Edward Hopper The long leg 1935
Graham McCain 2016
Ukraine produces 3.1% of global wheat. Let’s all panic!
“German inflation may well exceed 10% by the end of the year..”
• Germany Counts Cost Of Russian Gas Cut-off (RT)
German inflation may well exceed 10% by the end of the year if gas supplies from Russia are cut off, Deutsche Bank head Christian Sewing said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, published on Saturday. “If Russian gas continues to flow [into Germany], we should reach an inflation rate of around 8% by the end of this year. But inflation would be higher if the gas stopped flowing. Then 10% or more is possible,” Sewing said. The CEO pointed out that losing gas supplies from Russia “would have a significant impact on economic growth in Germany” and the country “will definitely slip into recession.” He noted that “with the right interest rate hikes and the right policies, there is still a chance to bring [inflation] down to 5-6% next year, and then get close to the actual target of 2% again in 2024.”
However, such measures “will take time, so we should not give people false impressions,” he added. Commenting on the recent move by the European Central Bank (ECB) to hike interest rates, he said the ECB “is moving in the right direction.” “Currency devaluation is poison for people. I am grateful that the ECB is well aware of the problem and has now given a clear signal to raise the rate by 0.5 percentage points. We have been saying for a long time: higher inflation is not a temporary phenomenon, and it needs to be dealt with seriously,” Sewing stressed. He warned, however, that the worst may still be ahead for the German economy.
“The biggest burden for many people is yet to come. If monthly expenses exceed income, people will consume less and the mood of the country will deteriorate as well. It’s all the more important that the right steps are taken early on,” the banker stated. Inflation in Germany soared this month, jumping to 8.5% year-on-year in July after dropping to 8.2% in June as a result of government relief measures. This comes as elevated food prices and surging energy costs continued to plague the country. In a poll published by the newspaper Bild earlier this month, half of respondents said they feel their economic conditions are deteriorating, seeing rising prices as a heavy burden and fearing being unable to heat their homes this winter.
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It doesn’t feel like they ever tried to win.
• Europe Has Lost The Energy War (Fazi)
After a decade of financial austerity, is Europe now on the brink of a new age of energy austerity? The city of Hanover has recently introduced strict energy-saving rules that include cutting off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms, banning mobile air conditioners, fan heaters or radiators, switching off public fountains, and stopping illuminating major buildings such as the town hall at night. Meanwhile, several countries across Europe are considering dimming or switching off public lights, and even adopting “energy curfews”, with early closures for businesses and public offices. And more drastic measures are under consideration — including gas rationing for energy-intensive industries such as steel and agriculture.
These measures are part of an EU-wide Gas Demand Reduction Plan, ominously titled Save Gas for a Safe Winter, to reduce gas use in Europe by 15% until next spring. Among the proposals is a provision that officials in Brussels impose fines for non-compliance if they decide the crisis is escalating dangerously. All of this comes amid growing fears that dwindling Russian gas supplies may plunge Europe into an energy crisis this winter. Overall, Russian gas exports to the EU are at about a third of last year’s levels, falling steadily since the invasion of Ukraine. While several European countries have been reducing their Russian gas imports, Russia itself has been reducing gas flows to Europe through Nord Stream 1, the continent’s biggest pipeline, citing mainly technical issues.
Just the other day, citing equipment repair, Russia announced yet another reduction in the amount of natural gas flowing through Nord Stream 1, which is now operating at only 20% capacity.This has caused natural gas spot prices to surge to levels not seen since early March; they are now almost 10 times higher than they were two years ago. In most countries, electricity prices have risen accordingly. Soaring energy prices are already fuelling record inflation — currently close to 9% and rising in the EU — squeezing people’s spending power, plunging thousands into poverty, and placing a huge burden on industry. This is especially true for Germany, which is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas imports. Indeed, the country’s industrial production has been contracting for over three months. Astonishingly, 16% of industrial German companies have reduced production or partially stopped their activities due to rising energy prices. This helps explain why last month Germany became the first country to escalate its warning over gas supplies to the “alert level”.
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Humor: Nord Stream 2 turbines come from Iran, not Germany.
• Ukraine Limiting Russian Gas Flow To EU – Gazprom (RT)
Russia’s EU-bound natural gas supplies, pumped via Ukraine, are limited to one remaining entry point, while Kiev refuses to reopen a second transit station, energy giant Gazprom said on Monday. “Gazprom is supplying Russian gas for transit through Ukraine in the volume confirmed by the Ukrainian side through the Sudzha gas metering station – 41.7 million cubic meters as of August 1. The application to reopen the Sohranovka gas metering system has been rejected,” Gazprom’s representative told reporters. Ukraine shut down transit through the Sokhranovka station, which handles about a third of the Russian gas flowing through Ukraine to Europe, in early May, citing “interference by the occupying forces.”
Kiev argued that is gas transit operator GTSOU could not control the Novopskov border compressor station in Lugansk Region due to Russia’s military operation, and considered the situation a force majeure. However, Gazprom at the time said it did not see any grounds for halting gas flows. Kiev asked the Russian firm to transfer all gas transit to the Sudzha pumping station in the Kursk Region, which Gazprom ruled out as technically impossible. Meanwhile, Russia has also been forced to reduce its gas flow to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, due to turbine malfunctions. Gazprom has blamed the issue on the German company Siemens, which produced and maintains the equipment, accusing it of failing to fulfil its commitments.
The drop in Russian supplies has led to a surge in gas prices in Europe. In July, futures contracts for deliveries in August and September traded on the Dutch TTF exchange in the range of $1530-2385 per thousand cubic meters. In comparison, at the same time last year the spot price was less than $500.
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“And now “Biden” “generously” will allow Putin to stay in power. Yes, “Biden”, not the fact that the Russian population fully support Putin, and the SMO.”
• Brandon Shifts The Narrative On Banderastan (Saker)
President “Biden” (i.e. the “collective” Biden, not the actual Bradon) penned an interesting article for the NYT entitled “President Biden: What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine“. The entire things is behind a paywall, and it is not really worth reposting it here. But I do want to comment on a few of “Biden’s” theses. First, I will ignore the obnoxious habit of calling the USA “America”, when just Canada and Brazil alone are almost as big as the USA. Furthermore, the USA is only 9,833,520 km2 (3,796,742 sq mi) while the total area of the Americas is 42,549,000 km2 (16,428,000 sq mi). Finally, there are 35 countries in the Americas but, fine, okay, if saying “‘Murica” evokes imagines of Captain America and waving (Chinese made) flags – then fine. Let’s look at a few key sentences:
“America’s goal is straightforward: We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression (…) We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia. As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow“. Now that is a HUGE change. In Russian, there is this expression of “changing shoes while in mid jump” which refers to situation when a person suddenly make a full and instantaneous 180 after pompously insisting on a goal which is now dropped. The initial plan was simple: to smash the Russian economy, have Putin overthrown in an insurrection of some kind, break apart Russia and then turn towards China and crush it.
And, considering the absolutely extreme demonization of Putin, he was clearly designated as the object of total hate by “all of progressive and freedom loving mankind”. And now “Biden” “generously” will allow Putin to stay in power. Yes, “Biden”, not the fact that the Russian population fully support Putin, and the SMO. How stupid does “Biden” think that we all are? Anyway, let’s continue, “We will also continue reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank with forces and capabilities from the United States and other allies. And just recently, I welcomed Finland’s and Sweden’s applications to join NATO, a move that will strengthen overall U.S. and trans-Atlantic security by adding two democratic and highly capable military partners“This entire paragraph can be summarized in all sorts of colorful ways, I will just call in counter-factual and delusional nonsense. Where do I even begin here?
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“..unfair competition, a bid by the West to hinder Russian businesses and reconfigure world markets in their favor…”
• Anti-Russia Sanctions Don’t Reflect Global Reality – Putin (RT)
The West’s decision to sanction Russia over the Ukraine conflict was made for the sake of opportunistic political interests which do not reflect global realities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. Addressing a virtual meeting on Russia’s metals industry, the president noted that the sector continues to face challenges in light of the Western sanctions. He highlighted the problem of limited access to international markets and the ban on buying foreign equipment for the production of fittings, rolled metals and steel sheets in Russia. “As I have already said, these decisions were made by Western countries for the sake of political interests, moreover, current, opportunistic ones and not reflecting the realities either in world politics, nor in the world economy,” he claimed.
Vladimir Putin argued that the Western sanctions failed to take into account “obvious consequences”, such as the rising cost of building materials on the international market, and the spurring of global inflation.“The decline in well-being and the quality of life of ordinary citizens, first and foremost in Europe, is of no interest to politicians, not to mention such things as adherence to the principles of the World Trade Organization. These things have been simply tossed into the trash,” the Russian leader added. Putin described attempts to limit Russia’s metals industry as a blatant manifestation of unfair competition, a bid by the West to hinder Russian businesses and reconfigure world markets in their favor.
Western countries including the US and EU members have imposed sweeping sanctions on nearly all aspects of the Russian economy since the launch of Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine in late February. The measures include limitations on Russian oil and gas, goods and financial services.Last month, Putin branded the sanctions illegitimate, saying they ignore the fundamental principles of respecting another nation’s sovereignty and non-interference in its internal affairs. He insisted that such actions not only damage relations between states and peoples, but undermine the global legal system. Putin also reiterated Moscow’s stance that it will always be a reliable and responsible partner for those who are committed to mutually beneficial, predictable business cooperation. He pledged, however, that Russia will not work to its own detriment with “those who are clearly unfriendly towards us.”
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Will the support last till Christmas? Or will they be too occupied with China by then?
• West Will Run Out Of Money To Support Ukraine – Macgregor (RT)
The West will eventually lose interest in the Ukraine conflict and run out of resources to support Kiev in its war against Russia, a top former US military official said. “There is no strategy. What we have is impulse,”retired Colonel Douglas MacGregor told Judge Andrew Napolitano on his YouTube channel on Friday. In a wide-ranging interview, MacGregor said much of the military aid earmarked for Ukraine never reaches the country itself. “Most of the money goes to the Department of Defense to compensate the armed forces for the movement of equipment and resources over to Europe. That money in turn is then transferred to the defense industries, the contractors who support and provide the replacement equipment,” he said, adding that the “whole circular operation enriches everyone who is important to Capitol Hill in terms of re-election.”
MacGregor called the situation a “shell game”that enriches the military-industrial complex, the same people who help politicians get re-elected in Washington. “My own view is that this war in Ukraine will not end with a bang but with a whimper, that eventually we will just sort of quietly run out of resources,” he said, adding that domestic problems in the West will overshadow the conflict. “We’ll have so many problems at home here in the United States that we’ll no longer bother with [Ukraine],” he said. In a combination of aid packages, the US is sending roughly $54 billion to Ukraine in both economic and military aid, with approximately $12 billion of that in weapons. At the same time, the US economy shrank 0.9 percent in the second quarter of this year, which is the second consecutive quarter of economic contraction, which technically meets one definition of a recession. Coupled with the highest inflation since 1981, the US economy faces a period of “stagflation” – defined as low growth with high inflation.
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• Hundreds Of ‘Petal’ Mines Reportedly Found In Donetsk (MSO)
Ukrainian forces were accused of shelling residential areas of the eastern city of Donetsk on Saturday night with hundreds of so-called petal mines littering the streets in the aftermath. The tiny bombs, which are shaped like small flowers, were found in the centre of Donetsk, areas close to the city’s university, recreational areas and others.Journalist Eva Bartlett, based in Ukraine, heard the shelling start on Saturday night. “This morning I saw these mines in a heavily populated western Donetsk district,” she said. “They tear off limbs but don’t necessarily kill. Nasty war crimes to add to the list of Ukraine’s manifold war crimes.” Local authorities issued a warning to residents asking them to “watch your step carefully, walk only on asphalt” and to call emergency services if they spot one of the deadly mines.
Civilians were advised to only walk on open routes and to avoid shortcuts after the latest attack as the mines are difficult to spot in grass or other areas. The Lepestok cluster mines are banned under international humanitarian law and their use is deemed a war crime under the Geneva Convention. They were widely used in Afghanistan where children often mistook them for toys, and were seriously injured or killed after handling them. On Saturday, Donetsk authorities said that a large number of the petal mines were found by a school in the city’s Kirov district. The overnight shelling occured shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered troops and civilians to urgently evacuate from Donetsk. Transport networks were suspended across the city today as clear-up operations were under way.
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“Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 was illegal and can’t be recognized by Spain..”
• Spain Comments On Kosovo’s Independence (RT)
Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 was illegal and can’t be recognized by Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Monday during a visit to Albania’s capital, Tirana. As Sanchez met with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama amid his tour of the Balkans, he stated that the “unilateral declaration of independence, in the view of the Spanish government and with respect to the Albanian government, was a violation of international law”and therefore “unacceptable” to Madrid. The Spanish PM also told Rama that Madrid fully supports Albania’s bid for European Union membership, citing the applicant’s “commitment and the reforms it has made.”
His comments come after tensions flared up over the weekend on the border between Serbia and its breakaway province, officially called the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija in the Serbian constitution, which received recognition by several Western powers in 2008. The government in Kosovo planned to ban the use of Serbian-issued license plates and ID papers starting from August 1, and was to use its police force to enforce the measure. Belgrade officials called it an attack on Kosovo’s Serbian population as President Aleksandar Vucic accused Pristina of violating the rights of local Serbs.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti in turn has accused local Serbs of opening fire on police, and claimed his government is facing “Serbian national-chauvinism” and “misinformation” from Belgrade. On Sunday, Serbs in the north of the breakaway province set up roadblocks and rang alarm bells as heavily armed Kosovo special police took control of two administrative crossings with Serbia. The situation received a temporary resolution after Washington called on Kosovo officials to postpone the implementation of the controversial law until September 1. Pristina agreed, on condition that Serbia remove barricades from the de facto border. Vucic has said that he hopes for tensions to ease and promised that Belgrade would do everything within its power to preserve the peace through compromise.
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“..one-sided, spontaneous decisions aimed at squeezing [the Serbs] out of Kosovo..”
• Russia ‘Absolutely’ Supports Serbia – Kremlin (RT)
Moscow fully backs its ally Belgrade in the dispute with Kosovo over the decision by the breakaway province to ban Serbian license plates and identification papers, the Kremlin press-secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. “Of course, we absolutely support Serbia,”Peskov replied, after being addressed on the issue by journalists on Monday. The decision by the Kosovo authorities to outlaw Serbian license plates and IDs was“absolutely unreasonable,” he stated. On Sunday, Serbs in the north of the breakaway province set up roadblocks and rang alarm bells as heavily armed special police took control over two administrative crossings with Serbia, preparing to implement the order by Pristina.
As tensions mounted, Kosovo’s prime minister Albin Kurti announced late in the day that the ban had been postponed at the request of the US ambassador to the province. However, Kurti stressed that the measure, which according to Pristina was needed to impose “law and order,”has only been delayed, not canceled. “Thank God, the escalation was avoided tonight, but this situation has only been postponed for one month, so it’s paramount for all sides to show prudence,” the Kremlin press-secretary pointed out. Russia’s ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko also warned on Monday that “it was difficult to see the conditions for finding sustainable solutions to those issues that caused the current spike in tension.”
The lack of agreement on license plates and IDs, and many other similar matters, are “being used by Pristina to make one-sided, spontaneous decisions aimed at squeezing [the Serbs] out of Kosovo,” he added. According to Peskov, Moscow believes that that the Western countries, which recognized the mainly Albanian-populated Kososvo in 2008,“should now use their influence to warn the authorities in Kosovo against making any ill-conceived steps,” he said. Serbia considers Kosovo a part of its territory, and is backed in doing so by Russia, China and the UN in general, who haven’t recognized the territory as an interdependent entity.
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“Since when does al-Qaeda wait 48+ hours to denounce hostile action in their territory?”
How many times has he been killed now?
• Supposed Killing Of Al Zawahiri Is Suspect, Weird And Fishy (CTH)
Everything about the supposed killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri is suspect, weird and fishy. First, Al Zawahiri has been reported as killed or dead at least a half dozen times in the last 10 years; including by natural causes. Second, Ayman Zawahiri was very old. Western citations put his age at 71 (born 1951), however, that is suspect (sounds like his younger brother’s age). Third, the location of his reported killing in Kabul is odd. Zawahiri was known to avoid large populations, and even with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan the tribal conflicts with factions of the Taliban would have been an issue.
Fourth, somehow the Taliban waited until after the U.S. intelligence community leaked the strike to the media before they issued a statement condemning the drone attack. Since when does al-Qaeda wait 48+ hours to denounce hostile action in their territory? Coordinating and timed joint press releases between the White House and ‘Taliban‘ to western media outlets is seriously sketchy. Fifth, absolutely no official outline from the Pentagon or White House on this “successful counterterrorism strike“? Despite a primetime presidential address, the White House has no announcement, no official statement, nothing, on their website. Additionally, Biden leads off saying the attack was on Saturday, the Taliban waited 48-hours to denounce a U.S. drone strike?
Think about it. Doesn’t add up. More sketchy. Sixth, and seemingly just an oddball addendum, Fox News breaks the story using Jennifer Griffin as lead reporter. As I noted several days ago, Griffin had been missing from Fox News since she went bonzo in March attacking Tucker Carlson over his cynicism of the official State Dept and Pentagon narrative in Ukraine. May, June, July, nothing from pentagon deep state promoter Jenn Griffin at all. Then, suddenly, on the same day Griffin resurfaces, after months of nothing, there’s a major terrorism strike in Afghanistan, killing Zawahiri and she’s leading the coverage?…. With Brett Baier cheerleading? C’mon man. Sketchy, all of it.
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Trump was trumped.
• The Day Anthony Fauci Wrecked American Freedom (Tucker)
Fears of a virus from China had been rising for two months in the spring of 2020. The White House under Donald Trump had already weathered two impeachment crises and was turning its attention toward reelection in November, which seemed assured. The virus was an enormously complicating factor. Trump surrounded himself with a small team of people among whom included supposed infectious disease experts such as Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health and Deborah Birx of the Centers for Disease Control. On the recommendation of his vice president and son-in-law, Trump trusted them.
Trump had already closed travel from China but now his scientific advisers were urging him to do more: stop travel from Europe, UK, and Australia. That was March 12. He made the announcement in a prime-time address. In that brief speech, he misread the teleprompter and said that the travel ban would include goods. He meant to say that it would not. The stock market tanked and the White House had to issue a clarification the next day. Already there was chaos in the air. Over the weekend, Trump spent most of his time in huddles with close advisors. The main influence over that period became Deborah Birx, whose job it was to convince Trump of the need for a two-week lockdown of the entire American economy.
Trump agreed to do the deed. He would appear with Fauci and Birx at a press conference on Monday, and preside over the call for a lockdown. “If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now,” Trump said, “we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration together.” Later Birx admitted that she knew that two weeks “was a start, but I knew it would be just that. I didn’t have the numbers in front of me yet to make the case for extending it longer, but I had two weeks to get them.”
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“..first they will have a lot of money that’s worthless and then they will have no money, like everybody else..”
• Atonement (Jim Kunstler)
News flash to Boston: Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine is all over except the shouting. Plus, nobody in the USA cares about it anymore, and if they do, probably for the wrong reasons. The right reason to care is that the “Joe Biden” regime’s insane campaign to destroy Russia has only brought Western Europe to the brink of collapse and ruin, thereby threatening the continuation of Western Civilization altogether.
You don’t hear much chatter about this emanating from, say, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government because, apparently, they’re all-in on the demolition of Western Civ. It is the ultimate act of atonement, and atonement for the sins of culture and politics is the currency for personal status in Woke Elitedom. America’s elites are secretly disgusted with themselves, especially about the wealth they have been able to grift out of all the racketeering that has replaced honest work in our country — and nowhere is the racketeering more grotesque, or more pretentiously caparisoned, than in the Ivy League universities. Status drives Wokery because Woke Elitedom has more money than it knows what to do with, so just having a lot of money means less than it used to — just ask Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Don’t worry. Soon they will have a lot less money. Or rather, first they will have a lot of money that’s worthless and then they will have no money, like everybody else. The demoralizing inflation underway leads to the destruction of credit and when enough credit is destroyed, there will be no money, since our money is based on credit. When that happens, see what your self-proclaimed moral purity will buy you.
The credit-driven money system is a metaphor representing the expectation that we will always have more of everything. That was surely the consensus in 1913 when the Federal Reserve was born. 1913 was the last year of the Belle Époque, the beautiful era preceding the First World War. It was also the coming-of-age of economies based on oil. In that moment, Western Civ stood in amazement at its achievements and in thrall to its glittering future. The slaughter in the trenches of WWI shattered that confidence, nowhere more deeply than in Germany, which afterwards lurched from the degeneracy of the Weimar Republic to the depravity of Hitler’s Third Reich, and from there back to ruin in the Second World War.
Today’s Woke Elitedom of Europe, led by Germany, is deliberately driving the EU nations into a ditch without bothering to go to war. They certainly don’t have the military mojo to prosecute a war with Russia — which is what they would be doing if NATO intervened actively in Ukraine (ain’t gonna happen). Instead, they have torn-up reams of trade agreements and imploded a richly-constructed supply network of basic operating resources like oil, natgas, minerals, and grains in an absurd act of atonement, in obeisance to the experts at the World Economic Forum and the fiends behind “Joe Biden.” And lately, they are bent on destroying their food supply with cockamamie campaigns against their farmers, in line with WEF hallucinations about climate change.
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