Vincent van Gogh A Lane near Arles (Side of a Country Lane) 1888
The former commander of the Australian special forces, Ricardo Bosi, made a sensational statement: “Ukraine has been the center of globalists for decades … The CIA has been working in Ukraine for 70 years” pic.twitter.com/i5brJS2t3i
— Spriter (@Spriter99880) May 29, 2023
— Branislav Pipović (@BranaPipovic) May 29, 2023
“..sooner or later, of course, this escalation may get a new dimension which we do not need and we do not want..”
• Russia Hasn’t Started To ‘Act Seriously’ In Ukraine – Envoy (RT)
The outcome of the Ukraine conflict hinges on whether NATO continues to prop up Kiev with arms shipments, Andrey Kelin, Russia’s ambassador to the UK, said in an interview released on Saturday. Speaking to the BBC, when asked how long he thought it would take for the fighting to cease, Kelin replied that it “depends on the efforts in escalation of war that [are] being undertaken by NATO countries, especially by the UK.” The envoy went on to say that “it is a big idealistic mistake to think that Ukraine may prevail,” adding that Russia is 16 times bigger than Ukraine and possesses enormous resources. He stated further that Moscow “hasn’t… started yet to act very seriously.”
At the same time, Kelin warned that “sooner or later, of course, this escalation may get a new dimension which we do not need and we do not want,” pointing to the UK’s recent decision to send Ukraine long-range missiles and tanks, as well as ongoing deliberations about potential shipments of modern aircraft. However, he did not rule out that the conflict could be settled diplomatically, saying that the two sides “can make peace tomorrow.” On Saturday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said that the Ukraine conflict could be resolved if Kiev were to ditch its ambitions to join NATO and the EU, recognize “new territorial realities” and designate Russian as a state language. However, Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, dismissed the demands, insisting instead that to make peace, Russia must withdraw all its troops from the territory Kiev claims as its own, pay reparations and extradite “war criminals.”
Since the start of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022, Western countries have provided Kiev with billions of dollars in security assistance, a policy which Moscow claims makes the military bloc a direct participant in the hostilities. The UK has emerged as one of Ukraine’s most active supporters, having committed £4.6 billion ($5.7 billion) in military aid. Earlier this month, London provided Kiev with long-range Storm Shadow missiles, which were subsequently used by Ukrainian troops to target the civilian population in the Russian city of Lugansk, according to Moscow. In March, the UK announced that it would send Ukraine armor-piercing tank rounds containing depleted uranium, with the Russian Defense Ministry warning that the munitions would cause “irreparable harm” to soldiers and civilians alike.
Someone wants Kiev flattened.
• Moscow Attacked By Drones – Mayor (RT)
Drones attacked the Russian capital on Tuesday morning, damaging several buildings, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has said. Sobyanin ordered the evacuation of residents from the two apartment blocks that were targeted, according to several messages posted on Telegram. Emergency officials told RIA Novosti that two drones struck residential buildings. No information regarding casualties has been provided yet. Sobyanin, citing data from the city medical services, said that no residents of the buildings hit by the aircraft were seriously hurt. He added that two people requested medical assistance at the scene, but no one had to be taken to the hospital.
Moscow Region Governor Andrey Vorobyov wrote on Telegram that “several drones” were shot down by air defenses as they were flying towards the city. Telegram channel SHOT posted an unverified video of what it said was the destruction of a drone mid-air. The attack comes after two Ukrainian drones unsuccessfully attempted to strike the Kremlin earlier this month. Moscow accused Kiev of attempting to assassinate Putin and vowed retaliation. Kiev denied responsibility, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky saying “we don’t attack Putin or Moscow.”
Borrell handed himself a new job: “the defense minister of the European Union.” Did anyone ask for that?
• Russia Will Not Negotiate Until It Wins In Ukraine Conflict – Borrell (TASS)
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrel said he is “not optimistic” about the situation in Ukraine and believes that Russia will not negotiate until it wins in the Ukraine conflict. “I see the clear will of Russia to win in the war,” the European Union foreign policy chief said speaking at an expert forum in Spain’s Barcelona. “Russia will not negotiate until it wins.” “I am not optimistic in my expectations about how this conflict may develop in the summer,” he stated adding that the European Union should “continue building up its military assistance for Ukraine.” Borrell stated earlier in Brussels that while he kept coordinating military assistance to Ukraine from the European Union, he did not feel himself as the EU’s top diplomat, but “the defense minister of the European Union.”.
“..as our leadership turned more pathological and pathocratic, so did our military endeavors..”
• Memorial Service (Jim Kunstler)
An anxious silence falls over the land this Memorial Day as we discern increasingly that those we put in charge of this shape-shifting thing called the public interest are running out of trips to lay on the people. Something grotesque is revealing itself: a bankruptcy not just of money but of national purpose, meaning, and legitimacy. You realize this day, with a breaking heart, that your country has been stolen by psychopaths.Brace for impact. We’re already off the road and now it’s only a matter of how this vehicle comes to a stop in the ditch. Then, it’s a question of how each of us emerges from the smoldering wreckage. The main thing, though, is clear to everyone: What we were riding in is no more. We’re out there stumbling around in the dark, in shock, trying desperately to assess our whereabouts and what has happened to us.
Now, the trouble with being ruled by psychopaths is that they don’t care about other people. They are actually incapable of imagining the lives of others, especially the fact that these others care about each other, and what happens to them. You may have noticed, for instance, that the psychopath Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) went to Ukraine last week and declared, “Russians are dying. We have never spent money so well.” Only a couple of months ago, he called for the assassination of Vladimir Putin. He stopped short of dissing Mr. Putin’s mother. Ukraine, of course, is a lost cause, and it was never a good cause in the first place. Contrary to Lindsay Graham’s untoward utterance, American money has killed far more Ukrainians than Russians. He overlooked [this] unappetizing tidbit because he doesn’t care about the Ukrainians, for whose sake our “folks” in charge supposedly undertook this clusterfuck.
Lindsay Graham also may not have noticed that our country is collapsing and Russia is not. That must be because Lindsay Graham does not care about Americans, either. As for our money, it looks like most of the rest of the world – the nations that still produce things of value – are so turned-off by American pathocracy that they are seeking every way possible to stop using our money in international trade settlements. That money, our dollar, became the world’s reserve currency because our country ended up on top in the previous world war and for the better part of a century afterward dominated the planet militarily. Naturally, as our leadership turned more pathological and pathocratic, so did our military endeavors – until lately they amount to little more than just smashing up other countries to show we can do it.
“..it was the Ukrainian presidency’s office itself that was responsible for the editing and circulating of the remarks in the first place.”
• Russian Arrest Warrant For Lindsey Graham Over ‘Killing Russians’ Remarks (ZH)
Russia’s Interior Ministry has issued an arrest warrant for South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham after video surfaced of the Republican hawk telling Ukrainian officials that “Russians are dying” due to US military aid and that “it’s the best money we ever spent.” There are claims that the video released of the Friday meeting in Kiev wherein Graham spoke the words to Ukraine’s President Zelensky were edited, however. And yet, it was Zelensky himself that posted the edited clip to his official social media channels. Russia’s Investigative Committee announced the criminal case against Graham as he “declared the financial involvement of the United States is causing the death of Russian citizens.”
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reacted to Graham’s provocative statements by saying, “It’s difficult to imagine a greater shame for a country than having such senators” while Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said the Republican Senator is an “old fool. “The arrest warrant and him being placed on a ‘wanted list’ will of course remain largely symbolic, given Graham certainly won’t be traveling to Russian territory or through its airspace anytime in the foreseeable future. On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry responded to reporting from Reuters which said Graham’s remarks were taken out of context: “Reports by Reuters that remarks by US Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican, South Carolina) made during a meeting with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky may have been taken out of context represent clumsy, shameless excuses, a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry made public on Monday said.
“‘It turns out,’ that’s not what Senator Graham said or how he said it. Just like with similar cannibalistic musings by former US President George W. Bush, clumsy, shameful excuses are being bandied about: so, allegedly, the senator’s words were taken out of context, there was some ‘editing’ and so on. Who would have doubted that the politician himself and his spin doctors, such as the top Anglo-Saxon media outlets and news agencies, would, as they say, ‘play dumb.’ What’s next? They will tell us that Lindsey Graham is a product of [artificial intelligence] and doesn’t actually exist?” the Foreign Ministry asked rhetorically. It stressed that this “attempt is doomed to fail.” “It is already impossible to clean oneself [and one’s reputation] from the stain of such remarks, even if they were uttered separately,” the ministry added.” But again, it was the Ukrainian presidency’s office itself that was responsible for the editing and circulating of the remarks in the first place.
“This entire story with cowardly excuses and ludicrous attempts to absolve Lindsey Graham is yet another blow to the already faded reputation of Reuters and the BBC..”
• Clumsy Excuses: Russian FM On Claim Graham’s Words Taken Out Of Context (TASS)
Reports by Reuters that remarks by US Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican, South Carolina) made during a meeting with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky may have been taken out of context represent clumsy, shameless excuses, a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry made public on Monday said. “‘It turns out,’ that’s not what Senator Graham said or how he said it. Just like with similar cannibalistic musings by former US President George W. Bush, clumsy, shameful excuses are being bandied about: so, allegedly, the senator’s words were taken out of context, there was some ‘editing’ and so on. Who would have doubted that the politician himself and his spin doctors, such as the top Anglo-Saxon media outlets and news agencies, would, as they say, ‘play dumb.’
What’s next? They will tell us that Lindsey Graham is a product of [artificial intelligence] and doesn’t actually exist?” the Foreign Ministry asked rhetorically. It stressed that this “attempt is doomed to fail.” “It is already impossible to clean oneself [and one’s reputation] from the stain of such remarks, even if they were uttered separately,” the ministry added. Earlier, at a meeting in Kiev with Zelensky, Graham seemingly linked the fact that “Russians are dying” in the Ukrainian conflict with US aid for Ukraine, saying it is “the best money we’ve ever spent.” The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out that this was hardly the first instance of such hateful remarks and that “the senator is not alone.” “The Nazi philosophy of hatred toward Russians is actually what unites the Kiev regime and its American handlers,” the ministry emphasized.
The ministry also stated that widespread popular outrage has forced the Western propaganda machine “with its cogs, such as Reuters and the BBC, who led the campaign to whitewash the [words of the] lawmaker, to initiate a crisis management approach and attempt to reverse the situation.” “This entire story with cowardly excuses and ludicrous attempts to absolve Lindsey Graham is yet another blow to the already faded reputation of Reuters and the BBC, which were left to worm their way of out the mess on behalf of both Washington and Kiev. This is not journalism, but PR agencies carrying out an assignment for the ‘collective West,’” the Russian Foreign Ministry concluded. Earlier, Reuters, having examined a complete recording of Graham’s meeting with the Ukrainian leader, said that the remarks by the US senator may have been taken out of context.
“There was a time in America that we were this way: fighting to the last person, we were going to be free or die.” WE, Lindsey?
• Ukraine Posts Longer Video Of Lindsay Graham’s Visit (R.)
Russia’s interior ministry has put U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham on a wanted list, Russian news agency TASS said on Monday (May 29).In an edited video released by the Ukrainian president’s office of Graham’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday (May 26), Graham was shown saying “the Russians are dying” and then saying U.S. support was the “best money we’ve ever spent”.After Russia criticised the remarks, Ukraine released a full video of the meeting which showed the two remarks were not linked. The longer video clip showed the Ukrainian President praises the United States for military assistance valued at $38 billion, thanking Graham for bipartisan support. Graham responds with: “the best money we’ve ever spent.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced Graham, suggesting his comment on U.S. financial assistance was linked to a later remark that Russians “are dying” in the conflict. But the release by the Ukrainian president’s office of Graham’s complete remarks showed there was no such link.Graham said he was visiting on the 457th day of a war that Russia had assumed would be completed within three days and Graham said Ukrainians resisting the invasion reminded him of “our better selves in America. “There was a time in America that we were this way: fighting to the last person, we were going to be free or die.” “Now you are free,” Zelenskiy responded in the encounter. “And we will be.” Graham replied: “And the Russians are dying.”
And there’s Graham again..
• Biden, McCarthy Agree on $886 Billion Military Budget (Antiwar)
The debt ceiling agreement reached between the White House and House Republicans that was announced Sunday caps military spending at $886 billion for 2024, matching President Biden’s requested budget. Republicans negotiating the debt ceiling deal only sought non-military spending cuts. The $886 billion cap for military spending represents about a 3.3% increase from 2023. The White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) still need to get the debt ceiling agreement passed through Congress. Many hawkish Republicans will likely oppose the deal as they previously blasted Biden’s massive $886 billion request as “inadequate.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) slammed the debt limit deal in an appearance on Fox News on Sunday. “The Biden defense budget was a joke before, and if we adopt it as Republicans, we will be doing a big disservice to the party of Ronald Reagan,” Graham said.
“The biggest winner of the Biden defense budget is China because they’ll have a bigger navy,” Graham added. Hawks in Congress have gotten their way over the past two years as they approved significantly more military spending than what President Biden requested for 2022 and 2023. For 2023, President Biden asked for $813 billion in military spending, but Congress added $45 billion, bringing the finalized National Defense Authorization Act to $858 billion. A similar increase for 2024 could bring the NDAA close to $1 trillion. The US also authorizes other national security spending that is not included in the NDAA. According to analyst Winslow Wheeler, factoring in other types of expenditures on the national security state, including interest on debt and the Veteran Affairs budget, would bring the total defense budget for 2024 to around $1.5 trillion.
“.. they understand that the true ‘threats’ to the US derive from its internal divisions, and not from external sources.”
• Believing Impossible Things (Alastair Crooke)
The recent G7 summit should be understood as firstly, the shaping of a battlespace in the ‘War of Narratives’ whose principal ‘front’ today is the Team Biden insistence that only one ‘reality’ — the US-led ‘Rules’ ideology (and it alone) – can predominate. And, secondly to underline pointedly that the West is ‘not losing’ in this war against the other ‘reality’. This other reality is the multivalent ‘otherness’ that self-evidently is attracting more and more support around the world. Many in the West are simply unaware of how fast the geopolitical tectonic plates are shifting: The original plate bifurcation (the failed financial war declared on Russia), already has led to a building wave. Anger is growing. People now no longer feel alone in rejecting western hegemony – they “no longer care”.
In just the week that preceded the G7 summit, the Arab League literally ‘went multi-polar’; It quit its former pro-US automaticity. The embrace of President Assad and the Syrian government was both the logical consequence to the secondary tectonic-plate shift set in motion by China with its Saudi-Iranian diplomacy — a revolution which Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) then logically extended to the entire Arab sphere. MbS sealed this ‘break-free’ of US control through having President al-Assad invited to the Summit to symbolise the League’s act of generalised iconoclasm. For the West, it is ontologically impossible to tolerate their reality being disassembled: to see their society and the world split in two. The narrative reality is so embedded via the well-honed effectiveness of MSM messaging however, that politicians have become lazy. They do not have to argue their case, and have no incentive to hold back on untruths either.
The dynamics are exorable: an over-hyped ‘monolithic reality’ evolves into a Manichaean fight to the death. Any backsliding by ‘principals’ could result in the collapse of the Media narrative ‘house of cards’. (This notion of a monolithic reality is not one shared by most other societies who see reality as multi-faceted). Denial becomes endemic. So, we witness a hawkish G7, diverting from the narrative setback (of Bakhmut falling) by the casual embrace of a ploy to supply F-16s to Ukraine; chastising China for not making President Putin ‘back off’ in Ukraine; and using the meeting to set a narrative framework for the coming confrontation with China on trade issues and Taiwan.
One commentator (at the summit) wondered “Am I still in Europe, or in Japan?”, as she listened to rhetoric as though lifted from Von Der Leyen’s earlier speech to the EU. Von de Leyen had crafted the formulation of ‘de-risking’ with China to disguise the creeping EU-China bifurcation in production on the EU Commission factory floor. This remark does however serve to underline how Von der Leyen has become a de facto member of the Biden Team. China angrily responded to the G7 summit allegation that it had become a workshop for “smearing” and slandering China. This extensive narrative-shaping for China confrontation is seen to be necessary by the G7 as the rest of the world does not view China as a genuine ‘threat’ to the US: Rather, they understand that the true ‘threats’ to the US derive from its internal divisions, and not from external sources.
The G7 salience lies not so much with the anti-China narratives launched, but, plainly said, because the entire episode expresses a western hubristic denial, which portends extreme danger in respect to Ukraine. It speaks to the reality that the West — in it’s present mental mode — will be unable to put forward any credible political initiative to end the Ukraine conflict.(Recall that Moscow was badly mauled by the earlier Minsk episode). The G7 language abjures all serious diplomacy, and signals that the imperative remains to stick with the ‘not losing’ mantra:The fall of Bakhmut is no defeat for Kiev, but a Pyrrhic loss for Putin; Ukraine is winning, Putin is losing, was the G7 messaging.
“After having illegally invaded Iraq [..] it comes off as laughable that the US is now claiming to oppose illegal invasions.”
• US Obsession With Crushing Russia Has Dismantled Middle East Agenda (Inlakesh)
As the months pass, blow after blow has been inflicted on US power in the Middle East. In direct opposition to Washington’s agenda, the Syrian Arab Republic was readmitted to the Arab League following a 12-year hiatus, paving the way to end the crisis in Syria, which the US seeks to prolong. China has also entered Middle East politics in a dramatic way, brokering an Iranian-Saudi rapprochement back in March, and this then spurred a wider normalization wave. Although the US attempted to play off the Saudi Arabia-Iran agreement as an acceptable and welcomed move, this has now clearly worked to collapse Washington’s long-term effort towards regional supremacy, which was based on feeding a proxy conflict between the two powers.
Western leaders publicly predicted that Russia’s economy would collapse under sanctions, a result which clearly has not materialized, with the IMF predicting the Russian economy will grow. Similarly, the US “maximum pressure” sanctions that were first introduced against Iran under the Trump administration, were expected to severely hinder the Islamic Republic’s ability to continue its developments in the defense field, but have failed to achieve those goals. Russia is now exporting more oil than it did in 2021, as its relations with China, the primary global competitor to the US, have advanced. Gulf States have also repeatedly let the US down and refrained from yielding to pressure to cut oil production. There is also the example of Algeria, which has become Italy’s largest gas supplier and raked in over $50 billion dollars in oil and gas revenues during 2022 alone, even as it retains close relations with Moscow.
And when it comes to the West’s ban on Russian gold bullion, the UAE, Türkiye and China have reportedly stepped in to fill the gap. However, perhaps the worst blowback against Russia sanctions has been the nullification of previous limits to Moscow-Tehran economic relations. The two nations are already the most sanctioned on earth, so they need not worry about the potential consequences from their trade, which has encouraged further cooperation between them. Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi signed a deal to finance an Iranian railway line as part of a North-South Transport Corridor. The Biden administration has employed hardline propaganda tactics in order to demonize Russia and lionize Ukraine. Although for some Western audiences the arguments set forth may have proven effective, in the global community and especially the Middle East, such rhetoric is tiresome and clearly hypocritical.
After having illegally invaded Iraq, inflicting around a million deaths, over a concoction of factually-challenged conspiracy theories about weapons of mass destruction, it comes off as laughable that the US is now claiming to oppose illegal invasions.
Musk may accept the challenge: ““This platform is hell bent on being the least untrue source of information..”
• EU Threatens To Ban Twitter (RT)
Twitter will be banned across the EU if it fails to abide by the new regulations on fighting disinformation, French Digital Transition and Telecommunications Minister Jean-Noel Barrot said on Monday. The warning comes as the European bloc’s Digital Services Act (DSA) is due to fully take effect on August 25. “Disinformation is one of the gravest threats weighing on our democracies,” Barrot told France Info radio. “I hope that Twitter complies with the European rules by August 25. Otherwise, it will no longer be welcome in Europe. Twitter, if it repeatedly doesn’t follow our rules, will be banned from the EU.” The DSA mandates that search engines and large platforms, such as Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok, enact measures to mitigate “disinformation or election manipulation, cyber violence against women, or harms to minors online.”
The European Commission can fine offenders up to 6% of annual worldwide turnover. EU Internal Markets Commissioner Thierry Breton announced last week that Twitter had pulled out of the bloc’s voluntary Code of Practice on Disinformation. “But obligations remain. You can run but you can’t hide,” Breton said, adding that DSA’s terms will be “ready for enforcement” when the compliance deadline expires in August. Billionaire Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter last year, promised to rid the platform of disinformation and hateful content, but also uphold the freedom of speech and offer more transparency. “This platform is hell bent on being the least untrue source of information,” Musk wrote on Twitter in early May.
At the same time, earlier this month Twitter fulfilled the Turkish government’s request to restrict access to some accounts in the weeks leading up to the presidential and general election in the country. Musk defended this decision by saying that he wanted to avoid Twitter getting shut down entirely in Türkiye. “We can’t go beyond the laws of a country … If we have a choice of either our people [going] to prison or we comply with the laws, we will comply with the laws,” Musk told the BBC last month.
“The Indian diamond industry cuts and polishes nine out of ten diamonds in the world at a processing hub in Surat..”
• Sanctions On Russian Diamonds Put A Million Jobs At Risk (RT)
Restrictions on exports of Russian diamonds that the G7 countries have been considering for over a year pose a threat to India’s polishing industry, the Economic Times reports. The Indian diamond industry cuts and polishes nine out of ten diamonds in the world at a processing hub in Surat, the outlet said. A potential embargo is weighing heavily on Surat’s more than 4,000 diamond processing companies, which employ at least a million craftsmen, polishers, and traders, according to industry experts. The town of Surat imports at least 35% of its gems from Russia’s mining giant Alrosa, which accounts for 30% of global rough diamond output.
“If the sanctions continue, then there will be a lot of uncertainty in the employment of one million workers,” said the chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Vipul Shah. Russia’s diamond trade has so far avoided sanctions due to resistance from major importers such as Belgium, which is home to the world’s biggest diamond trading hub in Antwerp. The Belgian government has repeatedly blocked the EU’s embargo plans, warning that the move could cost thousands of jobs. At the recent G7 summit in Japan, leaders pledged to restrict trade in “diamonds mined, processed or produced in Russia” in an effort to further cut Moscow’s revenues.
In a joint statement, the group of wealthy nations said it would curb the $4.5 billion Russian diamond trade, including by using high-tech methods of tracing. “We are awaiting a proper understanding of how the sanctions will be executed, since there is no way to trace the origin of rough gems right now,” Shah said. Meanwhile, supplies of rough diamonds have been shrinking since Western sanctions disconnected Russia from the SWIFT international financial processing network last year. Indian exports of cut and polished diamonds have also slumped as US and EU firms shunned buying diamonds sourced from Russia.
“The Serb population of these four towns boycotted elections in April in which four ethnic Albanian mayors won with a turnout of less than 4%..”
• 50 Injured As NATO Troops Clash With Serb Demonstrators (RT)
NATO forces attacked a group of demonstrators in the majority-Serb town of Zvecan in Kosovo, RT Balkan reported on Monday. Stun grenades and tear gas were deployed, and around 50 people were injured. Serb demonstrators staged a sit-down protest outside municipal buildings in Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic on Monday morning, preventing ethnic Albanian officials from taking office after elections boycotted by the Serb population as illegitimate. Kosovo police officers arrived on the scene in Zvecan, backed up by members of NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR). The heavily-armored NATO troops surrounded the demonstrators, who refused to disperse, RT Balkan’s journalist on the scene reported. KFOR then threw stun grenades and tear gas into the crowd, provoking a riot.
The Serb demonstrators pelted rocks at the NATO troops, and received baton strikes and rubber bullets in return. Fifty people went to a hospital in nearby Mitrovica, and two were admitted to the emergency room. 25 KFOR soldiers were injured in the melee, Italy’s ANSA news agency said. 11 of those reportedly hurt were Italians. The protesters broke up shortly after the clashes, vowing to return and continue their demonstration on Tuesday. The latest flareup in tensions began when local mayors in four majority Serb towns in northern Kosovo resigned last year after authorities in Pristina announced plans to force residents to switch their Serbian identity documents for Kosovo-issued ones. The Serb population of these four towns boycotted elections in April in which four ethnic Albanian mayors won with a turnout of less than 4%. Nevertheless, the government in Pristina treated the votes as legitimate and the mayors were installed on Friday amid fierce opposition from the Serbs, who view the debacle as a naked power grab aimed at driving them from the breakaway province.
Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008 with the support of the US and many of its NATO allies. Kosovo was historically a province of Serbia, and Belgrade – along with many world governments – does not recognize Kosovo as an independent state. While NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and a number of Kosovo’s Western backers have urged Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leader, Albin Kurti, to de-escalate the situation in the north of the province, he has apparently not heeded their warnings. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday that Kurti “longs and dreams of being a [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky.” Due to the clashes, Serbia placed its army on high alert, moving some units closer to the region’s border. Defense Minister Milos Vucevic said that “it is clear that terror against the Serb community in Kosovo is happening.”
🇷🇸🇭🇺 The Hungarian members of KFOR lowered their shields, which earned them applause from the Serbs. https://t.co/0IlUpAIyCJ pic.twitter.com/VKwGZWGdWj
— Sinnaig (@Sinnaig) May 29, 2023
“A big explosion could be brewing in center of Europe, Serbs in Northern Kosovo have none of the rights they were promised by the West.” — Lavrov pic.twitter.com/q10uCrqrqW
— 🅰pocalypsis 🅰pocalypseos 🇷🇺 🇨🇳 🅉 (@apocalypseos) May 29, 2023
“..where it’s legal..”
• Trump Campaign Fundraises For Ballot Harvesting Operations (PM)
The Trump campaign has announced that it is looking to beat Democrat ballot harvesting in states across the country, specifically taking aim at operations funded by billionaire George Soros. “We recently alerted you that a Soros-linked Super PAC has begun targeting 6 battleground states with a $75 MILLION spending blitz to buy Crooked Joe the White House,” a Thursday campaign fundraising email read, according to the Washington Times. “But there’s something important we want to add…some of those states have legalized BALLOT HARVESTING,” the email added, highlighting Soros-linked efforts in the battleground of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
“At the beginning of the year, President Trump made a major announcement that our campaign would ballot harvest in the states where it’s legal to counter the Left’s schemes,” the email added, asking for financial contributions to the Trump campaign’s Ballot Harvesting Fund. Ballot harvesting refers to the act of a person other than the voter turning in a ballot, usually a mail-in ballot. While Republicans have previously disavowed the practice and pushed for it to be eliminated, Trump earlier this year stated that he would embrace it in states where it’s legal in order to fight back against the Democrats. Many pundits have also called for the GOP to get on board and fight fire with fire, instead of letting the Democrats undertake the practice with no pushback.
In February, a fundraising email stated, “The radical Democrats have used ballot harvesting to cancel out YOUR vote and walk away with elections that they NEVER should have won. But I’m doing something HUGE to fight back.” He continued: “Our path forward is to MASTER the Democrats’ own game of harvesting ballots in every state we can. But that also means we need to start laying the foundation for victory RIGHT NOW.” Trump echoed the sentiment in March, telling the crowd at CPAC, “We will become masters at ballot harvesting.” “We have to beat the Democrats at their own game, and we’ll do it legally. The agenda I’ve laid out today will end America’s destruction.”
Now let’s see the excess deaths stats.
• Zero Young Healthy Individuals Died of COVID-19, Israeli Data Show (ET)
Zero healthy individuals under the age of 50 have died of COVID-19 in Israel, according to newly released data. “Zero deceased of 18–49 years of age with no underlying morbidities,” the Israel Ministry of Health (MOH) said in response to a formal request from an attorney. Officials noted that the statement only applies to COVID-19 deaths where the MOH conducted an epidemiological investigation and had received information about the underlying diseases. “Zero is a very, very clear number, and cannot be subject to interpretation,” Yoav Yehezkelli, a specialist in internal medicine and medical management, and former lecturer in the Department of Emergency and Disaster Management at Tel Aviv University in Israel, told The Epoch Times.
“Why were all the extreme measures of school closures, vaccination of children, and lockdowns needed?” he added. The information was sparked by a freedom of information request filed by attorney Ori Xabi, who has been filing several such requests as he seeks to obtain information from the MOH regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID-19 policies. Xabi asked to know the average age of people who died of COVID-19, segmented by vaccination status at the time of death; how many COVID-19 patients with no underlying morbidities under the age of 50 died; and the annual number of cardiac arrest cases between 2018 to 2022. According to the MOH response, the average age of vaccinated COVID-19 patients who died was 80.2 years. The average for the unvaccinated was 77.4 years.
The MOH emphasized that the data they have about the underlying diseases of patients is partial since it relies on information provided by the patients or their relatives, if they chose to do so. And then, only in cases in which the MOH conducted an epidemiological investigation. Therefore “the available information does not necessarily reflect the health status of the patient” the MOH wrote adding that they do not have access to the patients’ medical records. It is not clear why the MOH responded to Xabi’s request using only cases where the MOH had conducted an epidemiological investigation, and which was limited to deceased patients where the families had cooperated, since in 2020 the MOH told the Israeli Knesset—the Israeli parliament—that they use an intelligence system that provides the MOH with extensive information about deceased patients that included “underlying diseases.”
“..These comedy giants are set upon by an Army of Lilliputians who have contributed little to culture beyond chilling artists and writers into obedient silence..”
• John Cleese Holds Line Against Calls to Cancel Scene in Life of Brian (Turley)
We have previously discussed how comedians have been objecting that woke activists are killing comedy. The complaint is that a group of perpetually pissed off, humorless people are remaking the world in their own image. It began with college campuses where comedians are now saying are dead as venues since you cannot safely make any joke that insults any group other than white straight males or Christians or conservatives. Others have objected to hate speech laws limiting comedians, particularly after some comedians have been prosecuted for “malicious communications” or insulting groups or religious figures. Six out of ten students view offensive jokes as hate speech. This week, however, activists appear to have met their match in a legend of comedy who has opposed the cutting of a scene from the movie The Life of Brian. No, activists are not upset with the endless jokes about Italians, Christians, and Jews. It is the scene involving a man who wants to become a women and have a child. John Cleese is refusing to yield.
In The Life of Brian, the scene involves “Stan” who announces that he wants to be a woman named Loretta and have babies. Activists objected that it made fun of transgender people and demanded that it be cut from the film. The scene shows Stan declaring “I want to be a woman… It’s my right as a man. I want to have babies… It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.” After Cleese’s protest, the character snaps, “Don’t you oppress me!” Some reported that Cleese had agreed to cut the scene. However, Cleese tweeted out a correction of the “misreporting.” What is interesting is that Rob Reiner is reportedly working on the reboot. Reiner is known as someone who is a champion of the left in Hollywood. This may be an inauspicious start for the reboot effort. Cleese is not alone in raising this alarm. Comedians including Chris Rock blamed the range of “unfunny TV shows” on the fact that “everybody’s scared to make a move”. Ricky Gervais objected that the BBC is now paralyzed in fear of offending anyone. Jennifer Saunders that people now “talk themselves out of stuff now because everything is sensitive.”
The same complaint has been made in the age of woke advertising that funny commercials seem increasingly rare as opposed to corporate virtue signaling. The director of the classic comedy Airplane! observed that humor is being squeezed out of Hollywood and the movie today would have virtually every joke removed. David Zucker called it the “death of creativity.” They are now set upon by a legion of humorless people who seek to reduce the world to their own narrow range of acceptable levity or irony. These comedy giants are set upon by an Army of Lilliputians who have contributed little to culture beyond chilling artists and writers into obedient silence or compulsive comedy criteria. Of course, Cleese could always use the line from Bryan’s mother: “He’s a very naughty boy! Now, piss off!”
A town with a population of 13,000, Wynnum in Queensland, Australia, witnesses an alarming rise in vaccine injuries and fatalities.
The forest of the fallen.
— 🇦🇺OurVoicesMatter (@OV_Matter) May 29, 2023
Yeahhhhh I'm keeping my diesel 4×4
They can fuck off pic.twitter.com/75D91JyJXA
— The White Rabbit Podcast (@AllBiteNoBark88) May 28, 2023
This is incredible! A heartwarming moment captured at sea as a shark asks for human help to rescue a defenseless turtle🙏👏
— Tansu YEĞEN (@TansuYegen) May 29, 2023
Cabot's tragopan is a pheasant from the mountain ranges of south-east China
Below the beak is a decorative wattle, and there are a pair of blue soft "horns"
These are inflated as part of a courtship display to impress females,
Watch it here pic.twitter.com/fYxjs2e9qu
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) May 29, 2023
— The Best (@Figensport) May 29, 2023
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