Apr 062024
 


Juan de la Corte (1597–1660) Lot And His Daughters Escaping From The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah

 

The “Order” Based On Made-up Rules Is Descending Into Savagery (Pepe Escobar)
Putin’s Road to Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)
US and Germany Against Inviting Ukraine Into NATO – NYT (RT)
NATO Faces ‘Catastrophic Defeat’ In Ukraine – ex-Pentagon Adviser (RT)
Ukraine Plan Of Crocus Attack: Ethnic Pogroms, Civil War In Russia (Helmer)
MSM Reluctantly Admits Elon Musk’s Ukraine Takes Are Proving Correct (ZH)
Vectoring Dangerously (Kunstler)
Ukrainian Officials’ Wealth Surged During Conflict (RT)
Biden Was ‘Higher Than A Kite’ During SOTU Speech – Trump
US Intel Services Use Journalists As Their Agents – Zakharova (TASS)
Jan. 6 Defendant Video Raises Questions About Undercover Agents (ET)
Bidenomics and Its Discontents (Galbraith)
RFK Jr. Is Right About Joe Biden (ZH)
Judges Reject Trump’s Attempts To Quash Cases (RT)
Supreme Court Faces ‘High Stakes’ Decisions on Trump-Related Cases (ET)
How The West Lost Control Of The Gold Market (Henry Johnston)

 

 

The awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats tho’ unseen amongst us, -visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower.-
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,
It visits with inconstant glance
Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,-
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,-
Like memory of music fled,-
Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.

Shelley, Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

 

 

Drones

 

 

Biden

 

 

Save the world

 

 

 

 

Letitia
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775962785886974153

 

 

Democrat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775901228419174414

 

 

 

 

WWIII is creeping up on us. It’s everywhere today.

“..that thick slab of Norwegian wood posing as Secretary-General came up with a merry “initiative” to create a 100 billion euro fund..”

The “Order” Based On Made-up Rules Is Descending Into Savagery (Pepe Escobar)

As the de facto North Atlantic Terror Organization celebrates its 75th birthday, taking Lord Ismay’s motto to ever soaring heights (“keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”), that thick slab of Norwegian wood posing as Secretary-General came up with a merry “initiative” to create a 100 billion euro fund to weaponize Ukraine for the next five years. Translation, regarding the crucial money front in the NATO-Russia clash: partial exit of the Hegemon – already obsessing with The Next Forever War, against China; enter the motley crew of ragged, de-industrialized European chihuahuas, all in deep debt and most mired in recession. A few IQs over average room temperature at NATO’s HQ in Haren, in Brussels, had the temerity to wonder how to come up with such a fortune, as NATO has zero leverage to raise money among member states.

After all, the Europeans will never be able to replicate the time-tested Hegemon money laundering machine. For instance, assuming the White House-proposed $60 billion package to Ukraine would be approved by the U.S. Congress – and it won’t – no less than 64% of the total will never reach Kiev: it will be laundered within the industrial-military complex. Yet it gets even more dystopic: Norwegian Wood, robotic stare, arms flailing, actually believes his proposed move will not imply a direct NATO military presence in Ukraine – or country 404; something that is already a fact on the ground for quite a while, irrespective of the warmongering hissy fits by Le Petit Roi in Paris (Peskov: “Russia-NATO relations have descended into direct confrontation”). Now couple the Lethal Looney Tunes spectacle along the NATOstan front with the Hegemon’s aircraft carrier performance in West Asia, consistently taking its industrial-scale slaughter/starvation Genocide Project in Gaza to indescribable heights – the meticulously documented holocaust watched in contorted silence by the “leaders” of the Global North.

UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese correctly summed it all up: the biblical psychopathology entity “intentionally killed the WCK workers so that donors would pull out and civilians in Gaza could continue to be starved quietly. Israel knows Western countries and most Arab countries won’t move a finger for the Palestinians.” The “logic” behind the deliberate three tap strike on the clearly signed humanitarian convoy of famine-alleviating workers in Gaza was to eviscerate from the news an even more horrendous episode: the genocide-within-a-genocide of al-Shifa hospital, responsible for at least 30% of all health services in Gaza. Al-Shifa was bombed, incinerated and had over 400 civilians killed in cold blood, in several cases literally smashed by bulldozers, including medical doctors, patients and dozens of children.

Nearly simultaneously, the biblical psychopathology gang completely eviscerated the Vienna convention – something that even the historical Nazis never did – striking Iran’s consular mission/ambassador’s residence in Damascus. This was a missile attack on a diplomatic mission, enjoying immunity, on the territory of a third country, against which the gang is not at war. And on top of it, killing General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, his deputy Mohammad Hadi Hajizadeh, another five officers, and a total of 10 people. Translation: an act of terror, against two sovereign states, Syria and Iran. Equivalent to the recent terror attack on Crocus City Hall in Moscow. The inevitable question rings around all corners of the lands of the Global Majority: how can these de facto terrorists possibly get away with all this, over and over again?

Read more …

PCR keeps thinking he knows better then Putin.

Putin’s Road to Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)

The United States government, speaking through the mouth of Secretary of State Blinken, defied all of Russia’s warnings this week with this declaration: “Ukraine will become a member of NATO. Our purpose at the summit is to help build a bridge to that membership.” By Putin’s refusal to use the necessary force to deal with the dangerous situation and by continuing to insist that the conflict is nothing but a limited operation to clear Ukrainian forces out of the Russian provinces, not an invasion of Ukraine, Russia will soon find herself at war with NATO. I have warned consistently without effect, only to be denounced by idiots as “bloodthirsty,” that Putin’s unrealism about the conflict, like his previous unrealism about the Minsk Agreement and his unrealism about the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in the so-called Maidan Revolution, is a direct path to World War III.

The minute Ukraine becomes a member of NATO, Putin will find himself at war with NATO. Russia has only a short time to knock out Ukraine, destroy the government, occupy the country and build a wall around it. The ascension of Ukraine to Nato “is literally how the nuclear apocalypse movie starts,” says Elon Musk, one of the few remaining intelligent Americans. Putin’s “limited military operation” has achieved nothing but two new NATO members–Finland and Sweden–attacks on Russian civilians inside Russia, mounting deaths from Western weapon system after weapon system supplied to Ukraine along with NATO military personnel to operate them and Western intelligence to target them. All the while Putin has been unable to comprehend that Russia is at war. Putin’s lack of response to mounting provocations has convinced Washington that Putin’s warnings are meaningless. Putin’s failure to enforce his red lines has caused Washington to loose belief that Putin has any red lines.

Just as Putin was forced into his “limited military operation” by the insulting cold shoulder Washington gave his plea for a mutual security pact, Russia will be forced into wider war with NATO by Washington’s defiance of Putin’s warning that Russia will not allow NATO membership for Ukraine. Putin has a few months to end Ukraine’s existence, a country that never existed until Washington created it, before Putin’s inability to act brings on World War III. Despite the dire situation, Putin remains unable to come to terms with reality. The Russian government continues to demonstrate to Washington weakness and irresolution by repeating its willingness to negotiate. Here we see Putin’s failure as a war leader. It should be Washington and NATO pleading with Putin to negotiate.

We are traveling along the road to Armageddon exactly as I predicted. One ignored provocation leads to another and worst provocation, and then to another and another, and now we have reached the red line that Putin cannot ignore. At this point the only way Putin can avoid World War III is to surrender or to terminate the existence of Ukraine before Washington elevates Ukraine to NATO membership. There is no other choice.

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“..would draw it into the biggest land war in Europe since 1945..”

US and Germany Against Inviting Ukraine Into NATO – NYT (RT)

The US and Germany are reluctant to accept Ukraine into NATO despite fears of Kiev’s military collapse under Russian pressure, the New York Times reported on Thursday. Officials in the US-led bloc are worried that such a drastic move “would draw it into the biggest land war in Europe since 1945,” the paper said, adding that NATO is looking for a “middle ground” instead. These concerns are said to be shared by Berlin and Washington, which are opposed to opening membership talks with Ukraine at NATO’s summit in Washington in July. At the same time, they champion long-term security assistance commitments to Ukraine. On Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged the bloc’s members to focus on providing Ukraine with “reliable and predictable security assistance” rather than voluntary donations.

The NATO chief has reportedly proposed a five-year €100 billion ($107 billion) package of military aid to Kiev, which would also see the bloc take on more responsibility – rather than the US – in terms of coordinating assistance. Several Western diplomats told the NYT, however, that this plan appears “elusive” at the moment. A former US ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder, said that Washington appears to be tacitly opposed to the initiative, which would diminish its role in coordinating the assistance. Hungary, another NATO member, has publicly spoken out against any moves that could make the bloc more involved in the conflict. It is also unclear how NATO could compel members to contribute to the €100 billion package over such a long period of time, the report says.

However, “none of these things may matter” by summer if Russia continues to push back Kiev’s troops, as Ukraine is “in danger of losing the war,” the NYT said. In recent weeks, Russia has liberated the key Donbass city of Avdeevka, while capturing several nearby settlements. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky warned last month that this would not be the last retreat unless the US renews its military assistance. An aid package has for months been stalled in the US Congress due to Republican opposition, as GOP members demand more efforts to enhance border security. Russia has condemned the Western arms shipments to Kiev, warning they will only prolong the conflict. Officials in Moscow have also accused the West of using Ukraine as a tool in order to inflict “a strategic defeat” on Russia.

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“..the Machiavelli of Maryland..”

NATO Faces ‘Catastrophic Defeat’ In Ukraine – ex-Pentagon Adviser (RT)

NATO nations can only forestall an inevitable loss to Russian forces in Ukraine by deploying their troops to the former Soviet republic, a former adviser to the US military has claimed. “The arithmetic of this is inescapable: NATO countries will soon have to send soldiers to Ukraine, or else accept catastrophic defeat,” military strategist Edward Luttwak wrote in an oped published on Thursday by the British online media outlet UnHerd. “The British and French, along with the Nordic countries, are already quietly preparing to send troops – both small elite units and logistics and support personnel – who can remain far from the front.” The conflict can’t be won without direct troop deployments because regardless of the quantity and quality of weapons sent to Kiev, Ukrainian forces are too outnumbered by the Russians, Luttwak argued. “This means that unless [Russian President Vladimir] Putin decides to end the war, Ukraine’s troops will be pushed back again and again, losing soldiers in the process who cannot be replaced.”

Luttwak’s comments follow weeks of battlefield advances by Russian forces in the Donbass region. Western leaders have insisted that they can ensure a Ukrainian victory by providing aid to Kiev, but French President Emmanuel Macron suggested in February that direct troop deployments by NATO members could not be ruled out. European NATO members face a “momentous decision” because with US forces facing a growing threat of a potential Chinese attack on Taiwan, it will be up to them to provide the manpower that Ukraine needs, Luttwak said. “If Europe cannot provide enough troops, Russia will prevail on the battlefield, and even if diplomacy successfully intervenes to avoid a complete debacle, Russian military power will have victoriously returned to central Europe,” he added. NATO-Russia relations have deteriorated so much amid the Ukraine crisis that the Western alliance is already in “direct confrontation” with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. Putin has warned that NATO would risk triggering a nuclear conflict if its members send troops to Ukraine.

Luttwak suggested that by providing support troops for such tasks as troop training and repairing damaged equipment, NATO nations could free up more Ukrainians to serve on the front lines. “These NATO soldiers might never see combat, but they don’t have to in order to help Ukraine make the most of its own scarce manpower,” he said. The Romanian-born Luttwak, who was raised and educated largely in the UK, has advised the Pentagon, the US State Department, and the White House National Security Council, among other entities in Washington. A December 2015 profile of Luttwak by The Guardian billed him as “the Machiavelli of Maryland.” Now 81, he has reportedly advised clients ranging from the Dalai Lama to the prime minister of Kazakhstan. Despite being a proponent of Western involvement in the conflict, Luttwak was put on a Ukrainian blacklist in 2022 for opining that Kiev cannot realistically hope to defeat Russia outright and depose Putin.

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“..The newspaper – in the 19th century nicknamed “The Thunderer”, now owned by Rupert Murdoch, nicknamed “The Dirty Digger”..

Ukraine Plan Of Crocus Attack: Ethnic Pogroms, Civil War In Russia (Helmer)

“The unity of Russia’s multiethnic society,” President Vladimir Putin told the Russian Trade Union Congress on Thursday, “is the main fundamental condition of our success. In this connection, and based on the initial results of the investigation, we have grounds to believe that the main goal of those who masterminded the bloody and heinous terrorist attack in Moscow was to damage our unity.” Putin is repeating the message – four times in two weeks: earlier on March 23, March 25, and April 2 — because it happens to be true. What also happens to be true is that during the Yeltsin period, when asked by Moscow university students what I thought of anti-semitism in Russia, I said: Russians are the most primitive white tribe in the world – they are hostile to the other tribes, the Jews, Chechens, Armenians, Chukchi, Uzbeks, Tajiks — each one of them equally. After this sociology was elaborated, invitations to lecture at Moscow universities stopped.

The sociological problem which Russia’s enemies have is that the foreign white tribes, like the Galicians of the Ukraine, the Anglo Saxons, and the Blin-Noodle gang ruling Washington, make the primitive sociological mistake of thinking they can trigger intercommunal warfare inside Russia, to weaken and break it up. The British Secret Service (MI6) made their first abortive attempts at this during the Bolshevik revolution and the civil war following. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and MI6 have been plotting the same thing since 1945, increasing the resources and accelerating their efforts in the Caucasus during the Yeltsin administration of the 1990s.

It is therefore no surprise they have convinced their Ukrainian counterparts to implement the same scheme. On Tuesday of this week, The Times of London headlined this plan “Ukraine Stokes Anti-Immigrant Tensions in Russia”. The newspaper – in the 19th century nicknamed “The Thunderer”, now owned by Rupert Murdoch, nicknamed “The Dirty Digger” — reported an interview with Andrei Kovalenko, head of the Ukraine’s Centre for Countering Disinformation (CCD). By weaponizing local ethnic communities like the Tajiks in Russia, the operational objective, according to Kovalenko, is “to exploit divisions and distrust among the Russian public.”

Kovalenko is conceding the Ukraine strategy behind the Tajik gunmen’s attack on the Crocus City Hall on March 22. But the foreign tribesmen have misread the Russian sociology again. The attack has failed in its war objective. The theory of interethnic conflict in Russia was last tested in Moscow in January 2022 by the Levada Centre, a pollster registered as a foreign agent in 2016. Levada has been surveying ethnic Russian attitudes towards other ethnic groups since 2011, emphasizing for its own reasons what the Levada staff call anti-Semitism. The polling results over the years show that positive and negative Russian sentiment has been moving on several measures of social distance — acceptance as family members, friends, neighbours, citizens, temporary workers on visa – in different directions for different ethnic groups.

The improvement in the Russian perception of Ukrainians and Jews has been sharply reversed by the Kiev war on the Donbass and then the Israeli war against Gaza. By contrast, the political, economic, and media efforts of the Putin administration to cultivate strategic relations with China, the African states, and the Caucasus, including Chechnya, have accentuated the positive, diminished the negative.

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There are plenty people with such “takes”. But Musk gets MSM coverage.

MSM Reluctantly Admits Elon Musk’s Ukraine Takes Are Proving Correct (ZH)

“So, Musk may not be too wide of the mark after all”: Politico. Something which could hardly be imagined a year ago or even six months ago has happened this week: a Politico op-ed voices agreement with Elon Musk on Ukraine. Of course, the Wednesday piece still takes customary shots at the “wayward” billionaire and owner of X: “Wayward entrepreneur Elon Musk’s latest pronouncements regarding the war in Ukraine set teeth on edge, as he warned that even though Moscow has “no chance” of conquering all of Ukraine, “the longer the war goes on, the more territory Russia will gain until they hit the Dnipro, which is tough to overcome.” “However, if the war lasts long enough, Odesa will fall too,” he cautioned.

Statements like these, and Musk’s supposedly ‘alternative’ view of the crisis in general, have long invoked the wrath of mainstream media pundits. Yet publications like Politico now sing a different tune, but only after President Zelensky himself has signaled just how dire the battlefield situation actually is for his forces. Politico has previously featured headlines like ‘Elon Musk Is Transmitting a Message for Putin’. Musk in his recent Odesa commentary did no such thing, but merely urged the Ukrainians to find a way forward towards peace at the negotiating table before it’s too late. Again, lines such as the below coming out of the heart of the media establishment would have been impossible to come across a year ago… from Politico:

“With a history of urging Ukraine to agree to territorial concessions — and his opposition to the $60 billion U.S. military aid package snarled on Capitol Hill amid partisan wrangling — Musk isn’t Ukraine’s favorite commentator, to say the least. And his remarks received predictable pushback. But the billionaire entrepreneur’s forecast isn’t actually all that different from the dire warnings Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made in the last few days. According to Zelenskyy, unless the stalled multibillion-dollar package is approved soon, his forces will have to “go back, retreat, step by step, in small steps.” He also warned that some major cities could be at risk of falling.”

But we should point out that Musk has been a realist from the start, more in line with analysts such as John Mearsheimer, voicing positions which have proven right time and again, despite contradicting the bandwagon mainstream consensus at every turn. And here’s the kicker in the conclusion, from the Politico op-ed… “We don’t only have a military crisis — we have a political one,” one of the officers said. While Ukraine shies away from a big draft, “Russia is now gathering resources and will be ready to launch a big attack around August, and maybe sooner.” So, Musk may not be too wide of the mark after all.

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“..and the whole shootin’ match ends up twenty minutes later a smoldering, civilization-ending mess..”

Vectoring Dangerously (Kunstler)

If your situational awareness is well-tuned, you can put together a political weather report from the swirl of events that otherwise seem to confound the degenerate simps who pretend to report the news. Events are tending in the direction of self-reinforcing, ramifying chaos, and the people running the show are obviously insane as they do everything possible to hurry chaos along. Case in point: Antony Blinken, our Secretary of State, who announced yesterday that Ukraine will get rushed into NATO ASAP. Do you understand that would mean a direct, automatic, peremptory declaration of war against Russia, requiring all of NATO — that is, their combined militaries — to go kinetic inside Ukraine and theoretically inside Russia, too, (a move that has not worked out well for anyone in all of history), because Article Five of the NATO charter states that an armed attack against one is an attack against all, and must be answered with counter-attack? Thus, you see, Mr. Blinken just announced World War Three.

You might also consider that NATO does not have the capacity to fight that war. The European members don’t have sufficient troops and equipment, or financial reserves for that matter. And there is, of course, America’s under-recruited DEI army of transsexuals and video-gamers, with equipment that has already proven inadequate on-the-ground in Ukraine, and a logistical route for delivery of all that which runs 5,000 miles across an ocean and then another continent. . . whereas our opponent (Russia) is right next door to the battlefield and churning out munitions like there is no tomorrow (which there might well not be for all concerned). Even Adolf Hitler, the last fool to attempt a conquest of Russia, wouldn’t like those odds. And why would Russia desist from firing hypersonic missiles at Berlin, Paris, London, New York and. . . ? You get the idea. In which case the USA, backstopping NATO, would lob swarms of our nuclear missiles into Russia. . . and the whole shootin’ match ends up twenty minutes later a smoldering, civilization-ending mess.

Smooth move, Tony Blinken. In political weather terms, this is like an arctic shear cutting across the northern hemisphere. At the same time, you might notice a financial la Nina forming out over the salty sea. Gold chugged up above $2,300-an-ounce the past ten days, a record. That’s a coded message from Reality Central. My de-coder ring says it means the bond market is about to fall on its ass, taking the dollar down with it, which would swiftly domino into the way-overpriced equity markets, and Gawd knows what kind of maelstrom all the derivatives flotsam would get sucked into. Notice, too that Bitcoin goes up $3,000 one day and down $2,000 the next. Kind of sketchy. But that’s just my take. If you have one, I’d like to hear it. In any case, it looks like stormy financial weather which, if nothing else, is not exactly an advantageous accompaniment to a world war. In fact, it could beat a path quickly to something like empty supermarket shelves — and you know what they say about a population being a few missed meals away from anarchy.

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I had to sit down for half a hour. Didn’t expect this at all. /sarc off. It’s called money laudering.

Ukrainian Officials’ Wealth Surged During Conflict (RT)

Senior Ukrainian officials have significantly increased their personal wealth over the past two years despite the conflict with Russia, an analysis of self-reported income and assets has revealed. The study was conducted by the Ukrainian business news site Ekonomicheskaya Pravda based on mandatory disclosures required from officials concerning themselves and their family members. The deadline for reporting on the previous year expired on March 31, meaning that a complete dataset is now available to the public. A third of the senior officials picked by the newspaper for their sample reported new major assets, such as vehicles or real estate, the outlet reported on Wednesday. For their study, the journalists picked 2,200 top-tier members of various branches of the Ukrainian government, prioritizing those whose family names are most common in the country.

They tracked the changes in the holdings of these individuals by examining disclosures from this past year and previous years. The open hostilities with Russia started in February 2022. The officials chosen by the outlet reported 721 cars, 268 apartments, and 90 homes newly owned by their households over that period of time. The second half of 2022 saw the highest numbe of acquisitions in all three categories, but there has been only a relatively small drop in the rate of purchases since. The public servants also managed to boost their ownership of liquid assets in the form of cash and bank deposits by roughly a quarter. The US dollar was the most popular currency among Ukrainian officials, with a $6 million increase reported by the 2,200 people studied.

The outlet stressed that it likely underestimated the increase in wealth among officials since “not all of them follow their duty” and disclose their assets accurately. For instance, a former regional head is currently being investigated after failing to mention property worth some $1.8 million, which a news outlet had linked to members of his family. Some of the changes were due to changes in marital status, the report said. One MP, who married a wealthy businessman in 2023, consequently reported dozens of land plots owned by her new family, according to the article. The Ukrainian government relies heavily on foreign credit and aid to remain operational. Its central bank reported last month that in January and February a shortfall of financial support from other nations forced it to shift to borrowing domestically and depleting reserves to cover the budget deficit.

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“I watched the State of the Union, he was all jacked up at the beginning, by the end he was fading fast, there’s something going on there..”

Biden Was ‘Higher Than A Kite’ During SOTU Speech – Trump

Former US President Donald Trump has accused his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, of using drugs to get through his State of the Union address last month, and has insisted that he should be tested for drugs before any potential debates. Speaking with radio broadcaster Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, Trump claimed that Biden “was higher than a kite” during his speech, and described it as “the worst address I’ve ever seen.” He went on to recall last year’s scandal in which the Secret Service discovered a bag of cocaine at the White House, suggesting that Biden may have been “helped some way” to get through the annual address. “I watched the State of the Union, he was all jacked up at the beginning, by the end he was fading fast, there’s something going on there,” Trump said.

A plastic bag containing cocaine was discovered in a phone locker in the West Wing of the White House on July 2, 2023. After launching an investigation, the Secret Service dropped the case after only a few weeks, concluding that it was impossible to determine the owner of the drugs. The move sparked outrage among Biden’s critics, with many suggesting the cocaine may have belonged to the president’s son, Hunter, who has admitted to struggling with substance abuse. The White House officially denied any involvement of the Biden family in the case and praised the Secret Service’s “thorough investigation.”

Nevertheless, Trump has insisted that Biden should be tested for drugs before the two engage in debates ahead of November’s presidential election. The billionaire has previously called on the president to debate him “anywhere anytime.” Biden has not yet agreed to any debates with his rival, but said last month that it would depend on Trump’s “behavior.” Recent surveys have found that a majority of voters are concerned with the mental capabilities of both Trump and Biden, who are set to face off in the presidential election on November 5. A poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research last month found that 63% of American voters do not believe Biden has the mental capacity to serve effectively as president; 57% said the same thing about Trump.

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“..no newspaper in the United States has ever published a similar black square” in support of American journalist Gonzalo Lira..”

US Intel Services Use Journalists As Their Agents – Zakharova (TASS)

US special services use journalists as their agents in violation of US laws, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. Commenting on how the United States “celebrated” a year since the arrest of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal journalist, accused of espionage in Russia, the diplomat drew attention to the way one of the latest March issues of The Wall Street Journal looks – almost the entire front page is blank. “And only the black and white face of Evan Gershkovich, a US citizen detained on suspicion of espionage, caught in the act, with the phrase ‘His story should be here,'” she wrote on her Telegram channel. “Evan Gershkovich could have written about the terrorist bombing of Russian cities by the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev in recent months. The militants are also shelling journalists, including American journalists – it could be a report from a hot spot that the Americans themselves created by pumping weapons and intelligence into the militants,” she pointed out.

“He could have written a great article about all the fellow journalists killed by the Kiev regime: Oles Buzina, Pavel Sheremet, Andrey Stenin, Anatoly Klein, Igor Kornelyuk, Anton Voloshin, and many others. He could have, but for some reason he didn’t write [about it] all those years he had worked in Russia. He could have, if he had been practicing journalism and not spying,” the spokeswoman emphasized. “By the way, I do not exclude that the American media was expressing its indignation at the American secret services, which continue to use journalists as their agents in violation of US law,” she said. Zakharova pointed to the fact that “no newspaper in the United States has ever published a similar black square” in support of American journalist Gonzalo Lira, “who spent eight months in the torture chambers of a Ukrainian prison and was finally killed by the Ukrainian Security Service in January.”

“By the way, has a criminal case been opened in the US for his murder? I haven’t heard of it,” she added. Gershkovich, a correspondent for the US newspaper The Wall Street Journal, was arrested in Russia in an espionage case. According to the Center for Public Relations of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Gershkovich, “acting as an agent for the American side, collected top-secret data about the activity of an enterprise of the Russian military-industrial complex.” In this connection, the journalist was detained in Yekaterinburg at the end of March 2023; criminal proceedings were initiated against him under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Espionage”). Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in prison. He has not pleaded guilty.

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“The DOJ has filed opposition to Mr. Pope’s motion, saying it has “no obligation to investigate”..”

Jan. 6 Defendant Video Raises Questions About Undercover Agents (ET)

Recently released Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol Police security video shows a suspected FBI special agent clapping and cheering as crowds surged up steps to the Columbus Doors and another meeting with an FBI tactical team just before it entered the Capitol after the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt. The videos were first identified by defendant William Pope of Topeka, Kansas, in court filings in his own Jan. 6 criminal case. Exhibits Mr. Pope originally filed under seal have become public since the release of thousands of hours of Jan. 6 security video by the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight. Two possible FBI special agents and a third unknown colleague were with John D. Guandolo, the FBI’s former liaison with U.S. Capitol Police, at the Women for a Great America event on the East Front of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to Mr. Pope.

In sworn testimony in a December 2022 Alaska civil court trial and in numerous media appearances, Mr. Guandolo said he was with two FBI special agents and a colleague with whom he traveled to Washington on Jan. 6. Mr. Guandolo has indicated that he was also introduced to other FBI personnel at the Capitol that day. Mr. Pope is seeking to compel federal prosecutors to identify them all. He said even if the men were at the Capitol on personal time, their free movement around the grounds shows they did not believe the Capitol was off limits to the public. Mr. Guandolo, who handled counterterrorism and criminal investigations for nearly 13 years—from 1996 to 2008—as an FBI special agent, has said he was at the Capitol in a personal capacity and went primarily to pray. He was interviewed by the FBI about his Jan. 6 visit on July 6, 2022. A heavily redacted copy of the FBI 302 interview summary has been made public.

Security video shows that as the crowd broke through the police line on the East Plaza and surged up the steps to the Columbus Doors, one of Mr. Guandolo’s colleagues clapped enthusiastically. “Oh, oh, oh man, this is huge,” the man said, heard on Mr. Guandolo’s cell phone video that showed the crowd ascending the east steps. On Capitol Police security Camera 7231, which looks out at the House Egg on the East Front, Mr. Guandolo was seen filming while standing on a chair just before 2:05 p.m. The clapping man, wearing a grey knit cap and dark coat, is identified in Mr. Pope’s court filing as “the Clapper” and “Colleague 2.” While Colleague 2 cheered the protesters’ advance on the Capitol, a man on Mr. Guandolo’s left, “Colleague 1,” had his phone raised, presumably capturing his own video of the advancing crowd. He wore a brown knit cap and blue jacket, and carried a backpack, video showed.

Mr. Pope asked U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras to compel the Department of Justice to identify all FBI agents “who were material witnesses at the Capitol.” Mr. Pope wants the FBI “to produce all photographs, videos, and records related to their presence.” The DOJ has filed opposition to Mr. Pope’s motion, saying it has “no obligation to investigate” who the men in the videos are. Some of the exhibits in Mr. Pope’s Feb. 12 motion were redacted, but the recent release of thousands of hours of Jan. 6 security video by the Subcommittee on Oversight allows them to be released publicly, Mr. Pope said.

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“The Federal Reserve then did the only thing it knows how to do: It hiked interest rates.”

Bidenomics and Its Discontents (Galbraith)

Unemployment is low. Inflation has fallen. Real earnings are rising. GDP growth has held up—so far. The economists are happy, but for some reason the voters are not! It must be their own ignorance and obtuseness—so says Paul Krugman, house economist of The New York Times. The other possibility—however horrible to contemplate—is that perhaps the voters are sensible and the economists are obtuse. And perhaps the indicators on which economists rely no longer mean what economists suppose them to mean. Take the unemployment rate. It is a ratio of those seeking work to the whole active labor force. In past times, most households depended on a single earner, for whom holding a job was a make-or-break proposition. If unemployment was rising or high—say 7 percent, typical in recessions—then, even though 93 percent of the labor force was still working, fear of unemployment amplified the woes of those actually out of work.

Conversely, if unemployment was low or falling, most workers felt reasonably secure. The unemployment rate, back then, was a reasonable indicator of distress or well-being. Those days are long gone. Today’s typical American working household has several earners, sometimes in multiple jobs. If one earner loses a job while the others keep theirs, she may leave the workforce for a time; there is the option of making do with less, and for some there is early retirement. She will not, in that case, count as unemployed—however difficult her life. A low jobless rate can mask a great deal of stress in such households. The employment-to-population ratio is still a bit below where it was in 2020, and far below where it was in 2000; average weekly hours are still falling. Next, consider inflation, which is the rate of price change measured month-to-month or year-to-year. But what matters to consumers is prices in relation to household incomes over several years.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan famously asked, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Today, millions of American households are worse off than they were in 2020. Basic living costs, such as gasoline, utilities, food, and housing, have risen more than their incomes have. Real median household income peaked in 2019 and fell at least through 2022. Yes, but didn’t real wages go up sharply in 2023? According to the Biden-friendly Center for American Progress, real wages (for those continuously employed) have indeed now recovered roughly to where they would have been had no pandemic occurred. But there is a great distinction between steady progress and a sawtooth down-and-up. The former breeds confidence; the latter does not. Then there is the ending of Covid-19 relief. Pandemic programs gave millions of Americans a financial cushion for a time; early on, the payments were often larger than previous paychecks and, while they lasted, poverty and food insecurity went down. (By 2021 Covid tax credits and relief payments brought child poverty down to a record low of 5.2 percent.)

Most Americans were prudent with the support, but they often used it, not unwisely, to achieve a touch of independence from dreary jobs. With that support gone, the cushions erode, savings decline, debt rises–and families feel the pressure to go back to work on whatever terms that employers offer. They don’t like that very much. As people return to work, how secure are their jobs? In the golden years during which today’s older generation of economists learned their textbook tools, a worker’s job was often a lifetime affair. Autoworkers (and their associates in rubber and glass) might suffer periodic layoffs, but they could expect to be called back; their skills and experience remained useful. That was all over by the 1980s.

Since then, factories close and do not return, and practically all new jobs have been in routine services, with mediocre wages and high turnover. The pandemic drove home the fragility of these jobs to everyone—even those who had never lost a job before. Interest rates are another problem. Long ago, Joe Biden kicked the can of “fighting inflation” over to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve then did the only thing it knows how to do: It hiked interest rates. Mortgage rates were around 3 percent in 2021; today they are at least twice that. High interest rates hit young families looking for their first house, and they hit established households, often older, looking to sell their homes. And high interest on consumer debt eats away at disposable incomes. The capital wealth of the middle class falls, to the benefit of those with cash to spare. The second group is much smaller and far richer than the first.

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“..RFK is right that the Biden administration engaged in censorship through agencies, but it wasn’t exactly a secret..”

RFK Jr. Is Right About Joe Biden (ZH)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. can be an unhinged leftist and crackpot, but he also happens to be correct about President Joe Biden’s attacks on constitutional order, particularly free expression. Speaking to an incredulous Erin Burnett on CNN this week, Kennedy argued that Biden was a bigger threat to “democracy” than Donald Trump, a position that clashes with the media’s entire 2024 campaign messaging. In a more decent world, we’d be debating which presidential candidate was better at upholding the constitutional order, rather than which one was worse. That is not our fate. And yet, the unique thing about the 2024 presidential contest is that voters are given a chance to compare existing presidential records. Kennedy contends that Biden “is the first candidate in history, the first president in history that has used the federal agencies to censor political speech or censor his opponent.”

One suspects Eugene Debs might quibble with this characterization, though not since the Committee on Public Information has there been a White House that has shown such disdain for free expression and debate. Biden is the first president to openly and secretly pressure major communication companies to take direction and work in conjunction with state agencies to censor debate. The same left-wingers who do not believe in any limiting principles while regulating economic life will lecture us about how so-called platforms are free to work with anyone they please, including the White House. OK, but tech companies also spend tens of millions each year in Washington rent-seeking and lobbying for favorable regulations. They are highly susceptible to state intimidation. When Biden deputizes massive communication companies to act as censors, he’s merely taking a shortcut in the suppression of speech that undercuts, at the very minimum, the spirit and purpose of the First Amendment.

One might even call this brand of state-corporate relationship “semi-fascist.” RFK is right that the Biden administration engaged in censorship through agencies, but it wasn’t exactly a secret. Recall Jen Psaki informing us that the White House was “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.” Biden claimed that allowing unfettered speech on Facebook during COVID was “killing people.” Just contemplate the media’s reaction if Trump’s White House had been keeping lists of “problematic” posts. Remember, as well, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield warning that social media companies “should be held accountable” for the ideas of those who use their websites. Was she talking about the ideas that spurred the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots, the most expensive in history? Was she talking about those who spread conspiracy theories about Russian collusion? Probably not. Though Trump never did anything to inhibit the spread of criticism or conspiracy theories.

Luntz

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Judge McAfee: “Jack Smith had made “no reference to the Presidential Records Act” in his indictment of Trump, giving the former president’s lawyers no legal grounds to invoke it..”

The prosecutor can bring it up, but the defense can’t.

Judges Reject Trump’s Attempts To Quash Cases (RT)

Judges in Florida and Georgia have shot down attempts by former US President Donald Trump to have two criminal cases against him thrown out of court. The cases pertain to his alleged mishandling of classified documents and efforts to interfere with the 2020 election. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled on Thursday that the former president cannot use his constitutional right to free speech to dodge election interference charges in Georgia. Trump has been charged with state-level racketeering offenses for instructing his campaign staff to find evidence of election fraud by the Democratic Party, and for a taped phone call made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he asked Raffensperger to “find 1,780 votes,” which would have guaranteed him a razor-thin victory in the state.

McAfee ruled that this statement was made “in furtherance of criminal activity,” and is therefore not protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Trump’s lawyer, Steve Sadow, said in a statement that “President Trump and other defendants respectfully disagree with Judge McAfee’s order and will continue to evaluate their options regarding the First Amendment challenges.” While the ruling is a setback for Trump, McAfee handed Trump a minor victory last month when he dismissed three out of 13 charges against the former president and multiple counts against his senior aides and lawyers. Trump has also appealed a decision by McAfee to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to continue prosecuting the case, after it emerged that she benefited financially from her intimate relationship with a lawyer she hired to lead the prosecution.

Trump is facing three other criminal cases: two federal litigations concerning his alleged mishandling of classified documents and his alleged incitement of the January 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill, and a state-level case in New York concerning his ‘hush money’ payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. Later on Thursday, the Florida judge overseeing the classified documents case declined a request by Trump to dismiss the charges based on his claim that the Presidential Records Act authorized him to take the documents from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago estate.

The judge did not rule Trump’s claim true or false, but noted that government prosecutor Jack Smith had made “no reference to the Presidential Records Act” in his indictment of Trump, giving the former president’s lawyers no legal grounds to invoke it. Trump views all four cases as part of an overarching conspiracy by Democrats and their allies to prevent him from contesting this year’s election. In a post to his Truth Social platform on Easter Sunday, Trump condemned the “crooked and corrupt prosecutors and judges that are doing everything possible to interfere with the presidential election of 2024 and put me in prison,” including “deranged Jack Smith” and “sick Fani Willis.”

Mike Davis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776275373027741797

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The Supreme Court must be much more assertive.

Supreme Court Faces ‘High Stakes’ Decisions on Trump-Related Cases (ET)

The combination of several Trump-related cases, the potential for landmark changes to legal precedent, the vigorous calls for reform, and the coming elections have made 2024 a year of high impact decisions for the court. One decision has already impacted the course of the 2024 presidential campaign. In March, the justices rejected an effort that could have resulted in millions of President Trump’s supporters not having their preferred candidate on the ballot. During oral argument, Justice Amy Coney Barrett referenced the “very high stakes” surrounding the case, which has been described as the court’s most influential election-related matter since Bush v. Gore. Its landmark opinion in Trump v. Anderson foreclosed the possibility that states like Colorado could, under their existing authority, remove federal candidates from ballots. The majority opinion, however, has been criticized for lacking clarity around how Congress should act.

The decision emphasized the role of Congress in enforcing the 14th Amendment, while the three liberal justices and Justice Barrett favored a more limited approach that overruled state authority over federal candidates for office. President Trump’s immunity appeal, scheduled for oral argument on April 25, could impact his Florida documents case and hush money trial, wherein he has requested a delay pending the Supreme Court’s decision on his D.C. immunity claims. The stinging criticism that followed the court’s unanimous opinion in Trump v. Anderson indicates no matter how united the justices are, they will continue to face heavy scrutiny—especially when it comes to President Trump. President Trump’s appeal, like Mr. Navarro’s, questions the separation of powers as well as the authority of the legislative and judiciary branches in challenging the executive.

In Trump v. Anderson, the court avoided wading into the specifics of President Trump’s alleged wrongdoing on Jan. 6 and will likely try to do the same with his immunity appeal. But their decisions in two other cases might impact the indictment in President Trump’s federal election case. A challenge brought by Jan. 6 defendants against the DOJ’s use of an Enron-era obstruction charge in prosecutions will be heard before the high court on April 16. In the federal election case, two of those charges were brought against President Trump. If the court rules in the defendants’ favor, as some legal experts predict, that could lessen the burden for President Trump in D.C. while also provoking scrutiny of the justices’ approach to Jan. 6. The court’s decision in the presidential immunity appeal could similarly either upend or affirm the prosecution—likely sparking backlash from either side depending on the outcome.

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Disconnect.

How The West Lost Control Of The Gold Market (Henry Johnston)

What is important to understand here is that the creation of a derivative market satisfies demand for gold that would otherwise go to the physical market. Only a limited amount of gold exists and can be mined but an unlimited amount of gold derivatives can be underwritten. As Gromen explains, when monetary expansion drives demand for gold (due to the inflation this brings), there are two ways this demand can be dealt with: let the price of gold rise as more dollars chase the same amount of gold; or permit more paper claims to be created on the same amount of gold, which allows the pace of gold’s rise to be managed. There are several important implications of this. The rise of the paper market has clearly played an important role in defanging gold in its role as exerting a hard limit on expansionary policy, thus implicitly reinforcing the credibility of the dollar. But it has also meant that the gold price has largely been determined by investment flows rather than physical demand.

And when we’re talking about investment flows, we mean first and foremost Western institutional investors. Given that gold trades essentially as a cyclical asset, institutional investors have primarily traded gold based on movements in real US interest rates – meaning interest rates adjusted for inflation. Gold is bought when real rates fall and vice versa. The logic is that when interest rates rise, money managers can earn more by switching to bonds or cash, thus increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing assets such as gold. By the same token, lower rates make gold – seen as a hedge against inflation – more attractive. This correlation has been particularly strong over the last 15 years or so and many analysts date it back further than that. So let’s go a step further and pose the following question: If Western institutional money has been driving the price, who has been on the other side of the trade when actual gold does change hands?

To oversimplify a bit, the model worked roughly as follows, as has been explained by gold analyst Jan Nieuwenhuijs: Western institutions essentially controlled the price of gold and bought from the East in bull markets and sold to the East in bear markets. This makes sense, because the Western side of this trade essentially consisted of investors who in any asset class tend to chase the price higher. The East, meanwhile, was characterized more by consumer demand. Because consumers are price-sensitive, they tend to buy when the price is low and are happy to sell into a rising market. So gold flowed from East to West in bull markets and from West to East in bear markets. But, as we mentioned above, it was the Western institutional investors who were in the driver’s seat in this trade. This was the well-established state of affairs up until 2022, which happens to be when the Ukraine proxy war began and the US took the bold step of freezing some $300 billion in Russian central bank assets.

A coincidence or not, what happened that year was that the correlation between US real rates and gold broke down and has not been restored. The first sign of an impending shift was that, in first few months after the Fed embarked on a sharp rate-hike cycle in March 2022, gold did drop but proved much more resilient to the rising rates than correlation models would have suggested. But the real breakdown in the correlation started around September of that year, when gold prices actually started climbing even as real rates remained flat. In fact, from late October 2022 through June 2023, the gold price rose 17%. Meanwhile, over 2023, US real yields rose (despite quite a bit of volatility), which, according to the old correlation, should have meant a decline in gold prices as higher yields elsewhere would make non-yielding gold less attractive. However, gold rose 15% for the year.

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Vodka
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775995652951978353

 

 

Live forever

 

 

Matrix
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776221960416157920

 

 

Jaguar

Kingfisher
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776014518650618272

 

 

Elephants

 

 

Ostrich

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 282023
 
 October 28, 2023  Posted by at 8:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


Francisco de Goya Saturn Devouring His Son 1819–1823

 

The Gods Are Going Against The Chosen People (Helmer)
One Mistake Before Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)
Gaza Suffers Near-Total Information Blackout (RT)
Biden Inches Towards Military Disaster in Middle East (Sp.)
Israel Bombing ‘Everything But Hamas In Gaza’ – Jackson Hinkle (RT)
Erdogan’s Deafening Silence On Palestine (Karan)
Orban: EU Not Dare to Admit Ukraine Cannot Win on Battlefield (Sp.)
Israel To Pass Law Allowing State To Kill Its Own Citizens (RT)
Israel Military Shelled Israeli Citizens With Tanks, Missiles on Oct. 7 (GZ)
China To Snub Zelensky’s ‘Peace’ Meeting – Bloomberg (RT)
Hungary, Slovakia Blocked €50 Billion Ukraine Aid – Politico (RT)
Speaker Johnson Plans Separate Votes On Ukraine, Israel Aid (ZH)
Biden Likely Guilty of ‘Impeachable Offenses’ – Speaker (Sp.)
AG Garland Should Rein in Jack Smith’s War on Free Speech (Turley)
President Trump Destroys NYC Judge Engoron After Case Collapses (GP)

 

 

 

 

Ritter Monumental Oversight

 

 

 

 

Gabor Maté


https://twitter.com/i/status/1712402483115614498

 

 

 

 

Baroness

 

 

China UN
https://twitter.com/i/status/1717682784125198354

 

 

Don’t look away

 

 

 

 

“..the genocide of at least a million Palestinians in lives and displacement. The war to do that has now become an international war – and this is a war the US cannot sustain.”

The Gods Are Going Against The Chosen People (Helmer)

The Palestinian strategy against Israel is aimed at destroying Israel’s capacity to survive in its present state in a long war. This means attacking the invincibility of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and theur so-called Iron Dome defence; this began with the cross-border offensive on October 7, and continues with daily drone and artillery attacks on targets inside Israel, as well as resistance to IDF incursions in Gaza. The plan also means exposing the weakness of the state’s infrastructure and economy; extending the battlefield across all of Israel’s territory – the ports, power plants and electricity grid, communications, and financial markets — making the cost of occupation of the Arab territories unendurable. In a long war, two of Israel’s leading exports earning more than 40% of the state’s trade — diamonds and tourism — face ruin.*

“The Israelis cannot withstand one year of fighting in a war,” Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein told his general staff in 1983 during a discussion of planning for a regional war of the Arabs against Israel.** In the forty years since then, the evolution of military technology and tactics has expanded the power of small national liberation armies like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis, of proxy principals like Iran, and of the strategic balancing role of Russia and China. Their combination now has shortened the Zionist state’s endurance in a long war, and that of its proxy principal, the US. The Israelis and the Jewish diaspora comprehend this reluctantly. For them, the short war must be correspondingly shorter. This means the genocide of at least a million Palestinians in lives and displacement. The war to do that has now become an international war – and this is a war the US cannot sustain.

As a Pentagon insider said publicly this week, “because there are so many draws on the logistics and support infrastructure of the Pentagon, we’re not prepared to go in in a concerted way. What we are seeing right now is death by a thousand cuts. Our adversaries know we are stretched so they are going to make us stretch even more, so we can respond even less.” The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova, acknowledged the point in Moscow on Thursday: US naval, air force, and marine reinforcements deployed around Israel and Gaza are “American tactics to strengthen their own security (this is how it should be interpreted) at someone else’s expense.” They are backfiring on Washington’s capacity to defend US forces in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and in land bases in Syria, Iraq and Jordan. “On the contrary,” Zakharova added, the US military deployment “will further rock the situation in the Middle East, create additional tension that can spill out beyond the region.”

Zakharova’s warning came in the Moscow afternoon. By then Russian Foreign Ministry officials had held meetings with a Hamas delegation, and officials from Iran, Egypt, and Kuwait. Across the city at the same time, President Vladimir Putin held telephone talks with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Kremlin communiqué reported: “Russia and Turkiye have practically overlapping positions.” Israeli and US-led media censorship and propaganda are concealing the breadth of impact of the Palestine warfighting plan, and the deepening military and economic weaknesses of the Israeli state. The longer the war continues, the plainer the evidence is on the battlefield that the single-state scheme of Israel and the US is no longer possible. Whether Israel and the US can be compelled to withdraw to the 1967 borders and a new Palestinian state created with partition, demilitarisation, and international security guarantees – the basis of the Russian position announced again on Thursday in Moscow — remains to be fought over. In this long war, the gods do not favour the Chosen People.

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“The White House fool, his insane neoconservative regime, mindless European puppets and whore Western media have convinced Russia that there is neither intelligence nor reason to be found in the Western World..”

One Mistake Before Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)

Each of us faces each day threats to our health, happiness, and life. Overarching it all, we collectively face death from nuclear weapons. The development of nuclear weapons was a human stupidity. They cannot be used, but their existence threatens the life of the planet. So why have them? Accident, emotional response, loss of reason are all human faults that can come into play at any time. During the 20th century Cold War these dangers were underlined by the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Nixon led the way to sanity with arms control agreements with the Soviet Union and his opening to China. Presidents Carter and Reagan kept the momentum going for reduced tensions and peaceful coexistence. The turnaround came with the Soviet collapse.

The neoconservatives took advantage of Russian weakness and prevailed on President Clinton to break the promise given by the George H.W. Bush administration to Gorbachev not to move NATO to Soviet borders if Gorbachev permitted the reunification of Germany. The George W. Bush and Obama administrations continued the hostile policy that Clinton renewed. Today all the arms control agreements that reduced tensions and the danger of nuclear confrontation are erased. The last one–never ratified by the US–was revoked by the upper house of Russia’s parliament last Wednesday. Tass, the Russian news agency, reported that “Achieving the goal of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons is not deemed possible in the current international situation, given the destructive position of the United States.”

Also last Wednesday Gilbert Doctorow reported from the Russian media that Russia had just completed a successful test of its land, sea, and air launched nuclear missile triad. “Considering the location of the missile launches and the radius of possible strikes, it does not take much imagination to conclude that the enemy being attacked was the U.S. of A. . . . The capability being tested was for a massive retaliatory strike.” The White House fool, his insane neoconservative regime, mindless European puppets and whore Western media have convinced Russia that there is neither intelligence nor reason to be found in the Western World and Russia has no alternative but to prepare for war.

I have long warned that this was the conclusion toward which our irresponsible leaders were driving the Russians. What this means is that the slightest mistake, the slightest false warning can now ignite nuclear Armageddon. Meanwhile the media focuses on political gossip, Americans scroll their cell phones and complain about inflation, and the threat to the existence of life on earth goes unremarked.

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#StarlinkforPalestine?!

Gaza Suffers Near-Total Information Blackout (RT)

Internet and cell phone services working in the Gaza Strip on Friday night, after Israel “expanded” its military operation against Hamas militants in the Palestinian enclave. The largest telecommunications provider in Gaza, Paltel, has announced “a complete severance of all communications and Internet services” due to intensified Israeli strikes. “The intense bombing in the last hour caused the destruction of all remaining international routes linking Gaza to the outside world,” the company said. Netblocks, a company that tracks internet connectivity globally, confirmed the information blackout, calling it “the largest single disruption to internet connectivity in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict and will be perceived by many as a total or near-total internet blackout.”

Multiple international media, including RT, have partially lost contact with their crews and stringers on the ground. The head of RT Arabic, Maya Manna, said there was no contact with correspondents and photographers operating in the Palestinian enclave as of Friday evening. The sole message came from an RT stringer in the area, describing a “very violent bombing.” “I don’t know what to do with my children and my family. Everyone is afraid, everyone is terrified, and there is screaming everywhere in the Gaza Strip,” Masoud, a local reporter, told RT. According to an NBC News crew member, who was also able to message colleagues, “all internet, electricity and everything” has been cut off. “The situation we’re in is difficult, so difficult and very dangerous. We’re being extensively shelled by artillery and by air,” the unnamed staffer said.

The UN children’s agency also lost contact with their colleagues in Gaza, with UNICEF chief Catherine Russel saying she was “extremely concerned about their safety and another night of unspeakable horror for 1 million children in Gaza.” The international healthcare charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said there was no contact with some of their Palestinian colleagues. “We are particularly worried for the patients, medical staff and thousands of families taking shelter at Al Shifa hospital and other health facilities,” MSF said, expressing deep concern over the situation around one Gaza’s biggest medical centers.

Israel previously accused Hamas of turning hospitals into “headquarters for their terror,” referring specifically to Al Shifa, and even published an “illustrative video” which supposedly points out the “different locations in and under the hospital which are being used to plan and implement terrorist activities.” Meanwhile Hamas claimed that by cutting off communications from the Gaza Strip, Israel is attempting to “cover up the crimes of the occupation without any oversight or accountability,” and tries to “create an image of victory,” a senior official, Osama Hamdan, told Al Jazeera.

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“So you have a single weapon, a single carrier, a single ship, which carries on itself almost $20 billion worth of military assets and could be taken out by two or three missiles..”

Biden Inches Towards Military Disaster in Middle East (Sp.)

Tehran has so far moderated its response to US and Israeli actions during the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, ignoring efforts by Tel Aviv to goad the country into a military response by attacking Iranian allies in Syria and Lebanon, and snubbing threats by loudmouth officials and lawmakers to bring the war home to “Iran’s backyard.” Instead, Tehran has joined countries such as Russia, China, Brazil, and Turkiye in calling for an immediate ceasefire. Netanyahu cabinet minister Nir Barakat threatened last week to cut off the Iranian “head of the snake” and launch attacks against the Islamic Republic if Hezbollah tried to open a second front against Israel from the north. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he had issued a “warning” to Iran’s supreme leader that if Iran “continue[s] to move against” American troops in the Middle East, the US “will respond, and he should be prepared.”

But as observers with an understanding of Iran’s military capabilities observe, tackling Iran would be unlike anything either Israel or the US have ever attempted, with the Islamic Republic’s combination of natural defensive geography, powerful indigenous military-industrial complex, advanced missile and drone programs, and readiness to defend its interests even against much more powerful foes making it an extremely difficult target. The centerpiece of the US forces deployed to the Middle East amid the Palestinian-Israeli crisis are the USS Gerald Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike groups. Each armada theoretically has enough firepower to level a small country, with each carrier carrying a complement of up to 90 combat aircraft, and the giant warships themselves flanked by between four to six cruise missile-equipped destroyers.

The armadas are certainly no threat to be taken lightly, but do have important weaknesses when stacked up against countries with modern missile capabilities, transforming into “white elephants” from a bygone era, says veteran military analyst and best-selling author Andrey Martyanov. “In terms of their real power projection,” carriers “are big fat sitting targets against modern weaponry such as anti-ship missiles and hypersonic missiles,” Martyanov told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. “In this respect, they are not a real asset, but rather a liability against any major power such as Russia or China,” the observer explained. “In this particular case, those aircraft carriers and their battle groups, which usually comprise two or three ‘Aegis’-carrying destroyers – they are not really any more a serious military asset except for their ‘fear factor’…They could be sunk or basically disabled, and that’s pretty much it,” he said.

The same can be said even for a mid-tier military power like Iran, given its vast arsenal of thousands of medium and long-range ballistic and cruise missiles, and recent development of a hypersonic missile known as the Fatah. Many of these weapons are theoretically in range of US warships, plus dozens of US bases dotting the Middle East – some of them conveniently just across the Persian Gulf separating Iran from the Arab Gulf oil states. “Iran will be able to deliver both an asymmetric and a very symmetrical” response, Martyanov observed. “Iran has a vast number of highly sophisticated, highly developed ballistic missiles… And they have a vast number of cruise missiles. [The response] can be very symmetrical. And every single air base, military base of the United States will be under attack.”

Combined with carriers’ vulnerabilities is their massive cost, Martyanov said, pointing out that the new Ford-class carrier alone costs some $13 billion, plus $5-6 billion for its complement of aircraft. “So you have a single weapon, a single carrier, a single ship, which carries on itself almost $20 billion worth of military assets and could be taken out by two or three missiles such as Zircon or Kinzhal. Can you imagine the impact, apart from the fact of them having a very serious cultural and mental influence within the United States? The loss of a single ship can escalate… to the nuclear threshold because of the political, emotional, cultural and of course military impact of such a loss. Don’t forget, you also have more than 6,000 people on board this carrier,” the observer stressed.

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“..targeting various civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, UN and Red Crescent facilities, mosques, churches, homes, and even evacuee convoys..”

Israel Bombing ‘Everything But Hamas In Gaza’ – Jackson Hinkle (RT)

Israel’s claims that it is only bombing Gaza to eliminate Hamas are “insane,” political analyst Jackson Hinkle said in an interview with RT on Thursday. He argued that Israeli forces appear to be focusing on targeting the civilian population of Gaza in their ongoing campaign. “They’ve bombed everything but Hamas inside of Gaza,” the host of ‘The Dive with Jackson Hinkle’ said, accusing Israel of targeting various civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, UN and Red Crescent facilities, mosques, churches, homes, and even evacuee convoys. The analyst suggested that this is because Israel does not want a Palestinian state, and that the true purpose of its operation in Gaza is not to defeat Hamas, but rather to force Palestinians out and take over the enclave “once and for all.”

“The reason why they’re doing all of this is that they know they can’t defeat Hamas. That’s why they haven’t gone into Gaza. They know that if they will, they’ll probably have a response from many Arab states, and maybe Iran as well. They know that in a war of that magnitude they wouldn’t win,” Hinkle claimed. He argued that while Israeli authorities have attempted to paint Hamas as being aligned with or comparable to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), Israel’s own actions in Gaza seem to closely resemble terrorist tactics. Commenting on Washington’s announcement that it will “stand forever” with Israel and President Joe Biden’s proposal of a $14 billion package of military aid to the Jewish state, Hinkle called to “defund Israel” and “defund Ukraine” as well.

“Why is it that US taxpayer dollars are going to nations like this? Or more importantly, nations that are committing such horrific war crimes on a daily basis,” Hinkle questioned. He stated that the US is currently experiencing a crisis on its own southern border and is dealing with over 500,000 homeless people, 60,000 of which he claimed are veterans. “It makes no sense to me that we’re doing this and Joe Biden just sent about 900 US Marines to Israel,” Hinkle said, adding that he believes “we’re about to see a very big war.” The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been relentlessly bombarding Gaza for almost three weeks, following the October 7 surprise attack on Israel by Hamas, which claimed 1,400 lives. The Gaza Health Ministry has since reported that Israeli strikes have killed over 7,000 people. On Friday, the ministry published the names of 6,747 people, including 2,665 children, it claims have been killed by the IDF. It noted that the list is incomplete as many bodies remain unidentified or missing.

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When the Arab world gathers, Erdogan will be there. Turkey has a formidable army.

Erdogan’s Deafening Silence On Palestine (Karan)

At this juncture, Turkiye’s stance on the Palestinian issue lags behind that of many Arab states. Israel, with the backing of the US, is pushing for the “evacuation” of Gaza’s civilian population to facilitate its ground military operation, forcing Egypt and Jordan, key regional players, to reject plans for this forced and seemingly permanent displacement of Palestinians. Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have explicitly rejected this demand, deeming it a red line. Qatar, a financial powerhouse for the Muslim Brotherhood, and Turkiye, once seen as its political representative, now play more static roles in regional affairs. Erdogan’s involvement in Syria, while eroding Turkiye’s historically supportive position for both Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian struggle, has contributed to a regional realignment in which Iran has grown stronger.

Erdogan, once known for his vocal opposition to Israel, is now positioned as a “peace mediator.” Several geopolitical, political, and economic factors underlie this transformation. The influence of the Muslim Brotherhood has significantly declined after a tragic decade of “Arab Spring-ing,” and Erdogan now needs the support and cooperation of Egypt and the Persian Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia. He also aims to strike a delicate balance with the US and the EU. His foreign policy motto now revolves around mediation, which has been evident in various conflicts, such as Libya and Ukraine — where Turkiye played a key role in grain distribution. Domestically, Erdogan faces challenges too. Public discontent is growing due to the influx of refugees, as anti-Arab sentiments deepen in Turkish society.

Erdogan’s failed Ottomanist aspirations have given rise to a resurgence of secular Turkish nationalism among the younger generation. The Turkish left, with its history of supporting the Palestinian struggle for a nation-state, protests against religious-based policies, now positioning itself against Islamist perspectives. In these circumstances, Ahmet Davutoglu, the former architect of the disastrous West Asian foreign policy, and now the leader of the opposition Future Party, said the following: “I knew a leader, a leader I was proud to be with, a leader who made my heart flutter when he said ‘One minute’ and when everyone was threatening him, I said ‘Mr. Prime Minister, don’t worry. You made history today. We will do what is necessary’ and I made him apologize to Shimon Peres. Today, my heart cannot accept that that leader has been silent for 10 days. My heart does not accept that he did not come out and shout, ‘O Israel’.”

This reflects the sentiments of many AKP supporters when Davutoglu expressed disappointment in Erdogan’s relatively muted response to the Gaza war. Ironically, the Islamist Turkish president’s policy approach today is more realpolitik than the idealism inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood. While some of his supporters at home and abroad may yearn for the fiery rhetoric of the past, Erdogan’s current approach seems to prioritize stability, economic interests, and a balanced foreign policy over Palestine.

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Who writes these headlines ?

Orban: EU Not Dare to Admit Ukraine Cannot Win on Battlefield (Sp.)

Ukraine will not be able to win on the battlefield, all military experts are already talking about this, but only politicians do not dare to admit it, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. At the beginning of the conflict, the victory for Kiev seemed like a realistic scenario, but now it is absolutely obvious that this will not work out and the Ukrainians will not win at the front, the prime minister said. “This is what all the military experts say and write, but politicians do not dare say that they chose a bad strategy,” Orban told a Hungarian radio broadcaster. Orban further suggested that the current leadership of the European Union should be replaced, as it is not able to cope with crisis situations.

There are now “not good enough leaders” in Brussels who cannot solve the problems that have arisen in connection with the conflict in Ukraine, the leader said. “Maybe in times of peace, when the water is not rough, the wind is not blowing and you can sail on a boat, they are good leaders. But now, during a storm, huge waves, when pirate ships are encountered, we will not be able to prosper with this leadership, that is for sure. Change is needed in Brussels,” Orban said. Ukraine launched its much-touted counteroffensive attempt early in June, and quickly ran up against solid Russian defenses and minefields. According to the latest data, the Kiev regime lost over 90,000 troops.

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“..The easing of live-fire rules was proposed by right-wing National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir even before the surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7..”

Israel To Pass Law Allowing State To Kill Its Own Citizens (RT)

The Israeli government is set to allow police to use live fire against protesting Israeli citizens who block roads or entrances to towns during the “multi-front war” being waged by the country, public broadcaster Kan has reported. Under the new rules, the police will only need permission from a senior officer before shooting to kill, the broadcaster said on Thursday. Israeli Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara has already agreed to fast-track the legislation, which might be introduced as soon as Sunday, it added. The easing of live-fire rules was proposed by right-wing National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir even before the surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, in which 1,400 people were killed by Palestinian militants.

Ben Gvir told Kan in early October that he was “not ashamed to act, to make it so that it will be easier for our police officers to shoot those who threaten them.”According to the minister, changing the rules is “very important” as it would protect officers and allow them to carry out their duties more effectively. Kan had previously reported that the police leadership and National Security Ministry had been concerned that Israeli citizens of Arab origin could block army convoys in case of a military escalation with the Palestinians or with Lebanese armed group Hezbollah. Arabs make up 21% of Israel’s population of 9.8 million, according to government data.

The discussions stemmed from the outbreaks of violence in cities with mixed Arab-Jewish populations in May 2021 during Israel’s 11-day war with Gaza, the report said. Israeli police currently rely on non-lethal means to disperse riots and can only employ live rounds if they feel that their life is in danger. Such rules were introduced after large-scale protests and inter-communal violence in Israel in October 2000, during which 12 Arab Israelis and one Palestinian were killed, and an Israeli Jew lost his life after his car was stoned by Arab rioters. The commission that investigated the police response to the unrest ruled that the use of live fire against the demonstrators had been inappropriate.

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“..the commanders in the field made difficult decisions – including shelling houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages.”

Israel Military Shelled Israeli Citizens With Tanks, Missiles on Oct. 7 (GZ)

Israel’s military received orders to shell Israeli homes and even their own bases as they were overwhelmed by Hamas militants on October 7. How many Israeli citizens said to have been “burned alive” were actually killed by friendly fire. Several new testimonies by Israeli witnesses to the October 7 Hamas surprise attack on southern Israel adds to growing evidence that the Israeli military killed its own citizens as they fought to neutralize Palestinian gunmen. Tuval Escapa, a member of the security team for Kibbutz Be’eri, set up a hotline to coordinate between kibbutz residents and the Israeli army. He told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that as desperation began to set in, “the commanders in the field made difficult decisions – including shelling houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages.”

A separate report published in Haaretz noted that the Israeli military was “compelled to request an aerial strike” against its own facility inside the Erez Crossing to Gaza “in order to repulse the terrorists” who had seized control. That base was filled with Israeli Civil Administration officers and soldiers at the time. These reports indicate that orders came down from the military’s high command to attack homes and and other areas inside Israel, even at the cost of many Israeli lives. An Israeli woman named Yasmin Porat confirmed in an interview with Israel Radio that the military “undoubtedly” killed numerous Israeli noncombatants during gun battles with Hamas militants on October 7. “They eliminated everyone, including the hostages,” she stated, referring to Israeli special forces.

As David Sheen and Ali Abunimah reported in Electronic Intifada, Porat described “very, very heavy crossfire” and Israeli tank shelling, which led to many casualties among Israelis. While being held by the Hamas gunmen, Porat recalled, “They did not abuse us. We were treated very humanely… No one treated us violently.” She added, “The objective was to kidnap us to Gaza, not to murder us.” According to Haaretz, the army was only able to restore control over Be’eri after admittedly “shelling” the homes of Israelis who had been taken captive. “The price was terrible: at least 112 Be’eri residents were killed,” the paper chronicled. “Others were kidnapped. Yesterday, 11 days after the massacre, the bodies of a mother and her son were discovered in one of the destroyed houses. It is believed that more bodies are still lying in the rubble.”

Much of the shelling in Be’eri was carried out by Israeli tank crews. As a reporter for the Israeli Foreign Ministry-sponsored outlet i24 noted during a visit to Be’eri, “small and quaint homes [were] bombarded or destroyed,” and “well-maintained lawns [were] ripped up by the tracks of an armored vehicle, perhaps a tank.” Apache attack helicopters also figured heavily in the Israeli military’s response on October 7. Pilots have told Israeli media they scrambled to the battlefield without any intelligence, unable to differentiate between Hamas fighters and Israeli noncombatants, and yet determined to “empty the belly” of their war machines. “I find myself in a dilemma as to what to shoot at, because there are so many of them,” one Apache pilot commented.

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“..a major international meeting of security officials..”

China To Snub Zelensky’s ‘Peace’ Meeting – Bloomberg (RT)

China is likely to skip a major international meeting of security officials in Malta this week devoted to resolving the Ukraine conflict, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The gathering, which is expected to be attended by representatives of more than 50 nations, will revolve around the Kiev-backed “peace formula” that is rejected by Moscow. According to people familiar with the matter interviewed by the agency, participants in the summit, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, will include, among others, members of the G7 Group, Qatar, South Africa, India, and Türkiye, while several other countries, such as Brazil and Chile, are expected to join online. Andrey Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s office, said on Friday that it would address several points of Kiev’s “peace formula,” including food, energy and nuclear security, humanitarian issues, as well as “the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”

The ten-point plan, which was first floated by Zelensky last year, also demands that Russia withdraw its troops from territory that Ukraine claims as its own, and calls for the establishment of a tribunal to prosecute Moscow for alleged war crimes. Russia has repeatedly dismissed the proposal as unacceptable, calling it a sign that Ukraine was not serious about the talks. Bloomberg notes that Beijing’s possible no-show at the meeting would be a “disappointment” for Zelensky, who had hoped to drum up support for his initiative at a summit that is seen as a platform for Ukrainian officials to make a pitch to countries that have remained largely neutral on the conflict.

The Malta summit is set to follow similar gatherings in Denmark in June, and in Saudi Arabia in August. While Russia was not present at either, China attended the latter with Beijing’s Foreign Ministry saying at the time that it helped “to consolidate international consensus.” Moscow has said that it sees no value in Ukraine peace talks that exclude Russia. Commenting specifically on the Malta summit on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called it “pointless and counterproductive,” adding that those who designed the summit’s format rely on “blackmail and threats” to lure in as many neutral countries as possible. Since the onset of the Ukraine conflict, China has refused to join Western sanctions against Moscow, suggesting that the crisis was partly caused by NATO’s expansion after the end of the Cold War.

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“.. the EU’s strategy for Kiev “has failed” because Ukrainians will not win on the front lines and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not go away..”

Hungary, Slovakia Blocked €50 Billion Ukraine Aid – Politico (RT)

The prime ministers of Hungary and Slovakia opposed a €50 billion ($52.8 billion) aid package for Ukraine during the European Union summit on Thursday, Politico reported, citing an unnamed diplomat. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reportedly argued that the bloc’s support for Kiev isn’t working, while Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico referred to concerns over corruption in Ukraine. On Friday, Orban told Kossuth Radio that the EU’s strategy for Kiev “has failed” because Ukrainians will not win on the front lines and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not go away. Fico, who on Wednesday became Slovakia’s prime minister for the fourth time, campaigned on a pledge to end military support for Ukraine and criticized sanctions on Russia. Commenting on the EU summit, Fico wrote on Facebook that “Slovakia will have its own opinion in Brussels from today.”

He also noted that he had informed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that “the new Slovak government will not support Ukraine militarily,” and will focus only on humanitarian aid. Following Fico’s appointment as prime minister, Orban has gained an apparent ally in his stance against Brussels over the Ukraine conflict. Last week, the Hungarian prime minister met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The move prompted an “emergency meeting” of NATO envoys in Budapest over “deepening relations” between the EU state and Moscow. Speaking to the press after arriving for a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday, Orban insisted he was proud to have good relations with Moscow, adding that while most bloc members were pursuing a “war strategy,” Hungary had a “peace strategy.”

Securing Western support has also become more challenging for Kiev, whose counteroffensive is “six to nine months behind schedule,” according to Mikhail Podoliak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Since October 7, when the Hamas-Israel conflict escalated violently, Ukraine has faced potential competition for aid and attention from the West. As President Joe Biden’s administration struggles to win approval from US lawmakers for additional military and economic aid to Ukraine, this week a group of Republican senators introduced a bill to split aid to Israel from the money for Kiev. Senator Roger Marshall, who is sponsoring the legislation, argued that help for Israel should not be used as leverage to send tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine.

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Note: it’s the Ukraine aid that is the problem, not the Israel aid. Almost funny. Opinions overtaken by reality.

Speaker Johnson Plans Separate Votes On Ukraine, Israel Aid (ZH)

In what would be a major setback for the War Party’s increasingly desperate effort to perpetuate the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson says he wants to break up President Biden’s $106 billion funding request that combines controversial Ukraine aid with widely-supported funding for Israel. Johnson told Fox News on Thursday that he’s met with Biden and has informed White House officials that “our consensus among House Republicans is we need to bifurcate those issues.” Reflecting growing Republican legislator skepticism about the Ukraine war — and sagging support among citizens of all political stripes — Johnson said, “We want to know what the object is there, what is the end game in Ukraine. The White House has not provided that.”

Biden’s $106 billion funding request, which packages aid to Ukraine and Israel with other vote-baiting allocations, was preceded by a rare Oval Office address in which Biden made the case for pouring more weapons and money into both countries. In addition to saying the aid was necessary to defend two democracies, Biden added a new spin to his Ukraine war pitch by saying the spending would be a boon to US arms manufacturers. sTacking Israel aid to the Ukraine request is a political play: The great majority of both Republican and Democratic legislators would hate to be on the record as voting against Israel aid. Of the $106 billion, $61.4 billion would go to Ukraine — where President Volodymyr Zelensky’s much-hyped 2023 counteroffensive resulted in a net loss of territory to Russia — and just $14.3 billion would end up Israel.

Biden’s combo package is also in danger in the Senate. On Thursday, a group of GOP senators introduced a stand-alone bill that would only authorize money for Israel, and none for Ukraine. “My colleagues and I firmly believe that any aid to Israel should not be used as leverage to send tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine,” said Kansas Senator Roger Marshall. He sponsored the Israel bill along with Ohio Senator J.D. Vance, Texas’s Ted Cruz and Utah’s Mike Lee. That goes against the wishes of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who, like Biden, wants to leverage the Israel lobby’s grip on legislators as a means of forcing his colleagues into voting for Ukraine money. The practice of pushing all-in-one mega-bills in front of legislators for a straight up-or-down vote without amendments is one of the grievances that led to the ouster of former speaker Kevin McCarthy. By breaking up Biden’s requests, new Speaker Johnson can also claim that he’s moving the House toward better governance. We’ll see how long that lasts.

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“We are going to follow the truth where it leads, engage in due process… The evidence is coming together.”

Biden Likely Guilty of ‘Impeachable Offenses’ – Speaker (Sp.)

Newly-elected House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson weiged in on the ongoing congressional probe into Joe Biden’s alleged influence-peddling abroad, and the GOP efforts to impeach the Democratic POTUS. Evidence may prove that US President Joe Biden committed “impeachable offenses,” the Louisiana Republican who was recently elected House Speaker has stated. “If in fact all the evidence leads to where we believe it will, that’s very likely impeachable offenses, that’s listed as a cause for impeachment in the Constitution… Bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors,” Mike Johnson stated in a US media interview. Johnson, who himself sits on the House Judiciary Committee, referenced James Comer (R-Ky.), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, and his investigation, emphasizing that documents and bank records accumulated were the reason why the House shifted into the impeachment inquiry stage on the US President, adding: “We are going to follow the truth where it leads, engage in due process… The evidence is coming together.”

Further along in the interview the host voiced the view, shared by increasingly many House GOP and rank-and-file Americans, as per polls, that 80-year-old President Joe Biden has been struggling cognitively. To this, Mike Johnson agreed, and responded by referring to this as a “concerning reality.” “If you look at a tape of Joe Biden making an argument in the Senate Judiciary Committee a few years ago and you see a speech that he delivers now, there’s a difference. Again, it’s not a personal insult to him. It’s just reality,” stated Johnson. The new gavel-holder in the House also summed up his current vision of the Biden administration as a “failed presidency.” Regarding Johnson’s determination to proceed further with the GOP resolve to impeach Joe Biden, Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee told US media that in his opinion the new Speaker “is more than happy to move forward, and will move forward, and the only question is the timeline.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene agreed, adding: “I definitely think he’ll be supportive.”

Mike Johnson

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“It is the type of blind purpose that leads — as it did in the McDonnell case — to a unanimous ruling against you on an otherwise divided Supreme Court.“

AG Garland Should Rein in Jack Smith’s War on Free Speech (Turley)

In 2016, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion overturning a conviction that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had seemed willing to secure at whatever cost to the rule of law. The case involved the prosecution of former governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.), and the lead DOJ prosecutor was now-special counsel Jack Smith. The court dismissed the “tawdry tales” offered by the DOJ and declared that it was far more concerned with the damage that Smith was causing to the legal system with his virtually limitless interpretation of criminality. The rebuke came to mind this week as Smith continued his unrelenting effort to gag former president Donald Trump before the 2024 election. Some of us have previously denounced the gag order issued by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan as unconstitutional, but even that order was more limited than what Smith had demanded.

Even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a leading critic of Trump, has come out against Smith’s efforts as an attack on the First Amendment. Undeterred, Smith now wants to reinstate and expand the gag on Trump, citing Trump’s comments about his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who reportedly has been given an immunity deal by Smith. (Meadows’ lawyer disputes those reports.) Smith wants to bar Trump from criticizing any witnesses as well as the prosecution and the court. That would include criticisms of former Vice President Mike Pence, currently one of his opponents for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, on his allegations linked to the earlier election. Of course, gagging Trump will not materially affect the jury pool in the case. The Smith prosecutions are one of the biggest issues in this election.

Moreover, it will not protect potential witnesses from withering criticism in the middle of an election that could turn on the public view of these cases. Indeed, Smith has insisted on trying Trump before the election but now also wants to prevent him from speaking fully about the case before the election. Trump alone would be gagged, even as other politicians and pundits debate the merits of the cases and the countervailing allegations of the weaponization of the criminal justice system. The prior order issued by Judge Chutkan is shockingly vague and overbroad. It bars Trump from “targeting” Smith or his staff or potential witnesses or the “substance of their testimony.” It leaves an undefined and uncertain line as Trump campaigns on what he (and millions of citizens) view as the abuse of the criminal justice system to target President Biden’s main political opponent.

Smith would add to the scope and ambiguity of the order in his latest motion. He is arguing that the court should “modify the defendant’s conditions of release … by clarifying that the existing condition barring communication with witnesses about the facts of the case includes indirect messages to witnesses made publicly on social media or in speeches.” Consider that for a moment: Smith would treat comments about witnesses, such as Meadows or Pence, as an effort to communicate with a witness. Thus, Smith continues to litigate with a sense of utter abandon, showing his signature lack of concern for the implications of his legal arguments. It is the type of blind purpose that leads — as it did in the McDonnell case — to a unanimous ruling against you on an otherwise divided Supreme Court.

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Wishful thinking?! The case continues… He’s now called for Ivanka to appear…

President Trump Destroys NYC Judge Engoron After Case Collapses (GP)

President Trump used his Constitutional right to Free Speech on Friday to go off on the crooked Judge Arthur Engoron, New York State Attorney General Letitia James for continuing this lawfare suit against President Trump and his family after the star witness testified this week that there is zero evidence that President Trump misrepresented the value of his assets to gain business loans for his company. There is no victim in this lawsuit. President Trump paid off each loan and the banks admitted they would readily loan him money for future projects. Engoron is the same bizarre and unhinged judge who opened the garbage trial against Donald Trump and his business empire by giggling to the cameras.

The case never should have been filed. This is lawfare at its worst. The prosecution even had the gall to suggest that Mar-a-Lago, one of the most expensive properties in the world, was only worth $18 million. This judge and this lawsuit is a sick joke. It appears the only criminal activity in the case was by Letitia James after she misrepresented the numbers and filed an outrageously dishonest suit against Trump and his business empire with no evidence. Trump went off on Truth Social on Friday, saying the judge “HAS GONE CRAZY IN HIS HATRED OF “TRUMP.”

President Donald Trump: The Attorney General case against me in New York State just lost its STAR witness, SleazeBag former attorney Michael Cohen (he was disbarred for lying, and more!), who admitted to lying in this case and clearly stated that I did nothing wrong. The unhinged Judge, a highly political and fully biased Trump Hater, refused to dismiss this HOAX of a case, and has lost all CREDIBILITY. Likewise, he refuses to accept the decision of the Appeals Court, a first in New York. He should be ashamed of himself for having ruled against me before the trial even started, and for not dismissing this RIGGED WITCH HUNT now that the facts are known and that their star witness has been totally discredited, actually ADMITTING TO LYING. It is a Travesty of Justice for all to see. Businesses are fleeing “the least business friendly State in the Nation!” Racist Attorney General Letitia James should focus on record setting Murder and other Violent Crimes, something she cares, or knows, nothing about!

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Yeadon

 

 

 

 

Shoebill

 

 

Strandbeest Roboticss
https://twitter.com/i/status/1718162059504787517

 

 

Sound waves

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 242023
 
 October 24, 2023  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Joseph Mallord William Turner Wreckers, Coast of Northumberland 1834

 

A Blueprint For The Complete Ethnic Cleansing Of Gaza (Ofir)
Israel A ‘Nuclear Wildcard’ On ‘Dangerous Road To Armageddon’: Macgregor (ZH)
The Existential Trap – The Pentagon Has Just Fallen Into It (Helmer)
US Fears Israel Has No ‘Clear’ Plan For Gaza Invasion – NYT (RT)
New World Order Won’t Be Built By US – Kremlin (TASS)
Biden’s Taunt to Show Him the Money May Have Just Backfired (Turley)
Halloween Parable (James Howard Kunstler)
Revelations About Dugina Murder Mean ‘CIA Knows War in Ukraine is Lost’ (Sp.)
EU’s Borrell Asks Media ‘Not To Forget About Ukraine’ (RT)
Orban Blasts EU As ‘Parody’ Of USSR (RT)
US Treasury Deficit Doubles as Biden Bankrolls Foreign Conflicts (Tweedie)
Imran Khan Charged Over Exposing Alleged US Meddling (RT)
More Americans Are Rejecting the Constitution and Embracing Violence (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Alastair Crooke

 

 

,,what Arafat walked away from in July 2000″

 

 

Carter 2013

 

 

 

 

Hadid
https://twitter.com/i/status/1716320417613250799

 

 

Marine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How and why does Egypt have 10 million available apartment units?

A Blueprint For The Complete Ethnic Cleansing Of Gaza (Ofir)

The Hamas attack on Israeli towns surrounding Gaza on October 7 has provided a pretext for an unprecedented, genocidal revenge campaign by Israel involving the massacre of now nearly 5,000 Palestinians, including over 2,000 children – and that may only be the beginning. Now, an Israeli think tank with ties to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting plans for the complete ethnic cleansing of Gaza. On October 17, the Misgav Institute for National Security & Zionist Strategy published a position paper advocating for the “relocation and final settlement of the entire Gaza population.” The report advocates exploiting the current moment to accomplish a long-held Zionist goal of moving Palestinians off the land of historic Palestine.

The report’s subtitle makes it clear: “There is at the moment a unique and rare opportunity to evacuate the whole Gaza Strip in coordination with the Egyptian government.” The Misgav Institute is headed by former Netanyahu National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat, who remains influential in Israeli security circles. The Institute’s former chairpersons and founding associates include Yoaz Hendel (chair 2012-19), a right-centrist who was Minister of Communications intermittently in the years 2020-22; Moshe Yaalon, former Defense Minister (note that both Hendel and Yaalon have become opposed to Netanyahu in the recent years); Moshe Arens, also former Defense Minister — and other top political personas. The main arguments of the report, which the Institute highlighted on social media upon the report’s release, are translated as follows:

• There is a need for an immediate, viable plan for the resettlement and economic rehabilitation of the entire Arab population in the Gaza Strip, which sits well with the geopolitical interests of Israel, Egypt, U.S.A. and Saudi Arabia.
• In 2017 it was reported that in Egypt there were 10 million available apartment units, of which half were built and half under construction. For example, in two of the biggest Cairo satellite cities, “October 6” and “Ramadan 10” there is an immense number of built and empty apartments under governmental and private ownership as well as empty lots for building that would in total suffice the housing of about 6 million residents.
• The average cost of a three-room apartment of 95 square meters for an average Gaza family of 5.14 people in one of the two mentioned cities stands at $19,000. In calculating the total population that resides in the Gaza Strip, which stands between 1.4-2.2 million people, it is possible to assess that the amount that would need to be transferred to Egypt in order to finance would be around $5 to 8 billion.
• An encouraging injection to the Egyptian economy at this magnitude would provide an enormous and immediate advantage to [Egyptian President] El-Sisi’s regime. Such money sums, compared to the Israeli economy, are miniscule. The investment of a mere few billions of dollars (even if it is $20 or 30 billion) in order to solve this difficult issue is an innovative, cheap and viable solution.
• There is no doubt that in order for this plan to be enacted, many conditions need to exist in parallel. At the moment, these conditions exist, and it is unclear when such an opportunity will arise again, if at all.

It appears that this ethnic-cleansing plan is based on a similar logic to that of the “Abraham Accords,” involving the infusion of massive sums towards despotic regimes to write off the Palestinian issue. But this time, it is not just about slow annexation and bantustanization through “economic peace” — but advocating for the complete population transfer of Palestinians from Gaza. It is not the first time that suggestions for a full ethnic cleansing have appeared from Israeli analysts or even politicians. In the midst of the 2014 Gaza onslaught, Moshe Feiglin, who was then part of Likud and deputy chair of the Knesset, sent Netanyahu a public, 7-point proposal for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. He repeated the genocidal advocacy in 2018. Feiglin is now a libertarian politician. In a recent interview on Channel 14, Feiglin called for a “Dresden” on Gaza (referring to the WW2 firebombing of Dresden in February 1945, killing some 25,000 people) — “a storm of fire on all of Gaza!” he proclaimed, demanding to “not leave stone on stone” and emphasizing “total fire!” and “the end of ends!”

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Türkiye and Russia to become involved.

Israel A ‘Nuclear Wildcard’ On ‘Dangerous Road To Armageddon’: Macgregor (ZH)

Tucker Carlson sat down with Col. Douglas Macgregor (ret.), who laid out a disturbing scenario in which the United States could quickly be pulled into a direct conflict with Iran, Russia and China over Israel’s anticipated response to the October 7 Hamas attack. Carlson starts off highlighting Lindsey Graham, who vowed; “…if Hezbollah, which is a proxy of Iran, launches a massive attack on Israel, I consider that a threat to the… state of Israel, existential in nature. I will introduce a resolution [in] the United States Senate to allow military action by the United States in conjunction with Israel to knock Iran out of the Oil Business…” Carlson then asks: “So what would war with Iran mean? Well, it’s hard to know because virtually no one who’s talking about it in public is operating from a deep interest in America’s interest. Is this good for us, or is it not?”

If, as Sen. Graham suggests, we start bombing critical infrastructure in Iran, Macgregor warns “the destruction would be wholesale” as Iran would target “all the bases we have in Iraq and Syria – with around 1000 Americans – would be targeted… and this time accurately.” According to Macgregor, “The chosen destination” if we continue on this path, “is Armageddon,” and the implications (of which nobody seems to be considering) for the United States, Europe, and the Middle East are grave. For example, “just on the economic side, about 20% of the world’s oil passes through the Straits of Hormuz every month – probably 25% of liquefied natural gas, and you’re talking about shutting down 2 to three million barrels a day of oil from Iran. “You know this entire region is involved in the war. This is not an Iranian Monopoly by any stretch of the imagination,” he continued.

The two also discussed how one of the primary challenges of in contemplating war with Iran is the unpredictable nature of such conflicts. Economic sanctions, which have been the go-to strategy for years, have failed to cripple Iran’s military capabilities. When military force comes into play, a whole new set of unknowns emerges. The U.S. military, as it stands, may not be adequately prepared for such a conflict – particularly if the enemy has new weapons systems and capabilities. “We’ve had the luxury of sitting around forward operating bases and striking opponents that were armed with AK-47s, and command detonated mines and the occasional mortar or rocket. Very, very low-intensity combat,” he said, referring to the types of engagements the US military has grown accustomed to.

According to Macgregor, “This is a high-end, conventional war that we’re looking at, with the potential to go nuclear – which, obviously, I don’t think we or the Russians want to happen, but we have the wild-card in Israel. They do have a nuclear capability.” “We don’t know what the trip wire is for them to employ such a weapon. At that point of course, all bets are off and I think most of the world would turn against Israel. Right now, they just have to worry about the Muslim world against them,” he continued, explaining that by focusing on Hamas and Hezbollah as immediate threats, the broader implications are obscured. For example, attacking urban environments such as Gaza comes with a high risk of civilian casualties – the consequences of which would catastrophic, both morally and strategically.

“Hezbollah has a very large operation in Mexico,” says Macgregor. “There are no doubt many, many Hezbollah agents inside the United States. We can only begin to imagine the kind of trouble they could cause.” In the midst of all this, the question arises: How will a war with Iran affect American domestic politics? History shows that war is often used to stifle dissent, but in today’s connected world, censorship can only go so far. Public opinion, initially in favor of violence against Hamas, may wane as the conflict escalates and images of destruction flood the media. “But what’s most important, I think, for Americans to understand is, if we attack Iran on the basis of Hezbollah’s alleged willingness to attack Israel, if Israel gets into a real shooting war with Hezbollah, they have the largest armed forces in the region.”

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“..the entire portfolio of US air defence systems is being defeated..”

The Existential Trap – The Pentagon Has Just Fallen Into It (Helmer)

“In a small change that could have major meaning,” Pentagon officials are telling their press, “the U.S. is changing its plans for the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. The change could place the strike group in waters where Chinese warships have been active in recent months. Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that the Eisenhower strike group would head to the eastern Mediterranean instead of Europe as had been planned. Sailing in the eastern Mediterranean would have put the strike group to the west of Israel. But that plan changed after a week in which U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq came under fire from Iran-backed militias, and a U.S. Navy ship in the Red Sea downed missiles launched from Yemen…On Saturday, Austin said in a statement the strike group will now go to the ‘Central Command area of responsibility.’ Central Command covers a vast amount of Middle East territory, including the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.”

The purpose of “these steps,” Austin said, is to “bolster regional deterrence efforts, increase force protection for U.S. forces in the region, and assist in the defense of Israel.” The priority order is a switch. Israel comes last – Iran, Russia and China come first. For the first time too, the US command has acknowledged what President Vladimir Putin meant when he said in Beijing last Wednesday, October 18, that he has deployed MiG-31s armed with Kinzhal missiles within range of the Eisenhower. Austin added for Sunday television viewers in the US: “If any group or any country is looking to widen this conflict and take advantage of this very unfortunate situation that we see, our advice is: don’t. We maintain the right to defend ourselves, and we won’t hesitate to take the appropriate action.”

The US doctrine of self-defence while attacking states like Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Somalia isn’t new. In September 1969, when Libyan Army Captain Muammar Qaddafi took control of his country, he carefully skirted the US Air Force (USAF) base at Wheelus (Mellaha), which was stocking nuclear weapons at the time; Qaddafi then squeezed the US forces out of Wheelus over twelve months, but the USAF evacuated its nuclear weapons swiftly. Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon don’t have time; the Israelis even less. But Austin’s rush to change the sailing orders for the Eisenhower and fly THAADs and Patriots to US bases in the Arab territories reveals he’s short of time too. This is because the entire portfolio of US air defence systems is being defeated. The Russian Kinzhal has defeated the US Patriot batteries around Kiev; the Hamas swarms of drones and rockets defeated Israel’s Iron Dome on October 7. THAAD has been tested in combat once, against a Houthi missile, rocket and drone attack against Abu Dhabi targets in January 2022. “Several were intercepted, a few of them [weren’t].”

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Bakhmut on steroids.

US Fears Israel Has No ‘Clear’ Plan For Gaza Invasion – NYT (RT)

US officials have expressed concerns that Israel has no workable plan for sending ground forces into Gaza, and are questioning whether the IDF can achieve its goal of annihilating the Hamas militant group without the right preparations, according to the New York Times. In recent discussions with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has emphasized the need for “careful consideration” before launching a ground campaign in the densely populated territory, the New York Times reported on Monday. “The [US] administration is also concerned… that the Israel Defense Forces do not yet have a clear military pathway to achieve Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s goal of eradicating Hamas,” the outlet said, adding that “In conversations with Israeli officials since the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, American officials said they have not yet seen an achievable plan of action.”

Although the White House has maintained that American officials are not making decisions on Israel’s behalf, the Pentagon has reportedly dispatched three-star Marine Lt. Gen. James Glynn to advise the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on urban operations. The officer previously led US special operators tasked with fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), and before that served in Fallujah, Iraq during some of the most vicious house-to-house fighting following the 2003 US invasion. Glynn will reportedly advise Israeli forces on “how to mitigate civilian casualties in urban warfare,” according to the Associated Press, which cited an unnamed US official. However, National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby told reporters on Monday that American advisers will not serve in a combat role, and would merely consult with Israeli commanders. Another unnamed official told the New York Times, meanwhile, that Glynn would not remain on the ground in Israel should a ground invasion begin.

During a call with Gallant on Monday, Defense Secretary Austin reportedly emphasized “the importance of civilian protection,” and “encouraged” the Israeli military to “conduct their operations in accordance with the law of war.” The IDF has already come under fire from some human rights groups for indiscriminate strikes on civilian structures in Gaza, which have left at least 5,000 Palestinians dead and thousands more injured, according to local officials. Some 1,400 in Israel have been killed since the latest round of hostilities erupted on October 7, when Hamas launched one of its largest terrorist attacks to date. Hundreds of thousands of residents in Gaza have been displaced amid the violence, with many in dire need of aid, also prompting warnings of a looming humanitarian disaster from the United Nations and other organizations.

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“..has a US-centric world order in mind.” “That is, a world that revolves around the United States. This will no longer be the case..”

New World Order Won’t Be Built By US – Kremlin (TASS)

The Kremlin endorses US President Joe Biden’s statement that the world is in need of a new order, but Moscow does not agree that such an order can be built under the auspices of Washington alone, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media. “We absolutely agree with Mr. Biden. This is a rare occasion when we absolutely agree with what he said. Indeed, the world is in need of a new order, [but one] based on entirely different principles [than what the US promotes],” he said. The Kremlin believes that any future world order must be free of any attempts to concentrate all control mechanisms in the hands of a single country and of all attempts by a single power to impose its will and its decisions on other countries.

“There should be a world order based on international law, not on ‘rules.’ It should be based on mutual respect, mutual benefit, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and so on,” Peskov enumerated. The Kremlin disagrees, however, with Biden on the other part of his statement, Peskov continued. “Mr. Biden also said that the United States is capable of building such an order. We disagree with this part of his statement,” Peskov said. He stressed that the US, “one way or another, whatever world order it may be talking about, has a US-centric world order in mind.” “That is, a world that revolves around the United States. This will no longer be the case,” he stated.

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The Biden team is insulting what’s left of the intelligence of the American people.

Biden’s Taunt to Show Him the Money May Have Just Backfired (Turley)

“Where’s the money?” That laughing quip from President Joe Biden was his surprising reaction to the disclosure that a trusted FBI informant had conveyed an alleged bribe worth millions, paid to Joe Biden by a Ukrainian businessman. Biden seemed almost to morph into the Cuba Gooding Jr. character in “Jerry Maguire,” getting Tom Cruise’s character to chant “show me the money” over and over again. Much like in the movie, the pundits and politicians picked up the refrain, insisting that nothing matters unless critics can show a direct payment to Jill or Joe Biden among the millions sent to Biden family members. At the same time, they opposed any investigation by the House. Now, the House Oversight Committee committee has released evidence of one such transfer that might even satisfy Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The payment occurred in 2018, after the president’s brother, James Biden, received $200,000 from a company called Americore. James has long been criticized for raw influence peddling, and Americore was one of the companies where he had reportedly suggested access to sell to his brother. On March 1, 2018, Americore wired James the money to his personal rather than his business account. On the very same day, James wrote a check in that same amount to the personal bank account of his brother Joe, who had left office as Vice President and was widely discussed as a possible candidate for the presidency. James listed the money as a “loan repayment.”

“Loans” have long been a source of controversy with the Bidens. IRS whistleblowers, for example, detailed how Hunter took massive payments from corrupt foreign sources and listed them as “loans,” despite no evidence of repayment or any standard loan agreement. He allegedly neither paid them back nor paid taxes on the money. Even if Joe Biden did loan almost a quarter of a million dollars to his brother, it would raise concerns over whether this disbursement came while he was vice president. The payments could have given Joe Biden an interest in not just the influence peddling of his brother but also the viability of this company.

The White House has insisted that it was a loan to his brother that was repaid. But if there is no evidence of an actual loan, it would constitute a payment from an influence-seekling company to Joe Biden. At a minimum, the payment shows the fluidity of the accounts and finances of the Biden influence-peddling operation. While I have long criticized influence peddling by both Republicans and Democrats for decades, the Bidens constitute a class to themselves. The House committees have now traced millions of dollars passing through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts to Biden family members, even grandchildren.

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“..V. Putin is not the enemy of Western Civ, he’s one of its last remaining defenders..”

Halloween Parable (James Howard Kunstler)


The Dead Rise on John Streets

You might have noticed that the massive investment in Halloween yard shrines by families growing broke in America reflects the ghoulish convergence of malevolent events undermining and overtaking what used to be normal life in this land. Nothing is normal anymore. The groaning mummies, howling werewolves, and shrieking skeletons are trying to tell us something. The message might be: detach from reality long enough and death comes creeping ’round your door. You see where consensual madness has gotten us? Believe enough things that are not true and nemesis comes roaring in, all fangs and claws, to gleefully shred you. So. Maybe it’s time to stop believing things that are not true. Start with the first principle of US life in our time: that anything goes and nothing matters.

This proposition has ruled for as long as most of us can remember. Consequence was exiled on Main Street so you can get away with anything now — until you discover that, somehow, everything is broken. Your livelihood is broken. Your community is broken. Your household is broken. Your car is broken. Your children are broken. Your health is broken. Your faith is broken. Your country is broken. Here’s a first principle worth considering: court death and it will oblige you. Granted, there is a certain libido for nonexistence in the human psyche because life is so hard sometimes that you yearn to be relieved of it. But not everyone in America seeks to walk that way. Probably fewer than half of us. So why do we allow that other half to drag us to the bone orchard?

Do you see what it means to get your mind right when times get hard and the path is uncertain? Everybody knows that a ghoul was installed in the now-haunted White House. And everybody knows that the method of his installation was a fraud, a gigantic falsehood. The catch is that the fewer than half of us liked it that way, they celebrated it, did a victory dance, and then rubbed it in with prosecutions against the rest of us who saw exactly what happened and didn’t like it. They acted like it didn’t matter what you saw. They tried to control the transmission of ideas and sentiment about these matters by placing half the CIA and the FBI on Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

Nice try, but only cads and fools think that you can stuff reality in a black box, lock it up, and throw away the key. Reality has Houdini-like powers to escape because reality is true magic. Reality is the ultimate super-power. Reality is not some asshole in a spandex suit with a cape and a mask. Reality is the white light that reveals the world. Reality is telling us that the war project in Ukraine started by the neocon pseudopod of our Deep State blob is not working out. The fiasco could not be more rank. Instead of weakening Russia, it crippled the USA. V. Putin is not the enemy of Western Civ, he’s one of its last remaining defenders. Was it not in everyone’s interest that for seventy-five years Ukraine existed as an inert borderland, making trouble for nobody, itself especially? Could we not respect that reality and leave it alone?

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“..hey, look, here’s all the good stuff we tried to do. And it’s not our fault. The Ukrainians sometimes went off the reservation and did bad things.”

Revelations About Dugina Murder Mean ‘CIA Knows War in Ukraine is Lost’ (Sp.)

Over a year has passed since the assassination of Daria Dugina, a journalist and the daughter of the renowned Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin. Recently, a surprising admission about the culprits of this heinous crime was made by a US newspaper. While the Kiev regime has so far denied its involvement in Dugina’s murder, the Washington Post has reported citing its sources that the assassination was orchestrated by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU). The newspaper’s sources also alleged that the US Central Intelligence Agency has invested a lot of money and effort since 2015 to turn Ukraine’s intelligence services into “potent allies against Moscow.” Commenting on this development, retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official Larry Johnson suggests that the timing of the WaPo’s revelations may not be coincidental.

“You have to ask yourself, why was this published now? Because this was not just created on a whim. There is a purpose behind this. I take it as an indication that the CIA realizes that the war in Ukraine is lost and that it’s not going to succeed,” he told Sputnik. “Therefore, they’re starting to put out their story about, hey, look, here’s all the good stuff we tried to do. And it’s not our fault. The Ukrainians sometimes went off the reservation and did bad things.” According to Johnson, the CIA should probably seek to distance itself from the crimes committed by the SBU and Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence, who seem increasingly focused on assassinating people they brand as enemies of Ukraine. “If you’ve got people that are doing things that you see as counterproductive to your policy and in this case actually murdering journalists, that is a violation for the CIA. But again, the CIA has their persons within the ranks who find ways to excuse that, justify and say that it’s okay,” he remarked.

Referring to the part of the newspaper’s report that broached the subject of the CIA providing training to Ukrainian intelligence services, Johnson wondered aloud what exactly did this training involve, seeing how the techniques mentioned in the article – for example, the way the bomb that killed Dugina was smuggled into Russia – have little to do with actual intelligence work. “The goal of intelligence is to recruit people from the other side who have access to information you want and cannot get through any other means. And you want to recruit them and have them provided that information without tipping off the other side that you have access to that information,” he explained. Johnson also said he thinks “Russia has far better human intelligence on what Ukraine is going to do than Ukraine has on what Russia is going to do.”

Regarding the potential risks Ukrainian intelligence services may present to those who support them, Johnson described them as minimal, noting that the problem may arise “if members of the GUR or SBU feel that they were betrayed by the West.” “And then there’s always the possibility that they could try to seek revenge out of that. But again, I think this decision to publish this story is all about, I think, the end game of U.S. policy in support for Ukraine. It’s not the flag in a problem per se, but it’s just the CIA basically saying, here’s what we’ve tried to do and it’s not our fault,” he surmised. Daria Dugina was murdered on August 20, 2022, when an explosive device that had been planted in her car detonated. An investigation conducted by the Russian authorities established that the bomb was planted by Ukrainian national Natalia Vovk who worked for the Ukrainian special services, the mastermind behind Dugina’s murder.

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What a disaster EU “leadership” is.

EU’s Borrell Asks Media ‘Not To Forget About Ukraine’ (RT)

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has urged the media not to shift all of its attention away from Ukraine and onto the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Speaking ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, Borrell told reporters that Ukraine “continues to fight” and said Kiev would be on the agenda for the discussions. “Do not forget about Ukraine,” added the diplomat. Borrell also noted that ministers would discuss the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as European sanctions against Russia. During his brief exchange with reporters, Borrell primarily spoke about the fighting between Israel and Hamas, while none of the journalists present asked about the Ukraine conflict.

Despite previously expressing solidarity with Israel, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has lamented that this month’s escalation in the Middle East has diverted the spotlight away from his country. “If international attention shifts away from Ukraine, one way or another, it will have consequences,” Zelensky warned in an interview with France 2 earlier this month. “The fate of Ukraine depends on the unity of the rest of the world.” US officials have declared that they will continue funding Kiev and Israel, with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen insisting that Washington “can certainly afford” two wars.

She also admitted that direct US economic aid to Kiev was “what enables them to fight this war.” Ukrainian Defense Ministry official Gennady Kovalenko told the Washington Post earlier in October that Kiev “depends 100% on the United States.” US President Joe Biden is reportedly planning to ask Congress to approve a new $100 billion aid bill that would include funding for Israel and Ukraine. However, a report by Axios last week suggested that the Pentagon has decided to give Israel tens of thousands of 155mm artillery shells that were originally intended for Ukraine.

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“For Westerners, freedom means escape — get rid of yourself, get rid of what you were born into, change nation, change gender, change identity.”

Orban Blasts EU As ‘Parody’ Of USSR (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has marked the anniversary of his country’s failed 1956 uprising against the USSR by accusing the European Union of seeking Soviet-like dominance in trying to strip Budapest of its identity. “Today, things pop up that remind us of the Soviet times,” Orban said in a speech on Monday in the western Hungarian city of Veszprem. “Yes, it happens that history repeats itself. Fortunately, what once was tragedy is now a comedy at best. Fortunately, Brussels is not Moscow. Moscow was a tragedy. Brussels is just a bad contemporary parody.” Orban said Brussels has tried to impose a model of liberal democracy that the Hungarian people have rejected.

He added that although the EU’s domineering methods harken back to the Soviet era, the bloc is not able to rule with an iron fist. “We had to dance to the tune that Moscow whistled,” Orban said of Hungary’s four decades under Soviet control. “Brussels whistles too, but we dance as we want to, and if we don’t want to, then we don’t dance.” Hungary’s October 23 holiday commemorates the start of a 1956 revolution, which was crushed by Soviet troops after just 12 days. Orban typically gives a speech to supporters on the holiday and has previously used it to make comparisons between Soviet oppression and EU tactics. Last year, he predicted that the bloc would end up like the Soviet Union.

Orban has clashed with the EU on anti-Russia sanctions, illegal immigration, and LGBTQ “propaganda,” among other issues. Just last week, he roiled Western allies by meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing. He has called for seeking a negotiated end to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and has argued that sanctions against Moscow have made citizens of EU countries poorer. The PM suggested in Monday’s speech that Hungarians have a different view of freedom than their Western allies. “For Westerners, freedom means escape — get rid of yourself, get rid of what you were born into, change nation, change gender, change identity.” He added that for Hungarians, freedom is a “life instinct,” and they’re not willing to give up their identity. “The thought of not being a man, a Christian and a Hungarian is like tearing our hearts apart.”

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Money grows on trees.

US Treasury Deficit Doubles as Biden Bankrolls Foreign Conflicts (Tweedie)

US President Joe Biden’s appeal for cash to arm Ukraine and Israel could meet resistance from Congress thanks to the runaway federal budget. Treasury department figures released late last week showed the government deficit had hit almost £1.7 trillion, up from £1.37 trillion a year earlier, a 23 percent increase in the public debt — although lower than the $2.78 trillion left by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. The news was worse than it sounded however. The 2022 deficit included the budget for Biden’s student loan repayment program, money that was never spent as the Supreme Court struck it down. The treasury then claimed those unspent public funds as a “saving” in 2023 — meaning the true deficit doubled from $1 trillion in 2022 to $2 trillion this year. That news came a day before Biden asked Congress for a $106 billion emergency foreign military aid budget.

The lion’s share, $61.4 billion, is earmarked for Washington’s proxy conflict with Russia in Ukraine, while another $14.3 billion is to arm Israel for its latest attempt to destroy the Hamas movement in the besieged Gaza Strip. That request dwarfs the $77 billion in arms and cash gifted to the Kiev regime since the start of Russia’s de-Nazification operation in February 2022. Economist Sergio Rossi told Sputnik that the mounting deficit would make it harder for Biden to persuade Congress to approve his $100 billion budget request for more arms to Ukraine and Israel “in light of the problematic economic situation and outlook for the US stakeholders, namely, households, firms, and a variety of financial institutions.” “Usually, when the domestic economic situation worsens, these stakeholders and their political supporters reduce the volume of foreign aid, to focus on supporting their own national economy first of all,” Rossi said.

He said the funding the conflict in Ukraine — while preparing for a Pacific showdown with China over Taiwan — had already put too much strain on Washington’s finances before the Palestinian Hamas movement launched a surprise attack into southern Israel. “The US government cannot continue financing two military conflicts, particularly if the latter will continue without any foreseeable peaceful agreement before long,” Rossi stressed. “There are already signs that the political consensus for such a financial support is diminishing across the US economy, notably where both the labour and the product markets are in a difficult situation for a number of middle-class workers and several small or medium-sized firms.” The state of the US economy was “worrying,” he said, and the outlook for the next two years was “even worse,” thanks to “global macroeconomic issues related to different geopolitical problems.”

The “mushroom” of ensuing inflation has badly affected consumer purchasing power. “As a result, firms’ investment is discouraged, both because of this inflationary pressure and the Fed’s repeated increases in the policy rates of interest.” “The US economy is even closer to a recession than it was one year ago,” Rossi warned, although “there is no potential risk of a default of the US federal government.” He pointed out that Congress could simply raise the public debt ceiling and the US Federal Reserve could buy up government bonds as an effective loan. “This, however, is a time bomb that eventually can burst, particularly once some viable and credible alternative to the US dollar will emerge across the global economy,” Rossi said. “The BRICS community could provide such an alternative in a not-too-distant future.”

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Khan=Trump.

Imran Khan Charged Over Exposing Alleged US Meddling (RT)

A special court in Pakistan formally charged former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his then-foreign minister on Monday with breaching state secrecy laws. The charges stem from their alleged conspiracy to reveal what Khan characterized as US interference in orchestrating his removal by political opponents last year. Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain lodged indictments against Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi concerning the so-called ‘cipher case.’ The allegations revolve around their purported unlawful retention and public disclosure of a classified document, which Khan’s side is said to have had the necessary cipher to decode. Pakistani media reports suggest that additional individuals, including Khan’s aide Muhammad Azam Khan and former Federal Minister Asad Umar, may also face charges in the ongoing investigation.

The document in question is a diplomatic cable sent by then-Pakistani Ambassador to the US Asad Majeed Khan after his March 2022 meeting with two senior US Department of State officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu. Various media sources, including The Intercept, reported that Lu criticized Imran Khan for adopting an “aggressively neutral position” on the Ukraine conflict that erupted in late February of the same year. Unlike the United States and its European allies, the Pakistani prime minister refrained from siding with Kiev. Instead, he conducted a scheduled visit to Moscow and declared during a rally that Pakistanis were not “slaves” to Washington, defying Western criticisms.

The US official reportedly discussed the no-confidence vote against Khan, which he was facing in parliament at the time. If it were to succeed, “all will be forgiven in Washington,” Lu was quoted as telling the ambassador, while if Khan stayed in power, Islamabad would supposedly face “isolation.” The US government denied that anything said by Lu during the meeting amounted to taking a position on who should be in power in Pakistan. Khan was ousted about a month after the meeting and has since been charged with a number of crimes, including some related to terrorism and corruption. He has claimed that his political opponents seek to bar him from the upcoming parliamentary elections with Washington’s blessing. Notably, after Khan’s downfall, US-Pakistani relations experienced a period of thawing.

Islamabad received an unexpected windfall this July when the International Monetary Fund extended a $3 billion bailout. The Intercept claimed that the US backed the rescue in exchange for Pakistan agreeing to supply munitions worth $900 million to Ukraine. The Pakistani government has denied the reported arms sale ever taking place.

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“..called upon President Joe Biden to defy rulings of the Supreme Court that he considers “mistaken”..

More Americans Are Rejecting the Constitution and Embracing Violence (Turley)

A recent startling poll shows that a majority of voters not only view the opposing party as a threat to the nation but justifying violence to combat their agenda. The poll captures a crisis of faith that I have been writing about for over a decade as an academic and a commentator. Many now question democracy as a sustainable system of government. It represents the single greatest threat to this nation: a citizenry that has lost faith not just with our system of government but with each other. The polls by the University of Virginia Center for Politics shows a nation at war with itself. Fifty-two percent of Biden supporters say Republicans are now a threat to American life while 47 percent of Trump supporters say the same about Democrats.

Among Biden supporters, 41 percent now believe violence is justified “to stop [Republicans] from achieving their goals.” An almost identical percentage, 38 percent, of Trump supporters now embrace violence to stop Democrats. Not surprisingly, many of these people have lost faith in democracy. Some 31 percent of Trump supporters believe that the nation should explore alternative forms of government. Roughly a quarter (24 percent) of Biden supporters also question the viability of democracy. Faith is the one thing that no system of government can do without. Without faith in the underlying values of a constitutional system, authority rests on a mix of coercion and capitulation.

For years, I have written about this growing loss of faith and how it has been fueled by our intellectual and political elites. In the echo chamber of news and social media, citizens constantly hear how the opposing party is composed of “traitors” and how the constitutional system works to protect enemies of the people. Viewers now get a steady diet of figures like MSNBC commentator Elie Mystal who called the U.S. Constitution “trash” and argued that we should simply just dump it. In a New York Times column, “The Constitution Is Broken and Should Not Be Reclaimed,” law professors Ryan D. Doerfler of Harvard and Samuel Moyn of Yale called for the Constitution to be “radically altered” to “reclaim America from constitutionalism.”

Georgetown University Law School Professor Rosa Brooks went on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” to lash out at Americans becoming “slaves” to the U.S. Constitution and that the Constitution itself is now the problem for the country. They are part of the radical chic that has become the norm in academia — and widely embraced by the media. According to these law professors the problem is not just our Constitution, but constitutionalism in general. Others have argued that key protections or institutions should just be ignored. In a recent open letter, Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet and San Francisco State University political scientist Aaron Belkin called upon President Joe Biden to defy rulings of the Supreme Court that he considers “mistaken” in the name of “popular constitutionalism.”

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100 years
https://twitter.com/i/status/1716383954943578623

 

 

WHO

 

 

Switzerland grants diplomatic immunity to WEF
https://twitter.com/i/status/1716394092098097201

 

 

Snake spider

 

 

Riomaggiore
https://twitter.com/i/status/1716533959905972281

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 132023
 


William Adolphe Bouguereau Girl with a pomegranate 1875

 

Zelensky ‘Will End Up Like Hitler’ – Medvedev (RT)
Ukraine Wants To End War By Winter, Says Oleksii Danilov (RT)
False Claims About Russia Continue To Cloud The ‘West’s’ Vision (MoA)
Beltway Mediocrities Bumble Toward Armageddon (Eve Ottenberg)
People In West Are Paying For Their Leaders’ Mistakes – Peskov (TASS)
‘Migrant Village’ For Conservative Americans To Be Built In Russia (RT)
Pentagon Acknowledges Uncertainty in Defending Against Hypersonic Missiles (ET)
EU Warns China To Use Influence With Russia To End War In Ukraine (SCMP)
Grain Deal Extension Possible Only If Russian Part Implemented – Peskov (TASS)
The Smell of Goose Cooking (Jim Kunstler)
James Woods Rips McCarthy Over Biden Border BS (AW)
Open Border Catastrophe is the Cloward-Piven Plan to Destroy America (Wayne Root)
Comer’s Presser And Biden’s Family (Denninger)
Who Is Linda Yaccarino, Elon Musk’s Pick For New Twitter CEO? (Ghaffary)
“Veganism is Bad for You – Now I Only Eat Red Meat” – Bear Grylls (DS)

 

 

 

 

RFK Russell

 

 

Fenton excess deaths

 

 

 

 

Very fine people

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The creature in green wished death on everyone in the Kremlin. And not by hand. Who will die how, we do not know, because the ways of the Lord are inscrutable. But the drug addict in Kyiv just has a chance to disappear from his own hands. Go nuts by committing cowardly suicide. Like Hitler swallowing dog poison.”

Zelensky ‘Will End Up Like Hitler’ – Medvedev (RT)

Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky could suffer the same fate as Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. The comments came in response to Zelensky’s suggestion that Kremlin officials would meet a “sad end.” “We do not know who will meet which end,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram, before comparing the Ukrainian president to Hitler, who committed suicide during the final stages of World War II as Soviet troops stormed Berlin. The former Russian leader also accused Zelensky of “wishing death to everyone in the Kremlin.” His remarks came in response to an interview published by the BBC on Friday, in which Zelensky stated: “Believe me, those in the Kremlin… it will end badly for them.” The Ukrainian president expressed his desire for the rapid demise of the current Russian leadership, claiming that they “will certainly not die a natural death.”


The interview with Zelensky comes less than two weeks after a drone attack on the Kremlin, which Moscow described as an assassination attempt against President Vladimir Putin and an act of terrorism. The Russian leader was not at the Kremlin at the time of the incident. Russia accused Kiev of orchestrating the attack and said it reserves the right to respond as it sees fit. Ukraine denied any involvement in the incident, although the attack prompted Medvedev to call for the “physical removal” of Zelensky. Kiev’s intelligence chief, Kirill Budanov, later vowed to “keep killing Russians anywhere” until Ukraine’s “complete victory.” The Kremlin branded the statement “truly heinous,” and said it was confirmation that Kiev was involved in orchestrating terrorist attacks.

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Talk is cheap.

Ukraine Wants To End War By Winter, Says Oleksii Danilov (RT)

By winter, we want to end the war completely, Oleksii Danilov, secretary of the Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, told Report. According to him, the Ukrainian military knows exactly what they have to do: “They are experts and have proven to the whole world that our army is ready for battle, moreover, it is fully creative, and we strike at the enemy from where they least expect it. I think it will be the same this time.” Danilov noted that the main thing is the result: “We must liberate our territories. Taking into account all the factors, the measures will start at the necessary time. We must start on time, not early or late. We have a common plan – to liberate all our territories from the terrorists who attacked us. The only thing left is time. Whether it will be one or more operations depends on many circumstances. We will not be limited by time. We will fight as long as it takes.”

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“Only a realistic assessment and more respect for Russia’s capabilities can correct the mistake of waging and losing a proxy war against it.”

False Claims About Russia Continue To Cloud The ‘West’s’ Vision (MoA)

The pro-Ukrainian Spectator states correctly that the sanctions on Russia have failed. But its reasoning is dubious: “The West embarked on its sanctions war with an exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world. As we have discovered, non-western countries lack the will to impose sanctions on either Russia or on Russian oligarchs. The results of the miscalculation are there for all to see. In April last year, the IMF forecast that the Russian economy would contract by 8.5 per cent in 2022 and by a further 2.3 per cent this year. As it turned out, GDP fell by just 2.1 per cent last year, and this year the IMF is forecasting a small rise of 0.7 per cent. And that is all in spite of the war in Ukraine going much more badly than many imagined it would in February of last year. The Russian economy has not been destroyed; it has merely been reconfigured, reorientated to look eastwards and southwards rather than westwards.”

Yes, the ‘West’ had an “exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world”. But that is only a part of the problem. The ‘West’ still thinks it is superior to other countries even as at least some other countries have caught up with it and are, in parts, superior in the use of science and technology. Moreover the ‘West’ thought that Russia was inferior to it. In 2015 the late Senator John McCain called it a “gas station masquerading as a country”: “Look, Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country,” McCain said. “It’s kleptocracy. It’s corruption. It’s a nation that’s really only dependent upon oil and gas for their economy, and so economic sanctions are important.” In the early 1990s Russia surely was down. But it wasn’t out. It had a heavy industry and everything it needed to feed it. It had well educated people and large scientific community.

When McCain spoke, 25 years after Russia’s downfall, the country was largely back in the upper league. Its per head production of steel, cement, energy and food was and is higher than in most ‘western’ countries. Those are the basics numbers one needs to judge an industrial country and its capabilities, not some dubious number like the Gross Domestic Product which includes ‘services’ of dubious value. (For example the share of health expenditure in the quite high U.S. GDP is 16.8% with a worse outcome for the general population than in less spending European countries.) As it has now become clear even to the Spectator that the sanctions on Russia have failed one would hope that the ‘West’ would come to a more realistic view of itself and of Russia economic capabilities. Unfortunately that is not yet the case.

Witness Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis who in March 2023 basically repeated McCain’s false claim: “… DeSantis said of Putin. “And so, he’s basically a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons and one of the things we could be doing better is utilizing our own energy resources in the US.” The ‘West’ will continue to underestimate Russia’s capability as long as such false claims are still believed. Only a realistic assessment and more respect for Russia’s capabilities can correct the mistake of waging and losing a proxy war against it.

Sachs

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“This very unfortunate and wildly provocative legislation mandates “the restoration of Ukraine’s 1991 borders and to bring Ukraine into NATO after the war is over..”

Beltway Mediocrities Bumble Toward Armageddon (Eve Ottenberg)

Our government is run by second-raters. Mediocrities in the state department and national security apparatus have seized the political steering wheel, because president Joe Biden, like senator Dianne “No Show” Feinstein and many others in our extensive gerontocracy do not inspire confidence. And the results are disastrous for Americans. De-dollarization across much of the planet and the possibility of a two-front, conceivably radioactive war against China and/or Russia. You think these two developments sound far-fetched? Well, the former is already underway, and as for the latter, rabid neo-cons and jingoistic four-star generals have stepped into the vacuum at the top and on your TV screen, and these dimwits can’t imagine losing, so now we move closer than ever before, even during the Cuban Missile Crisis, to igniting nuclear Armageddon.

Just picture the Ukrainian drone that struck the Kremlin May 3 and ask yourself what would have happened had a Russian drone collided with the roof of the white house? The U.S. might well have launched nuclear missiles – amirite? We denizens of planet earth are all very lucky, and especially those of us who reside in American cities, that Russian leaders were rational enough not to target western metropolises with nuclear warheads. They have made clear that they won’t be further provoked, even by preposterous U.S. media claims that the Kremlin droned itself, claims that reveal yet again two sorry facts: first, our press outlets think we are morons and second, they parrot CIA talking points.

That’s the hot war. Then there’s the economic one. Dollar boosters like Treasury secretary Janet Yellen like to note that it would be very difficult for any other country’s money to replace the greenback as the world’s reserve currency. True enough. But who says the world has to HAVE a reserve currency? What China, Russia and the Global South show, as they stop trading in dollars and dump U.S. Treasuries, is that they can conduct business in their own currencies and will do so, having witnessed Washington’s idiotic sanctions on numerous nations and thus having been terrorized by the imbecilic weaponization of the dollar. So most of the world, aside from the west, now takes steps to abandon the U.S. financially. The dollar’s reign is ending, and soon we Americans will face a radically altered and indisputably grimmer future. All thanks to the stupidity of the very pedestrian people at the top in Washington, starting back in the Clinton administration.

As for the China-Russia alliance, anyone with a brain could see that coming. But not our congressmembers. And those forewarned had not a care in the world. As long ago as 1997, senator Joe Biden proclaimed: “And then the Russians say to me ‘You keep expanding NATO, we’re going to make friends with China.’ I almost burst out laughing. I could barely contain myself, I said ‘Good luck to you guys. If China doesn’t work out, try Iran.’” Well, who’s laughing now? Not the U.S. president, who can’t even get China’s leader to answer his phone calls. Not the American people, who, according to some polls (58 percent, said a Reuters-Ipsos poll in October), worry that this administration of very unexceptional people will enrage the Russia-China colossus and thus stumble into a nuclear holocaust.

Meanwhile congress throws gasoline on this political dumpster fire with its Ukrainian Victory Resolution. In the House, Tennessee Dem Steve Cohen and South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson sponsored this bill. A companion resolution, introduced by senators – Connecticut Dem Richard Blumenthal, liberal darling and Rhode Island Dem Sheldon Whitehouse, and South Carolina Republican Lindsay “Bombs Away” Graham – now percolates through that chamber of the capitol. This very unfortunate and wildly provocative legislation mandates “the restoration of Ukraine’s 1991 borders and to bring Ukraine into NATO after the war is over,” according to Daniel Larison in Responsible Statecraft April 28.

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But their media won’t tell them..

People In West Are Paying For Their Leaders’ Mistakes – Peskov (TASS)

People in the West should understand that they are paying the erroneous and ineffective policy of their leaders, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. “More and more analysts [in the West] begin to elaborate on the topic of the efficiency of the collective West’s policy, on the topic of the efficiency of the [anti-Russian] sanctions,” he said. “It is rather good than bad.” “We would like people in the collective West to know that they have to reap the consequences of the erroneous, wrong and ineffective policy of their leaders,” the Kremlin spokesman stressed.

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“Today they have 70 genders, tomorrow who knows what,” Beslangurov told the conference. “Many normal people do not understand this, and they want to emigrate..”

‘Migrant Village’ For Conservative Americans To Be Built In Russia (RT)

Construction of an “American village” for 200 families of conservative immigrants will start in Moscow Region in 2024, immigration attorney Timur Beslangurov has revealed. Beslangurov, a partner in the Vista law firm, brought up the new settlement at a session of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum on Thursday. “Basically, they are Orthodox Christians, Americans and Canadians who, for ideological reasons, want to move to Russia,” he said. The regional government approved the construction, but the prospective immigrants are funding the settlement themselves, according to Beslangurov. It will be built in the Serpukhov district, due south of the Russian capital. Tens of thousands of Westerners would like to move to Russia, the attorney claimed, including people with no Russian roots.


“The reasons are known, it’s the imposition of radical left-liberal values in the West, which basically have no limits. Today they have 70 genders, tomorrow who knows what,” Beslangurov told the conference. “Many normal people do not understand this, and they want to emigrate. Many choose Russia, but face a huge number of bureaucratic problems related to the imperfection of Russian immigration laws.” One potential group of immigrants are traditionalist Catholics who are “white Americans with many children,” said Beslangurov, adding that the US government considers them “domestic terrorists.” A FBI memo made public in February referred to “radical-traditionalist Catholic” believers as potential “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.” After 19 Republican state attorneys-general demanded of the federal government to stop its “anti-Catholic bigotry,” the FBI disavowed the document.

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In short: they have no idea. For one thing, they can’t test it.

Pentagon Acknowledges Uncertainty in Defending Against Hypersonic Missiles (ET)

The United States Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking nearly $30 billion in its $842 billion Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budget request for missile defeat and defense programs across all branches of the military. Right now, the DOD is in a race to develop its own hypersonic missiles and engineer effective defenses against the high-velocity, maneuverable missiles being developed by Russia and, particularly, by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). During questioning by Senate Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chair Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) in a May 9 budget hearing, four flag officers said some existing systems have “capabilities” against hypersonic weapons but did not know for sure until they are tested against the evolving missile systems.

King was not happy. “It seems to me that we are spending a lot more money to developing hypersonic missiles than we are developing capabilities to defend against them,” he said. King asked Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. Jon A. Hill if an aircraft carrier could be defended against a hypersonic missile attack. “We have the capability to stop it in two places, in the boost-glide phase” and when the missile re-enters the atmosphere, Hill said, noting the Navy’s SM-6 missiles are “cruise missile killers” designed to track and kill fast-moving, maneuverable targets that can fly high and skim the surface. “It would be defeated by a destroyer defending a carrier.”

Noting Ukrainians claim they shot down a Russian hypersonic weapon last week with a Patriot anti-air missile provided by the U.S., Hill said the Patriot systems, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missiles (THAAD), and Aegis ballistic defense system all have “capability” demonstrated in tests against hypersonics. “THAAD operates on the edge of the atmosphere,” he said. “We haven’t tested it against hypersonic, but I’m willing to bet there are capacities that we can leverage there.” [..] King said these ant-missile systems are based on technologies from the 1980-90s and asked why DOD is not experimenting with using direct energy weapons to knock down missiles. At $4 to $10 million each, using missiles in a “bullet on bullet approach is an expensive proposition” in defending against other missiles.

Developing a “directed energy” weapon for missile defense has been “a target for a period of time,” Hill said with prototypes being tested in the fleet. “It is scaling its way there. That work is being done today.” King said he’s been lobbying to aggressively ramp up direct energy weapons development for five years without “any sense of urgency” from the DOD. Direct energy is “clearly preferable to a $4 million bullet,” he said. “More investment is required,” Hill said. “It is all science and engineering right now.”

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“EU Warns China” equals: they have no idea what their place in the world is. What are they going to do? Stop imports from China?

First time I’ve seen Borrell claim that “what is happening in Ukraine is an existential threat for us..” He stole that line from Putin. But it obviously doesn’t work. The existence of Russia is not the same as the “existence” of a fleeting political and economic bloc.

EU Warns China To Use Influence With Russia To End War In Ukraine (SCMP)

The European Union has warned China again to use its influence to end Russia’s war in Ukraine, or their already strained relations will worsen. “Life is complicated,” said top diplomat Josep Borrell at a press conference in Sweden on Friday evening. “If I don’t like your behaviour, you cannot expect to be good friends. It is as simple as that.” He welcomed the news that China’s special envoy for Eurasia would embark on a trip to Ukraine, Russia and other European capitals next Monday in a bid to help resolve the 15-month armed conflict. “It is so important that China understands that what is happening in Ukraine is an existential threat for us, and we expect that China will use its role and its responsibilities. If this is not the case, our relationship will not be so good.”

“We had been asking China to get involved with Ukraine, and this phone call with President Xi [Jinping] was the first small step. And this special envoy is another step towards China using its influence to stop this war,” Borrell told the Post, in a separate conversation. But he added that “we know China is practising pro-Russian neutrality”. “So this [peace] initiative is important for us, because we cannot have a good relationship with China if China is clearly supporting Russia.” Borrell spoke to the Post on the eve of a debate focused on China involving the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers. Wary of leaks and security breaches after a morning discussing Ukraine, ministers were bused off to a 17th century castle on the outskirts of Stockholm. There they were locked in a room with no phones or other electronic devices for four hours to discuss how to recalibrate ties with China.

The conversation was guided by a position paper on China policy written by the bloc’s foreign service, which was sent to member states on Thursday after intense internal haggling about its content. The Spaniard claimed members stood united behind the nine-page document, which calls for continued engagement with Beijing, even as it warned of the growing threat from an increasingly “nationalist and ideological” rival. “The 27 are united behind the music of this text,” Borrell said. “I haven’t seen any concrete disagreement.” [..] However, behind the scenes some diplomats were already pushing back against the assertion that the 27 were on the same page. “It seems that somebody is tone-deaf,” said one, adding that the document conveyed an “apologetic tone” suggesting Brussels was not seriously committed to revamping ties with Beijing.

A second described it as “meandering”, but believed such as the price the EU would pay for trying to accommodate members with such competing interests. “It is a big tent. It has to suit everyone from Lithuania to Hungary,” the official said, referring to the most hawkish and dovish of the bloc’s members regarding China. Arriving at the Stockholm summit on Friday morning, ministers offered mixed reviews on the report. “I underline that unfortunately systemic rivalry has risen significantly in recent years. We have to make that clear together here, we as Europeans can only speak with one voice, which is then heard in foreign policy,” said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, ostensibly approving of the text. “We as Europeans do not want decoupling. We do not want distraction. But we want to minimise our own risks that endanger our security,” she said, highlighting one of the document’s leading themes.

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“..the grain deal will cease to be effective if Moscow does not receive guarantees that its demands will be met by May 18..“

Grain Deal Extension Possible Only If Russian Part Implemented – Peskov (TASS)

The only chance of the grain deal being extended is if the Russian part of the agreement is implemented, regardless of any phone conversations that take place between the Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday. “For a [grain] deal to take place, a conversation between the two presidents will not help. In order to seal the deal, the second part of the agreement, which concerns promises to us (the Russian Federation – TASS), must be implemented,” the Kremlin spokesman stressed. Speaking in general about the possibility of a conversation between Putin and Erdogan, Peskov said that it is not on the schedule now, “but it may be penciled in within a few hours if necessary.”

Agreements to enable the export of food and fertilizers to world markets were signed on July 22, 2022 in Istanbul. They were originally meant to last 120 days and were extended for another 120 days in November. Russia announced on March 18 that the deal had been extended for another 60 days, saying this would be enough time to assess the effectiveness of the memorandum signed with the UN. Moscow has said repeatedly that any further extension of the deal hinges on whether the Russian part of the deal is implemented. The lack of progress on this issue jeopardizes the future of the entire initiative.

On May 10-11 representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN met in Istanbul to discuss a potential extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement for supplies of grain and fertilizers. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told journalists after the negotiations that the grain deal will cease to be effective if Moscow does not receive guarantees that its demands will be met by May 18. They concern the export of agricultural products and fertilizers, the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT system and some other issues.

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“Here’s an interesting take from a reader of this blog for your consideration: “I have had a theory that the FBI made Hunter Biden a Confidential Human Source..”

“Rep James Comer (R-KY) formally requested it from FBI Director Chris Wray, who has declined to furnish it on the grounds that the doc contains info from a “confidential human source”..”

The Smell of Goose Cooking (Jim Kunstler)

“Joe Biden could go to jail and The New York Times wouldn’t tell anybody he was no longer president.” — Peter A. Golden

Reality has become so elastic in America now that it stretches to a cosmic event horizon deep in the Twilight Zone where everything is magically transformed into its opposite. Note The New York Times report on Thursday saying that the House Oversight Committee showed “no proof” in its disclosures of the Biden Family’s international money laundering and racketeering operations. In fact, the committee outlined a shit-ton of documentation in the form of bank records detailing exactly how gobs of money from foreign lands were washed and rinsed through a dozen shell companies and disbursed to everyone in the immediate Biden family down to the president’s grandchildren. The committee’s preliminary report was precise as to the money’s exact origins, its journey through the laundering apparatus, and the owners of the bank accounts it landed in. Thus: “No evidence of wrongdoing.”

Meanwhile, another whistleblower from the FBI emerged claiming that an unclassified FBI document called an FD-1023 report exists detailing the Biden Family moneygrubbing scheme. Rep James Comer (R-KY) formally requested it from FBI Director Chris Wray, who has declined to furnish it on the grounds that the doc contains info from a “confidential human source” (CHS), and the bureau can’t compromise an investigation, blah blah…. Here’s an interesting take from a reader of this blog for your consideration: “I have had a theory that the FBI made Hunter Biden a Confidential Human Source. They can pretend that they were monitoring CCP figures in the US and that Hunter was in a position to provide them with counter intelligence. As with Whitey Bulger, the whole business was just a scam to keep him out of jail on legitimate charges.

This would explain why the FBI’s Wray is claiming national secrets now that Comer is closing in on Biden family corruption and influence peddling.” It would also help to explain why Hunter Biden has been untouchable despite clear evidence of firearms felonies, money laundering and influence peddling crimes. All in plain sight for years. This CHS bullshit has been used repeatedly by the FBI and DOJ to shield Democrats and their henchmen from legal jeopardy. Stephan ‘Hamburger’ Halper, Christopher Steele and various other foreign election meddlers have been shielded by the FBI under the pretense of protecting sensitive intelligence, methods and foreign sources. Would they dare pull this one with Hunter? Why not? The DOJ and the FBI spent years sitting on his laptop stuffed with incriminating docs and videos, obviously shielding him.

The people running these agencies must be liable now for a range of crimes running from obstruction of justice to interfering in a presidential election, to acting as accomplices in the Biden Family bribery crimes. Mr. Comer’s Oversight Committee has only just started. Soon, they will be hauling in witnesses, and even if the cable news networks and the big newspapers don’t report about them, there are too many alt-news outlets that can only be stifled by a Carrington Event.

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“Just stop talking, for the love of God, and DO SOMETHING.”

James Woods Rips McCarthy Over Biden Border BS (AW)

Now that Title 42 has officially ended, the humanitarian catastrophe at the nation’s southern border is set to dramatically intensify as hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are expected to swarm into the country, overwhelming already stressed to the extreme Customs and Border Protection agents with the responsibility for the unprecedented mass invasion solely belonging to President Joe Biden, at least according to the union that represents the CBP. Harrowing videos of the sea of humanity descending upon and pouring over the border into El Paso, Texas have been posted to social media, images reminiscent of a third-world country which the nation is now becoming under the stewardship of the nation’s 46th president and CBP professionals are bracing for the situation to become far worse now that the Trump era policy put into place to mitigate the spread of COVID is no more.

On Thursday, the union that represents Border Patrol agents didn’t hold anything back as it laid the blame for the crisis solely at the feet of the Democrat career politician who has repeatedly lied about the consequences of his open borders policies. “This is by far the worst sustained disaster that any BP agent, active or retired, has ever seen at our border,” the NBPC tweeted along with a picture of smiling Joe on Thursday. “And one man is responsible for every single bit of it, with the worst still to come.” “The Biden Administration is absolutely corrupt to its core,” the NBPC stated in another Thursday tweet.

Also singling out Biden was conservative actor James Woods, a legendary Twitter warrior who turned up the heat on feckless Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) whose tough talk has yet to amount to the decisive action that many feel is necessary to right the ship. “Either impeach him or shut up,” the exasperated Woods said in response to a McCarthy tweet. “Just stop talking, for the love of God, and DO SOMETHING.”

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“..My classmate Barack Obama and I graduated on the same day in Spring of 1983..”

Open Border Catastrophe is the Cloward-Piven Plan to Destroy America (Wayne Root)

This open border disaster is not a “Johnny-come-lately” story. It is a plan that was created many decades ago by leftist radicals intent on destroying America. I should know. I was there. I am a witness. I am a blue collar S.O.B. (son of a butcher) from the wrong side of the tracks- a poor majority-black town on the Bronx borderline. I attended almost all black middle school and high school in Mt Vernon, New York. After I graduated Valedictorian, I was accepted at prestigious Ivy League Columbia University. What I found there shocked me to the core. Columbia University was filled with spoiled-brat, “Lucky Sperm Club,” privileged white kids who were obsessed with hatred for America. These radical nutjobs bragged about being communists and Marxists. They bragged about their hatred of white people (even though they were white themselves).

They bragged about hating rich people (even though they were from rich families themselves). This was one gigantic guilt trip. My classmates hated themselves, their country, their parents, their wealth, and most of all- their whiteness. They talked all day long about their plans to bring America down; destroy the economy; bankrupt white businessmen; and create “equality and fairness” by turning America into a socialist/Marxist/communist country. It’s important to note that one of my classmates at Columbia was Barack Obama. My classmate Barack Obama and I graduated on the same day in Spring of 1983. This very month is the 40th anniversary of our Columbia graduation. These Columbia University radicals (and traitors) had a plan named Cloward-Piven. It was named after two Columbia University professors- the husband-and-wife team of Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.

The plan was actually simple- get everyone possible in America on welfare, food stamps and a hundred other government welfare programs. Get so many on the government dole that the economy is overwhelmed, destroyed and collapses under the weight of the exploding national debt. Basically, America goes bankrupt. At this point, Americans would be in so much pain and so frightened, they would beg government to save them. And that is how they would “fundamentally change America forever.” Remember those words? They came out of the mouth of Barack Obama. He learned those words and this plan at Columbia. Because of the collapse of the economy and society, Cloward and Piven believed America would be ready for socialism- bailouts, a permanent welfare state, and a monthly universal income check. The goal? Equality, equity, social justice. Recognize those words? Everyone would be in the same boat- dependent on Big Brother for survival.

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“..every member of the Biden family that received any of the funds is implicated AND MUST BE INDICTED..”

Comer’s Presser And Biden’s Family (Denninger)

Cormer claims that the House Oversight Committee has uncovered a network of of roughly a dozen shell companies that moved money around in various transactions and had no business purpose at all. In other words, other than taking in cash from someone — foreign entities — and distributing those funds through a series of smaller transactions the firms had no offices, no people, conducted no business and produced nothing, whether at a profit or loss. The beneficiaries, that is the final persons, all in Biden’s family, who received the funds did not produce anything in return for same and couldn’t have given the convoluted path the funds took.

The structuring of transactions for the purpose of concealing the source or destination of funds is money laundering — also known as “structuring.” It is a serious felony even if no other criminal charge is proved; the intent is to evade reporting requirements. In these cases the attempt to evade the reporting failed as SARs were filed anyway, but that doesn’t matter. The attempt is illegal. FCPA prohibits taking funds from a foreign entity for corrupt purpose; that is, an effective bribe in exchange for anything of value where the other end of the transaction is outside the United States is illegal. That is also a serious criminal felony and has applied to all US persons since 1977 and, since 1998, to foreign entities as well if the funds or acts touch the United States.

“Specifically, the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA prohibit the willful use of the mails or any means of instrumentality of interstate commerce corruptly in furtherance of any offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of money or anything of value to any person, while knowing that all or a portion of such money or thing of value will be offered, given or promised, directly or indirectly, to a foreign official to influence the foreign official in his or her official capacity, induce the foreign official to do or omit to do an act in violation of his or her lawful duty, or to secure any improper advantage in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person.”

This is black-letter law folks. Being VP at the time is no defense. There is zero exemption available to anyone irrespective of their position when it comes to this law; indeed, the entire point of it is to prevent US businesses from bribing foreign government entities and to prevent foreign entities from bribing US Government officials and instrumentalities. The structuring of transactions so as to “break them up” and conceal is otherwise a straight-forward payment from one person to another is evidence of knowledge that the act is in fact corrupt and illegal; nobody bothers to conceal a lawful transaction as there is simply no purpose to it. These findings demand a hearing in open court with all the evidence. The FBI apparently has hard evidence backing this they refuse to turn over, although House Oversight has obtained many SARs and bank records and those, standing alone, appear to make a prima-facia case that Biden family members received funds in size in exchange for……. nothing.

What sort of legitimate claim could someone make here that isn’t a criminal enterprise? Are you really going to tell me that unrelated foreign entities gave gifts to a whole list of Biden family members with no expectation of anything in return? Really? C’mon folks. This looks like wild-eyed bribery by foreign entities buying influence from the Vice President of the United States. Calling that “Treason” is factually wrong; Treason is defined in the Constitution and in fact is the only crime that is. However, it is evidence of a series of serious felonies and every member of the Biden family that received any of the funds is implicated AND MUST BE INDICTED. In addition the foreign entities forced to divulge what they were attempting to obtain from the United States Government in exchange for those funds.

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“He’s running product and technology for a 100% software company. What is the CEO in charge of: not paying the vendors?”

Who Is Linda Yaccarino, Elon Musk’s Pick For New Twitter CEO? (Ghaffary)

Elon Musk said he has picked NBCUniversal advertising executive Linda Yaccarino to be the new CEO of Twitter. Musk announced on Thursday that he had chosen his replacement as the chief executive of Twitter and its parent company, X, and that “she” (without naming who) will be starting in about six weeks. Musk confirmed his selection on Friday morning. Yaccarino is a seasoned media executive who could help repair Twitter’s relationship with its advertisers, many of whom have quit or cut back from the platform recently because of Musk’s perceived volatility. She has a reputation for being a tough negotiator and was key in the launch of NBCUniversal’s digital Peacock streaming service, according to the Wall Street Journal. She’s also a known Trump supporter, according to sources. In the past few months, Yaccarino has publicly praised Musk, and she interviewed him at a major advertising conference in April — paving her way, in the eyes of media insiders, to take on the role.

[..] But if you think that means the Elon-Twitter story is over, don’t hold your breath. Musk is still very much in control. He will still be the owner of Twitter. Unless he sells the company — or a controlling share of it — he’s the one calling the shots. How much power he gives Yaccarino is entirely at Musk’s discretion. “I can think of no finer way to restore trust in the advertising community than by recruiting Linda Yaccarino for the CEO role,” said Lou Paskalis, longtime ad executive and CEO and founder of AJL Advisory. “But the only way that would work is if she has autonomy from the erratic behaviors of Elon that have undermined his efforts thus far.” Although Yaccarino is not vocal about her political beliefs, it’s well known in the advertising community that she’s conservative, according to several sources. She served on former President Donald Trump’s Council on Sports and Nutrition, and many have noted that she likes and follows conservative accounts on Twitter.

But she’s also drawn flak from the right. Some of the more extreme right-wing Twitter influencer accounts have criticized her for praising diversity in the workforce and for being chair of the Taskforce on the Future of Work at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF), which they view as an elitist organization. Even if Musk follows through with this plan and actually gives up his job as CEO — and this is not at all guaranteed to happen until it happens — the billionaires’s ownership of Twitter means he can essentially hire or fire a new CEO as he pleases. Twitter is now a private company, so Musk has virtually no outside accountability from an independent board of directors to question his decisions.

In a tweet announcing the leadership change, Musk said he “will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.” These roles still represent a major part of the business’s operations. So while Musk could decide to give a new CEO control over some parts of Twitter’s day-to-day business, just how much control he gives up is entirely his choice. In other words, Musk’s critics may be celebrating at the prospect of a new person in charge at Twitter, but it’s not guaranteed how much — especially on the product side — will change, even with someone new at the top. “He’s running product and technology for a 100% software company. What is the CEO in charge of: not paying the vendors?” Jason Goldman, Twitter’s former board member and first head of product, told Vox in a text.

Twittter CEO

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“Veganism is Bad for You and I’m Embarrassed I Promoted it – Now I Only Eat Red Meat,” Says Bear Grylls..”

“Veganism is Bad for You – Now I Only Eat Red Meat” – Bear Grylls (DS)

Bear Grylls has said he is “embarrassed” by his past support of veganism, which he now says is bad for you and that his health has been transformed by only eating red meat, in the latest blow for the woke fad. The Telegraph has more. The adventurer, whose diet is now mostly composed of red meat and organs, has claimed he was wrong to think that eating a plant-based diet was good for the environment and his health. “I was vegan quite a few years ago – in fact, I wrote a vegan cookbook – and I feel a bit embarrassed because I really promoted that,” the 48-year-old said in an interview with PA. “I thought that was good for the environment and I thought it was good for my health. And through time and experience and knowledge and study, I realised I was wrong on both counts.”

The television star published a cookbook in 2015 called Fuel for Life, which promoted achieving “maximum health with amazing dairy, wheat and sugar-free recipes”. He wrote in the book: “To satisfy our insatiable appetite for meat we have developed very unnatural ways of breeding, keeping and killing animals. This far exceeds our nutritional needs for the health of myself and my family.” But the father-of-three has made quite the U-turn since then, and now completely avoids vegetables as part of his “ancestral way of living”. “For a long time, I’d been eating so many vegetables thinking it was doing me good, but just never felt like it had given me any good nutrients compared to the nutrient density I get from basically blood or bone marrow – red meat,” he said. “I’ve tried to listen to my body more, tried to listen to nature, and I don’t miss vegetables at all. I don’t go near them and I’ve never felt stronger, my skin’s never been better, and my gut’s never been better.”

And despite his once proud advocacy of veganism – he reportedly used to turn his nose up when his filming crew were eating sausages for lunch – Grylls says that embracing red meat and organs has been the “biggest game-changer” for his health. “I’ve found a counterculture way of living, of embracing red meat and organs – natural food just like our millennia of ancestors would have eaten for hundreds of thousands of years. “And out of all the different things I do for my health, I think that’s probably been the biggest game-changer, in the sense of improving my vitality, wellbeing, strength, skin and gut. “It’s just been getting away from the processed stuff and making the predominant thing in my diet red meat and liver and the natural stuff – fruit, honey, that sort of thing. It’s just about finding a more ancestral way of living,” he said.

Kolakusic

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Tucker Max Keiser

 

 

 

 


The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St Petersburg

 

 

 

 

Rabbit cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 192022
 


Salvador Dali Self-portrait in the studio 1919

 

People Who Resisted Covid Jabs Are ‘Superheroes’ (Blanchon)
Russian General In Charge Of Ukraine Operation Speaks Out
US Should Not Listen To Kiev, Former Ambassador To Moscow Says (RT)
Erdogan Still Wants To Bring Putin And Zelenskyy Together (RT)
The End Game (Batiushka)
Russia Destroys Power And Water Infrastructure Across Ukraine (RT)
Cui Bono? The Big Picture (Blair)
EU Won’t Introduce Gas Price Cap For Now As Countries Disagree (Az.)
US Warned Of Winter Blackouts – WSJ (RT)
Lawmakers Seek Emergency Powers For Pentagon’s Ukraine War Contracting (DN)
Pentagon Considering Paying For Musk’s Starlink Network In Ukraine (G.)
Details Of Nord Stream Probe Shared By Media (RT)
Nord Stream 1: First Underwater Images Reveal Devastating Damage (G.)
Germany Facing Retail Collapse – Der Spiegel (RT)
CDC To Vote On Permanently Shielding Pfizer, Moderna From Vaccine Liability (JS)
Joe Biden KNEW of Hunter’s Shady Business Dealings: Whistleblowers (PM)

 

 

 

 

Trump Larry King 1987

 

 

 

 

Malhotra

 

 

 

 

Maher

 

 

 

 

“The text of the tribute letter may have originated with Spanish biologist and film-maker Fernando López-Mirones, or France’s General Christian Blanchon.”

People Who Resisted Covid Jabs Are ‘Superheroes’ (Blanchon)

Even if I were fully vaccinated, I would admire the unvaccinated for standing up to the greatest pressure I have ever seen, including from spouses, parents, children, friends, colleagues, and doctors. People who have been capable of such personality, courage, and such critical ability undoubtedly embody the best of humanity. They are found everywhere, in all ages, levels of education, countries, and opinions. They are of a particular kind; these are the soldiers that any army of light wishes to have in its ranks. They are the parents that every child wishes to have and the children that every parent dreams of having. They are beings above the average of their societies; they are the essence of the peoples who have built all cultures and conquered horizons.

They are there, by your side, they seem normal, but they are superheroes. They did what others could not do; they were the tree that withstood the hurricane of insults, discrimination, and social exclusion. And they did it because they thought they were alone and believed they were alone. Excluded from their families’ Christmas tables, they have never seen anything so cruel. They lost their jobs, let their careers sink, and had no more money… but they didn’t care. They suffered immeasurable discrimination, denunciations, betrayals, and humiliation… but they continued. Never before in humanity has there been such a casting; we now know who the resisters are on planet Earth.

Women, men, old, young, rich, poor, of all races and all religions, the unvaccinated, the chosen ones of the invisible ark, the only ones who managed to resist when everything fell apart. Collapsed. You’ve passed an unimaginable test that many of the toughest marines, commandos, green berets, astronauts, and geniuses couldn’t pass. You are made of the stuff of the greatest that ever lived, those heroes born among ordinary men who shine in the dark.

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“..Ukraine is preparing a massive strike on the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant, located on the Dnieper River.”

Russian General In Charge Of Ukraine Operation Speaks Out

Army General Sergey Surovikin on Tuesday spoke to the media for the first time since assuming overall command of the ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine. Describing the situation as particularly “tense” around the city of Kherson in his statement to the broadcaster Rossiya-24, he added that the military may be forced to make “difficult decisions.” “The NATO command of the armed forces of Ukraine has long been demanding offensive operations in the Kherson direction from the Kiev regime, regardless of any casualties – both in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and among the civilian population,” Surovikin stated. The Russian military is aware of Kiev’s plans to use “prohibited” means of waging war in the Kherson area, Surovikin added.

Namely, Ukraine is preparing a massive strike on the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant, located on the Dnieper River, as well as launching massive rocket and artillery attacks on Kherson itself. “These actions can lead to the destruction of the infrastructure of this large industrial center and massive casualties among the civilian population,” Surovikin said. In the ongoing effort to dislodge the Russian military from its positions, Kiev is pouring its reserves en masse into the frontline, the general said. The vast majority of those reserves are “territorial defense units, who have not been properly trained,” Surovikin added. Such troops have low morale, thus they are propped up by “barrier squads”composed of hardline nationalists “who shoot anyone trying to leave the battlefield,” he claimed.

“The enemy’s daily losses amount to hundreds of casualties. We have a different strategy. <…> We are not aiming at fast-paced offensives, we spare every soldier and methodically grind the enemy’s attacking forces. This not only minimizes our own losses, but also significantly reduces the amount of victims among the civilian population.” “The enemy is the criminal regime that pushes Ukrainian citizens towards death. We are one people with Ukrainians and only wish for Ukraine to be a state independent from the West and NATO and friendly towards Russia,” Surovikin said. Surovikin assumed overall command of Russian troops participating in the military operation earlier in October. The general has significant combat experience, ranging from hostilities in Chechnya to the operation in Syria, for which he was awarded the title of Hero of Russia back in 2017.

According to media reports, Surovikin was given the nickname ‘General Armageddon’ by his colleagues over his hardline and unorthodox approach to warfare. His elevation into the new role has coincided with Russia ramping-up aerial bombings across Ukraine, with cruise missiles and suicide drones attacking crucial infrastructure sites in the country.

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“..Washington is in a position to “encourage the Ukrainians to agree to a ceasefire..”

US Should Not Listen To Kiev, Former Ambassador To Moscow Says (RT)

The Ukraine crisis was preventable but now seems doomed to further escalation, the last US ambassador to the Soviet Union has warned. Washington is making the mistake of delegating to Kiev many of the decisions about American involvement, he added. Kiev does “not know best what is in the security interests of the American people, and that should be the primary concern of any American government,”Jack Matlock wrote in an article published on Monday by the website Responsible Statecraft. The Ukrainians, “under the stress of war, may not be the best judges of their own ultimate security interests,” he argued. Matlock cited a situation from his own time as the top US diplomat in Moscow. He recalled a moment in 1990 when the leadership of Soviet Lithuania declared independence from the USSR right before the Soviet Union itself ceased to exist, and requested “immediate recognition” from the US.

Washington had never formally recognized the three Baltic states, which were captured during World War II, as parts of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, Matlock advised against acting on the Lithuanian request. “I had total sympathy with the Lithuanian aspirations but had to explain that it would be a mistake to do so until Lithuania was in fact free. Why? Because, in 1990, US recognition would almost certainly have precipitated a Soviet crack-down which the US could not counter without risking nuclear war,”he explained. Matlock said it is natural for Americans to admire “the valiant resistance” that the Ukrainians have demonstrated against Russia, but that “does not mean that Ukraine has to recover all the territory it inherited in 1991.” He explained that people in some regions claimed by Kiev may resist a return to its control, given that they consider the 2014 overthrow of the Ukrainian government to be a US-organized coup.

The former ambassador noted that Kiev had multiple opportunities to avert war. He believes that Russia would not have sent troops into Ukraine in February if Kiev “had been willing to abide by the Minsk agreement, recognize the Donbas as an autonomous entity within Ukraine, avoid NATO military advisors, and pledge not to enter NATO.” Now, however, neither side seems willing to take a pause in hostilities and let diplomacy take hold, he said, adding that the longer the conflict continues, the harder it will be to avoid the “utter destruction” of Ukraine.“The reality is that if the war continues Russia is capable of damaging Ukraine more than Ukraine can damage Russia without risking a wider war,” Matlock said. He concluded that Washington is in a position to “encourage the Ukrainians to agree to a ceasefire” and urged it to do so.

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“..Kalin said that Vladimir Putin wants negotiations now.”

Erdogan Still Wants To Bring Putin And Zelenskyy Together (RT)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan still wants to meet Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Spokesperson of the President of Turkiye, Ibrahim Kalin said, Report informs. Kalin said that Vladimir Putin wants negotiations now – after Russia annexed four regions of Ukraine: “Despite all the difficulties, the door of diplomacy should be kept open. The President of Turkiye can do it.”

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“..we need a consolidated society, and this consolidation can only be based on sovereignty, freedom, creation, and justice. Our values are humanity, mercy and compassion.”

The End Game (Batiushka)

The partial mobilisation of 300,000 Russian reservists is nearly complete. Their presence in Donbass will free up the regulars to advance further, although some of the land taken by Kiev forces in September has already been taken back and more is liberated every day. After seven days of aerial attacks (only two days of them reported in the Western media) on Ukrainian infrastructure, especially on power supplies, even Zelensky has today admitted that 30% of the Kiev regime power stations have been destroyed throughout the Ukraine. This is all in response to his terrorism in Zaporozhye, Donetsk, Belgorod, Moscow (Daria Dugina), and on Nordstream and the Crimean Bridge. What else did he expect? France is on strike. Italy is fed up and wants arms deliveries to the Kiev Neo-Nazis to stop.

In the bankrupt UK, to the amazement of all, Truss is still ‘present’, but the Daily Mail website reports that many pubs will have to close for the winter. The landlords cannot afford to pay for heating bills. In Germany, the Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach, has warned of the risk of even hospitals having to close because of the energy crisis. Some ask: But why did the Russian Federation not start the liberation campaign last February by turning up the pain dial there and then? The answer is simple. It is not just that the Federation underestimated the utter stupidity of NATO and the Kiev junta. It is much more than that, it is quite simply that Russia never did wanted to inflict pain on ordinary Ukrainians and on its own Union soldiers. Ordinary Ukrainians have NEVER been the enemy. Russian targeting has always been of the NATO-supplied and NATO-trained Kiev military.

Russians are not Americans who spray the bushes with machine gun bullets and the trees with Agent Orange, or who blast Hamburg and Dresden off the map like the British. They target. They are not terrorists. Have you not read President Putin’s 30 September speech? Please listen again: ‘I want the Kiev authorities and their true handlers in the West to hear me now, and I want everyone to remember this: the people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye have become our citizens, forever.…We call on the Kiev regime to cease fire and all hostilities immediately; to end the war it unleashed back in 2014 and to return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, as we have said more than once. But the choice of people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson will not be discussed.

The decision has been made, and Russia will not betray it. …We will defend our land with all the forces and resources we have, and we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people. This is the great liberating mission of our nation.’ Today, we are fighting so that it would never occur to anyone that Russia, our people, our language, or our culture can be erased from history. Today, we need a consolidated society, and this consolidation can only be based on sovereignty, freedom, creation, and justice. Our values are humanity, mercy and compassion.

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Targeted. But the story is they hit apartment buildings at random.

Russia Destroys Power And Water Infrastructure Across Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine said Russia had destroyed almost a third of its power stations over the past week as Moscow stepped up a pre-winter campaign to strike infrastructure, a move the West says is a calculated attempt to disrupt and demoralize. Missiles struck power-generating facilities in a clutch of Ukrainian cities home to millions of people and several people were killed. Moscow acknowledged targeting energy plants, while Ukraine said water infrastructure had also been hit. “The situation is critical now across the country … the whole country needs to prepare for electricity, water and heating outages,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, told Ukrainian television.


At least one man died when a Russian missile reduced his apartment in the southern river port of Mykolaiv to rubble. “They (Russians) probably get pleasure from this,” said Oleksandr, the owner of a local flower shop damaged in the attack. “They get pleasure from us feeling bad. I think they want us to bomb and shell (their) city buildings. But we won’t do that to be different from them.”

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“..eventually the destabilization of the USA: perhaps with civil war and revolution in the USA, resulting from its own inevitable economic collapse..”

“note: the author is not Russian, knows no Russians and has never been to Russia”

Cui Bono? The Big Picture (Blair)

First of all, we need to be absolutely clear that this insane FUBAR Ukraine situation was 100% concocted, fabricated and engineered by the USA, certainly since the droolin’ Nuland / lamebrained McCain / CIA Maidan coup of 2014, but even dating back before that. There are few situations in life where one party can be found to be 100% guilty and evil and morally bankrupt, and where the other party is 100% acting in self defence and self preservation. However history will show that with respect to this Ukraine situation, the USA was 100% the evil aggressor and Russia was 100% acting in self preservation and in defense of civilian Russian speakers in Ukraine. This is truly a war of good against evil and in case you still haven’t got the message yet, let me repeat: the USA Deep State is EVIL.

This reality is indisputably obvious to any semi-comatose person remotely interested in historical, documented FACTS. For those with any remaining doubts, they need to listen to this comprehensively researched three part podcast summary by a journalist and a military historian (both Anglophones). They actually obtained their information from Western mainstream media sources before those reports and articles mysteriously vanished from the Google search algorithms (or were relegated to 500th priority on the search list) after 24 Feb 2022. It is unfortunate that the stupid sheeple of the West, probably 99% of the “golden billion”, believe the exact opposite of the Truth, which is testimony to the incredible effectiveness of the relentless lying propaganda pooped out from the AngloEuroZionist mainstream media sewer outlets ever since 24 Feb 2022.

Until the two recent terrorist bombings (Nordstream pipelines and Kerch bridge), Russia had been reacting in a highly restrained manner to the US and US proxy aggravations. The US started provocations many years ago and contemptuously rebuffed multiple opportunities for peaceful settlements. Russia will soon end it. How? With the humiliating defeat of Ukraine for sure, but more widely we will see the economic devastation of Europe (apart from those who buy energy in Rubles – eg Hungary and Turkey) and eventually the destabilization of the USA: perhaps with civil war and revolution in the USA, resulting from its own inevitable economic collapse. The latter two eventualities were never Russia’s intended goal, but will be unintended consequences of the malicious actions of the US and EU themselves, blowback or karma if you like.

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Another big plan down the drain.

EU Won’t Introduce Gas Price Cap For Now As Countries Disagree (Az.)

The European Union is unveiling a new emergency package to tackle the energy crunch, betting on steps to bolster solidarity among member states. But the bloc will refrain from immediate gas-price caps amid political divisions and concerns over security of supply, Report informs referring to Bloomberg. The European Commission plans to propose measures to avoid extreme price spikes in energy derivatives and to use the EU’s joint purchasing power as a leverage in negotiations with global gas suppliers, according to a draft document seen by Bloomberg News. The bloc’s executive arm, also wants to launch a new liquefied natural gas index to better reflect the region’s energy reality after a cut in supplies of pipeline gas from Russia. At stake is the future of the bloc’s $17 trillion economy, which the energy crisis threatens to push into recession as companies and consumers reel from high power and gas bills.


The EU is trying to balance demands by more than a half of the EU’s 27 member states to limit gas prices with the need to avoid undermining its single market or deepening economic splits among member states. “This is the moment to act, for this winter and beyond,” according to the draft document. “The current situation causes economic and social hardship, placing a heavy burden on citizens and on the economy. Rising energy costs are leading to reduced purchasing power for citizens and loss of competitiveness for companies.” The EU’s executive arm is also seeking authority from national governments to propose – only as a last resort – price limits on transactions on the Dutch Title Transfer Facility, whose main index is the benchmark for all gas traded on the continent.

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“They also cannot buy US-produced LNG due to the Jones Act, which bans the movement of ships between US ports..”

US Warned Of Winter Blackouts – WSJ (RT)

New England could face blackouts in the coming months as more global shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are being directed to Europe, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing power producers. According to the report, the surging LNG demand across the ocean amid dwindling gas flow from Russia puts the supplies needed to provide electricity to the US’ northeastern region – including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island – in jeopardy. These states have limited pipeline capacity and rely on LNG imports from abroad for more than a third of their gas supply during periods of peak demand, according to the Energy Information Administration.

They also cannot buy US-produced LNG due to the Jones Act, which bans the movement of ships between US ports.Europe is also a much more attractive buyer for LNG suppliers than New England. According to the news outlet, while the European benchmark price for natural gas was over $100 per one million British thermal units, gas prices in New England rarely climb above $30. Earlier this year, the governors of some New England states sent a letter to US Energy Secretary Jennifer Graholm asking her to dispel the Jones Act and allow for domestic LNG imports to the region. However, there are no reports so far regarding a change in legislation.

The situation in the region is expected to be especially dire if there are prolonged cold spells, as gas volumes would be redirected from power generation to heating homes. According to ISO New England, the region’s power-grid operator, an extremely cold winter could result in the need for rolling blackouts to balance the supply and demand for electricity. Analysts warn that supply shortages may also drive power producers to purchase gas on the spot-market, which would result in larger bills.

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What you’re paying for. Limitless.

Lawmakers Seek Emergency Powers For Pentagon’s Ukraine War Contracting (DN)

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate would grant the Pentagon wartime procurement powers, allowing it to buy massive amounts high-priority munitions using multi-year contracts to help Ukraine fight Russia and to refill U.S. stockpiles. The Senate Armed Services Committee’s chairman, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and ranking member, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., proposed the legislation as an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill, which the Senate is expected to vote on in November. It was offered instead of the critical munitions acquisition fund that the Pentagon and some lawmakers sought for the same purposes, before Senate appropriators rejected it. The amendment, the text of which was released last week, offers multi-year contracting authorities typically reserved for Navy vessels and major aircraft.

As drafted, it would let the Pentagon lock in purchases of certain munitions made by Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, BAE Systems and Kongsberg over fiscal 2023 and 2024, a step aimed at encouraging manufacturers to expand production lines for sought-after munitions. The Pentagon would also be permitted to team with NATO to buy weapons for its members in mass quantities, and for Ukraine-related contracts, the legislation would ease several key legal restrictions on Pentagon procurement through fiscal 2024 – a sign lawmakers see the war dragging on. The intent of the legislation is to spur the Pentagon and industry to move more aggressively by removing bureaucratic barriers, with an eye not only on Russia but the potential for a confrontation with China over Taiwan, according to a senior congressional aide [..]

“Whether you want to call it wartime contracting or emergency contracting, we can’t play around anymore,” the aide said. “We can’t pussyfoot around with minimum-sustaining-rate buys of these munitions. It’s hard to think of something as high on everybody’s list as buying a ton of munitions for the next few years, for our operational plans against China and continuing to supply Ukraine.” If the language becomes law, the Department of Defense would be allowed to make non-competitive awards to arms manufacturers for Ukraine-related contracts, an idea spearheaded in legislation from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and 13 other senators.

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“..25,300 terminals were sent to Ukraine, but, at present, only 10,630 are paying for service..”

Pentagon Considering Paying For Musk’s Starlink Network In Ukraine (G.)

The Pentagon is considering paying for Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite network in war-torn Ukraine, Politico reported on Monday, citing two US officials involved in the discussions. The most likely source of funding would be the US Department of Defense’s Ukraine security assistance initiative, designed to support the country as it fights Russia, the report added. Musk had said on Friday that SpaceX could not indefinitely fund Starlink in Ukraine, but backtracked over the weekend to assert the rocket company would continue to fund the service in the country. He said in a tweet on Monday that SpaceX had already withdrawn its request for funding, an acknowledgement that such a request was made.A Pentagon spokesman said the defense department would not speculate on future security assistance announcements before they occur.


A separate report in the Financial Times said the European Union was also weighing funding Starlink in Ukraine, citing three officials with knowledge of the decision. Musk, the world’s richest person and chief executive of Tesla Inc, recently said SpaceX spends nearly $20m a month maintaining satellite services in Ukraine and that the company has spent about $80m to enable and support Starlink there. “To be precise, 25,300 terminals were sent to Ukraine, but, at present, only 10,630 are paying for service,” Musk tweeted on Monday. Starlink has helped Ukraine’s civilians and military stay online during the war, with Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, last week saying Starlink’s services helped restore energy and communications infrastructure in critical areas.

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“Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted that this summer, NATO conducted military drills not far from Bornholm.”

Details Of Nord Stream Probe Shared By Media (RT)

The blasts that ripped through the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines last month were likely caused by sabotage, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing German officials familiar with the investigation. Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that NATO had conducted a military exercise this summer close to the location where the leaks were found. According to the outlet, while German investigators have so far failed to definitively identify the culprits, they are “working under the assumption that Russia was behind the blasts.” Moscow has repeatedly denied that it had anything to do with the incident.

German officials reportedly believe that the alleged attack was not likely to have been conducted by a military submarine, given that the Baltic Sea around Denmark’s Bornholm Island, where the explosions occurred, is relatively shallow. This would make it difficult for underwater vessels to operate without being detected. According to one theory, an explosive device may have been dropped from a ship and detonated remotely, sources told the WSJ. [..] Moscow has denounced the incident as a terrorist attack and called for an investigation into the matter. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted that this summer, NATO conducted military drills not far from Bornholm.

She was apparently speaking about the BALTOPS 2022 exercises held in June, in which ‘’deep-sea equipment’’ was used intensively. According to Germany’s Interior Ministry, Sweden rejected a plan to set up a joint investigation team with Berlin and Denmark. Stockholm argued that its own findings are too sensitive to share even with other EU member states, Reuters reported. All three nations have said they will not grant access to the investigation to Russia. This prompted Moscow to summon the German, Danish, and Swedish envoys, while declaring that it would not recognize the results of the probe unless Russian experts are invited to take part.

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“At least 50 metres of the gas pipeline appeared to be missing..”

Well, it’s there somewhere. More interesting: is Sweden, after refusing a joint probe with Germany and Denmark, let alone Russia, now also going to refuse a Gazprom repair of the pipeline?

Nord Stream 1: First Underwater Images Reveal Devastating Damage (G.)

The first underwater images taken of the ruptured Nord Stream 1 pipeline reveal the devastating damage caused by what Danish police have described as “powerful explosions” under the Baltic Sea. Swedish newspaper Expressen on Tuesday published photographs and film footage taken by an underwater drone at the site near the island of Bornholm where the gas pipeline between Russia and Germany ruptured on 26 September. They appear to show long tears in the seabed near the concrete-reinforced steel pipe that was not merely cracked but torn apart in an act of suspected sabotage. At least 50 metres of the gas pipeline appeared to be missing, Expressen said. Three separate investigations are currently trying to assess the full extent of the damage to the two twin pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and 2, and collect evidence as to who was behind the sabotage.


A German government official on Monday confirmed there would be no joint investigations team working on clearing up the pipeline blast as initially envisioned, but three separate investigations carried out by Danish, Swedish and German authorities would coordinate closely. According to German news magazine Der Spiegel, the offer of a joint investigation was rejected by the Swedish side, with a state prosecutor from the country telling Reuters that “there is some information in our investigation that is confidential because it is directly linked to national security”. A preliminary investigation by Danish authorities established the leak had been caused by “powerful explosions”, Copenhagen police said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Getting serious.

Germany Facing Retail Collapse – Der Spiegel (RT)

Germany’s retail industry is in jeopardy amid rising energy costs and a sharp decline in consumption, Der Spiegel reported on Monday, citing the German Retail Federation (HDE). According to the organization’s forecasts, the first to face the risk of bankruptcy are smaller stores in city centers. Retail turnover in Germany started to decrease in August. According to the Federal Statistical Office, sales in real terms fell by 1.3% compared to July, and by 4.3% versus August 2021. Food sales were down 1.7% from July and 3.1% year-on-year, reaching their lowest level since 2017. Textiles and shoes, household appliances, and construction supplies were other segments seeing a decline in sales.


An HDE spokesman said that the financial assistance promised by the German government to ease energy price spikes should be used to support retail stores. “If this does not happen, we will face a disaster in many urban centers,” he said, as cited by the news outlet. However, he thinks the crisis can be avoided through investments and new creative ideas, although this would require cooperation between retailers and the authorities. “In the current acute crisis, everything is becoming a little more difficult. The money pots will certainly not get fuller for the time being… If the concepts are to work, all stakeholders in the municipalities would have to work together – from the top of the town hall to city marketing, retail and gastronomy to cultural providers and citizens,” he stated.

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“By adding the shots to the childhood schedule, the CDC [..] will transfer liability for vaccine injuries to the federal government..”

CDC To Vote On Permanently Shielding Pfizer, Moderna From Vaccine Liability (JS)

A CDC committee will convene this week and likely vote Thursday to deliver permanent legal indemnity to Pfizer and Moderna, through the process of adding the drug companies’ mRNA injections to the child and adolescent immunization schedules. By adding the shots to the childhood schedule, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will transfer liability for vaccine injuries to the federal government’s National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), allowing for Pfizer and Moderna to finally bring an FDA approved shot to the market without opening itself up to lawsuits. Moreover, it will act as another windfall for companies that have already brought in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues, by requiring these vaccinations for children who attend public schools.

In March 2020, the federal government invoked the PREP Act, which gave Pfizer and Moderna a tort liability shield due to the declared “public health emergency,” which the government is reportedly going to revoke in early 2023. The companies’ emergency use authorization shots have since been protected by the federal government through this 2005 congressional action. [..]The Health Resources & Services Administration has clarified what needs to happen for a vaccine to become liability free. “For a vaccine to be covered, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must recommend the category of vaccine for routine administration to children or pregnant women, and it must be subject to an excise tax by federal law.”

The Dossier has reported extensively on the coordinated effort by Big Pharma and the Biden Administration to delay the rollout of an FDA approved COVID vaccine, with legal experts suspecting the process is in place to protect Pfizer and Moderna from legal liability from vaccine injuries. Once described as the cure to the coronavirus, the novel mRNA shots have resulted in catastrophic failure, with a side effect profile exponentially higher than advertised. Thanks to a fraudulent, deceptive marketing campaign, assisted by top federal officials and high-profile pharmaceutical executives, the drugmakers and the federal government convinced millions of Americans to take shots that were much more dangerous (especially for young men), and much less effective than advertised.

RFK

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“.. the interview summary states that work “remained intentionally uncompensated while Joe Biden was vice president.”

Joe Biden KNEW of Hunter’s Shady Business Dealings: Whistleblowers (PM)

New whistleblower documents obtained by Senator Chuck Grassley have revealed that President Biden “was aware of Hunter Biden’s business arrangements and may have been involved in some of them.” On Monday morning, Grassley sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and US Attorney for Delaware David Weiss outlining new whistleblower allegations that claim the FBI has “significant, impactful and voluminous evidence with respect to potential criminal conduct by Hunter Biden and James Biden,” according to Fox News. The whistleblowers allege that the FBI has documents relating to information on Mykola Zlochevsky, who is the owner of Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden sat on the board.

“The documents in the FBI’s possession include specific details with respect to conversations by non-government individuals relevant to potential criminal conduct by Hunter Biden,” Grassley wrote. “These documents also indicate that Joe Biden was aware of Hunter Biden’s business arrangements and may have been involved in some of them,” Grassley said. The Senator added that it is “unclear whether the FBI followed normal investigative procedure to determine the truth and accuracy of the information or shut down investigative activity based on improper disinformation claims in advance of the 2020 election.” “It is also unclear whether US Attorney Weiss has performed his own due diligence on these and related allegations,” Grassley continued.

Grassley, alongside Senator Ron Johnson, led an investigation into Hunter Biden starting in 2019, which discovered that officials within the Obama administration “knew” of Hunter Biden’s “problematic” position on the board, saying that it interfered “in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine.” Hunter Biden joined the board in April of 2014, while his father was serving as vice president and running US-Ukraine relations and policy for the administration. Additionally, Grassley noted an FBI interview with Tony Bobulinski, Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner, from October 2020, where he stated that Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden, had created a business agreement with foreign nationals connected to the Chinese government during Biden’s vice presidency.

Grassley said that the interview summary states that work “remained intentionally uncompensated while Joe Biden was vice president.” “After Joe Biden left the vice presidency, the summary makes clear that Hunter Biden and James Biden worked with CEFC and affiliated individuals to compensate them for that past work and benefits they procured for CEFC,” Grassley said. Hunter Biden, James Biden, and their business partners created a joint venture, known as SinoHawk Holdings, that would be a “vehicle to accomplish that financial compensation.” The venture was a partnership between the two Bidens, and CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming. 50 percent of SinoHawk was owned by Oneida Holdings, which according to the summary, was made up of five evenly divided LLCs, two of which went to Hunter and James Biden, and 10 percent, Bobulinski revealed, was “to be held for Joe Biden.”

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Aluminum

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cockatoo

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 172022
 
 October 17, 2022  Posted by at 8:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  69 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1919

 

Gazprom Outlines Consequences For Price Cap On Russian Gas (RT)
Ukraine Finance Minister To Chair IMF, World Bank Governing Boards In 2023 (R.)
Russia Responds To UN Official’s Rape Claims (RT)
EU Blackmails Serbia – Interior Minister (RT)
Kremlin Speaks On NATO’s ‘De-facto’ Role In Ukraine (RT)
China Orders Evacuation Of All Citizens Still In Ukraine (ZH)
Energy Crisis Will Breed Extremism – Bavarian President (RT)
From Decolonisation to Desperation to Hopelessness to Farce (Batiushka)
Echoes Of A Brush With ‘Armageddon’ (Tony Cox)
The Gaslighting of the Masses (CJ Hopkins)
The Non-West Coalesces (Patrick Lawrence)
EU to Demand Holidaymakers’ Fingerprints and Facial Images at Borders (DS)
Why Ron DeSantis Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against Donald Trump (CTH)
Alarming Rise In Cancer Among Young People Across Globe (CNN)
One Serious Adverse Event Per Eight-Hundred Vaccinations (Arora)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween

 

 

 

 

Fauci

 

 


Iran hasn’t invaded a country in 300 years, yet we, the United States, being 246 years old, have been at war for 236 years.

 

 

Tedros
https://twitter.com/i/status/1581732938957443098

 

 

The universe contains more planets than seconds that have passed since the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

 

 

 

 

The consequences have been known for months: NO GAS. And also:

“..Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Novak said the US should set a price cap on its own liquified natural gas (LNG) going to Europe..”

I think if serious peace talks don’t start within a month, it’s too late to stop the cold, the hunger, and the resulting riots.

Gazprom Outlines Consequences For Price Cap On Russian Gas (RT)

Plans to set a price cap on Russian gas sales, which are currently being considered by Western leaders, would cause supplies to be halted, according to Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller. “We rely on the contracts that have been signed. A unilateral decision of the kind is, of course, a violation of essential terms of the agreements which would lead to a termination of supplies,” Miller said on Sunday in an interview with Russia 1 TV. Numerous sanctions have been introduced by the US, EU, and allies on Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine. EU customers have so far reduced their purchases of Russian energy, and the G7 and EU are currently trying to introduce a price cap on Russia’s oil and gas.

Miller’s comments echoed a similar warning from President Vladimir Putin, who said last month that Moscow would cut off energy supplies if price caps are imposed. Earlier this month, EU leaders reached an agreement to impose yet another package of sanctions on Russia, including banning maritime transportation for Russian oil to third-party countries unless the oil is sold below or at a certain price. The measures would take effect after December 5, 2022 for crude and February 5, 2023 for refined petroleum products.

Earlier this week, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that a price cap on Russian oil exports of around $60-per-barrel would likely reduce Moscow’s energy revenues while allowing profitable production, thus keeping Russian crude on the global market. Yellen stressed that the measure is still being discussed by the US and its Western allies. On Friday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Novak said the US should set a price cap on its own liquified natural gas (LNG) going to Europe, as American fuel is being delivered to Europe at prices four times higher than the price for domestic consumption.

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We’ve given them so much money, might as well hand over the keys to the safe too…

Ukraine Finance Minister To Chair IMF, World Bank Governing Boards In 2023 (R.)

The shareholders of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Friday selected Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko as the next rotating chair of the boards of governors of both institutions in 2023. The decision, which was announced during the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, means that Marchenko will also chair next year’s annual meeting of the institutions, which is scheduled to be held in Morocco. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the war’s massive impact on the global economy have dominated this year’s meetings, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urging international donors to provide $55 billion in additional funding next year to keep his country’s economy running and fund some initial reconstruction.

World Bank President David Malpass told shareholders of both institutions on Friday that the World Bank Group had mobilized $13 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine since the war began, including grants, guarantees, and linked parallel financing from the United States, Britain, Europe and Japan. “I remain horrified by Russia’s actions and call for Russian forces to leave Ukraine,” Malpass said in his most explicit remarks on the war to date. Marchenko said his selection was unanimously approved by all governing member countries of the two global lenders, and marked the first time that Ukraine would lead the institutions since it joined 30 years ago.

The move was unanimously approved since there was no objection during the business portion of the plenary, a source close to the discussions said. Russia is a member of the institutions and could have objected, but did not. “It is a great honor to represent Ukraine” in the international financial arena, Marchenko said in a statement released by his ministry, adding that Ukraine would be able to increase its cooperation with international financial organizations and the member countries of the World Bank and IMF.

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From the Putin (and Genghis Khan, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Saddam) Eats Babies book:

Russia Responds To UN Official’s Rape Claims (RT)

Claims made by the UN special representative on sexual violence, Pramila Patten, go “beyond the reach of reason,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Sunday. Earlier this week, Patten accused Russia of employing a “deliberate” rape “strategy”as part of its military campaign in Ukraine. “One cannot even comment on P. Patten’s … words in a serious way,”Zakharova said, adding that the UN official’s conclusions were based on data that is difficult to verify, according to Patten herself. “Once again, what we are seeing is a classic ‘highly likely’ [story], which has this time reached the level of twisted imagination,” Zakharova said.

According to her, the UN official made her conclusions based on fragmentary data provided by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine – a group created in spring 2022 on the basis of a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council. Russia has not recognized its mandate, Zakharova added. Patten’s claims resemble those made by the former Ukrainian human rights commissioner, Lyudmila Denisova, Zakharova said. Denisova was fired from her position in late May after a no-confidence vote over her failure to perform duties such as organizing humanitarian corridors and prisoner exchanges amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Later, Ukrainian media reported that most of Denisova’s allegations regarding “sexual atrocities”committed by Russian soldiers in the country had not been confirmed by Ukrainian prosecutors.

The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman’s reaction was sparked by an interview Patten gave to AFP this week, in which she claimed that sexual violence is a “deliberate tactic” and “military strategy”of Russia, aimed at dehumanizing its “victims.” She also claimed that Russian soldiers are “equipped with Viagra.” Zakharova pointed out that similar claims have been made by Western officials in the past. In 2011, the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, reportedly accused then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of supplying his troops with Viagra to supposedly encourage mass rape during a conflict that broke out following a NATO-backed coup attempt which ended with the brutal murder of Gaddafi. US military and intelligence officials subsequently told NBC that there was no evidence that the Libyan military was being supplied with Viagra or engaging in systematic rape in “rebel areas.” “The West is using the same patterns in its hybrid war,” Zakharova said on Sunday, commenting on Patten’s statements.

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“Judging by the insane blackmail they are exposing us to…they don’t want us. The sooner we accept that they don’t want us and that we don’t belong there, the better off we will be.”

EU Blackmails Serbia – Interior Minister (RT)

The EU’s offers to Serbia are unacceptable, and Serbs should “accept that they don’t want us,” Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin told the Novosti news site on Saturday. He added that Belgrade should instead turn its attention to “free countries that accept us without blackmail,” such as Russia and China. “The question is not whether we want to join the EU, but whether the EU wants Serbia,” Vulin told Novosti. “Judging by the insane blackmail they are exposing us to…they don’t want us. The sooner we accept that they don’t want us and that we don’t belong there, the better off we will be.” A traditional ally of Russia, Serbia has come under intense pressure from the West to back the sanctions regime against Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine.

The European Parliament has considered freezing accession talks with Belgrade over the latter’s refusal to back its eight rounds of economic penalties, US state media reported last month, while Germany and France have offered to “accelerate” Serbia’s path to EU membership if it recognizes the independence of the province of Kosovo, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated last week. For Vulin and Vucic, the answer to these offers is a clear “no.” “How much would our friends respect us if they saw us neglecting our interests in the face of enemy force?” Vulin asked. “Who would fight for us if we chose not to fight for ourselves? “Relations with Russia, China and other free countries that accept us without blackmail and conditions are the future of Serbia,” he continued.

“I believe that friendship with Russia is of the greatest importance and that without it we risk the physical disappearance of Serbia.” sAccording to a poll taken in March, some 61% of Serbs oppose any cooperation with the US-led NATO alliance, largely due to the bloc’s support for Kosovo’s independence and its 1999 bombing campaign that brought about the end of Yugoslavia. Furthermore, while Serbia applied for EU membership in 2009, accession looks to be off the table for now. The EU’s latest sanctions package targeting Russian oil exports looks set to cost Belgrade hundreds of millions of euros, Vulin said last week, describing it as the “first EU sanctions package against Serbia.” Hungary has responded to the sanctions by announcing a new pipeline to help Serbia tap into the supply of Russian crude oil.

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If you live in a NATO country, you are now in a war you can’t win.

Kremlin Speaks On NATO’s ‘De-facto’ Role In Ukraine (RT)

NATO has “de-facto become involved in the Ukraine conflict,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia 1 TV on Sunday, adding that this will not prevent Moscow from following through with its plans and achieving its military goals in Ukraine. The Kremlin spokesman acknowledged, however, that NATO’s interference makes it “significantly harder” for Russia to conduct its operation, though it does not change the goals. “This [NATO involvements] requires… our internal mobilization in the field of economy and other spheres,” he told Russia 1, adding that there is a major difference between “the Kiev regime and… the NATO potential.” However, Russia’s own “potential allows [it] to continue the operation under such circumstances,” Peskov said.


The Kremlin spokesman provided no further details about Moscow’s plans and strategy in the military campaign, which has lasted for more than seven months. Earlier this week, Moscow denied rumors that the operation in Ukraine is being redesignated as a counter-terrorism campaign. Peskov also said at the time that there have been no decisions regarding the introduction of martial law in Russian regions which have been targeted by Ukrainian strikes in recent weeks. Moscow also denied that it has considered travel restrictions for men eligible for military service amid the continuing partial mobilization. Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that over 200,000 reservists have been called up, most of which are still undergoing training, while adding that the draft will be completed in around two weeks.

Jimmy Dore

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Because it’s now NATO vs Russia.

China Orders Evacuation Of All Citizens Still In Ukraine (ZH)

China’s foreign ministry on Saturday issued an urgent call for any Chinese nationals still in Ukraine to exit immediately, kicking off speculation over what’s behind the unspecified appeal and scramble. The notification is being widely seen as the most forceful evacuation order yet, and suggests that Beijing might be aware of Russian plans for possibly imminent bigger, sweeping airstrikes against Ukrainian cities, such as the widespread escalatory strikes conducted last Monday into Tuesday. The first big evacuation of Chinese citizens took place starting last March, in which some 6,000 Chinese nationals left the country amid the Russian invasion.

But now, as state media Global Times writes, “Some Chinese nationals still in Ukraine have signed up for evacuation from the country, with most registering for organized evacuations, while others are preparing to leave Ukraine on their own, the Global Times learned on Sunday, after the Chinese Foreign Ministry urged Chinese citizens to leave Ukraine, citing the grave security situation.” The foreign ministry and embassy warned of the “grave security situation” and ordered an immediate departure, citing the need “to enhance safety precautions and evacuate.” The statement indicated that “the embassy will assist in organizing the evacuation of people in need.” Russian state sources also on Sunday began publicizing the new alert notification.

GT is reporting that an evacuation is now in progress: “As of press time on Sunday, 161 people had registered on the form the embassy sent out for organized evacuation, and another 27 people registered on the form for self-evacuation, according to a Global Times’ count of the registration on the embassy’s WeChat account.” It additionally comes at a moment of stepped-up cross-border attacks on the Russian city of Belgorod, which lies just north of the Ukrainian border opposite Kharkiv.

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The energy crisis is the result of NATO extremism.

Energy Crisis Will Breed Extremism – Bavarian President (RT)

Skyrocketing energy costs could lead to a rise in extremist sentiment across Germany, Bavarian President Markus Soder told Bild am Sonntag on Sunday. “The mix of crises, such as energy and coronavirus, can lead to overstrain and destabilization of democracy,” he said, urging “democratic parties” to “take a clear position, argue less, and encourage citizens.” Soder pointed to the increasing electoral success of the right-wing AfD party as proof that extremism is on the rise. He argued for a cap on gas prices and financial relief for citizens, as well as aid to small and medium-sized businesses to head off growing anti-government sentiment. Some 15,000 German stores are reportedly on the brink of closure due to spiraling energy costs, according to Der Spiegel.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner must also quit arguing over the future of nuclear power in the country, Soder continued. He insists the government should extend the operation of the remaining nuclear plants through at least 2024, as Lindner has proposed, and has called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to broker a peace between the two officials. Germany began shutting down its nuclear reactors in 2011 following the Fukushima disaster in Japan but has recently reconsidered the move in light of record gas prices exacerbated by the sanctions on Russian supplies. While former Chancellor Angela Merkel had promised to phase out all 17 of Germany’s nuclear reactors by the end of 2022, three remain in service. Lawmakers recently agreed to keep at least two of those on standby status, should the plan to make it through the winter by burning coal prove insufficient to meet demand.

In August, Stephan Kramer, president of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, predicted a “winter of fury” in which “violent” extremists would hijack “legitimate” protests against the energy crisis. He also expects higher unemployment and other economic issues, warning broadcaster ZDF that mounting economic pressures combined with the strsess of the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine could shake the nation when the temperature drops. While both Soder and Kramer have argued that “the trust of the population in state institutions and authorities” is crucial to maintaining order come winter, just 38% of the population believes Chancellor Scholz is fit for the top job, according to a poll conducted last month – and that was an improvement over public sentiment in August. Habeck and Lindner rate even lower, with approval ratings of 35% and 33.6%, respectively.

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“Then it will be the turn of the EU to be kicked out of Europe and ultimately the US will be kicked out of the Americas, especially out of the US.”

From Decolonisation to Desperation to Hopelessness to Farce (Batiushka)

The Western European Empires have gone. The bankrupt Spanish Empire went first, in the century before last, the Germans lost their colonies in 1919 (at the same time as the Austro-Hungarians lost their European colonies), then the Italians lost their fantasies in Africa during the Second World War, the Germans got kicked out of their colonies in Eastern Europe in 1945, but the Portuguese much later, only getting kicked out of Africa in the 1970s. By that time the Dutch, the British, the Belgians and the French had also been kicked out of their colonies. Only the NATO Danes still hold on to Greenland, which is a lot of ice and snow and all of 56,000 people, though both Eisenhower and Trump wanted to buy it. However, since the US has its base at Thule, it effectively controls the country anyhow.

Since 1947 the UK has been kicked out of almost everywhere, infamously from the Indian Subcontinent in 1947, from Palestine in 1948 and humiliatingly, by their Americans ‘allies’, from Suez in 1956. All that remains is, for the moment, a small group of tiny enclaves and islands like Bermuda, the Caymans, Gibraltar, St Helena, the Falklands etc, about 18,000 square kilometres and fewer than 300,000 people in all, plus a lot of ice in the ‘British Antarctic Territory’. As for France, after its humiliation in South-East Asia in 1954, it has gradually been kicked out of Africa (1946-2022) (Suez in 1956, Algeria in 1962 etc) and soon, even after its decades of assassinating independentist African politicians and military interventions, it will have nothing left there, though it still has a few islands in various oceans here and there.

As for the short-lived US Empire, over the last fifty years it has largely been kicked out of several Asian countries (Vietnam (1975), Iran (1979), Iraq (2011-2021) Afghanistan (2021), now out of Russia (2022), and soon out of China, India and Saudi Arabia. True, it still hangs on in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Israel, but not for much longer. Eurasia is to be US-free. As regards the Western withdrawal from Europe, the UK left Europe in 2020. It still hangs on to Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and above all to England, but it will not last. Now it is the turn of the US to be kicked out of Europe. It is happening in the Ukraine at this very moment, but this rejection will later spread to Western Europe. Then it will be the turn of the EU to be kicked out of Europe and ultimately the US will be kicked out of the Americas, especially out of the US.

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“At the time, the long-range missiles in Soviet territory took hours to fuel up and fire, meaning a delayed response to a US first strike.”

Echoes Of A Brush With ‘Armageddon’ (Tony Cox)

In 1962, the triggering event was the secret placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba, right on America’s doorstep. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev saw the move as a way to protect Cuba against a US invasion after the failed Bay of Pigs assault in April 1961, as well as a tit-for-tat response to the Pentagon’s deployment of Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Italy, which positioned Washington’s nuclear warheads to hit USSR territory in as few as 10 minutes. At the time, the long-range missiles in Soviet territory took hours to fuel up and fire, meaning a delayed response to a US first strike.

“Since the Americans have already surrounded the Soviet Union with a ring of their military installations, we should pay them back in their own coin and give them a taste of their own medicine so that they find out for themselves how it feels to live as a target of nuclear arms,” Khrushchev was quoted as saying by Aleksandr Alekseev, then Moscow’s ambassador to Cuba. US President John F. Kennedy didn’t see it that way when a U-2 spy plane spotted surface-to-surface missiles in Cuba on October 16. As Ukrainian-born author Serhii Plokhy wrote in his 2021 book, ‘Nuclear Folly,’ Kennedy was initially inclined to order an attack on the missile sites, which easily could have escalated into a Soviet response and, eventually, mushroom clouds on both sides.

The American president wasn’t yet aware that the Soviets had already shipped nuclear warheads to Cuba. Nor did he know that the USSR had 43,000 troops on the island, as well as tactical nukes that could be used to destroy a US attack force. But Kennedy knew that having Soviet ballistic missiles just across the Florida Straits – Havana is only about 1,100 miles from Washington and 230 miles from Miami – was intolerable and potentially gave the USSR the ability to win a nuclear war with the US. Russia has raised similar concerns about NATO’s eastward expansion. The Western military alliance was formed to ensure collective security against the USSR, but instead of reaping a peace dividend after the Soviet collapse in 1991, the bloc expanded to 30 states, nearly doubling in size. It also placed strategic weapons in Eastern Europe, which Moscow perceived as a threat.

As if those moves weren’t provocative enough, NATO has also pledged to eventually let Ukraine and Georgia join the US-led bloc, which would expand its reach into two former Soviet republics on Russia’s borders. Tensions escalated further when a US-backed coup overthrew Ukraine’s elected government in 2014, setting off a war between Kiev and separatists in the Donbass that left an estimated 14,000 people dead even before Russia began its military offensive last February. Some observers have blamed the US and NATO for provoking the conflict. “As the one who started the Ukraine crisis and the biggest factor fueling it, the US needs to deeply reflect on its erroneous actions of exerting extreme pressure and fanning the flame on the Ukraine issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in July.

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“They may end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity.”

The Gaslighting of the Masses (CJ Hopkins)

For students of official propaganda, mind control, emotional coercion, and other insidious manipulation techniques, the rollout of the New Normal has been a bonanza. Never before have we been able to observe the application and effects of these powerful technologies in real-time on such a massive scale. In a little over two and a half years, our collective “reality” has been radically revised. Our societies have been radically restructured. Millions (probably billions) of people have been systematically conditioned to believe a variety of patently ridiculous assertions, assertions based on absolutely nothing, repeatedly disproved by widely available evidence, but which have nevertheless attained the status of facts. An entire fictitious history has been written based on those baseless and ridiculous assertions. It will not be unwritten easily or quickly.

I am not going to waste your time debunking those assertions. They have been repeatedly, exhaustively debunked. You know what they are and you either believe them or you don’t. Either way, reviewing and debunking them again isn’t going to change a thing. Instead, I want to focus on one particularly effective mind-control technology, one that has done a lot of heavy lifting throughout the implementation of the New Normal and is doing a lot of heavy-lifting currently. I want to do that because many people mistakenly believe that mind-control is either (a) a “conspiracy theory” or (b) something that can only be achieved with drugs, microwaves, surgery, torture, or some other invasive physical means. Of course, there is a vast and well-documented history of the use of such invasive physical technologies (see, e.g., the history of the CIA’s infamous MKULTRA program), but in many instances mind-control can be achieved through much less elaborate techniques.

One of the most basic and effective techniques that cults, totalitarian systems, and individuals with fascistic personalities use to disorient and control people’s minds is “gaslighting.” You’re probably familiar with the term. If not, here are a few definitions: “the manipulation of another person into doubting their perceptions, experiences, or understanding of events.” American Psychological Association “an insidious form of manipulation and psychological control. Victims of gaslighting are deliberately and systematically fed false information that leads them to question what they know to be true, often about themselves. They may end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity.” Psychology Today

“a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to sow self-doubt and confusion in their victim’s mind. Typically, gaslighters are seeking to gain power and control over the other person, by distorting reality and forcing them to question their own judgment and intuition.” Newport Institute. The main goal of gaslighting is to confuse, coerce, and emotionally manipulate your victim into abandoning their own perception of reality and accepting whatever new “reality” you impose on them. Ultimately, you want to completely destroy their ability to trust their own perception, emotions, reasoning, and memory of historical events, and render them utterly dependent on you to tell them what is real and what “really” happened, and so on, and how they should be feeling about it.

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“Every nation just named is currently subjected to U.S. sanctions.”

The Non-West Coalesces (Patrick Lawrence)

Something of epochal importance happened in Vienna, where the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, now known as OPEC–Plus with the inclusion of the Russian Federation, convened recently for its first in-person session since 2020. You would not know of this development if you rely solely on the reports carried in our corporate-owned media. The world just took a significant turn into the 21st century. Let us stay abreast of it, leaving those who refuse to see this to their own devices. [..] As reported everywhere, OPEC–Plus decided to reduce the oil production of member nations by two million barrels per day as of next month. This may amount to an actual cut of half that amount, as many OPEC–Plus members—Nigeria, for instance—have not been lifting to their quotas anyway. But oil prices are already increasing, and we will soon see this at our filling stations. As retail prices rise, it is likely to complicate the political fortunes of the Biden administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill just as the midterm elections approach. So, a pretty big deal.

But this is not the half of what transpired in Vienna two weeks ago. Saudi Arabia, long the driving wheel in OPEC, effectively declared its long history of subservience to Washington, by way of which oil production has been exchanged for security guarantees, to be on the way out. One of Washington’s bedrock allies in the Middle East, Israel being the other, just took a major step toward the coalescence of non–Western nations into a coherent bloc acting in its own interests. This is more than a pretty big deal. It brings us considerably closer to the new world order Russia and China, the two most influential non–Western nations, have been talking about for several years and notably since the Biden administration took power in January 2021.

Within months, Beijing and Moscow concluded that there is no making sense of a nation that, even as its power declines, has no intention of working with them as equals to mutual benefit. Since then, numerous other countries have had little trouble detecting which way the wind blows.The Ukraine crisis has sent a new bolt of electricity through this geopolitical trend. Nations representing more than 80 percent of the global population and a like percentage of global gross domestic product are perfectly capable of seeing the Biden administration’s pointed provocations and do not approve. Partnerships that stop just short of alliances—a term of statecraft entailing explicit obligations in the way of mutual defense—have multiplied so quickly since Joe Biden took office it is hard to keep track of them.

Russia’s “no limits” relationship with China is the premier case. Russia has recently consolidated its cooperative ties with Iran. So has China. Iran and Venezuela, China and Cuba, China and Nicaragua—the list goes on. As we speak, Moscow and Beijing are developing partnerships of various kinds in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. But these nations, it is easy to note, are by and large beyond Washington’s fence posts: The policy cliques, this is to say, have them down as enemies. Every nation just named is currently subjected to U.S. sanctions. Parenthetically, I do have to wonder what happens when most of the world other than the Anglosphere and Western Europe is condemned in this way, but that is another conversation.

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“This may be the biggest biometric data collection operation in European history. What could possibly go wrong?

EU to Demand Holidaymakers’ Fingerprints and Facial Images at Borders (DS)

As of May 2023, the EU is to start demanding holidaymakers’ biometric data at its borders, greatly increasing both the level of surveillance in the bloc and the length of delays at transport terminals. Silke Carlo sounds the warning in the Telegraph: “Brits hopping across the Channel will first have their fingerprints and photos taken. The new mass data-gathering scheme, which will go live in May, is part of the evolution of a so-called ‘Smart Border’. But there is nothing ‘smart’ about the plans. The data grab has been justified by the aim of improving detection of dangerous travellers, finding vulnerable people, and reducing fraud, but it comes at an eye-watering cost to liberty and logistics. The border plans have been rightly described by civil society groups as “disproportionate and unnecessary”, while the Port of Dover’s boss has warned of “significant and continued disruption for a very long time”.

All travellers aged over 12 will need to be biometrically logged, creating an EU datastore loaded with hundreds of millions of people’s unique personal data. The EU is demanding not only a U.S.-style set of four fingerprints, but facial images too. Holiday-makers’ personal information will be mixed in with eventually billions of pieces of data, spanning photographs, palm prints, DNA records and facial biometrics, to which controversial recognition algorithms can be applied. This may be the biggest biometric data collection operation in European history. What could possibly go wrong?

Too many of our European friends have an indifferent attitude to the emergence of a data-hungry superstate – over 1.7 billion EU Digital Covid Certificates were issued during the pandemic – but even those falling out of love with liberté must be concerned about the disastrous impact on tourism and transport. The Big Brother-style EU border checks are estimated to take seven times longer than checks today and the tailback at Dover could grow by 19 miles – roughly the distance of the Channel crossing itself.

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Just explaining this to a friend yesterday. DeSantis’ moment is 2028.

Why Ron DeSantis Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against Donald Trump (CTH)

Appearing for an interview with Dave Rubin, the founder of Locals and a major conscript of the branding and image shaping effort behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Megyn Kelly gives Mr. Rubin the bitter pill of truth. Within this excerpt, Mr. Rubin struggles through the five stages of grief following Kelly’s red pill delivery, eventually stabilizing his emotion by accepting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis can still deliver good political outcomes for the state. It’s a very interesting dynamic to watch for a few reasons. First, because Megyn Kelly has first-hand experience with the power of the MAGA attachment to the atypical America-First leader. Second, because Kelly’s truthful statements cut against the objective for why Rubin was recruited by DeSantis Inc.

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Get them vaxxed!

Alarming Rise In Cancer Among Young People Across Globe (CNN)

More young people around the globe under the age of 50 are being diagnosed each year with early-onset cancer, according to a new study. Dr. Suneel Kamath, a gastrointestinal medical oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said the variety of different cancers on the rise in young people really surprised him. “The number of people that are presenting with advanced and unfortunately often incurable cancers in their 20s and 30s definitely seems to be skyrocketing,” Kamath said. Early-onset cases are rising for 14 types of cancers, many of which affect the digestive system, according to a review of 44 countries’ cancer registries published in the journal Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology.


“The typical risk factors we think of that would cause these different tumor types are definitely different, specific to each one,” Kamath said. The review mentions that sensitive testing happening more in young people could account for part of the upswing, but many, including Kamath, say it mostly comes down to lifestyle: obesity, diets rich in processed foods, smoking and alcohol consumption are among the factors. Kamath said one of the most important things young people can do is advocate for themselves when something doesn’t feel right. “Pay attention to, you know, what’s going on with your body,” Kamath said. “Some people are going to get some resistance from their medical team, and it does mean they need to push a little harder to get to the bottom of what’s going on.”

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Should be 1 in 1 million at most.

One Serious Adverse Event Per Eight-Hundred Vaccinations (Arora)

A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Vaccine—known for publishing the highest-quality vaccinology research—contains bombshell findings about the safety of Covid vaccines. Crucially, the authors found one serious adverse event for ever 800 mRNA vaccinated participants, orders of magnitude higher than the 1 to 2 per million reported for other vaccines. The researchers conducted a secondary analysis of original data from Pfizer and Moderna’s phase 3 clinical trials, focusing on “adverse events of special interest (AESIs)” as listed by the Brighton Collaboration—a “global authority” on vaccine safety. As the authors write, this World Health Organization-approved priority list of adverse vaccine events hasn’t been used to examine side effects in COVID-19 vaccine trial data. The stunning finding was as follows: the risk of serious adverse events from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine exceeds the benefit of reduction of COVID-19 hospitalisation.


In the analysis, Moderna caused higher adverse events than Pfizer, but both were elevated compared to the placebo arm. “Higher risk of serious AESI was observed in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine group relative to placebo in both the Pfizer and Moderna adult phase III trials, with 10.1 (Pfizer) and 15.1 (Moderna) additional events for every 10,000 individuals vaccinated,” the authors wrote. The average risk difference across both vaccines was 12.5 serious AESIs per 10,000 individuals vaccinated. As the authors write, these results “raise concerns that mRNA vaccines are associated with more harm than initially estimated at the time of emergency authorization.”

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Seed oils

 

 

 

 

Odense geese
https://twitter.com/i/status/1581540446576250881

 

 

 

 

 

 

A handful of insects.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 222022
 


Hayami Gyoshu Tea bowl and fruits 1921

 

Biden Brags About Sending Weapons at ‘Record Speed’ to Ukraine (Celente)
The Collective West Is Stumbling Towards Nuclear Armageddon (Doctorow)
New World Disorder (Charai)
Why So Many Middle-Aged Deaths in 2021? (Briand)
Poking Holes In The Brain-blood Barrier. Is That Such A Good Idea? (Girardot)
A Moratorium on mRNA ‘Vaccines’ is Needed (Byram Bridle)
Fauci Complains About ‘Dangerous Precedent’ of Mask Mandate Ruling (TH)
Tulsi Gabbard Releases Cease And Desist Letter To Mitt Romney (JTN)
Destroying Democracy To Save It? (Turley)
Barack Obama Outlines Perils Of Unregulated Big Tech (G.)
Big Tech’s ‘Cancel Culture’ Love Affair (Pepe Escobar)
Feds Subpoenaed Hunter Biden Paternity Documents, Including Tax Returns (CBS)
Black Lives Don’t Matter To BLM (Blaze)
Elon Musk To Collect $23bn Bonus As Tesla Beats Targets (G.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Webb

 

 

 

 

Medvedev

 

 

Am I the only one who thinks they’re too eager to get all these people into the US?

President Biden: “I’m announcing a program, Unite for Ukraine, a new program to enable Ukrainians seeking refuge to come directly from Europe to the United States.”

 

 

And not a word about peace.

Biden Brags About Sending Weapons at ‘Record Speed’ to Ukraine (Celente)

President Joe Biden on Thursday took to Twitter to inform Americans that his administration will send another $800 million in military aid to Ukraine to “further augment” Kyiv’s ability to counter the Russian offensive in the eastern region of the country. No mention of peace. Just more war. Biden, who called Putin a killer and war criminal, bragged that the new package will include heavy artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers, 144,000 rounds of ammunition, and tactical drones. “In the past two months, we have moved weapons and equipment to Ukraine at record speed. The United States alone has provided 10 anti-armor systems for every one Russian tank that is in Ukraine,” he posted.

Biden has sent $3.4 billion in less than two months to Ukraine. He also announced that he will send a supplemental budget request to Congress to get the funding for the weapons. He also plans to send $500 million more in direct economic aid to Ukraine and accept more refugees. Biden said the war is at a critical point and about to enter its “next phase” (which only means more weapons). The weapons will go “directly to the front lines of defending freedom,” he said. [..] John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said the new weapons batch will include 72 tactical vehicles to tow the howitzers, 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical drones—a new weapon rapidly developed by the Air Force for the Ukrainians, according to Defense One. Biden also announced that $500 million more is being provided to Ukraine.

Biden, who earlier held a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, said Americans should take pride in providing the weapons and intelligence that “beat back Putin’s savagery.” “Putin has failed to achieve his grand ambitions on the battlefield. After weeks of shelling Kyiv. Kyiv still stands,” he said.

Scott Ritter

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“..overcome with pure hatred for the West brought on by the sanctions, by the rampant Russophobia that is now public policy in Europe and the USA..”

The Collective West Is Stumbling Towards Nuclear Armageddon (Doctorow)

[Mosfilm general director Karen] Shakhnazarov expressed amazement and deep worry that Western leaders have literally ‘lost their minds’ by pursuing measures to destabilize Russia in the hope of precipitating the overthrow of Vladimir Putin and maybe even the disintegration of Russia in a way similar to the dissolution of the USSR in late 1991. Shakhnazarov remarked that total absence of common or any other sense in Joe Biden is to be expected because of his health (read: senility). But his jaw dropped when he heard that the Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, declared a couple of days ago that “Russia must not be allowed to win this war!” Where are his brains? Shakhnazarov asked rhetorically.

The point of Shakhnazarov’s reasoning is as follows: Russia is the world’s leading power in terms of nuclear arms. An overthrow of Putin would lead to chaos, and very likely to genuine radicals assuming power. Their aggressive inclinations for policy to the West would be underpinned by the vast majority of the Russian population, which, in Shakhnazarov’s view, is now overcome with pure hatred for the West brought on by the sanctions, by the rampant Russophobia that is now public policy in Europe and the USA. If the conflict should escalate to use of tactical nuclear missiles and beyond, then Russia would no longer limit its strikes to military installations but will happily target all capitals and population centers in Europe and, we may assume, in North America. In a word, Shakhnazarov equates destabilization of Russia with nuclear Armageddon.

I repeat, these are the fears of a highly responsible and publicly visible Russian general manager in the arts. Is anybody in the West with comparable standing even beginning to imagine the coming catastrophe let alone speak out about it? Before closing, I redirect attention to a major newsworthy development in Russia yesterday afternoon which even our Western media have reported on this morning: the test launch of Russia’s new Sarmat ICBM, which sets new records for speed, distance, destructive force of its MIRV warheads and, surely most important, imperviousness to all known and projected anti-missile systems in the West. Part of the invulnerability of the Sarmat is a function of its range, which extends to every point on planet Earth. Sarmat’s trajectory can be set as best suits its undetectability.

For example, it can hit the USA by approach via the South Pole, thereby evading American tracking systems, which look to attack from the Northwest. The Sarmat’s 7 or 15 nuclear warheads can each also evade ABM systems and head for target at hypersonic speeds. Starting in September, the Sarmat will be installed in silos till now housing the world’s most powerful ICBM, the Voevoda, which will be gradually retired and redeployed as launchers for commercial satellites.

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“The view from the rubble of Kyiv’s suburbs isn’t hopeful.”

New World Disorder (Charai)

The latest battle zone in the Russia-Ukraine war was in the quiet, mostly mannerly halls of the United Nations. There, in the UN’s iconic New York headquarters, the world voted on Russia’s largest invasion since World War II — revealing fractures and fissures in global support for democracy. Suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council was technically the issue put before the delegates. But every diplomat knew it was really a vote on Russia’s assault on Ukraine. The consensus for democracy and self-determination was fragile: only 93 states (out of 193) voted for removing Russia from the UNHRC, and therefore condemning its actions against its smaller, weaker neighbor. Another 24 nations (including China) voted with Russia.

Most worrisome, 58 countries abstained, refusing to take sides in what many see as a duel between the great powers. Others feared that energy, food, and fertilizer prices might continue to climb if the conflict escalates. (Both Russia and Ukraine are major producers of oil, gas, wheat, and fertilizing petrochemicals — all of which are a matter of life and death for developing nations.) Fear and food are more important to many developing nations than democratic ideals. American and European policy makers will have to face a hard truth: while Russia is diplomatically isolated, it is not entirely alone, and many countries do not side with Ukraine and its democratic hopes. The view from the rubble of Kyiv’s suburbs isn’t hopeful.

Ukraine’s democratically elected leaders know that they could be captured, wounded, or killed. And they also know that the history of sanctions, the weapon of choice of the Western coalition, shows that they almost always fail to tame invaders. All of these facts were known to the UN delegates. Indeed, they would have heard them directly from Ukrainian diplomats. But high ideals and real desperation didn’t move them.

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“..a 45-54 years old death peak in September is unheard of.”

Why So Many Middle-Aged Deaths in 2021? (Briand)

Martin Kulldorff recently wrote: “For the mRNA vaccines, the big question that needs an urgent answer is whether they cause an increased risk of heart attack and/or other serious heart problems. There are many anecdotal reports, especially among young male athletes, and many VAERS reports. [..] Public health officials face a temptation to summarily dismiss anecdotal vaccine injury stories and people concerned about the publicly available VAERS reports, but in public health, we cannot do that. We must take people’s concerns seriously. What’s an economist’s reaction to anecdotal evidence? A friend recently asked me about the statistical relevance of anecdotal evidence. My answer to him was the following. The sum of life experiences by the many leads to a picture of the whole, while a picture of the whole hides unique and varied life experiences.

No “anecdotal evidence” should be dismissed a priori, just because it has been observed over a small and/or unique sample. The questions are the same, whether about “anecdotal evidence” or “evidence over a larger sample or population”: Have we really observed a change in the pattern in our data? What kind of inferences, if any, can we make from our observations? I have never paid much attention to athletes (no offense to the athletes), but I have recently paid attention to U.S. deaths. Using publicly available CDC data, I simply plotted monthly U.S. deaths, from 1999 to 2021. To my surprise, deaths due to suicides do not show an increase in 2020-21. But we thought they did, didn’t we? Does this mean we were not paying attention to suicides before, but recent events made us more attune to the suffering of others?

Or does it mean deaths of despair are found in other cause of death categories? Deaths due to accidental poisoning and exposure to noxious substances (which include accidental drug and alcohol overdose) have increased. Deaths due to homicide, and deaths due to liver diseases, have too. Some thought April 2020 deaths were too high and justified putting our lives on hold, but January 2021 numbers were worse—the percentage death rate in 2021 is the same as it was in 2020. Why the increase in January 2021 deaths? Continued upward trend in deaths due to the increase and aging of the US population? Deaths of despair? Increased deaths due to untreated conditions in 2020? Deaths due to COVID or one of its variants? Vaccine deaths?

In 2021, death numbers have peaked at unprecedented levels, in September, for the 45-54, 35-44 and 25-34 years old. September 2021 deaths for the 65-74 and 55-64 years old were also higher than their April 2020 numbers. Ok, so why is that significant? Let’s take the 45-54 years old group for example. Seasonal variations in deaths for this group has always been less pronounced than for the 85 years and older group, but whatever peaks they had, they still occurred mostly in January for both groups—so a 45-54 years old death peak in September is unheard of.

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“As long as the brain-blood barrier is leak-proof, very limited quantities of lipid nanoparticles – or pseudo-virus vectors – will penetrate the brain.”

Poking Holes In The Brain-blood Barrier. Is That Such A Good Idea? (Girardot)

Utilising 20% of the body’s energy, the humain brain contains ~650 kilometers of blood vessels, roughly 6 times the lungs’ own vascular system. As such it would be natural that the brain would face the most endothelial risk in the human body. When the data about the LNP distribution came out last year, most of us naturally focused on the organs where most of the nanoparticles seemed to be principally localised: liver, spleen, ovaries, heart, lungs … Strangely, the brain seemed relatively untouched with a peak estimate at 2 million nanoparticles in the brain, whereas the lungs seem to retain 6 times more vaccine particles… an inverted proportion.


Chart 1 – Lipid Nanoparticle Estimate for Pfizer Vaccine based on Mouse Model

There’s an acute difference between the brain and other organs: As a vascular system, the brain-blood-barrier (BBB) is a much tighter assembly of specialised endothelial cells than the rest of the circulatory system. The BBB controls what penetrates the brain much more tightly and rigourously. In other words, vaccine particles can come in and out freely in most organs, not in the brain. As long as the brain-blood barrier is leak-proof, very limited quantities of lipid nanoparticles – or pseudo-virus vectors – will penetrate the brain.

As we have witnessed with the escape from the injection point, it doesn’t mean necessarily that tissues are favourable to transfection…so a significant proportion of cytotoxic LNPs accounted for in Chart 1 aren’t necessarily synonymous with severity. Indeed, they might leak back into the lymphatic system and the blood stream later on. What I am trying to say is that it might seem from Chart 1 that the brain is not so much at risk, but effectively it probably is. Simply the brain isn’t storing LNPs in the tissue the way muscles or the heart might…and therefore the 2 million LNPs accounted for in the brain are likely transfected BBB endothelial cells !

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Too late already?

A Moratorium on mRNA ‘Vaccines’ is Needed (Byram Bridle)

Do you remember when public health and government officials assured everyone that the mRNA ‘vaccines’ function like traditional vaccine technologies? …meaning that they largely remain in the shoulder muscle where they are injected, with some portion going to the draining lymph nodes where an immune response is initiated. Well, back in May 2021, I, along with some international colleagues, looked at a document that Pfizer had submitted to the Japanese health regulatory agency. It was a pre-clinical biodistribution study. This means it was an experiment done with an animal model to predict where the vaccine formulation might go when injected into people. What I saw was startling. Most of Pfizer’s vaccine spread throughout the body instead of staying at the injection site.

This also meant there was the potential for toxicities that would never occur with traditional vaccines that largely remain at or close to the injection site. To ensure people could make a fully informed decision about whether to take the jab I went public with this information in a radio interview. I wasn’t surprised by the systemic distribution of the vaccine per se. Being a vaccinologist, I knew that lipid nanoparticle delivery systems were originally designed to spread far and wide throughout the body with the hopes they could be a vehicle for gene therapy and/or drug delivery. Instead, my surprise came from the fact that the data confirmed my historical understanding and contradicted public health messaging that the mRNA jabs behaved like traditional vaccines.

Public statements by health officials made me assume the lipid nanoparticles had somehow been modified to stay at the injection site, which was news to me. This highlights one of the first rules of thumb when practicing science. Transparently presented raw and/or peer-reviewed data are the cornerstones of objective science; not personal proclamations or data disseminated via media releases. In May 2021 I realized two things: 1. There was a lack of transparency about data supporting COVID-19 inoculations. 2. Incorrect messaging was being relayed to the public. As an academic public servant with relevant expertise, I spoke up when enquiries came from the public. I spoke the truth then and continue to do so.

Ryan Cole Cancer and T cells

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Fauci declares himself above the law. And the courts should stay out of it.

Fauci Complains About ‘Dangerous Precedent’ of Mask Mandate Ruling (TH)

After Fauci himself acknowledged that the rise in cases of this new variant may not lead to increased hospitalizations, he claimed that “it was perfectly logical for the CDC to say ‘wait a minute, we were planning on ending this mandate on a certain date, let’s wait a period of time until May 3” and also tried to convince that that “was a very sound public health decision.” He continued to complain about Judge Mizelle’s ruling, saying that “for a court to come in, and interfere in that, is really unfortunate. It’s unfortunate because it’s against public health principles, number one, and number two is because that’s no place for the courts to do that, this is a CDC decision, and that’s very bad precedent when you have courts making a decision and looking at what the basis of the decision, it was not sound.”

What? Is the CDC accountable to no one? Also, when it comes to waiting until “a certain date,” plenty of us remember the powers that be at the time telling us, over two years ago now, that we just needed two weeks to stop the spread. Such exchanges certainly highlight an entitlement that Dr. Fauci, the CDC, and the Biden administration all have when it comes to their authority in handling the Wuhan coronavirus. It’s all on these members of the mainstream media for throwing Biden such softball questions. These remarks came after Dr. Fauci just recently, during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week” acknowledged that “this is not going to be eradicated … Each individual is going to have to make their [risk] calculation.”


Fauci has hardly been the only one to denigrate Judge Mizelle though, with other liberals going after her, including to do with her age and her qualifications, as Spencer and our friends at Twitchy highlighted. When it comes to Fauci’s sense of entitlement, he may need to be reminded that the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have found that the CDC overstepped its authority before when it comes to the pandemic. Last August, in a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled against the CDC’s eviction moratorium, which even President Joe Biden had acknowledged was likely unconstitutional, though he issued it regardless.

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And Keith Olberman. But nobody takes him serious anymore.

Tulsi Gabbard Releases Cease And Desist Letter To Mitt Romney (JTN)

Former Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has sent Sen. Mitt Romney a cease-and-desist letter over the Utah Republican’s recent accusation that she has told “treasonous lies.” The letter, which Gabbard posted to her social media, accuses Romney of making “false and defamatory statements” and encourages him to enter into a settlement with her before the process reaches the litigation stages. “Tulsi Gabbard is parroting false Russian propaganda,” Romney tweeted March 13 about the ex-Hawaii congresswoman, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was roughly two weeks old. “Her treasonous lies may well cost lives.” The senator and former Massachusetts governor and 2016 GOP presidential nominee did not offer specifics.

But he purportedly was referring to comments Gabbard – a major in the Army National Guard who served two tours of duty in the Middle East – made about biolabs in Ukraine. Last month, Gabbard, also a 2020 presidential candidate, told Fox News show host Tucker Carlson that she was “deeply concerned” about the biolab issue and posted a video to her social media accounts in which she said that there are more than 25 “U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine, which if breached would release and spread deadly pathogens.” “While your tweet lacked any context, we surmise that your tweet was made in reference to a video Representative Gabbard published on Twitter that same day,” Gabbard’s attorney said about the Romney tweet.

“In her video, Representative Gabbard called for a ceasefire in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine so that any biological laboratories in Ukraine could be secured,” states the cease-and-desist document, which also argues everything Gabbard said in her video was “factually accurate.” Treason can be punishable by death, according to U.S. House code. Gabbard’s lawyer also writes: “Representative Gabbard’s loyalty to the United States is beyond reproach. You knew your claims of treason were false, or, at a minimum, you made your claims of treason with reckless disregard for the truth.” Biolabs in Ukraine are the focus of a conspiracy theory that alleges the Biden administration was funding biological weapon labs in the country now under attack from Russia.

Tucker Tulsi

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“Whether Jan. 6 was a riot or an actual insurrection remains a matter of deep and largely partisan disagreement — but the disqualification clause was written in reference to a real Civil War in which more than 750,000 people died in combat.”

Destroying Democracy To Save It? (Turley)

As the country braces for the midterm elections, the left seems to be rallying behind three D’s: Democracy, Disinformation and Disqualification. The latter effort just received a huge boost from a judge in Georgia who has allowed a challenge to knock Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) off the ballot as an insurrectionist. Nothing says “democracy” like preventing others from voting. Many of us have criticized Greene for her inflammatory rhetoric and her extreme views. No less dangerous, though, is the means being used by some of Greene’s critics to get rid of her. It is all part of a new movement to defend democracy by denying it. To paraphrase the Vietnam strategy, democracy can only be saved by destroying it through the denial of speech or the right to vote.

[..] Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was written after the 39th Congress convened in December 1865, following the end of the Civil War. At the time, many members were not pleased to see former Confederates like Alexander Stephens (D-Ga.), the Confederacy’s vice president, appear in Congress to retake the very oath they previously violated by waging war against the country. Whether Jan. 6 was a riot or an actual insurrection remains a matter of deep and largely partisan disagreement — but the disqualification clause was written in reference to a real Civil War in which more than 750,000 people died in combat. The Confederacy was a separate government with its own army, currency and foreign policy.

There is another problem: To the extent that a person can be disqualified under the 14th Amendment, it requires action from Congress, not a local board of election. Despite an otherwise long, careful opinion, Totenberg blithely set aside such details, including an 1869 decision by then-Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase. The case in question challenged the right of Hugh W. Sheffey to hold a Virginia state court office, given his support for the Confederacy. Chase ruled that Section 3 did not disqualify Sheffey because “legislation by Congress is necessary to give effect to” Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, and disqualification from office “can only be provided for by Congress.” Congress later passed the Amnesty Act of 1872, which overrode the Disqualification Clause except for “Senators and Representatives of the thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh Congresses.”

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that states cannot impose their own qualifications for Congress because it would “erode the structure envisioned by the Framers.” Under such an approach, partisan state election boards could simply conclude that a member is an insurrectionist and prevent voters from being able to make such choices for themselves.

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Cancel Culture. As per the Guardian.

Barack Obama Outlines Perils Of Unregulated Big Tech (G.)

Technology companies must be reined in to address the “weakening of democratic institutions around the world”, Barack Obama said Thursday, in a sweeping keynote speech on the perils of disinformation. Speaking at Stanford University in Silicon Valley, the former president made his most extensive remarks yet about the technology landscape, which he said is “turbo-charging some of humanity’s worst impulses”. “One of the biggest reasons for the weakening of democracy is the profound change that’s taken place in how we communicate and consume information,” he said. The address came as Obama has increasingly focused his post-presidential messaging on misinformation and what should be done about the largely unchecked power wielded by big tech. On Thursday, he solidified those calls, endorsing specific legislation.

“Do we allow our democracy to wither, or do we make it better?” Obama asked. “That is the choice.” Obama’s speech called attention to the grave impacts of disinformation and misinformation – including manipulation of the 2016 and 2020 elections and the rise of anti-vaccination sentiments. He was candid about regrets he had surrounding Donald Trump’s election, saying his administration had long known that Russia had incentive to manipulate US democracy but he underestimated the effectiveness of the efforts. “What still nags at me is my failure to appreciate at the time just how susceptible we had become to lies and conspiracy theories,” Obama said.

A Senate panel report in 2020 found conclusively that Russia had interfered in the 2016 elections to sway votes in favor of Trump, echoing findings from a prior report published by the Department of Justice. In addition to impacting the results of those elections, disinformation and misinformation has also caused many Americans to reject the results of democratically sound elections, Obama said – noting that the majority of Republicans doubt the legitimacy of Biden’s 2020 win. Much of these issues can be attributed to a decline in media literacy, the erosion of local news sources, and an “information overload” as we come into contact with limitless content each day. “The sheer proliferation of conflict and the splintering of information and audiences has made democracy more complicated,” Obama said.

Obama

“Despite the fact that we have now essentially clinically tested the vaccine on billions of people worldwide. Around 1 in 5 Americans is still going to put themselves at risk… rather than get vaccinated.”

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And this is where Obama’s views lead:

Big Tech’s ‘Cancel Culture’ Love Affair (Pepe Escobar)

This month, several of us – Scott Ritter, myself, ASB Military News, among others – were canceled from Twitter. The – unstated – reason: we were debunking the officially approved narrative of the Russia/NATO/Ukraine war. As with all things Big Tech, that was predictable. I lasted only seven months on Twitter. And that was long enough. Contacts in California had told me I was on their radar because the account grew too fast, and had enormous reach, especially after the start of Operation Z. I celebrated the cancelation by experiencing an aesthetic illumination in front of the Aegean Sea, at the home of Herodotus, the Father of History. Additionally, it was heart-warming to be recognized by the great George Galloway in his moving tribute to targets of the new McCarthyism.

In parallel, comic relief of the “Mars Attacks” variety was provided by expectations of free speech on Twitter being saved by the benign intervention of Elon Musk. Techno-feudalism is one of the overarching themes of my latest book, Raging Twenties – published in early 2021 and reviewed here in a very thoughtful and meticulous manner. Cancel culture is inbuilt in the techno-feudalist project: conform to the hegemonic narrative, or else. In my own case regarding Twitter and Facebook – two of the guardians of the internet, alongside Google — I knew a day of reckoning was inevitable, because like other countless users I had previously been dispatched to those notorious “jails”.

On one Facebook occasion, I sent a sharp message highlighting that I was a columnist/analyst for an established Hong Kong-based media company. Some human, not an algorithm, must have read it, because the account was restored in less than 24 hours. But then the account was simply disabled – with no warning. I requested the proverbial “review”. The response was a demand for proof of ID. Less than 24 hours later, came the verdict: “Your account has been disabled” because it had not followed those notoriously hazy “community standards.” The decision was “reviewed” and “it can’t be reversed”. [..] My hit-by-a-Hellfire missile Facebook page clearly identified for the general public who I was, at the time: “Geopolitical analyst at Asia Times”.

The fact of the matter is Facebook algorithms canceled a top columnist from Asia Times – with a proven record and a global profile. The algos would never have had the – digital – guts to do the same with a top columnist from The New York Times or the Financial Times. Asia Times lawyers in Hong Kong sent a letter to Facebook management. Predictably, there was no response. Of course becoming a target of cancel culture – twice – does not even remotely compare to the fate of Julian Assange, imprisoned for over three years in Belmarsh under the most appalling circumstances, and about to be dispatched for “judgment” in the American gulag for the crime of committing journalism. Yet the same “logic” applies: journalism that does not conform to the hegemonic narrative must be taken down.

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They’re coming for him from all sides. By definition, that means they’re coming for his dad, too, even if they don’t recognize it.

Feds Subpoenaed Hunter Biden Paternity Documents, Including Tax Returns (CBS)

Prosecutors investigating Hunter Biden subpoenaed documents from a paternity lawsuit that included tax records for the president’s son, according to documents and an attorney involved in the matter. “They wanted every record relating to Hunter Biden we had,” Clint Lancaster told CBS News. Lancaster represented Lunden Roberts, a woman who filed suit against Hunter Biden in 2019 alleging he was the father of her child. A December 2020 subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware, obtained by CBS News, requested all documents “regarding [Hunter] Biden’s income, assets, debts, obligations, and financial transactions… and all personal and business expenditures.” The request specified January 2017 to the present. The subpoena also requested a wide range of tax documents pertaining to Hunter Biden.

“All federal, state, local and foreign tax documentation related to Biden,” the subpoena reads, “including but not limited to, IRS Forms 1099, income and payroll tax returns, state tax returns, and amended tax returns.” Hunter Biden’s personal and business conduct have been the subject of scrutiny — and the target of Republican political attacks — since the earliest days of the 2020 presidential campaign. The move by federal authorities to obtain these records offers a new, if narrow, glimpse into the long-running investigation into the president’s son — a probe that began as a tax inquiry several years ago. Lancaster told CBS News that in the fall of 2021, the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Delaware, Lesley Wolf, traveled to his Arkansas law office, joined by at least two federal agents, one from the FBI and the other an IRS enforcement agent.

Lancaster said he and his client spent about half a day answering questions about Hunter Biden and his business practices. Lancaster said that in the meeting, investigators asked for information about several companies affiliated with Hunter Biden, including Rosemont Seneca Partners, a firm where he worked for several years. The line of questioning tracks with a separate 2019 federal subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware. The subpoena, obtained by CBS News, sought “all records, documents and accounts pertaining to all financial/banking transactions” between 15 business entities and Hunter Biden, the president’s brother James, as well as two business partners dating back to 2014, when Joe Biden was vice president.

Lancaster said that during the paternity suit Hunter Biden had supplied an “affidavit of financial means,” which detailed his finances through income statements and a breakdown of monthly expenses. Lancaster said the tax records he and his client supplied overlapped with the time period of Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings. Roberts testified before a Delaware grand jury in February of this year, according to her lawyer. An Arkansas court filing from November 2019 states, “DNA testing has established with scientific certainty” that Hunter Biden is the father of Roberts’ child. The child is believed to be around 3 years old today. The paternity case was settled in 2020. Some of the records in the case are under seal.

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Defund.

Black Lives Don’t Matter To BLM (Blaze)

It had even more corporate and cultural support than the vaccines and Ukraine. It was the greatest juggernaut in politics that even ensnared many Republican politicians. Yet never have we seen a movement that accomplished the opposite of what it was purported to do in such a short time frame. It turns out that as a result of the BLM-induced crime wave, reversing a generation-long trend of reduced crime, there were thousands of excess black homicide victims, a body count that is still climbing. Hannah Meyers, director of the policing and public safety initiative at the Manhattan Institute, told Fox News’ Emma Colton that there were nearly 2,500 excess black murders in 2020 over the previous year and the 10-year average. Here is a breakdown of the data from Fox:

In 2019, at least 7,484 Black Americans were murdered. That number shot up to at least 9,941 murders in 2020, meaning there was an increase of 2,457 Black Americans murdered over the previous year. The number of Black murders was also far higher than White murders in 2020. The FBI data shows there 7,043 White people murdered that year, meaning 2,898 more Black people were killed compared to Whites. Between 2010 and 2019, there was an average of 5,954 White murders, which is roughly 16% lower than the 10-year average of Black murders. During that same time period, an average of 6,927 Black Americans were murdered each year, meaning Black murders shot up by 43% in 2020 compared to the previous 10-year average.

What is evident from this analysis is that there were two periods of abnormal increases in black homicides: one in 2015 after Ferguson and Freddie Gray and then a much sharper increase in 2019 with George Floyd. In other words, every time they promote the anti-police and anti-incarceration message, it backfires, and black people are harmed the most. Preliminary numbers from 2021 show an even greater increase in homicides. And given that major cities like Baltimore and Philadelphia set new records, it’s very likely that black victims accounted for an even greater share of the excess.

Republicans stupidly squandered the Trump years trying to outflank the Democrats on de-incarceration in an effort to pander to the black vote. They wrongly focused on the fact that blacks are disproportionately incarcerated, even though that is an unfortunate reflection of the crime rate. What they should have focused on is that black victims of crime are disproportionately affected by jailbreak policies. Despite composing just 13% of the population, they account for the majority of the homicide victims. Releasing career criminals ensures that the body count goes up.

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“Tesla today has a market value of $1.1tn, following a 1,300% rise in its share price since the target was set in January 2018..”

Elon Musk To Collect $23bn Bonus As Tesla Beats Targets (G.)

Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla and the world’s richest person, is set to collect a $23bn bonus after the Californian electric car company’s first-quarter results exceeded performance targets. Musk, who is already sitting on an estimated $249bn fortune, is in line for the bonus share payout after Tesla hit share price and financial growth milestones in its earnings on Wednesday night. Tesla made an adjusted profit of $5bn on revenue of $18.8bn in the first quarter of the year – an 81% increase on the same period a year earlier. The results, combined with the growth in Tesla’s share price performance, mean Musk has hit targets that should lead to a bonus share payout worth about $23bn.

The company outlined an extraordinary deal for Musk in 2018 that would pay him an unprecedented $55.8bn bonus if he built the business into a $650bn company within a decade. He achieved that milestone early, in January 2020. Tesla today has a market value of $1.1tn, following a 1,300% rise in its share price since the target was set in January 2018. It means Musk, who collects no salary, should now have unlocked the final three parts of the 12-tranche bonus scheme. Each tranche gives Musk the right to buy 8.4m Tesla shares at $70, a huge discount on the current $977 share price. His profit on each tranche could be $7.7bn or a combined value of $23bn. The payments need to be signed off by the board, and he must hold on to the shares for five years before selling.

Musk, who is attempting to buy Twitter for more than $43bn, said he was not in talks with Tesla’s board over a new bonus scheme after completing the 2018 deal early. “There are no discussions underway about incremental compensation for me,” he said on the company’s earning call. “The future is very exciting,” Musk said in the call with investors. “I’ve never been more optimistic or excited about the future of Tesla than I am right now.”

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Clinton campaign ad, October 15, 2016.

 

 

Haney suicide

 

 

Greeks eat lamb for Easter

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mar 172022
 


René Magritte L’empire des lumières 1949

 

Zelensky Slaps Down Russia’s 15-Point Peace Plan (DM)
For Washington, War Never Ends (Diana Johnstone)
Waltzing to Armageddon (Chris Hedges)
In the Modern Adaption of The Wizard of Oz…
Neo-Nazis In Ukraine Fake Incidents To Gain More ‘Western’ Support (MoA)
The Russian ‘Denazification’ PR Disaster: How, Why And What To Do (Mazaheri)
Say Hello To Russian Gold And Chinese Petroyuan (Escobar)
The Illusion of Evidence Based Medicine (BMJ)
Woman Died From Rare Vaccine Side-effect (BBC)
The Vindication of D.A. Henderson (Tucker)
DOJ Ordered To Produce Documents Related To Steve Bannon Prosecution (Pol.)
New Legal Hurdles for Julian Assange (Craig Murray)

 

 

 

 

5%

 

 

PFIZER REMOVED FROM THE STOCK EXCHANGE – & THEIR HEADQUARTERS IS NOW ABANDONED !

 

 

“.. the biggest sticking point was Russia’s insistence that Ukraine recognises the annexation of Crimea and the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk.”

Zelensky Slaps Down Russia’s 15-Point Peace Plan (DM)

Volodymyr Zelensky has slapped down Russia’s 15-point peace plan by insisting Ukraine’s priorities include ‘restoring territorial integrity’. The Kremlin had drafted a proposed agreement with a list of 15 demands which insisted that Ukraine recognise the annexation of Crimea and the independence of Donbass. But Zelensky has seemingly rejected the proposals, despite Ukrainian cities continuing to be pummelled by Russian forces, with Mariupol’s theatre targeted in Putin’s latest savage attack. In a video shared on Telegram, Zelensky said: ‘The talks on Ukraine continue. My priorities at the talks are crystal clear: end of the war, security guarantees, sovereignty, restoring territorial integrity, real guarantees for our country, real protection of our country.’

Earlier, sources on both sides had signalled that progress had been made in talks that would secure a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops. The provisions in the 15-point plan would mean Kyiv would agree to neutrality and accept limits on its military to stop the barbaric attacks against its civilians by Putin’s forces. It would also see Zelensky renounce his NATO ambitions and promise not to host Western military bases or weaponry in exchange for protection. Sources briefed on the talks told the Financial Times that another provision includes enshrining rights for the Russian language in Ukraine. But the biggest sticking point was Russia’s insistence that Ukraine recognises the annexation of Crimea and the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Putin insists that the whole of the Donbass should split from Ukraine, and not just the parts occupied by pro-Moscow rebel forces before fighting broke out. Zelensky’s comments that Ukraine’s priorities include restoring Ukraine’s territory suggest the two sides are some way off finalising an agreement. The wartime leader again accused Putin of war crimes in his latest video address. He said: ‘Ukraine received powerful support of our American friends. I’m thankful to President Biden for it. I’m thankful for leadership that united the democratic world. ‘But the war doesn’t stop. Russian war crimes don’t stop. The Russian economy is still capable to feed their military machine.’

[..] Russia’s negotiator Medinsky echoed the line to reporters on Wednesday that talks were ‘slow and difficult’ but said the Kremlin wants peace, ‘as soon as possible’. He reiterated that the core issue at the talks is a ‘neutral’ Ukraine, citing the status of Austria and Sweden as possible examples to follow. It would mean Ukraine could retain its armed forces but that Kyiv would not be allowed to have any foreign bases, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. ‘A whole range of issues tied with the size of Ukraine’s army is being discussed’, Medinsky said, having earlier mentioned the sides are discussing an idea for a future Ukraine with a smaller, non-aligned military.

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“The lackadaisical U.S. “de-Nazification” of its sector of occupied Germany was accompanied by an organized brain drain of Germans who could be useful to the United States..”

For Washington, War Never Ends (Diana Johnstone)

It goes on and on. The “war to end war” of 1914-1918 led to the war of 1939-1945, known as World War II. And that one has never ended either, mainly because for Washington, it was the Good War, the war that made The American Century: why not the American Millenium? The conflict in Ukraine may be the spark that sets off what we already call World War III. But this is not a new war. It is the same old war, an extension of the one we call World War II, which was not the same war for all those who took part. The Russian war and the American war were very, very different.

Russia’s World War II For Russians, the war was an experience of massive suffering, grief and destruction. The Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union was utterly ruthless, propelled by a racist ideology of contempt for the Slavs and hatred of “Jewish Bolsheviks.” An estimated 27 million died, about two thirds of them civilians. Despite overwhelming losses and suffering, the Red Army succeeded in turning the Nazi tide of conquest that had subdued most of Europe. This gigantic struggle to drive the German invaders from their soil is known to Russians as the Great Patriotic War, nourishing a national pride that helped console the people for all they had been through. But whatever the pride in victory, the horrors of the war inspired a genuine desire for peace.

America’s World War II America’s World War II (like World War I) happened somewhere else. That is a very big difference. The war enabled the United States to emerge as the richest and most powerful nation on earth. Americans were taught never to compromise, neither to prevent war (“Munich”) nor to end one (“unconditional surrender” was the American way). Righteous intransigence was the fitting attitude of Good in its battle against Evil. The war economy brought the U.S. out of the depression. Military Keynesianism emerged as the key to prosperity. The Military-Industrial-Complex was born. To continue providing Pentagon contracts to every congressional constituency and guaranteed profits to Wall Street investors, it needed a new enemy. The Communist scare – the very same scare that had contributed to creating fascism – did the trick.

The Cold War: World War II Continued In short, after 1945, for Russia, World War II was over. For the United States, it was not. What we call the Cold War was its voluntary continuation by leaders in Washington. It was perpetuated by the theory that Russia’s defensive “Iron Curtain” constituted a military threat to the rest of Europe. At the end of the war, the main security concern of Stalin was to prevent such an invasion from ever happening again. Contrary to Western interpretations, Moscow’s ongoing control of Eastern European countries it had occupied on its way to victory in Berlin was not inspired so much by communist ideology as by determination to create a buffer zone as an obstacle to repeated invasion from the West.

Stalin respected the Yalta lines between East and West and declined to support the life and death struggle of Greek communists. Moscow cautioned leaders of large Western European Communist Parties to eschew revolution and play by the rules of bourgeois democracy. The Soviet occupation could be brutal but was resolutely defensive. Soviet sponsorship of peace movements was perfectly genuine. The formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the rearmament of Germany confirmed that for the United States, the war in Europe was not entirely over. The lackadaisical U.S. “de-Nazification” of its sector of occupied Germany was accompanied by an organized brain drain of Germans who could be useful to the United States in its rearmament and espionage (from Wernher von Braun to Reinhard Gehlen).

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“The desperate effort to counter the steady loss of economic dominance by the U.S. will not be offset by military dominance.”

Waltzing to Armageddon (Chris Hedges)

The Cold War, from 1945 to 1989, was a wild Bacchanalia for arms manufacturers, the Pentagon, the C.I.A., the diplomats who played one country off another on the world’s chess board, and the global corporations able to loot and pillage by equating predatory capitalism with freedom. In the name of national security, the Cold Warriors, many of them self-identified liberals, demonized labor, independent media, human rights organizations, and those who opposed the permanent war economy and the militarization of American society as soft on communism. That is why they have resurrected it.


The decision to spurn the possibility of peaceful coexistence with Russia at the end of the Cold War is one of the most egregious crimes of the late 20th century. The danger of provoking Russia was universally understood with the collapse of the Soviet Union, including by political elites as diverse as Henry Kissinger and George F. Kennan, who called the expansion of NATO into Central Europe “the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-Cold War era.” This provocation, a violation of a promise not to expand NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany, has seen Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia inducted into the Western military alliance.

This betrayal was compounded by a decision to station NATO troops, including thousands of U.S. troops, in Eastern Europe, another violation of an agreement made by Washington with Moscow. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, perhaps a cynical goal of the Western alliance, has now solidified an expanding and resurgent NATO and a rampant, uncontrollable militarism. The masters of war may be ecstatic, but the potential consequences, including a global conflagration, are terrifying. Peace has been sacrificed for U.S. global hegemony. It has been sacrificed for the billions in profits made by the arms industry. Peace could have seen state resources invested in people rather than systems of control. It could have allowed us to address the climate emergency. But we cry peace, peace, and there is no peace. Nations frantically rearm, threatening nuclear war. They prepare for the worst, ensuring that the worst will happen.

So, what if the Amazon is reaching its final tipping point where trees will soon begin to die off en masse? So what if land ice and ice shelves are melting from below at a much faster rate than predicted? So what if temperatures soar, monster hurricanes, floods, droughts, and wildfires devastate the earth? In the face of the gravest existential crisis to beset the human species, and most other species, the ruling elites stoke a conflict that is driving up the price of oil and turbocharging the fossil fuel extraction industry. It is collective madness.

The march towards protracted conflict with Russia and China will backfire. The desperate effort to counter the steady loss of economic dominance by the U.S. will not be offset by military dominance. If Russia and China can create an alternative global financial system, one that does not use the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, it will signal the collapse of the American empire. The dollar will plummet in value. Treasury bonds, used to fund America’s massive debt, will become largely worthless. The financial sanctions used to cripple Russia will be, I expect, the mechanism that slays Americans, if not immolation in thermonuclear war.

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“..and the strawman is selected as the new U.S. President.”

In the Modern Adaption of The Wizard of Oz… (CTH)

… When this scene is remade in the 2022 version, the media munchkins will grab clubs, beat Toto to death, pull the curtain back closed and throw a parade for the Wicked Witch. Dorothy then dies from a vaccine induced blood clot, the tin man is recycled by China, the cowardly lion becomes Senate majority leader, and the strawman is selected as the new U.S. President.

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The materity ward didn’t work, the theater doesn’t appear to either.

But that’s not just Azov. Ukraine as a whole has a well-oiled information warfare division.

Neo-Nazis In Ukraine Fake Incidents To Gain More ‘Western’ Support (MoA)

The Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University has collected quite a bit of information of the Azov battalion. “The Azov Battalion is an extreme-right nationalist paramilitary organization based in Ukraine. Founded in 2014, the group promotes Ukrainian nationalism and neo-Nazism through its National Militia paramilitary organization and National Corps political wing. It is notable for its recruitment of far-right foreign fighters from the U.S. and Europe as well as its extensive transnational ties with other far-right organizations. In 2022, the group came to prominence again for fighting against Russian forces in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Mariupol.

In 2014 Newsweek and others documented that Azov is a fascist organization: “Norwegian channel TV2 presented footage yesterday of the Azov battalion flying flags with the symbols of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi party – Patriot of Ukraine.” In 2016 Amnesty International accused the Azov battalion of “Enforced Disappearances, Arbitrary Detentions, and Torture”.

Since at least 2015 Ukrainian fascist formations like the Azov battalion have been trained by the CIA: “As the battle lines hardened in Donbas, a small, select group of veteran CIA paramilitaries made their first secret trips to the frontlines to meet with Ukrainian counterparts there, according to former U.S. officials … Until now, however, the details of the CIA’s paramilitary training program on Ukraine’s eastern frontlines have never been revealed. This initiative, say former agency officials, has helped battle-hardened Ukrainian special operations forces for the current Russian assault, which has plunged Europe into its worst conflict in decades.”

One of the aims of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine is to de-nazify the country. The elimination of the Azov battalion in Mariupol and similar groups elsewhere in Ukraine is certainly on their agenda. It is no wonder then that Azov is faking incidents to gain more ‘western’ support for its side.

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Ramin Mazaheri at the Saker blog appears to suggest Putin must speak in terms the west understands. But why? If Russians have a different definition of nazis, isn’t that perhaps more relevant to him?

The Russian ‘Denazification’ PR Disaster: How, Why And What To Do (Mazaheri)

Many have heard of Godwin’s Law, or the rule of Nazi analogies: an Internet adage asserting that as an online discussion grows longer (regardless of topic or scope), the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Adolf Hitler approaches. However, an important corollary is that whenever someone compares someone or something to Nazism – that person has lost the argument and/or the argument is summarily over. Essentially, the world is to accept that all discussions of Western politics cannot discuss the anti-Western Liberalism ideology which was German Nazism.” Yes, Russia should have accepted that in February. Practically nobody west of the Oder River understood what Moscow meant by “denazification”, and they still don’t after a month of Russian explanations.


Russia’s military operation has made much harder by failing to recognise the iron Western cultural reality of Godwin’s Law, and the reality that the West only associates Nazis with anti-Semitism and – not at all! – with Russophobia, despite the 20+ million Russian deaths at the hands of the Germanic Nazis. This is how iron that law is: Political science PhD holders have responded to me with, “But… Ukraine’s president is Jewish – how can there be Nazis?” If you cannot even get Western political science PhD holders to see where you are coming from – even remotely – you have zero chance to get the average Westerner to understand you. Thus it’s a total, ongoing public relations catastrophe.

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“The US dollar and imperial hegemony are facing stormy seas.”

Say Hello To Russian Gold And Chinese Petroyuan (Escobar)

It was a long time coming, but finally some key lineaments of the multipolar world’s new foundations are being revealed. On Friday, after a videoconference meeting, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and China agreed to design the mechanism for an independent international monetary and financial system. The EAEU consists of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia, is establishing free trade deals with other Eurasian nations, and is progressively interconnecting with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). For all practical purposes, the idea comes from Sergei Glazyev, Russia’s foremost independent economist, a former adviser to President Vladimir Putin and the Minister for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasia Economic Commission, the regulatory body of the EAEU.

Glazyev [..] saw the western financial squeeze on Moscow coming light-years before others. Quite diplomatically, Glazyev attributed the fruition of the idea to “the common challenges and risks associated with the global economic slowdown and restrictive measures against the EAEU states and China.” Translation: as China is as much a Eurasian power as Russia, they need to coordinate their strategies to bypass the US unipolar system. The Eurasian system will be based on “a new international currency,” most probably with the yuan as reference, calculated as an index of the national currencies of the participating countries, as well as commodity prices. The first draft will be already discussed by the end of the month.

The Eurasian system is bound to become a serious alternative to the US dollar, as the EAEU may attract not only nations that have joined BRI (Kazakhstan, for instance, is a member of both) but also the leading players in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as ASEAN. West Asian actors – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon – will be inevitably interested. In the medium to long term, the spread of the new system will translate into the weakening of the Bretton Woods system, which even serious US market players/strategists admit is rotten from the inside. The US dollar and imperial hegemony are facing stormy seas.

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“..through company control of the research agenda and ghostwriting of medical journal articles and continuing medical education, academics become agents for the promotion of commercial products.”

The Illusion of Evidence Based Medicine (BMJ)

The advent of evidence based medicine was a paradigm shift intended to provide a solid scientific foundation for medicine. The validity of this new paradigm, however, depends on reliable data from clinical trials, most of which are conducted by the pharmaceutical industry and reported in the names of senior academics. The release into the public domain of previously confidential pharmaceutical industry documents has given the medical community valuable insight into the degree to which industry sponsored clinical trials are misrepresented. Until this problem is corrected, evidence based medicine will remain an illusion.

The philosophy of critical rationalism, advanced by the philosopher Karl Popper, famously advocated for the integrity of science and its role in an open, democratic society. A science of real integrity would be one in which practitioners are careful not to cling to cherished hypotheses and take seriously the outcome of the most stringent experiments. This ideal is, however, threatened by corporations, in which financial interests trump the common good. Medicine is largely dominated by a small number of very large pharmaceutical companies that compete for market share, but are effectively united in their efforts to expanding that market. The short term stimulus to biomedical research because of privatisation has been celebrated by free market champions, but the unintended, long term consequences for medicine have been severe. Scientific progress is thwarted by the ownership of data and knowledge because industry suppresses negative trial results, fails to report adverse events, and does not share raw data with the academic research community. Patients die because of the adverse impact of commercial interests on the research agenda, universities, and regulators.

The pharmaceutical industry’s responsibility to its shareholders means that priority must be given to their hierarchical power structures, product loyalty, and public relations propaganda over scientific integrity. Although universities have always been elite institutions prone to influence through endowments, they have long laid claim to being guardians of truth and the moral conscience of society. But in the face of inadequate government funding, they have adopted a neo-liberal market approach, actively seeking pharmaceutical funding on commercial terms. As a result, university departments become instruments of industry: through company control of the research agenda and ghostwriting of medical journal articles and continuing medical education, academics become agents for the promotion of commercial products. When scandals involving industry-academe partnership are exposed in the mainstream media, trust in academic institutions is weakened and the vision of an open society is betrayed.

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If they report on just 1 in a 1000 events, they will always appear to be rare. Win-win.

Woman Died From Rare Vaccine Side-effect (BBC)

A mother died from a “catastrophic” bleed on the brain caused by a rare side-effect of the Covid-19 vaccine, a coroner has concluded. Kim Lockwood, 34, complained of an excruciating headache eight days after her AstraZeneca jab in March 2021. Her condition quickly deteriorated and she was pronounced dead 17 hours after being admitted to Rotherham Hospital. South Yorkshire Coroner Nicola Mundy said Mrs Lockwood had been “extremely unlucky”. At Doncaster Coroner’s court, she recorded the cause of death as Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT) and returned a verdict of misadventure. Little was known about the link between the Covid-19 jab and VITT at the time of Mrs Lockwood’s death, the coroner said, but “medical advances” meant the condition was better-recognised since the initial vaccine rollout.


Government figures show the type of reaction Mrs Lockwood experienced is considered extremely rare. There have been 438 reported cases and 78 deaths after an estimated 24.9 million first doses and 24.2 million second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The inquest heard administrative secretary Mrs Lockwood first went to Rotherham Hospital’s A&E on 22 March but left without being seen after a long wait. She returned the next morning suffering from debilitating headaches, blurred vision and vomiting, and by midday could not speak in full sentences. By 02:00 on 24 March, the mother-of-two was unresponsive and her family was called to say their goodbyes. Ms Mundy said an MRI scan should have been arranged sooner, but this, combined with other measures such as a blood platelet transfusion and lumbar puncture would not have saved Mrs Lockwood due to the massive, “sudden and catastrophic” bleed on her brain.

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“If either is seen to be less than optimal, a manageable epidemic could move toward catastrophe.”

The Vindication of D.A. Henderson (Tucker)

Venkayya and his friends might have invented “pandemic planning” of this sort but it did not work. Instead it created mass suffering, demoralization, confusion, and public anger, not to mention having vastly expanded government power over the entire world. It is not an accident that censorship, ill-health, illiteracy, and now war are left in the wake of this fiasco. The lockdowns shattered what was called civilization, rooted in the rights and freedoms that “pandemic planning” reduced to nothingness. We should remember the man who called out this crazed ideology back in 2006. He is Donald A. Henderson, the world’s most important epidemiologist at the time. He had worked with the World Health Organization and is given primary credit for the eradication of smallpox. His book on the topic is a tour de force and a model of how a genuine public health official goes about his work.

His 2006 article provided a comprehensive critique of lockdown ideology. The title is “Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza.” He notes the new interest “in a range of disease mitigation measures. Possible measures that have been proposed include: isolation of sick people in hospital or at home, use of antiviral medications, hand-washing and respiratory etiquette, large-scale or home quarantine of people believed to have been exposed, travel restrictions, prohibition of social gatherings, school closures, maintaining personal distance, and the use of masks.” “We must ask,” he writes, “whether any or all of the proposed measures are epidemiologically sound, logistically feasible, and politically viable.

“It is also critically important to consider possible secondary social and economic impacts of various mitigation measures.” Coming under special scrutiny here was the neologism “social distancing.” He points out that it has been deployed to describe everything from simple actions to avoid exposure to covering full-scale closures and stay-at-home orders. He approves of course of hand-washing and using tissues but points out that while these practices have individual value, there is no evidence that making the practices widespread will somehow end a pandemic or even stop the spread of a virus. As for the other measures – travel restrictions, closures, stay-at-home orders, prohibition of gatherings, masking – he shoots them down one by one using logic, experience, and citations from literature.

While it is good to be prepared for a pandemic, we must remember that they do come and go. Wrecking society and rights achieves nothing. He saves the best as the final flourish. Read it and see his prophecy in action: “Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted. Strong political and public health leadership to provide reassurance and to ensure that needed medical care services are provided are critical elements. If either is seen to be less than optimal, a manageable epidemic could move toward catastrophe.”

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“..published OLC opinions that say senior presidential advisers are “absolutely immune” from compelled congressional testimony. ”

DOJ Ordered To Produce Documents Related To Steve Bannon Prosecution (Pol.)

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to produce internal records related to its decision to prosecute Steve Bannon, a win for the former Trump adviser, who maintains that he had a sound legal basis for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House’s Jan. 6 select committee. U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols said Bannon’s team should be provided with Justice Department “statements or writings” that square the decision to charge Bannon with contempt of Congress with long-standing department legal opinions that say former presidential advisers are largely immune from congressional subpoenas.

Prosecutors had argued during a two-hour hearing that the Justice Department’s legal guidance, reflected in opinions issued by its Office of Legal Counsel, were not relevant to whether Bannon actually committed the contempt-of-Congress crimes he’s charged with. But Bannon’s lawyers have emphasized that they advised him repeatedly not to comply with the congressional subpoena because the department’s policy rendered the subpoena invalid. Nichols raised a hypothetical scenario in which Congress subpoenaed Ron Klain, the chief of staff to President Joe Biden. Klain, he said, could refuse to appear, citing published OLC opinions that say senior presidential advisers are “absolutely immune” from compelled congressional testimony.

But under the Justice Department’s argument in the Bannon case he noted, Klain could be prosecuted anyway — creating a conflict between the department’s internal policies and its prosecution decisions. “Those two positions would be held at the same time,” said Nichols, an appointee of President Donald Trump. The documents the Justice Department provides could shed light on how it tried to square that inherent conflict, or whether it has issued subsequent, nonpublic legal guidance that would permit prosecuting Bannon for defying the select committee.

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“..the Court is simply avoiding hot potatoes at present.”

New Legal Hurdles for Julian Assange (Craig Murray)

It interested me in particular that the Supreme Court refused to hear Assange’s appeal on the basis that there was “no arguable point of law.” When the Supreme Court refused to hear my own appeal against imprisonment, they rather stated their alternative formulation, that there was “no arguable point of law of general public interest.” Meaning there was an arguable point of law, but it was merely an individual injustice, that did not matter to anybody except Craig Murray. My own view is that, with the Tory government very open about their desire to clip the wings of judges and reduce the reach of the Supreme Court in particular, the Court is simply avoiding hot potatoes at present. So the extradition now goes to Priti Patel, the home secretary, to decide whether to extradite. The defence has four weeks to make representations to Patel, which she must hear.

There are those on the libertarian right of the Tory party who oppose the extradition on freedom of speech grounds, but Patel has not a libertarian thought in her head and appears to revel in deportation, so personally I hold out no particular hope for this stage. Assuming Patel does authorise extradition, the matter returns to the original magistrate’s court and to Judge Vanessa Baraitser for execution. That is where this process takes a remarkable twist. The appeals process that has just concluded was the appeal initiated by the United States government, against Baraitser’s original ruling that the combination of Assange’s health and the conditions he would face in U.S. jails, meant that he could not be extradited. The United States government succeeded in this appeal at the High Court. Assange then tried to appeal against that High Court verdict to the Supreme Court, and was refused permission.

But Assange himself has not yet appealed to the High Court, and he can do so, once the matter has been sent back to Baraitser by Patel. His appeal will be against those grounds on which Baraitser initially found in favour of the United States. These are principally:
• the misuse of the extradition treaty which specifically prohibits political extradition;
• the breach of the UNCHR Article 10 right of freedom of speech;
• the misuse of the U.S. Espionage Act
• the use of tainted, paid evidence from a convicted fraudster who has since publicly admitted his evidence was false
• the lack of foundation to the hacking charge

None of these points have yet been considered by the High Court. It seems a remarkably strange procedure that having been through the appeals process once, the whole thing starts again after Priti Patel has made her decision, but that is the crazy game of snake and ladders the law puts us through. It is fine for the political establishment, of course, because it enables them to keep Assange locked up under maximum security in Belmarsh.

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It’s a trap

 

 

The New Hampshire House is misleading…

 

 

Arestovych

 

 

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Sep 122018
 


Vincent van Gogh Mountainous Landscape Behind Saint-Rémy 1888

 

US Federal Deficit Soars 32% To $895 Billion (Hill)
The Fed’s Lost Opportunity to Return to Normal (Rickards)
China ‘National Team’ Bought Billions In Stocks in Q2 – Goldman (CNBC)
Putin Bashes Protectionism, ‘Sanctions, Bans And Political Bias’ (CNBC)
Skripal Poisoning Suspects Are Civilians, Not Criminals, Says Putin (G.)
UK Police Prepares For Disorder At Ports If UK Crashes Out Of EU (Ind.)
Barnier Confronts Raab Over Discovery Of Brexit No-Deal Letters To EU27 (G.)
Europe Is Voting On Controversial Internet Copyright Law (CNBC)
Americans Need Social Media Guided by the US Constitution (Krieger)
Internet Industry Group Backs ‘National’ Data Privacy Approach (R.)
Armageddon Rides In The Balance (PCR)
Tsipras Warns “Europe Has No Future If It Doesn’t Admit Mistakes” (KTG)
Monsanto-Bayer Merger Hurts Farmers and Consumers (CP)
‘Monster’ Hurricane Florence To Pummel US Southeast For Days (R.)

 

 

Steady as she goes.

US Federal Deficit Soars 32% To $895 Billion (Hill)

The federal deficit hit $895 billion in the first 11 months of fiscal 2018, an increase of $222 billion, or 32 percent, over the same period the previous year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The nonpartisan CBO reported that the central drivers of the increasing deficit were the Republican tax law and the bipartisan agreement to increase spending. As a result, revenue only rose 1 percent, failing to keep up with a 7 percent surge in spending, it added. Revenue from individual and payroll taxes was up some $105 billion, or 4 percent, while corporate taxes fell $71 billion, or 30 percent.

The August statistics were somewhat inflated, however, due to a timing shift for certain payments, putting the deficit measure through August slightly out of sync with the previous year, the CBO noted. Had it not been for the timing shift, the deficit would have increased $154 billion instead of $222 billion. Earlier analysis from CBO projected that deficits would near $1 trillion in 2019 and surpass that amount the following year.

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With 10 years of such market manipulation that there is no market left, what exactly is normal?

The Fed’s Lost Opportunity to Return to Normal (Rickards)

Current Fed policy will push the U.S. economy to the brink of recession, possibly by later this year. When that happens, the Fed will have to reverse course and ease monetary policy. Meanwhile, the economic cheerleaders recite recent GDP figures and the stimulative effects of the Trump tax cuts. There’s one problem with the happy talk about 3–4% growth. We’ve seen this movie before. In 2009, almost every economic forecaster and commentator was talking about “green shoots.” In 2010, then-Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner forecast the “recovery summer.” In 2017, the global monetary elites were praising the arrival (at last) of “synchronized global growth.”

None of this wishful thinking panned out. The green shoots turned brown, the recovery summer never came and the synchronized global growth was over almost as soon as it began. Strong quarters have been followed by much weaker quarters within six months on six separate occasions in the past nine years. There’s no reason to believe this time will be any different. This expansion has been extraordinarily long — over 30% longer than average — indicating that a recession should be expected sooner rather than later. Into this mix of weak growth comes the Federal Reserve, which is tightening monetary policy, reducing the base money supply and supporting a strong dollar. All of these policies are associated with slower growth ahead and a high probability of recession.

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Plunge protection. Imitating ECB.

China ‘National Team’ Bought Billions In Stocks in Q2 – Goldman (CNBC)

As the mainland Chinese stock market dropped in the second quarter, groups with government ties bought shares, according to a Goldman Sachs analysis. The “national team” of entities related to or influenced by the state was formed in 2015 to help support stocks during that summer’s market turmoil. The Shanghai composite crashed more than 40 percent that year, and has struggled to recover since. The index’s losses accelerated in June, when it fell 20 percent from a recent high, or into a bear market. Beijing’s efforts to reduce the economy’s reliance on debt has led to tighter financial conditions, while rising U.S.-China trade tensions have added to pressure on growth. In all, the Shanghai composite lost 10 percent in the second quarter.

During that time, the national team bought an estimated net 116 billion yuan — or nearly $17 billion — worth of local stocks known as A shares, Goldman Sachs’ Chief China Equity Strategist Kinger Lau said in a Friday report.The second-quarter purchases account for about 0.2 percent of market capitalization and follow sales of 71 billion yuan in the first quarter, Lau said. Overall, his team estimated the national team holds 1.5 trillion yuan worth of A shares, or about 2.9 percent of the listed market capitalization. The findings are based on analysis of required quarterly disclosures of the top 10 shareholders in A share companies.


Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research

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Trump unites China and Russia.

Putin Bashes Protectionism, ‘Sanctions, Bans And Political Bias’ (CNBC)

President Vladimir Putin appeared to take another thinly veiled swipe at Trump’s economic policies on Wednesday, a day after Russia and China vowed to stand together to fight protectionism. “The world and global economy are coming up against new forms of protectionism today with different kinds of barriers which are increasing,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Russia. “Basic principles of trade — competition and mutual economic benefit — are depreciated and unfortunately undermined, they’re becoming hostages of ideological and fleeting political situations, in that we see a serious challenge for all of the global economy, especially for the dynamically-growing Asia-Pacific and its leadership,” he added.

Putin’s comments come as China and Russia appeared united on Tuesday after the leaders of both countries pledged to stand together to fight protectionism. The comments were seen as a thinly veiled attack on U.S. President Donald Trump who has implemented a massive package of tariffs on Chinese imports and threatened further sanctions on Moscow. [..] Putin said Wednesday that Russia and its eastern economic partners should work to keep trade free of barriers. “We’re convinced that in order for our region to continue to achieve high growth rates, and to remain a key participant in the global economy and trade, it should retain the spirit of economic freedom, to be the space of business initiative without sanctions, bans and political bias ,” Putin told delegates.

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With a whole series of CCTV images. Because Russian secret agents on murder missions are too stupid to avoid their photos being taken. There is even one where they take time to ‘pose’ by looking into a shop window with a camera, taken AFTER the ‘attack’.

Skripal Poisoning Suspects Are Civilians, Not Criminals, Says Putin (G.)

The two men accused by the UK of carrying out a nerve agent attack in Salisbury have been identified and are civilians, not criminals, Vladimir Putin has said. “We know who they are, we have found them,” Putin said at an economic forum in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok, adding that the two men – named by the UK as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – might soon make appearances in the media to protest their innocence. “These are civilians,” Putin said in remarks reported by Russian news agencies. “There is nothing criminal here.” British officials have said the men were agents of Russian military intelligence dispatched to kill Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy who had given information to British intelligence. He was imprisoned in Russia before being released in a spy swap in 2010.

Putin’s remarks appeared to be a denial that the men worked for Russia’s military intelligence service the Main Directorate, commonly called the GRU. British officials this month charged the two men in absentia with the attempted murder with novichok of Sergei Skripal, his daughter, Yulia, and a police officer who investigated the scene. Scotland Yard released CCTV images of the two suspects at Salisbury train station on the day of the attack. [..] Putin called on the two men to appear in the media to protest their innocence, saying he “wanted to address them directly”. The Russian’s president’s words marked a departure from his country’s earlier position, which was to disregard the evidence released by Scotland Yard as a fabrication.

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And the military too. And this is just what you’re allowed to know.

UK Police Prepares For Disorder At Ports If UK Crashes Out Of EU (Ind.)

Police are preparing for disorder at British ports in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has revealed. The head of Scotland Yard said her force was also bracing for the loss of key European data systems that are “very important” for keeping London safe. She said that the police were conducting careful, calm and sober contingency planning for eventualities, particularly relating to ports in Kent as well as in other parts of the UK. “Is there going to be protests, is there going to be disorder?” she asked, while addressing delegates at the Police Superintendents’ Association conference in Leicester. “At the moment in planning terms it’s a long-way off because there are so many uncertainties that could happen.”

Her comments came after a leaked document prepared by the National Police Coordination Centre revealed the “real possibility” of police calling on the military to help with civil disorder caused by a no-deal Brexit. It warned of traffic queues at ports and said concerns around medical supplies could “feed civil disorder”, while a rise in the price of goods could also lead to “widespread protest” and trigger crimes such as theft. Ms Dick raised additional concerns over the potential loss of access to EU systems including the European Arrest Warrant, Europol and databases containing information on criminals and terrorists entering the UK. “At any one time in my custody suites I will have 35, 40 per cent foreign nationals, over half EU citizens and a huge chunk would have travelled through Europe,” she explained.

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The UK still thinks they can make separate deals. It doesn’t understand the EU.

Barnier Confronts Raab Over Discovery Of Brexit No-Deal Letters To EU27 (G.)

Dominic Raab has been reprimanded by Michel Barnier after the EU’s chief negotiator discovered the British government had written to the 27 other member states asking for side negotiations on transport in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The Brexit secretary was confronted by Barnier during their most recent meeting in Brussels over correspondence sent in recent days to EU capitals by the Department for Transport. The letters had asked the member states to prepare to engage with the British government in side deals on aviation and haulage, to allow key trade flows to continue in the event of the UK and the EU failing to come to an agreement on leaving the union by 29 March 2019.

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, had ordered the letters to be sent despite being told less than two weeks ago by the European commission’s most senior trade official, Violeta Bulc, that without a deal this autumn, there would be no other agreements made to protect the UK economy. Barnier is said to have reiterated that message to Raab, telling the cabinet minister: “If there is no deal, there is no trust.” The bruising exchange came on the same day that Theresa May told cabinet members the UK should remain “the EU’s closest ally” after Brexit, amid a growing belief in Downing Street that progress was gradually being made in the long-running divorce talks.

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A few of them may understand the issues, but the majority sure don’t.

Europe Is Voting On Controversial Internet Copyright Law (CNBC)

European parliamentarians are set to vote on a controversial copyright law that some critics believe could stop people from sharing memes and articles online. Lawmakers in Strasbourg, France, will cast their votes on the European Union’s new copyright directive on Wednesday. The result of that vote could determine whether large tech companies including Facebook, Twitter and Google are forced to use filtering systems that block copyrighted content. Two particular parts of the directive have attracted the most criticism from pro-internet freedom activists. One is Article 13. This section calls on internet giants to take “appropriate and proportionate” measures to prevent user-generated content that infringes a rightsholder’s copyright.

This part of the law has come under heavy criticism over concerns that tech giants could end up using automated content filtering systems. The law states that “effective content recognition systems” should be put in place by digital companies to prevent copyrighted materials from being distributed on their platforms. Campaigners have scrutinized this part of the legislation over concerns that it could amount to censorship, and argue that the use of copyright-protected material by way of commentary or parody should be permitted under the doctrine of “fair use.” Particular attention has been paid to the status of “memes,” which often rely on copyright protected images or pieces of video, and whether they could be censored as a result.

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Echoing a point I’ve been making.

Americans Need Social Media Guided by the US Constitution (Krieger)

This past Friday, Alex Jones was de-platformed from the last couple of third party tools he had been using to publicly communicate his message after Twitter and Apple permanently banned him and his website Infowars. This means an American citizen with a very large audience who played a meaningful role in the 2016 election, has been banned from all of the most widely used products of communication of our age: Twitter, Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Apple’s iTunes. You can point out he still has his radio show and website, and this is unquestionably true, but when it comes to the everyday tools most people interact with to receive information and communicate in 2018, Alex Jones has been thrown down the memory hole. Not because he was convicted of a crime or broke any laws, but because corporate executives decided he crossed an arbitrary line of their own creation.

It’s not against the law to be crazy or say crazy things in this country. It’s also not against the law to say hateful things. It’s pretty obvious the main reason Alex Jones was deleted from public discourse by Silicon Valley executives relates to his impact and popularity. [..] unabashed bigots like David Duke and Louis Farrakhan continue to have active presences across social media, and rightly so. The difference is neither David Duke nor Louis Farrakhan played a major role in the election of Donald Trump, whereas Alex Jones did. Jones and Infowars were having an outsized impact on the U.S. political discourse in a manner tech giant executives found threatening and offensive, so they collectively found excuses to silence him.

When the outrage mob consisting of politicians, corporate media outlets like CNN, and even his own employees, complained to Twitter’s Jack Dorsey on the issue of Alex Jones, he couldn’t hold the line on free speech because his company’s own policies are junk. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube should have a clear policy when it comes to speech, and it should be this: If it isn’t breaking the law – in other words, if it’s protected speech under the First Amendment – it stays up. Period. When you have corporate rules against “hate speech,” you’re relying on a concept that doesn’t really have any sort of legal standing when it comes to free speech in this country. There is no “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment of the U.S Constitution.

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They want to regulate themselves. Don’t let them.

Internet Industry Group Backs ‘National’ Data Privacy Approach (R.)

A group representing major internet companies including Facebook, Amazon.com and Alphabet said on Tuesday it backed modernizing U.S. data privacy rules but wants a national approach that would preempt California’s new regulations that take effect in 2020. The Internet Association, a group representing more than 40 major internet and technology firms including Netflix, Microsoft and Twitter, said “internet companies support an economy-wide, national approach to regulation that protects the privacy of all Americans.” The group said it backed principles that would ensure consumers should have “meaningful controls over how personal information they provide” is used and should be able to know who it is being shared with.

Consumers should also be able to seek deletion of data or request corrections or take personal information to another company that provides similar services and have reasonable access to the personal information they provide, it said. The group also told policymakers they should give companies flexibility in notifying individuals, set a “performance standard” on privacy and data security protections that avoids a prescriptive approach and set national data breach notification rules. Michael Beckerman, president and chief executive officer of the Internet Association, said in an interview the proposals were “very forward looking and very aggressive” and would push to ensure the new rules apply “economy wide.” He said the group “would be very active working with both the administration and Congress on putting pen to paper.”

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Leftwing and intelligence.

Armageddon Rides In The Balance (PCR)

For some time I have pointed out the paradox of the American liberal/progressive/left being allied with the CIA, FBI, military/security complex and deep state. Now leftist Ann Garrison has noticed the paradox of this alliance. She concludes that the left has lost its mind. Indeed, it has. Out of its hatred of Trump the left has united with the forces of evil and war that are leading to conflict with Russia. The left’s hatred of Trump shows that the American left has totally seperated from the interests of the working class, which elected Trump. The American left has abandoned the working class for the group victimizations and hatreds of Identity Politics. As Hillary put it, the working class comprises the “Trump deplorables.” The Democratic Party, like the Republicans, represents the ruling oligarchy.

I have explained that the leftwing lost its bearings when the Soviet Union collapsed and socialism gave way to neoliberal privatizations. The moral fury of the leftwing movement had to go somewhere, and it found its home in Identity Politics in which the white heterosexual male takes the place of the capitalist, and his victim groups—blacks, women, homosexuals, illegal immigrants—take the place of the working class. The consequences of the leftwing’s alliance with warmongers and liars is the leftwing’s loss of veracity. The left has endorsed a CIA orchestration—“Russiagate”—for which there is no known evidence, but which the left supports as proven truth. The purpose of “Russiagate” is to prevent President Trump from normalizing relations with Russia.

In these times when so many Americans are hard pressed, normal relations could adversely impact the budget and power of the military/security complex by reducing the “Russian threat.” If there is no real Russian threat, only an orchestrated perceived one, the question arises: why does the military/security complex have a taxpayer-supported annual budget of $1,000 billion dollars? The presstitutes have kept the truth from emerging that the “Russiagate” investigation has found no sign of a Trump/Putin plot to steal the 2016 presidential election from Hillary. Indeed, it has been proven beyond all questioning that the Hillary emails were not hacked but were downloaded on a thumb drive. This proof collapses the entire premise of “Russiagate.” Nevertheless, the hoax continues.

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He might as well be talking about himself.

Tsipras Warns “Europe Has No Future If It Doesn’t Admit Mistakes” (KTG)

Europe will have no future if the bloc does not admit mistakes in handling the financial and the migration crisis, Prime Minister warned the European Parliament on Tuesday. Alexis Tsipras said Europe could face an existential crisis over nationalism unless the bloc admits mistakes and its failure to handle a fiscal crisis and the deal with an influx of migrants effectively. The Greek Prime Minister said economic austerity pushed by European governments has fostered fear, racism and the emergence of the far right.“ The economic austerity pursued by European governments had fostered fear, racism and the emergence of the far right, he told lawmakers in the European parliament.

“The EU’s failure to give democratic and effective responses to modern challenges will lead irrevocably to the triumph of chauvinism and will rekindle nationalistic rivalry,” he said. “It will turn it into a fragmented continent, a continent without cohesion, without an international role, and without a future,” he said. Tsipras also criticised Europe’s handling of security and said this could have helped bolster support for far right parties. Several European countries including France and Belgium have seen attacks by Islamist militants in recent years. “The issue at stake is existential for Europe,” said Tsipras. “The handling so far of the financial crisis, the refugee crisis and a security crisis, has exposed huge deficiencies and contradictions.”

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“93% of farmers expressed concern that the merger will harm independent farmers and farming communities.”

Monsanto-Bayer Merger Hurts Farmers and Consumers (CP)

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a stern warning in its lawsuit against the conditionally-approved mega-merger between Bayer and Monsanto in June. The anti-competitive price effects of the merger would, according to the DOJ, “likely result in hundreds of millions of dollars per year in harm, raising costs to farmers and consumers.” The Justice Department warned that the combining of Bayer and Monsanto would reduce competition for vegetable seeds, likely driving up prices. Further, farmers might see prices for GMO cotton, canola, corn and soybean seeds increase, as well as price increases for herbicide and seed treatments. After imposing some limited divestments on Monsanto, the DOJ approved this merger, enabling Monsanto to hide its controversial name brand while giving Bayer anti-competitive control over seeds, pesticides, farmers and consumers worldwide.

But the harm to consumers and farmers will still exist. The DOJ is on the brink of essentially authorizing a monopoly. This is bad news for nearly everyone on the planet except Bayer and Monsanto executives and shareholders. Aside from a combined Bayer-Monsanto, only three other seed companies will be in the market manufacture and sell these products. Farmers overwhelmingly object to the merger. 93% of farmers expressed concern that the merger will harm independent farmers and farming communities. Farmers’ top three concerns were that Bayer/Monsanto “would use its dominance in one product to push sales of other products;” “control data about farm practices;” and that the merger will create “increased pressure for chemically dependent farming.”

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Meanwhile, super typhoon Mangkhut is heading straight for Hong Kong.

‘Monster’ Hurricane Florence To Pummel US Southeast For Days (R.)

Hurricane Florence, on track to become the first Category 4 storm to make a direct hit on North Carolina in six decades, howled closer to shore on Tuesday, threatening to unleash deadly pounding surf, days of torrential rain and severe flooding. Fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of North and South Carolina and Virginia even before Florence makes landfall by early Friday, bringing a storm surge as much as 13 feet (4 meters), the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned. Catastrophic floods could follow if the storm stalls inland, it said. Although Florence was still days from arrival, authorities took extraordinary measures to move people out of harm’s way. More than 1 million residents have been ordered to evacuate from the coastline of the three states, while university campuses, schools and factories were being shuttered.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina and Hampton Roads, Virginia to inbound vessels greater than 500 tons and was requiring vessels of that size to leave if they did not have permission to be in the ports. Packing maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour (225 km per hour), the storm ranked as a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale and was expected to grow stronger and larger over the next few days, the NHC said. “This storm is a monster,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. “Even if you’ve ridden out storms before, this one is different. Don’t bet your life on riding out a monster.” He cited forecasts showing Florence was likely to stall over North Carolina, “bringing days and days of rain.”


Graph: weather.com

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Feb 062018
 
 February 6, 2018  Posted by at 9:53 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  19 Responses »


 

Dow Jones Hit By Biggest Single-Day Points Drop Ever (Ind.)
Stocks Crumble In Vicious Sell-off As ‘Goldilocks’ Trade Unravels (R.)
Europe Joins Global Stock Selloff With Biggest Drop in 20 Months (BBG)
‘Short-Volatility Armageddon’ Craters Two Of Wall Street’s Favorite Trades (MW)
Volatility Spike Boosts US Options Hedging Activity (R.)
Traders Panic As XIV Disintegrates -90% After The Close (ZH)
Machines Had Their Fingerprints All Over a Dow Rout for the Ages (BBG)
Commodities Dragged Into Global Selloff as Oil to Copper Get Hit (BBG)
Bitcoin Tumbles Almost 20% as Crypto Backlash Accelerates (BBG)
The Fed’s Dependence On Stability (Roberts)
A Quandary (Jim Kunstler)
21st Century Plague (MarkGB)
UK Court To Rule On Lifting Assange Arrest Warrant (AFP)
Robots Will Care For 80% Of Elderly Japanese By 2020 (G.)
Berlusconi Pledges To Deport 600,000 Illegal Immigrants From Italy (G.)

 

 

4% is nothing.

Dow Jones Hit By Biggest Single-Day Points Drop Ever (Ind.)

Newfound market volatility has shattered what had been a long period of stability and mounting value. The Dow’s dive erased gains for the year so far and extended a multi-day slump that saw the Dow drop by some 600 points on Friday. In addition setting a new record for number of points dropped in a day, the Dow’s 4.6% decline in value was the most substantial since 2011. It was still less severe than declines during market-rocking events like the 2008 financial crisis, when the Dow shed 7% of its value in its worst single-day hit. Earlier in the day the Dow had plummeted by nearly 1,600 points before recovering much of that value. It has swung some 2,100 points in the last week of trading, a slide approaching 8%.

In addition to the Dow shedding value, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq both saw declines of around 4%. The S&P 500 declined to about 7.8% below its all-time high. With thriving markets toppling records in recent months, some analysts said the pullback was all but inevitable. After cresting to a record high in January, the Dow has retreated by 8.5% from that apex. “It’s like a kid at a child’s party who, after an afternoon of cake and ice cream, eats one more cookie and that puts them over the edge,” David Kelly, the chief global strategist for JPMorgan Asset Management, told the Associated Press.

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Worldwide.

Stocks Crumble In Vicious Sell-off As ‘Goldilocks’ Trade Unravels (R.)

A rout in global equities deepened in Asia on Tuesday as inflation worries gripped financial markets, sending U.S. stock futures sinking further into the red after Wall Street suffered its biggest decline since 2011 in a vicious sell-off. S&P mini futures fell as much as 3.0% to four-month lows in Asia, extending their losses from the record peak hit just over a week ago to 12%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slid 4.3%, which would be its biggest fall since the yuan devaluation shock in August 2015, turning red on the year for the first time in 2018. Japan’s Nikkei dived 6.8% to near four-month lows while Taiwan shares lost 5.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 4.9%.

Monday’s stock market rout left two of the most popular exchange-traded products that investors use to benefit from calm rather than volatile conditions facing potential liquidation, market participants said. The ructions in markets come after investors have ridden a nearly nine-year bull run, with low global rates sparking a revival in economic growth and bright corporate earnings. That good times may be nearing at end if Wall Street is anything to go by. U.S. stocks plunged in highly volatile trading on Monday, with the Dow industrials falling nearly 1,600 points during the session, its biggest intraday decline in history, as investors grappled with rising bond yields and potentially higher inflation.

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They’ll all keep claiming that fundamentals are solid.

Europe Joins Global Stock Selloff With Biggest Drop in 20 Months (BBG)

European stocks headed for their worst drop since the aftermath of the Brexit referendum as traders in the region caught up with an overnight selloff in the U.S. and Asia. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 2.6% as of 8:16 a.m. in London, with all industry groups firmly in the red. After a strong start to 2018, most European stock benchmarks have wiped out gains for the year in a rout that is extending into a seventh day for the broader regional benchmark. Sentiment has been hurt by worries over rising government bond yields and the outlook for the trajectory of interest rates. “There is a sense out there that this is, in a way, a release of some of the pent-up low volatility we’ve seen over the past year,” said Ben Kumar, an investment manager at Seven Investment Management in London, which oversees about 12 billion pounds.

“We have been sitting on quite a large cash pile for some time and at some point, we will look to invest that. There may be a bit more pain to come before we start seeing a real dip to buy.” Cyclicals including automakers, technology and basic resources were among the worst sector performers. Still, data on Monday showed economic momentum in the euro-area climbed to the fastest pace in almost 12 years, and German factory orders surged in the last month of 2017. That’s leading some fund managers and traders to bet that equities are experiencing an overdue pullback rather than a deeper correction. “Market tops have probably been set for a pretty long time now on many equity indexes,” Stephane Barbier de la Serre, a strategist at Makor Capital Markets, said by phone.

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They’ll have a hard time accepting the demise of easy money.

‘Short-Volatility Armageddon’ Craters Two Of Wall Street’s Favorite Trades (MW)

One of the most popular trades in the market, betting a period of unnatural calm would continue, may have amplified selling pressure in the stock market on Monday market participants said. At least two products tied to volatility bets were severely whacked with the hemorrhaging that could pose challenges to the exchange-traded notes. One popular product, the VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETN, was down 90% in after-hours trade on Monday, following a session in which the Dow Jones Industrial plunged by 1,175 points, or 4.6%, while the S&P 500 index tumbled 4.1%—both benchmarks coughed up all of their gains for 2018.

The Cboe Volatility Index, meanwhile, skyrocketed by about 118%, marking its sharpest daily rise on record. The VIX uses bullish and bearish option bets on the S&P 500 to reflect expected volatility over the coming 30 days, and it typically rises as stocks fall. The XIV, meanwhile, was designed to allow investors to bet against a rise in volatility and such bets had been a winning proposition until recently, when equities accelerated a multisession unraveling fueled by fears that the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise borrowing costs faster than anticipated due to a potential resurgence in inflation, which had pushed Treasury yields higher. Monday’s stock-market drop may have been amplified because those making bets that volatility, as measured by the VIX, would remain relatively subdued, were caught wrong-footed.

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Ultra low volatility is purely artificial.

Volatility Spike Boosts US Options Hedging Activity (R.)

Wall Street’s “fear gauge” notched its biggest one-day jump on Monday in over two years, as U.S. stocks slumped and investors took to the options market in search of protection against a further slide in equities prices. Stocks slid in highly volatile trading on Monday, with the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrials suffering their biggest respective%age drops since August 2011 as a long-awaited pullback from record highs deepened. For the Dow, the fall at one point of nearly 1,600 points was the biggest intraday point loss in Wall Street history. The CBOE Volatility Index, better known as the VIX, is the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term volatility for the S&P 500 Index. On Monday, the index ended up 20.01 points at 37.32, its highest close since August 2015.

“The day started out fairly orderly, but somehow it took a turn for a worse, and then panic set in,” Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab. “There may have been some pretty sizeable program trades that were clicked in. It just looks like some institutional program selling,” he said. The intensity of the selloff drove traders to the options market and trading volume surged to 35.5 million contracts – the third busiest day ever and the busiest day since Aug. 21, 2015, according to options analytics firm Trade Alert. VIX call options, primarily used to protect against a spike in volatility, accounted for nine of Monday’s 10 most heavily-traded contracts. Overall VIX options volume hit 3.6 million contracts, or about three times its average daily volume.

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VIX can trigger some pretty dramatic events.

Traders Panic As XIV Disintegrates -90% After The Close (ZH)

Today’s market turmoil has left more questions than answers. “What was frightening was the speed at which the market tanked,” said Walter “Bucky” Hellwig, Birmingham, Alabama-based senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management, who helps oversee about $17 billion. “The drop in the morning was caused by humans, but the free-fall in the afternoon was caused by the machines. It brought back the same reaction that we had in 2010, which was ‘What the heck is going on here?” Some tried to blame it on a fat-finger or ‘machines’, but in this case it was not the normal cuprits per se… “There was not a single self-help; there were no outs; there were no fat fingers that we saw,” Doug Cifu, CEO of high-speed trading firm Virtu, told CNBC. “There were no busted trades, no repricing. It was just an avalanche of orders around 3 o’clock-ish.”

But while we noted earlier that US equity futures were extending losses after the close, but the real panic action is in the volatility complex. Putting today’s VIX move in context, this is among the biggest ever… And it appears Morgan Stanley was right to bet on VIX hitting 30…

But the real action is in the super-crowded short-vol space. XIV – The Short VIX ETF – after its relentless diagonal move higher as one after another Target manager sold vol for a living… just disintegrated after-hours, down a stunning 90% to $10.00.

Which is a problem because as we explained last summer, the threshold for an XIV termination event is a -80% drop. What does this mean? Well, in previewing today’s events last July, Fasanara Capital explained precisely what is going on last July:

“Additional risks arise as ‘liquidity gates’ may be imposed, even in the absence of a spike in volatility. In 2012, for example, the price of TVIX ETN fell 60% in two days, despite relatively benign trading conditions elsewhere in the market. The reason was that the promoter of the volatility-linked note announced that it temporarily suspended further issuances of the ETN due to “internal limits” reached on the size of the ETNs. Furthermore, for some of the volatility-linked notes, the prospectus foresee the possibility of ‘termination events’: for example, for XIV ETF a termination event is triggered if the daily percentage drop exceeds 80%. Then a full wipe-out is avoided insofar as it is preceded by a game-over event.” The reaction of the investor base at play – often retail – holds the potential to create cascading effects and to send shockwaves to the market at large. This likely is a blind spot for markets.

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Algorithms rule what is left.

Machines Had Their Fingerprints All Over a Dow Rout for the Ages (BBG)

Risk parity funds. Volatility-targeting programs. Statistical arbitrage. Sometimes the U.S. stock market seems like a giant science project, one that can quickly turn hazardous for its human inhabitants. You didn’t need an engineering degree to tell something was amiss Monday. While it’s impossible to say for sure what was at work when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much as 1,597 points, the worst part of the downdraft felt to many like the machines run amok. For 15 harrowing minutes just after 3 p.m. in New York a deluge of sell orders came so fast that it seemed like nothing breathing could’ve been responsible. The result was a gut check of epic proportion for investors, who before last week had been riding one of the most peaceful market advances ever seen. The S&P 500, which last week capped a record streak of never falling more than 3% from any past point, ended the day down 4.1%, bringing its loss since last Monday to 7.8%.

“We are proactively calling up our clients and discussing that a 1,600-point intraday drop is due more to algorithms and high-frequency quant trading than macro events or humans running swiftly to the nearest fire exit,” said Jon Ulin, of Ulin & Co. in an email. To be sure, not all of the rout requires inhuman agency to explain. Markets are jittery. Bond yields had been surging and stock valuations are approaching levels last seen in the internet bubble. Much of today’s selloff was perfectly rational, if harrowing – particularly coming after last week’s plunge in which the Dow fell 666 points on Friday. Observers looking for an electronic villain trained most of their attention on the roughest part of the tumble, a 15-minute stretch starting about an hour before the close. That’s when an orderly selloff snowballed, taking the Dow from down about 700 points to down a whopping 1,600. It quickly recovered.

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When commodities trade is separated from what industries actually use, and they become financial tools only, inevitable.

Commodities Dragged Into Global Selloff as Oil to Copper Get Hit (BBG)

Commodities from crude oil to metals and iron ore dropped as the global equity rout and surge in market volatility spurred investors to pare risk, cutting positions in raw materials even as banks and analysts stood by the asset class given the backdrop of solid global growth. Brent crude slid as much as 1.2% to $66.82 a barrel, heading for a third daily drop and the longest losing run since November. On the London Metal Exchange, copper sank as much as 2% to $7,025 a metric ton as zinc, lead and nickel declined. Iron ore futures fell 1.2% in Singapore. Global equity markets are in retreat after Wall Street losses that began in the final session of last week worsened on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its biggest intraday point drop in history.

The selloff – triggered in part by an initial rise in bond yields and concerns about the pace at which the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates – is spilling into commodities, which rallied in late January to the highest level since 2015. Still, Citigroup said now’s the time for investors to add positions in metals. “Clearly there is a risk off tone in the markets that will weigh on the sector,” said Daniel Hynes at Australia & New Zealand Banking. “But there is no fundamental reason for this selloff to change our view of commodity markets.” Miners and energy companies fell as share benchmarks spiraled downward. In the U.S. on Monday, Exxon Mobil and Chevron were among the worst performers in the Dow. In Sydney, BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, dropped 2.7% as Rio Tinto traded lower. Oil producer PetroChina lost as much as 7.3% in Hong Kong.

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6,100 as I write this.

Bitcoin Tumbles Almost 20% as Crypto Backlash Accelerates (BBG)

Bitcoin tumbled for a fifth day, dropping below $7,000 for the first time since November and leading other digital tokens lower, as a backlash by banks and government regulators against the speculative frenzy that drove cryptocurrencies to dizzying heights last year picks up steam. The biggest digital currency sank as much as 22% to $6,579, before trading at $7,054 as of 4:08 p.m. in New York. It has erased about 65% of its value from a record high $19,511 in December. Rival coins also retreated on Monday, with Ripple losing as much as 21% and Ethereum and Litecoin also weaker. “Although no fundamental change triggered this crash, the parabolic growth this market has experienced had to slow down at some point,” Lucas Nuzzi, a senior analyst at Digital Asset Research, wrote in an email. “All that it took this time was a large lot of sell orders.”

Weeks of negative news and commercial setbacks have buffeted digital tokens. Lloyds joined a growing number of big credit-card issuers have said they’re halting purchases of cryptocurrencies on their cards, including JPMorgan and Bank of America. Several cited risk aversion and a desire to protect their customers. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said he supports efforts to bring clarity to cryptocurrency issues and that existing rules weren’t designed with such trading in mind, according to prepared remarks for a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday on virtual currencies. Bitcoin’s longest run of losses since Christmas day has coincided with investors exiting risky assets across the board, with stocks retreating globally. Bitcoin so far seems to be struggling to live up to any comparison with gold as a store of value, which is an argument made by some of its supporters. Bullion edged higher as other safe havens – the yen, Swiss franc and bonds – also gained.

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Stability breeds instability. Minsky.

The Fed’s Dependence On Stability (Roberts)

Last week, I discussed how the Federal Reserve will likely be the culprits of whatever sparks the next major financial crisis. To wit: “In the U.S., the Federal Reserve has been the catalyst behind every preceding financial event since they became ‘active,’ monetarily policy-wise, in the late 70’s. As shown in the chart below, when the Fed has lifted the short-term lending rates to a level higher than the 10-year rate, bad ‘stuff’ has historically followed.” This past week, as Ms. Yellen relinquished her control over the Federal Reserve to Jerome Powell, the Fed stood by its position they intend to hike rates 3-more times in 2018.

With the entirety of the financial ecosystem now more heavily levered than ever, due to the Fed’s profligate measures of suppressing interest rates and flooding the system with excessive levels of liquidity, the “instability of stability” is now the biggest risk. The “stability/instability paradox” assumes that all players are rational and such rationality implies avoidance of complete destruction. In other words, all players will act rationally and no one will push “the big red button.” The Fed is highly dependent on this assumption. After more than 9-years of the most unprecedented monetary policy program in human history, they are now trying to extricate themselves from it. The Fed is dependent on “everyone acting rationally,” particularly as they try to reduce their balance sheet. The first attempt was seen in January. Well…sort of…but not really.

While the Fed did “reduce” their holding by $28 billion in January, it followed an increase of $21 billion in December. Which brings up several questions? Was the ramp up/run down just a test of the market’s stability? (Seems likely.) With the market throwing a “conniption fit” last week, will the Fed rethink their balance sheet reduction program? (Probably) More importantly, with the government on the verge of another “shut down” this coming week due to the expiration of the “continuing resolution” from three weeks ago, will the Fed continue its current path in the face of an event that could lead to fiscal instability? (Probably not) We will soon find out.

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There will be a second Special Counsel.

A Quandary (Jim Kunstler)

The Resistance pulled out all the stops last week in its shrieking denunciation of the Nunes Memo, and the various complaints had one thing in common: a complete lack of interest in the facts of the matter, in particular the shenanigans in the upper ranks of the FBI. Give a listen, for instance, to last Thursday’s Slate’s Political Gabfest with David Plotz, John Dickerson, and Emily Bazelon, the three honey-badgers of Resistance Radio (like the fabled honey-badgers of the veldt, they don’t give a shit about any obstacles in pursuit of their quarry: Trump). They’ve even been able to one-up Nassim Taleb’s defined category of “intellectuals-yet-idiots” to intellectuals-yet-useful-idiots.

The New York Times, with its termite-mound of casuistry artists, managed to concoct a completely inside-out “story” alleging that the disclosure in the Nunes memo of official impropriety at the FBI was in itself an “obstruction of justice,” since making the FBI look bad might impede their ability to give Trump the much wished-for bum’s rush from the White House. There was already enough dishonesty in our national life before the Left side of the political transect decided to ally itself with the worst instincts of the permanent Washington bureaucracy: the faction devoted to ass-covering. The misconduct at the FBI and DOJ around the 2016 election is really quite startling.

How is it not disturbing that Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr brokered the Steele Dossier between the Fusion GPS psy-ops company and the FBI, when Fusion GPS was employed by the Clinton campaign, and Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS? How is it okay that this janky dossier was put over on a FISA court judge to get warrants to surveil US citizens in an election campaign? How was it okay for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s wife to accept $700,000 from the Clinton family’s long-time bag-man, Terry McAuliffe, when she ran for a Virginia State Senate seat, a few months before McCabe assumed command of the Hillary email investigation? How was it not fishy that FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, Peter Strock, and his workplace girlfriend, FBI lawyer (for Andrew McCabe), Lisa Page appeared to plot against Trump in their many cell-phone text exchanges?

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Deceit as the big killer.

21st Century Plague (MarkGB)

The Black Death was a medieval pandemic which swept through the ‘old world’ in the 14th Century. It arrived in Europe from Asia in the 1340s and killed an estimated 25 million people, about 50% of the population. The social and economic consequences of this were ‘permanent’: it created a labour shortage which ended the medieval institution of serfdom. In short: Increased demand for labour + reduced supply of labour + chaos = collapse of status quo. What emerged from the chaos was a rudimentary ‘free market’ in labour and goods. The age of capitalism had begun…the unforeseen consequence of a plague, borne on a creature that looked like this:

The pandemic we face in the 21st Century is a psychological phenomenon rather than a biological one, but in my view, it is equally parasitic. Its name is ‘deceit’, and our political & economic institutions are riddled with it. The majority of people I speak to know that something is badly wrong with our societies and our economies – they feel it when they pick up a newspaper, turn on the TV or engage with the internet. Some of us try to disconnect from the drama and the constant stream of claim and counterclaim, in order to try to ‘get on with normal lives’ – but we feel something is badly wrong nevertheless. Some of us gather ourselves into political parties, protest movements, and/or intellectual cliques in order to discuss how to ‘fix’ what ails us.

And every 4 or 5 years, the majority of us go out and vote for an individual or a group of people that we hope will bring change…and then…we get more of the same. We just got, for example, the 3rd president in a row who ran on a promise of peace, and then immediately went looking for war. What the majority of people have not yet realised is that the politician’s ‘promise’ is part of the deceit – it’s what keeps you coming back for more, hoping this time will be different. It never is – it’s just a new coat of paint on a crumbling wall. What the majority of people have not yet realised is that the politician’s ‘promise’ is part of the deceit – it’s what keeps you coming back for more

It matters little whether you believe an individual candidate is a ‘good’ person, or a ‘bad’ person. Once in office he or she becomes a tool for the maintenance of the status quo – evidently. Why is this? Because the system is not run for your benefit. Its primary function is the concentration of power and wealth within the system itself, to serve the vested interests of a relatively tiny group of people. These are the manifestations of the 21st-century plague – the institutions of deceit: 1) A monetary system rigged for the banks and globalised corporations. 2) A military-industrial complex that requires endless war. 3) Politicians that are controlled by 1 & 2. 4) A mainstream media that is complicit with 1 to 3.

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Expect appeal after appeal.

UK Court To Rule On Lifting Assange Arrest Warrant (AFP)

A British court is to decide Tuesday whether to lift a UK arrest warrant for Julian Assange, potentially paving the way for the WikiLeaks founder to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has spent the last five years. If the court rules in Assange’s favour, allowing him to leave the embassy in the British capital without fear of arrest, it would be the first time that he has stepped outside embassy grounds since seeking asylum there in June 2012. Assange entered the Ecuadoran embassy to dodge a European arrest warrant and extradition to Sweden over a 2010 probe in the Scandinavian country into rape and sexual assault allegations.

Sweden dropped its investigation last year, but British police are still seeking to arrest Assange for failing to surrender to a court after violating bail terms during his unsuccessful battle against extradition. Assange’s lawyer Mark Summers told a London court last week that the warrant had “lost its purpose and its function”. He said Assange had been living in conditions “akin to imprisonment” and his “psychological health” has deteriorated and was “in serious peril”. The court heard that the 46-year-old was suffering from a bad tooth, a frozen shoulder and depression. But prosecutor Aaron Watkins called Assange’s court bid “absurd”. “The proper approach is that when a discrete, standalone offence of failing to surrender occurs, it always remains open to this court to secure the arrest,” Watkins said.

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You like this future? It’s all yours. Who needs people?

Robots Will Care For 80% Of Elderly Japanese By 2020 (G.)

Japan’s elderly are being told to get used to being looked after by robots. With Japan’s ageing society facing a predicted shortfall of 370,000 caregivers by 2025, the government wants to increase community acceptance of technology that could help fill the gap in the nursing workforce. Developers have focused their efforts on producing simple robotic devices that help frail residents get out of their bed and into a wheelchair, or that can ease senior citizens into bathtubs. But the government sees a wider range of potential applications and recently revised its list of priorities to include robots that can predict when patients might need to use the toilet. Dr Hirohisa Hirukawa, director of robot innovation research at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, said the aims included easing the burden on nursing staff and boosting the autonomy of people still living at home.

“Robotics cannot solve all of these issues; however, robotics will be able to make a contribution to some of these difficulties,” he said. Hirukawa said lifting robotics had so far been deployed in only about 8% of nursing homes in Japan, partly because of the cost and partly because of the “the mindset by the people on the frontline of caregiving that after all it must be human beings who provide this kind of care”. He added: “On the side of those who receive care, of course initially there will be psychological resistance.” Hirukawa’s research centre has worked on a government-backed project to help 98 manufacturers test nursing-care robotic devices over the past five years, 15 of which have been developed into commercial products.

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This is what Brussels and Berlin invite by ignoring the issue.

Berlusconi Pledges To Deport 600,000 Illegal Immigrants From Italy (G.)

Silvio Berlusconi has pledged to deport 600,000 illegal immigrants from Italy should his centre-right coalition enter government after elections on 4 March, as tensions simmer over the shooting of six Africans by a far-right extremist on Saturday. The 81-year-old rightwing former prime minister said in a TV interview that immigration was a “social bomb ready to explode in Italy” and that the shooting in Macerata posed a security problem. “Immigration has become an urgent question, because after years with a leftwing government, there are 600,000 migrants who don’t have the right to stay,” said Berlusconi. “We consider it to be an absolute priority to regain control over the situation.” Berlusconi’s Forza Italia has forged an alliance with two far-right parties, the Northern League and the smaller Brothers of Italy, for the elections.

The three-time former prime minister is banned from running for office after being convicted of tax fraud, but could still end up pulling the strings of power should the coalition gain enough of a majority to govern. “When we’re in government we will invest many resources in security,” he said. “We will boost police presence and reintroduce the ‘Safe Streets’ initiative … Our soldiers will patrol the streets alongside police officers.” Berlusconi took a swipe at the EU for failing to share the burden of Italy’s migrant arrivals, saying: “Today, Italy counts for nothing in Brussels and the world. We will make it count again.” Italy is a favoured landing point on Europe’s southern coastline for people making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, often on board unseaworthy boats, to enter the continent. However, 2017 was a turning point for Italy: the country went from large-scale arrivals in the first six months to a sharp drop-off, thanks to a controversial agreement between the EU and Libya.

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