an unsuccessful attempt to justify itself for the inexplicable and unlawful long-term concealment of information about Russian citizens. This is another information manipulation. We will continue to methodically seek comprehensive information about the fate of Russian citizens who disappeared without a trace in Britain six years ago, clarify all the components of the Salisbury incident and, in general, insist on justice in this case.”

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“Simply put, the storyline that this was an ISIS attack won’t fly..”

The West Has Created A Frankenstein Monster On Its Own Doorstep (Bhadrakumar)

With hindsight, it was not a coincidence that the retirement of US Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was announced on March 5 so soon after her return to Washington from Kiev, where after consultations with top Ukrainian security officials she announced dramatically: “I leave Kyiv… more confident that, as Ukraine strengthens its defenses, Mr. [Vladimir] Putin is going to get some nice surprises on the battlefield and that Ukraine will make some very strong success.” Nuland did not divulge what those “nice surprises” might be, but her superiors in DC were certain to have been curious to know since they know her ingenuity is limitless. At any rate, we now know that within hours of the superhawk’s premature retirement on March 5, instructions went out from Washington to the American embassy in Moscow to issue an advisory that “extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts” and warning US citizens to “avoid large gatherings.”

The wording of the March 7 advisory suggests that Washington was in possession of some information credible enough in terms of its source. Meanwhile, the UK embassy in Moscow also issued a similar advisory cautioning British citizens against visiting shopping centers. However, the State Department scrambled to issue a statement within two hours of the horrific attack on the mall in Moscow’s Crocus City Hall on March 22, declaring that Ukraine was not responsible. Yet, the very next day, President Putin stated in his address to the nation that what happened was “a premeditated and organized mass murder of peaceful, defenseless people,” harking back to the Nazis – “to stage a demonstrative execution, a bloody act of intimidation.” Importantly, Putin disclosed that the perpetrators “attempted to escape and were heading towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary information, a window was prepared for them on the Ukrainian side to cross the state border.”

Plainly put, the perpetrators’ Ukrainian mentors or handlers gave them instructions to exit Russian territory after their mission through a particular route. What remains in the realm of the ‘known unknown’ pertains to the chain of command. Precisely, does the trail end with Kirill Budanov, the chief of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (GUR) since August 2020, who had previously served as deputy director of the country’s Foreign Intelligence Service and specialized in covert operations inside Russia? Or – the big question is – does it go all the way to President Vladimir Zelensky, considering the far-reaching, explosive nature of the operation? This is the first thing. Secondly, the perpetrators did not behave like vintage ISIS killers on suicide missions nor were they answering the call of ‘jihad’. They were ethnic Tajiks who admitted that they were lured by money.

Expert opinion based on the published videos is also that their movements inside the mall during the operation did not show battle skills characteristic of well-trained fighters, and they had ‘poor muzzle discipline’, which means they had only minimal rifle training. Simply put, the storyline that this was an ISIS attack won’t fly. It is intended as a red herring to confuse dumb-witted folks abroad.

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“Moscow, perfectly aware of these connections, now concludes that the CIA, along with Britain’s MI6, were behind the Crocus Town Hall attack..”

Imperium: Decline on the Way to Fall (Patrick Lawrence)

However long the Biden regime goes on saying the war in Ukraine is “at a stalemate,” and however faithfully our corporate media repeat this nonsense like ventriloquists’ dummies, if the Kyiv regime is losing ground daily and there is no realistic hope of regaining it, the word we are looking for is “lost.” The question it is time to ask: What will the U.S. and its European vassals do when the make-believe wears out and defeat, while never admitted on paper, is too obvious to deny? Nothing good. As a negotiated peace on any terms acceptable to Moscow is out of the question, and as subverting “Putin’s Russia” remains the objective, the U.S. is likely to intensify the sorts of covert ops and “hybrid warfare” that have been on Washington’s menu for decades. This stands to get very dangerous very fast. Did we have a preview of messes to come with the shocking attack on the concert auditorium and shopping arcade near Moscow on Mar. 22? This is my read.

The U.S. “intelligence community” was quick to make public an “assessment”—a flimsy term that commits no one to anything—that the attack was the work of a group of militant Islamists and there was no evidence Ukraine had anything to do with it. Soon enough an offshoot of the Islamic State, ISIS–Khorasan, claimed responsibility. President Putin, who had been cautious from the start about assigning blame, eventually declared that Islamic terrorists were indeed culpable for the deaths of 137 innocent Russians and for setting the Crocus City Hall ablaze. Identifying ISIS–K as responsible is a complicated business, we must bear in mind. After the collapse of Washington’s client regime in Kabul three years ago, many members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, finding themselves suddenly homeless, joined ISIS–K as shelter from the storm. These were CIA–trained intelligence and counterinsurgency operatives, and they reportedly went over in considerable numbers. There were subsequent reports, never verified, suggesting that the CIA was using unmarked helicopters to supply ISIS–K with weapons and matériel.

A year ago last week, Foreign Policy described it as “arguably the most brutal terrorist group in Afghanistan.” Moscow, perfectly aware of these connections, now concludes that the CIA, along with Britain’s MI6, were behind the Crocus Town Hall attack, with the Kyiv intelligence agency, the SBU, playing a supporting role on the ground. The chief of Russian intelligence unpacked all this last week as he outlined Moscow’s findings. “We think the act was prepared by the radical Islamists, but, of course, the Western special services have aided,” Alexander Bortnikov, the FSB’s chief, asserted. “And the special services of Ukraine have a direct hand in this.” There is too much circumstantial evidence supporting this case to dismiss it. The CIA’s “assessment” assigning responsibility to ISIS can be taken as perfectly true but only half the story. The same day Bortnikov spoke, Russia sent a hypersonic missile—the kind that eludes standard air defense systems—to destroy the SBU’s headquarters building in Kyiv. This is what I mean by things getting very dangerous very fast.

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Graceful loser.

Europe Is In ‘Pre-War Era’ – Polish PM Tusk (RT)

Europe has entered a “pre-war era” in which any scenario is possible and the threat of war is no longer a thing of the past, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in an interview with European media outlets on Friday. Tusk was asked whether war is inevitable in light of recent remarks from a number of Western politicians about Russia potentially attacking NATO. He replied that “literally any scenario is possible.” “I don’t want to scare anyone, but war is no longer a thing of the past. It is real and in fact it started over two years ago,” Tusk said. “I understand that it will sound devastating, especially to the younger generation, but we have to mentally prepare for the arrival of a new era. We are in a pre-war era. I am not exaggerating.” The Polish prime minister went on to say that the West needs to do everything it can to provide Kiev with equipment and ammunition, because the world is now in the most critical moment since the end of World War II.

“The next two years will decide everything,” Tusk said, adding that if the bloc does not provide enough arms for Ukraine and it is defeated, “no one in Europe will be able to feel safe.” While urging the cultivation of “transatlantic ties” regardless of who the next US president is, Tusk argued that the EU should be more independent from NATO and self-sufficient in terms of defense. “We will be a more attractive partner for the United States if we are more self-sufficient in defense,” he said. Claims by Western officials that Russia may attack NATO are “nonsense,” President Vladimir Putin stated on Wednesday. He noted that Kiev’s backers have tried to drum up support for additional aid by claiming that Russia will not stop if Ukraine is defeated on the battlefield.

US “satellites” in Eastern Europe have no reason to be afraid, Putin said. Talk of a potential Russian attack on Poland, the Czech Republic, or the Baltic states is just propaganda by governments that seek to scare their citizens “to extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden on their shoulders,” he added.

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“..people have no other choices than to flee the country – not from the war, but to save themselves because they have nothing to feed themselves on.”

Ukraine Being Destroyed from Within by Zelensky Government Corruption (Miles)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made comments recently acknowledging Ukraine’s declining birthrate, which is now the lowest in the world. “We need not only financial incentives, because in my opinion, finances help, but they do not stimulate birth itself during war,” said the embattled leader. “Help, yes. But as for births, it seems to me that it’s mainly a matter of security.” Zelensky called for more foreign assistance to rectify the problem, claiming Ukraine needs “the latest technologies when it comes to air defense.” The comments provoked discussion on Sputnik’s Fault Lines program Friday, where host Jamarl Thomas noted Ukraine’s population has been in steady decline since its independence in 1991. Former Ukrainian diplomat Andrii Telizhenko joined Thomas to discuss the issue. “Ukraine’s population, first of all, dropped not only since 2014, it dropped dramatically since 1991 when Ukraine got its independence,” noted Telizhenko. “We had 52 million people living in Ukraine, and then within almost the 25-year range it dropped to… 45 million people. 7 million people died or left Ukraine within 25 years of its independence.”

The same trend emerged in other post-Soviet nations as governments implemented so-called “shock therapy” economic policy under advisement of the West. Populist leaders maintained significant support, but US-backed political interference broadly ensured neoliberal policy was implemented. Populations sharply declined as a result as Western capital bought up assets at fire sale prices. “Now, of course, there’s much, much less people,” Telizhenko continued. “Eight million left to Europe, 1.5 [million] went to Russia… and Belarus. So this is a huge, staggering number of people leaving because, first of all, they don’t see prosperity, they don’t have security – not only because of the war, but, first of all, from the government itself.” “Pensions are not being paid,” the former diplomat explained. “They’re asking that money to be paid from abroad. Zelensky – when he was going into this war agreeing not to support the Minsk agreements, the Istanbul accords, the peace deal – he should have understood that the country doesn’t have the money, the capacity, the economic capacity to sustain itself.”

“Now he’s asking for US taxpayers’ money to [finance] Ukrainian pensioners, Ukrainian government officials, and more than 25%, 30% of pensioners in Ukraine are basically not getting their pensions,” Telizhenko emphasized. US aid to Ukraine has become highly controversial in the United States as Americans are asked to fund the basic government services of a country halfway across the world. But even with American largesse Ukraine’s government has found itself in a state of near-constant collapse. Critics warn that millions of dollars in foreign aid is likely being pocketed by corrupt officials; Ukraine has long been identified as the most corrupt country in Europe in international rankings. “They can’t even feed themselves anymore,” said Telizhenko. “So they have no other choice [but] to leave or to just die in Ukraine. This is what Ukraine has become. It was getting worse and worse throughout the last 30 years and over the last two and a half years it’s being destroyed totally,” the ex-diplomat stressed.

“The salary of a teacher is $100 and they’re cutting it to $50 right now,” he added. “Can you imagine? This is what is happening in Ukraine today. The teachers aren’t getting paid, the pensioners aren’t getting paid. And this is just destroying the country from within and people have no other choices than to flee the country – not from the war, but to save themselves because they have nothing to feed themselves on.”

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Sort of.

Zelensky Changes Stance On Talks With Russia (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky has indicated that a return to Ukraine’s 1991 borders is no longer a precondition for holding peace talks with Moscow, even as he continues to push forward with his so-called peace formula, which has been dismissed by the Kremlin as absurd. Zelensky banned all negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow back in 2022, after four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. Since then, he has been rallying Western support for his 10-point ultimatum, which includes the full withdrawal of Russian troops and a return to Ukraine’s 1991 borders, including Crimea, holding Moscow accountable and forced to pay reparations, among other conditions. However, in an interview with CBS this week, Zelensky suggested there was no need to recapture the territory “exclusively by military means,” claiming that the Ukrainian forces should at least restore the 2022 status quo.

“We will not have to de-occupy all of our territories exclusively by military means… I am sure when he [President Vladimir Putin] loses what he has occupied since 2022, he will fully lose the confidence even of those countries which are still in doubt whether they should support Ukraine or not,” Zelensky said. The Kremlin has repeatedly stressed that it remains open to meaningful discussions and has blamed the lack of a diplomatic breakthrough on the Ukrainian authorities, who refuse to accept “reality on the ground.” Despite the failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive last year and recent gains made by Russian forces along the frontline, Zelensky claimed that once Russia suffers battlefield setbacks, Putin will “lose the power within his country” and will be forced to seek dialogue. “And when he will be ready for the dialogue, undoubtedly the international conditions should be the liberation of our territories, the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Zelensky added.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba suggested on Friday that Kiev could engage in diplomacy with Moscow following the Swiss-hosted peace summit, a date for which is still to be announced. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Kiev is contradicting itself, and that Moscow will not accept a set of rules “developed by someone else.” The last meaningful negotiations between Moscow and Kiev were held in Istanbul in the spring of 2022 but broke down, with each side accusing the other of making unrealistic demands. President Putin said the Ukrainian delegation had initially agreed with some of Moscow’s terms, but then abruptly reneged on the deal – allegedly after then-UK PM Boris Johnson advised Kiev to reject a truce and “continue fighting,” promising full Western support. Ukraine’s Western backers insist that a peace settlement can only be achieved on Kiev’s terms and have vowed to continue weapons deliveries for “as long as it takes.” Russia, meanwhile, has stressed that no amount of foreign aid will change the course of the conflict.

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“..the US will not be in a position to say no to Russia and will have a very hard time continuing its political support of Kiev..”

US Political Support for ‘Terrorist’ Ukraine Regime Evaporating (Miles)

Russian media has revealed new links between the Ukraine regime and last week’s horrific terrorist attack at a concert venue outside Moscow. “Investigators have verified information that large amounts of money and cryptocurrency that the perpetrators of the terrorist attack received trace back to Ukraine,” reported the Tass news agency Thursday. “The funds were used in preparing the crime.” As the increasingly desperate Kiev regime launches attacks on Russian civilians in Belgorod and other regions, speculation has intensified that elements within Ukraine’s military and intelligence service may have played a role in last Friday’s incident. Independent journalist Dan Lazare joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Friday to weigh in on the claim.

“I look forward to the Russian government laying this evidence out – I hope they do,” said Lazare. “To me, the fact that four of the accused were apprehended while making a dash for the Ukrainian border and were caught just a short distance away – I mean, to me that speaks volumes. It’s not absolute proof, but it certainly strongly suspects that there were collaborators on the Ukrainian side, and that Ukrainian bodies were helping them with this crime.” “We can’t help but harken back to the assassination of Darya Dugina in 2022. That was the daughter of the Russian political philosopher Aleksandr Dugin,” the author added. “She was killed in a car bomb in Russia. At first the Ukrainian government denied any involvement whatsoever, and the US backed it up. And then a few weeks later the US admitted that the act was done by the SBU, the Ukrainian intelligence service.”

The incident prompted little attention in the West, where Dugin is a highly vilified figure. But a terrorist attack killing almost 150 people is significantly harder to ignore. “I strongly suspect we’ll learn the same thing here,” said Lazare, suggesting Ukrainian officials may have played a role in the “act of brutal terrorism.” “And, if that is true, if my suspicions prove correct, this will be a real game changer.” “Russia will feel justified in responding… and the US will not be in a position to say no to Russia and will have a very hard time continuing its political support of Kiev,” he claimed.

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“The fluttering wings of this black swan already throw a chill on spring’s incoming zephyrs..”

Oh Say Can You See? (Kunstler)

While the awesome spectacle of the bridge collapse traumatized the country, it also brought to mind the fantastic flow of ten-thousand illegal border crossings a day, stage-managed by the “Joe Biden” Homeland Security team. Did you kind of wonder how many in that 10K-a-day flow might be the same species of Central Asian mutts who volunteered to slaughter over 150 (so far) Russian concert-goers? Nobody is checking who they are, you realize. They just step on US soil, get issued smartphones, loaded debit cards, walking-around cash money, airplane and bus tickets and, voila, there they are in your home town tomorrow, looking for something to occupy themselves. Thanks a bunch, Alejandro Mayorkas! Are you wondering what sort of mayhem they might be capable of unleashing any place from Bangor to Burbank in the weeks and months ahead? (And, while you’re at it, think about all the food processing plant fires, train wrecks, and other mysterious tribulations around the country the past couple of years.)

Consider that this very week alone, following the SSK Bridge disaster, absolutely nothing has been done by our government to stem that flow of countless potential saboteurs into the country. The news media isn’t even talking about it (of course). The prospects might look a bit unnerving, wouldn’t you agree? Things catching fire, blowing up, and falling down here, there, and everywhere. . . more of those thousand cuts adding up. Just maybe, the dazed-and-confused (possibly hypnotized) American public, a.k.a., the “voters,” might put together that “Joe Biden” and the Party of Chaos that owns him, are actually responsible for the on-going take-down of our country. After a certain point — now apparently passed — sheer incompetence is no longer a plausible explanation for what you are seeing.

Oh, one other thing, look out for on-the-ground economic reverberations from the FSK Bridge disaster. For instance, Baltimore is the USA’s top port for importing and exporting automobiles. Also, earth-moving and large farm equipment, fertilizer, lumber, coal, and steel. Other arrangements must be made, for years ahead, considering the trucking links. It’s especially an interruption for trucking between the mid-Atlantic / New England states and much of Dixieland. It will affect the transport of fruits and vegetables to the Washington-Boston corridoer. Things are going to cost more and we are already in an inflationary trouble-zone. How will this thunder elsewhere through an economy which, despite the japes of “Joe Biden’s” statisticians, is actively disintegrating? The fluttering wings of this black swan already throw a chill on spring’s incoming zephyrs.

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“Welcome to 21st Century America, where everything is needlessly time-consuming, expensive, stupid, or (most likely) all three..”

It Could Take HOW LONG to Rebuild Francis Scott Key Bridge??? (Green)

Could it really take twice as long and four times as much money to replace the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge than it did to build it in the first place? The Key Bridge was built at a cost (adjusted for inflation) of about $200 million. Replacing it could take a decade and cost $400 million to $800 million dollars, according to experts in what has become a dismal field. “To actually recreate that whole transportation network” could take a decade or more, structural engineer Ben Schafer told USA Today on Wednesday. Huge projects, Schafer said, now take “rarely less than 10 years.” Well, they didn’t use to. By comparison, the Apollo program that put a man on the moon required seven years, eight months, and 23 days. And — this is the really exciting part — everything about Apollo, from the massive Saturn V rocket to the “tiny” flight computer, had to be created from scratch. Those seven-and-a-half years included a monthslong delay following the tragic loss of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee during an Apollo 1 dress rehearsal that ended in a deadly crew capsule fire.

Construction began on the Hoover Dam on July 7, 1930, and five years later, it was complete. It started generating electrical power on Sept. 11, 1936 — exactly six years, two months, and four days after the first shovelful of dirt was moved. The Empire State Building was fully erect (heh) after just one year and 45 days of construction. But those were all 20th Century projects, back when we used to get things done. Welcome to 21st Century America, where everything is needlessly time-consuming, expensive, stupid, or (most likely) all three. The timing “all depends on factors that are still mostly unknown,” the AP explained. “They range from the design of the new bridge to how swiftly government officials can navigate the bureaucracy of approving permits and awarding contracts.”

Let me help you out on this one, fellas. You have the original plans stashed somewhere, I’m sure. Those plans have already been run through the bureaucratic torture test — and the bridge stood without any problems for almost 50 years until a massive container ship struck one of its vitals. So just get started ASAP building the same bridge, but with concrete “dolphins” or fenders around the new supporting piers to avoid future disasters like the one that collapsed the original.

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X thread.

Why I Don’t Spend A Lot Of Time On The Republicans (Matt Taibbi)

1) There is a enormous army of MSM reporters already going after them from every angle, with most major news organizations little more than proxies for the DNC, to the point where stations hire Biden spokespeople as anchors;

2) The Republicans have very little institutional power nationally. It’s not their point of view prevailing in schools, on campuses, in newsrooms (where over 90% of working reporters vote blue), and especially in the intelligence and military apparatus, which has openly aligned itself with Democrats. Even if Donald Trump were a “threat to Democracy” he lacks the institutional pull to do much damage, which can’t be said of Democrats;

3) The Democrats’ ambitions are significantly more dangerous than those of the Republicans. From digital surveillance to censorship to making Intel and enforcement agencies central players in domestic governance — all plans being executed globally as well as in our one country — they are thinking on a much bigger and more dangerous scale than Republicans. I lived in third world countries and the endless criminal indictments of people like Trump and ongoing lawfare efforts to prevent even third party challenges are classic authoritarian symptoms. The Republicans aren’t near this kind of capability;

4) Last and most important, the Democrats are being organized around a more potent but also much dumber, more cultlike ideology. People like Yuval Harari and his Transhumanist “divinity” concept scare me a lot more than the Rs, and I was once undercover in an apocalyptic church in Texas. Ask your average Russian or Cuban what overempowered pseudo-intellectuals are capable of.

I have a pretty good record of picking dangerous phenomena ahead of time. I feel confident on this one, and that’s before we get to the demographic/class shifts in the parties.

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Guyana

 

 

Deer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773819922860388366

 

 

Elephant

 

 

Welcome
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773524476275405285

 

 

Girl dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773472621767573579

 

 

Best friend

 

 

Smol

 

 

 

 

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