Nov 252022
 


Salvador Dali Figure at a window 1925

 

Media Serve the Governors, Not the Governed (Lauria)
Musk Announces Twitter Amnesty (RT)
Musk Says Granting ‘Amnesty’ To Suspended Twitter Accounts (AP)
NATO Doesn’t Supersede the U.S. Constitution (McKnight)
Electric War (Escobar)
Belarus Paints Grim Picture For Ukraine If It Won’t Negotiate (RT)
Pentagon Dodges Ukraine Aid Question (RT)
French Interior Minister Labels Italy Enemy Of France After Migration Row (RMX)
EU Fails To Agree On Gas Price Cap – Hungary (RT)
Estonia Warns It Will Veto EU Price Cap On Russian Oil (RT)
Hungary Faces Pressure To Ratify NATO Expansion (RT)
Oddsmakers Favor DeSantis For 2024 (JTN)
Climate Policy Makes Europe Too Expensive for Low-Cost EV Manufacturing (CTH)
Meta Uncovers US Military-Linked Propaganda Campaign (RT)
You’re Going To Get Robbed (Denninger)

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk a bit about Twitter and its amnesty policy Elon Musk announced yesterday. Which is basically free speech. Which in turn is something many people feel threatened by. The Constitution itself is a threat to them.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in 1971:“In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy..”

Media Serve the Governors, Not the Governed (Lauria)

In his 1971 opinion in the Pentagon Papers case, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote: “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government.” That’s what WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have been doing since 2006: censuring governments with governments’ own words pried from secrecy by WikiLeaks’ sources—whistleblowers. In other words, WikiLeaks has been doing the job the U.S. constitution intended the press to do.

One can hardly imagine anyone sitting on today’s U.S. Supreme Court writing such an opinion. Even more troubling is the news media having turned its back on its mission. Today they almost always serve the governors—not the governed. The question is why. Consolidation of media ownership has increased obedience of desperate journalists; entertainment divisions have taken over news departments; and careerist reporters and editors live vicariously through the power of those they cover, rejecting the press’ unique power to hold those officials to account. It comes down ultimately to lifestyles. Men go to war to protect and further their lifestyles. The press cheers them on for residual material betterment and increase in status. Millions of lives erased for lifestyles.

It used to be accepted in television that news departments would lose money and would be supported by the entertainment division. That’s because news was considered a public service. TV newsmen — they were almost all men in those days— were former wire service and newspaper reporters. But greed has put the presenters’ personalities before public service, as entertainment masquerades as news. Newspapers have sacrificed investigative units to maximize profit. Government is the winner. The abdication of the mainstream media of their constitutional responsibility to serve the governed and not the governors has left a void filled for more than a decade by WikiLeaks.

No longer do today’s Daniel Ellsbergs need to take their chances with editors at The New York Times or The Washington Post, or with their reporters spinning the damning information they risk their freedom to get to the public — no matter how disinterested and distracted the public may be. Now the traditional media can be bypassed. WikiLeaks deals in the raw material, that governments hang themselves with. That’s why they want Assange’s head. They lust for revenge and to stop further leaks that threaten their grip on power. That the corporate media has turned on Assange and WikiLeaks reveals their service to the state and how much they prioritize their style of life — disregarding the carnage they help bring about.

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Twitter “amnesty”. RT provides a factual story…

Musk Announces Twitter Amnesty (RT)

Twitter boss Elon Musk has vowed to extend a “general amnesty” to an unspecified number of suspended users, a week after reversing former US President Donald Trump’s lifetime ban from the platform. “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week,” Musk tweeted on Thanksgiving Day. He added “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” a Latin phrase that means “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” The SpaceX and Tesla CEO launched a Twitter poll on Wednesday, asking if Twitter should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” Out of more than 3.1 million users who took part, 72.4% voted ‘yes’ and 27.6% voted ‘no’.

In a separate message Musk also promised to start freeing and offering up for grabs “vast numbers of handles” that had previously been “consumed” by bots and trolls. Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion last month, Musk has faced growing criticism for laying off hundreds of employees and reversing the permanent suspensions of multiple notable accounts, including former US President Donald Trump following a similar public vote. While critics claimed that Musk’s actions fuel hate speech, harassment and misinformation, he has rejected accusations he was some kind of “right-wing bogeyman” and insisted that Twitter under his ownership has not banned any leftists, not even for “utter lies.”

It remains to be seen how many users would be eligible for amnesty. This week the platform already reinstated Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose personal Twitter account had been permanently banned since early January 2022 for posting “misinformation” about the Covid-19 pandemic. Musk, however, drew the line at Alex Jones, saying he had “no mercy” for someone who used children’s deaths for clout. Musk had vowed to transform the platform and turn it into a bastion of free speech, saying it was “important to the future of civilization” to have a digital town square where a wide range of beliefs could be discussed.

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…but the MSM, in this case AP, sees enormous threats in free speech. And if free speech equals freedom, we know what they’re afraid of. It reminds me of Sartre’s “L’enfer c’est les autres”, (Hell is -the- other people). In other words, if you honor the priciple of free speech, you welcome hell into your world. That sounds like the opposite of what the founding fathers thought. Hell is other people’s freedom.

Musk Says Granting ‘Amnesty’ To Suspended Twitter Accounts (AP)

New Twitter owner Elon Musk said Thursday that he is granting “amnesty” for suspended accounts, which online safety experts predict will spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation. The billionaire’s announcement came after he asked in a poll posted to his timeline to vote on reinstatements for accounts that have not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” The yes vote was 72%. “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God.” Musk used the same Latin phrase after posting a similar poll last last weekend before reinstating the account of former President Donald Trump, which Twitter had banned for encouraging the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

Trump has said he won’t return to Twitter but has not deleted his account. Such online polls are anything but scientific and can easily be influenced by bots. In the month since Musk took over Twitter, groups that monitor the platform for racist, anti-Semitic and other toxic speech say it’s been on the rise on the world’s de facto public square. That has included a surge in racist abuse of World Cup soccer players that Twitter is allegedly failing to act on. The uptick in harmful content is in large part due to the disorder following Musk’s decision to lay off half the company’s 7,500-person workforce, fire top executives, and then institute a series of ultimatums that prompted hundreds more to quit. Also let go were an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation.

Among those resigning over a lack of faith in Musk’s willingness to keep Twitter from devolving into a chaos of uncontrolled speech were Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth. Major advertisers have also abandoned the platform. On Oct. 28, the day after he took control, Musk tweeted that no suspended accounts would be reinstated until Twitter formed a “content moderation council” with diverse viewpoints that would consider the cases. On Tuesday, he said he was reneging on that promise because he’d agreed to at the insistence of “a large coalition of political-social activists groups” who later ”broke the deal” by urging that advertisers at least temporarily stop giving Twitter their business.

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More violations of what the founding fathers bestowed upon us. How did all these things become so normal?

NATO Doesn’t Supersede the U.S. Constitution (McKnight)

As our government continues to bumble and stumble at full speed towards World War III, the concept of tripwires and the legal authority of Article 5 become required understanding for the vigilant citizen. Last week the American people received the then-breaking news that a missile had landed in Poland and killed two people.Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said that this was a purposeful act of war by Russia, and that the West must respond with full kinetic retaliation. He was joined by his amen corner here in the United States, that group of politicians, regime journalists, and paid lobbyists who have sold out their country for the requisite thirty pieces of silver. The War Party immediately jumped into action: this was what they’ve been waiting, praying for. A catalyst to launch the missiles, and sacrifice the world.

Poland, like the United States and nearly all of Europe, is a member of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. (Maybe we should wonder why countries like Poland, Estonia, and Romania are in an “Atlantic” alliance.) A provision of NATO is Article 5, which popular conception treats as a mandatory obligation to go to war when a member of the alliance is attacked. It’s a one way pass into World War III. There were just two things wrong with this narrative. First, as was revealed within forty-eight hours and confirmed by both the Polish government and Biden White House, the missile was Ukrainian, not Russian. Vladimir Putin had not attacked NATO—purposefully or accidentally. Instead, a Ukrainian air defense missile attempting to intercept a Russian strike went off trajectory killed two Poles across the border.

All of a sudden “collective security” was no longer threatened, and no one on cable news was talking about how this required NATO retaliation on Kiev. (Surprised?) Secondly, even if it had been a Russian missile, and even if Vladimir Putin himself had aimed directly at that Polish farm, Article 5 obligates the United States to nothing. The NATO Treaty also has an Article 11, which specifies that the provisions of the alliance will be carried out in accordance with the domestic constitutions and processes of the respective members. That means a majority vote of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on a formal declaration of war. Any member of Congress or news talking head saying Article 5 requires an immediate military response without a debate or vote is either lying or woefully uninformed.

And even if the NATO Treaty didn’t have that provision, we’d still rest our argument of Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, the supreme authority of our laws. We are a sovereign nation, and the American people always have a choice on whether or not to go to war. Any international piece of paper trying to say otherwise be damned. Unfortunately, the War Party doesn’t always make that choice easy. They bribe politicians with weapon contract profits, flood the corporate press with propaganda, and instruct the American people that they must either commit to endless war or lose their liberty. They manufacture themselves consent.

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“..a Polish farmer, his footfalls echoing in our collective memory, may have saved the world from WWIII..”

Electric War (Escobar)

Spare a thought to the Polish farmer snapping pics of a missile wreckage – later indicated to belong to a Ukrainian S-300. So a Polish farmer, his footfalls echoing in our collective memory, may have saved the world from WWIII – unleashed via a tawdry plot concocted by Anglo-American “intelligence”.Such tawdriness was compounded by a ridiculous cover-up: the Ukrainians were firing on Russian missiles from a direction that they could not possibly be coming from. That is: Poland. And then the U.S. Secretary of Defense, weapons peddler Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin, sentenced Russia was to blame anyway, because his Kiev vassals were shooting at Russian missiles that should not have been in the air (and they were not). Call it the Pentagon elevating bald lying into a rather shabby art.

The Anglo-American purpose of this racket was to generate a “world crisis” against Russia. It’s been exposed – this time. That does not mean the usual suspects won’t try it again. Soon. The main reason is panic. Collective West intel sees how Moscow is finally mobilizing their army – ready to hit the ground next month – while knocking out Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure as a form of Chinese torture. Those February days of sending only 100,000 troops – and having the DPR and LPR militias plus Wagner commandos and Kadyrov’s Chechens do most of the heavy lifting – are long gone. Overall, Russians and Russophones were facing hordes of Ukrainian military – perhaps as many as 1 million. The “miracle” of it all is that Russians did quite well.

Every military analyst knows the basic rule: an invasion force should number three times the defending force. The Russian Army at the start of the SMO was at a small fraction of that rule. The Russian Armed Forces arguably have a standing army of 1.3 million troops. Surely they could have spared a few tens of thousands more than the initial 100,000. But they did not. It was a political decision. But now SMO is over: this is CTO (Counter-Terrorist Operation) territory. A sequence of terrorist attacks – targeting the Nord Streams, the Crimea Bridge, the Black Sea Fleet – finally demonstrated the inevitability of going beyond a mere “military operation”. And that brings us to Electric War.

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“If they [Kiev] don’t want people to die, and to die in huge numbers … It’s hard, but [the conflict] must be stopped, because the complete destruction of Ukraine will follow..”

Belarus Paints Grim Picture For Ukraine If It Won’t Negotiate (RT)

Ukraine should do its best to end the conflict with Russia, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday, adding that failure to do so would bring about the total collapse of the nation. Commenting on the hostilities in the neighboring country, the Belarusian leader noted that “everything is in Ukraine’s hands now.” “If they [Kiev] don’t want people to die, and to die in huge numbers … It’s hard, but [the conflict] must be stopped, because the complete destruction of Ukraine will follow,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of the summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Armenia. Lukashenko added that it is not just “the loss of statehood” that is at stake for Ukraine, but its very existence.

He claimed that the Ukrainian people, who are bearing the brunt of the conflict, would eventually force President Vladimir Zelensky into a diplomatic engagement. “In one or two years, the people will be accusing him: ‘What did you do to start this war?’ According to Lukashenko, the situation will “press the Ukrainian leadership – if it is reasonable – into sitting at the negotiating table.” After Russia launched its military campaign against Ukraine in late February, Belarus hosted several rounds of talks between Moscow and Kiev. At the time, however, these diplomatic efforts failed to garner any results. In October, the Belarusian president claimed that while Minsk takes part in Russia’s military operation, its role is limited.

He said that his country is preventing the conflict from spreading into its territory while making sure that “nobody would shoot Russians in the back from the territory of Belarus.” In late September, he also claimed that the conflict could end “in just a few days” if Western powers were to back a peaceful settlement. This statement was to some extent echoed by Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said last week that the participation of Western nations in dialogue could be a “guiding and reinforcing element.” While Moscow has repeatedly signaled that it is open to negotiations, President Zelensky has set some conditions. They include the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage,” and the “punishment of every war criminal.”

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“I am not going to take the question because I’m answering your question.”

Pentagon Dodges Ukraine Aid Question (RT)

The US military has declined to give an exact breakdown for billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine requested by the White House last week, saying it would not discuss funding to replenish domestic arms stocks amid reports of growing shortages. Asked about President Joe Biden’s letter to Congress requesting an additional $37.7 billion in assistance to Kiev, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh refused to offer details. “I would not be able to tell you how much of that… is going back to replenishment,” she told reporters during a Tuesday press conference. “With every security assistance package that we announce, we assess our own readiness and capabilities and also what needs to be replenished.”

Pressed on whether she could take the question back to the Pentagon and provide an answer later, Singh doubled down, insisting: “I am not going to take the question because I’m answering your question.”“I just don’t have a number or a dollar figure for you right now on what that looks like, and I don’t think that’s something that we would broadcast from here,” she reiterated. Though the White House previously said that $21.7 billion of the requested aid would be devoted to both “equipment for Ukraine” and the “replenishment of Department of Defense stocks,” it did not specify how much would go to each. Repeated weapon shipments to Kiev have taken a toll on the domestic stockpile.

Earlier this week, the US Army’s chief of arms acquisition, Doug Bush, said the military was accelerating its process to procure weapons in order to make up for shortages, though Pentagon documents recently seen by the New York Post suggested it will take “multiple years” to resupply the Army. Even as early as March, just weeks after the conflict in Ukraine kicked off, the Defense Department was already scrambling to replenish thousands of shoulder-fired missiles supplied to Kiev. US arms transfers have only increased in the time since, with the Pentagon’s latest fact sheet reporting more than $19 billion in direct military aid approved since February, including over 46,000 anti-armor systems, nearly 200 Howitzers, 38 long-range High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and a litany of other heavy weapons, vehicles and ammunition.

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“She argues that France continues to act like a colonial power, which drives Africans to migrate in the first place.”

French Interior Minister Labels Italy Enemy Of France After Migration Row (RMX)

Following growing tensions between Italy and France over the issue of boat migrants in the Mediterranean, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has resorted to extremely harsh rhetoric, referring to the Italian government as “enemies of France.” Darmanin made the comment in response to a question from a National Rally MP Mathilde Paris during a Q&A session in the French parliament, saying Italy is “attacking France.” Paris was inquiring why the majority of the migrants aboard the Ocean Viking ship, which France allowed to dock, have been released from the administrative center housing them, despite the minister’s previous assurances that “(they) will not be able to leave the administrative center.” Instead of addressing the question, Darmanin claimed she was an “ally” of the “enemies” of France.

“In fact, madam, you are not patriotic if you ally yourself with the enemies who are attacking France at the moment,” Darmanin said in response to a question by Paris. “You are siding with Madam (Giorgia) Meloni and her government who did not respect international law, instead you are attacking French policemen,” he added. The French government is being criticized for taking in the migrants, and a report shows that 26 of the 44 minors taken in have already escaped the migrant center. The language being deployed by Darmanin is sure to add further tension between the two countries, which has been growing ever since Italy rejected taking 234 migrants from the NGO ship Ocean Viking, which had mostly North Africans on board.

Italy argues that it has already accepted 90,000 migrants in 2022 alone, and even after rejecting Ocean Viking, it still allowed three NGO ships to dock and 600 migrants to disembark. Although French President Emmanuel Macron has labeled Meloni “inhumane” for not taking in the Ocean Viking migrants, at the same time, France has now said it is retaliating by not accepting 3,000 migrants from Italy it had promised to take in. Meloni has responded, pointing to France’s CFA franc program, in which France agrees to print money for 14 African countries in exchange for mint fees, which can go as high as 50 percent. She argues that France continues to act like a colonial power, which drives Africans to migrate in the first place.

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Hopeless. They all want different price caps for different reasons.

EU Fails To Agree On Gas Price Cap – Hungary (RT)

EU nations have failed to reach an agreement on imposing a price ceiling on natural gas following a Council of Energy Ministers’ meeting, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday. Ministers from the bloc will discuss the proposed measure further during an extraordinary meeting scheduled on December 13, two days before the Summit of European leaders. “Today we started negotiations on the introduction of a ceiling on gas prices. I can say that these are bad proposals, which also threaten Europe’s energy security,” Szijjarto said. “At the meeting, no decision was made that could meet the objectives of the European Commission,” the minister stated, adding that most member states, including Hungary, see such a step as a misguided intervention with work of the natural gas market.


Szijjarto stressed that Hungary, which is heavily reliant on Russian energy imports, is planning to seek exemptions from any EU price caps on oil and gas supplied under long-term contracts. The EU has proposed introducing a cap when prices on the TTF exchange, Europe’s gas benchmark, reach €275 per megawatt hour and when prices are €58 ($59.53) higher than the LNG reference price for ten consecutive trading days within the two weeks. Both conditions need to be met for the cap to be triggered.

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“It is hoped that the price limit would allow Russian production to remain at pre-sanctions levels, but reduce the country’s oil revenue.”

Estonia Warns It Will Veto EU Price Cap On Russian Oil (RT)

A price cap on Russian oil proposed by the European Commission is too high and may be blocked by Estonia, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu said on Thursday, as quoted by Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR). The proposal by Brussels to set a limit of between $65 and $70 per barrel on Russian sea-borne oil is insufficient, he stated, arguing that Moscow would make too much revenue at that price. “Estonia finds that the price horizon’s ambition is too low, considering that the EU has also failed to agree on a ninth sanctions package. The cap seems too high,” Reinsalu said at a government press conference, adding that discussions were ongoing.

Earlier, EU energy chief Kadri Simson confirmed that bloc members had failed to reach an agreement on a Russian oil price cap, but said negotiations would continue. Estonia’s warning came after EU leaders had already watered down the proposed cap by weakening some shipping provisions and delaying the implementation of the measure. Under the updated plan seen by Bloomberg, a grace period would apply to crude loaded before December 5, when oil-related sanctions come into effect, and unloaded by January 19. If approved, the measure would ban Western companies from providing insurance, brokerage or financial assistance to vessels loaded with Russian crude, unless the cargo is purchased below an agreed price.

It is hoped that the price limit would allow Russian production to remain at pre-sanctions levels, but reduce the country’s oil revenue. The proposal was reportedly rejected by Poland along with all three Baltic States, which called the cap “too generous” for Russia and pushed for the price ceiling to be imposed at $30 per barrel. Meanwhile, nations with major shipping industries like Greece and Malta insisted the cap should not be below $70. On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would embargo nations that support the proposed price limit on its oil.

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“I would like to underline that the Swedes and the Finns have not lost a single minute of membership because of Hungary,” Orban said..”

Hungary Faces Pressure To Ratify NATO Expansion (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has promised that Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bids will definitely be among the first items on the agenda when the country’s parliament reconvenes next year, likely around mid-February.“I would like to underline that the Swedes and the Finns have not lost a single minute of membership because of Hungary,” Orban said, as cited by Euronews, adding that the prime ministers of Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia had nudged him to move forward with the process during their meeting on Thursday.

“We have already confirmed to both Finland and Sweden that Hungary supports the membership of these two countries in NATO, and at the first session of next year, Parliament will put this on the agenda,” the Hungarian PM stated, apparently after facing pressure during a Visegrad Group meeting in Slovakia. Last month, Orban’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said there was a “good chance” the Hungarian parliament would vote before its autumn session ends mid-December. The parliament usually reconvenes in early February. In May, amid Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, Sweden and neighboring Finland broke with their decades-long neutrality stance and formally applied for NATO membership. While the bloc accepted the requests, the Nordic nations’ bids have to be ratified by all 30 member states, and Türkiye and Hungary’s approval is still pending.

Earlier this month, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock rebuked Budapest and Ankara for delaying the ratification process, insisting that there is a “crystal clear basis” for allowing the two Nordic nations to join the military bloc. Hungarian officials have repeatedly stated their support for NATO expansion, and the measure is expected to be easily passed once it comes to the floor. Meanwhile, Ankara is demanding that Stockholm and Helsinki do more to fight “terrorism,” particularly Kurdish groups which are outlawed in Türkiye. Negotiations on the matter are still underway.

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Pence and Buttigieg. What a waste of time.

Oddsmakers Favor DeSantis For 2024 (JTN)

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is the odds-on favorite to win the 2024 presidential election. Betting website Covers.com currently assigns DeSantis a 30.77% chance of winning the 2024 electoral contest, with former President Donald Trump coming in second with 22.22%. President Joe Biden rounds out the top three with 20% while Vice President Kamala Harris and Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom tie for fourth with 6.67% each. Former Vice President Mike Pence and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg each have a 4.35% shot at the nation’s top job. Thus far, only Trump has officially launched his 2024 campaign, though Biden is expected to eventually do so. DeSantis, meanwhile, has declined to fuel speculation about his own potential bid, instead asserting that the GOP should focus on the upcoming Georgia runoff election.

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Want to use less oil? Stop making stuff.

Climate Policy Makes Europe Too Expensive for Low-Cost EV Manufacturing (CTH)

We have been closely monitoring the signs of a global cleaving around the energy sector taking place. Essentially, western governments’ following the “Build Back Better” climate change agenda which stops using coal, oil and gas to power their economic engine, while the rest of the growing economic world continues using the more efficient and traditional forms of energy to power their economies. Within the BBB western group (identified on map in yellow), the logical consequences are increased living costs for those who live in the BBB zone, and increased prices for goods manufactured in the BBB zone. In the zone where traditional low-cost energy resources continue to be developed (grey on map), we would expect to see a lower cost of living and lower costs to create goods. Two divergent economic zones based on two different energy systems.

This potential outcome just seemed to track with the logical conclusion. The yellow zone also represented by the World Economic Forum, and the gray zone also represented by an expanding BRICS alliance. Against this predictable backdrop we have been watching various events unfold, some obvious and some less so. Today, we get an obvious example: NEW DELHI, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Fiat parent Stellantis (STLA.MI) has concluded it can’t currently make affordable electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe and is looking at lower-cost manufacturing in markets such as India, its chief executive told reporters. If India, with its low-cost supplier base, is able to meet the company’s quality and cost targets by the end of 2023, it could open the door to exporting EVs to other markets, said Carlos Tavares, CEO of the group whose brands also include Peugeot and Chrysler.

“So far, Europe is unable to make affordable EVs. So the big opportunity for India would be to be able to sell EV compact cars at an affordable price, protecting profitability,” Tavares told reporters at a media roundtable in India late on Wednesday. Stellantis is investing heavily in EVs and plans to produce dozens in the coming decade, but Tavares warned last month that affordable battery EVs were between five and six years away. On his first visit to India since taking over as Stellantis CEO, he said the company was still working out a plan regarding EV exports from the country and had not yet taken any decisions.”

Normally we would expect to see market forces determining the ultimate economic outcome. Historically, we would not expect government policy that puts their nation at an economic disadvantage. However, in this WEF controlled new western economic normal we see multinational corporations’ making decisions and government leaders creating policy to support the corporations. There is money to be made by corporations within the climate change agenda, and there is money to be made by producing goods with low-cost wages and cheap materials. Eventually, if you keep following this to its natural conclusion, the entire yellow zone becomes a service driven economy.

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What on earth made them go public with this?

“..the Pentagon was forced to launch a “sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare,” after a variety of social media accounts, which its operatives used to target foreign audiences in elaborate psychological warfare efforts, were exposed.”

Meta Uncovers US Military-Linked Propaganda Campaign (RT)

Facebook’s parent company Meta has acknowledged the discovery of several clusters of fake accounts and pages believed to be linked to individuals “associated with the US military,” according to the company’s latest adversarial threat report published this week. “Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the US military,” the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. The influence campaign was discovered earlier this year and in total Meta removed 39 Facebook and 26 Instagram accounts, as well as 16 Pages and two groups, all for violating the policy against “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

The social media giant admitted that the large-scale operation ran beyond those several dozen accounts and across many other internet platforms, including Twitter, YouTube and Telegram, as well as major Russian social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. It apparently attempted to downplay the discovery by insisting that the “majority of this operation’s posts had little to no engagement from authentic communities” and highlighting similar “deceptive campaigns” by China and Russia. Meta’s acknowledgement substantiates a bombshell investigation by Washington Post that revealed that the Pentagon was forced to launch a “sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare,” after a variety of social media accounts, which its operatives used to target foreign audiences in elaborate psychological warfare efforts, were exposed.

The takedown of the influence network was initially highlighted by researchers at Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory, which back in August published a report about online networks allegedly pushing “pro-Western,” anti-Russia and other politicized narratives. While the original study did not pin blame for the fake accounts on any particular actors, two officials later told the Post that US CENTCOM – the combatant command which oversees forces in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia – “is among those whose activities are facing scrutiny” for its influence operations. At the time, CENTCOM refused to comment on whether any of the suspicious accounts were created by its personnel or contractors, but one official claimed such behavior would “absolutely be a violation of doctrine and training practices.”

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Death, taxes and getting robbed.

You’re Going To Get Robbed (Denninger)

Read this Twitter thread in full.: Today, we issued a final rule that allows retirement plan investors to take climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into consideration when making investment decisions: Oh really? Did you not just see a prime example of what happens when “ESG” takes over a corporation? Why, you did. It’s called Twitter. Three quarters of the people, all hired with “ESG” in mind, were just fired by Musk who as a private owner has zero obligation to any such so-called “principle.” The various screaming parties in the ESG cult all predicted immediate doom and disaster. No such disaster has occurred; the firm’s only service it provides to the public is running just fine with one quarter of the staffing load — and thus cost — it used to have. If you think Twitter is unique in this regard you’re too stupid to have a retirement and deserve to lose every cent of whatever you claim to be “investing.”

Let’s put this in simple terms: If “ESG” is a net positive for a company then nobody has to exempt anything or make it a separate subject of consideration and in fact doing so is stupid because if it in fact makes the firm more competitive and operating at a lower cost per unit of output it wins all on its own. What the Department of Labor has said by issuing this advisory is that your “retirement plan” can now be disadvantaged to any degree whatsoever, including losing all of it, when (not if) these “ESG” initiatives cause the firms invested in to underperform or fail outright and when that occurs you can’t sue the plan provider for violating their fiduciary responsibility to you as the true owner of the asset.

In other words the Department of Labor is formally admitting that these “ESG” initiatives are not to the benefit of the firm’s operating results and thus are also not to your benefit as an investor. This fact has now become a formal admission by our Federal Government. What’s worse? This “rule” amounts to an admission of collusive price-fixing — albeit indirect — between what are supposed to be competing firms. Under 100+ year old law that is a serious criminal felony. You will get screwed out of trillions of dollars over the coming years as a result of this and you are responsible for that screwing because you have and continue to permit this sort of rank corruption to take place without demanding it stop and backing up that demand with whatever is necessary to eliminate it.

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Steve Kirsch

 

 

 

 

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Nov 022022
 


Balthus Girl at a window 1957

 

Pentagon Confirms US Boots Are On The Ground In Ukraine (ZH)
Outrage Ensues After The Atlantic Suggests ‘Amnesty’ For Pandemic Authoritarians (ZH)
We Need Covid Accountability, Not Amnesty (QTR)
New World Order: The West Will Have To Live Within Its Means (Karaganov)
Zelensky ‘Nullified’ Grain Shipping Deal – Russian Duma Speaker (RT)
There Will Be No Deal – Zelensky Broke The Rules! (Milacic)
Russia Offers Alternative To Ukraine ‘Grain Deal’ (RT)
Russia Demands Black Sea Corridor Guarantees From Ukraine (RT)
Russia Responds To Kiev’s Nuclear Plant ‘Hypocrisy’ (RT)
Blue Checkers Revolt Over Musk’s Threatened Monthly Charge (Turley)
UK Households Face ‘Very, Very Hard’ Winter – National Grid (RT)
Cockamamie Story (Kunstler)
The Tale of Two Greedy Landlords (Catte Black)
Censorship and Suppression of Covid-19 Heterodoxy (Springer)
Fatal Flaw: 42% False Discovery Rate for SARS-CoV-2 nonQ-RT-PCR Test (PR)

 

 

 

 

 

 

GW

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..this is the start of perhaps inevitable ‘mission creep’..”

Pentagon Confirms US Boots Are On The Ground In Ukraine (ZH)

Two bombshell reports by the Associated Press and Washington Post Monday and Tuesday have confirmed that the United States has boots on the ground in the Ukraine conflict. Crucially, these troops are performing tasks separate from mere embassy security. The American troops are said to be performing “inspections” of US weapon caches after last week the State Department and Pentagon unveiled a new plan to track US-supplied weapons in efforts to implement accountability for the billions of dollars worth of arms and ammunition transferred to Ukrainian forces since near the start of the war eight months ago.

“A small number of U.S. military forces inside Ukraine have recently begun doing onsite inspections to ensure that Ukrainian troops are properly accounting for the Western-provided weapons they receive, a senior U.S. defense official told Pentagon reporters Monday,” the AP/WaPo reporting revealed. A Pentagon briefing confirmed this “small” contingency of troops has been advised to not do inspections “close” to the front lines of fighting: The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide a military update, would not say where the inspections are taking place or how close to the battlefronts the U.S. troops are getting. The official said U.S. personnel can’t do inspections “close to the front lines,” but said they are going where security conditions allow.

There have already been “several inspections” overseen by U.S. Defense attache and a US Office of Defense Cooperation team based out of the Ukrainian capital. The report underscores that “U.S. President Joe Biden has ruled out any combat role for U.S. forces inside Ukraine.” However, what’s clear is that despite the White House’s ruling out of “combat” troops, this is the start of perhaps inevitable ‘mission creep’ – as has been seen in other conflict zones (such as Syria). If US troops are doing inspections of Ukrainian arms and ammo, and presumably Russia is currently targeting any and all Ukrainian military bases, this puts American troops and assets in Russia’s crosshairs, greatly increasing the possibility that the US and Russia could stumble into a direct shooting war.

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“Hey I’m sorry we scared the hell out of you & lied for years & persecuted & censored anyone who disagreed but there was an election going on & we really wanted to beat Donald Trump so it was important to radically politicize the science even if it destroyed your children’s lives.”

Outrage Ensues After The Atlantic Suggests ‘Amnesty’ For Pandemic Authoritarians (ZH)

The Atlantic has come under fire for suggesting that all the terrible pandemic-era decisions over lockdowns, school closures, masking, and punishing an entire class of people who questioned the efficacy and wisdom of taking a rushed, experimental vaccine – for a virus with a 99% survival rate in most, should all be water under the bridge. “We need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID,” writes Brown Professor Emily Oster – a huge lockdown proponent, who now pleads from mercy from the once-shunned. “Let’s acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty, and then try to work together to build back and move forward,” she continues. Except, they weren’t “in the dark” about Covid.


There were numerous sources pointing out the actual science that ran contrary to the mandate claims, and they were deliberately silenced by a vast media campaign. Evidence suggests that media platforms worked in tandem with Big Tech, the CDC and the Biden Administration. It was not a simple matter of overreaction, there was collusion to remove all counter-information. Nice try, Emily. As the Daily Sceptic’s Michael P. Senger puts it: “There’s a lot wrong here. First, no, you don’t get to advocate policies that do extraordinary harm to others, against their wishes, then say, “We didn’t know any better at the time!” Ignorance doesn’t work as an excuse when the policies involved abrogating your fellow citizens’ rights under an indefinite state of emergency, while censoring and cancelling those who weren’t as ignorant. The inevitable result would be a society in which ignorance and obedience to the opinion of the mob would be the only safe position.”

And look at that ratio: In one epic Twitter thread, Claremont Institute Senior Fellow Matthew J. Peterson (@docMJP) excoriates Oster’s entire premise; “Hey—sorry you lost your job b/c of the vax that doesn’t work and your grandmother died alone and you couldn’t have a funeral and your brother’s business was needlessly destroyed and your kids have weird heart problems—but let’s just admit we were all wrong and call a truce, eh? It’s too bad we shut the entire economy down & took on tyrannical powers that have never been used before in this country—looking back, you should have been able to go to church and use public parks while we let people riot in the streets—but it was a confusing time for everyone.

Hey I’m sorry we scared the hell out of you & lied for years & persecuted & censored anyone who disagreed but there was an election going on & we really wanted to beat Donald Trump so it was important to radically politicize the science even if it destroyed your children’s lives. OK, yes we said unvaccinated people should die & not get healthcare while never questioning Big Pharma once but we are compassionate people which is why even though we shut down the entire economy we also bankrupted the nation & caused inflation. You’re welcome! Let’s be friends.”As QTR’s Fringe Finance notes, Oster’s plea for the decency that her ilk failed to offer up to most Americans during the throws of the pandemic comes at a point where the Covid narrative has been all but lost by the Democrats and the mainstream media.

There have been several recent large wins for the unvaccinated who had the constitution and backbone to stand up for themselves throughout a year of being constantly berated and ferociously scorned as second class citizens.

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Starting with Emily Oster and the Atlantic..

We Need Covid Accountability, Not Amnesty (QTR)

And now Emily Oster has the gall to write a ho-hum style piece calling for “amnesty” with nary a worthy apology to be seen? Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see any common sense making its way through the cracks. I support the apologies to the unvaccinated and the court rulings because I think they are just. I haven’t been gloating about them because I’m over the topic in general and because I’m simply ready to move on and not dwell on it. But the same hubris and arrogance that caused all of this poor decision-making to begin with is still dripping off of The Atlantic’s latest “mea culpa”, which makes an attempt to rewrite history and trivializes the trauma many endured. “Some of these choices turned out better than others,” the article casually writes at one point.

At another point, like an alcoholic who can’t stop himself from taking another swig from the bottle, it begrudgingly has to make a perfunctory and obligatory reference to “misinformation”: We have to put these fights aside and declare a pandemic amnesty. We can leave out the willful purveyors of actual misinformation while forgiving the hard calls that people had no choice but to make with imperfect knowledge. Instead of an apology, we are left with this kumbaya moment: The standard saying is that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. But dwelling on the mistakes of history can lead to a repetitive doom loop as well. Let’s acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty, and then try to work together to build back and move forward.


The Atlantic article can lead me to only one conclusion: many of the left simply don’t know how to apologize. After all, it wasn’t enough to tell honest people that they were wrong during the course of the pandemic for decisions that turned out to be right, The Atlantic now wants to tell them they’re wrong again if they don’t forgive those who made their lives hell over the last two years. A little tip for The Atlantic: next time, write a piece focused on apologizing instead of issuing orders about exactly how, when and why people should be forgiving you. In case you didn’t notice, it was trying to micromanage other peoples’ lives that got you in this mess in the first place. Talk to us when you offer up accountability, not amnesty.

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Professor Sergey Karaganov, honorary chairman of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and academic supervisor at the School of International Economics and Foreign Affairs Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow

New World Order: The West Will Have To Live Within Its Means (Karaganov)

We are living in a dangerous period, on the brink of a full-fledged third world war that could end humanity’s existence. But if Russia wins, which is more than likely, and the hostilities do not escalate into a full-blown nuclear conflict, we should not look at the coming decades as a time of dangerous chaos (as most in the West are saying). We have been living in this period for a long time. It will be, if we choose a world of constructive creation and the attainment of freedom, justice and dignity by peoples and nations. The old system of institutions and regimes has already collapsed (freedom of trade and respect for private property). Meanwhile, institutions like the WTO, the World Bank the IMF, the OSCE and the EU are, I am afraid, reaching their last years.

New bodies are beginning to emerge to which the future belongs. They are the SCO, ASEAN+, the Organisation of African Unity and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The Asian Development Bank is already lending many times more than the World Bank. Not all new institutions will survive, and let us hope that a number of them will survive, especially in the UN system, which urgently needs reform to primarily represent the Global Majority in the secretariat, rather than the West. The main thing is to prevent a losing West from stalling history or derailing it through a world war. Not only Global Majority countries, but Western countries can live quite happily in this world.

The West will simply lose the opportunity to plunder the rest of the planet and it will have to shrink a bit. They will have to live within their means. I am afraid that this new world taking shape now will be created beyond my intellectual or physical life. But my young colleagues and certainly their children will see it. But this beautiful vision has to be fought for, first of all by preventing a third world war, because of the attempted revenge of the West. Again, it was in Europe that the first two world wars were unleashed. Russia is now fighting, among other things, to ensure that the prerequisites for a third are not ripe. But conflicts will occur in an era of rapid change. So the struggle for peace should be one of the main themes of our intellectual community and the world at large.

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Wonder how this will end.

Zelensky ‘Nullified’ Grain Shipping Deal – Russian Duma Speaker (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has rendered the internationally brokered grain shipping agreement void by using the safe passage in the Black Sea to strike Russian warships, Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, said. Moscow claims that Kiev dispatched attack drones via the route designated for grain vessels. “The resumption of the grain deal is impossible as long as the safe corridor is being used for terrorist attacks,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday. “With his actions, Zelensky has nullified all of the agreements that were brokered by Türkiye and the UN. ”The senior legislator said the use of the safe corridor for the attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is “unacceptable” and that the grain agreement “cannot exist on the old terms.”

Under the deal struck in July, the sides agreed to unblock the export of grain and other agricultural products from Ukrainian ports. Ukraine, a major producer, is among the vital suppliers of wheat, corn, and barley. On Saturday, Moscow accused Kiev of sending aerial and seaborne drones to strike warships in the city of Sevastopol in Crimea, which hosts a naval base. A minesweeper was damaged in the raid, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The ministry claimed that the drones moved along the corridor set up for grain ships, and that one device may have been launched from a civilian vessel hired to transport grain. Moscow also said that a British Navy unit masterminded the attack. London has dismissed the accusation. Russia subsequently announced the closure of the corridor on Monday.

Zelensky accused Russia of blackmail and “deliberately exacerbating the food crisis.” Speaking to reporters on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that only 3-5% of grain that had been shipped through the safe corridor went to poorer countries. The UN, however, reported last month that 27% of the ships went to “low and lower-middle income countries” such as Egypt, Kenya, and Bangladesh. It said that 26% went to “upper-middle income countries” such as Türkiye and China, while 47% went to “high-income”nations such as Spain and Italy.

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“Western insurance companies, despite official permission, refused to insure cargoes of food and fertilizers from Russian ports under various pretexts.”

There Will Be No Deal – Zelensky Broke The Rules! (Milacic)

Just a few hours after the attack by sea “drones” on the ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the early morning of October 29, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the suspension of the “grain deal” – an agreement that had been in force since July 22 of this year. The fact that Russian military claims that naval drones have passed through the territory included in the “grain deal”, where there is no Russian fleet – it only made that decision stronger! The “grain deal” allowed Kyiv to freely export grain from the Black Sea ports under the auspices of the UN, in exchange for some easing of sanctions against Russian exports of grain and fertilizers. Formally, this agreement was strictly humanitarian and its sole purpose was to provide grain to the countries of Africa and Southeast Asia, dependent on food imports.

During the passage of the Bosporus, ships traveling from Ukraine and back were examined by UN inspectors to exclude the possible import and export of prohibited goods. But the Kremlin did not receive its benefit from the deal … Ukraine, having unblocked the export of grain by sea, at the same time was able to unload land communications and receive a significant income from the export of agricultural products. In addition, its Western partners were once again able to resell Ukrainian grain, which, with the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, rose significantly in price. But Russia continued to face difficulties in securing the export of its grain. Western insurance companies, despite official permission, refused to insure cargoes of food and fertilizers from Russian ports under various pretexts.

At the same time, information was increasingly appearing in the media that American and European authorities were putting significant pressure on insurers. Naturally, Moscow was more and more dissatisfied with the terms of the deal concluded before November 19 and doubted the possibility of its extension. The attack on Sevastopol gave the Kremlin a great trump card – the deal was instantly suspended, although the Russian fleet did not suffer significant damage. The military response of Russia also followed very quickly, the communications center and the base of the special forces of the Ukrainian fleet in Ochakiv were destroyed. However, both the attack on the Russian base and the actual breach of the deal with Russian exports are just the tip of the iceberg.

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“Currently, Russia is “not ready to say” what conditions would have to be met for it to resume its participation in the deal.”

Russia Offers Alternative To Ukraine ‘Grain Deal’ (RT)

Russia is ready to provide poorer grain-importing nations with supplies from its own stocks to replace Ukrainian exports, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday. Earlier, Russia suspended its participation in the so-called “grain deal” with Ukraine following an attack on its navy base in Sevastopol. “We can guarantee the Russian side’s readiness to compensate for the missing [grain export] volumes from its own stocks,” Peskov said. Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Moscow would continue to support African nations despite halting its compliance with the pact. The Kremlin spokesman also said only a tiny portion of all Ukrainian agricultural products exported under the deal were destined for the poorest nations anyway, while “not-so-poor nations located in Europe got the rest.”

Moscow also believes that the grain deal between Russia and Ukraine, which was reached in Istanbul with UN and Turkish mediation, is now in limbo for security reasons. “The deal could hardly be implemented when Russia says it cannot guarantee maritime security in the designated waters” of the Black Sea, Peskov said, adding that the implementation of the agreement is now “much more risky, dangerous and not guaranteed.” The Kremlin has not said the deal is dead altogether, however. Moscow is “still in contact” with other parties, including the UN and Türkiye, Peskov said. Currently, Russia is “not ready to say” what conditions would have to be met for it to resume its participation in the deal.

Under the agreement reached in July, Russia provided a secure “grain corridor” through the Black Sea waters to facilitate the exportation of Ukrainian agricultural products. The agreement was praised as critical for easing the global food crisis and helping the world’s poorest nations to avoid starvation. Last week’s decision by Russia to halt its compliance with the deal caused a grain price surge. Moscow suspended its participation in the deal last week after a massive drone attack on its naval base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the naval drones launched as part of the attack used the grain corridor to reach their targets and one of them may even have been launched from a civilian vessel supposedly chartered to ship Ukrainian grain.

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“Moscow is now ready to supply African nations with “large volumes” of grain and fertilizers out of its own stocks for free..”

Russia Demands Black Sea Corridor Guarantees From Ukraine (RT)

Kiev should provide “real guarantees” that it would not use the Black Sea corridor created as part of an Istanbul grain deal in its military activities, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone conversation on Tuesday. The two were discussing the circumstances that could convince Moscow to return to its own commitments under the agreement. Russia indefinitely suspended its participation in the deal last week following a massive drone attack on its naval base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol. Some of the naval drones launched by Kiev allegedly used the Black Sea grain corridor’s security zone to close in on their targets, according to the Russian military.

“It is necessary to conduct a detailed investigation of … this incident, as well as to get real guarantees from Kiev that it would rigorously abide by the Istanbul agreements, including the non-use of the humanitarian corridor for military purposes,” the Russian president said, according to the Kremlin’s press release. Russia would only consider re-opening this corridor if that happened, Putin added. He also pointed out that the part of the deal that involved lifting restrictions on Russia’s own agricultural and fertilizer exports had never been implemented. The corridor was touted as a way to secure food supplies to the neediest nations as a matter of priority. But this goal has not been reached in the three months since the agreement was established, Putin noted. “Moscow is now ready to supply African nations with “large volumes” of grain and fertilizers out of its own stocks for free, the president confirmed.

The Russian military closed the Black Sea grain corridor on Monday, arguing that its security could not be guaranteed while Kiev used it for military purposes. Moscow had previously blamed Ukraine and UK Navy specialists for the attack on Sevastopol. London has dismissed the accusation. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the corridor would stay closed at least until all the circumstances of the attack were established. Russia has also repeatedly said that it has not left the deal entirely but only suspended its own commitments under the agreement. In the wake of Moscow’s decision, the UN insisted that “food must flow” regardless of the circumstances. Civilian vessels “can never be a military target or held hostage,” the UN coordinator for the Black Sea grain initiative, Amir Abdulla, said.

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“Ukrainian troops are shelling the region almost on a daily basis, threatening the lives and safety of people, but they keep silent about it, while expressing concerns about the fish..”

Russia Responds To Kiev’s Nuclear Plant ‘Hypocrisy’ (RT)

Kiev’s accusations that Moscow is responsible for an alleged environmental disaster at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant sound hypocritical, given that Ukraine has been constantly targeting the facility, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the administration of Russia’s Zaporozhye Region, said on Tuesday. His statement comes after the Ukrainian state-owned operator, Energoatom, claimed that Russian actions had led to a massive die-off of fish in the facility’s cooling pond.Rogov denounced Kiev’s accusations as the “wildest hypocrisy that knows no bounds.” “Ukrainian troops are shelling the region almost on a daily basis, threatening the lives and safety of people, but they keep silent about it, while expressing concerns about the fish,” he told RIA Novosti.

Moreover, he noted that the plant’s energy units had been shut down precisely because Kiev’s forces have been constantly targeting the area around the facility. On Monday, Ukraine’s Energoatom said that the shutdown of the plant’s energy units had resulted in a decrease in the water temperature in the cooling pond, which led to “mass fish death.” The fish had been “performing a sanitary function” by destroying the green algae and cleaning the cooling tubes of the turbine condenser, it said. However, Ukraine had gone to great lengths to paralyze the plant’s operations and prevent it from coming online again, according to Rogov.

The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which is Europe’s largest, has been under Russian control since March. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially placed the facility under Moscow’s management. The Russian leader signed the relevant order as Moscow was finalizing the accession of Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, as well as the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, to Russia following referendums that overwhelmingly supported the move. Russia has on numerous occasions accused Ukraine of shelling the Zaporozhye facility, warning that the attacks could lead to a nuclear disaster. Kiev has denied the allegations, blaming Russia for the shelling instead.

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“Musk is looking for ways to reduce the dependency on advertisers and many of us would support that effort.”

Blue Checkers Revolt Over Musk’s Threatened Monthly Charge (Turley)

As a regular MSNBC pundit is calling for Elon Musk to be stripped of his citizenship for trying to reintroduce free speech protections to Twitter, the new owner is outraging blue checkers by suggesting a monthly charge for verified users. Figures like CNBC’s Jim Cramer declared: “I’m not paying them anything. They should pay me.” Some of us would be willing to pay an added monthly fee to support a true free speech alternative on social media if Musk keeps his word. Of course, for full disclosure, I would first have to get a blue check to get charged for a blue check. I have been barred from being verified for years by Twitter despite being a columnist for newspapers like USA Today and the Hill as well as a legal analyst for CBS, NBC, BBC, and now Fox over the last two decades.

I have been ranked in the top five law professors on Twitter, but I was still turned me down over a dozen times under multiple categories. I have previously joked about the bar on verification and I am not sure how much the blue check honestly does for individuals. Indeed, there are some advantages. I can presumably deny prior statements since they were made by an entirely unverified person using my name for over a decade. Yet, as a long-time critic of Twitter’s censorship system, there has been a long curiosity over the denial. Musk has indicated that he is now looking into such concerns and there may be greater transparency in the weeks to come. However, Musk is looking for ways to reduce the dependency on advertisers and many of us would support that effort.

Recently, General Motors suspended advertising on Twitter until it can evaluate the implications of Musk’s new policies. Some of us immediately criticized the action by GM over the move. The company had no problem with supporting Twitter when it was running one of the largest censorship systems in history — or supporting TikTok (which is Chinese owned and has been denounced for state control and access to data). Twitter has been denounced for years for its bias against conservative and dissenting voices, including presumably many GM customers on the right. None of that was a concern for GM but the pledge to restore free speech to Twitter warrants a suspension.

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“..rolling blackouts could happen during “those deepest darkest evenings in January and February..”

UK Households Face ‘Very, Very Hard’ Winter – National Grid (RT)

Many British households will struggle to pay energy bills this winter that could be double what they are accustomed to despite a government price cap, the National Grid’s CEO, John Pettigrew, has warned. In an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday, he said he was “under no illusions” and that Brits would find the upcoming winter “financially very, very hard.” “Even with the [taxpayer-funded] price cap this is a doubling-up of what people are used to paying for their energy bills,” Pettigrew said, adding: “Therefore, inevitably there are going to be people who are going to struggle.” The British government has capped the unit cost of energy until April, meaning that an average household would pay about £2,500 ($2,885) over a year on average.

But last winter the equivalent amount was £1,277 ($1,474). Each household will also receive a £400 rebate on utility bills with additional means-tested payments through Social Security benefits. However, that will still be unable to make up the difference given the soaring energy prices. Pettigrew said the National Grid was working on a number of emergency plans to protect the UK against a shortfall of energy from Europe. Earlier, the grid operator’s boss warned that the country could face power cuts on “really cold” evenings this winter due to Europe’s continuing energy squeeze. He said that rolling blackouts could happen during “those deepest darkest evenings in January and February,” likely between 4pm to 7pm.


Such measures were “unlikely,” according to Pettigrew, who warned, however, that there were potential scenarios where Britain’s power generators would fail to secure sufficient supplies from Europe. Normally, during the coldest months and extreme weather events, the UK imports gas and electricity from continental Europe for its gas-fired power plants. However, this year European countries are themselves facing a severe energy crisis exacerbated by anti-Russian sanctions and a sharp decrease in Russian energy supplies.

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Top spot for craziest story.

Cockamamie Story (Kunstler)

So far, police have not disclosed how DePape journeyed from Berkeley to Pacific Heights at 2:00 o’clock in the morning, about fourteen miles. Did he walk from Berkeley across the Bay Bridge and then halfway across town? Mr. DePape is apparently also known to the police as a gay hustler, that is, a person who sells sex for money. Unless I’m mistaken, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has a detective department — experienced men and women who go around the city seeking clues, evidence, and testimony in order to make sense of perplexing crimes — and then solve them! Shall we assume they are on-the-job? Now, Paul Pelosi, 82, who made a $300-million fortune running a car service (also shrewd investments in real estate and the stock market), has been in quite a bit of trouble this year.

On May 28, 2022, he was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Napa (near a vineyard estate he owns with Nancy) when his 2021 Porsche crashed into a 2014 Jeep driven by one “John Doe” (as the police identified him). KGO-TV, ABC’s affiliate in the San Francisco area, said that there was a second person in the Porsche with Pelosi at the time of the accident. He has never been identified. In August, Mr. Pelosi was sentenced to five days in jail, a fine of roughly $7,000, a three-month drinking-and-driving course, eight hours of public service, and having an “interlock” device installed on his car that would require him to blow into an alcohol sensor before the engine can ignite. By any chance, were the Napa Police or the County Court contacted in the matter at some point by the US Capitol Police or the FBI? We may never know.

If David DePape didn’t walk fourteen miles from Berkeley to Pacific Heights, or take a cab (expensive), how did he get there? Here’s a theory: he rode the BART subway from Berkeley to the Church Street and Mission station in the city, a five-minute walk to the Castro, San Francisco’s fabled gay district. Sometime before 2:00 a.m. closing time, he met up in a bar there with Paul Pelosi, who drove DePape to the Pelosi house in a car not equipped with an interlock device. That is to say, David DePape was let into the house by Mr. Pelosi. The police and the news media have theorized that DePape broke into the place by smashing a glass door in back. Uh-huh…. Ask yourself: would there not be an alarm system at least on all the ground floor windows and doors in the house? Would there not be security cameras on the back side of the house — the side that burglars might prefer, if they could get over the wall?

Would the Speaker of the House, with a discretionary budget on top of a $300-million fortune, and in a time of epic political rancor, not have a team of security guards in place at her private home? Initial news media chatter had both DePape and Paul Pelosi dressed in their underwear, struggling over a hammer which turned out to belong to Mr. Pelosi. Not until the police entered the house did DePape wrest the hammer from Mr. Pelosi and commence to brain him with it. What does the arrest report actually say about the two men’s state-of-dress? It is not public information. How and why were the police just watching until DePape assaulted Mr. Pelosi — who was hospitalized afterward and had surgery on his cracked skull? (Uh, how did a blow that literally broke his skull not kill the elderly Mr. Pelosi?)

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“what would we do without the Banker to guide us!?”

The Tale of Two Greedy Landlords (Catte Black)

Once upon a time in a land far away and in a time of plenty there were two rich and prosperous Landlords who each owned large and spacious adjoining buildings wherein many people lived. The apartments were warm and comfortable and every week there was a market where grain was brought from Landlord B’s land and fruit and meat and vegetables from Landlord A’s. While wood from Landlord B’s copses kept the Communal Woodpile stocked with seasoned logs. Everyone was happy. The Landlords were both friends with a Banker. The Banker was richer than both the Landlords combined and in fact he owned their houses and their land and watched carefully what they did with them. And one day he invited them to a sumptuous dinner at his house and said “things could be better”.

“How could things be better, friend Banker?” asked Landlord B, “there is food in our granaries and money in our coffers, and everyone is happy”. “Your people are charged too little for too much luxury. They expect fuel for their stoves and food in their markets, and are never grateful enough to you for your kindness.” The two Landlords looked at each other and realized this might be true, for they rarely disagreed with the Banker. “Yes,” said Landlord A, sadly shaking his head, “our people are feckless children that never give enough thanks for our largesse, but alas, what can we do?”. “They need to be taught their place”, the Banker said. “They need to pay a proper price for what you provide and learn to be grateful. You should triple the price of food from your farms and fuel from the Communal Wood Pile”.

The two Landlords looked at each other in apprehension. They were greedy and liked the sound of this very much, but they were also cowards. “But”, said Landlord B, “but if we do that they may just become annoyed and might refuse to pay or break our windows or our bones and then we will be worse off not better!” This was true. And caused the Landlords to shake their heads regretfully. But the Banker was cleverer than either of them. He merely smiled. “They are children”, he said, “and children require stories in order to learn about life’s harsh truths. So, you will tell them a story”. The two Landlords looked at him, but did not understand.

“You will tell them there is a new and terrible plague which has broken the Supply Chain and consequently fuel and food are three times more expensive!” “But…but there is no new and terrible plague”, stammered Landlord A. “Of course there is”, smiled the Banker, “why else would hundreds of people be dying?” “But hundreds of people are not dying”, stammered Landlord B. “Of course they are,” smiled the Banker, “how could they not when there is a new and terrible plague?” They looked at him for a long time before gradual understanding dawned, and their puzzled frowns turned to smiles. “Of course!” they said in unison, “what would we do without the Banker to guide us!?”

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Pierre Kory, MD MPA @PierreKory:

A high quality Sociology journal finally publishes the truth about what happened in Medical Science during Covid.
Phenomenal paper.
Cue censorship by mass media and social media.
Hope Chief Twit starts making changes fast.

Censorship and Suppression of Covid-19 Heterodoxy (Springer)

Abstract: The emergence of COVID-19 has led to numerous controversies over COVID-related knowledge and policy. To counter the perceived threat from doctors and scientists who challenge the official position of governmental and intergovernmental health authorities, some supporters of this orthodoxy have moved to censor those who promote dissenting views. The aim of the present study is to explore the experiences and responses of highly accomplished doctors and research scientists from different countries who have been targets of suppression and/or censorship following their publications and statements in relation to COVID-19 that challenge official views.


Our findings point to the central role played by media organizations, and especially by information technology companies, in attempting to stifle debate over COVID-19 policy and measures. In the effort to silence alternative voices, widespread use was made not only of censorship, but of tactics of suppression that damaged the reputations and careers of dissenting doctors and scientists, regardless of their academic or medical status and regardless of their stature prior to expressing a contrary position. In place of open and fair discussion, censorship and suppression of scientific dissent has deleterious and far-reaching implications for medicine, science, and public health.

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Ouch.

Fatal Flaw: 42% False Discovery Rate for SARS-CoV-2 nonQ-RT-PCR Test (PR)

We have just published a new study that shows that nonQ-RT-PCR (non-quantitative RT-PCR testing as used to diagnose COVID-19 from 2020 to the present day suffers a flaw that ultimately draws into question all of what has been reported on COVID-19 by official channels, including the results of COVID-19. Specifically, assuming a 5% prevalence rate, the high false discovery rate (42%) of the use of nonQ-RT-PCR means


1. For every 50 true positives out of 1,000, a total of 86 people with or without SARS-CoV-2 infection or residual fragments will be reported. Of these, 36 of these will be false positives.
2. For every 50 true positives, 86 people without SARS-CoV-2 infection or residual fragments will be have to be isolated/quarantined. Of these, 36 will not be infected.
3. For every 50 true positives that are tested and found positive in-hospital, 86 people with or without SARS-CoV-2 infection or residual fragments will be told that they “have COVID-19”. If the 36 false positive patients are hospitalized with other COVID-19 patients, they will likely then contract a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
4. The number of “cases” via positive PCR has been overstated by a factor of 72% (the original post read “80:1” assuming a prevalence of 5%).
5. This is true for generic case reporting up until May 2021 when CDC decided to reduce the PCR cycle threshold value (Ct) for the vaccinated to less than 27, leaving the unvaccinated rate biased by high false discovery rate of arbitrarily high Ct, biasing all reported rates in these two groups favoring cases in the unvaccinated from that point on.
6. This +72% bias is true in any clinical trial or any study that used arbitrarily high Ct values, INCLUDING THE VACCINE STUDIES. As a direct result of this fatal flaw, combined with CDC’s gaff “PCR+ = COVID-19″? There are no credible COVID-19 vaccine trial data.

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Rogan list

 

 

 

 

Malone

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 282022
 


Henri Matisse The terrace, St. Tropez 1904

 

All The Way To Odessa (Escobar)
Blame West For Global Inflation — Former Czech President (RT)
China Calls On Putin To End Russian Roulette At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant (iN)
US Comments On American Fighter Death In Ukraine (RT)
Amnesty Issues Warning About Donbass Tribunal (RT)
Sanctions War Isn’t Going As Well As Planned – The Economist (RT)
Serbia Comments On Russia Gas Supplies (RT)
Pentagon Signs Deal To Make Air Defense Systems For Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine Site Threatens 1000s, Incl. Americans, With Extrajudicial Killings (A.)
What Did Not Happen With The Release Of The Mar-a-Lago Affidavit? (Turley)
Judge Announces ‘Preliminary Intent To Appoint A Special Master’ (Fox)
Don’t Charge Trump With Espionage (John Kiriakou)
Let Djokovic Play (Vinay Prasad)
62% of Democratic Students Oppose Sharing Dorm Rooms With Republicans (Turley)
Assange Files Appeal To Stop US Extradition (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zelensky

 

 

Biden showering with his daughter is creepy as hell, but for me it’s more: what if Ivanka had written this about her dad? He would have been crucified.

 

 

Tucker Rumble

 

 

 

 

“..the NATO-Bandera alliance..”

All The Way To Odessa (Escobar)

Europe is now a runaway TGV – minus the requisite Hollywood production values. Assuming it does not veer off track – a dicey proposition – it may eventually arrive at a railway station called Agenda 2030, The Great Narrative, or some other NATO/Davos denomination du jour. As it stands, what’s remarkable is how the “marginal” Russian economy hardly broke a sweat to “end the abundance” of the wealthiest region on the planet. Moscow does not even entertain the notion of negotiating with Brussels because there’s nothing to negotiate – considering puny Eurocrats will only be hurled away from their zombified state when the dire socio-economic consequences of “the end of abundance” will finally translate into peasants with pitchforks roaming the continent.

It may be eons away, but inevitably the average Italian, German or Frenchman will connect the dots and realize it is their own “leaders” – national nullities and mostly unelected Eurocrats – who are paving their road to poverty. You will be poor. And you will like it. Because we are all supporting freedom for Ukrainian neo-nazis. That brings the concept of “multicultural Europe” to a whole new level. The runaway train, of course, may veer off track and plunge into an Alpine abyss. In this case something might be saved from the wreckage – and “reconstruction” might be on the cards. But reconstruct what? Europe could always reconstruct a new Reich (collapsed with a bang in 1945); a soft Reich (erected at the end of WWII); or break with its past failures, sing “I’m Free” – and connect with Eurasia. Don’t bet on it.

The SMO may be about to radically change – something that will drive the already clueless denizens of US Think Tankland and their Euro vassals even more berserk. President Putin and Defense Minister Shoigu have been giving serious hints the only way for the pain dial is up – considering the mounting evidence of terrorism inside Russian territory; the vile assassination of Darya Dugina; non-stop shelling of civilians in border regions; attacks on Crimea; the use of chemical weapons; and the shelling of Zaporizhzhya power plant raising the risk of a nuclear catastrophe. This past Tuesday, one day before the SMO completing six months, Crimea’s permanent representative to the Kremlin, Georgy Muradov, all but spelled it out.

He stressed the necessity to “reintegrate all the Taurian lands” – Crimea, the Northern Black Sea and the Azov Sea – into a single entity as soon as “in the next few months”. He defined this process as “objective and demanded by the population of these regions.” Muradov added, “given not only the strikes on Crimea, but also the continuous shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the dam of the Kakhovka reservoir, peaceful facilities on the territory of Russia, the DNR and LNR, there are all preconditions to qualify the actions of the Banderite regime as terrorist.” The conclusion is inevitable: “the political issue of changing the format of the special military operation” enters the agenda. After all, Washington and Brussels “have already prepared new anti-Crimean provocations of the NATO-Bandera alliance”.

So when we examine what the “restoration of the Taurian lands” implies, we see not only the contours of Novorossiya but most of all that there won’t be any security for Crimea – and thus Russia – in the Black Sea without Odessa becoming Russian again. And that, on top of it, will solve the Transnistria dilemma. Add to it Kharkov – the capital and top industrial center of Greater Donbass. And of course Dnipropetrovsk. They are all SMO objectives, the whole combo to be later protected by buffer zones in Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts. Only then the “tasks” – as Shoigu calls them – of the SMO would be declared fulfilled. The timeline could be eight to ten months – after a lull under General Winter.

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“The ‘green delirium..’”

Blame West For Global Inflation — Former Czech President (RT)

Former Czech President Vaclav Klaus has rejected the notion that the Ukrainian conflict has been the sole reason for the economic problems now experienced around the globe. “The issues that led to spiking inflation and to a huge increase in energy prices that we have now originated long before February 24” when Russia sent its troops into Ukraine, Klaus told outlet Seznam Sravy on Friday. “This is self-inflicted, this is self-inflicted by the West. The Russian invasion just added to that,”he insisted. Russia is a major supplier of gas, oil and coal, but it’s “just one of the players” on the international market, the 81-year-old economist, who was the Czech Republic’s president between 2003 and 2013, pointed out.


So, the reduction of supply of Russian hydrocarbons to the EU and soaring energy prices – which came as a result of sweeping sanctions imposed on Moscow by the bloc – just can’t be the number one cause for high inflation rates and soaring energy prices, Klaus insisted. “I don’t understand why the number one cause isn’t being mentioned. The ‘green delirium,’ the supposed fight against climate change and the EU’s Green Deal – that’s the fundamental cause for the rise in prices,” he said, referring to the Western attempts in recent years to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The ex-president has urged the sides involved to find a solution to the conflict in Ukraine, which has already been going on for half a year, warning that the situation will only “get worse and worse” if it’s not done soon. “It won’t be enough for the representatives of Ukraine and Russia to get together. It’s necessary for the West, especially the US, to start negotiating with Russia. Every person with at least some intelligence understands this,” he also remarked.

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How news is fabricated. Michael Day at iNews.uk comes with this headline, but nowhere in his quotes is it repeated. Instead, China simply called on both sides to be careful. And of course the article talks about Russian shelling, which we know is nonsensical. Russia’s held the plant since March, and there was never an issue until Ukraine started firing at it. But yeah “Russian Roulette” sounds cute, and so does “China Calls On Putin To End..” [it].

China Calls On Putin To End Russian Roulette At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant (iN)

China has issued a thinly veiled attack on Russia’s brinkmanship over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, as fears of disaster escalate following a near-miss at the site. A senior Chinese official told the UN on Friday that just one incident might cause a serious nuclear accident “with irreversible consequences for the ecosystem and public health of Ukraine and its neighbouring countries”. Geng Shuang, China’s deputy permanent representative at the UN, pointedly called on all parties involved “to exercise maximum restraint strictly abide by international law and minimise the risk of accidents”, adding: ”We must not allow the tragedies of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents to be repeated.”

In addition to an international public health emergency, a serious accident and radiation release at the plant would be another blow to the world economy, already severely impoacted by Covid-19 and the energy crisis. China’s warning is signficiant as it is perhaps the only world power with real influence over the Putin regime. Beijing issued its statement just hours after an incident at Zaporizhzhia – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – when electricity was cut off for hours, according to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr Zelensky said Russian shelling on Thursday sparked fires in the ash pits of a nearby coal power station, wihch disconnected the Zaporozhzhia plant from the power grid. A Russian official claimed Ukraine was to blame.

Back-up diesel generators ensured that the power supply to the plant, vital for cooling and safety systems there, continued, Mr Zelensky said. He urged international bodies to act faster to force Russian troops to vacate the site, located in the south of country. Oleh Savitskyi, an energy policy expert with the Ukrainian Climate Network who has worked in the country’s ministry of energy and environment protection, told the Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists (BOAS) that relying on back-up diesel generators was not enough “Russians are using Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as their military base, they could have been stealing that diesel fuel or using it for their vehicles. Nobody knows how much fuel is available,” he said.

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Why do you have to hear this through RT, and not a US source, who should be all over it? Easy:

“..the fighter was killed not by Russian or allied forces, but by his fellow soldiers while “fleeing from the position.”

US Comments On American Fighter Death In Ukraine (RT)

Another American has died in fighting in Ukraine, the US State Department revealed on Friday, confirming previous claims made by Russian officials. “We can confirm the death of a US citizen in Ukraine,” a US State Department spokesperson told Newsweek on Friday. “Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment at this time.” On Friday, Oleg Kozhemyako, who serves as the governor of Russia’s Far Eastern Primorsky Region, said that the ‘Tiger’ military unit from his area had eliminated an American while repelling an attack from a group consisting of mercenaries from several countries.

“An American mercenary was destroyed in Ukraine,” he said on his Telegram, attaching photos of both a US passport and Ukrainian military service card, apparently issued in the name of Joshua Alan Jones. The ID documents say he was born in Tennessee and joined the Ukrainian Army on July 14 with the A3449 military unit. According to Andrey Rudenko, a Russian military reporter, the fighter was killed not by Russian or allied forces, but by his fellow soldiers while “fleeing from the position.” The State Department spokesperson offered a reminder that “US citizens should not travel to Ukraine, due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of US citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials.”

“US citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options,” the representative reiterated. Russia’s Ministry of Defense has repeatedly claimed it had destroyed foreign mercenaries in Ukraine, including by conducting high-precision missile strikes. Moreover, earlier this month, authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic said that three Western nationals accused of fighting as mercenaries for Ukraine could be sentenced to death while another two are facing up to eight years behind bars for the same reason. Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense warned that mercenaries aren’t viewed as combatants under international law and “the best thing that awaits them if they are captured alive is a trial and maximum prison terms.” s

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Amnesty still feels queasy. More interesting is Duma Speaker Volodin:

“He and his inner circle ordered to bomb, shoot and kill peaceful citizens: the elderly, women, children. That is why Zelensky is doing everything to prevent the tribunal.

Amnesty Issues Warning About Donbass Tribunal (RT)

Amnesty International is against putting Ukrainian POWs on trial for alleged war crimes, insisting that Russia and Donbass are in no position to do so. Describing the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as “Russian-backed armed groups,”the organization called the upcoming tribunals “illegal and abusive.” The organization also blasted the decision to set up the trials in the city of Mariupol, captured by Russian and Donbass forces during the ongoing conflict, saying it was “a further act of cruelty against a city.” “Any attempts by Russian authorities to try Ukrainian prisoners of war in so-called ‘international tribunals’ set up by armed groups under Russia’s effective control in Mariupol are illegal and unacceptable,” Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Marie Struthers, said in a statement on Friday.

The remarks echoed those recently made by top Ukrainian officials, including Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who threatened to cut any potential negotiations with Russia should Ukrainian POWs, primarily fighters of the notorious neo-Nazi Azov regiment, be placed on a “show trial.” “If this despicable show trial takes place … This will be the line beyond which any negotiations are impossible. Russia will cut itself off from any negotiations,” Zelensky said in a video address on Monday. Zelensky’s call, however, has been promptly snubbed by top Russian and Donbass officials, with the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, stating such threats will have “no effect” on the tribunal plans.

“The data on 80 counts of crimes committed by the Azov has been collected, 23 people have been arrested and are in custody,” Pushilin stated. Russian Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin issued a darker warning in response to Zelensky’s threats, suggesting the public hearings will expose Kiev’s crimes, which is why the Ukrainian president rightfully fears them. “He and the Kiev regime have reasons to be afraid,” Volodin said. “He and his inner circle ordered to bomb, shoot and kill peaceful citizens: the elderly, women, children. That is why Zelensky is doing everything to prevent the tribunal.”

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“The biggest flaw [of sanctions] is that full or partial embargoes are not being enforced by over 100 countries with 40% of world GDP..”

Sanctions War Isn’t Going As Well As Planned – The Economist (RT)

The harsh sanctions imposed on Russia by the West over the conflict in Ukraine have so far been unable to deliver the desired result, The Economist magazine has acknowledged, adding that the strategy has “flaws.” “Worryingly, so far the sanctions war is not going as well as expected,” the British publication said in its article on Thursday, insisting that the effectiveness of economic restrictions on Moscow “is key to the outcome of the Ukraine war.” “Russia’s GDP will shrink by 6% in 2022, reckons the IMF, much less than the 15% drop many expected in March… Energy sales will generate a current-account surplus of $265 billion this year, the world’s second-largest after China. After a crunch, Russia’s financial system has stabilized and the country is finding new suppliers for some imports, including China,” it pointed out.

At the same time, the energy crisis, which has been provoked by the sanctions war, “may trigger a recession” in Europe, where gas prices spiked by another 20% this week, according to the British magazine. This all means that the expected “knockout blow [from restricting Russia] has not materialized,” The Economist said. “The unipolar moment of the 1990s, when America’s supremacy was uncontested, is long gone, and the West’s appetite to use military force has waned since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” it acknowledged. Economic restrictions “seemed” to be the new tool that would allow the US, EU and its allies to project their power globally, but the conflict in Ukraine has revealed that “the sanctions weapon has flaws,” it said.

One of those flaws is “the time lag,” the magazine continued. For example, “blocking [Russia’s] access to tech the West monopolizes takes years to bite,” it added. The Economist suggested that isolation from Western markets could only “cause havoc in Russia… on a three- to five-year horizon.” “The biggest flaw [of sanctions] is that full or partial embargoes are not being enforced by over 100 countries with 40% of world GDP,” the outlet insisted. “A globalized economy is good at adapting to shocks and opportunities, particularly as most countries have no desire to enforce Western policy.” With economic curbs failing to cripple the Russian economy, one should “discard any illusions that sanctions offer the West a cheap and asymmetric way to confront China” if it decides to use force against Taiwan, The Economist warned.

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Hungary, Serbia, Turkey, who’s next?

Serbia Comments On Russia Gas Supplies (RT)

Serbs would not have to save energy and reduce their consumption this winter thanks to Belgrade’s policies and gas imports from Russia, President Aleksandar Vucic told his fellow citizens in an address on Saturday. “There are no plans for electricity restrictions next winter,” he said, adding, however, that the situation in the energy field remains “extremely difficult.” At the same time, the Serbian cabinet is expected to provide “large discounts” to those who did save electricity this year in comparison to the previous one, he said. Such measures have become possible particularly due to gas imports from Russia, the Serbian leader believes. Serbia purchases 2 million cubic meters of gas – or between 63% and 64% of all gas it needs – from Russia and its total cost amounts to €800 million ($797 million), Vucic said, calling such a price “fantastic.”


If Belgrade had to buy gas at the current European market prices, it would go bankrupt, he said, arguing that the remaining 1.2 million cubic meters of gas – or around 36% of its total consumption – would cost Serbia €4.8 billion ($4.7 billion) now. “And our entire budget is around €13 billion,” the president said. Vucic also praised a deal Belgrade struck with Budapest that would see Hungary storing between 300 and 500 cubic meters of gas purchased by Serbia in its gas storages. The Serbian president’ comments come as the European gas prices continue to soar. September futures on the TTF hub in the Netherlands rose to nearly $3,500 per thousand cubic meters on Friday, according to data on the London ICE exchange.

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Raytheon pay day. But this stuff won’t be ready for another two years. They are actively trying to create a 10-year war. Why would Russia wait that long, though?

Pentagon Signs Deal To Make Air Defense Systems For Ukraine (RT)

The Pentagon has signed a $182-million deal with US arms manufacturer Raytheon to produce NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems) for the Ukrainian military. The work on short-and medium-range air defense weaponry will be conducted at Raytheon’s facilities in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, with an estimated completion date of August 23, 2024, the US Department of Defense said in a statement on Friday. Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden announced yet another military aid package for Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia. At $2.98 billion it is the largest to date, and will include six NASAMS systems.


The military assistance will be funded as part of the so-called Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), meaning the hardware will be specifically produced for Kiev, and not taken from US stocks. In an article earlier this month, Air Force Magazine described the NASAMS as a vital piece of technology that could help the Ukrainian forces to shoot down Russian cruise missiles, which have so far been hitting targets in the country “nearly unimpeded.” Moscow has long been critical of weapons supplies to Kiev by Washington and its allies, saying that they only prolong the conflict and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia.

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“In total, nearly 200,000 people have been declared ‘criminals’ over the five years.”

German politicians, a French actor, Victor Orban, Henry Kissinger, and of course as per last week, Roger Waters.

Ukraine Site Threatens 1000s, Incl. Americans, With Extrajudicial Killings (A.)

Mirotvorets, which compiles lists of ‘enemies of Ukraine’, has been operating with impunity for eight years. For the last eight years, a group of publicly unknown activists in Ukraine have been compiling lists of ‘enemies of the people’ with impunity. Hundreds of thousands have been declared criminals without trial. Among them are not only Russian citizens, but also Ukrainian opposition figures and bloggers, European politicians, and US citizens. At the very least, being added to this list is a stigma that makes life difficult in Ukraine, but it can also serve as justification for imprisonment or, in some cases, even being killed. This is exactly what happened last weekend to Daria Dugina, daughter of world-famous Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, who’s name also can be found on that list.

RT explains what is behind the Mirotvorets, or ‘Peacemaker’, website, whose creators seek to bring ‘peace’ to their country with the help of extrajudicial killings, and why the Ukrainian authorities have done nothing about this despite condemnation from the international community. What is Mirotvorets? The main page of the Ukrainian Mirotvorets website proclaims that the outlet represents a ‘Center for Research of Signs of Crimes against the National Security of Ukraine, Peace, Humanity, and the International Law’. It claims to have been created by a group of academics, journalists, and other specialists. However, their names are known to no one, and the outfit itself has never even been officially registered in Ukraine. Nevertheless, this organization has been in operation for nine years, since August 2014.

[..] As long as Mirotvorets was limiting itself to publishing information on Ukrainian citizens living in Crimea and Donbass, Ukrainian opposition politicians and journalists, and Russian residents and officials, the odious organization went unnoticed in the ‘civilized world’. But a scandal erupted in 2016, when Mirotvorets published information on employees of a host of media outlets, including the BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera, AFP, Le Monde, the Guardian, Le Figaro, France 24, El Mundo, CBS News, CNN, Sky News, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Cheska Televize, Radio France, Channel 9 Australia, the Associated Press, Japan TV, the Daily Mail, Die Welt, the Washington Post and New York Times, as well as representatives of Human Rights Watch and many other organizations, for “cooperating with a terrorist organization” (i.e., the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics).

[..] so far, calls for the closure of Mirotvorets have, in fact, been limited to a chorus of journalists, human rights defenders, and parliamentarians, who lack the power to make legally binding decisions with respect to Ukraine. This issue is not included among the list of requirements put forth by the Council of Europe or the European Commission that Kiev must fulfil in order to implement the EU Association Agreement.

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“..the largest Rorschach test in history..”

What Did Not Happen With The Release Of The Mar-a-Lago Affidavit? (Turley)

With Friday’s release of the redacted affidavit from the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, the largest Rorschach test in history seemed to play out on cable television. Instead of ink blots, pundits and politicians stared at pages of solid black lines and offered strikingly different “ah-ha” observations. For former Mueller top aide Andrew Weissmann, the affidavit meant one thing — that “the former president is going to be prosecuted.” (Of course, Weissmann once expressed certainty that Donald Trump would pardon himself by his last day in office.) There already are a plethora of news and opinion columns focusing on five things we learned from the redacted affidavit. Equally telling, I think, is what did not happen with the affidavit’s release.

[..] There is every reason to believe that what followed contained some facts that could be released on the FBI’s communications with the Trump team or the breakdown of such communications. After all, the Trump team already knows about that. Yet the government is saying that everything which occurred in that critical month cannot be disclosed in even the smallest detail. The court could have pushed for additional disclosures but chose to call it a day, based on government representations that more would cause harm. Yet this is the same department that maintained all of the pages released this week could not be released without causing harm.

There is still more that can be done by the court. One option is the special master requested, belatedly, by Trump’s team. I previously argued that Attorney General Merrick Garland should have proposed such an appointment to assure the public that this was not a pretextual search using sensitive documents as an excuse for a massive seizure. The scope of the warrant was ridiculously broad, allowing the seizure of virtually every document in the storage room and every document generated during Trump’s presidency. A special master could have sorted through this mass of material and separated privileged or immaterial documents. That would add to the legitimacy of an otherwise unlimited search.

That also did not happen. However, a special master could still serve the same interests of transparency and legitimacy. By dividing these documents into classified material, unclassified but defense-related information, and unclassified material we would have a better understanding of the scope and seriousness of any alleged crimes. That is why the most curious thing about the redacted affidavit is what did not happen. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Silver Blaze,” a police inspector asks Sherlock Holmes if anything about a crime scene bothered him. The brilliant detective responds, “To the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.” When the confused inspector objects that “the dog did nothing in the night-time,” Holmes replies: “That was the curious incident.”

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“A hearing is set for Sept. 1 at 1:00 p.m.”

Judge Announces ‘Preliminary Intent To Appoint A Special Master’ (Fox)

A federal judge on Saturday announced her “preliminary intent to appoint a special master” to review records seized by the FBI during its unprecedented raid of his Mar-a-Lago home earlier this month, at the request of former President Trump and his legal team, citing the “exceptional circumstances.” Trump and his legal team filed a motion Monday evening seeking an independent review of the records seized by the FBI during its raid of Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, saying the decision to search his private residence just months before the 2022 midterm elections “involved political calculations aimed at diminishing the leading voice in the Republican Party, President Trump.”

U.S. District Judge from the Southern District of Florida Judge Aileen M. Cannon on Saturday afternoon said that the decision was made upon the review of Trump’s submissions and “the exceptional circumstances presented.” “Pursuant to Rule 53(b) (1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Court’s inherent authority, and without prejudice to the parties’ objections, the Court hereby provides notice of its preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case,” Cannon wrote in a filing Saturday. A hearing is set for Sept. 1 at 1:00 p.m. in West Palm Beach, Fla. Cannon also ordered the Justice Department to file a response by Aug. 30 and provide, “under seal,” a “more detailed Receipt for Property specifying all property seized pursuant to the search warrant executed on August 8, 2022.”

The current property receipt shows that FBI agents took approximately 20 boxes of items from the premises, including one set of documents marked as “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” which refers to top secret/sensitive compartmented information. Records covered by that government classification level could potentially include human intelligence and information that, if disclosed, could jeopardize relations between the U.S. and other nations, as well as the lives of intelligence operatives abroad. However, the classification also encompasses national security information related to the daily operations of the president of the United States. The property receipt also showed that FBI agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents and three sets of confidential documents, but the document does not reveal any details about any of those records.

Maher Reiner

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Word du jour: Overreach.

Don’t Charge Trump With Espionage (John Kiriakou)

To understand the damage that this deeply flawed law has done, and will continue to do, we have to look at its origins. The Espionage Act was written in 1917, at the height of World War I. The U.S. was panicked at the thought of German spies working undercover to steal its secrets and to disrupt its ability to produce war materiel and support its allies. Congress drew up a law in which one provision, Section 794, made it a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death to provide “national defense information” to a foreign power. But another provision, Section 793, made it a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison to “provide national defense information to any person not entitled to receive it.”

The problems with the law were myriad. First, nobody ever bothered to define what “national defense information” was. The law doesn’t even mention the term “classified information” because the classification system wouldn’t be invented for another 40 years. Second, there was no “affirmative defense” written into the law. A defendant was forbidden from saying in court, “Yes, I gave national defense information to a reporter because I was revealing a crime” or “I did it in the national interest.” And to make matters worse, the Sedition Act, which was passed a year later, amended the Espionage Act to criminalize many forms of speech, including “any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the Army or Navy.”

Even a Hollywood studio was prosecuted under the Espionage Act. In United States v. Motion Picture Film, a federal court upheld the Justice Department’s seizure of the film, called Spirit of ’76, because a scene showed British soldiers being cruel to colonists. The Justice Department had argued that such a depiction, even if true, could undermine public support for the British in the world war. The film’s producer, Robert Goldstein, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $5,000. He served three years. These are only a few of the dozens of “espionage” prosecutions from the period. The law’s Section 793 was largely ignored from the mid-1920s to the early 1970s, when the Nixon administration charged Daniel Ellsberg with multiple counts of espionage for releasing the Pentagon Papers to the media. The case fell apart when Nixon ordered his “plumbers” to break into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office, steal his files and send them to newspapers. Section 793 then went dormant again until Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.

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It’s theater. And it’s too late.

Let Djokovic Play (Vinay Prasad)

The credibility and legitimacy of public health demands two things. The rules have to make sense; they can’t be nakedly contradictory. And the rules have to benefit people. You can’t demand jumping through hoops merely for optics. The treatment of the tennis star Novak Djokovic, who is officially blocked from competing in this year’s U.S. Open, set to begin on Monday, violates both. Keeping him from playing because he has not received a Covid-19 vaccine undermines the credibility of the White House, which set the policy, and public health more broadly. I’m saying this both as a Democrat and a doctor gravely concerned about eroded trust in our institutions.

Djokovic is one of the best tennis players of all time. He is currently vying for most majors of any champion (21 to date), competing with Rafael Nadal (22) and Roger Federer (20). But there will forever be an asterisk next to those comparisons because Djokovic is banned from entering the U.S. to compete in this year’s U.S. Open because of a byzantine rule that non-U.S. citizens cannot enter the country without proof of vaccination. This rule makes no sense from a medical or public health standpoint. Consider the facts. Djokovic is 35 years old, and he is in terrific health. He has had and recovered from Covid-19 twice. This—and the fact that current variants are less lethal than prior strains—means that Djokovic’s odds of doing well were he to get sick with Covid-19 again are remarkably good, and lower than his risk of seasonal influenza.

If Djokovic gets a vaccine at this moment it would be against the ancestral, Wuhan strain of the coronavirus and there is no good evidence this would further improve his odds. Now consider Djokovic’s risk to others. At least 140 million Americans have had and recovered from Covid-19 as of January (this number is higher today), and both vaccinated and unvaccinated can spread the disease. Data shows, when infected, that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals shed virus at similar rates and for similar durations. Forcing Djokovic to get vaccinated won’t protect others. Sars-cov-2 will circulate in the United States for a thousand years whether we let Djokovic in, or keep him out forever.

Then, there are the absurd contradictions in our current rules. Unvaccinated American citizens can move freely in and out of the country without testing. Unvaccinated people can pack the stadium to watch this year’s U.S. Open, where face masks are optional. There is no vaccine or testing requirement to attend. Worst of all, Novak Djokovic competed in last year’s U.S. Open, where he made the finals before the travel rule barring his entry was in place. Joe Biden, who made the rule that blocks Djokovic, has received four Covid-19 vaccine doses. He has had Covid-19 twice, and taken at least 2 courses of Paxlovid. His wife, first lady Jill Biden, has also had four vaccine doses, also had Covid-19 twice. Yet, for some reason, their concern is the Novak Djokovics of the world.

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“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Is there any comparable time in history?

62% of Democratic Students Oppose Sharing Dorm Rooms With Republicans (Turley)

It is a sign of our times. It used to be that the key criterion for college roommates was whether you are a “partier v. non-partier.” Now, it is just your party. A new NBC and Generation Lab study of the class of 2025 showed that roughly half of college students refuse to live with someone who voted for a member of a different political party. That percentage is notably much higher with Democrats rather than Republicans. According to the poll, 46% responded that they would “probably not” or “definitely not” be willing to share a room with someone from another political party.


Of those, 62% of young Democrats refused to share a room with a member of the Republican party while only 28% of young Republicans took that position. That attitude extended to marriage where 52% ruled out a spouse from an opposing party. So much for opposites attracting. Notably, 62% would not work for a company that does not share their political values. It seems Twitter is going to be busy this hiring season. sThe poll reflects not just our age of rage but the increasing siloed news consumption of citizens. People now largely remain in echo chambers for news from the left or the right. It appears that such self imposed isolation now extends socially and professionally for the rising generation, particularly for Democratic students.

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“Overwhelming evidence has emerged proving that the US prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse..”

Assange Files Appeal To Stop US Extradition (RT)

Julian Assange’s legal team filed an appeal on Friday to stop the WikiLeaks co-founder’s extradition to the US, where he faces espionage charges that carry a prison sentence of up to 175 years. According to WikiLeaks, Assange’s lawyers filed “perfected grounds of appeal” before the UK High Court of Justice against the US government and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who approved the extradition of the Australian-born editor in mid-June. The appeal argues that “Julian Assange is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions,” while the US government “misrepresented the core facts” of the case to the UK judiciary. It adds that the request to extradite the WikiLeaks co-founder violates the relevant treaty between the US and the UK, as well as international law.


The document also reportedly contains some new evidence that has been compiled since the UK court ruled on Assange’s extradition in early 2021. The editor’s wife, Stella Assange, said: “Overwhelming evidence has emerged proving that the US prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse,” adding that the high court will now decide whether her husband is given the opportunity to make his case against the US before open court at the appeal. In early June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Assange’s lawyers had filed two appeals to fight his extradition to the US, just a day before the deadline for the legal action was set to expire. The exact details of the appeal, however, were unclear.

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Quick prayer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1563382574139207682

 

 

German power baseload price

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 172022
 
 August 17, 2022  Posted by at 7:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Piet Mondriaan New York City I 1942

 

Ukraine Aiming To Create Chaos Within Russian Forces – Zelenskiy Adviser (G.)
Western Countries Waiting For ‘Fall Of Ukraine’ – Kiev (RT)
Zelensky Speaks Out On Travel Ban For Ukrainian Men (RT)
Annual Grocery Bills In Great Britain Will Soar By £533 – Experts (G.)
Gazprom Makes EU Gas Price Prediction (RT)
Why Is Amnesty Apologising For Telling The Truth About Ukraine? (Cook)
Germans Cut Down On Gas Consumption – Industry Body (RT)
Russian Military Signs Contract For ‘Uninterceptable’ Missiles (RT)
False System vs False System in the Netherlands (Garlington)
Judge Assigned To Lawsuit Alleging CIA Spied On Assange Visitors (D.)
The Most Damaging Farm Products? Organic, Pasture-fed Beef And Lamb (Monbiot)
Comirnaty Is A Ghost Shot (Schachtel)
44% of Pregnant Women in Pfizer Trial Lost Their Babies (AG)
President Trump Wants Full Unredacted Raid Affidavit Released (CTH)

 

 

 

 

Neuralink

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read a lot. Also in the Guardian. Now, they send me messages that I am one of their top readers. Signed, Luke Harding. One of the authors of this propaganda. Hilarious.

Ukraine Aiming To Create Chaos Within Russian Forces – Zelenskiy Adviser (G.)

Ukraine is engaged in a counteroffensive aimed at creating “chaos within Russian forces” by striking at the invaders’ supply lines deep into occupied territories, according to a key adviser to the president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Mykhailo Podolyak told the Guardian there could be more attacks in the “next two or three months” similar to Tuesday’s mysterious strikes on a railway junction and an airbase in Crimea, as well as last week’s hit on Russian warplanes at the peninsula’s Saky aerodrome. Russia said a fire on Tuesday had set off explosions at a munitions depot in the Dzhankoi district of Crimea – an incident that Podolyak said was a reminder that “Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouse explosions and high risk of death for invaders and thieves”.

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attacks. They have prompted Russian tourists to flee Crimea in panic. There were queues on Tuesday outside the railway station at the regional capital, Simferopol. The defence ministry in Moscow said it was dealing with cases of sabotage and taking “necessary measures” to prevent further episodes. Speaking from the presidential offices in Kyiv, Podolyak said: “Our strategy is to destroy the logistics, the supply lines and the ammunition depots and other objects of military infrastructure. It’s creating a chaos within their own forces.”

The adviser, often described as the country’s third most powerful figure, said Kyiv’s approach ran counter to Moscow’s use of blunt artillery power to gain territory in the Donbas region to the east, which has seen Russian troops destroy cities such as Mariupol and Sievierodonetsk in order to gain territory. “So Russia has kind of taught everybody that a counteroffensive requires huge amounts of manpower like a giant fist and just go in one direction,” he said, but “a Ukrainian counteroffensive looks very different. We don’t use the tactics of the 60s and 70s, of the last century.” However, the remarks could also be interpreted as an acknowledgment that Ukraine is struggling to amass the amount of men and military material required to sustain a full counteroffensive in the south of the country, which typically requires a superiority of three or more soldiers to one.

Scott Ritter Odessa

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They have gotten into a habit of blaming the hand that feeds them. Not sure how long that will benefit them.

Western Countries Waiting For ‘Fall Of Ukraine’ – Kiev (RT)

Several countries in the West are waiting for Kiev to surrender and think their problems will immediately solve themselves, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba in an interview published on Tuesday. “I often get asked in interviews and while speaking to other foreign ministers: how long will you last? That’s instead of asking what else could be done to help us defeat Putin in the shortest time possible,” Kuleba said, noting that such questions suggest that everyone “is waiting for us to fall and for their problems to disappear on their own.” The foreign minister went on to suggest that some Western countries are ready to accept Ukraine’s surrender in the ongoing military conflict with Russia and have it concede some of its territories – something Kiev has repeatedly insisted it would never agree to.

Last week, Mikhail Podolyak, an aide to President Zelensky, ruled out Kiev’s military defeat as a possible scenario and stated that it would fight “to the last Russian citizen in Ukrainian territory,” with the help of Western weapons which he says will be funneled into the country regardless of the cost. Podolyak also suggested that nobody would try to negotiate a truce with Russia at the expense of Ukraine, due to the reputation of President Zelensky for “not allowing any such talks behind his back.” Zelensky has repeatedly condemned the insistence of some Western countries on a peaceful resolution to the conflict without considering Kiev’s interests, stating in June that “everyone wants to push us to some result, definitely not desirable for us,” while pursuing their own financial and political interests.

“Fatigue is growing, people want some kind of result for themselves. And we need a result for us,” the Ukrainian leader stated. Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has predicted that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine would eventually end with a negotiated settlement but insisted that Kiev must continue to receive military support from the West to improve its negotiating position.

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“The Rada has since extended the period of martial law several times, most recently prolonging it for an additional 90 days, until November 21.”

Zelensky Speaks Out On Travel Ban For Ukrainian Men (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has announced that men without military experience will be banned from leaving the country as long as martial law is in effect. The statement was posted on the president’s website on Monday in response to a petition urging that men between the ages 18 and 60 be allowed to travel abroad. The petition, which was signed by over 27,000 people, says many Ukrainian men are unfit for military service but could be useful in other fields. The author argued that if these people were allowed to work abroad, they could help refugees and send back money to aid the military, which, the text says, already has enough capable people.

“Fighting should be fought by able-bodied people. We have many IT, social, creative, technical, and other specialists who can fight on the information front and be more useful working abroad, helping our refugees and supporting the army with earned funds,” the petition reads. The author claimed that Kiev’s travel restrictions aimed at certain categories of citizens resemble “Soviet practices, which [Ukraine] is gradually getting rid of,” and offered the example of Estonia, which only prohibits travel to those who are the subjects of criminal proceedings. “Therefore, we ask the president of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, to allow men aged 18-60 who do not have military experience and are of limited fitness to travel abroad,” the petition concludes. According to Ukrainian law, if an online petition receives more than 25,000 signatures, the president must issue a response.

Zelensky replied by pointing to Article 64 of the constitution, which states that freedom of movement may be limited for Ukrainian citizens in the event of an emergency or the introduction of martial law. The president explained that according to the constitution, during a period of “martial law, the constitutional rights and freedoms of a person and a citizen… may be limited.” He went on to note that “the abolition of these restrictions is expected to be carried out after the end of the legal regime of martial law.” Ukraine’s Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved Zelensky’s decree introducing martial law in the country on February 24, 2022, after Moscow launched its military operation against Kiev. The Rada has since extended the period of martial law several times, most recently prolonging it for an additional 90 days, until November 21.

Ukr soldier

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Lowballing?!

Annual Grocery Bills In Great Britain Will Soar By £533 – Experts (G.)

Supermarket bills in Great Britain will soar by £533, or more than £10 a week, as grocery price inflation hits its highest level since at least 2008. The price of a weekly shop rose 11.6% in the four weeks to 7 August, compared with a year before, according to the latest figures from Kantar. That represents the highest rate of inflation since the market research group began tracking the sector 14 years ago taking the average annual grocery bill to £5,128. Fraser McKevitt, the head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “As predicted, we’ve now hit a new peak in grocery price inflation, with products like butter, milk and poultry in particular seeing some of the biggest jumps.” The price rises will pile pressure on households already struggling to cope with rising energy bills and petrol prices.


More than one in eight UK households fear they have no further way to make cuts to afford a sharp increase in annual energy bills expected this autumn. Discounters Aldi and Lidl both increased sales by double-digit percentages in the three months to 7 August as shoppers sought ways to reduce their bills. Kantar found that together Lidl and Aldi have gained 1.8 percentage points of British grocery sales over this period, representing a £2.3bn annual shift in spending. The homegrown discounter Iceland also increased sales by almost 3%. Aldi is close to overtaking Morrisons to become the UK’s fourth largest supermarket. Its market share rose 0.9 percentage points to 9.1%, a fraction behind Morrisons on 9.3%. Waitrose, Morrisons and independent stores all saw sales fall back, as the overall grocery market rose 2.2% in the three months.

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Playing with(out) fire.

Gazprom Makes EU Gas Price Prediction (RT)

Russian state energy giant Gazprom on Tuesday warned that gas prices in Europe could surge by 60% this winter. “European spot gas prices have reached $2,500. According to conservative estimates, if such a tendency persists, prices will exceed $4,000 per thousand cubic meters this winter,” the company posted to its official Telegram channel. Gazprom’s exports to Europe are running at reduced levels this year due to Ukraine-related sanctions and technical issues. The company said its gas exports to non-former Soviet countries fell by 36.2% to 78.5 billion cubic meters between January 1 and August 15, while production dropped by 13.2% to 274.8 billion cubic meters year-on-year. However, the Russian company maintains that it supplies gas “in accordance with confirmed requests.”


As Russia remains the EU’s largest source of natural gas, European gas prices have quadrupled since the start of the year on thinning flows. Earlier on Tuesday, the cost of gas futures on the TTF hub in the Netherlands exceeded $2,600 per thousand cubic meters for the first time since March, which is about 13% above the previous day’s settlement, data from the London Stock Exchange ICE showed. Meanwhile, Gazprom’s shipments to Asia have surged. Flows through the Power of Siberia pipeline regularly exceed the daily contracted quantities, according to the company. For instance, in January-July Gazprom supplied 60.9% more gas to China via this pipeline compared to the same period in 2021.

Putin

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“Amnesty made a statement last week in which it said it “deeply regrets the distress and anger” caused by its report, while at the same time stating: “We fully stand by our findings.”

Why Is Amnesty Apologising For Telling The Truth About Ukraine? (Cook)

Should a human rights organisation apologise for publishing important evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses? If it does apologise, what does that suggest about its commitment to dispassionately uncovering the truth about the actions of both parties to war? And equally, what message does it send to those who claim to be “distressed” by the publication of such evidence? Those are questions Amnesty International should have pondered far more carefully than it obviously did before issuing an apology last week over its latest report on the war in Ukraine. In that report, Amnesty accused Ukrainian forces of committing war crimes by stationing troops and artillery in or near schools, hospitals and residential buildings, thereby using civilians effectively as human shields. Such practices by Ukrainian soldiers were identified in 19 different towns and villages.

These incidents did not just theoretically endanger civilians. There is evidence, according to Amnesty, that return fire by Russian troops on these Ukrainian positions led to non-combatants being killed. The Israeli army regularly accuses Palestinian factions like Hamas of hiding among civilians in Gaza, while obscuring its own, long-documented practice of using Palestinians as human shields. But whatever the truth of Israel’s claims, unlike the tiny and massively overcrowded Gaza, which offers few or no hiding places outside of built-up areas for Palestinian fighters to resist Israeli aggression, Amnesty concluded of the situation in Ukraine: “Viable alternatives were available that would not endanger civilians – such as military bases or densely wooded areas nearby, or other structures further away from residential areas.” In other words, it was a choice made by the Ukrainian army to put its own civilians in harm’s way.

Notably, this is the first time a major western human rights organisation has publicly scrutinised the behaviour of Ukraine’s soldiers. Until now, these watchdog bodies have focused exclusively on reports of crimes committed by Russian forces – a position entirely in line with the priorities of their own governments. By its own admission, Amnesty has published dozens of reports condemning Russia. The pushback against the latest report was relentless, coming even from Amnesty’s own Ukrainian team. Oksana Pokalchuk, its head, quit, explaining that her team “did everything they could to prevent this material from being published”. Under mounting pressure, Amnesty made a statement last week in which it said it “deeply regrets the distress and anger” caused by its report, while at the same time stating: “We fully stand by our findings.”

Amnesty

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Take that Putin!

Germans Cut Down On Gas Consumption – Industry Body (RT)

Natural gas usage in Germany plunged in the first half of this year, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing the power industry association BDEW. The country consumed nearly 15% less natural gas compared with the same period of 2021, mostly due to far milder spring weather, the report said. Even after being adjusted for temperature effects, the drop was still 8%, according to the outlet. BDEW highlighted that much higher energy prices, weaker economic growth and increased personal motivation to save energy may have also contributed to the decline. In June, gas consumption was nearly a quarter lower than the same month last year, according to BDEW.


Nevertheless, the association noted that nearly all households and public buildings could do more to cut consumption, such as by turning down the heat by a degree or two in winter. The statistics also showed that the country’s electricity generation from gas has been declining since the middle of 2021. In the first half of 2022, gas-fired power plants generated around 12% less electricity than in the same period last year, BDEW noted. It was reported on Monday that Berlin has since late July stopped illuminating around 100 public buildings and historic landmarks in order to save energy. The city authorities said that in total, 150 buildings will no longer be lit at night.

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Miles ahead.

Russian Military Signs Contract For ‘Uninterceptable’ Missiles (RT)

The Russian military will receive state-of-the-art Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles, which, according to the manufacturer, can pierce through any existing air defense. The signing of a state contract “for the production and supply of the Sarmat strategic missile system” was announced on Tuesday during the Army 2022 forum, which is taking place in Moscow Region. The deal was signed by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Aleksey Krivoruchko and the general manager of the country’s Makeev Missile Center, Vladimir Degtyar, RIA Novosti reported. Speaking on Russian TV in May, Degtyar claimed that “it is impossible to intercept” the Sarmat missile thanks to its “incredibly complex” design, which allows it to “overcome any multi-layered missile defense.”


The commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, Sergey Karakaev, said at the time that the new rocket can travel along unusual trajectories, including via the South Pole. He added that the Sarmat is the “largest military rocket in human history,” boasting a diameter of three meters and a height equal to that of a 14-story apartment block. The missile is said to weigh over 200 tons. The signing of another contract was also made public on Tuesday, in which the Russian Army will obtain the S-500 Prometheus air defense system – the latest iteration of the famed S-300 and S-400 missiles. With a range of 600km, its specialty is the interception of incoming missiles at high altitudes. The S-500 entered production by April, according to Yan Novikov, the general manager of state-owned defense company Almaz-Antey.

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Some strange comparisons. Dutch farmers, civil war US and Smolensk in the 13th century.

False System vs False System in the Netherlands (Garlington)

Dixie has always had a heavily agricultural economy, so many here are able to sympathize with the farmers in the Netherlands, whose lands and livelihoods are being threatened by globalists and radical environmentalists to further their agendas of technocratic control, depopulation, and so on. And more than that. The Dutch farmers are skillfully using unconventional tactics in their fight (e.g., blocking roadways with manure, tractors, or hay bales set aflame), something Southerners also are familiar with in their wars against the British Empire (1776-83) and the nascent Yankee Empire (1861-5) under generals such Francis Marion, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and John Mosby. But there is another similarity that isn’t so good.

The South in her fight against the Yanks didn’t offer enough of a difference in fundamental ideals to inspire her people to keep fighting until independence was achieved. To be sure, there were (and are) some very real, very deep differences between the two that played a large role in their conflict. But what the War between the States ultimately boiled down to was a clash between two types of governmental systems: the centralized, unrestrained Yankee governing system and the decentralized, limited government of Dixie. And there simply isn’t enough spiritual strength and vitality in an idea like constitutional interpretation to fire good, decent men to fight in an agonizing war for years on end. Thus, the South surrendered to Lincoln’s Army in 1865 after only four years of fighting, and has not mustered the wherewithal to challenge Washington City’s rule over her since then.

A similar situation may be developing in the Netherlands, where a right to widely distributed private ownership of land, economic autonomy, and this sort of thing is being opposed to a centrally planned economy with very few owners. Will the Dutch farmers be able to keep their resistance going with abstractions like ‘freedom’ as their underlying motivation? The prospects do not seem too bright. In a contest of one atheistic, materialistic ideology (distributed ownership of farms) vs another atheistic, materialistic ideology (central ownership of farms), the system being pushed by the more ruthless of the two groups of people will likely prevail.

This is what happened in the States: Lincoln and his generals waged unlimited warfare against the civilians of the South and broke them down physically and mentally. Likewise in Canada with the trucker protests earlier this year, the globalist Trudeau government used harsh tactics against the protestors to bring that populist rebellion to a quick end. The protests in the Netherlands are likely headed for the same sort of resolution: a hard crackdown by the Rutte government that breaks the spirit of the protestors, who then tamely submit to the new order. Unless . . .

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A glimmer of hope?

Judge Assigned To Lawsuit Alleging CIA Spied On Assange Visitors (D.)

Judge John Koeltl, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York, was assigned to a lawsuit filed on behalf of journalists and attorneys, who claim the CIA and former CIA director Mike Pompeo spied on them when they visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Attorney Richard Roth, who is representing plaintiffs in the lawsuit, welcomed the assignment. “Appointed to the bench in 1994, Judge Koeltl is a bright, experienced, and hard working judge in the Southern District,” Roth said. “He has presided over some of the highest profile cases in the SDNY, including the World Trade Center bombing case.” “We are fortunate to have such a seasoned jurist,” Roth added. Koeltl previously presided over a case involving Assange and WikiLeaks.

[..] In 2019, Koeltl ruled that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) could not hold Assange or WikiLeaks liable for publishing DNC emails or emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, which Russian agents were accused of stealing. The decision Koeltl issued highlighted the Pentagon Papers case, where the US Supreme Court ruled there was a “heavy presumption” against suppressing the publication of information. He concluded Assange and WikiLeaks had a First Amendment right to publish, even if WikiLeaks knew the materials were obtained illegally. “The First Amendment prevents such liability in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest, despite defects in the way the materials were obtained,” Koeltl asserted.

Koeltl added, “So long as the disseminator did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place,” publishing was protected. “This was not a solicitation to steal documents but a request for material that has been stolen. Journalists are allowed to request documents that have been stolen and to publish those documents,” Koeltl declared.

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Ha ha ha, George Monbiot. I still think he means well, but he’s not the brightest light, is he? Organic, pasture-fed beef is more damaging than factory farming? Are you sure? Eat bugs, George.

The Most Damaging Farm Products? Organic, Pasture-fed Beef And Lamb (Monbiot)

Perhaps the most important of all environmental issues is land use. Every hectare of land we use for extractive industries is a hectare that can’t support wild forests, savannahs, wetlands, natural grasslands and other crucial ecosystems. And farming swallows far more land than any other human activity. What are the world’s most damaging farm products? You might be amazed by the answer: organic, pasture-fed beef and lamb. I realise this is a shocking claim. Of all the statements in my new book, Regenesis, it has triggered the greatest rage. But I’m not trying to wind people up. I’m trying to represent the facts. Let me explain. Arable crops, some of which are fed to farm animals, occupy 12% of the planet’s land surface. But far more land (28%) is used for grazing: in other words, for pasture-fed meat and milk.


Yet, across this vast area, farm animals that are entirely pasture-fed produce just 1% of the world’s protein. Livestock farmers often claim that their grazing systems “mimic nature”. If so, the mimicry is a crude caricature. A review of evidence from over 100 studies found that when livestock are removed from the land, the abundance and diversity of almost all groups of wild animals increases. The only category in which numbers fall when grazing by cattle or sheep ceases are those that eat dung. Where there are cattle, there are fewer wild mammals, birds, reptiles and insects on the land, and fewer fish in the rivers. Perhaps most importantly – because of their crucial role in regulating living systems – there tend to be no large predators.

Amish farm

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“One year later: How the Biden Admin, Big Tech, and Pfizer fooled Americans into taking “FDA approved” COVID vaccines that never actually existed..”

Comirnaty Is A Ghost Shot (Schachtel)

It has been almost one year since the FDA gave full approval to Pfizer’s mRNA COVID injection. Yet many will be surprised to find out that this particular vaccine, in FDA approved form, has never actually existed, and will never exist. The Biden Administration’s highly touted FDA approval was a mere sleight of hand. It was bureaucratic trickery. There remains no FDA approved COVID vaccine that is actually available in the United States, and there may never be one. On August 23, 2021, the FDA approved Pfizer’s Comirnaty shot, the FDA cleared version of the emergency use authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Marked as a turning point in the battle against the virus, the Biden Administration, Government Health agencies, and Pfizer went on a full PR blitz to crush what they deemed “vaccine hesitancy.”

Big Tech and media “fact checkers” also joined in on the mRNA uptake blitz campaign, with all of these forces maintaining a false reality in which FDA approved vaccines were readily available. Four emergency use authorization shots (and counting) later, It has became very clear, despite shoddy academic papers to the contrary, that the mRNA drug does not work, is particularly risky for young men, and is not in any way, shape, or form a vaccine by its traditional definition. But at the time of the FDA approval, “fully vaccinated” meant just two shots, and the government rubber stamp measure was weaponized to convince Americans to get the shot. “Safe and Effective,” and now, “FDA approved.” Additionally, the Biden Administration leveraged this fraudulent FDA approved status to pressure private companies into coercing their employees to take the shot.

Of course, they did not actually have access to an FDA approved shot. However, the campaign succeeded with flying colors, as millions of Americans were forced to take the shot under duress, as they couldn’t afford to be rendered unemployed by the biomedical security state. The American government engaged in a pharmaceutical sales campaign, based on polling data, to trick its own citizens into taking a shot that they thought was FDA approved. However, everyone in America was being injected with — and continue to take — the legally distinct emergency use authorization (EUA) version of the shot. The FDA approved Comirnaty shot has never become available to the American public in the United States. [..] Finally, in June, as reported in The Dossier, Pfizer acknowledged in quiet filings to the CDC that they would never produce the FDA approved version of Comirnaty that was authorized on August 23, 2021.

Hide the bodies

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“..if you lost your baby, it was categorized by Pfizer as resolved adverse event, like a headache that got better..”

44% of Pregnant Women in Pfizer Trial Lost Their Babies (AG)

More than 40 percent of pregnant women who participated in Pfizer’s mRNA COVID vaccine trial suffered miscarriages, according internal Pfizer documents, recently released under court order. Despite this, Pfizer, and the Biden administration insisted that the vaccines were safe for pregnant women. Out of 50 pregnant women, 22 of them lost their babies, according to an analysis of the documents. In a January court ruling, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman of the Northern District of Texas, ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release around 12,000 documents immediately, and then 55,000 pages a month until all documents were released, totaling more than 300,000 pages.

The nonprofit group, Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency, sued the FDA last September, after the agency denied its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to expedite the release of mRNA vaccine review documents. In a November 2021 joint status report, the FDA proposed releasing only 500 pages of the documents a month, which would have taken up to 75 years. Trial documents released in April revealed that Pfizer had to hire 1,800 additional full-time employees in the first half of 2021 to deal with “the large increase” of adverse reactions to its COVID vaccine. [..] A batch of documents released in late July showed that 44 percent of women who were pregnant during the trial suffered miscarriages, feminist author and journalist Dr. Naomi Wolf revealed on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast.

Wolf has been spearheading research and analysis of the Pfizer documents through her website Daily Clout. In the past, only 10 to 15 percent of known pregnancies ended in miscarriage. “Pfizer took those deaths of babies—those spontaneous abortions and miscarriages—and recategorized them as recovered/resolved adverse effects,” Wolf told Bannon. “In other words, if you lost your baby, it was categorized by Pfizer as resolved adverse event, like a headache that got better,” she added. [..] “Over a year ago, the FDA received this report that out of 50 pregnant women, 22 of them lost their babies, and they did not say anything,” Wolf said, choking back tears. “Thus the FDA was aware of the horrifying rate of fetal death by the start of April 2021 and were silent.” The CDC, as recently as last month, still recommended the experimental mRNA vaccines for pregnant and breastfeeding “people.”

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Lawyer ‘sundance’ has written a lot about Trump and the raid lately. But sometimes a format doesn’t fit the Debt Rattle. Browse his site.

President Trump Wants Full Unredacted Raid Affidavit Released (CTH)

The NSA compliance officer notified NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers of unauthorized use of the NSA database by FBI contractors searching U.S. citizens during the 2015/2016 presidential primary. That 2016 notification is a classified record. The response from Mike Rogers, and the subsequent documentary evidence of what names were being searched is again a classified record. The audit logs showing who was doing the searches (which contractors, which agencies and from what offices), as noted by Director Rogers, was preserved. That is another big-time classified record. In addition, we would have Admiral Rogers writing a mandatory oversight notification to the FISA court detailing what happened.

That’s a big and comprehensive classified record, likely contained in the documents in Mar-a-Lago… and then the goldmine, the fully unredacted 99-page FISA court opinion detailing the substance of the NSA compromise by FBI officials and contractors, including the names, frequency and dates of the illegal surveillance. That is a major classified document the Deepest Deep State would want to keep hidden. These are the types of documents within what former ODNI John Ratcliffe called “thousands of pages that were declassified by President Trump,” and given to both John Durham and Main Justice with an expectation of public release when the Durham special counsel probe concluded.

In short, President Trump declassified documents that show how the institutions within the U.S. government targeted him. However, the institutions that illegally targeted President Trump are the same institutions who control the specific evidence of their unlawful targeting. These examples of evidence held by President Donald Trump reveals the background of how the DC surveillance state exists. THAT was/is the national security threat behind the DOJ-NSD search warrant and affidavit. The risk to the fabric of the U.S. government is why we see lawyers and pundits so confused as they try to figure out the disproportionate response from the DOJ and FBI, toward “simple records”, held by President Trump in Mar-a-Lago.

Very few people can comprehend what has been done since January 2009, and the current state of corruption as it now exists amid all of the agencies and institutions of government. Barack Obama spent 8 years building out and refining the political surveillance state. The operators of the institutions have spent the last six years hiding the construct. President Donald Trump declassified the material then took evidence to Mar-a-Lago. The people currently in charge of managing the corrupt system, like Merrick Garland, Lisa Monaco, Chris Wray and the Senate allies, are going bananas. From their DC perspective, Donald Trump is an existential threat.

Affidavit

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Thomas the Tank

 

 

 

 

 

Extinct

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 092022
 
 August 9, 2022  Posted by at 8:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Piet Mondriaan Trees by the Gein at Moonrise 1908

 

The FBI has Raided President Trump’s Home (Techno Fog)
The Sickening Quickening (Kunstler)
Liz Cheney’s Husband Is Partner At Law Firm Representing Hunter Biden (Fed.)
West Wants To Destroy Russia – Medvedev (RT)
‘Millions’ In Germany Won’t Be Able To Pay For Heating – Union (RT)
Germany Rules Out Emergency Use Of Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline (RT)
Netherlands To Shut Down 11,200 Farms To Meet Climate Goals (Sweden)
Europe Is Being Hit By A Climate-Driven Drought Crisis (G.)
CIA’s Strategy Towards China Revealed (RT)
Ukrainian Region Announces Vote On Joining Russia (RT)
Austrian Barbarians Go Home! (Batiushka)
Poland Proceeding With Its Plans For Ukraine – Moscow (RT)
An Unpleasant Truth For Ukrainians Is Coming To Light (Milacic)
CBS Caves Into Ukrainian Pressure On Weapons Revelations (RT)
Russia Accuses Ukraine Of ‘Nuclear Terrorism’ (RT)
Time for a Red-State NATO-like Alliance on Boycotts (Turley)
Australian Labor Party & Assange: Burying the Politics (Tranter)

 

 

NOTE: I know there are a lot of RT articles here lately. But it is simply the best source for Ukraine news. And rather than being Russian propaganda, it’s the only English-language source that is not rabidly anti-Russian.

 

 

 

 

The French with photos of relatives who have died from the vaccine !!

 

 

Denmark.

 

 

DMED database

 

 

A typical UK gas and power bill this winter.

 

 

 

 

“..the criminalization of politics..”

The FBI has Raided President Trump’s Home (Techno Fog)

Breaking news for a Monday night: President Trump announced his home in Palm Beach – Mar-A-Lago – “is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.” [..] According to the New York Times, the search has to do with materials taken home by President Trump after he left the White House: “The search, according to two people familiar with the investigation, appeared to be focused on material that Mr. Trump had brought with him to Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence, after he left the White House. Those boxes contained many pages of classified documents, according to a person familiar with their contents. Mr. Trump delayed returning 15 boxes of material requested by officials with the National Archives for many months, only doing so when there became a threat of action being taken to retrieve them.”

The politics of the search can’t be ignored. If the New York Times is to be believed, Trump’s purported crime – the delay of returning materials that may be classified – could have been resolved in another manner that didn’t involve raiding his home and breaking open a personal safe. No doubt the search is an escalation by a desperate Regime confronted by their own failures at home and abroad. What about the relation of the search to January 6? I’ve gone back and forth as I’ve written this, but it’s certainly possible they were also after documents related to January 6. There are no guarantees, considering the politicization of Biden’s DOJ, which has thus far protected friends in politics, the killer of Ashley Babbitt, supporters in academia, and the President Biden’s own corrupt son.

One can be certain, however, that if the Biden Administration will carry out this raid, then it will also be aggressive to pursue charges against Trump related to January 6. As if there were any doubt. After all, last week there was reporting that a federal grand jury investigating January 6 had issued subpoenas to the Trump White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone, and his top deputy, Patrick Philbin. Perhaps the roadmap for the DOJ comes from the January 6 Committee, which has poured out the thin gruel of purported criminal charges against Trump, alleging he and others, including attorney John Eastman, could be charged with: • Obstruction of an Official Proceeding (18 USC 1512(c)(2)); and • Conspiracy to Defraud the United States (18 USC 371). Each of these counts, and really the DOJ’s pursuit of Trump and his attorneys and advisors, amounts to the criminalization of politics.

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“My personal theory is that the Covid-19 release was wholly and entirely about getting rid of Donald Trump and nothing else..”

The Sickening Quickening (Kunstler)

Do you still doubt that the federal bureaucracy and the elected government parasitically attached to it seek to harm the people they rule (i.e., us) by any means necessary? They’re still pushing Covid “vaccines” in a futile effort to eliminate the control group of their massive eugenics experiment — that is, the unvaccinated, who are not getting the many vaccine-induced diseases behind the rise of all-causes mortality in people under 65. But the vaxx scam isn’t working anymore. Too many people have already been hurt, or killed, or seen friends and relatives go down mysteriously and they’re taking a pass on any more shots. Parents have evidently seen enough to not bring their little children in for the life-altering mRNA treatments. The CDC, the FDA, and their cohorts hide their information, lie when pressed, and pretend that they are acting scientifically.

But really, at this point, many public health officials must be secretly wondering how they will evade prosecution. They won’t when fraud is proven in a court of law. Even with all the lies and redactions issued by the CDC and the FDA, the evidence is piling miles high that the Pfizer and Moderna drug trials were covered-up botches and the entire administration of the vaccine program has been an unnecessary disaster. Fraud vitiates immunity from liability. The pharma companies will go out of business and their profits will be clawed back in countless lawsuits. The drug company executives will go to prison along with Rochelle Walensky, Anthony Fauci, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, and many of their lieutenants.

My personal theory is that the Covid-19 release was wholly and entirely about getting rid of Donald Trump and nothing else, in order to protect the permanent bureaucracy, a.k.a. the deep state, which was faltering in its countless turpitudes against the people, including the FBI and DOJ’s complicity in the criminal frauds and seditions of RussiaGate, and the CIA’s complicity in the “whistleblower” shenanigans behind Trump impeachment No. 1. The “long game” in the Covid-19 scam of 2020 was obviously to set-up the loosest mail-in voting apparatus possible to enable maximum ballot fraud in that year’s elections. The catch is, the Covid-19 play did not protect the deep state; it only further demonstrated its malevolence.

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It’s a big club… In a small world.

Liz Cheney’s Husband Is Partner At Law Firm Representing Hunter Biden (Fed.)

Philip Perry, who is married to Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, is a partner at the same law firm representing President Joe Biden’s scandal-ridden son, Hunter. Last week, the Daily Mail reached out to Hunter Biden’s attorney for comment on a story unearthing new details to the extent the younger Biden leveraged the family name for lucrative overseas business ventures. In 2014, the paper reported, then-Vice President Biden met with a pair of Chinese energy executives connected to Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals. An attorney named Christopher Clark, who is listed with the firm Latham & Watkins as partner, responded to the Daily Mail’s request for comment calling the reporter a “parasite” in an otherwise nonsensical email full of typos.

The vice president’s 2014 encounter with Chinese energy tycoons marks the fifteenth such meeting with businessmen tied to Hunter Biden’s financial interests, and contradicts Biden’s repeated claims of never discussing business with his son, “or with anyone else.” The first son is currently under federal investigation for money laundering and foreign lobbying. Perry is also listed as a partner with Lathan & Watkins on the firm’s website while his wife runs for re-election on an anti-Trump platform ahead of the Wyoming primary next week. Cheney faces an uphill contest from Trump-endorsed attorney Harriet Hageman in a state that voted for former President Donald Trump two years ago by a wider margin than anywhere else in the country.

A poll sponsored by the Casper-Star Tribune last month shows Hageman up by 22 points as Cheney tries to clinch a fourth term by appealing to Democrats. Even if every Democrat in the state were to change their registration to back Cheney in the primary, however, Cheney’s Trump-backed opponent remains likely to prevail where Republicans outnumber Democrats more than 200,000 to 43,000. On Sunday, the New York Times published a profile of the race ahead of next week’s contest chronicling Cheney’s failing campaign. “She no longer provides advance notice about her Wyoming travel and, not welcome at most county and state Republican events, has turned her campaign into a series of invite-only House parties,” the Times reported.

“What’s more puzzling than her schedule is why Ms. Cheney, who has raised over $13 million, has not poured more money into the race, especially early on when she had an opportunity to define Ms. Hageman,” the paper added. “Ms. Cheney had spent roughly half her war chest as of the start of July, spurring speculation that she was saving money for future efforts against Mr. Trump.”The Wyoming congresswoman likely to lose her seat in the next Congress has been laying the foundation for a presidential run in 2024. “If I have to choose between maintaining a seat in the House of Representatives or protecting the constitutional republic and ensuring the American people know the truth about Donald Trump, I’m going to choose the Constitution and the truth every single day,” Cheney said on CNN last month.

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“..neither Kiev nor Tbilisi will ever become members of NATO or the EU, and that “even the unshaven guy in a green T-shirt from Kiev” understands this.”

West Wants To Destroy Russia – Medvedev (RT)

The West has launched an aggressive “geopolitical process” aimed at destroying Russia, former President Dmitry Medvedev claimed in an interview with TASS published on Monday. Asked if the hostilities between Russia and Georgia in 2008 and the current conflict in Ukraine are “links in the same chain,” Medvedev said they are without a doubt part of the same scheme orchestrated by the West. “This is a single process and a common plan directed against Russia. It consists of the desire of the West, primarily the United States and other Anglo-Saxon countries, to rock the situation in our country. How? Through neighbors in close proximity to the borders of Russia,” Medvedev, the deputy head of the National Security Council, and president of Russia from 2008 to 2012, explained.

He noted that before the conflict with Georgia began in 2008, when Tbilisi’s forces began shelling the disputed region of South Ossetia and killed a number of Russian peacekeepers and civilians, the US was “cynically engaged” in the training, funding, and arming of the Georgian Army, and Washington was actively encouraging then-Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to launch an attack against the civilian population in the area. The same “provocative and, let’s face it, criminal policy of the US” is currently being aggressively pursued in Ukraine, Medvedev said, adding that this time, the process is receiving more active support from the EU, which he says has “finally lost its independence.” “But the end goal remains the same,” he claimed, “to destroy Russia,” arguing that this goal is the root cause of the “extremely aggressive, Russophobic geopolitical process initiated by the West.”

The former president went on to say that despite NATO’s attempts to expand along Russia’s borders, which has become “a global problem that makes all reasonable people sick,”the US-led bloc has no intention of allowing either Ukraine or Georgia to become members. “They understand that anything they undertake in beleaguered countries such as Ukraine or Georgia, which are in territorial disputes with Russia, will be more expensive for themselves. The costs will be enormous,” Medvedev noted, adding that neither Kiev nor Tbilisi will ever become members of NATO or the EU, and that “even the unshaven guy in a green T-shirt from Kiev” understands this.

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On top of this, they announced a new fuel tax last week.

‘Millions’ In Germany Won’t Be Able To Pay For Heating – Union (RT)

At least a third of Germans on low incomes may not be able to pay increasingly high energy bills, the German Tenants’ Association (DMB) has warned, urging the government to make changes to housing programs. “That’s a hell of a lot of people,” Lukas Siebenkotten, the DMB’s chief, told newspaper Der Tagesspiegel on Sunday. “We’re talking about millions here.” Siebenkotten urged the government to allow more people to claim housing benefits in the wake of rising energy prices. “Tenants must also be protected from the termination of contracts if they cannot make increased advance payments,” he said. The remarks came after Klaus Mueller, the head of the Federal Network Agency, Germany’s gas regulator, warned that consumers should conserve at least 20% of gas in order to avoid shortages during the winter.

“In all other scenarios, we either face the threat of a gas shortage as early as December, or have low-level shortages at the end of the upcoming heating season,” Mueller said, describing current gas prices as “astronomically high.” High inflation and increased energy costs in Germany have been exacerbated by fears that Russia might completely cut off supplies of natural gas to the country. Germany and other EU states imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow in response to its military campaign in Ukraine and unveiled a plan to phase out Russian gas. However, the German government has repeatedly warned that an immediate end of supplies from Moscow would badly damage the economy, increase unemployment and lower living standards.

Russian gas company Gazprom decreased the flow to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and then suspended deliveries altogether for 10 days last month for maintenance work. According to Gazprom, the routine maintenance process had been disrupted by the hold-up of a repaired turbine in Canada, which Ottawa initially refused to return to Germany due to sanctions. Berlin rolled out a gas-saving plan late last month, which includes boosting reserves in gas storage facilities and using more coal power plants.

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How will these governments survive the cold? People will discover that the only reason their kids are freezing is an ideological one.

Germany Rules Out Emergency Use Of Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline (RT)

Germany is not going to put Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into operation even if the situation with energy supplies deteriorates in the coming months, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Monday. “What is clear is that we stand firmly on the side of Ukraine, that we support the sanctions that we jointly adopted in the EU and in consultations with the international community… What is also clear is that Nord Stream 2 is not certified and is not currently going through the certification process and thus is not available [for operation],” the spokesman said at a press briefing. When asked specifically if German Chancellor Olaf Scholz rules out using the pipeline in the coming fall and winter if the situation with gas supplies in the region becomes more complicated, Hebestreit said “yes, he rules it out.”


The government representative agreed that the upcoming heating season may be difficult for Germany, but noted that the government is taking the necessary steps to ease the situation. The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, aimed at boosting Russian natural gas supplies to the EU, was completed last year. However, Berlin halted its certification shortly before Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February. Hebestreit’s comments echo those of German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, who said last month that Germany does not plan to revive the Nord Stream 2 certification process despite fears of supply disruptions, and urged his country to conserve natural gas and continue decreasing its dependence on supplies from Russia.

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“..1/5 of all farms will be forced to shut down and almost 1/3 of farms forced to scale down and reduce livestock..”

Netherlands To Shut Down 11,200 Farms To Meet Climate Goals (Sweden)

If you have followed my reporting you probably know about the protests happening in the Netherlands. Tens of thousands of farmers have taken to the streets to protest against new climate goals which will force farmers to shut down their farms. They have set hay bales on fire on motorways and dumped manure and even blocked supermarket distribution centers. According to calculations done by the Finance ministry, a whopping 11 200 livestock farmers will be forced to shut down by the government to reduce nitrogen emissions in order to meet European environmental rules. Another 17 600 farmers would need to reduce the amount of animals they keep to meet these climate goals.

And this is bad. Because there are about 54 000 farms in the Netherlands, meaning that around 1/5 of all farms will be forced to shut down and almost 1/3 of farms forced to scale down and reduce livestock. Meaning that thousands and thousands of farmers will be losing their livelihoods in order to meet government climate goals. They are literally going to make people loose their livelihoods in order to meet climate goals. That is crazy. Not only that, think about all the food that will be lost as a result of this. We are already facing a food crisis due to sky high fertilizer prices and grain shortages due to the war in Ukraine. We need more food now, not less! The climate change fanatics are trying to bring us back to the middle ages.


The state is planning on forcing farmers to sell their farms to the state (buying them out). State sanctioned appropriation of farms and land. Now where have I heard about that kind of thing before…? Oh yes, under Communism. I told you that this is Climate Communism and that The Great Reset is just another word for Global Communism. And it seems like people in the Netherlands are not happy with these government plans, as the political party of the Prime Minister in the Netherlands, VVD, has reached a new all-time low in the polls. If there was an election now, they would lose 13 of their 34 seats in parliament. A whopping 7 out of 10 voters say that they are dissatisfied with the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. Meanwhile the new party called Farmer-Citizen Movement is now polling in second place.

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WIth the recent revelations about the Great Barrier Reef, maybe take it easy with the term “Climate-Driven”.

Europe Is Being Hit By A Climate-Driven Drought Crisis (G.)

Europe’s most severe drought in decades is hitting homes, factories, farmers and freight across the continent, as experts warn drier winters and searing summers fuelled by global heating mean water shortages will become “the new normal”. The EU European Drought Observatory has calculated that 45% of the bloc’s territory was under drought warning by mid-July, with 13% already on red alert, prompting the European Commission to warn of a “critical” situation in multiple regions. Conditions have deteriorated since as repeated heatwaves roll across the continent. In France, the prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, last week activated a crisis unit to tackle a drought Météo-France described as the country’s worst since records began in 1958.

More than 100 French municipalities have no running drinking water and are being supplied by truck, green transition minister Christophe Béchu said, adding: “We are going to have to get used to episodes of this type. Adaptation is no longer an option, it’s an obligation.” With surface soil humidity the lowest ever recorded and July rainfall 85% lower than usual, water restrictions including hosepipe and irrigation bans are in place in 93 of the country’s 96 mainland départements, with 62 classified as “in crisis”. Amid rising food prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, France’s agriculture minister warned the corn harvest is likely to be more than 18% lower than last year, while farmers’ unions say a shortage of cattle fodder as a result of the drought could lead to significant milk shortages in the autumn and winter.

The electricity utility EDF was last week forced to reduce output from one of its nuclear reactors in south-western France because of high water temperatures in the Garonne River, and has issued multiple similar warnings for reactors along the Rhône. Spain’s water reserves are at all-time low of 40% and have been falling at a rate of 1.5% a week through a combination of increased consumption and evaporation, according to the government, in what is likely to be the driest of the past 60 years. The country has received less than half its expected rainfall for the time of year for the past three months, with restrictions in place from Catalonia in the north-east to Galicia in the north-west as well as western Extremadura and Andalucía in the south. Most water restrictions have been imposed on domestic users, with rural authorities often reluctant to rein in farmers’ frequently illegal exploitation of an increasingly scant resource despite agriculture accounting for nine-tenths of Spain’s water consumption.

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“..cutting-edge technologies developed by China, including advancements in quantum science, artificial intelligence and other areas “that are likely to disrupt how future wars are fought and economies are structured.”

CIA’s Strategy Towards China Revealed (RT)

The CIA’s shift of focus to “great power competition” with China means that “money and resources would be increasingly shifted”away from counterterrorism (CT), the spy agency’s second-highest ranking officer reportedly told leaders of its CT branch. The meeting was held some weeks ago behind closed doors, the Associated Press reported on Monday, citing anonymous sources. Deputy Director David Cohen assured officials during the meeting that fighting terrorists would remain a priority for the agency to a significant degree, the report said. The entire US intelligence community has been pivoting towards China under the current administration, with hundreds of officers reassigned, including from counterterrorism, according to the news agency.

The CIA is also moving in that direction, hiring new officers fluent in Chinese and teaching the language to current employees, the AP said. The realignment, which is being done under pressure from Congress, means inevitable cuts of funding and manpower in other areas, the news agency said. Lawmakers are particularly interested in cutting-edge technologies developed by China, including advancements in quantum science, artificial intelligence and other areas “that are likely to disrupt how future wars are fought and economies are structured.” Last October, the CIA announced a major structural reform, which included the creation of two so-called mission centers. One is dedicated to China and the other to emerging technologies.

The AP’s report comes on the back of last week’s announcement of the CIA-led assassination of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was killed by a drone strike in Kabul, US President Joe Biden announced last Monday. The agency noted that supporters of the White House say the strike showed the US can deal with terrorist threats despite pulling out from Afghanistan last year. Critics, meanwhile, have suggested that Zawahiri’s presence in the country indicated a resurgence of terrorism after the Taliban takeover. Afghanistan’s new authorities rejected US claims that the al-Qaeda leader had been granted protection and the green light to live in the capital.

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“..Zelensky on Sunday reiterated a warning that if the two regions go through with their plans, Kiev will break off all talks with Russia..”

What talks?

Ukrainian Region Announces Vote On Joining Russia (RT)

aporozhye Region will hold a referendum on whether to secede from Ukraine and request joining Russia, the head of its administration announced on Monday. Evgeny Balitskiy said that he had signed an order to organize the plebiscite during a regional forum held in the city of Melitopol. Over 700 representatives from various parts of the Ukrainian region approved the idea, according to RIA Novosti. Earlier comments by administration officials indicated the referendum may be held as soon as mid-September. Russian forces took partial control of the region during the initial offensive against Ukraine launched in late February. The eponymous city located in the north of the region on the Dnepr River remains under Ukrainian control.

Officials in Kherson Region, another Russia-controlled part of Ukraine, voiced similar plans to put to a vote the proposal of breaking away from Kiev and seeking to join Russia. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Sunday reiterated a warning that if the two regions go through with their plans, Kiev will break off all talks with Russia. Moscow in response suggested that the Ukrainian president should address the citizens of those regions. “The thing is, this is what the residents of the region plan. It’s not like we [Russia] are holding a referendum. Here, apparently, it is necessary to understand to whom Zelensky is addressing this statement – to the citizens of Ukraine of the mentioned regions or to the citizens of Russia? If it’s to the citizens and leadership of Russia, then we are the wrong address,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on Monday.

There have been no peace talks between Russia and Ukraine for months, as Kiev rejected such contacts and claimed it would only negotiate after defeating Russian on the battlefield with the help of Western military aid. Before the talks broke off, the two nations appeared to have made progress in resolving their differences. During a meeting in Istanbul in late March, Kiev had pledged to become a neutral country and accept restrictions on its military. Moscow said it prepared a draft peace agreement based on those proposals, but Ukraine never responded. An indirect Russian-Ukrainian deal was mediated last month by the UN and Turkey to allow grain exports from three Ukrainian ports to resume via the Black Sea. The scheme was formalized in two separate agreements that were signed by Russia and Ukraine with the other two parties.

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“..our forces have been victorious everywhere, constantly boldly retreating..”

Austrian Barbarians Go Home! (Batiushka)

(With apologies to the peoples of Austria and France) As we write, the wicked Austrian terrorist State under its manic leader Putzin continues its completely unprovoked invasion of East France. President Putzin is well-known, as he is very short (not that we wish to belittle him) and has only one testicle, as everybody knows. His invasion and occupation of East France have been going on for nearly six months now and our forces have been victorious everywhere, constantly boldly retreating. However, as the younger among you may need a reminder to the facts of the background of this evil invasion, we give this below.

In 1945 France liberated defeated Nazi Germany and set about looking after it. As the word ‘Germany’ is such an ugly word, it was replaced by ‘East France’. Here hordes of workers made products for the Paris government which for nearly three generations very generously allowed the East France people to speak their German dialect. However, enough was enough and the time came when in 2014 Paris declared that all education would in the future be in French and that the German dialect would be banned in public places. If any East French were dissatisfied, too bad for them, they would just have to go and live in another country. Another huge act of generosity on the part of our glorious Paris government. Almost immediately, and in a quite unprovoked and totally unexpected manner, the evil Austrian regime annexed Bavaria.

(They called it an ‘Anschluss’, though how you pronounce such a long, complicated and ugly word, we have no idea). True, they held a referendum, in which over 90% of Bavarians voted to join Austria, but obviously nobody believes those results. Quite typically Putzin probably threatened to shoot anyone who did not vote for him. Then, on top of that, Austrian-backed, German-speaking separatists began to fight against Paris forces in Saxony. Leipzig was reduced to rubble by our brilliant artillerymen and over 10,000 separatist civilians, including over 400 children, were eliminated. However, on 24 February 2022, the Putzin regime invaded Saxony, murdering civilians and raping tens of millions of women and children, throwing babies out of incubators and bayoneting them. These are well-known facts.

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“..President Andrzej Duda has expressed hope that there will be no border between Poland and Ukraine in the future, calling the two nations “fraternal.”

As Zelensky shouts about defending Ukraine, he’s selling it off at large discounts. And if Poland get their share, Hungary will demand theirs.

As for deploying Polish “peacekeeping” forces in Ukraine, beware.

Poland Proceeding With Its Plans For Ukraine – Moscow (RT)

Warsaw is looking to send “peacekeeping” forces into Western Ukraine and take over sectors of the economy, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service claims Warsaw continues to carry out an apparent attempt to “reclaim” parts of Ukraine in accordance with its “far-reaching plans” for the country, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) said in a statement posted on Monday. According to Russian intelligence, Poland is not only setting up a scenario to deploy its “peacekeeping” forces to the western parts of Ukraine, but is also trying to establish control over promising sectors of the Ukrainian economy, first and foremost – agriculture. The SVR claims that Polish companies have taken advantage of the difficult condition Ukrainian farmers are in by arranging to purchase their goods at reduced prices, which is allegedly pushing some Ukrainian agriculture enterprises toward bankruptcy.

The intelligence agency claims that Polish entities will then buy up these assets and lands at bargain prices. “This can be illustrated, for example, by the purchase of new barley crop at $30 per ton, which is almost 5 times cheaper than the real cost of this product,” the SVR noted in its report. The agency goes on to claim that Poland is investing in the creation of transport infrastructure and other logistics for the unimpeded export of Ukrainian food to Europe and other markets where prices are much higher. All of this is being done under the new legal framework created by Kiev, the SVR explains, referring to a law on special guarantees for Polish citizens introduced in late July, and also one that allows Ukrainian industrial enterprises to be sold at a 50% discount.

Thus, the current Kiev authorities have essentially already started selling off the country, giving priority in this ‘business project’ to their Polish neighbors. In April, SVR chief Sergey Naryshkin claimed that intelligence obtained by Moscow suggested that Poland and the US were working on a plan for Warsaw to regain control of Ukrainian areas that they consider as “historically belonging” to it. He also suggested that the first phase of this “reunification” project would see Polish troops deployed to parts of Ukraine as “peacekeepers” under the pretext of protecting Ukraine from “Russian aggression.” Poland has categorically denied these claims, although President Andrzej Duda has expressed hope that there will be no border between Poland and Ukraine in the future, calling the two nations “fraternal.”

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Amnesty did thorough research. Just like CBS.

An Unpleasant Truth For Ukrainians Is Coming To Light (Milacic)

Amnesty says survivors and eyewitnesses of Russian attacks in Donbass, Kharkiv and the Mykolaiv region told researchers that the Ukrainian military was conducting operations near their homes at the time of the attacks, exposing the areas to counterfire from Russian forces. Amnesty International researchers have witnessed such behavior in numerous locations. International humanitarian law requires all parties to a conflict to avoid locating, to the greatest extent possible, military targets within or near densely populated areas. Other obligations to protect civilians from the effects of attacks include removing civilians from the vicinity of military targets and providing effective warning of attacks that may affect the civilian population.

– The army was stationed in the house next to ours and my son often brought food to the soldiers. I begged him several times to stay away, because I feared for his safety. That afternoon, when the attack happened, my son was in our yard and I was in the house. He died on the spot. His body was mutilated. Our house was partially destroyed – said the mother of a man (50), who was killed in a rocket attack on June 10 in a village south of Nikolaev. Amnesty International found military equipment and uniforms in the house next to hers. Nikola, who lives in the block in Lisichansk in Donbass, which the Russians regularly targeted and killed at least one person, said that it is not clear to him “why our army fires from the cities and not from the fields”.

Another resident said that “there is definitely military activity in the neighborhood.” – We hear “outgoing” and then “incoming” fire” – he said. Amnesty International teams saw soldiers using residential buildings located 20 meters from the entrance to the underground shelter, which was used by residents and where an elderly man was killed. In one Donbas town on May 6, Russian forces used cluster munitions over a neighborhood of mostly one- or two-story houses where Ukrainian forces were manning artillery. Shrapnel damaged the walls of the house where Ana (70) lives with her son and 95-year-old mother.

In early July, a farm worker was injured when Russian forces attacked an agricultural warehouse in the Nikolayev area. Hours after the attack, Amnesty International researchers witnessed the presence of Ukrainian military personnel and vehicles in the grain storage area, and witnesses confirmed that the military was using the warehouse, which is located across from a farm where civilians live and work. As researchers surveyed damage to residential and public buildings in Kharkiv and villages in the Donbass and east of Mykolaiv, they heard gunfire from nearby Ukrainian military positions. In Bakhmut, several residents said the Ukrainian military was using a building barely 20 meters across the street from the high-rise. On May 18, a Russian rocket hit the front of the building, partially destroying five apartments and damaging nearby buildings.

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“..saying there is “no proof” that weapons entering his country are unaccounted for, despite similar warnings from the Russian government, Europol, Canada, the CIA and a number of US Republicans..”

CBS Caves Into Ukrainian Pressure On Weapons Revelations (RT)

CBS News has pulled a documentary and amended a story featuring claims that 70% of foreign weapons never make it to the front lines in Ukraine. The changes were made amid an outcry from the Ukrainian government and its supporters. The documentary originally featured an interview with Jonas Ohman, the founder of a Lithuania-based organization supplying the Ukrainian military. Ohman told CBS that getting foreign weapons to Ukrainian troops involves navigating a network of “power lords, oligarchs [and] political players,” and that of all the aid arriving at the border in Poland, “kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination.” Amnesty International’s Donatella Rovera also appeared in the film, saying that “there is really no information as to where [the weapons are] going at all.”

The documentary was released online on Thursday, and was set to air on CBS on Sunday evening. Pro-Ukrainian social media accounts hounded CBS over the weekend, accusing the American network of spreading “Russian propaganda. ”Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podoliak waded in, saying there is “no proof” that weapons entering his country are unaccounted for, despite similar warnings from the Russian government, Europol, Canada, the CIA and a number of US Republicans. The documentary was pulled from CBS’ website on Sunday night, and Ohman’s quote removed from a text version of the story. Atop this story, CBS placed a note saying that arms deliveries have “significantly improved” since its filming in April, and that the US sent a senior military official to Kiev in recent days “for arms control and monitoring.”

Ohman’s organization issued a statementsaying that the documentary took his words “out of context,” but did not deny that 70% of incoming military aid was going missing in April. Weapons were not being “stolen” or “sold on the black market,” the organization explained, but ending up in the hands of “different power players” attempting to “solidify their positions.”Who these players were was left unexplained. CBS said that it is “updating” its documentary and will air the edited version at a later date. Rovera, already slated by the Ukrainian government and its supporters over a recent Amnesty report accusing Kiev of placing weapons in civilian areas in violation of humanitarian law, also attempted to backpedal.

In a Twitter post on Sunday, she claimed that the responsibility for tracking arms shipments lies with the states providing the weapons, not with Ukraine. The Ukrainian government welcomed the CBS retraction. Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba nevertheless declared that the US network had “misled a huge audience by sharing unsubstantiated claims and damaging trust in supplies of vital military aid to a nation resisting aggression and genocide.” “There should be an internal investigation into who enabled this and why,” he concluded. Others criticized the changes, which journalist Max Blumenthal said were made following “a coordinated freakout by the Ukraine lobby.”

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As Ukraine accuses Russia of targeting a plant they already control, with missiles. Easier to just pull a switch or two?!

Russia Accuses Ukraine Of ‘Nuclear Terrorism’ (RT)

Ukrainian troops have committed “a new act of nuclear terrorism” by continuing to shell the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday. The nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, in southern Ukraine was seized by Russian forces in late February, when Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring state. The facility continues to operate under Russian control with Ukrainian personnel. In a daily briefing, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said that Ukraine’s 44th Artillery Brigade fired at the plant on Sunday from the village of Marganets on the opposite side of the large Kakhovka water reservoir.

The shelling damaged a high-voltage power line, causing a short circuit at the plant, Konashenkov said. He added that a fire broke out at the facility, which was then put out. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it was the second time Ukrainian shelling has caused a fire and a partial power outage at the plant since Friday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the attacks on the nuclear facility could have “catastrophic consequences for a huge territory, including the territory of Europe.” “We hope that countries which have an absolute influence on the Ukrainian leadership will use this influence to rule out such shelling,” Peskov said.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russia of shelling the Zaporozhye plant on Friday. “Russian nuclear terror requires a stronger response from the international community,” he tweeted, also warning about a potential nuclear disaster. Ukraine and the US previously accused Russian soldiers of using the plant as cover in the fight against Ukrainian troops. Russia has rejected these claims. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the “suicidal” attacks on the plant, expressing hope that international inspectors will be able to access the facility soon.

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Blue states start boycotting red states. Civil War here we come.

Time for a Red-State NATO-like Alliance on Boycotts (Turley)

“An attack on one is an attack on all.” That reference to Article 5 of the NATO treaty is a virtual mantra in Washington these days as “the bedrock of peace and security in Europe for over half a century.” But the benefits of such deterrence should not be lost on another group under increasing threat for their political alliances: America’s red states. From California to Illinois, legislators are moving to boycott any state contracts with businesses in states with anti-LGBTQ legislation or restrictive abortion laws. At the same time, many Democratic leaders are pressuring companies to boycott red states too. This past week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) called upon Hollywood production companies to stop filming in states such as Georgia or Oklahoma with strict anti-abortion laws.

In Georgia, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has warned that companies will cut off ties with such states, including her own, if they do not change their laws. (Abrams previously was criticized by conservatives for fueling the boycott of her own state which led to the withdrawal of the All-Star Game from Atlanta over election reform laws.) Such campaigns have succeeded, particularly with private companies. Indeed, in both restricting speech and boycotting states, the left has found greater success with private companies than with voters in pushing their agenda. The New York Times warned pro-life states that they risk their “competitive edge” in the market if they do not change their laws to conform with blue-state views. The boycott threats have been growing since 2016, when North Carolina was targeted for passing a bill limiting bathroom access by biological gender.

The point of these campaigns is to pressure state officials to ignore the will of a majority of their citizens and pass laws to appeal to corporations and other states in a competitive market. Such boycotts by private citizens or groups are an important form of political speech; various state laws barring state contracts with those who support boycotts of Israel, for example, have been struck down as unconstitutional, although an appellate court recently upheld an Arkansas law. However, states or companies engaging in such boycotts is a different matter. Many consumers do not want companies like Disney to engage in political debates over issues like transgender rights. One poll showed 67 percent opposed corporate opposition to an “anti-grooming” law, a view that appears to be impacting Disney.

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Bunch of cowards.

Australian Labor Party & Assange: Burying the Politics (Tranter)

The difficulty for the Australian Labor government in deciding how to respond to the Julian Assange case is that once a prosecution is characterised as a political prosecution then, by its nature, there can be no expectation of due process. The U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty forbids extradition in the case of “political offences.” Former Australian High Commissioner to the U.K. George Brandis — who was commissioner for almost the entirety of Assange’s Belmarsh imprisonment since 2019 — doesn’t agree that Assange is a political prisoner. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and its new Minister Penny Wong have consistently stated a view that the case is not political but purely a legal matter: “Australia is not a party to Julian Assange’s case, nor can the Australian government intervene in the legal matters of another country.”

However, the most vocally outspoken Labor MP on the Assange case has now thrown that position on its head. “This is a political case, Labor MP Julian Hill told Consortium News in a video interview on July 28. “It is a political decision to extradite. And we’ve conveyed our view to the U.K. government regarding that. And it’s also a political decision in the U.S.” The government suggesting its hands are tied as Australia is “not a party” to the Assange case and they can’t intervene in “legal matters,” ignores the evident truths that the Assange case is indeed political, that its result will have global political consequences and that a pathway exists for a political intervention towards a political resolution.

Labor also strains to maintain credibility in its stated expectations of Assange receiving fair and humane treatment, on the one hand, and on the other remaining silent on the findings of Nils Melzer, the then-U.N. special rapporteur on torture, who had found Assange had suffered both psychological torture and political persecution. There has also been a silence on the extraordinary acts of the U.S. intelligence agencies, in particular the fact that Assange’s legally privileged conversations and papers were recorded and handed to U.S. intelligence agencies, and also on the C.I.A.’s plans to kidnap or assassinate Assange.

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Ukrainians migrating from Zelensky controlled areas to Russian controlled #Kherson

 

 

 

 


The Himalayan Vulture

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 052022
 


Piet Mondriaan Avond (Evening): The Red Tree 1908-10

 

Ukraine Violates War Laws, Endangers Civilians: Amnesty (NW)
Kiev Blasts Amnesty Report On Ukraine Risking Civilian Lives (RT)
NATO Working With Arms Industry to Get Ukraine More Weapons (Antiwar)
Gazprom Explains Complications In Turbine Row (RT)
How A Missile In Kabul Connects To A Speaker In Taipei (Escobar)
Kremlin Reveals ‘Real Threat’ To World Order (RT)
Irish Farmers Outraged Over 25% Emissions Reduction Plan (TCS)
Covid Vaccines Are Killing One in Every 800 Over-60s (DS)
Japanese Surgeon Calls for Suspension of COVID Boosters (ET)
The Truth About the Alex Jones Phone Records (SN)
Republicans’ Last-minute Cheney Lifeline (Axios)
Democrats Block Measures To Stop Gain-of-Function Research (JTN)
The Point of No Return (Thomas Sowell)
Parts of Great Barrier Reef Show Highest Coral Cover In 36 Years (CBS)
The Big Green Lie Almost Everyone Claims to Believe (ET)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1555019724509089792

 

 

 

 

Tedros is unvaxxed
https://twitter.com/i/status/1554949172322869254

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human shields=war crimes.

Ukraine Violates War Laws, Endangers Civilians: Amnesty (NW)

Amnesty International has accused Ukraine of war crimes during its ongoing military conflict with invading Russian forces. The humanitarian organization said in a release on Wednesday that the Ukrainian military’s tactics “violate international humanitarian law and endanger civilians” by operating weapons out of bases established in residential areas while civilians are present. Russia has previously been accused by Amnesty International of violating multiple international laws during the war. The organization on Wednesday said that Ukraine’s alleged violations “in no way justify Russia’s indiscriminate attacks.” “We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when they operate in populated areas,” Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamard said in a statement.

“Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law.” While conducting an investigation of Russian attacks in the Kharkiv, Donbas and Mykolaiv regions of Ukraine between April and July, Amnesty International researchers said they discovered that the Ukrainian military was operating out of civilian buildings in at least 19 towns and villages. The discovery was corroborated by satellite images, according to the release. The organization said that Ukraine committed “a clear violation of international humanitarian law” by basing at least five military facilities in civilian hospitals. Russian airstrikes on health care facilities have resulted in a significant number of civilian injuries and deaths during the war, according to the World Health Organization.

Amnesty International also discovered that Ukraine had installed military bases in 22 out of 29 schools visited in the Donbas and Mykolaiv regions during the investigation, according to the release. The organization said that Russia later launched strikes on many of the same schools between April and late June, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries.

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“We’ve been talking about this constantly, calling the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces the tactics of using civilians as a ‘human shield’,” Zakharova said.

Kiev Blasts Amnesty Report On Ukraine Risking Civilian Lives (RT)

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba pushed back against an Amnesty International report that blames Kiev for placing its military assets in schools and residential areas, violating humanitarian law and putting civilians at risk. In his comments posted on social media on Thursday, the minister said that he was outraged by the NGO’s claim. “I understand that Amnesty will respond to criticism by saying that they criticize both sides of the conflict. But such behavior on Amnesty’s part is not about looking for the truth and presenting it to the world, but about creating a false balance between the criminal and his victim”, he said. Kuleba also urged the organization to stop “creating a fake reality” where everyone is “at fault for something.”

Amnesty should primarily focus on what Russia is doing in Ukraine and what devastation Moscow has brought upon this country, he argued. On Thursday, Amnesty released a report accusing Kiev of “a clear violation of international humanitarian law,” saying it was putting civilian lives at risk by placing its military close to civilian infrastructure. In 22 out of the 29 schools visited by Amnesty between April and July, the human rights group said it found evidence of current or prior military activity. In five locations, they witnessed Ukrainian troops using hospitals as bases. At the same time, the group said it was “not aware” that Ukraine tried to evacuate civilians from the areas in question.

However, Amnesty also noted that no Ukrainian troops were present in some areas where it assessed Russian forces had delivered strikes on residential areas. For that reason, the NGO said that Ukraine’s unlawful military use of civilian objects did not “in any way justify indiscriminate Russian attacks.” According to Maria Zakharova, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, the NGO’s report only confirmed what Moscow has known for a long time. “We’ve been talking about this constantly, calling the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces the tactics of using civilians as a ‘human shield’,” Zakharova said.

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“In July, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov made an offer to Western arms makers to use Ukraine as a testing ground for new weapons in a pitch for more arms..”

Offering his people as practice targets..

NATO Working With Arms Industry to Get Ukraine More Weapons (Antiwar)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday said that the military alliance was working closely with the arms industry to get more weapons to Ukraine and said more must be done to support Kyiv for the “long haul.”“We are providing a lot of support but we need to do even more and be prepared for the long haul,” the NATO chief told Reuters. “Therefore we’re also now in close contact and working closely with the defense industry to produce more and to deliver more of different types of ammunition, weapons, and capabilities.” The Western response to the war in Ukraine has been a boon for US arms makers, who are cashing in on replacing stockpiles of weapons sent to Ukraine, direct sales to Kyiv, and European NATO allies increasing their military spending.


In July, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov made an offer to Western arms makers to use Ukraine as a testing ground for new weapons in a pitch for more arms. “We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here,” he said. The next big escalation in military aid for Kyiv could be the US or some of its NATO allies sending warplanes to Ukraine. US Air Force officials have said they are in talks on providing Kyiv with aircraft and sound very receptive to Ukraine’s request for F-15 and F-16 fighter jets.

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“According to Gazprom, only one of the six main gas compressor units is currently operational..”

Gazprom Explains Complications In Turbine Row (RT)

Western sanctions are hindering the return of a gas turbine from Germany and threaten future equipment maintenance at the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Gazprom announced on Thursday. In the latest development in the gas turbine repair row between Moscow and Berlin, the Russian energy major has laid out the reasons why the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is not fully back on-line an why getting repaired equipment back is impossible.“The current anti-Russian sanctions are hindering the successful resolution of the issue of the transportation and repair of Siemens gas turbine engines for the Portovaya compressor station, which supplies gas to European consumers through the Nord Stream pipeline.” Gazprom wrote on its Telegram channel.


The crucial part that is stuck in Germany, after repairs in Canada, should have been sent back to Russia in May. But the paperwork for its return is not in order as it was issued by Siemens Energy and not the firm that is contracted to Gazprom, the gas giant claims. If the turbine is shipped to Russia, there is a risk that Canadian authorities will see this is a breach of contract, and withdraw permission for further maintenance of turbines to be carried out on its soil. According to Gazprom, only one of the six main gas compressor units is currently operational at the station with its daily delivery capacity reduced to roughly 20%. The remaining turbines require factory maintenance or overhaul, Gazprom adds. The company explained that other Western sanctions regarding the transportation of gas equipment may also apply to the turbine. All of which, given the current situation, makes the return of the equipment impossible, reiterated Gazprom.

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“..China will steadily speed up its process of reunification and declare the end of US domination of the world order.”

How A Missile In Kabul Connects To A Speaker In Taipei (Escobar)

Two Hellfire R9-X missiles launched from a MQ9 Reaper drone on the balcony of a house in Kabul. The target was Ayman Al-Zawahiri with a $25 million bounty on his head. The once invisible leader of ‘historic’ Al-Qaeda since 2011, is finally terminated. All of us who spent years of our lives, especially throughout the 2000s, writing about and tracking Al-Zawahiri know how US ‘intel’ played every trick in the book – and outside the book – to find him. Well, he never exposed himself on the balcony of a house, much less in Kabul. Why now? Simple. Not useful anymore – and way past his expiration date. His fate was sealed as a tawdry foreign policy ‘victory’ – the remixed Obama ‘Osama bin Laden moment’ that won’t even register across most of the Global South.

After all, a perception reigns that George W. Bush’s GWOT has long metastasized into the “rules-based,” actually “economic sanctions-based” international order. Cue to 48 hours later, when hundreds of thousands across the west were glued to the screen of flighradar24.com (until the website was hacked), tracking “SPAR19” – the US Air Force jet carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – as it slowly crossed Kalimantan from east to west, the Celebes Sea, went northward parallel to the eastern Philippines, and then made a sharp swing westwards towards Taiwan, in a spectacular waste of jet fuel to evade the South China Sea. Now compare it with hundreds of millions of Chinese who are not on Twitter but on Weibo, and a leadership in Beijing that is impervious to western-manufactured pre-war, post-modern hysteria.

Anyone who understands Chinese culture knew there would never be a “missile on a Kabul balcony” moment over Taiwanese airspace. There would never be a replay of the perennial neocon wet dream: a “Pearl Harbor moment.” That’s simply not the Chinese way. sThe day after, as the narcissist Speaker, so proud of accomplishing her stunt, was awarded the Order of Auspicious Clouds for her promotion of bilateral US-Taiwan relations, the Chinese Foreign Minister issued a sobering comment: the reunification of Taiwan with the mainland is a historical inevitability. That’s how you focus, strategically, in the long game. What happens next had already been telegraphed, somewhat hidden in a Global Times report. Here are the two key points:

Point 1: “China will see it as a provocative action permitted by the Biden administration rather than a personal decision made by Pelosi.” That’s exactly what President Xi Jinping had personally told the teleprompt-reading White House tenant during a tense phone call last week. And that concerns the ultimate red line. Xi is now reaching the exact same conclusion reached by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this year: the United States is “non-agreement capable,” and there’s no point in expecting it to respect diplomacy and/or rule of law in international relations. Point 2 concerns the consequences, reflecting a consensus among top Chinese analysts that mirrors the consensus at the Politburo: “The Russia-Ukraine crisis has just let the world see the consequence of pushing a major power into a corner… China will steadily speed up its process of reunification and declare the end of US domination of the world order.”

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“..tensions in Europe have been stoked by aggressive NATO policies and encroachment toward Russia’s borders..”

Kremlin Reveals ‘Real Threat’ To World Order (RT)

The original threat to global order was the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. Peskov pushed back on claims made by NATO’s secretary-general that Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine was to blame for the major shake-up. “The real threat to the world order and the situation in the world and … in Europe comes from the coup that took place in Ukraine in 2014, which was carefully orchestrated by, among others, NATO countries, despite the guarantees that the foreign ministers of a number of countries had provided. Hence the threat and danger to the world order,” he stressed.


According to Peskov, tensions in Europe have been stoked by aggressive NATO policies and encroachment toward Russia’s borders. “This situation has been maturing for several decades and in many ways it was fueled by the aggressive policies NATO pursued towards our country as they brought their infrastructure closer to Russia. This created additional threats for us,” Peskov noted, explaining that, faced with such reality, Moscow had no choice but to take action. On Thursday, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Ukraine conflict is the “most dangerous situation in Europe since World War Two,” and the West must do its best to stop Russia from winning. With that, he vowed to continue to support Kiev with arms and other types of aid.

Putin

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“That reduction of 22 cows effectively wipes out the economic sustainability of this farm and replicated through the neighbouring and similar farms. It undermines the viability of the wider rural community..”

Irish Farmers Outraged Over 25% Emissions Reduction Plan (TCS)

The Irish government had previously been debating what the cut on emissions from the agriculture industry would be, finally settling on a 25% reduction below 2018 levels by 2030. “Today, the government has agreed on a pathway to a 51% cut in economy-wide emissions by 2030. The emissions ceiling for agriculture has been set at a level requiring a 25% reduction by 2030. This falls within the target range assigned to the sector under the Climate Action Plan 2021. I am pleased to have reached this conclusion as a way of offering certainty to our farm families and their businesses over the next decade,” said Irish Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue in a press release. Many farmers had been expecting a cap on emissions but said they were preparing for something more moderate.

They’re now arguing that culling their herds, which would sabotage their own businesses in the process, will be the only way they can meet the lofty standards of the Irish government. “The target that we’ve been working towards has been 18%, maybe 22% but not 25%,” said Cork farmer Alan Jagoe. “We’re producing food on our farms. We’re not taking fossil fuels off the ground; we are not mining; we are producing food that we all eat. That has been lost in this debate.” Jagoe further stated that the policy was totally “unrealistic.” “We had a pathway and a direction, and I cannot overemphasize enough that the work it would take to get to an 18% target would be absolutely massive,” Jagoe continued. “It’s a fundamental change in the way we farm, the way we apply our fertilizers, the way we apply our slurry. This is a fundamental policy shift to get to 18%, and we were prepared to work towards it, but now we have been given 25%.”

According to the Irish Farmers Journal, Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association president Pat McCormack is also baffled by the policy. He has stated that de-herding is already happening due to previous environmental regulations and that this will be exacerbated by the new policy, leading to a forced culling of herds and making family businesses less sustainable financially. Regarding one family farm with 30ha with 84 cows, McCormack stated that the farm would have to cut its livestock population by nearly 25%. “That reduction of 22 cows effectively wipes out the economic sustainability of this farm and replicated through the neighbouring and similar farms. It undermines the viability of the wider rural community,” McCormack said.

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“..the coagulation problems, myocarditis, we know that, but there are many more things happening at the moment.”

Covid Vaccines Are Killing One in Every 800 Over-60s (DS)

Covid vaccine boosters in older people are killing one person for every 800 doses administered and should be withdrawn from use immediately, a leading vaccine scientist has said. Dr. Theo Schetters, a vaccinologist based in the Netherlands who has played a leading role in the development of a number of vaccines, says he analysed the official data from the Dutch Government and found a very close correlation between when fourth vaccine doses were administered in the country and the number of excess deaths, as shown in the chart below. Importantly, in the Netherlands the booster rollout in different regions was staggered over a number of weeks allowing an analysis by region, which confirms the effect.

Dr. Schetters, who is a recipient of the Medal of Honour of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Montpellier in France, told Dr. Robert Malone, an inventor of mRNA vaccine technology, that medical doctors are currently seeing “all sorts of symptoms that they do not know what it is” and that “in the Netherlands now it’s very clear that there is a good correlation between the number of vaccinations that are given to people and the number of people that die within a week after that”. It is essential to look at all-cause mortality, he said, as the vaccine “potentially affects all organs”.

So it potentially affects all organs. And that’s what the medical doctors now see, they see all sorts of symptoms that they do not know what it is. And because the adverse effects are so not just single one adverse effect, but can be anything, they surface very difficult to a statistical level. And that’s why we do analysis on all cause mortality, because say, okay, and if we do not know what is exactly related to vaccination, of course, the coagulation problems, myocarditis, we know that, but there are many more things happening at the moment. And so that’s why we look at all cause mortality, and in the Netherlands now it’s very clear that there is a good correlation between the number of vaccinations that are given to people and the number of people that die within a week after that. So let’s say in this week we gave 10,000 vaccinations. Then in this week, we have something like 125 excess in death in that week.

The correlation is striking, Dr. Schetters said, to the extent that if you have more vaccines in a week then you also have more excess deaths, and if you have fewer vaccines in a week, you have fewer deaths. He says he has written to the Director of the Institute of Health in the Netherlands to alert him to the findings.

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“..suppressed immune function is likely to have been caused by COVID-19 vaccination..”

Japanese Surgeon Calls for Suspension of COVID Boosters (ET)

In a letter to the peer-reviewed journal Virology, a Japanese cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Kenji Yamamoto, has called for the discontinuation of COVID-19 booster shots. “As a safety measure, further booster vaccinations should be discontinued,” Yamamoto wrote. Among his urgent concerns are the fact that the COVID-19 vaccines have been linked to vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, which, in some cases, has been lethal to patients. Yamamoto works at Okamura Memorial Hospital in Shizuoka, Japan. In the letter he explains that he and his colleagues have “encountered cases of infections that are difficult to control,” including some that occurred after open-heart surgery and were still not under control after several weeks of treatment with multiple antibiotics.

These patients, says Yamamoto, showed signs of being immunocompromised, and some of them died. Yamamoto believes their suppressed immune function is likely to have been caused by COVID-19 vaccination. It is rare for a cardiac surgeon to get involved in government vaccination policy. It is even rarer for a practicing medical doctor to express an opinion like this that flies in the face of the medical status quo in a prestigious medical journal, and for the medical journal itself to publish the opinion. Other clinicians, too, who have never spoken publicly before are also voicing similar concerns.

“The signals in the best sources we have currently available, which is our VAERS data, have been screaming,” said Dr. Angelina Farella, a pediatrician based in Webster, Texas who has expanded her practice into family medicine and has been treating COVID patients when other doctors in her area refused to see them. “It’s an all-out red-alert, about heart disease, deaths, and vaccine injury,” said Farella. In over 25 years of practicing medicine, which, Farella said, has included giving vaccinations to children every day, she has never seen such a dangerous vaccine.


Yikes!

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Robert Barnes @barnes_law: “Turns out plaintiffs lawyer lied in court when he illicitly spied on attorney client emails & texts, which would make 1/6 committee subpoena a violation of 4th, 5th & 6th Amendment rights. The #AlexJones case keeps setting records for violating rights.”

The Truth About the Alex Jones Phone Records (SN)

An emergency protective order motion has been filed in the Alex Jones case relating to claims in court that lawyers had inadvertently obtained years worth of Jones’ phone records, with emails showing Plaintiffs had not been given approval to use the material in court as it would violate attorney client privilege. A video clip from the trial went viral yesterday showing Jones responding to the revelation by Mark Bankston that Jones’ lawyers had mistakenly sent Bankston what he described as “an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone, with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years.” “That is how I know you lied to me when you said you did not have text messages about Sandy Hook,” Bankston claimed.

This was then seized upon by media outlets to suggest that some kind of Hunter Biden laptop moment had occurred, apparently miring Jones in an even deeper scandal. However, according to an Emergency Motion for Enforcement of Protective Order filed by Jones’ lawyers, they did not given permission for the files, which only span a 6 month period from the end of 2019 through early 2020 and do not represent “an entire digital copy” of the cellphone, to be entered into evidence in court. “The file transfer link, however, inadvertently gave Plaintiffs access to dozens of other folders as well, including confidential documents, such as the medical records of Sandy Hook Parents who are Plaintiffs in the Connecticut litigation and other documents subject to various privileges, including attorney-client and work product,” states the motion.

An email shows that the issue was raised by Bankston, who told Jones’ attorneys in an email that the files contained “confidential information.” “My assumption is now that you did not intend to send us this? Let me know if I’m correct,” he enquired. Bankston was told by Jones’ attorney F. Andino Reynal to “disregard the link.” “It is now apparent that Plaintiffs’ counsel did not “disregard the link”, but has reviewed and used documents he acknowledged defendants “did not intend to send” and appeared to be “work product or confidential.” Defendants, therefore, seek Emergency relief pursuant to Rule 193.3 and the Court’s Protective Order,” states the motion.

The chunk of files were apparently sent to Bankston by a paralegal by mistake and were intended for lawyers in Connecticut representing other Sandy Hook families in separate cases, but were seized upon by Bankston and the media to suggest Jones had engaged in perjury or that he was hiding information. Jones responded to the controversy by asserting that he turned all his phones over to his lawyers and was merely trying to comply with discovery. Despite not being given permission to use the material in court, Bankston appears to have used it anyway as a PR stunt to sneak attack Jones, take him by surprise, and generate salacious media headlines.

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The Democrats don’t want her either; she’s toxic for votes.

Republicans’ Last-minute Cheney Lifeline (Axios)

A handful of Republican operatives are quietly mounting a last-ditch effort to rescue Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from a Trump-backed primary challenge, Axios has learned. The previously unreported effort shows how some Republicans are trying to surreptitiously undercut the former president’s revenge campaign, which has so far claimed the political lives of a significant chunk of GOP critics. Cheney — the vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee — could be the next casualty. She’s facing tough odds in her primary fight this month against Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman. Involved in the effort are Jeff Larson, the chairman of Republican research firm America Rising and a longtime Cheney backer, and Julia Griswold Dailer, a former Trump White House and inauguration committee aide.

Their strategy is two-pronged: Persuade Democrats to cross the aisle and back the Wyoming Republican in this month’s open primary, and dent her Trump-endorsed challenger by portraying her as insufficiently loyal to the former president. Two seemingly unrelated political groups recently popped up to try to beat back Hageman’s challenge. Wyomingites Defending Freedom and Democracy is running digital and television ads and encouraging Democrats in the state to cross party lines and vote for Cheney in the Aug. 16 primary. Conservatives for a Strong America is portraying Hageman as a fake conservative secretly in league with Cheney and critical of Trump. The latter group is also trying to boost two of Cheney’s other primary challengers in an apparent effort to split the anti-Cheney vote.

Tex McBride, a Wyoming rancher who leads WDFD, told Axios that Larson recruited him for that role. “They needed somebody that … has a voice in the state rather than just trying to bring in someone from the outside who nobody knows or trusts,” McBride said in an interview. “My involvement is really just to put people in touch with each other and they go do their own deal, and help raise some money, but that’s the extent of it,” Larson told Axios.

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Why?

Democrats Block Measures To Stop Gain-of-Function Research (JTN)

Senate Democrats on Thursday declined to offer unanimous consent to two measures to stop gain-of-function research, a process now infamous over its alleged connection to the spread of COVID-19. Republican Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall put forward both the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act and the SAFE Risk Research Act, which aimed to cut funding to universities conducting such research and foreign countries doing so, respectively. Gain of function is a process by which researchers genetically modify a virus. It has the potential for risk as an enhanced virus could potentially become a significant threat to humanity. Earlier this year, Congress banned funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a Chinese lab that U.S. intelligence and many Republicans suspect may have been the source of the coronavirus.


Marshall first introduced the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act in October of last year. Democrats denied Marshall’s Thursday bid for unanimous consent, meaning the bill’s passage will not be expedited. “It is disturbing that one of our top public health agencies directed this risky research to be offshored while encouraging the pause in that exact same research in the U.S.,” Marshall said on the Senate floor on Thursday, per a press release from his office. “Despite warnings and past lab accidents, our public health agencies like NIH continue to fund the WMD research, often in China nonetheless.” “Shockingly, Congress has minimal insight into the amount of this research at NIH,” he continued. “There is no transparency into their risk evaluation process.” “This is a national security issue,” Marshall insisted. “We must pause this research until national security experts can help create appropriate risk metrics, guardrails and processes for this research.”

Nipah virus gain of function

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“Why do we elect legislators to do what the voters want done, if unelected judges are going to make up laws on their own..”

The Point of No Return (Thomas Sowell)

This is an election year. But the issues this year are not about Democrats and Republicans. The big issue is whether this nation has degenerated to a point of no return — a point where we risk destroying ourselves, before our enemies can destroy us. If there is one moment that symbolized our degeneration, it was when an enraged mob gathered in front of the Supreme Court and a leader of the United States Senate shouted threats against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, saying “You won’t know what hit you!” There have always been irresponsible demagogues. But there was once a time when anyone who shouted threats to a Supreme Court Justice would see the end of his own political career, and could not show his face in decent society again.

You either believe in laws or you believe in mob rule. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the law or agree with the mob on some particular issue. If threats of violence against judges — and publishing where a judge’s children go to school — is the way to settle issues, then there is not much point in having elections or laws. There is also not much point in expecting to have freedom. Threats and violence were the way the Nazis came to power in Germany. Freedom is not free. If you can’t be bothered to vote against storm-trooper tactics — regardless of who engages in them, or over what issue — then you can forfeit your freedom. Worse yet, you can forfeit the freedom of generations not yet born.

Some people seem to think that the Supreme Court has banned abortions. It has done nothing of the sort. The Supreme Court has in fact done something very different, something long overdue and potentially historic. It has said that their own court had no business making policy decisions which nothing in the Constitution gave them the authority to make. Get out a copy of the Constitution — and see if you can find anything in there that says the federal government is authorized to make laws about abortion. Check out the 10th Amendment, which says that the federal government is limited to the specific powers it was granted, with all other powers going to the states or to the people. Why do we elect legislators to do what the voters want done, if unelected judges are going to make up laws on their own, instead of applying the laws that elected officials passed?

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“..an increase in average hard coral cover in the northern region of the reef to 36% in 2022 from 27% in 2021, and an increase in in the central region to 33% in 2022 from 27% in 2021..”

Parts of Great Barrier Reef Show Highest Coral Cover In 36 Years (CBS)

The central and northern stretches of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are showing the highest coral cover seen in 36 years, showing that the fragile UNESCO World Heritage site could still recover from decades of damage, a monitoring group reported Thursday. Coral cover in the southern region of the reef decreased, however, and the reef is vulnerable to increasingly common disturbances like mass bleaching events, the group said. There was an increase in average hard coral cover in the northern region of the reef to 36% in 2022 from 27% in 2021, and an increase in in the central region to 33% in 2022 from 27% in 2021, the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences (AIMS) said in its annual summary report.

Despite this, “a third of the gain in coral cover we recorded in the south in 2020/21 was lost last year due to ongoing crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks,” Dr. Paul Hardisty, CEO of AIMS, said in a statement. “This shows how vulnerable the Reef is to the continued acute and severe disturbances that are occurring more often, and are longer-lasting.” AIMS has been monitoring the Great Barrier Reef since 1986. It said the increase in frequency of mass bleaching events — when coral, in response to stressful conditions like heat, loses its pigments and symbiotic algae, turns white, and potentially dies — were “uncharted territory.” “In our 36 years of monitoring the condition of the Great Barrier Reef we have not seen bleaching events so close together,” Hardisty said.

“Every summer the Reef is at risk of temperature stress, bleaching and potentially mortality and our understanding of how the ecosystem responds to that is still developing.” Dr. Mike Emslie, also from the AIMS monitoring program, said that most of the coral increase in the north and central parts of the reef was driven by fast-growing but fragile Acropora corals, and could therefore be reversed quickly. “These corals are particularly vulnerable to wave damage, like that generated by strong winds and tropical cyclones,” Emslie said. “The increasing frequency of warming ocean temperatures and the extent of mass bleaching events highlights the critical threat climate change poses to all reefs, particularly while crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and tropical cyclones are also occurring. Future disturbance can reverse the observed recovery in a short amount of time.”

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Patrick Moore, past president of Greenpeace Canada: “Two of Canada’s smartest writers set the record straight. We are being lied to that CO2 is a “pollutant” when it is the basis for all life. The fate of civilization depends on our defeating this lie.”

The Big Green Lie Almost Everyone Claims to Believe (ET)

Almost every member of Congress, Democrat or Republican, pays homage to the Big Green Lie. So do all the past and remaining Conservative candidates vying to be prime minister of the UK and every candidate currently vying for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. So does virtually all of the mainstream press. The Big Green Lie—that carbon dioxide is a pollutant—is so pervasive that even those considered skeptics—including right-wing NGOs and pundits—generally adhere to the orthodoxy, differing not in their stated belief that CO2 is a pollutant but only in how calamitous a pollutant it is.

Because everyone now participates in the CO2-emissions-are-bad lie, the debate over climate policy hasn’t been over whether a CO2 problem exists but over how urgently CO2 needs to be addressed, and how it should be addressed. Do we have eight years left before Armageddon becomes inevitable or decades? Do we get off fossil fuels by building nuclear plants or wind turbines? Should we change our lifestyles to need less of everything? Or should we mitigate this evil—the view of those deemed climate minimalists—by shielding our continents from a rising of the oceans by enclosing them behind sea walls?

With almost everyone across the political spectrum publicly agreeing that curbing CO2 is a good thing, the debate has been between those who want to do good quickly by reaching Net Zero in 2040 and sticks in the mud who want to slow down the doing of a good thing. With discourse careening down rabbit holes, almost everyone gets lost pursuing solutions to Alice-in-Wonderland delusions—and wasting trillions of dollars in the process.

Patrick Moore
https://twitter.com/i/status/1555093266051342336

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1981
https://twitter.com/i/status/1553907150556110849

 

 

 

 


All countries of the world by real size arranged like the real map (via http://thetruesize.com)

 

 

 

 

Perpetual motion
https://twitter.com/i/status/1555201958734168065

 

 

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May 302022
 


Gustave Courbet The man made mad by fear 1844

 

Zelensky Hopes for Regime Change in Moscow, Plans To Reclaim Crimea (Antiwar)
Zelensky Signals Donbas Could Soon Fall (ZH)
Whose Lies Can You Trust? (Rothenberg)
EU Struggles To Break Deadlock On Russian Oil Ban Before Summit (ST)
EU To Block Seaborne Russian Oil Deliveries, Not Pipeline (ZH)
Erdogan Says Won’t Let ‘Terrorism-supporting’ Countries Enter NATO (R.)
Erdogan’s Revisionism (Rozakis)
Negative Views Of Russia Mainly Limited To Western Liberal Democracies (G.)
Everyone on Special Counsel Team Wiped Their Cell Phones (CTH)
Biden Falsely Claims Jan. 6 Rioters ‘Killed Two Police Officers’ (DW)
The Biggest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme in History (Root)
Amnesty Should Be Granted To The Unvaccinated (NP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Zelensky indicated he was open to talks but wanted regime change in Moscow first..”

“When Ukraine says it will be fighting to regain its territories it lost, it means Ukraine will be fighting until it gets all its territory back. It doesn’t mean anything else.”

Zelensky Hopes for Regime Change in Moscow, Plans To Reclaim Crimea (Antiwar)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted talks with a Russian president; however, he hoped that person was someone other than Vladimir Putin. He also called for his country to reestablish its pre-civil war borders. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria hosted Zelensky for an interview at the World Economic Forum. The event was sponsored by the foundation of Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk. In his introduction, Zakaria framed the war in Ukraine as “Russia versus the world.” During the interview, Zelensky indicated he was open to talks but wanted regime change in Moscow first. “This war will be over sooner or later. I’m sure there would be some sort of peaceful process, some sort of talks, and we would be discussing the issues of who Ukraine will negotiate, with what president of the Russia Federation.”

He added, “I hope that will be a different president in the Russian Federation.” The Ukrainian leader said his counterpart was “living in a bubble of alternative reality,” and Putin was “not keenly aware” of the situation on the ground in Ukraine. Zakaria asked Zelensky, “will Ukraine fight until it takes all the territories it lost in 2014?” Zakaria is referring to the breakaway Donbas republics – Donetsk and Luhansk – and the Crimean Peninsula that was annexed by Russia. Zelensky responded affirmatively to the CNN host’s question. “When Ukraine says it will be fighting to regain its territories it lost, it means Ukraine will be fighting until it gets all its territory back. It doesn’t mean anything else.”

During an event last week at the WEF, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger called on Kiev to cede territory to help resolve the conflict. Zelensky responded with harsh criticism of the former American official. “Mr. Kissinger has emerged from the deep past and said that part of Ukraine should be given to Russia to avoid the alienation of Russia from Europe.” Zelensky added, “it seems that Mr. Kissinger has 1938 on the calendar instead of 2022.” The actor turned president also used the platform to plead for more weapons. Since Russia invaded, the US has approved or transferred over $50 billion in aid to Ukraine.

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“..a notably pessimistic shift and negative tone..”

Zelensky Signals Donbas Could Soon Fall (ZH)

In a Saturday night speech Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave his most dire assessment to date of the status of Ukraine forces in the eastern Donbas region, where for over at least the last two months Russia has concentrated its forces, following the Feb.24 invasion of the country. Saturday marked the 95th day of the conflict. He described conditions there as “indescribably difficult” in what marks a notably pessimistic shift and negative tone for the Ukrainian leader, strongly suggesting the fall of Donbas – or at least whole regions such as Luhansk – could be imminent. He identified several intense ongoing battles in places with a large Russian force presence, including Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Bakhmut and Popasna. Sievierodonets in particular is scene of fierce up-close street battles.

“But our defense holds on,” Zelensky sought to assure the public. “It’s indescribably difficult there. And I am grateful to all those who withstand this onslaught of the occupiers.” As the AP describes of some instances of “close-quarter combat”:Ukrainian regional officials reported that Russian forces were “storming” Sievierodonetsk after trying unsuccessfully to encircle the city. The fighting knocked out power and cellphone service, and a humanitarian relief center could not operate because of the danger, the mayor said. Zelensky in the address also denounced what he called “absolutely senseless, openly barbaric strikes at the Sumy region,” which left at least one person dead and seven wounded and two in critical condition, saying further mortars struck close to a kindergarten.

“These are the enemies chosen by the Russian Federation,” he added. With this, he again called on the West and world leaders to official label Russia as a “terrorist state” – something US has thus far resisted doing, even after Biden previously described Russia’s actions as “genocide”. “This is fair and reflects the daily reality that the occupiers have created in Ukraine and are eager to bring further to Europe. And this must be legally enshrined,” he said. The Biden administration has meanwhile signaled the US is getting ready to ship long-range rocket systems to Ukrainian forces, a major first marking a significant escalation. But given what appears to be Russia’s steady progress over Donbas, it’s likely too-little too-late to turn the tide for the Ukrainians in the East.

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“People will instinctively choose peace over war. We are naturally possessed of that much empathy for others. You have to be marshaled into killing..”

Whose Lies Can You Trust? (Rothenberg)

Imagine if the public had had a say over the question, in 2003, of whether or not we should invade Iraq. No, forget that. That’s not a good example. The public was in favor of it. But why? For months we were the target of an intense propaganda campaign to sway our support for a decision to attack that had already been made. If you convince people that we’re fighting them “over there” so that we don’t have to fight them “over here”, well, that figures to be enough to win them over. Now go back to 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Much talk about a “peace dividend”. Nice ring to it. The United States has had the lion’s share of the world’s wealth since WW2, and now it had the wealth and no viable rivals anywhere in sight.

However, it was considered to be in the “national interest” to expand NATO, an alliance solely formed to counter the communist menace of the Soviet Union, which no longer existed. There was to be no peace dividend. It’s a made-up thing anyway. Since then, 13 countries have joined NATO pushing east toward Russia’s borders. Russia’s leadership regards it as a provocation. You can argue against this but only if you wouldn’t consider it a provocation if Russia had formed a military alliance with Cuba, Mexico, and Canada, or any of the three. I suspect patriotic Americans will reject this dialectic. Imagine if the public had had a say over the question, in 1991, of whether or not we should expand our military alliance with its attendant costs, or whether we should reap the dividend by seeking a more cooperative relationship with the whole of Eurasia including the Middle East.

Missing was the propaganda campaign to win our support for a peace dividend so that we could spend “over here” instead of “over there”. People will instinctively choose peace over war. We are naturally possessed of that much empathy for others. You have to be marshaled into killing. That we identify with peoples’ suffering is evident in all the Ukrainian flag flying. That’s people, not states. States deal in straight power concepts. It is in the anarchist spirit to resist this. To declare that Ukraine is a pawn in a great-power game greatly overstates the country’s role. A pawn can force a win by checkmate or through progression. A better metaphor is Ukraine is the board the game is being played on. The main players are the United States and Russia.

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Slow suicide.

EU Struggles To Break Deadlock On Russian Oil Ban Before Summit (ST)

Ambassadors from the 27 European Union member states on Sunday (May 29) examined a compromise mooted to enable them to break the deadlock on a Russian oil embargo ahead of an emergency summit in Brussels. The bloc’s officials fear the absence of an agreement would cast a shadow over the two-day meeting starting Monday between European leaders. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the gathering by video link to press the bloc to “kill Russian exports” three months after the invasion of Ukraine. The latest round of proposed sanctions by the EU has been blocked by landlocked Hungary, which has no access to seafaring oil cargo ships. Hungary is dependent for 65 per cent of its oil needs on Russian crude supplied via the Druzhba pipeline, which runs from Russia to various points in eastern and central Europe.


Budapest has rejected as inadequate a proposal to allow it two years longer than other EU states to wean itself off Russian oil. It wants at least four years and at least 800 million euros (S$1.1 billion) in EU funds to adapt its refineries to process non-Russian crude and boost pipeline capacity to neighbouring Croatia. Slovakia and the Czech Republic, also supplied by the Druzhba pipeline, accepted exemptions of two and half years, diplomatic sources said. The compromise solution put to national negotiators on Sunday consists in excluding the Druzhba pipeline from a future oil embargo and only imposing sanctions on oil shipped to the EU by tanker vessel, European sources said. The Druzhba pipeline accounts for a third of all EU oil supplies from Russia. Maritime cargos account for the remaining two thirds.

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“..a mere month ago when its head Ursula von der Leyen said, “This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined.”

EU To Block Seaborne Russian Oil Deliveries, Not Pipeline (ZH)

Last week EU leaders held what was deemed an “awkward” summit, as one diplomat attendee put it, given the don’t mention the Russian oil ban elephant in the room. Given Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Hungarian government recently likened a Russian oil ban to dropping a nuclear bomb on its economy (and with some smaller EU countries quietly agreeing with that assessment), there seems a growing consensus – at least behind the scenes – that a total embargo is completely unrealistic and untenable, especially amid steadily ratcheting energy prices. But the European Commission seems to have quickly changed its tune while facing certain ‘hard realities’, as many predicted, coming off a mere month ago when its head Ursula von der Leyen said, “This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined.”

Now just weeks later, on Saturday the European Commission hinted it will move toward a ban only on seaborne deliveries, but not pipeline supplies as part of its “phased approach”. Bloomberg on Saturday cited EU officials privy to the ongoing discussions who pinpointed that this allows a broader ban without significantly impacting Hungary’s primary supply, which is transferred through the massive Druzhba pipeline, which is also the world’s world’s longest oil pipeline. Industry publications point out that in the month prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, some 750,000 b/d of Russian crude flowed through the Druzhba to various refineries in Europe.

Bloomberg writes of the impending modified oil ban that “The proposal would give extra time to Hungary, which has antagonistic the deal, to discover a technical resolution that satisfies its power wishes. It might additionally cope with the worries of different landlocked nations, together with Slovakia and the Czech Republic.” And further, “Bulgaria would get a transition duration till June or December 2024 and Croatia may get an exemption for imports of vacuum fuel oil. The fee additionally proposed proscribing re-exports of Russian oil provided by way of pipeline to different member states or 3rd nations.”

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Negotiating.

Erdogan Says Won’t Let ‘Terrorism-supporting’ Countries Enter NATO (R.)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said talks with Finland and Sweden about their joining NATO were not at the “expected level” and Ankara cannot say yes to “terrorism-supporting” countries, state broadcaster TRT Haber reported on Sunday. Turkey has objected to Sweden and Finland joining the Western defence alliance, holding up a deal that would allow for a historic enlargement following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Erdogan’s latest comments indicated his opposition continued. “For as long as Tayyip Erdogan is the head of the Republic of Turkey, we definitely cannot say ‘yes’ to countries which support terrorism entering NATO,” he was cited as telling reporters on his return from a trip to Azerbaijan on Saturday.


Two sources previously told Reuters that Wednesday’s talks with Finnish and Swedish delegations made little headway and it was unclear when further discussions would take place. All 30 NATO members must approve plans to enlarge NATO. Turkey challenged the bids from Sweden and Finland on the grounds that the countries harbour people linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and others it deems terrorists, and because they halted arms exports to Ankara in 2019. “They are not honest or sincere. We cannot repeat the mistake made in the past regarding countries that embrace and feed such terrorists in NATO, which is a security organisation,” he said.

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Tensions between Greece and Turkey are rising fast.

Erdogan’s Revisionism (Rozakis)

There is no doubt that Turkey has exceeded all precedent with its recent actions and statements – from official lips too. The recent violation by Turkish fighter jets of the airspace over Evros in northeastern Greece is a severe infringement that Turkey has never attempted before. This is not to dismiss other similar behavior – like the overflights above the eastern Aegean islands – but it is an unprovoked intervention into continental territory, which cannot be brushed off with the excuse of the jets’ excessive speed (though this is a thin excuse for the island overflights too, given the frequency of violations). It is an act that can be regarded as an invasion of sovereign territory and one that could justify the activation of Greece’s defenses.

That the Greek side chose not to treat it this way is evidence of the government’s good will and of a deliberate effort to deny Turkey the opportunity to use this incident as a precursor to something bigger. On the scale of seriousness, though, this brief incident appears more severe than those at sea in 2020; there, at least, Turkey seemed to be challenging Greece’s sovereign rights rather than its actual sovereignty, and that in non-delineated areas whose delineation is a condition for any legal claims for exclusive rights of exploitation. The overflight into continental territory has not been Turkey’s only infringement in recent weeks, of course. It comes on top of the overflights above our easternmost islands – which have become almost routine – as well as what appears to be a fresh attempt to instrumentalize the refugee crisis by allowing new waves of migrants to attempt the crossing into the country.

This is not to mention recent comments by the Turkish president shutting down any future discussion with the Greek prime minister. There is no reason to expand on this further, however, because the Turkish president is renowned for his inconsistency and has often made such statements in the past he then reneged on. Be that as it may, things are not looking good. Erdogan’s overall behavior indicates that he does not rule out the possibility of conflict with Greece; in fact, he may be courting it. And this is why efforts to modernize our armed forces are absolutely justified, as is the cultivation of stable alliances with countries that can guarantee our territorial integrity.

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Now do the same poll about the US.

Negative Views Of Russia Mainly Limited To Western Liberal Democracies (G.)

The sharp polarisation between mainly western liberal democracies and the rest of the world in perceptions of Russia has been laid bare in an annual global poll of attitudes towards democracy. Within Europe, 55% of those surveyed for the Alliance for Democracies said they were in favour of cutting economic ties with Russia due to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, whereas in Asia there was a majority against, and in Latin America opinion was evenly split. Negative views of Russia are largely confined to Europe and other liberal democracies. Positive views of Russia have been retained in China, Indonesia, Egypt, Vietnam, Algeria, Morocco, Malaysia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The annual Democracy Perception Index, carried out after the invasion of Ukraine, covers 52 highly populated countries in Asia, Latin America, the US and Europe. Majorities in a total of 20 countries thought economic ties with Russia should not be cut due to the war in Ukraine. They included Greece, Kenya, Turkey, China, Israel, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, South Africa, Vietnam, Algeria, the Philippines, Hungary, Mexico, Thailand, Morocco, Malaysia, Peru, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. Colombians were evenly split. By contrast, among the 31 countries that favoured cutting ties, 20 were in Europe. Although Russian diplomats will point to the findings as evidence that global public opinion does not share western interpretations of events in Ukraine, the level of distrust of Russia in some countries was high.

The countries with a widely held most negative view of Russia included Poland (net negative 87%), Ukraine (80%), Portugal (79%), Italy (65%), UK (65%), Sweden (77%), US (62%) and Germany (62%). Even in Hungary – whose leader Viktor Orbán is an ally of Putin – a net 32% have a negative view of Russia. In Venezuela, often seen as propped up by Russia, the local population has a net negative view of Russia of 36%. Countries with a net positive view of Russia included India (36%) Indonesia (14%), Saudi Arabia (11 %), Algeria (29%), Morocco (4%), and Egypt (7%).

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It’s hard to do. The chances of it happening accidentally on 15 phones at once are zero.

Everyone on Special Counsel Team Wiped Their Cell Phones (CTH)

In the aftermath of the late summer 2017 Page/Strzok cell phone text messages, which started to identify the DOJ and FBI targeting operation against Donald Trump, the DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) decided he better look at the communications inside the rest of the Mueller-Weissmann team. Early in 2018 IG Horowitz asked for all of the special counsel cell phones. Andrew Weissmann knew there would be trouble, the special counsel operation was at a critical juncture so he instructed the team to wipe them clean, quickly. Eventually records were released in 2020 showing how the Weissmann/Mueller special counsel team “accidentally” wiped 15 iPhones of all data early in 2018 after the phones were requested by the OIG office for review.

Mueller’s lead investigator Andrew Weissmann said he “accidentally” wiped two phones himself; through a lengthy process of entering the wrong passcode several times over a period of three hours; removing data to show his activity during the special counsel. Weissmann claimed to have entered the wrong password (takes ten attempts) and that erased all the data. Greg Andre, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s criminal division, made the same claim. Wiping your phone to hide damaging information only works if the other phone you are communicating with wipes the same data. Guess what happened? Yup, exactly that, all of the cell phones connected to the key participants in the Muller operation deleted their phone content rendering a review impossible.

James Quarles III, who worked with Mueller in private practice at the Washington office of Wilmer-Hale, claimed his iPhone magically erased itself. Before joining the special counsel team, Mr. Rush Atkinson worked under Andrew Weissmann in the DOJ’s criminal fraud section where he specialized in financial fraud. Atkinson claims he too entered the wrong password ten times and accidentally erased all the data. At least twelve other people assigned to the special counsel investigation had similar “phone wiped/erased” issues which blocked the inspector general from his review.

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“Well, that’s what the rest of the world saw. It’s not who we are. And now, we’re proving, under pressure, that we are not that country. We’re united.”

Biden Falsely Claims Jan. 6 Rioters ‘Killed Two Police Officers’ (DW)

President Joe Biden falsely claimed that January 6 rioters at the U.S. Capitol “killed two police officers” while giving the commencement address at his alma mater Saturday. Biden and several top Democrats have repeated the debunked claim previously, but the president’s latest assertion of it came at the University of Delaware, where Biden graduated in 1965. No police officers died during the riots, and one who died the following day was found to have died of natural causes. “A mob of insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, the very citadel of democracy,” Biden told the newly minted graduates. “Imagine what you’d be thinking today if you had heard this morning before you got here that a group of a thousand people broke down the doors of the parliament of Great Britain, killed two police officers, smashed and ransacked the office of members of the British Parliament or any other, what would you think? What would you think?”

Immediately after U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died on January 7, the department claimed he had been “injured while physically engaging with protesters” and “was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.” The New York Times reported that Sicknick had been beaten with a fire extinguisher, another claim that has since been debunked. The Washington, DC, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner told the Washington Examiner in April that Sicknick’s death was “natural” and caused by two strokes. Two other police officers, Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith and Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood, killed themselves following the attacks.

The only people involved in the riots who died on January 6 were Air Force veteran and Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot in the neck by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, who was cleared of wrongdoing; two protesters who suffered fatal heart attacks, and another who died of a suspected drug overdose. Biden claimed in a speech in Wisconsin in March that rioters killed five police officers. “Look, how would you feel if you saw crowds storm and break down the doors of the British Parliament, kill five cops, injure 145 — or the German Bundestag, or the Italian Parliament?” he said. “I think you’d wonder. “Well, that’s what the rest of the world saw. It’s not who we are. And now, we’re proving, under pressure, that we are not that country. We’re united.”

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“This turns Americans into paranoid hypochondriacs and hospital junkies.”

The Biggest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme in History (Root)

One of my close friends thought he was having a heart attack. He asked me to drive him to the hospital. Of course, I dropped everything and rushed him to an ER in Las Vegas. He was kept at the hospital for 22 hours. He was given a battery of tests. He passed them all with flying colors. The doctors could find nothing wrong. Thank God — there was no heart attack. He was given a clean bill of health. About two weeks later the bill came. Twenty-two hours in the hospital. Not even one full day. Nothing wrong, so no treatments of any kind were given. The bill was $115,000. What a great job former President Barack Obama did to “fix” the health care system. Now 22 hours in a hospital costs $115,000. The frauds in the media don’t dare talk about that story.

This also explains everything about the pandemic. This is why the reaction by the media, Democratic politicians and medical “experts” has been so hysterical. It’s all about the money. Here’s a simple explanation of the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme. First, Biden, Fauci, the CDC, FDA, Democratic politicians and the media scare people to death — over a flu with mostly mild to moderate symptoms with a 99.9 percent recovery rate. They whip Americans into a frenzy. “If it bleeds, it leads.” The more deaths on the front page, or at the top of the news, the more papers they sell, the higher the ratings — and of course, the billions more spent by Big Pharma on drug and vaccine ads as a “thank you” to the media. This turns Americans into paranoid hypochondriacs and hospital junkies.

It’s one big vicious cycle that makes everyone at the top filthy rich. Think of that $115,000 bill for 22 hours in the hospital. That’s for a person who wasn’t sick. What if you actually have the flu? They’ll admit you for a day, or two, or three, and you’ll go home with a $250,000 bill. What if you actually get seriously ill? That’s a trip to the ICU. Whether you live or die, someone gets a $5,000,000 bill. Multiply these bills by millions of scared-to-death Americans who rush to the ER at the first sign of a cold, cough, fever or sneeze. Most of them are poor and on Obamacare or Medicaid. And it’s all paid by OPM — other people’s money. The government pays, and pays, and pays some more. With your money.

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The choice of terminology alone shows how deep Canada has fallen.

Amnesty Should Be Granted To The Unvaccinated (NP)

With vaccine mandates lifted across the country — only the stubborn, ignore-the-science federal government is holding out — it’s time to stop punishing people with minority opinions on public health policy. Let them go back to work, let them visit their relatives, let them live as freely as people in Auckland and Amsterdam do. Public health measures must be prophylactic and not punitive, aimed at preventing the spread of disease, not administering a penalty to those who do not comply with all the dictates. I wrote that some seven months ago, in light of the federal government’s unreasonable vaccine mandate imposed on federal employees, which included dismissal for unvaccinated employees who work at home.

Seven months on, the unreasonable has become the absurd, with an unvaccinated federal employee able to happily attend a hockey game in a packed arena full of screaming fans, but fired for working alone at home. s each day passes, it becomes more clear that federal pandemic measures are punitive. Canada is one of the most vaccinated countries on earth. Thus it may be politically popular to administer harsh measures to the small minority of the unvaccinated, even if a year on from initial doses and post-Omicron, the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent infection and transmission is greatly diminished. Yet denying millions of Canadians the ability to travel in their own country, or to serve in the military, or to drive a truck across the border, is not something that mere political popularity makes legitimate.

Recent attention has focused on the only-in-Canada travel policies that are snarling our airports. The European Union dropped its mask mandate for flights almost two weeks ago; even New Zealand no longer has vaccine mandates for air travel, at home or abroad.

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May 242019
 
 May 24, 2019  Posted by at 10:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  8 Responses »


 

 

Either You Are A Worthless Coward Or You Defend Assange (CJ)
Trump Orders FBI, CIA To “Fully Cooperate” With Barr (ZH)
Lone US Senator Decries Use Of Espionage Act Against Assange (RT)
Chelsea Manning and Her Lawyer On Today’s Superseding Indictment (SpM)
Amnesty International: Julian Assange “Not A Prisoner Of Conscience” (Wsws)
Theresa May Announces June 7 Resignation (G.)
A “European Empire” Won’t Make Europe Richer (Azihari)
Humans Causing Shrinking Of Nature As Larger Animals Die Off (G.)

 

 

What can I say? Feel as numb as can be. Any and all news organizations and ‘journalists’ who today talk about anything other than the death of their trade deserve that death.

The entire country, and indeed the western world, across all aisles, is silent. Not even the New York Times can muster the courage and decency to stand up for itself. Orwell wins.

Either You Are A Worthless Coward Or You Defend Assange (CJ)

And there it is. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged by the Trump administration’s Justice Department with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, carrying a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison. Exactly as Assange and his defenders have been warning would happen for nearly a decade. The indictment, like the one which preceded it last month with Assange’s arrest, is completely fraudulent, as it charges Assange with “crimes” that are indistinguishable from conventional journalistic practices. The charges are based on the same exact evidence which was available to the Obama administration, which as journalist Glenn Greenwald noted last year declined to prosecute Assange citing fear of destroying press freedoms.

Hanna Bloch-Wehba, an associate professor at Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law, has called the indictment “a worst-case, nightmare, mayday scenario for First Amendment enthusiasts.” Bloch-Wehba explains that that the indictment’s “theories for liability rest heavily on Assange’s relationship with Manning and his tendency to encourage Manning to continue to bring WikiLeaks material” in a way that “is not readily distinguishable from many reporter-source relationships cultivated over a period of time.” “Put simply, these unprecedented charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century,” reads a statement by Freedom of the Press Foundation Executive Director Trevor Timm.

“The Trump administration is moving to explicitly criminalize national security journalism, and if this prosecution proceeds, dozens of reporters at the New York Times, Washington Post and elsewhere would also be in danger. The ability of the press to publish facts the government would prefer remain secret is both critical to an informed public and a fundamental right. This decision by the Justice Department is a massive and unprecedented escalation in Trump’s war on journalism, and it’s no exaggeration to say the First Amendment itself is at risk. Anyone who cares about press freedom should immediately and wholeheartedly condemn these charges.”

[..] “I find no satisfaction in saying ‘I told you so’ to those who for 9 years have scorned us for warning this moment would come,” tweeted WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson. “I care for journalism. If you share my feeling you take a stand NOW. Either you are a worthless coward or you defend Assange, WikiLeaks and Journalism.”

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“Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred.”

Your indictment of Assange ensures the exact opposite.

Trump Orders FBI, CIA To “Fully Cooperate” With Barr (ZH)

President Trump on Thursday announced that he has directed the US intelligence community to “quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election,” adding that Attorney General William Barr has been given “complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation. In a third tweet, Trump added that “Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred.” The pending declassifications were announced on Tuesday night by The Hill’s John Solomon and Fox News’s Sean Hannity, whose inside sources told them of the wide swath of information about to hit.


Among the documents slated for release, according to their sources, will be the so-called “Bucket Five” – documents which were originally presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016, which included everything the FBI and DOJ used against Trump campaign aide Carter Page – including the FISA surveillance application and its underlying exculpatory intelligence documents which the FISA court may have never seen.

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And America dies another death.

Lone US Senator Decries Use Of Espionage Act Against Assange (RT)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has become a rare voice among the US politicians to denounce the new US indictment of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange as an encroachment on First Amendment rights. In a statement on Thursday, hours after Assange was hit with 17 additional charges under the Espionage Act, that carry a maximum total sentence of 170 years, Wyden warned that using the draconian legislation to effectively punish Assange for journalistic work might have dangerous implications to the freedom of press in the US. “This is not about Julian Assange. This is about the use of the Espionage Act to charge a recipient and publisher of classified information. I am extremely concerned about the precedent this may set and potential dangers to the work of journalists and the First Amendment,” Wyden said.

Wyden is known as a long-time advocate of privacy and civil liberties in the US legislature. He championed legislation forcing the US government to obtain a warrant before spying on Americans outside the US in 2008 and pushed for a congressional investigation into allegations of abuse and torture of prisoners by the CIA during the Bush administration. Wyden’s take on Assange’s work is in stark contrast with that of the Department of Justice, which maintains that Assange “is no journalist.” Numerous members of the journalistic community have vented their outrage at the indictment, describing it as an “unprecedented assault” on the First Amendment. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has echoed the sentiment, denouncing the charges against the Australian as a “threat to all journalists everywhere.”

While media, civil rights organizations and prominent whistleblowers like Edward Snowden have been sounding the alarm over the new worrying development in Assange’s case, politicians in Washington, with the rare exception, seem to be ignoring the buzz. US President Donald Trump, who used to praise WikiLeaks when it released damaging emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign before the election, has not commented on the issue, being seemingly preoccupied with his spiraling feud with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who, likewise, has not said a word on Assange. Her colleagues on the Capitol Hill seem to be following the trend so far.

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They use the law as a sword..

Chelsea Manning and Her Lawyer On Today’s Superseding Indictment (SpM)

Chelsea Manning and her attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen have issued the following statements in reply to today’s events: The continued detention of Chelsea Manning is purely punitive. Today’s events underscore what Chelsea has previously said, “[a]ll of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013.”

“I continue to accept full and sole responsibility for those disclosures in 2010,” said Chelsea Manning this evening. “It’s telling that the government appears to have already obtained this indictment before my contempt hearing last week. This administration describes the press as the opposition party and an enemy of the people. Today, they use the law as a sword, and have shown their willingness to bring the full power of the state against the very institution intended to shield us from such excesses.”

Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Manning’s attorney stated, “up until now the Department Of Justice has been reticent to actually indict publishers for work implicating matters of national security, because the first amendment rights of the press and public are so constitutionally valuable. This signals a real shift, and sets a new precedent for the federal government’s desire to chill and even punish the vigorous exercise of the free press.”

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Amnesty is toast. Victim of its own corporatism. Useless. Don’t donate to these losers.

Amnesty International: Julian Assange “Not A Prisoner Of Conscience” (Wsws)

[..] according to Amnesty International (AI), neither Assange nor Manning are “prisoners of conscience” and their defence is not being actively pursued by the human rights charity. In a letter to the Julian Assange Defence Committee (JADC) on May 17, Amnesty International UK declared, “Julian Assange’s case is a case we’re monitoring closely but not actively working on. Amnesty International does not consider Julian Assange to be a Prisoner of Conscience.” AI’s curtly worded letter followed an urgent appeal by Maxine Walker on behalf of the JADC. Her letter drew attention to multiple human rights violations against Assange. “We cannot state strongly enough that Julian Assange is in great peril”, she wrote.

Walker cited AI’s April 11 statement that “Assange should not be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, where there are concerns that he would face a real risk of serious human rights violations due to his work with Wikileaks.” Since then, Walker challenged, “no further statements appear to have been made by you… His name appears not to have been mentioned in your material for World Press Freedom Day, an extraordinary omission given his current situation and that Julian Assange was awarded the 2009 Amnesty International UK Media Award for New Media.” Her letter continued: “The UK government has ignored, indeed poured scorn, on the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention 2015 ruling that ‘the deprivation of liberty of Mr. Assange is arbitrary and in contravention of articles 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.”

[..] The most egregious violations of Assange’s rights relate to the following principles: Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person; Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile; Article 10: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him; Article 14: Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution; Article 15: No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality; Article 17: No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property; Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

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But wait. The disaster hasn’t even started.

Theresa May Announces June 7 Resignation (G.)

Theresa May has bowed to intense pressure from her own party and named 7 June as the day she will step aside as Conservative leader, drawing her turbulent three-year premiership to a close. She made the announcement after a meeting with Graham Brady, the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee – which was prepared to trigger a second no-confidence vote in her leadership if she refused to resign. May’s fate was sealed after a 10-point “new Brexit deal”, announced in a speech on Tuesday, infuriated Tory backbenchers and many of her own cabinet – while falling flat with the Labour MPs it was meant to persuade.


The leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, resigned on Wednesday, rather than present the Brexit bill to parliament. A string of other cabinet ministers had also expressed concerns, including Sajid Javid, Jeremy Hunt, Chris Grayling and David Mundell. In particular, they rejected May’s promise to give MPs a vote on a second referendum as the Brexit bill passed through parliament, and implement the result – which they felt came too close to endorsing the idea. The prime minister will remain in Downing Street, to shoulder the blame for what are expected to be dire results for her party at Thursday’s European elections – and to host Donald Trump when he visits.

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“..freedom, commerce, and science flourished [..] in the absence of political unity..”

A “European Empire” Won’t Make Europe Richer (Azihari)

A certain nostalgic view of the Roman Empire has helped to push the idea the European Union is essential to the prosperity and success of Europe. But a closer look at the continent invalidates the link between prosperity and affiliation to Brussels’ Europe. Among the richest European countries are the countries outside the Union. This is the case in Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Nor is there a link between the wealth of a country and its membership in large political groups at the global level. In addition to the regions already mentioned, many places combine smallness and wealth, as shown by Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and New Zealand. Unfortunately for the proponents of a political Europe, the historical rise of the European civilization also illustrates the opposite of the imperial narrative.

The American historian David Landes recalled in 1998 that the fall of the Roman Empire was a happy event for the Old Continent. These affirmations support the work of the sociologist Jean Baechler, who, three decades earlier, wrote that the expansion of European trade was favored by the anarchy inherited from the feudal order. Coupled with the relative cultural unity forged by the Catholic Church, the feudal anarchy inaugurated by the Middle Ages liberated the economy and the spirit of enterprise. This specificity of the West explains what the British historian Eric Jones called “the miracle” or “the exceptionalism” of Europe. Unlike oriental and Asian tyrants capable of killing the creativity of an empire, European monarchs, by the smallness of their territories, knew some limits to their predation.

It was therefore easier for the industrious Western classes to escape oppression by punishing bad governments through emigration. Consider the revocation of the Edict of Nantes under Louis XIV and the impoverishment of the Kingdom of France induced by the exodus of Protestants to more favorable havens like Switzerland, the Netherlands, or England. The absence of political unity allowed the continent to be ruled by many small, sovereign, and competing territorial divisions. From this competition was born a race for talent and capital, conducive to the diffusion of a certain political discipline. It was in these conditions that freedom, commerce, and science flourished.

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Turning the clock back millions of years. When humans didn’t exist.

Humans Causing Shrinking Of Nature As Larger Animals Die Off (G.)

Humanity’s ongoing destruction of wildlife will lead to a shrinking of nature, with the average body size of animals falling by a quarter, a study predicts. The researchers estimate that more than 1,000 larger species of mammals and birds will go extinct in the next century, from rhinos to eagles. They say this could lead to the collapse of ecosystems that humans rely on for food and clean water. Humans have wiped out most large creatures from all inhabited continents apart from Africa over the last 125,000 years. This annihilation will accelerate rapidly in the coming years, according to the research. The future extinctions can be avoided if radical action is taken to protect wildlife and restore habitats, and the scientists say the new work can help focus efforts on key species.

Animal populations have fallen by 60% since 1970, suggesting a sixth mass extinction of life on Earth is under way caused by the razing of wild areas, hunting and intensive farming. Scientists said this month that human society was in danger from the decline of the Earth’s natural life-support systems, with half of natural ecosystems now destroyed and a total of a million species at risk of extinction. “It is worrying that we are losing these big species when we don’t know their full role,” said Robert Cooke, at the University of Southampton, who led the new research. “Without them, things could begin to degrade quite quickly. Ecosystems could start to collapse and become not what we need to survive.”

Chris Carbone, of the ZSL Institute of Zoology in London, said: “This study predicts extinction rates that dwarf those recorded between recent ice ages and suggests that larger species are the most vulnerable. I wouldn’t be surprised if the situation for many larger animals is worse than the researchers suggest as their decline is exacerbated by selective poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.” The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, analysed five traits of 15,500 species of mammals and birds, including body mass, breadth of habitat, diet and the length of time between generations. They combined these with data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list of threatened species, which estimates the likelihood of extinction.

The results showed the survival of far more small, highly fertile and adaptable animals, such as rodents and songbirds, than larger creatures such as rhinos, tigers and eagles. “If all these extinctions [of larger animals] take place, we are fundamentally restructuring life on this planet,” said Cooke. Research in 2018 showed that the average size of wild animals has fallen by 14% in the last 125,000 years, as behemoths including mammoths and giant sloths were exterminated by humans. The new study predicts a further shrinking of 25% in just 100 years.

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Jan 252019
 
 January 25, 2019  Posted by at 10:59 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  7 Responses »


Giuseppe Arcimboldo Four elements – Fire 1566

 

Trump, Pence, Pompeo Star In The Pirates Of The Caribbean (Galloway)
US Pulls Out Venezuela Staff, Urges Americans to Leave (G.)
Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó Offers Nicolás Maduro Amnesty If He Goes Quietly (G.)
US Seeks To Divert Crucial Oil Revenue From Maduro (Ind.)
Don’t Criticize Trump — We Need Him, Dutch Prime Minister Says (CNBC)
UK Firms Ramp Up Stockpiling Due To Brexit Disruption Fears (Ind.)
UK MPs Drop Plan To Table Cross-Party ‘People’s Vote’ Amendment (G.)
The Financial Secret Behind Germany’s Green Energy Revolution (Ellen Brown)
Davos Elites Fear They’re On A Toboggan Ride To Hell (Pol.eu)
CO2 Levels Expected To Rise Rapidly In 2019 (Ind.)

 

 

Yes, Jimmy Carter once called Venezuela’s election process “the best in the world” when he was there as an observer. But in March 2018, the opposition called on the UN not to send any observers as that would only legitimize the process. So now the US picks an unelected puppet.

Trump, Pence, Pompeo Star In The Pirates Of The Caribbean (Galloway)

Even though Chavez was one of the most electorally successful politicians on the planet in a democratic process described by former US president Jimmy Carter as “the best in the world,” US presidents Bush, Obama and Trump routinely called him a dictator. Before they drop the bombs, they drop the narrative, of course. And the disinformation bombardment in Venezuela has been one of the longest bombing runs in history. Massive sums of US money have been spent on media distortion, subversion, sabotage, military coups, and threats of invasion throughout the Chavez-Maduro era. The gold-toothed Venezuelan emigres who fled to Miami with their ill-gotten gains have long been effectively a coup in the making.

The recruitment of neighboring Colombia into “associate membership” of NATO, the propeling of Brazil’s Bolsonaro (another NATO applicant) to power, and plans for US military bases there have all been in preparation for this day. Although many such crimes have been committed across all continents for centuries by the US, none have constituted such comic-opera gangsterism as this latest – more ‘Bugsy Malone’ than ‘The Godfather.’ An almost random figure whose name was largely unknown until this week has disdained to put himself up for election as president of the republic, instead pronouncing himself to actually be the president, and has even sworn himself in! All the “experts” on Syria, Ukraine and Russia are scrambling to studios, practicing in the taxi how to say his name.

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Most Americans would be working in the oil industry. Sure, let them leave. And then watch prices at the pump.

US Pulls Out Venezuela Staff, Urges Americans to Leave (G.)

The US state department has urged its citizens to “strongly consider” leaving Venezuela and ordered out non-emergency government staff as the head of the country’s armed forces warned of a civil war sparked by a US-backed “criminal plan” to unseat Nicolás Maduro. In a live address to the nation on Thursday, the defence minister, Vladimir Padrino, accused the Venezuelan opposition led by Juan Guaidó, the United States and regional allies such as Brazil of launching an attempted coup against Maduro that risked bringing “chaos and anarchy” to the country. “We are here to avoid, at all costs … a conflict between Venezuelans. It is not civil war, a war between brothers that will solve the problems of Venezuela. It is dialogue,” said Padrino.

In a significant blow to Venezuela’s newly energized opposition, the defence minister declared unwavering support for “our commander-in-chief, the citizen Nicolás Maduro”. “We members of the armed forces know well the consequences [of war], just from looking at the history of humanity, of the last century, when millions and millions of human beings lost their lives,” Padrino added, flanked by the top brass of Venezuela’s armed forces. Further bolstering Maduro’s position, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, spoke to the Venezuelan leader by telephone and issued his first comments on the crisis, which he insisted was “provoked from abroad”, according to a Kremlin statement.

On Thursday night, Guaidó used his first TV interview since the crisis to offer Maduro and his inner circle amnesty if they agreed to a peaceful transition. The 35-year-old said he was determined to bring Maduro’s “dictatorship” to an end, stabilise his economically devastated nation and organise free elections “as soon as possible”.

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He went into hiding before making his offer. C’mon, let’s get serious. A mini-coup failed miserably, the army stands pat, time for a fresh story to fill the papers.

Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó Offers Nicolás Maduro Amnesty If He Goes Quietly (G.)

Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro, and his inner circle could be granted an amnesty if he agrees to relinquish power and submit to a peaceful political transition, his opposition challenger Juan Guaidó has said. In a high-stakes political gamble, Guaidó on Wednesday declared himself Venezuela’s legitimate interim president and was quickly recognised as such by powers including the United States, Brazil, Canada and Colombia. On Thursday British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said his government believed Guaidó was “the right person to take Venezuela forward” but China, Russia and Turkey all backed Maduro, who claims he is the victim of a coup attempt masterminded by the US. The US state department has now urged US citizens to “strongly consider” leaving Venezuela and ordered out non-emergency government staff.

[Guaidó] indicated Maduro – who was sworn in for his second six-year term on 10 January despite a storm of international condemnation – could himself be offered an amnesty if he agreed to step aside. “This amnesty, these guarantees are on the table for everyone who is prepared to put themselves on the side of the constitution in order to recover the democratic order,” he said. “In periods of transition similar things have happened [before],” Guaidó told the broadcaster Univisión, pointing to previous pardons in Chile and Venezuela in the 1970s and 1950s. “We cannot discount any element,” he added, insisting that such a move would not represent either impunity or forgetting.

Maduro – who has vowed to resist what he calls a “gringo” plot to unseat him – has given little public hint he will accept such an offer although addressing the supreme court in Caracas on Thursday he insisted: “I’m ready for dialogue, for understanding, for negotation, for agreement.” However, in the same speech Maduro also attacked Guaidó, accusing him of being a pawn in a US-backed plot to destroy the leftist Bolivarian revolution he inherited after Hugo Chávez’s death in 2013. “Will we legitimise a puppet government imposed from abroad? We will allow our constitution to be violated … ? No!” said Maduro, blaming what he branded an attempted coup on Donald Trump’s “madness”.

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See what I said on CITGO yesterday.

US Seeks To Divert Crucial Oil Revenue From Maduro (Ind.)

Mr Trump’s national security adviser, the hawkish John Bolton, revealed the US was seeking to ensure Venezuelan oil revenue goes to Mr Guaido, and not Mr Maduro, who was sworn in for a second term just two weeks ago following an election most of the opposition boycotted. If the US were able to enact such a move it would add further pressure to the embattled Venezuelan leader, whose country’s already ailing economy heavily depends on its oil revenues. “What we’re focusing on today is disconnecting the illegitimate Maduro regime from the sources of his revenues,” Mr Bolton told reporters at the White House, according to Reuters. “We think [it is] consistent with our recognition of Juan Guaido as the constitutional interim president of Venezuela that those revenues should go to the legitimate government.”

Of potentially vital importance, earlier on Thursday, the nation’s military leadership declared its support for Mr Maduro and told the US not to interfere. In a televised speech on Thursday, defence minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said Mr Maduro was the country’s “legitimate president” and that the opposition was seeking to carry out a “coup”. “I warn the people that there is a coup underway against our democracy and our president Nicolas Maduro,” Mr Padrino said, according to Telesur. “As soldiers, we work for peace and not for war.” He added: “Those of us who lived through the coup of 2002 have it etched into our minds, we never thought we’d see that again, but we saw it yesterday.

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Rutte’s been in office for so long he gets to have an own view.

Don’t Criticize Trump — We Need Him, Dutch Prime Minister Says (CNBC)

President Donald Trump has found support from an unlikely source in Europe — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte — who told CNBC that the president could be a catalyst for much-needed reforms. “The U.S. has voted and Trump is the president and maybe he will be re-elected … So we have to work with him, and I think he is an opportunity,” Rutte told CNBC’s Geoff Cutmore at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “He is an opportunity to make changes to some of those multilateral institutions that we hold dearly, like the World Trade Organization (WTO) which is not functioning very well. Or take the United Nations or European Union — there are many issues to solve,” he added.

“So my point would be instead of thinking ‘oh we would have liked Hillary Clinton to win,’ or ‘I wish (former President Barack) Obama was still there,’ but guys Trump is president, make use of his presidency and his critique of those international institutions is sometimes very valid.” Trump has made himself unpopular in most European circles for his criticism of hallowed, well-established institutions such as the NATO and the WTO (Trump threatened to pull the U.S. out of both) and the European Union (which Trump said was formed in order to take advantage of the U.S. in terms of trade). He has also threatened to impose tariffs on European goods and cars; hardly the policies that would make most liberal politicians, like Mark Rutte, warm to Trump. “In this world, international structures are absolutely necessary, but sometimes it vexes me when I hear the white wine-sipping elite in Amsterdam saying ‘Trump is very wrong,'” Rutte said

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Sounds very late. 9 weeks left?!

UK Firms Ramp Up Stockpiling Due To Brexit Disruption Fears (Ind.)

UK companies have ramped up stockpiling ahead of Brexit as export opportunities for manufacturers weakens, according to new research from Lloyds Bank. The lender’s international trade index shows that export growth fell to its weakest level in almost three years in the fourth quarter of 2018. Exports of consumer goods held up well, Lloyds said, but the transport sector was hit by changing emissions regulations and new rules about diesel vehicles. Exports in the service sector fell in the last three months of 2018, bringing to an end three four years of growth.

Political uncertainty at home and abroad, along with weakening economic growth in key markets, were cited as the drivers for the export downturn. Meanwhile, the data showed that UK manufacturers had increased stockpiling efforts over recent months due to the threat of shortages and disruption posed by Brexit. The UK Manufacturing PMI Index for purchases of stocks jumped up to 53.7 for the month of December, from 51.1 in the previous month. Gwynne Master, managing director and global head of trade for Lloyds Bank Global Transaction Banking, said: “We should be mindful of the impact of fluctuating trading conditions and global and domestic political uncertainty on the UK’s exporters.

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The only thing that really made sense. Because it breaks party lines. Gone.

UK MPs Drop Plan To Table Cross-Party ‘People’s Vote’ Amendment (G.)

A cross-party amendment to push for a second EU referendum will not be tabled in the Commons as it would have little chance of being passed without formal support from Labour, the MPs organising it have announced. Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP who has led efforts on a so-called “people’s vote” amendment, said that without the backing of Jeremy Corbyn, “at the moment we would not have the numbers”. However, the Liberal Democrats have tabled a similar amendment and have called for Labour to back the idea. Speaking outside parliament alongside the Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna, Wollaston urged Corbyn to think again. “We would like to appeal again to him to give his unequivocal backing to a people’s vote, in which case we could make progress,” she said.

Labour has not ruled out supporting a second referendum and the party is keeping its options open. There is disquiet among some of its MPs and shadow ministers that backing such an option could anger leave-backing Labour voters. Wollaston argued that a second referendum was still the best option to end the Brexit deadlock. “People have a right to change their minds, and the mandate from the first referendum – over two years ago and based on entirely unrealistic promises and outright lies – has expired.” But without Labour backing, she said, “that amendment could not pass, and so with great regret we will not be laying that amendment”.

Berger said that with 30 scheduled Commons sittings left before the current Brexit date, there was “an urgent need for leadership”. “Regrettably, the Labour leadership won’t commit to an achievable policy,” she said. “And yet we know that the majority of Labour voters, supporters and members want a final say on any Brexit deal. At a time when Labour should be championing a people’s vote, the leadership avoids answering that call.”

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That revolution is overhyped, but the US and German public bank story is good.

The Financial Secret Behind Germany’s Green Energy Revolution (Ellen Brown)

KfW’s role in implementing government policy parallels that of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in funding the New Deal in the 1930s. At that time, U.S. banks were bankrupt and incapable of financing the country’s recovery. President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to set up a system of 12 public “industrial banks” through the Federal Reserve, but the measure failed. Roosevelt then made an end run around his opponents by using the RFC that had been set up earlier by President Herbert Hoover, expanding it to address the nation’s financing needs.

The RFC Act of 1932 provided the RFC with capital stock of $500 million and the authority to extend credit up to $1.5 billion (subsequently increased several times). With those resources, from 1932 to 1957 the RFC loaned or invested more than $40 billion. As with KfW’s loans, its funding source was the sale of bonds, mostly to the Treasury itself. Proceeds from the loans repaid the bonds, leaving the RFC with a net profit. The RFC financed roads, bridges, dams, post offices, universities, electrical power, mortgages, farms and much more; it funded all of this while generating income for the government.

The RFC was so successful that it became America’s largest corporation and the world’s largest banking organization. Its success, however, may have been its nemesis. Without the emergencies of depression and war, it was a too-powerful competitor of the private banking establishment; and in 1957, it was disbanded under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. That’s how the United States was left without a development bank at the same time Germany and other countries were hitting the ground running with theirs.

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Just ignore these people. They have nothing. They’re the past.

Davos Elites Fear They’re On A Toboggan Ride To Hell (Pol.eu)

Populists movements around the world, left and right, disagree in detail but are united around one big idea: The political and economic elites running modern societies are very powerful people who know what they are doing. What they are doing is often bad — greedy, exploitative, short-sighted — but they are doing it with purpose and confident control. A different possibility, however, hung in the alpine air this week at the annual convening of elites here at the World Economic Forum: These alleged masters of the universe came off nearly as perplexed and anxious about the future as the populist forces inveighing against them.

They have money. They have entourages. They have commanding views, both literal (from mountain chalets here) and metaphorical (from government offices and CEO suites back home). That doesn’t mean they have a clue. Foreboding about the future was a prevailing theme at this year’s Davos, sometimes even with dash of dystopian prophecy. This brooding was accompanied often, in speeches and interviews, by a rueful acknowledgment that government leaders are desperately improvising — often with bleak results — to meet the political crises of the moment, much less the long-term technological and climatological challenges of the age. In key Western capitals, governance is failing. China is exploiting. Global temperatures are rising.

Tech titans are groveling. Prospects for economic downturn are rumbling. Little wonder that, instead of triumphant optimism about the forces of globalization sometimes associated with Davos, some voices here made it sound like modern life is on a toboggan ride to hell. “Everybody agrees that there are dark clouds on the horizon, and there are risks,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in an address here Thursday.

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Due to the 1,500 private jets in Davos.

CO2 Levels Expected To Rise Rapidly In 2019 (Ind.)

This year will see one of the biggest CO2 surges in more than six decades of measurements, according to the Met Office. Rising emissions due to the world’s continued appetite for fossil fuels will combine with reduced absorption of greenhouse gas by withering grasslands and forests. Describing the prediction as “worrying and compelling”, scientists said it was an urgent reminder that the time to cut out carbon is now. CO2 levels will be at a record high once again after emissions reached unprecedented levels last year, dashing hopes the world had finally hit “peak carbon”. Besides fossil fuels pumping out the harmful gas, natural weather fluctuations will exacerbate the problem as they hamper the ability of carbon sinks to store it. In 2019 an upward swing in tropical Pacific Ocean temperature will make many regions warmer and drier.

As drought sets in and plants dry out, they will be less capable of sucking CO2 from the atmosphere, and massive deforestation in places like the Amazon is making this problem even worse. The new predictions were based on monitoring at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, which has registered a 30 per cent increase in the concentration of CO2 since 1958. “Carbon sinks have saved us from what has already happened – the future rise would have been about double if it wasn’t for the sinks. So we are lucky they exist, to be honest,” Professor Richard Betts of the Met Office Hadley Centre told The Independent. “But the sinks themselves are affected by the climate, and that’s an important thing because it shows that as climate change continues in the future it may affect their strength.”


Forecast CO2 concentrations at the Mauna Loa station for 2019 (orange), along with previous forecast concentrations and the real observed data (Met Office)

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Sep 092018
 


Vincent van Gogh A Restaurant at Asnieres 1887

 

The ‘Most Striking Development’ In 40 Years Of The US Economy (BI)
This Insider Betrayal Is A Sorry Precedent (Observer ed.)
Argentina, Turkey, Mexico … Fear Of Contagion Haunts Emerging Markets (G.)
No-Deal Brexit Could Lead To “Military On The Streets” (Ind.)
Brexit Talks At Risk Of Collapse (Ind.)
Bombshell Poll Reveals Heavy Union Backing For Second Brexit Vote (G.)
YouGov Poll Shows Support For A People’s Brexit Vote Is Solid (G.)
Fresh From End Of Bailout, Greek PM Announces Tax Breaks (R.)
Protect Assange From US Extradition, Amnesty International Tells UK (RT)
The Latest Incarnation of Capitalism (Jacobin)
What’s The Biggest Influence On The Way We Think? (G.)

 

 

This is going spectacularly wrong. Somone better stop it.

The ‘Most Striking Development’ In 40 Years Of The US Economy (BI)

French economist Thomas Piketty is one of the world’s leading researchers of global income and wealth inequality, and became well-known in the United States when the English translation of his book “Capital in the 21st Century” became a surprise bestseller. For the past year, Piketty has been speaking about the 2018 World Inequality Report, published by the Paris School of Economics’ World Inequality Lab last December. Piketty coauthored the report alongside Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman. In his talks in the US, Piketty has paid special attention to the following chart, which shows what he and his coauthors called “perhaps the most striking development in the United States economy over the last four decades.”

The authors write that “the incomes of the top 1% collectively made up 11% of national income in 1980, but now constitute above 20% of national income, while the 20% of US national income that was attributable to the bottom 50% in 1980 has fallen to just 12% today.” Further, “while average pre-tax income for the bottom 50% has stagnated at around $16,000 since 1980, the top 1% has experienced 300% growth in their incomes to approximately $1,340,000 in 2014. This has increased the average earnings differential between the top 1% and the bottom 50% from 27 times in 1980 to 81 times today.”

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The Guardian/Observer, leading anti-Trump voice, has a piece ‘Unfit for President, but…” Look, just like the NYT, you no longer are a voice, because you’ve spent two years 24/7 denouncing the man with rumors and half-truths -like you did with Corbyn being anti-semite. You can’t now turn around and be a voice for democracy. You’re done.

This Insider Betrayal Is A Sorry Precedent (Observer ed.)

[..] the president’s discomfort, and his detractors’ glee, should not obscure more serious issues raised by this affair and by similarly critical revelations contained in a new exposé by the celebrated Watergate reporter Bob Woodward. Whatever one’s opinion of Trump, it is a matter of concern that unelected, unnamed officials are apparently willing and able to act in ways contrary to an elected president’s stated wishes and calculated to thwart his policies. Trump’s worst instincts must undoubtedly be resisted, as Barack Obama, rejoining the fight last week, has declared. The best way to achieve that, as ever in a democracy, is through public scrutiny and open debate. Every leader needs candid advisers.

But who are these self-described “adults in the room” to clandestinely decide what is in the best interests of the country? Their motives may be sound, but their illicit actions, boasted of publicly, set a worrisome precedent. They have also gifted Trump a golden opportunity to peddle his favourite narrative of an establishment conspiring against him, aided and abetted by media organisations – which he terms “enemies of the people”. Speaking in Montana on Thursday, he seized his chance. “Unelected, deep state operatives who defy the voters to push their own secret agendas are truly a threat to democracy itself,” he declared.

The anonymous writer tried to provide reassurance that things in the White House are not as bad as they seem. Woodward’s new book, Fear, suggests the exact opposite: they are worse. It describes a “Crazytown” of tantrums, endless crises, serial lying, unhinged behaviour, and an administration in a recurring state of nervous breakdown.

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It’s not so much dominoes falling one by one, it’s the USD that crashes down everything.

Argentina, Turkey, Mexico … Fear Of Contagion Haunts Emerging Markets (G.)

In the past six months, some of the world’s fastest-growing economies have found themselves flat on the floor, gasping for breath and, in one case, seeking help from the global financial rescue centre otherwise known as the IMF. Argentina’s $50bn bailout by the Washington-based lender of last resort is the most extreme event so far, but it sits alongside the dramatic collapse of the Turkish lira, a recession in South Africa and dire economic predictions for the Philippines, Indonesia and Mexico. Making matters worse, the US is poised to slap tariffs as high as 25% on as much as $200bn worth of Chinese goods. If the US goes ahead, Beijing has already threatened to retaliate, which would only incense President Donald Trump further.

This tit-for-tat might only end when tariffs are applied to the entire $500bn of Chinese goods imported by America each year. In response, the stock markets of many developing nations have slumped in value, leaving investors to ask themselves whether they are witnessing an emerging-markets meltdown akin to the Asian crisis of 1997: a panic that wrecked the finances of several hedge funds and proved to be an hors d’oeuvre before the dotcom crash of 1999 and the global financial crisis of 2008. Investors have run for safety to such an extent that the MSCI Emerging Markets index, which measures the value of shares in emerging economies, has tumbled by more than 20% since the beginning of the year.

That slump appeared to be over in July, when Turkey and Argentina were seen as being isolated, and more importantly ringfenced, economic trouble spots. But figures last week showing that the US economy is steaming along like a runaway train – underlining the likelihood of more US interest rate rises – have sent the currencies and stock markets of most emerging-market economies tumbling again. Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at currency dealer FXTM, says that a sense of doom is lingering in the financial markets as fears of contagion from the “brutal emerging-market sell-off” rattle investor confidence. “More pain seems to be ahead for emerging markets as the combination of global trade tensions, prospects of higher US interest rates and overall market uncertainty haunt investor attraction,” he says.

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Now we’re talking.

No-Deal Brexit Could Lead To “Military On The Streets” (Ind.)

A no-deal Brexit could lead to the “real possibility” of police calling upon the military to help with civil disorder, a leaked document claims. Contingency plans are being drawn up by police chiefs if there is chaos on the streets due to shortages of goods, food and medicine, The document prepared by the National Police Co-ordination Centre (NPoCC) warns of traffic queues at ports with “unprecedented and overwhelming” disruption to the road network. Concerns around medical supplies could “feed civil disorder”, while a rise in the price of goods could also lead to “widespread protest”, the document obtained by the Sunday Times said.

The potential for a restricted supply of goods raised concerns of “widespread protest which could then escalate into disorder”. It could also trigger a rise in non-Brexit-related acquisitive crime such as theft. The document, set to be considered by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) later this month, also sets out concerns of increased data costs, loss of warrant cards and queues at ports and docks around the country. Shadow police minister Louise Haigh lashed out at the Government’s handling of the situation. “This is the nightmare scenario long feared; according to the UK’s most senior police officers a no-deal Brexit could leave Britain on the brink,” she said.

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May keeps pushing the same button after it’s failed 1000 times. The EU won’t give.

Brexit Talks At Risk Of Collapse (Ind.)

Brexit talks are at risk of collapse as a planned EU compromise on the critical question of the Irish border has been branded “unacceptable” by British cabinet ministers. The Independent has learnt that EU officials believe they have struck upon “the only way” to bring the two sides together on the Irish border in a bid to secure a withdrawal agreement later this year. But their proposal has already been outright rejected by at least two cabinet ministers, with one going further and branding the EU’s suggestion “bollocks”. The impasse over the Irish border threatens to bring the talks crashing down with Theresa May’s beleaguered Chequers proposal already lacking support both in Europe and among her own MPs in Westminster.

The Independent now understands that the EU will try to break the deadlock in negotiations by offering the UK a vague political declaration on the future UK-EU relationship in return for a deal on the Irish border. A well-placed Brussels source said: “This may well prove the only way to respect the EU’s red lines and allow Theresa May to win approval for a deal in the UK parliament. “The political declaration holds the key to reaching a deal.” Since the start of Brexit talks Brussels has insisted the UK sign up to a legally binding “backstop”, which would come into play if no arrangement to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland is found before Brexit day. It would see Northern Ireland effectively remain in the EU’s customs union and single market, creating a customs border down the Irish sea – something both Ms May and her DUP partners say is unacceptable.

[..] The strength of opposition indicates Ms May could face a further round of cabinet resignations if she were to consider agreeing to such a proposal, with Boris Johnson and David Davis having already quit earlier this year. A government spokesman said: “We don’t comment on speculation. The proposals we have put forward for our future relationship would allow both sides to meet our commitments to the people of Northern Ireland in full and we are working hard to get a deal on that basis. “But we are clear the EU backstop proposals are unacceptable.”

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The Tories are thinking: we got rid of unions, didn’t we?

Bombshell Poll Reveals Heavy Union Backing For Second Brexit Vote (G.)

Members of Britain’s three biggest trade unions now support a new referendum on Brexit by a margin of more than two to one, according to a bombshell poll that will cause political shockwaves on the eve of the party conference season. The survey of more than 2,700 members of Unite, Unison and the GMB by YouGov, for the People’s Vote campaign, also finds that a clear majority of members of the three unions now back staying in the EU, believing Brexit will be bad for jobs and living standards. The poll comes as union delegates gather in Manchester for the annual TUC conference, where Brexit will be debated on Monday, and two weeks before the Labour party conference in Liverpool, where delegates are expected to debate and vote on Brexit policy. They will also consider calls to keep open the option of a fresh referendum on any deal Theresa May may strike on the UK’s exit from the EU.

In an interview with the Observer before the poll findings were released, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said his preferred option was still for voters to be offered a say on the government’s handling of Brexit – and any deal brought back from Brussels by May – in a general election. But he said that if Labour was unable to force one in the coming months, he wanted to “keep all options open”, including supporting a new referendum. McDonnell said he was sure there would be a full debate, and votes, on Brexit at the Labour conference. And he went out of his way to praise the People’s Vote campaign, which he said had been very “constructive” and had made clear that its attempts to influence Labour policy should not be seen “as an attack on Jeremy Corbyn or positioning around the leadership. It should be a constructive debate and that is right.”

The poll found that members of Unite, the country’s biggest union, and Labour’s largest financial backer, now support a referendum on the final Brexit deal by 59% to 33% and support staying in the EU by 61% to 35%. GMB’s members support putting the issue back to the people by 56% to 33% and its members want the UK to stay in the EU by 55% to 37%. Unison members back another referendum by 66% to 22% and would opt to stay in the EU by 61% to 35%.

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That second vote will come, or else…

YouGov Poll Shows Support For A People’s Brexit Vote Is Solid (G.)

Thirty years ago this week, Jacques Delors came to Bournemouth to urge Britain’s trade unions to change their stance on Europe. The president of the European commission told TUC delegates that the EU was good for workers’ jobs, workers’ rights and workers’ living standards. It was a decisive moment in the union movement’s relationship with Brussels. This week could be equally decisive for the TUC – perhaps even more so – given the precarious balance of forces at Westminster. And the clear message from YouGov’s poll of more than 2,700 members of the TUC’s three biggest unions is that most trade union members think Brexit is bad for jobs; they want a fresh public vote and the chance to keep the UK in the EU.

Can we be sure that YouGov’s figures are right? Do the people it polled accurately reflect the views of all the members of the three big unions? I recall the same questions being asked when YouGov first showed Jeremy Corbyn well ahead in the race for the Labour leadership three years ago. Nonsense, said the critics. YouGov’s respondents, they claimed, were hopelessly biased towards leftwing activists. When it came to it, Corbyn won by almost precisely the majority reported in the final poll. And the methods YouGov used in the latest union survey are essentially the same as it used in Labour’s leadership election three years ago.

It’s not that trade union members are indulging in gesture politics or ideological breast-beating. They are worried about the impact of Brexit on jobs, taxes, living standards and the NHS. They fear a Brexit Britain would find it harder to sell products and services abroad. Their attitudes to immigration are especially significant. In the 2016 referendum, one of the arguments for Brexit was that immigrant workers were undercutting the pay of low-paid British workers. Brexit, so the argument ran, would allow Britain to stop this. As a result, there would be more, and better-paid, jobs for British workers.

Many Unite, Unison and GMB members earn below-average wages. They might be expected to support that part of the Brexit agenda. They don’t. Overwhelming majorities, ranging from 74% to 85%, want EU citizens either to have complete freedom of movement to come to the UK, or the freedom to settle here if they have a job or university place lined up.

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Tsipras is trying to create the impression that he decides and is bold. He has no say at all.

Fresh From End Of Bailout, Greek PM Announces Tax Breaks (R.)

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday unveiled plans for tax cuts and pledged spending to heal years of painful austerity, less than a month after Greece emerged from a bailout program financed by its EU partners and the IMF. Tsipras, who faces elections in about a year’s time, used a keynote policy speech in the northern city of Thessaloniki to announce a spending spree that he said would help fix the ills of years of belt-tightening, and help boost growth. But he said Athens was also committed to sticking to the fiscal targets and reforms promised to its lenders. Greece has agreed to maintain an annual primary budget surplus – which excludes debt servicing costs – of 3.5 percent of GDP up to 2022.

So far, it has outperformed on fiscal goals and the economy has returned to growth. “We will not allow Greece to revert to the era of deficits and fiscal derailment,” he told an audience of officials, diplomats and businessmen. He said would beat its primary surplus target again this year and, following a debt relief deal in June, he could “safely plan its post-bailout future”. Government officials have put this year’s fiscal room at 800 million euros. Tsipras promised a phased reduction of corporate tax to 25 percent from 29 percent from next year, as well as an average 30 percent reduction in a deeply unpopular annual property tax on homeowners, rising to 50 percent for low earners.

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Amnesty’s Aussie branch. Timing?!

Protect Assange From US Extradition, Amnesty International Tells UK (RT)

Amnesty International has backed calls to not extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, arguing that this would put his human rights at serious risk of abuse. The statement, issued Friday by the group’s Australian branch, backed Assange’s lawyers and supporters’ claim that if he is sent to the US, “he would face a real risk of serious human rights violations due to his work with WikiLeaks.” Amnesty said that Assange could face several human rights violations in the event that he is extradited to the US, including: violation of his right to freedom of expression; right to liberty; right to life if the death penalty were sought; and being held in conditions that would violate his right to humane treatment.

While Amnesty said it took “no position” on Ecuador’s decision to grant, and then withdraw, Assange’s diplomatic asylum, it did call on the UK government to recognize the “need for international protection vis-a-vis the USA” in relation to the whistleblower’s case. Amnesty has joined several other humanitarian organizations by backing Assange and denouncing any extradition attempt. These include the UN Human Rights office, Human Rights Watch, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

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How cheap money saved and doomed the world at the same time.

The Latest Incarnation of Capitalism (Jacobin)

Financialization — “the increasing importance of financial markets, financial motives, financial institutions, and financial elites in the operation of the economy” — is a process that began in the 1980s with the removal of barriers to capital mobility. Global capital flows rose from about 5 percent of world GDP in the mid-1990s to about 20 percent in 2007. This is about three times faster than world trade flows. Increases in capital mobility helped facilitate the emergence of large imbalances between creditor countries with large current account surpluses and debtors with large current account deficits. According to textbook economic theory, these imbalances should be self-correcting.

When a country runs a deficit, currency is flowing out of the country. If this currency does not return in the form of capital inflows, the resulting increase in supply will exert downward pressure on the currency. A less valuable currency makes your exports cheaper to international consumers and should therefore increase demand for those exports. Played out over the scale of the global economy, this should lead to equilibrium. In the lead-up to the crisis, the fact that this equilibrium was not forthcoming puzzled some economists. Deficit countries should have been experiencing large currency depreciations, given the size of their current account deficits. These depreciations should, in turn, then have increased the competitiveness of their goods.

Ben Bernanke, then chairman of the Fed, accused a number of emerging economies of “hoarding” savings to protect themselves from future crises, preventing the global economy from reaching equilibrium. In fact, deficit countries were able to maintain strong currencies because, even though there was relatively little demand for their goods, there was strong demand for their assets — particularly financial assets. The main reason for the high demand for UK and US assets was the financial deregulation undertaken by neoliberal governments in these states in the 1980s, which facilitated a dramatic expansion in the provision of private credit to individuals, businesses, and financial institutions.

In the UK, consumer debt — primarily composed of mortgage lending — reached 148 percent of household disposable incomes in 2008, the highest it has ever been. While UK banks’ lending to the non-financial economy rose 50 percent between 2005-8, their lending to other financial institutions rose by 260 percent. Capital from the rest of the world flowed into banks in the UK and the US, which were generating significant returns from this lending.

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Google shapes are thought and we have no idea.

What’s The Biggest Influence On The Way We Think? (G.)

Google search is in a different league from earlier tools, and so the consequences of being dependent on it are more serious and far-reaching – for two inter-related reasons. The first is that it can influence what you think you know and shape the way you think because it knows more about you than you realise. And secondly, it’s not a passive tool that you own and control, but the property of a huge corporation that has acquired strange – and in some ways unprecedented – powers. Ten years ago, Nicholas Carr published a striking article – “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” – in the Atlantic. The title was misleading because the thrust of the piece was actually about how the internet might be messing with our brains, and in that sense Carr was using Google as a proxy for the technology in general.

Which is a pity because there are plenty of important questions to be asked about Google’s impact on the way we think. Its search results, for example, are heavily influenced by how many websites it finds that are supposedly relevant to a query. Sometimes, that’s fine. But sometimes it’s toxic – yet many people think it provides the “truth”. And because people’s search queries can sometimes be very revealing, the company knows more about people’s innermost secrets, fears and fantasies than even their friends or partners. We ask Google questions that we would not breathe to any living soul.

So Google, as philosopher Benjamin Curtis points out, is anything but a passive cognitive tool. Its current offerings, boosted by machine learning algorithms, are increasingly suggestive. Its Maps not only provide navigational help but give us “personalised location suggestions that it thinks will interest us”. Gmail makes helpful suggestions about what to type in a reply and Google News highlights stories that it believes we will find interesting. “All of this,” says Curtis, “removes the very need to think and make decisions for ourselves.” It “fills gaps in our cognitive processes, and so fills gaps in our minds”.

In two short decades, therefore, Google has gone from being a geeky delight to something that influences the way we think. All of which brings to mind something that John Culkin, a buddy of Marshall McLuhan, said many years ago: “We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” Amen to that. And you can Google him to check the quote.

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